Author Topic: ⚚ The Mithril Owl Periodical ⚚  (Read 710 times)

Ambrosius

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⚚ The Mithril Owl Periodical ⚚
« on: May 02, 2017, 08:14:28 AM »
"Published about Port-a-lucine"
The Mithril Owl Periodical ⚚

By Yúnon. Percival. Ambrosiús

The Mithril Owl Periodical is a new publication which aims to share interesting scholarly works and facts about the world in which we live, often
enough small puzzles and brain games are included with prizes for those who best the puzzle first. Starting from this issue, we hope to release
bimonthly. For any scholar's or interested parties who wish to have their works shared contact myself; Y. P. Ambrosius at the address given at
the end of this periodical. Enjoy and as the Celestines might say, "may the stars guide you".

Astronomical Constellation
Spoiler: show
Quote
Per periodical a constellation shall be detailed which shines verily high above the land, constellations which have been discovered by
the Order of the Celestines, the first to be detailed in this periodical is the Macabre of Ura and Frica high above  the southern core
categorised within the Caliburn Nether of which southern sights of constellations are placed, discovered by those talented astronomers
of the Midway Haven Observatory.
The Macabre of Ură and Frică

"I have seen Ură, and Frică on the Rim, in all their nightmarish form; monstrous and terrible they sit high above Immol on the border; both
one and yet two, their bodies joined twisting into one. Ură reaches his heinous claws into Forlorn, wrapping around the darkly mired heavens
of Tristenoira, and Frică spreads several tendril-like stars out to Veneticus within the heated skies of Hazlan. The head of Frică, dim are the
lights "slumbering the stars, though watch in winter, thousands of stars glisten; making up his many glaring penetrating eyes, for all under
the Caliburn Nether are caught within his gaze. Ură possesses one single quasar eye, watching forever the west.”

“A prophesy exists for these two fiends, when it comes to fruition Ură and Frică shall descend the heavens and wreak havoc and death
upon the world, -some- believe.

"Slumber, watcher, till the spheres,
Six and twenty thousand stars
Have revolv’d, and they return
To the spot where they did burn.
Other stars anon shall rise
To the darkened axis of the skies;
Stars that soothe and stars that bless
Only when the greatwolf fades
Shall they pass the shaken gates."


Owl's Wisdom Crossword Puzzle
Spoiler: show
Quote

For all you problem solvers, the first to solve this and send in a copy of the solved cross-word shall
win ten thousand solars. Send in the completed cross-word addressed to the Erudite Society
Les Presses du Savoir with your name and own address upon.




Down
1. Ghastrian foods are often found to be?
2. Birthplace of the Ezrite faith.
4. The native language of Barovia.
6. Many pillared halls of stone, home of Dwarf-kind.
8. Famous land of invaders and pillagers.

Across
3. Northern most land, enveloping.
5. Red, white and gold; the Rapier strikes the centre.
7. Perched atop mountains, lurking over the Village of Barovia.
9. Stargazers and Astronomers.
10. Kartakan song tales.
11. Ghost town within Mordent.


Research and Thoughts upon Black Iron “Adamantine”
Original research carried out by Cat Fumosa; presently in Matira Bay.
Spoiler: show
Quote
While many have given to the fact the tough adamantine metal we know of as the de facto strongest and
most durable to possess, studies suggest this metal is perhaps more fiendish in nature than first thought.
Cat Fumosa, ex-chairwoman of the Erudite Society and skilled-artisan who was able to forged weaponry
and armours from this metal discovered a most alarming truth arising in those who held the metal. Greed
and paranoia became evident in some, while others showed increased tendencies towards anger or at-least
struggled more-so than they had in the past to control these feelings.

Upon investigation Cat discovered an ancient dwarven tome, which held information upon this metal; calling
it Black "Iron". The research she therefore carried out is detailed below...

"The Forms of Iron and its Secrets" The tome Cat Fumosa discovered.

A passage from this ancient dwarven tome speaks in volumes of the connection with fiends, the passage is a detailed
conversation with a dwarven smith capable of adamantine creation; “Two forms of conception exist, the first is a confluence
of magic and metal; though I cannot in good faith pen it here, for the process was so draining it took the life of his assistant.”
Sounds quite fiendish to me, “secondly, a binding process, a ritual which involves the summoning of a –creature-“ the excerpt
here is unintelligible in describing either the creature or the process. The writer mentions when he returned home, he felt
overwhelming anxiety as he wore the black iron locket around his neck.

Van Richten’s guide on Fiends

Excerpt One from the Guide
Reality Wrinkles: The sheer undiluted power of fiends often warps reality around it. The more powerful the fiend, the larger
the reality warp is.

Excerpt Two from the Guide
Transposition: One of two ways a fiend can enter the land of mists is through transposition, where a fiend slowly takes the
place of a mortal. Fiends are capable of detecting mortal thoughts on other planes, and are drawn to wicked and evil thoughts
in particular. The fiend will form a psychic link with an evil person it takes a liking to, and then encourages the person to greater
acts of evil. The more evil the person commits, the stronger the link becomes. Eventually, the mortal's body begins to resemble
the fiend's, and then the two trade places, trapping the mortal in whatever infernal realm the fiend came from.

Thoughts on these excerpts
If warping the reality around them can alter the substance of the material, does this dynamic refer to the possible strengthening
of the adamantine through this undiluted power? And is the corruption bestowed upon mortals who wear the material act as a
beacon, a way for this transposition to take hold? The feelings of greed, docile apathy and numbness have been apparent in everyone
who has had some black iron for long periods of time.

Whether the amount of material has any bearing is yet unknown, but my belief; though unproven would say it does indeed, as with
enchanting when we bestow our own essence within. The circumference is often the determining factor in the amount it will drain us;
perhaps it is the same for this adamantine too, much like a glass can only hold so much water.

Adamantine is found only within Perfidus thus far, where it occurs naturally within the fallen meteorites is evidence
of Cat's original theory of the fiendish nature of this material; I'd speculate that before it reaches and lands upon the surface, that
it is no more than mere iron, as most of what is discovered seems to be just that.

However!

A process of "subsuming" include or absorb (something) in something else takes place; further evidence of this is in the very land
around Perfidus, which is a twisted distortion, corrupted by the fiendish powers. These metals soaking up the fiendish energy that
is mired about the landscape.


