[Eureka] What makes the candle splutter?

34th of Vhalar 721

The surrounding lands of Rharne boast several towns and settlements that lie on the northern shores of the River Zynyx. This includes Mistral Village, Caervalle Town, Zynyx Market and Volta.

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[Eureka] What makes the candle splutter?

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34th Vhalar, 721
Song Before Adventure
The air is shattered with our breath,
The startled mountains toss.
Come, there are stars for us to pluck,
And skies to swing across.

This path awaits our wild young feet;
the planets gleam aflutter.
So much! So much for us to do!
What makes the candle splutter?

Henry W. Rago.
They had decided, following the events in Quacia at the end of last season, that they needed to get themselves back to Vetrarstig, the land beyond the barrier. They'd done a lot of research since last time they went there and they were, hopefully, at the point where they could go and spend more than a trial or two there. That had been something they needed to do, to work out and now that they were planning their trip, they had invited professor Thetys to come and stay with them for a few trials before they all went together.

He had arrived earlier to-trial, via the Eclipse Portal, and they'd arranged for him to be brought here, to Eureka. The settlement Padraig and Faith had founded was outside of Rharne, the other side of the mountain next to Volta. The ambient air was very magnetised and Doran had been brought to their home - a large mansion which was half built into the mountain itself, jutting out slightly. There were other buildings - an observatory and a sort of Inn-like place, but it was to the house that Doran was brought. There, he was shown to a room which had been prepared for him - it had a warm and comfortable bed, his own bathroom and a balcony overlooking the Stormlands. Once he was refreshed, Faith had come to his door and asked him if he wanted to share a meal and start planning.

The room they ate in was a large one with one full wall being windows - what made it particularly attractive was the fact that the windows were stained glass and so the room was light and bathed in a range of colours - it was also private, should anyone feel the urge to spy on them half way up a mountain. Faith had prepared a buffet-style meal for them with savoury pies and pastries, wraps and battered meats which could be eaten by hand. There were also a number of small cakes, fruits and other desserts, should that be their preference. She had a piece of cheese and a salted oat cracker as she worked.

They knew each other and had discussed working together at Saoire's feast, so there was no need for long introductions. However, there was a need for the giving of information. "I hope you don't mind, Doran, but I've compiled a dossier of information for you," Faith said. She handed him a sheaf of papers which were contained in a card folder. Should he glance at them, he would see that they were colour coded, indexed and listed. "It starts with Padraig's discovery of the Eastern barrier, in Zi'da, 717. Then, there's the second journey in Ashan, 718 and finally the third time where we went through." Faith smiled slightly. "That was in Zi'da 719. We had hoped to go again next cycle, but things happened recently and dragons have been released into the world. We need to go back there, and let the dragon we met there know this."

All the information was there for Doran - and if it seemed like it had been a long time between excursions, there were details of all the research and experimentation they had done.

"In summary, Faith said, "There are four barriers at the edges of the world. They are ~ somehow ~ connected to Emea and we were only able to pass through them when in a hypnogogic state. When travelling to the Eastern Barrier, the only one we've visited currently, there is a moment where the world literally changes. Calm waters become a storm, all magic all marks all mortalborn powers and all items with any enchantments stop working. Alchemy, however, does not. We are currently working on the theory that this happens because the nature of the barrier is being carried in the water, conducted like a current." She glanced at her husband to check that he was still in agreement in this matter.

"We have determined that the reason this happens is because there is no ether in Vetrarstig, the land beyond the barrier. None. Plants, animals and people have no ether in their blood." There were diagrams and records of the research in his dossier. "We met a dragon there, called Frostvinndur. He gave us some of his blood to examine and he granted Padraig a Kaldvind, one of his dragonlings." She smiled slightly at Doran, aware that this was a lot - but Padraig had released his research, written papers and so on, so it was entirely possible - even likely - that Doran knew about this.

"The ether is not only not present, it seems to drain. This meant that mortalborns were literally dying there, so we could not stay long. I believe that we may have worked out a solution, though." She nibbled at the piece of cheese and then continued. "When we examined Frosvinndur's blood we found that it was very strong in ether, and that it maintains that by self-replicating. So, we've attempted an injectable potion which duplicates that effect." Faith smiled. "But we won't be able to test it until we're there. So, we need as many alternative theories and thoughts as possible, in the hope that one of them works."

Glancing at Padraig, she came to the end of what had happened. "I don't know how aware you are of the release of dragons, Doran? We had an incident in Quacia where we re-trapped what I believe was the Wounded God of it's mythology - a dragon that Padraig believes is called Deabrutoa. He was vile and has caused many of Quacia's issues." She considered it, and then added. "I do have an item which negates magic in an area, but even though it is inordinately powerful, it doesn't drain ether like the Barrier does." Raising an eyebrow between the two of them, she smiled. "And so, that's where we're starting."
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Re: [Eureka] What makes the candle splutter?

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Doran had arrived from Scalvoris through the Eclipse Portal earlier that trial and been subsequently taken to the settlement that Faith and Padraig had founded. It was his first time in the area around Volta, although he had visited Rharne itself before, most recently in order to attend the Mummer’s Ball. He had momentarily been surprised when Faith had invited him, and he had been honored, of course, to be asked to collaborate with such an accomplished scientist and become part of something of that magnitude.

