HDK 53 † POLONIUS "The fatal quest of Xin Wen the alchemist" CASSETTE

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Xin-Wen is a model student of the alchemical school of Hēilóngjiāng; he has just graduated and is looking forward to showing his worth: then he starts the search for the secret ingredient of the Philosopher's Stone.

For all young alchemists the journey in search of the mysterious ingredient that allows to turn the stone into gold is an initiatory experience, a rite of passage. Unfortunately, for Xin Wen it will be a fatal undertaking, due to his lack of spiritual strength and a magical white powder.

Follow the misadventures of Xin Wen in the desolate land of Sacha Yakuzia, the kingdom of permafrost and mammoths: there the young alchemist will meet ambiguous and enigmatic characters who will distract him from his alchemical research. Xin Wen, overshadowed by the doubts and ghosts of his own conscience, will question years of study and will be dominated by his youthful impetuosity.

That the story of Xin Wen is a warning and an example to you.

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POLONIUS is a radical outsider, an insane musician, an enemy of the pentagram, a heretic adept of musique concrète: his style is unique, ingenious, without any connection with codified genres. For what we love him! We entrusted him with the soundtrack of a steam-punk story and the result left us stunned. The trip of "The fatal quest ..." is powerful and no return!
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۩ THE FATAL QUEST OF XIN-WEN THE ALCHEMIST ۩

The young alchemist named Xin Wen, lives in the remote regions of the Hēilóngjiāng, where wisdom is supreme and philosophers are the majority of the population. The school of alchemy of the region is second to none: the search for the Philosopher's Stone has never been so far advanced as in the laboratories of this strange and isolated region.

The alchemy students of Hēilóngjiāng dream of, one day, being able to transform the base metals into gold thanks to the power of the philosopher's Stone and they devote themselves to finding the last ingredient able to give substance to the alchemical catalyst par excellence.

According to the high master of Xin Wen, the ultimate element of the alchemical chain is a mineral contained in the fangs of the extinct mammoths preserved in the magical permafrost of the legendary region of Sacha-Yacuzia. No one in Hēilóngjiāng has ever seen a mammoth, nor does anyone knows what them looks like. Moreover, few believe that Sacha-Yakutia really exists. However, if it exists, everyone agrees that it is in the north, at a distance that is not infinite, but might as well be.

The day of the departure of Xin Wen for the Sacha-Yakutia a sober farewell ceremony is organized, in the austere and conceptual style of the Hēilóngjiāng; the masters and Xin Wen's classmates celebrate the courage of the young alchemist with several symbolic rites incomprehensible to most and wish him luck in the solemn search for the last element of the philosopher's stone. After taking his infrared sniper rifle, Xin Wen say farewell to everyone and, riding on a mountain goat, heads north.

For a hundred days and a hundred nights Xin Wen does not come across a living soul: only endless steppe, bloodsucking horseflies and hideous lowland spirits that blow sand into the eyes of travelers. Big pterodactyls fly wearily in the cerulean sky of the steppe. One night, a weasel steals most of Xin Wen's supplies. He doesn't care and continues his journey. But when he finds himself munching on the last cracker of his reserve and drinking the last sip of his alchemical herbal tea... Xin Wen is truly worried.

For a few days he eats steppe mice hunted with the precision rifle and boxes of preserves found in the ruins of a mall dating back to the middle ages of humanity. He meditates on eating his goat, but then he should face the journey on foot so he gives up. But the goat senses something and becomes suspicious. The relationship between the two becomes tense.

Now winter is approaching with sleet and the temperature drops dramatically. Xin Wen, as a good philosopher, begins to practice some exercises to die with dignity. When he's sure that the end is near, a wisp of smoke appears on the horizon...

Following the smoke Xin Wen arrives at the yurt of Bolot, a solitary shaman of the tribe of nomadic fishermen; this tribe seems to have become extinct since there is only Bolot nearby. The shaman hosts Xin Wen in his hot and stinky yurt and offers him plenty of food: frozen fish flakes, fermented mare's milk soup and a pie of mule liver and onion. He also offers him some mysterious magic powder, so that he can recover quickly from the long and exhausting journey.


