An Alchemist is one of the many remarkable individuals capable of studying and practicing alchemy. As the craft of alchemy requires a full understanding of chemistry and ancient alchemical theory, alchemists are closer to scientists than magicians, but the ability to perform alchemy is also tied to an inherent talent for manipulating matter and energy so not all people can become competent alchemists merely by studying.
Though essentially scientists, alchemists' abilities are incredibly practical and can be applied to the simple enhancement of normal life in the form of quick, relatively effortless repair of objects that ordinarily take a good deal of time and energy to fix. As such, alchemists are revered as productive members of society and hold the concept of Be Thou For The People as their unofficial credo. This creed dictates that alchemists use their abilities for the good of the public rather than for personal gain or political reasons, a creed generally rejected by alchemists who opt for government licenses and funding as State Alchemists.
Despite their obligation to the people, alchemists are also careful to keep the secrets of their research out of the hands of the general public so as to prevent abuse of that knowledge and power by those with less-than-noble intentions. As such, alchemists generally keep their research notes coded so that only they - or other like-minded alchemical geniuses - may understand them.