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Clementine Harper

Even in silence, there is still a voice.

0 · 591 views · located in Blackford Manor (Ground Floor)

a character in “Blackford Manor”, as played by SlightlyInsane

Description

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"Silence is a source of great strength."
~Lao Tzu




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Full Name
Clementine Rayne Harper

Nicknames
Clem
Princess | Used by her family


Age
Twenty Seven

Occupation
Kitchenhand

Gender
Female

Sexuality
Heterosexual

Appearance
Clementine stands at 5'4" and weighs a little below average for a woman of her stature. Don't be fooled though, she's stronger than she appears and can pack quite the punch. It's common to see her wavy, dark blonde hair tied back. Her eyes are blue and her skin is pale.

She mainly wears plain dresses, white leggings, and a pair of boots, preferring not to draw too much attention to herself. When in the kitchen she wears an apron with pockets to hold her notepad. If she does not have pockets she will keep the notepad in a small bag strapped around her hips. While she does have a few items from her life in higher society, she will almost never wear them.




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Summary
Clementine is a cynical young woman, having learned that life isn't all sunshine and happiness. She's distrusting of others, having had too many bad experiences with people in the past. Nonetheless there is a small hope in her that there are still good people in the world. Though she's become used to looking out for herself and being alone, she would still like to have the company of a true friend one day. When in social situations she would much rather be in a corner observing then in the middle of a conversation. She will normally start conversations if immensely curious about something or in need of assistance. Furthermore, she finds it slightly embarrassing that she cannot hold a verbal conversation with anyone. While Clem is somewhat embarrassed about being mute, especially when meeting new people, she tries not to let it get to her too much. There are worse things in the world. Plus, being silent means she has an easier time listening in on others' conversations. This is a habit of hers-- listening to others' conversations be it for amusement or to gain knowledge about those speaking.

She's always had a temper and been prideful. As the years have passed she's learned to deal with both better. However, there are times where her anger boils over and she needs to walk away before she hits something. There are also times when she feels her pride being challenged and she will do what it takes to defend it. Though she does not make snarky comments verbally, she tends to do so in her head. Clementine is rather intelligent, though this intelligence can be thrown off by her strong emotions.



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Likes
Independence | Who doesn't like being free?
Being Left Alone | Especially when working, she prefers that she be able to do her work in peace.
Music | She loves the sound of the violin and the piano, whether they be played together or individually. She also enjoys playing her violin.

Dislikes
Most People | She distrusts most people.
Being Touched | She’ll jerk away from or hit you if your touch is unwanted.
Thunderstorms | Clem doesn't like the loud noise, flashes of light, and heavy rain thunderstorms bring. It's unsettling for her.

Quirks
Always Has a Notepad and Pencil | She'll keep the notepad in a pocket or small bag and the pencil behind her ear.
Picking Flowers | If she sees a flower she really likes, she will pick it or cut it off and smell it. She will even do this on someone else's property.
Doesn't Drink Alcohol | She never really liked the taste to begin with and figures it'd be best not to consume it after her injury.

Strengths
Lying | She's become quite good at lying through practice with facial expressions and the fact she writes to communicate.
Fighting | She's more or less pretty good at fighting.
Determination | (Stubborn might be a better word in some cases.) When she sets out to accomplish something she means to do it with all she's got.

Weaknesses
Muteness | Being unable to speak, Clementine relies on writing, hand motions, or facial expressions to communicate with others. Sometimes this isn't enough to convey what she means. Her muteness also renders her unable to (vocally) call for help should the need ever arise.
Can Only Have Liquids and Soft Foods | She has difficulty and discomfort swallowing solid foods.
Temper and Pride | She's gotten better at controlling these aspects of her personality, but nonetheless both can be used against her.

Secrets
Disowned by Her Wealthy Family | It's a heavy topic for her and one she'd rather not discuss or have everybody knowing.
Became Mute After Fight With Ex-Fiance | He hit her in just the right place and she yelled a little too loudly right after the injury, causing her to become physically mute. If asked why she cannot speak, she will inform others that she was simply born without a voice.
Wanted by Police in Another Town for Assault | The last chef she worked with was a very hands on kind of guy.... so she put him in his place with a kick to the groin and a knee to the face.

Fears
Snakes | They creep her out.
Being Found By the Police or Her Family | She would prefer not to go to jail or an insane asylum. She would also prefer not to encounter her family and have them gloat in her face.
Working for the Rest of Her Life | The idea is a scary one, though the idea of marriage is equally is scary.




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Clementine was born into a wealthy family. She was their sixth child and youngest daughter. Growing up, she was given almost anything she could have wanted. There were toys, pretty dresses, and a top education. Life was easy, yet there were few instances of true happiness. She was forbidden from going anywhere without supervision, for fear of endangering herself or her family. As she became older, she began to challenge her strict parents. It started with sneaking out of the house at night to stroll around the garden. Her acts of defiance soon grew, as she refused to cooperate in school or at home. If there were guests at dinner, she was apt to poke fun at them or her family. If she was told to dress her best for church, she would don a pair of trousers and an ill-fitting shirt before promptly being told to dress herself "like a proper lady." Her parents couldn't figure out why she was acting so rebellious, failing to realize that she merely wanted to be her own person instead of the well mannered, submissive young woman she was expected to be.

