Dust and Echos
In the heart of the Burning Sands, mortal settlements are few and far-between.
The foggy city of Caldarium Memraku can be counted among those little known places. Disavowed slaves wandering the sands discovered this place, and settled here due to its unique properties. Rain comes nightly, with driving force before bursting at daybreak. This natural phenomenon is both the salvation and the yoke of Caldarium’s citizenship. Moments before the dawn, children often wake to climb atop the taller buildings, and gaze out upon at all of creation as the sun crests. Soon the water pooling in the streets begins to steam again and the stifling mist consumes them.
The evaporating ground water dredges up minerals from beneath the earth, infusing them with the contaminants drawn in on the wind from the pole of fire. Over the first few hours of the day, the solvent will thicken and crystallize onto the ground into a scarlet sheet of Burning Glass. This is the basis of the primary industry of Caldarium, and soon the peasantry emerge from their homes in great numbers with staff and basket in hand. Cracking the ice and packaging it carefully away, they will either trade it to The Merchant Exchange House for essential goods, or else save what they can to sell it themselves.
The majority of the Aristocracy of Caldarium lives in artificially maintained suburbs in the surrounding environs. The finer suburbs typically take the form of great public gardens. Visitation in these areas is open to all who can afford the time to venture out of the city center, but competition for residence is fierce enough that even some dragon-blooded are still awaiting their opportunity. Expansion and noble induction into the suburbs is not taken lightly, as water is manually diverted by servants and every drop taken from the night's rain reduces the Burning Glass yield.
Beyond Burning Glass, there is opportunity in the region for discoverers and scavengers. The remains of first-age settlements sit dormant beneath the desert waves. The powerful winds radiating from the southern pole make exploratory excavation difficult, but they are also known to occasionally shift the sands to dredge up artefacts, or even reveal lost ruins. For this reason, scavengers frequent Calderium, and several suburban homes are claimed in perpetuity by Archeologists known to have undertaken the Ritual of Subservience.