101 Components of Alchemy

Potions and other alchemical concoctions are often no more than funny-colored water in a bottle; what of the strange and unusual components used to craft these marvelous items?

Kassil

Often, I have seen potions, elixirs, salves, and other such products of alchemy described generically; a potion might have an odd color, a salve a sharp smell, or perhaps an odd (and usually unwelcome) taste. They result from oddly hued powders and generic leaves mixed in water, or even simple 'spells in a bottle'. One of the only game series I have seen otherwise in is the Elder Scrolls; there, with the alchemy skill, a bountiful cornucopia of odds and ends exist, each component holding powers in and of itself to be used by aspiring masters of the mortar and pestle.

So, in that spirit, a collection of odd components and items to make those creations of alchemy more unusual and interesting than 'just another potion of healing'.

Blood Iris Petal - this vividly hued petal of the blood iris flower are often used in concoctions meant to speed healing of simple wounds; when used in a salve, it gives the substance a faintly burning sensation against the skin.

Sage's Leaf - This broad green leaf is used in distillations meant to sharpen the mind and wit, thickening the solution and leaving a papery residue behind on the tongue.

Dragon Fern - These dark red ferns grow in volcanically active areas, and are reputed to grant a resistance to the effects of fire and heat when used in a mixture. They give a sulfurous scent and a bitter, charcoal flavor to whatever they are mixed within.

Newt Gills - harvested from amphibious young newts, potions brewed with these confer a limited ability to survive underwater for a short time, letting the imbiber draw breath while submerged. The quality, freshness, and amount of gills used determine the duration and potency of the effect, and having the elixir's effect end unexpectedly is often quite fatal. They give the potion an odd, slimy texture.

Powdered Ox Horn - Rumored to be an aphrodisiac, the more common and proven use of this substance is to enhance the strength of those who drink a brew containing it. The origin of the ox horn appears to determine the potency of the effect, with mildest results from taxed oxen and the mightiest from the wild aurochs that roam the open plains. Brews made with it have a gritty texture, and some complain that they smell of cattle yards.

Demon Elm Bark - This blue-black bark, ground to a powder, is used in mixtures meant to toughen the user's skin. Using it stains the skin with streaks of soot-like darkness, lasting for a few days after the effect itself has ended.

Cleric Poppy - This relative of the common poppy, when used to create a salve, lends a faintly metallic hue to the result; the effect allows the unseen to be seen when smeared on the eyes. When burned by itself, cleric poppy is mildly hallucinogenic, and is occasionally included in censers during religious ceremonies.

Goblin Grass - This short, unpleasantly-hued grass lends a bitterly smoky taste to elixirs it gets mixed in; it sharpens the imbiber's ability to see in the dark, but overuse can permanently dilate the eyes and lead to a goblin-like tendency to shun bright lights.

Saintweed - This fernlike plant, if eaten raw, causes a strong sense of peace to overcome the user, but also induces a strong lethargy, and if overused can cause death by way of heart failure. Rendered down and prepared as an alchemical powder, it induces mild lethargy and calmness in users; the sense of tranquility makes it a popular component in medicinal elixirs, where it adds a mildly sweet flavor.

Bleeding Marsh Root - A tuber found in wetlands, noted for the reddish fluid it oozes when broken or cut. Used in salves for wounds, the pungent aroma of wet earth arises from salves made with this plant, and the texture has a certain overly gelatinous feel.

Ironfeather Fern - This lacy, delicate-looking plant may be one of the most deceptive in the world, as the thin fronds are nearly impossible to bring lasting harm to, save through use of a knife to cut them free, and then hours spent with the mortar and pestle to grind the dried fronds to a powder. Used in elixirs meant to grant agility or fortitude, this plant lends the mixture an unpleasantly acrid flavor that lingers for quite some time.

Vinegar Wasp Wings - The unpleasant little flying insect that this ingredient comes from is best known for the acidic burning of the sting it delivers, and the horrible aftereffects on taste and smell, rendering all like vinegar for days thereafter. The wings provide a similar effect, lending an extremely potent vinegar smell and flavor. Particularly strict societies favor it for punishment for young children, often unaware that the wings have a tendency to dull the imbiber's wits for a time; over long periods of regular ingestion, this dimming of mental capability can become permanent.

Vinegar Wasp Stings - Said to be an aphrodisiac, and as such often coveted by those who seek greater ardor. Alas, a side effect of the stings is that they produce a distinct vinegar aroma when the imbiber sweats, and they render anything made with them bitter to the point of astringency.

Serio Weed - This brilliantly hued plant is often found growing wild amid more welcome foliage, and is cultivated but rarely. When properly prepared and added to powders meant for the censer or brazier, the smoke of the Serio Weed has an oddly pleasant smell, similar to freshly cut hay; the effect is such that it opens the minds of those who breathe of it to inspiration. Often used by artists looking for their muses, or in religious rituals to open the faithful to divine revelations.