"Inhale it!" Bolot says. After sniffing the off-white color powder, Xin Wen asks: "what is it?" But he can't hear the answer because the trip is immediate, intense, violent .... celestial. Then the awakening. "What was it?" he asks. Bolot replies that it is a shamanic medicine of his people; but Xin Wen, who knows the craft, wants to deepen the alchemical composition. "Simple: it is sawdust of fang of extinct mammoths preserved in the magical permafrost of the legendary region of Sacha-Yacuzia! Where we are right now..." Bolot answers.

Xin Wen lights up: here it is! The last link in the alchemical chain! He extracts the alchemical stove from his backpack and all the equipment needed for alchemical synthesis. Unfortunately he discovers that the Mammoth's tusk powder does not react with the other elements: his master has failed! Xin Wen is deeply embittered and disappointed by the alchemical science of Hēilóngjiāng. Bolot, annoyed by the waste of the hallucinatory sacred dust, asks him what the hell the concoction should be used for: "To synthesize gold from stones! "Xin Wen says annoyed." Well, but if it's the gold you're looking for, the mountains around here are full of this" says Bolot.

Xin Wen thinks: "Interesting...". He hopes to go home with a quantity of gold that can deceive his master, claiming to have created it from the stones. "Why do you not extract the gold, Bolot, but live like a beggar in a fetid yurt?" He asks. Bolot tells him that only the wretched barbarians of the west work in the mines around here, but they do it because they have a mechanical dragon that helps them: a huge excavator capable of gutting the mountains like butter. "But extracting the minerals from the mountains is an unholy thing for my people: it is a dangerous violation of the Mountain Spirits!".

Xin Wen spends a few days in Bolot's yurt discussing with his guest about philosophy and sniffing mammoth tusk. The two form a strong friendship. "Slow down with the sacred dust!" Bolot often tells him. Xin Wen at one point decides to go and take a look at the mines towards the mountains. He observes from afar the monstrous mechanical dragon, a medieval excavator that the barbarians call in their language "Bogatyr" (Hero). He is enormously fascinated by this creature. The barbarians are gaunt men with milky skin and rotten teeth. They live in grimy shacks on the edge of the open pit mine. During the night, guarding the excavator, there is an emaciated dude with two handlebar mustaches, long greasy hair and woman sunglasses. He's named Fyodor. Xin Wen manages to corrupt him by offering the magic sand of Bolot.

A few days later the wretched barbarians in the west are food for vultures, fallen under the shots of Xin Wen's rifle. Xin Wen and Fyodor, increasingly dependent on the dust of mammoth fang, now control Bogatyr to dig the mountains. Xin Wen's psychedelic trips gradually become less cheerful, to the point of becoming distressing and frightening. Bolot understands that the soul of Xin Wen is definitely corrupt and advises him to stop with the magic sand and above all not to dig the mountains: it is necessary to know them, to know where to dig and where not, so as not to cause the wrath of the demons. Xin Wen, perpetually stoned, does not listen to him and, with Fyodor, starts digging an untouched mountain, which contains so much gold that during the night the veins shine in the moonlight.

The two addicts dig and sift gold day and night, without sleep, always altered by the hallucinogenic substances contained in the sacred dust of Bolot. Gold seems endless, but Xin Wen has increasingly recurrent and terrible nightmares that devastate him. Xin Wen becomes insanely paranoid and Fyodor fears that Xin Wen wants to kill him, so he steal as much dust as he can, the sniper rifle, the goat, the Xin Wen's cool chinese clothes and disappears.

But Xin Wen does not care and, dressed in a burlap bag, continues his insane excavation until, during a night, eroding the mountain in depth, is swept away and reduced in pulp by a herd of twelve thousand Mammoth-zombies with golden fang and bright red eyes like rubies, that come out from a rift in the frozen heart of the earth. This at least is the idea that Xin Wen has about the causes of his death. More trivially it is thought that the mountain collapsed on him due to the reckless excavation.