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Essence of Eternity; *closed*
Topic Started: Mar 24 2018, 10:41 AM (407 Views)
Eustacia Lancaster
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Former Death Eater • Necromancer Scitorari Leader

[adminapproval=30226429][justify]The Scitorari had been particularly quiet and withdrawn from the public eye recently, but that didn't mean nothing was being done behind the scenes. They were, after all, seekers of knowledge and truth at their very core. Eustacia spent much of her time pouring over ancient tomes or research notes she had gained from her travels to foreign countries and black markets, searching high and low in her attempts to find pieces of information that may have been lost in the passage of time, that would further propel her goals of achieving power over life and death itself, for the betterment of wizards worldwide. From Egyptian books of the dead, to haphazard scrawlings of raving alchemists, the necromancer left no stone unturned. There was no time to waste, particularly for a woman who wasn't getting any younger. A lot had happened in her long life, from her time spent as a Death Eater, a combatant in a magical war led by the Dark Lord, to now, a leader herself with new goals and ambitions, as a part of the Scitorari. For Eustacia, gone were the days of focusing her energy on ridding the world of muggles, a focus shifted to far grander goals. Even with all of her experience and achievements, she felt there was still so much left to be done, her life still not entirely fulfilled.

During an afternoon spent alone in her study, surrounded by stacks upon stacks of magical notes and research, Eustacia came across a sheet of parchment containing theories on the famed Philosopher's Stone, apparently written by a bitter alchemist trying, in vain, to compete with Flamel. It detailed untested methods of replicating the capabilities of the artefact without using the stone itself, such as hastily drawn alchemical symbols with ideas on how to transmute base metals into gold, but most importantly, it contained proposed recipes for an Elixir of Life, with key ingredients such as a phoenix feather that the writer was unable to procure himself during that time period, but which was now quite readily available for someone like Eustacia. The recipes were mere drafts, unfinished at best, but a base the woman thought she could work with, and had to at least try for herself. If the stone could be created by man, rather than a natural resource in the earth, surely it had to be possible to create its fabled abilities without the trouble of figuring out how to create it specifically.

Using the research, Eustacia made notes of her own, theorising on different possibilities and outcomes, but she couldn't attempt to put it into practice alone. Her knowledge of potion-making was far from basic, yet she couldn't have considered herself a leading expert in the subject. She knew as much as she needed to know over the years, but wandwork was more of her forte than brewing. She needed someone far more experienced. As fate would have it, exactly that type of person lived not too far down the same street as she did.

The Necromancer departed from The Silver Snake with a small bag of necessary supplies in hand, and in almost no time at all, arrived at the dwelling of Ioan Finch, the leader of the Scitorari's very own potions faction. She hadn't owled ahead, deeming it unnecessary considering the short distance between the two buildings, on top of her need for his expertise being somewhat sudden, she'd hardly had the time to inform him until now. If luck would have it, he'd be home, and hopefully intrigued by the particularly ambitious idea. It was a long shot, as most experiments had been so far, yet they could only try. With a firm rap of her gloved hand against his front door, the woman waited.
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Ioan Finch
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Scitorari/|Father to Lorin & Alana| Thanks for the avi Steph!

The knock on the front door was quite unexpected, and Ioan found himself walking to the door slowly, a stream of thought running through his mind as he tried to recall a forgotten appointment. There didn’t seem to be any, and as he glanced at the peephole before opening the door, he knew he’d have not forgotten an appointment with this particular person. Eustacia Lancaster stood on his stoop, and Ioan quickly gestured for her to come inside, shutting the door behind her quickly. It wasn’t that he was worried that someone would see them together. Bleak Street was very much the kind of place where no one saw anything. Even if a unicorn were to drop dead right in the middle of the street with a crowd of people watching, the whole block would claim that they’d seen no such thing and wonder aloud why someone had made such a thing up. It was more the fact that a woman like Eustacia was not to be kept waiting, certainly not on someone’s stoop.

“What a lovely surprise” Ioan said by way of greeting as he ushered the woman in. The Finches lived comfortably, his wife’s work as a Healer and his own underground business of potioneering meant that they had some of the creature comforts but few of the luxuries that some of the well-to-do pureblood families were used to. “To what do I owe the pleasure?” he asked, quite curious as to what had brought her to his doorstep. Ioan had a bit of trepidation towards her work – the idea of inferi had always sent shivers down his spine. But he did have a healthy respect for the older woman, the only female in their leadership ranks but the one he turned to for guidance when they all met, which these days was not often enough. He had a feeling this was no social call because Eustacia simply did not seem the type.
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Eustacia Lancaster
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Former Death Eater • Necromancer Scitorari Leader

[justify]Eustacia was pleased to see Ioan was indeed home, and wasted no time with inviting her inside. The woman stepped across the threshold, glad to be off the street not out of any fear for the dangers of lingering there too long - if anything, perhaps the street was less dangerous with her away from it - but a simple distaste for Bleak's general populace. It may have been her community, as a proprietor of one of its more popular stores, and a fellow denizen of the dark arts, but that didn't mean all of its members were particularly respectable. It wasn't without its beggars, thieves and hags, the latter of which proved to be the most useful of the three, but the area certainly needed more members like Ioan, or Adalia. Intelligent people who knew how to conduct a business, and didn't stoop to petty crimes and black market sidewalk sales.

