Brian wrote:I believe charcoal was most important historically as a fuel source for industrial processes. It was the primary fuel source for all iron smelting and forge working, so there would indeed be a large demand for it, though it can be made wherever there are trees.
Yes... I can imagine sending it as a bulk commodity up-river to the Iron Hills. No problem with that.
Charcoal for medicinal use is specifically "Active Charcoal" which requires high-firing in a kiln. This actually still has crafts and logic from SOI2 that are already in place, so will easily reappear in the Medicine craftset. It is a RP-only cure for most ingested poisons (which are also RP-only / staff plotline). So, an idea for how to make it have a coded use would be the next step for it.
PCs will use it for smelting and forging, but we won't have too much of that in Alpha - metalcraft will be more limited in that environment.
Making charcoal pencils for Artistry kits is totally doable. Good idea.
I'd like to know more about its use as fertilizer.
What other PC uses can we devise?
Activated charcoal is not so much any different than regular charcoal, it just has a larger surface area with all the holes and pores. It has no antibiotic nor clinical application beyond being extremely absorbent of both liquid and gas.
We used to chomp down on a little bit when we had digestive troubles, no idea if it was actually working or not but we did feel better after.
Another word that is thrown around often with charcoal is biochar, outside of large scale commercial manufactures biochar (Also called part-charred) is still recognizable as solid wood only as the other name implies it has been charred; completely on the outside, partly on the inside.
From our own experience it is not a fertilizer in of itself, that is not something you simply spread on your land as given it's absorbency it will soak up all those delicious soil nutrients. What I have been told is that it has the possibility of enriching poor soil and storing minerals and nutrients in the soil for later use when you bury it.
But yes, what Brian said, very much in agreement here.