"Dagnabbit! What do you get for a woman who has almost everything?!" This angry outburst was so unlike Niami's normally calm and taciturn apprentice, Agnor, that she fumbled and dropped the eggs she was about to add to a cake she was baking.
"Och!" With a sigh, she reached for a towel to clean up the sticky mess, before she continued, "It is getting tae be that time o' year, eh? How aboot ye go an' buy me another half-dozen eggs while I percolate a bit on it, eh?"
The Coldain's face was back to his normal impassive almost-frown as he nodded and headed for the door. "At once, Mum. Sorry I startled you." It is just, well ..." He shrugged and threw up his hands.
"Aye, lad. 'Tis a guid thing ye've nae hair, or ye'd be tearing it oot aboot now? Gnormajean likes tae keep ye on yuir toes!" Mum chuckled as a grumble and the sound of a closing door were his only response.
When he returned a short while later, Mum took the eggs from him, and handed him a new fancy purple leather notebook, and a much-abused rather ancient tome with slips of parchment sticking out of it in odd places.
Agnor's frown deepened for one long moment, before his face practically cracked from the smile that broke over it. "Your family cookbook?"
"The verra one! Along wi' several recipes that I created since th' book was written. I know she was wanting some o' these, but I ne'er got around tae recopying it all. Seems we could kill several birds wi' one stone an' make one fancy copy frae her an' then make a magical copy or five wi' more normal materials frae th' inevitable customers who ask tae buy 'em. Gnome that she is, she'd appreciate th' efficiency o' that, e'en as she appreciates th' special book in her favorite color an' all."
"Very true on both counts, Mum." Agnor nodded and headed for the library for a scribing session. He very carefully did NOT mention to Mum that he and his beloved Gnormajean had been trying to figure out how to pry that recipe book out of Mum's hands long enough to make a copy of it before the recipes were lost. Some of the pages were extremely faded and fragile from frequent use. Gnorma was going to be tickled that those precious food recipes would be preserved and that she was getting a copy of them for her own kitchen at the same time.
Mum, meanwhile, was pleased to have someone else copy all of those recipes down in a more legible hand than hers. If it helped the course of true love at the same time, so much the better!
Once the cake was finished and cooling, she decided that it was time to help other young couples celebrate Erollisi Day ... with a twist. Let others run around the towns and help out there. She was going to help some of the races that rarely got a helping hand due to many considering them "lesser" races.
First up was a trip to the Thundering Steppes docks to help a confused pygmy lady. Poor Bawli had "just" wanted some arcane clay to make a pottery gift for her mate. Unfortunately, since she'd been a stowaway on a ship, she'd ended up in the wrong location, and she was a tad overwhelmed. It was a relatively quick and easy matter for Mum to head over to Zek and beat on some elementals for her.
It was so relatively easy, compared to some things folks asked for help with that she almost felt bad about accepting the gorgeous cloak that Bawli gave her as a thank you gift. ... Almost.
Her next good deed took a bit longer to complete.
Mum decided to head to the Great Divide to see if she could help the othmir out a bit. In between the random racket made by the great turtle, Lodizal, she managed to converse with a very well-mannered othmir gentleman named Cippie who seemed a bit distraught. He was worried about a fellow villager who was overdue from an imports run to the Sinking Sands.
With the othmir nearby making trips between the Great Divide and the Sinking Sands on a regular basis, it didn't take long for her to arrive in the Sinking Sands and to find the overdue Kidder.
Apparently he had been trying to sneak in some materials acquisition in, in addition to his imports run, so that he could make his "heart-bound", Cippie, a gift. And of course he'd hired one of those less-than-honest hunters to go obtain some wax for him from the Greater Faydark.
Niami bit down on her tongue, since she could see he was upset about being scammed out of his coin, but she found herself wondering how long he could continue to be a successful trader if he let himself be hoodwinked by the desert nomads like that. Some folks just had to learn the hard way, after all.
Eventually she reigned herself in, and returned to the Great Divide to hand over the wax and receive a lovely sculpted ... something ... as a thank you gift.
It was a very good thing that some of the more overlooked races were so grateful for the help of adventurers that they didn't mind the extra time taken. (Unlike some of the city folk who took much for granted, and often had sharp words for volunteers.)
In the case of her third, and final, aid project of the day, it was likely one part gratitude, and one part a total lack of time sense. Or a lack of much of any sense at all.
