More because I liked the way this looked while searching for something only tangentially associated than for any other reason (and I thought I would foist it on you)… Anyway, as I am digging into my own little thoughts about “personal alchemy”, I stumbled on this and thought it looked nice and may have some latent food for thought for me to consider. Not that I plan to follow in the footsteps of any number of historical alchemists that found really good ways to kill themselves, sometimes slowly and painfully, in their attempt to find enteral youth/life, but because I think most were completely off the mark in their studies and didn’t approach their work more metaphorically. Not that I begrudge them their studies, but I think they were largely chasing unicorns. Lucky for us, their experimentation brought around the grandchild and we can experience “better living through chemistry”. I like that this artist included the Operations of Transformation symbols. I’m not sure on the accuracy, but most people ignore that part of alchemy entirely.
Anyway, I hadn’t planned to dig back into the alchemy quite yet to refresh my memories about some of the details I learned while writing a failed novel about a secret society of alchemists done up all “A∴A∴“.
That novel was named “Arcanum Fabulis Factionis Sulphur: Secret Stories Of the Brimstone Cabal”. My mock quote for the back cover went thusly:
“People willingly blind themselves to the world we live in to stave off madness, their purposeful ignorance of all that moves within the shadows is a choice they have made. If eyes refuse to see something, it ceases to exist in reality until that time that it bleeds into the world with an insistence that once blind eyes can no longer refuse to see. Nor can those eyes un-see such things, once those thing have decided to reveal themselves to a world willfully asleep.”
“Our purpose, then, is to dare to look into the abyss, to challenge it, and embrace it that our fellow humans can maintain their peace of mind.”Magus Henrich Klein, Notes for the Newly Initiated
The cover design was such (my real name was in the byline, so I obscured it; sorry):
The story itself wasn’t all that good — another one of those pantster pieces with more planning done on the front end researching alchemy than in character development or plotting (which is why it was somewhat meh).
The main concept was that a secret organization of alchemists uses their knowledge and acquired magic (applied will to evoke change in reality) to stop nasty things from creeping out of flaws in the veil between a multiverse. A bit Witcher, a bit Lovecraftian Eldritch Horror, a bit Hammer House and Universal Monsters. A smidgen of 90s action film tossed in for flavor.
I’ve often thought about going back to this and reworking with some actual planning involved, e.g., planster.