Completed Philtering 2

Gemma learns philtering from her dad

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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 2

Postby Gemma Parker on March 2nd, 2019, 6:38 am

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Spring 2nd, 519av, 14 Bells

Ah, spring, glorious spring! It was a new year, a new day, and everything was just a little bit more special. It was also her birth season, and she was ready to be a year older. Sadly, she was a bit sick, and her shoulder was still in a sling from her time in the cave.

Gemma was working on philtering today, combining the less known skill with her much better skill, herbalism. Today she would be making essential oils. The process was anything but straight forward, but her dad had given her a quick class on how to do this, and she had taken notes that she would be following now.

Before her was a complex series of beakers and tubes and clamps and fire. She had yet to memorize what everything was called, but she knew everything had some fancy name. It was like learning another language. But at least the idea of essential oils was not so foreign to her.

To extract essential oils, she needed to load the various components. She looked in her notes and began following the instructions.

"First, load the herb." Her father said. "You want to pack in as much as you can into this glass bulb here. Once you do that, fill up this other phial here with water and put it over the flame. Be sure your cold water over here is replenished frequently and test its temperature so you don't lose potency." He explained, pointing to each part as he did so. Gemma wrote furiously.

Looking at her chicken scratch writing, Gemma squinted to understand something she'd written. She really hoped she was right about what it said.

She took the herbs and put them in the indicated section, filling the other part with water. She then put the water over the fire and the herb over the water, and connected the two via a little screw valve thing. She really needed to learn what these things were called.

She set the water to boil and waited while adding cold water over on the other end. That would apparently help the steam to turn back into water and liquid. She made sure the valve at the end was sealed and waited for the water to boil. While she did that, she took the same herb that she had been using in the essential oil and began mashing it in her mortar and pestle. She had a while to wait, so she was going to multitask and make a tincture at the same time, using the traditional folk methods. She took the herb and mashed it up before putting it in a jar and covering it with 3 parts alcohol, one part water. She pushed the flowers down into the jar to make sure they were covered, and sealed the jar with a lid, shaking it once or twice before closing the jar and moving on to the next one. She stretched her shoulder by rolling it to try and get the stiffness out. She was still not used to limiting herself like this.

She took a moment to check on her philtering setup and saw that the steam was already lifting through the bulb of leaves, turning it into a misty green color. Everything looked good so far!
Last edited by Gemma Parker on March 30th, 2019, 2:10 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Philtering 2

Postby Gemma Parker on March 5th, 2019, 2:28 am

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Spring 2nd, 519av, 15 Bells

“All right, Gemma, so now we’re going to learn how to extract essential oils from herbs. This is one of the most basic ways of using philtering and it ties in perfectly with your herbalism knowledge.” Miles said. “So first, let me show you the parts of this setup.” Before the two, on the table, was a philtering kit set up for the distillation. In front of each piece was a tented paper card with the name written on it.

“Here at the bottom is the heat source. You can use a candle in a pinch, but if you have one of these it’s preferred for speed. This is a brazier.” He said.

“I thought a brazier was what women wore to support their-”

“No, that’s a brasier.” He said, emphasizing the different pronunciation. “You can ask your mom about that later.” He said, awkwardly. “No, a brazier is what philters use to heat up herbs and such to change something about them. In this case, we’ll be using it to heat the water in this flask so that the water vapors go up and carry the medicinal properties out of the plants and into these tubes.” He explained, tracing the process with his finger.

“Got it.” She said.

“All right, so go ahead and pack all these herbs into the upper glassware part. Pack in as much as you can.” He said, handing her the glass.

Gemma took handfuls of the plant and shoved it into the glass, putting her back into it. She took handful after handful, and before she knew it, the glass was full and she was handing it back to her dad, now heavier than before.

“Good, so we’re going to put this part here and connect it together with the other pieces to complete the circuit. Once that’s done, we can start. Go ahead and start the burner with your flint.” He instructed. She did so, and he watched as the flame ignited and pushed up into the glass with the water in it. It was a fascinating process to watch as the flames licked at the glass.

Minutes later, the water was boiling and causing vapors of water mist to come up through the glass with the herbs inside. She looked to her dad to make sure everything was ok, and he just gave her a nod of affirmation. Everything was going as expected.

At this point, she really only had to watch and wait until the vapor got to the tube on the way down. At that point they would have to add cold water. All the glass was see through, so it was easy to tell when it was time to add the cold water. She poured it in around the winding tube and watched as the vapor returned to liquid. She put the bucket to the side and watched the liquid trickle down close to the valve at the bottom.

