Of all the alchemists, I make the strongest pharmakon.  Sacrament remedy poison talisman cosmetic perfume intoxicant cure.  Cure for what ails you.  Drink it to die.  Drink it to live.  It will rip its way through the center of you like a column of fire.  There is no other who can brew one like mine.  Ask all the peasants and they will point to my hut while averting their faces.  They are afraid of me.  But at night they crawl to me like supplicants and offer me coin to give them what they need.

I don’t need your coin.  I am the alchemist.  I turn pain into coin, and there is plenty of that everywhere.  I don’t need your coin.  The way your eyes widen when you swallow what I have to give is payment enough.

Even if I were to give you a list of all the ingredients of my pharmakon and all their measures, you could not make it.  You would scream when the ball of fire rose from the cauldron.  Your blood is not strong enough for it.  Only I can stand there in the center of the flame.  Only I can burn and burn and burn and not be consumed.

You get the leavings, the ashen scrapings of the cataclysm, and you are grateful for that.  Tell me what you would risk for the tang of me on your tongue.  Tell me all of what you are and maybe I will devise a special concoction just for you, one that will destroy the whole world and birth it anew in your searing eyes. Pharmakeia pharmakon pharmakeus, can you tell me what is inside and what is outside?  Can you tell me what is body and what is soul?  Can you tell me what is present and what is absent?  Tell me, if you have the brain the spine the heart the stomach for it.  Tell me.  If you can speak through the burn you may be strong enough to study my discipline.


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