Completed Philtering 1

Gemma's dad teaches her to philter

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Philtering 1

Postby Gemma Parker on February 28th, 2019, 5:58 pm

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Fall 3rd, 512av, 15 Bells

“Gems! Do you have a minute? I want to show you something.” It was the classic opening to a lesson with Miles, Gemma’s father. He always had something to show her, and she always learned a lot by listening and watching him work. Sometimes she admittedly had a bad attitude about having to spend so much of her “free time” working and studying, but her dad was always patient with her and tried to keep the lessons short.

“Yeah dad, what’s up?” She asked.

“Well, kiddo, I’ve been subtly edging you toward philtering, since that’s my gig, and I think you’re ready for a formal lesson.” He said.

“Sure, sounds good. It’s basically just herbalism with fancy tools, right?” She asked.

Her dad laughed. “Not quite. I mean, yes, but it’s more than that, especially when you get to my level. Did you know I can actually infuse your gnosis power into a potion for later consumption and benefit?” He eyed her with a grin.

“You can do that? Why haven’t we been doing that already?” She asked.

“Because you and your mom are busy and one day you’ll be able to make them on your own, so I didn’t mind waiting. Besides, I’ve never tried infusing another person’s gnosis into a potion, so I don’t know how hard it would be to get right.” He said. “But now that waiting is on you.” He said with a wink. “Better get to studying now that you know…” He lifted his gaze and Gemma scowled.

“If you’d told me about this first, I would have focused more on philtering.” She said through clenched teeth.

“Well, now you know! Are you ready to begin?” He asked.

“Yes.” She said, still upset.

“Great! So first I want to teach you how to make what you already know, but through the equipment, ok? That way you’ll get used to the process without having to worry about too much new stuff.” He said. “So you already know how to make a decoction. I have one here.” He said, holding up a dark liquid in a glass.

“And you know that by boiling down a decoction, you increase its potency, right?” He asked.

She nodded.

“Right, so if we add this to philtering, we can make it even stronger by processing the vapors through charcoal and cheesecloth, and trap the oils and benefits while releasing the water.” He explained. “It’s only slightly more potent for a bit more work, so we don’t usually do this with decoction, but I want to show you the concepts here. So go ahead and put the decoction in that part there.” He said, pointing to a bulbous glass part of the tool set.

She poured the liquid into the glass.

“Good, now we need to light this fire.” He said, handing her the flint and steel. She lit it with little issue.

“So now watch as the vapors rise through the tubes, being trapped under the cheese cloth and charcoal.” He said, tracing the process with his finger.

“Now this is only one technique used in philtering, but it’s an important one. I also want to mention for safety that you should not allow the pressure to build up too much by sealing a glass container and boiling liquid in it. That can cause the glass to break or shatter.”

“Got it.” She said, writing notes as she went. She had made a whole new page for philtering and was now starting to draw the different parts of the tool set that they were using. She would figure out what the parts were called later. For now, she was on her way to becoming a Philterer.
Last edited by Gemma Parker on March 7th, 2019, 7:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Philtering 1

Postby Gemma Parker on March 7th, 2019, 4:21 am

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Gemma was just about to complete the next step in the process when the door creaked and in walked Sera, Gemma’s mom.

“Oh hey, honey!” Her dad said in an enthusiastic but subdued tone. “Did you have a good day at work?” He asked. While he talked with Sera, Gemma shrank and went silent, hoping her mom wouldn’t see her if she could stay still enough.

Sera looked around the kitchen and sighed, frowning. There were dishes and philtering equipment in the sink and powder on the floor. "Honey, you don't have to worry about that. We're almost done here, we can clean up when we finish." He said.

"That's fine." The woman said as she walked to the sink and started washing the dishes. Gemma wanted to roll her eyes, but really she just felt sick. Her mom always did this. She picked something negative in the environment and went to clean it up. If she couldn't find anything, she asked her if she had done something. "Have you done your homework? Did you make sure to- Did you finish-" It was a nightmare, and only one of those in Gemma's life that involved her mom.

Gemma stayed still as her mom and dad had their back and forth. 


"How was your day?" Miles asked Sera. 


"Fine." She said. "Yours?" She asked. 


Gemma could see her dad's face fall as her mom responded like this. "Well, maybe we could do something together as a family. We could go for a walk. The park should be very pretty this time of year." He suggested. 


