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An Athanor is an alchemical furnace forged by Prometheans during their Pilgrimage. The term is used in both First Edition and Second Edition, but referring to distinct and unrelated objects.

First Edition

Athanors are special furnaces into which a Promethean places Vitriol they have acquired on their Pilgrimage. By placing the Vitriol into an Athanor, they may nurture special Boons that help them as both a Promethean and a human. A Promethean may only choose one Athanor to develop in their lifetime, must have at least three dots of Azoth, and must be trained and instructed by another Promethean familiar with the concept of Athanors.

When a Promethean attains their Great Work and becomes human, the Athanor is the only Promethean power that lingers in their transformed bodies, giving them an advantage they may make use of in their mortal existences.

Athanors are grouped by Lineage, and tend to reflect the qualities that each Lineage values above any other.

Known Athanors

Each Athanor is represented by an animal, real or mythical, that the Prometheans think best embodies that trait. Some animals are shared among the Lineages, such as the Dragon, but each Lineage may assign a different trait to that animal.

Frankenstein

  • Basilisk - Fear and intimidation are the only way to survive.
  • Caladrius - To heal others involves one's own suffering.
  • Griffon - Balance the study of Flux and of Elpis. Taken by Centimani.
  • Lion - Determination is the best way to reach one's goal.
  • Manticore - All hurts and slights must be met with revenge.

Galatea

  • Dove - A highly spiritual nature is the best path to humanity.
  • Gorgon - Beauty must be used to cause wrath and ruin upon all.
  • Seraph - By understanding others, one understands themselves.
  • Swan - Physical grace and beauty are treasured above all. Taken by Centimani.
  • Unicorn - Love and adoration are the reasons for existence.

Osiris

  • Ant - Teamwork is essential to existence.
  • Dragon - Ambition is the only way to get what one wants.
  • Eagle - Leadership is the strongest quality.
  • Eel - Hidden power is the best kind of power.
  • Honeybee - All must work together to achieve a goal.
  • Owl - Situations must be looked at with logic alone. Taken by Centimani.
  • Sphinx - Solving riddles and enigmas is essential to solving the enigma of existence.

Tammuz

  • Cerberus - Protection of the self is the only thing that matters.
  • Crab - Never give up, no matter how great the odds.
  • Humbaba - Appear to dominate and you will.
  • Pelican - By giving themselves to Flux, they have given up themselves for humanity. Taken by Centimani.
  • Phoenix - Never be beaten down by life.

Ulgan

  • Chimera - Constantly embrace new ideas and concepts.
  • Crane - Travel to the Astral Realms like a Mage can.
  • Dragon - Knowledge should be drawn upon frequently.
  • Fox - Intuition and conniving will serve one well as a human. Taken by Centimani.
  • La Llorona - To leave behind sadness and grief is to become human.
  • Raven - Death and the spiritual are the solutions to finding life.
  • Salamander - Firewalking is easy for those who know the secret.
  • Toad - Careful planning and foresight will help one reach their goal.

Zeka

  • Cockroach - Survival is everything.
  • Machine - Overcome selfishness and serve others freely.

This type of Athanor does not exist in Second Edition.

Second Edition

Athanors are repositories of Azothic memory created by Prometheans as a way to leave something behind for those who come after them. After completing three Roles in the same Refinement, the Created can spend Vitriol to crystalize what they have learned in those Roles and connect it to a physical object.

Different types of Athanors exist, with different effects, depending on exactly what lessons the creator is trying to leave behind.

  • A Refinement Furnace allows the user to continue to use the Transmutations of that Refinement without fixing them with Vitriol.
  • A Refinement Mentor is a tool that allows a Promethean learn the corresponding Refinement, including complex Refinements.
  • Pilgrimage Markers can grant an Elpis vision to other Created, nudging them towards an upcoming milestone.
  • Vitriol Founts exude small amounts of Vitriol in exchange for Pyros, though after use it may take decades to recharge before it can be used again.
  • Sanctuary Athanors repel Pandorans and partially suppress Torment and Disquiet.
  • Firestorm catalysts can spark an instant Azothic Firestorm with its intensity set at creation.
  • Jovian Athanors are repositories of the worst feelings and experiences of their creators. They are the opposite of Sanctuary Athanors: they attract Pandorans, stoke Disquiet and Torment, and form a Wasteland around their location that festers as long as the Athanor remains there.

Refinement furnaces and Refinement tutors are the most common types of Athanors. A Jovian Athanor might be created by accident while attempting to create another type of Athanor, or it might be created on purpose to purge the creator of their painful memories.

The Athanor truly exists in Azothic memory, but the physical representation of the Athanor can be almost anything. If that physical representation is destroyed, the Athanor is likewise destroyed, so many Athanors are hidden, protected, or located in out-of-the-way places to ensure they will endure long enough for other Created to benefit from them. Jovian Athanors cannot be destroyed until the trauma and pain that they contain has been resolved.

As they are Azothic objects, Athanors have a certain amount of Azothic radiance that can guide a Promethen to them, though the different types of Athanors are difficult to distinguish from one another on cursory examination. Some Athanors can only be used under specific conditions, and will be invisible if those conditions are not met - for instance, an Athanor might by used only by a certain Lineage, a certain Refinement, or even by a specific individual.

Successfully creating an Athanor for the first time is always a milestone, and subsequent Athanors usually are as well.

References

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