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Sol-Klorby Gilles Leblanc
[ Author's Note : Although a medieval like society "mining" oil, refining it and going as far as paving it's road with asphalt may seem ridiculous, the real world Arab mastered these feats as early as the year 680. Although the setting for Sol-Klor is not based on the real world Arabs or the Arabian desert I have used this fascinating idea. ]
Location: Adri Varma Plateau, continent of Brun. Population: 19 000 Sol-Klorians ( Ogrhiz ) Language: Ogrhiz; Sol-Klorian dialect. Some rare Sol-Klorians may know either Hulean or Thyatian. Government Type: Sol-Klor is a city-state. Sol-Klorians call it a clan-state and the ruler the clan leader. Lesser rulers subordinate to the clan leader are called clan chiefs. Industries: Oil mining, oil refining, oil products, coal and mineral mining, some agriculture and lumber.
In the northern edge of the plateau, where the Devaki river finds it's source in Kloros lake, a series of 12 large oil pits. Each of a diameter of about 20 feet, these pits are filled with oil. Some pits have oil bubbling at their surfaces, others have oil hidden deep in their dark holes and still another is burning constantly with fire. Near lake Kloros and the oil pits lies the city of Sol-Klor at the shore of lake Kloros.
Here is the name and current state of some the 12 oil pits.
Klaktor: This large 25 feet in diameter pits has been the primary source of oil for the Sol-Klorians for many generations. A large crater like opening, oil can be found slowly bubbling at a depth of about 15 feet. Because of underground pressure this depth can vary by 5 feet. A large wooden structure sitting above the pit fitted with a simple metal mechanism that spins a wheel. The spinning of this wheel cause a rope attached with a series of bucket to dip into the oil and come back. When it is brought up workers collect the oil from the bucket.
Klor: This pit is 15 feet in diameter and because of high underground pressure has oil coming up right to the ground. Oil can easily be harvested from this pit.
Slarl-Klor: This 14 feet in diameter pit is a natural rock tunnel that filled with oil. Due to extensive mining and loss of pressure, the oil is now about 50' below ground. The pit has been abandoned in favour of other pits. From time to time a criminal is thrown into the pit and left to die.
Kral-Kak: This small 8 feet diameter oil pit has been the source of a moderately strong oil fire for the last 293 years since a red dragon attacking the town. The dragon survived the attack. The fire shows no sign of slowing down and the only option of the Sol-Klorians, throwing buckets of water at the fire, hasn't worked so far.
Klormak: This site is actually a small swamp containing oily waters and the oil pit proper near the centre. The Sol-Klorians do not have the methods or interest to harvest the oil in the waters or in the ground under and around the swamp but rather keep to the main pit. This pit is more of a pond on a small island on the swamp and is about 20 in diameter.
Sol-Klorians: The Sol-Klorians were originally a tribe of ogrhiz who, because of the oil pits, established early on a city. Soon seeing the need to be protected from envious neighbours, the leader of that time, Kamok The Basher, created a more structured defences and promoted cooperation within the tribe. His methods succeeded. Within three generations, the Sol-Klorians had many cultural differences with the other Ogrhiz of the time. The Sol-Klorians are noted for their more civilised attitude, their lower aggressiveness and more sedentary ways. This is not to mean that Sol-Klorians are a peaceful compassionate bunch tough. And although they have abandoned certain Ogrhiz traditions, such as the dog pit, because of their comfortable lives, most humans would consider their society harsh and the majority of them cruel.
City: The city of Sol-Klor seems very strange to many newcomers. Each house has a fireplace in which coal burns to provide heat which is also distributed throughout the building with brass pipes. Oil lamps serve to light the buildings and the streets. Large furnaces using either coal or oil are used to heat the larger building through brass pipes. Heat also comes out of pipes coming from the sewer grates in the winter. This makes travelling in the city a more comfortable experience. Buildings are constructed from mainly from stone and asphalt with some wood mostly for the roofs. The building themselves are often painted dark colours, sometimes with bitumen and are seldom higher than 3 or 4 stories. The city is patrolled by 10 patrols of 4 guards each wearing leather armour, a horned shield, carrying a scimitar and two flask of burning oil and a lantern.
Although no walls surround the city, ballistae, catapults and one of the oil belchers are always at the ready. At one time a young white dragon from the north attacked the city. The siege weapons were rapidly used against him and the three oil belchers were deployed. The beast was slain and it's skin was made into an armour for the guard master, one Trollukik.
Industries: The extracted oil is either used or it can be refined in Sol-Klor. There dozens of large warehouses hold many 10 feet high brass alembics. These are heated by conventional fires. Several brass tubes connect to bronze and glass jugs where vapours are collected. The refining process produce what is known is water-white oil, or kerosene, which has several uses. These warehouse have chimneys belching out smoke and vapours that help form a black cloud cover over the town. Combined with blacksmith, glass blowers and the many uses of oil, Sol-Klor sees a large quantity of fire and thus smoke each day. The various refinements of oils are used or transformed into several products. A local mineral mine also provide material for blacksmith who work with iron, brass and bronze to meet the common needs of the Sol-Klorians and of the oil refining and extraction industry. A coal mine, called Bertlrak, is also exploited 20 miles north of the town. Large shipments of coal are regularly sent to Sol-Klor.
The following products/uses are made with white-water oil: lamp kerosene, solvent, diluents, external and internal medication and military uses.
These are the uses of crude oil or other form of oil: combustible material, house lamps, external medication and military uses.
These are the uses of bitumen: pavement, asphalt, building reinforcement.
These are the uses of coal: combustible material, heating habitations and city terraces and streets.
Military: The military aspect of oil is well exploited by the Sol-Klorians. With time they have learned to make war oil ( aka Greek Fire ), which is somewhat sticky and can burn even underwater. If could be extremely useful in sea battles because of these proprieties, of course the Sol-Klorians do not have access to any significant body of water. The Sol-Klorians fill grenade-like ceramic jars, pits, traps and catapult projectiles with war oil. The oil can be lighted just before it is delivered or after it has been delivered. As war oil is more expensive, normal oil or kerosene may be substituted in any of these contraptions.
The Sol-Klorians have also created three large oil belchers. Large iron canons mounted on large wooden chariots pushed by workers are able to spout a 25 feet trail of fire at incoming enemies. These oil belchers have an oil tank ( large wooden barrel ) which allows for 10 shots.
Each shot from 20' to 25' long depending on the force applied by the labourers. The shot is 2 feet wide at it's base and 8 feet at it's end. It strikes for 3d6 + 2 with a save against breath weapons for half.
Construction: Oil products and derivatives, like bitumen and asphalts are used in construction in Sol-Klor. The streets of the city are paved with asphalts and many wall have been reinforced with asphalt. The road between Sol-Klor and the coal mine Bertlrak is also paved with asphalt. Due to the high frequency of travel on these roads, city workers restore them yearly. Both mines have also paved some of their tunnel walls and/or floors in some places.
Magic: From magical items to spell, oil has influenced Sol-Klorians magic. The Sol-Klorians have developed a version of magic missile which fires ovals of burning crude oil, a grease spell which coats a surface with white-water oil instead of grease, and a ball of oil which on impacts splatter into many globules of burning oil and which acts like a fireball. All of these spells work in much the same way as the originals expect that spell components are often changed to oil. [ The DM is encouraged to modify existing spells with similar modifications. ]