Open [Sakel City Event] [Almond Blossom] Taste Testing

Tragedy of tragedies, Orin loses his sense of taste on Feastday

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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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[Sakel City Event] [Almond Blossom] Taste Testing

Postby Orin Fenix on July 9th, 2017, 2:42 pm

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80th of Summer, 517AV


Waking up with an odd taste in his mouth turned out to be just the start of Orin’s troubles that day. Usually it meant that he hadn’t cleaned his teeth properly the night before. Or, on certain occasions, that were very, very rare, that he’d been out partying too late or too much. But neither of those was true of the night before. Orin had gone to bed at a reasonable hour, and he certainly had not been hitting the taverns last night. Still it wasn’t so unusual that the chef made any note of it, especially as he began to get caught up in the excitement of the day. It was Feastday, the day that every restaurant in the city put out magnificent spreads, and The Almond Blossom was no exception. Orin, Dolmar, and Korana had been preparing for days, and they had sent out large orders to all their suppliers.

The past few days, and especially the night before, Dolmar and Orin had prepped nearly everything, setting the items that needed to soak or marinate overnight in tubs. Dolmar and Korana were both supposed to be out in the morning bringing in the last of the shipments, which Orin didn’t mind all that much, since it would leave him more time on his own to play around in the kitchen.

That’s truly what today felt like, play time for Orin. While the chef was dressed in his most formal clothes – although the two daggers strapped to his hips ruined the look, somewhat – consisting of a white shirt over black pants, black shoes, his apron, and even his cap, today was truly supposed to be a day of fun and relaxation. Even for the chefs, who would spend the entire holiday hard at work, it was a chance to show of the craft that they’d spent honing their entire lives. Orin was sure who would be showing up to the feast tonight, but given that The Almond Blossom was widely considered the best eatery in the city, and today was the biggest food related day of the Summer, perhaps even the year, Orin imagined that some very important people would be there, and so everything had to be perfect.

Running through a mental checklist, Orin tried to remember what he and Dolmar had decided about the division of labor for the day. Normally, Orin would’ve remember such details easily, but, even with the excitement of Feastday around the corner, something had been sapping his mental energies, and his emotions were raw and his mind wasn’t always working at full capacity. Finally, he recalled that he would be responsible for the fish, poultry, and desserts, while Dolmar would take care of the fruits, vegetables, other meats and breads. While there was quite a bit of work to be done, thankfully there were some advantages in cooking in bulk that would ease the process.

Orin started by checking on the chickens and turkey, then stuffing full of a mix of herbs and spices that had been prepared in advance. The chickens were set-aside for now, as they would require significant less time to cook than the turkey would, which was Orin’s main project for the day. Prepping a baking pan, Orin lit the oven, using one of the numerous matchbooks stored around the kitchen, and waited for several chimes until it had heated up. Then, he wrapped his hands in cloths to protect them from the heat, and slid the turkey into the preheated oven. It would spend most of the day in there, and Orin would periodically ladle its own juices over it, which would improve the flavor and keep it moist. He decided to throw one chicken in there as well, simply to have an early meal for himself and his co-workers when they returned.

As the chickens and seafood dishes were faster, wouldn’t keep well, and needed to be hot when they were served, Orin was left with desserts. The Almond Blossom would be serving an assortment on various platters, ranging from tarts to cakes. Orin decided to start with something relatively basic that wouldn’t go stale. There were almond pastries that were a particular favorite of the human’s and it would help the restaurant live up to its name.

Taking out pastry dough, almonds, sugar, powdered ginger, salt, oil, honey and a sweet red and sweet white wine, Orin set it all out on one of the tables scattered through The Almond Blossom’s kitchen. Taking out a mortar and pestle, Orin placed the almonds inside, and began grinding them with quick assured movements. When they were ground as finely as Orin could manage, Orin transferred them to a bowl, and mixed in ginger and sugar, with just a pinch of salt. Next, Orin took the pastry dough and began rolling it out into long flat sheets. Taking up a knife, Orin started cutting various shapes out, including circles, triangles, and rectangles. He amused himself with that for a while, until he had a large collection of pastry shapes to choose from.

Taking his almond mixture, Orin started filling in the center of his shapes with the filling, either placing more dough on top or folding the shapes in half, making sure to securely seal the edges of each and every pastry. Taking out a pan, Orin coated it in the oil, and then placed the pastries inside. Orin lit the stove, and set the pan on top. Taking up a spatula, Orin flipped the pastries after a few chimes, revealing the lightly golden brown undersides. Waiting yet another few chimes Orin finally took the pan off the stove, and slid the lightly cooked pastries onto a baking sheet.

