• Solo • The Smell of Spring

Ashan 721 Wealth Thread.

Stronghold of education and learning, this fortress is in one of the coldest areas of Idalos and home to many knowledge seekers in a variety of disciplines. However, unknown to most, below the city are those who suffer for the sake of science. While all are welcome, not everyone will be treated as they expect.

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Doran
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The Smell of Spring

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Ashan 3, Arc 721

Spring had finally arrived in Viden. Of course, spring in the far north was different from spring in places like Scalvoris – there were no green meadows that were covered with primroses or crocuses – but the signs were obvious, nevertheless. The city was not shrouded in perpetual darkness anymore, and it was not quite as cold anymore. And what more, there was a change in the air that could almost be felt, and smelled, the son of Ziell decided as he stood at his bedroom window that morning, opened it in order to let in some fresh air and took a deep breath, as he often did as it helped him wake up and clear his mind.

There was an unusual kind of lightness.

For the first time since the start of the new arc, he had opted for a slightly lighter coat atop the bespoke suit of coal and crimson wool that he wore, and he decided to forego a scarf entirely, although he still wore gloves as he made his way through the streets, towards the Academy where he worked as an alchemy professor. There were, he observed, as he walked, other signs besides the increasing temperatures, the light and the smell of spring as well. There were a lot more people outside than there had been in Cylus, couples, walking arm in arm, and children exploring, laughing and even having snowball fights.

One of the snowballs in question did in fact land but a meter or so in front of him. He looked at the child that had thrown it – a brown-haired human girl of approximately eight arcs of age – and raised an eyebrow questioningly before he smiled at her. The girl looked at him for a moment and blushed a bit, and then she quickly turned around and continued to play with her friend, a human boy that was approximately the same age.

The Mortalborn walked on. He decided to walk slowly and enjoy his surroundings. Scalvoris, an island that he had visited in a past and that held a special place in his heart, was on the brink of a war. A part of him couldn’t help but feel slightly melancholic, but another part of him found what he saw around him encouraging. There was hope, that the people of Scalvoris would be able to be just as carefree again one trial. Just like Ashan followed Cylus, and light the darkness, peace would follow war.

He firmly believed that.

Before long, he had reached the gates of the Academy and made his way to the classroom where he would be teaching a group of first season students and pushed his thoughts about Scalvoris into a corner of his mind, at least for the time being in order to focus on the task at hand (although the aforementioned thoughts would without a doubt return later on). He enjoyed familiarizing people with the science that he had dedicated his life to. They had covered the basics during the past two lessons. That trial, he would introduce them to the different types of reagents – and show them a few as well.
Notes
From the Viden calendar:

3rd: The temperatures begin to rise as the start of Ashan has arrived, people get out during the sunny days and explore
word count: 554

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Doran
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Re: The Smell of Spring

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The Mortalborn arrived approximately half a break to a quarter of a break before the start of the class, as he usually did, as doing such gave him some time to prepare, and think. He knew that some of his colleagues did it differently – and that was alright; the thing that mattered the most was that you weren’t late – but he had found that that approach worked best for him.

After he had draped his coat across the back of the chair that stood behind his desk, he removed a stack of papers from his bookbag and put two on every desk (every desk would be shared by two students). The papers contained an overview of what he would be talking about as well as a few questions that that his students would have to answer for their homework.

Before long, the first students arrived. Some of them greeted him politely (and he returned the greeting, of course), and others simply found a desk and sat down. Some of them arrived alone, and some of them walked in together with a classmate or two and chatted with them. He even saw a young man with messy brown hair that quickly stuffed a sandwich into his mouth and blushed a bit when he realized that he was being watched.

Doran just nodded at him. He had no problem with students eating in the classroom, as long as they did so before or after class or during a break but doing so when he was holding a lecture was inappropriate.

When it finally was time for him to begin, the Mortalborn quickly counted the students to make sure that all of them had indeed arrived before he asked the student that sat closest to the door a sign to shut it so that they wouldn’t be interrupted by whatever sounds came from the hallway, and then he finally rose from his chair and began to speak.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen”, he greeted them in a firm and clear tone of voice so that even those in the last row would have no trouble understanding him. “As I told you yesterday, I will be talking about the different types of reagents, such as binders and primers, in more detail to-trial. Before I do so, let’s think back about what we’ve learned so far”, he continued – he had found that repeating the contents of the previous two or three lessons was a useful teaching technique. Not every student always remembered everything – or reread their notes before the class began.

“We have learned that alchemy is a science, a science that can accomplish things that can seem like magic at first glance – and even replicate domain magic abilities – but that is not magic. It does not require a spark. We have covered the different aspects of alchemy, such as Blood Magic and potions and talked about how items imbued with a natural alchemical effect are permanent, but Blood Magic is not.”

“Ether is fleeting”,
he explained which was something that he was only too aware of as a Transmuter (although his magic was something that he rarely mentioned at the Academy).
word count: 532

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Doran
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Re: The Smell of Spring

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“I will mention the various reagents that you use in order to imbue an item with an alchemical effect or a potion in the order that you usually add them”, the Mortalborn spoke and proceeded to hold up the first of the vials, bottles and jars that he had arranged on his desk. It contained a golden liquid. “Especially when brewing a potion, it is necessary to choose a base – a type of liquid. I have used alcohol, tea as well as water in that regard. This vial contains chamomile tea, for example”, he explained and set the vial down again before he spoke, because it needed to be said in his opinion.

