Gis, Free City of the Alchemists


There is a legend saying that the day Fabron, the Iron Priest of Faberterra, discovered iron, on the shores of the Drowned King Sea a wandering warlock built the first hut of what, centuries later, would become Gis, the Free City of the Alchemists. The initiators of the Alchemists were a group of foreign mages, probably from Lhoban. Today, life in Gis revolves around the business of the supernatural. Cairn Lords relic sellers have their stalls next to those of the Caldeia Lotus masters, and Valk prophets of the steppes offer their visions side by side with black-skinned
dancer witches, worshippers of Etu. There is only one law in Gis: all magic is possible, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone and isn’t detrimental to the business, of course.

Of the many forms of magic practiced in the city, the most common is alchemy. The Alchemists, also named Master Alchemists, are the rulers of Gis. Their skills are far more powerful than the knowledge of Lotus mastered by Lotus masters. They can produce fire that burns on the water and cannot be extinguished, magic oils that make a barren land fertile again, and many other wonderful things. But their services are very costly and only kings and nobles can afford them.

The Alchemists are a very reclusive corporation. They live in great mansions which they also use as laboratories, protected by their servants and apprentices, and they rarely give audience to common people, unless, of course, a large pile of gold is involved.

The identity of the Alchemists is not made public. They always wear long robes, special metal masks and gauntlets that bestow them great powers. The Master Alchemists have always been twelve and their number cannot change, because only twelve metal masks exist. The rules for succession aren’t very clear. Some say that, when an old master alchemist dies, the other eleven choose a successor from among his apprentices. He will take the mask and continue to rule the mansion laboratory. Yet, others believe that the Master Alchemists are immortal. Gis is a place of wonders, but it is also full of supernatural dangers.

The Battlefield of Greenmelt

Gis was born as a free city and no foreign power, not even the Iron Empire, has even tried to subdue it. None except the Valk. After Dhaar’s death, rumors claimed that the mighty warlord had been killed by the Alchemists’ magic. A great number of Valk clans gathered outside the City of the Alchemists, ready to destroy it to avenge their lord.

But that very night a strange, greenish fog spilled from the mouths of the metal statues along the walls of Gis. The fog silently sneaked into the Valk’s camp and everyone enveloped by it died in a horrible way, his flesh melted, as if burnt by an incredibly powerful acid. At dawn, the Valk camp was a cemetery. But the fog never went away. Still today, dozens of years later, there is a large area of green fog, called the Greenmelt, where the half corroded shapes of the Valk encampment can be seen. Nobody knows if the air is still poisonous, because nobody is foolish enough to venture there.

Umberto Pignatelli. (2011). Beasts & Barbarians, pp. 24-25. Studio 2 Publishing.ISBN 978-8393179657

Gis, Free City of the Alchemists

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