• Solo • The Taste of Winter Air

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 Taste of Winter Air

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Ashan 20, Arc 721

After The Rising Stars.

For a while after his patron Immortal had taken his leave, the son of Ziell stood there, in his laboratory and looked out of the window and at the stars that seemed to be so much brighter than they had been before. Most of the time, looking at the night sky filled him with a sense of calm and peace. The stars reminded him of the fact that there was so much more out there than most people could ever come to guess, and that there were still entire worlds, waiting to be discovered. This time, every star reminded him of another question that needed to be answered though and another piece of the puzzle that he was trying to solve.

What he had thought was a simple war at first – although he wasn’t entirely sure if simple was the correct word to describe something that involved death and suffering, usually for all of the parties involved – had turned out to be so much more. There was a father, a Mortalborn like he was, that was trying to protect his daughter – his daughter whose soul seemed to be long gone. There were Immortals, on different sides of the conflict, spirits and magic, and the possibility of people shedding blood and committing a sacrilege on someone’s grave – which was one of the things that had worried him the most.

Xiur had told him that he trusted him to do the right thing, and he decided to be hopeful and optimistic in that regard, always, but he was not entirely sure what the right thing was yet. He would figure it out though.

In the end, it would all work out.

With that thought in mind, he turned away from the window, just as something occurred to him, and he paused, for the briefest of moments as he remembered, a conversation with Llyr, some time ago. His lover who he knew to be a Mortalborn of Chamadarst nowadays, had told him that Sintra was tracking him. He had mentioned spiders, small and impossible to catch. Was it possible that someone was watching him as well, or the Albarech and whoever worked with her, without them being aware of it, and if that was the case, what could be done?

The Headwreath of Awareness, one of the artifacts that he had collected over the course of the arcs, only told him if someone was watching him; it didn’t prevent them from watching. The necklace that U’frek had given to him prior to the battle at Treid’s Tomb rendered him invisible to dangerous spirits and ghosts; he doubted that it worked against mortals though. He had imbued a ring with Quilt, an Empathy ability that guarded the mind against intrusions. It might be of some use, he decided. He would save it for emergencies though as he wasn’t sure how long it would last (Blood Magic was not permanent).

There was also the possibility of creating wards, of course, to protect a greater number of people rather than just himself. Wraithgrass was a reagent from Scalvoris that could be used to silence a room, for example, although he wasn’t sure if there was any point in his creating such a ward. And besides that, he wasn’t sure who you needed to hide from in this conflict yet and who not, at least not exactly.

Lies and deception in general were something that he was not particularly interested in nowadays – he’d rather uncover them than take part in them. Such things reminded him far too much of the Hero of Oscillus who he tried to distance himself from, the hopeless, desperate man that he had once been and that he never wanted to become again.

He recognized that there might unfortunately be a need for certain tactics sometimes though.

For a moment, he carefully touched Xiur’s gift that rested on the table in front of him, a star that shone with an inner light. As he observed the light, he felt more peaceful than he had been. There was something about it that made him feel the way that he felt when he stood outside, in the snow. He had in fact felt like that since Xiur had given the star to him.

Even the air seemed to taste the same as the winter air did, of cold and ice, although he was not sure how exactly it was possible for air to taste like anything.

He looked at the star for a few bits. He focused on it, in fact, inhaling and exhaling deeply as he did so, in order to clear his mind and his thoughts, although the star in itself had an almost meditative effect on him, before he stepped away in order to finally finish what he had started.

Before his patron had paid him a visit so unexpectedly, he had been working on an alchemical project of his, a project that an old acquaintance of his had apparently never realized, or told anybody about. In Cylus, he had shared some of his wealth with Scalvoris; this time, he would donate some of his knowledge though. It was, perhaps, not much, but every little thing counted and had the potential of giving someone hope.


