• Closed • Alchemy with Tristan and ... Padraig?!

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• Closed • Alchemy with Tristan and ... Padraig?!

Postby Tristan Venora » Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:42 am

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Ymiden 26, Arc 718

Tristan held the porcelain bowl close to his chest as he approached the university building, worried that it might break and that its occupants might get hurt, Brandon, one of his bodyguards in tow. The brown-haired young man had once been a burglar, but now he worked for the people whose houses he had broken into, and he was one of Tristan’s closest friends. “I didn’t think I would ever study at a university!” he remarked and grinned. “This is great! I can’t wait to show Padraig my fancy Letter! Coming to Scalvoris was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my entire life!”

For the past couple of seasons Tristan’s mood had varied between sadness and utter despair because his friend, King Cassander, had turned out not to be such a nice person, because his cousin Pythera was still at large and because his subjects still didn’t like him particularly. Now he felt free again, as free as he had been when he had only been the son of a baron and nobody had been particularly interested in him. In Rynmere, he had worn nothing but black for at least two seasons in order to silently protest against Cassander’s anti-magic law, but now he had a sky-blue shirt that matched his eyes on. In Scalvoris there was no need for him to protest against the anti-magic law – because mages were free here.

“Maybe I should just ask them if I can take an exam”, he mused as he entered the building. “And start with a Certificate rather than a Letter. I can’t wait to see the look on Padraig’s face when he realizes that I’m just as good as him now. I wonder who my tutor will be though”, he murmured as they walked down a hallway. He had asked about the possibility of private lessons, and the Institute of Metaphysics had let him know that the professor had taken a leave of absence, so they’d find a substitute for him. He hoped that the substitute was a pretty woman and not a grumpy old guy.

“Ah, here’s the laboratory”, he said and opened a door. “Want to come in?” he asked Brandon. “You can watch!” Brandon shook his head and pointed at a wooden bench down the hallway. “I’ll just wait over there. No offense, Tristan.” While he really liked Tristan, he was a little afraid of his alchemy. It was a dangerous science, and he’d rather not explode or come in contact with a dangerous substance that would mutate him. Tristan looked at him, shrugged his shoulders and walked in. As he took a look around, his eyes widened.

This was much better than his makeshift laboratory in Oakleigh! He could barely resist the urge to touch all those tools and open the various containers that stood on the shelves. Alchemy, he decided, was great! He’d originally started learning it in order to spite Padraig, but now he loved it. He’d even begun to invent his own reagents, one of which was in the bowl that he had placed on an empty table. There was a white cloth covering it because he didn’t want to immediately reveal just what his invention consisted of.

If only his tutor would hurry up! He couldn’t wait to get started!
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Alchemy with Tristan and ... Padraig?!

Postby Padraig » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:53 am

Padraig Augustin was not a professor of alchemy. He'd been offered the position when he'd first signed on to teach at the university, but he'd turned it down. He had his reasons. Firstly, physics was his main area of interest. Astrophysics in particular. But as importantly, in his opinion too many hopeful alchemists had it in their heads that they could realistically leap from nothing to something, without first attaining the actual knowledge that would get them there. A skilled alchemist must begin with a working knowledge of chemistry and mathematics. It ought to be required before progressing to alchemy. But because it wasn't? Letter level alchemy classes were often noisy ones, and dangerous ones. Things tended to blow up and it wasn't surprising.

Physics was different. One still ought to be required to have mastered mathematics. But if you didn't, it only meant that the rest was near to impossible to comprehend. But the chances of blowing up the universe as a result of ignorance, were slim to none. Nonetheless, when Padraig was asked to fill in for another professor who was taking a leave of absence, he'd gladly agreed. The same had been done for him, after all. So had a trial full of private sessions in front of him, which Padraig preferred over standing in front of a class full.

Problem was, he hadn't been left a list of names, only the time, the place and a note of the student's prospective level. No matter though. That's what introductions were for. He'd left his own office in plenty of time to meet his student, and he thought nothing of the man he passed by in the hall, but only gave him a nod of recognition. It wasn't unusual to see students or prospects in the halls, resting between classes or waiting for a consultation appointment.