Leaving them to sit and cool for now, Orin went and got two pots. He filled them both with honey, and after set both on the still burning stove. When the honey finally came to a boil, Orin banked the stoves fire a bit, reducing the heat. Taking a ladle, Orin started methodically skimming the scum off of the honey as it rose, dumping it into one of the many buckets The Almond Blossom reserved for food waste. When the honey was ready, Orin added the white wine to one pot and the red wine to another until they made a thick sauce. Taking up the pastries, Orin alternated between dipping them in one pot and the other, until half were coated in the white wine and honey sauce and half were coated in the red. Taking the baking sheet, Orin went back to the oven with the turkey in it.

Putting the pastries down, Orin scooped up a different ladle, wrapped his left hand, and opened the oven. Sure enough, the turkey had started sweating its juices into the bottom of the pan. Orin scooped them up and basted the turkey with them, which reabsorbed them quickly. Settling the ladle down, Orin took up his sheet of pastries, and slid them onto a separate shelf of the oven.

During the few chimes it would take the pastries to bake, Orin went back to his station and cleaned it up as best he could. Still, though, there wasn’t enough time to do a thorough job of it. Returning to the oven, Orin took the pastries out and put them down on a table that had been designated for prepared food. As they cooled, Orin finished with the rest of the mess, leaving the kitchen as spotless as always, if more crowded than Orin was used to.

Finally, unable to resist, Orin went over and picked up one of the pastries with the red wine sauce. Taking it up, Orin bit into it, preparing himself for the pleasure he always felt when consuming such a tasty treat. Instead, to Orin’s horror, he felt nothing. No. Oh no. Taking up one of the white wine pastries, Orin took a bite of it as well. Again, there was nothing. Feeling a dawning horror, Orin rushed over to the pantry, grabbed an apple, and bit into it. Instead of the tangy sweetness he was used to, Orin just felt the physical sensation of chewing and swallowing. What in the world is wrong with me? I’m ruined!

Even more worrisome was the thought that something had happened to the food in The Almond Blossom. Letting out a wail that surely could be heard from the street – we’d be ruined if we failed on Feastday – Orin ran to the desserts, placing the pastries on two plates. He had to confirm that the problem was with him and not the food. While the first would be a personal tragedy, the second would be a disaster for everyone.

Rushing outside, Orin started accosting random passersby, most of who shied away from the desperate looking chef. “Please. You have to –“ he shouted after a rapidly departing Eypharian. “Please, ma’am, won’t you have—“ but the woman shook her head and kept walking. Orin felt despair start to sit heavy on him. He was shocked that no one out there was willing to try his free food.
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Last edited by Orin Fenix on August 6th, 2017, 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[Sakel City Event] [Almond Blossom] Taste Testing

Postby Kamilla on July 22nd, 2017, 5:30 pm

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Kamilla Circe Gordon


Feastday, a day which the entire city spent filling their bellies for enjoyment. In Sunberth, where she'd grown up, the majority of the population were somewhere between starving and lucky enough not to be, in Zeltiva there was still a degree of poverty and on Sahova food for 'pulsers' - their derogatory term for the living - was available but hardly qualified as anything more than sustenance. Riverfall continued to prove itself vastly different to any of the other cities she'd lived in, in ways she'd never have thought to consider, it really was a city of excess and luxury, a relative paradise to the rest of the world.

Since arriving in Riverfall the season before, Kamilla had grown to enjoy the city's beauty and many of the other perks that came with living there but while the quality of life had improved it was not without its own unique drawbacks. This season in particular had been filled with numerous peculiar happenings , most of which had not been understood by herself or others, even in hindsight, the events of the season as well as the summer itself had slowly but surely worn her down and now as its end neared, she felt as if she was always lacking satisfaction when her needs were involved, it was as if she awoke a little more drained and less refreshed every morning and she still hadn't discovered the cause.

In light of her growing day to day exhaustion, Kamilla was relieved to find out that on Feastday most of the businesses in Riverfall were closed for the day, so she'd been able to get herself a few extra bells of sleep and although she was still unable to reach a point where she was well rested she had slept in until she felt rested enough. Once she'd finally gotten out of bed she'd gone through her usual routine of getting herself ready for the day, choosing to wear her short black skirt with long flowing lace tail along with her thigh high boots and wrapped around her bosom, her animated red scarf golem, Scarlet, which due to an oversight during the animation process she was forced to command in the deepest manliest voice she could muster, always feeling silly when doing so.

Once she'd fed Yen, her lazy yowlwing, watered Roo, the talkative flower, and applied a minuscule amount of make up, settling on just painting her lips their usual deep red colour along with some dark eyeliner, all that was left to do was pull on her thigh high black boots, inspect herself in the mirror of her room at the Kulkukan Inn and step out for the day. The young woman had decided she'd try eating somewhere other than the inn for once, though she'd heard the feasting would only begin a bit later in the day, so until then she'd head to the Knirin Gardens to simply soak up some sun.

