- 1 Alchemy
- 2 Signs and Symbols
- 2.1 Signs
- 2.2 Symbols
- 2.2.1 Life
- 2.2.2 Death
- 2.2.3 Swiftness
- 2.2.4 Slowness
- 2.2.5 Agility
- 2.2.6 Impediment
- 2.2.7 Strength
- 2.2.8 Weakness
- 2.2.9 Growth
- 2.2.10 Reduction
- 2.2.11 Endurance
- 2.2.12 Curtailment
- 2.2.13 Vigour
- 2.2.14 Lethargy
- 2.2.15 Connection
- 2.2.16 Separation
- 2.2.17 Purity
- 2.2.18 Poison
- 2.2.19 Heat
- 2.2.20 Coldness
- 2.2.21 Burning
- 2.2.22 Freezing
- 2.2.23 Peace
- 2.2.24 Rage
- 2.2.25 Grace
- 2.2.26 Rigidity
- 2.2.27 Sound
- 2.2.28 Silence
- 2.2.29 Order
- 2.2.30 Chaos
- 2.2.31 Courage
- 2.2.32 Fear
- 2.2.33 Balance
- 2.2.34 Instability
- 2.2.35 Clarity
- 2.2.36 Blindness
- 2.2.37 Light
- 2.2.38 Dark
- 3 Process
Ancient as the veil itself, the potential of alchemy has been bound to matter for all recorded history. Whilst some might point to the ancient tower of Llull, the land of Camnius, the world of Val’Garis as proposed points of origination for the craft’s acceleration into a definable study, throughout all ages Men and later Descendants with a desire to measure and quantify this mortal plane and others like it have found the signs and symbols of creation, as well as means of harnessing them, to varying levels of success.
The signs and symbols of alchemy are old, visualised by the material alphabet a set of runes identical to many vast scripts – such as runesmithing and blood magic – which bend and manipulate the veil itself, without true ‘magical’ influence from the void nor deities. Debate naturally rages on between natural philosophers, then, as to which iteration of the language came first, its true purpose and its origin, with each proposed explanation more outlandish than the last.
The only constant in this speculation is that the craft belongs to the material, completely alien to freshly breached Voidal Horrors and Aengudaemons not versed in the more constant physical planes beyond their own. A concept – and potential – exclusively tied to the sculptable mundane.
Natural philosophy - ‘alchemy’ - can be defined as the study of all mundane energy and matter that makes up the material realms contained within the veil. At its core it is what we in our world would call science: chemistry, biology and physics all rolled into a singular discipline.
Whilst some dabble in niche extremes like tinkering, mutation and taboo experiments with flesh and the soul (oft identified as ‘further alchemy’), the core of the field is split between its three main pillars:
Symbols and signs: the periodic table identifying elemental and metaphysical modifiers behind all matter.
Botany, reagents and processing: wherein signs and symbols are identified in extra potent matter for extraction and use.
Potioncraft: in which the aforementioned are paired and exploited to achieve countless ends.
Alchemy is staggered into three tiers, rather than the usual five seen in most magic. These determine an Alchemist’s level of experience, dictating what sorts of alchemical processes they can access and to what extent.
Note: Below the word ‘measure’ when used in this context refers to what would equal that which RPly equates an MC item representing a product of alchemy in a character’s possession (usually a bottle of something).
Apprentice level alchemists are those in their first two saint’s weeks of study. They are capable of making a number of base level potions though must depend on others to identify reagent properties for them (either by use of written instruction or with a teacher’s supervision), unable to yet deduce signs and symbols from botany and other sources by themselves.
The material alphabet, whilst possessing the same loose meaning as it does to all creatures native to the mortal plane, will still be lacking complex interpretation for an apprentice alchemist.
Apprentice level alchemists can only create batches of one measures from one recipe at a time, over the period of a saint’s day.
- Tier one begins in the first two OOC weeks following an app’s approval.
- Cannot identify signs and symbols in a substance by themself.
- Can make one potion or equivalent alchemic creation per IRL day. This does not factor in recipes achieved with further alchemy pieces and their own established cooldowns.
- Can access tier one recipes.
Journeyman alchemists are those who have studied alchemy for upwards of three saint’s weeks. They are capable of making a number of intermediate level potions and can also deduce signs and symbols from reagents by themselves, becoming a lot more self sufficient and less reliant on textbooks or instructors.