Quote
Edith Bertrand Foundation - Help the Children~
As supporters of the foundation it shall receive a mention here, and should someone solve the cross-word within two days
we shall donate another twenty thousand solars to the charities cause.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 09:05:05 AM by Ambrosius »

Ambrosius

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⚚ The Mithril Owl Periodical ⚚ - Issue Two
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 02:17:18 PM »
"Published about Port-a-lucine"
The Mithril Owl Periodical ⚚

By Yúnon. Percival. Ambrosiús

The Erudite Society of Port-a-lucine
Spoiler: show
Giving a mention to the prestigious society is the least I can do, and perhaps those scholarly sorts out there might also pay heed and
send in a written essay on a topic of interest to the Les Presses du Savoir and leave it with Martin Beauchamin. For any of an open
and keen mind can join the society.

The vast collection of works range from fabled guides on the mysterious creatures and mist-ways, arcane, mundane and all topics under
the starry skies. The members of the society are each learned individuals with a broad array of knowledge's and the societies mission?
-Well...perhaps one of the noblest, to help spread knowledge and contribute to its collection and preservation.


Astronomical Constellation
Spoiler: show
Per periodical a constellation shall be detailed which shines verily high above the land, constellations which have been discovered by
the Order of the Celestines, the second to be detailed in this periodical is the Twilight of the Silver Crown high above  the southern core
categorised within the Caliburn Nether of which southern sights of constellations are placed, discovered by those talented astronomers
of the Midway Haven Observatory.

~ Twilight of the Silver Crown~

I stooped and looked aloft; upon skies that are bleak, and hills which are aged, there I beheld a crown of stars appear; as gems upon
a silver thread. By the light of sun and star and moon, in shining lamps of crystal hewn. Undimmed by shade or cloud of night, forever
they shine fair and bright.

For the silver crown sits at the head of Barovia only after the fall "winter", the gloaming dwells and shadows perch in the heart; dark and windless
rifts do divide; for there lies the crown in tenebrosity, till the coming of spring and dusk withers away, as ashen grey turns to golden sky,
Unshadowed by the veil of night. They burned eternal shimmering white stars. But e'er the fallen stars glow freer.


Owl's Wisdom Crossword Puzzle
Spoiler: show

For all you problem solvers, the first to solve this and send in a copy of the solved cross-word shall
win ten thousand solars. Send in the completed cross-word addressed to the Erudite Society
Les Presses du Savoir with your name and own address upon.


Across
5. Type of antelope found within Har Akir, often by much needed water sources.
7. Dawn bless you, the cult of the..?
8. Elite soldiers in the Falkonian army.
10. Surname of the owners of Les Presses du Savoir
11. Noble House, a member of this house commands the Company of the Fox.
Down
1. Capital of Borca.
2. Treaty of Four Towers is a pact to defend against who?
3. Current Burgomaster of Vallaki.
4. Small village near Port-a-lucine.
6. Infernal land of falling stars among hellish visages.
9. Trustee and old time founder of the Wayfarer Kinship.

Winner of the previous puzzle was Merrum Twind, who generously offered to donate his winnings to the Edith Bertrand Foundation.


Practical Arcane – Firearms

Spoiler: show
The arcane sciences are a proper science, yet to often they are not used to their full potential. Here in our fair republic they
are considered only good for stage-magic, the only disgraced art-form in Dementlieu. Yet the Arcane Science can be so much
more then stage-magic. As one of the sciences in the world it should be used to improve our lives, thus this series of articles.
As exemplified by the title I shall be starting with firearms as they are the main weapon we use and the focus of my current
research, and hopefully this research will improve and save lives of those that work with firearms.


Protecting one's self

We shall start with the spells that can protect the user and help keep them safe. One of the more common issues with firearms is
the backfire that can occur. Now we have made strides in improving it, yet it does remain a risk that when using a firearm that it can
backfire and harm the user. When a backfire happens the flint ignites the powder but instead of sending the bullet forward it explodes
with a shower of sparks in one's face.


The arcane can reduce this impact. The spells in the elemental resistance family can be used to to protect one from the explosion. This
is a set of spells that have similar effect of enduring the elements, with the more powerful version in this tree resisting more. This also
works at resisting the backfire explosion. Furthermore, these spells are often woven into items as heat resistance gear. While not to the
same strength as the spells themselves, in tandem they can be quite the potent shield against backfires.


Also there is the enchantment to one's constitution. This provides the ability to be able to take more hits and be more active in general.
This helps to endure the backfire. Though of the two spells, the elemental resistance spells are the far better option.

Spells for Bullets

Next come up the spells for improving the weapons themselves; I talk about enchantment below. There are two spells of note here: Magic
weapon and flame weapon. Both of these spells are to be performed upon the bullets themselves. Casting them on the firearm itself does
not actually do anything.

We shall start with flame weapon. Flame weapon does just what it says it does. It has to noticable affects. First your pouch will glow with a
light orange light, which can be helpful in seeing in the dark. Moreover when you hit your target they will feel the heat of the bullet.
Thankfully for the user, it doesn't create any explosion or light it on fire when in the firearm. Still one should be careful when using it.

Next are the magic weapon family of spells. These enhance the impact. While the effect is mainly minor with the simple version. The greater
version does similar at first but as one becomes more skilled with the arcane sciences the effect is increased. Regardless, It should not be
ignored. In combination with other spells here, the effect can be quite deadly.

Other Spells of Note

There are several other spells that one should keep in mind when using firearms. These spells are not used on the weapons themselves but
on yourself, similar to the defensive wards. The difference is that these are offensive. They are cat's grace and True Strike.

The spell known as cat's grace enhances one's dexterity, giving one a cat like grace. Most importantly this improves one hand's eye
coordination. This helps with accuracy, but also making sure you can hit in spots to do more damage.

Then there is true strike. True strike is a powerful spell that lets you gain some brief insight into the future. While it is but a split moment,
and the effect lasts only a few seconds, if you shoot during that time you can increase the impact of your shot and its damage.

Arcane Dangers

Finally unrelated to these I wish to bring up two dangers, fire and water based spells.

When working with fire spells, unless aiming to harm the other shooter, avoid using them and be careful. Fire will cause an explosion and
the more powerful spells could quickly blow up an armory. Even when using flame weapon which does not in and of itself create an explosion,
I recommend caution to avoid such dangers.

The reverse is true with water based spells, of which ice is the most common method. Wet powder is almost impossible to strike and without
the initial strike they are rather useless. When using these spells, one can potentially dampen their powder which as mentioned makes them
useless.

Conclusion

Thus in conclusion, the arcane sciences can be used to both improve the efficiency of the shooter through both improving the bullets and the
skill of the shooter. The arcane sciences are also able to protect lives through making sure that when backfires happens.

There is naturally more to learn about the arcane sciences and their impact upon firearms. I do hope that this encourages more to look into the
usage of the arcane sciences in a more applied and practical manner.

