Brewday 2015: Raise a Glass

(WARNING: This is one of the more depressing stories I've done in a while, so if you're not in the mood to deal with it, scroll down to after the horizontal line across the page, k?)

Niami DenMother was in a Mood. Not a particularly good mood, either, although it could have been much worse. It wasn't even a mood sparked by one specific event, but stemmed from a snowballing of many events, large and small.

Mum had been fighting this bad mood tooth and nail for months, letting off steam with smaller outbursts now and then, but never really enough to recover the entirety of the sunny, mischief-loving self that folks expected to see from the flame-haired halfling.

It was time to do something about it.

It was time for a solid wallow. Not some namby-pamby garden variety wallow, but a full-fledged redheaded alcohol-aided wallow. She'd embrace it, wallow in it, then boot it out the door and get on with life, thank you very much! She was, after all, a practical halfling, and knew that ups and downs happened, people died, people changed jobs, people moved away, illness happened and all that ... stuff. But sometimes you needed a good solid wallow to get past the stuff and be fit for human company, especially if you'd been bottling it up for a while during the already-grumpy winter months.

Mum being Mum, however, she decided to go about it in as safe a manner as possible.

She chose her time with care. Others might look forward to Brewday as a chance for some wild celebrating, but she just wanted access to some of the more creative drinks that would be available during the event!

She did a bit of shopping as soon as the vendor opened for business, went out to do some goblin-tipping in Butcherblock, and then when that didn't soothe her any, she beat up on a bunch of annoying gobbies in the Enchanted Lands. Then she went home to prepare.

Thus, when her not-quite-an-apprentice-anymore Agnor arrived at a slightly saner hour of the day on the first day of Brewday, ready to lend whatever aid was needed, he was greeted by an odd sight.

Was Mum really ... childproofing ... her kitchen?!

Other than an impressive looking array of bottles, flasks and small kegs on her kitchen table, everything breakable was out of reach, if not out of sight. (Of course, to a halfling of Niami's stature, or a coldain of Agnor's height, it didn't take much to be out of reach, but ...). Every sharp instrument had also been put away, and the fire in the main cooking hearth had been put out. Blankets and pillows had been strewn in one corner, and a flameless mage light was hovering above them.

Wise to the ways of redheads, Agnor held back all his inevitable questions.

"Ah, there ye are, Agnor. I'm cutting ye loose frae th' day after ye do one thing frae me. There's paint an' a blank piece o' wood out in th' workroom. Can ye make up a Do Nae Disturb sign frae me? If I jus' lock th' door, then someone will "jus'" want this or that an' think nothing o' pounding on the door until I respond. Some o' them think naught o' "jus'" interrupting on th' least little excuse e'en when I say I am busy." If she had been able to shoot fire from her eyes, the poor inoffensive front door would have burst into flames from the heat of the glare she threw at it.

Agnor simply nodded and slipped out of the kitchen. Yep, she was in a mood all right, and a wise man steered clear. Best to make the sign (cleaning it up to be standard Norrathian) and get out while the getting was good.

When he returned to the kitchen, he found Mum on a stepstool, rummaging through lesser-used cupboards for some pottery mugs. Not just any pottery mugs, either, but some of the most hideous, lopsided, poorly-formed mugs he had ever seen. Some of them he recognized as attempts by their pottery students that had gone awry, and from the dust on others, they predated his arrival by several years.

The ones that seemed able to hold liquid without leaking joined the growing collection of pottery, stone, metal and wood mugs and glasses on the table. All of them were very poor specimens of their respective crafts, but all were ... functional.

Oh, he had a VERY good idea where this was going, and he very much wanted to be elsewhere when it happened! So, rather than saying anything that he knew wouldn't be taken the right way in her current mood, he simply said, "I've a student who wants to work with dried flower arrangements. Shall I take the rejects for her to practice with?"


Alllrightythen. Leaving soon would be a good thing. A very good thing. Without another word, he boxed up the leaky mugs, and beat a hasty retreat, Locking the door and hanging the sign outside as he left.

