Kelp Day

Ambrosia tries to lessen the complaining about the beer at her bar

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role playing forum. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

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

Kelp Day

Postby Ambrosia Alar on July 11th, 2020, 9:23 pm

Summer the 87th, 520 AV

Willie spoke to his usual drinking buddies, the dull hollow thock of his finger making a noise that only the old, salt-stained wood of the Kelp Bar could as he emphatically punctuated each description. “I’m telling you. If you take piss. And shyke. And vomit-” here he mashed his hands together as if combining the aforementioned ingredients, then spun his finger like a mixing spoon- “and mix ‘em all together, it tastes exactly like this.”

The this in question was the mug of kelp beer sitting on the bar top in front of him. And his drinking buddies. And Ambrosia. And anyone who came to the Kelp Bar for a drink. It was the only thing they served.

It wasn’t an unfair or unfounded description of the way the beer hit one’s palate. Ambrosia made it a point to know what every drink tasted like that the tavern she worked at sold. It was a point of pride for her. It was also a point of pride to be able to drink one as quickly as her patrons, but kelp beer was hard to stomach.

One of Willie’s drinking buddies, a sick old man by the name of Dan, voiced a reasonable question. “How in the Hai do you know what that tastes like?”

Irritated by the answer to the question or at least the memory of it, Willie held up a finger, shushing his friend while glaring at the bar top. “You don’t wanna know. Trust me though. It tastes like that.”

He poked the side of his kelp beer to make his point once more. No matter how true it was though, his mug was empty. He’d had three already, and they hadn’t been there longer than a bell. It might have tasted like shyke, but it was their shyke.

Pride could not undo misery though, and summer was an unforgiving wench. Ambrosia couldn’t be sure if every summer was this way or if this was just a particularly bad one, but the heat had put everyone in a bad mood. Even the Bonesnapper that had felt so frigid it might kill her last season had turned scorching, sending the air burning against everyone’s lips and face, drying their skin. It brought no relief the way some summer winds did.

Ambrosia didn’t blame them. Still, she was tired of everyone complaining about what she served them, and fed up, she decided to do something about it. Truthfully, she had decided several bells ago to say something, but in the chaos of the past four seasons, her mind was not as quick as it usually was. It was still scrambling to make sense of the world and everything that had happened to her. She’d only just come up with something. “Come on, Willie. I’ll let you talk shyke on our beer any other day of the year, but I ain’t gonna tolerate it today of all days.”

“What’s so special about today?”

Ambrosia rolled her eyes as if it was the most astoundingly stupid question she had ever heard. “It’s Kelp Day.”

“Kelp Day?”

“Do you mean to tell me you ain’t ever heard of Kelp Day, and you still call yourself the town drunk?”

Willie gave her a look of confusion. “I don’t call myself that.”

“Well, some people do.”

“What people?”

Ambrosia shrugged. “People people.”

“Kitty?” That was the young woman Willie fancied.

Ambrosia grimaced and nodded.

“Damn. Does she still like me?”

“I think so. I think she finds it endearing. She still thinks you’re pretty enough.”

“She does? What about you?”

“Hmm. You’re not that lucky. Besides, you’re missing the point. How could you not know about Kelp Day?” She looked at the other men drinking with him. “Don’t tell me you boys know nothing about it too?”

Dan nodded emphatically though Ambrosia saw the doubt in his eyes. “Of course I know what Kelp Day is, Ambrosia. You should educate this drunk though. Tell Willie all about this special day.”

Dan might have been a perv, but he was clever. Ambrosia has to give him that. She smiled. “It’s Kelp Day, the day kelp beer was invented. You celebrate by buying rounds for your friends.”
Last edited by Ambrosia Alar on December 1st, 2020, 5:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Ambrosia Alar
"The kid's got smiles for days."
 
Posts: 224
Words: 243071
Joined roleplay: September 28th, 2014, 2:54 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 6
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Mentor (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Donor (1)

Kelp Day

Postby Ambrosia Alar on November 29th, 2020, 9:13 pm

The incredulous look on Willie’s face said he didn’t believe her. “If you all knew about this day, then why weren’t you buying me rounds?”

Dan was caught off guard as were the other drinking buddies, men Ambrosia hadn’t met enough to remember their names, but it was a question she had anticipated. Her ready answer came off her lips so smoothly he couldn’t help but believe it.

“That’s because the biggest drunk, the town drunk so to speak, is supposed to start the day off. We’ve all been waiting on you. It ain’t our fault you ain’t heard of Kelp Day.”

