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The Song of the Alchemists
by Marobar Sul
Book 5 of an incomplete series of fictional stories about the Dwemer
- When King Maraneon's alchemist had to leave his station
- After a laboratory experiment that yielded detonation,
- The word went out that the King did want
- A new savant
- To mix his potions and brews.
- But he declared he would only choose
- A fellow who knew the tricks and the tools.
- The King refused to hire on more fools.
- After much deliberation, discussions, and debates,
- The King picked two well-learned candidates.
- Ianthippus Minthurk and Umphatic Faer,
- An ambitious pair,
- Vied to prove which one was the best.
- Said the King, "There will be a test."
- They went to a large chamber with herbs, gems, tomes,
- Pots, measuring cups, all under high crystalline domes.
- "Make me a tonic that will make me invisible,"
- Laughed the King in a tone some would call risible.
- So Umphatic Faer and Ianthippus Minthurk
- Began to work,
- Mincing herbs, mashing metal, refining strange oils,
- Cautiously setting their cauldrons to burbling boils,
- Each on his own, sending mixing bowls mixing,
- Sometimes peeking to see what the other was fixing.
- After they had worked for nearly three-quarters an hour,
- Both Ianthippus Minthurk and Umphatic Faer
- Winked at the other, certain he won.
- Said King Maraneon,
- "Now you must taste the potions you've wrought,
- Take a spoon and sample it right from your pot."
- Minthurk vanished as his lips touched his brew,
- But Faer tasted his and remained apparent in view.
- "You think you mixed silver, blue diamonds, and yellow grass!"
- The King laughed, "Look up, Faer, up to the ceiling glass.
- The light falling makes the ingredients you choose
- Quite different hues."
- "What do you get," asked the floating voice, bold,
- "Of a potion of red diamonds, blue grass, and gold?"
- "By [Dwemer God]," said Faer, his face in a wince,
- "I've made a potion to fortify my own intelligence."