• Memory • Pulvis pyrius

Sintih

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Continued from here.

Ashan 43, Arc 711

For a moment as he stood there, on the meadow and felt the light Ashan breeze against his skin the Mortalborn could not help but wonder if he had finally begun to lose his mind after nearly four-hundred arcs on Idalos or if, maybe, his recent lack of sleep had impaired his sense of judgement. He would never let any of his normal students handle explosives until the second arc of their studies. Few were even been allowed to watch his experiments. In fact he had only recently begun to experiment with such substances himself, after having studied chemistry for decades and taught it at an academic level for almost as long.

He had never picked favourites in all that time, but treated all his students the same, somewhat condescendingly and harshly, but largely fairly. But then he recalled how Sintih and he had talked about the possibility of using phosphorescence to deceive the enemy during a battle, of regrowing limbs and combining biology and alchemy to grow alchemical ingredients rather than painstakingly gathering them. Sintih was different from the insufferable teenagers that sometimes sat in his classroom because they mistakenly thought they had what it took. He was like her, the woman that he had secretly loved for arcs.

He was willful and disobedient, and his wording often left something to be desired, but somewhere behind that somewhat lacking exterior lay genuine talent. It had taken him seasons to admit that and to forgive Beira for the fact that she had chosen another man. Sintih, he had realized, was more Beira’s son than Rudi’s. Rudi was a warrior, but Sintih was physically weak. He was a mage. He had the mind of a scientist, and he was creative, like her, and unless he found a way to free her from that strange crystal city and bring her back to Idalos, Sintih was all he would ever have, the only thing that was left of her.

Besides, he realized, if he involved Sintih in his experiments and guided him, he would likely be able to keep him from running off and practicing alchemy on his own which would almost inevitably result in his death. Beira would never forgive him if something happened to her son. He had stood on the battlefield, he had faced mortals and Immortals alike, but the wrath of that one Yludih with the face of an Eidisi was one of the few things that he feared, to some extent.

<><><>

“This is the last one, Sir,” the servant said and put another box down in front of him. The Mortalborn nodded and dismissed the man before he walked over to a table that had been placed in front of the wall. A special, fireproof box stood on it. He opened it for a moment and inspected the black powder within before he abruptly closed it again. Everything that he needed was there. All that he would have to do now was to wait for Beira’s son to arrive.

When Sintih came, he would find the Mortalborn standing there, completely straight, with his arms crossed over his chest, waiting.

The box on the table was likely not the only thing that would catch his attention. Another, smaller container had been placed a safe distance away from the door. The piece of rope that extended from it would likely give the Yludih an idea as to what he was looking at. Besides that, there were also a number of wooden boxes filled with a seemingly random collection of items as well as several strange metal contraptions, a mortar and pestle – and what looked like arrows.
Last edited by Doran on Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:05 pm, edited 3 times in total. word count: 624

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Sin was pacing. He couldn't contain his excitement. First he'd completed an alchemy process without blowing it up in his face, then he had managed to not earn any negative critique on him doing so from Doran's mouth and now he was about to go and see a few potential things you could do with alchemy. It was all very exciting. The smile on Sin's face seemed to have frozen there while he was pacing. Despite an earlier attempt at controlling it, it was still there, like a little boy in the toy store.

He had no clue as to what he was about to go do with Doran but having just turned some white powder into a past that glowed in the dark, Sin expected quite a bit from the things Doran had been working on for a longer time. He wondered what air currents would look like if you could see them. It was a strange notion, being able to see air. He could definitely feel it when he was outside and it was busy cutting through his clothes and freezing his ass off but seeing it, that was new. The other substance he didn't understand what it would do but he was excited for it none the less.

He had no clue where the location was that Doran was speaking off but asking a passing student sent him to the right place. It only took him a few bits to get there. The rest of his time was spent pacing as a servant moved past him with several boxes, carrying them to the area behind the door. Sin didn't have anything else to do until the half break was up except stay here and wait. When the servant came out and told Sin he was done, Sin walked in through the door. He looked around the open space until he noticed Doran standing near the boxes. Sin walked over to him, looking at the things that had been brought out.

