I’ve had a few quiet days in the Shire. I’ve used these days to practice my farming and cooking skills to perfection, well, almost anyway. Now I finally don’t need to buy my food supplies from suppliers or cooking novices. I simply make them myself. How I did that, you ask? Let me tell you all about it.
Farming to perfection
It’s quite easy to earn your farming skills. Like I told you in my previous letter (and perhaps a thousand times more?), all you need is the appropriate seeds, the right kind of fertilizer and water. Oh, and let’s not forget, of course you need to know the recipes of the vegetables (or anything for that matter) that you want to grow. I decided to concentrate my farming on those ingredients I could also use for raising my cooking skills and that came in very handy. It saves so much silver! I can assure you that.
With all the hard work I had been doing, Largo Proudfoot thought I was ready to start working on superior farmland, but he was not the one who could grant me the permission to use these lands. I needed to talk to Olo Proudfoot about that. He’s an expert farmhand in Hobbiton. And guess where the superior farmlands are located? Right, in Hobbiton. Now I don’t mind travelling a bit, so I followed Largo’s advice and headed to Hobbiton. On my way I found lots of beasts again. I guess the bounders are right indeed. There is something evil at hand. But that’s beside the point. I needed to find Olo.
After a while I found him on the superior farmlands near the Party-Tree. You remember that tree? I think mum took us there once. It’s really something from our past. I could hardly remember seeing it. It was great to see the beautiful tree again. But I’m drifting off, again I might add. Anyway, Olo Proudfoot…. I met him and asked his permission. Now, you’d think that would be easy, right? After all, I had already proven to Largo that I could farm excellent! But Olo wasn’t that easy to convince. He wanted to test me. It’s like they all want to test me! Petunia with my cooking, Largo with my farming and now Olo with the whole superior farmlands…. It’s almost like they don’t have anything else to do. Can you imagine that?
Anyway, I listened to see which tests he had in mind for me. It turned out to be a lot of work, but not that complicated. He wanted me to grow green onions , sweet galena pipeweed and cabbage. See, not that hard to do. I did all that in a short time and then went back to him, tinking I’d be ready now. But no….. He wanted me to give the crops to several people in the Shire. They would examine my results and let Olo know if I had done a good job and was worth the title of Artisan Farmer.
Opal Goodbody was the first I had to visit. Apparently she’s more out of pipeweed then usual and she was happy I brought her the Galena pipeweed. After testing it, she said it calmed her down, so I guess it was a good result. I have to admit, I’ve tried out one of the extra pouches I got as a result. You know me, I’m curious to really know everything I can grow…. Well, It’s an amusing thing, this pipeweed. I remember my dad smoking it and he could make all kinds of funny figures with it. This was a nice one too. Luckily it didn’t give me woozy feeling I had been expecting. It was indeed….. calming. I felt much more relaxed and ready to take the world. So… I was ready to visit the next person on my list.
The second one to visit, was Hereward Loamsdown in the Ivy Bush. He was almost out of green onions and was therefore very happy that I brought him some. He said they smelled lovely, so that was another job well done. Now I’m guessing that in a busy inn, like he obviously has, ingredients for breakfast, lunch or supper will always come in handy, especially when your supply is low. You have to be able to feed your customers, right?
I’m just glad I don’t own an Inn like Hereward does. It seems like an awful lot of work and for what? I wonder if he’ll ever have time for himself, perhaps to tend his garden, visit his family and friends or just sit by the shore and do some fishing? I don’t know. I didn’t dare to ask him. He didn’t seem the type that’s willing to answer all those kind of questions. So… I moved on to the third person on my list.
Last but not least I had to pay a visit to Bogo Chubb, the stable master in Hobbiton-Bywater. There was only one thing I had left, the Cabbage. I couldn’t imagine what he wanted with it, but it turned out cabbage is his horse’s favorite food. Can you imagine that? His horse ate the cabbage faster then I could blink my eyes. Bogo told me that he was sure Olo would be impressed by my skills! Now of course that was something to look forward to. But in the meantime I was still impressed with the horse’s achievement with the cabbage. It’s a nice horse, by the way. I might challenge myself someday into riding it. Bogo told me I could ride it, if I want. His horse knows excellent routes to a lot of places. Well, that might be the case, but right now it’s enough to go on foot, firmly with my two feet on the ground. That’s better, don’t you think?
Anyway, now that I had delivered all the orders, I went back to Olo to see if he was satisfied with the results. And he indeed was. He thought I had done a good job and gave me permission to use the superior farmlands throughout Middle-Earth. This was wonderful. I have to admit, mum had told me about this ages ago, but the stubborn teenager I was, I refused to accept her advise. Now I wish I had accepted it. But it’s all good now.
Olo told me he was looking forward to hearing of my “renown as a great farm”. Well, I’d better not let him down, right? I know what I’m going to do the following days: I’ll farm my way to perfection!
Cooking to perfection
Now that I could use superior farmlands, I thought I might be able to use the superior oven in Michel Delving as well. I’ve made some trail food which was easily done with all the ingredients I had collected while farming. After that I felt that I might have enough experience to use the superior oven. Lo & Behold, Petunia indeed thought I might have what it takes to use the oven. BUT,…. I think you’ve already guessed it, I had to prove myself. And Petunia wouldn’t test me, instead Jewel Underhill would do that.
