The Alchemist's Guild
The Alchemists’ Guild is an ancient society of learned men, sometimes called pyromancers, who have claimed many magical and arcane abilities through the years. In its earlier years, the Guild was very powerful, but the Maesters of the Citadel have largely supplanted them and the Guild’s abilities and influence are now greatly diminished. 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 great powers, but the only skill they demonstrate is the creation of wildfire.
Wildfire is a volatile liquid similar to napalm and Greek fire. Alchemists typically refer to it as “the substance”. Wildfire can be set aflame with the smallest spark, and sometimes even by the heat of sunlight. As it ages, it becomes even more volatile. Once wildfire is lit, it burns with green flames that are almost impossible to extinguish. Wildfire will seep into many materials, making them flammable as well. Great quantities of wildfire will combust with explosive force. It is typically commissioned for use as a weapon of war, though Alchemists will sometimes use wildfire torches as a display of power.
The Alchemists create wildfire in their Guildhall, which is set beneath 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.
The Alchemists enjoyed a period of increased influence during the reign of King Aerys II, who took great pleasure in wildfire. Aerys appointed one of the Alchemists, Lord Rossart, as his final hand, and commissioned him to create a vast quantity of wildfire to destroy King’s Landing should he lose the War of the Usurper. During the War of the Five Kings, Cersei Lannister commissioned a great quantity of wildfire for the city’s defenses. The Alchemists reported an unexplainable increase in the effectiveness of their spells, where it was quickly noted that it hadn’t been as easy since the time of the dragons, which allowed them to create the substance more quickly.