Years ago, the tiny town of Maple’s Landing was an amazing sight. Bustling with activity, it seemed as though the land had received the Harvest Queen’s blessed touch; and it had.
Blissful life took a turn for the worse over a decade ago, when a great Calamity touched the land. Horrified by the events, the people rebuffed their Queen. Saddened by her people's snubbing, she put herself into a deep sleep and the land withered. Now, the town is tasked with saving their homeland before it's too late.
Join the townspeople in their arduous task and enjoy life in the meantime, form bonds, find love and live!
NOTE: If you are advertising an OPEN THREAD, type "OT" REGISTER your site handle, thank you!
• FESTIVALS & EVENTS •
WIN. 6 [8/11] | Starry Night Festival
Pack some holiday snacks or some red wine and spend some time beneath the stars! It's the perfect chance to get closer to your family (or your special sweetheart) on this beautiful, clear night.
WIN. 11 [8/21] | Festival of Lights
Bundle up nice and cozy and head out to Phinae's Tree for an evening of fun and mystery! Join the friends and family for a cup of cocoa, pick up a fortune, and participate in the candle lighting ceremony as we look forward to a year full of good luck for everyone.
Skin: toadstools, with input from all of staff! Graphics: DayDreamer, Mona, & Half Alive Ice
We do not own Harvest Moon, Ranch Story or Story of Seasons - credit belongs to Marvelous, Natsume, & xSeed.
jane lockwood • winter 7 • late afternoon • outfit
Jane had held onto autumn with every fibre of her being. With disdain she glowered out of her frosting windows, bundled in the thickest pile of blankets with a steaming cup of cider clutched in her palms. The radiator was blasting, a pumpkin scented candle was burning downstairs, but all the same winter was here in all its ugly, horrible glory. It had even snowed this week, icing all the sidewalks in town to the point she had to finally ditch the heels for boots. And what made it all the worse was acknowledging that it was only going to get worse from here.
With every passing day her griping about the cold increased as she trekked into town to open the salon, taking as few appointments as she could just so she could get home quicker to hide under one solid foot of blankets and pretend like none of this was happening. But still, a girl needed sustenance, and if she didn't make a trip to the grocer soon she would be cold and hungry. Grumpily shutting up the store, she took a slippery detour down Carrot Street, planning to hang a right down to the general store for a heaping pile of soup cans and any last minute veggies she could scrounge up before all the nasty cabbage and spinach started its lasting reign.
But it wasn't to be once she caught a whiff of something wafting through the walls of one of the buildings on the street. Jane stopped short and suddenly developed a strong need to track down whatever was cooking. After a few minutes passing some of the chintzier looking restaurants, sweater pulled tightly over her body, she tracked the smell to a building she recognized as one that had been vacant for several seasons. There was a sign on the front door – something about being closed (nooo, cruel fate) and yet open at the same time? What was this, a restaurant for cats? She eyed the door suspiciously for another moment before a particularly chilly breeze urged her to make up her mind, and fast.
Jane pulled open the door and stepped inside, quickly shutting the door behind her to keep out the cold. Thankfully, the interior was warm and distinctly not trap-like in the slightest. Still, it was strangely furnished, boxes and crates littering some corners while a rather well kept counter and seating area seemed to be set up on the far side of the room. Unsurprisingly, there didn't seem to be a single customer dining at the moment, probably kept at bay by the winter weather and the confusing sign out front. The woman stepped up to the counter area and looked around for a menu, or even some evidence of human life other than the positively appetizing smell coming from some nondescript place in the building.
"Er… hello?" she called out, and her stomach grumbled shortly after.
Today had been quite a productive day, all things considered. The main dining room was still a mess, but the second floor where he'd have his fermenting room was almost done! He had even started to ferment some wort so he could make beer! The tanks were quite large so they'd give him a nice haul soon. However, all this hard work had definitely made him a bit more groggy today in general. He didn't take the time to put on his work outfit. The restaurant isn't even really open right now, me not wearing my fancy clothes isn't that much an issue, no? He had actually chosen to simply wear a loose white shirt and some grey jeans that barely reached his heels. He did however tie his hair back in a ponytail, as it was the minimum he could do since he still worked in a restaurant. Oh also he was barefoot, as he much liked to do (also that way it was easy to know if the floor needed to be cleaned, as bare feet can feel dirt and dust under them quite easily! Even when he's as laid-back as possible, he still finds a way to be productive...)
