Friday, February 19, 2021

Getting His House in Order

 It has been several weeks since the Magician, Riverborn Scamandros, last ventured into "the Complex" (a somewhat disastrous occasion), and longer yet since he led an expedition in pursuit of the Imperial Mother's his own designs exploring the Great Cavern. ... Even longer since a dispute over a book, and since the Magician's own outlay of cash and capital to create the humble homebrewed wine-shop Riverwine, located in Old Orm near the Athenaeum of the Dying Sun.

Alas! after initial enthusiasm, the place was allowed to languish, between Scamandros' slow recovery from his bout of the Yellow Fever--and after that, his stint as captive within the Complex, "guest" of the Imperial Mother herself! For a time, the Magician seemed often distracted, and with only Kiddo to maintain the stock (wiping dust off old bottles that continued to not sell), the institution suffered.

But after paying his double-tax of 1) a crate of autumn's young elderberry wine, cinammon-spiced fall apple wine, and classic mead, to Orm's Year-End celebrations (and alas! not participating, being low on funds); and 2) delivering a copy of his personal treatise on the Soothill Gnomes' history and legal claims to inheritance of "the House of the Fathers, titled τραχεις τῶν τοῦ καρβονωλόφου γνωμῶν  (Deeds of the Soothill Gnomes); Scamandros endeavored with the coming of the new year to reinvigorate his sidelined projects.

To this end, he begins with the hanging of the old crown of cherry blossoms from last year's celebration of the vernal equinox at the threshold of the humble Riverwine in hopes that its presence may come to some fruition of new beginnings.

Thereafter, he begins organizing some of his outlaying interests:

Firstly, he directs Kiddo to continue with the copying out of the portfolio of strange Elvish notes and drawings retrieved from the Complex and housed at the Athenaeum, if it is not already complete. The project could have been completed weeks ago--if perhaps Kiddo were diligent enough to have kept at it, even while Scamandros moped about! If more work is needed, he suggests that they take turns at the work, considering that Kiddo still has yet to learn her first second level spell! And perhaps, if nothing else, he can finally teach her one of his own (ESP in particular, if so).

Secondly, he renews his aspirations to make something of Riverwine. In this, he attaches a note to a crate of wine that has been set aside: "τόις ἀδελφόις" (for the Brothers), remembering his commitment to get it down to the Brewtent. Next, he essays to the market to purchase further brewing vessels, many pounds of honey, and rising yeasty dough from the bakers, and begins a fresh batch of mead to be ready in early spring (50 gold spent).

Having done this, he also organizes a proper set of prices, rather than relying on mere haggling as was done before (that, and allowing "credit" but failing to follow up with debitors to retrieve money!):

Riverwine's Finest Country-Wines and Meads

  • Honeywine (classic mead, year-round) 5 sp / pint
  • Dandelion (spring) 10 gp / bottle
  • Rhubarb (summer) 1 gp / bottle
  • Blackberry (summer) 5 gp / bottle
  • Rosehip (autumn) 10 gp / bottle
  • Crabapple (autumn) 1 gp / bottle
  • Elderberry (autumn) 12 gp / bottle
  • Redcurrant (autumn) 10 gp / botle
  • Cinnamon-Spiced Apple Wine (winter) 5 gp / bottle
  • Mulled Wine (winter, in-house only) 4 sp / mug
  • Mulling Spices 1 sp / packet
"Not everything guaranteed in stock. Ten times five and twenty for the vessel with the pestle."

Perhaps overly ambitious, but it serves as a reminder of all that he can brew.

Thirdly, he returns to the Burning Witch, from which he has been absent a little while, and begins again to listen to the stories and rumors that always swirl about the place, even as does the wine. He wonders greatly at the tale of loss and being lost along the Twilight Shores!--and though greatly does he wish to return thence, nevertheless he begins attempting to gin up interest in the Great Cavern as before.

"There's a whole jungle down there! Just think of the wondrous fruits that must grow in its vastnesses. Think of the tropical wines we could make--the trees we could tap for their sap to make palm-wine! Or even just to sell here in the market, the kind of fruits that only galleys to the distant equator might possibly deliver! And the psilerium--whatever wondrous element that is--we must return thence! To adventure!" And he raises a cup once more, eager to return to the Complex!

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