7/12/2022 at 3:28
Blight Finds A Way
In the aftermath of Revelation and the uncomfortable truths imparted by the Elder Guises, Spinesreach turned their attention to one chief concern: preservation, survival without being tethered to good will, providence, or the infamously mercurial whims of divine mercies. To the sciences they looked, and though much of their intentions were and remain clandestine, hidden from all but a select inner circle, their zeal for discovery had never burned hotter.
The arrival of Litrix, a Xorali scientist in the employ of a nameless, but ostensibly well-resourced cabal of researchers, marked new ground for the Spireans. Having come to assess their work, Litrix promised rapid advancement in their project, offering blueprints of several new apparatus and facilities to expedite their progress. Within days, a new research spire was constructed under the watchful eye of Burkhart Straton, and Litrix quickly got to work.
Three laboraties there were, each pristine and fitted with state of the art equipment. Experimentation in the field of Biology proceeded apace, with the Spireans quickly mastering the ability to precisely dissect corpses and analyse the remains. Chemistry, too, proved enlightening, countless hours whiled away with flask and phial in hand. Only the botanical facilities went unmanned, presided over by Litrix who assured them that he was on the cusp of a breakthrough.
As the weeks wound on, the Spireans grew more and more proficient, collecting reams of data on all manner of cadavers and diligently recording their painstaking trial and error processed in the chemistry labs. Pleased with their efforts, Litrix informed them of the imminent arrival of several of his colleagues, promising yet more expansions once they settled in.
Near the end of Lleian, Litrix's mysterious tinkering in the botanical chamber bore fruit. Gathering the Spireans to his side, he proudly showed off the result of his work: a mass of monstrous foliage, unnaturally colourful and writhing so much as if it were truly sentient and alive. Under an onslaught of questions, he explained that he had been researching a way to allow living things to resist shadow, and had inadvertently created something entirely new from the specimens with which he worked.
Eager to help, the Spireans quickly became apprised of Litrix's botanical processes. By extracting certain parts of a corpse, the Xoran explained, they would be able to isolate concentrations of specific elements and feed it to the plant, which by now had been gifted the dubious, if accurate, name of 'the blight'. Their task was clear: continue imbalancing the plant's elemental composition and attempt to achieve a balanced ratio of all the elements save for shadow, which should hold the largest share of the whole.
Weeks of focused research followed, led chiefly by Feirenz and ably supported by Inkh, Lenoriel, Pietre, Qelres, Legyn, and others. The work was difficult and oftentimes tedious as the budding scientists edged closer and closer to an adequate composition. Calamity struck multiple times as the blight's bell-shaped body found itself bloated and out of control, devouring the Spireans with extreme prejudice. Potent herbicides were created in order to kill off the plant in such instances, with Litrix ruefully providing new cuttings each time one became too potent.
By late Lanosian, the aforementioned colleagues began to arrive, filing into the Spirean Institute and quickly making themselves at home. Introductions were made and demonstrations performed. Each of the alumni in attendance specialised in a different field, ranging from Chemistry, Protocol, Field Research, General Experimentation, and Compounds. Last to greet them was Totto, an ornery but, according to Litrix, brilliant Biologist.
While arrangements were made for the new arrivals to collaborate with the Archivium, Totto insisted on seeing the labs. As Chairman Inkh demonstrated his expertise by flawlessly dissecting a fresh corpse and relaying his findings, Totto grudgingly conceded praise for their progress. The group then turned back toward the blight, where the old but spry scientist enquired on the project. In consultation with Feirenz on the plant's current state, the Spireans admitted with reluctance that while they had managed to dramatically increase the blight's levels of shadow, they were unable to do so without depriving it of almost all the other elements in turn.
Totto brought forth a length of metal known as a transmutation conduit, and drew on the ambient elements in the air in order to provide a demonstration of his own. The latent energies sparked as lightning, which he expertly directed into the plant. In response, the already vivacious colours of the blight deepened to more rich, vibrant, and unnatural hues, and a single sinuous vine snaked out from its heart to wrap lovingly around his hands.
Impressed with the progress they had made despite limited knowledge and experience, assent was given for the Spireans to learn more. Formally associating with the Archivium, the strange group of researchers opted to remain in the City of Spinesreach, promising to provide training and guidance in the arts of the Alchemist.
Penned by my hand on Gosday, the 3rd of Niuran, in the year 503 MA.