"Written for Rumor's archives, at the request of my fellow masters of the arcane arts. I, Graven the Artificer, do hereby put to writing the arcane secrets entrusted to me. Let this knowledge be used to build, to create, and to inspire."
Planeswalker Guide to MaterialsEdit
Any mundane object can hold an enchantment. The most inexperienced apprentice can put arcana to stone, or iron, and call it enchanting. The truth of the matter is that, just as some metals withstand the fires of the forge better than others, so certain materials hold and conduct arcana better than others. Many such materials can be collected here in the mortal realm, from silver to dragonbones.
However, some of the most potent material must be collected from beyond the mortal plane. For the mage who dares dabble in planeswalking, certain opportunities become available. I strongly advise against planeswalking, for any who have forgotten the planeswalker of the second era are doomed to repeat his destruction. Nevertheless, if such a planar breach is already present, or a cullis gate is available, I have a few suggestions.
The Mortal RealmEdit
It is from our own world that you must first look for materials. Master the refining and metalworking of these before you attempt to work with anything from another plane. Firstly, silver. The lustrous, white-blue silver has long been prized by the dwarves for use in jewelry, rune making, and weapon smithing, but on the surface, it is more commonly used by apothecaries and healers. Since the metal does not rust, many traditions believe it to be proof against poison. There is a tale passed down among the people of the Nentir Vale: A knight returned home after many years of war, only to be struck by an adder. His wife immediately bound the wound with a medallion of silver pressed against the bite like a poultice. By morning, the poison had left him. And the knight lived to an old age. Silver is a natural conductor of arcane power, and it should be the foundation on which you build any implement.
Another common and useful material, Jade is strongly connected to elemental powers. Depending on the color, Jade can lend essences of air, earth, fire, or water to any spell. Lyrium is a valuable but dangerous mineral. Physical contact with the raw ore will cause psychic power to bleed into the victim; a singularly painful experience. Many experienced artificers have learned to 'listen' for this psychic 'song.' Lyrium is primarily used in alchemy, though it can be used in implements to amplify raw arcane power.
Glitterdust is the powdered form of a rock found along the Yunith coastline. The brightness and lustre Glitterdust added to the skin, however, soon paled in comparison to the developing rash and coughing fits. Glitterdust is dangerous if ingested or inhaled. It's also extremely flammable. These days, glitterdust is used sparingly, and only by experienced artificers. Glitterdust can be used to add essence of fire or light to implements. For the brave souls willing to risk it, Treants yield Treantwood when cut down, and this can be carved into powerful implements.
For the foolhardy, dragon corpses also yield arcane materials. Dragon blood is one of the most potent alchemical ingredients known to mortals, and dragonbone lends powerful draconic influence and essence of fire to any staff carved from it. Drakeskin and dragon hide can be used to hold powerful enchantments, and Eldunarya, the crystals in dragons' throats that create dragon fire, are powerful pyromancy implements. Dragonthorn is a vine that grows on dragon corpses, and can be cut down and carved into powerful implements.
Those who brave the twilight wood have the opportunity to recover Ironbark and Vhenadahl. Ironbark is a unique substance that is stronger and lighter than steel, making it a good material from which to craft implements, although it can be used in the making of weapons. According to the Eladrin, it can only be harvested from a tree which is already dead. Ironbark maintains the essence of the Feywild, and arcana channeled through it takes on some of the madness of that realm.
Vhenadahl are trees sacred to the fey, and as such, collecting timber from one may prove both difficult and blasphemous. The most prized timber of Vhenadahl, the Ancestral Heartwood, will not die after it has been removed. This life essence, as well as the essence of the Feywild, makes any arcana channeled through a Vhenadahl implement both radiant and potent.
The Elemental ChaosEdit
If one should find oneself in this unpredictable realm, one has the opportunity to collect enchanted ice. The Teeth of Lormoch, those jagged mountains, have claimed more lives than they have spared, but here in the domain of Cryonax, deposits of enchanted ice may be found. In time immemorial, the stony material known as enchanted ice was used in the imprisonment of Cryonax. The fifth prince of elemental evil has not broken this prison since the Dawn War. This enchanted ice may owe its strength to the gods, or perhaps it is the essence of elemental cold itself. Once collected, arcana channeled through this enchanted ice is reinforced with elemental cold, and binding spells become nearly unbreakable.
Though Shadowfell is often considered the demense of necromancers and the undead, living mages will find materials of significance here. Comprised of the bodies of ghosts and shards of the Necropolis, soulsteel mutters and moans with the pain of the spirits trapped within. This horrifying black material has been used in some of the most powerful necromantic artifacts in history. Soulsteel lends nether essence to spells channeled through it, and has been said to sap the life of the victim as well as the wielder.
