|Dates: 107 AC-Present|
|Prime Materials: Flora, Fauna and Minerals|
With humble beginnings among the Allar race, alchemy has been viewed as both a scientific study, and a religion. On one hand, the practice involves the use of many chemical and natural substances, yet on the other hand, alchemy can be heavily involved with strong spiritual beliefs that may vary from race to race. Due to this dual nature, those who practice alchemy are often torn between the extremists of the golden and iron hand principles. However, this has not stopped the popularity of this study from slowly spreading throughout Aloria.
Although those who have begun to focus on the process of alchemy enjoy theorizing that the ancient Seraph were its true creators and practitioners, since there is no evidence to solidify these beliefs, the Allar of the Kingdom of Mo’trilossa are attributed to the study’s initial creation in 107 A.C. Developing the craft as a means of medicinal treatment, the Allar who either practiced alchemy or gathered the materials desired for those that followed this study could earn both prestige and fortune. Although the Allar grew very skilled in their study, after the events of Chrysant War, most, if not all, of their knowledge was thought to be lost in the rubble.
Alchemy, as a term, is relatively new throughout the world of Aloria. However, it has spread like wildfire as a variety of cultures have taken to coining their own terms for this process. The common term itself is a simple derivative of the Qadiriq term, Alchras’Vrendda, which translates to “All-Study” in Common, but was misinterpreted as “All-Knowledge.” This, in turn, established alchemy as the ultimate knowledge of all things within Aloria. The Allar who initially introduced the process to the rest of Aloria, however, referred to alchemy as Kezzrangu, which loosely translates to “Golden Art” in the common tongue as a reference to their deity of healing as well as the adept Naylar healers who populated many of their cities.
As it stands today, alchemy is a mere shadow of what it once was during the reign of the Naylar before the Chrysant Wars. As the textbooks were sold from the ruins of the Alchemical Ssenstra, broken knowledge spread upwards to Regalia. Although a high number of these textbooks were confiscated by the Violet Order, the spread of knowledge and popularity was too rapid to contain. For a time, Regalia outlawed the practice of alchemy, considered a heretical study. Those who were caught practicing were often tortured, interrogated, or simply executed. It was not until Aloria approached 300 A.C. that the application of alchemy became an accepted practice within the Archipelago. Since the legalization of alchemy, it has become commonplace to see practitioners of this study seeking employment within noble families, similar to that of scribes or scholars, roaming throughout Aloria or even working to further the study in hopes of regaining many of the rumored alchemical treasures that were lost during the events of the Chrysant War.
As a unique science, modern alchemists are required to have an intimate, if not adaptable knowledge of Aloria’s Flora and Fauna, as well as a basic understanding of mineralogy and no small amount of Magic. All these things, in some form or another, help to either further an alchemist’s skill or are believed to help them along with achieving the noble goals of alchemy. Although the process has advanced considerably since its initial expansion to the rest of Aloria, many of the process’ original claims to fame have been lost and, thus far, have been impossible to reclaim. While the Naylar had developed the craft to the point that their salves and potions could rapidly mend wounds and unlock the recessive traits that dwelled within many of their denizens, modern alchemists could only hope to numb someone’s pain, clot any wounds or give the consumer short physical or mental, drug-induced boosts that may hinder more than they help if prepared inappropriately.
Due to the principle of the Order of the Iron and Golden Hands being so heavily instilled within apprentices, gaining knowledge of alchemy has proven difficult. With theft of alchemical tomes becoming very commonplace between rival practitioners, most who have begun to dedicate their lives to this study are usually not willing to take on apprentices very easily due to this fact. Although the entirety of alchemy as it is known today has knowledge based upon scattered textbooks, the only feasible way to gain any real knowledge in this area of study is to apprentice underneath a current practitioner as, much like proficiency in magic, alchemy has proven to be a time-consuming pursuit should the practitioner wish to attain a considerable amount of mastery within this field. While Alchemists from before the legalization of the practice gained knowledge from Naylar textbooks and general experimentation, since then, it has become commonplace for practitioners to write incomplete notes in regards to their study. This ensures that stealing their work would be highly difficult, if not impossible.
Another major concern for those studying alchemy is the fact that, in order to continue to gain mastery within the study, one would need a fairly sufficient amount of income. This is the reason that most alchemists do not operate as freelancers, but instead pledge their services to a family of notable wealth, since it increases not only the family’s prestige, but provides the practitioner with an income high enough to enable them to expand their knowledge through means of travel and experimentation.