Last edited by Doran on Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:17 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 891

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Doran
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The Taste of Winter Air

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Doran had used cobalt filings for the initial experiment; he had already decided to replace cobalt with a cheaper alternative – iron filings - though which would ultimately also make the alchemical mixture easier and faster to produce. Iron was, he realized, not the strongest metal – Adamantite and Grave Gold offered for greater protection from what he knew – but the cost factor was something that needed to be considered in his opinion.

He was not sure if Scalvoris could afford to outfit a lot of people with clothes as well as armor that had the protective properties of such rare metals, and he wanted to benefit as many people as possible from it.

After he had given the matter some more thought, he decided to mention the possibility of using other metals regardless though, just in case Scalvoris had access to a certain amount of them, and then, he finally wrote down the recipe (he had already written down the list of reagents before). He wrote slowly so that his handwriting would be easily legible, and he made sure that his instructions were straight-forward, clear and to the point:

1. Mix the priming powder with the liquid and stir vigorously until the powder has dissolved completely.
2. Submerge the item in the mixture. Make sure that it is covered completely.
3. Leave it there until the mixture has been absorbed completely.
4. Remove it using a pair of tongs and put it on a drying rack.
5. In the meantime, mix the iron filings with the second powder in order to reduce its melting point and put them into a fireproof container. The heat of a standard burner should be strong enough to melt the iron filings now.
6. Reduce the heat of the burner and add the item.
7. If the previous steps have been conducted correctly, the cloth should begin to absorb the molten metal rather than being destroyed by it.
8. Let the item rest until it has cooled down.


Once he had written the last line, he set his pen down again and looked the recipe over once more, furrowing his brow fractionally in the process. Alchemically enhanced clothes and armor might help and protect people in the case of an attack, but it didn’t seem to be enough, not nearly enough. Wards might help as well, if he figured out which kinds of wards were needed – and managed to acquire the necessary reagents – but they were, again, not enough in his opinion; besides, he didn’t want to prepare for a war, first and foremost, although he would try his best to help minimize the bloodshed if worse came to worst.

He wanted to help prevent a catastrophe – and see if a peaceful solution could be achieved. He would send his recipe to Scalvoris by using the Echo Scroll that he shared with the Albrech, but if he truly wanted to make a difference, he realized, he needed to focus on his research and get to the bottom of things. And in order to accomplish that, he needed to go to Scalvoris himself, to take a look at the places that had been mentioned in the books he had read so far and talk to people that were familiar with the things that Xiur had told him about. The answers that he still needed in order to solve the riddle, he realized, could likely only be found on the island itself, above Fei’s final resting place.

Besides, he had promised Xiur that he would pray for his mother.

With that thought in mind, he finally put his things away and left his study. He would leave the following trial, he decided, as soon as he had informed his superiors, when the sun had risen again, and the only star that still shone was the one that his patron had given to him.
word count: 648

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Avalon
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Re: The Taste of Winter Air

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Review Rewards

Name: Doran

Points awarded: 10

Knowledge:
Detection: The taste of winter air
Meditation: Focusing on an object can help
Writing: Writing an alchemical recipe
Writing: Writing slowly to ensure legibility

Renown: 5 (for sharing the alchemy formula via echo scroll with Kura)

Skill Review: All Skills used appropriate to level

Notes:
This is a continuation of a Doran story that I really enjoy - his Xiur arc. I wasn't here when this story began, but it was one of the first plots I learned about when I arrived at ST. I've been able to watch it transform Doran in many wonderful ways.

What I enjoy about this piece is that you not only write out the formula, we get to understand Doran's thoughts on why he decides to share the formula and ultimately his decision to go to Scalvoris. That's a huge step for Doran in his character progression! His thought process is very logical and straightforward but always laced with hope and a bit of the fantastical, which intrigues me. He is such a man of science but always, always has this fine layer of mystical interest that is intertwined. It makes the character complex and compelling.

Most Doran solos involve npcs, which I'm always excited to see...but I really enjoyed a solo with Doran on his own, getting the chance to focus on him alone. It was a treat!

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

Avalon

word count: 257
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