~Yvette of House Sallembier~


The Fauna of Hazlan", by Anselme Voclain

Greetings! Whether you are a merchant passing through parts unknown, a traveler looking to see the Core, or a hunter of monsters looking
for somewhere to ply your trade, there can be little doubt that knowledge is power and one should try to learn as much as they can about a
place they intend to visit before going there.

In Hazlan, knowledge of the fauna that dwells in that land can mean the difference between life and death. Fearsome beasts, believe to have
been created through experimentation by the Red Academy in Ramulai, now roam much of Hazlan; in many cases, these creatures have usurped
the role previously inhabited by more mundane, common predators that one might see elsewhere in the Core. These new creatures, which came
into being shortly after the Great Upheaval, compete with what was there before for food.

For instance, the grey wolf used to be a common sight in Hazlan, which made sense, given its relatively close distance to Barovia. With the
introduction of the krenshar into the country’s ecology, however, the grey wolf simply couldn’t keep up. Krenshars now occupy the role wolves
once had in the food chain, while the wolves in Hazlan, as with other predators frequently seen across the Core, are a rarity.

But there are more than just krenshars, lurking in Hazlan. Here is a list of what one might encounter in this strange and exotic land…

THE OWLBEAR

Spoiler: show


The “ugle-bære”, as it is known in the Vaasi tongue, is a frightening amalgam of a raptor, a bird of prey, and a ferocious brown bear. Often
bipedal, it stands roughly two-and-a-half to three meters tall, weighing approximately three-quarters of a ton. Their beak is a dull ivory color –
indeed, I have personally experienced many charlatans trying to pass off the content of their beaks as BEING ivory.

While they possess wings, these are vestigial in nature, and do not grant the owlbear the ability to fly… which is good, because they also have
talons, sharp as daggers, which they often use to hold their prey in place. Unlike a bear, which would generally attempt to maul whoever got
within its critical space, the owlbear attempts to ‘hug’ its prey, and once held in place by the beast, proceeds to tear it apart with its beak. What
does the owlbear define as its prey, exactly? The answer to that question is simple – it will try to consume anything that is smaller than it is.

While the brown bear that most are familiar with is generally regarded as a docile animal, so long as it is given space and left alone, the same
cannot be said of the owlbear. Instinctually, this creature has more in common with the owl than it does the bear – after all, an owl isn’t too
picky when it comes to its food, and the same can be said of the owlbear. Do not expect the owlbear to leave you be, if it catches sight of you
in the forests of Tusmorke Skoven, as a bear likely would.

If forced to confront one of these fearsome beasts, the best thing to do is either prepare to defend yourself from its attacks or hide. Although
the option might certainly seem appealing to someone being stared down by this frightening beast, do not run. The owlbear does not lumber
about as a bear would and in fact moves with remarkable swiftness, despite its size. While it is certainly possible for one to intimidate the
owlbear into backing down (by making oneself appear bigger, much as one would when dealing with a bear), this is quite a bit more difficult
than it would be with a bear. You have been warned.


THE BASILISK

Spoiler: show


Living in dank caverns littered throughout Hazlan is the dreaded basilisk. This reptilian creature is roughly ten feet long on average, measuring
from its snout to the tip of its tail. The tail can get even longer, with one specimen I saw having a tail of over seven feet long. Its skin is often
either the color of burnt umber or a cool, slate grey, decorated in bone-like spikes that cover most of its body, save for its unusually soft underbelly.

The basilisk, on first glance, may closely resemble the so-called “rock reptile” known to dwell within the Amber Wastes. However, what separates
the basilisk from those desert-dwelling creatures are its green eyes, which have been reported by some to glow brightly even in the darkest
corners of the caves in which these beasts live. For a fair number of unfortunate individuals, the green eyes of the basilisk would prove the
last thing they would ever see.

It has eight legs, and yet moves rather slow – the basilisk prefers to ambush its prey, lying in wait for hours, even days at a time. This is because
its gaze, known to be capable of petrifying any living creature and turning them into solid rock, makes it rather easy for them to find food. The
diet of the basilisk is primarily small mammals, other, smaller reptiles, and various birds. It chooses to petrify its food before consuming it, which
suggests that could likely subsist on a diet of nothing but stone if it so chose.

When dealing with the basilisk, it is important that one have a method by which their petrifying gaze can be negated. Outside of Hazlan, I once
encountered a merchant who claimed he had in his possession an amulet that allowed him to step foot on the isle of Demise and stare down the
legendary medusa that allegedly lives there. While I doubt this man was anything more than a purveyor of cheap tricks and chicanery, such an
amulet would doubtless prove useful against these creatures.

Keep in mind, however, that the basilisk has a mouth unlike any other, littered with teeth that are able to chew through stone. Ultimately, the
best thing to do when faced up against a basilisk, in most situations, is to simply run – they will be unable to keep up, and will eventually relent,
once it seems they have lost their prey.


THE MANTICORE

Spoiler: show


The average manticore weighs roughly half a ton and is ten feet long. It has spots covering itself, resembling one of the exotic “great cats”,
the cheetah. Some, however, have compared its behavior to that of a lion. That being said, the manticore has many things that these beasts,
though formidable, do not. For instance, it possesses a face that appears somehow human, something that has unsettled many who have
somehow managed to survive its attacks. It possesses a pair of short bat-like wings, meaning it can fly over short distances.

Most, however, know of the manticore by its tail. The tail is decorated with long, thin barbs that the manticore can in fact hurl at its foe. These
barbs are sharp, and while they are generally scattered about over a large radius, they can prove lethal to the poor man who is hit by all of them.

Surprisingly, much like the owlbear, the manticore can be tamed by a select few. It would be much safer proposition to simply avoid where the
manticore is known to roam, altogether, however. They tend to be found in abundance in the forests of Tuskmorke Skoven, just north of Ramulai.


ANKHEG

Spoiler: show


The ankheg is a burrowing insect, roughly ten feet long in terms of length and weighing over eight hundred pounds. While it does burrow in
the same manner that the giant ants in Barovia do, it is worth noting that ankhegs are loners, and will not cooperate with one another – they
are not territorial and will not compete over resources, but neither will they work together to build colonies. Indeed, the sole time anhkegs will
work with one another is to mate.

Much like the basilisk, the ankheg is an ambush predator, preferring to remain burrowed just underneath the surface before springing up to tear
at their prey with mandibles capable of crushing most anything trapped between them. Of course, the ankheg isn’t the biggest or the nastiest
thing dwelling in the wilds of Hazlan – must it rely solely on those mandibles to defend itself from harm?

