Solo [Winter Blaze food prep.] A Daunting Task

Vypec bakes a sweet bread...

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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[Winter Blaze food prep.] A Daunting Task

Postby Vypec on February 19th, 2016, 7:50 pm

9th of Winter, 515 A.V.
Late morning, Zhongjie Warren

Today marked the beginning of one of Vypec's most daunting tasks to date. He had to cook something. His father had recently come to him with with a task Vypec was wholly unprepared for. He wanted him to represent the Algranos family at the mysterious Straif Davin's newly announced ball. Vypec had been given the honor of attendance purely by virtue of his father and grandfather not wanting to go to a party. Vypec, as the youngest in the family, was left to uphold the family name by attending. What was more, Vyandos Algranos had informed him, he absolutely must come with both a costume and dish. Vypec had protested, saying that he had to keep on track with his training and that the Kuvay'Nas would not put the festivities of a foreign eccentric above the defense of the city. Vyandos had laughed at his son, saying that Riverfall was well defended and the city could spare one of it's young warriors a few hours to uphold his family's honor. The guilt trip had done it's work and now Vypec found himself wandering through the Zhongjie bazaar collecting items he had never shopped for. Yeast, Rye flour, raisins, Honey! He tried not to let anyone see the small bundles in his hands as he stepped through the crowds.

The impending festival, dubbed the Winter Blaze, and it's unique host were all anyone was talking about. Vypec found himself curious about the man. But he felt that it was a natural curiosity and did not help him feel any sort of excitement for the upcoming night of social interaction. Vypal had argued vehemently against the 'idiotic practice of common rabble forcing their presence on others' as he put it. But Vypec had won out with the claim that the Algranos family honor was at stake. So now they clutched small bundles of groceries to themselves and wandered around looking for the spice merchant.

Vypec found the man arguing with a heavyset woman who seemed to be doing exactly what Vypec was doing, purchasing groceries for the festival. Vypec glances surreptitiously into her basket to steal a glance at what she had bought. The woman seemed to have a cornucopia of different foods. Were they expected to bring many items? Vypec began to doubt his plan of baking a simple loaf of bread. After a moment of internal struggle Vypec reassured himself he was fine. He didn't even want to go and his own father had said the honeyed bread would be enough to maintain their family reputation. That was all Vypec really cared about.

The Akalak glanced in the small baskets and bundles of spices. He had no idea what Rosemary looked like. His father had listed out the items for him to buy and given him detailed instruction on how to make the bread before going to work. It sounded pretty simple, but Vypec was beginning to get nervous. He had a gut feeling that baking the bread would be much more difficult that it sounded. Buying the ingredients was hard enough without knowing them.

"Excuse me, sir." Vypec said finally. The woman had left in a temper, having conceded to the merchant's price for whatever it was that she had been trying to haggle him down. "Do you have any Rosemary?"

The merchant looked at Vypec quizzically, frowning slightly. Without saying a word he leant forward and picked up one of the small baskets directly in front of Vypec. He wordlessly handed it to the Akalak for his inspection. Vypec tried not to look embarrassed as he took the herbs from the man. The basket was filled with bundles of sprouts with thin, green leaves. When Vypec lifted one such bundle to his nose and inhaled he smelled a rich, fresh scent that promised of quality flavor. Vypec extracted one of the small bundles and replaced the basket. He then asked the merchant to help him find honey and salt. Each time the man handed him the item wordlessly. Vypec was not sure why he was being so quiet. Was he unsettled by a grown Akalak buying herbs and spices? Men cook too, man!

I think he is wondering why a grown Akalak doesn't know what Rosemary is. Vypal said snidely. He had been silent for most of the morning, still upset that they were going through with this 'charade' as he called it.

While the merchant dictated his price and Vypec rummaged in his coinpurse with one hand his mind was engaging his Dark brother. I'm sorry, did you know what it was? I've spent the last ten years in the Sasaran, where were you? Vypec said.

Observing your many faults and limitations. I am an expert in them. Vypal said without hesitation. He was playing with Vypec, and Vypec was playing along. Neither of them really cared what the merchant thought of their lack of cooking knowledge. They doubted he knew a thing about combat.

When Vypec rummaged out the allotted price and handed it over he asked the merchant where he could find someone who sold cooking supplies. At this the man grinned and pointed down the line of stalls towards the end of the row. Apparently Vypec had just proven the man's assumption about him correct.

With a frown and a raised brow, Vypec gave the merchant a withering look before turning to continue on his doomed task. Now all he needed was a few bricks for his fireplace and a bowl for mixing the dough. the things one does for family...

noteI will add his full ledger of purchase to the next post when he buys the bowl and bricks. It will just be easier for me that way.