Thinking that perhaps marriage would tame their wild daughter, her parents began the search for suitors. Of course, it was a bit difficult given Clementine's tendency to act as horrendous as possible. Somehow, a young Mr. Edward Devitt decided to try his luck in courting her. Under the constant scrutiny of her mother as a chaperone, Clementine acted out less. When it came time to accept or deny Mr. Devitt's proposal for marriage, she felt she had no other choice than to say yes. Now allowed to speak with him without a chaperone, Clementine confronted him only a few days later to inform him that she did not want to marry him and had only said yes because he'd proposed in the presence of many others.

Angered that she had lead him on, he impulsively struck her. Clementine struck at him in return and continued taking hits at him until she was struck in the neck just right. Enraged, she opened her mouth to let out a curse at him. However, only half the word came out before her voice abruptly cracked and failed to work. She would later learn that the combination of a well placed blow to the neck and her yelling at the top of her lungs was enough to render her permanently mute.

Her parents were furious and embarrassed by her assault on her ex-fiance. Not caring that their daughter had no work skills, had nowhere to go, and was mute, her parents abruptly told her she was no longer a member of their family. She was thrown out at the age of 21. Since then, she's wandered around from town to town. Saved from working in a factory due to her literacy skills, Clementine has had an assortment of domestic related jobs. None paid too well, but it was enough to get by. Her attitude, still that of a rebellious teen did not help her keep any one job for too long. As the years passed, she found it easier to just mind her own business and do her work. She also did her best to maintain the temper and pride still residing in her.

At her job previous to coming to Blackford Manor, the chef she worked with was a bit too handsy. At first she thought it was just a few accidental bumps, but it became apparent he was purposefully touching her. After a few months she was fed up with his behaviour. While cleaning up one night, she kicked him in the groin and then kneed him in the face. Effectively acting as a notice that she had quit, she left the kitchen and gathered what few things she had from her small, rented room. Clementine left town and slept in the next town over. When she woke up, she found a mysterious letter offering employment, food, lodging, and good pay. She also overheard others' conversation of "a mad-woman wanted for assault." Needless to say, she did not need much prompting to travel to Blackford Manor.




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Faceclaim
Sophie Lowe

Hex Colour
#7A378B

Player
SlightlyInsane

So begins...

Clementine Harper's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins Character Portrait: Chloe Reed Character Portrait: Bernard Valor Character Portrait: Asher Jones Character Portrait: Clementine Harper Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery Character Portrait: Dorothy Evelyn Bennett Character Portrait: Nina Xalvadora
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It is your second day at Blackford Manor, and your first day of work. As you arrived yesterday there were a few other maids and manservants to greet you, and they have informed you that the master will be absent for some time. Theodorus Cherrywood is expected to arrive later in the day. As you rub the sleep from your eyes, you may take a look out the window and notice that the water has risen during the night, sealing you off from the outside world for many hours. Those of you with keen sense of sight (and rooms at the back of the house) might also notice something that looks an awful lot like the roof of a house sticking up from the water, some miles away in the opposite direction of Hob's Bay. Hopefully nobody lives there.

As you come out of your room you will find a note with your expected assignments. This is what it says:


Dear Sir or Madam,

It delights our Esteemed Master that you have decided to accept his proposal. We trust you will enjoy your stay at Blackford Manor, and as long as you carry out the assignments as expected, you will be most welcome. You have arrived during a busy time. Our Master hopes to have a party at the end of the week to rekindle some of his lost friendships during his time away from England. As such, we are expecting eight (8) guests on Friday. It will be your job to make sure they pass their time here wanting nothing, having everything, with the exception of entertainment, which will be provided by our Master. On that note, here are your jobs for the day;

  • Maids and manservants. You will be expected to clean the house, with particular focus on the guest rooms on the first floor. The kitchen hands will be expected to help, with particular focus on the kitchen.
  • Cooks and stocktakers. The kitchen and cellar are in dire need of inventory checks. Make a note of what we have in stock, and prepare your orders for the party.
  • Gardeners. You should do what you do best with the garden. The master has also requested floral decorations inside the house, which you may provide.

Note that these orders are on top of what would be expected of you on a daily basis. I expect to find everything in order once I arrive this evening.

Kind Regards,
Theodorus Cherrywood
Head Butler


And so your new life at Blackford Manor begins, as your characters drift from deep sleep to a slow awakening. The sunlight streams in through your respective windows, promising a grey but rain free day...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clementine Harper
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Location: Her Room → Kitchen
Interacting With: No One in Particular

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Clementine rose from her bed and look out the window of her room. Hmm, it seems I really am trapped here, she thought, observing the water level. No matter, today was a new beginning. What would make this "new beginning" different than any other? She didn't know, but she couldn't help but hope that this mansion would act as a home for awhile. Besides, being a kitchen hand really wasn't a bad job. She found it quite relaxing to chop vegetables and clean the dishes. It was a chance to let her mind go blank, to forget all that had happened and all that could happen. She took one more look out the window before going to the small wash basin and washing her face.

Almost soundlessly Clementine crossed the quaint room to the wooden dresser. She had already set her clothes in it, as she had no intention of leaving the manor any time soon. Once dressed in a long sleeved, ankle length, cream coloured dress, she tied her well worn apron around her waist. She brushed her dark blonde waves before tying them back into a half pony tail so as not to interfere with whatever work she would be required to do today. After putting her boots on, she slipped her pencil behind her right ear and put her notepad in her left apron pocket. Ready to face the day, Clementine left her room with a slight smile on her face. Come what may, she thought to herself as she closed her door.