Alchemy as a Religion and a Discipline
After the Chrysant Wars, a high amount of alchemical knowledge began to circulate throughout Aloria, resulting in a plethora of branches on beliefs and ideals being creating across the land. Of course, this resulted in a high amount of conflict between rival alchemists. The most prominent of which were between the Alchemists of the Golden Hand and the alchemists of the Iron Fist, who found themselves divided on the focuses of religion and discipline.
The Golden Hand Religion
Considered the philosophical pursuit, the Golden Hand religion was created by the Ch’ien-Ji
Alchemist, Jin Hui, upon the spreading of alchemical knowledge towards the Yang-Tzu Islands. This branch of alchemical study developed the quickest out of the two as many of the Chi’en-Ji who found themselves involved with this practice had been able to grasp the methods of Alchemy rapidly due to their disciplined society and strong foundation due to their history of magic use. Those who focus on the Golden Hand principles are considered radicals and extremists, who have been known to perform acts of extreme malice in order to achieve their goals. The Golden Hand practitioners work to develop their branch of study into a form of magic in hopes of transcending the bonds of death and mastery over the creation of life. Although their practices have been fruitless thus far, they believe that every addition of knowledge will help them to attain their goals.
The Iron Fist Discipline
Although the creation of this branch came second to that of the religion of the Golden Hand, the Iron Fist discipline has maintained a steady growth since its establishment. Originating within the continent of Ithania, the Iron Fist owes it creation to one Amelie D’fer, a D’Ithanie healer at the time who sought a way to use this newfound knowledge to aid her craft. Over time, those who followed her teachings warped them into a more scientific study, focusing on the rumors and myths that were left behind within the fall of the Ssenstra and using them to fuel fire that inspired many young initiates to pursue this branch.Those who focus on the Iron Hand principles are often considered outcasts and revolutionaries due to their hoarding ideals. It is not uncommon for those that focus on the Iron Fist ideals to resort to thievery to gain the upper hand within the world of alchemy. The Iron Fist disciples hope to create what is known as the Universal Solvent, as well as the Stone of Ssenstra, however, no successful attempts have been recorded within current Alorian history.
Whether focusing on the religious or philosophical aspect of the Golden Hand, the discipline of the Iron Fist, or the rare combination of both, many alchemists find that their work is centered towards achieving one or more of the ‘noble goals’. Although there is variation on methods and beliefs between alchemists, many practitioners believe that achieving these tasks are the keys to not only usurping the golden age of Alchemy that took place during the height of the Naylar empire, but to achieving their ultimate goal: ushering in the age of alchemical enlightenment.
- The Universal Solvent: While hugely underrated, one of the most basic yet essential goals of many alchemists is the creation of the Universal Solvent: an unknown mixture that would allow the practitioner to break down any substance into its most basic elements. The creation of the Universal Solvent is considered an Iron Fist goal.
- Alchemical Magic:Although their efforts have been considered fruitless thus far, many alchemists of the Golden Hand strive to create what could be considered an Alchemical Religion through a strange amalgamation of Void magic, demonology and alchemical science.
- The Eternal Vessel:Quite possibly the most heretical desire of any alchemist, the Homunculus is a being created through pure alchemy that would be theorized to serve as an eternal servant for the alchemical group that creates it. However, since no successful attempt has been recorded, it is unknown how a successful creation would react to our world. For reasons that are not available to the public, those that lead the Golden Hand have prohibited further attempts to achieve this goal. This announcement, however, has only made practitioners more eager to prove themselves by achieving it.
- The Stone of Ssenstra:Also known as the ‘Heart of the Homunculus’, the Stone of Ssenstra is one of the most widely known goals associated with alchemists and their study and is believed to be the key to achieving every goal listed. One of the stone’s claims to fame was that it had the ability to cure any mortal ailment as well as increasing the longevity of one’s life, in addition to having the ability to transform the base minerals of Aloria, such as copper or coal, into the more desired noble metals of gold and iron.
- Although many dismiss the rumors stating that the Allar of the Ssenstra had created a magical artifact through alchemy that had the ability to cure any ailment, as well as transform base metals into gold, it is confirmed by many that the artifact is still in existance within the ruins of the Ssenstra. These eye witnesses state that they fell victim to some unforseen accident, only to be rescued by a group that called themselves the Court of Alchemists who used this item to save their lives.
- Alchemists of the Golden Hand have recently attempted to create the homunculus by tapping into the energies of a Seraph Conduit. While the results from this experiment have not been made public knowledge, those who attempted this ritual went missing during the aftermath of this event, leaving the rest of the order to wonder what they attempted to create and, more importantly, whether or not it succeeded.
- Although alchemists of the Iron and Golden Hands would not admit to it, their eventual goal is for alchemy to surpass and replace the presence of magic within Aloria, rendering magical practitioners obsolete and ushering in an age of alchemical enlightenment.