Blaze is a small star (size D) at the center of a small crystal sphere that is the home to Refuge. It initially appears like what most spacefarers consider a typical star, at least from a distance. It burns a yellowish color. Spacefarers that get somewhat closer than the orbit of Below will notice that the color of Blaze is not always uniform, however. Splotches of white, red, and orange all mottle the surface. These features are not constant, and usually disappear over time; returning later at no apparent interval.
Approaching Blaze, a spacefarer will encounter a hidden ring of dust, black rock, and ash. This is mostly invisble from a distance, and there is nothing much in the dust ring. Many of the rocks are obsidian shards, but not really worth the effort of salvaging.
The reason for the mottling is that Blaze is a point of contention (for whatever reason) between various races from the elemental plane of Fire. None of the highly organized races (such as the efreet) have a strong hold on Blaze; most of the inhabitants are more chaotic and less organized. The most common inhabitants of Blaze are the salamanders, who maintain a fairly strong presence here, basking in the flames. However, occasionally gates from some of the adjacent para-elemental and quasi-elemental planes are opened by beings on those planes, and a small invasion force tries to take hold of territory on Blaze. When the gate opens, invariably some of the para/quasi-elemental material enters the prime plane along with the force.
When these gates are opened, frequently para/quasi elemental matter leaks from the planes. These leaks spread over Blaze, as they are not immediately sealed (until the invasion force is beaten back), and create the blotchy appearance. This semi-regular infusion of new matter makes Blaze rather turbulent for a fire-body, and it occasionally throws off streamers or material into space. The ring of ash and dust developed over time from cooling magma, smoke, and ash that was ejected from Blaze's surface. No one knows whether the gates are a natural occurence of Blaze, or whether they are opened by elemental powers trying to grab territory in the prime material plane. The occurence of the gates seems totally random.
Generally the inhabitants of Blaze try to hold their 'turf' with little formal organizations, These gangs of salamanders, mephits, and the like all contend for sections of the star to call their own. The gangs usually fight with one another unless there is a threat from the para- or quasi-elemental planes.
Recently, a group of Baatezu, led by Marxenius the Cornugon, arrived on Blaze. They do not take part in the occasional skirmishes between the elemental forces, but seem to either be vacationing away from the Blood War, or here for some other, more sinister purpose. There are about a score of baatezu all told, mostly lesser races. None of the other races are organized enough to deal with the baatezu, and the baatezu are not interfering with their territories.
The arcane, after some trepidation, initiated trade and alliance agreements, something the Baatezu were happy to engage in. Presently, a erinyes (usually) or a hamatula occasionally teleport to Refuge to consult with the arcane. The arcane seem to be primarily interested in materials from Baator and other outer planes; it is known that they have commissioned initial designs for a ship made of rock from Phlegethon or Avernus. hoping to build ships that are fireproof and can sail closer to fire-bodies. It is believed that the baatezu are negotiating for weapons of power for use in the Blood War.
The arrival of the baatezu caused some unknown power of the upper planes to dispatch a Monadic deva to act as sentinel, to prevent any major mischief from the baatezu. Vermaiel has been acting as guard ever since. He generally stays in the ring of dust, near the baatezu's fortress of flames on Blaze. In the years he has been here, little has happened, so Vermaiel is generally very bored. What seemed like a great opportunity (since Monadic devas rarely are sent to the prime material plane) has become very tedious.
Vermaiel will almost certainly hail passing ships to investigate - he takes his guard duty very seriously, and is always looking for things to alleviate his boredom. He knows the baatezu can teleport, and generally monitors when one of them is on Refuge. Since the bulk of them remain on Blaze, he stays near the star. His presence makes the arcane a little edgy.
A list of creatures common to Blaze:
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