08. Fish For The Mind
Kalika informed us that the fish Matsya returned with is a “wholokailo.” Its hard scales were dried, polished, and repurposed as components in a calculating device. The meat was also favored for its succulent flavor and supposed ability to enhance intelligence. As an alchemist, I was eager to put this claim to the proof. Could the meat actually sharpen one's mind, or was it merely superstition born from the wholokailo's association with arcanima?
I investigated the fish's properties as soon as I heard Kalika's story, but regrettably found nothing extraordinary concerning its nutritional benefits. That said, the scales do appear to have value as alchemical agents if they are properly stripped from the body and dried. I then thought perhaps grilling the fish and eating it whole might produce the desired enhancing effect...but I found the scales to be much too hard to chew and displeasing to the tongue besides.
To use the fish to its full alchemical potential, I believe the best method would be to grind the scales into powder, then knead them into a shape that can be easily swallowed. Whether or not the resulting product would measurably improve one's intelligence remains to be seen, though.