|One area in which Alchemy exceeds any other type of magic is its ability to permanently transform things. This capability is put to good use in the process of Alchemical Enchanting. Technically, Alchemical Enchanting is a metamagical process, but because of the intrinsic link between Mana and Alchemy, this technicality is easily ignored by most adepts.
|As noted in the section on Enchanting in the Mana Origin, enchantment is the transformation of the Dominion of an item, from the Matter Dominion to the Reality Dominion. This transformation is achieved by shaping the Affinity of the item, reducing it to zero. Any item of Affinity zero can store Mana, and then used as a Reservoir or as a container of Imbedded Mana effects.
|The alchemical materials used in Alchemical Enchanting can vary, but one typical process involves using both the Potential Omnessence of the target item, and PO from other specialized materials, to create the Transformation / Reality effect. Since the applicable PO needs to be of the right Configuration (i.e. Transformation, or Reality, or both), an item made of suitable materials is much easier to enchant using an Alchemical process. This is one reason why enchanted crystals are a favorite of Alchemists - appropriate crystals possess strong transformative properties to begin with, and when subjected to appropriate alchemical processes are more easily enchanted.
|Other materials can also be enchanted, but doing so requires greater amounts of other transformative substances. Since the transformation must be a permanent one, all materials used must be in their ultra-refined Mystical forms. This makes large-scale Alchemical Enchanting an expensive and time-consuming process. Mana Enchanting, in contrast, requires no materials other than the item to be enchanted, and takes considerably less time.
|Several decorative techniques have been adapted to the alchemical enchanting process, including enameling, etching, and painting. Such methods of decoration serve as convenient mediums for the introduction of alchemical substances, and their subsequent effects on the base item. These methods also serve as convenient methods for the inclusion of Runes, should the enchanter desire to do so.
|A sample Alchemical Enchanting paradigm is given here, in its fully optimized form:
|The Configuration Might of Alchemy in Transformation / Reality (for materials in their Mystical forms) is 70. Because Permanence requires an amount of Omnessence equal to the Base Paradigm cost, the base cost for this effect cannot exceed 35 points. Since 26 of those points are required for Scope and Intricacy, Potency is limited to 9 points. This limits Alchemical Enchanting to about the same level of ability as Mana Enchanting.
|The table below lists sample Affinity reduction costs (numbers in parentheses are given for comparison value only - Alchemy is not capable of achieving those reductions in Affinity).
|A comparison with Mana Enchanting will note that both have about the same Potency available to them, although Mana Enchanting requires the use of Ritual Mana Shaping, and thus cannot be done by a lone adept. Alchemical Enchanting can be done by a lone adept (although this is not likely, given the amount of Mystical materials required and the time necessary to obtain and refine such materials), but Alchemical Enchanting requires expensive materials and more investment in laboratory equipment, etc. One benefit of Alchemical Enchanting is that a fully fashioned item can be enchanted using alchemical processes - something of which Mana Enchanting is incapable.
|Because of the overall costs of Alchemical Enchanting, it is commonly used only by Alchemists who lack ability with Mana - such as some Thaumaturges or pure Alchemists.