Dragonfalls

Alchematum Compendium Totalum
About the Author

The mercury poisoning had taken it’s toll on Paracelsus. Soon, he wouldn’t be able to fashion a set of lenses that would allow him to see clearly anymore. His frames had already gone through numerous alterations to accommodate the ever thickening discs of glass in front of his eyes. Hardly “glasses” anymore, what Paracelsus wore would be better described as a “contraption” built of gears and bits of other things laying around his basement laboratory. Although his potions could provide a temporary respite from the failing vision, Paracelsus came to see it as a fiction; a tease. His brewery on the ground floor had long since shut it’s doors. “Quite a logical beginning for an alchemist.”, he thought. Twice a month the postman would stop at the Bacon Brewery, find a scribbled list of materials and a hefty bag of gold. After unloading the previous list’s tally, the postman would si mply retrieve the new list and the gold and be on his way. Paracelsus often wondered if the postman would ever figure out that the weight of the gold he was being paid exactly equaled the amount of lead he had been ordered to procure. It’s the little things after all. That fateful evening so many years ago when Paracelsus had stumbled onto the greatest discovery of mankind had changed everything. Only he knew the connection between his brewing experiments and the Philosoher’s Stone he had produced quite by accident. That secret he might just take to the grave. There was to be no eternal life for Paracelsus. He had no interest in prolonging his existence any more than the gods had determined to be enough. In his magnum opus, the Alchematum Compendium Totalum, he had stored years upon years of success and failure alike; seeing it not only as a teacher for the future, but also as a cautionary tale. He had determined that he wouldn’t bother an notating which potions actually worked and which did not, thinking at a good alchemist would need to experience the rigors of failure as he had in order to appreciate the beauty of the success. Oh, and what failures. What incredible sacrifice had he made in the pursuit of knowledge. His beard had been made of pure granite for as long as he could remember, causing him to shave with a chisel and not a razor. At any particular moment, his left hand would transmutate to clear, crystal water and fall to the floor with a splash. He would then have to wait a good twenty or thirty minutes for the hand to regrow, which always left him parched. The entireity of his right leg was covered in reptilian scales, teaching him that mixing potions with mead is a poor idea. It was all there, in that book he cherished so greatly. He affectionately referred to it as “my little minefield”. There was no potion that could take his sense of humor. “An alchemist without a sense of humor is simply a brew with no yeast.”, he said. He was completely at home in that basement, living under the sooty light of candles. His wine was fine, his food would rival a king’s, and his cat ate only the finest fish. “After all, having the ability to make infinite amounts of gold does have it’s merits, wouldn’t you say?”, he said one day to his cat, Jeremy.

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The Wailing Spirit of Tasha Gardens

The city of Fielding Wall has a great public garden called The Tasha Gardens. It’s not a place you want to visit at night. Then a spirit roams there, back and forth. So fearsome is this ghost that even the city guard lock up the gardens at night and don’t ever go in. I’ve heard a few young creatures go their for sport but the ones that come back claim they never saw anything.

It is said there was a small village there before Fielding Wall sprung up. Now, they also say that the spirit if of a woman from that village lost her husband in the marshes that once were plentiful around where the village once stood and where the city is now. Her family begged her not to go but she did, and she screamed her husband’s name day and night. The folks from the village could hear her calling, screaming, and wailing for days. But no one went in to help her.

Finally the screaming stopped, and even her family were at ease. They were sad that the woman was lost, too, but glad to be done with hearing her heart broken call every hour. Business went on as before and soon people just forgot about it.

The next year, the screams started up again, only now they were louder, and they would jump around from place to place as if the one who screamed were running, running faster then anyone has a business to be moving. At first, the older folk thought it was young kids playing a prank, but the joke wouldn’t end. Day in, day out, the screaming continued until finally a group of folk went into the swamps to find the pranksters and put an end to it all. They never came back.

Each year the wails return for a few days, and usually they only stop when someone answers the call.

But when they answer the call, they don’t come back.

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