Alchemy is the art of extracting magical essence out of natural materials and combining those essences into useful potions and mixtures. Base essences are found in rare plants, animals and minerals. These have minor magical effects when consumed, such as making someone lighter, or giving them a slight glow. Stronger effects can be created by mixing these essences, and these solutions can themselves be combined with others to create even more powerful potions, and so on. A major danger in alchemical laboratories is cross contamination of different products, as these will alter the end result quite dramatically. Fumes and spills can also be dangerous, and some alchemical compounds can combust quite spectacularly. Closely related to alchemy is the art of internal alchemy. An internal alchemist can use specific meditation techniques to transmute their body fluids into alchemical compounds. Just as in normal alchemy, simpler compounds can be combine into stronger ones. Internal alchemy is unknown outside the directorate.
Summoning allows a practitioner to manifest a spirit into the physical world. Once there, a spirit is in no way obligated to obey the summoner, but they seem to like being summoned, so they'll listen to the summoner to some degree. A clever summoner will also try to use a spirits nature to their advantage, asking them to do things they want to do anyways. To begin summoning, a practitioner first sends out a mental signal into the spiritual world. A spirit responds by entering into the callers mind in a form known as an imago. A practitioner is aware of the spirit living in their head, but the spirit itself is only dimly aware of its surroundings, and communicates through impressions and emotions. Through concentration the spirit can released, where it will fulfill its desires. Afterwards, with an exertion of will the spirit can recalled back into the mind. It is incredibly difficult to recall a spirit that you yourself didn't summon, but it is not impossible. It is much easier to recall a spirit into a prepared talisman, which anyone can use to summon or recall the spirit. Talismans are specific to the spirit they are meant to house. A summoner knows what sort of talisman is needed to house an imago in their head. If the spirit is not recalled, it will go feral, growing stronger and sometimes even reproducing. For this reason, and also because spirits are seen as unclean, summoning is illegal in Sinrerall. On the hand, spirits are venerated in Czaga, and summoner druids are held in high regard. Spirits are organized into groups know as courts that share similar forms and outlooks. Oddly, different courts are found in different worlds, though the spirit plane spans all worlds. Over time, courts can gain or lose prominence, sometimes appearing out of nowhere, sometimes disappearing altogether. The two courts on Zark currently dominate are the Proud Lords and the Wet Dark.