[Fensalir] The Tournament of Plants and Potions, Challenge Two

The cities and villages of Melrath are as varied and diverse as they come. The capital of Raelia is the the jewel of this western kingdom, playing host to a merchants, artisans, Aesir priests, as well as a cut throat political landscape dominated by the nobles of Raelia. To the south in the depths of the Myrkvior Forest lies Melrath's second largest, and oldest city, Fensalir. Here people have learned to live alongside spirits and the natural world by maintaining their loyalty to traditions laid down the first Melrathi. To the east lies the small fishing village of Noatun, and to the western mountains rests the Mer city of Verimeer, the brewing town of Alivilda and the alpine village Vormund.

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[Fensalir] The Tournament of Plants and Potions, Challenge Two

Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:38 am

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The Tournament of Plants and Potions
76-78th Ashan 720

CHALLENGE TWO
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75th of Ashan and on: “Tournament of Plants and Potions” In Fensalir, House Namdalen and House Magnus decide to host a tournament. It is meant to serve as a recruitment drive for Ydalir rangers and herbalists, as well as alchemists for House Magnus. Jarl Sebastian Magnus, and the recovered Jarl Samuel Namdalen (who’d spent Cylus poisoned from the assassination attempt in late Zi’ da), are both in attendance along with other prominent members of their noble houses.

Herbs and Medicines Challenge Two: The participants are sent to the surrounding wilderness for two trials. They are meant to come back and put together a salve. The salve can be for anything, but the more beneficial or wide-ranged in use it is, the better. Those who fail at putting together a salve, or create something that is harmful, are dropped from the tournament. One haughty woman is found cheating by having purchased a salve instead of harvesting the ingredients for herself. She is sternly chided by Jarl Magnus in front of everyone, much to the obvious amusement of Jarl Namdalen.


Alchemy and Potions, Challenge Two: The participants are given two trials to create a potion with ingredients they have to acquire themselves. The potion can be for anything, but the more beneficial or wide-ranged in use it is, the better. Those who fail at putting together a potion, or create something that is harmful, are dropped from the tournament. An elderly man accidentally causes an explosion, burning down the house he was conducting his work in. He is badly burned but survives. Jarl Magnus and Jarl Namdalen visit him and offer their respective houses to aid in his recovery.

Ashling had succeeded with all the tests in the first challenge and so, she would now do the second challenge!

It was before the dawn of the 76th Ashan. The details for the second challenge of the tournament would soon be disclosed. The participants had gathered in front of the tent on the festival meadow in the Springwater district in Fensalir. They shuddered in the cold air and wondered how long they would have to wait. And why had they been told to come here before the break of dawn?

Finally, the challenge and the rules were announced, by the two Jarls themselves. Jarl Magnus and Jarl Namdalen strode out from the tent, dressed colourful woollen clothing and warm fur cloaks.

Jarl Namdalen spoke first. “Welcome, all who have gathered here! I now will tell you about the second challenge of the plants part of the tournament! "

He made a brief pause, waiting for total silence and attention before he continued. "Your mission is to make a herbal salve. It can be a salve for any purpose. But, the more beneficial it is, or the more wide-ranged the use of the salve is, the better we will consider it!"

The participants smiled in relief. They all knew many good recipes! This seemed easier than expected!

But, the Jarl wasn't done. " You get two trials (and nights) for finding the ingredients yourself, in the wilderness. Then you need to come back and make the salve before the time is out."

Some eager participants seemed ready to leave at this point. Time was an essential factor here and it made the challenge harder. Many an over-confident smile vaned. They must be on their way ...

But, the jarl blew a small horn to keep their attention. He had more to say. “Wait! You also need to know the exact rules! Two trials mean two days and nights, beginning at dawn to-trial and ending at dawn after the second night. Keep this in mind! If you fail to deliver your salve before the dawn of the 78th of Ashan, we will drop you from the tournament! If your salve is harmful we will also drop you. If you cheat you will be out of the contest.”

The impatience was rising in the group of participants. How long time would the Jarl speak? They might need every trill and wanted to head to the wilderness already. The conditions were tough. If you would go for but less common plants it would take time and effort to find them.

Ashling felt more nervous than she had expected. There was an element of hazard in the rules. Nature and luck would decide which herbs she would be able to find in time. That, in turn, would decide which salves it would be possible to make. It was much harder than if the task had been to find a specific plant and make a specific kind of salve.

Now, it was Jarl Magnus turn to speak. He gave a similar speech. Their mission was to create a potion, the more beneficial or wide-ranged in use, the better. The alchemists would get the same two days and nights for their mission. The rules for dropping people were also the same.