While most of the boxes had been placed near Doran, there was one clearly placed away from the rest, near the middle of the clearing. When he got closer to the table, Sin could see that the other boxes contained a plethora of items that had nothing to do with the alchemy he had seen in the classroom before. Was that a sewn rabbit toy? Sin only looked at the items for a moment before focusing his attention on Doran. "Nice place you got. What's the plan here and why did you bring a child's toy?" Sin pointed at the rabbit in one of the boxes. "Just tell me what I need to do and I'll do it." The prospect of being allowed to try some alchemy projects himself if he listened had put Sin on his best behavior.

Despite the walls surrounding the area and the slightly warmer days of early Ashan, Sin still required his cloak to stay warm enough. With his Asterism weak as it was, heat spread as slow as energy for him. He hadn't been able to change clothes to something more suitable for lab work and now testing of said lab work so the leather armor he was wearing would have to prove enough for this. Besides, if something was going to explode, maybe the armor could protect him from some of the blast. Putting his gloves on, Sin looked eagerly towards Doran.
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A part of the Mortalborn had expected Sintih to show up late, but to his surprise the boy was on time. As the false Eidisi walked through the door, the Mortalborn turned around and nodded at him before he approached. He had been somewhat tired and exhausted before as he had worked too much, but the relative cold made him feel refreshed and helped him think clearly again.

“It’s not my place”, he informed the boy. Sintih would see that the professor was dressed a little differently now. A warm, dark cloak that was trimmed with silver fur at the edges was draped across his shoulders, and he had put gloves on, not only to keep his hands warm, but also to protect them against the substances that they would be handling. “Me and my colleagues come here to test certain inventions that are better not tested in an enclosed space.”

“The plan is”,
he spoke. He noticed that Sintih was behaving exceptionally well. He was polite compared to before and seemed to be eager to help. Doran approved of this sudden change in behaviour and sincerely hoped that it would last and that Beira’s son had finally begun to grow up.

“For you to familiarize yourself with explosives and their many uses under my supervision. That is one of the reasons why we grinded powders and mixed them before, apart from the fact that I had to complete an order for one of my clients. Making gun powder involves many of the same steps as making that phosphorescent substance.”

“We will talk more about that in a bit. I will give you a brief demonstration before we begin our lesson”,
he informed Sintih. He had come to the conclusion that the boy would likely be more attentive if he witnessed the power of the substance at hand first than if they started with the theory. Some people learned better through practical exercises.

“As for the rabbit”, he continued and glanced at the toy that was so innocently lying in the box. “Students will often forget things in the classroom and never return to pick them up again. Rather than letting them take up space in a storage room, I thought we would use them for part of our experiment. Unless you have a problem with killing a toy rabbit because you are already growing attached to it?”

He raised an eyebrow and looked at Sintih questioningly. For a moment it seemed as if the corners of his mouth twitched a little and there was a hint of amusement in his voice. Doran was serious and often somewhat cynical, but he was not entirely without a sense of humor.

“Now please step back and watch closely”, he ordered Sintih and took a torch from a torch holder next to the door. “You may want to cover your ears with your hands. In a few trills it will be rather loud here.” Having said that, he walked to the opposite side of the meadow, lit the piece of rope that was extending from the box that was standing there and swiftly moved back to where the false Eidisi was waiting and where they would not be harmed by the explosion.

Sintih could see how the flame rapidly moved closer to the box, and then, without a warning a loud boom rang through the area, without a doubt shocking whatever people were still in the building behind them at that time of the trial, and the air was suddenly filled with smoke. Pieces of old toys and random junk were flying in all directions. Even after the smoke had disappeared, the smell of burning still lingered in the air.

“I hope that my little demonstration helped you realize the potential of gunpowder”, Doran spoke once his ears had stopped ringing, and he could hear normally again. He briefly considered forcing Sintih to clean up the mess that he had made, but then again, that was what servants were for. The university paid those people too much anyway.

