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A Lesson in Alchemy

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Continued from here

Ashan 102, Arc 720

“Tell me a bit about yourself, Ari’sora”,
the Mortalborn spoke in a deep and polite tone of voice as they left the courtyard where he had just demonstrated a recent invention of his called fire flowers to a group of students and entered the university building. A little earlier, the young half-blood had voiced an interest in alchemy, and he had offered to tell her more as he quite appreciated someone’s being curious about his craft.

He hadn’t posed that question because he wanted to engage in a bit of small talk while they walked to his office, perhaps, because he couldn’t stand the silence – he rarely engaged in small talk, and he quite enjoyed a bit of silence every now and then. There had been a reason for him asking her to tell him more about herself. Getting to know her better would help him decide how he should organize their little impromptu lesson.

There were some aspects of alchemy that would likely not suit her, after all.

~~~

“Here we are”, he told her a few bits later when they finally stopped in front of a heavy oaken door, removed a key from a pocket of his coal black jacket and unlocked it before he opened it. They had passed a few people by on the way there. Doran had greeted some of them or nodded politely at them, but he had not stopped in order to engage in an actual conversation.

It wouldn’t be appropriate if he talked to people while the young woman next to him was waiting for her lesson.

“Please come in, Ari’sora, and take a seat”, he told her as he moved towards the desk that stood on the opposite of the room, in front of the window. The furniture of the office that had been given to him for the duration of his stay in Scalvoris was considerably less luxurious than the one in his office in Viden, but it was in good condition and perfectly serviceable, and in the end, that was what really mattered in his opinion.

“Can I offer you anything to drink before we begin?” he asked and gestured towards a small table where a couple of bottles with various beverages as well as crystal glasses stood. Having said that, he finally sat down himself. He sat with his back straight, folded his hands on the desk in front of him and looked at her with some sort of calm curiosity.

Said desk was of course not empty. Ari’sora could see a number of books and papers – they were filled from top to bottom with the professor’s handwriting, the words were crammed together in places as if he had threatened to run out of space – as well as a few more curious objects, such as vials that were filled with colourful liquids as well as containers with dried herbs.

“I can either begin by telling you a few things about alchemy that I think might interest you – or you can ask me any questions that you may have”, Doran told the young woman, and then he waited for her to speak.

word count: 538

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Re: A Lesson in Alchemy

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102nd Ashan, 720

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Ari'sora was happy to follow the professor back to his office. She was caught off guard by his question, though. It was such a simple question on the surface...but given her past, it was a very complex one. She had come a long way from the slave that she had been, but that part of her was still very much present within her, and it colored much of who she was totrial.

"Until I started studying linguistics at the University, I've never been to school. I wasn't allowed to go when I was a child. Back then, everything I learned came from books when I had earned the chance to read. As a result, I know a lot about some things...and very little about others."

Like alchemy. Until totrial, she had never even heard of it. And there were plenty of things that couldn't readily be learned out of books.

"But I love to learn new things. That's one of the reasons I am studying linguistics. The more languages you know, the more books you are able to read, and the more things you can learn from them. And I believe that you can learn more about a person if you are fluent in the language that they are most comfortable with. It helps you to understand them in some ways."

They reached the professor's office, and she couldn't help but look around as she took the seat that was offered to her. The office looked lived in...comfortable. Ari'sora imagined that the professor's students would feel relaxed in this room, and as a result, it would be easier for them to discuss whatever concerns they might have with their professor.

When the professor asked her if she wanted something to drink, she looked over at the beverages he gestured at. She didn't recognize some of them, but she was happy to see that water was one of the choices. More surprising were the crystal glasses. She had never seen one outside pictures in a book before.

"Could I have some water?" she asked after a few trills.

When the professor suggested a couple of different ways the lesson could go, there wasn't any need for Ari'sora to think about it.

"I think it would be better if you tell me about things you think would interest me. Normally, I would never turn down the chance to ask questions...but right now, I don't think I don't know enough about alchemy to even know what questions to ask." she admitted.


word count: 440
Rei'sari was formerly Ari'sora, but after getting a fresh start in life and a new appearance from Vega, she changed her name to Rei'sari.