Actually, no – within the anhkeg is a sac filled with an acidic bile which it can spit at what it considers a threat, over a distance as far as thirty
feet. I have heard reports of men losing their hands to the corrosive power of the acid this creature spits, but keep in mind the ankheg can only
do this once every few hours. If dealing with one of these monsters, the best thing you can do is wear something that provides you a modest
amount of protection from its corrosive expectoration, while you proceed to close the distance. Its chitinous hide is tough, but not so tough that
it is impregnable.


MEENLOCK

Spoiler: show


The meenlock may not seem all too menacing, but in truth, the meenlock is perhaps the most horrifying creature you will find lurking within
the forests of Hazlan. For while the owlbear will tear you to ribbons and the basilisk will turn you to stone, the meenlock, if given the opportunity,
will transform you into one of their own, via a bizarre and harrowing process that I will not go into detail about here.

They are squat, standing on two legs at a height of only two feet tall, at most. They have pale, almost translucent skin, with beetle-like pincers
where its mouth should be. A set of crab-like claws exist where their hands should be, and their beady yellow eyes, devoid of pupils, generally
watch their ‘victims’ from the shadows. It is said that these creatures are capable of getting into the minds of their ‘victims’, speaking with them,
often doing so in the hopes that they can lure them into a trap where they can then be overpowered, captured, and brought
to their lair.

The creatures delight in the transformation of others into their kind. When briefly visiting a small, isolated village occupied by gnomes in the
mountains just east of Ramulai, I was told that there was an abduction that occurred in the middle of the night – while they knew not who
was responsible for the kidnapping, the meenlocks were the first to be blamed for the calamity. How humans or demihumans are transformed
into a meenlock is unknown, but it is believed to involve a special type of moss known only to grow where meenlocks are found.

They dislike any and all sunlight – keep that in mind, should you find yourself dealing with large numbers of these creatures. Likewise, they are
easy to dispatch, despite their frightening appearance. There is strength in numbers, and they will likely be unable to deal with a group passing
through, but instead choose to pick one person within the group, who they will try to separate from the rest – keep this in mind.


Research and works from Erudites both, Yvette and Anselme.


By Y. P. Ambrosius
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 02:30:24 PM by Ambrosius »

Ambrosius

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⚚ The Mithril Owl Periodical ⚚ Issue Three
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2017, 12:12:09 AM »
"Published about Port-a-lucine"
The Mithril Owl Periodical ⚚

By Yúnon Percival  Ambrosiús

The Mithril Owl Periodical is pleased to publish its third periodical with a section from a guest writer, William Roberts; scholar and gentleman of Paridon.

Astronomical Constellation
Spoiler: show

Per periodical a constellation shall be detailed which shines verily high above the land, constellations which have been discovered by
the Order of the Celestines, the third in this periodical is the Soaring Bird of Liffe. For reference, the celestial stars which dot the heavens are seperated
into three zones, the north; centre and south which allows for easier use of the "Star Hopping Technique" the three zone system is known as the
Equatorial coordinate system and below is the map of the lands included in the northern charts.

Lo-behold the northern unveiling as golden skies turn darkened tartarean and the shimmering stars of heavens-field are revealed.

"Territory of the Northern heavens, charted by the Astronomers of the Nostophilia."


-"Soaring Bird of Liffe"

For verily in heaven there is outspread a glittering bird known as the Stygian Swan. Wreathed in mist is the Bird, but yet the parts above him are rough
with stars, not very large, yet not obscure. Like a bird in joyous flight, with fair weather it glides to the west, with the tip of its right wing
outstretched towards the right hand of Claveria upon Liffe, and by its left wing is hung in the heavens the prancing Hordum Bay, sailors might
use these constellations when charting the tempestuous seas within the “drowning deep”.


An Inquiry into the Doppelgangers of Paridon: Their Society and Rationales (Part I)
-Written by William Roberts, scholar of Paridon
Spoiler: show
Approximately 25 years ago, the citizens of Paridon (Zherisia) made a startling discovery: that another lifeform in many essential ways resembling the already known varieties of humanoids (humans, Elves, etc.) shared their city. More astonishing yet was that this new race seemed, indeed, altogether superior to our own, at least in several qualities and taking the average specimen of each.

The name given to the life form by Zherisian scholars was Doppelgänger, a loan word from the Teutonic languages such as spoken in Lamordia meaning “Double Goer.” This was an unfortunate choice in that although the Zherisian Doppelgänger has a similar ability to the more common form of Doppelgänger occurring in folklore and perhaps other regions of the Core, the Zherisian Doppelgänger is not at all the same organism. It is as though the discoverer of dragons gave them the same name as lizards simply because of having superficially similar skin.

The more accurate nominative for the species (and the one the extraordinarily intelligent individuals who it comprises prefer) is Glamer. I trust that the erudite readers of this periodical will recognize the pejorative, human-centric, and somewhat ignorant perspective that would denote such a magnificent accomplishment of nature as somehow being only a “double” of us, rather than having its own rightful place in any exhaustive bestiary.

In subsequent issues of The Mithril Owl, I intend to expound on several novel and—indeed—intellectually stimulating facets of these beings that perhaps represent a further development of Mankind. They, themselves, certainly believe that to be the case, and after learning more about them, the reader may well come to agree.

Among topics I will pursue:

The unequaled contributions to and achievements in the wondrous science of alchemy by Glamers

The current status of Glamer thought and their attitudes toward our own kind

A comparative study of Glamers and Human Beings—their relative weaknesses and strengths

Although some readers may find this subject droll and of interest only to Zherisians, I assure you that in the some 25 years since their discovery, Glamers have emigrated from my homeland to other parts of the Core. It is my belief that it is very likely—nay, a certainty—that unknown to most citizens of Port-a-Lucine several of the most powerful and most respected members of this society are secreted Glamers, much as was the case in Paridon only 25 years ago.

In closing for now, I would be remiss not to mention that the present work owes much to the field research of my late countrywoman Emma Potts. In future installments, I will cite Potts more specifically, as well as the work of better known scholars who raised the first lamps to light this illuminating subject.

-- W.R.


Owl's Wisdom Crossword Puzzle
Spoiler: show


For all you problem solvers, the first to solve this and send in a copy of the solved cross-word shall
win ten thousand solars. Send in the completed cross-word addressed to the Erudite Society Les
Presses du Savoir with your name and own address upon. Issue Two's winner was Iridni Ren of the
Wayfarer Kinship.



Across
2. The language of Paridon.
4. South of the wolfwood lies a river.
6. Absorbed by Verbrek during the Great Upheaval.
7. The Astronomical Society, the Nostophilia charted the "Soaring Bird of ?"
Down
1. The Sithcius based Celestines commune is known as the "The ? Tower".
3. Head family and Rulers of the municipality of Vallaki.
4. South of Dementlieu's boarder lies?
5. North of Harmonia sits the nestled town of?


