Agents and Reagents: Ingredient Classification 18: Skeletal Remains

Much like our cupboards filled with mort fingers, skeletal remains are much easier to come by now that the continent of Tamriel seems to be on the verge of collapse. Whereas before we had to rely on adventuring types visiting crypts and swearing to Arkay that their bone fragments weren’t dug up from local graveyards, now our underground storerooms are bulging with skulls, bones, and other remains waiting to be ground up; the Master sometimes jests with his trader friends that he has enough dead to build a bone colossus army.

Our bones do not need to be fresh; in fact, there is a premium paid for more brittle bones in certain quarters, and even more if these dead parts danced for a summoner before being dispatched. I remember the days when more unsavory folk would slay a bandit or other wild man, boil the skull and remove the innards, and attempt to sell the remains. Take a skull recently scalped and scrapped: the color is different and the bone hasn’t weathered to the Master’s liking. We can now turn away such low-grade remains, where previously we gathered whatever pieces we could find.

I don’t like visiting our charnel house; I feel afraid I’ll be possessed by torment spirits still whispering from the nooks and hanging in the stale air down there. So I usually handle the bone meal, grinding down the unimportant elements from wrists, collars, or pelvis, until finely powdered. Skulls of men are preferred over mer and beast races; Breton alchemists tend to use remains of their own kind. But Orc vertebrae are favored, as they have more sections of spine than other races.

Bone Meal

Any bone not required for other needs can be easily ground down into dust-like meal.

Proven Benefits (in Enchanting):

  • Keeps diseases at bay, whether you are coughed on by a corpse or bitten by bats.
  • Imparts a healthy disregard for heat and flames in all forms.
  • Returns, with quicker vigor, the essence required to cast spells.
  • Radiates a general wellness that exudes from every pore.

Any of the specific pieces of a skeletal spine are excellent, with lumbar vertebrae the most prized.

Proven Benefits (in Enchanting):

  • Bestows a knowledge that piercing cold cannot harm you.
  • Strengthens the essence or energy used when spells are cast, so they do not wane as quickly.
  • Seals wounds and heals illness, regardless of infliction or infection.
  • Sends a crackle of energy to dart about your weapon, which may add a nasty shock to your strike.

Preferably intact, the fresher the better, and man or mer skills are favored over beast races.

Proven Benefits (in Enchanting):

  • Causes an adversary to protest greatly at the might of your strikes, whether with weapon or with fist.
  • Improves the ability to wound of those wielding axe, dagger, hammer, or sword.
  • Conjures the lick of flames to dance about your weapon, which may burn the enemy with fire.
  • Bestows a benefit surely vampiric in nature: magical harm to the for and occasional curing to the instigator. 
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