• Solo • Home is Where the Cookbooks Are

1st of Ashan 721

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Roya Anderton
Approved Character
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:24 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Baker
Renown: 10
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5

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Home is Where the Cookbooks Are

1st of Ashan, 721
It was a cold dark trial when Roya headed to her parent’s house that afternoon.

Their house was a few blocks away from her own cottage. Far enough that she could breathe, but close enough to get to her mom quickly if she needed help with anything.

The dark wooden cottage’s interior walls were painted an alabaster color. Burn marks charred the wall above the oven and a fresh batch of dirty dishes sat on the cracked counter.

The smell of bacon lingered in the air as Roya sat at her parent’s kitchen table, looking out the window. She clutched her grumbling stomach. It was just after lunch and it was already dark. It never got light out during Cylus. Now that it was Ashan, Roya could only hope the season would warm quickly.

The candles flickering in the room did little to warm it or chase away the darkness. She rubbed her hands up and down her arms. Her thick green sweater and pants didn’t keep the chill out. Not this trial anyway.

Roya stood from the chair and went over the wooden bookshelf in the living area, where her mom kept all her cookbooks. She plucked the newest one off the shelf, returned to the worn kitchen table and set it down in front of her.

She wanted to copy the recipes over to her own books at home, then she’d have a fresh batch of goodies for her Town Square Market stall. Roya was always looking for something different to sell her patrons and her mom had lifetimes of the best recipes. They’d been passed down through the family since way before her grandparents.

A noise sounded from her parent’s bedroom.

Roya held her breath. She looked up from the cookbook and stared down the dark hallway.

Another bang. Louder this time. She could hear her mom mumbling from behind the closed door.

Roya sighed and closed the book. So much for slipping in and out while her mom was sleeping. She hated to bother her with her moods so wild lately. There was no telling what she was walking into.

Her heart quickened. She clutched the book to her chest and headed down the hallway. Even if she didn’t want to see her mom, she couldn’t leave now without making sure she was alright.

Slowly, she made her way to her parent’s room.

The door was closed. Silence stretched out behind it. Which was worse than the noise earlier because she had no idea what she was walking into.

Roya took a deep breath. She opened the door with her right hand, while clutching the book in her sweat-slicked left.

The door budged. Barely. It got stuck on something on the floor as it opened.

Roya wedged her booted foot into the door and threw her hip against it. Pain blossomed where her flesh made contact with the hard wood.

The wooden door strained against her weight, but slowly gave.

Her parent’s room was a mess. Books, blankets, dirty dishes, and rotting food littered the floor. Medora, Roya’s mom, laid on the floor in a heap at the bottom of the bed, staring blankly toward the bedroom window, whose heavy curtains were drawn. Her bloodshot green eyes the same color as Roya’s, always so lost. She didn’t turn to acknowledge Roya when she came into the room.

Roya took a deep breath. She put the book on the dresser inside the door and knelt to the floor where her mom collapsed. She reached out her hands to help her up.

Medora’s black hair was a ratty nest. Bruises and burn scars littered her arms and exposed legs. Her mom batted her hands away.

Roya’s stomach clenched. She gripped her mom, by the shoulders, careful to avoid the purple spots littering her arms, in an attempt to get her up off the ground.

Medora stayed where she was. Refusing to budge.
word count: 674
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Roya Anderton
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Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:24 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Baker
Renown: 10
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5

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Re: Home is Where the Cookbooks Are

Even though her mom was a fraction of the weight she used to be and shorter than her daughter, she was still a lot of weight for Roya to move. If she didn’t want to move, Roya couldn’t budge her without her dad’s help. Her dad wouldn’t be home for breaks. If he came home at all.

Her heart clenched. She hated to see her mom like this. It was what she’d been trying to avoid. But now she couldn’t ignore how bad she looked, and she wished her mom would at least eat something.

She sighed and let go of her mom. If she couldn’t get her up off the floor, she would at least have to clean up the floor for her mom.

Roya went back to the kitchen and got a broom out of the closet. Then she stopped at the kitchen sink and got a rag and a bucket of water. She filled it to the top and dropped the rag inside, then she dragged the broom, the bucket, and the rag to her parent’s room.

When she returned. Her mom hadn’t moved, so she’d have to do her best to clean up around her without touching her.

Roya picked up the spoiled food first. She threw it all out in the trash. When that was done, carried all the dirty dishes to the kitchen, washed them and put them away. Once the dishes were done, she put the books away in the bookshelf and ran a wet rag along all the surfaces. Then she collected the dirty laundry and put it in a bin.

As Roya finished up, her mom seemed to find her voice. “What are you doing here?”

