• Solo • Summer Fayre

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Kirei Qe'Azour
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Summer Fayre

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47th Ymiden, 718


The fayre is truly a sight to see Kirei thought as she watched her kids gawk at the varied displays in awe and amazement.

There were food stalls galore, and displays filled with merchandise of many different kinds hoping to tempt potential buyers. But Kirei and Aiden were more interested in the assortment of bards and street performers that could be found in all corners of the fayre. Some had clearly been hired by a number of the stalls, likely for a portion of the sales rather than for a set fee. These performers were trying to attract attention to the stalls that had hired them. Others were working on their own. Kirei had to wonder which scenario was more profitable for the street performers; taking what was likely a small percent of sales from a stall, but having a guaranteed payout at the end of the trial, or keeping a hundred percent of whatever tips they managed to get for themselves...and hoping that their audiences were in the mood to tip them. In this case, she was inclined to think it would be the former. There were surprisingly few people out and about to see the fayre. And the few people who had come were nervous, and quiet. It gave an eerie feeling to the whole event rather than the joyous one that you might suspect. Unless more people came. Kirei thought that the fayre might have to close early. Even so, Kirei was determined to have a good time. And from the looks of it, so were her fellow apprentices.

"Hey, Kirei, come look at this!" Aris gushed excitedly, jolting Kirei out of her thoughts.

Kirei and Aiden exchanged glances. Then they laughed. People turned to stare at them, but Kirei ignored them.

"It's like we have two more children to look after, isn't it?"

Kirei could only nod. For all that Andiron tried to act distant and superior, it was clear that he was just as excited about the fayre as Aris was. "This" was actually an interesting idea. Someone had peeled some bananas, and dipped them halfway into liquid chocolate. The result was a banana that had what looked like a crispy chocolate coating. Kirei was about to suggest that they try some when a frantic woman ran up to her in a near panic.

"Have you seen my son? His name is Jaysen. I just took my eyes off of him for a trill, and now he's lost in all this! He's just a little boy!"

Kirei and her friends began looking around reflexively, but the only children within sight were her own. But the child had to be found. That was the goal.

"I'll go let Elyari know that we're going to be late for work. Then I'll come find you." Andiron said quietly.

We. Kirei gave her fellow apprentice a grateful look for being willing to help search for the missing child. She watched him run off before turning to the distraught mother.

"Can you take us to where you last saw your son?" she asked gently.

"If we start looking from there, we might find some clues of which way he went, and we'll have a better chance of finding him."

The woman nodded, and ran back the way she had come. Kirei and the others followed her. When she stopped, they were standing in front of the Herbal shop that was located in Midtown. It was run by Hannah Yavich. The woman was known for buying and selling all kinds of herbs, plants, seeds, flowers, and roots from all over Idalos. Her shop had an excellent reputation for doing just that for as long as Andaris had existed. That, and the fact that anyone who placed an order there was guaranteed to get it within ten trials. Serin herself was known to shop there for the herbs that she couldn't grow herself.

"We stopped to look at the display of herbs right there. I only took my eyes off of him for a trill, and he was just...gone!"


They split up and began looking once the woman had given them a good description of her son. Kirion and Maerin went with Kirei while Tauriel, Aerin, Eris, and Ryl went with Aiden. Aris agreed to stay with Jaysen's mother. Simple searching didn't turn up any traces of the boy, so Kirei began asking anyone she saw if they had seen him. This had slightly better success in that it gave Kirei a lead to follow...but the lead was very bad news indeed. One of the customers of Hannah's store told her that she had seen a boy who looked like Jaysen heading off towards Lowtown.

Lowtown. Kirei shuddered as memories filled her mind. Lowtown was not a safe place for a young boy on his own. And some places were a lot less safe than others. Like the Water Street Marketplace. She herself had "disappeared" from there when she was a child. And she had spent arcs as a slave because of it. If Jaysen found himself in that terrible place, there was no telling what might happen to him. It was even more important that they find the boy quickly now...before he could "disappear" the way Kirei had.

