Apothecary

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The apothecary is a specialized shop which sells potions and reagents.

Description[edit]

It is the shrewd apothecary who mixes strange chemicals and produces the formulas to create potions which have carious effects when consumed. Apothecaries are experts in growing and preparing herbs and reagents for use in magic and offer a broad yet often incomplete selection and some apothecaries have better facilities for importing than others.

These occult apothecaries are quite interesting to visit. Their oddly decorated shelves are often strewn with vials of strangely colored potions, queerly glowing staves and scepters, and a cornucopia of herbal and mineral reagents useful in the mage's work. Climate and terrain have a lot to do with plant availability and the consequent variable prices. Their availability will vary from town to town, so the travelling mage will want to make special note of those things offered in the places they visit. Shop carefully, for the shoppe that has the best price on one herb or reagent may have the worst on another.

Many apothecaries due to their field of work also specialize in research of chemicals and other substances in order to understand their workings.

History[edit]

Age of Enlightenment[edit]

As reagents were not needed during the Age of Darkness and magic need satisfied in the magic shop, specialized reagents shops only appeared in the Age of Enlightenment, starting with Ultima IV. During that time, these shops offered all reagents except for Nightshade and Mandrake Root. Curiously, all reagent sellers were blind women and paying was based on a honor system. Of course, cheating had severe consequences for someones virtue. These shops still existed with little change in Ultima V, although by then, all reagents (although not all in the same shop) were available for purchase and the owners were no longer all blind.

Interestingly, by the time of Ultima VI specialized mages seemed to have taken over the market. While now officially called apothecaries, reagents now only were sold by specific mages - apart from seldom individuals like Zoltan who were running their own business. The selling of potions wasn't yet included in the service.

Age of Armageddon[edit]

By the time of the Age of Armageddon in Ultima VII, the corruption of the ether by the Guardian had forced the apothecaries to give up upon selling reagents due to the dwindling market, concentrating on the trade with potions instead. Reagents were now only available from various independent mages. The apothecary in Britain under Kessler during this time was also involved in researching the dangerous Silver Serpent Venom and its effects for the government.

The following ravages of the Great Cataclysm shook the market and by the time of Ultima IX, various individuals sold potions by that time and the demand for reagents had went down due to magic being disabled, resulting in only three real apothecaries left, run by Nico, Phillipa and Elena.

Other Worlds[edit]

On the Serpent Isle, each of the three cities developed their own form of apothecary. While the herbalists Harnna in Monitor and Delphynia in Fawn specialized on selling various reagents, the only real apothecary was located in Moonshade, run by Pothos, the only individual who also sold potions. The mages themselves were unwilling to sell reagents.

On Pagan, the practice of selling reagents and potions was virtually unknown - little wonder considering the secrecy of the magic schools. The individual Mythran was the only person willing to sell reagents and created healing potions in his free time.

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Lore[edit]

All practitioners of the mystic arts will search far and wide to locate these rare shops. Within them is to be found the components - or reagents, as they are known to enchanters - for spell mixtures. Without these mixtures, no spell may be cast successfully. Due to the rareness of some of the herbs, many are not offered for sale regularly, if at all.
Apothecaries are experts in growing and preparing herbs and reagents for use in magic. Shoppes generally offer mostly locally available reagents, although some apothecaries have better facilities for importing than others. Climate and terrain have a lot to do with plant availability and the consequent variable prices. Shop carefully, for the shoppe that has the best price on one herb or reagent may have the worst on another.
These occult apothecaries are quite interesting to visit. Their oddly decorated shelves are often strewn with vials of strangely colored potions, queerly glowing staves and scepters, and a cornucopia of herbal and mineral reagents useful in the mage's work. Since many of the items offered are both rare and expensive, their availability will vary from town to town, so the travelling mage will want to make special note of those things offered in the places he visits.
It is the shrewd apothecary who mixes his strange chemicals and produces the formulas to create potions. Apothecaries have long since stopped the sale of magical reagents, as magic has become so unreliable.
Not long after the cities were established, several members of the population set out to collect and transform herbs and plants into elixirs of magic. Some of these potions make one invisible, some induce sleep and some do nothing but fizzle. Regardless, potions are excellent tools for those without the ability to enchant, providing one can afford them.

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