"No, I see you and Gemma are hard at work. I won't interrupt you." She said, setting another plate to the side to dry. Gemma and Miles just sat there waiting for her to finish. Gemma was low-key trying to see if there was a way for her to sneak out of the house without her mom seeing her, but in the end it was best for her to just stay put and wait it out. She didn't know what it was that her mom did at work, or what she did when she traveled. She never told Gemma about her time away. All she did was try to make sure Gemma was fulfilling expectations. It formed a pit in the young Konti's stomach. 


Gemma tried to continue working on her philtering practice. She took the herbs they were going to use and put them in her mortar and began grinding slowly, trying not to draw attention. She put the herbs into the glassware and began to position the brazier to be lit, but her mom had finished her washing and walked purposefully into the master bedroom. 


"Gemma, don't slouch. It's unbecoming of a Konti." She said with almost no inflection, and without so much as looking toward Gemma. 


The door closed and Miles sighed. "She must have had a bad day at work." He said. 


"She must always have a bad day at work." Gemma said. 

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Philtering 1

Postby Gemma Parker on March 7th, 2019, 4:38 pm

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While Gemma's mom was in her bedroom, Miles and Gemma continued their philtering, though now they were a little down about it. Still, for Gemma, she didn't want to be alone right now, and she didn't want to be with her mom. Her dad was the only safe place she knew where she could be herself. And her sharing interest in something was her way of spending that time with him.

"All right, so what's next?" She asked, trying to infuse warmth back into the room. She failed. Her dad's spirit had been suppressed by her mom's presence.

"Well, um... What were we doing?" He asked, looking around for inspiration in his surroundings. 


"We were making a stronger decoction using philtering." She reminded him. 


"Right. Yeah. Silly me." He said. "So, um, the fire. Do you have the flint?" He asked. 


Gemma held up the flint and he gestured for her to light the device. She was used to lighting fire with wood, and it was harder for her to light it this way. 


"Why can't we just light it with a small piece of wood from the stove?" She asked. 


"We could do that, but then you'd miss a chance to get this experience. Sometimes you'll be in a place where there's no open fire to pull a burning stick from. It's better to get into the habit of doing this all from scratch so if you're missing something, you can always make up for it." He explained. 


"I guess." She said, still struggling with the flint. She could easily get sparks started, but it was hard for her to get the sparks to hit exactly where she needed them to. But she kept trying, doing her best to do small talk with her dad so they would both stay distracted. Finally, she got a spark to hit the right spot, and the brazier was lit. She didn't allow herself to celebrate, though. She just frowned. It had taken her so much work just to light the stupid fire, when normally she should have been able to do that much more quickly. Not only was she distracted from her task, but the task itself was new for her. It would be a long time before she started to feel more comfortable with philtering.


Now that fire was lit, they were ready to put the herbs in the jar and add water. This part was something Gemma already knew how to do from her herbalism. Combining it with philtering was certainly interesting. She began to toss herbs into the jar, but her dad stopped her.

"No, honey, not like that. With philtering, we have to be more precise. So we'll use a specific ratio. For this, we want one part herb, four parts water. So measure the herb." He said. 


"What's the difference?" She asked as she measured the herb.

"Philtering is very delicate." He explained. "Because the glass is all closed, pressure can build up and explode if you're not careful and exact." He said.

As they were talking about that, Sera came out of her room again, now dressed differently. She looked nicer, with an asymmetrical white and blue coat and a silver scarf that accented her scales. Gemma could say a lot about her mom, but she could not pretend the woman was not beautiful. Gemma knew inside that she would never be as pretty as her mom.
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Philtering 1

Postby Gemma Parker on March 7th, 2019, 5:25 pm

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Gemma just sighed. There was no need for words. She had long since given up trying to understand what was going on with her mom. Her dad told her stories of how alive her mom had once been, but those days were over.

The philtering kit was doing its job. Gemma had measured out the water and herb needed, and was now making an effort to put the glass jar in the stand so that it sat straight, but it kept shifting to the side. She wanted to get this right, but now the glass was heating up and she might burn herself if she kept touching the glass.

"Does it matter if it's straight?" She asked.

"Well, technically yes, but it usually stays straight when you connect the part at the top with the filter here." He said, pointing. "Sorry, hon, I'm just distracted." He said. She didn't need to ask about what. He was wistfully staring at the door every time he looked away. Was it right of her to try to distract her dad? Maybe he just needed time. Or space. Or whatever it might have been that he needed. Did he really need a distraction? But if he didn't, then what could she do? This was the only tool at her disposal. So she used it.

