# The Alchemist's Grimoire

Told from the perspective of my fantasy self.
The story is not needed to solve the puzzle, but may have some useful tidbits.

So earlier today, I finally decided to sit down with my newest party member, Astrid. She's an alchemist, and quite apparently so, from the large bags of ingredients on her back, to the grimoire strapped to her waist.

After discussing and drinking with her for quite a while, she splayed her tome across the table and started explaining her craft to me. She was really excited about it, like it was the first time in a while that someone seemed to care about what she does. She wanted to show me a little alchemy, but she excused herself and said some equipment was left back at the inn.

After she left, I decided to flip through her book. And to my surprise, I couldn't understand a bit of it! One page stood out in particular, with the last bit of nonsense scribbled out and replaced with "NEVER WORKS". Since I'm a rogue, I did what I do best, and that's stealing. And by that, I meant I did my best to copy it onto some spare parchment, scribbles and all, before she returned.

I've been awake all night trying to figure out what the symbols mean. I can assure you that these are addition equations of some sort, but I've had no luck deciphering their meaning. Perhaps you can help me out?

What did Astrid fail at creating, and what are its components?

Astrid is trying to find:

Love

And its "formula" is simply:

Human + human

There could be many reasons why this isn't working for Astrid, which are well beyond the scope of this answer!

Some explanation:

The unknown script "equations" can be translated into the following:
AIR + FIRE = ENERGY
EARTH + WATER = MUD
WATER + AIR = RAIN
RAIN + EARTH = PLANT
PLANT + MUD = SWAMP
SWAMP + ENERGY = LIFE
LIFE + EARTH = HUMAN
??? + ??? = L??E

These look a lot like element combinations found in several games, and a quick google found Little Alchemy (which is new to me, but fits the theme).

And looking at a list of possible combinations from that game, the only options matching L??E are life (which we already have), and love, which is what Astrid seems to be seeking.