As she made her way through the winding streets of Riverfall, she couldn't help but enjoy the warmth of the summer on her exposed skin, it was the only season she could really enjoy her wardrobe to the fullest. The walk itself was pleasant too, with most of the businesses closed for the day, the streets were far less busy and she found making her way towards the gardens far less of a hassle, at least until she was hassled by a tall man dressed in an apron and chef hat who was causing a minor commotion by desperately calling after people passing by.

Kamilla wasn't the type of person to waste time on fruitless endeavors nor was she often friendly, helpful or generous for that matter, but she was an extremely curious person and the desperation in the man's voice and demeanor had intrigued her, that and she didn't actually have anything to do for the day. Faced with the combination of boredom and curiosity toward the man's bizarre behavior, Kamilla approached, having decided to at least entertain him until she found out why he was acting so strangely. Coming to a stop a few feet from the tall man, with her arms crossed over the bare skin between the edge of her skirt and where the scarf had wrapped over her chest, she spoke in a slightly demanding voice, "Calm down... what's happening?" she tilted her head slightly to the side as she spoke, her long loose mane of dark brown waves swaying slightly behind her as brown eyes watched the man carefully for any clues about his behavior.


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[Sakel City Event] [Almond Blossom] Taste Testing

Postby Orin Fenix on July 22nd, 2017, 7:46 pm

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Orin wasn’t having much luck flagging down the passersby. Perhaps the chef was underestimating exactly how crazy he looked at that particular moment. People were gathering in a discrete crowd, but edging away every time the chef actually tried to approach them. It was incredibly frustrating. Orin didn’t understand what was wrong with all these people, and the chef was sick and tired of the reputation he was no doubt getting of the crazy man who liked to yell at images only he could see and accost people in the streets. It was a maddening turn of events for the chef who normally was quiet and reserved. Making scenes wasn’t really in Orin’s best interests, as humans were tolerated but not loved in Riverfall. Although Orin probably should have been scared at the changes in his life, as with all the chef’s emotions these days, it was muted. All he could feel was a dull worry that he wouldn’t be able to pull off Feastday without his sense of taste. Although the chef was confident that he could pull off almost any dish and it would be enjoyed by a wide variety of individuals, the chef demanded perfection of himself, and for that he required his rather refined palette. Failing that, he’d have to survey a broad number of people and use their aggregate responses to hopefully get a satisfactory answer regarding the quality of his food.

Not surprisingly, though, the Riverfall populace wasn’t cooperating with his efforts. Despite clearly having come from the Almond Blossom, which most people, Orin included, considered to be the best place to eat in all of Riverfall, they didn’t trust this strange human who was begging them to approach. Orin couldn’t really understand their reluctance. He’d get in a lot of trouble if he messed with the food in some way and tried to feed it to them, so he’d have to be an idiot or quite insane to have tampered with his own dish and then be caught in broad daylight giving it out. The chef himself would have jumped at the chance to eat free food made by a presumably competent person.

While Orin knew he was well known among certain circles in Riverfall’s culture, he guessed that it was more likely that people knew his name and didn’t recognize his face. It would make sense, seeing as he spent most of his time in the back room and didn’t venture out into the dining room very often. So while Orin despised it when people knew who he was and praised him for his work – it made him deeply uncomfortable, because he worked for the pleasure of it and not the fame – it would have been useful in this particular situation to be more widely known. Still, there was nothing he could do about that right now besides make a note to see what he could do to meet more of the movers and shakers of Riverfall.

Finally, one brave soul decided to come investigate, a woman who appeared human at least at a cursory glance. Orin gave what would hopefully be his savior a close look, trying to determine whether this woman might actually be able to help him. She was average height, but well above average in attractiveness, with deep brown eyes, nicely tanned skin, and long brown hair that looked luxuriously soft. More importantly, in the chef’s mind at the moment, was her mode of dress. She was wearing a black short skirt and lace trailing behind, thigh-high black boots, and, set off extremely well by the black of the rest of her outfit, a vivid scarlet wrap that covered her upper body. Orin was particularly well versed when it came to women’s fashion, or fashion in general, but it seemed to him with his limited knowledge that this was someone who knew about the finer things in life. Normally, her beauty would be a source of distress to Orin, who didn’t know how to act around beautiful people, but right now he had bigger problems to worry about.

Frankly, Orin would’ve taken help from practically anyone at that point. He was frantic to get whatever problem he was experiencing sorted out as soon as possible, or, failing that, secure the help of someone who could reassure him that he was on the right track. Eventually Dolmar and Korana would be back, and the rest of the staff would arrive later in the day but until then, Orin was on his own. “I can’t come down. My life might be over and I might be in the process of ruining Feastday for my entire business, which would be disastrous for The Almond Blossom. Everything has to go right today, we have to pull this off without a hitch!” Orin realized how desperate his tone was, and he forced himself to take a deep breath.