The material alphabet can be read and understood at considerably more depth to the journeyman alchemist, who will easily be able to utilise ‘reagent rings’ and ‘transmutation circles’ for the purpose of decoding recipes.
Journeyman alchemists can create batches of two from two recipes at a time, over the period of a saint’s day.
- Tier two begins in the third OOC week following an app’s approval.
- Can make two potions or equivalent alchemic creations per IRL day. This does not factor in recipes achieved with further alchemy pieces and their own established cooldowns.
- Can access tier one and tier two recipes.
Masterful alchemists are those who have studied alchemy for upwards of eight saint’s weeks. They are capable of decoding almost any recipe put before them with enough trial and error to understand its uses.
The material alphabet can be utilised at a level almost like a second language to a masterful alchemist, to the extent where its runes can also be recorded down with precision enough for others native to the mortal plane to read and interpret them.
Masterful alchemists can create batches of three from three recipes at a time, over the period of a saint’s day.
- Tier three is achieved in the eighth OOC week following an app’s approval.
- Can make three potions or equivalent alchemic creations per IRL day. This does not factor in recipes achieved with further alchemy pieces and their own established cooldowns.
- Can access tier one, two and three recipes.
- Can experiment with common potions or equivalent alchemic creations to deduce its recipe for themselves.
Self Teaching is an option when it comes to alchemy, acting in an identical manner to the self teaching system in place for voidal magic.
Self teaching exists in two forms:
Teacher guidance is effectively normal teaching, but with added distancing. In this format, one is learning recipes from one with an accepted TA but by their own practice; and goes back to their teacher ICly or OOCly to confirm they had done their alchemy correctly. This eliminates the need for consistent scheduling or working around where some teachers may be burnt out of teaching, due to real life obligations and so on.
Ex. of “Normal Teaching”
Jim extracts the proper signs and symbols from the right reagents, teaching their apprentice student “John” how to process the reagent as well.
Ex. of “Teacher Guidance”
While Jim is away, and gives permission OOCly for this to be executed, John practices himself how to collect and process new reagents. Afterward, he goes to Jim to show him, or shows Jim OOCly (through screenshots) how such was done.
Book Teaching is what truly may come to mind with “Self Teaching”. In this sense, a person seeking to learn alchemy would find story-approved and supervised texts that serve as in depth instructional guides as to how to practice alchemy. This is a true “Self Teaching”, where the player learns to do alchemy on their own; with of course, creation of the Alchemy Feat application referencing the book as a teacher.
- You may have one book-teaching app across all personas.
- Book teaching will require an ST approved book for each of the three tiers, either provided by the ST itself or to be submitted as a MArt for ST approval by players with an accepted TA.
- Self Teaching will lengthen tier progression, meaning self-taught alchemists will remain Tier One for three OOC weeks, Tier Two beginning in the fourth OOC week and Tier Three being achieved in the twelfth OOC week following an app’s approval.
- All recipes in Alchemy – as well as the ability to draw symbols from reagents and botany – require an accepted Feat to create, as well as a tier level equating the complexity of said recipe.
- A TA in Alchemy is required to teach the Feat to another player.
- A feat is not required to use items created with alchemy or to utilise botany. That said being blacklisted from alchemy will render someone unable to benefit in any way from items made with alchemy.
- All products of alchemy and botany (with the exception of IRL plants without provide poisonous or medicinal uses) used in roleplay must adhere to the redlines and explanation of their specific lore piece and will require up to date approved lore to be used. New recipes cannot be made through roleplay experimentation alone in this regard.
- All recipes in Alchemy are divided into ‘common’ and ‘rare’ (currently accepted pieces will be updated to accommodate this). Whilst ‘common’ recipes can be self taught through the means outlined in tier three, ‘rare’ pertains to recipes gated behind Further Alchemy or explicitly requiring IC instruction to learn in said recipe’s lore.
- In order to practice Alchemy one must be capable of study, meaning it cannot be practised by children before adolescence, Ologs and those with mental deficiencies significant enough to strip them of object permanence.
- Alchemy belongs to no set ideology nor culture, though is still bound by logic and reason, impossible to fathom in those without such capacities (IE Voidal Horrors who have not taken several years to adjust to the Veil and its ordering).
- Dreams experienced by Alchemists are always (unless used as a vehicle for invention or rediscovery of lore where approved by the ST) inconsequential visions of Alchemic Legends and their potential, solely meant for inspiration. They should not be taken literally and can not be used to metagame otherwise unknown aspects of Alchemy.
