|Appearance||A white cream|
|Application||Applied to the face.|
|Proficiency||Requires 5 points in Alchemy Sciences|
|Created By||Unknown Ch’ien-Ji|
|Potency||A moderate amount on the fingertips will cover the face if applied evenly.|
Qezfen is an old Ch’ien-Ji creation. It acts as a foundation makeup, making the face paler in appearance and helping to make it look smoother and younger. Qezfen has also been reported to help keep the skin young beyond mere appearance, but there is little evidence to support this prolific rumour. Qezfen has seen little innovation since its creation, which unfortunately means little has been done to overcome its flaws.
The origins of Qezfen have been lost to the ancient history of the Ch’ien-Ji people. Some of the oldest parchments recovered indicate the mixture may have existed from shortly before the Cataclysm. Less validated sources speak of Qezfen’s creation during the time of the Great Loong herself. Whatever the case, Qezfen has long existed as a luxury good in Ch’ien-Ji culture. Using a little Vocadine as a base binding agent, the cream acts as a foundation makeup, paling the face and helping to smooth over any blemishes or wrinkles. This helps to accentuate the wearer’s features as well as draw effect to any other makeup worn. As cultures met, Qezfen soon spread across Aloria as a minor luxury despite its relative simplicity to create, and was quickly taken upon by the more extravagant members of high society before becoming more commonplace. In the modern era, Qezfen can be found in most chemists and boutiques, usually at a somewhat expensive price and mixed with Hempaben’s Remedy in a supposed attempt to keep the skin healthy.
In spite of the alleged luxury of the good, Qezfen is actually relatively simple to prepare. The difficulty lies in making sure the mixture is safe to apply. The alchemist should start by pulverising the tin and Ch’ien-Olite into as fine a dust as possible, usually with a mortar and pestle, and then mixing said powders together until it is hard to determine any differences in the resulting powder. The base must then be prepared by pouring the Vocadine into the cream a little at a time, stirring continuously until the mixture ends up thicker but not enough to turn it into a butter. Once the mixture reaches this point the dust can be mixed in, making the mixture a little more firm but still retaining a natural creaminess.
At this point the mixture is ready to apply. Most modern alchemists however opt to mix in a small amount of Hempaben’s Remedy, as it is rumoured this helps to keep the skin healthy on application (although there is little to support this rather popular rumour). A little more cream and Ch’ien-Olite will be required if the remedy is mixed in to offset its natural green color. Adding Hempaben also gives the particular batch of Qezfen an expiry date of two months, as per the basic potion. Otherwise, assuming it is kept in a cool place, Qezfen will harden into uselessness after about three months.
Qezfen is applied a little at a time to the face with the fingers. Caution must be taken to keep the mixture even to avoid lumps, and discipline must be exercised to avoid overly brightening the face as well as some of the issues mentioned below.
Qezfen simply brightens the face by making it paler as well as smoothing over any flaws in the user’s face. Whilst some choose to stop here those more skilled in the art of makeup choose to use Qezfen as a foundation, helping draw attention to the user’s features or other makeup. The mixture will be good for several hours, although it will be effective for a shorter period in warm weather. Once this period passes the mixture will start to harden into something akin to a porcelain mask, with minor cracks appearing as the wearer speaks or otherwise moves their face. Once this starts to happen caution must be exercised, as the mixture will start to retain heat and prevent the skin from respiring, causing the wearer to potentially overheat or have trouble breathing. Fortunately this “mask” is also fairly brittle, and can be easily washed off with water.
As mentioned previously, the main difficulty in making Qezfen is ensuring that the mixture is safe to apply. If the mix of Ch’ien-Olite and tin is imperfect or too much of the mixture is applied, the effects mentioned above will occur far earlier than they would otherwise. If Hempaben’s Remedy is mixed in with the Qezfen, it will have no effect, as the potion is meant to be taken orally. This fact has done nothing to weaken the force of that particular rumor.
Qezfen is a pale white cream, although poorly mixed batches may contain powdery lumps or traces of green where Hempaben’s Remedy has been applied. It smells faintly like a potter’s workshop with potential herbal traces. The mixture feels creamy with faint traces of powder, although it is considerably more solid and brittle should it dry.
- Yanar often avoid applying Qezfen, as the mixture is far more (and instantly) choking to their natural respiration, potentially damaging to their appearance. Some of those infected with Dulofall and of an experimental bent have tried for decades to create a similar mixture that can be safely applied to them.
- In some parts of nobility attempts have been made to use hardened Qezfen to create masks deliberately, painting them into color as a type of portrait. The quality of the result tends to vary based on the applied Qezfen and the skill of the artist.