Iron Fist

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Iron Fist
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Organization
Leader Amelie D’fer
Headquarters D’fer Manor in Ithania.
Affiliation Alchemists
Related Groups The Perpustakaan Besar

The Iron Fist is one of the most notable institutions in the realm of Alchemy. The organization is based out of the expansive manor of an Ithanian noblewoman, Amelie D’fer, who has supported the alchemists there in the pursuit of alchemical marvels while making a tidy sum in the process. The Iron Fist puts profit first in its various goals, seeking both the Stone of Ssentra and the Universal Solvent for such purposes. Briefly at risk during the Chrysant War, the facility has reopened and while it may be quieter than in its early years, it still trains many who sweep through its grand doors.

History

The Iron Fist was the result of one woman’s unconventional vision for her future wealth. As a young girl, orphaned soon into her life, Amelie D’fer was put under the care of her aunt, the wife of her father’s brother. Unconventional for Ithania, her uncle took charge of much of her young life and encouraged her scholarly side. The result of these efforts was a budding mind who left that behind for a trio of trips abroad rather than engage with the affairs of Ithanian courts and upper society. On the first trip, she made a lifelong friend in a Slizzar called Malini, on the second, she met and became friends with Alestaire Middencroft, and on the last, she came up with the idea of the Iron Fist. By this time, in 273 AC, she had access to her family’s fortune but knew the economics of their mining operations would not grant her the future returns she desired. Originally, she invited several Allar friends back with her to Ithania where she would patronize their efforts in Alchemy while also producing products she could sell to others. This brief experiment proved very successful, and the Iron Fist opened officially in 275 AC.

For the next decade, the Iron Fist was quite successful, with eccentric Amelie D’fer attracting attention–half in scorn, half in fascination–from her fellow aristocrats of the Ithanian nobility. Overall, just enough continued to buy the products her academy’s students crafted to keep her in the green, as well as allow the higher-ups time to experiment and travel elsewhere for research. However, the rise of the Iron Bulwark in the Regalian Senate followed by the start of the Chrysant War saw Amelie’s student body dry up, and those students in the academy too scared to move on as the Regalian Empire turned on the Allar. Malini kept everyone more than focused during this period, her skills acquiring what many of the alchemists needed without the need for travel. Eventually, some of the locals grew too discontent, and Malini alongside the younger students all vanished on an excursion to Fendarfelle that lasted the remainder of the Chrysant War. When the conflict ended they returned, graduating with flying colors and plenty of skills which many promptly took back home to use in the healing and aid of their damaged homeland.

This influx of students out was not met with an influx in the next academic term, but fortunately for the Iron Fist, the D’fer mining operations picked up as the need for Iron had greatly increased with the Regalian Empire reawoken after its pessimism. Amelie stayed in the clear for several years, before suddenly, her student body surged. The Perpustakaan Besar had heard of her work in Ithania, while Allar from her graduating classes of the past also spread the good word. Since this time, the Iron Fist has continued to take in a thriving student body, its Allar majority waning in recent years as Ailor of several local Cultures to Daen and others seek out the school. Amelie herself is in her twilight years, no longer involved in everyday operations but still serving as an important figurehead and advocate, as well as the chief source of pushing new creations on the Ithanian nobility eager for trends.

Etymology

The Iron Fist was originally named “L'Accord de D’fer Alchimist” (The D'fer Alchemist's Accord) for its infancy. Amelie was later convinced that she needed to strengthen their name, and catch attention, so the Iron Fist was born. Talk briefly struck up during the Chrysant War of changing it due to its similarity to the Iron Bulwark, but Amelie held fast, and the name has outlasted that political faction. The first part of the name was derived from the D’fer mining business while the second part represented the strength and power of a fist.

Joining

The process of joining the Iron Fist is substantial. First, a letter must be penned to Amelie, explaining who they are and how they’re worthy enough to enter the order. These letters are only glanced over by Amelie, as they instead fall to the Board of Twelve, the leading faculty of the academy, to read and accept, reject, or defer. Those who have accomplished a significant or unique alchemical achievement are accepted quickly. If the applicant is an Allar, regardless of their past or background, they are instantly accepted. Upon arrival and acceptance into the D’fer manor, members pay a small monthly fee for the equipment and lodgings they receive. This can be offset by producing Alchemy which is taken to be sold, combining work with schooling.

Organization

The Iron Fist has a strict system of academia, modeled in many ways on the strict castes of Allar society but also drawing from private schooling systems. Two figures stand out from the ranks of the academy, those being Amelie D’fer and Malini. Amelie retired from running direct operations in 308 AC but is still widely considered the head of the school, with her sharp eye keeping track of the Iron Fists’ finances, as well as production of Alchemy and particularly promising students. Much of her time is spent socializing, often hosted elsewhere though occasionally setting a soiree or two in the private, personal section of her family estate. Malini, meanwhile, is the unofficial logistician of the school with no formal role. However, if one needs a rare material or information on Alchemy creations, she is the main contact for such, students having come to nickname her The Acquirer. She is often found operating the gardens of the estate, focusing on the production of the many plants that go into the concoctions of the students.

