Rufen's Breads.   Posted by The GM.Group: 0
The GM
 GM, 16 posts
Sun 3 May 2015
at 23:21
Rufen's Breads
In the middle of Trincal's expansive market square, between a butcher shop and a candlestick maker, there is a small bakery run by Rufen Moresh. It has a counter for checkout and wrapping, and various racks on the walls holding various kinds of bread, with tongs and trays available for self-service. There's no seating inside, but there are a few tables and chairs out front, under an awning. The ovens and supplies and breadamajigs are in the back, along with Rufen's modest living quarters. Ajeni Darrow lives in the building's attic.

There is also a small booth out front, with a door to the interior. It's used mostly for order-pickup, and small sales that people don't feel like going inside for. These days, Ajeni is usually in the front kiosk.
The GM
 GM, 17 posts
Sun 3 May 2015
at 23:21
Re: Rufen's Breads
It's just past dawn and the bakery has just opened. As Ajeni gets settled in for another fine morning of selling breakfast pastries from her kiosk, she sees that she already has two customers in line.

The first is a small boy. Ajeni recognizes him as an errand runner from the castle who often buys his breakfast from her kiosk. He is holding a stack of paper in his hands. "Good morning, Ajeni," he says politely. He holds out one of the pieces of paper to her. "Can you please post this in your window? It's from the Crown."

Behind him is a nervous-looking young woman in a red cloak. Pinned to her collar is a small square symbol of two crossed swords against a green, red, and yellow background. She seems to be trying to watch the entire rest of the market square out of the corners of her eyes as she waits her turn.
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 4 posts
Mon 4 May 2015
at 18:19
Re: Rufen's Breads
Ajeni mutters something that sounds like "Uh huh, sure sure..." and accepts the sheet. As she reads it over, she places a coarse bran muffin on the counter as a tip and slides it across to him. Because that's what's hot with all the kids these days, right? Bran?

She seems to scrutinize the paper for longer than would be expected, because she's trying to remember if she'd seen that crossed-swords insignia before...
The GM
 GM, 24 posts
Wed 6 May 2015
at 01:59
Re: Rufen's Breads
The paper is a summons from the Crown for good strong backs to help rebuild the northwest corner of the city's outer wall, which has collapsed for no discernible reason in the night. It's clearly intended to be pasted into shop windows as a sign.

Having lived in the city for all of her life and worked for the constabulary, Ajeni is aware that the inhabitants of the nearby village of Duun, in Seshar, is due to make their assault on Trincal, like they do every ten years or so. It would be a bad time to have a hole in Trincal's wall for long.

Ajeni does not recall having ever seen that particular insignia before. She may have recently heard it described, however, but she can't remember when or where. When she looks back up again, the boy is holding the bran muffin and giving her a dirty look. "Thanks," he mutters as he slinks off to the butcher shop next door.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:00, Wed 06 May 2015.

The GM
 GM, 30 posts
Fri 8 May 2015
at 03:32
Re: Rufen's Breads
The young woman in the red cloak clears her throat nervously as she waits for Ajeni to stop being lost in thought and sell her some breakfast.
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 6 posts
Fri 8 May 2015
at 19:48
Re: Rufen's Breads
Well, the idea of Ajeni's helping out the rebuilding effort herself is a bit too laughable to entertain for long, but the notice is well-timed, arriving just before the morning rush. There is still the matter of why the wall had collapsed, however... If they had an idea of the cause, they weren't telling, which was a bit inconsiderate because now that the question had been posed, it would probably be hanging over her head for the rest of the day.

Ajeni makes a mental note to check it out later, after the breakfast crowd thins out. She sticks the notice to the inside of the window with a few glass-magnets, and then appears to notice her new customer for the first time. Returning to her stool, she clasps her hands on top of the counter and regards the woman with a jingling, quizzical tilt of the head, but otherwise gives little in the way of greeting.
The GM
 GM, 33 posts
Sat 9 May 2015
at 15:38
Re: Rufen's Breads
The woman steps up closer to the counter.

"Do you have any blueberry strudels this morning?" she asks. Then, without waiting for Ajeni to reply, she adds in a much lower voice, "Also, I have heard that you are the one to seek for help when pets have gone missing - or perhaps persons or creatures?"

As she speaks, Ajeni sees another customer approaching the bakery. This one she recognizes as Constable Browner, one of her former colleagues. He is not in uniform at the moment and must be off-duty.
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 7 posts
Sun 10 May 2015
at 21:18
Re: Rufen's Breads
"We do, as it happens..." Ajeni places a square of brown wax paper on the counter and fishes a blueberry strudel from the case with a pair of tongs. Depositing the pastry in the middle of the paper, she begins to fold an envelope-like package around it. "And yeah, that'd be me. Are you looking for something?"

She frowns at the package as she folds. "Why do they always mention the pet thing first...?"
The GM
 GM, 37 posts
Sun 10 May 2015
at 23:50
Re: Rufen's Breads
The woman smiles faintly. "Madame Meriwether told me about you. She has quite a tale about how you climbed into the ductwork of the market square clock to rescue her shanu."

