Atelier Lyrica ~The Alchemist of Spire~
Of the many practitioners of the art of Alchemy in all of Spire City, one stands out in particular for her undeniable skill in her craft, as well as her importance as the source of much of the transmuted materials that see such huge demand in the marketplace. "Atelier Lyrica"; reads the signboard above the door of her workshop, situated in the Docks just beneath the marketplace, where just about anything from the best jewelled steel, to a wide variety of curatives, restoratives and palliatives, even some of the most powerful explosives ever used by the people of Spire City, can be transmuted upon demand and sold to a wide range of clientele. This is where the preeminent Alchemist of Spire City can be found.
Enter Lyrica Springsong, our protagonist. Looking not a day above seventeen years, the Alchemist's appearance and bearing of tender years belies her natural talent with her art, which has made her the equal and perhaps even the superior of other Alchemists whom have practiced the craft for many decades. A petite little lass with the shiniest golden hair and deep green eyes full of life, Lyrica is usually seen donning a flowery ensemble of light green with highlights of various colours, clutching a wooden staff topped with what appears to be a transmuted sculpture of a rose in full bloom.
Bearing a sunny disposition and often heard humming some melody or other with her lilting voice, Lyrica is often seen gathering herbs in her herb garden, synthesizing in her workshop, or happily conversing with the many customers whom patronise her workshop in search for her highly-popular wares. It is said that she hails from a long line of Alchemists around the world, that there is Elven blood in her lineage, that she is much older than she looks even if she doesn't act it... no one really knows where she came from or what she's here for, and those are questions Lyrica generally deflects or simply never hears.
Assume not though, not even for a moment, that the Alchemist of Spire City is one to be trifled with. Thugs and low-lifes aplenty have made that mistake to their lasting sorrow, at least the ones lucky to make it back alive. Darker rumours of her whisper that the Alchemist's work occasionally resembles that of sausage-makers and law-makers; best not witnessed firsthand, lest stomachs are turned.
And that's not to mention the burlap-robed figures whom seem to be her only company. The only thing known about them is that they are claimed by Lyrica herself to be Homonculi, of her own creation no less; none knows their true nature or what they even look like, due to their highly-concealing attire with hoods so heavy as to hide their faces. And while the Homonculi are taciturn at the best of times, when they do address the Alchemist, they refer to her as 'Mother'...
Spoiler: Faction Territory
Docks, just below the Bastion.
Spoiler: Faction Goals
1) To discover the secret of creating a Philosopher's Stone, the Holy Grail of all Alchemy.
2) To figure out how to transmute Cloud Cloth from other materials, and thus break the monopoly that the Cloudspinner Monks have on the material.
3) To create intelligent Homonculi, capable of acting as their own agents unlike the ones which currently keeps her company.
4) To synthesize an item or material entirely of her own design, thereby patenting a recipe of her very own and cementing her name in Alchemical lore.
VIP: Lyrica Springsong (Lvl 9.5 Alchemist)
Although Lyrica has the means to synthesize new Combat Homonculi as she wishes, much of her output is contracted to the Iron Knights. She retains only a small fraction of them as the guardians of her Atelier.
Although she has made some headway on this front, the Atelier is as yet still not much of an information hub.
The Atelier's workshop space, though not open to the public, is known to be fairly large and well-equipped. This is the bread and butter of the Atelier, where the Homonculi labor to synthesize the many products and items to supply a major portion of the market's appetite for such wares. Lyrica has her own personal workspace here, where she comes down on occasion to synthesize custom orders, create new designs for Runes to aid in her work, or otherwise perform other works of alchemy at her whim.
Between her Combat Homonculi contract with the Iron Knights, the growing popularity of Glasteel, and the high sales volume of her Equipment in general, the Atelier is raking it in as one of the City's top manufacturing hubs.
Lyrica Springsong is more learned in the art of Alchemy than most in Spire City, and most people know it. She knows secrets about the craft even some of the most experieced Alchemists elsewhere in Spire City do not, and it is she you want to ask if you really must know something about Alchemy. Thankfully, she is nowhere near as capricious and quick to anger as most powerful magicians of her level tend to be, although her propensity towards ambiguity and distraction might get on your nerves instead.
Lyrica started off as the City's preeminent Alchemist, and her store of knowledge has only grown since then.
The Homonculi appear to be entirely loyal to the Alchemist, and only the Alchemist herself. It is possible to mislead them and gain clues about what their "Mother" is currently up to, but otherwise they tend not to respond to bribery or any other incentives to undermine her works.
Lyrica may be generally liked in Spire City, but she's not all that active in public life. However, the fact that Atelier Lyrica supplies much of the City's demands for Alchemical products and materials, and that Lyrica herself cheerfully does business with just about anyone means that she is a mainstay in the Docks, and the merchants are happy to protect one whom is so important to their own business operations. If anyone is fool enough to try messing with the Alchemist, they might even face the Iron Knights of the Bastion if they are truly unlucky; the Atelier is a main supplier for their warmaking needs as well, after all.