Dragons of Winter Night
When the heroes arrive at one of these locations for the first time, read or paraphrase the following:
Asmudge of gray smoke hangs low over the glacier here, seeming to issue from the top of a hill just ahead. A black swath of dirt can be seen at the top of the hill, in contrast to the stark white that has made up the view for the last few days.
Occasionally a flare of red soars up from the blackness and the smoke expands upward; but the red light quickly settles back down below the unnatural hilltop crown.
If the heroes move closer to investigate, continue with the following:
The great swath of black ground is an excavation of some kind. A shallow bowl, about 200 feet in diameter, has been cut into the frozen hilltop. In the center of the hole, a fire burns the soft, sodden ground and lights the excavation with a flickering crimson glow. In the still air, a faint wash of heat can be detected from the hole, and the ground around the edges is not even frozen.
The Situation: This is one of the peat mines used by the Ice Folk as a fuel supply. All of the peat mines are located on raised areas of land that were islands before the Cataclysm altered the face of Krynn. Now, fires burn eternally to prevent the precious fuel from freezing solid. Every three or four months, a band of the Ice Folk visits the mine and gathers a load of the peat.
The heroes may decide to avail themselves of the peat as well, especially for the purposes of keeping warm. The peat is fairly labor intensive, however; the heroes will need to dry it out before it will act as a reliable fuel source. Pressing the sod peat cut from the mound might force out any moisture; a day of this pressure (under a rock, or a compression frame made out of wood) yields about a day’s worth of fuel for each pound. A DC 18 Knowledge (nature) check will inform the heroes of this possibility.