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Re: A Lesson in Alchemy

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The Mortalborn didn’t ask Ari’sora why she hadn’t been allowed to go to school. He had noticed that his question had caught her off-guard and concluded that it might be a somewhat delicate matter, something that she probably didn’t want to discuss with a stranger. He didn’t judge her because of her lack of education, of course. He simply inclined his head in order to let her know that he accepted and appreciated her answer and spoke, “I know a man that has had very little in the way of formal education so far, just like you – he only started attending university very recently - and yet he is one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable people that I have met in my entire life.”

He was talking about his lover Llyr of course. The etherist that was several centuries his junior possessed one of the most impressive minds that he had ever encountered. He was, perhaps, the only one that could keep up with him, that actually listened and proposed theories of his own rather than staring at him in confusion and eventually zoning out. In regard to some subjects such as magic and the world of dreams, Llyr even knew more than him. He had opened his eyes and made him see the world – really made him see it – for the first time.

“I believe the same in regard to language”, he continued, smiling very lightly. “Language is about more than just mere words. It reveals a lot about the culture of its speakers and their approach to life. Besides, people tend to be friendlier and more inclined to give you a chance if you talk to them in their own language. I recently spent some time in Etzos where I learned Ith’ession and plan on familiarizing myself with the Ancient Language next”, he remarked. Such seemed prudent to him considering the fact that he had decided to make Viden his new home.

The purpose of this meeting was to tell Ari’sora more about alchemy and not talk about his own views or the people that were close to him though, and thus he didn't say more. When the young half-blood asked for some water, he raised an eyebrow fractionally, but then he nodded and filled a glass that he handed to her before he poured himself a drink as well. Normally, he was quite fond of a little brandy every now and then. Drinking alcohol when he was teaching somebody seemed inappropriate to him though, and thus he opted for a drink that was a mixture of several different fruit juices, spices, as well as water.

It was a somewhat extravagant drink. Once upon a time, he had led a somewhat ascetic life; his spark and the mutations that resulted from it had given him a preference for complex foods and drinks though, interesting tastes and smells as well as unusual textures.

“In that case, I will tell you more about what you can accomplish with alchemy”, he decided as she told him that she didn’t know enough about alchemy to know what questions to ask. “Alchemy is, as I told you before, a science that is closely related to chemistry – and a way to give a little bit of magic to the mundane. Alchemists transfer properties from one item to another and unlock the hidden potential of things so that they become more than the sum of their parts. Wait a moment”, he spoke.

He opened a drawer of his desk and removed a glass jar that was filled with orange sand from it. “I acquired this yesterday”, he explained and handed the jar to her. "It is always warm to the touch. If I wanted to, I could create some sort of paint with it and cover the walls with it so that it is always warm in my house, even in winter, for example. I could also imbue my clothes with it so that I never have to freeze outside though.”

“That is, of course, a rather basic application of alchemy”,
he remarked in a somewhat dry tone, his blue eyes twinkling. “Alchemists can create garments that make you resistant to fire, for a time – or even make a building float in the middle of a lake. There is also Blood Magic, of course, which I already mentioned earlier. That is one of the most advanced and dangerous branches of alchemy though.”

“Do you have any questions at this point, Ari'sora?”
he asked and took a sip from his drink before he continued. “Would you be interested in learning more about the process of creating an item? If you are interested, I could make something very simple now so that you know how exactly you go about imbuing an item”, he offered.

“Sometimes, actually showing something can be more effective than just explaining it.”
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Re: A Lesson in Alchemy

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102nd Ashan, 720

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Ari'sora was very grateful when Professor Thetys didn't question her further about why she had never attended school before she started going to the University. And she was happy to hear that he had similar views to languages as she did. It made her feel that she was right to feel the way she did about them. When the professor mentioned Ith’ession and telling her that he had learned it in Etzos, she took a mental note. It was a language she had never heard of before, and that alone made her want to learn what she could of it. She had heard about the Ancient Language before, and his words reminder her that her linguistics professor had told their class about a guest lecturer who was coming from Viden next cycle to give a lecture on the language.

"Earlier this season, one of my linguistic professors told my class that a guest professor was coming here from Viden next cycle to give a lecture on the Ancient Language. You might be able to talk to them about the language while they are visiting the University." she said softly.

