in Chapter

BonPapaJPG omnomJPEG

Both of you arrive rather late at the feast at the Bayashura Town Hall. A butler greets you with the finest flutes of champagne on a tray.

“Champagne?” He offers, with a haughty look on his face only befitting for such an opulent feast.

You refuse, as you do not want to ruin your appetite. Although perhaps the smell of food already did. The Mayor might have spent most of the royal family fortunes in hiring the best chefs around, but he clearly did not notice the flaw of having a ventilation system connecting the ballroom and the kitchen. Oregano, tarragon, cumin, red pepper, cinnamon… A blend of fragrance so strange and yet so familiar. Snapping out of your thought, both of you look at the hundreds of people swarming the room and try to make out an acquaintance or two.

On further scrutiny, there are many well-known food critics such as you who had been invited. Lupita Narita, the pastry connoisseur. Juan “Candyman” Mestizo, the famous confections critic. Even Old Stakerhand, a former cowboy-turned steak specialist, left his ranch to come to the feast. The town of Bayashura, despite being rather small, is supposedly famous for being one of the first town in Gastronesia which had all its residents’ tastebuds modified, and thus retains its rustic charm as a cuisine capital. Of course, that’s old wives’ tale now—no one really remembers the history anymore. All that’s important is that there is food here and now, and everyone is enjoying them.

Out of the corner of your eyes you spot Mayor Shunjaya making his way towards you. Wearing the lavish Gastronesian traditional clothes, the fiftysomething Mayor seems out of place in the midst of suit-wearing gentlemen and ladies clad in shimmery evening dresses.

“Bon Papa, Omnom! My favourite guests–at last, my dear boys, at last. Great turnout this year, eh?” He remarks, sounding pleased. “Mingle, gentlemen, mingle! Mi casa e su casa- my home is your home, that’s how they do it in Spain and that’ll be how we do it here! The feast will start soon enough, but not before you boys talk to everyone and promote our own little town, yes?”

He wipes his sweaty forehead and laughs rather uncomfortably. “After all, tourism has dropped the past years… We all need a little income to keep going. Especially with the rising food prices and whatnot…” He trailed off, frowning a little. Realising that his other guests are starting to stare, he forces a rehearsed smile and said, “Well, I’ve been such a downer, haven’t I? Enjoy the feast later, gentlemen, and remember, mingle!”

Mayor Shunjaya gave you both a pat on the back, left to talk to other guests, and you are left to mingle around with the guests.

  1. “Omnom, you know I don’t like to mingle and I don’t like the owner of the house. He have bad bad fame when I was in the prison. And yeah, he was the one who made me go to jail innocently. Revenge ehh? Mi casa e su casa ehh? I’m going to dig out whatever information he have during that incident years back, right here, right now. Ciao!”

  2. I quickly turn and follow Bonpapa towards the door that Mayor Shunjaya disappears behind a minute ago.
    “Bonpapa, I would like to help you too! Wait for me!”

  3. Both of you reached the heavy oaken door, but it is already shut tight. You try to kick it open, but the door won’t budge. Some guests nearby are craning their heads to see what’s happening. Amongst them are a few people who recognize you and approach you, and you are faced with four choices of people to talk to. Maybe they’ll know what the Mayor is doing behind the door…

    Choose 1 person each to talk to:
    – Lupita Narita
    – Juan “Candyman” Mestizo
    – Old Stakerhand
    – Butler

  4. As I remain quiet to observe the current situation in order not to make any slight mistake. Omnom is always good at talking, it’ll be alright for him to do the talking. All I know is that friggin Old stakerhand was with the mayor during the incident. He couldn’t be trusted. Better to keep my guard up against him.
    Before the butler could reply, “Well, I had a stomachache and I couldn’t hold it in, desperately in need to use the toilet!” I said. I escaped from the confrontation and hid in the toilet for a short while.

  5. Omnom:
    Amused at Bon Papa’s remark, the butler raised his eyebrows, and let out a soft chuckle, “My, the food is not even out yet! Everybody is still chit-chatting and catching up with old friends.” He then turns to you and say, “Ah, that would be the wine cellar! The oldest, finest wines are kept in there, and Mayor Shunjaya is going in to fetch a few bottles, just for the guests. He’ll be out in a few minutes, but he does not like to be bothered when choosing wines.”

    Choose 1 person to talk to:
    – Lupita Narita

    Bon Papa:
    Meanwhile, in the toilet, Juan ‘Candyman’ Mestizo and Old Stakerhand had entered. Bon Papa, remaining unseen, listened as a few words travelled to his hideout.
    J: “.. news.. few weeks?”
    O: “… lost his sense of taste… horrible.”
    J: “…careful… lost his job…”
    O: “..more people… disease..”
    J: “..can’t be… rumors…”
    Their conversation faded as they leave the toilet. You are left alone to piece together the information.

    Roll two dice against your intelligence to decipher the two men’s conversation. []

    • “Hey Narita! Nice to meet you, it’s been so long!! I remember you were quite into wine collection right! Heard that Mayor Shunjaya has the best wine collection in town! Shall we go in and take a look? Im sure he won’t mind as he even held a tour for some of the wine collectors last week!”

      • Narita’s eyes brightened up and she said,”Ooh, yes! Why don’t we try going in the wine cellar? I’m pretty sure he’ll show us around!”

        You and Narita approached the oaken door and knocked. After a few seconds, you hear keys rattle and the click of a lock. The Mayor’s head popped up, and his face flushed, he mumbled “Oh, hello..hic! What on earth.. hic! I see you’ve mingled…hic-hic-hiccup! Greeeeaaat! Good job, Omnom! Hee-hee!”

        Narita looked sideways at you and, stifling her laughter, said from the corner of her mouth, “Omnom, I think… I think the Mayor’s drunk on wine.”

        “It’s.. hic! A pleasure to see you too, Narita! Oh dea..HIC!” The Mayor let out a major hiccup and said,” Oh.. let’s get this feast started then! But where is Bon Papa? Just.. need.. wait for Bon Papa to rejoin us and.. hic! We’re set!” He slammed the door a little too loudly, leaving you two to wait for Bon Papa’s return.

        [End of Chapter for Omnom]

  6. Bon Papa

    [You rolled a 10, with original attribute of 4. Minimum intelligence to piece together the probable meaning of the conversation was 10. 10<14. Congratulations, you succeeded! ]

    J: “Heard the news these last few weeks?”
    O: “Word on the street is that food critic from our neighboring town lost his sense of taste completely… Horrible, horrible affair.”
    J: “Gotta be careful these days. Lost his job right away, the poor sod. The hospitals here are hopeless, and the media's gonna eat him alive, claiming he had never had a superb sense of taste from the start and that he's a scam. Kid should've kept his mouth shut.”
    O: “Don't know 'bout that, man, but I heard more people, more food critics are losing their sense of taste. Must be a disease.”
    J: “What a load of bull! Surely, only rumors.. And I don't believe it's a disease. Somebody's planning something…”

    With this new piece of information, you returned to the Town Hall with every intention to tell Omnom about the hearsay.

    [End of Chapter for Bon Papa]