He carried his satchel with him, and barely looked up until he'd passed through the open door into the alchemy lab. The place had only recently been put to rights again after a noisy and stinking mishap due to a letter prospects heightened sense of competency. What he didn't expect when he finally glanced up, was to see Tristan Venora waiting there. A mask of confusion evolved into narrowed eyes almost immediately. "Tristan," he said, dryly, with only a semblance of politeness for after all, he was thought to be quite professional. "Fancy meeting you here. Waiting for someone?" The hope of course was that this was not his student, but the man had simply got turned around while at the university for other business.
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Alchemy with Tristan and ... Padraig?!

Postby Tristan Venora » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:11 pm

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Tristan had never been good at sitting around idly and waiting patiently. So, when his tutor – who he had begun to picture as a redhead with big green eyes and curves in all the right places – didn’t arrive after a couple of bits, he opened his bag, grabbed his notebook and started to write in order to pass the time. He had just come up with an idea for his next project. He had decided to combine sculpting and alchemy. He would … he would melt a bit of metal, mix it with mirror dust and cover his sculpture with the resulting substance in order to make a sculpture that reflected its surroundings as well as nearly blended in with them. He didn’t think that anybody had ever made something like that before!

He was so engrossed in this idea that he didn’t notice that the door was being opened at first. He only looked up as he heard the sound of footsteps coming closer. He quickly put his notebook away and turned his head expectantly, smiling – only to just stare at the newcomer incredulously a moment later. The person that had just entered the laboratory was no cute redhead. It wasn’t the grumpy old guy that he had been worried would tutor him either. It was somebody much, much worse. It was Padraig! Padraig, the terrible tutor, who had married his beloved Faith and taken her away from him!

What was he doing here?

“Padraig”, he said coolly. He had promised Faith that he would behave because she loved the man for some reason, but he hadn’t promised her that he would treat him like an old friend. He could accept that Faith had fallen in love with somebody else, to some extent – he found himself rapidly falling in love with somebody else as well - but Padraig had insulted his art on top of it. He remembered the trial they had met for tea. He was one of the greatest artists in all of Idalos, but Padraig had looked at what had been his newest sculpture at the time as if it were a pile of garbage!

“I’m waiting for my tutor. I’ve decided to take a few courses in alchemy while I’m visiting Scalvoris – although I’m already pretty good now.” That was not a lie. Tristan was as close as one could possibly get to being a master alchemist, although it was of course up for debate whether Padraig would believe him. “And what are you doing here? Did you happen to enter the wrong laboratory?” he asked hopefully before something truly terrible dawned on him.

“You are not my tutor, are you?”
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Alchemy with Tristan and ... Padraig?!

Postby Padraig » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:48 pm

Padraig, Tristan said in such a tone of voice, that he might have been a diner at the finest eatery in the land, and had just spotted a fly doing a backstroke in his soup. The sentiment was one that the scholar could relate to, as he looked back at the man. Why was he here? Was there nothing or no place that was sacred? And yet, there was something comforting, even reassuring about the fact that Tristan clearly disliked him, for as much as the sentiment was true in reverse. It was the way the universe worked. One might even whittle the concept down to a pair of magnets.

Opposites attracted, likes repelled. They, the two of them, had one very important thing in common. Their distaste for each other. The sense of being repelled by one another. This meant that the universe was in fact as it should be, as predictable in ways as it had always been. This was good thing and as a scientist, Padraig could appreciate that. Of course in Padraig's mind he had much more legitimate reason for not liking Tristan. The man had apparently thought that a pallet on the floor of a closet was an appropriate place for a human being, that he had owned, to live. And on top of it, Padraig had never forgotten that abomination of a sculpture that the man had been so proud of.

"Well then," he uttered as he put his satchel down on top of one of the worktables. "It's good to see you then." They both knew he was lying, and that was alright. For Faith's sake, Padraig would smile, he'd be polite, he'd be the soul of good behavior. Liking it wasn't required and he silently cursed his fellow professor for not giving him a heads' up in advance. "I am in fact your tutor," he said, as it came of somewhat of a surprise that Tristan was interested in alchemy. Or maybe not. He hardly knew the man well enough to say.

