Alrighty, I am starting up a monthly bit, this one on character development. Feel free to use these topics and be as creative as you want. Write a story, list what things are, whatever tickles your fancy!
All months will be kept in this first post so feel free to play catch up if you join in later on!
April – Favorite Food & Drink May – Hobbies June – Keepsakes, Trinkets, Misc. Items July – Locations: Where is Home? Alternative Prompt by Tamsin – What 3 things would your character take to a lonely island (other people excluded)?
Aberforth Everleigh stood beneath an apple tree. A half-filled wicker basket swung from his left arm, his right reaching up to pluck the ripe, yellow-pink apples from above. There. He'd gotten all but one. He gazed up at the fattest apple his tree had ever born, dangling precariously just out of his reach. He'd have to get the stepping stool from the house.
He looked backward where, hidden amongst the rolling hills, the little cottage lay. It wasn't far behind, hunched together with mossy stones packed snugly to secure the home in its own corner of the world—or so Aberforth felt. It took at least two hours on foot to reach the nearest village, many more to visit the vast city of Marianople.
Glancing up, past the empty apple tree, the sun was making her peak in the sky. Soft, billowing clouds breezed across the sea of blue to give brief, shady respite whenever they lay across her rays. All around were an abundance of leafy trees and bushes already plucked of their fruit, and somewhere off in the distance could be heard the mooing, oinking, and honking of thriving livestock.
He breathed for this life, for the honest work, and the honest rewards. Nothing could be as sweet.
A rustling in the nearby blueberry shrubs pulled him from his thoughts, and he suppressed an amused grin. He searched for a visual but couldn't seem to see the culprit.
“Willow, what did I say about eatin’ all the berries?” the old man called calmly, his voice stern but barely raised above the soft breeze sweeping over the Marianople fields.
“I’m noooot,” came a little reply from the nearby blueberry patch. The leaves rustled and cracked even though the breeze had gone still. Old Aberforth watched, amusement creasing his weathered features, as a three-year-old pitter-pattered her way out from a sea of blueberry bushes.
Her fiery curls gleamed brightly, tossed about by the breeze as if her head were aflame. A small wicker basket akin to the one the old man carried was draped across her delicate arms. More importantly, a giant, vibrantly purple stain smeared her obliviously smiling lips.
The old man quirked his own lips into a grin and held out his hand. “Let’s see what ye got, hm?”
Willow pattered over to show off her spoils. Even reaching her hands up to their fullest, Aberforth had to stoop down to take the basket by the handle. He held it up, frowned comically, and looked back down at his granddaughter.
He shook the basket and a few dozen blueberries rolled around in their wicker confinement. “Is this all ye found, Willow?” he asked very seriously, his pale green eyes looking into her bright ones.
Willow opened her purple mouth in reply, but paused as she caught the way his bushy eyebrow twitched. Her lips curved downward as she looked up at him through her lashes. She shook her head.
Aberforth breathed a sigh through his nose, kneeling down to be eye level with her. He set the baskets down and folded his hands against one knee.
“Now young ‘un, why did ye eat those berries when I told ye not to?” he asked softly.
Willow wouldn’t meet his gaze, preferring to stare at her tiny bare feet as she replied. “’Cause I like ‘em an-and dey tastes happy,” she lisps slowly.
The old man could only smile sadly, reaching down to get a bit of his tunic and pulling it up to wipe at the color around her pitiful frown. “Do they tastes very happy now, little leaf?” he asked as he lowered part of his (now stained) tunic.
Willow shook her head again, her lips curving further as water budded in her eyes. His heart tugged and he sighed, relinquishing himself to pick her up like a sad little sack of potatoes. She sniffled against his shoulder as he continued to talk to her in knowing softness.
“Guilt made those blueberries taste bad, Willow. Ye don’ have to steal to get what you want; ye jest have to be patient. Patience, alright young ‘un?” He pulled her away from his shoulder to look in her bleary eyes. Willow nodded, and Aberforth smiled at her in return, booping her pouty bottom lip and feeling relieved when she giggled.
