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Finding my way I forge a new path
Cutting through wood with what alchemists hath
Fields not mountains I seek for swift passage
Cross this land I must to pass on my message

Who is this messenger?


Hint 1:

The path I once took may soon be lost forever.

Hint 2:

My personality's kind of split. One side tends to remember, the other tends to forget.

Hint 3:

I'm a prism that has helped advance both art and science.

Hint 4:

What do alchemists have to work with in their quest?
It's not the answer but should unlock one of the clues


UPDATES:
2019.09.30 - Minor update on title and tags to better fit the puzzle.

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  • $\begingroup$ Can't help but ask... is the reverse acrostic of the title, ROT13(sneg'q), part of the clues? $\endgroup$ – JMP Oct 1 at 5:07
  • $\begingroup$ @JMP Haha! That's just an unhappy accident and not part of the clues. I can sort of see how that could be a dark trail though xd $\endgroup$ – greysaff Oct 1 at 5:30
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Perhaps you are:

A PENCIL?

Finding my way I forge a new path

As a pencil writes on paper it creates a trail of graphite.

Cutting through wood with what alchemists hath

A pencil is made of wood with a central graphite core running all the way through it, colloquially known as 'lead', which is also the name of the metal alchemists attempt to turn into gold.

Fields not mountains I seek for swift passage

A pencil writes more smoothly and effectively on something flat, like a field.

Cross this land I must to pass on my message

To write a message the pencil must make contact with the page and move across it.

As for the title:

The 'dark trails' are the result of writing or drawing with it.

This works with the clues too, since:

A pencil's 'split personality' allows it to write with the sharpened point on one end (allowing things to be written down and 'remembered') and delete with the eraser on the other end (allowing it to 'forget' as words and lines are removed). This also explains how its path 'might soon be lost forever' - it could be rubbed out!

Furthermore, the invention of the pencil has assisted both science (in the writing down of ideas) and art (in drawing, etc.).

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  • $\begingroup$ Well done! I'll award the bounty once the time constraint has passed. $\endgroup$ – greysaff Oct 4 at 6:02
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the bounty @greysaff! $\endgroup$ – Stiv Oct 5 at 6:13
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The messenger is

a wildfire

The Dark Trail Right Across the Field

a wildfire leaves a trail of burned (dark) material

Finding my way I forge a new path

whether theres wood, grass or other vegetation, the fire makes a new path through it

Cutting through wood with what alchemists hath

Alchemists deal with elements (earth, air, fire, water)

Fields not mountains I seek for swift passage

From wikipedia: "They can move as fast as 10.8 kilometres per hour (6.7 mph) in forests and 22 kilometres per hour (14 mph) in grasslands

Cross this land I must to pass on my message"

If the wildfire front does not move, it will burn out. So to continue burning it must go on crossing the land

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice try but probably a bit too literal. I'll add a hint soon. $\endgroup$ – greysaff Sep 27 at 8:40
2
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Is the messager:

A gun

Finding my way I forge a new path.

A gun is forged

Cutting through wood with what alchemists hath

Gun powder?

Fields not mountains I seek for swift passage

Straight line and fast

Cross this land I must to pass on my message

The message is a bullet?

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice try but incorrect. You should also be able to connect it to the title somehow. $\endgroup$ – greysaff Sep 27 at 6:50
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The messager is:

Knowledge

Finding my way I forge a new path.

Knowledge begets new knowledge

Cutting through wood with what alchemists hath

Alcehemists had knowledge

Fields not mountains I seek for swift passage

Knowledge passes through academic fields

Cross this land I must to pass on my message

Knowledge can be lost if not passed on to others

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice answer but unfortunately incorrect. I'll add another hint now. $\endgroup$ – greysaff Sep 30 at 2:20
  • $\begingroup$ @greystaff Thanks for the response. I'll have another go at it once I have time. $\endgroup$ – jax Sep 30 at 5:32

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