"I apologise for the sudden intrusion." The Necromancer said, feeling that if the roles were reversed, she may not have been so impressed with an unexpected visit. This was, however, possibly quite important for the both of them. "I've been working on some rather...ambitious projects, and I need your expertise to put some theories of mine into practice." Eustacia settled her bag down on the floor and turned to face the potioneer. She smiled politely, but perhaps not quite warmly. Working so closely with the cold, unfeeling dead, sometimes she forgot how. "How much do you know about the Nicolas Flamel and the Philosopher's Stone. Or more specifically, the Elixir of Life?"
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Ioan Finch
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Ioan listened, the gravitas of the situation seeming to permeate the room as Eustacia began. This was the first time she'd come calling to his home, and hearing that she needed his expertise was particularly intriguing. Though they shared ideals as members of the same group, their work typically did not bleed into each other. He sat up straighter, curiosity growing, a quick glance to the bag she'd placed onto the floor.

"I know that no one has tasted a sip of it since the nineties" he said slowly, his eyes on the woman trying his hardest to read her. "Eustacia, are you telling me you've found a Philosopher's stone?" Ioan asked, his gaze falling back into the bag at her feet, a smile growing on his face. Ioan was eager to find out exactly what Eustacia got up to in her free time to procure the long lost, hidden gem of the wizarding world.The man knew about Nicolas Flamel. Of course he did, anyone with any decent knowledge of potions knew to aspire to his level. He'd pushed boundaries in a way that would be condemned by the Ministry today. He'd have made an excellent Scitorari. But he was also very dead, the knowledge of his potion, the potion, dead with him.
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Eustacia Lancaster
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[justify]Finch wasn't wrong about the elixir, or so they could only assume that it had been the case. It was such a waste, Flamel choosing to forego his eternal life, and for what? To cause a minor inconvenience to the dark lord at the time? So much potential, and almost seven hundred years of knowledge, gone. "If only that were the case." Eustacia sighed. Of course, that would have been too easy, and if the necromancer had learned one thing in her long life, it was that nothing was ever easy. "No, unfortunately. However. We know that the elixir requires the stone in its creation, and we know that Flamel created the first, and only recorded instance of the stone. Perhaps, then, we don't need the entire stone itself. For all we know, it may simply be a few individual components of its whole that give the potion its life-extending properties." For the Philosophers Stone had more capabilities than immortality, it was entirely possible they would be able to replicate just one of its powers. The woman reached into her bag, withdrawing the research she'd brought with her, her theoretical formulas and alchemical notes, for Ioan to peruse. "I've been searching for alternate methods for some time. If there's a possibility of not needing the stone, it could change everything for us. I'd like to attempt it, and I need your help to do that. Potions is not my area of expertise as much as it is yours, and you, Ioan, are the only person I can trust to have a chance at making this dream a reality." It was a long shot, she knew that, and no doubt he'd know that, but neither were going to get anywhere without at least trying. If there was a solution to the elixir of life out there, without relying on the stone, it certainly wasn't going to brew itself.
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Ioan Finch
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Ioan was disappointed. There was no way around that. As a potions master, he knew that seeing a philosopher's stone was a pipe dream but for a moment he'd let himself hope. Eustacia seemed like the kind of person who could make something like that happen, if someone could, and realizing that she had not was a hard pill to swallow. Still, as she continued on, Ioan found himself nodding. In theory, what she was saying made sense. The stone had contained some qualities, components she'd called them, that when combined with the rest of the potion had produced the elixir of life. If, and it was a big if, they could isolate those components, they could be on to something magnificent. Ioan could see the notes, the symbols on the paper in his hand, and he sat up, leaning forward to reach for it.

This was game-changing, not only for Eustacia who would benefit from its immediate effects but for the Scitorari as a whole. If they could produce something the likes of which hadn't been seen since Nicolas Flamel, the Ministry would have to give them the credit they were long due or go to great lengths to cover up this advancement. A smile grew on Ioan's face as he considered all of this. "I'll need some time to review all of this, and we'll need to gath- oh, is that what you have in there?" he nodded towards the bag. "Ingredients?" he presumed. Eustacia had obviously done some work on her own, and he found himself excited at the prospect of working with her.
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Eustacia Lancaster
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Former Death Eater • Necromancer Scitorari Leader

[justify]The smile on Ioan's face was a positive sign, and the Necromancer was pleased to hear he was on board with the idea. There was more than one way to skin a cat, as the saying went, and the same may have potentially applied with the elixir of life. Magic was broad, it was versatile, and the possibilities were endless with the right knowledge and willpower. Too many people were stuck believing things could only be one way, not enough actually went out and challenged ideas, tried to push the boundaries of what could and could not be done. It was the only way to progress, the only way they had progressed in the past, until they'd grown too comfortable to continue pushing.

