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Bloom in the Bright [Floracle Re-Opening Celebration]

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Floracle Flower Shop and Apothecary - Grand Re-Opening

OOC thread

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Though it was barely 7:00am, Valentine Marie had been awake for hours. Her morning had consisted of coffee, sweeping, floral arrangements, coffee, dusting, re-arranging the flowers, coffee- and though the Floracle Flower Shop and Apothecary was spotless, sparkling, and splendid, Val just knew she was forgetting something. The young woman's tawny red hair burned in the sunlight streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows as she stood in the center of the shop, staring around her with uncertainty. 

The counters. Of course! The counters needed to be polished. Again. 

Valentine swiped a polishing cloth from the supply cupboard and began to knead the old gnarled counter with furious circular motions. She had been at it for at least ten minutes when the sound of the courtyard door creaking open drew a wild look from those sky blue eyes. Her polishing grew in intensity as she called out, "I'm so sorry, but we open at 9:00am! Come back lat-"

"-Haven't you heard of the 'early bird' special?" Valentine's ears perked up, her lips cracking into a wide grin. In an instant she had leaped into her twin's arms, holding his head in something akin to an affectionate vice grip.

"Caspian!" she shouted, her voice carrying the shrill excitement of a person who has been reunited with their best friend. To his credit, Caspian did not immediately drop his sister after receiving a scream directly to the eardrum. He wouldn't have succeeded even if he'd tried; Valentine's arms were still locked around his neck with surprising fierceness for someone of her size. The scholar tried to choke out a 'hello,' but only managed a strangled gurgling sound. Blissfully aloof to her brother's suffering, Valentine held on for a moment longer before loosening her grip to hold her twin at arm's length. "My, you've grown so much taller since I last saw you!" Her bright blue eyes twinkled as she beheld his stylish scholar's uniform. "The academy has turned my baby brother into a handsome young thing!" By now, the botanist's hands were squishing her twin's cheeks together in a comical, fish-lipped expression -much to his chagrin. He batted weakly at her hands, though was eventually able to force them down and away. 

"It's been two weeks," the mage said, hefting an exasperated sigh. "Two weeks. And you're only older by, what, 20 minutes?" Valentine barked out a laugh, watching as her brother took a look around the colorful, splendorous shop. "You've really cleaned up the place. He left way more stock behind than I remembered." The main shop area was bursting with floral blooms, most of them native to Terrenus, but a few hailed from lands as far as Aelindra and other temperate regions of Genesaris. A spell of longevity would keep the beautiful blooms intact for weeks longer than ordinary flowers; indeed, though imperceptibly different to the untrained eye, older cuts were mixed into the fresh blooms spread throughout the shop. Part of the purpose behind this grand re-opening was to purge the store of older stock to make way for newer, more exotic flowers.  

It pained Valentine to think that the last flowers her grandfather had cut before his death would be gone after today. His death hadn't been unexpected, but the weight of his old silver secateurs still felt heavy in her pocket.

She offered her brother a slight smile. "I actually grew most of this in the past week or two." His head swung sharply in her direction. 

"You did what? All of this?" The woman nodded, sticking her hands in the pockets of her light blue skirts. "Have you slept, Valentine?"

The botanist shrugged, swiping her polishing rag off of the counter to continue the fretful chore. Caspian noted the slight bags under his sister's eyes, watched her hands tremble a little as she worked the soft cloth in methodical circles. He ran a hand through his mop of red hair. "You know, one of the most important things they teach at the Academy is not to overexert yourself," he said, his voice careful but not without the note of haughtiness typical for a recent graduate. "Casting too many spells in so short a time can be especially taxing for someone without formal trainin-" 

"The shop looks beautiful, doesn't it?" Valentine stared up at her brother, though her hands continued to polish the old, gnarled countertop. "After today, we can slow down. But you were the one who told me we needed to make an impression." Caspian stared at her for a second, his mind whirring behind those leaf-green eyes. After a moment, he removed the round-rimmed glasses from his face, polished the lenses with a corner of his tunic, and replaced them on his head. 

"Alright," he spoke, shrugging the jacket from his shoulders. "How can I help?" 


