Khoshekh read the letter over a couple times. He folded it and put it in one of his satchels on his belt. He glanced at the shelf in his lab and shrugged. He opened the hatch on a small still and stirred the contents with a paddle. Everything seemed fine. He dipped in a glass and pulled some of the mash out and looked at it in the light. Everything was fermenting properly. He'd have to do something about the steam in his lab from the brewing if he is going to properly analyze this Lion's Vigor.
He took off his goggles, and hung them on a hook near the door and grabbed his scarf. Wrapping in hastily around his neck so it draped on his shoulders, he left his lab, descending the stairs down to the storage floor. He verified the herbs in the planters were growing sufficiently, and tossed some feed into the yata pen. Once satisfied that things were in order, he walked next door to The Open Palm. It was a pleasant evening. The sun starting to dip towards the horizon. The color was beautiful amidst the steam from the nearby hot springs and the clouds looming out at sea, He stepped into the palm, a number of patrons were already starting to gather for an evening meal.
"Good evening Mister Khoshekh!" he looked over to see Ken, smiling. He returned the greeting with a slight nod. "'Evenin Ken. Ifen ya don't mind, I'll set down in the corner there. Waitin on a client ya see." Ken nodded, and went back to wiping the bar and chatting with the patrons.
He slipped into the booth near by the bookshelf in the corner. He sat, back to the bar and stairs, facing the wall of book spines. As he sat waiting, he read the titles of the books on the shelves, to see if any of them may be useful in this endeavor while he waited. He had a small amount of time before she'd arrive.
#14289055 Jan 16, 2020 at 11:16 AM · Edited 2 years ago
Hazel stopped in front of the Open Palm, looking up at the sign on the wall. The last time she'd been here it hadn't gone well. She shuddered, recalling that night. How stupid she'd been. Wanderer's angry insistence that she leave him alone played over in her mind, and then that other firran woman.... She shook her head violently, clearing away those thoughts. That was in the past and she had someone important relying on her. Besides, the firran she was meeting with had seemed friendly enough.
She exhaled and squeezed her hands shut, then tentatively took the steps up to the Palm. Hazel peered inside, eyes widening at the number of people, but she perked up as she spotted the man she was looking for in the corner.
Before stepping in she patted her satchel, as if reassuring herself that she had indeed brought it. Despite the chatter of patrons filling the main room her heart still seemed to echo in her ears as she crossed the floor towards Khoshekh. She tried her best to mimic the confidence she felt when Grimjack or Lorrik were at her side, but her footsteps still felt awkward, as if someone had swapped out the legs she was used to.
"H-hello," she mumbled, realizing she had barely even heard herself. Hazel cleared her throat, "Hello there, Mister Khoshekh." She said a bit more assertively.
She slid into the seat across from him and set her satchel down on the table.
He looked up from his gaze at the book titles and smiled. It was her, that Firran lady he met at the lantern festival. "Heya! Welcome, Miss Hazel right? Please, have a seat!" He motioned to the seat across the table from him. He leaned back in his chair a little. "So, what'chya havin? On me, order anything you like. A Lil drink while we talk never hurt no one!" He chortled a bit, hoping his at ease feeling would help boost her confidence. He ordered a coffee stout for himself, and a plate of sliced meats with bread to snack on and share.
Hazel blinked, surprised by his friendliness. She was indeed put, at least a bit, more at ease. "U-uhm, water I suppose. Or..." She chewed her lower lip. "Do you have tea? Any will do, I'm not picky, really."
She casually glanced around the Open Palm, noting the friendly colors and decor for the first time. "This is a rather nice place. I did not really get a chance to fully appreciate it the last time I was here." Hazel laughed dejectedly. "Though that is more my fault than anything really."
She smiled, pushing away the dark thoughts. Now was not the time nor the place for such things. "It really is a pleasure to see you again! How have you been since last we spoke? Oh but that must have been ages ago at this point."
As the crowds began to die down, Lysander's curiosity got the better of him. He poked his head into the door before finally entering the Palm, offering a sheepish wave as he approached. "H-hello, I hope I am not intruding?" he said, looking between Khoshekh and Hazel.
He looks up, recognizing the elf. "Mister Lysander was it? Yer welcome to join us! We were just orderin drinks and some snacks. Ya can never have too many snacks!" He slid over a bit to make room, and then made eye contact with Hazel as he spoke his next sentence. "Now, This young lady here, Miss Hazel, and I were about to discuss some business. An alchemical mystery if you like! I hope it don't get too boring fer ya, unless it's the alchemy talk that intrigued you!" He looked back up at the elf, smiling warmly. "What are ya drinking? I'm having some of my coffee stout, the miss here is havin the relaxing leaf water, Can I get ya somethin?" He Made a hand gesture at Ken behind the bar, and he nodded, and started gathering a tray of things for the table, and put on a kettle.
He followed along, listening with his head tilted slightly, nodding as he looked between them. "I really could use a drink," he said with a weary smile. "What I had the last time, the lavender...?" he trailed off a little.
Hazel smiled warmly at Khoshekh's friendliness. She looked up to Lysander and nodded as Kho explained the bit about the alchemical mystery.
"It certainly is a mystery," she said afterwards. "But I am not in such a great rush that it can't wait until after drinks." She chuckled. The newcomer seemed nice enough, so it wasn't too difficult to return that in kind.
Hazel stretched out a hand across the table to Lysander, offering a gracious shake. "I am Hazel, Hazel Vermillion," she hesitated a moment before adding, "L-lady." Her formal title.