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[Winter Blaze food prep.] A Daunting Task

Postby Vypec on February 19th, 2016, 11:35 pm

Vypec found the merchant easily. It was the last and largest of the stalls in that row. The kindly woman who ran the place was sitting on a stool painting flowers on one of her homemade plates. Vypec smiled at her and glanced around her wares. There was a wide variety of plates, bowls, cups, jugs, and various other kitchen needs. He decided upon seeing the many colorfully painted items that he would try to find the least flamboyant of his needs and purchase it.

"Hello there, good morning. Come to pick up some kitchen wares then, sir?" The woman said, showing a line of white teeth. she seemed wholly more gentle and empathetic than the stoic and judging spice merchant. Vypec was already liking the atmosphere here more than the damnable spice shop. "What can I help you with?"

Vypec bowed slightly to her and smiled. "I am looking for a bowl for mixing dough and a few bricks to cook it on." He said, glancing around at her wares. He spotted the pile of over bricks in the corner, but he could not tell which of the various bowls was the best choice for his needs. He would presumably be using the thing for years to come, and wanted to find a suitable candidate for his only bowl. Though he cast about dubiously, the woman seemed to take to task joyfully.

He hopped up from her stool and turned to her wares. Pulling a few different candidates out of various locations within her mass of pottery she came over to him. "Oh I've got a few great bowls sitting out that I'm sure you would love. Perfect bowl for mixing your baking goods." Vypec was not sure what she assumed he, a Kuvay'Nas warrior, would love. But he soon found out. There were a variety of sizes in her arms and a variety of decorations.

Vypec thought he would opt for one of the undecorated ones but there was a bowl that caught his eye for it's decoration. The ceramic bowl was comfortably heavy in his hand as he took it from her arms. It was a dark brown with a twined ring of dark blue and black strands around the rim. He rubbed a purple finger across the design. "Does this represent-" He began, but she cut him off merrily.

"The two patron gods of Riverfall! Yes." She smiled, excited that he had surmised her art on his own. She placed the other bowls back where they had come from and continued. "This one is a good all around utility bowl. It's about eight inches across and can carry a decent amount of dough. Are you planning on taking up baking?" Her question seemed so innocent and without jest that Vypec did not know how to answer. Vypal snorted in their mind and made a rude comment.

"I plan on doing some...baking in the future." Vypec said hesitantly. "This one will do just fine. And I'd like three of those bricks as well. Please." Vypec said, clutching the bowl and placing his other groceries inside it. When she had retrieved the bricks Vypec took them as well. He paid her for the items eagerly. The Akalak was grateful to finally be done with the shopping. He needed to get home and start on this debacle. Vypec turned to make for home, his mode falling as he thought that the tasks to come were much more challenging than the shopping was.

Later, At Vypec's Home


Vypec pulled the door to his house open with the dusty toe of his boot. He dropped the items he had purchased on the small table with a satisfied sigh. Finally! It was good to be home again after the stress of the market. He walked the crowded lines of stalls all the time on duty, though he rarely partook of the shopping there. And he had never shopped for cooking supplies.

The Akalak turned and placed another log on the black jumble of firewood he had in his hearth. His father had told him how to use the bricks as a baking platform. He carefully cleared ashes and wood away from the center of his fireplace and placed the three bricks there. He pushed them together to be seamless. Then the Akalak arrayed the wood and kindling around the bricks. He needed to build a decent fire before even starting the process of making the bread. Vypec carefully held his flint and steel aloft, just above a patch of kindling. Striking the flint rhythmically, Vypec willed a spark to catch. He had never spent much time learning survival skills, but starting a fire with flint and steel inside the windless sanctuary of one's own home wasn't exactly an achievement. Still, it took him a few minutes to get a merry little flame crackling in his hearth.

Vypec stood and threw his flint and steel onto his rucksack, which was laid neatly in the corner of the room. He turned back to his table and stared, intimidated, at the unassuming contents of the bowl. It was time to tackle this damn task and protect his family's honor. He set the ingredients out on the table, placing the bowl in the corner. Salt, rosemary, honey, flour, yeast, a waterskin from his pack, filled with fresh water from the well down the street, and the raisins. He popped one of the in his mouth...testing the flavor.

Vypec tried to recall what his father had said. The older Akalak had insinuated that even for a warrior, not knowing how to make a loaf of bread was a failure. Simple cooking skills were important for the warrior on the road. Vypec had grudgingly conceded this point and listened to the simple seeming recipe his father recounted. He was supposed to mix the water, yeast, and salt in first. But he wasn't supposed to use a large amount of salt or yeast because it would cause horrible side effects in the taste department. The Akalak warrior bent to his task with the same seriousness he took to the Sasaran.