“Now,” he gruffed, looking over the tree heavy with apples, “How’s about ye help me get that apple right… there?” He pointed with his free arm to the last giant one hanging just out of his reach. “If you help me pluck it down,” at this he lightly pinched her nose with his thumb and forefinger, which was answered with an excited giggling that warmed his heart, “… we might have jest enough to make apple juice!”
“APPA JUICE!” came the reply, her fists flinging into the air in uninhibited elation, and the old man took that as confirmation.
“Sweet Nui, young ‘un, yer gettin’ too big for this,” he grunted theatrically as he raised her weightless form upward to sit on his shoulders. “Soon ye’ll be pickin’ me up! Can ye reach?”
“Yeah papa,” came the little reply from above. Willow grunted and stretched her arms with tiny grabby hands, just tall enough to wrap them around the bottom of the apple. Her grip slipped a few times, to her dismay, but she made no complaint and a moment later Willow leaned over her papa’s head with a glorious pink apple in her grip. “APPA!”
Aberforth cheered for her, his wrinkly visage spreading a gray, furry smile. His vision was obscured by a waterfall of wispy orange hair, her elated smile just above, the juiciest apple either of them would ever have the fortune to enjoy dangling in the child’s grasp. Then he swung her over in an assisted somersault down to land on her feet.
Still laughing, she clung to her apple vigilantly the whole waddle back to the cottage. That apple was the last to go in the boiler for juice, and, to this day, Willow insists that it was that apple that made their batch of juice incomparably the best there ever was.
And thus began… Willow’s obsession with apples!
Apples, apple juice, apple cider, hard cider, and berries!
Xardent has a preference to beef, though he's not picky with his meats. A juicy, well-done steak or pot roast is enough to subdue him for his meals.
His usual preference is a delicious red wine, but he's been trying to move away from alcohol. Thanks to Wynda's Brewsday, he loves to quench his thirst with anything that has apple in it, and sometimes he can't resist that hard cider.
Vahn's tastes are really no mystery at this point. He is a fan of traditionally Eastern dishes and drinks. His favorite dish, hands down, is deep fried iidako, AKA iidako karaage, a real-world dish so delicious, there's absolutely no appetizing way to describe it in English. In ArcheAge, the player-made origin of this dish is North Ishvaran, being one of the most heavily Pacific-Asian influenced cities in game, and the only one that doesn't have a bunch of mountains blocking the path to the sea, where obviously seafood is much more easily obtained. This is a fairly novel food for him, having only just tried it for the first time this year.
His favorite drink is a green tea that he often refers to as "Haslan Tea," based on the specialty trade in-game from Hasla, "Hasla Specialty Tea." Once again in-line with real-world far Eastern food and drink, this draws from the traditional Japanese tea (Chinese in origin) often used in tea ceremonies, matcha, which is a special sort of powdered green tea made from shade-grown tea plants. This is a familiar staple to Vahn, as both he and his grandfather, living secluded high in a wooded mountain, cultivated and processed. The powder is combined with hot water, producing a thick, relatively bitter, herby green tea.
#10987584 Apr 28, 2015 at 11:07 AM · Edited 7 years ago
erm sorry about that seems tahmoh dislikes green tea....moving on.
Tahmoh is a fairly simple firran at heart she likes most foods that are tasty or have interesting flavors(she loves iidako and other ishvaran style foods), her choice in drinks is usually fruit juices with her favorite juice of choice being coconut juice (or coco nut juice as she calls it)
#10987586 Apr 28, 2015 at 11:08 AM · Edited 7 years ago
Selaesori's early childhood was spent on an island, not far from the port of Mahadevi. His elderly caretaker didn't speak or acknowledge Selae all that much. In retrospect, the man wasn't likely used to having others around. While his caretaker tended to his garden and his beehives, Little Selae would spend his days dreaming and imagining what the world was like beyond the little island he lived on.