She barely even noticed when Agnor left, so focused was she on getting everything ready. Cold meat pies and other foods that required no prep. Check. Most of the breakables out of the way? Check. Plenty of alcoholic stuff to drink? Check. Barrel of water to keep her hydrated? Check. Comfy spot to sleep it off? Check-ish. Might be good to have another blanket or two. Hangover rem- ... well, at least she remembered it before she started drinking and not after!

She tossed the ingredients into a lidded pewter tankard, added cold water, and set it on a sunny windowsill to steep for the day. Brewing it as sun tea for that long, instead of just using hot water, would make for a horrifically strong brew, but she suspected she would need it. (Not to mention that she wasn't going to trust herself heating water in the morning!)

Then she settled down to the serious job of wallowing.

First, she raised a glass or three to all the friends and family who had died over the past year, starting with her good Trebs and working her way through to an uncle that had passed away during the Frostfell holidays. Even with the sign out, she heard knocking a time or two, but ignored it as she bid a watery goodbye to the departed.

She stopped for a breather before the next round of wallowing and realized she had forgotten something in her preparations.

Trained attack furniture.

Her trip to the privy included three trips of the trip-and-fall variety, as a pair sneaky kitchen chairs ganged up on her, then one table leg, and then a doorjamb all inserted themselves between her and her destination and bit her.

She then spent a breathless several minutes dragging furniture around to get it more out of the way, resulting in three more bruises, two falls, a splinter, and a worsening of her mood, if that were possible.

Therefore, when there was yet another insistent knock on the door, she was not even close to amused.

She stomped to the door in a high dudgeon, snarled as the lock fought back, then finally threw open the door to glare at the flighty wood elf that had her hand raised to knock again. *Dear Bristlebane stop me from doing murder on this complete and utter ditz who is one of the reasons I put the sign up in the first place*, she thought to herself.

"Oh, hi Mum! I'm sorry to bother you, but I just wanted to check and see if--"

Mum cut her off, knowing she would go on and on if allowed. "Can ye read, lass?"

"Yes, but I just wanted to say hi. I know you're busy, but I just ..."


She made a side-trip into the kitchen to grab a mug full of something green and frothy, then stomped into her workroom to hammer together another sign. She didn't have any pieces of wood pre-cut to the right size to make a frame, and didn't trust herself with a saw, so she cobbled it together out of bits and pieces. (Of course, along the way, she learned that she shouldn't trust herself with a hammer and nails, either!)

Once finished, she eyed it dubiously while taking a sip of the green ... stuff. "Gah! They call that alcohol? It be more like paint thinner than alcohol!" With that, she dropped the bristles of the paintbrush she'd just used into the offending mug of green booze and left it on the worktable to deal with later. Much later.

She then hung the new sign on the front door, not caring if it hung a bit off-kilter.

Afterwards, she went back to the kitchen and started sampling her way through more of the brews -- one brew for each of the friends who'd gone out of reach in the past year. Some had left the lands utterly, others were simply less accessible or had gone far away.

A few of the brews were divine, others made her want to drag her tongue across the floor like a dog in order to get the taste out of her mouth. Naturally, she didn't have anything to take notes with, but she tried, valiantly, to remember which were which for later shopping trips.

She was halfway through the mental list of "green bottle with a picture of a brownie on the front, good, purple bottle with the ogre on the front, BAD" and so on when there was yet another pounding at the door.

Her large bare feet slapped angrily against the floor as she stomped towards the front door. Along the way, she paused to struggle with a pair of slippers, taking several tries to get them properly on her feet. After all, she might not remember why or when she took off her shoes, but she had enough wits left to know bare feet and pottery were a bad idea when drunk.

She threw open the door, squinting at the glare of the sun behind the person-shaped blur on her front steps. At that point, she didn't even want to focus on the annoyance, so she didn't even really try to bring the blur into focus more.

"I'm sorry you're upset, Mum. I just wanted to check and be sure it wasn't due to something I ...