1021 words

Item Cost
Flour (Rye) 1lb 15 SM
Raisins 1lb 1 GM
Salt 1oz 1 CM
Rosemary 1oz 4 SM
Honey 1pt 1 SM
Yeast 1lb 1 SM
Bowl 8" 28oz 4 CM
Bricks (3) 3 SM
Spoon, Serving 3 CM
TOTAL 3 GM 4 SM 8 CM
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[Winter Blaze food prep.] A Daunting Task

Postby Vypec on February 20th, 2016, 11:42 pm

Vypec poured the contents of the waterskin out into the bowl. It had been sitting against his back the whole time he had been shopped and thus was warm. This had been his intent. Vyandos told him that the best breads were made with warm water. Nest Vypec would have to mix the yeast, the salt and eventually the flour. He sprinkled what he thought was a good amount of salt into the water and watched it dot along the surface of the water. Maybe that was too much... Vypec reached a few fingers into the bowl and pulled them out again, watching the water drip back down between his fingers. Some salt stuck to them, but it made no discernible difference in the the bowl though. Vypec frowned and muttered "Well, Shyke." He rubbed the wet salt off his fingers on the edge of the table and proceeded to investigate the bag of yeast.

Vypec was only vaguely aware of what yeast helped with in cooking. His father had not deemed to inform him of it's importance, but he remembered watching his mother use it long ago. Vypec measured out the allotted amount and poured the stuff carefully into the water. The yeast spread out but did not dissolve. Vypec wasn't sure if it was supposed to. He was reasonably sure that he could not have made a dire mistake as of yet... But who knows?

So now was the fun part. Vypec poured in the flour, careful to judge the portion as precisely as he could based on what his father had instructed. Vypec began to mix the contents of the bowl using his wooden spoon. The process did not take long to become quite challenging. The content shifted and solidified into something much harder to stir and he found the bowl and the spoon fighting against his grip as he muscled them around. Vypec growled, the warrior's determinism being invoked by the physical challenge. He placed the bowl on the chair between his legs and braced it with his knees. He then stirred the forming dough with both hands on the spoon. Vypec was pleased to feel a slight burn in his arms by the time he was satisfied with the dough's consistency. Who knew cooking was a workout!

Finally he was done with the dough. Vypec was tempted to throw it onto the bricks and watch it cook then, but the stuff had to sit for an inexplicably long period of time before wasting more of his own. So Vypec plopped it out onto his small table and sat back, staring at it irritably. So that was supposed to be hard? He had easily completed the first portion of the dough! People did this for a living?

Yes, you are quite the multi-talented individual. You can swing a sword, mix things. You can even almost buy groceries at a market without having a meltdown. Vypal said. Of Course.

Do you want to take over? Vypec asked hotly.

Vypal only emanated amusement.

Vypec sighed and quickly realized this would be a very boring new skill to develop. Sitting around waiting for bread to rise was quickly dropping its way down to one of his least favorite activities. The Akalak took out his Lakan from its sheath in the small of his back. The curved blade felt familiar in his hand. He waved it experimentally before him. Vypec passed the time it took to let the dough rise by practicing his movements with the Lakan. He concluded guiltily that he had not spent enough time honing his skill with the weapon, too eager to excel into the Dimakarux. But the Lakan was a staple of Rivarian society and a true privilege to own. He would need to practice with the curved blade more often.

His movements were disjointed and awkward at first, but after a few minutes the blade sang through the air just as his gladius would have. The curved blade caught the light of his candles and the thin strips of light coming in from the window. It made their reflections dance across his low ceiling while he practiced his slashes and thrusts, his strikes and his blocks. By the time the it had been two bells Vypec was covered in a nice sheen of sweat, the stuff wetting the leather of his Lakan hilt. He sighed and reheat he'd the blade, vowing to practice with it more after the unpleasant task of making bread was done.

Vypec turned back to the dough, now a good three times the size of the original clump, with a frown. He hoped that this was normal. Had he added too much...yeast? Flour? Vypec sighed and raised his eyes to the heavens. Please let this work, whichever divine presumes to reign over such things. Vypec reached and grabbed the dough, he was going to twist it and form a long, beautiful loaf to place on the bricks. However, that did not happen. Both of his rough purple hands stuck to the dough and he distorted it horribly. He tried to extract himself from the sticky substance, but only achieved a large clump of it smeared across his braid and his undershirt.

"Gods above, shyke this!" Vypec yelled in frustration, instantly reprimanding himself. How would Wysar look at him if he lost his composure to a half-made dessert bread?