The sky was taking on the rose colour of dawn. The first trial of the second challenge began.
Last edited by Ashling on Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:47 pm, edited 5 times in total. word count: 864
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Tristan Venora
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Re: [Fensalir] The Tournament of Plants and Potions, Challenge Two

Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:01 am

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Tristan wasn’t sure why he had failed two tests. He was probably one of the best alchemists in all of Melrath and almost as good as the famous Padraig Augustin. He couldn’t help but wonder if it had been due to the latent (or blatant?) xenophobia. But then again, people had begun to cheer for him a couple of rounds into the contest. Maybe the flirty hostess had messed with the final score because he had refused to flirt with her. Or maybe someone had been jealous of his good looks. Or maybe … in the end he decided that it didn’t matter that he had failed two tests (or why he had failed them). The only thing that really mattered was that he had been allowed to progress to the second round. Apparently, someone had been sufficiently impressed with his performance!

“Brrr”, he made as he waited in front of the tent with the other contestants and shuddered. It was quite cold, even though he had put a coat on. “Do you have any idea why they decided to wake us up before dawn?” he asked Ashling who would compete alongside him (in the herbs and medicines part of the tournament rather than in the potions part). “Do they want to find out how we’ll perform if we haven’t had enough sleep?” he mused and moved a little closer to her in order to put an arm around her so that they would be able to keep each other warm while they waited (he had to admit, he was quite happy to have an excuse to touch her – she was just so lovely).

When the two Jarls walked out of the tent, he stood up straighter though and moved a little away from Ashling as being affectionate in front of such people might be inappropriate, especially if the reason for the tournament taking place was a serious one. They talked about the plants part first, but he listened just as attentively as Ashling, nevertheless because he wanted to know what she would be asked to do. “What do you think?” he wanted to know once Jarl Namdalen had finished speaking. If the contestants were sent into the wilderness for two trials, did that mean that they had to sleep in the forest? Would he have to sleep in the forest as well? Tristan had gotten a lot better when it came to dealing with nature, but he still had something of that city boy in him.

When Jarl Magnus began to explain the potions side of the second round, he thus listened with a certain amount of trepidation. He didn’t usually harvest the reagents for his potions himself (although, come to think of it, the Jarl had said acquire and not harvest – when you bought something at a shop, you acquired it as well, right?). In fact, he had only looked for plants that he could use for his alchemy himself for the first time the cycle before, during a brief stay in Desnind (during which he had met a most interesting woman named Dula).

On the other hand, he was one of the best alchemists in all of Melrath and he had a perfect memory courtesy of Vri – and the most beautiful grey-skinned woman next to him, so what could possibly go wrong?

“They seem to be in quite a hurry”, he remarked to Ashling as he looked at the other contestants, some of whom had started to move towards the entrance of the tent the moment Jarl Magnus had finished speaking, as if they were worried that there wouldn’t be any plants left in the forest (even though it was full of them). “We should probably get going as well. Do you think we’ll be allowed to look for our reagents together?” he asked.
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Re: [Fensalir] The Tournament of Plants and Potions, Challenge Two

Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:00 pm

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Ashling had no idea why the rules and time schedule were this way! they did! It was an enigma to her too, but there was nobody to ask about it. She had laughed a bit when Tristan had asked if they were supposed to perform better the less sleep they got.

About what she thought ... she told him that thinking was the key. They would have to think. Rushing ahead in a plan-less manner seemed bad. She didn’t think that it would be so smart to go for sleeping in the forest. The best would be to gather ingredients before the end of the first trial. They could then use the rest of the time for the crafting. It wouldn’t matter how rare and spectacular ingredients people might find if they would run out of time. Her goal would be a salve of as widespread use and high quality as possible, made of herbs that weren't too hard to find.

At this point, Jarl Namdalen blew the horn again, louder this time. Jarl Magnus shouted out to the people who were already heading away from the tent. “There is one more rule! “

One more rule?! The eager participants stopped in their tracks. What now?

Jarl Magnus spoke again. Speeches seemed to be his forte. “All the participants in challenge two can collaborate about navigation and security. We don't want anybody to be alone if an accident happens. There’s important limitations though. Alchemists cannot go with other alchemist and herbalists cannot go with fellow herbalists. We approve that an alchemist and herbalist collaborate about navigation and security. Those need different ingredients and use different crafts and have very different knowledge. So, it's not possible to copy the other person’s ideas and cheat. Note though! We approve it only if you register it in advance.”

Jarl Magnus pointed at scribe who was making ready to take notes.