“Now it is your turn”, he informed Sintih and arranged another keg of gunpowder a safe distance away from where his tools and the ingredients were. “Pick a few items that you would like to blow up, light the fuse and then quickly step away. You may kill the rabbit now or later. There will be one or two more practical exercises before our lesson is over.”
Last edited by Doran on Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:42 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 751

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Pulvis pyrius

As the scholar explained what the plan was for all these things gathered here, Sintih listened eagerly. Explosives sounded really cool and the prospect of testing them out made him look a little more than an eager child. It was good to hear that the things he'd learned earlier could be applied to making gun powder as well. When Doran said he would go with a demonstration first before the theory, Sin couldn't stop himself rubbing his hands together. This was all very exciting.

As Doran explained the rabbit and other stuff present, Sin slowly turned his head to check if he had heard the man right. A joke? From Doran? Viden was probably melting right about now. Sin wasn't really sure if the questioning look he got from the man was real or part of the joke. Was it a joke? Sin shook his head while he took a step back, following orders. As Doran walked over to the other side of the walled area with a torch, Sin watched him go. Something was about to get loud and Sin wouldn't want to miss a thing of it. The moment the torch touched the rope, a flame started running along it. "So when does it get l-..."

The box of stuff exploded mid sentence, blowing Sin's words away. In an instant there was a flash and loud noise and smoke and then no more noise, nothing what so ever apart from a constant tone that seemed to indicate the end of Sin's ability to hear. With both hands on his ears, Sin was opening and closing his mouth, trying to force his ears to start working again. "BY ILAREN! WHAT THE SARD!?!?" The ringing noise in his ears wouldn't stop and he couldn't hear a word of what he was saying. It was a very weird experience, knowing you were moving your mouth but not being sure if sound was coming out.

The ringing started to lessen as he rubbed his ears. Sin was in the middle of pressing his finger against his ear, trying to massage the noise back into it, mouth half open, as he suddenly picked up on things Doran was saying. His attention went back to the man. "BY IL-" Hearing himself, Sin adjusted his volume quickly. "-Aren! Why is it so loud? A little warning next time, please." Despite his whining, the mischievous grin was returning to his face as he spoke. "This is interesting." Realizing where he was and who he was with, Sin tried to downplay his excitement with little to no effect.

When he was given the green light to try it himself, his eyes lit up like the two suns of Saun. For a brief moment, Sin understood the childish need or desire for breaking things when possible. As Doran placed a keg of gunpowder in place, Sin was hauling another rope to the keg and rolled it out as far as it could go, near to where Doran had lit the first one. He selected a choice set of items, starting with the rabbit, to show that he had no attachment to the piece of sewn cloth, and various other things varying from a broken mug to a coat someone had forgotten at one point. Unlike Doran's display, however, Sin placed his items in a line, starting from the rabbit on top of the keg and then along the rope towards the end at set intervals the other items.

Once he had everything in place, Sin grabbed a torch and moved over to the fuse, as Doran had called it, and lit it, quickly running back to where Doran was. This time, he put his fingers in his ears from the moment he got back, following the fire running along the fuse. Before it reached the keg, however, Sin turned his head slightly and closed his eyes so he wasn't staring right into the flash of the explosion as it went off. The boom rumbled across the walls surrounding their area and in the same moment, Sin felt a sharp pain along his cheek as pieces of dirt and grass and clouds of smoke fell to the ground.

Before he could place a hand on his cheek to check what was causing the pain, a dark trickle of blood ran down to the tip of his chin and pooled together until it dripped down to the ground, staining the green grass between his boots. "Aoww." He said as he placed a gloved hand against the wound. Carefully testing the inside of his cheek with his tongue, Sin was glad to find no hole on the side for him to stick his tongue out of. He tried to rub the blood from the wound but as he removed his hand he could already feel another trickle sliding down his cheek. Despite the blood, the wound was barely more than a scratch, caused by a solid sliver of something that had shot past him. Sin considered himself lucky it hadn't hit him in the eye or anything as he turned to look behind him to check if he could see anything there.
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“I did warn you”, the Mortalborn reminded Sintih in a somewhat dry tone. “You should have paid more attention to what I said. Your hearing will recover soon however”, he added. Upon noticing the huge grin on Sintih’s face, he raised an eyebrow. What was it with young people and their fascination with explosions? He had no idea where it came from, but his students were exactly the same. They got almost overly excited the moment he even mentioned the possibility of blowing a few things up to them.