She found herself aiding ... a goblin.
Not that she had much against goblins, but they tended to be a bit ... odd. And conversing with them tended to pretzel her brain in painful ways.
The one who flagged her down for help, it seemed, was no exception. "No, no interrupt Zubsugg! Too busy thunking of gifties!"
Niami tilted her head a bit as she peered up at him. "Thunking of gifties?"
"Yes, but making Zubsugg head hurt. Gortblor so pretty! Yes, yes. No more chitter-chat! Must thunk of gifties."
It seemed that smoke was going to come out of his ears at any moment from thinking so hard, though that could have just been the ever-present flame and ash of Lavastorm making her think of smoke. "Mayhaps I can help ye? What comes tae mind when ye think of Gortblor?"
"Eyes red like flame. Teefers brown like dirt. Skin green like snot, and shiny like snake. Snake, yes! Zubsugg know good gifty!"
Well, ask a question of a goblin, expect a creative response. She didn't want to think of a "so pretty" red-eyed shiny dirty snotty goblin, but to each his or her own! "Och. An' what is that?"
Snakes! Slithery snake scales! All loves 'em! Gets Zubsugg snake skins, that be how you help!"
Well, SHE certainly didn't agree with the "all loves 'em", when it came to snakes, but since she offered to help, it seems it was time to go skin some cinder asps.
It still would have been a pretty quick and simple task ... if she'd used the nearby mount station to travel to where the asps were. She didn't think about that fact until she was quite a ways up the trail ... on foot.
Because shinies. And nodes. And more shinies. And more nodes.
Did she mention shinies?
Oooh. And a spellshard. And some ebon, a ruby and a rhodium. And more shinies! And more nodes!
Which reminded her that she needed some more food harvests from the Tranquil Sea, so she headed there for a bit of harvesting before heading home at the end of a long day.
It wasn't until she was emptying her packs into the depots that night that she spotted the odd candy she'd obtained from a grimling.
"I ... do ... NAE ... need ... that ... mental ... image!"
(For those that don't know the reference, and like me, have to look it up, all that is running through my mind right now is a Norrathian version of a Futurama episode, entitled "Amazon Grimlings in the Mood"
The book Romantic Gifts to Craft VII (and all the books from previous years) can be found on Erollisi Day Merchant Steven and includes recipes for the following:
|Brush of Elegance
||Elegant Floral Sham
||Elegant Round Pillow
|Gilded Vase of Truth
||Hand Mirror of Elegance
|Ornate Urn of Valor
||Passionate Heart Cordon
||Plate of Dark Hearted Cookies
|Plate of Dark Hearted Cupcakes
||Plum Filigree Heart Rug
||Romantic Hanging Heart
|Romantic Hanging Heart Garland
||Romantic Heart Cordon
As usual, these recipes will each require tier 1 fuels, and either tier 1 or tier 2 resources, plus a love note or hard candy. These love notes and hard candies can be found as body drops from humanoid mobs (intelligent or semi-intelligeny mobs) throughout Norrath. Upgraded pack ponies can also be coaxed into bringing back 10 candies/love notes once every 2-hour run, if you so desire.
Steven's buddy, Douglas, sells the following new items this year for Erollisi coins:
|Amorous Glow Skimmer
|Fairy Drake (housepet)
|Glossy Vase of Love
|The Lady of Insurrection
|Petamorph Wand: Dragonfly
|Pink Vesspyr Bloom
|Romantic Red and Gold Hanging
Fairy Lights - 10 coins
|Thief of Love Armor Crate
The Thief of Love armor set is a bit on the dark side, so a dressing room preview just doesn't do it justice. So, by request, here are a couple more shots of it, modeled by my kerra ranger. The dark red areas have random pink petals "falling" through them (not as a particle effect above the armor, but within the armor itself).
The Hearts a'Flutter race has one new reward added this year. In addition, there are three new quests that reward both 5 Erollisi coins and an item.
|Cloak of the Love Bird
(Could It Be Magic?)
|Leather-Patched Heart Pillow
A Cold-Hearted Snake
|Othmir Romantic Remembrance
(I Melt With You)
|Golden Rose Garland
Since aerakyn are new this year, and at least one person on Test has already been confused, I'd like to remind folks that if you're using the aerakyn wings in your mount appearance slot, you will not see the cloak displayed, except in areas where your mount will not display, such as in most dungeons.