Blackford Manor

Real world

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a part of Blackford Manor, by Crichton.

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Crichton holds sovereignty over Real world, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
211 readers have been here.
2,361 readers have visited Blackford Manor since Crichton created it.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3810502/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2711240/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/the_shadow_over_innsmouth

Setting

Default Location for Blackford Manor
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Real world

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Minimap

Real world is a part of Blackford Manor.

1 Places in Real world:

1 Characters Here

Theodorus Cherrywood [0] Head Butler at Blackford Manor

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bernard Valor

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Bernard had finally awoke, then endless tapping on his window had forced him too. It would seem that it would come down real good later, as he soon noticed that one of the houses was filled to it's roof. He didn't pay much attention to it, knowing no one probaly lives there and instead started to button up his plain white shirt. He put his straps and and fitted them to his dark brown pants, before placing some crocodile skin shoes on that's one good thing his parents gave him. After finally washing his teeth, fac etc. He opened up the door and grabbed the note.

''As fucking if, it's too early for all this.'' He yawned, before placing a cigarette in his mouth. He lit it up with a match he acquired earlier, and decided to go exploring around the house. It was all pretty basic, but in a grand manor. Large kitchens, large house, large rooms and all that. Though there was a thing which peaked his curiosty the basement. He attempted to push the door open, but it wouldn't budge. By which then Bernard decided to give it a good kick, which also didn't work. Well there was something in there not everyone should see, he thought but he didn't pay much attention to it thinking it was maybe it was Mr.Cherrywood's shop of sick pleasures.

Finally, he decided to get on with his task. He rushed down to the cellars were there were stacks upon stacks of wine bottle and such. Bernard had grabbed a bottle and read the label ''1890's Burmester, this Cherrywood guy sure is a classy one.'' He picked up the list and started running a stock check on the wines. Tick, after ticks though some did need adjusting as he soon did place them back in their place.

''This job's not all bad, free wine and easy work? It maybe my lucks changing after all.'' He said before briefly smiling under his breath. He had finally finished his cigarette and dimmed it into a wine barrel besides him, before heading upstairs once again. Bernard had decided to go the the Garden and do some exploring. Afterall, it was his new home and he wanted to see what it was like. He didn't have high expectations for it, as the outside and inside of this manor all seemed quite rusty and dusty. Nonetheless, he was curious.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery

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#, as written by Miyer



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Jule's eyes fluttered open as the sound of muffled movement fulled the house. It was the sound of the other servants beginning to rise and preform their usual duties, though besides that the house was silent. It was disconcerting for Jule's as she was used to the sound of the hustle and bustle of a market being set up.

She lay still for a moment, gazing out of her window and into the grey sky. There was something odd about this place, though she couldn't quite place it. Finally sitting up, Jule gave both her cheeks a strong pat and shook her head. She needed to stop thinking like that! This place was her new 'home' as it were. It has been a miracle that she had been sought out for this job, especially considering she had no experience as a Maid. Jule's eyes suddenly hardened with determination. She had been graced with a gift and she would not let that go to waste.

Jule's made her way across the small room to the closet and quickly pulled out a simple, blue cotton dress. She glanced briefly at the corset lying at the bottom of her closet but turned away and shrugged on the dress. She hated corset, and found their only real use to be to suffocate women in the name of beauty. She quickly pulled on her most comfortable shoes, and threw on the white apron that had been provided. All that left was her hair. Glancing over at the dirty, old mirror hung on the wall, Jule sighed at the sight of her unruly locks. Giving up, she placed a few pins which would hold it off her face, leaving only her short curly fringe behind.

Just before she was ready to leave, Jule's glanced the note on her bedside table. Opening it, she read over the tasks assigned to her. With a swift nod, she headed out her room. It was still early, with the sun only just peaking over the horizon. It was as Jule's was exiting her room that she realised she had no idea where the supply closet was, or where she could get any cleaning supplies from to begin her tasks. Thinking quickly, Jule's began towards the direction of the kitchen. Considering the early hour, there might be some staff who were up having a quick breakfast, and who might be able to help her. She also wouldn't mind grabbing herself something small to eat before she began work.




Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asher Jones

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#, as written by bjzuels
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A cool breeze blew through his window that morning, enough to gain his attention and wake him enough so he could not find sleep again. Rising up, Asher sat at the edge of his bed looking out the window of his room to the morning gloom that hung like a curtain over the land. All he could think was this would be a good day to sleep in, but he also knew as cook, there would likely be others looking for food to fill their stomachs with.

