IK: Rogue's Bounty
Alchemy is arguably the oldest arcane art in the Iron Kingdoms. Its roots and practices predate the Gift of sorcery by centuries. Alchemical formulae and discoveries have become an essential element in mechanikal invention. Like most sciences, it also has applications in war. Alchemists crafted the first firearms, using them to equip the Army of Thunder against the Orgoth. Over the centuries keen minds have continued to enact new and deadly uses of these principles. Only recently have such weapons become available for individual use. Today mercenaries, rebels, and rogues find alchemical weapons excellent tools for achieving their goals both on and off the battlefield.
True alchemy is the synergy of natural ingredients and arcane lore. What began as a simple study of herbs and their properties has evolved into a vast field of study. Alchemy includes everything from the brewing of love potions and the mixing of healing salves to the careful creation of blasting powder.
Though many alchemical concoctions can be derived from simple plant, animal, and mineral comPonents carefully extracted by a trained practitioner, in the hands of an alchemist these mixtures can be enhanced with magic to give them greater potency and duration. This results in safer elixirs and balms as well. In some cases, magical techniques are necessary to isolate the key ingredients flom their original source.
Early alchemy was simply the process of deriving potent concoctions directly from plant and animal mixtures, but modern alchemy is as firmly enmeshed’lvith arcane magic as is the study of mechanika. The early folms of alchemv are still practiced by modern apothecaries, while true alchemists have moved on to perfecting magically enhanced alchemicals.
The rigorous science that evolved as part and parcel of alchemy was incredibly important to the later development of the Gift of magic. Without this precise scientific approach folk of western Immoren wor-rld have had a very difficult time embracing and understanding the difficult rituals and formulaic castings necessary to wield the Gift.
Origins of Alchemy in Western Immoren
Herbalists and healers were responsible for the initial study of alchemy two and a half millennia ago. These individuals began to record the herbs and plants they used to treat a variety of conditions and illnesses and began to examine the processes by which potent poultices and herbal elixirs were prepared Early alchemists systematically observed these processes to determine how and why they worked. Some of the earliest recorded alchemical experiments appear in the rare tome Crucibilus Synthetatus, penned by the scholar Copolius in 753 BR. Many of his notes have been lost or destroyed over the years but the surviving fragments indicate Copolius understood the founding principles of modern alchemy.
The science of alchemy began as simple dabbling with herbal concoctions, and it was not until quite some time later that real progress was made in advancing that understanding. Roughly 600 years ago, while the seeds of rebellion against the Orgoth were just taking root, a small group of alchemists began the first experiments in the development of simple mechanika. Working closely with a sma1l group of arcanists and engineers, they discovered some of the basic principles of joining magic with mechanical devices.
A group of alchemists secretlv banded together for mutual protection against the Orgoth in Leryn to form the original Order of the Golden Crucible in 25 BR. They vowed to share all their knowledge in an effort to preserve the secrets of alchemy and to find a means to help rid themselves of their oppressors This consolidation and sharing of knowledge led to some of the most drastic advancements in alchemy in the past 1,300 years. Out of this effort emerged destructive alchemicals such as alchemist’s fire, acids, incendiarv arrows, and crude grenades.
Ultimately, this led to the first firearms and the early development of the hybrid science of mechanika as alchemists and engineers began to envision huge mechanikal war machines. The Orgoth butchered members of the Order when they could find them, but surviving members remained true to their purpose and continued on, pushing forward the science of alchemy and helping find the means of enduring the Orgoth Occupation once and for all. The contributions of alchemists to this task are well documented, and those who gave their lives the the cause are remembeled and honored.
One of the most astounding events in the history of modern alchemy was the ascension of Corben to the ranks of Morrow’s ascendants. Corben, an extremely pious arcanist and member of the Order of the Golden Crucible, was single-handedly responsible for finding an alchemical cure to the great plague known as rip lung – a disease that had resisted all other techniques and had led to the deaths of thousands. This selfless act, along with a life filled with good works, led to Corben’s ascension on his death in 102 AR, and he is now seen as a paragon of the benevolent applications of alchemy and alcane science.
The Art and Science of Alchemy
The key components of any alchemical creation are its ingredients. A character wishing to create an alchemical item must first gather all the ingredients listed in the formula. In a location where the ingredients can be readily purchased, the character can simply pay the material costs listed in the item descliption. If the chalacter is creating the item in the field where ingredients are not available for purchase, he must use ingredients from his inventory. Without access to all the proper ingredients, are alchemical formula cannot be brewed.
Once a character has gathered the necessary ingredients for an alchemical formula, he must spend time brewing the formula by combining, cooking, and stabilizing the ingredients using an alchemy lab. A character must have the Alchemy skill to brew an alchemical formula. Ingredients and alchemical formulae are listed in the entry for each item that can be created using alchemy.
Once the character has spent the allotted time brewing the iormula, he must make an INT + Alchemy skill roll against a target number. If the roll succeeds, he has successfully created the item. Each forrnula produces a different result if the roll fails. Target numbers, success results, and failure results are listed in the entrv for each item that can be created using alchemy.
Just as a character can brew alchemical formulae, he can also distil ingredients from existing alchemical substances. Distillation of an alchemically created item requires a character to spend half the time it requires to brew the item processing the alchemical materials with an alchemy lab. At the end of the process, the player makes an INT + Alchemy skill roll against a target number equal to the target number required to brew the formula. If he succeeds, the alchemical substances are destroyed, but the character can extract one unit of a single ingredient listed to create that substance and one unit of alchemical waste (crystal or liquid).
Primary Alchemical Ingredients
Alchemical items are created from a formula of ingredients and processes. Although complex formulae can include unique and rare ingredients, nearly all formulae contain ingredients from this Iist of core alchemical ingredients. Ingredients valued at less than 5 gc are readily available in most mid-sized cities. Core ingredients that cost 5gc and over can be more difficult to procure, at the Game Master’s discretion.