• Solo • The Chemistry of Metals

Study thread for Doran's Charter in Chemistry.

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 Chemistry of Metals

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Ashan 4, Arc 721

At the beginning of Ashan, the temperatures had finally begun to rise. It was warm and sunny now – for Viden, at least; in other parts of the world such a kind of weather would still be considered to be quite cold – and people went out and explored. After thirty trials of darkness, they were almost starving for a bit of fresh air and marveling at the first rays of light. The son of Ziell had taken to going for walks and meeting with people outside his home himself, although he did not mind the darkness and the cold as much as most did. Walking through the streets of Viden that were covered with a thin layer of glittering white snow put his mind at ease though, at least temporarily, and calmed him down.

There was something almost meditative about it, in fact, that helped him focus on something other than the impending war, the war that he had been researching since the beginning of the cycle. The war that was so much bigger than he had thought at first would continue to hold most of his attentions until a solution had finally been found, but he realized that he occasionally needed to take a break. Some things only became clearer after you had taken a step back for a break or two, for example, and looked at it with fresh eyes.

That trial, his walk eventually took him to the White Fox Inn where he had decided to meet with Taelis, a fellow chemist who was slowly becoming something almost like a friend in order to work on a project for university, among other things. The cycle before, before he had really known what was happening, he had started to study towards a Charter in Chemistry. His plan was to, ultimately, devise a new categorization system for chemical substances. That project would likely be somewhat delayed due to his activities pertaining to Scalvoris, but he was positive that he would be able to finish the Charter itself in time.

The White Fox Inn was relatively popular among students as well as teachers from the Academy. He could actually see a few familiar faces as he entered. There was Astrid for example, one of his alchemy students, a human woman that wore her blonde hair in a thick braid. She had occasionally assisted him a little with his experiments. Taelis, the man he was looking for, an Eidisi was seated at a corner table and raised a hand when he noticed him. The Mortalborn smiled very lightly and nodded before he walked over to him.

They had decided to meet in the afternoon, before people came to the White Fox Inn for dinner and it would get crowded so that they would actually be able to focus on their studies. Taelis, he could see as he took a seat opposite the other man had already ordered a cup of coffee and was going through his notes. Doran decided to do the same and also ordered a light meal, one of the White Fox Inn’s finer ones, as he had not eaten a lot that trial yet. Once upon a time, he would have been entirely content with a slice of bread and some roast meat, for example; his spark enjoyed variety though, different flavor combinations and interesting textures.

It was a change that he did not mind – a change that he had actually begun to enjoy, in fact.
word count: 582

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Doran
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Re: The Chemistry of Metals

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Both of them had signed up for a class on metals and their properties that season; Taelis because he thought that such a class would help him when it came to making weapons and using them and Doran because metals were one of the five categories that he had devised for his categorization system so far. Attending a class, refreshing and, in some cases, increasing his knowledge, would help him when it came to his project, and besides, a part of him preferred attending a class to brooding over books in the library, alone. A part of him needed the interaction with his classmates and the intellectual discourse.

(That was something that stood in contrast to how things had been before; the man he had used to be had not been as interested in the interaction with the mortals around him.)

“I’ve already begun to start working on that essay”, the blue-skinned Eidisi remarked in a calm tone of voice while Doran removed his notebook, a pen and his books from his bookbag. That was the project that they were working on as part of their Charter in Chemistry (they had been asked to work in pairs) – an essay on the properties of metals followed by an experiment to demonstrate a few of the principles that they had written about beforehand. “Here”, he added and slid his notes across the table to Doran so that he could take a look.

The Mortalborn took a sip from the coffee that a waitress had brought for him – he was still waiting for his food – set the cup down some distance away from their books and papers so that he would not accidentally spill anything on them and proceeded to read, silently,

Metals are characterized by bright luster, hardness, an ability to resonate sound, and they are excellent conductors of heat. Apart from mercury which is liquid at room temperature, metals are solid under normal conditions. They reflect light and can be polished, and they withstand hammering and can be made into thin sheets that are known as foils, for example gold foil, or drawn into wires. The majority of metals are hard. As far as heat conductivity are concerned, silver and copper are the best conductors, and lead is the poorest. Furthermore, metals have a high density, a high melting point and a high boiling point.

