Updated Fri, Jan 02, 2009 by Savanja
Day 30 Addendum: Oh blackest of black days! The magical changes that streaked across the land last night are a mixed blessing, leaving me alternately overjoyed and dismayed. There is much discussion over what caused these myriad of changes to our resources, to our foods, to the very gear that we wear. Gnomish experiments gone horribly awry, Lucan trying to disorient friend and foe alike after the gnomish lingerie escapade, and so on. After a visit to every wholesaler in town, I believe I have finally found the truth of the matter. The gods are preparing to return, and for his opening sally, Bristlebane has stolen all the chocolate.
How well she remembered that day of despair, and the bleak days that had followed. She had given up on the harvesting diary after that, disheartened and despondent.
Ah well. There was little use crying over spilled jumjum, especially now, when almost exactly a year later, life was looking so much better for the pint-sized tradesmistress!
A week earlier, Trid Skinstainer, still trying to get back in her good graces after his spice snafu had dropped her a note that had, literally, made her entire month.
A new supplier for cocoa and cream cheese had been found, and while both were not as high-grade as the old supplies, they had high hopes that she could use them for some basic recipes ... once the first shipment arrived in a week.
The day of the shipment arrived, finding Mum wide awake far too early in the morning. Burning off nervous energy with a bit of unpacking, she kept a careful eye on the water clock, impatiently waiting for the designated shipment time.
Drip. Drip. Drip. Every minute seemed to pass more slowly than the one before it, until, finally, it was noon.
On cue, the bells of Qeynos started to toll the hour.
As fast as little halfling legs could move, Mum sprinted out the door to her house and ran from the southern end of Qeynos, dodging expertly through mid-day traffic, even to the point of running under one guard's mount in her impatience. Heedless of the chaos (that included one horse, two guards, seven pedestrians and one mangy housecat) created by her passing, she set new halfling land speed records, arriving at the entry to the Ironforge Exchange before the bells stopped tolling.
She tapped her foot impatiently, glaring at the "Closed until noon for inventory" sign, before raising one tiny hand to pound on the door.
Stumbling a bit as the door opened just as she swung her fist, she barely missed hitting the tall human who had opened the door in a very painful spot.
Mumbling a hurried apology, she ran down the stairs in a hurry, her entire being focused on the need for chocolate ... NOW!
The rest of the staff, pre-warned about Mum's arrival, scattered like frightened quail before a bird dog. Well, all of them but the hapless lady selling supplies, who stood there, hands shaking slightly, with a partially-unpacked crate of supplies.
This was no time for manners. No time for courtesy. A year-long craving for chocolate had turned the sweet little redhead into a ravening beast, with only one thing on her mind. Must. Have. Chocolate. NOW.
Rather than handing her the small bags of cocoa and magically-refrigerated cream cheese that had already been unpacked from the crate, the rattled salesclerk wordlessly handed her the rest of the crate, and fled, mumbling something about hazard pay.
Deftly juggling the still-heavy crate, Niami scampered through the double-doors leading to the cooking area of the establishment, narrowly missing hitting a barbarian with the second door as he tried to open it from the other side. He bristled a bit, raising one meaty fist as he started to say something, then paled as he realized that the pint-sized redhead was looking decidedly rabid ... and that she was the right height for kneecap-bashing, or worse.
Discretion being the better part of valor and all that, he proved that not quite all his braincells were pickled yet, and fled.
Hours passed, while the staff tiptoed nervously around the exchange, carefully avoiding the kitchens. Some very lovely delicious wafted out, time and again, intermixed with the acrid smell of scorched sugar, but nobody ventured nearer. One brave dwarf of stern constitution had been outside the door to the kitchens, taking notes on the often creative and colorful language that was to be heard from inside, but eventually, even he ended up fleeing, claiming that he needed a drink or ten before facing that again.
Eventually, silence reigned supreme.
Slowly, the door to the kitchens opened, as the staff and several curious crafters, held their collective breaths. Did the supplies pass muster or would they be facing the Rolling Pin of Doom, held by an angry redhead?
Mum backed out, carefully carrying a huge tray, then turned around, revealing the contents. The moment of truth was at hand.
Chocolate-covered fruit of all types lay artistically arranged on the tray, as well as several fruity cheesecakes, bringing many cries of delight. The chocolate-covered DenMother, on the other hand, looking decidedly be-smudged and be-spattered, invited several nervous giggles, quickly cut off.
Whatever her mood earlier, however, Mum was now in a mellow mood, and bestowed a chocolatey grin on the onlookers.
"Well, I hae some guid news, an' some not-so-guid news! While I cannae seem tae get th' consistency right frae more delicate cookies an' cakes an' such, we now hae a guid dipping chocolate! Th' cream cheese as well, is nae as robust as ..."
Whatever she was about to say was cut off by an excitable ratonga's squeal of "Cheese! GIMME!"
Bemusedly watching as an entire cheesecake was victim to a grab-and-run, Mum shook her head, "Och. Addicts! Well, I ne'er!"
Wisely, nobody made any comments comparing the incident to the actions of a certain chocolate-crazed halfling earlier in the day ... at least not out loud.
Later in the evening, once she and the kitchen had both been properly cleaned up, and all the staff soothed into better moods with applications of chocolate, cheesecake and much alcohol, Mum sent off magical copies of her experimental notes (minus the chocolate smudges) to all crafting centers throughout Norrath, so others could try different experiments with the new supplies.
Daintily nibbling on a chocolate-covered fayberry, she added one last note to the packet headed for Freeport, addressed to a friend of hers:
Kiara-lass,Editorial note: Sometimes it really is all in the little things! GU36 will see the re-introduction of basic chocolate and cheesecake recipes. For details regarding this and other tradeskill-related items in GU36, check out Mum's "(Not So) Little Things" guide to GU36.
I am afraid I hae bad news about my most recent experiments wi' chocolate cookies frae yuir "Come to the Dark Side, We Have Cookies" campaign.
Sadly, while th' new cocoa be good frae dipping fruits an' such in, I cannae frae th' life o' me get th' consistency right frae cookies. Much as I hate tae admit there be something I am unable tae bake, ye'll need tae continue tae use those Chocolate Chip Cookies of Seething Malice (ugh!) frae th' chocolate offerings. I will, o' course, continue tae provide ye with many other varieties o' cookies. Should ye wish tae branch out intae cheesecakes, as well, th' current supplies make frae a very tasty fruity cheesecake, but do nae stand up well frae anything more robust.