Stones that have been attuned to the extreme temperatures of deserts or icy wastes. Such stones are quite valuable to adventurers as they can use them in order to preserve or prepare meals, make extreme environments bearable, and use them in clever devices.
A group of humans living in a mountainous area have spent generations mining, drinking home made liquor, and generally not spreading the gene pool around enough. The end result is a sub-race of humans who no longer have necks, rather their heads protrude from the upper portion of the torso between the shoulders. They have beards, and lacking the ability to turn their heads, can only see what they are directly facing. They are simple and to the point, and direct to the point of bluntness.