His feet hit the cold wood floor, sending a jolt through him as if he had just been struck by lightening. The shiver through his spine did not last long though. He made his way to a small table with a basin and pitcher full of water. Pouring some of the water into the basin, he splashed some on his face. Looking into the mirror which hung on the wall there, he could only shrug at what he saw. He was not here to impress anyone, just to cook and make some money. This was not and end of the road job for him, just a wayside stop to get his life back on track.

He threw on some socks, trousers, a pair of black leather shoes, and a clean white shirt before making his way to the room door. Upon opening the door he found the note. He read through it and sighed. He had not suspected that the cupboards and pantry would be bare, but, then again, why not? Actually this could be a blessing in disguise. He could order ingredients he approved of and not some predetermined ones that someone else had decided upon.

Tucking the note away in a shirt pocket, he made his way to the kitchen to see what was available for breakfast. He assumed the rest of the staff would soon make their way their to start their day off.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins

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SAMUEL PERKINS

Sleep had been evading him all night, and just a few hours before sunrise, Sam had finally given up on chasing it. He climbed out of his bed, dressed, and made his way through the dark house in search of a library, which he eventually found in the opposite wing of the first floor. Quietly, so as not to disturb the rest of the house, he had browsed the rows and rows of books via lamp light.

ImageHe wasn't especially keen on reading when he should have been sleeping, but Sam figured it was better than just laying awake in his bed with only his thoughts for company. Besides, he was hoping to find a book on gardening. He understood plants about as well as he understood women: hardly at all. But it shouldn't be too difficult, right? Pull a few weeds here, plant a flower there, et al. His new employer must have had some faith in his abilities, else he probably wouldn't have received the job offer, but even so, Sam had no intention of accidentally killing the patch of forget-me-nots he saw out by the small chapel.

Sam finally found what he was looking for and settled down in one of the leather seats to read, and to his horror, discovered that it took quite a bit of work to tend to a garden. He quickly became absorbed in the book, suddenly hell bent on not being fired his second day of work. A few hours later and Sam began to hear the creaking of the floorboards and the muffled voices coming from the servants quarters.

Still feeling inadequate, but none the less determined to do a good job, Sam closed the book, replaced it, and made his way to the kitchen. From the sounds of it, the cook was getting breakfast underway. The idea of having to make small talk with the rest of the servants filled Sam with an annoying apprehension, but he tried to ignore it as he entered the kitchen. From the windows over the sink, Sam could see it was a bleak day, the cloud coverage working in his favor. He tried to stay positive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery

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#, as written by Miyer



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Jule glanced around as she entered the kitchen only to be surprised by the lack of staff members... Maybe she had been wrong in assuming that everyone would go for breakfast before beginning their work, or maybe it was still a bit to early. It became irrelevant now, seeing as Plan A had failed, Jule decided to quickly throw herself together something small before she set out again to find someone who could help her.

She felt slightly awkward as she looked through the cupboards for something to eat. There was a lot of fancy food, fresh greens and probably expensive meat, unsurprisingly considering this was a manor house, despite it's slightly run down state. Jule didn't want to eat anything fancy least she get in trouble, and that was the last thing she wanted on her first day.

Finally, after searching half the kitchen, Jule's had found some oats. It wouldn't be an expecially fancy or delicious meal but it would last her through the day. Over the last 2 years, Jule's had learnt the basic's of surviving on her own, and though she wasn't a good cook by any standards, she could at least feed herself.

Still feeling awkward due to the kitchen not being her 'realm' per say, and worrying about what might happen if someone walked in and told her off, Jule's took one of the smallest pots she could find, she set the water on to boil. Once it had started to bubble, she threw in the oats and started to stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. Jule's continued to glance over her shoulder, terrified that she would get in trouble for cooking herself breakfast despite acknowledging the stupidity of the notion.




Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asher Jones Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery

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#, as written by bjzuels
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Asher made his way through the vacant hallways and down sets of steps until he found his way to the kitchen. He used a back stairway which led from the servant quarters directly into the kitchen and with easy access to a door leading out to the backyard of the manor. As he walks in, the kitchen is already seeing some action as some early risers have assembled, no doubt in search of food for their empty stomachs.

Over at the stove, one such individual catches his eye. A lovely little lady in a simple blue cotton dress, a white apron thrown over top for good measure. She seemed to be working at cooking something on the stove...his stove, so Asher decides to go and take a closer look, both at the woman and what it is she is cooking.

