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Showing results for tags 'alchemy is magic'.
Windwright was uncomfortable. He had shown up to the Friendship Academy with a package secreted in his saddlebags, a gift for the Archchancellor. But since it was meant to be a surprise, Windy hadn't been willing to announce himself. And since it was meant to be a secret, he hadn't been willing to part from it. And since he didn't want to abuse their relationship, he hadn't insisted on having the Archchancellor notified that he was waiting until the other duties of the Academy were seen to. So here he was, waiting in a spacious azure blue office in what should be a quite comfortable chair for Blueblood or Bluebelle to arrive, feeling very much like he'd rather be a she right now, especially since he also felt practically naked without any of his usual markings. But his gift had used the last of his stock of Poison Joke, and several times his usual stock of Skyleaf, so he had been able to run batches of neither his swapping potion nor the conditioner who's byproduct his dye was based on. The office really was nice, Windwright had to admit, but he just wasn't really in the mood for it. Especially four hours after he'd arrived. He was busy picking lint and loose down out of his flight feathers when he heard the sound of hooves approaching and perked his ears. It wasn't the first time today somecreature had stopped by the office, but he had a good feeling about this one.
Alchemy is loosely defined as the scientific process by which component materials are combined in such a way as to produce an effect that none of the composite ingredients alone can replicate. Broadly speaking, it is both a magical process and a chemical process, and neither a magical nor a chemical process. Like magic, alchemical effects are often otherwise impossible and often dramatically so. Like chemistry a given set of ingredients combined in a given process will produce the same result no matter who performs the combination. Unlike magic, the results of a given formula are the same regardless of the scale of the production, and without needing to adjust for individual casters' abilities. Unlike chemistry, alchemical products generally only work on sapient beings, drawing on their magics to affect change. On the surface, Alchemy is a branch of magic that closely resembles mundane chemistry, or a branch of chemistry that closely resembles magic, depending on how much you know about all three. In truth it's a third, discrete branch of science that works by using a chemical reaction as a catalyst to affect a magical change. And with that core definition out of the way, we need to define a few more terms as they relate to alchemy. A user is a sapient being who eats or drinks a wafer, tablet, capsule, syrup, tincture, potion or other solution, has a poultice, unguent, salve, powder, or cream applied to him or her topically, or has a solution infused or directly injected into the veins, fat, muscles, skin, or joints. A product is the final result of following an alchemical formula. A formula is the ratio of composite materials and instructions on how to prepare a given product, including the equipment, temperatures, and times needed to attain the desired result. Notably this is a RATIO of materials, not a recipe, and therefore it is generally assumed to produce a single dose or a batch of them based on a single unit's worth of the least used reagent. The scale should be noted in the formula. A composite material is one of the ingredients that are physically used in the formula, and are a part of the final product. A reagent is a type of composite material that could be considered the primary ingredients. It is the reagents that give most products their effects. A medium is a type of composite material that serves more as a delivery method than a true ingredient. Most formulae that call for a medium can have any other medium substituted fairly easily, but the medium usually gives the final product its consistency and viscosity. A catalyst is either a type of composite material that caused or facilitates a reaction and then precipitates out and is left behind, or refers to a final product that causes the user to undergo a change by drawing on internal magic rather than natural processes. A wafer is a solid state product that has been wrapped in a thin sheet of paste to protect the user from its taste without interfering with delivery. Alternately, some products are ultimately compounded into wafers that are meant to be held on or under the tongue or against the cheek in order to take effect through the mucous membranes. A tablet is a solid state product that has been compounded into a brick small enough to swallow by itself. A capsule is similar, but is a container to control the delivery of powdery or liquid products. A syrup is a liquid product that has been given a thick consistency, and usually has been sweetened after distillation in order to offset the taste. A tincture is a liquid product that has been distilled in alcohol, usually because the product would otherwise be very susceptible to spoiling. A potion is a liquid product that has a consistency closer to water where the fluid is the final product, not merely a medium. A solution is any product that has been dissolved in a liquid medium. A poultice is a product meant to be packed or caked onto the user with cloth when exposure would cause the product to erode or spoil. An unguent is an oil-based product meant to be rubbed into the skin or coat of the affected area. Most useful when the user will be exposed to water between application and effect, such as sweat or swimming. A salve is a thick product meant to be smeared over the skin or coat of the affected area. A powder is a solid state product that is either contained in a capsule, mixed into a medium, or applied topically. A cream is a product meant to be rubbed into the skin or coat of the affected area using water or alcohol as a medium. An infusion is either the process of steeping a component in a medium in order to steep the helpful properties into that medium, or it is that product itself, or it is the process of slowly allowing a product to enter a user's veins over a long period of time (generally a couple of hours) Leaching is the process of steeping a component in a medium in order to leach out unhelpful properties from that ingredient. The medium is usually discarded. Distillation is the process of purifying a product by changing the temperature, usually either by boiling off impure substances or by boiling off the final product and leaving the impurities behind.