Agents and Reagents: The Ingredients for Knowledge

First draft! Remove unflattering ranting about the Master!

My employment at the apothecary in Wayrest is one of dedication through tireless and thankless servitude. Though my knowledge of ingredients from mountain to meadow is formidable, and my handiness with a blade is revered by the rivals I have scarred or slain, the trickle of debt to the Master and shop owner, magister and alchemist Defessus Lector, continues to be paid. I have been in the Master’s service (and put up with his eccentricities and bouts of verbal abuse) for nigh on fifteen years, but my devotion is still unwavering.

My upbringing was inadequate, my father an unknown member of the Lion Guard and my mother a primitive from the Reach. Saved from sacrifice by the Master before my fealty to Hiricine was sworn, my curse of birth extends to my Reachman name of Gargrell. The Master is always quick to point out the inadequacies of these primitives (though he is less circumspect when I approach the subject of my ravaging father’s loins). My youthful anger, which was once channeled into assassinations, thanks (according to the Master) to “my barbarian blood,” is now behind me, and I seek wisdom from behind the bowls, jars, and potions as second apprentice of the Wayrest Apothecary.

Recently, the death of First Apprentice Evangeline Beanique (Arkay carry her soul to peace) has allowed my station at this shop to marginally improve: I no longer am employed at slopping out latrines, carrying the burdensome raw ingredients from trader’s caravan to storage chamber shelf, and other menial tasks. Now I am left to run the Wayrest Apothecary, usually with the simpleton Bardus, a work-shy nincompoop seemingly conjured at this shop with the singe purpose of providing foreign traders with stories about Breton inbreeding.

But acting as apothecary shepherd is but one of two important tasks: The Master requires a further undertaking. I am to create a journal, of which these are the preliminary scribbles. A book useful to the apothecary servant and master alike: a formidable list of ingredients revealed in both drawing and description, recollections of where each is found, and the state they must be presented in for bartering, as well as the usefulness of each component to the alchemist and enchanter. Our shelves brim over with gathered materials from the corners of Tamriel; a bounty of Mundus within the four walls (and numerous outhouses) of the apothecary at Wayrest.

Assuming Bardus can read, this text should also serve as a teaching tool so the half-wit learns to provide our customers with accurate ingredients, and not violently dangerous powders that only seem similar to one another: Hall Steward Longinus Attius still launches furious verbal tirades about our incompetence while he visited here (his vampire dust and frost salts were mislabeled, resulting in a concoction that induced violent uprisings from the bowels and actually worsened his case of ticklebritch). Personally, I would have murdered Bardus where he stood, but the Master knows better. Instead, I work like an Argonian slave to keep this trading post in good standing.

Aside from scouring our shelves, what better repository of knowledge is there than the traders that frequent this establishment? The Master’s powerful standing, our web of merchants from across the provinces, and our system of nimble couriers all conspire to provide a wealth of knowledge, a plentiful supply of even the rarest items, and a worn welcome mat. My Master’s fondness for moon sugar allows Khajiiti caravans preferential treatment during their bartering. Elven Justiciars come here to gather for their powerful mage masters. Nord hunters arrive to seek Kyne’s blessing and a cure for yellow tick. And a Redguard merchant burdened with exotic ingredients is always welcomed with open arms.

All the awareness of visiting alchemists, merchants, and enchanters shall be imparted! I jot it all down in this journal, add graceful illustrations, and alter my writings to remove personal feelings. This book is the last change I have to make my Master proud.

Second Apprentice Gargrell Sorick
The Wayrest Apothecary
2nd of Sun’s Height, 2E 578

Inside the Wayrest Apothecary
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