Besides that, the boy also seemed to be in possession of a vast array of swearwords, he noticed which was unusual since he couldn’t remember Beira ever being like that. While he disapproved of the boy‘s choice of words, he was glad that Sintih’s vocabulary was larger than he had thought at first. Perhaps, he thought, Sintih would eventually learn scientific terms with the same fervor that he had apparently learned those swearwords.

There was one thing that bothered him about what Sintih had screamed at him though.

“I didn’t take you for a follower of Ilaren”, he remarked in exactly the same dry tone as before and abruptly looked at him. “I thought your people worshipped Yvithia and maybe, occasionally, Ziell considering that their homeland is covered with snow and ice.”

A shadow seemed to pass across his face for a moment as he spoke the name of the Immortal of Winter, but it was gone again as quickly as it had come as he wondered if Sintih secretly got drunk after they were done with their lessons. The boy had a few character flaws, but he had a hard time picturing him as a drunkard who worshipped the Immortal of Alcohol.

But then again, what did he really know about Sintih’s private life, apart from the fact that there was a being made of crystal somewhere beneath the facade of one of Yvithia’s children?

For a moment he considered talking to him about what he did when their lessons ended, but then he realized that he could not do that without revealing what he was and what he had done to him.

“I’m glad that you find this here interesting”, he thus simply remarked. “I hope that you will be just as interested in the theory.” Having said that, he made a step back and watched as Sintih arranged a wide variety of different items near the keg of gun powder, the rabbit toy among them which surprised him to some extent. He knew that some people formed a strange sort of attachment to stuffed animals and gave them nearly human traits, but he had a hard time understanding why that was the case. They were not alive.

It pleased him to find out that Sintih was not among those people though and that he had no problem murdering a mere toy. To his surprise the boy was careful and followed his instructions. He didn’t linger near the lit fuse, he covered his ears and even turned his head away. Or maybe he shouldn’t have been surprised considering whose son he was.

Something seemed to have gone wrong nevertheless though, he realized as Sintih suddenly cried out. He didn’t know what exactly had happened. It didn’t matter at the moment anyway. All that mattered was that the boy was hurt. He felt a strange sensation in his chest as he rushed towards him. It took him a moment to realize what it was: Worry.

“Let me take a look!” he demanded and turned to inspect the wound on his face. It was bleeding, but to his relief it was only superficial. “It’s nothing”, he decided. “Barely more than a scratch. If you stop touching it, it will heal on its own. Do you know what hit you?” As he asked that question, he looked around, but he didn’t know which of the things that were lying in front of them now it had been. He only saw the rabbit toy - or what was left of it.

The blast had ripped it in two. The head – minus an ear – was lying in front of him now while the rest of it seemed to have gone missing. Narrowing his eyes slightly, the Mortalborn walked over to it, picked it up and handed it to Sintih, to throw it away or maybe keep it as a trophy.

“Stay closer to me next time”, he warned Sintih and then spoke, “As promised, we will begin with the theoretical part of this lesson now.” As he said that, he gestured for Sintih to join him at the table where the fireproof box was standing and opened it. The false Eidisi could see that it was filled with a black powder. “This is what was in the kegs that we blew up, and this is what we will be making now. I chose this kind of explosive for its relative stability compared to liquid or gaseous explosives.”

He paused for a moment to allow Sintih to absorb that information, seriously hoping that he would not insist on handling those substances instead of gunpowder now before he continued, “Gunpowder – or black powder – is a combination of three different substances – charcoal, sulphur or saltpeter which is also called potassium nitrate. The latter is made from bat guano or horse urine. I assume that won’t be a problem for you?” Some of his students, he knew, had a problem handling manure or urine, finding such substances disgusting, a notion that he found somewhat peculiar and counter-productive. In his opinion a scientist shouldn’t be disgusted of anything.