“As you know, access to alcohol is restricted in Viden, although medicinal alcohol is available. That being said, there is one group of people that I would definitely never give alcohol to. Does anybody know which one I mean – and why?”

“Yes … Leo, isn’t it?”
he asked when a young man with olive skin, bright brown eyes and dark-brown hair raised his hand – he had decided to always address his students by their names, at least for the first couple of lessons, in order to memorize them more easily.

“Children. Children shouldn’t drink alcohol”, the young man replied confidently and continued, in a less secure tone of voice that almost sounded like a question of sorts, “I think alcohol affects their health negatively?”

“That’s correct. Alcohol is not good for their health, and it can affect their development negatively”,
the Mortalborn spoke, smiled at the young man, inclined his head and continued, “The next reagent, apart from the main reagent that contains the alchemical effect, is the primer that prepares the target for receiving the enhancement. Of course, not all materials require a primer. You will learn when a primer is necessary and when not in one of our next lessons”, he replied and held up a jar containing a blue powder – a primer before he moved on to the next reagent – the binder which was a substance that ensured that the various reagents didn’t negate each other and showed his students an example of that reagent as well.
word count: 367

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Doran
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Re: The Smell of Spring

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As the class continued, the Mortalborn spoke about other common types of reagents such as accelerators that sped up an alchemical or chemical reaction, metabolizers, sealers and catalysts (and showed them examples of each one – he used reagents that were easy to acquire and work with and that they might use in class soon for that purpose) before he finally moved on to the last two reagents that he had planned on covering that trial.

“Triggers allow you to activate and deactivate the alchemical effect. The reagent that you use for that purpose is called a triggering reagent, and it needs to be infused into both the item and the trigger itself in order to work”, he explained and paused for a moment in order to give his students time to take notes or ask question.

“The final type of reagent is one that you will likely not encounter until late in your studies, but I will mention it for the sake of completion, regardless”, he continued. “Inhibitors give you the ability to prevent the natural triggering of a catalyst in a chemical compound. Combined with a triggering reagent, it can be used to fine-tune a reaction to occur at a portal point in a body process”, he spoke.

“For your homework”, he finally told them. “I would like you to answer the questions on the piece of paper that I gave you. They are related to what we just talked about. Tomorrow”, he continued, only to find himself interrupted by a student.

“There are only five questions!” the young man that had been so hungry at the start of the class pointed out.

“Indeed”, the Mortalborn confirmed in a calm tone of voice and inclined his head fractionally. He did not mind the interruption particularly as it was not entirely unimportant. “But they are five very important questions. I consider it counter-productive to give you a lot of homework this early in the season when you don’t know much about alchemy yet, especially not when the weather is so pleasant. I doubt that any of you are particularly keen on spending the entire afternoon inside”, he remarked, smiling slightly, before he grew more serious once more.

“I expect you all to give your best and be utterly focused tomorrow when we will conduct a first small experiment though”, he told in a firm tone of voice because that needed to be said in his opinion. “That being said, I wish you all a good afternoon. If you have any questions for me, I will be at my desk for the next fifteen bits”, he finished. Over the course of his arcs as a teacher, he had realized that some students were reluctant to ask a question during class, when all eyes were on them. Others only realized that something was not clear belatedly. For that reason, he always stayed a bit.

With that thought in mind, he folded his hands atop his desk and waited. For a few moments, his thoughts drifted to the island of Scalvoris and the impending war again. When Leo approached him and wanted to know more about the bases used for potions, he straightened himself and smiled at the young man though before he turned to answer his question.
word count: 548

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Re: The Smell of Spring

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Review Rewards

Name: Doran

Points awarded: 10

Knowledge:
Alchemy: Primers: Prepare the item for receiving the enhancement
Alchemy: Triggering reagents need to be applied to both the item and the trigger
Etiquette: It’s okay to eat in the classroom, but not during a lecture
Medicine: Alcohol can affect a child’s development negatively
Teaching: Summarizing the previous lessons in case the students don’t remember
Teaching: Don’t give students a lot of homework when they don’t know a lot about a subject

Skill Review: All Skills used appropriate to level

Notes:
What a nice professor Doran is! Not a lot of homework so his students could get outside. Outside is important, I agree!

Speaking of outside, I appreciated the first part of the piece where you described the differences between Cylus and Ashan in Viden. It's different there than say Rharne or Scalvoris so as someone that knew that, I enjoyed reading the detail you put into it. Made it feel very authentic.

I always enjoy Doran teaching threads because I learn always learn something in the process. You are very detailed with what he's teaching and thinking, and I believe that to be key. We get to know why Doran does what he does...and sometimes that's the most important question. Just watching a character do something is very flat. If you know their motivations, things start coming to life.

As always, the npcs are wonderful. You have a knack for writing colorful npcs and I'm completely jealous! :D

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this review, feel free to PM. Enjoy your rewards!

Avalon

word count: 275
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