Cooke’s Bank

The most famous ruin in Rhyolite, or anywhere in Rhyoleind, may well be what is usually called Cook's Banke. It was probably the most important building in Rhyolite, though it was not a bank in the sense of a place where you deposit money, but a holding vault for the Rhyolite mined from the surrounding mountains. It was named for the geologist who first figured out how to extract the Rhyolite from the surrounding rocks.

Naturally, when Federica the Unifier's troops attacked the city, they targetted Cook's Banke first, but by then the people of Rhyolite had spent 5 days repackaging and re-destilling the rhyoleir so each leaded bottle contained 3 times the normal amount, allowing them to float away. Because the empty bottles were still there, it took a while to discover the ruse. When she did find out the people of Rhyolite had smuggled out most of the rhyoleir, Federica went into a rage.

First, she ordered her guards to grab the first 50 citizens they found and put them in the Banke, then she ordered the governing council seized and placed in the building as well. She sealed off the building and filled it with the highly flammable distillate of mesquite and pine known as elke. The victims had to stand on shelves--and sometimes other victims--to not drown. Then she personally stood outside the Banke with a small amount of gunpowder she had acquired from Gushuzhigua along with a long fuse and demanded that the gathered townspeople reveal the location of the "stolen" rhyoleir.

Well, no one knew (and they had no plans to tell her if they had), because a man named Ernesto Kelly (a cousin of Thom Kelly of Bottle House fame) had come up with an ingenious plan. He had tied all the rhyolyaseh, the special leaded bottles used to hold the rhoyleir, together like a kind of aerial raft and released them. In the center of the raft, Kelly had placed the nest of his treasured Beatty Pygmy Falcon, a 3 inch tall (fully grown) flying killer (bit more on that later). This rare white plumaged falcon, who Kelly had nicknamed Zingo Lapiz (after the famous albino bandit), would stay near its young and yet also be noticable enough that Ernesto was sure they would hear reports of this strange bird--which would let them track down the raft when Federica was gone.

So as Federica demanded answers, the townspeople did not know--could not answer. Finally, in her anger and disgust, she lit the fuse. The 57 good citizens of Rhyolite were killed in one horrific instant, but the gwome's treasure was saved and Federica moved on, though the brutal occupation continued.

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