After visiting the blacksmith, your first goal is to find something to eat. Your journey has taken you far, and your stomach is rumbling. The blacksmith has given you directions to where he says you can find some food. Just ask for Gisal and tell the baker Olafis sent you.
You're still several houses away from your intended destination when the aroma of fresh bread, candied fruit, and spices encircles you, hooking you by the nose and drawing you forward. You all but float the last several yards to the door of a shop. In the yard outside, brick ovens smoke and steam in the cold winter air as chickens scratch in the earth around them. Your mouth waters, but you swallow it down and knock on the door to the shop.
A cheerful voice calls out, "Come in," and you enter to find an apple-cheeked woman with a contagious grin standing over a tray of golden cakes. A bowl is tucked into the crook of one arm and in her other hand she holds a wooden spoon covered in white icing. She drizzles this over the last cake then sets the bowl and spoon aside.
"You're new in these parts, aren't you? I'm Gisal. What can I help you with?"
You explain that you are a traveler and that Olafis suggested you might find something to eat here. As you speak, you can't help eyeing the cakes as the icing drips down their sides onto the platter beneath them. You don't have much coin and you also need to secure lodging for tonight so you pray the baked goods aren't too expensive.
"Oh! Olafis sent you." She dusts the flour off her hands onto her apron. "Let me take care of you then. Sit down."
Gisal motions towards the other side of the shop where there is a table and two benches. You take a seat and she brings you a wooden cup and a kettle of tea. "I hope you like it strong. I find on days like this you need something bracing, and also it cuts the sweetness of the cakes."
You take the cup between your hands and the warmth of it seeps into your fingers and down your arms. You close your eyes and breathe in the steam.
After a moment, to your great delight, she sets one of the golden rolls in front of you. Your eyes widen and you stammer out a question of payment, only to have her wave you off.
"When I say I mean to take care of you, I mean to take care of you. Tuck in, dearie, and don't give it a thought." She then returns behind the counter and starts mixing more ingredients in a large bowl.
You hate to take advantage of this village's hospitality, but you are so hungry and the cake looks so good. You pick it up, allowing the sticky icing to drip over your fingers.
Before you can take your first bite, though, you see a grimy hand sneaking over the counter heading towards the sweetrolls still cooling there.
"Hey!" you call out.
A tousled head of hair pops up, wide eyes staring at you, then the child grabs the sweetroll and bolts for the door.
Alerted by your cry, Gisal drops her mixing paddle and rushes for the thief. A moment later she drags a young boy back in the shop by the arm, kicking and shouting. He's squeezed the sweetroll in his hand with a death grip, making it quite unsalvageable.
You swallow. The thief is quite young, and while you did not want your hostess to be stolen from, you also don't want a child to pay a steep penalty for his mischief. You quickly offer to pay for the roll, but the woman laughs and grabs a broom.
"No, this imp made his choice, and now he must pay. You want a sweetroll, child? You'll sweep my floors for it."
The boy mumbles and scuffs his toe on the floor but ultimately agrees to the chore.
Relief floods through you and you devour your cake. It is rich and warm, seasoned with spices and a hint of lemon. The sweet icing coats your tongue as your hunger is satisfied.
Soon the boy has finished with his chores and sits across from you as you sip your tea, scarfing down his own sweetroll. You smile. It has been a good day and you can't wait for your adventure to continue.
Stolen Sweetroll is party of Mythologie Candles' Arcane Scrolls collection.