AlchemHistory: Homunculi

Quentyn Flamel - 7A Monado Arts
Posted on: November 21, 2016

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Welcome back, dear pursuers of the secrets to life and its expansion. It is I, Quentyn Flamel, great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grand-grand grandson of the ever celebrated alchemist, Nicolas Flamel. I have made it my goal in life to shed light on the recently shunned and horribly misunderstood science of alchemy. In this week’s issue, I wish to discuss a personal favourite subject of mine: the often taboo but incredibly intriguing methodologies of humans creating human life, without all that “reproduction” mumbo jumbo. Yes, the creation of “little men”, not the baby kind, but the homunculus kind.

Many falsely attribute the ideas of homunculus to such petty concepts as the mandragora, or root of mandrake. While the mandragora does have interesting properties when consumed as a medicinal ingredient, many foolish and suspicious believers mistake the human-like legs of the plants into being tiny human-like creatures, growing in the ground like babies in a womb. What silly thoughts, all plants grow in the ground, duh. Even in the Bible it is known that Mandrake has properties of curing infertility, and while yes that is creating life and little men, it’s the boring old “male and female intercourse” kind of life creation. How dull. Why would a man want to do such a thing with a woman, when he could create life all by himself?

Paracelsus knew the truth, for he was the first alchemist to properly realize that women could be eliminated from the equation, and life could be created with the life fluid produced by the masculin alone. As he wrote in his book [rough translation] “Putting the Celsius in Paracelsus: Cookin’ up Homunculi”:

“Place the sperm of a man, putrified for forty days, into a horse’s womb, and feed it with the arcanum of human blood for forty weeks, and a human child grows therefrom, with all its members like a child born of women, but much smaller, and a lot weirder looking. Thereafter and it shall live for forty years until it is stabbed forty times by its comrades. In the back.

The creation of homunculus is not associated with necromancy, despite some uninformed beliefs, although the misinformation can be understood when other forms of life creation can be facilitated by the use of the recently deceased. Some alchemists might be impatient, and not wish to go through 18+ years of child rearing, petty arguements, and teenage angst with their self-conceived test-tube (or horse tube!) homunculi. Instead, why not have a fully-grown homunculus from the moment of life? You will require a freshly deceased body in order to have a proper vessel for life, which are surprisingly hard to attain, even when submitting the proper paperwork for access to bodies donated to science, because Canadian legislature does not recognize as a true form of science… yet. The days of our obscurity continue, I am afraid. If your body procurement leaves you with a corpse with some major defects, it is perfectly acceptable to search for other corpses and to graft on superior components as needed. A thrifty tip: when looking at purchasing cadavers on the black market is to look for discounted bodies that are partially mangled or dismembered– you can often attain all necessary body parts more cheaply by buying in bulk, and maybe having some backup parts in case you accidentally drop your incomplete homunculus’ head into a curing vat of mercury (I admit I could’ve found a better location for the mercury, but my basement is in dire need of renovations).

The final method for creating a homunculus is the not-so-easy bake method: if you have enough raw materials, you can combine them via transmutation to create a human vessel for your homunculus to inhabit. As a rough guideline, you will need 35 L of dihydrogen monoxide (read last issue’s AlchemHistory for more about this fascinating compound!), 20 kg of carbon, 4 L of ammonia, 1.5 kg of lime, 800 g of phosphorous, 250 g of salt (a lower amount can be added to reduce risk for hypertension), 100 g of potassium nitrate, 80 g of sulfur, 7.5 g of fluorine, 5 g of iron (adding more will not create Tony Stark, experiments have shown), 3 g of silicon, and traces of fifteen other elements to taste (try adding some radioactive compound to see if super powers result!) Once collected, you can either place the elements in gold vessels (which are transparent to alchemy transmutations) atop your transmutation circle, or if you are horrendously in dept like the recent alchemy undergrad I am, just dump everything on the floor at once and try to transmute it before the liquid components run around everywhere and/or you pass out from the thick fumes associated with the components. (Note from EdCom: Safety first frosh! Use a human-sized fumehood for all homunculus-related syntheses).

After any of the three methods of homunculus-making, you will then need to acquire a soul to put into your freshly formed vessel. This is, of course, entirely taboo and should never, ever be attempted lest you wish to be condemned to hell and/or purgatory (we aren’t sure which it is yet), or accidentally mutilate yourself via the laws of equivalent exchange (which you actually may be able to pass off just as a laboratory-related accident).

Tune into the next issue of AlchemHistory when we delve into the much-requested and illustrious methodologies of chrysopoeia! Until then, dear readers: εν το παν!