When she reached the gate leading into Lowtown, Kirei kept her eyes peeled for signs of the missing boy. And her efforts paid off; hidden off to one side, she found a single shoe that looked like the shoes his mother had described as part of his outfit. It wasn't absolute proof that Jaysen had come this way, but it was far more solid evidence than the word of a stranger. Kirei picked up the shoe, and asked the guards at the gate if they had seen a boy matching Jaysen's description. They confirmed that they had seen one pass through the gate into Lowtown several bits ago. The boy had been following a puppy, and they had assumed that it was his.

That confirmed it; Jaysen had gone into Lowtown. After exchanging a grim glance with Kirion and Maerin, the three searchers entered the poorest part of Andaris themselves. As Kirei looked for the lost boy, she slowly but surely made her way towards the Water Street Market. When she heard the shrill, terrified cry of a child coming from that direction, she bolted towards it. Kirion and Maerin were close on her heels.

They saw a little boy being dragged by a man who was scolding him as a parent would...if it was a harsh parent who used intimidation to control their children instead of better methods. He was telling the young child to behave and come with him "or else." Several people were watching the scene, but it looked normal enough that no one else was willing to take any action; if the boy looked nothing like the man, it was clear that people assumed that the child simply took after his mother instead.

But Kirei knew better. The boy matched the description she had of Jaysen. That, combined with the fact that he looked nothing like the man who was pretending to be his father, the fact that he was missing a shoe, presumably the one that had been left behind at the gate into Lowtown, and the location itself, right in front of the Water Street Marketplace was simply too much evidence to ignore. This man was trying to make Jaysen "disappear" much the same way she had when she was a child...and probably for the same reason, to be sold into slavery.

When Kirei tried to make her way through the crowd, a drunken woman took exception to her when she accidentally bumped into her as she tried to pass. Kirei apologized, but the woman latched onto her shoulder, and began swearing at her. Kirei tried to pull free, but several of the woman's friends quickly surrounded her. They were clearly drunk as well. and seemed to be intent on getting even with her for her slight to their friend. Kirei tried to struggle; she was no stranger to a fight, and while she was not really good at fighting, she had to do something. But she was badly outnumbered, and some of the drunks were better at fighting than she was, even drunk as they were. Kirion and Maerin tried their best to help, but they couldn't even reach her through the crows. She had no chance of freeing herself by fighting...physically, anyway.

But the smell of smoke was in the air, coming from one of the stalls that was selling food. Kirei took the risk that as drunk as her captors seemed to be, their reasoning skills would be badly affected.

"Fire!" she yelled as loudly as she could.

It had the desired effect. Most of the crowd simply looked around in confusion, glancing at the food stall where the scent of smoke was coming from. Since there were no other signs of a fire anywhere, they didn't panic. But the drunks weren't that observant. Like the others, they too could smell the scent of smoke. And in their drunken state, they failed to connect it to the food stall. So unlike the others in the crowd, they did panic, and flee. Kirei suddenly found herself free once more.


Jaysen was fighting as hard as he could, still screaming for help. That caused enough of a delay that the man trying to kidnap him hadn't managed to get very far with the boy. Kirei rejoined her adopted children, and the three of them charged the man at the same time. The combination of multiple targets and the sheer surprise at being confronted by two children and a very nonthreatening looking small woman gave them an edge.

There was one blow that was guaranteed to drop a man if it connected, and it was one that didn't require a lot of skill to pull off if the target was caught off guard. Kirei rushed the man, and kneed him in the groin. He dropped with a loud cry of pain, and curled in on himself. While she handled the would be kidnapper, Kirion and Maerin grabbed Jaysen and pulled him to safety. People in the crowd stared at them, but no one seemed inclined to want to get involved, any more than they had been while Jaysen was being kidnapped.

