old reagent article
In the parlance of Scarterra reagent refers to any substance that is valuable for the purpose of creating potions, magical scrolls, or material components for certain spells. There are thousands of variations of reagents. They can come from the blood and bodies of magical creatures, they form naturally among wild plants, they can be cultivated by very knowledgeable herbalists, and they can manufactured artificially in alchemists' laboratories. Practitioners of different magical traditions sometimes use similar reagents and sometimes they do not. The differences matter a lot to Scarterrans, but to readers Scarterran fiction or players in Scarterran RPGs, it's too nit picky to get into the details. Hence we just call these things "reagents" and call it a day.
"The standard unit for reagents is a "dram". A dram of Unicorn hair , a dram of mandrake root, and a dram of haber crystals are probably not the same volume or weight. A dram is a uniform measure of magical potency and it takes advanced lore to properly measure and compared reagents across types. A "dram" is usually earmarked as being worth a gold piece. Among alchemists, mages, and theurgists, drams are practically a currency in and of themselves and are traded alongside or instead of coins. Reagents are usually lighter than gold coins, so that's nice. Also, a lot of common thieves and rogues cannot properly appraise and assess how valuable various reagents are. Some high end reagents dealers will often keep a chest or pouch of dummy reagents as lures for uneducated thieves." That said, you can bury a pile of coins in a muddy hole and dig it up a century later with no problems, but most reagents have a limited shelf life and finicky storage conditions, but people only bury treasure in the fanciful stories of bards." Bevan, Swynfaredian alchemist