Roya sighed. It had been arcs since her mom recognized her consistently. Most of the time she had no idea who she was. Her chest tightened. It was still hard to hear. She walked over to her mom and sat on the floor, cross-legged in front of her. Slowly, she reached out her hands and touched her mom’s.

Medora jerked her hands away. Her frantic eyes bounced back and forth between the door and Roya. “I asked you who you are. What are you doing here?”

Roya frowned. “It’s me. Roya.”

Medora’s eyes flew to the painting of her, Roya’s dad, and Roya on the wall. They’d had it painted when Roya was ten. “You’re not my daughter.”

Roya’s stomach twisted into a knot. She had no idea why her mom forgot her. It had something to do with her sickness. They still couldn’t tell her why or if she’d ever stop forgetting things. It had gotten so bad that her dad couldn’t take it. Roya understood that pain but just seeing the mess her mom had gotten into because no one was there to care for her made her angry. Her dad needed to at least have someone come stay with her to make sure she didn’t hurt herself. As much as she wanted to remind her mom who she was, she had all the bruises to remind her not to. She decided it was better to go another route. “I’m actually here to cook for you. Your husband hired me as a surprise.”

Medora’s eyes glazed over. A look of confusion slipped into her features. “He didn’t say anything about that.”

“It’s my first day. I’m here to take your order.”


Medora slowly got to her feet. Her eyes never left Roya’s. “I’m capable of cooking for myself.”

Roya stared at the burns on her mom’s arms. Last time she’d been in the kitchen, she ignited it. It was the last place she should be. So even if her mom didn’t want her help, she couldn’t do it herself. She hardly ate what she made anyway. It was like she remembered she was supposed to be hungry, so she made food, but she hardly ever ate what she made. “Let me make you some dinner.”

Medora shook her head. “I said no.”

What would it take to get her mom out of the bedroom without upsetting her? Roya had no idea what to do when she got like this. She reached out her hand slowly and wrapped her finger gently around her mom’s. “How about some cake? I’m pretty good at butter cake.”

Medora’s head whipped side-to-side. Her voice went up. “I said I don’t need your help.” She ripped her hands out from Roya’s grip and she pointed to door. “Leave.”

The last thing in the world Roya wanted to do was leave her mom in an agitated state. This was all her fault. She never should have come here without talking to her dad first. Without at least having him with her so she didn’t have to be alone when she faced her mom. Upsetting her was the last thing she wanted to do.

Medora shoved her daughter out of the bedroom and slammed the door behind her, locking it as it closed.

Roya’s gut clenched. She wished there was more that she could do, but she knew better. If she tried to force her mom out, or force herself back in, she’d make things so much worse. It was time to go.

She walked over to the kitchen table to grab her cookbook on the way out. When she reached the table, it was cleared off. She stared at the empty table. Then she remembered. The book was in her mom’s room. Locked behind the door.
word count: 960
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Doran
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:43 am
Race: Mortal Born
Profession: Alchemist
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Wealth Tier: Tier 10

Re: Home is Where the Cookbooks Are

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Roya:

Knowledge:
Caregiving x1

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: -
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10
- - -
Comments: My first Roya thread!

I found your writing quite easy to read, and you set the scene well in your first post in my opinion. I could almost see what it was like inside that house in front of my inner eye!

I thought that this was going to be some sort of slice of life thread where Roya visited her parents and maybe cooked a little, but I was totally wrong. That scene where Roya went into her parents’ bedroom and found her mother on the floor and the room in a state of disarray was unexpected!

I couldn’t help but wonder what exactly was going on with Medora though. Did she suffer from some sort of dementia? Was it a mental illness? Either way, you described her interaction with her mother very well and in considerable detail. I couldn’t help but feel bad for Roya and her mother – and her dad who had apparently been unable to take it.

In the review request you mentioned that there was some disagreeing, but no violence. I would have gone into more detail. It seems to me as if this was either a case of dementia or some sort of mental illness. Some people might find such a thread triggering or hard to deal with. Please be more specific when it comes to your warnings in the future.

Furthermore, the list of which skills you used was incomplete in my opinion. You stated that you only used “Caregiving”.

I would have added “Detection” to the list of skills used as well though as Roya heard her mother mumbling from behind the closed door, for example. “Endurance” applied as well in my opinion as Roya threw her hip against the door and was in pain as a consequence – and “Deception” as Roya pretended that Medora’s husband had hired her.

Furthermore, Roya used “Strength” when she tried to move her mother, even though she failed and “Persuasion” when she tried to get her to eat. Finally, Roya used “Discipline” when she did not give in to the temptation of reminding her mother who she was.

You only requested one knowledge. You can request up to six knowledges for a solo. Let me know if you would like to have more than one knowledge for this thread after all!

That being said, enjoy your rewards and don’t hesitate to PM me if you have questions, please!

word count: 425

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