Pyrex MacBrazier – Pyrotechnician Extraordinaire
Slight of build with firey red hair, smokey eyes, and a charming smile, Pyrex is quite the sight. Typically wearing a red and charcoal kilt and not much else, the only thing you see on Pyrex above the waist is a smoking pipe in one hand and a fizzing firework in the other.
Pyrex MacBrazier has always been fascinated with fire, but then again that’s not that unusual for an Ifrit. You likely first saw him through the smoke and flames, either as he was igniting one of his fabulous fireworks displays or as he was relaxing in the pub with his seemingly perpetually burning pipe in his mouth. If you managed to get close enough to chat without being singed, you probably wouldn’t be too surprised by what you heard. Speaking common with an accent like nothing in Gard, the charming red haired, smoky-eyed devil is more than happy to regale you with his stories. While his childhood is about unbelievable as the thickness of the smoke cloud now wrapping itself around your head, what quickly becomes clear is a pattern of “accidental” forest fires, house fires, barn fires, brush fires, and resulting incendiary reactions of all sorts that seems to have followed innocent Pyrex wherever he has wandered.
It all started when we was but a wee little lad, fresh out of the forge. While Pyrex never met his father, he alludes that he was likely a djinn of some power, or better yet, a fire elemental in djinn guise who roamed the New World, looking for beautiful women to take advantage of. His mother, Maria MacBrazier, was just such a lady – one of the early human adventurers from the Orient who sailed with pirates to the New World before it was even on the maps. Beautiful and wild with a fiery spirit that attracted man and djinn alike, she was irresistible. One night spent camping away from her ship on the beach was all it took for the djinn to find her; however djinn are not ones to linger. After their night of fiery (how does he manage to use that word so much?!) passion, Pyrex’s father disappeared at the first sign of the morning light, never to be seen by his mother again. The next day his mother returned to her ship and set sail with her crew; never expecting that nine months later Pyrex would be born.
How much trouble can one child be his mother must have wondered? Surely no more than a ship full of pirates, hostile reptite tribes, and cut throat trading consortiums (At this point you may be wondering how he knew all this if he was only 6 months old at the time – keep wondering).. However, Pyrex’s predilection towards arson soon became readily apparent. At first it was just small fires that would seemingly spring up at random around the ship. However, as Pyrex grew, so did the flames. By the time he was 6 months old a galley fire nearly gutted the boat and one of the sails had spontaneously combusted. The crew claimed that the boy was a bad omen and gave his mother a choice – abandon the child to the sea or go overboard herself. Pyrex never begrudged her decision; at least she made a raft to put him in.
On the other hand it was made of wood. And so it was that young Pyrex washed ashore in the New World on a flaming raft that was essentially charcoal by the time he was rescued from it. Coincidentally, the flaming raft washed ashore just around sunset on the most holy day of the most holy month of the most holy year of the local goblin calendar. Taking the small raft and the child it contained as a sign from their fire god Inpogdkn – the goblins removed the child from the raft and decided that it was best to raise them as their own. And thus Pyrex was set up for a rather unusual childhood that consisted heavily of poking small animals with sticks, fighting for food with the other goblin children (the whole sign from a god thing wore off pretty quickly), and, most importantly, setting fires. For the goblins quickly realized the power within the child, and thus made sure to place him near to a large pile of wood whenever it was time to get the cooking fires going.
As young Pyrex grew he began to understand his power and was eventually able, sometime around year 15 or so, to begin to control it. However by this point sitting around eating snot and lighting cooking fires was getting pretty boring. Pyrex could see the ships that more and more frequently plied the waters of the coast; however he was never quite ready to attempt to signal or swim to them. Then one day, right around the time that Ifrit puberty was setting in, Pyrex was experimenting with starting bigger and bigger fires. Up until this point he could only create sparks or small flames at best, but now he was working on whole sheets of flame. As he concentrated harder and harder he could feel the power within unleashing itself, and suddenly fire was spurting forth across the entire camp! At this point the goblins were pretty fed up with having to put out spot fires all the time, but this was really intolerable! They chased Pyrex out of their camp toward the shore, where a ship was coming unusually close to land. Pyrex quickly decided this was just the opportunity he needed and dove into the water and began swimming toward the ship.
Pyrex, like many goblins, was not especially strong nor was he a good swimmer – fire and water don’t mix so well. Lucky for him a small boat was leaving the ship heading for shore. Pyrex swam as best he could toward the boat, and just as he began sinking beneath the waves a strong arm reached down and pulled him up. Gazing upward at the read haired woman all Pyrex could think was, “Mom?!”