As he did not know what exactly to expect, he had packed several of his research notes as well as a number of items that he thought might be of use, and filled his domain bag – in his opinion, it was better to prepare too much and bring too much rather than too little, especially in such a case.

The mansion that Faith and her family live in nowadays was quite extraordinary – it seemed to be half-built into the mountain. He took a few moments to admire it and let his gaze drift across the area around it – the air in this place almost seemed to be charged with energy – before he went inside. Once he had been shown to his room – he found it quite comfortable - he took his coat that he wore in addition to his suit off, freshened up and took a few moments to rest as well as sort through the things he had brought.

When Faith arrived at his door and asked him if he wanted to share a meal and start planning, he thanked her and immediately followed her, greeting Padraig before he turned his attention to the food. “This looks wonderful”, he remarked upon seeing the buffet-style meal that she had prepared for them – he meant it. He had not expected to be greeted by such a feast. He got two wraps – he found them especially tempting – and ate them while they worked.

When Faith informed him that she had prepared a dossier for him, he cleaned his hands thoroughly – he did not want to get any stains on such important papers – before he accepted the folder. “I don’t mind at all. On the contrary, I appreciate your preparing a dossier for me”, he told her before he opened the folder and checked its contents while he listened to her explanations closely and attentively. He did not start to speak again immediately after she had finished though. Instead, he considered what he had just heard – and read – for a while as there was a lot to take in before he finally raised his voice.

“I would like to ask you two a number of questions as there are some things that aren’t clear to me yet. I want to make sure that I understand this properly”, he admitted. “I have heard rumours of dragons recently, but nothing concrete”, he added. A part of him wanted to discuss the matter of dragons now – they were quite fascinating – but he came to the conclusion that it was best to do things in a certain order.

“During Mr. Augustin’s second journey, he noticed that the stars were different behind the barrier. Do you have any theories as to why the stars are different behind the barrier, even though those lands seem to be part of the same world, and Padraig and his companions were still in the same time? When we all took part in the feast in Telka last cycle, I noticed that the stars were different there as well. Could it have something to do with the fact that the barriers are somehow connected to Emea?” he wanted to know. The domains of the Immortals were located within Emea.

“Mr. Augustin discovered that Idalos is round rather than flat”, he remarked in a calm tone of voice once he had hopefully given Faith and Padraig sufficient time to answer his first question. “Which causes me to wonder if the edges of the world are truly edges. A sphere does not have edges. Do you have any idea as to how much of the surface of the sphere our home occupies, especially compared to the lands behind the barriers? Arc measurements should enable us to determine the radius of the sphere, and subsequently calculate its surface area, and if the approximate location of the barriers is known …” he added and momentarily broke off.

He did not know how relevant matter such as the surface area or the radius of the sphere truly were when it came to the expedition that the Augustins had planned. He was one of the most accomplished researchers in all of Idalos, perhaps even the most accomplished one, but he struggled to wrap his head around some of the things that he had read and heard.

“By the way, feel free to interrupt me anytime if I ask a superfluous question or if I tell you something that you have already researched or considered yourselves – or if I simply talk too much”, he asked, smirking very lightly, before he continued.

“You said that there is no ether behind the barriers”, he remembered. “You said that ether is not only not present, but that it seems to drain and that mortalborns die if they stay too long”, he continued and added, “I assume that you know that I am mortalborn?” After the feast in Telka where he had called Ziell father it should be obvious, but he considered it to be a good idea to mention it, nevertheless. He was not afraid of dying – it would be rather premature to be afraid now – but his not being human would without a doubt affect things.

“The ether drain makes me think of a material that I studied in the Glass Temple, before the Forging took place”, he remarked and produced a small bag. If Faith and Padraig opened it, they would find that it contained pieces of glass. “Drainglass drains ether, marks, everything, even the energy of a spirit, as you may know if you drank from the vials in Telka. The ether doesn’t just disappear once it has been drained though. It stays in the glass – and it can, as far as I know, subsequently be redirected. Perhaps, it might be of use to you – to us – behind the barriers? Perhaps something could be done with it?” he asked and raised an eyebrow.

“There is no ether behind the barriers”, he repeated. “Have you considered using an alternative energy source, ephemera, for example? Loshova are capable of feeding as spirits do which makes me wonder if there is a way to replace ether with ephemera. That might be an alternative if Mrs. Augustin’s potion doesn’t work”, he explained.

“I would appreciate it if you told me how you went about making the potion”, he added, briefly turning to Faith, before he removed an item from his bag and placed it on the table.

“Chrien’s Talisman that is said to give its owner bountiful luck once an arc”, he explained. “I thought that it would be a good idea to have one during the war – Chrien’s anger did, as you may know, constitue the cause of considerable concern. You mentioning it in your notes makes me wonder if we should all take one with us”, he said and gestured for Faith to examine it if she so desired.

A moment later, he returned to the dossier in order to verify something. He furrowed his brow in some disbelief as he reread a particular passage before he looked directly at Padraig. “What about the rock that you licked?”

