The hamlet of Kindling was founded as a logging camp in the Fyrewood during its clearcutting. When Prince-Bishop Leonard I made the area a nature preserve, it alone was not shut down, and along with the Old Forest Road that connects it to the rest of the world, it remains open and inhabited.

Officially, the people of Kindling are there only to support the forest’s regrowth and its study. A handful of small farms provide it with crops, a small mine with ores, and it also includes shops, an inn, and other amenities. Unofficially, the hamlet has two additional purposes: poaching, and the annual Flight Festival.

Poaching has been a problem for the Prince-Bishopric for decades, and the preserve’s rare and endangered animal life makes it a tempting target for the unscrupulous or the desperate. With wardens few and far between, it is all too often unpunished, although the official punishment can be as harsh as execution.

The Flight Festival is the hamlet’s other major draw, bringing scholars and amateurs alike to the area hoping for a glimpse of rare or unusual avian fauna. The majority arrive hoping for a glimpse of the extinct yellow-billed woodpecker, of course, but there are also lectures, guided tours, falconry, and other pursuits.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!