Ari'sora was really looking forward to that lecture. But that was for another time. Right now, she wanted to learn as much about alchemy as Professor Thetys was willing to teach her.

When the professor handed her a glass of water, she thanked him politely. She had thought that the other beverages would have been alcoholic, but she couldn't smell any sign of that in the drink that Professor Thetys had chosen for himself. Instead, she smelled a variety of fruits and spices that smelled quite appealing.

"May I ask what you're drinking?" she asked, hoping that he wouldn't take offense to her question.

"It smells wonderful."

The topic turned to alchemy, and Ari'sora paid rapt attention to what the professor told her. She wondered if any property could be transferred from one item to another using alchemy, or if there were limits, and she asked as much. Then he offered her filled with orange sand. It was warm to the touch, and the professor told her that it always was warm. He also told her than he could make a type of paint out of it that could be used on a house or clothes so that they would be warm all the time. Ari'sora's eyes widened in wonder. Could the same thing be done to keep things cool in the heat of Saun? The possibilities were endless. And he went on to tell her that that was a basic application of alchemy.

He talked of fire resistant clothes and floating houses, and Ari'sora felt as though she had fallen into a fairy tale. It all sounded so amazing. The professor spoke of blood magic again, this time adding that it was an advanced technique and was dangerous. Ari'sora was curious as to what exactly it was, but there were so many other things that she wanted to know. It was always a good idea to have a firm grip on the basics before moving on to more advanced techniques no matter what you were doing. When something was dangerous, that was even more true.

"Can you transfer more than one property from one item to another?" she asked after he asked if she had any questions.

"If so, how many can you transfer?"

She paused, remembering what he had said about reagents earlier.

"How do reagents work? How many are there? Are there different types of reagents? What are they? You said they were the focus of alchemy, but can anything be a reagent? Or only specific things?"

When Professor Thetys offered to let her watch him making something simple so that she could see how imbuing an item worked, she was quick to take him up on his offer.

"I agree with that completely, and I would love to see you make something." she said softly.



word count: 674
Rei'sari was formerly Ari'sora, but after getting a fresh start in life and a new appearance from Vega, she changed her name to Rei'sari.
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Re: A Lesson in Alchemy

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“I thank you for the information”, the Mortalborn replied as Ari’sora told him about the guest professor that would be visiting from Viden the following cycle and inclined his head fractionally. The young half-blood had suggested that he talk to the guest professor when they were on the island; he spent most of the time in Viden himself though, and thus he considered it to be more prudent to seek them out when he returned there. Still, it constituted useful information, especially in light of the fact that his previous attempts to familiarize himself with the Ancient Language had been met with some resistance. As it had turned out, the Eidisi were rather protective of their language.

The hint of a smile flickered across his face as the young woman wanted to know what he was drinking. “Strawberries”, he replied quite willingly once he had taken a sip. “A hint of raspberry and banana, milk, some ice, sugar and vanilla, among other things. I may have missed a couple of ingredients. I didn’t make this drink myself”, he explained. “If you want to, you may give it a try. There’s more than enough here”, he offered, in case she wanted something other than water, after all. Having said that, he took another sip, finding the drink quite pleasant – it satisfied his changing tastes quite well - before he set the glass down again and turned to focus on the reason for their meeting.

He watched her face while she listened to his explanation, sitting with his back straight and his hands folded on the desk in front of him once more. She looked surprised and curious, as he had expected, he noticed, but her eyes did not glaze over as a few other people’s eyes might have, and what more, the questions that she subsequently asked were fairly intelligent ones. Their impromptu lesson, he thus decided, was going to be an enjoyable one.

“Of course”, he replied as she wanted to know if you could transfer more than one property. “The number of properties that you can transfer depends on a couple of factors though, such as the skill of the alchemist in question, the type of item that you want to create and the reagents that you use. Unfortunately, not all reagents are compatible with each other”, he explained in the same calm and measured tone of voice as before. “What constitutes a reagent, depends largely on your point of view”, he continued. He was aware of the fact that his answer was somewhat vague.