And so it was that Pyrex was reunited with his mother – who remorseful about how she had abandoned her child to the sea, regularly directed what was now her crew to sail near the spot where she had let him go. That day, seeing the flames rising on the coast, she knew it must mean that her son was still alive.
Once reunited Pyrex’s mother quickly directed them to port, where she had a fire-resistant coating was applied to the ship at great expense. For the next 10 years or so Pyrex sailed under the command of his mother, visiting cities of the Orient, Occident, and New World in turn.
It was back in the Orient where he saw his first fireworks. Their heat and color and the powerful boom they made had him mesmerized. They had to be his! Taking leave from his duties on the ship Pyrex apprenticed himself to a fireworks maker – a crazy old man by the name of Bang, who had been scorched so many times that he was now permanently without eyebrows. Seeing in Pyrex someone who could test his new creations and live to do it again the next day, Bang was happy to have him in his workshop. Pyrex also accompanied him on the road, where Pyrex’s ability to make things, and occasionally people, spontaneously combust, kept them both safe (relatively speaking). After 15 years with Master Bang, Pyrex had achieved great heights in the world of fire craft, however as the years wore on he noticed that the crowds were no longer that impressed by the shows. One day Pyrex decided to try and spice things up a bit. What about fireworks that screamed like a dragon and flew right over the heads of the crowd. Pyrex worked secretly on his creation for months; however he never had a chance to test it. What better way to impress Master Bang, he thought, than to surprise him with a grand finale at their next show (Pyrex is not one to consider what could ever go wrong, especially with fire). Just as their performance for the local firefighters guild was coming to an end, Pyrex lit up the “Fire-breathing Dragon.” It soared, it breathed, the crowd oohed and awed, and then, on its final pass, it exploded, several seconds too early. Firefighters are not a crowd you want to burn. While no one was killed, much facial hair was lost that day, and Pyrex knew it was time for another quick exit. Back to the New World he decided, where no one would know his name!
And so it was that Pyrex once again set sail – this time heading for the newly settled town of Dragonfall. However, upon arrival, Pyrex realized that Dragonfall was still largely under construction. Not wanting to get a bad reputation all at once by burning down buildings that weren’t even finished, Pyrex signed up with the Duchess Rangers. While Pyrex didn’t have many wilderness survival skills, other than eating slugs and other key tactics he learned from the goblins, he was charming, and quickly talked his way into a job. Besides, there’s nothing a fire loves more than a forest!
This was the early days for the Rangers, back when they were taking pretty much anyone. While Pyrex wasn’t much of a hunter, he kept everyone entertained enough that they let him tag along. Also he somehow managed to keep a fire going even in the wettest rain forest – a much welcomed skill. With the Rangers Pyrex saw as much of the New World as anyone, even visiting the reptite city state of Atolhua. “If only I had my fireworks” Pyrex thought, “I could really be a star here!” And with that, and a little black powder borrowed from a reptite trader, Pyrex started practicing his old art again. While Pyrex stayed with the Rangers for some time, he would always head to the now bustling little city of Dragonfall to put on little displays on his weeks off. He even learned to play the horn a bit to spice up the show with some music.
Back in the forest with the Rangers, Pyrex was spending more and more of his time working on his fireworks, although always quite covertly. It was an innocent little experiment that started what would eventually be the most serious forest fire in the history of Freedland. Pyrex had no idea that wood so wet could burn that well! Luckily for him the rangers were off on a scouting mission and he was back at camp when things went awry. No one could officially pin it on him, but he wasn’t about to stick around to answer any questions. To this day Pyrex isn’t sure if the Rangers knew it was him, or even remember he existed, but he hasn’t been putting himself in their path either.
After the fire Pyrex decided that Dragonfall was finally large enough to deserve a full-time Pyrotechnician such as himself. While the crowds paid pretty well for his shows, he also had to supplement his income casting dancing lights and setting off smoke bombs for up-and-coming bands at the local taverns. Sometimes he even joined them on stage with his trumpet just for fun. By this point he wasn’t half bad with that either.
While the sacking of Dragonfall was certainly bad for business – and the fact that the pirates used fireworks to signal the attack really dented his fan numbers for a while – Pyrex was able to use his wit, magic, and general sneakiness to keep himself safe. Since then he’s been thinking of hitting the road again, maybe this time with a band. You know, play the trumpet, get some chicks, see the world… and burn it down!