Typically in fantasy, creatures that are infused with fire (dragons, pyromancers, fire elementals, fire-infused monsters, you get the drift right?) seem to be completely unharmed by said fire and its effects (smoke inhalation, deoxygenation, burns from resultant heat.....). In other words, mages and monsters with fire magic seem to give off heat or even have parts of their bodies on fire constantly with no side effects, even starting and shooting fires without getting burned or dying from the aforementioned natural consequences of flame.
How is this possible? Magic, obviously, but that isn't good enough for me. Magic in my worlds have rules, right down to how someone can be born with magic powers. This very phenomenon is likely how a fire creature gets it's protection; the spiritual connection they have with flame alters them, much like any relationship affects a person, turning them into what is more or less living ash.
That's what I thought would work, anyway. Ash is what's left after a fire's burnt out, so it shouldn't be able to burn, right? And with that fire magic linking body and spirit together even as it burns the body into this incombustible state, surely the organism would survive right? But now I've realized a few glaring issues with this:
- Fire causes decomposition, breaking down chemicals necessary for the functioning of a lifeform, so the result, if it was alive, would almost certainly be a form of undead, living through magic alone since magically induced combustion made biological processes impossible
- Even if #1 is accounted for, resulting in a living creature with altered biochemistry, the creature will likely still be vulnerable to the smoke inhalation and/or deoxygenation that comes with fire
- Natural selection is unlikely to solve the issues above
And so my question is simple: How Fireproof Could a Creature Feasibly Become?
If further clarification is required, please let me know and I will do my best.