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This text is intended as both a reference book for the work-a-day alchemist, and as a primer for students of the art or interested laymen. Alchemy, in general, should not be the province of the careless. Many ordinary things have been shown, by long and careful experimentation, to evince significant effects which are often conflagratory, insidious or otherwise malevolent.
It should be further noted that the return of any benefits at all hinge almost exclusively on one's skill and experience with the equipment and accouterments of alchemy, as well as with the quality of same. A well-made hammer in the hands of a master-builder may construct a citadel, but a mallet in the grasp of a fool will only bend nails. If you have any doubts at all about practicing alchemy, you would be best advised to direct your ambition elsewhere. You have been warned.
Folklore from the Elsweyr wastes tells us emeralds are the tears of Akatosh. Whatever their origin, they are, like most gems, highly valued for their rare beauty and used to adorn both objects of value and people. It is well known that emeralds have useful characteristics which may be drawn forth upon their careful combination with other ingredients.
Potion of Restore Health
The world is a dangerous place and traveling abroad is an unwise pursuit for the unprepared. Encounters with all manner of aggressive creatures and criminally inclined folk are frequent and leave many a wanderer dead or nearly so. Often for the want of a balm have travelers been hurried to their end. Here I will describe a simple, if rather costly, recipe for a concoction which revives one's life-force.
A single emerald of no less than three grains in size should be ground to dust in a sturdy mortar. Ensure that you perform this task in a still room, as any sudden gust of air may prove to be expensive. Then the emerald dust must be transferred to a dry container. The mortar should then be wiped clean and used to mash its companion ingredient. This may be any one of corkbulb root, marshmerrow or wickwheat. It is possible to also use the weepings of one infected with corprus, although this substance is notoriously difficult to obtain. The companion ingredient should be fresh, as the fluids within it are a necessary component. It should be noted that while fresh corprus weepings do not keep well, dried weepings mixed with a little blood and water are an effective substitute.
The emerald dust should be added to the mash and blended in while simultaneously adding dropwise just enough sea-water to yield a thin soupy consistence. While the taste of the potion is unpleasant, it is nonetheless singularly effective.
If you have the opportunity to heat it in a good calcinator, you may further improve the potion's efficacy. Treatment in a quality retort also adds increased benefit.
A very similar potion uses saltrice (fresh or dried, in this case it seems not to matter) as the companion ingredient. The resulting potion not only heals but also provides an effective boon to magicka for a brief period, making it the particular favorite of mages and other initiates of sorcery.
Potion of Fortify Magicka
As just mentioned, it is possible to make a combination healing/magicka fortification potion by using saltrice. One may similarly employ stoneflower petals or belladonna berries (ripened or otherwise) as companion ingredients, although the potion in these cases will only fortify magicka (for a limited time) and will lack any healing benefit.
The user of such a potion should be warned that if one's magicka is fortified and then one should use all of the acquired power before the effects of the potion wear away, then one will suffer a period of distinct weakness proportional to the strength of the fortifying potion used. The natural return of magicka will accordingly take significantly longer than normal.
In alchemic experimentation, one often finds that alongside the positive there are also negative elements within various ingredients. Emeralds are no exception. For example, if one were to combine ground emerald with hypha facia, the resultant potion would turn its user into a stumbling buffoon, barely able to stand unaided. Similarly, if ground
emerald is fused with bittergreen petals or bungler's bane, the resulting potion would leave its imbiber exhausted. Interestingly, the combination of emerald with black anther yields a potion which drains both agility and endurance!