It was true though. Almost everything could be used as a reagent, even though some of his colleagues frowned on the use of certain substances in alchemy, and there were some reagents that probably hadn’t even been discovered yet. Until a short while ago, few, if any people had thought that simple Lotharro blood, without any magical components, had any practical use in alchemy, for example. Such was too complicated for an introductory lesson though. For that reason, he decided to turn to more practical matters.

“I think it would be best if I showed you the different types of reagents rather than simply talking about them”, he remarked and took a paperweight that rested on top of a stack of papers. It was a metal disc made of some sort of silvery metal and engraved with a large star – he had recently developed a certain interest in astronomy and the sky. Following that, he opened a drawer of his desk in order to remove a small porcelain bowl from it.

“Sometimes, a base is necessary, a liquid for a potion, a more viscous substance to make paint from, something to submerge an item in. For the item I will make now, oil will work best though”, he decided as he uncorked one of the vials on his desk and poured the contents into the bowl. Over the past couple of trials, enough people had asked for a demonstration that he had decided to keep some basic equipment in his office.

“Sometimes, a primer is necessary for the alchemical agent to work”, he added, took a delicate golden scale, measured a blue powder and added it to the bowl. “Binders ensure that the reagents don’t negate each other. I will only imbue a single effect though, and thus a binder won’t be necessary. A trigger would allow you to turn the effect on and off. Accelerators speed up the alchemical reaction, and metabolizers render the effect more powerful. Sealants may be necessary if you imbue an item with several different effects – or add a trigger”, he spoke before he gestured for her to hand the sand back to him.

He measured the amount of sand that he would need before he added that to the mixture in his bowl, stirred and finally submerged the paperweight in it. “This is a somewhat ineffective item as I more or less created it on the fly. The paperweight will be warm to the touch now, but only on the surface. It would be far more potent if I added the sand to molten metal and made an item from scratch so that the effect is inside the item and there are no gaps in the effect. Such would probably take more time than we have to-trial though”, he admitted in a somewhat apologetic tone of voice before he removed the paperweight that was covered with some sort of glittering orange paint now using tongs and set it down on some sort of small metal rack.

“You may touch it now”, he told her a bit later, smiling lightly at her. “The paint should dry relatively quickly. Let me know if you notice anything unusual about it.”

“I can write some of these things down for you if you want me to”,
he added.

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Re: A Lesson in Alchemy

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102nd Ashan, 720

Location: Scalvoris University


The drink that Professor Thetys sounded complicated. Two different kinds of fruit, milk, vanilla, sugar, and more. But it also sounded like all of the flavors he mentioned would go well together. In fact, they sounded delicious. So when he offered to let her try some, she thanked him sincerely, and accepted the offer.

It tasted as wonderful as it had sounded, and she said as much. When the professor began answering her questions, Ari'sora paid close attention to what he had to say. She learned that the skill of the alchemist was the determining factor as to how many different qualities could be imbued into an item. And that made a lot of sense to her. When she was learning how to play the glass flute, the more her skills grew, the more complex notes she was able to produce. Looking at it that way, inbuing one quality into an item was a far simpler thing than to imbue several qualities into the same item. As such, it would be much harder to do.

Something else he said caught her attention, and begged another question. Well, several questions, really.

"What happens if you accidentally use two or more reagents that aren't compatible with each other? Are there signs you can look out for that will tell you if two reagents are incompatible with each other? Are there times when two incompatible reagents can be used together because the presence of a third balances out the qualities that make them incompatible? Is there a list of reagents available that includes which ones are incompatible with each other? Or is it a matter of trial and error?"

His next answer was more than a little confusing.

"How would my point of view determine what a reagent can be?"

The professor had mentioned blood magic, suggesting that blood could be used as a reagent. What about other liquids? Water? Juice? Wine? Paint? What about other elements like fire, or air? Or solid things like rocks?

"Does the quality that you are trying to imbue into an item determine what reagent is used? So maybe a feather if you wanted to make something as light as a feather, or something like that?"

When the professor began making something, Ari'sora watched him intently. He spoke of bases, and his words told her that different materials could be bases. In every example he gave her, the base was a liquid of some kind. Something to submerge something into. A liquid for a potion. Oil for what he was doing now. He put some oil into a bowl.