Once he had been given an answer (or not), he finally moved on to the matter of dragons. He’d decided to save it for later as he’d wanted to get some clarification on the nature of the barriers and the lands behind them first. “Frosvinndur, the Dragon you met, spoke of the World Spirit, of the Spirit of Idalos. Before the time of the Originals, this was a world of spirits. The spirits, they are a part of the Great Song. The song created this world and was created by it. Could that mean that Frosvinndur was sent to Vetrarstig by those that first sang the Great Song? Do you have any idea what happened to the World Spirit?” he asked in a slow tone of voice.

He had himself under nearly perfect control most of the time – there were very few things that had the potential of surprising him anymore - but his eyes were slightly wide now. He was still trying to process some of the information that he had been given.

“The Originals are not of Idalos. They came from within Emea. Magic is not of Idalos”, he murmured in a thoughtful tone of voice, remembering what Chuckles had said to him in the Glass Temple before he abruptly met Faith’s gaze. “Frosvinndur spoke of the Formless Chaos. There is chaos within Emea. There are, without a doubt, dark things that lurk there. Do you think that we might be prisoners, Mrs. Augustin? Do you think that someone, maybe those that ruled the world before the Originals arrived, built the barriers in order to keep us in?” he wanted to know and furrowed his brow slightly as he considered the implications of their home being a prison.

Of course, it was also possible that the barriers served as some form of protection for them, but judging by what he had learned so far, the first possibility, that they were prisoners, was more likely in his opinion – which led to another question, his last one for the time being.

“Do you or Mr. Augustin have any idea how old the barriers and the dragons are?” he asked. As he waited for their answer something suddenly occurred to him. Chuckles was supposedly thousands of arcs old. He was part of the old world. He knew about the Great Song. A lot of his information on what magic was came from him. Could it be that he also knew about the barriers, who created them, when they created them and why? If he met with Chuckles again and talked to him, would he be able to tell them anything about the dragons?

“I know someone”, he admitted, following the possible epiphany he had just had. “He is a flame entity that is, by his own admission, thousands of arcs old. He was the one that first told me about the Great Song and the spirits. He is in Scalvoris at the moment, but if you think that it might be helpful, I could try to get in contact. He remembers the time before”, he explained before he finally fell silent and waited for Faith and Padraig to comment on what he had said so far, or perhaps ask questions of their own.
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Re: [Eureka] What makes the candle splutter?

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If it had been possible, Padraig might still be back Vetrarstig. Back beyond the barrier, in a world where, were it ever possible to take in all there was to learn there, it might take a lifetime or more. But their time there had been cut much shorter than Padraig might have liked, by necessity. And chances were, it would be again.

Better to be prepared this time in order to absorb all that they could. They'd chosen a traveling companion who both he and Faith believed was more than up to the task. The mansion on, and in the rocky hillside wasn't completely renovated yet. But it had been made sufficiently habitable by now that they'd not be inviting Doran into inhospitable surroundings. And of course anyone would be hard pressed to complain about the accommodations. The scenery as viewed from on high was spectacular and as for the meal Faith had overseen and prepared, the spread on the tables was beyond compare.

Once they were all settled in and gathered together, and Faith began to to speak of their previous journey beyond the veil, Padraig couldn't help but grin a little as he sat by and sipped a glass of wine. Of course there were cards, and files, and lists. And in this case, as in most of he was honest, they were critical. He had very good recall in general. But the wealth of knowledge and information was vast in this instance.

He nodded quietly along the way when Faith first paused and glanced his way. "The first time I went on my own," he explained, "we crossed into stormy seas the likes of which take down ships twice our size. And yet, turning back or veering one way or another served to cause us to pass through once more, back into calmer seas and clearer skies again." Of course the damage that had been done to the ship remained, and had required quite a bit of effort to repair.

"The water was very much acting as a conductor, the electromagnetic upheaval in the air as a capacitor." A very, very large enough he thought as Faith carried on. When she got to the retelling of what had happened in Quacia, Padraig couldn't help but frown deeply. Immortals how he'd hated that place, and would be content to never go back again. Nonetheless, the knowledge they'd brought back from that misadventure, in retrospect, had proven quite valuable.

And then of course, as anyone might, Doran had questions. Padraig would attempt to answer best he could, those he felt qualified to. The others, he'd leave for Faith's expertise. As for the stars? "It was something I was quite fascinated with, to be honest," he admitted. "I've wondered since if there might have been some connection to Emea. But when it comes to the alignment and placement of stars, my thoughts at the time centered on questions about the hemispheres."

"My studies and observations regarding the rotation and movement of our world and it's relationship to the stars and sun, have caused me to believe that there is a night sky that we here in our general geographical location, might never see it all. It's not as if the the stars and constellations are never above our heads, only that it would be during the trial's light, and invisible to us. Since then however I've come to think that that might not be the case at all, and the Emea connection might be a more likely possibility that I'd previously thought," he admitted.

"I've previously been able, by tracking the movement of suns'light, timing rotations and measuring curvatures, to calculate the size of the physical world that we live on." Enormous, to say the least. "During my first visit to the barrier, by observing it from the outside at a distance, I came to believe that it is more than possible to calculate the size of the spheres themselves, to discern if they are in fact perfectly formed spheres, by studying their curvature. The conditions at the time however didn't allow me the leisure to do it in detail." He'd been unconscious after all, all the way home aboard ship and beyond then, and then out of his mind for a bit.

