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For centuries it had been called “fabled Chammur,” “Chammur of the Flaming Heights,” and “Mighty Chammur.” For twelve hundred years the city on what was now the easternmost border of Sotat had straddled the trade routes from Capchen to Yanjing. Chammur was guarded on the west by the Qarwan River and in the north and east by riddled mazes of the flame-colored stone that had provided the oldest part of the city with a sanctuary from bandits and warlords alike.

For Dedicate Rosethorn of Winding Circle temple in Emelan and her fourteen-year-old student Briar Moss, Chammur was a stop on a journey to distant Yanjing. Briar had only ever heard the name of the city and little more. Rosethorn, though, had been fascinated by the city since she’d first heard of it, and she was able to tell him something of its history on their way east. Her knowledge came from books: this trip with Briar was her first chance to actually see the place that she had read about for so many years.

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