Ari'sora was giddy with excitement. This trial was the twenty fourth of Ymiden...and that meant that it was Cassion's Feast. She knew of the festival, of course. Mi'zuri celebrated it each arc with her friends. Ren'zar had spoken of it with amusement, and he looked forward to hearing all of the stories the people he worked with came up with in order to outdo each other in a contest of sorts. He had always claimed that he won these contests each arc, but Ari'sora never quite believed him. Even her mother had enjoyed the festival. But she had never been allowed to participate. Until now.
Everyone in Beacon had decided to put together a feast, with each member of the community bringing a dish. She had been asked to make a cake for dessert. Ari'sora was no stranger to cooking, but she had never baked a cake before. Fortunately, her next door neighbor, a woman by the name of Erin, loved to bake. So she had offered to teach Ari'sora how to bake whatever cake Ari'sora chose to make.
After looking through several recipe books, and asking Erin for advice on what cakes would be hard for a beginner like her to ruin, Ari'sora had found a recipe for a lemon cake that looked delicious.
"Have you done much baking before?" Erin asked as they entered Erin's kitchen.
Ari'sora shook her head.
"A little, but not much, and nothing that was going to be served at a feast like this. But I have done a little reading on the subject."
Erin gave her an amused look.
"Oh? And what did you learn?"
Ari'sora didn't know why her neighbor was so amused, so she frowned in confusion as she answered the question.
"I learned that baking is a dry heat method of preparing food. I am pretty sure that that means that the food made using this method isn't submerged in water as it cooks. I could be wrong about that, though. I also learned that baking is used to create flour based foods such as pastries, breads, cakes, biscuits, shortbread, and cookies. It requires heat, and an enclosed space. That usually means using an oven, but it can be done over a campfire too. At least that is what the book I read said."
"You're not wrong, Ari'sora. But a lot of baking involves things that can't really be learned by reading a book. The more you bake...or cook, for that matter, the more you get a feel for the ingredients you are working with. You get a feel for what flavors work well together, and what ones shouldn't be used in the same dish. And you get a feel for what you can use to substitute for an ingredient that a recipe calls for if you are out of it. A truly skilled chef or baker will usually create their own recipes rather than rely on ones found in books. All of these things are learned through arcs of practice, trial, and error...not by reading a book about baking."
It was hard for Ari'sora to wrap her mind around the idea that some things couldn't be learned from books, but she did know that Erin was right. She just didn't have to like it.
"Are you ready to get started?"
Ari'sora nodded, and grinned. She was eager to get to work, and it showed in her expression, posture, and in the way her body nearly quivered with excitement for the task at hand. Erin chuckled.
"I can see that you are. For now, we will be following the recipe closely. If you find that you like baking, I can teach you how to adjust recipes and even create your own as you learn more. But for now, what does the recipe say that we need?"
Ari'sora read through the ingredients before she turned back to her neighbor.
"We need two and a half cups of flour, one tablespoon of lemon zest, one teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon each of baking soda, and baking powder, one cup of unsalted butter, one and a half cups of white sugar, two large eggs, three large egg yolks, two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and one cup of low fat buttermilk."
"Okay. So why don't you squeeze one of the lemons I have in the bowl on the table while I get the rest of the ingredients? That will be the best use of our time since I'm the one who knows where I keep everything we'll need."
Ari'sora was quick to obey.
"Why do people share stories at Cassion's Feast?" she asked curiously, as she sliced open her lemon.
Erin paused to look at her.
"Well...because it's Cassion's Feast, of course. We share stories to honor him. Stories is one of his Domains, after all. Along with Travel, Adventure, and Hunger. How much do you know about Cassion, Ari'sora?"
"Not much, really. I did know that travel was one of his Domains, but I didn't know about the others. I read once that he is said to always be seen in traveling gear with pockets and cases filled with weapons, and all sorts of things that he finds in his travels. And I'm pretty sure that the book I read mentioned that he is sometimes called the Wanderer."
"It is said that Cassion is raucous of humor, insatiable, dangerous, and charming. He can often be found traveling with other adventures. And it is often believed that he comes to Scalvoris on this trial to sample the food served at the feasts held in his honor, and to read through the stories people write for this festival. Cassion is called the Wanderer, but he is also known as Old Dust, The Taleweaver, and Man of Roads. When he chooses to give someone his blessing, that mark is called Sojourn. Cassion only gives it to people who like adventuring as much as he does. Of all of the Immortals, I would most like to meet him. And I hope that I will be able to travel the world as he does some trial. I would happily spend the rest of my life discovering new places to see and new wonders if I could."
It sounded as if Erin was fascinated by Cassion, and Ari'sora found that she couldn't really blame her. He did sound like an interesting person...Immortal to know. But Ari'sora thought she would be more interested in meeting him for the stories that he could tell her than anything else. If he spent all of his time traveling the world then think of all of the languages he must know! Think of all the places he must know about, and all of the things he must have learned as he traveled. Ari'sora found herself wanting to meet him just to hear some of the stories he must have.
"So what is the first step in the recipe after you've collected all of the ingredients?"
Ari'sora checked the recipe carefully.
"It says to preheat the oven to 350 degrees."
Erin nodded. Then she gestured for Ari'sora to do so.
"You'll find that a lot of recipes that require the use of an oven will call for you to preheat it to a set temperature. It's a very useful trick of the trade so to speak. When you preheat the oven, it will heat up to the temperature you need to cook your dish at while you are preparing the ingredients. That way, when you are ready to cook the dish, the oven will be ready for you. That saves you time, and it ensures that the ingredients you used don't get stale or soggy while you wait for the oven to heat up."
Ari'sora grinned. That did sound like a useful trick, and she promised that she would keep it in mind.
This post covers the following challenges:
1. Have your character create something in a thread using a skill they do not possess, could be anything from a cake, to an arrow, to a torch. Never tried basketweaving, shoemaking or knitting? Give it a go!
***baking a cake***
6. Participate in a feast/City -specific celebration.
7. Learn more about an Immortal of your choice (at least 5 non-skill knowledges).
2. Have your character learn a trick of a trade from another person (PC or NPC).