Sunder Root - This thick, dense tuber grows most readily in rocky terrain, and can be eaten if the bitter mineral-laden taste can be dealt with. Alchemically, the juice of the root can be used as a base for a potent acidic elixir, the mashed pulp of the root makes for a sharply metallic addition to potions which fortify the bodies of the imbiber, and the wood-like above-ground portion can be used in salves to toughen the skin.

Henge Blossom - This marvelous flower is only found in sacred places of natural origin; the petals lend a mild cinammon flavor to elixirs brewed with them, imparting a connection to nature such that the speech of both animals and plants becomes possible for a short time, while the juice of the tender stem can be used to replace fae blood in recipes which call for it, adding a milky flavor and texture.

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Dried Cockscomb- Though quite edible and respected among true gourmets, the gelatin-textured cockscomb, used to flavor soups or eaten fried, is also used by alchemists to concoct peculiar potions of "confidence". A potion of this nature, will allow the drinker to be awash in feelings of fearlessness and cockiness, even in the most frightening situations, for brief periods of time. Before anyone runs out to slice the combs off of all of their cocks to sell to alchemists however, it should be noted that the potion can only be brewed using the cockscomb of the rare black-skinned rooster.

Swallow's Nest- The dried saliva of these fascinating little birds, who use their mucous to build nests in caves, is a well-known delicacy, but can also be used in the creation of sovereign glue. The use of this secret ingredient in fact, is what seperates the average glues, from the truly wondrous magical adhesives.

Penguin Feathers- Surely not an "exotic" ingredient, penguins are nonetheless difficult to find, unless one is wondering some arctic or sub-arctic land. The feathers of these comical waddlers are used (along with other less wholesome ingredients) to make potions known as "Devil's Laughter". Upon imbibing such a potion, the drinker will begin to laugh at everything and anything, eventually tiring to the point of collapse and exhaustion.

Shadow Splinter This dark grey thorn is difficult to find if you're looking for it, but easy to find if you're just foraging around and get your finger stuck on it. When ground down, its powder is a slow-acting poison causing digestive issues and madness.

Golden Blade This yellow leaf lives up to its name: long, thin, and sharp. When prepared as a tonic, it is ironically an instant pain-killer. Too much tonic can cause numbness in extremities.

Twilight Pillar This dark blue fungus is tall and straight. Though it's easy to find since it shoots straight up from the ground, many animals find its taste appealing. By itself, the fungus is nothing more than a tasty mushroom. However, when properly combined with demon elm bark and dried cockscomb, one can create a "heroic" potion that gives a person added constitution and courage to tackle any foe or spouse.

Here's some useful tables I whipped up with regards to determining which body parts of an animal or monster where valuable for alchemical purposes that should be of some use. A couple of caveats first though, not every creature is going to have all of these items, so re-rolls may be necessary, and you might have to look some of the terms up.

