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Magic as used by the mortal races is a fairly rigid thing. Or at least it should be, if the wielder would prefer not to die in a chaotic swirl of untamed energies. As far as magi are concerned, magic has strict rules that must be followed for safe use, or else it risks destroying those who might wield it. Magic in nature follows no such rules. From the teleporting Samakiruka fish of Sur’Dhanza to the resonant Gnéine crystals of Mordrekain, magic seems to naturally concentrate within certain creatures and inanimate substances of the world by its own whims, filling the place with power both beautiful and terrible. As is so often the way, mortalkind wasted no time in seeking out ways to gain access to these natural sources of magic for themselves.


Early attempts at stealing the world’s magic tended to come in the form of simply devouring magical plants and animals, and sometimes even magically-attuned metals, gemstones, and liquids. Even when this practice wasn’t lethal, it still rarely produced results. Much like early mortals learned to cook and prepare otherwise-deadly foods, however, means of preparation and refinement were slowly discovered through laborious and oftentimes dangerous trial and error. Over time, the practice of alchemy became one of the earliest widespread sciences.


Focused on the distillation of natural magics from their varied sources, the fruits of most alchemical labors are potions, salves, and poultices. These results, often quite literally dripping with arcane energies, will transfer some form of magical effect or power upon the user, but this power comes at a price. Magic doesn’t just pop free of its host without coaxing, so alchemist often boil or soak their quarries in all manner of oils, alcohols, and acids, leading to an end product that is effective, but not particularly healthy. For poisons, alchemical bombs, or anything meant to be applied topically, this toxicity doesn’t pose much of a problem. For anything meant to be beneficial when imbibed… Well, for some the power is simply worth the risk.


In recent years, there have been talks about the potential negative effects of large-scale potion manufacturing on the environment. Especially in Duwallen, where it is far too easy for potion runoff to drift into the water table and begin to affect entire wetlands regions. These talks would no doubt be massively accelerated if word got out that the ‘Vile vermin’ who dwell beneath the metropolitan center of Arcaniksburgh were a direct result of this exact sort of pollution. For the time being, however, certain influential members of the city’s upper elite have managed to keep even the slightest whispers of such things away from the ears of the common folk.

Cover Icon Contribution: DarkZaitzev
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Anyone with a heat source and a heat-proof vessel can dabble in alchemy, though more complicated end results will require more complicated apparatuses. Magical reagents aren't always the easiest things to find, either.
Alchemy is outright dangerous to newcomers, as it's difficult to tell if a creation was truly successful without testing it, but testing such things can prove lethal in worst case scenarios. In modern times, most alchemist follow detailed recipes to create known results. Experimental alchemy is a more rare, highly regulated field.

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