He sat back then, waiting for Faith to chime in, until such a time as mention of the World Spirit arose. "I recall being exceedingly curious about the World Spirit, to be honest. Though I'll be the first to admit that the history and origins of the Immortals does not remotely fall into my field of learning. I have no idea what might have happened however, though I'd be very interested in learning more on the topic."

As for talk of prisoners? Well, it was Faith that had been asked the question. So far as Padraig was concerned, he wasn't inclined to swear that they weren't. Or at least, something to control, and considering what he'd experienced first hand, experimented on. However, he was very curious to discover who this other individual was, or even what, considering the age one might need to be in order to predate so much of currently known history. "Mortalborn?" he asked.
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Re: [Eureka] What makes the candle splutter?

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34th Vhalar, 721
Faith smiled at Doran as he expressed his thanks for the dossier. "I assure you, organising and sorting things in to lists brings me inordinate pleasure," she said with a hint of humour in her voice. She was quiet then as she nibbled on some food and watched him as he examined the dossier she had prepared. Once he had, though, Doran had questions and Faith was pleased that he did. The more they could put their minds to this, the better it would be. So, she listened intently both to his questions and Padraig's answers, and she interjected her own, where it was appropriate.

On the stars behind the barriers, Doran asked and Padraig had an answer. Faith's thoughts were slightly different. "At the feast in Telka, Xiur spoke of his favourite constellation and of making a new one," she said. "It made me wonder if the stars here are what they are because of the Immortals, him specifically. The Immortals have no ability to influence beyond the barriers, at all, and so I wonder if the stars we see there are the ones which all of Idalos is under. Maybe." She shrugged, slightly. "It's certainly something to ask Frosvinndur. But I don't know that we can find out without more data."

As for the size of Idalos itself, Faith rummaged for a moment and then handed over to Doran a few pieces of parchment. "These are Padraig's notes and as far as we've got. Suffice it to say, it's big. But since we only have the location of one barrier of the four - although I've researched the other three, and I think I know where they are, it's more difficult to be sure. Also, we don't know that the other barriers are the same size as this one. So, it's guesswork. But, yes, big."

Doran's idea on using ephemera was a good one and Faith considered it. "That makes sense. My concern is that it might work for me, but for the mortalborn, it might not. I'd like to have as many options as possible. I've made notes on the potion creation, I'd like your input if possible. It's good, it works, but we need to get it so that it lasts longer if we can." That was for once they'd got all of them on the same page though.

And then, there was drainglass. "I saw this after drinking the vial. It stores it? I'd like to take some over there, if we could. The issue is that items and .. well, everything stops working. Even wells. So, if this continues to function beyond there, that would be excellent." As for Chrien's talisman, Faith nodded. "I have one, left to me by Zvezdana Venora. We have one for Padraig, too. It might be useful." Faith chuckled at the question about Padraig licking rocks. "It was apparently quite the science," Faith smiled fondly at her husband. "But that situation was relevant, certainly. The energy keeping in Ati'el was seeped into the ground. That was glass, too. Is glass relevant, do you think? We should add different types of glass, including the glass made from Scalvoris sand to our list to take." As for why Padraig licked the rock? Well, Faith left that to him to explain. Because frankly, Faith thought it was a moment of weakness on his behalf.

Was this a prison? "I don't know, to be honest." She glanced at Padraig and shrugged slightly. "The Wounded God in Quacia is a dragon. That suggests that it was locked away. But I feel like that's a different part of the story. Because the Wounded God, or Deabrotoa as we now know him to be called, was here, not behind a barrier like the one we're going to pass through. So, it feels like either the world we know is a prison, or the one behind the barriers is, but I don't know what the answer is." She looked between the two of them. "I want us to sleep there. I know that it's important, I can feel it in my gut. I think we won't be able to, or something will be an issue, so I'm going to bring herbs and so on to enforce sleep - and to keep us there." As for how old it all was? Faith had notes, which she'd put in the dossier for him. "All my research is there. I think that it has been near to fifteen hundred arcs since dragons walked on Idalos. But there are many different stories, different timelines. From what Frosvinndur told us though, that seems about right."

The entity that Doran spoke of caused Faith to pay close attention. "The literal one in the Temple? " Faith had seen it when she used the vial. "Please, that would be very helpful I think. As long as we can stop him from burning things."

Looking between the two of them, she added, "I hope that we'll still be able to leave on the 40th. We should still have time. In order to do that, we might want to utilise the eclipse portals, but Padraig can arrange that. Also, it's important to make sure that we've prepared everything. Got our affairs in order, so to speak, in case we don't come back." Faith looked at Doran with a serious gaze. "Since Loshova wouldn't work over there, do you have any thoughts for how we could utilise it? An alchemical potion, perhaps?" Because any and every way that they could look at making this more easy for them to stay, the better. She nodded, though, at Doran's final question. "Yes," she said. "Ziell's son. We've had a Mortalborn son of Famula, and one of Faldrun. So, we have children of Anox and Cieral covered. If Ati'el's grandson experiences the same, I think it's fair to assume it's across all mortalborn."

Looking between them, Faith smiled. "I suspect there are more questions, Doran?" If it was her, she was sure there would be. Once they were done, though, she'd be happy to get on to the practicalities.