Madame Meriwether, Ajeni knows, is a little old lady who spends a lot of time at the bar of the Opal Aneen, regaling everyone that passes through with tall tales from her boring little life. The tale about Ajeni rescuing her precious Fifi seems to get taller every time she tells it.

"What I'm looking for isn't a pet," the woman continues. "I'm searching for a potentially dangerous abhuman and have reason to believe that he's in this area. He might even be in this city. Could you help me find him? He's a very large man with blue skin and purple hair."
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 8 posts
Tue 12 May 2015
at 18:50
Re: Rufen's Breads
"Yeah, there are a few advantages to being...altitudinally disinclined, as it were. I guess I could've tried bribing one of the kids to handle that one, but I suspect there are limits even to what bran muffins can buy. Old Lady Mer's something of an insufferable windbag, but I can't really complain about the free advertising. The--

Ajeni looks up suddenly, her fingers ceasing to fold at the envelope which has already acquired more fanciful ruffles and pleats than the humble blueberry strudel really warrants. "This guy you're looking for...he's not hiding in some ductwork somewhere, is he?"
The GM
 GM, 41 posts
Wed 13 May 2015
at 03:44
Re: Rufen's Breads
By the time Ajeni looks up, the woman has somehow managed to look even more nervous than she did before.

"Not that I know of," she replies, trying not to stare at the extra fancy packaging that her strudel has acquired. "He would be too big to fit into the market square clock. I imagine he would walk about normally. I just need to know his whereabouts without him knowing that I or anyone else is looking for him. Can you do that?"

She pauses to glance at the pastry. "Also, can I have my strudel now?"
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 9 posts
Thu 14 May 2015
at 17:23
Re: Rufen's Breads
"Sure." Ajeni gives a shrug, and idly slides the package across the counter with an index finger, raising the other to rest her chin on her fist. "Anything in particular I should know about this guy beforehand? I mean, does he shoot laser beams from his eyes, or...exhale knockout gas, or is he just the garden-variety break-y, smash-y kind of dangerous? Any last known whereabouts?"
The GM
 GM, 46 posts
Fri 15 May 2015
at 04:02
Re: Rufen's Breads
She pulls the packaged strudel closer to her edge of the counter, then pulls out a coinpurse.

"Last known whereabouts, he was approaching Trincal from the Black Riage with another man and a cart. He's trained as a glaive and carries a maul and a spear. No other dangerous abilities that we-- ... I, know of." She stares studiously down at her pastry and coughs nervously. "I have other places I need to be this morning. Do you want the job?"

Meanwhile, Constable Browner has stopped at a polite distance behind the red-cloaked woman. Behind him, a small line of other customers is forming.
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 10 posts
Fri 15 May 2015
at 17:16
Re: Rufen's Breads
"Oh, that 'sure' was meant to serve double-duty--yeah, I'll take the job. For something like this, it's five shins, plus three a day, plus expenses." Ajeni jerks a thumb at the price list in the window. "And one for the strudel."

"I suppose you're staying at the Aneen? Is there someone in particular I should ask for once I've found something?"
The GM
 GM, 48 posts
Sat 16 May 2015
at 13:24
Re: Rufen's Breads
She pulls nine shins out of her coinpurse and puts them on the counter, then picks up the packaged strudel. "Yes, I'll be at the Opal Aneen. You can leave messages there for Tahirah. Thank you."

She nods to Ajeni and walks away.

Constable Browner steps up to the counter and smiles down at Ajeni. "Good morning! How's business? Selling a lot of bread?"
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 11 posts
Sun 17 May 2015
at 16:14
Re: Rufen's Breads
Ajeni has scooped up the shins from the counter and is gazing off into space, chin in hand, with an air of affected nonchalance when Browner arrives. She looks up with feigned surprise when he speaks.

"Oh...hey, Browner! Fancy seeing you here... I'm kinda impressed you found the place, what with just the bread sign, and the flyers all around town, and the having-been-here-before thing to go on. Keep at it--we'll make a detective of you yet!" Her tone is playfully sarcastic, but her expression is so deadpan it's not entirely clear if she's joking or not.

"To answer the question, we're just getting started today, and I've only had two customers so far. You--" She breaks off, frowning at her two extended fingers, and folds one back. "Actually, the kid didn't buy anything...just mooched a bran muffin, come to think of it. So that makes you my second paying customer of the day."

Her eyes narrow at the constable. "Right? What'll you have?"
The GM
 GM, 50 posts
Mon 18 May 2015
at 02:22
Re: Rufen's Breads
Browner chuckles back at her and looks at the price list, then the pastry case. He points randomly at a cinnamon roll covered in nuts. "Sure, Dee. I'll have one of those, whatever it is."

He glances at the rest of the market square behind him, then leans down a bit closer and lowers his voice. "Actually, I was wondering if you could slip away for a few minutes later this morning to help me with something. It's kind of urgent, so I could pay extra."
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 12 posts
Mon 18 May 2015
at 21:14
Re: Rufen's Breads
Taking out another sheet of wax paper, Ajeni folds it in half, and then in half again. She stuffs the cinnamon roll inside and holds it out to Browner.