The Illusion of Free Will
-by Bernard Du Bourg


Spoiler: show
The argument which follows is, of course, to the discerning reader, a purely metaphysical one, for upon which lies the entire basis of calculated decision making and rational thought. As an experienced metaphysician of no small note, I draw upon my own personal experiences in the following text.

There are, however, two terms which I shall need to define before I can continue with the bulk of this treatise.

Metaphysics is a term used to apply to the study of reality that is above and beyond the understanding of current knowledge. As a metaphysicist, one explores the fundamental nature of being and the world. Often there are no hard facts or evidence to support the claims of the metaphysician, for by his very nature he delves into the secrets of the self, consciousness, or the universe at large which are beyond the current limits of understanding. This is why the following is presented in the form of an argument, instead as empirical proof. I do however believe it is consistent with present knowledge as imparted from my esteemed scholarly colleagues in Port-A-Lucine.

Free Will. Before a detailed analysis can follow one must first attempt to explain the concept of free will among the conscious. Free will can in fact be simplified to a very basic phrase- Whether, and in what sense, rational agents exercise control over their actions and decisions. Addressing this question requires understanding the relationship between freedom and cause, and determining whether the laws of nature are casually deterministic.

My argument is thus. An agent (a thinking being, a conscious observer) possesses little to no will over their own actions. The universe in itself is deterministic and this makes free will impossible. The mind is constructed and operates under strict laws and patterns that an observer can study and predict, much as one can predict where and how a fire will spread, for example. This of course prevents the existence of free will as we understand the concept- the mind controls our own conscious, and it is the nature of mortal beings to rationalize the urges and desires forming in our brain and to deem this as free will, or as a consequence of our own decisions.

As an example I shall use a couple who have recently fallen in love. The man and the woman in question are reacting according to set patterns in their mind when selecting their ideal partner. These patterns, these rules, are outside of the individual's control and influence the individual based upon factors other than that which are immediately apparent. I have spent time in the company of individuals from primitive cultures, much to my chagrin it is to be said, who have discussed their urges of to 'mate',  and to select a 'strong partner' with me at length. It is not inconceivable to assume, then, that even the most civilised of peoples also possess these drives and patterns inherent in the brain. It is often said that we do not choose those we fall in love with, and this appears to be quite correct- we are merely acting upon pre-existing patterns within the brain construct most likely harkening from our own primitive pasts. A need to mate and to procreate, and thus it is my belief the civilised individual will filter this urge into one more acceptable based within the constraints of morality and social order.

The concept of love, I believe, is an illusion created by our subconscious mind to hide its shameful primitive nature. Free will is likewise an illusion, for we are controlled by patterns within our mind that guide our actions based upon long-forgotten rules and rotes. Can it be said truly that an animal such as an ant or a bird possesses free will, when they are following instincts like clockwork, reacting to outside stimuli by following a pre-programmed series of responses? Instinct is what drives all animals and humans, elves, dwarves and every other conscious race are no exception. We respond to danger with fear or anticipation, which in itself is an emotion patterned into our brains. We cannot control this response nor can we control our reactions to certain stimuli, and as demonstrated in the example above our rational minds shall explain our instinctive reactions as being of our own free choice. This is one reason why I believe that free will is nothing but an illusion, a product of our own minds perhaps to prevent ourselves from going insane at the realisation that we are but puppets to instincts and pre-programmed brain patterns.

The concept of no free will raises some questions. Society generally holds people responsible for their actions, and praise or blame is given based upon choices made. If we can extend the concept further, it becomes obvious that since an individual cannot control or make any decision of their own will, they thusly cannot be held accountable by law. An example would be a child who is raised by an abusive father, instilling aspects of the abuse into the young boy which will establish itself in patterns within the child's mind. When the child becomes a man he cannot control his tendency for violence, in much the same way we cannot control a wolf's tendency to hunt or to kill for food. How can we apply laws to instincts and uncontrollable drives?

The answer is of course we cannot, and I am a firm believer that to prevent society descending into chaos, behaviour modification must be employed. Those with these criminal patterns within their minds must be discouraged from succumbing to instinct, by effectively controlling their will for them and guiding them towards a more satisfying outcome. There are many ways behaviour modification can be utilised, whether through fear or force, but this is a subject perhaps for a further publication.

Is there such thing as morality if there is no free will? I believe firmly that there is not. What we consider altruistic and honourable is merely a reflection of pre-programmed brain patterns buried deep within our subconscious mind, perhaps to ensure survival of our species. If we accept that we cannot control our own behaviour then the issue of morality becomes moot. We cannot choose 'good' or 'evil', it is imparted on us due to forces beyond our control, and by its very definition morality then becomes obsolete.

No doubt many will argue with the claims put forth in this text, for any concept of this kind is prone to provoke argument by its very nature. I welcome argument and insist those who wish to debate the above points seek me out. Of course, without free will the typical person is prone to react in a predicted manner, and so I am quite aware already that there will be objections to the premise of this publication.


“Sur Le Pouvoir du Chant” or ”On the Power of Song”
-by Absalom Nightlyre

Spoiler: show
Many wizards and other innatists treat the arcane talents that minstrels, traboudours, and musicians attuned to the Art via the medium of song, collectively known as “bards” in many cases, as less effective spellcasters than they. However, despite the fact that there is a grain of truth to the words of most arcane scholars and there are some ways in which bards are less powerful than these two types of more traditional mages, to regard the power of song as an ultimately flawed medium by which to cast spells and harness the hidden world of arcana would be a most foolish one. Indeed, for while there are some invocations that only those who study magic extensively or have fully harnessed the magic flowing within their own bloodlines know how to recite, there are also many spells that can only be accessed through magical music.

One such spell is commonly referred to as the “Magical Dirge”, said to be one of the most powerful spells a bard can know. Through the power of song, the bard calls upon entropic forces that weaken foes within hearing range. The song is more than capable of bringing the most fortuitous of combatants to their knees. Many other spells that manipulate sound can only be utilized by bards, as only they can grasp the power of song. For instance, one such spell allows the mage to create the sound of a horrifying roar. Another creates a barrier of sonic energy that tears up the eardrums of any who strike the caster. Additionally, only bards and, for some reason or another, certain clerics have the power to instantly mute all sound within a given area or make a loud cacophony from nothing.

Moreover, many illusory spells, enchantment spells, and others spells that alter sound come to the bard easier, and oftentimes at a lower “circle of magic” than for other innatists or those who study magic more traditionally. Moreover, a skilled bard is capable of ensorcelling, enchanting, or misdirecting his foes just as well as a sorcerer of like ability. Domination, turning unseen – these things bards are capable of … and more.