"FLUFFY! AUDREY! Get oot here!" Perhaps it was the force of Mum's bellow. Perhaps it was the sight of a very disheveled and irate-looking redheaded halfling glaring up at her. Perhaps it was someone who knew that those names belonged to the cerberus and the carnivorous plant that Mum occasionally used as "guards" for her home. Whatever it was, by the time Fluffy and Audrey arrived at the front door, the person-blur was gone. It was just as well, as the shouting had given Mum the start of a killer headache. She blinked at the plant and the two-headed dog, blinked a couple times until there was only a single plant, and only two heads on the dog, instead of several blurry doppelgangers, and finally remembered why she called them. "Ootside. Guard."

Neither critter was extremely intelligent, but both seemed VERY glad to be shut outside the house for once.

She remembered to pace herself with food and water throughout the day, but by evening, she'd stopped remembering all the reasons for The Mood, and just wallowed in it.

Mum even remembered to feed Fluffy and Audrey at one point. Mind you, the stubborn lock on the front door was still fighting back, so she had to open a window and toss it out to them, but they were resourceful, and thankfully didn't seem to mind a bit of dirt with their raw meat.

Then the window fought back when she tried to close it. Finally she got the upper hand on it, however, and got it closed without breaking anything other than a fingernail.

"Doggone consarnit trained atta' furnishure." Wow, she was almost coherent. It must be time for more liquid painkiller!

The night wore on, coupled with the random sounds of pottery breaking against stones. Thankfully, the empty kitchen hearth was large enough for even Mum to get most of the mugs and bottles where she was aiming, and the {cough} minor misses were at least all in the general area of the hearth for easier cleanup in the morning. Or the afternoon ... or something.

When Agnor arrived the next day at midday, he found Fluffy and Audrey quivering on the front steps of Mum's house, and the new sign on the door. Clearly, they were hungry, and just as clearly they recognized him as someone who not only was authorized to feed them, but who wasn't likely to fling around pottery and shout and cry while doing it.

Doing his best to be quiet, he unlocked the door (which unsurprisingly unlocked easily on the first try), let them in, and tiptoed to the kitchen.

He found about as much mess as he'd suspected there would be, but not as much as he'd feared, especially after seeing the new sign.

When he noticed that there was a hand coming out from under the pile of blankets and pillows on the floor, groping as if seeking something, he knew just what to do. The covered tankard came down from the windowsill, the cover was removed, and the tankard placed quietly in the groping hand.

Then he started counting backwards from 10, even as he started a fire in one of the smaller hearths, and filled a teakettle to set over it.

By the time he reached the count of one, there were dubious signs of life from the huddle of covers.

"GAH! URGH! Th' taste!" These near-shouts were followed by a drawn-out groan, then a far more muted voice. "Och. Wha' a headache. Ne'er again.

The stoic coldain didn't even bother to reply, but went about fixing up more hangover tea, then doctoring it with a dollop of honey, and a finger of whiskey. By the time it was ready, the groans and grumbles from under the covers were sounding slightly more coherent and he deemed it safe to slide the mug, and a bowl full of cold porridge with cranberries and honey to within reach of the grumbling pile of covers.

Cleanup could wait, since he suspected that Mum wouldn't cope well with the noise for a bit. Somehow, he felt that today would be a good day to take the appprentices on a field trip far away. Maybe for more pottery clay or something....

Welcome to the annual Brewday celebration! While the author doesn't approve of binge drinking, the above seemed like a fitting thing for Mum to do right about now, and the writing process is a very good catharsis.

Now that the grumblies are out of the way (including losing a solid chunk of the original story to a finger-flub and having to recreate it while the Muse grumbled and threw a tempter tantrum!), let's get on with the details of this holiday event, shall we?

Brewday is scheduled to run from March 5, 2015 at 12:01am PST through March 16, 2015 at 11:59pm PST on the live servers. (Yep, it won't collide at all with St. Patrick's Day this year!)

