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Plot Update 14 Aug 2020

Long ago, the Four Nations lived in harmony; then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them. But when the world needed him the most, he vanished. A hundred years passed and my brother and I found the new Avatar, an airbender named Aang, and although his airbending skills are great, he has a lot to learn before he saves anybody. But I believe Aang can save the world … Read more ›

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Of hair bobbles and politics [tag: Ho-Tin]

Post by Ling on Aug 29, 2020 17:38:41 GMT -6

Ling Avatar
Miss Ho-Tin,

Greetings from Ba Sing Se! I hope this letter finds you in good health. I enjoyed our conversation at the Moonpeach Café a few days ago, and while I forgot to ask for your information, I am sending this by messenger hawk in the hopes that at least the birds (and postal service) are smart enough to know where to deliver it.

My mother is excited to see what designs you've come up with. It's been a long time since I've seen her face light up with such a joyous expression. I think she misses her homeland more than she's willing to admit, even if she doesn't regret the reason she left.

In any case, please find enclosed a few sketches she wanted me to include for your consideration, following some traditional patterns and motifs of the Northern Water Tribe, though she stresses she would be happy working with whatever you desire.

So look it over, and let me know. In case you haven't kept my card, the return address is on the envelope.

- Yao Ling
This user is from the Water Tribes

Post by Ho-tin on Aug 30, 2020 16:17:39 GMT -6

Ho-tin Avatar
TO:
Yao Ling
City of Ba Sing Se 

FROM:
Ho-Tin of the House of the Purple Orchid
City of Yu Dao 

Dear Miss Yao,

I apologize twice. Firstly, for failing to provide you my address. Secondly, for failing to send the first correspondence. 

Fortunately my name is rare enough that the postal service was capable of identifying me. My name means "vast sky". I was born when Air Nomad culture was briefly popular among the Yu Dao elite. As you can imagine that fad ended very very quickly. I am glad I was not born when the Foggy Swamp was in! Can you imagine a child named "vast swamp"?

I would have written sooner, but I have been busy attending to family matters. The family business has been swamped with orders for coal. I assume the navy must be preparing for an expedition. For what or where I could not imagine, but it has led to me helping with management.

Please thank your mother for me. I must admit I know little of Northern Water Tribe patterns. I defer to your mother's judgement.

I have attached a few coins as initial payment for materials. Do you think it would be possible to have it done by the Winter Solstice? Yu Dao will be having festivities for the Winter Solstice and I would like to wear it then. Should you find yourself in Yu Dao you would of course be welcomed as an honored guest of my family.

Long live the Fire Lord,
Ho-Tin 
This user is from the Fire Nation

Post by Ling on Sept 1, 2020 15:52:42 GMT -6

Ling Avatar
Miss,

No apologies necessary! Admittedly, I was eager to reach out. My mother has not been particularly happy since my father passed away, and I felt it would bring her great joy to be able to keep part of her heritage alive while keeping her hands and mind busy and not dwelling on our loss. It has been several years, but I suspect she still feels it just as keenly as she did before; she just hides it better.

Vast Swamp is definitely a much less fetching name for you, miss. Thankfully for myself, my parents decided to name me Ling, written with the character for spirit. It's not particularly imaginative, but it's a classic and easy to remember.

You'll notice I've sent along a parcel, this time. Inside you'll find a few samples of wood, polished stone, and paint chips to select a shade and material of your liking. My mother is designing a fairly ornate comb, it appears. I've tried to sketch it the best as I can below, but I am no artist. Mother also has opted to use silver instead of gold, and she hopes that its popularity in the tribe will be enough to offset the popularity of gold in the Fire Nation.

[Below this paragraph is a crudely drawn comb with an inset of stones in the centre, surrounded by carved and (presumably) painted moonflowers. Through this is a long pin, either end affixed with more flowers and tassels of stones dangling on a string or a chain]

Mother expects that once she receives your choices we will be able to complete this one month before the Solstice.

Also in the parcel is a half-dozen traditional mooncakes, half lotus seed and half red bean. It's a bit out of season, but Mother wished to thank you for the order. I hope they have kept well on the journey.

Perhaps we should discuss a good place to meet; with the amount of work and money going into this project, I am not sure I wish to rely on a messenger hawk to deliver it.

- Ling
This user is from the Water Tribes

Post by Ho-tin on Sept 5, 2020 16:03:00 GMT -6

Ho-tin Avatar
TO:
Yao Ling
City of Ba Sing Se

FROM:
Ho-Tin of the House of the Purple Orchid
City of Yu Dao

Dear Miss Yao,

I am glad to hear your mother is enjoying making the headpiece. I have not been able to visit the Northern Water Tribe myself, but I can imagine why she would be proud of her heritage. We only get tales from the north indirectly through pirates traders, but they say its civilization is only second to the Fire Nation. I hope to visit one day.