After reading the note left for her, she decided it'd be best go to the kitchen and see what needed to be cleaned. She had no intention of seeking out the maids and manservants unless she absolutely needed something. She had no idea who they were and if they were new as well, which was quite likely, they'd have no clue what to be doing with themselves. With a mental sigh, Clementine walked down the hall with a soft click-clack of the heels of her boots. She'd always been quite light on her feet, but walking silently in heels was just too much effort. Besides, she had nothing to hide at the moment. She was merely a kitchen hand going to the kitchen.

It did not take long to find the kitchen, situated on the ground floor with a servants' staircase conveniently close to her room. Upon entering, she found herself in the presence of a handful of other servants. She recognized a some from last night after arriving at the manor, but none of the new servants had engaged in conversation. If Clementine was like how her family had always wanted her to be, she'd be greeting each person and making small talk. Instead, she simply walked into the room and did her best to ignore everyone. She wasn't exactly known for her proper social skills and that seemed unlikely to change for as long as she lived.

It would do no good to clean the kitchen with these bodies in it and while it is in use, she thought as she paused to look around. Two people were by the stove, a woman was making something and a man chatting with her. A lone man was by the sink, staring out of the window above it. Finally, there was a blonde woman standing against the wall, seemingly observing the others just as Clementine was doing. What a lovely little group, she thought as a small smile formed. Perhaps we'll all be friends and live merrily in this big, old house. Sarcasm was one of her favourite things.

While she wasn't too happy with being around these people, Clem suddenly found herself preoccupied with another thought-- what was she going to eat for breakfast? Being unable to eat solid food put quite the damper on meal times for her. It also made things complicated when relocating or attending a meal with strangers. She had no intention of settling for a glass of water. It smelled like the woman at the stove was cooking oatmeal. Perhaps she'd share with the others and if not, Clementine was perfectly capable of making her own. Unsure of what to do, she decided to learn where things were in the kitchen. After all, she'd be spending quite a bit of time in here. She began opening drawers and cabinets, closing them gently so as not to disrupt those having conversation. It'd do no good to annoy others on her first full day here.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins Character Portrait: Asher Jones Character Portrait: Clementine Harper Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery Character Portrait: Dorothy Evelyn Bennett Character Portrait: Nina Xalvadora
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The first night in the manor had been a long one. Though she was dreadfully tired, sleep eluded her as she lay upon the the wool blanket that had been tucked neatly into the sleigh bed in her chambers. The mattress was softer than the one at he old apartment above the butcher, but it lacked the warmth of personal history that her old home possessed. Glancing around the room she noticed that, though not quite as upscale as the rest of the manor, even the servants quarters were furnished nicely. In addition to her bed there was a vanity, a set of shelves, and a matching dresser in the room as well.
Upon her arrival last night she began unpacking her bags, though she told herself it was to make this place feel more like home she knew the real reason was to keep her from turning tail and running back out the door. There was no history here, no trace of her father in it's walls. Gazing around the room brought no memories of laughter or joy, only an unpleasant emptiness.

“Sleep is out of the question," she sighed crossing the room to the sparsely decorated shelves. A trinket box and a few knick-knacks sat on the top shelf, tokens of her father’s affection in the years when he was still alive, and a few leather bound books that she cherishes took their place on a shelf of their own.
While searching for the Manor upon her arrival in Hob’s Bay she stumbled upon a library. Though the librarian could not help her search, she had recommended a novel that Nina happily borrowed. Thoughts of a blooming friendship between her and the older woman put a smile on her face, books had been her sanctuary for the last year without him. She retrieved this book from the top of the pile and sat in the windowsill, it’s pages would help her pass the time until morning came.



Streak of dawn passed through the thin part in the thick curtains revealing the particles dancing in the air. Nina placed a ribbon halfway through the book and sighed, thoughts of heroic knights made her heart flutter and cheeks turn a magnificent shade of pink. Outside the water seemed to have risen an amazing amount since her arrival, the manor seemed to be an island surrounded by a sea that parted just for her arrival.
How odd, she thought, I guess I won’t be returning this book anytime soon, I hope she understands...”
As she placed the book back on it’s shelf she noticed a letter that had been placed on her nightstand. She was sure that it was not there the night before, but it must have been. No one had entered the room while she was reading, “I must have missed it..." she mumbled as she opened it, taking in the tasks for the day.
The thought of being around so many new people both excited and terrified her as she thumbed through the small selection of dresses she brought with her. After settling on a pale yellow dress with a sweet heart neckline that fell just past her knees she retrieved her white apron from the dresser and tied it around her waist. Though she was sure that there were aprons for her in the kitchen to choose from, she had a special attachment to this one. Though it was made of white cotton, she had embellished the edges with lace and sewn the outline of a white rabbit on the corner. Her father’s nickname for her had always been his little bunny due to the way she wiggled her nose back and forth when she was deep in thought or reading a particularly exciting chapter in one of her romance novels.
Finally she pulled on her black boots and laced them up. They rose to above her ankle and the two inch heel gave her just enough lift that she wouldn’t stand out too much with the others. Finally she pulled her hair up in a bun, though she attempted to keep it neat she had trouble with her curls at times. Sticking a few pins into the bun to hold down the flyaway strands and tying a pastel blue ribbon around the curly mess completed her preparation for the day. She considered slipping on her white gloves, she had worn them almost every day since her father’s passing, but chose to risk the passing touch of the others. Her job in the kitchen wouldn’t require hand coverings. At this point they would just be a crutch for her social anxiety. She did bring a book with her however, The Language of Flowers , to bury her head in should it become to much for her. It was time to start her new life, it was time to meet her new family.