This event includes quite a few quests, a bunch of buyables, some harvesting, and some new crafting goodness. As always, I'm not going to cover all the stuff that's returning from past years. Zam does a good job of keeping track of it all, including a quest tracker for those who need it. Rather, I'll cover the new stuff, complete with the eye candy you've come to expect from this site.

Many of the quests, plus the buyable recipes, house items, etc., are found in the Bar of Brell. This structure spawns in Antonica (near the main entrance to Qeynos), Commonlands (near the main entrance to Freeport), Haven, Greater Faydark, Timorous Deep and Frostfang Sea. The other quests are on the beach in Butcherblock and the new one off the docks in the Enchanted Lands (both of these quests are repeatable as many times as you wish).

The merchant Balin Copperfoot in the Bar of Brell sells a new recipe book this year, "Brewday Accoutrements to Craft VI", seven new buyable items (6 house items and a fluff pet), as well as returning recipes and items.

The New Craftables

These recipes require level 2 artisan to scribe, so can be crafted by any type of crafter. Tier 1 and tier 2 resources will be needed, along with special Brewday harvestables. These harvestables come from Bountiful Brewday gardens in Commonlands, Antonica, Greater Faydark, Darklight Wood, Timorous Deep, and Frostfang Sea. They can only be seen when wearing the Improved Ale Goggles (the inventory search feature is your friend, if you've lost track of once you earned in past years.) If you can't find your goggles, or have never done the quests before, then you will need to do the Ale Goggles quest to obtain a pair.

Upgraded Pack Pony can also bring back these harvests while the event is running.

Bottle of Longshadow Ale
Bruiser's Hefty Stein
Kaladim Stone Torch
Krulkiel Closed Stone Chest
Krulkiel Open Stone Chest
Large Highhold Barrel
Large Highhold Feast Keg
Sauce Pan of Mulled Wine
Silvery Cup
Small Highhold Barrel
Spilled Kaladim Coals
Brewday Top Hat and Brewday Scarf

The New Buyables

There are seven new buyable items on Balin Copperfoot in the Bar of Brell. All seven of them require Beer Tokens for purchase. (Beer tokens are quest reward options from the Brewday quests, including the two repeatable quests.)

Boar's Head Wall Trophy
5 tokens
Boozy Glow Skimmer*
5 tokens
Bouncy Grungetalon Chest**
10 tokens
Briarwood Keg Door***
30 tokens
Runnyeye Shinykeeper Plushie
4 tokens
Snowfang Thief Plushie
4 tokens
Wild Boar (fluff pet)****
30 tokens

*As always, there are parts to the glow skimmer that do not display in a preview. The critter propelling the leaf this time is a red tropical bird with multicolored wings.

**Yes, Lera, it is another bounce cube. :P

***Yes, folks, the door opens and closes. It is being changed to open outwards (clockwise). The back of the door has no knob. With shrinking, it will fit the doorway of the Vale house.

****This heirloom fluff pet scroll will also drop off Hammy in High Keep during this event. (Tested and verified with the advanced solo version of High Keep in Vesspyr.)

The New Quest Rewards

There is one new quest, and one returning quest with a new reward this year.

The new (repeatable) quest is "Bog Mountain Eruption" in the Enchanted Lands, and it rewards your choice of Beer Tokens or a Goblish Stone Block. As the quest stands right now, it will be rather difficult/deadly for adventurers that are below the level of the mobs in the Enchanted Lands. However, this is being written on the second day of testing, and such things can change. Check back closer to the event launch for any updates. :D

The new quest reward, Fireworks: Brewday Confetti, is a new enormous prize from the repeatable Brewday Beer Guardin' race on the beach in Butcherblock Mountains. (i.e., if you knock over enough goblins to earn an enormous prize, this will be one of the prize options presented to you.)

Goblish Stone Block
Fireworks: Brewday Confetti

Created: 2015-02-19 04:25:52          
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother          
Last Modified on: 2015-03-16 02:06:26          

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