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Re: [Eureka] What makes the candle splutter?

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“So, you think that the barriers are in fact spheres themselves?” Doran asked and raised an eyebrow slightly when Padraig shared his observations with him, only in order to pause momentarily as he tried to think of ways in which all five spheres could be aligned. “Does that mean that there might be places where two spheres touch? How deep into the ground do the barriers go, do you think?” he finally wanted to know.

“If we were capable of digging a tunnel to the other side of our sphere, what do you think we would be able to find there – a land with or a land without ether?” he continued and added in a polite tone of voice, “I know that there is still a considerable amount of guesswork involved at this point, but I’d like to hear your theories in that regard nevertheless, provided that you are willing to share them with me.” Having said that, he fell silent once more in order to give Padraig the opportunity to answer – and considered what else had been said.

“So, you think that the stars could be different behind the barriers due to a lack of Emean influence, more or less?” he wanted to know from Faith and inclined his head. “I agree. I’d very much like to ask Frosvinndur that, provided that we do indeed meet him. Thank you”, he added when Faith handed Padraig’s notes to him and took a quick look at them before he focused on the matter of surviving behind the barriers which seemed to be the biggest concern right now, at least for Mister Augustin and him.

“How many doses of that ether-replicating potion did you manage to make?” he asked Faith before he explained his reasoning behind that question. “Potions are not permanent, at least the blood-based ones that I’ve made aren’t. The effect of my racial blood potions never lasts more than a couple of breaks. I do not know whether potions made with dragon blood are different, and if the ether will just start replicating itself once the potion has been ingested, but anyway, how many doses do you have?”

Faith had said that they wouldn’t know if her potions worked until they were there; there was also the possibility that they would work, but not perfectly or only for a short amount of time though.

“Drainglass stores ether”, he confirmed and inclined his head. “It is volatile though, so we should pack a few pieces in reserve in my opinion. Some of the glass broke when Professor Realmis and I experimented with it. Of course, we’d need to put ether into it before we travel behind the barriers”, he added, stating what was more or less obvious. If they didn’t charge the Drainglass, they couldn’t test how the barriers affected it.

“Glass might be relevant”, he agreed after Faith explained the rock-licking and nodded. “We should take as many of the rocks that Mr. Augustin has found as possible with us in my opinion. Maybe, they could be our alternative energy source if everything else fails. Maybe …” he began and broke off for a moment as what he had just thought of seemed unlikely to him – in his opinion, the answer couldn’t really be that simple. Even things that did not work could eventually lead to new realizations though, and thus he decided to pose his question anyway. “There is no ether behind the barriers. What about glass that has been alchemically enhanced with etherically charged blood though? Could that work in your opinion?”

“Did your items just stop working, or were there harmful side effects?”
he wanted to know. What Faith had said and what he had read gave him the impression that things simply stopped working, but this was a case where it was better to ask for clarification in his opinion.

“We should definitely take different types of glass with us”, he agreed before he broke off abruptly. Faith had said something, something that caused him to raise an eyebrow. The fact that the Wounded God of Quacia was apparently a dragon was unexpected to say the least, but Faith’s mentioning the approximate time when dragons had stopped walking on Idalos surprised him even more than that. “It is possible that at least a part of the real story of what happened is known, if not the exact timeline”, he spoke to both Faith and Padraig as he suddenly remembered something, a conversation that he had had.

Why had he not thought of it earlier?

“Lady Qylios gave me a task”, he explained to Faith and Padraig in a calm tone of voice. “She wanted to know how Enri von Smooglenuff was involved in the events that led up to the Forging. For that reason, I met with a colleague of mine, Professor Tag Fridson, a specialist on the Originals, earlier this season. I asked him to share his knowledge about Fei with me – Enri is her grandson and a Mortalborn of Xiur. I hoped that understanding Enri’s family would help me understand him. Professor Fridson gave me his notes on a trip to the shrine of Fei on Immortal’s Tongue that he undertook with a group of students in 717. You were among them”, he spoke, nodding at Faith.

“From what you told me, dragons stopped walking on Idalos around or right before the date of the Shattering. One of the murals in the shrine told the story of a great fight between the Originals, the dragons and ethereal mist-like creatures which I think are likely spirits, maybe even those that first started to sing the Great Song. I’ve only read Professor Fridson’s notes. You are Bellinos though, Mrs. Augustin. Can you tell me what exactly you saw in the shrine of Fei? Could it be that a war, a war against the Originals was the reason?” he wanted to know.

“The answer may not help us survive behind the barriers”, he conceded and inclined his head slightly. “But it may help us understand what happened to the dragons”, he mused before he turned to Padraig once more. He had wanted to know if Chuckles was Mortalborn.

“No, he isn’t”, he replied. “Chuckles is older than any Mortalborn or Immortal. He is indeed the one from the temple”, he continued and nodded at Faith. “If the dragons only stopped walking on Idalos a millennium and a half ago, he should definitely be able to fill some of the gaps in our knowledge. As a member of the Academy of Viden, I have permission to use the Eclipse Portals. I could easily be back before the 40th, with Chuckles. I don’t think he’ll burn anything, by the way”, he added, smirking a bit.