Primers were mentioned, and Ari'sora made a mental note of the term. A golden scale and some blue powder were added to the oil. She guessed that they were the primers that he had mentioned, but she had no idea what the scale and powder were, or why they might be primers.

"So the primer gets the base ready to work with the reagent?" she asked, wanting to make certain that she understood.

"How does that work? How do you know when the base is ready to work with the reagent? And what were the scale, and that blue powder? Do you need different kinds of primers for different kinds of bases?"

He spoke of binders and said that they prevented the reagents from negating each other. That told her that a binder was only used when you were using more than one reagent, but she wasn't sure what a binder was. Was it a liquid of some kind the way the base seemed to be? Or maybe it was something solid like the scale?

Triggers and accelerators were mentioned; the former used to allow one to turn the effect of the finished product off and on at will while the latter sped up the process of making the item. Metabolizers made the quality that was being imbued into the item more powerful. Sealants were mentioned as well, and Ari'sora noted that they were needed if she wanted to add a trigger to something, or to imbue an item with more than one quality. It was confusing, especially since much of what the professor mentioned wasn't being used in the demonstration she was watching. But Ari'sora was bound and determined to keep it all straight in her mind.

When Professor Thetys asked for the sand back, she handed to him quickly. He mixed everything together, then submerged a paperweight into the mixture. He explained that the paperweight would be warm on the surface now that it had been treated with the substance he had created. But he also explained that had he added the sand to molten metal and made an item out of it, the effect would be a lot more powerful. Ari'sora thought about that for a few trills.

"It sounds like it would be worth learning how to make a variety of items then if I want to make something really powerful. Does the material that the item is made out of matter? You mentioned molten metal, but would making something out of wood have the same effect? Not using an item that was already made, but carving it yourself before using it in alchemy?"

If making the items you wanted to use in alchemy yourself made a big difference in how powerful they could be, then it seemed like a good idea to Ari'sora to learn how to make all kinds of different things. She wasn't interested in alchemy as a way to make powerful things, but she wanted to know how to do that if she ever needed to. She hesitated for a trill before asking her next question.

"Am I right in thinking that for this demonstration the sand is the reagent, the scale and the blue powder were the primers, and the oil is the base?" she asked carefully, wanting to be certain she was understanding what she was watching correctly.

Professor Thetys told her she could touch the paperweight after he had set it down on a small rack. She did so, and he was right. It was warm to the touch now. The paint seemed to glitter as she looked at it. It was quite pretty, and she wondered what had caused it to glitter like that. She had never seen paint that glittered before.

"The paint is glittering. I've never seen paint do that before. Is that what you mean by unusual?"

She took a closer look at the paperweight, wondering if she was missing something else "unusual." She had never seen anyone use alchemy before totrial, so she wasn't sure what she should be looking for.

When the professor offered to write some of what he'd told her down for her, she gave him a grateful smile.

"I would really appreciate that." she said sincerely.

"Thank you."



word count: 1160
Rei'sari was formerly Ari'sora, but after getting a fresh start in life and a new appearance from Vega, she changed her name to Rei'sari.
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Re: A Lesson in Alchemy

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When Ari’sora agreed that the drink tasted wonderful, the Mortalborn smiled very lightly for a moment before he turned to answer the first of her many questions. He didn’t mind that she had so many questions, of course; on the contrary, he appreciated that she said what was on her mind. There were few things that he liked less than a student who just sat there quietly and let his words wash over them only for them to be confused later on, when they didn’t have anybody to talk to. He very much preferred his lessons to be interactive. He didn’t want to hold a monologue. He wanted an exchange of sorts.

“Sometimes there are certain signs”, he replied as she wanted to know what happened if you accidentally used reagents that weren’t compatible with each other, hands still folded and still sitting poised, his gaze focused on her. “There can be an unusual reaction, a smell, for example, a change in color, there can be fumes, or maybe the potion will start to bubble. Sometimes, you will not notice anything until you try the item that you made out and discover that it doesn’t work properly though”, he admitted with a light shrug of his shoulders. “Binders can, as I said, prevent reagents from negating each other, but it’s not that simple”, he added.

Having said that, he paused briefly and furrowed his brow fractionally. He had spent so much time working as an alchemist that he knew how different reagents interacted by heart, that he barely had to think about it anymore – it had all become second nature to him a long time ago – but he realized that his answer might confuse Ari’sora – and that she might not find it entirely satisfactory.