Even high arcana is not outside the bard’s reach, if one happens to find the right tools. I turn the reader’s attention towards an item of remarkable power: a set of sheet music belonging to a powerful being known as a “bardic lich”. Powerful necromantic magics reside within this dweomer, meaning that any who perform the work are capable of laying waste to the very land itself, causing all living creatures within a certain radius to wither and die. The “lyrics of the lich”, as this legendary libretti is often called, are highly sought after by those who wish to harness the power of song for wicked purposes.

Also, as has been pointed out in the paragraph above, it is more than possible for those who wish to use the power of song to give themselves immortality, it is more than possible, though dark these powers might be. The power of song is but a tool, much like a sword, and the bard is more often than not like the blacksmith who crafts and pours his creative spirit into it. The blade can be crafted to be used as the tool of a hero, made to be an honorable piece of work and crafted with love for what its creator, or it can be crafted with cruelty, with serrated edges designed to cause wracking pain and suffering in the right hands.

Of course, let no one say that the power of song is not great.


Works by renowned Erudite members - Absalom Nightlyre and Bernard Du Bourg.
Guest writer - William Roberts
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 10:43:00 AM by Ambrosius »

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⚚ The Mithril Owl Periodical ⚚ - Issue Four
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2017, 09:42:50 AM »
"Published about Port-a-lucine"
The Mithril Owl Periodical ⚚

By Yúnon Percival  Ambrosiús

The Mithril Owl Periodical is pleased to publish its fourth periodical with a section from a guest writer, William Roberts; scholar and gentleman of Paridon.

Astronomical Constellation
Spoiler: show

Per periodical a constellation shall be detailed which shines verily high above the land, constellations which have been discovered by
the Order of the Celestines, the fourth in this periodical is the "The Entwining Stars of Nosferatu and Corvinus" . For reference, the celestial
stars which dot the heavens are separated into three zones, the north; centre and south which allows for easier use of the "Star Hopping
Technique" the three zone system is known as the Equatorial coordinate system and below is the map of the lands included in the southern
charts.

Like gems upon a crown they do appear, beyond the veiling night a thousand shimmering stars; what gleams within the southern heavens and guides those lost within the dark.

""Territory of the southern heavens, charted by the Astronomers of the Midway Haven Observatory."."


-"The Entwining Stars of Nosferatu and Corvinus "

"The constellation of entwining stars thou wilt find beneath two others; Nosferatu and Corvinus “Bat and Raven. For part in human form lies
beneath both, in an ever spiralling dance; as though in complete opposition. Raven appears as the sun wilts away, and golden skies become
ashen grey; bat appears when darkness settles in two hours after. High above lake Zarovich the two face towards the other, the right bat-like
wing of Nosferatu is spread towards Castle Ravenloft whereas Corvinus’ spreads towards Mount Baratak.


A Primer on Glamer Alchemy

By William Roberts of Paridon

Spoiler: show

Let me stipulate at the outset that I am but a dabbler in the actual practice of alchemy, although I have come to appreciate this science as a tool for the betterment of mankind similar to the healing arts. Whereas medicine and bandages restore the body to its healthy condition, alchemy can in fact enhance our lives beyond that which nature ordinarily endows us. For that reason, I strive always to improve my rudimentary knowledge of this fascinating subject. Keep in mind, however, that alchemy (like medicine) relies neither on the supernature of the arcane nor the whims of some moody "deity": alchemy is a science, open to the command of anyone who understands its fundamental, immutable principles.

My scholarly readers familiar with the rather primitive alchemy practiced from Barovia to Dementlieu no doubt believe it to be limited to the production of what are known as essences and varnishes: the local alchemist takes some raw material such as the jaw of a large insect and distills it to extract the chemical compound within that gives the material a certain quality. For example, the acid from corrosive oozes can be extracted from their carcasses to coat crude weapons, thus providing the instruments of violence with a similar property as the source creature.

If alchemy were confined to such mundane and counter-productive applications, it would hardly be of interest to the erudite. That Glamers have so exceeded human beings in unlocking alchemical principles is, indeed, excellent evidence that we should not view the species as in any way inferior to our own.

One theory of the origin of Glamers is that they themselves evolved from our own kind via alchemical enhancement, which might explain why they are able to reproduce with us but incapable of doing so on their own. Certainly Agatha Clairmont (one of the great human alchemical scholars in my native Paridon) gives some credence to this theory. For in Zherisia alchemy is known to be capable of extracting from formerly living matter that quality which when then added to nonliving matter produces new life itself!

Zherisian alchemists refer rather fondly to such creations in the human form as alchemical children. As for Glamers (and to quote from one learned text):

Quote
Major correlations between known examples of enlightened alchemical children and Glamers include a protean physiognomy, psychic sensitivity, and a motility of bodily fluid not found in mundane creatures. An alchemical child’s “blood” comprises a modified quintessence—“liquid life force,” much like the same irritability and responsiveness of a Glamer’s blood when drawn. This blood in both specimens can respond independently to stimuli, like a complete and living organism. Likewise, alchemical children may have a telepathic bond with their creator, just as Glamers exhibit telepathic abilities.


The more fearful of our own species consequently shy away from such applications of alchemy because they tremble at what they do not understand. Imagine, dear readers, the possibilities of applying these principles to elevate our own race!

As for Glamers, they are so far advanced beyond the crude alchemical children—to name but one example, they can communicate telepathically with anyone and among themselves, not just with their creator—that it is clear they have continued to evolve from their likely laboratory origin.

Similarly and poetically, Glamers have demonstrated an acumen for alchemy perhaps without peer in Paridon—certainly without peer in other, less advanced realms such as Barovia and Dementlieu. Whereas here locally this amazing science is used only for meagre military advantage, Glamer alchemical advances will someday (I am certain) lead to a golden age of mankind.

The more enlightened alchemy practiced and enhanced by Glamers will grant us (for example):
The ability to grow replacement limbs and other organs in the laboratory
Stronger and healthier human tissues possessing extraordinary abilities
Mental advances that will break down the misunderstandings that divide us and allow us instead to communicate at more fundamental levels, mind to mind, without the necessity of often incomprehensible and deceptive language
Cures for Calibans, womb freaks, and other twists. Future humans may enjoy the sensual pleasures purely for their own sake, whilst leaving actual reproduction to the controlled environment of science. Joyous parents will be able to choose their children according to a specific, guaranteed recipe, perfectly in line with their own preferences, and without fear of anything less than ideal.

Imagine this brave new world…and the flawless, beauteous creatures that shall inhabit it!

-- W.R.
[/font]


Owl's Wisdom Crossword Puzzle
Spoiler: show


For all you problem solvers, the first to solve this and send in a copy of the solved cross-word shall
win ten thousand solars. Send in the completed cross-word addressed to the Erudite Society Les
Presses du Savoir with your name and own address upon.




