Alchemy developed as a science in Atlantis, more than 14,000 years ago. The line between sorcerer and scientist was blurred in that age, as the sorcerers developed magic in an attempt to understand the workings of the world around them and master its secrets. An offshoot of the "science" of magic was concerned with the properties of natural elements, and where this meeting of magic and chemistry occurred the discipline of alchemy was born.

Alchemy continued to be practiced long after the fall of Atlantis, with notable practitioners existing right up to the present day. Because the Atlantean alchemists did not consider themselves sorcerers, and because they were much more rigorous about documenting their processes, the practice of alchemy did not change over time as magical practices did, and therefore modern alchemy is much closer to its Atlantean roots than modern magic is.

Practical Alchemical Effects

In its simplest form, alchemy is concerned with the mixing of chemical substances in order to produce other substances with specific desired properties.

Although the modern science of chemistry sprang directly from alchemical roots, and although alchemists considered themselves scientists not sorcerers, it is quite clear that alchemy is in fact the practice of magic by another name. Many of the substances produced by alchemists have effects that cannot be explained by rational science, for example salves of instantaneous healing or potions that grant super-human strength.

Alchemists also made use of common chemical processes, however, and would have an intimate understanding of the properties of the chemicals they worked with, even as they also imposed additional properties of a magical nature on those chemicals. An alchemist could produce an explosive by combining the components of gunpowder or by enchanting a lump of rock; to him, it was all part of the same "science".

Notable Alchemists