Asher pulls an apron from a hook on the wall as he approaches the woman at the stove. He slips it over his head and starts to tie it in the back. "Ah, my dear lady. I see you found some sustenance and my stove. Walking up to her he extends his hand and says, "Asher Jones, and whom might you be?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chloe Reed Character Portrait: Bernard Valor

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ImageChloe made her way downstairs, getting used to the house, and it's seemingly endless corridors and hallways. She found herself outside, the morning air brisk against her skin, causing her to pull her shawl a little tighter around her arms. Making her way toward the gardens, she found herself smiling at the vastness of the garden, even though a light fog had fallen, she could see the colors of the flowers foreign to her eyes. She wondered through with a child like curiosity, her fingers brushing over the flowers and other plants with a soft smile on her face. It reminded her of her days with her mother, walking through the gardens, telling her of all the plants, and flower, herbs and weeds, what they did, what they could do, how they could be used to help.

A wetness touched her face, and she looked up, thinking it was rain no. She rose a finger to her cheek and finding a salty tear. She brushed it away and sighed before rushing to go back inside, only to run into a hard form. She gasped and stumbled back. "Oh, Pardon" She said, in her native tongue, not meaning to, before looking up at see a handsome face of a young man not much older than herself, she imagine. He smelled of cigarette smoke. "I'm sorry,
Monsieur," She apologized him, " I did not see you t'ere." She told him, averting her eyes a moment, before curiosity piquing her thoughts. "Do you live 'ere too?" She asked.

Setting

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

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Dorothy knew her first night was meant to be spent resting, growing accustomed to her new room and preparing herself for the work ahead, but she couldn't bare to close her eyes. Her night had been spent outside instead, slipping out of the house long after she presumed everyone else asleep and wandering through the garden just long enough to lose herself to it and spend blissful hours sitting under a dark tree hidden away somewhere within the confines of her own mind. Some time before dawn she'd headed back inside, cleaning herself up and changing into an acceptable outfit for the day and setting to tidy her already clean room. A chance glance out the window earned a soft frown to herself-she'd been given a room at the back of the house but common sense told her the water level meant anyone going to or from town for the next few hours was out of the question and...there was something in the water. A roof? No, of course not, surely no one built a house in a flood zone and if they had it was highly unlikely they were in it now. She gave her head a little shake to herself as she turned away from the window, wandering back over to sit on her bed.

Eventually the house seemed to come to life, she could hear people moving around and imagined she heard a stove kick on, comforting sounds from the home she hadn't had in years. Welcome to Blackford Manor A soft sigh and she forced herself to stand, tucking a stray strand of hair back behind her ear and heading downstairs at last. It wasn't hard to find the kitchen but once she did she was hit with a wave of nausea, sheerly anxiety induced, and so her entrance was as quiet as she could possibly make it; she slipped into the room and to the left, sticking close to the wall and quietly looking over the people already in the room.

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.




Setting

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins Character Portrait: Chloe Reed Character Portrait: Asher Jones

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Bernard had sat on a curb, thinking of his future. Was this the right place? Certainly a edgy place, to say the least. Quite a old domain, with a certain number of gravestones ahead. Maybe he'd have a look at them later, for now he would finish up his sight seeing and head in. "I'm sorry,
Monsieur," " I did not see you t'ere."."Do you live 'ere too?"
The woman asked. He looked up at her, not noticing her before. She must've came in after Bernard, quite a beauty on that note. ''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.'' Bernard spoke with a thick American accent, he hadn't been accustomed to the language of English yet, and by the looks of it neither had she. He got up and did a slight bow before asking for the woman's name. ''If you don't mind, i'd like to ask your name.'' He gave a perky smile, it's the smile that always' get's em.

''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 had offered his hand, to the woman before heading in. Eventually he had found himself the kitchen, and by the looks of it so had all the other staff. Nonetheless, it was his time to shine and dine!''Got room for another Mr.Chef!''He announced before making his way into the room. ''The names Bernard Valor! Great to meet cha all!'' He smiled and offered his hand out to the cook, and so on.

