Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Page 675

Zeff wished he had a better idea, but they were already short on time. And by the strained look on Lawrence’s face, the man had probably hoped Zeff would volunteer Gema’s whereabouts and thereby avoid a confrontation. Zeff certainly didn’t want to fight, either, but he wasn’t seeing much choice.

If nothing else, he was sure that Mariana would keep their children safe. That woman was prepared for everything. How he wished that he had stayed in Aguarey with her. At least then, they could have faced this together. “Perhaps I should call my wife,” said Zeff. “We can hear what she thinks of the situation.” He reached for the cellphone in his inner coat pocket.

I would not advise that,’ said Dergoz. ‘Lawrence will be forced to stop you.

“Why? Is she not in Lagemoor like you said?”

Again, Dergoz did not respond.

“Fine. We will tell you what you wish to know. But not here. There are too many people around who could overhear.”

Dergoz wasn’t buying it. ‘I think we will risk it. Tell us where Gema is now.

Zeff sighed and nodded. He relaxed his grip on his chair and shifted his feet.

The ability to materialize more than a single element was a tremendously rare thing, to be sure. There was no learning it. A person could either do it, or they couldn’t. It was hardly a coincidence, however, that Zeff ended up with the ability to materialize hydrogen and oxygen together. His was a historic power, one that cropped up every few generations among Rainlords. The Redwater Twins famously both had it at once.

Zeff flexed both arms where they lay, making minimal movement, and immediately, a white cloud materialized all around him, filling the room in a blink. He leapt from his chair and bolted for the exit, all the while pressing his soul into the cloud. Axiolis latched onto him as he ran.

In front of the door, a sudden wall appeared, brilliantly white and massive. Solid radium, it was. Lawrence’s deadly ability. Its pearly surface began to blacken with air exposure, creating an outer layer of radium nitride.


  1. So simple to get out of that. Use the soul infused fog to cover your reaper going into the ground, then fill the room with soul infused hydrogen gas. BOOM!!!! Dergoz and reaper vaporized. Zeff gets regenerated a few miles away wile everyone else is trying to figure out what happened.

  2. I don't think he can materialize them separately ("the ability to materialize hydrogen and oxygen together"). I think they always come together. It would be ridiculous if some of them could just materialize multiple individual elements. While this makes for interesting possibilities, it also hampers him in doing things single-element servants are capable of.

  3. Lucid CataclysmMay 7, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    This fight could have some interesting effects. Radium Hydroxide is a strong base, and an ionized base can conduct electricity well, so that kind of thing could happen. Also bases encountering human skin dry out the skin and create soap, so slipperiness?
    Most radium compound are soluble in water though. Also there is no stable isotope for radium, although a servant's ability to alter atomic mass of their element I do not believe has been mentioned...
    Radium Bromide causes nitrogen in the air to glow brightly, so that might be a thing. Radium Bromide crystals will sometimes explode however, it also crystallizes in water.
    Radium sulfate, radium chromate, radium iodate, radium carbonate, and radium tetrafluoroberyllate however are all insoluble in water. Hope you bring us a good fight frosty.

  4. So Hector could be materializing more than one element and making an alloy but no one knowing. And it's all rare and stuff...

  5. We do know that Hector's metal is affected by ferromagnetism (well, at least if we assume that Karkash is using magnetism.) There are only three elements that are ferromagnetic at room temperature: iron, cobalt and nickel. I have pointed out an easy way to differentiate between these a few months ago ( if anyone's interested -- one of Frosty's answers even contains hints concerning radiation.)

    Alright, maybe Hector's one of the very special ones and can materialize two elements at once. Honestly, I find it hard to believe that he can do more than two.elements. Two elements are very, very rare -- three are probably unheard of.

    So we're looking for a compound or alloy made of two elements that has high ferromagnetic properties -- there are some rare earth metals with ferromagnetic properties and compounds are used in electronics and stuff. Here's a list:

    Still, I think it's only one element. I'm going to keep assuming this until I find evidence to the contrary.

    And seriously, just ask Gina to identify the freaking metal, anyone with an internet connection can look up densities in a few seconds. Zeff knows so much about radium and Garovel doesn't know that different metals have different densities? Compare melting points, measure potentials -- there are so many nice things you can try...