It really was like that though. Alchemy was an infinitely complex science at the best of times, and there were so many different ways for things to work – or fail – and so many different types of reactions that you had to watch out for. Perhaps, there was something that he could do to help the young woman understand though, he decided. With that thought in mind, he informed her, “There are certain books that deal with reagents and how they interact with each other. I’ll add the title of a book that I think that you will find helpful to my notes for you”, he offered. Said book had been written for people that just got started as alchemists. He regularly used it when teaching his Letter students; it would thus be appropriate to Ari’sora’s current level of knowledge.

“As for how your point of view would determine what constitutes a reagent”, he continued. “There are people that refuse to experiment with certain things out of principle, either because of some sort of narrowmindedness or because of religious or cultural matters – or because they don’t think that a certain substance could actually have a use in alchemy”, he added somewhat dryly. This was an attitude that he had never really shared. There were some things that he refused to touch, but in general, he used something if it was useful; he didn’t want to stagnate, he wanted to experiment, find out new things and move beyond the tried and tested.

“Of course”, he replied when Ari’sora wanted to know if the quality that you were trying to imbue determined which reagent was used and inclined his head fractionally. “You can only imbue what is already in the reagent. You cannot use Golden Salamander acid to make something or someone resistant to cold, for example. You can only make things heat-resistant with it”, he explained before he turned to the matter of primers (which was an interesting question in his opinion, just like most of her questions had been so far).

“Primers prepare the item to receive the reagent”, he confirmed. “As for how you know when the base is ready – that is something that you learn with experience. And yes, you do need different primers, depending on what kind of item you use – and depending on whether your creation needs to be safe for consumption or not. There are certain substances that I would advise you to not ingest”, he explained in a somewhat dry tone of voice before he fell silent for a while in order to give her some time to inspect the paperweight and think about what he had said so far.

“Carving the item yourself might be worth considering. It’s generally best to add the reagents at the creation stage rather than using them on a finished item unless you are willing to risk gaps in the alchemical effect, and the material does of course matter. It seems counterproductive to me to imbue an item that is of low quality with expensive reagents, for example”, he admitted, furrowing his brow very lightly once more, before he conceded, “Although it can be done, of course.”

“And you are correct in regard to the different reagents that I used in order to imbue the paperweight, of course”,
he confirmed with an incline of his head, pleased with and impressed by her quick mind. A moment later, he shook his head very lightly though.

“I was just wondering if you could feel the warmth”, he explained, having realized that his wording might have left something to be desired. “That was what I meant by unusual. The paint glittering is due to the combination of reagents I used. With different reagents, I could likely make an item that does not glitter as much. I find that particular effect rather pleasing to the eye though”, he admitted. Until a short while ago, he would not have cared if something was visually appealing; nowadays, he occasionally liked to surround himself with things that were beautiful and had interesting effects though; a consequence of recent events and, perhaps, the spark’s growing influence.

When Ari’sora said that she would appreciate notes and subsequently thanked him, he nodded, before he took a few pieces of crisp white paper and a quill and started to write. Ari’sora would find that the alchemist’s handwriting was elegant and meticulous; he had a tendency to use every little bit of available space though and fill the paper completely rather than just moving on to the next page as she had already been able to observe before; a habit that had originally born of his enthusiasm for that particular science.

He did of course not just write and make her sit there and twiddle her thumbs in the meantime; after he had written a few lines (an explanation of the different types of reagents and in which order they should be added), he looked up again and asked, “Were my answers sufficiently clear? If you would like me to explain something again, please let me know”, he added. In his opinion, his answers had been clear, but someone who had never had anything to do with alchemy prior to that trial might see it differently, he realized.
word count: 1191

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Rei'sari
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Re: A Lesson in Alchemy

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102nd Ashan, 720

Location: ---


Ari'sora paid close attention when the professor explained that sometimes there would be signs of reagents rejecting each other, and other times there would not be. He went on to explain what those signs were, and that the end result was that the item would not do what you wanted it to do if the reagents rejected each other. He also reminded her that binders could prevent reagents from rejecting each other, something she had forgotten in her attempts to keep everything straight in her head.