When she entered the kitchen she was amazed to see just how many servants Mr.Blackford had employed on his staff. In her days at Claire manor as a child there was only two maids, the cook, and her father who did all of the work. Claire manor was half the size of this estate however, so the staffing choice made sense. With her life of isolation for the past year even just three or four people would seem like a crowd though.
Nina kept her head down as she entered the kitchen, her hands clutching her book tight enough to pull her the skin white across her knuckles. She wanted to turn and run, but remembering the rising water she knew there would be no escape. Instead she took a deep breath and raised her head to view the group that had converged in the room, no doubt in search of breakfast before their work day began. Though she had no appetite she had no choice but to remain in the kitchen, this was where she belonged.

Glancing around she wondered what she should begin doing. The cook, she assumed based on the apron he wore, was chatting with another girl who was preparing something in a small pot and a second girl was looking through the cabinets and drawers.
They must be the other kitchen hands, they look busy... I should be doing something as well... Glancing around she searched for a task to start. It seemed that most everyone was waiting patiently for something to eat.
Nina placed her book down onto the butcher block table and grabbed a basket that sat in the corner of the kitchen next to a door she was assuming served as a pantry. Stepping into the small room her assumption was verified only by the sparse supplies lining the shelves.
I suppose that makes sense, one of the tasks does require an order be placed fro supplies... I just didn’t think it was going to be this bad. she thought as she removed the lid from a dusty barrel. Though the barrel could have held hundred of apples, only seven lay at the bottom of the barrel. She almost fell in as she leaned over to reach them, her ability to balance on the edge with her feet off the ground saved her from taking an embarrassing tumble on her first day. Returning to the kitchen with the basket of apples she felt a lump form in her throat. Now that she had found food, she couldn’t just stand there with the basket and hope that the others would come...

She swallowed hard and walked over to a man with dark hair who was gazing out of the window over the sink. Standing next to him she dumped the apples into the sink and began rinsing the dust from their red skins. She spoke in her soft, melodic voice for the first time since she stepped into the kitchen, though she couldn’t bring herself to raise her eyes to his.
“Are you hungry," she asked, holding a freshly washed apple out to him, “There isn’t much to eat right now, but I found these in the pantry.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins Character Portrait: Asher Jones Character Portrait: Clementine Harper Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery Character Portrait: Dorothy Evelyn Bennett Character Portrait: Nina Xalvadora
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SAMUEL PERKINS

ImageSam’s dark gaze flickered from the low hanging clouds to the large garden, then past that, the glassy marsh land that surrounded the estate. He had glanced at the garden the day before, when the odd man from town gave him a lift to the manor, and had noted the work that needed to be done. He had missed the back though, where he was now certain he could see headstones in the distance. A family grave site? He pursed his lips slightly. Eight days—the gravel drive, the chapel, the garden, and now the graveyard—was a short time to get everything ready.

Hearing voices, he looked over at the stove. A young woman was standing here, the little suffragette that Sam had briefly met the day before but whose name escaped him, and the cook lost in their own conversation.

He turned back to the sink and rubbed his tired eyes, vowing to try and actually sleep tonight. He would have laughed at the thought, if it wasn’t so problematic for him. Samuel Perkins, sleeping through the night? How absurd. He hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep in over ten years. And something told him he wasn’t about to start.

Movement out of the corner of his eye made Sam turn and watch as a girl descended the steps, dressed in a cream colored dress and an apron. Her eyes swept across the kitchen, and Sam felt he should at least attempt a ‘good morning’ to her, but she quickly busied herself with rummaging through the cupboards, and Sam lost his nerve. A little slip of a girl, pressed against the opposite wall, also caught his eye. To her, he nodded and gave a half heartened smiled. He was quickly discovering that the new servants seemed to be as uncertain about the new job as he was...most of them anyway.

The tumble of apples into the basin sink made Sam jump slightly and he turned to see the French girl holding offering one to him. He took it gratefully.

"That's quite all right," he replied, adding, "Thank you." He paused for a moment, seeming to consider, before taking a bite. Realizing he forgot to introduce himself, he offered his free hand. "Samuel Perkins, the new gardener of Blackford Manor," he introduced, deciding he quite liked the sound of his new title. It was much better than 'Samuel Perkins, ex convict and former drunkard'

The setting changes from blackford-manor-first-floor to Real world

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins Character Portrait: Asher Jones Character Portrait: Clementine Harper Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery Character Portrait: Dorothy Evelyn Bennett Character Portrait: Nina Xalvadora
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#, as written by Miyer



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Jules looked up quickly at the sound of the man's voice, a guilty look flashing across her features. It took her a second to realise that the man, who she quickly identified as the cook, wasn't angry at all. Relaxing, Jule's reached out and took the man's hand and offered him a warm smile.

"It's a pleasure to meet you Mr Jones, My name is Juliet Monthomery, but please call me Jule.", Jule spared a quick glance back at her poor excuse for a porriage, grimacing before turning back to face Asher. It appeared she couldn't cook as well as she hoped... "I must apologise for using your stove without permission, I was just rather hungry... Though I'm not sure this is edible.", she gave a small chuckle while holding up a wooden spoon of lumpy, gray porriage.