Across
4. A Forforian settlement within the borders of Hazlan.
5. Hazlans north-eastern most river from the Nocturnal Sea.
6. A Grandfather of Kartakass.
7. Central land of the Amber Wastes.
Down
1. Home to the Madrigore family.
2. Small city in the south of Richemulot.
3. Celestines commune within Darkon.


THE NATURE OF AESTHETICS
-by Absalom Nightlyre

Spoiler: show

PROLOGUE
"The question is often posed as to what exactly art IS, and what attracts humans and demihumans to what is portrayed on the face of a canvas. This question has been answered by a well-known professor of philosophy named Tullus the Lesser1, who defined the nature of art as such:


Quote
'Human aesthetics are marked as showing and demonstrating the following:

  • Expertise or virtuosity. Humans cultivate, recognize, and admire technical artistic skills.
  • Nonutilitarian pleasure. People enjoy art for art's sake, and don't demand that it keep them warm or put food on the table.
  • Criticism. People make a point of judging, appreciating, and interpreting works of art.
  • Imitation. With a few important exceptions like abstract painting, works of art simulate experiences of the world.
  • Experience. Art is set aside from ordinary life and made a dramatic focus of it.

These qualities help to find what is art and what is not.'

There has also been more than enough about exactly what is aesthetically pleasing. Study of mathematics helps to reveal this, vis-a-vis the existence of the golden mean2, or "φ", in many pieces of art. Time and time again, the golden mean appears again and again in nature, in the bodies of humans and demihumans alike; a fine example of this can be found in the dimensions of the face where the golden rectangle can be superimposed over the it, and it would retain its shape. Architects and artists imitate what they perceive in nature, and for this reason the golden ratio exists in their works - whether you are looking at one of the pyramid-tombs allegedly existing in the sands of Har'Akir, a sculpture of a famous leader, or a portrait done of a noblewoman, you will find φ.

However, something is missing. While mathematics helps to explain what is aesthetically pleasing and worthy of being depicted in art of various sorts, it does not explain why things are aesthetically pleasing. Why are we drawn to gaze at a beautiful landscape? How is it that we are able to appreciate a nude without drawing upon the base within us and instead see it as something more? How are we able to find meaning in what ostensibly has none, how are we able to interpret art in different ways?

I postulate that we are attracted to, by our very nature, to contemplate and try to experience the spheres of Life (la vie), of Death (la mort), of Earth (la terre), of Body (le corps), and of Spirit (l'esprit), and it is underneath each of these spheres that we craft the whole of art. I shall devote each chapter towards explaining what sort of art falls under each sphere, and hopefully, we shall work to understand art is at its core and have more than a superficial understanding of what is itself superficial.


1 Tulius the Lesser was a philosophy professor at the University of Il-Aluk who focused on classical aesthetics. This excerpt came from "Exploratio Oculus: A Look Into Art and Its Definition". Unfortunately, Tulius died in the Requiem and this is but an excerpt of the body of his work, which is still rumored to still be in Il-Aluk.

2 The golden ratio or "φ" is best defined as one plus the square root of five, over two."



Works by renowned Erudite member - Absalom Nightlyre.
Guest writer - William Roberts

Ambrosius

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⚚ The Mithril Owl Periodical ⚚ - Issue Five
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2018, 07:37:27 AM »
Quote
"Published about Port-a-lucine"
The Mithril Owl Periodical ⚚
Issue Five - 1st of February
By Yúnon Percival  Ambrosiús, William Roberts, Nephthys and Echo

The Mithril Owl Periodical is pleased to publish its fifth periodical with segments from fellow members of the Erudite Society. Containing an artistically detailed representation of the Constellation of the Great Wolf above Verbrek, the continuation of William Roberts’s work of Zherisian Alchemy and a new regular segment on Akiri culture and mythos by Nephthys, including a blurb from the middle kingdoms by Echo.

Astronomical Constellation
Spoiler: show
The Great-Wolf

“Artwork painted by Echo."

O’er old wild and woolly Verbrek many may gaze heavenwards and see the grandeur of the Great-wolf. When one is lost in the darkened forests of
Verbrek, merely turn to the celestial stars and find the howling face of the greatwolf, two shimmering emerald stars glistening in the north mark his
head above “the Circle”, minor stars of minor light gleam down and end in a glorious blue quasar which dot his tail, many a star upon a field of midnight
azure light. His gaze turned to the east facing Invidia, forever engaged towards the lonely knight. 

The Cults Of Akiri Deities by Nephthys, priestess of Osiris

Spoiler: show

Preface

The existence of Akiri deities is not limited to Har'Akir, for many adventurers in the Land of the Mists seek their favor, even if they do not worship them directly nor even are particularly well knowledgeable of their traits.

That way, Thoth and Isis are particularly favored among arcane scholars, as wearing their trinkets helps them to enhance their own powers. Objects manufactured by the followers of Set are also common, either to protect against poisons or to inject it. Similarly, many trust the protective power of the Eye of Ra.

Devotion In The Amber Wastes

Har'Akir is the main center of devotion for the Akiri pantheon -it must be noted that the priestly class governs the land, so their word is not only a matter of faith, but of law as well.

While the numerous deities of the pantheon are worshiped, three of them stand out in importance: Ra, Osiris and Set. In spite of Ra being the supreme deity, Osiris has come to be the most revered, due to his power over life and death. The cult of Set has also gathered a large number of followers, though is it hard to say how much due to the deceitful nature of his followers.

The wild children of Sebua are too primitive to have developed the concept of organized religion, albeit it is possible that some of them might worship Akiri deities in a rudimentary, shamanic manner. Besides the house of Set, only ruins of ancient temples remain still.

Worship towards the Akiri deities has acquired a clandestine status in Pharazia, as the ruler of the country is determined to impose his own religion at the expenses of forbidding other faiths, in what he deems to be a holy crusade. Not even the most innocuous cults are free from this prohibition.


Beyond The Amber Wastes

During the course of my travels I have come upon the discovery that the Akiri deities are also revered in no less than three worlds other than the Land of the Mists, in countries that share many similarities to the barren lands of the Amber Wastes. As is the case every time a religious schism is born, differences are to be found upon comparison of all them -both in the composition of the pantheon and their particular lore. One of them is Mulhorand, from the world of Faerûn, probably the most well known source of outlanders. In this land where the priestly class rules, the pantheon is quite similar, albeit with some appreciable differences, such as Horus having received the powers and domain from his father Re (Ra).