He had also taken the time earlier in the day to get a beef stew started. Being in a new town, he wanted to try as much of the local ingredients as possible and today felt like a nice day for beef. Overall it was a prety traditional recipe, he didn't want to make too crazy as the purpose was to taste the freshness and quality of the ingredients, not overwhelm them. As it slowly cooked for a few hours during the afternoon, Phil had the pleasure to bask in its aroma thanks to his fine nose. It definitely helped him push through his hard day of work, as he was getting excited to try it.
Suddenly as he was building a long shelf along the wall for a future pickling station, he heard the door opening and the sound of footsteps. Hearing the voice of a woman, he quickly headed downstairs, realising that everything still looked like a mess and wouldn't be a good first impression if he at least wasn't there to greet her. Quickly heading down the stairs as his naked feet made not efforts in being quiet and his ponytail flopped around everywhere, he stepped into the kitchen, seeing a woman which he guessed was a bit older than him at the counter. Giving her an inviting smile, he walked a bit closer so he was in the center of the kitchen.
- Oh sorry! I was upstairs. My name is Philemon, but you can call me Phil. I welcome you to Tête-à-tête! You can probably guess it but I'm still preparing for the grand opening... sorry for the mess.he said, scratching the back of his head, a bit embarassed. But anyways, did you come here to eat? Or maybe something to drink? I have some beef stew that's about ready...
jane lockwood • winter 7 • late afternoon • outfit
Moments after her voice bounced back in an echo against the walls of the downstairs, a sudden clattering of footsteps above her head caused Jane to look up. So there was someone here! In no time flat, the thumping of feet down a staircase followed and the muffled sounds of someone approaching grew closer. At first when she spotted the man emerging from the back of house kitchen area, she mistook him for an older man with his stark white hair, but once he got closer she realised he was closer to her age. Maybe even younger judging by the bright quality to his smile.
"Oh sorry! I was upstairs. My name is Philemon, but you can call me Phil." he apologized, and Jane softly smiled back and shrugged. No harm done, it wasn't as if she had expected a place deemed 'closed' to have stunning table service and a greeter from square one. "I welcome you to Tête-à-tête! You can probably guess it but I'm still preparing for the grand opening... sorry for the mess.""Thanks," Jane answered, finding it hard to suppress a chuckle as Phil looked around the place, obviously a little abashed over the appearance of the place.
"It's not a problem, really. I know it can be a big hassle opening up a new place, especially in these big dusty old buildings," she remarked. While the salon was much smaller than this place, clearing out all the old furniture left behind by the previous tenant had been a job in itself, let alone bringing in all of her new equipment and cleaning up. Especially since the town had been practically under water at the time. "But anyways, did you come here to eat? Or maybe something to drink? I have some beef stew that's about ready...
With that, Jane was reminded of her reasoning for coming in, as her stomach rumbled warningly once more. "That… actually sounds amazing," the woman admitted, sounding relieved. Hot soup was always a great buffer against the winter cold. "I could smell it from outside, and if it tastes half as good as it smells, I think I'm sold." But he'd dangled the idea in front of her of a drink, and being the way she was, she had to wonder if she could sniff out what kind of place this was going to turn into by what he offered. After all, Jane often found that you could easily pick out the vibe of a place by its signature drink. A cool jazzy bar might specialize in wine, a greasy dive bar in foamy beer, or a well-to-do spot like the Inn's Aimisr more along the lines of an overpriced cocktail. Phil's establishment already had the fancy Francaisse name going for it, so she had to try her luck and test out her detective skills.
"And since you ask, what do you have to drink? No need to break out the champagne and sparkling water for little old me, of course." A smirk played across her lips, starting to enjoy this whole mystery menu deal. It was at least a bit more interesting than heating up chicken noodle soup over a wood stove at home.
"It's not a problem, really. I know it can be a big hassle opening up a new place, especially in these big dusty old buildings," Oh? Phil definitely got curious at her statement. Was she perhaps a business owner herself? He'd have to bring that up later as he was quite curious. He was also happy to see that somebody understood his pain these days. Preparing the shop was fun of course, but it sure as hell wasn't for his back to have to bend down hundreds of times a day for boxes and reaching low places in need of dusting.