Kirei joined them, and Jaysen latched onto her, recognizing her as the person who had saved him. She rubbed his back soothingly, singing softly as she did when trying to get Tauriel to sleep after a nightmare. It seemed to help, and once she got the little boy calmed down, she and the others made their way back to where Elyari's Hope where they had agreed to meet for updates in the search.





Off Topic
This post covers the following challenges.

Creation Challenges

7. Have your character create a short term goal and then reach said goal by the end of the event.

9. Create a tense/awkward situation that your character has to manage to get through somehow by using a skill they've never used / have no points in.

*Detection to find missing kid

10. Let your character create their own path through,around, and/or over something difficult that they must get past. (Either literally or figuratively)



Story Challenge

6. Participate in a feast/City -specific celebration. (Using this city festival: Non-Moderated A summer fayre in Andaris is closed half way through the trial when so few people go to it that it is obviously not going to be worth the time of those who had set up stalls and so on. There is an air of nervousness and tension among the citizens of Andaris, but things are very quiet.)

8. Find information about a missing person/bounty/or otherwise lost person that someone is trying to find. Become part of their story.

9. Save an animal/or any being of any race from anything from theft, to death.

Growth Challenges

7. Have your character guide someone somewhere or be guided somewhere.

9. Use a moment from your character’s past to learn something new about to-trial!
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Kirei Qe'Azour
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:00 am
Race: Mortal Born
Profession: Chef
Renown: 134
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Re: Summer Fayre

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Aiden, Tauriel, Aerin, Eris, Ryl, and the twins were waiting for Kirei at Elyari's Hope when she got there. Aris and Jaysen's mother joined them a few trills later. Andiron was with them.

"Did you find him?" Jaysen's mother demanded frantically.

Kirei smiled as she shifted so the frantic woman could see her son.

"Jaysen!"

"Mommy!"

When the woman reached for her son desperately, Kirei handed him over gently. The woman wept with relief as she searched the little boy for any signs of injury. Jaysen began to cry hysterically once more, this time with relief at being with his mother once more. At Kirion's prompting, Kirei told the woman what she had seen, and how close it had come to Jaysen being kidnapped.

"I can't thank you enough. Really. You saved my son from a fate worse than death. If there's anything I can do to repay you..."

Kirei shook her head.

"I only did what I hope someone would do for Tauriel if she wandered off somewhere like that." she said simply.

"If you do feel that you need to repay me, just make sure that Jaysen is safe and happy."

"And if you want to eat here from time to time, it wouldn't hurt." Andiron added.

Aris hit him in the back of his head, chiding him for his words. But the woman nodded frantically.

"I will, I promise! As often as I can afford!"

The woman thanked them again, and took her leave with her son.

"I think we've had enough excitement for one trial, so I'm going to take the kids back to your house. I'll stay with them until you get back, okay?" Aiden said a few bits later.

Kirei found that after everything that had happened, she didn't want to be parted from her kids. Seeing one woman nearly lose her son had had an effect on her. But she could hardly keep the kids here while she worked, so she nodded. Once they had left, she and the other apprenticed went inside. Elyari was waiting for them in the kitchen.

"I'm sorry we're late, Elyari. We..."

"Don't worry about it. Andiron explained it to me, and you had a good reason. I was planning on having you guys make some fayre food that we could sell at a stall outside the restaurant. But with the things I've been hearing about how few people are attending the fayre, I doubt it would be worth it. So instead, I am going to let the three of you choose what you want to make."

"Cookies!" Kirei said quickly.

She had been meaning to improve her baking skills, and making cookies was supposed to be easier than a lot of other baked goods.

Both Aris and Andiron seemed open to the idea, so Elyari approved her suggestion.

"Can we make chocolate chip cookies?" Aris asked hopefully.

Elyari looked at Kirei to see what she thought. Kirei really didn't mind what kind of cookies they made as long as they made cookies, so she nodded in agreement.

"Then it's decided. Each of you will make chocolate chip cookies. But there are several different ways to make them. So I want each of you to choose a different recipe to use. When you're done, we can taste all of them to see which recipe is the best. If I think it's good enough, we can include the recipe in our dessert menu."