When the hot summer sun was at its strongest, a simple treat would bring the two men together in good company, offering a brief glimpse to Selae of what it might be like to have a family. The old man would collect slices of honeycomb, and arrange it on a slate slab outside their humbled thatched house. He would sprinkle the golden sweets with sliced ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom and allow them to bake until evening. Then, as the sun would set, they would sit together and enjoy the odd dessert like nobles before a grand feast.
Favorite Drink: Dry Red Wine
Selaesori's wife Deliana was a woman of conviction, and those convictions extended to her taste in wine. Nuian wine was too sweet. "They cheat" she would say by adding sugar to the wine to mask its inferior quality. A good red wine is dry, and even if bitter, does not betray the tongue of the talent of the winery.
He carried this conviction with him long after her death, associating the preference for dry wine with good taste and proper understanding of quality. So it would be that one day, Selae would sit down for drinks in Ezna with a man of unwavering confidence. He would order a dry red, and insist on no other. He saw Deliana in him, and his heart would begin to open, just a bit.
#10987884 Apr 28, 2015 at 12:21 PM · Edited 7 years ago
Taire is a simple and efficient cook, dumping whatever fish (or chum) he has at hand from his latest catch into a pot to boil and later spooning it from the same pot once it's cooled. A little different each time, Taire loves the often warm and sometimes tangy mixture of flavors that are sure to delight those brave enough to try it. He also swears it wakes him up and clears out his mind more than anything, aiding his agility and coordination for a time afterward. It's probably from the enormous amount of vitamins, minerals, fish oils and fatty acids.
Favorite Drink: Fermented Fruit Juice
Being a migratory tribe left food in constant need of resupply, or preservation. Taire's favorite drink as a kit was a simple combination of whatever fermented fruit the tribe had from the previous season, with a glob of sticky aloe gel and a dash of blue salt to taste. The tangy, salty concoction still makes his mouth water, and is the first thing he drinks after returning from a long time at sea. Don't try to smell it though, he swears it tastes better than it smells! Weak Harani.
#10987988 Apr 28, 2015 at 12:43 PM · Edited 7 years ago
That iidako karaage looks delicious. Yum yum crawly legs!
Now for Wynda...
"Oh, gosh, it's hard to say what food I like the most, I mean I cook, so... I kinda need to like everything! Buuuut... I do like savory and spicy sorts of dishes the best, really. Y'know, all garlic and onion and peppers and celery and those sorts of flavors. Well, there's more kinds of savory and spicy dishes than just ones that use those, though, but those are common ingredients." Her shoulders lift in a small shrug as she smiles brightly, a finger tipped with a glossy black painted nail tapping her lower lip as she contemplates.
"Now that I think about it, though, there /was/ one dish I had when I was... nine, maybe? I don't even remember where we were, except that it was somewhere on Haranya. Yastro had taken Gabe and me - he was Yastro's other apprentice - to some errand there. Of course we were both amazed at the architecture and everything, though we'd been to Haranya before several times for educational reasons. Anyway, the errand took longer than he'd thought and it was about dinner time, so he decided we'd stay there for dinner instead of going back home." Her fair blue eyes lit up at the memory.
"It was this dish with chicken, and red bell pepper, and celery, and onion, and /peanuts/, with fresh spring onion on top, and it was cooked with these really hot dried red peppers that also came served on top of it like a garnish. Someone was eating it and it looked really good, so that's what I ordered, and it... was... amazing. So many flavors, and so spicy!" A quiet giggle accompanies the comment as she bounces lightly in her seat, pleased to be sharing the sentiment of the moment with her mysterious interviewer. "I ate the red peppers, though Yastro said you aren't really supposed to do it unless you're really brave. I guess I was brave? They were really, really hot, but the owner of the restaurant seemed impressed."
"Anyway, I have no idea what it was called, and I haven't ventured over to Haranya very often since I've been on my own, but one day I'll figure out what it is..."