“He was rather well-behaved in the Glass Temple”, he remarked before the expression on his face turned much more serious again. “An alchemical potion might work since Loshova itself doesn’t. Unless you think that one could convert different kinds of energy into each other?” he asked, turning to Padraig, the physicist among them (He was a skilled scientist as well, but such things were not his specialty.).

“So, we should take Chuckles, Drainglass, Padraig’s rocks, other kinds of glass and maybe items made of glass that have been imbued with etherically charged blood with us in my opinion, items that will help us survive behind the barriers if they work. What do you think?” he asked and looked at Faith and Padraig. They were in charge of the expedition and had invited him to come along; he would thus not be so presumptuous as to make decisions. He would only make suggestions and state what he thought.

When Faith remarked that she suspected that there were more questions, he inclined his head before he admitted, smirking slightly, “I’ve already asked a considerable number of questions, but there is one more thing I want to know, if you don’t mind.”

“Who is Ati’el’s grandson? Who else will travel behind the barriers, and when will he join us?”

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Re: [Eureka] What makes the candle splutter?

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"From her lips to the ears of the Immortals," Padraig quipped with something of an amused grin when Faith handed over a fresh stack of papers for Doran to look at. Organizing, sorting of all manner of things? Faith excelled at it, and truth was, given the nature of her work, and his work, it was critical that someone should do it. And if he was being genuinely honest, Padraig excelled more at getting lost in that particular sort of shuffle.

Of course Faith had her own theories and ideas about the less familiar starry skies that shone in the night sky out near the barriers and beyond them. He was not at all inclined to believe she was mistaken. The fact was that even as a scholar that studied the skies for a living, he just didn't know just yet. It would take more study, more observation to form any real conclusion, and so one explanation at this point might be just as valid as any other.

In fact at this point, it was just as Faith said, about many things. So much of it was simply guesswork.

The drain glass, which he was only acquainted with currently because of the event he and Faith had attended together, fascinated him. So many questions. But as Faith mentioned, so many things that worked as intended in this world, did not seem to function the same beyond the barriers. This however was not his field of expertise. He couldn't help but grin and shake his head, however, when his beloved teasingly referenced the 'rock tasting' incident. "I can assure you, Doran," he quipped offhandedly. "In my field, it is a time honored and proven method of research." Or would be, if it got repeated enough.

No matter when they were to depart, he could in fact arrange for them to make use of the portals. He'd rather not of course dwell too long on the idea of sorting out their affairs in the event that they might not return home again. It was a very real and practical concern, that much he would agree with in a very real sense. On the other hand, the reality made it no more an appealing subject to ponder for long in one sitting.

When Doran asked about the shape of the spheres or barriers, if they might overlap or how deeply they might go, Padraig frowned thoughtfully for several seconds before responding. "To be honest, it's been very difficult to know for sure in any of these instances. Partly because of the weather and geography of the area itself, and the location. All make it difficult to spend a great deal of time studying and observing those aspects, and the extreme cold is not necessarily friendly to sensitive equipment."

"The barrier in question, the one I passed through once before, then again later, is located in deep ocean. The barrier is so vast there that it required observing through a telescope to spot any curvature at all. Certainly I was unable to see the top of it, if there is one, and what was underwater I could only guess at," he admitted. "I tend to think the mortal mind is predisposed to think in terms of a perfect globe, when the word sphere is used. What I was able to observe, the curvature was constant and one might be able to calculate the size if it was assumed that it is indeed a perfect, globe-like sphere, rather than simply an enormous curved barrier, something more egg shaped, or something that isn't leveled off and flat on the bottom beneath the waves." In effect, at this point it was a best guess, if a somewhat educated one. Which was the way, Padraig supposed, the way science worked on it's way to finding a greater truth.

Talk of an entity called Chuckles might have come as a bit jarring if he had not drank that potion as Faith had. Still, this was definitely a field far beyond his own. He'd just hope that this Chuckles was an agreeable enough boat mate, for it would be a difficult enough one already.
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Re: [Eureka] What makes the candle splutter?

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34th Vhalar, 721
Doran had a lot of questions, many of which were ones she and Padraig had also wondered. But, what Faith enjoyed was the meeting of minds, the ability to discuss this with two others who were able to grasp the situation. "If it is, in fact, a charge of some kind which the water conducts, thus explaining the change in weather pattern and so on," she said, thoughtfully. "Then, while it might seem to be a sphere, it would actually be a more irregular sphere-like shape which followed the shape of the shoreline in a general way. Although, of course, it would be more rough and would lose small and sharp details. But that's assuming that the charge itself is in the rocks." She lifted her shoulders slightly. "It might be the trees. The dragons themselves. Grass. Air. Anything. The shape of the barrier will, of necessity, depend on the form of what creates it and we simply don't know."

They were questions to ask Frosvinndur, certainly.