She also seemed quite interested in the beef stew that was slowly simmering in the back. "That… actually sounds amazing, I could smell it from outside, and if it tastes half as good as it smells, I think I'm sold." Grinning a bit, he was happy to hear that only the smell was enough to bring people in. "Oh stop it you, you're gonna make me blush. I was actually wondering if it'd turn out good. Normally I like putting lots of Indorian spices to make a bit more unique but if you say it smells great that makes me pretty confidant about how it'll taste." (Ok yeah, he actually knew pretty well what it'd taste like thanks to his superior smell, but there was still a bit of concern that it might turn out bland to regular people, so technically he had somewhat said the truth.) Realising he should probably wash his hands before handling any kind of food as he WAS just upstairs cleaning what used to be quite a dirty room. Going to the sink, he heard her ask: "And since you ask, what do you have to drink? No need to break out the champagne and sparkling water for little old me, of course."
Thinking for a bit as he tried to remember all he had in stock, mumbling to himself for a bit, it became pretty clear that his selection would scarce (well for his standards anyways when it came to booze). Taking out a loaf of thick crusted bread and a sharp bread knife, he cut off a nice thick piece that would accompany the stew. As he was putting it on a plate with a dollop of butter on the side so she could spread however much she liked on it, he finally opened his mouth as he was setting aside the bread: "Hmm, well let me think. Right now I've got a few kinds of homemade beers... Stout, blond, amber... Oh! I think I also have some "sapinette". I also make it myself. It's alcohol made from fir tree buds and a dash of maple syrup to sweeten it. It's probably one of the most exotic alcohols I make so I'd recommend that if you know your stuff." He then looked at her with an inquisitive look, wondering if she'd actually go for it. Normally in his experience, alcohol from Christmas trees was pretty hard to actually market... It'd be fun to find people who enjoy it so I could find a reason to make more of it besides for myself...
jane lockwood • winter 7 • late afternoon • outfit
"Oh stop it you, you're gonna make me blush," he replied to Jane's observation of how tasty the stew smelled even from afar. She had to smirk at his feigned modesty – he had to know how good the food was since he was the on preparing it. Somehow, though, she sensed that he wasn't full of hot air when it came to talking up his cuisine. "I was actually wondering if it'd turn out good. Normally I like putting lots of Indorian spices to make a bit more unique but if you say it smells great that makes me pretty confidant about how it'll taste."
Jane shrugged good-naturedly and quipped, "I'm more than happy to be a guinea pig. I may not be a gourmet, but don't mistake me for a small town girl with simple tastes, either." Her teasing tone faltered momentarily as she considered the subject of what to ask for to accompany the stew beverage wise, and so asked about any specialities he might have ready.
Phil took a moment to consider his stock, or so she assumed, as he busied himself in the kitchen. Curious, she watched him unveil a hunk of fresh bread. He mumbled quietly, his white hair softly covering his features as he leaned over to slice the loaf and adding a pad of butter to a serving plate. Finally, he answered her. "Hmm, well let me think. Right now I've got a few kinds of homemade beers... Stout, blond, amber... Oh! I think I also have some "sapinette". I also make it myself. It's alcohol made from fir tree buds and a dash of maple syrup to sweeten it. It's probably one of the most exotic alcohols I make so I'd recommend that if you know your stuff."
Jane's green eyes lit up at the description, curious to hear more about this mysterious drink. Sure, beer was fine and dandy as long as it was on the light side, but this tree juice alcohol? How could she pass that up? "Ooh, I'm intrigued. I think I'll have some," she said, finally able to uncurl her arms from across her chest as the cold was beginning to leave her bones. She eyed the seating area set up nearby and turned to allow Phil to work his magic without her leering over the counter at him, but not before softly saying, "Thanks, Phil."
Jane settled into one of the chairs at a bare table, the brunette had to wonder at how he'd mentioned the beers and liquors that he "made". She knew very little about the processes that went into the production of the drinks she enjoyed so much, outside of the iconic imagery of grape stomping and what hops looked like. It wasn't common for the restaurants around here to source locally for their drinks, outside of that one Hawk's Wing place that opened up a restaurant a while ago. Maybe if this sapinette turned out to be a surprise hit, she would put some effort into learning more about the craft.