Rankings

Councilmaster

The Councilmasters are alchemists and scholars at the peak of their skill. Heading the teaching body of three to four dozen instructors, the twelve Councilmasters are commonly educators themselves but may also retire from such a role to focus entirely on their administrative role, and their own private research. Councilmasters sit for three year rotations, and may be voted out of office though this has been rare in the decades that the Iron Fist has been in operation.

Master

The Masters are the educators and teachers of the Iron Fist, often being former students returned to spread their knowledge. Some are even scholars from The Perpustakaan Besar and assist that organization in its work with the Iron Fist. One can only be considered a candidate for Master if they have been involved in the field of Alchemy for ten years, and have produced five high quality products that have been reviewed by at least three other Masters. It is also ideal if one has been abroad for a period of time. The number of Masters has steadily increased over the past decade.

Apprentice

The Apprentices are the top third of the student body, typically older students who have narrowed their scope of focus to a single area of Alchemy. While the vast majority choose the realm of focus for the facility, that of luxury, beauty, body, and other such alchemies, others go down the route of healing or for military applications. They are aided in their efforts by a chosen Master, often a frequent teacher from their years of schooling, but other times not, due to the connections these most senior alchemists often have with the wider world.

Learner

Learners are the middle bracket of the Iron Fist’s student body, and represent those beginning to dive into larger projects, such as crafting Alchemy products from the ground up, and engaging in research or explorations on their own of various plants and other alchemical ingredients.

Novice

Novices are the most common part of the student body, outnumbering the Apprentices by a margin of two, and sometimes three, to one. This is because the early months and years see those less interested in Alchemy weeded out, or those present for briefer times as part of courses with other Ithanian academic institutions. They frequently engage in more mundane aspects of Alchemy, learning how to clean bottles and the care of plants or animals, as well as occasionally crafting their own Alchemy, but from pre-arranged ingredients. Novices are often young, anywhere from sixteen to twenty years old.

Practices

Pursuit of the Universal Solvent

The Universal Solvent is an alchemical substance long rumored in Allar alchemical circles, stating it was a product first perfected on Sendras which was held for a brief few years in Hadar before the Cataclysm caused this knowledge to be lost. The Universal Solvent supposedly allows any substance to be broken down to its most basic ingredients. The Iron Fist currently believes Vocadine is part of the key, but they have only taken a few steps towards uncovering the full formula. Along the way, they’ve developed a number of acids, solvents, and cleansers as prototypes, which often go on to end up in publicly sold Alchemy for the benefit of the school.

Pursuit of the Stone of Ssentra

The Stone of Ssentra is a tale from the ancient past of the Allar Race when they lived on Sendras. It was said to have been the ultimate product of a master alchemist which has the ability to heal any wound, increase the life of its user, and trans-mutate common metals into rarer ones. It was supposedly destroyed in the final months of the Sendrassian Civil War, but shards of it were brought to Hadar and granted great things to those who held them. Rumors of texts and sites with clues towards the modern location of these shards are still heard of today, though are said to be very hard to find. Amelie often hires archeologists and worldly Allar to bring alchemists to Hadar in search of anything that could point them to the Stone. It is commonly believed that Amelie seeks the Stone to then replicate it for the highest bidder. This goal in particular is one of the areas of greatest friction with The Perpustakaan Besar.

Headquarters

The D’fer manor, left to Amelie by her parents, is the headquarters for the Iron Fist. The structure has stood for over one hundred years, and features the traditional Ithanian Palace-style to its structure, with two wings flying off from the central hallway. However, unlike other Ithanian Palace-style structures, Amelie and her household are held in the Southern Wing, not the Central Wing which alongside the North Wing, are both part of the Iron Fist. Additionally, three further buildings have been built on the North Wing side of the structure, made up of two dormitory buildings, and additional laboratory space. The North Wing itself is dominated by laboratory space, a range of chimneys prodding out and often puffing smoke or gasses from the alchemical work happening deeper within. The Central Wing has been turned into an area for dining and lectures, with the bedrooms holding the majority of the Masters and Councilmasters. The property’s grounds are vast and surround the entire estate. Those on the side controlled by Amelie are more conventional with topiaries and flowers in bloom, though those at the rear and to the right, on the side held by the academy, are filled with more exotic greenery. A trio of small greenhouses sits near the edge of the property close to the river that marks an end to the D’fer land, and some space exists outside for sitting and eating.

Trivia

  • While once lauded as a pro-Allar facility which was respectful of their kind, some Allar now believe that Amelie has instead appropriated the best aspects of the Allar, and thoroughly made them associated with an Ailor-run organization which year by year, accepts more Ailor and other Races than Allar. This may also be a result of the return of The Perpustakaan Besar, as in Amelie’s time it was largely dismantled and held limited power, though has regained its former position in 300 AC, leading to competition as more Allar students turn to that institution instead.
  • Malini and Amelie D’fer are commonly considered lovers by more crass or uninformed figures. They are merely friends, with Malini having a mate back in Sassrakkand who they infrequently visit, and Amelie favoring men her junior.
  • Fake maps, shards and more tied to the Stone of Ssentra are a common issue the order has long run into, especially from more unscrupulous sorts. However, the last such scam in 306 AC produced such a negative response that the tricksters found themselves pelted with all sorts of Alchemy to their great detriment. None have tried to scam the school since then.

Accreditation
Writers Hydralana
Processors MantaRey, FireFan96
Last Editor HydraLana on 07/10/2022.

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