“So at this point, we see the oil on top of the water. We want to let out all the flower water and keep only the oil. The flower water will help you with your cosmetics or for some other small scale projects, but the oil is what we really want. So now we just wait!” He said.
Last edited by Gemma Parker on March 6th, 2019, 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Philtering 2

Postby Gemma Parker on March 6th, 2019, 5:27 pm

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Spring 4th, 519av, 13 Bells

“Hey, Gems, what’cha workin’ on?” Miles came into the house after a day at work.

“Distilling essential oils.” She said. ”Or trying, at least. It’s not quite working like I thought it would.” She explained.

“Hmm, let’s take a look.” He said, approaching the kitchen table turned lab.

“Well, two things about the brazier. First, it needs to be centered. The way you have it now, you’re losing a lot of heat. Be careful not to touch the stand for a while, it’s probably pretty hot.”

Gemma rubbed her fingers together where she had burned herself only moments ago. Thankfully it was not to bad that she could not heal herself with a quick prayer, but it had certainly hurt. Now she knew why.

“Also, the flame is too high. You probably set it like that because the water wasn’t boiling, but if you keep it like this much longer it’s going to break the glass or melt it or something.” He said. Gemma turned down the brazier, but she did so too fast and the device was extinguished completely. She huffed in frustration.

“No, no, don’t worry. You’re trying to do at home what most people have to learn in the classroom. Speaking of which, it might be a good idea to take some classes now that you’re playing around with philtering.”

“Yeah, I signed up already, but I was hoping to figure some of this out first so I don’t look so dumb.” She explained.

Miles laughed. “So you don’t look dumb? Honey, it’s a beginner’s class. Of course you’re going to look dumb. That’s why you’re taking the class!” He turned away from the still extinguished philtering kit to face his daughter.

“Honey, that’s what happens when you try new things. You have a problem, you try to fix the problem. You fail, maybe hurt yourself. You try again, and you’re better because of it. That’s life. And if you’re always afraid of failing, you’ll never try anything truly great.” He sat down on a stool and yawned, causing Gemma to fight a yawn herself.

Gemma sulked for a moment while she tried to start the brazier again, suddenly fumbling with the flint.

“Honey, talk to me. What’s got you so tense?” He asked.

Gemma debated whether or not she should tell her dad about her budding crush for her herbalism and philtering instructor. He was more than a decade her senior, and her dad would probably just laugh at her. But then, she didn’t have to tell him about that part. She could just tell him…

“I felt dumb in my herbalism class the other day. That’s supposed to be the thing I’m really good at. I use it all the time, I study, I even helped out in your shop. But dad, these kids are ridiculously smart. Did you know that Fir Essential Oil can be used for bone mending? In all our time together and after all the work I’ve done, even with bones, I’d never even heard of that before. But this kid in my class just knows that. I should have every advantage in that class. I should be the best because of all my experience. But-” She growled in frustration.

“Dad, I’m the dumbest one there!”

Her dad’s face became conciliatory and he stood to stand beside her and rub her back while she tried to light the brazier. “Aww, honey, I’m sorry you had a hard class. I didn’t even think to ask you about it. I guess I’ve been absent minded recently, worrying about your mom.” He admitted.

“What’s wrong with mom?” Gemma asked.

“Well she’s traveling again. She chartered a ship just before the turn of the season when the rains hit. I don’t know how far reaching the rain is, and there’s no way to know how rough the seas are. I’m just worried for her, is all.” He said.

“Oh.” Gemma said, putting the flint down now that she had finally lit the brazier and set it in the center, now at the right intensity. She hadn’t even thought about all that. She had just known that her mom had left a few days prior and had thought nothing more of it, other than that the house would be calmer in her absence. She had not thought that her mom might be in danger.
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Philtering 2

Postby Gemma Parker on March 7th, 2019, 3:35 am

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“But hey, I’m sure she’s fine! Your mom is always fine.” He said. “I’m just being a worry wart.” He forced a smile.

“Hey, there you go. That looks much better.” He said, pointing to the fire that was now just licking at the glass in the center. “Now you’re not losing any of the heat.” He explained.

“Thanks, dad.” Gemma said, her voice low. “I’m sorry that you’re worried about mom. I’m sure she’s fine. We can pray to Yahil together, if you want.” She offered.

“That’s all right, it’s probably nothing. But you go ahead, honey.” He allowed. “In the mean time, why don’t we take a look at this philtering setup, shall we?” He forced enthusiasm, but Gemma could tell that this was bothering him. Still, maybe she could give him a project to focus on to distract him. Maybe it could distract her from her frustration as well.

