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  • Writer's pictureJon Bolitho-Jones

Encyclopaedia Edimoria - The College of Pyromancy

The following extract is from the Encyclopaedia Edimoria volume 52, 17th edition by Alberfungus Betswish Stunk. It is about the College of Pyromancy and the fiery magic users affiliated with it.

"The college of Pyromancy is one of the oldest magical colleges in Edimor. It is said by some notable Pyromancers to be as old as time itself, for even before life appeared in the galaxy there has been fire in some form or another. Pyromancy itself is the magical manipulation of fire and energy, both to the benefit and detriment of others. Keen fans will go on to say that it is only through the control of fire that intelligent life has been able to advance both magically and technologically. Though many consider it to be one of the easiest forms of magic it can also be the most destructive and chaotic. Detractors have even accused Pyromancy colleges of being little more than the enablers for magical sociopaths and pyromaniacs. Indeed this is partially true, as both being highly destructive and easy to learn, a large number of rogue colleges, with nefarious reputations, have been set up by criminals, evil geniuses, and gangsters. Nonetheless the college on Goldensmorg has a long and proud tradition and has provided talented individuals for a variety of jobs, such as cooking, home heating, the military, and the fast food industry.

The main college on Goldensmorg is currently in its 178th incarnation. Pyromancy colleges are the most frequently rebuilt around the galaxy. This is partly due to its popularity, but also to the fact that more often than not they are entirely burnt down. The 178 times the main Goldensmorg campus has been burnt down only includes the occasions when the whole school was destroyed. There have been many other smaller fires, only resulting in the destruction of a dormitory or classroom that are not included within this count. The disasters are usually caused by the influx of new students each year, who having usually just gone through adolescence are erratic in their temperament and beliefs.

As such maintenance and rebuilding costs for these particular colleges reach astronomical levels. The Goldensmorg college is in huge amounts of debt, and were it not for its reputation and importance it would have closed decades ago. In an effort to reduce this issue the maintenance staff have now begun to fireproof everything, dousing every single building and piece of school property with flame retardant paint. This has significantly lessened the amount of property damage that occurs each semester, but it has also meant that it is incredibly difficult to light anything on fire, making some classes near impossible. However accidents do still happen, though most of these occur within student kitchens, their inexperience as cooks setting even bowls of cereal on fire. Thankfully for the college the items that are usually destroyed are normally only student property which they don’t have to pay to replace.

Though helpful in terms of maintenance costs, this move to fire proofing has caused a lot of complaints, the main one being that the varnish smell that radiates from everything is deeply unpleasant. It has even led to staff members and pupils collapsing from fume inhalation whilst studying in poorly ventilated rooms. In addition to this, older, more traditional educators believe it is against the core beliefs of the college founder: Narcisson Fuego Blastisor the Burninator who famously said – “Everything must burn! Everything will BBBBUUUUURRRRNNNN!!!”. As such they would prefer the college to burn down, than to have it stand all covered in flame repellent paint. The fire brigades, insurance, and building companies also disagree with these new measures as it reduces their income and work. There are some conspiracy theories that suggest these 3 sectors actually place their own agents, disguised as 1st years, within the schools to burn them down more regularly, in an effort to milk the colleges for everything they are worth. The board of directors for the Insurance, Fire, and Construction Committee however have assured everyone that these are little more than malicious rumours.

A pyromancer is very recognisable as they are generally covered in soot, and the ends of their clothes are usually singed. A smell of burnt hair and kindling often follows them. They often seem twitchy and ill-at-ease. Thorough studies have shown that around 85% of pyromancers suffer from PTSD. Those that don’t are often sociopaths or completely evil, and law enforcement keep a watchful eye on them. You can also tell the seniority of a pyromancer by the number of burns they have across their body. The rule dicates that the more burns they have the higher the rank. Lord Magister Ignitius Pang, the current head of the order, travels around in a vat of cooling jelly to treat his wounds and to keep him alive. Some rogue individuals will purposely get themselves sun burnt to gain access to the higher echelons of these colleges, though they are quickly found out by burn scholars, who spend their whole lives examining the minute details and colouration of burn marks. The Insurance, Fire, and Construction Committee board has also repeatedly reassured the wider community that they have never used agents in such a manner in this context either.

As a whole the Pyromancers do not have a good reputation with other magic users. They are seen as unpredictable, dangerous, and unkempt, though this final issue is largely due to the fact that their best clothes are normally burnt to cinders, and that flame retardant outfits are rarely glamorous. Most of the general population distrust them too and do their best to give their college buildings a wide berth. All too often parts will explode, or flames will burst through windows scorching the sidewalk.

Nonetheless they play a very important part within Edimorian society. Without them, homes would not be heated, food would not be cooked. The fast food industry relies on pyromancers to grill semi edible hunks of meat at an alarming speed. Though this work is neither well paid or rewarding it does at least mean they are using their skills. The military would also be in a very difficult situation without them, as well as welders, furnace stokers, metal smiths, and other similar businesses. In more recent times a select number of Pyromancers have begun to team up with the Dramatimancers, focusing particularly on the “action” sequences within the Great Story. A certain amount of dramatic sediment occurs when the hero of the story walks away from an explosion calmly without looking back, and they always need individuals to build particularly destructive bombs with obvious countdown clocks for their most nail biting, dangerous moments of high dramatic tension. The Pyromancers don’t agree with their beliefs but at least it is better than working in a fast food joint. They also find great pleasure in the creating of particularly large explosions, and it is always great fun when the timers run out and the bombs unexpectedly go off."

With that it's bye for now. I'll be back soon.


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