With everything going on Perdi had to hire a massager to deliver a short message to Carista. She asked her to stop by for lunch and if she could give some recommendations for helpers in the kitchen. One thing Perdi knew about Carista is that she won’t blow smoke up your skirt over things. She will help you if it serves her purposes, and most of the time Perdi’s purposes align with hers.
At the appointed time she arrived, and Perdi took a bowl of her Barely and Mushroom soup and some Beef Marrow fritters out to her. With a mug of ale in my hand she joined her at her table.
“Now why do you want help in this place? It seems like it is doing well.” Carista asked soon as Perdi sat down. Carista was never one for hanging out in “shady” places. Honestly Perdi thought it was because Carista hated getting her silk clothing dirty, but either way Carista didn’t waste time getting to business.
“It is but ‘the trade’ is often taking me away from some of my duties.”
She nodded her understanding, “And you need someone to cover some of the kitchen duties while you are out and about?”
“Yes, and as I have finally seen the death of Gaedren Lamm, and I know with his death there will be a resurgence of ‘lost ones’ on the streets I thought could kill two birds with one stone.” Perdi saluted her with my tankard.
“How so?” She raised an eyebrow at Perdi.
“Simple as this, The Falcon’s rest is neutral territory for the guild. If you want troubles take it outside but that is not to say that sometimes people try to take advantage of that.”
“As you found out the hard way,” Carista smirked.
Perdi made a face at her, “That said, it wouldn’t hurt to have someone skilled around the place to keep an eye on things. They could make contacts, and begin training. On my side I get good workers whose needs match my own, and my employers.”
“Sounds reasonable,” Carista reached into a pouch and pulled out a slip of paper. “I don’t particular care for the manual labor that you do but I have to say the benefit of a well prepared meal is always welcomed. From your note I have located two possible candidates. You can choose one, or both I don’t care but I think they would benefit all our causes. “
One the slip were two names Adalade Winesmith, and Devin Wirhall . “Who is this first one? “
Carista took a bite of the fritter and savored the flavor for a moment, “A good kid. She is 12 and is the lost daughter of Lady Irene Winesmith.”
“Why does that name sound familiar?” Perdi racked her brain.
“Lady Winesmith patron’s my church frequently. She is also a known information broker for the guild. Somewhat well to do in polite society.”
“If you don’t mind my asking, why is her daughter needing a job as a kitchen girl in a tavern? “
Cal waved her hand, “It was 10 years ago. The caravan that the Winesmiths were part of was attacked by raiders; their daughter was taken, and presumed killed. Both of her parents assume shis is dead and I intend to keep it that way until I feel it is necessary.” Carista glared at Perdi, who rolled her eyes and waved her hand in a ‘whatever’ gesture.
Carista continued, “Her parents have moved on somewhat, they have a son named Justin, and thanks to a drunken tryst by Lord Johnathan, Adalade has a half-brother sibling.”
“Hence why her mother patron’s your church.”
“Let’s just say her talent in gathering information for the guild is well earned. It is my hope that her daughter will follow in her mother’s footsteps. She has her mother’s in beauty and intelligence. She would be a fine asset once trained.“
“Would she have a problem with hard work? While it isn’t working in a blacksmith, a busy kitchen is not always an easy job.”
“Up until recently she was a ladies maid of a minor noble man’s wife. The wife was known to be abusive to her servants and recently became with child. After a particularly nasty verbal abuse in front of many noble wives, she ‘accidently’ let slip that the best place to find her mistress’s husband was not the local ale house where the ‘put upon’ wife said he always was, but the Three Kings bath house. That statement started a scathing rumor campaign that question if the child she carried was by her husband or a secret lover.”
“Sweet vengeance, but not the most tactful way to do it. “ Perdi pinched the bridge of her nose. “This kid has a lot to learn.”
“Indeed, which is why I felt it would be best to get her employment where her skills could be put to good use and she could perfect other ones. Given the bridges she burned her options are limited. She gave away her employers secrets in a very public way, which makes her job prospects as ladies made nil. It is my fear that if she does not find a place soon she could end up working in a less than reputable house of ill repute, or starve on the streets. ” Cal smirked. “Working here she could begin training for the guild, and learn a good trade as well. Roof over her head, and food in her stomach she could do worse. “
“And the other?” Perdi again rolled her eyes and took a drink of her ale. The girl actually didn’t sound bad. She had done will as a ladies made, so she had been in a servants role, but she had much to learn. She didn’t want to pick too soon as the second candidate might be better.
“He is 14 years old and has a chip on his shoulder. His mother was one of my elven clerics, and his father is a well-known married solider in the city. He has a human half-brother who is older.”
“Does he know who his father is?”
“His mother told him, and even showed him. Our boy did try to make contact with his father; however the man’s wife found him first. She made it known that his human half-brother was the heir and if he ever showed up again near her family again he would be killed for being ‘an ungodly creature’. Vowing that he would prove to his father that he was worthy of if not his love, then at least his respect he left to find his way in the world. Given his size he was picked up as to be the muscle for a small street gang.”