The three apprentices looked at each other, and grinned. Each of them wanted to make cookies that Elyari thought were good enough to be put on the menu.

"I'll let you get to it, then. Let me know when you're ready for me to taste your cookies."

Elyari left them to their work, and the three apprentices split up to find a recipe they wanted to try.

Kirei found one that she liked the looks of fairly quickly. It looked simple enough, and simple was good as far as she was concerned. The ingredients included three quarters of a cup each of granulated white sugar, and packed brown sugar, a cup of softened butter, a teaspoon of vanilla, one egg, two and a quarter cups of white flour, a teaspoon of baking soda, half a teaspoon of salt, s cup of coarsely chopped nuts, and two cups of semi sweet chocolate chips.

After she had gathered up most of her ingredients, Kirei paused to think about what kind of nuts she wanted to use. The recipe didn't specify, and there were several kinds of nuts that went well in cookies. After thinking about it for a few bits, she settled on walnuts, but since she also liked pecans, she wondered if it might be possible to combine the two. So Kirei went looking for her mentor to ask. Elyari simply smiled at her, and suggested that she try it and see what happened. It wasn't the definite answer she had been looking for, but Kirei decided to try the experiment for herself as Elyari had suggested. So she stopped long enough to get the nuts she wanted, and returned to her cooking station.

Kirei turned the oven to the correct temperature, then began mixing her ingredients. Once her sugars, butter, vanilla, and egg had been mixed together in a large mixing bowl, she began to stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Then she added the nuts and chocolate chips once the other ingredients were mixed well. Kirei could feel someone watching her as she worked, so when she got to a good stopping place, she looked up to see who it was.

She found Aris staring at her with growing horror. This did not bode well.

"What's wrong, Aris?" she asked with a puzzled frown.

"Those are your ingredients, Kirei?"

Kirei nodded.

"Not...not Andiron's?"

Kirei nodded again, her frown deepening.

"What did you do, Aris?" Kirei asked with resignation.

Aris was well known for playing pranks on Andiron every chance she got. Sometimes Kirei even found them amusing as long as her friend kept her well out of them. But Aris's look of horror did not fill her with confidence right now.

"Umm...nothing! Not really. Just...umm...well, you might want to remember what Elyari always tells us, okay?"

"She tells us a lot of things, Aris. What should I be remembering this time?"

"To taste everything as you go. Elyari always tells us that no real chef would ever serve something that he or she hadn't tasted at every step during its creation."

Aris was only telling the truth. The importance of taste testing everything was something that their mentor had been drilling into their heads ever since she had been apprenticed to her. But Kirei eyed her batter warily as she took a tentative taste.

"Blech! That was horrible!"

She glared at her fellow apprentice.

"What did you do?!" she demanded.

It was obvious what her friend had done, but she wanted Aris to admit it herself.

"It was supposed to be a harmless prank! I thought that those were Andiron's ingredients, so I switched the white sugar for salt when he wasn't looking! I never would have done it if I realized that those were your ingredients, Kirei. I really am sorry."

Kirei frowned. So it had been a complete coincidence that she had been gone as well when Aris had played her trick.

"Will you forgive me?" Aris asked hopefully.

Kirei nodded. Aris might have been the one to switch the ingredients as a prank, but the failure was hers twice over. She had left her ingredients unattended while she went to find Elyari, and that had clearly been a mistake. And most importantly, she had failed to remember to taste what she was making as she went along. That was a mistake that she would never make again.

Aris beamed at her, then went back to her own work. Andiron, who had been watching from his own station, frowned at them, but said nothing as he too went back to what he was doing.