"As for drinks... I don't drink alcohol very much, on account of it being a bit of a treacherous thing for people even if they /aren't/ a sorceress... though I do from time to time, I mean it's fun and everything, it's just kinda dangerous for me. Anyway, I mostly drink tea. Usually cinnamon tea, with just a little honey in it. It's also really nice over ice, if the day's hot, and cinnamon's easy to carry around so it's not hard to make tea from it pretty much anywhere." As if to emphasize her point, she picks up the cup of tea sitting before her on the table, rosy lips drawing wide as she holds it up in a sort of toast before taking a small sip.
Archeum is what Ethira has been given as an alternative to consuming souls, by her associates. With the huge changes to the world, this source will create a need for her to consume greater quantity of it. Motes and dust is like sugar for her, giving her only a brief burst of energy. While shards and crystals are slightly more sustaining, it is still a snack compared to what a entire person contains within their being. As for essences, it is a addictive and hallucinatory effect upon her, so she avoids it unless it is dire, it could cause wild magic to occur if she was not focused enough to contain and use it.
Souls was her old favorite, although looked down upon by other sentients, she has promised to not continue at this time.
Magic is another source, but she cannot consume cast spells, or drain a person solely of magic. She would have to consume tangible sources like magical items to digest in this way. Very expensive to go about this route.
As to make a show that she does not seem different than anyone else she does enjoy what she had much of her childhood. Cured meats, cheeses, and olives. A simple meal, not needing any utensils or plates, it was a shared experience to be served and eat together with her family and those who were family friends. It was a fond memory until she exiled herself from the forest and began to adventure.
That is where she began to experience Nuian foods and drinks, Rum and Brandy durring her days as a healer on board a pirate ship. Water was expensive to keep clean and available on board, so most of her days were somewhat inebriated. Her history durring those years were fuzzy, and cannot recall everything that happened.
Being raised in a poor family, living in the arid wasteland of Arcum Iris Evelia doesn't have much preference for food. Anything edible will do, taste is definitely secondary. For drink she usually only drinks water, because it's cheap or free. Lately, she has begun to drink juice and more tea. One incident involving the Black Stag tavern and Evelia waking up in the adjacent inn with no memory of the night before has made her utterly wary of trying alcohol.
Recently, however she has begun to take on more and more jobs as a mercenary (the money she earns through Mirage Monthly is send to her siblings in Arcum Iris, anonymously). And while she hasn't developed any preference for any kind of food she does often carry chicken legs for munching.
She has however taken a liking to Iidako, not so much because of the taste but moreso because it is a dish she has shared with friends and those she considers family.
Kora - Harani from Windscour Savannah looking into the mysterious disappearances of Excavation crews.
Nguyet A small town girl in a big world. Analowe Where do you go to die when no place is home? Faetella Even love comes with a price. Lian Behind every good man is a quiet woman. Acantha The Firran Harani mothers warned you about.
Willow has deeply rooted wanderlust in her heart. Perhaps it’s from her time spent confined in the role of high-class Eznan society. Perhaps it’s inherited from her trouper mother, who was said to have graced each town, city, country and continent with her sweet voice and effervescent beauty. Perhaps Willow learned to love it from the stories she was told about the strength and self-determination of Tahyang, and the freedom of riding with the wind along an open road. She doesn’t really know. All that is certain is that without her freedom to fly far and give herself to adventure, Willow would wither and die, like a songbird encaged in stone.
These days, she clings to Mosspaw more than ever to take her on her travels, as she can no longer walk long distances without pain due to her twisted foot. This is an injury that she tends to speak of lightly. Alone with her thoughts, however, she can become overwhelmed with the worry that someday she will be trapped in a body too frail and broken to take her wherever the wind beckons her.
Artwork for the Kingkiller Chronicles. I thought it was fitting. Source unknown.
Willow's hobby as a musician began at the very young age of four, when her grandfather ("Papa") wanted to develop her senses of time, rhythm, and basic math in order to provide grounds with which she could utilize her young and growing mind. He taught her using his crudely carved flute that, despite its rugged and jagged edges, produced a warm and whispery tune when played. It broke during her residence with her uncle several years after her Papa's death, and she has yet to find another flute that could accurately emit such a noise. She buried the shattered flute near her Papa's grave.