Signs and Symbols
In all applications of their craft, the alchemist’s choice of reagents is always dictated by the two major aspects of any given material: Signs and Symbols.
Signs are the primary identifier to be sought in a reagent, split between the five main elements, of which all matter in the Mortal Plane (and many others) is composed in some combination.
These five Signs divide reagents into five different broad categorisations. Signs are important in organisation for an alchemist's archive of reagents and important in the recipes of a potion as many potions require non-specific ingredients and reagents can often be exchanged with other reagents of the same Symbol.
Secondarily then are Symbols, more niche modifiers tacked on to Signs with less ambiguous properties. They are concepts transiently tied to all matter in some form or another, albeit only potent enough to make use of in a handful of materials as Reagents. These manifestations can be translated into material changes, triggered by the mixing of various Symbols atop a base, as well as additional stimuli that might break down materials containing these Symbols so as to invoke more simplified usage in reagents (such as digestion, for example).
Below is the full list of every known Alchemical Symbol, as well as suggestions on its metaphysical properties (tied to how it might be used in Alchemy):
In the creation of all alchemical products, alchemists rely upon symbols - sometimes prefixed with signs - as their catalogue of ingredients, which when extracted from substances found in botany and elsewhere are combined atop a base to describe the intended creation.
Whilst all material matter is composed of some combination of the signs and symbols, they are only made manifest to a useful extent in a select few substances - known otherwise as reagents. These circumstances allow for the representations of said substances to be observed, studied, and measured under scrutiny from any journeyman or higher skilled alchemist, allowing for the alchemist to employ them masterfully in their material art.
Signs and symbols must be identified in reagents before extraction. When not able to simply be told of the signs and symbols contained in a reagent, an alchemist may inspect it closely to determine what properties a material has, and how they may be used.
An alchemist may identify sign and symbol quantities within reagents by examining the material up close, often by means of an ocular apparatus or other examining device. With this, they may cross reference their current knowledge of the material script and the manifestation of alchemical signs and symbols present in the substance. The process would likely require a dedicated lab or study in which the alchemist could focus upon their work.
As one progresses into mastery of alchemy, the process also becomes far less arduous. Whilst a saint’s day will be required of a journeyman alchemist to decode all of the signs and symbols in a new material, masterful alchemists will only require a number of hours.
This process requires at least novice-level of expertise, meaning that most apprentice alchemists will learn the signs and symbols associated with base reagents from their teachers.
In the case of attempting to reverse concoct a potion in order to deduce its alchemical makeup, the alchemist must be of at least Tier Three proficiency, and must obtain the potion through roleplay. They must then study the potion over the course of one IRL day.
- An alchemist must have an accepted feat application to perform Identification.
- Alchemists may identify all signs and symbols present within reagents.
- Tier One and higher alchemists with a developed understanding of the material alphabet can successfully conduct identification.
- Whilst it is not expected that this entire timespan be spent roleplaying out the investigations, the time gating still applies in the sense that only one new item can be made usable for extraction every 12 hours at Tier One, every 6 hours at Tier Two, and every 2 hours at Tier Three.
- Discerning a potion’s alchemical components is limited to common-tier potions. Rare potions and recipes must still be learnt under an alchemist who is aware of their composition.
- Attempts to identify potion recipes without proper instruction on the use of identification will be considered metagaming and may leave the alchemist liable to punishment.
The key to utilising signs and symbols is to draw them out of their reagent via extraction. There are five methods through which this can be achieved, relating to the desired sign prefix upon a symbol.
Particular methods of extraction are necessary to draw out particular elemental prefixes. Only reagents with the sign of fire - such as Drake’s Tail - could have its symbols extracted through the respective fire process. Should the alchemist apply the improper method of extraction, the procured symbols will not have a prefix, and though this does not render them completely useless, they cannot be applied as an elementally-prefixed symbol (i.e. Earth: Rigidity).
To extract symbols with no prefix, or alternatively the Aether prefix, the solid material in question needs to be shredded then ground down with a mortar and pestle (or an aurum pestle for aether symbols) before finally being saturated with aqua vitae. Liquid materials will be mixed with aqua vitae instead (using an aurum ladle for aether symbols). This boggy concoction should then be filtered and boiled until only powder(s) remains, which can then be separated and identified as purified counts of the desired symbol.
