65th of Ashan, Arc 719
Kaelrik was finding that alchemy was not a field of study that had any true unified method. Rather, it was a culmination of various methods compounded from other skill sets. He had come to that conclusion due to the fact that he was having to think very creatively in order to achieve some of the methods he’d found mentioned in the various books he’d been reading over the past few trials. He was in a field outside the city of Miletos so as to allow for more elaborate experimentation. The technique on his agenda was going to require some use of magic on his part in order to get the basic concept of it down. As soon as he was certain that the method was possible he would begin delving into figuring out how to perform it via mundane tools. Given his lack of a proper laboratory, Kaelrik had resolved to use what was at his disposal.
Using a shovel he was digging a hole into the earth. The work itself was easy enough. The soil was compliant and easy to move. He glanced over to a cart where various tools, some simple supplies and a small box of equipment were sitting. With any luck he wouldn’t break any of the equipment in his experimentation. It had been costly enough to buy all of the items in the first place. He did not want to have to replace them so soon after purchasing them. After a short while of digging, Kaelrik had dug himself a hole roughly six feet deep. Resting his shovel against the cart, Kaelrik took a drink of water from a waterskin enjoying a moment to rest his muscles. He rolled his shoulders then hoisted a rucksack of sand over his shoulder. Stepping up to the pit that he’d dug, Kaelrik opened the sack then poured some of the sand into the basin of the pit.
Turning to the field, the Lotharro extended his senses into the earth. He listened to the steady thrum of the music that emanated from the dirt and soil. Woven into the stalwart harmony were various pinpoints of notes that would serve the purpose of what Kaelrik had in mind perfectly. He smiled as he raised a hand, nudging his Defiance into motion. The earth in several places shifted as up from the dirt and soil a number of stones began rising up from the ground. With a simple gesture, Kaelrik saw the stones rolling across the ground toward him until they all gathered in a pile at his feet. Picking up the stones one by one, Kaelrik laid them out in the the basin of the pit that he’d dug. When he’d finished with that layer, he added more sand on top of the rocks until they were buried. He then made a second layer of rocks that were tightly fitted together. Where one stone did not fit perfectly, he gently coaxed its shape into reforming with his Defiance.
Finished with filling the pit with sand and rock, Kaelrik went about gathering sticks, twigs, leaves, and all other bits of kindling he could find. He deposited the kindling next to the cart then placed his hands on his hips. In his mind he saw the next step but he found himself uncertain of how to achieve it using his bare hands. It was another lesson in what skills he was lacking as opposed to what he was immediately capable of. Fortunately, he was a fairly accomplished Defier capable of coaxing the elements to Dance into the forms he so chose. Turning to the pile of dirt that had been made during his digging, Kaelrik extended his senses to it. He threaded the music of his desires into the sedentary earth compelling it to move. He was patient, as the earth was patient, for he had nothing but time on his hands to achieve his goal. There was no need to rush or hurry into the shape that he had in mind.
Encouraging the earth to move toward the pit that had been made he nudged it into piling up around the edges. Instead of piling outward, he raised a hand encouraging the dirt to pile upwards until it was forming a circular wall around the pit. Drawing from the commonplace ovens that he saw practically every day in kitchens, Kaelrik motioned to the remaining stones compelling them to roll toward the structure where they situated themselves into an arch that was two feet across and three feet high. Thanks to the gift of spatial awareness conferred to him by his Rupturing, Kaelrik knew with absolute certainty that his measurements and dimensions were utterly precise. He willed the earth into the shape of a dome over the pit, finishing out with a funnel that would serve as a smokestack. Keeping the dirt in place with steady coaxing, Kaelrik summoned a large amount of water.
With a gesture, he soaked the entire structure from top to bottom, flooding it so that the dirt became mud and the sand below became settled and fixed. Releasing his hold on the water that he’d conjured, Kaelrik touched upon his Kin Element. He felt the fire inside of him rouse to life, eager to be part of the project that he was toiling with. The fire needed little prompting. It knew his will. It knew his wants. With nothing more than an acknowledgement of free reign to do so, fire exploded to life in front of Kaelrik. It leaped forth from his body and eagerly jumped onto the muddy incomplete oven. The joy of wanting to burn, to blaze, to bring heat to the world soared in the fire that wrapped around the wet mud, baking it into a firm solid.
