WST is a bad idea, if you don't protect yourself properly. If you do, it's not nearly as dangerous. And yeah, the Lore teaching charm is locked behind two excellencies because it is so powerful. As scary as TWTT is, HAM is even scarier, especially when fully upgraded.
With a degree, substitutes can be made without penalty. Unless the substitute was also of low quality.
Art of Alchemy 1, Wits, 2, Six Hours
This brew, in the first age, was made mostly to anoint select parts of artifacts that were made to be used paired, helping to align the essence of the pair.
Of the ten thousand recipes that have survived into the present day, all share one common base, the opposing halves of two identical objects, each of which had been cut in half using the same blade, by the same person, in the same manner. The two halves are used as a base for what is best described as a demented stew of matched ingredients, some powdered, some whole, most in-between the two states.
Although usually used for the making of artifacts, say by soaking the magical materials, or the specially made and identical grips of a pair of short daiklaves, the resulting brew can be imbibed, and for a scene the drinker treats both hands as dominant.
Art of Alchemy 2/3, Stamina, 2/4, One Week
The adept version of this ritual allows Dragon Blooded to convert one color of jade to another, or more usefully, slowly purify jade of the proper color for her aspect. The ritual consumes various specially prepared, essence infused items that the dragon blood's anima consumes, worth resources 3, and eight motes from the Terrestrial. Small pieces of jade are usually swallowed after being treated with a paste of the items, or sewn under the skin near chakras that have occult sigils painted on them with the ashen remains of items. Larger pieces of jade tend to have the items placed on them and destroyed by the dragon blood's anima as he chants certain sutras to the Elemental Dragons. The whole affair takes less than an hour in either way, but the transformation takes the full week to finish, and it is not useful in crafts until the time has passed.
The master version of this ritual creates unique versions of jade, referred to in the few texts that feature the ritual as blended jade. The ritual is much the same, only requiring rarer items to be prepared in more elaborate ways (resources 4 to buy), and is far more difficult. Dragon Bloods with aspects not matching the jade's produce jade that shows stripes of jade of both (or all for those with more than one aspect) colors, in twisting arcs like a peppermint candy. Solars produce jade with bands of yellow heavily tainted with the color of the jade itself, while Lunars give the result stripes of shining, almost reflective silver-steel. Siderals give the jade stripes of pure color of their anima, unearthly and unnatural, even if a Battles Caste were to perform the ritual on the purest of Red Jades. It's unknown, yet, what an Abyssal, or Green Sun Prince's version of this ritual would look like, or even what kind of artifacts such things would be useful in.
Art of Alchemy 3, Wits, 4, One Hour
This ritual requires that the user have a defense charm with no intrinsic chance of failure (such as a dice roll) but an extrinsic chance of failure (the Solar and Lunar Flaws of Invulnerability as examples), or else be willing to ruin a large number of perfect items, some of which are about as potent for artifice as the resultant potion is.
Materially, making the poison requires several essence binding plants of abnormally poor quality, a pool of ritually fouled water, and five uses of the perfect defense charm that the thaumaturge possesses. The specific toxins used to foul the water have a resources cost of 4. In addition, the thaumaturge must intentionally mangle the channeling of Essence at the right moment of time, diverting it into the water, which is then mixed with the binding agents.
The resulting mix of essence and fouled water rebels against itself and quickly congeals into a surprisingly sweet smelling, and cloyingly sweet tasting mix with a paste like consistancy. Used as a poison, a single dose has traits of 1L/charm or hour, 2L, Essence Use/Hour, -1, and the procedure produces seven doses.
A normally made dose of the poison is mostly useful for minor artifacts that protect against poison, although some ancient individuals remember how to make more potent versions of this poison, for use in stronger, or just more offensive artifacts.
Art of Alchemy 2, Charisma, 3, One Day
This relatively simple alchemical brew is used to treat the ivory face masks sometimes turned into artifacts. It is far from the only way to make ingredients for the mask, but one of the simplest. The traditional recipe is a distillation of sunlight and forget me nots, boiled in a broth made with duck fat. The duck fat is by far the most expensive part of this in most places, requiring as much as Resources 3 to get it, should you for some reason need duck fat to be brought to you from another direction. Ingested, the soup gives one die to any roll to exert authority, or three if one boldly claims to be a non-existent lord.
The mask is usually far more useful.
And for comedy
Art of Spirit Beckoning 3, Strength, 8, One Century
One of the less used or known rituals in all of Creation, this ritual was made by, and remains the almost exclusive province of the fair folk for its absurd difficulty, and even more absurd length. The materials involved are seven exotic spices from the four corners of Creation, baroquely engraved (skill and talent are optional) tubs, and lots of water.
The thaumaturge shouts curses and challenges to the spirits of air, and directs the responses of the spirits into the water by throwing handfuls of the spices into the spirit's oncoming displeasure. Success will eventually end up in making large amounts of Hundred Year Ice, which is strong as steel, light as ice, and would last, even in deepest South, for a century. Unfortunately, it is only as strong as steel, heavy as ice, and would last, even in the furthest North, for only a century.
When the Raksha deign to make this, it is usually from gossamer, lies, or though extensive use of the fluidity of the Wyld.