The Ghouls' Review Spring 2015 - Page 14

From this repository, multiple copies were made which have subsequently resurfaced from time to time across the globe [11]. Its use has been reported multiple times in the historical literature the most famous examples being by Alberto Malich [12] and Merlin [13]. There has however been a paucity of use of Aqua Vitae in later centuries, the most recent being a limited mention by Victor Frankenstein in 1753 [14]. A number of reasons have been cited for this, the consensus being that the majority of manuscripts showing the formulation have been lost or degraded beyond use [15]. In fact, by 1923 only one full manuscript was known to exist. The Wolf text as it was known had been transcribed and translated from Merlin’s own notes by Carlos DeWolf and was stored in the Transylvanian museum [16]. The Wolf Text however was flawed and instead of extending life the potion it produced ended it immediately. Although the deaths of numerous victims were well reported this did not prevent its last and most famous victim, Adolph Hitler from attempting to use it in desperation in 1945 [17]. With such as high body count from the Wolf text it has been assumed that this had been copied from a decoy formulation, left by Merlin to trap the unwary and that the true formulation was therefore lost to time [18]. However recent archaeological excavations have shed new light on the situation. In 2012 James Wilson excavated the tomb of Imhotep in upper Egypt [19]. Multiple papyri detailing a number of correspondences were identified including a series of letters between Imhotep and Bruchephalous. The final piece of correspondence, translated from the cuneiform details an agreement to supply Aqua Vitae to Imhotep for the use of himself and the Pharaoh Djoser. In the scroll Bruchephalous notes the difficulty in supplying the ingredients for the potion and asks the priest of he has in his possession the claw scale from a Chinese Dragon Draco Orientalis [20]. We consider this detail to be of particular interest since according to the Wolf text it was the claw scale of a European Dragon Draco Familiaris which was to be used. From this information it is entirely possible to assume that DeWolf mistranslated the nature of the ingredient and that this is the cause of the changed nature of the potion historically observed. The literature also shows that the European Dragon, as a result of its solely carnivorous diet expresses less beneficial and more toxic substances than its Oriental counterpart [21] so is likely to make a potion with a more detrimental effect. From these new revelations it was our aim to recreate the Wolf formulation replacing European with Chinese dragon claw scales and to then test the resulting formulation. Experimental Unless otherwise stated all materials were purchased from National Alchemical suppliers Inc., and used as is. 14 The Ghouls’ Review