Speaking, if not feeling, more calmly, Orin decided that he should probably explain what was going on before he scared the poor woman off. “I’m Orin Fenix, one of the chefs here. I…appear to be having a problem.” He didn’t really want to reveal his shame in front of this stranger but otherwise his actions wouldn’t make any sense. Leaning in, Orin dropped his voice to a whisper. “Something’s wrong with me. I can’t taste anything. I don’t know if I’m sick – I don’t feel any other symptoms, I swear! – or if it’s something wrong in my mind or if something more sinister is at work here.” Speaking at a more normal pitch now, and the edge coming back into his tone, Orin thrust the plate of treats at this woman. “Please. You have to help me. Taste this and tell me if there’s anything wrong with it. Anything at all! I would do it myself but...” and here he trailed off as it should be obvious why he couldn’t do this himself. “Take as much time as you need, and as many as you want. I’d rather make more and be sure that they’re perfect rather than serve anything less than my best work.” Hopefully she’d take the bait, so to speak.
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[Sakel City Event] [Almond Blossom] Taste Testing

Postby Kamilla on July 23rd, 2017, 10:41 pm

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Kamilla Circe Gordon


Even as she'd spoken out to the eccentric man Kamilla had begun to instantly regret her decision, what did she care about some stranger's problems and more importantly why would she volunteer to be inconvenienced by whatever meaningless issues he was having. Despite her change of heart, it was already too late, yes she could simply pull away from the situation but that might garner her the wrong kind of attention from the small gathered crowd. It was one thing to avoid someone who was causing a scene but it was another to approach and offer assistance only to immediately decide against it, and although the sorceress didn't really care about what others thought of her, she would still rather avoid gaining an unnecessary bad reputation, if possible.

The tall stranger's gaze fell on her once she spoke and he soon replied in precisely the same frantic voice as before, despite her instructions to calm down, his ranting about his life being over because of his job and his businesses reputation only further served to reinforce her's and everyone else's initial impression of him being slightly unhinged. A loud and clearly annoyed sigh escaped the sorceresses red lips, her crossed arms tightening across her chest as she opened her mouth to tell the man how meaningless his inexplicable problem was but it seemed that seeing her change in demeanor had been the thing to finally get through to him.

Now, having clearly attempted to force himself to calm down, somewhat, the man began to speak again and because of his improved state Kamilla was more inclined to listen. He began by telling her his name, Orin Fenix, and occupation, though she'd already guessed that he was some sort of chef because of his attire, it was a good start, far more preferable to his previous bouts of desperation. Now, finally having a name to put to the man's face, Kamilla was ready to hear the actual details of his problem, however, she was not ready for the sudden breach of personal space as the tall chef leaned in towards her, the unwanted surprise causing her entire body to stiffen and her djed to ripple defensively within her. When he began to speak in a whisper, Kamilla released another sigh as her body and djed relaxed once more as she listened intently to his explanation.

So he had lost his sense of taste? His reaction still seemed quite over the top considering a lack of taste was really not the end of the world, even for a chef, but she supposed she could understand his frantic state somewhat now. He was a chef and as such he relied on his sense of taste to be good at his job and his business, or restaurant, relied on its chefs to maintain their income and reputation and, finally, to top it all off, today was Feastday, a day completely focused on eating. She had to admit his problem still seemed minuscule in her opinion but she supposed that was simply because she was not in his shoes, if she thought about what she'd do if she lost her magic abilities on an important day like the day of her Sahovan judgement, she supposed she could understand some of what the chef was going through.

Another sigh with the aim of relaxation escaped Kamilla's lips once the chef, Orin, seemed fine with his explanation and request. He just wanted her to try some of his creations and assure him of the quality, it was understandable given he was currently incapable of doing so himself. "Okay, okay... I'll try some, but you better not be trying anything displeasing." her words were assertive as usual, brown eyes narrowing suspiciously in the direction of the offered treats before returning to Orin's, it was unlikely that he was trying to pull anything on her, after all his story made sense.

Having given in to his odd request, Kamilla reached down to one of the two offered plates and plucked a pastry from it, bringing it slowly up to her lips and taking one, small, bite, entirely uncertain of what to expect. There was a brief moment of silence as she chewed the treat and then there was an explosion of flavor. Kamilla was sure her eyes had widened to twice their size in pure astonishment as the treat washed over her taste buds, coating them in their sweet and satisfying flavor. She knew he'd asked her to try as many and as much as necessary to ensure that there was nothing wrong with the treats but in all honesty, she was sure that she'd never tasted anything nearly as wonderful in her entire life. "My gods... This... is... amazing." she said in surprise after finally swallowing the small bits of heaven, a wide smile spreading across her face before taking another, more eager bite of the exquisite treat.