Eventually Vypec was able to extract himself by using the edge of the table. The dough clung now to the tabletop, leaning malevolently towards him. Vypec took the next few minutes to clean the dough from his fingers and out of his hair.
Then he remembered that his father had said something about the flour... He was supposed to rub it into his hands and cover the dough with it before putting it on the bricks. Vypec reached his messy hands into the pouch of flour and pulled a handful of the white powder out. He rubbed it between his hands and watched with distaste as some drifted down to his stone floor. He then applied a healthy amount to the outside of the dough.

Vypec found, to his surprise, that when he picked up the dough now it did not stuck as much to his hands. He smiled, aglow with victory. Vypec worked the dough into two long, twisted loafs with copious amounts of flour. Eventually he could see, vaguely, that these might resemble something he had eaten before. Maybe.

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[Winter Blaze food prep.] A Daunting Task

Postby Vypec on February 21st, 2016, 12:07 am

Vypec placed both the twists of dough onto the bricks. He was tempted to unsheathed his Lakan again. But to touch the blade with hands covered in flour and dough would be quite disrespectful. He would not disgrace his own soul, and his people, by training so sloppily. Instead he cleaned his hands from the same waterskin and set the bowl outside his door for cleaning later. He sat down at his table and prepared the next step of the cooking process. Though the dough had presented some embarrassingly difficult challenges, Vypec had succeeded. The rest would not be so bad.

He untied the bundle of Rosemary. The sprouts of thin leaves seemed to be too much to sprinkle over the top of the bread like his father had said. Vypec decided the best course would be to strip the stems of their leaves and then sprinkle the tiny blades of green. The process took nearly twenty minutes. Vypec had a nice little pile of Rosemary going by the time he needed to check the bread.

The loaves were done when he turned his attention back to them. Both no longer looked like something Vypec had ever eaten. They were large and misshapen. The edge of one was suspiciously blackened. And the dough of the other had seeped down the side of the brick and burnt. He would need to cut that portion off... They were both pleasantly colored though, a rich brown. Vypec tried to reach for the bread like an idiot, thinking he could handle the heat for the minute it took to pull them out. He jumped back with an exclamation of pain. Sucking his fingers into his mouth, the Akalak cursed the loaves silently. He needed to find a way to get the damn things out of his makeshift oven soon, or else they would be over-cooked. Over-baked. Burnt.

Vypec unsheathed his gladius from the table near his bed slowly. He walked over to the fireplace, blade gleaming in the firelight. He stared down at the loaves that had given him so much trouble today, then he stabbed. Vypec ran the first loaf through with his gladius, cursing himself for using the blade thus. He pulled the loaf from the fire and set it down, blade and all on the table. The Akalak freed his blade from the cursed thing and repeated the process with the second loaf. They sat on the table, steaming testily. Vypec had to admit that the place at least smelled pleasant, with the aroma of fresh bread.

He snarled and swiped with his gladius, cutting the burnt lump from the distorted loaf. Then he tossed the blade back onto his bed to be thoroughly cleaned later. Vypec was so close to being done! He was anticipating it so much that he didn't even address the problem of the slightly burnt underside of the second loaf. People would just have to deal with it. Vypec took the vial of honey and uncorked it. He smiled as he let the stuff pour out in globs over the top of the bread. Then the Akalak sprinkled the rosemary leaves across the honey. Vypec let out a sigh and felt like laughing. He was finally done! Vypec left the loaves there to cool, eager to get back to the Sasaran and wash all this cooking business off with the sweat from a real workout.

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[Winter Blaze food prep.] A Daunting Task

Postby Theo Popcampio on July 11th, 2016, 12:51 pm

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To the victor...

Issues :(

Secret :
Unfortunately Vypec buddy I'm gonna have to crack down on you. Formality and all, trying to leave a good impression for the kids, I'm sure you'll understand. Anyways, your CS isn't up to date. Please update it to include your wages and expenses for the Spring. Then we can all go home to our wives and children. Happy hunting!

...go the spoils.
All my templates were made by the grace of the enchanting Aislyn Leavold.
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[Winter Blaze food prep.] A Daunting Task

Postby Konrad Venger on September 19th, 2016, 5:37 am

Vypec

XP:
Observation - 2
Socialization - 1
Cooking - 2
Weapon: Lakan - 1

Lore:
Location: Zhongjie Warren
Warrior Need to Cook (Gotta Feed Yourself)
The Lakan: Cannot be Ignored
Cooking Bread: Noble First Attempt!

Additional:
- Remember to deduct 3 GM 4 SM 8 CM from your Ledger

Click Me! :
Oh, and please make sure you go back and edit your post in the Request Thread to reflect the fact this one is now done and dusted. PM me with any questions and later 'tater!

||Common||Thoughts||Pavi||Fratava||Myrian||Other's Speaking||
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Note: As of Fall 517AV, Konrad is known only as "Hansel" in Endrykas
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