The Saga of Alka Sowa
Alka Sowa is the western part of the continent Istra, a huge country bordered by the Grey Sea in the west and the insuperable Burr Mounts in the east. In the south the vast expanse tapers towards the Widow‘s Cape and in the north the great Istrion River forms the border with the northern kingdoms. The name Alka Sowa is said to have originally meant „Land of the Alkanes“ and to have been used only for the Region around the Istrion estuary. The Alkanes are considered to have been the first settlers of the continent who brought not only their animals, plants and customs to Alka Sowa from that river delta, but also Alchemy. With its help they made the land their own. At first they only cultivated their fields and kept cattle. But soon they dammed rivers, dug mines, cleared forests and built cities.
Alchemy not only served as a science and instrument, it was also passion, ideology and religion. Today it is only known as the study of the properties of substances and their reactions. But the spectrum of Alchemy ranged from chemistry to physics and pharmacy. Alchemists were astronomers and doctors. They understood the structure of matter and possessed the power to transmute elements into other conditions. Some sources report experiments with living creatures that even produced abhorrent beings. These are, however, mostly old wives‘ tales told to naughty children.
The Alchemist‘s most important achievement was the Philosopher‘s Stone. Due to it their power seemed to grow immeasurably. It was itself an alchemical product and at the same time its most important tool. With its help they stabilized the transmuted compounds and made them permanent. Few knew how it was made, but Opus Magnum, the fundamental book of Alchemy, contained its formula. Today, only myths speak of the stone and the book. It‘s because the former tribal leaders abused the power of the stone. They became powerful rulers whose lunacy and tyranny heralded the end of this first age. Then, at the zenith of their power, when Alchemy was even able to Control the way beyond the earthly, knowledge and all its products
were extinguished in a single moment. It was as if alchemy had never existed. Today this event is called the „Day of Dawn“. Many saw in it a punishment by the gods for the presumptuousness of men. They were all tired of striving for false truthfulness and its abominable consequences and sought their salvation in religion. And the ancient knowledge fell into oblivion. All this is more than an era ago and yet one hears of adepts researching old recipes in libraries and druids experimenting with elements in secrecy. Some even call themselves Alchemists.