It sounded as though most of the failures would be harmless. Well, relatively so, at least. Ari'sora made a mental note to test anything she made before relying on it at a time when she might need it desperately. But if it were possible, she wanted to be certain that there wouldn't be any dangerous reactions to a failure; or if there were, she wanted to know what combinations she needed to avoid.

"Are there any reagents that might reject each other violently? Something along the lines of an explosion or creating dangerous fumes?" she asked.

Her eyes lit up with delight and gratitude when Professor Thetys offered to give her the name of a book that would help her.

"That would be a big help. Thank you." she said sincerely.

Books were her friends. Having a book to refer to when she was trying to use alchemy to create something on her own would be a huge comfort to her.

The professor spoke of people who would not use certain reagents for a variety of reasons. Some of them made sense to her, but others did not. She herself wouldn't want to use something that could only be gotten by hurting or killing an intelligent being. He had spoken of using blood before, and Ari'sora knew that she would never be willing to hurt or kill someone for their blood. But if it was being offered, and it could be taken without hurting them? Possibly for payment of some kind? Ari'sora wouldn't have any objection to that. The last reason the professor had offered confused her the most.

"If someone tells you that a reagent is useful, why would you refuse to believe it unless you had tested it yourself before hand and knew that they were wrong?" she asked in confusion.

It was a concept that simply boggled her mind.

Ari'sora's eyes widened when Professor Thetys mentioned that some substances shouldn't be consumed. It was something that she hadn't considered, but it probably should have. He had mentioned potions, after all. And potions usually had to be drunk in order to work. She had been thinking more along the lines of the paperweight he had just made, and solutions that you submerged something into.

"That's something I'll make sure to remember. I don't want to poison anyone."

The topic of conversation turned to the quality of the items that were to be imbued, and Ari'sora realized that the professor had misunderstood her question. But his answer made her realize that the quality of an item to be imbued was important too.

"I think you're right about using expensive reagents on an item that is low quality. If it was for myself, I would want the item I was working with to last for a long time, and a low quality item probably wouldn't. But if I was making something for someone else, and they wanted me to imbue say a family heirloom with a quality of their choice, I could see a reason to do it if the heirloom was of poor quality. Or if they were providing the item to be imbued, and paying me to do it, that might be all they could afford."

She hesitated for a trill.

"That wasn't what I meant to ask, though. I was trying to ask if there were some reagents that should not be used with some items, or materials. Would some reagents that can be used on metal, or molten metal if you were creating an item damage an item made out of wood, or glass, for example."

Ari'sora blushed when Professor Thetys clarified that he had been asking if she could feel the paperweight's warmth. She nodded.

"I can feel that, but I didn't think it unusual because you told me that it would be warm to the touch." she said simply.

"I like the glittery paint too. It's very pretty." she added a trill later.

When the professor asked if her answers had been clear, she nodded.

"They are. It's a lot to take in, but I understood what you told me. And I want to learn everything that I can. I will also have the notes if I do forget something."

She wanted to think that she would just remember everything, but she was realistic enough to know that she would need the notes to help her keep everything straight until she could learn it all by heart.


word count: 856
Rei'sari was formerly Ari'sora, but after getting a fresh start in life and a new appearance from Vega, she changed her name to Rei'sari.
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Doran
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Re: A Lesson in Alchemy

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Unlike some of his colleagues, the Mortalborn saw no reason to coddle his students and tell them how safe alchemy supposedly was; on the contrary, he considered such behaviour to be counterproductive. For that reason, he inclined his head fractionally when Ari’sora asked about violent reactions and explosions and spoke, “There are such reagents, of course. And besides, backlash is always a risk, and the risk of backlash increases exponentially when you work with the blood of mages and blessed individuals which is why some knowledge of chemistry – and how substances interact – is paramount in our trade. Of course, alchemists can also cause explosions intentionally”, he added in a rather dry tone of voice and met Ari’sora’s gaze.

Explosives were a part of alchemy that he had never been particularly interested in. He had used similar principles when he had invented the fire flowers, but he had no interest in causing wide-scale destruction. His former apprentice, Sintih, had been rather fond of explosions though, and he had indulged him once as such had been better than the alternative – Sintih trying to create explosives on his own, despite the fact that his knowledge of chemistry and alchemy had left something to be desired. The boy had blown up toys.