One would find it difficult to pass by the Floracle Flower Shop and Apothecary on this particularly sunny, breezy morning without at least admiring the rainbow of flowers bursting from dark wooden stands lining the sidewalk. The storefront itself was characterized by elegant, floor-to-ceiling windows, letting the golden light flood into the shop and accentuate vibrant blue floor tiles. Upon entering, one was immediately accosted by a heavy floral scent, though pollen was kept at bay by a clever containment spell crafted to accommodate customers with allergies. The shop itself was simply adorned, with a few ribbons and banners marking the re-opening celebration; the flowers themselves were the main attraction, with blooms lining the walls in layers and layers of color and texture. Display stands were strategically arranged throughout the shop, with different categories of flowers featured in each spiraling column. Every stand had been handcrafted in a dark, heavy wood by the previous shopkeeper, mimicking the bark of a tree. The shop was clearly a valued, well-loved heirloom, with hand-carved floral designs embedded into every visible wooden surface. The only thing not hand-crafted was a small bulletin board to the immediate right of the main entrance, displaying various flyers and advertisements for other shops around Casper. One bold sign spelled out the words 'ROOM AVAILABLE FOR RENT: CONTACT VALENTINE MARIE' in a sensible green font. 

Further back into the shop, one faced the option of either ascending a grand staircase up to a balcony overlooking the main area, or entering through a set of glass sliding doors to another room. The upper level balcony featured a forest of ferns and other tropical plants, with lush vines and leaves spilling over the railing. This curtain of green partially obscured the windows of the room below.

If one chose to pass through the glass sliding doors, they would enter a room with dried herbs and ingredients in neat glass containers lining shelves along the wall. Other ingredients were strung from the ceiling, necessitating particularly tall patrons to mind their step. An island in the center of the room allowed the resident apothecary to advise customers on the best spells and ingredients to suit their needs; if the customer so chose, the apothecary would mix the ingredients before their very eyes to create charms and tinctures, then package the goods in a brown paper parcel tied shut with a string. 

On the righthand side of the apothecary's room was another glass sliding door, this one leading to a greenhouse made of shimmering, green-tinted glass. Though normally inaccessible to the public, today the greenhouse doors were unlocked and awaiting visitors. Upon entering, one would find rows and rows of pots of every shape and size growing all manner of plants. Aided by a spell cast with love, it was possible to watch the sprouts lengthen, produce leaves, and bloom before one's very eyes. Hanging plants dripped leaves from the ceiling, and the bright sunlight glittered against an artificial creek trickling across the greenhouse floor. Another swinging door allowed visitors to exit the greenhouse and enjoy the quaint courtyard beyond. 

The courtyard featured several tall, proud trees that were already bursting with apples, oranges, lemons, peaches, and every other fruit imaginable- often several different types of fruit could be spotted growing on the same tree. The thick branches provided some shade for visitors who rested at modest tables set up throughout the yard, or for those content to meander the space, admiring the well-manicured garden. A picket fence nearly hidden by twisting, nimble vines separated the courtyard from the sidewalk, though all were welcome to stop and enjoy the garden- even if they did not seek the Floracle's business within. Another swinging door connected the courtyard to the shop; the entire lot was arranged in a roughly square 2x2 grid so that the courtyard was directly adjacent to the main shop. 

Valentine busied herself in offering pastries and coffee to incoming guests (the food had been catered from a local bakery, though Val wanted to incorporate a full-on coffee shop at some point in the future). Patrons were often surprised at her habit of suggesting just the right flower for their situation, and the shop soon swelled in warm emotions and wonderful smiles. Caspian stood at the apothecary's counter, offering his advice (even when unwarranted) to customers who sought something stronger than flowers. His advice was good, and his manner was friendly, though the young scholar had a habit of excitedly spouting information at even the slightest prompting. A simple spell handled the packaging of ingredients and charms, leaving Caspian free to peruse the shelves at his leisure. 

As the activity began to pick up, Valentine took a moment to gather her thoughts and gaze around the shop, inhaling the scent of her home with a slight smile on her face. 

A new chapter in their lives had begun. 

