A perfectly innocent spiral-bound book whose plastic covers bear colorful illustrations of various plants. The interior pages are slighlty yellowed from age and smell of old tobacco. The first two hundred pages are filled with blocks of text and a number of black-and-white illustrations, some of which are reproduction of medieval wood cuts and engravings. The last twenty pages were blank, and are covered with recipes and hand-written notes in faded ink of various colors. The main text is in English, with the occaisional Latin quotation. The notations are in New Orleans French.

The Pharmacopeia was a very minor publication, with only five hundred copies production during its 2015 print run. Ostensibly presenting the magical potency and use of various herbs, mushrooms, spices and plants; the Pharmacopeia is a typical example of such small-press books at the time, being a collection of holistic medicine and folklore. The book stands out from most of its better-selling and less useful competitors for not including mythical plants and actually having researched the myths and folklore behind the 500-odd short entries in the book. Modern talismongers who peruse the tome might note that some of the recipes and preparations presented in the text are nearly identical to those used in preparing modern materials of the herbal arcanum.

This particular copy of the Pharmacopeia languished for several decades in the house of Augustine ("Augie") Le Fousteu's grandmother. The Le Fousteu family's heritage is a hopelessly tangled quagmire of love, immigration, teenage pregnancy, marriages in church, synogogue, mosque and Buddhist shrine, and ultimately death in childbirth, running from the law, and the next ship leaving port. Suffice to say that Augie grew up with his grandmother on the outskirts of Algiers in New Orleans. Le Fousteu's grandmother was not a magician, much less a mambo, but she did described herself as "Practicin' my religion." which more or less entitled her to a complex weekly schedule at Catholic Mass, offerings at a small Buddhist shrine, philisophical conversations and bingo at a local Masonic hall, routine chats and offerings at the gravesites of the various Le Fousteu clan, and visits to the local houngan, Papa Demiere.

In any event, Augie figures Gran got the book at a swap meet or yard sale. After she passed away, Augie took it down and read it. He might have been able to sell it to some sympathetic bookdealer for the price of a cup of soykaf and a beignet, but instead Augie turned it to his business of choice: drug dealing.

Being fairly unscrupulous to begin with, and with a number of slightly seedy and eccentric connections, Augie Le Fousteu quickly became a (very) small time type of dealer. He started out by growing marijuana in his back yard and running a still in his house. Eventually, he upgraded a little, investing in an online chemistry course. Fairly soon, Augie was supplying small quantities of more-or-less quality pharmaceuticals designed for the magic-minded around Algiers and even into the French Quarter. Which is where the trouble happened.

No one quite knows whose toes Augie stepped on when he ran a couple tablets of psyche and a quart of goat's blood into the little pseudo-vampire shop that hot August night last year, but the last Le Fousteu wasn't seen again after that night. His house was raided by his friends inside a week and cleaned out. The Pharmacopeia made it into a little used bookstore in the French Quarter, where you might still find it today...

Augie's handwritten notes detail ten recipes he commonly used, and which vary from the useful to the very weird-Le Fousteu had some unusual customers, after all. Each is written one to a page, with the back page usually blank. The various recipes are detailed below:

1. A recipe, mainly of tobacco and willow bark with a few other herbs, supposedly based on an old AmerInd recipe.

2. Instructions to properly distil absinthe from wormwood.

3. Instructions to properly create laudanum usuing xerxes.

4. Gran Le Fousteu's recipe for jambalaya, including a small side-bar detailing her prized pickled okra.

(The back of this page contains what might be the correct chemical formula for the antidote to the alkaloid-based "zombie powder" used by houngans of the Petro rite. It is written in invisible ink, and can only be seen by careful application of heat, lemon juice, UV light or some other catalyst).

5. An old family remedy, based on crushed aloe, garlic, camphor, and oil of cloves. Does not specify whether this is a topical ointment or a tincture to be ingested.

(The back of this page contains incomplete notes, labelled as "Formula for Laés-wine," but actually for distilling the elven liquor Taéngelé, obviously copied by Augie from another source. This page is written in Sperethiel with invisible ink.)

6. The correct chemical formula for the street drug Zen.

7. The correct chemical formula for the antidote to the street drug Zen.

8. The correct chemical formula for the designer drug Psyche.

9. The correct chemical formula for the antidote to the designer drug Psyche.

10. The correct chemical formula for the antidote to the magical compound Deepweed.

(The back of this page contains what might be the correct formula for the magical compound Deepweed, but is written in invisible ink and does not include any instruction in the metamagical technique needed to create it.)