The Far RealmEdit
I will reiterate my warning regarding planeswalking. Journeying into the Far Realm is beyond foolish. Such a planar breach would be the undoing of the mortal realm itself. Only by the sacrifices of countless souls have these breaches been sealed. However, in the event that such a breach has been opened, and one should find oneself in the Far Realm attempting to seal it, one may take the opportunity to collect materials that one may use against the horrors found there.
Moonstone makes the most powerful seeing stones, and Moonsilver lends protean essence to spells channeled through it. Orichalcum, gold purified by the Sun, is one of the most potent artifice materials known to mortals. Many scholars believe that Starmetal, the rarest planar material, falls from the Far Realm to the mortal realm, though I have witnessed no such event.
Scholar Guide to AlchemyEdit
Alchemy is a skill allowing an artificer to make a variety of potions, poultices, salves, balms, elixirs, and so forth, whenever raw ingredients and a recipe are at hand. For those select few who possess the predisposition, I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death.
Elfroot was first used by the elves of Wrathwood, hence the name. The root gave their medicines particular efficacy, so we have adopted its use and its popularity spread to all corners of the empire. Elfroot is a hardy plant with large green leaves that grows wild in many places. It's so common that it tends to show up in most gardens and fields, almost like a weed. Unlike a weed, however, most people appreciate having access to the wonderful little plant. The roots can be used with very little preparation. Rubbing some of the juice on a wound, for example, will speed up healing and numb pain. And chewing on a slice of root treats minor ailments like indigestion, flatulence, and hoarse throats. There are several varieties, but the most useful for herbalists are the Bitter, Gossamer, and the Royal Elfroots.
Deathroot has been used in artifice and alchemy for centuries. It's a fragile-looking plant with a thin stalk and purple flowers, which fruits once a year developing bright red fleshy pods that cause disorientation and dizziness if ingested. There are two varieties. The more common Arcanist Deathroot was first found growing on several dead slaves. The other, Lunatic's Deathroot, is most closely associated with the story of the courtesan Melusine, who sought revenge on a powerful noble and his family. She harvested the plant, baked it into small pies for the noble's banquet, and presented them to the noble at a banquet. All the guests were seized by terrifying hallucinations after eating the pies and tore each other to pieces.
Embriums are flowers from the orchid family. Its therapeutic qualities were actually discovered because of the embrium's exceptional beauty. The beloved daughter of a Yunith lord fell victim to a terrible sickness of the lungs, which her healers were unable to cure. Thinking the girl would soon perish, her parents surrounded her bed with brightly colored flowers, hoping that they would bring some warmth and cheer in her last days. Oddly enough, the girl began to recover from the illness, and grew stronger each day. Her parents were baffled, but overjoyed. The healers eventually learned that the fragrance of one of the flowers eased the child's breathing. The flower was an embrium, and later became known as the Salubrious Embrium. The other variant that has certain arcane properties is known as Dark Embrium.
It is an old country saying that spindleweed grows best for the sorrowful. Verdant spindleweed in a household's garden has often brought neighbors offering consolation, usually without even asking what might be wrong. This originates from the plant's use as a seasoning for dishes meant to speed the recovery of the infirm. A person who grows much of it is likely caring for the fatally ill.
Deep mushroom refers to the entire group of fungi that grows underground in caves and many parts of the Underdark. Collection can be a dangerous task, as the Deep Roads are often infested with monsters. Because of this, merchants often recruit adventurers for the job, and pay them a meager percentage of what they earn selling the mushrooms to foreigners. The most common varieties used in the artificer's trade are the Foulcap, Ghoul's Mushroom, and Brimstone Mushroom, almost all of which tend to carry the Far Realm's corruption. While they cannot transmit the corruption, this trait often makes them quite poisonous. Deep mushrooms should only be handled by experienced alchemists and should never be consumed without first being adequately cleaned and prepared. Careless consumption has been known to cause insanity, severe abdominal cramping, and even death.
The name Felandaris is elven, meaning demon weed, which is fitting for this rare plant because it grows only in locales touched by planar breaches. Felandaris is easily identified. It's a twisted, wicked-looking shrub with long, thorny shoots, and no leaves: a skeletal hand, reaching out from an unmarked grave. Many swear the plant radiates a palpable aura of malevolence, so it comes as no surprise that it unnerves many a junior alchemist.
Felicidus Aria—commonly known as the Silent Plains Rose—is, to this day, the only plant found growing in the Plaguelands, which were tainted by the Spellplague a thousand years ago. As mentioned in the section on rare flowering plants, Felicidus Aria is not technically a rose, though its flowers do exude a sweet, rose-like scent. The flower is rare, and is in danger of becoming extinct because of its value in the creation of ambrosia, which is distilled from the roots of the plant. Dozens of these plants go into the making of just one vial. Some say that the wives of the most powerful nobles once used ambrosia to perfume their baths in a vulgar display of wealth.