”So does the rest of the set up look OK to you?” She asked, turning back to the kit. The water was now boiling again, but this time there was no blackness on the side of the glass jar. That was probably a good thing.

“Am I missing anything else?” She asked. Her dad got back to inspecting her work.

"Well I think you also packed the plant in too tight because not enough vapor is getting through," he said.

Gemma frowned. "I didn't know that was possible." She said. "How do you know when it's in too tight?"

"You kind of have to eyeball it, but you'll get used to it after a while." He said. "For now, though, we'll have to remove the boiling water and loosen up the leaves at the bottom of the flask. Otherwise this might never go through." He frowned with her. "But other than that, it looks good!"

"Thanks, dad. So what did you do at work today?" She asked while she removed the top from the herbs and got to work moving the herbs around with a little stick she had.

"Gemma, once the steam comes through it'll burn you." He said, trying to pull her hand away.

"It's fine, dad, I'll just heal myself." She said.

"But you freak out when your mom and I hurt ourselves for training. What's the difference?" He asked.

"I don't know, the pain's not so bad when you know it's not real." She said. "I mean it's real, but I know it'll be over soon. Plus, if I think about it before hand, I can even dull the pain in the moment, though that takes some concentration." She said.

"You're a strange girl." He said, but he smiled.

She finished moving the herbs around and sure enough, a plume of steam erupted from under the herbs. Gemma instinctively jerked back her hand as she felt the hot air hitting her hand. Her skin was red, but with a quick prayer to Rak'keli, she was healed once more.

"All right, so we straightened the fire and moved the herbs. Anything else missing?" She asked.

"That should be all! Now just close that valve to wait for the water and oil to come through." He pointed to the valve at the end and she quickly closed it before the droplets could get that far.

"Thanks, dad!"
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Philtering 2

Postby Gemma Parker on March 7th, 2019, 10:28 pm

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Miles was gone, but Gemma was still watching the philtering set to make sure everything was still working. Thankfully, her dad had helped her work out all the flaws in her setup, so now she just had to... not touch anything. But sadly, that was easier said than done. Shortly after her dad left, her brazier went out and she had to reset it and light it. Of course, when she tried to do so, she burned herself again and almost swore. Almost. She healed herself before a blister could form, but it had still hurt. She tried again, this time being sure to keep her hands far away from the brazier. But when she tried, the sparks kept missing. Was she really still struggling with this? Again?

Gemma bit her lip as she focused, already seeing the vapor stopping. Why couldn't she get this right? She brought her hands closer and struck the flint again, this time managing to light the flame, but burning herself in the process. She sucked on her knuckle as she healed herself. Again.

But she had bumped the brazier out of place. It was now off center, and her dad had mentioned that she needed to keep the flame in the center of the bottom flask. She grabbed the poking stick she had used before and nudged the brazier, trying to get it into place without burning herself for a third time.

She checked the flame from all angles, and it looked like she had it in the center. The water was starting to bubble again, and none of the flame was moving up around the sides, so this had to be good. But now she had another problem. The vapors had trickled down through the cold tube and there was now a good amount of water and oil waiting to be drained. But this was the part she was least confident about. She knew that the oil was on top, so for the first little bit she was fine. She just had to open the valve and close it when there was nothing left but oil. But that was easier said than done.

She wiggled her fingers and loaded an empty bucket under the spout at the end of the philtering set. She opened the valve and water came streaming out into the bucket in a controlled flow. But all too soon, the sliver of oil at the top of the tube came sliding down into the nozzle and she had to shut the stopper quickly to avoid losing the oil. But she could see that there was still about an inch of the hydrosol left. She frowned. She couldn't do anything about that now, but maybe when her dad got home again he could help her get the oil out without any of the water mixing in. The water kept coming, though, and Gemma kept draining it out until there was only a little bit left. The room smelled like herb, which was a good thing. Hopefully she would not lose this batch of oil.
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Philtering 2

Postby Madeira Craven on March 19th, 2019, 1:08 am

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Grades Awarded!

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Gemma Parker

Skills
  • Philtering: 5xp
  • Herbalism: 1xp
  • Observation: 3xp
  • Socialization: 2xp
  • Rhetoric: 1xp

Lores
  • Philtering: memorizing complicated tool names
  • Philtering: the process of making essential oils
  • Philtering: the process of distillation
  • Philtering: brazier, not brasier
  • Philtering: timing is everything
  • Philtering: the proper way to use a brazier
  • Lore of sincere parental advice

Awards & Retribution


Notes
I love Gemma's relationship with her father. It's so sweet. <3
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