“Why isn’t he still with them? Picked up by the guards? Step mommy dearest put a hit out on his head?”
“Nothing as juice as that, just someone else’s stupid greed getting in the way of an honest set of thieves making a living. He is real good at keeping the balance of when to push for more and when to back off, something that isn’t easy to do. He lives by his own set of rules which are similar to some of yours.”
“Such as?” Perdi smirked.
“Never go anywhere without a knife.” She smirked back.
“My kind of guy.” Perdi signaled for her to continue.
“A corrupt merchant moved into their territory, and through his actions he brought heat down onto the gang. When then merchant targeted one of his gang members, and had him unjustly arrested, our boy took it as a personal insult.”
“The unspoken rule. I like him even more.” Perdi laughed.
“He managed to sneak in and take the guys dirty books, and contact list. Our boy managed to covertly air this guy’s dirty laundry everywhere. His professional and private reputation is destroyed!”
“At least he did it covertly.”
“This is true, however just because the guy can’t prove it doesn’t mean he can’t target him.”
“And you want him here? Carista this is neutral territory!”
“What better place for him to learn an honest trade and maybe get in with a better group of adventures. He is 14. He has time to learn before he is tossed out into the woods. He just needs someone to guide him, and give him a kick in the pants when he needs it. Besides you need a good strong back to help around here.”
Perdi glared at her, “You want me to take both don’t you?”
“It would be in your best interest. Both fulfill needs you require in this place.” Carista grinned as she savored the cooling food before her.
“Would calling you a conniving, egotistical, manipulative witch hurt your feelings any?” Perdi glared but couldn’t keep the amused look out of her eye.
“Quite the opposite really.” She smirked. “But I take it you want me to send them here?”
Perdi pinched the bridge of her nose, “Have them here before sunset. I’ll have the girl work in the kitchen, and help serve patrons. The boy I’ve got some heavy lifting to do, and I’m sure the boss has some other general work for him. Pay won’t be great but it will give them a roof over their heads, a warm fire, and food.”
“More than either of them has right now.” Finishing the last of the food before her Carista rose to leave. “I will have them here by sunset.”
As planned the two young people arrived before sunset. Soon as they walked in Perdi called them to the kitchen. Perdi’s first impression of the two was that that Adelade seemed a bit frail but she seemed light on her feet and very knowledgeable. Devin was a stout young man with flaming red hair, and the elven ears. Judging by his build with a good bit of work he would do well for himself.
Drawing herself to full height Perdi addressed them. “I agreed to hire both of you on the same conditions I was hired. If you do your work you will continue to eat good food, and have a warm place to sleep. I can offer you 3 silver pieces a week, plus food and lodgings. My expectations are that you are responsible for this kitchen. If anything goes missing, I will look to you for blame. I will set you a list of chores to be done; they are to be done by the appointed time. If you cannot fulfill these duties you will be dismissed. Let me be clear. I do not care what has happened in your past, what I care about is what you are going to do now. I am offering you a chance to learn a trade and if you wish this is a place where you can start gaining contacts to further your trainings in the guild. Do your work and we won’t have any problems. Is that understood?”
“Yes Mame.” “Yes Chef.”
“Addy I’ve got a bushel of carrots I need peeled, the trimmings go in that bucket over there. Carrots will go in the bowl. They are for the roast. I will show you how to make peasants barley soup using the trimmings when you are done. You may put your things in the storage cupboard. “
She turned to Devin, “I’ve got a back log of pots, mugs, and utensils that need to be cleaned. Bar of soap is next to the wash basin. Put the pots by the cook stove, the utensils in the clay pots to the right of the stove. When you are done come see me as we may need you to fetch more ale from the cellar.”
“Any questions?” Perdi looked back and forth at them.
“One question Ma’dam. Where are we to sleep?”
Devin scoffed at Addelade, but Perdi quieted him with a glare. “The kitchen must work in shifts. I will take the early morning breakfast shift. Addy will serve breakfast and work lunch, and dinner. Devin you will work the noon to late night shift. This will not change unless something drastic comes up. I will have a set of bunks put up in the side room. Each of you will have a bed of your own, but until then there are blankets, and the hearth is warm. Whoever is on shift will be in charge of keeping the fire going. It will be your heads if goes out. “
“Sounds good to me, after sleeping in drafty old warehouses, and flops a clean, dry floor with a fire is downright heaven to me. “Devin tossed his little belonging into the cupboard, and went over to the basin to begin work.
“I am grateful madam, but after my last position it is very different.” Adelade sighed and put her things away.
“Be grateful for what you have and do what you can with what you have. You never know where it will take you.” Perdi handed Adelade a paring knife and set her to work on the carrots.
Yawning Perdi walked by the fire and using an oven mit took the coffee pot off the fire. After filling a large mug for herself, Perdi headed out into the main dining room. She said hello to a few frequent patrons, as she weaved her way over to Kess’s table. Without asking Perdi smiled as she filled a mug full of coffee for her. “I had a feeling you could use some. It’s been a long few nights.”