While waiting for Asher's response, Jule's looked around the kitchen and noticed it had begun to fill up. 3 women and a man had entered the kitchen while she was cooking and were doing their own thing. One women was standing against the wall while another had begun to look through the cupboards like she herself had done earlier. The other man in the room seemed to have started a conversation with the last women present. Turning back to Asher, she smiled patiently as she waitsd for his response.




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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asher Jones Character Portrait: Clementine Harper Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery Character Portrait: Nina Xalvadora
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#, as written by bjzuels
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"Ahh, Juliet. What a beautiful name for a very lovely lady," Asher said as he took her hand and placed a kiss on it. Studying the woman over a bit, he smiled and then looked to the stove. "So, Jules, will you be working here in the kitchen or is there another area of the manor that you have been assigned to?" Asher had taken the wooden spoon in the pot on the stove and looked at the grey concoction a bit more, bringing it to his nose to sniff and then, after wrinkling his nose, he replaced the spoon and looks at Jules, "I don't mean to offend you, my lady, but I believe this..ahh...oatmeal is it? Yes, well, I believe it may be best fit for some of the livestock in the area."

Asher took a quick look around the kitchen and found some food available for cooking. Coming back to Jules he says to her, "Why don't you have a seat at the table over there and I will produce something to fill your hollow stomach in a moment." Turning to the others now assemble in the kitchen, Asher announces, "The name is Asher Jones. I am the head cook of this manor. By the looks of it you have all come in search of breakfast. Rather than having you rummage through the place and make a mess for me, please have a seat at the table by Lady Juliet. I will put together some food for you to help get your day started off right.

With that, Asher starts pulling out eggs, a slab of salted pork, potatoes, and is even lucky enough to find a loaf of bread suitable for human consumption. He turns to his stove, placing some pans on the fire and gets to work preparing the food for cooking.

The setting changes from real-world to Blackford Manor (Ground Floor)

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins Character Portrait: Asher Jones Character Portrait: Clementine Harper Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery Character Portrait: Nina Xalvadora
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"Samuel Perkins, the new gardener of Blackford Manor," the young man proudly introduced himself as, taking the apple she offered.
Nina raised her eyes to his, having been taught at a young age by Lady Claire that a young woman should always make eye contact when introducing herself, and wiped the water from her hands before extending one to him.
"Nina Xalvadora, it's a pleasure to meet you Monsieur," she responded with a smile. His eyes were blue like her own, but didn't shine with hope as hers did. He looked tired, but not from a single night. His eyes carried fatigue from a lifetime of restless nights. At the sight of them she felt a pang of heartache for him, but was unsure why.
"The name is Asher Jones. I am the head cook of this manor. By the looks of it you have all come in search of breakfast. Rather than having you rummage through the place and make a mess for me, please have a seat at the table by Lady Juliet. I will put together some food for you to help get your day started off right.
The grizzly fellow that had been at the stove chatting with another young lady had turned his attention to the rest of the group and addressed us in a booming voice. He confirmed her suspicion that he would be the cook of the house and requested that everyone take a seat.

Nina retrieved the remaining six apples from the sink and placed them back into the basket, unsure of what to do with them. She decided to place them on the counter next to him, should he choose not to use them she knew where they would need to be returned.
She returned her attention to Samuel long enough to give him a shy smile before turning to the table to take her place where her book already rested.
Being a kitchen hand she felt that she should be helping him and raised her hand gently, "Monsieur Jones, I have been hired to work in the kitchen with you if you'd like any assistance..." her voice trailed at the end as eyes turned at the sound. Her shoulders rose and her head dropped, it was going to take some time before she felt comfortable around so many people. Her life as a wallflower was over, she was part of something now. A cog in the machine, and for the machine to function properly there would have to be contact between her and the other cogs.
She could only hope that she would be allowed to do some cooking during her employment, though being a kitchen hand only guaranteed that she would be doing much of the cleaning in not just the kitchen, but the entire ground floor. For now, at least until Mr.Cherrywood arrived, she knew who to look to for guidance.

The setting changes from blackford-manor-ground-floor to Real world

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins Character Portrait: Bernard Valor Character Portrait: Asher Jones Character Portrait: Clementine Harper Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery Character Portrait: Dorothy Evelyn Bennett Character Portrait: Nina Xalvadora
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Location: Kitchen
Interacting With: Asher Jones and Nina
Xalvadora

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Clem continued looking through the cabinets and drawers. She knew she would not be able to remember where everything was from one run through of the kitchen, but it'd be nice to have an idea of where things were. She was about a quarter of the way through the kitchen when another young woman entered. It was becoming quite the party in here, much to her half-hearted amusement and full scale annoyance. One one hand being around all of the other servants would let her get a feel for their personalities and learn where they had been assigned within the house. On the other hand, these people would probably just create a mess for her to clean up later on. She also wasn't much of a people person.

As she continued her self guided tour of the kitchen, she listened to the conversations of the others. She noted each of their names and the positions they held if they stated so. She had just closed a drawer when Mr. Jones proceeded to announce that he would make them all breakfast. It was nice to know that the cook could take initiative and seemed confident in his abilities to cook. Nonetheless, Clementine would not be able to partake in any culinary wonders he provided unless they were soups or soft foods. It was almost ironic that a woman unable to eat solid food should be working as a kitchen hand. She eyed the food that Mr. Jones had pulled from around the kitchen and was relieved to see that he had pulled out some eggs and a loaf of bread among other things. A cooked egg and a piece of bread what be fine for her breakfast, even if it was boring by others' standards.