#14293441 Jan 22, 2020 at 10:24 AM · Edited 2 years ago
Lysander raised his brows at the addition of the formal title, shaking her hand. "Lysander," he said in return. "I'm not sure I know much of alchemical mysteries," he said sheepishly, "But it certainly sounds interesting."
"It's settled then! Ken! Some tea and Lavender Sake for the table please? Put it on my tab!" His smile was jovial, he was pleased everyone was in good spirits! Ken arrived at the table with a hot kettle, a box of assorted teas, a bottle of sake, and 2 more bottles of coffee stout amidst a tray of assorted cups and glasses. He also placed a platter of sliced meats, cheeses, and bread.
"please, help yourselves, enjoy!" He snagged a slice of meat delicately with his index claw and nibbled at it. "Now, How much about alchemy and magic to either of you folks know? I gather not much from our previous conversations, but ya got an interest in it, yah?" Finishing the last bite of the meat on his claw, he took a sip of his stout. "Now, do y'all know much about magic? Or even how the two crafts can be connected?" he sips some more, awaiting their responses.
Having not yet been corrected, Lysander took a sip of sake directly from the bottle. I know a little about alchemy, the basics really. I know a little more about magic but I'm more naturally suited to the healing varieties," he explained, looking over the generous food platter with some interest.
#14293504 Jan 22, 2020 at 12:50 PM · Edited 2 years ago
Hazel smiled at Lysander, if she'd been worried about meeting an elf it certainly didn't show. She tentatively reached over after seeing Khoshekh do the same, and grabbed some sliced meat and cheese. A bit self consciously, she brought them to her mouth and munched on them.
"Truthfully, Mister Khoshekh, I know very little. I've studied my father's books and notes as much as I could but most were written after his dementia set in. They are nigh indecipherable. Even he had issues figuring them out, and that was on his better days." She sighed. "As far as magic goes, I can stitch together a paper cut. That's about it."
"Alright, well, That's certainly quite ok. I'll try to explain as much as I can. Now alchemy," he grabbed a slice of bread and waved it about while explaining "It's kinda like cookin' Ya got yer ingredients, yer containers and your heat source... or cold source depending on what yer doin." He picked up a second slice of bread and waved both around, one in each hand, as he continued. "The biggest difference here is, sometimes, yer ingredients explode" he slapped the two bread slices together and lightly tossed them so they fell to the table to illustrate an explosion. "Ifen ya dont mix it right. Kinda like baking, actually. So you gotta measure, even when experimenting, so yous know what ya can do and not do with somethin." he collected the two bread slices and put a slice of meat and cheese between them and took a big chomp. he spoke next with his mouth half full. "Now, how magic comes into play here fer me, is that." he swallows and holds up the sandwich with one hand. "I use it to sort of, speed up the process or more accurately control said heat or cold sources, so they maintain or stay regular." He produced a tiny lick of flame on his index claw and held it under the sandwich, the bread toasted lightly. he flipped it over and toasted the other side. the cheese melted slightly out the sides. He dismissed the flame and took another bite, as if to again illustrate his point. "Anyone can do alchemy if ya read the instructions, but an understanding of the abstract, like magic or art, really opens up doors." He grinned at both of them. It was obvious this was a topic he was excited about.
Hazel nodded along, most of what Kho was saying made sense given what she knew from her father. "Well, I do draw and paint quite a bit!" She perked up. "And, I do have many volumes on alchemy that my father wrote, though they're a bit hard to follow. Even he had issues understanding them on his worst days, and he wrote the things." She chuckled a bit sadly.
"I'm a quick study however, I'm hoping to learn much from you, Master Khoshekh." Hazel said with a wide smile, then glanced over to Lysander. "And I'd welcome whatever help you feel you'd be able to provide. The object of our little study group here is a potion that my father synthesized before dementia fully took hold of his mind."
She cleared her throat. "It took an extreme effort to acquire it, so I'd rather not have it 'explode' trying to analyze it without any skill or knowledge."
Lysander tried to follow along, but already looked a little overwhelmed. Clearing his throat, he withdrew a small journal and pen from his bag. "I think I'll need to take a lot of notes," he said sheepishly. "T-that sounds like quite the potion, however."
He looked to Lysander, "Takin note would be good! Wish I had someone takin notes all the time. My research would go faster." He took a sip of his coffee stout and leaned back looking back to Lady Hazel. "Well, We won't blow up yer fancy potion miss. I got some ideas on how to isolate some of it's properties usin my kit. My brain is percolatin as we speak! Y'all got some time after supper here tonight to join me in my lab and get started or will y'all be wantin some rest to start first thing in the morn?" He looked between the both of them for a moment before continuing. "I imagine Miss Hazel, er, Lady Hazel, you're fairly local," he looked back at Lysander "But you, my friend I imagine traveled far, I got an extra bed in the tower, and you're welcome to it, if ya like. I can also make accommodations for you too Miss... ifen ya be needin it."
Hazel smiled as well. "I am fairly local, I live not too far from here in Halo Hollow. But I suppose I wouldn't mind saving myself a carriage ride, if it wouldn't be too much trouble to have me." She looked down a bit sheepishly.
"That's settled then! While we finish up here, before goin back to the lab, why don't ya tell us a little more Miss Hazel. What ya know about this potion, what effects does it have on the user? Was this a brew your father made or did he get it from someone? I'd also very much like to take a look at his writings. I reckon they'll still help even if they are hard to understand!" He finished his drink and leaned back, munching on more of the meat and bread. "And Mr Lysander, tell me a bit about yerself? You seem like a fella lookin fer answers. You maybe hoping this potion can help a loved one?"