Off Topic
This post covers the following challenges:

Growth Challenges

4. Have your character fail horribly at something.

10. Train/practice a skill your character has been meaning to work on.
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Kirei Qe'Azour
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Re: Summer Fayre

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Kirei gathered up the ingredients she needed once more, and started again. Since she had had to start over, she was behind the others, but that didn't matter. This contest would be judged on whose cookies tasted the best, not who finished first. So she took her time, and tasted everything as she went. When it came time to put the batter on her cookie sheet, she frowned in thought. Was it better to have more cookies that were smaller? Or fewer in number, but larger in size? The answer became as she gave it some thought. If the batch of cookies was meant to serve just a few people, then it really didn't matter. But if it was going to be used in a restaurant, more was better because it meant making fewer batches to serve more people. With that thought in mind, Kirei spooned small portions of batter onto her cookie sheet and place them as close together as she could so she could fit them all. Then she placed them in the oven to bake. Aris and Andiron were waiting for her when she was finished.

"So who do you think is going to win?" Kirei asked with a smile.

She knew that the simple question was bound to start a verbal battle among her friends, and since they were food at keeping things playful most of the time, their "debate" was going to be amusing to watch.

"The answer is obvious, isn't it? My cookies will, of course." Andiron said in a superior tone.

According to Aris, Andiron's words were "fighting words," and his comment sparked a lively debate that kept Kirei well entertained until it was time for her to check on her cookies. When she pulled the tray out of the oven, she frowned in dismay. Instead of the two dozen small cookies she had expected, she had one...very large cookie. One that filled the entire tray, and was more "cookie cake" than cookie.

"What did I do wrong?" she asked in confusion.

"By the look of things, you placed the cookies too close together on the tray before baking them. This is what happens when you don't spread them out enough to give them room for the dough to spread as it bakes." Elyari said, having come in to check on their progress.

"Well, this is a complete failure." Kirei said in disgust.


"As a batch of cookies, maybe. But there are some desserts that call for a bottom cookie layer like that one that can be frosted with whipped cream, frosting, or something else. So it isn't all bad. No lesson ever is." Elyari said gently.

"It's obvious that Kirei has to start over again. What should we do in the meantime?" Andiron asked stiffly.

"Why not choose another recipe to try? It could be another recipe for chocolate chip cookies. There are certainly enough to choose from. Or you could try another kind. One of you could even find a recipe that requires a cookie layer like this one."

"I'll do that!" Aris said quickly, obviously still feeling guilty for her prank earlier.

Once again, Kirei began gathering and preparing her ingredients. In her haste to make up lost time, she didn't scrape the edges of the bowl as she mixed her ingredients. As a result, some were left on the sides of the bowl as she put the batter on the cookie sheet so it could bake. This time, she was careful to leave plenty of space between each one so she wouldn't end up with another "cookie cake."

Elyari came in while she was cleaning up her dishes.

"Tough trial?" she asked sympathetically.

"I don't think I want to specialize in any one area as a chef, but I really don't think that baking is going to be my strong point." Kirei said ruefully.

"It's supposed to be easy to make cookies!"

Elyari laughed.

"Easy is relative, my friend. And while it may be true that cookies are one of the easier things to bake, nothing is easy if you don't have the right experience. Think of it this way. I'm a chef, right?"

Elyari nodded.

"Do you think that I would be a good doctor too? I mean...as a chef, I do have experience with cutting things..."

Elyari's eyes widened.

"Of course not! You're good at cutting things, sure, but being a doctor...that takes a whole different set of skills. Ones you don't have!"

"And you don't have the skills you need to be good at baking yet. You're learning, yes. You know some things. And you've made some progress. But you're still just a beginner. There is so much more you need to know before you can be considered skilled at baking. Do you understand?"

It was time to take her cookies out of the oven, so Kirei used a hot mitt to do so, What she saw wasn't a whole lot better than her "cookie cake." Some of the cookies were as flat as pancakes. Others looked more like biscuits than cookies.

"What did I do wrong now?! she wailed.

"Were there ingredients left on the sides of the bowl after you mixed them?"

Kirei thought for a few trills, then nodded.