"I teach here at the university. Physics," he added. "However, for this trial, it's alchemy. So you're good at alchemy are you?" But no formal learning apparently. "Self taught?" Immortals help them all if that was the case. What Idalos didn't need was Tristan Venora on the loose with just enough knowledge of alchemy to be considered a menace to society. "or have you learned from a learned alchemist already?" His own knowledge of alchemy after all, had not been gained in a university setting. "Any other formal learning? Mathematics? Chemistry?"

Both of the disciplines after all were critical to becoming an alchemist of any real, reliable skill. Without it? Well the risk of blowing oneself or others to bits inadvertently, rose exponentially. "If you don't believe you're starting from scratch then, perhaps its better for you to tell me what you've done so far," he suggested. In a lab or similar setting, he meant.
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Alchemy with Tristan and ... Padraig?!

Postby Tristan Venora » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:04 am

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“You are kidding, right?“ Tristan asked as Padraig confirmed that he was in fact his tutor even though he was aware that the chance of the alchemist making a joke in his presence was so miniscule that it might very well be non-existent. He wondered what he had done to deserve this. Was Aelig behind this? Or was he being punished for the fact that he had made Faith sleep in his empty storage closet and made her get a slave brand – even though he regretted that now? For a moment he was tempted to just walk out and demand that they give him a different tutor, but no, he didn’t want to give Padraig that satisfaction. He’d stay, and he’d learn, and he’d do what he could to impress Padraig – because Padraig would absolutely hate to see him succeed at anything!

“Self-taught”, he confirmed and smiled brightly, as if he were completely unaware of what Padraig was likely secretly thinking. “I bought a few books, outfitted a laboratory and started to experiment because I found alchemy incredibly fascinating and wanted to learn more. There aren’t really a lot of skilled alchemists in Oakleigh. In fact, I’d wager that I’m the best alchemist in the entire Eastern Settlement right now”, he continued which was, again, very likely to be true, took a seat in a very casual fashion and confidently met the other man’s gaze. He knew what Padraig was trying to do, he was trying to find flaws in his scientific background, he was trying to find something that he would be able to criticize – but he wouldn’t let him.

“Of course”, he confirmed. “I can count, I know how to calculate things like weight and volume, and I know what acids and bases are and all that stuff. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m afraid that I know that some knowledge of mathematics and chemistry is necessary if you don’t want to fail or accidentally blow yourself up”, he informed him. He had matured considerably since those trials in Andaris and changed his mind about a number of things, such as slavery, but somehow this situation here brought out the worst in him. In fact, he was about to make a scathing remark when Faith’s face suddenly appeared in front of his inner eye, and he decided to tone it down somewhat after all because he didn’t want her to be mad at him.

“I even have some experience in gardening and herbalism”, he pointed out before he proceeded to list his alchemical accomplishments. “Let’s see”, he mused. “I made a garment that was as hard as chainmail for Alex – it was the first item I ever made, and it worked perfectly. I made a chameleon cloak that lets you blend in with your surroundings, I made an anti-seasickness potion – oh, and I travelled to the Misty Miasma where I learned to make a potion that allows you to talk to cats.”

“On top of that I’ve started to come up with my own reagents”,
he continued, abruptly reached into his pack and removed a number of small glass containers that were filled with dried flowers, leaves, bark fragments and such and finally removed the cloth from his bowl – only to reveal that it was filled with fat, orange slugs that were munching on a head of lettuce. “I didn’t see why I should use the same, expensive reagents as every other alchemist out there. Alchemy isn’t meant to be static in my opinion. It’s about experimenting and testing the limits and being creative. I discovered that slime is a near perfect and easily renewable binder”, he spoke, almost daring Padraig to make a derogatory comment because he used ordinary slugs instead of exotic substances from the other side of Idalos that were incredibly dangerous to harvest.

What he didn’t tell Padraig of course was that finding out which of the things in his garden could be used for alchemy had involved a lot of trial and error and his kitchen nearly exploding (in the beginning, he had practiced alchemy in his kitchen rather than a lab).
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