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Taint Shard is both a research option under the Alchemy tab in the Thauminomicon, and also a form of Vis shard. Tainted Shards can only be obtained from areas with a relatively high amount of Taint in the Aura until this research. It only appears after scanning a Tainted Shard or Crystal Cluster, however, once it has been researched it allows one to alchemically create Tainted Shards, which are used in several recipes, and indirectly in others, such as the Thaumostatic Harness, which allows flight, or the Alchemical Centrifuge, which allows the separation of Compound Essentia into its separate components. As one can imagine, both of these are quite useful and otherwise unavailable without a supply of Tainted Shards, which are relatively difficult to acquire without Alchemy.

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The Alchemy recipe for creating Tainted Shards. Note that any of the 7 other shards, including Balanced Shards, can be used, even though only a Fire Shard is show in the picture.

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