Open Pickled

This place smells fishy. Probably because it's a port.

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]


Postby Tarlen Lastcrest on August 11th, 2015, 6:37 am

36th of Summer, 515

Up above, the sky was a clear bright baby blue and the waves below Tarlen's Casinor, the Molla, crashed around the sides of the ship, leaving white sea foam splashed over the elaborate carvings around the Molla's upper hull. Fishing ships dotted the waves in the distance, all around Mathew's Bay. Tarlen was stretched out shirtless on the Molla's deck, absorbing the beauty of Syliras' coast when his fishing rod was jerked down by a strong pull on the line.

Jumping up, Tarlen snatched the rod and began reeling the fish in. Maybe it would actually be something, this time - it was certainly fighting him as he reeled whatever was attached to the other end of his hook in. Between him and the fish, Tarlen was the better fighter, and he had quickly reeled it in.

Tarlen sighed: it was small, smaller than his hand, and barely worth eating. Tarlen glanced at the other catch he'd made, an equally little fish swimming halfheartedly in a bucketful of saltwater.

"Might as well go back in," he grunted to himself. There was rum in the port, and Tarlen realized that he didn't feel like fishing half as much as he felt like belligerent drunkenness. Tarlen picked up the fish and drew his dagger, cutting off the fish's head and slicing its belly open with a practiced slash. Reaching in, he cleaned out the guts and gills, flicking it over the side of the ship and repeating the process with the other fish.

Tarlen turned the Molla around and unfurled the sails, which billowed in the wind as he directed his casinor into the port of Zeltiva, slowing down and dropping anchor at a small, unoccupied pier.

He swaggered onto the pier with the cleaned fish in his hands, wearing only his loose, white shirt, simple homespun grey pants with a ratty scarlet sash tied around the waste to hold his cutlass and sword-belt in place, and stiff leather boots. Tarlen thumped up the dock towards - eh, what was it called? Damn it all, he'd been soaking in that rat-hole sleazeball tavern from the end of the Spring and he still had trouble remembering where anything was unless it was floating on the waves. At least

Ah, there it was. Bleached-out, salt stained boards and a pair of sailors stumbling out the doors and flopping freely against each other under a sign reading The Kelp Bar. Yes, that was the place - home of the foulest concoction he'd ever drunk. He stepped inside and took a seat at the bar, smoothing back his wild black hair and flashing a smile that he assumed was charming at the bartender, "Toss me a loaf of bread and a mug of your foulest kelp beer."

"Kelp beer. That's kelp beer.." The bartender pointed to a menu hanging behind him with nothing written on it aside from Kelp Beer: One half-nilo, "And that's all we sell. You won't find any bread here. That'll be a half-nilo."

Tarlen squinted at the bartender, "Well, if you don't sell bread anymore, I'll just take the kelp-beer. That's... eh... four silver mizas, right?"

The bartender leaned forward with a scowl, "Five. You been here no less than fifteen times this last season. Five silver."

In truth, Tarlen did know that the Kelp Bar only sold their awful kelp beer, and that it was somehow worth five silver mizas. Got him drunk quick, though, and that's what really mattered. That and how much frothing rage he could wring out of the bartender without getting thrown out or having the price raised over his head.

Tarlen nodded slowly, as though processing what the bartender said, and shrugged in mock confusion, "Well, if it's a whole five silver mizas now, I guess I'm not one to complain. Sometimes you've got to raise prices to keep afloat.," fished five silver mizas out of the coinpurse hanging from his belt and tossed them on the bar, where they were quickly exchanged for a mug of strong smelling kelp beer.

Placing his cleaned out fish on the worm-eaten wood of the bar, Tarlen took a gulp of kelp beer. Absolutely abhorrent. He grabbed his knife out of his sash and cut himself a little square of the fish, spearing it into his mouth. Briny. Tarlen settled into his seat and his glass of kelp beer. Tomorrow, he would work on netting enough fish to keep the Molla afloat. Tonight, he would drink enough to sink her.
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Tarlen Lastcrest
I like boats.
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Postby Anouk on August 12th, 2015, 9:21 am

The Kelp Bar was not the kind of establishment that Anouk had expected to spend time in. Having grown up in Mura, drunken sailors were not something she was familiar with. In fact, drunkenness and rowdiness in general were things that occurred often amongst the Konti women.

Still, there was something delightfully rough and ready about the tavern. The Sailors were generally good men, if a little leering, and they often broke out in song, which Anouk always enjoyed. Perhaps it was because it was so different to her life in Mura, or because Anouk still enjoyed rebelling against the 'no beer, no men, no taverns' rule that her mother had impressed upon her just before leaving.

Added to this was the Kelp Beer. A strange colour, and even stranger smell and taste, the alcohol wasn't entirely as repulsive as it was rumored to be. Quite the opposite: Anouk liked the saltiness and slightly bitter after taste that danced on her tongue. The alcohol also made her relax, which was more than welcome after Anouk had spent the morning painting her most demanding client's portrait.

The Konti sighed and reclined comfortably in her chair. With the warm weather and the cold beer, she was feeling really quite content. She reached into her satchel bag and withdrew a crinkled sheet of parchment and a piece of charcoal. Though she was feeling a little tipsy, Anouk nevertheless liked to fit in as much sketching and drawing practice as possible. Inspiration embraced her at the most random of places and she always like to be prepared to entertain her muse.

She glanced up from the table, taking in the shape and lines of the tavern bar. Turning back to her parchment and touching the charcoal onto it, she swept a diagonal line that stretched across her page, before adding another to form the side of the bar. The Konti began to add shading, holding the charcoal lightly over the page so as not to press down too hard. Next, she rubbed her fingers on the page to blur these freshly drawn shadows, spreading them out gently to appear more natural and realistic.

After adding a few details, Anouk stopped sketching and looked down at her drawing. Though it was far from perfect, it was quite obvious that what Anouk had created was a likeness of the bar. With a tiny smile, the Konti sipped at her beer once again.

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The Seer of Desire
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