"Just how urgent are we talking, here?" She leans out through the kiosk window to get a better view of the line. "Like I said, we're just getting started, but I'm feeling pretty good about the day so far. Two customers in and I haven't had to fight down the impulse to punch anyone yet. It'd be a shame to waste that momentum, but there's something to be said for quitting while you're ahead..."

Still halfway out the window, Ajeni has to do a bit of contorting to look up at Browner again. "Is it about the wall, by any chance? I was gonna head out there later anyway..."
The GM
 GM, 53 posts
Tue 19 May 2015
at 12:58
Re: Rufen's Breads
Browner takes the cinnamon roll and hands over two shins. He looks at the packaging in mock disappointment. "What, no fancy ruffles and pleats for me?"

He steps back a bit from the counter to give Ajeni more room on the outside of the window. "It's ... sort of, but not really, about the wall, we think." He grins, anticipating Ajeni's likely reaction to a cryptic statement like that.

The grin fades after a moment and he goes on more seriously, in a much lower voice. "There's been a possible burglary at Sarovek's workshop. We think something might be missing from the Invisible Room, but because everything in it is invisible, we really can't tell. Sarovek has gone to the City of Bridges to talk to his favorite intercessor again, and you're the only other person I know of who could tell."

Sarovek's workshop, Ajeni knows, is the building closest to the northwest corner of the outer wall. It's moderately sized with a small tower that can see over the wall.

Browner glances around at the market square again. "Gray has a meeting with the Crown and Council at 10 this morning and will be in the castle. Can you come to the workshop then?"
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 13 posts
Wed 20 May 2015
at 03:31
Re: Rufen's Breads
Browner's deliberate vagueness earns him a frowning glare and a grumble, but otherwise Ajeni lets it pass. After craning her neck to check the time on the market square clock, she pulls back into the kiosk. Drumming her fingers on the counter, she sits quietly for a moment, save for a bit of anxious squirming on her stool.

Finally, she looks up. "Okay."
The GM
 GM, 57 posts
Sat 23 May 2015
at 01:59
Re: Rufen's Breads
Browner beams. "Great! I'll see you later then." He walks casually away into the market square, eating the cinnamon roll as he goes and dropping crumbs of nuts in his wake.

After that, there is a steady parade of customers for the next few hours. None of them ask Ajeni to do anything other than sell them various breads. Soon enough, the clock in the market square strikes ten.
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 14 posts
Sat 23 May 2015
at 19:03
Re: Rufen's Breads
The hours of mindless tedium having already wound Ajeni up like a spring, the arrival of ten o'clock sets her into a frenzy of activity the instant the first bell sounds. Without checking to see if anyone's still in line, she jumps to her feet and draws the shutter down over the kiosk window. She pulls the sparse tray of breads out of the case, and replaces it with a Kiosk Currently Closed--Bakery is Open sign before lugging the tray backwards through the door, into the bakery. Setting the tray on the counter, she fires a rapid "I've got a thing I'm going out be back later," to a startled Rufen by way of explanation, then ducks into the back, where she scampers up the ladder to the attic, levering the trapdoor open with the top of her head just enough to reach through and snag her satchel before sliding back down.

Returning to the front, Ajeni pauses at the door for a fraction of a moment, then returns to the counter and grabs one of the forms used for delivery orders. Folding it into quarters, she stuffs it into her satchel as she bolts through the door, the tenth bell of the market clock still hanging in the air.
The GM
 GM, 60 posts
Mon 25 May 2015
at 18:30
Re: Rufen's Breads
"Wait... but... I ... what?" says the confused woman at the kiosk counter when Ajeni pulls the shutter down and puts in the "closed" sign.

As she comes back into the front of the shop to grab an order form, the same woman is complaining to Rufen and looks highly upset. Rufen is too busy trying to calm her down to notice Ajeni's second departure.

-= to Sarovek's Workshop: Ajeni Darrow =-
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 215 posts
 A Weird Jack
 who Sees Beyond
Thu 22 Sep 2016
at 04:35
Re: Rufen's Breads
-= from Opal Aneen: Ajeni Darrow =-

The bakery is dark when Ajeni lets herself in, and she leaves the lights off as she makes her way into the back and up the ladder. Standing on the forth rung from the top so that she's halfway through the trapdoor, she sets her bag beside the opening and strips the ribbons off her horns and sets them on top of the bag before sliding back down the ladder.

She heads for the bathroom, where she stuffs her clothes into Rufen's finicky launderator and draws a bath, which ends up having to be cut short when she lounges for a bit and starts to nod off and sink into the water. Tugging on a light bathrobe, Ajeni returns to the attic and transfers the ribbons and bells to their case before crawling into the cavity that serves as her bed, in amongst Rufen's miscellaneous clutter and jumbled furniture. She starts on a mental review of the day's events, but is asleep before she even makes it to Browner's cinnamon roll.