Edited by roboblu

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The sun had risen on this day much like any other. The crisp morning air was rolling in off the fields and the cool night air was making its slow retreat back into the woods. It was one of the joys he had found living just on the edge of the forest. Nevermind one rarely had to worry about salesmen or lost wanderers. People rarely came to the forest for money or shelter, and that was precisely how he liked it. Quiet, serene, majestic, nature was all around and most of folk rather live in cities surrounded by technology and all manner of magical and electronic distraction.

Thorn grimaced as he collected himself so to take leave of his home. Part of taking his rites was living as a relative hermit, moving away from his kin and being self sufficient. Of course, this had only been part of the task. The great majority had involved study, exploration, and the helping and healing of others, of strangers. He enjoyed all of that just fine, but in his mind, the densely populated parts of Terrenus and greater Valucre could keep their cities.

“Well, I suppose I should be on my way then. There is much ground to cover and I do not envy the hustle and bustle of Casper once all have woken from their slumbers.” Thorn idly bit at his lip as he took the first few steps of his day’s journey. To Casper, by way of the fields full of blossoms, smelling sweet of the blooms and lush, green grasses. He smiled, savoring the sweetness and the warmth of the sun. It was not for several minutes that he realized his lodestone had begun to glow about his neck.

 

---------------------------------------------

 

What had begun as a leisurely trek into town turned into a full panic as Thorn scrambled through the streets of Casper, evadinging a barking voice and unearthly racket that seemed to follow him regardless of his movement. He was intent on trying to resolve his situation as simply as possible, but the man with the matching lodestone was often anything but possible. It was for that reason Thorn was tearing through the city.

“Now Flower Patch, it really won't be an inconvenience. You'll hardly notice me there!” The voice assured him as all manner of books were being thrown and dropped into stacks in trunks. Alchemy sets were banging and clanking as they, too, were marched into enchanted trunks. Thorn had to find an answer. There was no way on Gaia’s green earth that Leandros Kostikos was moving into his cozy, little piece of rest.

Nearly out of breath, Thorn had to rest. He needed at least a moment's respite and perhaps an hour without the wizard’s voice bellowing into his eardrums. His anxiety was becoming rather self-evident upon his tanned and weathered features. The brown hood he wore did little to hide it either. He was a doomed man, cursed. His existence would quickly come to an end with that certifiable maniac under his roof. As he took pause, he came to rest against a sturdy brick wall.

While he rested and thought to himself, he crammed the loadstone deep into a robe pocket, to disappear until he had formed a plan. “That damn wizard…” Thorn slowly shook his head, the look of frustration burned across his features.

However, after only a few seconds more of a boyish smirk pressed across his lips. A soft chuckle followed as the druid began to smile. His friend would be ‘coming home.’ The headache would be worth the return of his most valued comrade from the modern world. To that end, he must succeed on his new errand. But first, old business.

Thorn was either truly blind, or so truly distracted that he failed to realize he had already arrived at his destination. As he rested with his pack against the stone wall the fresh, spring scent of wild flowers tickled his nostrils. It took him a moment to realize only one place in Casper could possibly smell so sweet and free. With a triumphant grin, he pushed off the wall and saw the brilliant stands of flowers and the familiar sign that hung overhead, Floracle Flower Shop and Apothecary.

Thorn had been devastated to hear of the owner’s passing, but equally surprised to hear that two young relatives would be taking charge of the shop. For that reason, he was eager to stop by the shop and meet the new management. By no means was Thorn old, but a grizzly, wandering druid he was through and through. Among his folk, he was still a young man himself.

Collecting himself amidst his brown, bark colored robes he made for the entrance, unsure of what to expect. As any fair druid, or herbalist for that matter, he had a good sized hide pack and a number of animal hides and trinkets adorning himself. In his seemingly bear size paws, he carried a great ironwood staff crowned with stones and feathers tethered by sinew.

As he entered he looked about the shop. Nothing was different. He exhaled a breath of calm. The flowers, the staircase, the counters, it was all the same. His eye was quickly drawn in by a sign on the bulletin board. ‘Room for Rent,’ the posting read. It was posted by some Valentine, he would be sure to ask. It was turning out to be a fortuitous day after all. But it was at that point his luck betrayed him.