"Indeed. I'm nothing if not prepared." Eustacia responded to Ioan's query with a nod of affirmation toward the bag. There was a lot of work to be done, and a lot of review for Ioan to do in regards to her research, so before too long the woman departed to allow him the time he needed, and returned to The Silver Snake until he was ready to contact her and begin.

--

Sometime after their initial meeting, the owl Eustacia had been expecting arrived, and the woman was back in the potioneers familiar home. Brewing was a lengthy and delicate process, which was arguably its one and only flaw, and so understandably a few of the necessary ingredients in the theorised replication of the elixir was time consuming to prepare. The Necromancer gazed briefly into the bubbling depths of one of Ioan's cauldrons, watching the liquid swirl before shifting her attention back to the man, and potential future Minister, assuming he played his cards right. Despite having a seer for a granddaughter, a powerful tool to be used at a time like this, there was yet to be any predictions on the outcome of the election. It was vexing, but with a while until the election itself, there was still time. "I see some of the ingredients are ready. How did you find the notes?" The woman inquired, curious whether he thought it achievable, while she produced a few carefully-contained Ashwinder eggs she had brought with her. If they were going to find out whether or not the elixir worked upon completion, something needed to reach the end of its lifespan soon, and Eustacia was not willing to wait a few decades to see if age claimed her.
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Ioan Finch
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Ioan had been left with plenty of notes to review and work to do. Potions of this nature did not come together in a day, though it was obvious Eustacia Lancaster had done her homework as well, bringing him some of the more difficult to procure ingredients, and some of those even were in the state they needed to be in. He had expected nothing less from the woman. His previous interactions with her led him to believe she did nothing without preparation and some forethought. It was why he respected her most among the other leaders, even Collineus who he considered his closest friend among the Scitorari.

He had worked diligently in spite of his work with the election. The man had expected the Scitorari to be more enthused by his involvement, but so far it had been met with silence, so he had moved forward alone. But, he'd continued his efforts towards this work with Eustacia, knowing it was important for her personally but also with the thought in the back of his mind of how great it would be to have in his pocket should he need it during the election. He spoke of innovation and discovery during his campaigns. This kind of news would prove he also practiced what he preached. Ioan continued to work as Eustacia walked around, part of his attention on the finishing touches he needed to make to the cauldron before him and the other part on her. He didn't often allow people to come down to his basement. Sprinkling some powdered ingredient as Eustacia spoke, Ioan gestured his head towards a stack of papers, some newer sheets mixed in. "A good start, but I made some additional notations" he said, a little distracted as he moved to the next cauldron. In a moment, he'd have to mix them all together and he only had a short amount of time to do it. "My first attempt, I worked straight from the notes and as you can see that didn't work" he nodded towards a corner of the room that was blackened. Try as he might, no spell or potion had been able to undo the damage. "So, I've been experimenting a bit" he admitted.
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Eustacia Lancaster
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Former Death Eater • Necromancer Scitorari Leader

[justify]The Necromancer turned her attention to the stack of papers as Ioan indicated them, perusing through the latest additions to the notes and research. His knowledge really was remarkable. This was exactly the reason she had come to seek his aid in this endeavor, for he truly was the only person she could trust to improve upon the information she had available, and had the most potential to make a mere dream into a reality. The woman quietly read through the new writings, her attention shifting momentarily to the scorched corner when the potions-master pointed it out. Pity, and also one of the reasons she'd been reluctant to work on it alone. Ioan was likely to be a lot more prepared for a disastrous outcome and how to anticipate it than she was. Who knew what a botched attempt at this imitation of the elixir of life would do to a person if it had come into contact with them, considering the damage it had done to something inanimate.

Many grandmothers in the wizarding world had learned to perfect their housekeeping charms, spells that could remove even the toughest of stains. Eustacia wasn't one of these grandmothers. Domestic magic, from cooking to cleaning, was primarily left to a house-elf, while she herself focused on a far different kind of magic. While she hadn't spent her time excelling in spells of the house and home, her line of work did require her to know how to dispose of evidence, and remove unpleasant stains from time to time. Not that she didn't trust Ioan to have done everything he could to clean up the black mark, the woman simply figured there was no harm in attempting to do the same herself. After all, this had been her idea, and now his lovely home was paying the price of her ambitions. With a few subtle taps of her staff, the Necromancer tried to scour, repair, and lastly vanish the damage, all to no avail. It seemed the man was right after all, there didn't appear to be any magical way to undo what had been done.

Leaving the blackened area be, Eustacia returned her attention to the number of cauldrons Finch was maintaining at one time. "How close would you say this brew is to completion?" The woman inquired, noting the man's focus on his task and choosing a moment he seemed to not need to concentrate as intensely. The last thing either of them needed now was another failed attempt.
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