Reagents Material in Shedim | World Anvil

Reagents

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
  But if that ain't enough,
Just go on; add double!
 
— Shakespeare's MacBeath, with Tsu the Tea-Witch's additions
  Magic can be a tricky thing and to ease its use, witches and warlocks have turned to reagents - objects infused with a spark of magic, ready to be extracted. As much as most people think about the snippets of wild herbs and plants, reagents can take almost any shape, from mundane to morbid. In the shadow of Gates or in places where the Beyond casts its shadow into the world, power seeps through to create the reagents.  

Infused With Magic

Scales of a dragon - where the fuck am I supposed to find scales of a dragon?!
  Reagents are useful because of the magic inherent to them. It isn't always predictable - the Beyond never is, and when it interacts with either the Prime or the Shadow even less so. The nature of the object mingles with the magic touching it, changing both into something new. Even reagents cut from the same core being, whether it be the eye of newt or mandrake root, can be vastly different depending on circumstances. In places where the Faelands touch the world, living things are more colorful, more elaborate, more whimsical. Every part of the Beyond has its own intrinsic essence that it imbues into the reagents.  
Some reagents are so changed that they've been mistaken for whole new species of plant, a misunderstanding then cemented by the Veil to keep its secrets.
 
by Unsplash (Elena Mozvilo)
For this reason, many reagents spring up around Gates. There, the wall between worlds is already thin and every time it swings open, magic bleeds through from the Beyond. Depending on the gate in question, this can lead to irregular blooms of reagents, to a steady trickle every time it opens.   Reagents come in any number of shapes, from the classics to decidedly unconventional. Though not as elegant as belladonna or sage, rats and cockroaches can bloat and grow twisted in areas where reagents would thrive, becoming just as useful. Not all reagents are living things; in mines and caverns, mineral ore and crystal can absorb the same energies are plants and vermin. There's even a junkyard where gremlins twist discarded trinkets of particular emotional value into new, strange shapes and imbue them with enough whimsy to become reagents.
 
In the Beyond, there are places where magic pools and gather, and here Magi can find reagents of great power... If they can get them, and get back out.
  Reagents come in three grades, based on their proximity to the Beyond. Those closest, or from, the source of magic hold their a spark more potent and vibrant, but tend to be much more difficult to get. The more powerful they are, the greater aid they provide, and the greater a price they are. Even so, reagents can't be used without care and thought; the energies that make them what they are can also work against a wizard. For the best result, the reagent has a spirit that matches that of the ritual or spell. If they clash, then the reagent can reduce rather than enhance the effect, or even cause it to violently backfire.  
Using more isn't always an option; if the magic that fed them are of vastly different places, then they might clash, resulting in anything from a ruined ritual to massive explosions.
 

Focus

Most reagents are destroyed when used, the spark wrenched out of them to power whatever it is the magi is trying to do. But some are made of sterner stuff. A focus (or focii) are reagents that can be used again and again, working less as an ingredient and more like a lens through which a wizard might cast his spell. These focii are almost always refined and crafted, the raw material enhanced many times over by a skilled artificer. They are worth their weight in gold, and many wizards would rather part with an arm than their favored focii.   Some magical arts even require these focii to function at all, mixing the power channeled from the Beyond with human ingenuity.    

by Pixabay
 

Pacts

Pacts are contracts signed with entities of power, usually from the Beyond, where a Magi makes a promise in exchange for some boon. These range from small and fleeting, such as safe passage through a part of the Beyond or the Key to a particular Gate, all the way to immortality and forbidden, blasphemous powers. The price paid rises accordingly, and only fools make such promises lightly.   Reagents are a fairly frequent thing Magi try to get out of a pact. No matter what kind of monster, every part of their being is infused with magic... But most of them like to keep all their bits still attached.  
Pacts
Condition | Jul 8, 2021

Making a deal with a devil, and its consequences.

 
Other try the monster-hunter-approach to getting reagant out of monsters, but that's rare a viable long-term career.
 

Resurrectionist

Magic often requires unusual things to work, to the chagrin of wizards and warlocks everywhere. And for as long as there has been magic, the human corpse has always served its need in a variety of grisly ways. When the conditions are right, a human body can be just as much a reagant as anything else.   Resurrectionist are Walkers who specialize in the retrieval of corpses or bodyparts for the purpose of ritual and magic. They haunt graveyards and obituaries like vultures, and just occasionally arrange for really fresh reagent, if the need is great and pay is right.  
Resurrectionist
Profession | Jul 21, 2021

Resurrectionist are Walkers who specialize in the retrieval of corpses or bodyparts for the purpose of ritual and magic.

 


Cover image: by Unsplash (Matt Briney)

Comments

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Jul 27, 2021 02:15 by William Belley

Nothing much to add on this, the article is quite complete, detailed and the formating/art is always nice to read on.   I particularly like the gremlins junkyard part. I think it could make a nice article on it's own if you plan to do so.   Happy Summercamp !

Aug 2, 2021 12:24

Thank you :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Aug 4, 2021 08:35 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

I think you mentioned before that in building located on top or next to a gate they often cultivate reagents. Is the magic inside those reagents constant if it's the same plant for example, in the same location? Or is it still unpredictable even like that?   The logical conclusion is that humans living next to gates are also changes in a similar manner, and not just once they become corpses... I don't think you've mentioned that before, have you?   Do reagents only grow in the prime and shadow near gates, because that's where magic accumulate? Or could they grow somewhere else in the shadow? With the prime, I get the impression that everything there is so magical anyway, them being near gate would not make much difference...

To see what I am up to: World Ember 2023 list of articles.