Clementine removed the pencil from behind her ear while simultaneously grabbing the notepad out of her apron pocket. She wrote a note on it for Mr. Jones to read. In the time it had taken her to do so, another young man had burst into he kitchen and introduced himself. She could only hope that he was not a kitchen hand. He was much too loud for her liking. As Bernard took a seat at the table, she noticed the dark haired woman approach Mr. Jones. Clem approached the cook as well and heard that other woman was a kitchen hand and had asked if the cook needed any help. She took her pencil again and added another line before the note she had just wrote down.

She tapped Mr. Jones on the the shoulder once she stood near him. She offered a small smile in place of an 'excuse me' before holding up her small notepad so he could read her message. Mr. Jones, I am a kitchen hand as well. My name is Clementine Harper. I am unable to speak and also unable to eat solid foods. Clementine could feel her cheeks threatening to turn red from embarrassment. It felt awkward having to admit so soon that she was mute and would only be able to consume the eggs and bread. She also was never sure how people would react to her muteness. But it was better that he find this out sooner than later given he was the one making the food as well as her superior. Once Mr. Jones was finished reading the note, Clementine turned so that Nina could read it as well.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins Character Portrait: Chloe Reed Character Portrait: Bernard Valor Character Portrait: Asher Jones Character Portrait: Clementine Harper Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery Character Portrait: Nina Xalvadora
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''No no, it's fine pal-o i don't mind, and on the contrary i do live here i'm your very own stocktaker.''The man said and Chloe cocked her head. An American? How Queer? He rose to his feet, and gave a gallant bow. She blinked. 'If you don't mind, i'd like to ask your name.''He asked with an almost child like smile that caused her mouth to twitch.

"Chloe. Monsieur" She said. "Chloe Reed." She said with a curtsy, if her skin wasn't enough, showed she was of the lower class.

''Anyways i should be heading back, i'm kinda feeling the hunger ya know, i wouldn't mind dining with a fine ladie such as yourself.'' He told her and offered his hand. She looked at him with wide chocolate eyes. Why did he do that? We all american's this carefree, did they not care for Class? He called her a Lady? A fine one at that.

Was he ill in the head,unable to see color? Confused and a little curious, she dropped her tiny hand into his and he lead her into the kitchen where she pulled her hand from his the moment she saw the others. She lingered back a bit, as the American made his grand entrance, she hung by the entry. ''Got room for another Mr.Chef!'' He announced before he offered a hand to the each of them. ''The names Bernard Valor! Great to meet cha all!' He said, and she made note to remember his name.

Chloe took this time to examined the rest of them. . One woman with auburn curls, standing besides an older gentlemen to which she assumed was the cook as Bernard went to him first, another was a lithely blonde, who was a simple beauty, was scribbling something on a pad before showing it to the others, while Bernard approached a man with a look that who could only be described as 'English', His eyes were sad, this she could see from here. There was another woman, with brilliant big blue eyes that the tiny blonde was showing her pad to.

Chloe heard the auburn haired woman introduce herself as Juliet Montgomery.

Chloe took a breath and decided to enter the room, make herself known.They were all in the staff, even if they all were fair of skin, perhaps she wasn't entirely lesser then them. She entered the room, with the exact opposite amount of enthusiasm as Bernard and before she could opened her mouth to speak, her nerves got the better of her and she ducked her head down, snapping her mouth shut with a click. The last time she asserted herself did not end well.

"Excusez-moi " She told them quickly with a nod, her eyes on the floor.

She moved to the table, furthest from the group, and sat in a hurry, hoping she didn't make a complete fool of herself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins Character Portrait: Chloe Reed Character Portrait: Bernard Valor Character Portrait: Asher Jones Character Portrait: Clementine Harper Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery Character Portrait: Nina Xalvadora
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As Jules walked away, Asher went to dispose of her creation in the trash can near the back door. When her turned around to make his way back to the counter where he would work to prepare the food, he is met by a petite woman who was placing apples on the counter. "Monsieur Jones, I have been hired to work in the kitchen with you if you'd like any assistance..." Asher looks the woman over and with a smile nods, "Very good, my dear lady. Are you any good with a knife? You can peel and dice those apples for me and then set yourself to work on that sack of potatoes. I should think dicing them to about the size of your thumb nail should do nicely.

Without waiting for a response, Asher makes his way past the table towards the door to the room he saw meat hanging in. ''Got room for another Mr.Chef!' the brash young man who identified himself as the "Stocktaker" asked. Asher pointed to a chair at the table and replied, "Indeed I do, my fine man. Take a seat and in no time we shall have food on a plate before you." Reaching the room, Asher turned on a light and saw a variety of meats and sausages hanging from hooks and packed in barrels. Some were salted and others smoked. Finding a fine chunk of smoke ham, he brought it out and took it to the counter that the petite woman was working on peeling and dicing.

