Beneath towering stone spires, twisting between domes and alleys, flows the greatest trading post the world has ever known. Nomali is a crossroads city filled with equal numbers of diplomats, craftsmen, and thieves.
In Nomali power comes from one place: the market. Merchants and guilds compete fiercely with one another, often resorting to unsavory tactics. Alchemists are no exception. In fact, in matters of sabotage and chicanery, they’re downright exceptional. Just like the blacksmiths and bakers, alchemists are dotted all along the Course of Coin, always ready to earn your gold with a smile.
Then, on off days, they destroy each other.
Typically it’s more a “demolition” than a “murder” (a hassle usually reserved for those in the upper echelons of politics). But one way or the other, somebody’s going to have an enchantingly bad day.
THE SIX DISCIPLINES OF ALCHEMY
There are six disciplines of alchemy, each of which has its own guild within Nomali. While guild membership is not critical for practicing that discipline, there are few other places with the level of institutional wisdom, power, and influence wielded by the guilds.
The Abradacci twins run the eponymous combustion guild. By far the newest on the scene, Guild Abradacci has quickly secured power thanks to its founders’ discovery of phlogiston, an incredibly energetic substance that is quickly revolutionizing machinery, warfare, and the public’s ability to put glowy lights on things.
Metallurgists are represented by Guild Ogmite, whose engineers are responsible for the vast majority of Nomali’s machinery. Through its monopoly on industrial golems, Ogmite has amassed a considerable amount of wealth and public goodwill. Whether it can outlast the meteoric rise of Guild Abradacci is currently under question.
Guild Imbregog trains reanimators — alchemists dedicated to the pursuit of immortality for all. To the reanimator, eternal life means no more mourning the dead, no loss of genius minds. Pursuing this ideal, however, can be a gruesome task, and most of Nomali’s public has little respect for it, even if it does provide cheap mindless labor. As such, reanimators operate in secrecy and isolation, regardless of guild affiliation.
The coffers of Zimuth, Astrologer Guild are fattened by the hordes of customers who come to have their fortunes told by wild-eyed alchemists with complex telescopes. Many colleagues in other disciplines, however, consider astrologists charlatans or madmen, and a general unpredictability makes many of the city's influencers reluctant to include Zimuth in their plans. But master astrologers have the last laugh, wielding tremendous power even they rarely understand.
Unlike the other guilds, naturalism’s Guild Eraya established itself on the outskirts of Nomali. Its mission is not simply to preserve and catalogue nature, but to enhance it. Erayan naturalists are constantly discovering, retrieving, and creating new flora and fauna. Guild Eraya would like to remind the public that despite its large number of exotic habitats, it is not a zoo.
Glurizol, Toxicologist Guild is tiny in comparison to its five rivals. Nevertheless it is widely feared for its power and unique mysteries, which are said to be housed in underground vaults of incredible size. Unlike greedy Zimuth or reckless Abradacci, Glurizol is difficult to press into service, but when their mysterious aims put them in opposition with another power, the whole populace locks their doors against the rumors of midnight horrors.
There are also many alchemists who do not belong to any guild. Most commonly these are multi-discipline alchemists — those who practice a combination of alchemy types. They are an especially entrepreneurial demographic, operating independently as they invent, discover, and of course market new techniques.
The world of Nomali can be cutthroat and unforgiving. But if you have the talent and smarts… you just might end up owning the place, alchemist.
Now go make some mayhem.
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