“We’ll start with the charcoal”, he informed Sintih. “Take a few pieces of coal and grind them into as fine a powder as possible with that mortar and pestle over there. I will do the same”, he added before he took some coal and a mortar and pestle of his own, deciding that it would be good to set an example rather than simply standing there. Grinding coal took a bit of strength, but there was nothing wrong with a little physical exertion in between blowing things up and talking about the theory of explosives.

“Using the right percentages is essential”, he spoke as he worked. “If you use too much or too little of any of the three substances, the black powder will not be as effective. The powder we will be making will contain 75% saltpeter, 15% charcoal and 10% sulfur. The sulfur and the charcoal act as fuels while the saltpeter provides oxygen for the reaction. Do you have any questions at this point?”
word count: 1130

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When Doran remarked on his choice of immortal to call upon in this instance, Sin thought for a trill that he might have made a mistake, somehow. Were Eidisi so duotheistic that they couldn't step outside of Yvithia and Ziell worhsip? They shouldn't be, right? "I'm not sure what -my people- worship but I find that when my ears stop working because of loud noises, I tend to call upon the immortal of sound and when a bear is about to eat my face, I lean more towards Karem and Vri. I'm guess I'm flexible like that." Sin stared at Doran as he explained his choice of religion to the man, making sure to sound like it wasn't any of his business.

But Doran's suspicion seemed to pass quickly as he moved on to the theory. The little dampener on his spirit faded quickly with the second explosion despite the incredibly heroic and brave wound he took in the name of alchemy. He turned his head to let Doran see the little cut and was quickly told to stop behaving like a child, although not in so many words. "Probably a piece of the keg or something or maybe the mug I placed?" He turned with Doran to inspect behind him once more but whatever it was had either hidden in the grass or had shattered into even smaller pieces upon hitting something. As if to comfort the Eidisi, Doran handed him the one eared, decapitated head of the rabbit. Most of the toy had been burned in the explosion and it was still smoking a little but Sin took it none the less, holding it by the ear.

The wound was quickly forgotten when they got to the explanation of the explosion. The light from his asterism felt warm on his cheek as it proceeded to heal the wound. As Doran explained, Sintih quickly learned that he knew next to nothing about what the man was talking about. Apart from charcoal, the ingredients were a mystery to him until Doran told him about the contents of this potassium thing. "I'm pretty sure the leather cleaning products used by the Iron Hand knights is made out of worse things. So no." The introduction continued and, lucky for Sin, they started with the one thing that he did know. Charcoal was easy to use and good for sketching.

As Doran took his mortar and pestle, Sin picked up another one and took some chunks of charcoal for himself. While they felt quite light, the inside of the charcoal was usually still solid enough to make grinding it into a powder a bit more of a task than most people thought. But with the mortar and pestle, the job went easily. Other thoughts popped up during the mindless grinding of the black chunks into black powder. Was this where the name came from, then? As Doran continued to grind his powder, Sin occasionally showed his to to the scholar to make sure he was doing his job properly. The rest of the explanation, much like the previous part, went right over Sin's head. It seemed that despite his mother's education, there were still things missing from his knowledge base.

When Doran asked him if he had any questions, Sin remained quiet for a time, glancing at Doran trying to determine if he would ask. He stopped grinding the powder as he stood up as tall as he could. There was challenge in his eyes when he looked at Doran and asked his questions, as if daring the man to laugh at them. "How much is a percentage? I've never used them before. And what is sulfur made from and why does the explosive need oxygen?" Sin was halfway to crossing his arms in front of his chest when he realized he had charcoal black hands and didn't want to stain his armor with them so he randomly waved them about for a moment before placing them on the table, leaning into Doran's answer.
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“You shouldn’t divide your time between so many Immortals, but dedicate it to one or two if you worship them at all. You have no idea what they are like and how dangerous they can be”, Doran spoke even though Sintih had made it obvious that his faith was none of his business. He needed him to be aware though, even though he would likely make himself somewhat suspicious with it. What the boy had called flexibility seemed like utter folly to him, and he wanted to keep him from doing something that he would regret later on.