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[Sakel City Event] [Almond Blossom] Taste Testing

Postby Orin Fenix on July 25th, 2017, 1:20 am

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Realizing that perhaps he’d been going about this situation the wrong way, Orin forced himself to noticeably relax. He knew that his products were good after all, and The Almond Blossom had its reputation among the people who frequented this area. So Orin shouldn’t be running hither and thither like a madman even though inside all he wanted to do was scream and shout and beg. Although it was one of the hardest tasks he’d ever had to undertake, Orin kept a tight rein on his emotions. They struggled to be free, and Orin was sure that this strategy wouldn’t be foolproof. Still, the chef didn’t think he really had much choice in the matter.

Apparently, whomever this woman, she didn’t like Orin’s attitude. Not only did she sigh at his antics, she seemed to fidget, as if she regretted her decision to change her mind. Orin would just have to change her mind, though, and the chef was determined he could do that if he could get her to take just one of the treats he had arrayed before him. In addition, it was obvious she didn’t like it when Orin got up close and personal, as she seemed to shy away from him, not realizing that he was just trying to have some semblance of privacy.

Luckily, his new strategy – which, the chef realized belatedly, she had been asking him to do in the first place – seemed to placate her somewhat. At the very least, she hadn’t left yet, and that meant that Orin had a chance. He’d been able to persuade people before, and it seemed that his skills weren’t completely useless in that regard, as this woman was finally reaching towards one of the plates. Yes, yes I did it! Orin was sure that once the crowd saw her reaction, he’d be able to leverage it to get more people to come help him. “Thank you. I really appreciate your help in this matter. No tricks, on my part, I swear it on my faith in Priskil! I hope that you won’t be disappointed.”

As she put a piece of the pastry into her mouth, he held his breath. It was the moment of truth. Orin was confident in his skills, but confidence only took him so far. The whole group watching them collectively waited for her to react. The silence was palpable as she first took the taste in, before her eyes widened in what Orin hoped was a pleasant surprise. Finally, his question was answered, and the whole crowd seemed to release their breath simultaneously. I’ve still got it!

Orin nodded at her comment, trying not to let his impatience get the better of him. At least his skills hadn’t suffered along with his taste. “Yes, yes I know it’s amazing,” the chef replied in a matter of fact tone. If he hadn’t been so upset, he would’ve been mortified at his straight up admission of pride in his skills, but he had bigger fish to fry, so to speak. The woman, who still hadn’t actually introduced herself, seemed totally transformed by one bite, which Orin took as a good sign. Still, even if it was good, that didn’t mean there wasn’t room for improvement. There were an infinite number of problems that could go wrong when cooking and normally they wouldn’t have mattered so much, but today was the one day this year where people didn’t do anything but eat. So there would be extra scrutiny involved in every single one of Orin’s dishes.

Looking past her to the crowd, who seemed bemused by this development, Orin started calling out. “Folks, you heard her! It’s amazing, Come, come, try a bit and tell me how it can be better.” One brave young Akalak took a step forward, egged on by his friends. As the dark-skinned giant plucked one of the tarts from his plate and broke it up into small pieces to distribute to the other youths, Orin turned back to the first woman. “So, what’s your name?” He asked mostly to be polite, his mind already moving on to other questions. “Now, I need you to take another bite and pay attention this time. I need you to tell me what exactly could be improved.” The chef raised his voice so that everyone could hear him clearly. “I need you to be my tasters today. Here’s what I need to know.”

“Is the dough too dry or too sticky? Are any of the scents displeasing? Is there any one flavor that dominates? Does it need more salt, or more honey or more wine? Oh, do the almonds balance out the rest of the ingredients? Is it too sweet? Should I add more ginger?” Orin fired off these questions one after the other, although he made sure to articulate them clearly. It wouldn’t do for his helpers not to understand what he was looking for. The crowd, which had surged forward slightly, had stopped, milling about uncertainly. Even the young Akalaks had paused with his pastry halfway to their mouths. Realizing that he may have overwhelmed them, Orin paused. “Or just, have a taste!” But he was afraid he’d lost some of them at least, so Orin turned back to the woman, who at least had tasted it before, and was unlikely to run away if Orin dangled the promise of more dishes in front of her. “Well? Once you help me with this I might have more for you to eat.”
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[Sakel City Event] [Almond Blossom] Taste Testing

Postby Kamilla on July 26th, 2017, 5:49 pm

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Kamilla Circe Gordon


“Yes, yes I know it’s amazing,”

The man's pride might have been mistaken for arrogance had Kamilla not just experienced his talent as a chef first hand, or mouth, but still her eyes narrowed slightly in response as she swallowed the last bite of the delicious treat. When he turned his attention to the crowd, inviting them to join in she was suddenly filled with suspicion, had he been desperate at all or was this actually just an elaborate and unorthodox way of advertising for his business? If that was indeed the case, while she would have found his method excessive, she certainly couldn't fault it's effectiveness, especially since she was now very interested in seeing what else the man was capable of cooking up.

