Iron Rust is an alchemist who attempted to become a mage and ended up as a creature that dwelled somewhere in-between, similar to Elias Ainsworth. Hearing about the latter having taken a Sleigh Beggy into his care to be his apprentice and bride, he ventures out to warn Elias about repeating the same mistakes he made with his Sleigh Beggy, Uruk.
He is the main character in the short story, The Sun and the Dead Alchemist .
Iron Rust currently uses Uruk's body, a woman of asian descent, possessing skin as pale as snow, raven-black hair and painted, red lips. His true form is a shapeless monster of bubbling black mud, hidden behind illusions and glamours as he puppet the corpse.
Iron Rust is a driven alchemist whose attempt to become mage drove him to doing horrendous things until he became an evil spirit, becoming a creature of obsession to the extent of considering the lives of others as meaningless. As he had taken in countless spirits and humans for their knowledge and power, everything he'd done was for logical reasons that benefited him to that goal.
Meeting with Uruk had left him confused as he fell in love with her, leaving him straddling the line between wanting to kill her to consume everything that she was and fearful of losing her. In trying to hold her to him so no one else could have her, he also refused to acknowledge that he loved her. These eventually led to her death, which drove him to madness for a time.
In the present, Iron Rust's has accepted his loss and considers her absence as something of a punishment to bear for eternity. His memories are imprecise as he has the memories of others and has lived so long that he no longer remembers his original name. However, he still felt compelled to see warn Elias not to make the same mistakes that he did, even though the fact that he has a Sleigh Beggy leaves him both jealous and happy at the same time because someone like him has the potential for happiness he no longer has. He also seems to have become more accommodating and teasing, having fun at Elias' expense.
Iron Rust spent centuries attempting to become a mage to the extent that he died and became an evil spirit with a core of obsession, hunting down those who possess knowledge and power that can be used to benefit him. During a conflict between Russia and England over the Asia region, he acted as an aide to a diplomat familiar with alchemist and received Uruk as a reward. Though instantly taken by her beauty, he used her as a way to further his process by siphoning off her magical power despite knowing it caused her immense pain. Yet he also felt fearful that she would leave him, unaware he'd fallen in love with her.
One day, after a visit to India, he learned that it was possible for her to become a Mage with enough training from another mage and make it possible to extend her lifespan. He even revealed his true form to her in the hopes that she would accept him, which she did. he then began to train her as best he could, an act which he considered to be hubris in retrospect, but he couldn't stand the thought of sending her off elsewhere such as the College or to another training out of fear of losing her. Eventually her body began to fail and she grew weak until she passed away.
Her death drove him mad for some time, his memories from that moment lost before he found himself inhabiting her body and gaining her memories, learning of her past and that she had loved him and realized that he loved her as well. As he never found the courage to face the truth, she kept waiting for him to do so. Regrets over not doing things differently left him to decide that never seeing her smile again would be his punishment for eternity.
The Golden Yarn
The short story, The Sun and the Dead Alchemist, has Iron Rust emerging from his underground room and facing the sun despite his body not being suited for it where upon several of the fae notice him and turn fearful or hostile. He accidentally ends up paralyzing a few of them from his Evil Eye, but allows them to flee as he sets out towards Elias' home. Upon arriving, Ruth immediately turns hostile until Iron Rust makes their intention of speaking with Elias.
Once inside of their home, he attempts to learn Chise's name through a notepad provided by Silky, as she did not trust him due to his nature and he excelled at using magic to control others through the use of names. He also warns Chise against trying to peer through to his true form as the experience is unpleasant for him before Elias arrives. He then explains that upon hearing about her, he came to offer her a black kimono made from high quality silk from worms used as familiars, though it was merely done as a method of teasing Elias.
Iron Rust then reveals his true intention was to check on Chise and Elias to make sure that he didn't make the same mistakes that he did, a prospect that worries Elias as he knows of Iron Rust's past (though he specifically notes he didn't tell Elias) and that Iron Rust cannot remember his intentions from an hour ago due to his nature so he himself doesn't know if he intended to threaten them. However, Iron Rust showed that he had charmed himself in order to avoid doing so and merely came to ask that Elias not make the same mistakes and to not deny the truth.
Afterwards, Iron Rust asks Chise if she is happy before wishing her well and leaving out after requesting that she invites him to the wedding.
- Longevity: Iron Rust is an alchemist who has gone beyond death and become something else entirely, an evil spirit straddling between the lines with no foreseeable death. His moniker "Iron Rust" came about because Iron was the metal of the realm of the dead and rust can kill even iron.
- Magical Knowledge: Having lived for centuries as well as taken in the memories of others, Iron Rust is a knowledgeable being who possess knowledge of different magical tools like Hagstones and Bi gemstones as well as spells and techniques like the Evil Eye, controlling others through the use of names, and binding charms.
- Iron Rust also knows several arts to take the bodies and spirits of others and use them to preserve his own life or take their accumulated knowledge or abilities. It's for this reason that he is also known as the corpse-stealer and dead alchemist.
- Uruk: Uruk was a Sleigh Beggy who Iron Rust fell in love with to the extent that he couldn't process his feelings nor admit them until after she had died. Losing her has left him feeling as though he is to be punished until he ceases to exist.
- Elias : Elias is someone that he is on speaking terms with, the two familiar with one another to be aware of their natures and their habits. The two share many similarities, both being something that straddle the line of existence.
- (To Elias): "Fair enough. Because I could not be happy, I want for someone else to be happy. I hope to take comfort in that. I am jealous as well, for the same reasons."