Alchemy

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A depiction of Tarquess Worthrite

Alchemy is the proto-scientific tradition and philosophy spread by the ancient humans of the Manus Kingdom, and now practised largely by the nations of the Orient. It is often, erroneously, considered a school of magic, but alchemy is more closely related to natural sciences than it is the control of mana. Similarly, alchemy remains a practice that is still hidden from most of the world by the careful considerations of the various Orders that keep its secrets. At its core it is an esoteric subject, initiates needing to perform various rites of passage before even learning the fundamentals of the art. Likewise, though Alchemical Orders appear across Edriel, they are united by their craft, adhering to the philosophy of alchemy above nation and faith.

History

Alchemy was first practised by the Manusites, the art originating in their pursuit of a way to nullify the magic of the elves. Ultimately, the Manusites would never reach this goal, and in the fall of their kingdom, much of their knowledge regarding alchemy was lost. Years later, elves and humans alike would come across vague references to this art in other pieces of Manusite literature, but no one has recovered the fabled Scrolls of Gnosis, said to contain the full extent of the Manus Kingdom's knowledge. Most significant among these mythical pieces of lost knowledge is an elixir of immortality.

In 1568 AE, the Lodge of the Alchemist Divine was founded in Bymorough, a province of the Brazenmark Empire, by Tarquess Worthrite, a scholar and former member of the Baymorne Magi College. With a small group of peers, Worthrite funded many expeditions to recover alchemical texts from across the world. Over the years, the Lodge had accumulated a wealth of information in a quantity that had not been seen since the fall of the Manus Kingdom - but many essential parts were still missing. For all the texts the Lodge possessed, their collection was useless if research and discovery could not continue to be funded.

In 1575, the Lodge approached then Emperor Andalastros in a plea for royal funding, professing that alchemy was an art that could rival magic in its usefulness to the Empire. The Emperor instead had Worthrite arrested and decreed that alchemy was a black rite his holy nation would not suffer. In hearing of Worthrite's arrest, the remaining members of the lodge fled the Empire east with as many texts as they could carry. It was in the court of the Zhuansun Khan that the Lodge's ideas were met with enthusiasm and even the promise of funding.

The Lodge had secured its future, but Worthrite would not live to see this success. At the age of 68, Worthrite was executed by pyre in the summer of 1579 after years of imprisonment. The remaining members of the Lodge were incensed, but emboldened too, and continued the mission he had begun so many years prior. Over time, the lodge would grow, eventually opening up new chapters across the Orient, and later in the West as attitudes towards alchemy changed with new emperors.

Today, the Lodge strictly controls who is allowed to learn the secrets they collect. Admittance is a lengthy and arduous process, but members remain so for life unless a grave crime against the Lodge is committed.


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Last editor: Markisbeest
Last edit: 20/03/2019