Silver should be fine. Gold is popular on the home islands, but fashion in the colonies is much more fluid. Between us, I feel that the home islands are too rigid. I think the colonies, with their unique mixture of Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom culture, will lead the future.

I have returned the samples of materials that I would like to be used, but I defer to your mother's judgement on the final product.

I thank you for the attached food stuffs. My youngest sister loved the moon cakes and made me promise to get her more when I can. In gratitude I have attached an ash banana fruit cake made by our local baker; unfortunately I am not much of a cook myself.

Are you a fan of the circus? I hear the Fire Nation circus will be touring around Omashu for some time. We could meet there maybe? I am open to other suggestions. 

Long live the Fire Lord,
Ho-Tin


This user is from the Fire Nation
Last edit by Ho-tin: Sept 5, 2020 16:03:41 GMT -6

Post by Ling on Sept 5, 2020 20:59:33 GMT -6

Ling Avatar
Miss,

I wish there were a way to send a picture of the progress to you without resorting to my terrible attempts at artistry. Mother agrees with your selections, and the work so far is looking amazing even to my untrained eye. The wood has been polished so much it shines as if it too were made of a precious stone. Currently, my mother is shaping the silver chains and flowers. It is a surprisingly delicate work, and she has stayed up into the wee hours of the night in order to get the metal just so. I remind her of her health, however; I make sure she takes the appropriate breaks to eat, drink, and replenish her strength. I'm sure if I left her to her own devices, she'd be so swept away by her eagerness to work that she would forget anything else existed.

In retrospect, perhaps that is where my own behaviour comes from, when I am working on a case. That is... well, I shall put away that realisation to examine at a later date.

Thank you kindly for the ash banana cake! My mother in particular found it incredibly enjoyable, and my sister very innovatively added some chilled yak cream, whipped until it turned into this fluffy substance that melts in your mouth, to the top of the cake after warming it in a pan. If you haven't tried this, I recommend it!

The circus is a wonderful place, and would be a wonderful place to meet. My mother tells me she's making progress faster than she expected, though, and could be done within the next week or two, unless something goes wrong. Will the circus be in Omashu by then? If so, I'll gladly make the trip.

Humbly,
- Ling
This user is from the Water Tribes

Post by Ho-tin on Sept 6, 2020 18:43:49 GMT -6

Ho-tin Avatar
TO:
Yao Ling
City of Ba Sing Se


FROM:
Ho-Tin of the House of the Purple Orchid
City of Yu Dao

Dear Miss Yao,

Whipping chilled yak cream!? The idea is unheard of here in Yu Dao, but on your recommendation I will tell the family cook to try it. Where did you find a whip small enough for the job? Most of the whips we have in the colonies are for use in prison.

Please tell your mother to avoid overworking. I am happy to hear that she is invested in the project, but I would not want her to strain herself. 

Attached is a brochure, with dates and locations, for the Fire Nation Circus. I would recommend going on the date I've circled. They should be near Omashu - and the brochure says tickets will be half off then!

Long live the Fire Lord,
Ho-Tin
This user is from the Fire Nation
Last edit by Ho-tin: Sept 6, 2020 18:44:55 GMT -6

Post by Ling on Sept 9, 2020 12:58:42 GMT -6

Ling Avatar
[This letter is messy, with many uncharacteristic ink blots and crossed out characters, as if the writer was in a great hurry to finish]

Miss,

It is with some alarm that I write to you, please do not request your cook to use a livestock whip for the cream. My sister says that there is a small kitchen utensil, made out of bamboo, that you use called a whisk. I am not sure if you were joking, as tone is lost over the written word, but I believe on erring on the side of caution.

The piece is finished, and it is a great pity I cannot show you immediately. I have reserved my tickets for the circus on the date you showed; I will see you in a couple of weeks!

In the mean time, I apologise but my letters will be a little bit more infrequent. I have a case I am wrapping up, and it requires me, quite unpleasantly, to mingle with socialites such as yourself in the Earth Kingdom. It's almost a shame you're so far, since you seemed eager to see me cleaned up.

See you soon,
- Ling
This user is from the Water Tribes

Post by Ho-tin on Sept 11, 2020 16:09:31 GMT -6

Ho-tin Avatar
TO:
Yao Ling
City of Ba Sing Se

FROM:
Ho-Tin of the House of the Purple Orchid
City of Yu Dao


Dear Miss Yao,

I thank the messenger hawk for its swift arrival. A whisk? The cook will be pleased to hear a different instrument exists to make whipped yak cream. Should it not be called whisked cream though?

I am overjoyed to hear that the job is done! Yes, I look forward to meeting at the circus soon. I am sure you will have many stories to tell from your current adventure.

Long live the Fire Lord,
Ho-Tin
This user is from the Fire Nation
Last edit by Ho-tin: Sept 11, 2020 16:09:57 GMT -6