[Seasonal Event] warm this weather out of my bones
Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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#1
stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires
Deepfrost was a time of sleep, of preparing for a week when monsters sniffed and howled and growled just around the corner—a time when you were supposed to come together, whether it was helping your old or injured neighbor with snow moss to quieten their house, or just pitching in to build the Spark Bird's perch, or.. anything, honestly (and he chose to disregard the less savory individuals who intentionally sabotaged for others), but for Rory, it turned out to be a time of reflection and change.

A few years back, it was him and his sister, elbow to elbow in their tiny kitchen, laughing as they brewed tea and made apple cakes, snow sparkling outside and as night fell, the dark lit up by the horns of a couple of Luxere wandering among the goats, munching on hay and kept near by the promise of song and carrots and basking in the joy and familiarity the pair exuded.

Then she had met him and she had changed, and while it was a thing he'd rather not dwell on, he had to accept some things about it: she was leaving, bit by bit, and he was on his own in a way he wasn't used to. Usually if he'd been in town the woodstove was warm when he came home, even if she'd gone on her own errands, but more and more often she didn't even come home to sleep.

Too many memories, she said. Not enough space to grow whatever poison she grew; at least she was sensible enough to not interfere with their sparse crops.

But he missed her, that less jaded, less bitter version of her; the one that sang to the Luxere and baked apple cakes and never smelled of smoke.

He was on his own, and he wasn't used to it. He still hadn't collected snow moss to sound-proof his house and the outbuilding he used to house the goats and ponies, nor had he managed to coax any Luxere into staying around more than a few hours.

Earlier that morning he'd sat staring at Ludo's lantern and its magic glow refusing to go out, wondering if he should perhaps hang it outside during the Long Night for the light it gave off, but at the same time uncertain if such a finicky God's item was a good idea to display so brazenly. Perhaps it was prime monster bait.

In the end, he'd got sick of himself and his bleak mood, so he'd tacked up the uncomfortable and spirited young gray mare and ridden into the Settlement with his three precious winter apples, stopping by a couple he frequently produced knit goods for to wheedle another two apples from the bull-like husband. Rory had spent a great many years being afraid of the man, before understanding that he was just large and full of bluster, but actually a really soft guy beneath all the thunder. He had also learned that it was easier to squeeze a few extra apples out of him than out of his wife.

So with five precious apples he hitched Esaia outside of Amalia's little bakery, and took a deep breath before trying the door.

[ For Amalia <3 ]
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#2
Amalia
A simple smile can change a day
An understanding look can say
I know exactly how you feel
The fires are stoked, the oven warm: all that remains is a recipe. Something special, more than the daily loaves of bed, to herald in the lonely winter and warm her frosted hearth. Amalia yearns for something special, a piece of the past she has half-forgotten. All day she has hunted through old books and faded ledgers, trying to land on the perfect solution and faltering, failing, every time.

Her grandmother made it all seem easy, her effortless charm and wise demeanor drawing people to her like luxere in the dark. Her grandmother used to fill the bakery with smells of cinnamon and lively chatter, shadows and smiles and tales of yesteryear. Deepfrost was brighter in the glow of her warmth, Long Night shorter when they spent it together. The girl's mother had tried to uphold the traditions, but as time passed both abandoned the charade, and when her mother died Amalia was alone, too lonely and lost to reignite old fires.

This year, though, she is ready to change. There- and Amalia's eyes light up, her pensive mood interrupted as her fingers pull out a sheaf of paper, written in her Nani's meticulous hand. It is perfect, the exact thing she needs. Renewed, determined, ardent and aglow, the sunlit baker rolls up her sleeves, copper hair pulled into a messy bun and an apron pulled tight around her waist. Humming, she hunts for the requisite ingredients: flour, check. Butter, check. Sugar, check. Cinnamon, savored and salvaged and stored through the year, check. Everything in order, everything in place, except...

...except...

The front door opens and Amalia pops up, eyes wide and hopeful as Rory walks in. "Hello! she greets the leatherworker brightly, her deep voice bright in the dusty store. "I was just about to start a bake. Would you like to help?"

Everything but some company, but perhaps that has arrived.

Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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#3
stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires
The door was unlocked, and Rory found himself standing in the warm bakery a lot quicker than his brain would've liked. He had wanted time to think about what to say, what to do: five apples was hardly enough payment for bringing a cake or so home, but as someone who mostly engaged in trade, Rory didn't have much in the way of hard money.

But it was so hard to think about money when in the presence of Amalia: her voice and her face were bright enough to rival the sun itself. It thawed something in him, but did little to fix the fact that he didn't exactly know what to say. "Hi," he responded, subdued in comparison to her—though, most things were. He didn't sound sad or anything, just a bit uncertain and weary.

She saved him, though, with an invitation to help her bake. It was painful, for obvious reasons—something he had always done with his family, suddenly to be done with someone he didn't quite know, though he wouldn't mind calling her a friend. The memory of the afternoon he'd spent in here with her and Deimos was a fond one.

Caido ate up those who fell behind, so he supposed he should stop moping and just throw himself headlong into it.

"Yes," he said, shrugging out of his greatcoat and a couple of layers of wool. He couldn't help but feel a bit like Deimos. So far, he had said exactly two words to her, but truth was that his brain had forgotten how to do small talk. So he hung his coat on a hook and took out the apples, presenting them to Amalia with a shy smile. "I brought some apples. I thought, maybe..."