Upon being asked for her name, Kamilla, who had returned her arms to their crossed state, allowed her deep brown gaze to fall on the tall chef once more, noticing that his being seemed to glow a bit brighter in her mind now that she had tasted what he was capable of. "Kamilla." Her name was plainly stated, not relevant to the current situation but she supposed it would make interacting with the chef a bit simpler and if the familiarity meant she'd get the chance to taste more of his amazing food then that wouldn't be terrible either.

After her introduction the chef, Orin, began speaking once more, though not just to her, and Kamilla quickly realized that tasting more of the man's food would be far more complicated than she'd initially thought. It seemed that, lacking his own sense of taste, the man wanted to know far more about his food than whether it had just been pleasing or not and in Kamilla's opinion he asked too much. It wasn't that she wasn't willing to try whatever else the talented chef was capable of creating, it was simply that she certainly wasn't the right person to ask about all the numerous finer details that she had never even considered to consider when eating anything. Luckily for Kamilla, she wasn't the only one he was asking, unluckily it seemed like everyone else was just as reluctant and overwhelmed as she was.

Seeing the crowd's reaction to his request, Kamilla could only watch as he turned his attention back to her, asking precisely what she thought he would. A deep sigh escaped the young woman's lips as she prepared to turn the man down, suddenly a lot less willing to give up the potential of trying more of the amazing food, though she supposed she could simply return some other time and pay for a meal. "Listen... Orin... It's not that I wouldn't love to try more of your food, but I'm definitely not the right person to be asking for such a comprehensive analysis of any food, as anything beyond whether it was pleasing or not is lost on me." A short pause permeated her words as she thought on how best to finish off, "However, you have made a customer out of me and I intend to return to the restaurant at some point to see what other delicious food you're capable of creating." Uncharacteristic as it was, a small polite smile was offered to the talented chef as a consolation for her rejection.

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[Sakel City Event] [Almond Blossom] Taste Testing

Postby Orin Fenix on July 26th, 2017, 11:16 pm

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Belatedly Orin realized a bit of humility was in order. The woman had visibly bristled at the chef’s comment about the food, and the truth was Orin hadn't realized how poorly it would come across. He wasn't actually vain about his skills, although he was proud of them. But the chef did know that he was probably the best at what he did, and while that information hadn't gone to his head, he was confident enough in his abilities that it hadn't occurred to him that his food wouldn't taste good. The problem was that, in this case, on this day, good wasn't good enough. “I'm sorry. That came out wrong. I didn't mean it that way. You must think me an arrogant fool. I'm not, I'm just upset and wasn't watching my speech as carefully as I normally do. The truth of the matter is that our patrons expect perfection and I'm afraid I won't be able to deliver it.” Orin tried to project as much humble penitence as he could into his explanation. The crowd, though, wasn't buying it and Orin didn't think this woman was either.

Orin had a name for the woman who had taken a chance on his dish. It helped ground him, and while his emotions were still riled up, he felt himself regaining his center. Focus and calm. It wasn't if the chef hadn't had years of experience suppressing his emotions. True, ever since he'd left Syliras he'd had a more difficult time keeping his feelings in check, and true, this season appeared to have undone whatever progress Orin had made in clawing his way out of his depression, but at least he could get through the next couple of chimes with succumbing to his dread and sadness.

So instead of hugging Kamilla and crying, as was his impulse, Orin instead just smiled at the woman. “Kamilla. Thank you. You have no idea what this means to me.” Small, simple statements would help get Orin out of this mess with his sanity intact. “As you may have guessed, I'm a chef here at The Almond Blossom. So I hope you can imagine how vital Feastday is for me.” The more Orin said, the more reasonable he hoped he would appear. Not shouting was taking every ounce of his willpower. Still, Orin had to admit that it appeared to be a much more effective strategy for securing aid for his dilemma.

Unfortunately, it appeared the damage had already been done. Orin’s series of questions had caused looks of concern to appear upon the onlookers’ faces, Kamilla among them. Slowly but surely, the crowd began to disperse, apparently not willing to risk becoming Orin’s next victim. Oh shyke. Clearly he’d lost whatever small advantage he may have gained when Kamilla told them all his food was worth trying, and now they weren’t willing to entertain the crazy chef any longer. Therefore, Orin had to pin all his hopes on trying to convince Kamilla that she shouldn’t leave.

“Wait wait wait wait. Please, please don’t go.” Orin’s voice was frantic, and the chef surged forward, as if he could physically block Kamilla’s exit. Remembering that she hadn’t liked it when he invaded her personal space Orin came to a halt, ending up in an awkward position where he was leaning away from her even as his feet strained to move closer. All his focus was on her and Orin sent a prayer to Priskil that he didn’t mess this up. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to overwhelm you like that with the questions. You’ve already been a huge help. Give me another chance?” She valued calm, and while he didn’t think he could be dispassionate right now, he could at least channel his emotions more productively.