But there was a bit more. “If you collaborate it may increase your safety. You may get better at finding the way. But, keep in mind that teamwork also comes with risks. Each contestant will still have to identify/appraise their ingredients themselves. For example, if an herbalist finds a toxic look-alike of a plant/mushroom etc ... and makes a mistake at identification ... it's dangerous if an alchemist uses the plant without examining it and making their own identification. All are responsible for their own results. We will not have any pointing at a collaboration partner as guilty of mistakes!”

Ashling picked up the conversation with Tristan where they had left it off to listen to the jarls. “I know the forest here like my own pocket. We will not lose our way. Bring your crossbow though. I’ll bring my short bow and my first aid kit. Hope we don’t need them, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

A mild chaos broke out.

People began to look around for collaboration partners from the other discipline. Most seemed to only think of how that could increase their chances at success. Few seemed to care about the risks of making mistakes together.

Ashling didn’t get time to continue speaking with Tristan. The snarky alchemist Biarne who had harassed Tristan during challenge one turned up. The man hooked arms with Ashling, without caring that Tristan was already holding his arm around her. In a loud voice he announced that she was the herbalist he intended to collaborate with. “Let’s go and register love, so we get a head start!”

With this Biarne attempted to jerk Ashling away from Tristan. Several reactions from other people followed. First, Biarne’s partner Buxom began to object in a shrill tone. They were an herbalist and they had taken it for granted that they would go with Biarne!

Second, a beautiful event hostess who worked with all kinds of event support came rushing to them. She tried to calm down the situation. “Please. We can’t have the participants arguing with each other about how to team up.”

In attempt to quick fix the problem the hostess told Buxom to team up with Tristan as Biarne was already in a team. Buxom yelled that they would not go with an outlander. Tristan had also failed at half of the tests in challenge one and almost not made it to this round. Buxom wanted to go with Biarne (who had scored 4/4, somehow)!

Ashling tried to shake off Biarne but the alchemist held on to her. There was nothing else to do than kicking him in the ... shin, for a start. “I’m teamed up with Tristan,” she hissed. “Let go of me and team up with your own partner for Myrkvior’s sake! Can’t you see that you are hurting their feelings?”

Kicking the man’s shin didn’t have any effect apart from a grimas. “Buxom scored only 2/4. Like the outlander here. Those two losers are a match. You and I are a winning team. Top scores. Simple mathematics."

Ashling tried in wain to free her arm. "I don't care about your mathematics! Let go of of me!"

"Listen. This is about winning and not about being squeamish about feelings. It’s a contest for Myrkvior’s sake, not a romantic picnic! You go with me, you win! You go with him, you fail!"

“There, there, let’s all be reasonable and solve this little disagreement now,” said the hostess. “No more bickering. We can’t all always get everything our own way. Be sporting and accept the collaboration partner you were dealt!”

Biarne still held on to Ashling and managed to drag her a step or two away from Tristan. Meanwhile the hostess made an attempt to make Tristan and Buxom shake hands. It was futile, because Buxom had begun crying. They refused the matchmaking. Ashling was too busy with Biarne to see what Tristan was doing. But, she though she heard his voice through Buxom’s wailing and the hostess’s fruitless pleas for peace.

The tears running down the face of Biarne’s loyal supporter settled it. He was bad to all, his own partner too! Ashling kicked again, with her knee this time and higher up. She wasn’t a brawler, but as a healer she knew enough about male anatomy to know how to take Biarne out. It wasn’t nice but she had no choice!

Biarne groaned, let go of her, doubled up and fell on the ground. Buxom was irrational in their loyalty. They took care of their cold-hearted partner and scolded Ashling . Tired of them (and angry), Ashling turned to Tristan. “Let’s go and register as a team, get our things and leave. We can plan as we go! ”

The commotion had delayed them a bit. Other collaboration teams had already registered and were leaving. Those who were going solo were already gone. Assuming that Tristan would come with her Ashling walked over to the now free scribe. She told registered them. Ashling Grayhawk, herbalist and Tristan Venora, alchemist.

She neither knew nor cared what their antagonists would do!

A bit later, Ashling and Tristan departed. Each brought the tools and other things for their respective crafts. They carried their weapons, a bow (Ashling) and a crossbow (Tristan). At a good pace they crossed Juniper Hills (north of Springwater, where the contest tent stood). They headed out from Fensalir at the eastern side of the town. Ashling explained why. “We will neither go northeast toward the Old Ruins, nor south towards Fenmoor. And we will not go so far into the forest, if we do as I suggested before that dumb brawl. If we are lucky we will be back before nightfall and start crafting in the evening."

Excellent plan if you asked her. Not much could go wrong there! Right? But, she wanted to hear what Tristan thought of it of course. “What do you say Tristan, do you think this could work for you too? Or should we spend more of our time finding ingredients and go for faster crafting?"
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