Let me tell you, O wonderer, of the Immortal Arc.

The Arc was once a center of learning and culture, where many of the achievements that power our society were first discovered. They credit it with steam power, parts that interchange, the fire that burns underwater, and so many others. But the most dauntinc challenge that the Arc took on, and the final one, was that of alchemy.

Alchemy, the transmutation of one element to another, was long held to be a folly as were the associated tales of the Philosopher’s Stone. It could, they said, transmute lead to gold and lifelessness to an elixir of life. The most prestigious laboratory in the Arc took on the challenge of forginc such a stone, assembling the neccessary materials and pieceing together the neccessary knowledge over the course of nearly a century.

Once the proper crucible pit had been constructed and lined with impermeable materials, the toxins and reagents neccessary for the precipitation of the Stone were added. A senior alchemist, whose name history records as Claflin Seaholme, supervised the process and added the final reagents himself.

But something went very wrong. Or perhaps, O wonderers, something went very right.

In either case, the crucible was destroyed, along with the alchemy lab, and everything within a league was blown away unto dust, living or unliving. Seaholme alone survived, but bore with him a living scar of the moment. He learned this when, after stumbling out of the ruins, he attempted to eat a meal abandoned by its owners in the chaos of the disaster. The meat would not be torn, nor sundered, nor swallowed. It was, in almost every sense of the word save for the motility and will that cooking had shorn away, immortal.

Claflin Seaholm had become the Philosopher’s Stone, in point of fact. And, O wonderers, rather than suffer the fate of King Midas and turning all he touched to gold, a far crueler fate was in store for him.

For everything he touched turned to immortality.

Seaholm was a man of learning, and he realized much to his sorrow that this was untenable. So he sealed himself within the abandoned Arc along with everything he had subsequently touched, building, rock, stone, or being.

It remains there still.

It will remain, O wonderers, unto the ends of our world and beyond.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!
Advertisements