Doran spoke of her field trip, many arcs ago now, with Professor Fridson and she nodded. "Those caves were very interesting," she said softly. "There was a drawing of a dragon on that cave wall." She frowned slightly. Then, she nodded. "I'll pass on my diary notes for that trial." As she moved to get it, Faith frowned and stopped for a moment. "There was a child there. He'd died long before, he needed to pass over. I held back and spoke with him, helped him. He said that there had been monsters, once, and a man had helped to chase the monsters away. But then, the child got ill and his parents took him to Immortal's Tongue to pray for him to get better." Turning to look at Doran, she smiled softly. "I wonder if the man who helped to chase the monsters was Enri von Smooglenuff? The baron told us about him when we went to the murder mystery." That said, she found the book she was looking for and handed it to Doran. Faith had always kept meticulous notes, before and after she was granted an eidetic memory by Vri. She considered it an insult to the Immortal and lazy in the extreme to rely on the gift granted by Vri. It had stood her in good stead on more than one occasion.

Padraig then answered Doran's questions as much as they could - questions were fascinating to Faith, there was no frustration from her, she enjoyed thinking about things. When Doran listed what they would take, though, Faith grinned at him. "You're just licking the surface of the rock that is my tendency to organise, there." Another list - this one of samples - was extracted and handed to him. "I have plant samples, blood samples, food, rocks, alchemical potions, wells, fabric. Animals - small ones - and a duplicate of each item will be kept here. We'll take our equipment, but it will need to be very well packaged, and then we will examine those samples while we're there. I've made notes on each of them, before we go. So I'd like to look at them during the visit - preferably within a break and then again twelve breaks later, in case there's a drain of some kind. Then, we examine them when we get back." She smiled at Doran then, her eyes twinkling with mischief. "You should see my sock drawer."

On to more serious matters, again, she answered Doran's queries - she was impressed by how sensible and to the point his questions were. "We have enough for two potions each, but I can make more," she said. "In case the age is an issue, I thought I'd wait until the trial before we're ready to go. And no, there were no harmful side effects but it is very disconcerting. As someone with marks, Padraig and I are used to being able to communicate, to feel each other's emotions. We could no longer do that. And, while we're over there, sleep was near to impossible. On the journey, once we were through the barrier, dreams were constantly tricky. But, I'll bring things to make sure we sleep dreamless."

A final question from Doran, and Faith nodded. "Well, you're Ati'el's grandson, as Ziell is his. Our other companion is Anox's grandson. His name is Varlum. Faldrun's son, an ithecal. He's a big chap, lots of teeth. But he's also one of the nicest people I've met and he's as brave as he is kind. He's also been investigating dragons after our last visit, but he's been talking to - or trying to - Ethelynda. Once he arrives, he can report that."

She nodded her head. "I think, honestly, the sooner we go the better. There is only so much preparation we can do. I'll add glass and sand samples to the list, I don't know why I didn't think of them before, label them, take measurements and so on before packaging them. Then, I think we should get on with it." Nodding, Faith was happy to get on and do just that. If Doran was going to use the Eclipse portal to pop back to Scalvoris, she asked him to bring samples of the sand back with him - as many of the sand types as he could from the university there. It would be more up to date, Faith explained, and that might make a difference.
word count: 936
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Re: [Eureka] What makes the candle splutter?

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When Padraig assured him that rock-licking was a time honored and proven method of research in his field, Doran smirked slightly before he remarked, “Maybe, I should start licking rocks as well then. Seriously though, it’s an interesting method in my opinion, if a little unorthodox”, he remarked in a more serious tone of voice. He really thought so. He would never have considered licking rocks, but it seemed to have worked, and what more, it had led to an important realization, so it was ultimately a valid method.

When Padraig talked about the shape of the barriers some more, Doran inclined his head. “Perhaps, we’ll eventually be able to find out for sure”, he remarked before he turned to Faith. When she remarked that the shape of the barrier would, of necessity, depend on the form of what created it, he mused, “Perhaps, we simply need to talk to one of the creators or somebody who was alive during the time of their creation then.”

There were people that would likely disagree and insist that the answer couldn’t be that simple, but since there were beings that had existed for thousands of arcs, simply asking might actually work. There were times when you didn’t need to rely on mathematics or physics to solve a problem, but when a more straightforward approach was sufficient.

He realized that he truly enjoyed the discussion with Faith and Padraig. There were a lot of things that were still uncertain, and they might not come back, or come back changed, but that didn’t matter, at least not right now. He’d missed them, the conversations with people that grasped what he was talking about effortlessly and that he didn’t have to explain anything to. He’d had that with Llyr as well, to some extent – his lover had been quite intelligent – but he had focused on magic and the world of dreams rather than on science.

He listened to Faith with interest as she talked about the trip to Immortal’s Tongue. When she had finished, he inclined his head in agreement. “I do believe that that man was Enri. It sounds like something he would have done. I didn’t know that you took part in Baron Rodrigues’ murder mysteries as well though”, he admitted, but he didn’t say more. He was quite interested in the last of Enri’s descendants that had resided on Faldrass, but it would be better to focus on the barriers and the matter of dragons now.

“Thank you”, he replied when she handed him the book.

“Speaking of samples”, he remarked when Faith talked about taking different samples behind the barriers and studying them. “As you probably know, much of my research is focused on blood as well as the use of blood in alchemy. To that end, I also studied mage blood. I have a vial of Attuner blood, and an item that was imbued with it. I could take both of them with me. After your mention of glass, I’m curious as to whether the blood being contained in a glass vial or the item being stored in a glass container will make a difference”, he admitted.

If it did, surviving behind the barrier might not be much of an issue anymore during future trips – they would just be able to store the energy they needed in glass containers.

