"Whatever magical property this was, it played by a set of rules I could emulate. With science!" -Elliot Fairbanks
Alchemy is a school of Magic centered around the transformation of matter.
Alchemy applies the supernatural abilities of magic to the basic laws of physics. While matter cannot be created or destroyed, practioners of Alchemy research the art of transforming matter through input of Mana. While most practioners of Alchemy research the improvement of existing objects, some advanced users are even capable of transforming their mana itself directly into matter, apparently "creating" mass from thin air. Most Alchemy works on a conceptual level just as much as a physical one, modifying the "idea" of an object and letting its shape follow.
While a practioner of Alchemy can directly use mana to alchemize objects, he does not always have enough mana or time for the task. As a result, Alchemistic Seals, Seals infused with the "concept" of a school of Alchemy, are invaluable tools for the Resistance. An Alchemistic Seal, once placed on an object, will enact its specific type of alchemy without fail; however, the Seal will be consumed in the process.
Alchemy is divided into a variety of different "schools." Each school is similar but distinct, applying the basic principles underlying all Alchemy in different ways. The five currently known schools are Enhancement, Refinement, Combination, Decomposition, and Synthesis.
Refinement is one of the most basic schools of Alchemy, centered around improving an object's existing qualities through input of mana. The goal of Refinement is not to "add" to an item with mana, but rather to fill the "gaps" in its structure and so bring it closer to perfection. The Refinement Alchemy Skill indicates a user's proficiency in this school, and a Refinement Seal is capable of Refining without fail any Item it is placed upon.
Enhancement is another basic school of Alchemy, centered around adding traits to an object by coating it in mana. Unlike Refinement, Enhancement Alchemy actually adds traits to an item based on its existing traits and abilities. In the case that the affected item already has weak abilities or traits, Enhancement has been known to amplify and exaggerate these traits in addition to adding new effects. The Enhancement Alchemy Skill indicates a user's proficiency in this school, and an Amplification Seal enacts this type of Alchemy without fail.
Unlike Enhancement and Refinement, Combination Alchemy focuses on merging two or more objects together. This is not a literal connection of the objects in most cases, but rather a merger of their "core traits," fusing the two items together on a conceptual level. The Combinative Alchemy Skill indicates proficiency in this school, and a Combination Seal will enact this type of alchemy when placed on any two Items.
The effective opposite of Combination Alchemy, Decomposition Alchemy focuses on dividing an object into its "component parts" by splitting it with mana. Though it works best on items that are already a "fusion of two traits," such as those that have been merged with Combination Alchemy, Decomposition Alchemy can nonetheless be used to "divide" any object. The Decomposition Alchemy Skill demonstrates a user's proficiency in this school, though no Alchemistic Seal has been found that will emulate its effects.
Synthesis Alchemy is an advanced type of Alchemy focusing on the materialization of pure mana. This type of Alchemy is one of the hardest to learn and use, as the amount of mana required to form even basic materials is massive. However, a master of Synthesis Alchemy can effectively "create" small quantities of any material he desires merely by replicating its structure with mana. The Synthesis Alchemy Skill indicates that a user studies this school, but no Alchemistic Seal has been discovered that can employ this school of Alchemy on objects.
The following beings have been known to use at least one school of Alchemy: