Alchemy and Apothecary

Overview - Alchemy

Alchemy began as an ancient art, believed to be taught to men by the Gods. In the ancient days when the Gods made war against the Old Things, they needed many ways to help bolster their mortal allies. Whether enhancing their own natural attributes, allowing them to temporarily imbue themselves with new abilities, or using the gifts of Alchemy to create wondrous materials such as Sidhe-Steel, for centuries Alchemy was a well-regarded and highly-prized skill.

Unfortunately, the upheaval of the battles against the Old Things and the War of the Sidhe that came afterwards caused many of the secrets of Alchemy to be lost. In the modern day, the ancient form of Alchemy is known among scholars as "Deep Alchemy." However, while relatively little of this "Deep Alchemy" remains entrenched in the minds of modern alchemists, the endless pursuit to recover what was lost has led to many new innovations and what may, in time, become the foundations of codified science within the world. The invention of flash-powder, for example, was a result of alchemical experimentation.

Overview - Apothecary

Alchemists are still a respected profession, and noble families are often quite eager to retain the skills of a good Alchemist if given the opportunity. Given that Alchemy is indeed an expensive profession, seeking noble patronage is often a key tenet in pursuing that particular craft. Alchemists are not so rare or prized that they don't have to "sell themselves" a little bit. More than one Alchemist has found their career (and their height) cut short when they assured their noble patron that they would be able to achieve some miraculous feat, only to fail to produce it after a reasonable amount of time and a great expenditure of money. Charlatans are not uncommon, and genuine Alchemists have been known to go so far as to hire assassins to hunt them down when they are uncovered. Another danger is the Church…while Alchemy is not outlawed nor consider a sin, those that stumble upon secrets of Deep Alchemy are often given the opportunity to serve the One…or the opportunity to meet him face-to-face if they refuse. It's a thin line between "Deep Alchemy" and "Sorcery" and while one is tolerated, the other is heresy. Only an Alchemist with a particularly powerful Noble Patron (A Major House or higher) would be able to avoid the scrutiny of the Church for long.

Chances are an alchemist has apprenticed with a senior alchemist from a very young age, and the "recipes" that Alchemist knew have been passed down to the younger. Alchemical knowledge is a scattered and constantly-evolving affair. Experimentation is highly encouraged and most Alchemists closely guard their secrets, being a proud bunch. So it is not uncommon for wealthy noble families to have more than one alchemist on their staff, each with their own specialties and "tricks." Some forward-thinking Alchemists have broached the idea of creating some sort of institutionalized center of learning where knowledge could be pooled and shared in the pursuit of ever-greater accomplishments, but so far interest is relatively low (and the Church has subtly worked to prevent such an institution from springing into being).

Alchemy is widespread, being most common in the Kentaire, Four Corners, and (to the surprise of some) Rikton. Indeed, the Church of the One is generally known to have some of the most skilled Alchemists among their number (and in particular the greatest "Deep Alchemists"), though Kentaire is thought to be not far behind. It is unknown what the state of Alchemy in Vir Sidus is beyond the fact that they are certainly aware of it and some have witnessed Alchemical products in the hands of Vir Sidus envoys, merchants, and sentries on occasion. The Alchemical Arts seem to be virtually unknown in Iceniala and White Hall, however.

Apothecary: Conditions and Treatments

Name Effect
Boneknit Poultice A thick poultice of comfrey and thyme that promotes speedy recovery from serious gashes and abrasions and broken bones.
'Lady's Mercy', 'Miracle Ungent' etc (expensive) A widely renowned healing balm, Lady's Mercy is comprised of several ingredients such as Rosehip Seed oil, Aloe, Rosemary oil, 'Dragons-blood' resin and other rare and expensive components bound into a buttery, cooling ungent. Applied to healing wounds, it promotes healing without infection and without the production of scar tissue. It has been called Lady's Mercy because of its special properties in preventing unsightly scarring, but also because of its ability to prevent blood-poisoning.
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