“That will be best”, he agreed when she mentioned waiting until the trial before they were ready to go. That she’d be able to make more potions, was a relief, he had to admit. It would mean that they likely wouldn’t have to worry about running out of time as much. Not that he was particularly worried – he considered such an attitude to be counterproductive.

“I have a couple of marks of my own”, he admitted in a calm tone of voice when Faith revealed that Padraig’s and her marks had not worked behind the barrier. It seemed appropriate to mention that now, in case it mattered. “None of them connect me to other people though. I also have abilities that were granted to me by the Induk of Ishallr. It will be interesting to see if they still work behind the barriers as spirits predate the Immortals and the Originals – and the barriers”, he added. He hadn’t thought of it until Faith had mentioned Padraig’s and her marks no longer working. He considered the chance of his Iceforged abilities being unaffected to be small, but perhaps …

When Faith pointed out that he was Ati’el’s grandson, he chuckled for a moment before he inclined his head and remarked in a slightly amused tone of voice, “I am. For some reason, I misunderstood you and assumed that two of Ati’el’s grandsons would be going behind the barrier. I’ve met Varlum before. Both of us attended the Mummer’s Ball in Rharne last arc. He was quite impressive”, he added. He had to admit that he was happy that they would be accompanied by such a skilled combatant. Varlum’s skills would be exceptionally useful.

“I’ll try to bring as many samples of Scalvoris sand – as well as glass – as I can from Scalvoris with me”, he told her. “And I agree, the sooner we go, the better”, he added. He was excited, he had to admit. It would be quite an adventure, and an opportunity to solve some of the mysteries that surrounded the world of Idalos. Over the course of the previous couple of arcs, he had grown tired of always being in his laboratory. He was grateful for the fact that he was given this opportunity, for more than one reason.
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Re: [Eureka] What makes the candle splutter?

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With or without the near eventuality of their trip to the edge of the world, and beyond, it was always enjoyable to engage in conversation, in sessions of give and take with other learned minds, each with specialties of their own. Especially when all got along more than well with each other.

"Moreover, it could be that it's not static," Padraig remarked thoughtfully as Faith spoke of the charge in question, or what in effect passed as a magnetic field of sorts. Perhaps one that remained the same in spite of conditions, or on the other hand, one that did not. He grinned a little in spite of himself when his wife referenced her list making habits with his own, occasional albeit it perhaps a bit eccentric, practice of testing stones by taste. He might have argued, with a twinkle in his eye that he certainly didn't make a habit of going round tasting every stone and pebble he happened across. But perhaps, point made.

Whichever the case, once the conversation turned to sleep and the near impossibility during the journey of actually getting any of a restful nature, without intervention, dreamless in that case was a far preferable way to go. Something he'd discovered to the nth degree during his first voyage. When Doran spoke of blood samples, Padraig considered it and had to wonder if collecting these sorts of things was just something alchemists, and healers in Faith's case, simply had a habit of doing as a general rule. "I have handful of samples myself, though its Immortal's blood," he said.

It was also nice to know that Doran and Varlum had already met before. It meant that they'd all at least be familiar to one another, which Padraig could only believe was a good thing. So for now? It seemed that so far as sharing what information they had, one with the other, as much as could be shared had been, and they could go forward in search of more knowledge. They might never learn all no matter how much time they had to spend beyond the barriers. But they could certainly make a good go of it.
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Re: [Eureka] What makes the candle splutter?

]


Experience: +15 xp

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Collaboration: Yes
Renown: +5 Your preparations for this expedition will arouse some mild curiosity.
Injuries/Overstepping: None.
Loot: Preparedness. Merit badges for everybody.

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Skillplay: Appropriate to level.

Comments

Idalos isn’t round; you’re just all brainwashed sheeple! It’s all done with fisheye lenses and holograms. :P

I hope this expedition is successful; at very least, it sounds interesting. Your characters are all an interesting mixture of science, fantasy, and common sense, and it makes the idea of them being some sort of interdimensional explorers all the more intriguing. There is a *lot* of lore involved in the three characters’ discussions, plenty of which I didn’t even know before I read this thread. As a fellow nerd, I appreciated this thread very much!

Also, licking rocks.

Enjoy your rewards.

Faith

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Investigation x4

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Another day in the home life of Faith: talking with friends, making snacks, and planning an expedition to another world that sucks out all your ether. Faith’s ability to juxtapose the mundane and the fantastic impresses me, and reminds me that ST isn’t just Game of Thrones cosplay with sparkles; extradimensional portals and dragons are as much a part of Faith’s life as canopes and paperwork.
Padraig

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Alchemy x 2

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Padraig strikes me as a good complement to Faith; he sees the big picture and has an eye to the logistical elements that Faith does not. And when that doesn’t work, he licks rocks. Exactly the sort of thing I would want in somebody participating in an expedition to Vetrarstig.
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Doran has all the questions. So many questions. Still, they weren’t frivolous or annoying questions, but highly apposite and perceptive ones. He is also very formal and polite. “Mr. Augustin…Mrs. Augustin”. It’s charming. I can’t wait to see if Doran gets to meet the dragon. Will he address it as “Mr. Frostvinndur”, I wonder?
word count: 345
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