If you divided your attention between too many Immortals, you would never be able to do enough to truly catch their attention. Besides that, it bothered him how carelessly Sintih had spoken of beings that could destroy everything that he had ever worked for and everything that he held dear within the blink of an eye. In the four hundred arcs that he had walked the world of Idalos the Mortalborn had sometimes found little reason to trust them.

They had never cared about him. They had never done anything for him and ignored all his pleas – apart from one. As he looked at the young man in front of him, he was almost hyper-aware of the mark that she had placed upon his skin – a pair of demon wings, a promise of things that were yet to come - and the fire that lurked just below the surface.

He doubted that Sintih who still knew so little about the world that they lived in would ever understand, but what would Beira in that faraway crystal city of hers say if she knew? Would she understand why he had given himself to her, that he wanted more, that he needed more than what he had now, more than a life in the shadows, more than meaninglessness and emptiness and a father that would likely sacrifice him on a whim?

He pondered that question for a few moments before he decided to focus on the task at hand again. He had a lesson to teach. He was not at all familiar with whatever leather cleaning products the Iron Hand used, but it pleased him that the boy didn’t appear to be squeamish. Maybe, he thought, he would yet succeed in making a scientist out of Sintih.

There was something strangely enjoyable and calming about working side by side with him. Whenever Sintih showed him his work, he would take a brief look and then nod, a sign that he approved. Whatever contentment he had felt, disappeared the moment Sintih admitted to not knowing what percentages were though. He stopped grinding charcoal then and furrowed his brow. He realized that he had expected Beira to teach her son such things.

“A percentage”, he spoke. The tone of his voice was a hint cooler than it had been before, but he did not laugh. There was nothing even remotely funny about Sintih’s lack of knowledge in his opinion, although he realized that the boy was not to blame. It was his teachers’ fault. “Is a number or a ratio expressed as a fraction of one hundred. Imagine that gunpowder consists of one hundred parts. Seventy-five parts of those are saltpeter, fifteen charcoal and ten sulfur. Do you understand now?”

As he waited for Sintih’s answer, he wondered when the last time that he had had to explain what he considered to be basic maths to a student had been and realized that he could not remember that ever being the case. At least, he thought and sighed inwardly, Sintih had decided to ask him rather than pretending to know what he was talking about.

“As for what sulfur is made from”, he continued and decided that if he ever found a way to Uleuda he would have a word with Beira and talk to her about neglecting her son’s education. “Would it surprise you if I told you that sulfur is made from sulfur? It occurs naturally, but of course there are also combined forms such as sulfide and sulfate minerals. As for your last question, oxygen is needed because the chemical reaction of igniting gunpowder is an oxidation reaction. After ignition it will produce its own oxygen however.”

“Unless you have more questions, I suggest that we continue now”,
he spoke and gestured towards the other things on the table. “Can you see the containers labelled ‘saltpeter’ and ‘sulfur’? I want you to grind those ingredients as well now and then use a scale to measure out the correct amounts before placing them in the mortar. I suggest that you moisten them somewhat for safety before mixing them together.”

Having said that, he took some sulfur of his own. Just like before he would demonstrate to Sintih how it was done and work side by side with him. Apart from the fact that he found it strangely enjoyable, showing Sintih what he had to do would also decrease the risk that he would make a mistake.

He sincerely hoped that Sintih knew how to use a scale though and that he was familiar with weight measurements, even though he had no idea what percentages were. He had little interest in teaching Sintih that.
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Sin ignored most of Doran's remark on his choice of religion. He didn't want to argue religion with people because nobody could ever admit they were wrong because nobody was. Religion, Sin thought, was just like favorite food, music or color. You can't defend a choice like that and you didn't need to either. Instead, Sin worked quietly on the charcoal, grinding it down with rhythmic motions and pouring the powder out into a container in the middle of the table every time he finished a batch. The mindlessness of it allowed Sin to think a bit more on the subject of religion and worship and why Doran sounded so harsh when he spoke about the immortals. It wasn't like they cared about others so why did it matter how many or how few you worshiped?