Her official lessons began when she moved in with the Morganthe household. Under the strict rule of her expensive Harani tutor, Willow learned proficiency in a multitude of flutes, the piano, multiple lutes, and even the violin. This is also where she learned to read sheet music and studied music theory, rather than trying to play everything by ear.
This was her prime purpose as a humble Everleigh, of a misfit farming family, in a house full of Morganthes. She learned to perform music for the lavish gatherings hosted by her uncle, and even found solace there, using the music to disconnect her from the boring and haughty political conversation filling her ears.
Music comforted Willow through times when she felt she had nothing else. It kept her going, and it drives her every day to learn more, play more, and to push herself beyond what the pessimistic, niggling thoughts in her head tell her she can be.
Willow considers taking in and caring for her multiple rescue animals to be a hobby.
Her geese stay at her home at all times. She feeds them, provides for them shelter and warmth, and gives them overall a comfortable life. In return, she gathers their soft feathers for bedding and trade, and they provide her with ample manure to convert into fuel for her hauler. Sometimes a slavering undead will happen upon her farm and eat some of her geese, which is always devastating to her.
She also visits and adventures with several other animals, big and small. Perhaps it is a weakness, but she finds their inherent innocence and strength admirable and refreshing. Often times tending to them is actually a respite from her own cares.
Her lovelies so far:
Mosspaw: A snow lion, Willow's closest traveling companion, who was originally given to her cousin as an exotic pet imported from Haranya. Once he got too big, her cousin gave him over to Willow to take care of, and their bond is as close as any made between a native Firran and her lion.
Meadow: A rambunctious little snow lion cub. Willow and Mosspaw worked together to rescue her from a malevolent ritual, but they came just a moment too late. Some of the damage had already been done, and Meadow's growth will forever be stunted to remain a baby, never to grow to her full potential physically or mentally.
Eir: A black bear who lost her cub in a tragic accident. Willow took her in and nursed her back from the brink, the poor mother being too grieved to eat or sleep of her own accord. Now she is highly protective of Willow and tends to hover around her when surrounded by people. This large, fluffy, and insistent barrier makes Willow hesitate to bring her to cities or social events.
Percival: Willow's trusty ass. What a great ass, so pleasant and plump, and it can carry such heavy loads! Anyone who meets this friendly ass may find themselves immediately thinking—“Damn, that is a nice ass!”
Horizon: Willow's dolphin, nursed back to health after being washed ashore and stranded upon a beach. She is very friendly, bonding quickly to Willow, and loves to swim the open sea with her new friend on her back.
Tybalt: When Willow was much younger she climbed a tree and found a kitten there, stuck in the branches with no way down. She saved it, and her cousin claimed it as her own to spoil and love. Due to some recent happ’nins, Willow has sort of regained contact with her uncle and cousin, which means she gets to see what a fat and silly cat Tybalt has grown into.
#11096621 May 26, 2015 at 04:13 PM · Edited over 6 years ago
I added Aprils answers to my characters profiles. First I'll answer May for Sydarian:
Hang Gliding. Ever since a dear friend helped him upgrade a previously junk glider awarded to him for some freelance work, Sydarian has found great joy out of Hang Gliding. He spends much of his free time sailing through the air, looking around at the world below.
He is also fond of long rides through nature on the back of Midori, his tremendous Green Elk. Occasionally he'll also take airships or carriages just for the sightseeing opportunities.
Gardening. Few things in life make him happier then growing, nurturing, and harvesting plants. He is also fond of crossbreeding varieties of plants, though he hasn't had any notable success. He always smells of flowers to some degree and is fond of giving flowers to his friends at random.
And for Abyad:
The thing that brings Abyad the most peace and pleasure in the world, at least at this point in his life, is watching the sunrise and sunset. For most of the day he is active, but those moments are the few he takes to relax, be still, and reflect on the topics most important to him. He also takes a moment to thank the spirits for their guidance and protection, as this means he has survived the day and lives to see the next.