Other, rarer ingredients, should only be handled by experienced alchemists. Blood Lotus is famous for surviving in almost any climate. Rashvine Nettle burns the skin, but surprisingly not the tongue. It has no flavor whatsoever. The name and shape of nightshade are known to all; long understood to be one of the more potent components in many poisons, the average artificer keeps his distance from the bright purple flowers nestled among dark leaves. It is exceedingly effective as a pure poison, but can also be combined with other compounds to stiffen joints as well. It is thus favored amongst those who wish to disable their opponents in battle, and can be found coating the blades of many warriors in Alluria. I have heard of alchemists using bone meal, demonic ichor, devil hearts, ectoplasm, glow dust, human flesh and human hearts, moon sugar, salt, treant sap, troll fat, vampire dust, and worldroot, though I discourage all of these.
Combine three parts elfroot with two parts spindleweed in a springwater base and boil for one hour to make a restoration potion. This long drink of vitality and energy rejuvenates even the most flagging body.
Alternatively, combine three parts elfroot with one part spindleweed in a holy water base and boil for one hour to make an elixir of purity. This potion temporarily transforms the user into an avowed hunter of evil.
Finally, combining four parts elfroot with three parts spindleweed in a well water base and boil for one hour at dawn to make a life ward potion. This brew protects whoever consumes it from falling in combat. If the drinker's vitality fails, the life ward triggers and heals the drinker, who still suffers an injury as if he or she had fallen and been revived. The ward only works once.
For the experienced alchemist, combine five parts elfroot, four parts spindleweed, four parts embrium, with one part ambrosia, in a base of water collected midfall from a waterfall of at least one league, and boil for one hour at dawn stirring alternatively clockwise and counterclockwise to make an elixir of heroism. This rare potion appears to age whoever consumes it... But with age comes wisdom.
Adding deep mushroom to a water base and boiling for one hour makes a debilitating poison. Weapons coated in this potent poison undermine the fitness of every enemy they hit, slowing them down and disorienting them
Combining arcanist deathroot with lunatic's deathroot to a water base and boiling for one hour makes deathroot toxin. Weapons coated in this potent poison drive their victims to madness with haunting hallucinations.
Combining ghoul's mushroom, brimstone mushroom, arcanist deathroot, with lunatic's deathroot, to a water base and boiling for one hour makes crow venom. Weapons coated in this potent poison slow the movements of all whom they touch.
Combining ghoul's mushroom, brimstone mushroom, arcanist deathroot, lunatic's deathroot, with glitterdust, to a water base and boiling for one hour at midnight makes arcane poison. Weapons coated in this potent poison weaken render the blood of their victims vulnerable to arcane spells.
Combining two parts foulcap, two parts ghoul's mushroom, two parts brimstone mushroom, two parts arcanist deathroot, three parts lunatic's deathroot, with one part felandaris, to a water base and boiling for one hour at midnight makes fell poison. Weapons coated in this poison leech life from every victim they hit, channeling that vitality to the wielder.
Ritualist Guide to EnchantingEdit
Enchanting was raised to a fine art by the Wizards of the Spire. Sadly, some of the nuances of this skill were lost in the Cataclysm. Yet we are not without capability. This text will cover only the basics of enchanting. It is but a primer for apprentice artificers.
Before a weapon or a bit of armor can be enchanted, the artificer must first learn the enchantment. This is a personal task. Enchantments cannot easily be passed from one mage to another. They must be understood at a psychic level that can only be achieved by absorbing the essence of an enchantment.
Ritual circles can be used for this task. Place an enchanted item in the circle and will it to relent. The magic will flow into you, imbuing you with the knowledge of how the enchantment is formed. The utter destruction of the enchanted item is the unavoidable consequence of this process.
Items that already have enchantments cannot be enchanted further, so choose carefully when you enchant a blade or helmet. Before beginning an enchantment, make sure you have the requisite arcane power. The enchantment will use this power to bind the object. Place the item in the ritual circle. Concentrate on the enchantment. The circle will meld the two together, enchanting your weapon or armor.
Armor enchantments are permanent and do not need to be charged or powered. The reasons for this are not known. Some artificers have postulated that wearer contributes small amounts of his own power to keep the armor enchanted. Others say it is just the will of the gods that it works that way. Regardless of the reason, enchanted armor and clothing never wear out.
Weapon enchantments are a different story. They slowly use the arcane power in them until they are depleted. The enchantment remains, but afresh infusion of power must be used to recharge the weapon. Perhaps it is the destructive nature of the weapon enchantments that makes it deplete. One intriguing theory is that the power leaks out a little at a time into the victim that the weapon harms. As a novice artificer, the reason is immaterial.
At first you will find that your enchantments require a lot of arcane power. As you become more skilled, you can achieve the same effect with less and less soul energy. So practice your lessons and pay heed to your masters in this arcane arts.
This tome is written in dragon blood on pages made from dragonthorn bound in dragon hide leather. The draconic power of these materials sustains the enchantments I have lain into the tome with my own arcane power. In time, your own artifice can create items that will live on as immutable legacies.