When Doran suddenly spoke up about percentages, Sin felt like he was a child in school. He'd never actually gone to one, having learned everything at home from his mother and father. As Doran told him how percentage was just a fancy name for a fraction of one hundred, Sin couldn't help but click his tongue. Why had he asked? If he had just waited, he wouldn't have had to make an idiot of himself. "I know fractions, I've just never heard of a percentage. So it's just a fraction of hundred. Why do you people always insist on calling things differently than what they are?" Sin vented his annoyance through a sharp tone aimed at Doran. It didn't do much to make him feel better and he felt a little worse for using Doran as such.

Sin tried to mend things a little when Doran explained sulfur and oxygen. Somehow he'd expected sulfur to be made from some other animal's poop. The oxygen part of the answer went over his head completely. So it needed it to ignite, or start off, but then it produced its own? He kept his questions to himself while Doran explained the next step and demonstrated how to work with the saltpeter and the sulfur. Sin moved over to the other end of the table and read some labels until he found the two substances. He carefully slid them across the table towards the working end and opened up the containers.

Much like the name on the label, the contents of the saltpeter container looked like salt. Smaller pieces of seemingly congealed salt that needed to be ground up before use. The sulfur one was more remarkable, though. Opening it up, Sin found yellow rock chunks in it. He was glad he hadn't asked anymore questions as he now knew the answer to them. Reaching over to his left, Sin grabbed the scales and the weights and put them in front of him. He poured the container of charcoal powder into the bowl shaped side of the scale and proceeded to put weights on the other, flat, side. He got to about 490 grams when the scale evened out. 490 is 150 is 300 is 450 is 6- no, too much, so 450, 480 should do it. That's 30, 31 to 465, 32 to 480 or 33 to 495. "It's 490 so should I take out 10 grams or can you make me 5 more for an even measurement?"

Sin waited for Doran's response before adjusting the weights on one end of the scale, waiting for it to settle unevenly and then adjusting the powder end as instructed by Doran to make it even out again. Depending on Doran's instructions, Sin would inform him of the correct measurement as well. "I think we're going to have to grind a lot of saltpeter. Seventy-five times thirty is... 75 times ten, 750, times three, 750, 1500, 2250. Sin's fingers weaved through the air as several trills passed while he calculated. By the time he'd finished, three charcoal fingerprints were visible on his cheek, one right on the corner of his mouth. "We'll need almost 2 and a half kilo of ground saltpeter. The sulfur won't be a problem, however. The sulfur only calculated up to around 320 or 330 grams, depending on Doran's decision of the final weight of charcoal. "That is, if you want to turn all of this into your explosive."
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Doran
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Pulvis pyrius

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“That”, the Mortalborn replied as Sintih asked him why people insisted on calling things differently. “Is an excellent question. People, I have noticed, have a penchant for abbreviations, perhaps, because they want to save some time, although I personally believe that a trill more or less does not usually make a difference. In this case however ‘percent’ is simply a loanword from another language.”

He had noticed the sharp tone of Sintih’s voice, but decided not to react to it this time. Perhaps, he thought, Sintih would stop using that tone with him and be calm and polite instead if he realized that it had no effect on him and that his little outbursts would be ignored.

Perhaps he needed to change his tactics.

As Sintih proceeded to put all of the charcoal powder onto the scale, he sighed inwardly again - it seemed to have become a bit of a habit of his when he was dealing with the boy - reached for the scale and removed a good portion of the powder again. He had never told Sintih that he needed to use all of the ingredients, but simply reminded him of the correct percentages.

“Perhaps”, he admitted somewhat reluctantly. “I should have worded my order more clearly.”