"Hey, maybe you and I can go for a walk after this is done philtering." Gemma offered. "It could be fun."

Miles smiled sadly. "That'll be fun, Gems."

At this point they just had to wait for the decoction to reduce sufficiently for the decoction to be ready. Miles said that they had to keep watching to make sure the brazier didn't overheat the glassware, but he wasn't too worried about that.

"In the mean time, why don't we work on the names of these pieces, yeah?" He asked.

"Yeah, sure." She said. "So this part's the brazier, that makes the fire. Then we have the glasses or glassware, and the stand." She started pointing to the items.

"Yes, well actually glassware is just the word we use for all the glass items, but each has a name. So grab your notebook and you can write this down." He said. Gemma ran and got her notebook, and he explained what the parts were called. "This is a distillation flask. We can use the same flask when making essential oils, but the connected pieces are different." He said.

"With essential oils, the flask at the bottom will be filled with water and the one above it, which is called a biomass flask, holds the herbs. So then it comes through to a condenser, and out into the receiving flask." He said.

"In that system, you don't have a filter like this, but you do have something at the bottom of the herb flask to keep the herbs from falling while allowing water vapor to get through." He traced the different parts. By now, the herb had reduced a little bit, but it was still not ready, so they decided to take a break.
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Philtering 1

Postby Gemma Parker on March 7th, 2019, 7:14 pm

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Miles had gone back to his shop, leaving Gemma to return to the house alone. They had had a good walk together, but they really hadn't talked much. Gemma was worried that he was thinking a lot about her mom, and wasn't sure how to help him. She wanted to cheer him up, to bring the sunshine back into the home after the rain swept through, but nothing more could be done.

She went into her house and checked the decoction process. She didn't plan to touch anything, because she knew that she had no idea what she was doing, but she thought she should at least help out by making sure the house wasn't going to burn down.

When she got into the house, she saw that the fire was a little low, but that the decoction had reduced significantly. She didn't know how much it had been at before, because she hadn't thought to make note of that, but she thought it was fifty percent less, which was the amount they were looking for. But that meant that she had to remove the decoction from the heat. But how could she do that? They had only gone over how to start the brazier, not how to turn it off safely. The items were all close together, and Gemma didn't know what parts were hot and which parts could be touched safely. She tried tapping parts of the brazier, but she only burned her finger. She cried out and sucked on it for a moment before timidly asking her goddess to heal her. Within moments, there was no sign that she had ever been burned.

This still left her with this problem, though. How could she manage to remove the heat without breaking everything? She got a towel and tried to push the brazier away from under the glass jar, but the brazier was hot and the slightly wet towel started to sizzle. She pulled it away imagining her house catching on fire. This was bad. Why had her dad left it like this? Maybe he was just too distracted. She guessed she could put water on it, but she didn't know if that would ruin the brazier from working in the future, and it would probably cause a mess that her mom would then scold her for. But with every minute that she waited, the fire was going to work on the decoction, boiling it down more and more. It hadn't burned, which was good, but what could she do to make sure she didn't lose the whole decoction?

She looked around and found a stick of wood that they used to push herbs down into fluid without using their hands, and she jumped for it, pushing it against the bottom of the brazier and out from under the decoction. She thought that would do it, but the decoction was still hot. She realized that the glass was hot enough to keep boiling the liquid. She had to find a way to change it out. So she got a normal pan, like she used for her decoctions the folk way, and wrapped the towel around the top of the flask, removing the filter and quickly pouring out the decoction into the pan. By the end, she was sweating and breathing hard. She had spilled some over the side in her haste, but at least she had saved some of it.
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Philtering 1

Postby Mauriel on March 17th, 2019, 6:17 pm

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Gemma Parker
XP Award:
  • Socialization 3XP
  • Observation 5XP
  • Philtering 5XP

Lore:
  • Miles Parker: Patient
  • Philtering: Vapor Distillation
  • Philtering: Basic Tools
  • Sera Parker: A bit of a nag
  • Sera Parker: Her job was hard on her
  • Lore: Using Flint to Light a Fire
  • Philtering: Pressure Buildup
  • Philtering: Reducing a Decoction for Potency

Notes: The family dynamic is so raw and real, you're dealing with some really difficult subjects here, I love it! Don't forget to edit/delete your request!
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