by Glen Swartwout
The Shire is located adjacent to the Burning Land of Mount Doom, otherwise known as Kilauea, the most active volcano on Earth… The tropical sun, also shines its celestial fire down upon this land, providing a year round growing season, balancing out the sometimes intense rainfall that keeps it a lush, green, flowering tropical paradise, and providing frequent rainbows, many double rainbows, and even magical moonbows that shine like mithreal silver.
Fire is a useful tool, particularly in a place with an abundance of moisture. Ohia is an ideal firewood, being the sixth densest wood on the planet. Of course we only harvest dead ohia trees! Fire can be used for cooking (yum!), heating water (ahhhh!), drying bananas and other fruits, as well as smoking fish and meat for food preservation. And with forethought, all of these functions can be served by a single fire, with a beehive lava rock oven (with an inner layer of cinderized lava rock used as fire brick, and an outer layer of black rock). A single small fire can efficiently heat a massive heat sink of rock and mortar for all-day cooking heat, and embedded air and water pipes can carry this heat, or smoke and heat, as needed for adjunct drying, smoking and water heating processes. Read the rest of this entry