“We will do it this way”,
he decided. “We will make a kilogram of gunpowder now and save the rest of the ingredients for later. A kilogram should be more than enough for the purpose of this lesson, especially since I already have some finished gunpowder here.” He walked over to the fireproof container that he had shown to Sintih earlier and put a hand on it.

“That means we will need 750 grams of saltpeter, 150 grams grams of charcoal and 100 grams of sulfur“, he explained as he returned to where Sintih was standing again. “While you mix the ingredients, I will prepare the next part of this lesson. When we met in the classroom, you mentioned the possibility of using phosphorescence to deceive the enemy during a battle and make the army look smaller than it really is.”

“Explosives have their uses in a battle as well, especially in ranged combat, for example in the form of fire arrows.”
He gestured towards the arrows that were lying on the table before he turned to face Sintih again. “I will show you what I came up with in a bit”, he spoke and took a look at Sintih’s mortar and pestle, hoping that he had not forgotten to moisten the ingredients.

“How is your gunpowder coming along?” he wanted to know.
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Sintih
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Pulvis pyrius

Sin was in mid calculation when Doran suddenly scooped up way too much from his charcoal mountain. It definitely wasn't the ten grams he needed to round off his amount. Had he miscalculated by such an amount? That wasn't possible, right? When Doran spoke, it brought Sin some relief to hear he hadn't been wrong, exactly, but that he was simply a little too enthusiastic. Doran didn't say it in so many words but Sin decided that that was definitely what the man had meant. "I forgot you had another box of the powder there..." Sin scratched his head with charcoal powder covered fingers. It wasn't much of an excuse but Sin didn't really feel like eagerness needed excuses or apologies unless something went up in flames.

As Doran explained the measurements he needed to make his kilo, Sin took off the weights from the flat end of the scale and set 150 grams of weight back on it. Carefully scooping small amounts of the charcoal powder onto the scale, Sin listened to Doran explain what he was planning on doing and felt just a little proud that the man mentioned his thoughts on using the glow in the dark substance on armor. He wasn't very impressed by the fire arrows, though. They had existed for a long time already and plenty of fights had seen their use. But if the arrows somehow exploded like the kegs had done before then that was a whole other story entirely. If you could use a single arrows to take down a siege engine the enemy had spent countless hours and resources on. Sin's mind started trailing off as he finished weighing the charcoal.

He poured the bowl into an empty container and set it aside for later use. He then took the yellow rock from and put it in his mortar and pestle for grinding down when he noticed Doran inspecting his work. Had he missed something, maybe? The mention of moistening them popped back into his mind and Sin grabbed one of the many containers of water on and around the table and poured a little water on the yellow rock. It was more than moist now but Sin figured he'd be more safe as well. The grinding took more strength than the charcoal had before but he managed to grind it down into a sludgy powder in the end. The 100 gram of sulfur was quickly ground and once he'd weighed it he set it aside as well. It would need to dry first, if Doran wanted the powder specifically but if he could work with the sludgy liquid then it was ready to go.

The 750 grams of saltpeter took quite a bit longer. While Doran worked on the next part of the demonstration, Sin kept grinding down white rock after white rock, sprinkling water on each one as he went. The work was repetitive and boring but the promise of explosions in the near future helped to keep Sintih on task. While he was sure they wouldn't be trying his own powder today, knowing that what he was making was also within reach on the table made it the same for the young Eídisi. When Doran came to check on his work, Sin looked up and stopped grinding. He was maybe one or two rocky chunks of grinding away from the 750 grams he needed.

"The powder is coming along but I think it might be a bit too wet. I didn't want to cause an accidental explosion..." Sin showed off his sludgy sulfur and wet saltpeter. He started grinding again to finish up the rest of his standing order and poured the results into the bowl on the scale. The indicator tilted ever closer to the middle but stopped just short. "Is that enough or should I get exactly seven fifty? I don't know how much effect these..." Sin glanced over to the scale. "...twenty grams would have on the blackpowder." As spoke, Sintih was already placing another piece of saltpeter in his bowl to grind up, just in case.
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