In Ta-Mery, the apparent source of the people who would settle in the aforementioned Mulhorand, its desert land is regularly irrigated by the fertile slime of a large river. The Akiri pantheon suffered many changes along the course of centuries and as it seems, the nature of some of the deities and cults ended being blended (or wholly replaced) with foreign gods upon the kingdom being conquered.

Not much do I know about the third of such places, save for most of the Akiri deities are unknown at all, their cults possibly forbidden or forgotten. A native I had the chance to met described his land as an age undreamed of, were the priests of Set rule over a whole country. It is named Stygia, as the fifth layer of Hell -probably not a mere coincidence. Like Akiri clergy, these outlandish priests keep their heads bald, favor the red color, resort to treachery and deceit, and even practice human sacrifices, in order to gain the favor of their lord Set.

A very much dissimilar Set, however, as if the augmented power of the deity has twisted him in wicked manners, to the point of having acquired traits (or even having taken over the domains) of Apep. I can not but take pity on the poor souls that live under such yoke.


Iuef pu hatef pehwyfy.


An Inquiry into Alchemy by William Roberts
Spoiler: show

In a previous issue of this periodical, I provided a layman’s overview of the promise of the alchemy practiced in my native Zherisia. In Shadewell, the University of Paridon educates alchemists who have emigrated elsewhere throughout the Core and thereby helped many lands, including Dementlieu, advance in this science far beyond the dabbling with various unusual essences distilled from sundry creatures. Unlike magic and (worse) religious superstition, alchemy requires not the practitioner be subservient to forces and gods beyond his understanding but instead empowers him to master those universal properties and laws to which even the gods themselves must bow and yield.

Additionally, I elucidated how the Glamer race (commonly and somewhat prejudicially referred to as Doppelgangers) has, in actuality, achieved enlightened breakthroughs in this science far beyond those of mankind. For example, whereas human alchemists have developed a reproductive image process in Zherisia known as daguerreotypy—albeit of a colorless and crude accomplishment, I assure you that were you to witness the product, you would find it nonetheless miraculous—Glamers have used alchemy to propagate actual living beings. Glamer alchemists have created life itself.

In this article, then, I purport to give my readers a primer of alchemical basics, both in the near Core and those lands currently less accessible to my current audience. At the University outside Port-a-Lucine, a device exists, for example, that will extract a portion of one’s life force—what superstitious thralls refer to as a “soul” but I prefer the Mordentish term élan vital—and transfer it to an inanimate object, using an alchemical essence. I theorize this is a crude approximation of the same fundamental principle that the Glamer mechanism in Zherisia expands more fully.

A more mundane example is the local firearm, which uses a form of alchemy to achieve propulsion of a lead bullet. In Zherisia we have melded the two components together into self-contained cartridges, thereby allowing repeating rifles and pistols.

Otherwise, alchemy as practiced in the near parts of the Core is limited in scope to the branch known as coagulants: when the animating force of a being leaves its vessel through death, a residue of that force may yet remain in the material shell it once occupied. The student of alchemy, therefore, takes the bodily portion containing the greatest share of this residue and slowly distills the essence. Colloquially, the coagulant—once affixed with a resin—is known as a varnish. Although some local alchemists (including yours truly) have become adept at the techniques and practice of coagulation, it is but one basic branch of alchemical science.

For a convenient shorthand, I shall subsequently differentiate between low alchemy as that practiced in the more superstitious and primitive parts of the Core (e.g., Barovia) and the high alchemy of Zherisia (and perhaps Lamordia). I shall also omit from current considerations in the interest of brevity three intermediary branches of alchemy: curatives, purgatives, and purifiers.

The loftiest limb of the five branches of this science is Alchemical Life, which does not merely manipulate extant life force but seeks to infuse and even create it. Each branch in turn has a permutation, such that the third permutation of each contains the most complex and difficult formulae of the science. Whereas a master alchemist of low alchemy achieves greater success by working with more delicate (and powerful) ingredients, to master high alchemy requires an understanding of many and more varied principles and calculations.

Unsurprisingly, the third permutation of Alchemical Life, then, requires expertise with the most challenging formulae of all. The most accomplished alchemists in this branch and permutation are Glamers, and I must caution our own race that if we do not wish to be supplanted entirely by Glamers and left behind in ignorance, universities such as those in Paridon and Dementlieu must institute curricula to encourage a broadening of human horizons.

(As a personal aside, the current prejudice against Glamers on the part of most of us must likewise be overcome by the enlightenment that cooperation between the two races will lead to the advancement of both.)

The four stages of alchemy constitute the following:

1. Nigredo: The blackening. Heat cooks the alchemical materials to a uniform black powder.
2. Albedo: The whitening. Mercurial waters or more intense heat is applied to purify the black powder into white, the prima materia, a primeval substance that is the original material of the universe.
3. Citrinitas: The yellowing. The most critical and difficult of the alchemical stages, in which the formulae are applied to produce the essence, reconstituting prima materia with elan vital.
4. Rubedo: The reddening. The alchemist applies additional formulae to transfer the raw essence into a finished, useful, individualized product. In low alchemy, this means affixing the essence with a resin to produce a coagulant varnish.

Almost all so-called magical effects accomplished by arcane spellcasters and holy men can be duplicated through high alchemy by those sufficiently advanced in its practice, the critical difference being alchemists understand precisely how these effects are achieved, instead of relying on some little understood deity or mysticism. When an alchemical formula is followed correctly, its outcome is universally reproducible, rather than subject to Providence, Chance, or Fate.


Writings of the Middle Kingdom - The Need to Win by Echo
Spoiler: show


“Artwork painted by Echo.

When an archer is shooting for nothing
He has all his skill.
If he shoots for a brass buckle
He is already nervous.
If he shoots for a prize of gold
He goes blind
Or sees two targets –
He is out of his mind!
His skill has not changed. But the prize
Divides him. He cares.
He thinks more of winning
Than of shooting –
And the need to win
Drains him of power.


Mithril Owl Crossword Puzzle
Spoiler: show
The first to solve and send in via letter the six answers to the crossword shall receive a full set of elemental resistance amulets, protecting
the wearer from the cold, heat, acid and electricity. Merely send in the answers as soon as possible via letter to Yunon Ambrosius at the Les
Presses du Savoir of Port-a-lucine.



Across
2. Akiri deity of the Afterlife
3. Home of the Wolf-God
5. First light before Sunrise
6. House-x, A nestled crowned raven sits upon a shield of black and crimson
Down
1. Otherwise known as the Yellowing
4. Akiri deity of the Sun and life


Writers- Research and works by...
William Roberts
Nephthys
Echo
Yunon Ambrosius


Thank you for reading the next issue shall be released upon the 1st of March.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 04:05:02 PM by Ambrosius »