  6. Zeff's knowledge of radium is not incidental. Lawrence is his boss, after all.

  7. Of course, but in a world where much power comes from use of elements, you'd think that any reaper would try to learn as much about chemistry as possible. Granted, chemistry hasn't been around that long, and without hands (or feet, or any body at all) to turn the pages of a book, learning would be difficult -- but about anyone knows that different metals have different weights, and basic knowledge about magnetism (magnets point north, which metals are affected by magnets, such things) is taught in primary school (at least around here), so Hector should know a little bit. Hector's not a great student, but he did finish primary and middle school...

    I don't know, it just bugs me is all. It doesn't really matter what kind of metal Hector's actually using, but after fighting Karkash for the first time, I absolutely can't understand why they didn't do any kind of research about magnetism's effect on Hector's metal. For example, every metal stops being affected by magnetism if you heat it up enough, so maybe if someone sets fire to Hector's metal during a fight, Karkash wouldn't be able to rip it apart. This would be damn helpful in a fight.

    Sure, this would require some research and experimentation, but there should have been an hour or two for reading at some point.

    (Random info dump. The temperature where a metal loses its ferromagnetic properties is called Curie temperature. The Curie temperature is different for each material. Wikipedia has a list:

    As you can see, iron, cobalt and nickel have different temperatures.
    Iron has 1043 K = 770°C = 1418°F
    Cobalt has 1400 K = 1127°C = 2060°F
    Nickel has 631 K = 358°C = 676°F

    You could do a measurement of the temperature where Hector's metal isn't magnetic anymore and identify the element this way. Might actually be the easiest way because density, potentials and melting points are pretty similar while these temperatures are different enough that you should be able to tell the difference.

    For a visual demonstration, see these videos (the guy must be crazy to handle high currents and glowing-hot metals without protective gear, but it's beatiful to watch):

    The last video shows the Curie temperature of two different metals at the same time. The small piece regains its magnetic properties after a shorter cool-down period because its Curie temperature is higher (meaning that it's ferromagnetic at higher temperatures.) So yeah, you can tell two different metals apart by Curie temperature.

    I want to add that I'm not a science teacher or anything. I didn't know this stuff an hour ago. I was just curious and read the wikipedia page.)

  8. Well, I don't think the mechanics of magnetism are as commonly known as you suggest. It has less to do with accessibility of the information and more to do with realizing that there is any useful information to be found at all. Garovel wouldn't have much cause to research--or even know about--ferromagnetism unless he'd already had a servant with one of the ferromagnetic elements--which are not all that numerous, as you've pointed out yourself.. Additionally, this would have needed to happen in fairly modern times.

    Also, even if they had known more about magnetism, it probably wouldn't have helped them fight Karkash. Heating up Hector's metal would have been a rather impractical tactic in the middle of battle. Roman could have done it for him, but Roman was only present at Rathmore, where there was a lot more than just Karkash to worry about.

  9. I didn't mean any specific knowledge about magnetism. I have never learned about the different kinds of magnetism in school even though I chose physics and chemistry, so I wouldn't expect Hector to know all that much about magnetism. However, I would expect him to know which elements are magnetic.

    I agree with your second point though. Heating up the metal would require some time. Maybe if Hector was carrying a flamethrower around... But materialization users can control the temperature of their element, so maybe Hector will be able to heat up the metal on his own some day. Which would only be useful if Karkash stays around until then.

  10. H20 - water. Rainlords. Ohhh...nice touch.

  11. Wait...radium oxidizes in air, it doesn't nitridize.

  12. Actually, oxidization doesn't refer to reacting with oxygen, it refers to a reduction-oxidation (or redox) reaction. Basically, one thing gives up electrons and the other receives them.

    Also: "When exposed to air, radium reacts violently with it, forming radium nitride, which causes blackening of this white metal." -

    Specifically referencing the Encyclopedia Britannica and the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.

  13. Huh. At the top of the wikipedia page it says that the coating is oxide, but in the section on reactivity it says nitride.

  14. Hey, if Rainlords occasionally get hydrogen+oxygen because of an affinity for water, does that mean the Sandlords might have a similar thing going on with silicon+oxygen?

  15. You do know air is mostly nitrogen right? That's why it forms a nitride when exposed to air. Given, it does have a +2 oxidation state during this, but again, that doesn't mean any oxygen is actually present.

  16. Were I to meet the guy who gave "positive hypothetical charge" the same name as "compound of oxygen", I would have harsh words with him. Same goes for whoever named things so that cations and cathodes are oppositely charged.

  17. there's science in these here comments

  18. *jaw drops at the oxygen and hydrogen line*

    "Holy shit" does not even begin to describe that right there...

  19. Mahdi AparentylycntsayawsomApril 27, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    Katara: well done young water-bender