Campaign of the Month: January 2015
Skies of Glass
Sulfur or sulphur is one of the more common substances sought out by alchemists. It is an abundant non-metal. Sulfur, in its native form, is a yellow crystalline solid. In nature, it can be found as the pure element and as sulfide and sulfate minerals. Its commercial uses are primarily in fertilizers, but it is also widely used in matches, insecticides and fungicides. It is called brimstone by alchemists.
Common naturally occurring sulfur compounds include the sulfide minerals, such as pyrite (iron sulfide), cinnabar (mercury sulfide), galena (lead sulfide), sphalerite (zinc sulfide) and stibnite (antimony sulfide); and the sulfates, such as gypsum (calcium sulfate), alunite (potassium aluminium sulfate), and barite (barium sulfate).
There is a common process to get sulfur from rocks present in volcanic regions. In this process, the sulfur deposits are piled and stacked in brick kilns built on sloping hillsides, and with airspaces between them. Then powdered sulfur is put on top of the sulfur deposit and ignited. As the sulfur burns, the heat melts the sulfur deposits, causing the molten sulfur to flow down the sloping hillside. The molten sulfur can then be collected in wooden buckets.