“That looks good to me so far”, Doran decided, nodded and returned the notes to Taelis. “Shall we move on to the chemical properties of metals then?” he asked and raised an eyebrow slightly. What Taelis had covered so far had been the physical properties of metals – the properties that were not associated with a change in chemical composition (chemical properties on the other hand involved a chemical change or reaction). “I thought that the third part of our essay could be about alloys”, he suggested. When Taelis voiced his agreement, he opened the first book and went to work, and so did the Eidisi. Taelis was noticeably less knowledgeable on matters of chemistry – he had not been studying for such a long time yet – but he was eager and intelligent which were traits that were just as important in the Mortalborn’s opinion.
word count: 540

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Doran
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Re: The Chemistry of Metals

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They worked together, checking their various books as well as the notes that they had taken during previous lectures, although Doran had volunteered to do all of the writing himself from now on.

Most metals, he wrote in his elegant handwriting. React with oxygen in order to form so-called oxides over a certain period of time. An example of that is iron which rusts over the course of arcs. Certain metals such as gold, do not react with air at all though. Metal oxides tend to be basic while the oxides of nonmetals are acidic or neutral. Corrosion of metals can be prevented by painting or plating them, he continued, only to put his pen away as the meal that he had ordered had arrived and dedicated a bit of attention to that.

Taelis who had initially contented himself with a simple cup of coffee, took a look at his food – finely roasted chicken with an assortment of spices and vegetables, and a side of wild rice – and decided to order a meal of his own, after all. Seeing Doran’s delicacy had made him hungry, and for that reason, both of them decided to take a brief break before they continued to work on their essay (they cleaned their hands before they did so, of course).

“So, alloys”, Taelis spoke, remembering what they had discussed earlier. “I was thinking we’d start with a definition and then name a few examples”, he suggested and looked at the Mortalborn. Unlike some of their classmates, Taelis had no problem at all when it came to working with a professor of some renown – such an attitude was counterproductive in his opinion – but he could not help but be aware of their different levels of knowledge. Sometimes, he noticed that he turned to Doran for advice.

“An alloy has metallic properties and is composed of two or more substances at least one of which is a metal. I’d just write it like that – and note that the composition can either be variable or fixed – and then discuss common alloys such as steel, cast iron or bronze”, he continued at which the Mortalborn inclined his head and started to write, adding some of his own ideas and certain details that he considered to be important. Researching chemistry and writing, he observed had a similar effect on him as going for a walk. It put his mind at ease and caused him to relax.

They made considerable progress during their joint study session in the White Fox Inn; when they finally parted ways after two breaks, they decided to meet once more the following afternoon regardless in order to revise the essay. Doran found himself looking forward to that. He enjoyed the Eidisi’s company, and he had to admit, he was not averse to resuming their Menochoros sessions – their interest in the Videnese unarmed combat style was another thing that they had in common – once the war was over.
word count: 497

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Re: The Chemistry of Metals

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Review Rewards

Name: Doran

Points awarded: 10

Knowledge:
Chemistry: The physical properties of metals
Chemistry: The chemical properties of metals
Chemistry: Mercury is liquid at room temperature
Chemistry: Definition of an alloy
Meditation: Going for a walk can help redirect your focus
Writing: Writing a collaborative essay

Skill Review: All Skills used appropriate to level

Notes:
I'm not sure why you suggested this might be a dull piece of writing...(spoiler alert - it wasn't!)

I've always admired your descriptive writing skills and you certainly get to showcase them with Doran. He's always watching and listening to his environment. The reader gets to experience that through him, through your words. Viden always comes alive when you write Doran!

It's true that threads of this nature can read a bit dry...but you do a great job of keeping the reader engaged as Doran working through the essay points. I always enjoy learning something new and certainly did with this solo.

I'm pretty sure I've praised the way you write npcs before, but I'm going to do it again because you really understand that fine balance in making sure they add to the scene, not over-power or detract from it.

All in all, fantastic solo!

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

Avalon

word count: 231
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