“Listen, Kamilla, I don’t know what you do, but imagine you’re in my shoes. Imagine that it’s the most important day of the year for your or the most important task you’ve undertaken.” Orin poured his desperation into his speech, but tried to keep his words comprehensible. “Imagine that people are relying on you to do your job without any problems. And then imagine that you suddenly found yourself unable to do that job, with support or help of any kind.” It was a nightmare of Orin’s letting down those who were counting on him, and he thought that any sane person would feel similarly. “So, can you imagine how upset I must be? I wouldn’t abandon you in this situation, so please, please, please don’t abandon me.”

She had objected to being asked too much, too quickly, and the questions had been beyond her knowledge. Orin shouldn’t have expected her to be able to answer them, since not everyone had his refined palette, honed by years of training. “Let me start over, I beg you, and all you need to do is tell me if it tastes good and if I’m on the right track. We can go into the kitchen, and you can sample whatever you’d like from the food I’m making, or not, however it suits your fancy.” It was actually a fairly generous offer and if she hadn’t been completely put off by his earlier behavior, perhaps she’d consider it.

Of course, there was yet another way he could sweeten the deal. Though he dreaded the possibility that he’d have to use her as an assistant, mostly because it meant he might have to give up his lifelong dream if his taste never came back, he was willing to share some of his knowledge for free, if it would secure her help. He normally liked teaching, but today wasn’t a day when he had time, but he’d have to make time if that’s what Kamilla wanted. “I’ll even show you a few tricks of the trade, so to speak, if that’s something that you think you might be interested in.” Orin was trying not to sink too deep into his depression until he actually had heard Kamilla’s response to his revised plea.
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[Sakel City Event] [Almond Blossom] Taste Testing

Postby Kamilla on July 29th, 2017, 3:20 am

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Kamilla Circe Gordon


Try as she may, Kamilla couldn't bring herself to relax around the chef, any time she tried to put even the smallest hint of distance between them, be it physically or figuratively, he grew visibly more anxious. She had tried to free herself of the situation as politely as possible, hoping not to incite any more of his panic, but it seemed to do the exact opposite and once again he was pleading with her, trying to guilt her into staying by appealing to her empathy. Despite the majority of his emotions being reflected clear as day in his voice, body language and eyes, it seemed he had picked up on her aversion to his emotions and was at least trying to lessen his outbursts, albeit unsuccessfully.

A loud sigh escaped Kamilla's lips yet again, the sorceress having already lost count of how many times she'd repeated the action in the past few chimes, deep brown eyes rose to find the tall chef's gaze as she straightened out her posture to stand at her full height, still feeble in comparison to his. "I have already considered what it would be like to be in your situation and I understand... somewhat." A short pause allowed her to collect her thoughts. She did not like this man, his emotional state made her entire being react with unease and she longed for the stability of solitude or even someone more docile, but it was not all bad.

The chef, Orin, was desperate and among the many lessons Kamilla had learned on Sahova, there was one that stood above the rest. The mages of The Undead Isle functioned on the simple principle of 'Nothing For Nothing' and what that meant was that in order to receive anything of value one would have to relinquish something of similar or equal value and judging by the chef's panicked state, her assistance had a high value in his eyes, giving Kamilla the upper hand in what would now become a negotiation.

Something of equal value. Her mind was racing as she tried to come up with something the chef could give her that would be worth putting up with helping him work through his taste predicament. She hardly knew anything about cooking and didn't have much interest in learning, but she did enjoy the man's food, or at least the single treat she'd tasted. Not knowing much else about the chef, Kamilla decided she'd have to settle on requesting something food related from him.

Deep brown eyes refocused as Kamilla prepared to make her offer, now only needing the right words to properly convey it. "Fine..." She began, shoulders slumping ever so slightly as if in defeat, which, in a way, she had been. "I'll taste a few things, but in return... on a day of my choosing... I want a free privately cooked meal." Satisfied with the terms she had laid down, a small smirk on her red lips, Kamilla could only wait to see what the chef's reply would be. "Deal?" If things went her way, she'd have a meal ticket, one that she could enjoy for free and without the disadvantage of being in a crowded restaurant.

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[Sakel City Event] [Almond Blossom] Taste Testing

Postby Orin Fenix on July 29th, 2017, 10:00 pm

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It was funny. Well, not really funny, as Orin was keeping his terror at bay, but anyone watching them would’ve probably derived some amusement. Kamilla didn’t enjoy Orin’s emotional outbursts, and so she would try to back out of the situation. That would cause Orin to freak out and implore her to stay, making it more difficult for her to actually get out. This definitely had the potential to become a rather vicious circle, since Orin didn’t seem to have much control over his feelings right now. Normally he was much more placid, and although his emotions might be roiling under the surface, he didn’t let them escape for this very reason. Once they had slipped the grasp of his mind, they were nearly impossible to reign in again. As much as Kamilla might prefer him to be calm and orderly that wasn’t the Orin she was going to get today. She’d just have to deal with the chef’s idiosyncrasies.