“Well, it isn’t my fault either.”

“No, it ain’t.” This admission from Ambrosia carried a sense of understanding forgiveness in it. “But now you know, so…”

Willie shrugged and gestured to the bar. “A round on me then.”

“Five?” There were three others besides him and Dan.

An offended look crossed his face. “I think you mean six, Ambrosia.”

“An extra one for you?”

“For you, dumbass. You’re my friend, too.”

Ambrosia’s treasured smile, the one every drunk valued more than his favorite drink, leapt to her lips. “Aw. Thanks.”

More than he could ever know, Ambrosia appreciated hearing that. Though this was a world away and would never truly feel like home, having friends made it a little better. So far all she had was Shiress and Caspian, not that they didn’t mean the world, but Ambrosia had always surrounded herself with many, many friends. She was happy to be a part of their circle.

They were finishing the last of the six rounds (each friend had bought one and Ambrosia had given them one on the house) when a group of sailors walked into the bar after too many days at sea. A rough-looking bunch, Ambrosia had seen more than her fair share of similar men throughout her men years serving drinks. They looked like a rough crowd, but in reality, all they wanted was peace and to forget the long journey, to sit down, kick their feet up, and enjoy good company. This journey, though, if the weary slump of their shoulders and the heavy droop of their eyes told her anything, had been worse than others. Something had to be done. She had to do something for them.

Stopping in front of Dan this time, Ambrosia flicked her head toward the newcomers. “Are you gonna buy them a drink?”

Eyes brightening, Dan looked over his shoulder, expecting to see some attractive, young ladies. A glower came to his eyes as they returned to Ambrosia. “Now, why the petch would I do that?”

It was no secret that sailors and dockworkers hardly ever got along. Once sailors got into port, there was usually no thought about their work. Land meant freedom, and freedom meant getting into town to get drunk or laid, maybe hopefully both. This often meant the ship was left a mess and poorly organized, sometimes completely unmanned with no one to tell the dockworkers what needed to be unloaded. Sometimes they took the risk of unloading everything, only to have to load most of it back on to the ship the next day when sailors returned hungover. Though the sailors knew of this poor reputation they had, they felt justified in having worked many days on end to get the stock from one destination to the next. Their work was no less difficult, but the dockworkers never witnessed them working. It was a long-standing ire that existed between the two groups and not one that would be easily forgotten.

“It’s tradition.”

Ambrosia let a pleading sadness cross her eyes, her smile disappearing. Most of her patrons hated that, hated being the one that made her stop smiling, and would do most anything to keep it from happening or to get the smile to return. It was a long-standing ire that existed. This was asking too much.

“Petch tradition. Those lazy good-for-nothings are always coming in here while we work our tails off. Why would there be any tradition honoring them for something our city does?”

Ambrosia had a ready answer for that. “Because.”

“Because?”

She felt like giving the answer her mother had always given her while she was growing up. Because I said so. But she knew that wouldn’t convince him. “Because the sailors are the ones who harvest the kelp so we can make the beer. A drink when they’re in port for this day is a small price to pay, yeah?”

His glower deepened, and Ambrosia swore she could feel the origins of all hate in that look he gave her. Dan couldn’t believe what she was asking him to do. She was asking him to throw a well-developed prejudice to the wind all for the sake of a tradition for a holiday he’d never heard of.

“Please.”

Something was trying to break behind his eyes, and Ambrosia could see it. She just needed to push a little more.

“I’ll push some of the girl’s your way if I can.”

Dan spun in his chair and spread his arms wide. “You salty dogs.”

The entire group bristled. Ambrosia could see fists bunching up readying for a fight. Perhaps this hadn’t been her best idea ever. There had been plenty of fights between the two groups, though none of them in the bar. Everyone respected Leon for too much to let their aggressions bring harm to her establishment. Who else loved them enough to get them drunk? But what Ambrosia was asking was too much.

One of the sailors turned on Dan. “What do you want, land lubber?”

Dan slapped a seat next to him and smiled. Say what she wanted about his sexual appetites, Ambrosia had to admit the man had a charming smile. “I want you to sit down and have a drink. This round’s on me.”

There was a long pause where no one moved. No one- not the sailors, not the dockworkers, not even Dan himself- could believe what had just transpired. Breaking the tension, Ambrosia filled two mugs and set them on the bar top, one in front of Dan and the other in front of the empty seat next to him. That did the trick.

The sailor relaxed, and his fists uncurled as he laughed. “Ya son of a bitch, I thought we were gonna have a fight on our hands.”

