Alchemy (sage study)
Alchemy is a sage study in the fields of Earth & Sky and Science. The study covers knowledge of natural materials, plants and elemental phenomena, involving the creation and refinement of substances, poisons, salves, ointments, potions and more.
To practice the making of substances, the following must be acquired to construct a laboratory. As much is needed for each status of knowledge, so that an Authority would require twice the articles listed below, while an expert would need three times; a sage would need four times.
- For work, a laboratory table, 7 feet by 4, made of hardwood, with a 2 foot by 4 square of iron or copper bolted at one end of the table.
- For space, a room 15 feet by 8 feet minimum, with a vertical brazier 2 feet square and 3 feet high under a flue for escaping heat and gas.
- Paraphenalia, including an alembic, a crystal ball, an hourglass, a lens, a prism, 2 glass pipettes and 8 crystal rods for stirring liquids.
- Storage, 4 iron bowls, 6 wooden bowls, 14 jars, 1 glass bowl, 24 vials, 6 phials.
While some of these objects may not be used pragmatically, it's understood that the presence of these items is as important as their use. Due to the complexity and time needed to create alchemical mixtures, it's assumed the laboratory will be under lock and key; an apprentice may be needed to look after the place, clean, adjust the experiments and so on.
If these precautions aren't observed, and the laboratory located in a place with public access — like a rented room in a house with other tenants, or a room taken at an inn — then the chance of an experiment being spoiled by nosy residents or servants doubles or even trebles. The processes of alchemy produce strange odours and sounds; these will likely draw curious persons to investigate, leading perhaps to dire consequences.
The knowledge included in this study is limited to the exact description of the processes the character can effect. It should not be imagined that being able to smelt mithril, for example, imparts any special knowledge in the fashioning of that mithril into a sword or armour. Similarly, while the character might be able to create a potion of fire resistance, it does not then follow that the character possesses the ability to install the power of that potion into an artifact. The character by means of this ability would be able to produce the potion - the making of other items or the incorporation of these products elsewhere are treated as an entirely different knowledge study.
Note also that most of the above it not created through a spell or by means of magic, but rather through hard, difficult labour. Some things may require considerable expenditure of time or wealth. Others things to be created would be subject to danger rolls, potentially threatening the character's life and even necessarily resulting in damage or injury.
The sage abilities below are those acquired by a character through the study, according to status.
- Distilling: purify or concentrate a variety of non-magical liquids, including the making of beverages.
- Identify Earths: gives a name for naturally occurring substances and liquids.
- Prepare Ingestive Poisons: enables the manufacture of poisons that must be imbibed to be effective.
- Smelt Natural Metals: smelt and purify metals that can be derived from ordinary ores or coarse nuggets.
- Fabricate Compounds: enables the creation of chemical compounds from base materials.
- Prepare Toxins: create poisons from natural venoms and toxins.
- Purify Element: isolates pure chemical elements devoid of other material.
- Create Poison: enables the personalized tailoring of poisons, causing highly specific effects.
- Potion-making: enables the character to create magical potions from scratch.
- Bioelectric Animation: the power to bring dead tissue to life.
- Elixir of Life: creates a concoction that permits rejuvenation and potentially immortality.
- Transmutation: enables the isolation of the philosopher's stone and the alteration of base metals into gold and silver.