"That's what caused it, then. Scraping the bowl is important because it helps you to mix the ingredients evenly. If you don't do it, you'll end up with pockets of flour and pockets of egg, sugar, and butter. The end result is...this; some cookies that look like pancakes, and others that look like biscuits."

Kirei stared at her failure, and sighed. Then, she went to get the ingredients she would need to try again. This time, she was so frustrated that she continued mixing her ingredients almost viciously until Elyari stopped her, and pulled her aside.

"You can't over mix the ingredients, Kirei. If you do, you'll end up with cookies that are too dense."

Kirei looked at her mentor and sighed. But she was determined to get this right even if it killed her, so she went over to get another set of ingredients. She was more careful about mixing the ingredients together this time, but as she was about to put the batter onto the cookie sheet, Elyari stopped her.

"If you don't cream your butter and sugar long enough, your cookies will be flat instead of be light and fluffy. You need to beat them for at least 3-5 bits. And you'll find that it's the same with the eggs."

"Do I need to start over again? Or will this batter be okay if I keep mixing for a while longer?"

"You can still use this one."

Kirei continued to mix the batter for a few more bits. Then she placed the cookies into the oven to bake, and began cleaning up the mess she had made.

"Are we ready for a taste test now?" Andiron asked hopefully.

"Soon. If this batch doesn't come out right, I might be done trying." Kirei said tiredly.

Fortunately, this batch of cookies both looked and smelled delicious as they came out of the over. Elyari gave her a smile for her efforts. All four of them ate one cookie from each batch of cookies that had been made. After discussing it for a while, it was decided that there were two winners; Kirei's cookies had the best texture, but Andiron's third batch tasted the best of them all.

When it was time to go home for the trial, all of the stalls from the fayre had been closed up. It seemed as though not enough people had gone to it to keep it open for the whole trial. But at least Kirei had some left over cookies to bring back to Aiden and the kids.


Off Topic
This post covers the following challenges:

Growth Challenges

5. Have your character fail horribly at something, then have them try again and again until they don't fail. (Note: this can be the same 'thing' they fail at as above, or it can be different. Up to you!)
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Mads
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Re: Summer Fayre

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Kirei Qe'Azour
Knowledge.........
Baking: don't over mix the cookie batter because it will make your cookies dense
Baking: placing cookies too close together on the cookie sheet will cause them to merge together into a "cookie cake" as the dough spreads when they bake
Baking: scraping the bowl is important because it helps you to mix the ingredients evenly; failure to do so causes pockets of flour and pockets of egg, sugar, and butter that will cause some cookies to flatten out like pancakes and others to look like biscuits
Baking: if you don't cream your butter and sugar long enough, your cookies will be flat instead of be light and fluffy; at least 3-5 bits of beating is needed, it's the same with the eggs
Cooking: taste everything as you go
Unarmed Combat; Brawling: a good blow to the groin will drop a man if it hits, and doesn't require much skill if the target is distracted

Andiron: is a good person
Serin: buys some of the herbs she can't grow herself at the Herbal Shop in Midtown
Location: Herbal Shop
Herbal Shop: located in Midtown
Herbal Shop: run by Hannah Yavich
Herbal Shop: Hannah buys and sells all kinds of herbs, plants, seeds, flowers, and roots from all over Idalos, and has done so for as long as Andaris has existed
Herbal Shop: Hannah fills all orders she gets within ten trials
Loot....................
None
Consequence......
None
Renown..............
+10 for saving a boy child from the slavery hands of a thief man in front of a bunch of do nothings!
Experience...........
10
Eventful day for Kirei! Nice writing! Her little journey into Lowtown was short and sweet and filled with justice; she even got the superhero ending at the end with the refusal of a reward! The baking though? Haha, so good. I was low-key crying thinking about all her wasted ingredients - especially the one she rage stirred and ruined and no one ate the cookie dough. You didn't mean to, but this was one of the most tragic threads I've read. :( Just kidding! Her mentor's lesson about how, basically, everyone is unskilled until they take the time not to be was a really good take-away from the thread as a whole. Nice job!
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