"He said I'm beautiful...!"~Tai Borpington
Tai Borpington is a halfling who lives in Alivast and currently works as the head chef of the Sweet Dragon.
Once a normal halfling and crew member of The Canary, Tai Borptington was cursed by a dying sea hag queen to have a fish head, after unwittingly using her for cooking ingredients. After this event, Tai's appearance left him unable to keep a steady job despite his impressive culinary skill. Sensitive as he was of his appearance, Tai kept a low profile for most of his time in Alivast. His exception to this was the yearly Alivast festival where he could serve a large amount of customers in a short amount of time. His goal in Alivast was to find a cleric powerful enough to undo the curse and procure the funds to pay for such a service.
He was first encountered by Borky, who was moved to tears by the quality of his noodle dish. Borky quickly returned the favor by complimenting Tai on both his culinary skill and his appearance. Shortly afterwards, with some prodding from Airivine, The Unexpectables and Tai came to the arrangement of hiring him as the chef for the kitchen of The Sweet Dragon, much to the delight of the cursed halfling.
Tai was one of three competitors in the Harvest Festival cooking competition. With Borky as his sous chef, Tai came in second place. Tai is regarded as one of the premier culinary artisans in Alivast along with Mr. Bwakkaw and Gus the Butcher.
Tai is a sensitive soul, very in tune with his often overwhelming feelings. He is very prone to anxiety and self-confidence issues on most things due to his condition, but it is most evident when it comes to his cooking, despite his superlative skills.
Tai is very clearly agitated when people bottle up their emotions, as his time at sea surrounded him with hard and vicious sailors who didn't think much about their feelings.
Borky is enamoured with Tai's cooking and in turn Tai loves it when Borky compliments his food. Recently, Borky has acted as an emotional crutch for Tai, who has told Borky that he loves him several times. Borky's love for Tai is hampered by his unfiltered tongue, and he often says things that he thinks are well meaning, but are very hurtful to the chef. He also forgets that Tai is 1/8th his size and has caused him physical pain by manhandling (orchandling?) him.
Tai was very greatful to Task for bringing him the bear meat he used in the cooking competition. So much so that he specifically plated up portions for Task and Panic to eat at the Harvest Festival Cooking Competition in addition to what was served to the judges.
The storm giant knew Tai from when the chef was a crewmember on board The Canary and had not been cursed with a fish head yet. He liked Tai's chicken so much that he asked The Unexpectables to have Tai send the recipe by sticking it in a bottle and setting it adrift at sea. Tai did exactly that.
The infant Blue Dragon is known to spend time inside the Sweet Dragon's kitchen and steal food. Tai has a difficult time keeping him out of his workspace.
Zenrio was very nice and affirming of Tai and made him feel really good about himself. Tai admitted he loved Zenrio even more than Borky despite only having just met him moments earlier. Actually, Tai thought he knew Zenrio from somewhere, but couldn't quite figure it out.
- Tai was created in honour of Pr0bait, a streamer and fan of The Unexpectables who earned the reputation of "feeding the party" with his very generous donations. Ultimately, the donations helped cover the expense of the 5e books Monty needed to get the stream going, as well as other costs. Monty named the character "Tai Borpington" (If "ington" is removed from the name and then the remainder is spelt backwards, the name becomes "Probait")
- Tai was the first NPC character made for The Unexpectables Stream by Monty.
- Tai's head is based off of a rainbow trout.
- Tai possesses a heavily muscled "bara" type physique. This was first portrayed unofficially in fanart, but has been adopted as canon.
- Borky often mispronounces Tai's last name, calling him Mr. Burpington, instead of Borpington. Tai corrects him, but to no avail.
- Tai likes to build ship models in his spare time.
- Helga's cats like to lick Tai, but he doesn't mind because they keep the mice out of the pantry.
- Tai's kitchen has a variety of cookware from different traditions and styles. It does have a lot of flat surfaces for cutting and prep work, and a fantastic bread oven.
- Tai doesn't make pretzels, though he does know a halfling named Ron runs a pretzel cart in the Druidic District
- His favorite food is cheese soufflé.
- Tai is unable to smell after being cursed and deeply misses having a nose.