Ari’sora seemed to be so sincere, and she was so delighted when he spoke of as simple a matter as giving her the name of the book that he couldn’t help but smile lightly before he turned to answer her next question. “Some people are rather stubborn and set in their views”, he replied in a somewhat cool tone of voice. “Such behaviour does not make any sense to me either, and yet I have encountered people that were exactly like that before, people that cling to their views, no matter what kind of proof you provide them with”, he added and furrowed his brow very lightly in irritation for a moment before his face resumed its previous, polite expression once more.

Most of the time, unless he was in the company of certain people, the Mortalborn’s facial expressions and his gestures tended towards the relatively subtle and understated; that didn’t mean that he approved or disapproved less or felt less strongly about something though.

“Of course”, he conceded when Ari’sora mentioned imbuing a family heirloom, despite said family heirloom being of poor quality. “There are always exceptions. And there are certain reagents that could damage certain materials, although the negative effects could be reduced by adjusting the dosage and mixing them with other reagents”, he continued. “I have been able to work with most materials so far, by making certain adjustments”, he explained. It was, again, an answer that she might not be entirely satisfactory. Materials might seem like a simple and straight-forward subject at first; there were entire books that had been written about even that subject though.

When she remarked that the glittery paint was very pretty, he laughed lightly before he agreed, “It is, isn’t it? As for your desire to learn everything, you could sign up for a Letter in Alchemy. You’d likely do well, judging by what I’ve observed so far”, he remarked. He was not humoring her. He really thought that she might be successful and possess a certain talent for alchemy. She was curious, and such was an important trait for an alchemist to have. How to mix reagents was something that everybody could learn; curiosity was something that you either possessed or didn’t possess for the most part though.

With that thought in mind, he turned to his notes once more, adding a short explanation, when you had to be especially careful and that being familiar with chemistry was paramount, before he looked up once more, to see if there was anything else that she wanted to know. At the beginning of their lesson, she had turned down his offer to ask questions, claiming that she didn’t know enough about alchemy, but that seemed to have changed.
word count: 679

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Rei'sari
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Re: A Lesson in Alchemy

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102nd Ashan, 720

Location: ---


Ari'sora blinked, startled when Professor Thetys told her that some alchemists caused explosions deliberately.

"I would rather avoid causing explosions myself." she said simply.

She hesitated for a trill before continuing.

"What is backlash, exactly? Are there signs to look out for in order to avoid it? And are there some chemistry books you can recommend to help me learn more about chemistry since it will help? I do know a little chemistry, but all I know involves making dyes."

When the professor spoke of adjusting the dosages of some reagents so they wouldn't damage the items they were being used on, Ari'sora's first thought was to ask about how to adjust them. But after a trill, she reconsidered. That seemed like it was well above anything she should be trying to do at this point, and when she did reach that stage, she was sure she would be able to learn about it then. It was better to stay with the basics for now so she didn't confuse herself too much.

Professor Thetys mentioned the possibility of her earning a Letter in Alchemy, and Ari'sora nodded.

"I'd like that. I think I'll sign up for classes next season if I am allowed to study two subjects at once. If not, I definitely will once I get further in my linguistics studies. If everything goes well, I will earn my diploma in linguistics at the end of the season."

She hoped to go all the way to earning her licentiate in linguistics eventually. And if it was possible for her to study two subjects, she wanted to go as far as she could with alchemy as well. If it weren't, then perhaps she could switch back and forth between the two subjects until she did earn her licentiate in both.

Ari'sora watched Professor Thetys work on the notes he was making for her for a few trills as she sorted through everything he had taught her so far. Seeing him actually make something with alchemy had been amazing. She had learned a lot through watching him. And that gave her an idea.

"Do you think it would be possible for me to try making something simple with alchemy?" she asked hopefully.

If he said yes, being able to try to make something herself with his guidance would surely help her learn a lot as well.



word count: 409
Rei'sari was formerly Ari'sora, but after getting a fresh start in life and a new appearance from Vega, she changed her name to Rei'sari.
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