When he reached the counter, he was approached by another young woman. She seemed a bit shy and almost hesitant to come to him. As he placed the meat on the counter, she tapped his shoulder and held out a small pad of paper which had some words written upon it. Asher looked at what the woman was holding out to him. It read: Mr. Jones, I am a kitchen hand as well. My name is Clementine Harper. I am unable to speak and also unable to eat solid foods. Asher handed the notepad back to her and said, "A pleasure to meet you, Clementine. Ahh, lets see. Perhaps you can find where they have placed the dishes, cups and silverware and begin to set the table for our esteemed guests."

Asher looks back to the petite lady to she how she is progressing as he finds a knife for himself to cut the meat with, "So, my name is Asher, I didn't catch yours." He set to work cutting the meat into slabs, glancing back to the woman to listen for her response.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins Character Portrait: Chloe Reed Character Portrait: Bernard Valor Character Portrait: Asher Jones Character Portrait: Clementine Harper
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"Very good, my dear lady. Are you any good with a knife? You can peel and dice those apples for me and then set yourself to work on that sack of potatoes. I should think dicing them to about the size of your thumb nail should do nicely. Asher replied kindly. Nina gave him an nod to acknowledge his request and rose with a sense of purpose. After finding a large chefs knife for chopping and a smaller paring knife for peeling she moved to a large cutting board. Testing both knives with her thumb she found them both sufficiently sharp and placed the apples and potatoes in two separate and neat piles. She began peeling the apples and making quick work of them at that. As she worked she thought back to her first day in a kitchen. It was rather embarrassing, though she would never admit it out loud...

Lady Claire smiled as she led a younger Nina through the dining hall and down into the kitchen for her very first day of work. For the first twelve years of her life Nina had been treated as a part of the Claire family; playing, eating, and learning with Edward and Anthony as if they were her own brothers. She had developed into a lovely young lady, far different from the shapeless eleven year old she was just a year prior. Her maturing body was part of the reason her father had insisted she begin work. Knowing himself at their age, he trusted the boys about as far as he could throw one of the dairy cows he had been hired to tend.
Needless to say, this upper class treatment had spoiled young Nina. She detested the idea of working at first, but her father told her that he needed help and she stopped her fussing. Though it was a change for her, she would do anything her father asked of her.
Benjamin was the cook at the time, an old sailor in the Royal Navy. He was a mountain of a man, 43 years old with a salt and pepper beard and kind green eyes. He crouched to her level and shook her tiny hand, thanking her for her help in the future. Years hoisting sails and "swabbing" the deck had left his hands arthritic, he had requested the help for the tasks that required more dexterity than he had in the passing years, Nina's little hands were perfect for the jobs he could no longer handle. Fortunately for Asher, the first tasks she was asked to do were peeling and chopping potatoes.
Benjamin sat across from her, helping her on her first day and teaching her how to handle the knife without making a mess of the potatoes. As they peeled together he told her a story of his love, Abigail. He had married young, but they were madly in love with each other. He from England, her a green eyes goddess from Ireland. She could see the love in his eyes as he spoke of her. His gaze drifted from her to a high corner in the kitchen, a smile on his lips as he recounted their wedding and the birth of their first child. Nina hoped that someone would smile like that whilst talking about her one day. Though he did not describe her passing to her she could see the sadness in his eyes when he explained that they was no longer with him. He pulled her wedding band from a chain around his neck to show her the small emerald he could afford for her. He said it reminded him of her eyes and smiled again. Bejamin had left it to Nina when he passed two years later, she wore it every day to remind her of where she started.
When he finished his story and looked down at his pile he was satisfied with how much he had done, even with his arthritic hands, and looked over to hers. She had peeled only a quarter of what he had done, and her potatoes were all miss-shaped with large gouges carved out of them. Her cheeks turned bright red as he examined her work, but he simply laughed and told her that she would learn soon enough.


Nina smiled as she worked but was pulled from her happy memory by a loud, boisterous voice.
''Got room for another Mr.Chef! The names Bernard Valor! Great to meet cha all!'' Nina raised her free hand in a small wave but continued with the task at hand. She only looked back when she smelled the stench of tobacco. Bernard had lit on at the table and was offering one to Samuel. Nina hoped that Samuel would refuse, she disliked the smell. If she was more outspoken she would have told Bernard to put the cigarette out in her kitchen or take it outside, but she was far too shy to do so. In addition he was a man, and she was not one to tell a man what to do. She tried her best to hold her breath and continued her work. By this point she had finished peeling both the potatoes and apples and had begun chopping the apples in small pieces as requested.

Another young lady entered after Bernard, her arrival announced only by a quiet "Excusez-moi " before she scurried to the table. Nina recognized the language and looked back to see a creole woman had joined the group. Immediately she felt a kinship to her, though they were from different worlds, and gave her a reassuring smile. It was time to work now, but she would seek her out later and attempt to make friends with her. It had been quite a long time since she could speak her native tongue. The prospect of future conversations excited her.
She remained unaware of the fair haired girl that was showing Asher a note behind her until he spoke to her. She turned once more, curious as to who he was addressing and noticed her form of communication. She turned back to her work, unsure of why the girl wrote as opposed to speak to him, but her fear of embarrassing herself or offending the girl kept her from asking. She was sure that she would learn why at some point, but noted that she would be working in the kitchen with Asher and herself. Perhaps she would speak to her later when the kitchen wasn't so crowded.