Animal Alchemical Component Table

01-20 Body Table

21-35 Organs Table

36-50 Fluids Table

51-65 Skeleton Table

66-80 Limbs Table

81-90 Skin Table

91-00 Esoteric Table

Body Table

01-04 Abdomen

05-08 Antenna

09-12 Beak

13-16 Buttocks

17-20 Cephalothorax

21-24 Dust

25-28 Ear

29-32 Eggs

33-36 Face

37-40 Head

41-44 Horn

45-48 Horns

49-52 Larynx

53-56 Lips

57-60 Navel

61-64 Nose

65-68 Opisthosoma

69-72 Ovipositor

73-76 Pharynx

77-80 Proboscis

81-84 Quill

85-88 Scalp

89-92 Spines

93-96 Tagmata

97-00 Thorax

Organs Table

01-02 Adrenal Gland

03-04 Ampullae of Lorenzini

05-06 Appendix

07-08 Barbel

09-10 Bile Duct

11-12 Bioluminescent Organ

13-14 Bladder

15-16 Brain

17-18 Colon

19-20 Duodenum

21-22 Esophageal Gland

23-24 Eye

25-26 Gas Bladder

27-28 Gills

29-30 Gizzard

31-32 Gonad

33-34 Heart

35-36 Heat Gland

37-38 Inc Sac

39-40 Intestines

41-42 Kidney

43-44 Labyrinth Organ

45-46 Lateral Line

47-48 Liver

49-50 Lungs

51-52 Lymph Notes

53-54 Mammary Gland

55-56 Nictating Membrane

57-58 Oil Gland

59-60 Ovary

61-62 Pancreas

63-64 Peritoneum

65-66 Pineal Gland

67-68 Pituitary Gland

69-70 Salivary Gland

71-72 Scent Gland

73-74 Sebaceous Gland

75-76 Serous Gland

77-78 Spinnerets

79-80 Spleen

81-82 Stomach

83-84 Sweat Gland

85-86 Swim Bladder

87-88 Teat

89-90 Thyroid

91-92 Tongue

93-94 Tumor

95-96 Udder

97-98 Uterus

99-00 Venom Sac

Fluids Table

01-04 Aqueous Humour

05-08 Bile

09-12 Blood

13-16 Cud

17-20 Digestive Fluids

21-24 Ectoplasm

25-28 Feces

29-32 Gastric Acid

33-36 Guano

37-40 Ichor

41-44 Milk

45-48 Mucus

49-52 Phlegm

53-56 Poisonous Skin Secretions

57-60 Pus

61-64 Royal Jelly

65-66 Saliva

67-72 Serum

73-76 Stomach Acid

77-80 Sweat

81-84 Tears

85-88 Urine

89-92 Venom

93-96 Vitreous Humour

97-00 Vomit

Skeleton Table

01-04 Carpal

05-08 Clavicle

09-12 Coccyx

13-16 Complete skeleton

17-20 Cranium

21-24 Fangs

25-28 Femur

29-32 Fibula

33-36 Humerus

37-40 Ilium

41-44 Jawbone

45-48 Mandible

49-52 Patella

53-56 Pelvis

57-60 Radius

61-64 Rib

65-68 Scapula

69-72 Skull

73-76 Spinal Cord

77-80 Sternum

81-84 Tarsal

85-88 Teeth

89-92 Tibia

93-96 Ulna

97-00 Vertebra

Limbs Table

01-02 Ankle

03-04 Antler

05-06 Arm

07-08 Armpit

09-10 Baculum

11-12 Cerata

13-14 Cheliped

15-16 Claw

17-18 Dewclaw

19-20 Elbow

21-22 Elytron

23-24 Feet

25-26 Fin

27-28 Finger

29-30 Flipper

31-32 Fluke

33-34 Footpads

35-36 Forearm

37-38 Forelimb

39-40 Frill

41-42 Gliding Flap

43-44 Hand

45-46 Hindlimb

47-48 Hip

49-50 Hoof

51-52 Knee

53-54 Leg

55-56 Mandible

57-58 Maxilliped

59-60 Nail

61-62 Palm

63-64 Paw

65-66 Pedipalp

67-68 Pincer

69-70 Plate

71-72 Scute

73-74 Shoulder

75-76 Stinger

77-78 Swimmeret

79-80 Tail

81-82 Tail Spike

83-84 Tail Club

85-86 Talon

87-88 Tarsus

89-90 Tendril

91-92 Tentacle

93-94 Toes

95-96 Wing Membrane

97-98 Wing

99-00 Wrist

Skin Table

01-05 Blubber

06-10 Carapace

11-15 Coat

16-20 Crest

21-25 Dermal Denticles

26-30 Down

31-35 Exoskeleton

36-40 Feathers

41-45 Fur

46-50 Hair

51-55 Hide

56-60 Mane

61-65 Mantle

66-70 Pelage

71-75 Pelt

76-80 Scales

81-85 Shell

86-90 Skin

91-95 Urticating Hair

96-00 Whiskers

Esoteric Table

01-02 Altruism

03-04 Amorality

05-06 Breath

07-08 Call

09-10 Carpiciousness

11-12 Caution

13-14 Cheerfulness

15-16 Compassion

17-18 Courage

19-20 Craveness

21-22 Cry

23-24 Depravity

25-26 Drunkeness

27-28 Energy

29-30 Flatulence

31-32 Growl

33-34 Hedonism

35-36 Humility

37-38 Immorality

39-40 Impiety

41-42 Irreverence

43-44 Jealousy

45-46 Ka

47-48 Laughter

49-50 Laziness

51-52 Loquaciousness

53-54 Lust

55-56 Mana

57-58 Miserliness

59-60 Morality

61-62 Morosity

63-64 Obsequiousness

65-66 Optimism

67-68 Perception

69-70 Perversion

71-72 Pessimism

73-74 Piety

75-76 Pneuma

77-78 Reverence

79-80 Sadism

81-82 Scream

83-84 Sigh

85-86 Sloth

87-88 Sobriety

89-90 Song

91-92 Soul

93-94 Suspicion

95-96 Virtuousness

97-98 Vital Spark

99-00 Wail

? Responses (11)

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Goto Author

Fun! Another scroll which cries out for the "101" designation.

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Goto Author

This is loads of fun. I always enjoy these types of scrolls.

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Goto Author

Just remember, health is red, and mana is blue...! *hides*

This does need 101d eventually, though.

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Goto Author

Bleh I forgot to vote.

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Goto Author

Heh, for the plant-based components, I have created a generator that can be used...

http://generating.strolen.com/gen/herbinator.html

Still a beta, but useful I think! The names can easily spur a more detailed description later.


Goto Author

Yes, they can.

Handy thing, that.