Bernard had grabbed a seat and sat there waiting in patience. This was work then ey. By the looks of it, all the people had seemed like normal sane folks' but as a wise man once said never judge a book by it's cover. He let out a deep sigh, finally embracing it all but a sigh was never complete without a cigarette well that is according to Bernards logic. He had grabbed the small metal cigarette holder in his frontal pocket, and tooken it out before offering one to Samuel. He looked like a man who would enjoy a good smoke. ''Want one pal?'' He said with the cigarette in his mouth, whilst holding it out. He'd have to return to his duties after a quick breakfast after all he had to get all the preparations complete and the fine wine for the upcoming party.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins Character Portrait: Bernard Valor Character Portrait: Asher Jones Character Portrait: Jule Montgomery Character Portrait: Nina Xalvadora

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#, as written by Miyer



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Jule quirked an eyebrow as Asher proceeded to place a kiss on her hand but said nothing, as it was often consider common curtesy though usually only applied with those from highe society. "I, fortunately for everyone here, am not involved in the running of the kitchen Mr Jones, but rather I am a maid.", Jule's answered Ashers question politely.

She then proceeded to go bright red as Asher looked at her food. She was quite ashamed of the resulting mess herself and was grateful when he chose to play it off with humour rather then get angry at her waste of food, even if it was only a small amount.

Jule's watched as Asher looked around the kitchen for food, clearly intending to fulfil his role of cook, a job Jule was happy to relent. Following his instructions, Jule's took a seat and watched as others joined her. First the young French women who had been speaking to the gardener joined, placing what appeared to be apples next to Asher and offering her help in a somewhat shy manner. Briefly catching her eye, Jule offered her a kind smile before returning to her observations.

However, the peace of the kitchen was interupted as a young man entered, making his presence known with a loud exclamation to the cook, whose hand he then shook. He then sat down at the table and pulled out a cigarette and offered one to the Gardner.
Jule's nose wrinkled ever so slightly in disgust, basically unnoticeable, as she had always disliked the smell of cigarette smoke and briefly hoped that the smell of cooking food would mask the aroma. Shaking her head ever so slight, she offered Bernard a gracious smile before extending a hand across the table.

"Good morning Mr Valor, it is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Juliet Montgomery but you can call be Jule."



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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Perkins Character Portrait: Bernard Valor

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SAMUEL PERKINS

The cook took command of his kitchen, and rightfully so, and the rest of the servants meandered over to the table. Sam slipped into a seat as a few more introductions were made and the cook began his work. Bernard made his entrance, and a slight smile crept to Sam lips. He had met the American the day before too, and it wasn't hard to forget someone as refreshingly boisterous as he was. At one point in his life, Sam might have been the same; confident, eager eyed, flirtatious even. But that was a long time ago and a lot had changed since then. There was only ten years between the two, but for all Sam cared it could have been an entire lifetime. What he would give to go back to being his young, naive self.

He watched bemusedly as Bernard entered, followed by a quiet, young black girl Sam all but missed, and took a seat at the table across from him. He fished out a silver cigarette case and offered one to Sam. He glanced down at the cigarette extended to him.

ImageAh, cigarettes. Apart from the occasional social smoking, he hadn’t been a big fan of the habit. They had made for excellent collateral though. When he was in Strangeways, a good smoke in the right hands was more valuable than a couple of pounds. Cigarettes had saved his life plenty of times and Sam had grown oddly fond of the little devil. But as Bernard offered him one, Sam could feel himself being pulled back to the penitentiary, and as he thought of his days there, a feeling of troubled guilt washed over him. He suddenly had a sick feeling in his stomach, the same feeling he got every time he thought of Strangeway.

And Sam had to remind himself that it was just a cigarette.

He couldn't allow himself to wallow in self hatred and regret every time something happened that reminded him of his ten year sentence. Bernard was only being thoughtful, and here Sam was, trying not to blanch. It was pathetic.

“Please,” he finally murmured and took Bernard’s offer. He wasn't entirely sure he even wanted the cigarette, but he was sure that he wasn't going to let old scars from his cell block days stop him from accepting a kind gesture. He needed to move past all that at some point. So Sam borrowed Bernard's lighter, lit the cigarette, and took a long pull. It felt like an instant relief, and the horrible feeling creeping in him seemed to settle like the smoke from the burning end of his cigarette. He relaxed slightly and managed a "Thank you." It had been a long time since he had bothered to smoke; he forgot how good it felt.

Sighing out a breath of sharp smelling tobacco smoke, Sam glanced down the table while Asher and the kitchen hands fell underway with breakfast. He hadn't realized how hungry he was until the sounds and smells of the kitchen began filling his senses. He was suddenly glad that he didn't need to scrounge up food this morning, and was perfectly content with letting the cook be in charge of breakfast.