Kaelrik laughed to himself. His fire was always so playful and eager to explore and do. He was thankful for it. In its spirited music, so full of wonderment and curiosity, Kaelrik threaded a few notes of purpose and direction. He didn’t want to set the field ablaze but he encouraged the fire to bake the earth that had been soaked with water. As he did this he coaxed the earth into desiring to be more solid and immovable. It took some convincing but he managed to persuade it to being content with accepting the heat of the flames in order to permanently become the solid shape that Kaelrik had in mind. He encouraged the fire to blaze hotter and compress around the earth in order to quickly finish his work. After a few more bits of careful direction, Kaelrik called the fire back to him. He stretched out his right arm, smiling as the flames wrapped around it before dissipating leaving only the glowing veins of his mutation in place.
Kaelrik continued to carefully coax the earth into remaining in the shape he desired as he inspected the rudimentary oven that he’d built over the past break or so. He poked and prodded and when it was clear that everything was firmly in place, Kaelrik released his hold on the earth. He waited a few moments. When it was clear that the structure wasn’t going to topple, he smiled. It had taken some creativity but he’d managed to build himself a very rough and simple oven. Going back to his cart, the Lotharro wasted no time in getting to the heart of his work. He picked up his journal and poured over his notes as he considered the next steps of his method.
Sublimation. The process by which solid substances are vaporized through intense heat and then transformed into a different solid form during cooling.
He grabbed a ceramic retort into which he’d poured some impure iron ore remnants from the local blacksmith. Had he not collected some of it, it would have been discarded as useless for its impurities. But Kaelrik saw an opportunity. He set the kindling that he’d gathered into the oven then placed the retort at the center of the housing structure over it. Using some flint and tinder he ignited the kindling then took a step back. He let the fire begin its slow build into a greater heat as he returned to his journal. He realized that these basic steps could be applied to other forms of processing for the refinement of materials. As he read over his notes, he took a step back to consider how he might achieve them.
Cupellation. The process of refining ores or alloyed metals under high temperatures to separate noble metals from base metals. It would require a modified set up but the basic steps seemed the same to him. The uses seemed to apply mostly to the refinement of different metals and ores through use in metallurgy and smithing but the alchemical process allowed for the purification and enhancement of those base substances with other properties. Kaelrik did not have the materials necessary to test that theory exactly. The most he could scrounge up at the moment was the use of smithing byproducts, the iron ore shavings and remnants being the example. Still, it was something that he would have to explore in the future as he figured out ways to acquire more diverse materials.
Turning his attention back to the oven, Kaelrik encouraged the fire to blaze higher and more intensely within the oven. He wove together the music of his Kinship and the natural fire that had been brought to life from the kindling. He placed notes of purpose and intent as well as focus into the fire within the oven, feeding it power using his magic until the flames were roaring in their intensity. Drawing the air from the atmosphere around him, Kaelrik moved the winds into position so that they exerted winding pressure upon the chamber of the oven. The result was a deeply pressurized and heated environment. Even from the distance he was standing at, Kaelrik could feel the heat surging forth from the oven. He was happy to note that the elements cooperated with him smoothly enough with convincing here and there.
Finally he released his hold on the winds resulting in a sharp gust flowing outward from the oven that made dirt kick up from the ground. Kaelrik slowly lessened the intensity of the fire by feeding it music of tranquility and harmony from his Spark. He stepped up to the oven. Though he could feel its heat, he had no need for worry. He was Kin with Fire and thus it would not harm him. Reaching into the oven he picked up the retort with his bare hands. He held it as a realization hit him then.
He had no way to rapidly cool the now melted iron. Kaelrik sighed. He’d gotten so focused on building the oven and trying to get to the actual process itself, he’d again forgotten the importance of having the right equipment set up in the right location. He went to his cart and retrieved a cast iron miniature cauldron. Tipping the retort, he watched as the glowing hot minerals poured into the cauldron where it would cool. He set the retort on the ground in the dirt then rubbed his face. He would have to study more thoroughly some of the processes involved in not just his theorized alchemy but smithing and metallurgy as well it seemed. Though this attempt at the process had ended in a type of failure, Kaelrik was confident that he’d learned something and how better to approach his methods. It would simply take time and learning.
That, at least, was something he could look forward to.