Jewel wanted me to make hard tack rations, rather boring if you ask me, but okay. She also wanted me to make strawberry-pie filling (which is delicious, by the way!) and beef stew (not a fan of beef, but it works for some people). It seems that Jewel was under the same impression as Olo, she wouldn’t judge the results of my tests. No way, I had to bring my results to others and she would collect their votes. You see the pattern here? If I were in any way paranoia I would start to think…. I don’t know, what do paranoia hobbits think when they encounter such a situation? I’m being ridiculous, am I not?
Anyway, the first I had to see was Carlo Blagrove. He needed the beefstew. Beefstew in a tavern? Oh, well, I guess it can really work, right? Hungry hobbits passing through? What better to feed them then a good stew, filled to the brim with delicious vegetables and beef. Yes, I think I can imagine that. Not that it’s something for me, I’d much rather have a coney stew, but then again, that’s me. Whatever stew makes you happy, right? Anyway, I gave Carlo the Beefstew and he thought it looked and tasted delicious. Wasn’t that nice to hear? I’ve got to admit, I haven’t tasted my own beefstew, but if he was happy with it, so was I. It seemed his customers were fond of beefstews, cause soon after I had given him the stew, he got an order for it. Now, didn’t that come in handy? I’m glad I could help out!
The next one I had to visit, was Odo Pipes who wanted the hard tack rations. He had been playing Hide & Seek with some of his friends all day. They were supposed to bring him some food once they had found him, but apparently they hadn’t found him yet. Well, who would go looking on top of a hobbit dwelling? I know I wouldn’t! It’s no wonder he hadn’t eaten for two hours! That’s a shame, isn’t it? On one hand I felt sorry for him, but on the other hand I felt it was his own fault. Then again, it was not my place to tell him that, so I simply handed him the rations in the hopes that he would be satisfied enough with them to give me a good judgement.
The last one I had to find, was Ned Diggins. Believe it or not, he had eaten his wife’s strawberry-pie filling, only the filling, and he needed to replace it before his wife would find out. Well, lucky for him I made some excellent pie filling, if I may say so myself. I gave him the filling and wished him good luck. I just hoped that he wouldn’t eat it all again before his wife returned, cause I think he might be in trouble if he did.
I returned to Jewel to see if she’d received all the judgements and to hopefully hear that I was the title of Artisan cook worthy (and with that granted permission to use the superior oven). It turned out everyone was very pleased with my results. Ned even gave me a 10 out of 10. Can you imagine that? Perhaps it had something to do with the fact his wife never found out that he ate her filling? Anyway, Jewel bestowed me the title of Artisan Cook and indeed granted me the permission to use the superior oven. That’s excellent! Now I can really start cooking and advance to perfection!
Achieving mastery in expert level
Now that i had access to both the superior farmlands and superior ovens, I had to decide to either progress my skills to a higher level or further master my current level of my skills. It was a tough decision, but I had found out that through mastery I might get better results from my recipes and you know me…. I always want to achieve the best results possible. That’s why I decided to first master my current levels of cooking and farming before I’d progress my skills to a higher level. It took me a few days (which is why it took me so long to send you this letter), but in the end I finally mastered all my skill levels.
I’ve made so much food in the process that I decided to share some of it with a few friends I’ve got to know along the way. I hope it will be helpful for them as well.
With all the farming and cooking I’ve been doing, I almost forgot to open several presents I had received from the Archet people. They are really a generous bunch of people! I’ve gotten many presents again that I can use on my journey! There are still a few presents left, but I’d like to open them when I’ve journeyed again. It will give me something to look forward to.
The coming days
I think I’ll spend the few coming days (perhaps a few weeks) here in the Shire. I’d like to get to know more about the Shire before I leave its boundaries. It will also give me the opportunity to further progress and master my cooking and farming skills. That way I’ll always be able to provide myself with food on my journey. I might check out the Tailoring profession as well, like Blossom advised me, but I’m still not really sure about that. If I do start with it, I’ll let you know.
I hope this letter finds you in good condition. I wish you a fair time and much pleasure with the upcoming festivities.
In this section you’ll find that Sheherezi has finished the following quests:
– Artisan Farmer (Find Olo Proudfoot and make everything he asks)
– Superior Farmland (deliver all the ingredients and get access to the superior lands)
– Artisan Cook (Ask permission from Jewel and make the things she asks you to)
– A Superior Oven (Deliver all the food and get access to the superior oven)
If you’ve done the same up ’til now, you’ll find you’ve got one crafting quest left in your quest log (Introduction to Tailoring). I’ll cover that in Sheherezi’s next letter).
Of course the “10 out of 10” from Ned Diggins isn’t really in the game, it’s something I made up, but I can totally imagine it happening.
The complete list of presents received in this section is:
- Writ of special passage
- Increased Common mitigation
- +149 max Morale for 90 minutes (weird number, btw)
- +95 max power for 90 minutes
- +3% attack damage for 30 minutes
- +10% Run speed boost for 30 minutes
- 2 Regenerative foods tier 1
- 5 potions of restoration
- Out of combat regen tome for 60 minutes
- Item wear reduction tome for 30 minutes
- Enhanced XP supply
- 2 Morale potions (tier 2)
- 2 power potions (tier 2)
- Slayer deed accelerator