He was quickly greeted by a charming and fair, young woman offering pastries and coffee. The man had already found the honey trap. “Uh..uh.. I… I mean. I am called Thorn Blackfeather, madame. I was fond of the shop under your elder relative. I am very sorry to hear of his passing, but pleased that you would continue his business… of course I would love a pastry and coffee.”

Hermit druid he may be, but the man was a glutton for the world of modern cuisine. Nettle tea and bark soup only could only go so far. He was gracious and content to be back in the familiar shop. Thorn was also very eager to hear the plans of the new managers. Perhaps they could benefit from his knowledge, as he had benefited from the former manager before them.

“Oh, and about this room!” Thorn motioned to the bulletin board already trying to not inhale the offered pastry. Thorn awkwardly pulled his hood back in haste; he had forgotten it was still over his head. As he moved the material away, it exposed his sun-kissed skin, and warm chestnut hair. His face appeared to still be wearing a few days worth of stubble. Yet his smile was warm, and his vibrant blue eyes, kind.

Edited by carrionjackal

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"Hello, and welcome to the Floracle! May I offer you some refresh-" A flurry of young couples uninterested in interacting with the shopkeeper blew past the poor woman, chatting among themselves with that irritating aloofness often associated with infatuation. "Well, feel free to ask any questions if you need help!" Valentine called after them, a slight frown crossing her lips. Though she enjoyed working with customers who came to shop with love in their hearts, careless customers were a threat to more delicate plants with their curious, grabbing hands. Perhaps she ought to adopt some sort of trainable shop animal, like a cat, to discourage inappropriate behavior from the clientele ... Hefting a light sigh, Valentine turned back to face the entrance only to find a tall, hooded figure standing before her. Despite the smile plastered on her face, the florist couldn't help but flinch a little at the newcomer's sudden appearance, her knuckles whitening on the clipboard she'd been using to record attendance. She had regained her composure by the time a masculine voice regaled her from within the depths of the hood- and realized, with a warming expression, that she was actually speaking to a very polite and well-mannered guest. 

"Thank you for the condolences," she answered, blue eyes downcast for the briefest of moments before returning to the stranger's shaded face. "Grandfather was well-loved in Casper. If my brother and I can manage to fill even one of his shoes, I will consider this endeavor a success!" Thorn pulled his hood back to reveal a very kind, weathered face; the sight of those warm blue eyes, so similar to her own, caused Val's smile to widen. "Oh- you're interested in the room for rent! Yes, yes," The shopkeeper paused as she scrambled to find another sheet of paper on her clipboard; once she'd found it, she tore it loose and pinned it to the top of the stack. "The room is upstairs -there's a spiral staircase up to the apartments out in the courtyard, if you remember- and it's about the size of a large office." Valentine showed the flyer to her new acquaintance, pointing at a floorplan of the space that Caspian had drawn up. "We think it used to be the manager's office back when the Floracle belonged to different owners. My grandfather mainly used it for storage. We've already cleaned it out-" The redhead glanced toward the apothecary's shop, trying to spot her brother, who had a much stronger business instinct than her own. "-and it'll be, let's see here ... around four one-ounce gold coins per month. We'll accept silver or copper as well, if it's more convenient for you!" 

Valentine squinted down at the paper, then back up toward Thorn. "... we can always bargain with the price, you know," she said in a loud whisper. "Just don't tell my brother." With a wink, Valentine offered the informational flyer to the customer, and took a long, refreshing breath of sweet air. She smiled up at him, considering his appearance before opening her mouth again. "Thorn, am I mistaken in pegging you for a druid?" She glanced around the shop, then back toward his grizzled face. "Are you skilled in herbology? We are looking for a few extra hands around here, you know."

Spoiler
  • 1 oz of Tin = .25 USD
  • 1 oz of Copper = 2 USD
  • 1 oz of Silver = 10 USD
  • 1 oz of Gold = 50 USD
  • 1 oz of Platinum = 100 USD
  • 1 oz of Rhodium = 500 USD.

... taken from the Terrenus Landing Page. Rent is around 200 USD per month.

 

Edited by roboblu

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