It was then that Asher came to stand beside her with his own knife, though he began working on a large slab of meat as opposed to fruits and roots. The smell of the meat was unpleasant but she preferred it to the stench of the tobacco.
"So, my name is Asher, I didn't catch yours." he stated with a handsome smile which she immediately returned. Nina liked him, he reminded her of both her late father in the way he spoke and moved. He was confident, friendly, and able to direct well thus far.
Wiping her hands on her apron she held out her right hand to formally introduce herself, Abigail's emerald resting on her pinky, "Angelina Xalvadora, please call me Nina," before returning to finish the last few apples and starting on the potatoes.

The setting changes from real-world to Blackford Manor (Ground Floor)

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins Character Portrait: Chloe Reed Character Portrait: Bernard Valor Character Portrait: Asher Jones Character Portrait: Clementine Harper Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery Character Portrait: Dorothy Evelyn Bennett Character Portrait: Nina Xalvadora
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As you were chatting along, the cook preparing dinner and the kitchenhands doing their jobs, three new people entered the room. The eldest of the three introduces herself as Mrs. Gelder, and reminds you all that in the absence of Mr Cherrywood, she will be in charge. She has little else to say to you, opting instead for a small cup of black coffee before she sets about her administration tasks of the day. She tells you that she expects you all to do the same.

The two others say little. In fact, they hardly introduce themselves. The younger woman only smiles faintly, keeping at the edges of the room and vanishing before she calls too much attention to herself. The man looks to the floor and says nothing. He responds to question with a gentle smile and a slight shake of his head, as though unable rather than unwilling to reply.

Before you know it, breakfast is over. It is time to move on to your work, and perhaps allow yourself to explore the house and the still visible grounds before dinner is served. The water is still high, but steadily pulling back, revealing long stretches of white sand, and nothing else...




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Josephine
It was clear Mr. Cherrywood had not had help with his paperwork for some time. The papers were erratic, most of it hastily put together. She couldn't find a proper record of the guests they were expecting at the end of the week. Similarly, though the house was clearly lived in there were few orders of food. Enough to feed two, perhaps, but not the large staff required by the house– not even four, depending on how long Lord Blackford had lived alone with only Cherrywood, Nancy and Christopher for company.

Had they been close to a forest she might have understood. It wasn't unusual for Lords to prefer their meat fresh, but around here there was nothing to hunt. Josephine sighed, rubbing her temples against a headache born from confusion. Hunger cleared her mind, so she refused to take food before the most important work was done. Still, she was beginning to feel awfully alone in the little office by the kitchen, and considered a spot of supervision before she continued her work.

Nancy
"As you can see, a lot of this stuff is really old," Nancy explained to the other maids over the fast-paced clicking of her heels. "You'll want to be careful when you clean it. Not that the man upstairs gives a toss about the furniture, but Cherrywood can be a real arse about it." She gave an awful, throaty laugh at this, nudging Christopher, who only shrugged as he continued to give the floor a prolonged stare.

"Most important bit's probably the dining room," Nancy continued. "The guests are gonna spend the most time in there, so we should be thorough with it. I'm guessing they won't have much time for the other rooms, but I guess it won't hurt to give it a proper clean for once."

She pushed open the double doors to the dining room, revealing a lavish chaos of furniture. A huge, dark oak table stretched from one side to the other, around which stood a dozen of equally oak chairs with blood red seating. Golden curtains bulged by the gigantic buildings giving a view to the garden of the house. A few counters lined the walls where the servants would be resting drinks and dinner before serving. At the very edge of the room, a huge fireplace would gape like a mouth over whomever sat at the Lord's seat. It was a lot to take in at once– shelves with fine china on display, a gigantic crystal chandelier wobbling over the middle of the table, and all this only at first glance. Nancy paused, letting the maids take in the sight, her expression frozen into a cruel half-smile.

"All right," she said. "Any questions?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chloe Reed Character Portrait: Clementine Harper Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery Character Portrait: Dorothy Evelyn Bennett Character Portrait: Nina Xalvadora
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Location: Dining Hall to Kitchen
Interacting With: Nancy and Maids

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Following breakfast, Clementine joined the maids as Nancy led them to the dining room. Though her primary duty was cleaning the kitchen, it wouldn't hurt to know where the dining room was. She might be requested to come back and help out should her efforts be needed.

The dining hall was quite a sight. It was grande and beautiful, yet a bit intimidating. She'd seen plenty of dining halls before given her past life, but this one just seemed a bit creepy. Perhaps it was the dark furniture, the large fireplace, or the dreary weather outside that made her feel this way. She looked around, taking it all in. Her facial expression barely changed as she did so.

Her attention turned back to the maid leading them as she asked if anyone had any questions. Clementine had quite a few questions. Who were the guests that were coming? Other wealthy civilians? Where was Master Blackford? Could there really be only a few staff members that weren't new in this large manor? Why did the man next to Nancy not speak? How had she been selected for this role? How had they even found her after she'd fled after knocking some sense into that pervert cook? She would not ask these questions to another human just yet. First, she might as well wait and see if some would be answered for her. Until then, she'd just do her job and hope nobody bugged her too much.

Clementine shook her head in response to Nancy's question and gave a small nod to the maids before leaving the dining room. It was time to go and clean the kitchen. She was looking forward to the mind numbing work of sorting and cleaning. A small smile formed on her face as she walked down the hall, glancing at the walls as she passed them. She was soon in the kitchen, where Mr. Jones and Miss Nina would be if they weren't already. Hopefully there were no creatures or unwanted plant life lurking within the kitchen. Clementine did not want to deal with catching mice or removing mold. Both were quite annoying.