THIS PAST WEEK SAW A couple of personal milestones: the completion of my 100th Prosatio Silban story, and my e-book‘s first review. (Pop the confetti and cue the corks.) To celebrate, here are synopses for all the Cook For Any Price tales spun so far, including some not yet published in the e-book or as blog posts. Please enjoy these concise bites of “in which Our Hero …”
Advertent Appetizer: … ‘s customer literally sings for her supper.
Affable Invitation: … diverts a probing question.
Agreeable Disagreement: … settles a religious contretemps.
Ambiguous Twins: … caters for children who may not be as they seem.
Annual Doom: … looks Death, or at least its messenger, square in the face.
Antecedent History: … learns the secret behind the name “Exilic Lands.”
Anxious Drummer: … attempts to calm a nervous noncombatant.
Arrow Escape: … helps a fugitive slave toward a better life.
Balance (Amuse Bouche): …reflects on what makes Eating, Dining.
Beloved Animal: … explores the nature of adoration.
Birthday Party: … serves a handful of temporal relatives.
Brokedown Palate: … is helped by an enigmatic visitor through a profoundly bad day.
Caveat Bibitor: … falls under the spell of a cursed skillet.
Child’s Play: … is injured in a steep fall.
Chopped Roots: … recalls the mentor who made him “The Cook For Any Price.”
Circus Bred: … has his moment in the Arena of Martial Virtuosity.
Cook’s Honor: … aims to turn a midnight robber into a ‘prentice cook.
Counterfeit Indigene: … bridges the gap between authenticity and appropriation.
Counting Time: … makes a stand on behalf of personal liberty.
Curious Artifact: … makes unconventional use of a mysterious device.
Day’s Life: … lives sunrise to sunset in the City of Gourmands.
Difficult Patron: … endures the attentions of a problematic customer.
Dining Companion: … strives to take Onward off a strange village’s menu.
Disconsolate Wineherd: … turns the lamentable into the practical.
Divine Gaze: … receives godsly validation.
Double Reflection: … listens to a wizard’s fable.
Dread Reckoning: … talks himself – and an angry cook – out of a tense situation.
Escorter of the Dead: … visits Pormaris’ greedy funeral pyres.
Evasive Death: … is helped out of a bad place.
Exilic Lands: … deploys his world’s mise en place.
Face Value: … is forced to choose between cookery and theology.
Familiar Spirit: … resolves a stormy paternal relationship.
Fellow Seeker: … serves an appropriate meal to a man in search of his absent friend.
Final Kindness: … does his best for an anonymous decedent.
Forgotten God: … must complete a task set before him by an ancient deity.
Golden Moment: … is introduced to the Patient Diner.
Grammar (AB): … reflects on the puzzle-pieces of Uulian gastronomy.
Great Wasting: … deals with an horrific famine.
Gustibus Interruptus: … weathers supernatural shenanigans from a dishonest meat-seller.
Haunted Oyster: … engages in a culinary contretemps at the Annunciation of the New Year.
Herd Instinct: … follows his buopoth on a strange and urgent journey.
Hidden Kingdom: … goes underground to learn culinary secrets.
Holy Terror: … joins two adventurers on a quest for a cryptic treasure.
Holy Trap: … tries to save an old colleague from divine danger.
Humble Pie: … makes room for tradition and modernity in a Commonwell-wide competition.
Ignoble Noble: … rescues a town from its bullying would-be king.
Infinite Application: … cooks a beloved and commonplace refection.
Iron Dray-Beast: … races his buopoth against its mechanical counterpart.
Keeper of Memories: … serves a recollection-retrieving wonderworker.
Last Meal: … prepares a long-lost family recipe for a man with terminal vectors.
Leg Up: … helps a friend establish himself as an enterprising Everfaire tradesman.
Leisurely Eggs: … cooks a giant’s breakfast to save his buopoth’s life.
Lost Foundling: … rescues a mother and child from a slaver’s clutches.
Love Famine: …evades the advances of a too-eager culinary student.
Mapping Lesson: … charts new territory on the Rimless Sea.
Mayor of Ixtachet: … discovers that not all honor is worth the effort.
Meals (AB) … reflects on what makes a meal, a Meal.
Midnight Invader: … engages in close quarters with an undesirable visitor.
Passing Notes: … meets and loses the love of his life.
Perfect Ingredient: …enters into a near-mêlée over a coveted jar.
Pernicious Wishes: … gains and spends a classic beneficence.
Place (AB): … reflects on culinary presentation.
Professional Contretemps: … has a bit of a tiff with the Ranking Culinarian.
Profound Breakfast: … soothes the soul of a perplexed seeker.
Proportional Mystery: … tests his creativity.
Purloined Eyebrows: … must track down a vengeful thief.
Quest Authentic: … discovers the limits of creative propriety.
Revealer of Secrets: …liberates a village from its psychic thrall.
Refectional Research: … battles a deadline with inspiration.
Road Bound: … encounters for the first time his faithful dray-beast.
Room (AB): … explains the ecology of economy.
Royal Fete: … faces an apparently cannibalistic quandary.
Sacreantal Reflex: … relates a tale of the City of Sages.
Saucemaker’s Tale: … ponders an associate’s account of divine exorcism.
Senseless Struggle: … seeks a cure for a debilitating malady.
Sentinel’s Game: … plays for his life.
Sentimental Voyage: … helps rekindle a long-distance romance.
Shunned Fragment: … learns that some recipes are meant to remain uncooked.
Sick Call: … is ministered to by an adoring neighbor.
Sincere Runaway: … offers a ride to a small hitchhiker.
Small Packages: … considers a shopkeeper’s legend of culinary mysteries.
Soul Food: … translates for a spiritual meeting of minds, and discovers a universal truth.
Sovereign Cure: … cooks up a remedy for an ailing village.
Starving Survivor: … receives a dying man’s tale of a village overcome by distraction.
Sudden Feline: … becomes inadvertently wise in cat-lore.
TED Talk: … addresses a throng at the Archive of Gastronomic Artifice.
Three Prayers: … understands the masquerade of the One.
Tourist Trap: … is caught in an avaricious village.
Tournament Palatine: … competes for title of the Commonwell’s most educated palate.
Twice-cooked Eggs: … swaps methods for making the simplest of meals.
Uninvited Guest: … solves an existential problem for a passing ghost.
Utensils (AB): … reflects on the art of keeping one’s fingers clean.
Vanishing Point: … dissuades an eager seeker from following in his spiritual footsteps.
Visitor from the Sands: …listens to a traveler’s warning against divine familiarity.
War Prints: … follows the passage of combat through men’s eyes, and does what he can.
Wavering Line: … lends his name to an ill-fated business venture.
What Dreams: … is imparted a recipe, and some wisdom, from a great stone head.
Workman’s Wages: … seeks a replacement for his beloved cookstove.
World’s Best: … plumbs the mystery of the Perfect Comestible.
Writing (AB)…reflects on a cutting-board’s hidden stories.
(And if this whets your appetite for an Exilic Lands excursion, please enjoy this music to travel by.)