He faltered. Who was he to tell a baker what to bake, when she had already prepared something?

Idiot.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Lily Balfour
Entertainer

Age: 27 | Height: 5'9'' | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 12
Played by: Astor Offline
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#4

Lily has little to offer except free labor, a decent attitude about hard work, and a boatload of good ‘ol fashioned southern charm. Well, what will eventually become southern charm, in the distant future of her home country. Her plans are set - to the Rathskellar with Bastien and seemingly a bunch of others for LongNight, and though she wonders if they’ll be able to contain themselves for a week, it seems safer to be in a big group rather than in a smaller one.

But she doesn’t want to arrive empty handed.

Scuttling along the few paths of the Settlement, Lily has a precious bundle: a bit of sweet rum (or something like it) left over from the Masquerade. Hoping, perhaps, that she could trade it for something sweet or savory, something to that would make her welcome amongst a bunch of strangers who already know each other. So to the bakery she goes, and it pleasantly surprised to find it open for business (or is it?), and with two people already inside.

Lily does a quick two-knock on the door before peeking her head in, she offers a big flash of a smile to Amalia, whom she recognizes from the red-horned Luxere event (my, wasn’t that quite a night!). The other is a stranger, but all seems well, so she's happy to wait. It is terribly thoughtless of her to wait until last minute, after all. Quickly stepping inside, the redhead lingers near the door, waiting for them to finish their business, the bottle of liquor clearly visible in her hand.


lily
as if you were on fire from within
the moon lives in the lining of your skin
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#5
Amalia
A simple smile can change a day
An understanding look can say
I know exactly how you feel
Rory's lack of enthusiasm is palpable, and for a moment Amalia falters, her smile dimming as a sea of fears rises like bile in her throat. Stupid, stupid, to assume he came to see her, that he wanted anything but a simple loaf of bread! Foolish to think one cheerful evening and a few passed smiles made them anything close to friends. The waif flushes hot but maintains her smile, stubbornly forcing down the fluttering panic that fills her breast, the cruel and cold uncertainty and anxiety which plagues her every step. You're making mountains, her mother would say, Living in the sky instead of beneath it.

Amalia had never really understood this expression, but that had never been the point. Mothers don't say things to make sense, they say them to make an impression, and Amalia's had certainly done that.

Rory's hesitation gives her a moment to regain her composure, or as close to it as she can get. She swallows the lump in her throat, smoothing her hands across her thighs - relaxed, or trying to create a facsimile of it, though the slender fingers twisting at her apron give the girl away. She does not expect the apples, especially now: stunned into silence, she can only stare, suddenly deeply entranced by the red and yellow fruit. Does this mean... what? the girl wonders, dark eyes darting between Rory and his offering, her head a cloud of overreaction and misconstrued intent. In a way they are all children, the orphans of the dome and the turmoil within, at a loss for how to function at more than an orbit from one another.

But still, they try. She is trying.

Her smile strengthens as she meets his eyes, a little of the cloud passed away from her face. "They look perfect, Rory." Amalia might have said more, asked about them or invited further, but at that moment the door swings open in interruption, and a woman walks in. Amalia blinks at the familiar stranger before recognition strikes her- of course! She had been there that night in the snow, singing softly in support, her hair as red as the luxere antlers which now glow beside the bakery door. "H-hello!" the baker greets, trying her best to channel her grandmother's cheery ease. "Welcome to the bakery. There's, um, bread in the oven, and were just about to make some apple cakes- ah, I think?" She turns to Rory as the question falls, an invitation in her voice.

Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 395
MP:
#6
stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires
He was not in the best of places, but still perceptive enough to feel the shift in the atmosphere. From open, exuberant, expectant, to .. closed, burned, as if something in Rory had bitten her soul. It chased the sadness back into his eyes, but he didn't know how to fix it, aside from holding out the apples like an idiot.

Which had an interesting effect. For a time it was like they both had frozen there, trapped in their own insecurities with their demons, but then she met his eyes and smiled, and he thought it wouldn't be so bad after all. Whatever had happened, they had managed to salvage some of it, steer it back on course. A tentative smile began to form on his lips when someone knocked on the door, bringing it open, and though Rory felt like whirling around in a mild panic, all he did was turn his head and watch over his shoulder.

It was a woman, with a mane of red hair, and a figure that was somehow showing despite the heavy clothing of the season. She held a bottle of something, but made no effort to speak; Rory turned to look quizzically at Amalia, who launched into the thing with bravado, though she seemed uncertain at the same time. Rory felt something in his eyes soften, and he gave her a small, encouraging nod.

But then it became an actual question. He managed to save himself from an undignified oh, what? yes, instead setting his apples down on the counter. "Yes," he confirmed, and though it was just a single word again, there was warmth in it. It wasn't his place to ask anyone to join in, and besides, who knew what commerce she was there for, but Rory slid past to where Amalia was standing, figuring it was enough of an invitation. He gave her a moment to sort her customer out while redoing his hair, putting it into a neater braid.

He didn't feel entirely comfortable going through her entire bakery looking for things when she had a customer looking on, so he settled for finding a cutting board, a sharp, small knife, and then polished the apples absently on his—clean!—shirtsleeve as he waited. There was no point in cutting up the apples already with no dough to stick them in yet. And besides, maybe Amalia's apple cake recipes required them to be cut in fancy shapes, like stars or cats or something.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face


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