To extract symbols with the fire prefix, the alchemist must dry or otherwise dehydrate the reagent in question. Once this is accomplished, the alchemist may cut, crush, or otherwise shred the reagent into pieces until it achieves a similar consistency to that of sawdust. This ground matter must then be set alight until it is reduced to ash. The fire-prefixed symbols may then be identified and tediously picked out from the ash in their respective increments.
To extract a symbol with the earth prefix, the alchemist must first cut, crush, or otherwise grind the reagent before placing it within a mortar and pestle, along with a half-ratio of salt equivalent to the reagent’s own quantity. Then, by grinding and mixing the two together, the alchemist would be left with a rather dull powder, with the salt itself mixed in. The salt should first be separated by sieving, which would leave the alchemist only with the remnant symbols.
To extract a symbol with the water prefix, the reagent, if solid, should be soaked with distilled water in its raw form. Once completely soaked, it may be crushed and shredded until it no longer seems as a ‘solid’ material and is more alike to a heavy mush. Liquid reagents, alternatively, may simply be mixed with the distilled water to achieve this. Once the reagent has been prepared in this fashion, it may be poured thinly over a dish, allowing the solution to evaporate gradually over the course of a narrative day; leaving the respective powdered symbols of the reagent.
To extract a symbol with the air prefix, the alchemist must proceed similarly to how they extracted fire symbols; that being the drying or dehydration of the reagent. Once the reagent has been dried, it may then be crushed, shredded, or otherwise shaved until it is ground down to a thick powder. The air should then be placed within a container or other small space, before being compressed, decompressed, and blown through bellows. This would leave a thin remnant powder which can then be tediously separated into the reagent’s respective symbols.
- Whilst it is not mandatory for extraction to be RPd out for every symbol (and sign prefix), the processes must all be demonstrated at least once per student, as well as on an alchemist's TA.
- Extracted signs and symbols have no raw effects on their own whatsoever.
- Signs and symbols may only be extracted from designated alchemical reagents. You cannot extract symbols from mundane materials (i.e. dirt, iron, etc.) unless lore were to say otherwise.
The primary use of alchemy; to concoct and create potions which bear a plethora of effects. The creation of potion is performed through the process of Mixing - that is, the addition of signs or symbols to a base. Often, various additional steps will be necessary to unlock further potency in the final creation - varying from product to product.
Once the alchemist has extracted the necessary signs and symbols from the reagents, they may add the concentrated symbols to the recipe. Almost any solid or liquid may range as the base for the concoction, depending on what the recipe demands; whether that may be blood, water, lard, aqua vitae, or even ground bones and black bile. In some instances, this process requires the creation steps to be performed in a certain order, whereas others may still be done haphazardly and will end up with the same result. Should one not follow the necessary order of steps when it is called for, they may end up ruining the potion, or worse.
Brewing potions requires a lab or other workspace in which the alchemist is able to perform their work with full focus and easy-access to materials. Though there is no explicit requirement for what a lab should have, it should possess basic alchemical equipment; such as alembics, distillers, and other tools/mechanisms necessary for mixing and extracting symbols.
Roleplaying this application of alchemy may be done alone, or when in the presence of other individuals. Though the alchemist does not need to roleplay the extraction of each and every single symbol used in the creation of the potion, they still should be able to display some knowledge and use of particular extraction applications in the roleplay provided.
- An alchemist must have an accepted feat application to create potions.
- Player-signed potions should be signed by the alchemist player that made them.
- Alchemists are limited to the lore signage of three potions a day, in accordance with ST rules.
- All potions, whether needing ST signage or not, must have a valid mechanical item with an in-roleplay description of the potion, as well as its effects/mechanics.
- Players are expected to provide the reagent items they have extracted upon creating a potion.
- Players are expected to provide screenshots of roleplay involved in the creation of a potion.
- Upon the use or consumption of a potion, the alchemist or player is obliged to dispose of it. Failure to do this is considered powergaming and may leave one liable to consequence.
- Mixing is mandatory for the creation of all items in alchemy.
- Alchemists meaning to conduct processes will require some form of representation for all necessary components to the aforementioned, whether this be a complex toolkit of items or a constructed lab.
- An alchemy feat is required to conduct all processes.
‘Reagents’ are an umbrella term in alchemy, referring to materials that contain potent enough measures of signs and symbols for use in alchemical processes, be they botanical or otherwise.