Dan shrugged. “Honestly, I thought we might be.”

Drinks went all around, and lifetimes of prejudice dissolved and dissipated into the forgetfulness that comes with drinking. Sailors and dockworkers alike talked like old friends, chatting about the stories that only idiots in their lines of work could possibly stumble on, some oddities and some heroics and, of course, some of their most cherished escapades with women.
[/googlefont]
User avatar
Ambrosia Alar
"The kid's got smiles for days."
 
Posts: 224
Words: 243071
Joined roleplay: September 28th, 2014, 2:54 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 6
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Mentor (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Donor (1)

Kelp Day

Postby Ambrosia Alar on November 30th, 2020, 1:25 am

When those of the gender who were the subject of those stories began to arrive, some of the men quickly quieted down, looking into the bottom of their mugs and hoping those stories hadn’t been overheard. Some of them got braver though, in hopes that their tales would draw the sort of woman willing to one up their best. There were some who were and some who weren’t, and Ambrosia was pretty sure she knew who was who, directing certain women to certain places in the bar where they were either more exposed or more sheltered from the men searching for their company.

As she had promised, Ambrosia sent someone Dan’s way. She had caught the other woman eying him for the past couple weeks, but Dan didn’t have to know that. As far as he knew, Ambrosia had set the whole thing up, was doing him some amazing favor, but it was something that would have likely happened without her intervention anyhow.

Flagging down a sailor, Ambrosia tilted her head toward several women who had just walked into the bar. “You gonna buy them drinks, Gregry love?” She learned names quickly. She always had, and it endeared her to many of her customers.

By now, all the sailors and dockworkers present had learned of Kelp Day and were doing their best to follow its time-honored traditions. Gregry looked at them, then back to Ambrosia. “’s it tradition?”

Ambrosia nodded. “Mm-hm.”

He happily pulled out the necessary coin. The young women in question were quite attractive, the sort who probably would have got such treatment even had it not been Kelp Day. “Where’s that part of the tradition come from?”

“It was a woman who first got the idea to brew kelp into beer, and it was a woman whose recipe is still used here today.”

“Makes sense.”

Ambrosia poured drinks enough for Gregry and the women in question. “Do you want me to delivery these or would you like to take them yourself?”

Gregry took them with a quick thanks and left Ambrosia to survey the state of the bar. It was busy, busier than it had been in the few short weeks since she had been here. Usually, with the dockworkers and sailors, one crowd or the other grew big enough to push the other out, leaving it slightly less than full, but this evening, it was packed. Kelp Day was good for business.

“What the petch is happening to my bar?”

Ambrosia spun around and saw Leon, the bar’s owner, staring at the scene before her. Ambrosia gave the older woman a smile, the one she reserved for family. Bar tenders and owners of the establishments she worked at were family. “It’s busy.”

“I can see that. Why the petch is everyone getting along?”

“Because it’s Kelp Day.”

“There’s no such thing.”

Ambrosia held a finger to her lips.

Leon looked around at what was happening and shrugged. “You clever brat. Alright. Tell me all about it, so I don’t mess anything up.”

Quietly, so as not to be found out by all the patrons, Ambrosia ran through the simple traditions she had created, and for the rest of the evening and late into the night, the two of them worked the idea of the holiday. By the time Leon had joined in though, their patrons were already happily celebrating the holiday and keeping to its traditions. Leon managed to add a few minor traditions of her own, and the entirety of the bar accepted the holiday’s storied history down to every word Ambrosia and Leon spoke.

At the end of the night, sailors and dockworkers and townsfolk alike all wondered out together, singing songs, arm in arm, all disputes and anger things of the past, leaving Ambrosia and Leon to clean the mess that the celebration had created.

As Ambrosia pressed a wet cloth deep into a mug spinning it around and around the wipe it as clean as she could, Leon looked at the profits for the day.

“Damn, you got any more Kelp Days up your sleeve, kid?”

Ambrosia paused at that. Kid was what Cade, the owner of the Stallion’s Rear, had always called her. She smiled and shook her head. “I ain’t got anything that good. Besides, if we keep doing it, they’ll get suspicious. But hey, one night a year with this much profit ain’t a bad thing.”

“Not a bad thing at all. You’re good for business, kid. Stick around.”

WC Total=2,584
[/googlefont]
User avatar
Ambrosia Alar
"The kid's got smiles for days."
 
Posts: 224
Words: 243071
Joined roleplay: September 28th, 2014, 2:54 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 6
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Mentor (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Donor (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests