The Alchemists' Guild or Guild of Alchemists is an ancient society of learned men, including pyromancers, who have claimed many magical and arcane abilities through the years. In recent centuries the maesters of the Citadel have largely supplanted the alchemists almost everywhere in Westeros.
In its earlier years, the guild was very powerful, but by the reign of King Robert I Baratheon their abilities and influence have been greatly diminished. Now only a few of the old order remain. Some pyromancers are also found in the city of Asshai in Essos, but it is unknown if they are connected with the Alchemists' Guild.
At the height of their power, alchemists claimed the ability to transmute metals and create living creatures of flame. In their later years, they still hint at possessing vast secret stores of knowledge - but the only skill they demonstrate is the creation of wildfire, which they call the substance. Alchemists create wildfire in their Guildhall, which is set near Visenya's Hill in King's Landing. The hall is an imposing labyrinth of cold, black stone. Acolytes of the Guild make wildfire in solitary cells.
The Alchemists claim that the creation of wildfire is a delicate and magical process. Should the wildfire explode, the cells' false ceilings are designed to collapse and fill the cell with sand, snuffing the fire as well as killing the acolyte. Wildfire is contained in clay jars that are textured to increase grip. These jars must be handled carefully to prevent fracture or combustion. The most volatile jars are housed in storerooms of water and transported in sand-filled wagons. At any one time, the Guild's store of wildfire could number in the thousands of jars.
Aegon the Unworthy
King Aegon IV Targaryen, who dreamed of conquering Dorne, commanded the Guild of Alchemists to build him "dragons". Thus, the alchemists constructed massive devices fitted with pumps that shot jets of wildfire. One of the engines went up in flames in the kingswood and soon all seven burned, taking a quarter of the kingswood with them and forcing Aegon to abandon his scheme.
The Mad King
The alchemists enjoyed a period of increased influence during the reign of King Aerys II Targaryen. The Mad King tasked them driving off winter at the start of 282 AC, so the wisdoms burned green fires along the Red Keep's walls for a moon's turn. The Mad King took great pleasure in wildfire, using it for executions such as Lord Rickard Stark's.
Aerys appointed three wisdoms, Lord Rossart, Garigus and Belis, to create a vast quantity of wildfire to potentially destroy King's Landing should he lose the War of the Usurper. When Lord Qarlton Chelsted, the Hand of the King, opposed the plan and renounced his duties in disgust, Aerys had him burned to death with wildfire and made Rossart as his next and final Hand. This was one of the reasons why Ser Jaime Lannister slew both Rossart and King Aerys.
During the Sack of King's Landing, a great many wisdoms were killed or went missing. Jaime hunted down Garigus and Belis and killed them to prevent them from carrying out Aerys's orders. The acolytes were inexperienced in destroying the wildfire, so some remained below the city.
A Clash of Kings
During the War of the Five Kings, Cersei Lannister commissions a great quantity of wildfire for the defenses of King's Landing. The alchemists report an unexplainable increase in the effectiveness of their spells, where it is quickly noted that it had not been as easy since the time of the dragons, which allowed them to create the substance more quickly. Some wildfire jars commissioned by the late Aerys II Targaryen are rediscovered during the War of the Five Kings.
A Feast for Crows
|“||Wildfire is but one of the dread secrets of our ancient order. Many and wondrous are the things we might show you.||”|
|“||King Aerys took a great interest in our work.||”|
|“||His brother Jaime had told him a few stories of the Mad King and his pet pyromancers.||”|
References and Notes
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion I.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 20, Tyrion V.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, Aerys II.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 58, Davos III, p 608.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, Asshai-by-the-Shadow.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, Aegon IV.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, Daeron II.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, Aegon V.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, The Year of the False Spring.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 20, Tyrion V, p 228.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Organizations in A Song of Ice and Fire.