Once again, Orin’s actions had perturbed her, and now the chef was getting a bit annoyed at what he thought of as her haughty demeanor and her seeming lack of sympathy. Usually people would at least deign to fake interest in the plights of others, but Kamilla didn’t even seem to be capable of that. In fact, the chef had yet to see her show any hint of emotion of her own. “Well, can you somewhat imagine how you would prefer or expect other people to react to you in this situation?” Perhaps that had been a bit too sharp a tone to take with her but her statement had been far too lukewarm for his taste. Putting oneself in another’s situation was simply a part of what it meant to be alive, and so if she wasn’t capable of it there was something severely wrong with her.

Finally it seemed that the chef had made some sort of breakthrough by changing what he asked of her. He had much reduced what he was expecting her to do, and even offering her a lot more on his end including a private cooking lesson, and that at least seemed to have grabbed her attention. Orin was desperate for a response and he wanted it sooner rather than later. But he felt he’d probably pushed her as hard as he dared for now, especially considering her slow and deliberate reaction to most of Orin’s outbursts. So he waited patiently as he dared, although excess energy was transferred into his feet, which shuffled awkwardly as he wait. He felt as if he were projecting everything he was feeling still, and someone or something was latched on, as he was already feeling more drained than he should.

Still, he’d just have to soldier through whatever was going on, as he didn’t really have a choice. Finally, Kamilla made her request, and Orin felt his eyes narrow. His business sense was tingling, as she’d mentioned a deal, and he immediately began to ask himself how he could haggle to make this into a more favorable exchange for him. However, seeing as Kamilla didn’t need him and he needed her, there wasn’t much to negotiate here. She had him over a barrel, so to speak, and sometimes the hardest aspect of deal-making was knowing when to accept what was offered as it was.

Still, he couldn’t resist at least a softer version of his usual bargaining methods. “I would appreciate if you would consider tasting more than a few dishes. After all, that way you’d sort of get two private meals out of it, wouldn’t you?” There, hopefully she’d perceive that as him sweetening the deal on his end, but seeing as he needed her today it really would be mutually beneficial. “But we can talk about it further inside. I’ll accept your terms, for now.” With that, he handed her one of the plates of tarts. “Please hold this so I can open the door.” He really hadn’t been thinking that far ahead, and so he wouldn’t be able to get it open without a free hand.

Hopefully she’d take it. While he waited, his mind raced as he tried to determine what would be the best use of his time, especially since she’d technically only agreed to taste a few of his goods. Therefore, he’d have to test those that had the most potential to go wrong. It’d probably be most useful to have her taste the various sauces he’d be using in his dishes, but he should probably ask her what she wanted, since he didn’t trust this fragile verbal agreement of theirs. “Is there anything in particular you wanted to try out?” Most people would say no to that question, but it probably made him seem more reasonable and would cut off her ability to complain somewhat later down the road when Orin took control of the situation more.
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[Sakel City Event] [Almond Blossom] Taste Testing

Postby Kamilla on August 4th, 2017, 1:38 am

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It seemed that the chef, Orin hadn't been satisfied with her response to his request for her to put herself in his nervously shuffling shoes, a small bite in the tone of his own voice as he tried to appeal to her good nature, something she had little of when it came to business... and almost everything was business. His minor retaliation had been received with nothing but a raised brow from the young sorceress before she chose to dismiss the tone and any other reaction she might have decided to make deeming such a response pointless. She'd already told him that she understood his situation, but altruism wasn't a common quality amongst people, nor was it beneficial.

The desperate chef seemed to take to the sudden terms of what had, to him perhaps even more suddenly, become a negotiation, although to Kamilla it had been one from the start, on Sahova there had been little to no interaction that was not a form of transaction. Orin agreed to her terms with what Kamilla was sure he considered a hint of defiance, stating that he'd prefer her to taste more than a few dishes, as if a few was an exact amount, but there was no need to argue. Nodding in a agreement, the young woman unfolded her arms to take the offered plate of tarts from the tall chef, paying extra attention to ensuring their was no skin contact during the exchange, before following him into The Almond Blossom.

When asked whether there had been anything in particular she wanted to try Kamilla barely took a moment before responding, she had never payed much more attention to food other than whether it kept her alive and wasn't unpleasant to consume, though seasons on Sahova had made her appreciate the latter category far more. "Not at all." She couldn't help but wonder what other kinds of foods the chef had prepared and whether they would be as utterly amazing as the treat she'd eaten previously, she really hoped they would be.

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