In 563 IR, two nomadic groups came across it at about the same time. In the ensuing battle, now called the Battle of the Pyre, one group was devastated and driven away. The other remained, mourning the loss of their leader, Rurik Karre, whose body they fed to the fire's flame.
With winter coming, his son, Volodomyr Rurikson, decided the tribe should settle near the Pyre. He began building a longhall around the Pyre, which was soon named the Firehall, and thus founded Medvedgorod.
From the beginning, where it kept the Periaslavlans warm in the winter of 563-4 IR, the Pyre has been the focus of that people. It is now a pilgrimage site for all Periaslavlans, who have seen the Pyre as the repository of their memories.
Bodies, letters, contracts, clothing, and many other items have been fed to the pyre. One of the duties of the Great Mothers and Great Daughters is to place such items in the pyre for people who cannot make the pilgrimage themselves, and many scribes are employed to help create certificates when this is done. Most Periaslavlans also try to make the pilgrimage at least once in their life, and they bear items collected over time by friends and neighbors.
The Pyre is well-known to have some personal connection to the Great Mothers of Periaslavl, and no girl can be accepted as Great Daughter without its approval. It also amplifies their magic. These things are attested by every velikomat, starting with Helga Mikhailovna, but the cause has escaped understanding as yet.