Let's face it - being a scholar specializing in ancient languages was not the best-paying job in Norrath, and it helped to have a "hobby" to help pay the bills. In Triptych's case that meant calligraphy and book-making. Today, it meant making a menu.
She slipped into "Gnorma's Gourmet Goodies" while Gnormajean was busy with a fussy customer, and watched as Gnorma first glanced up and gave her a grin of greeting, then gave a bigger grin as she noticed the purple robes. Trip gave a nod and a slight smile in return, while mentally noting that, indeed, dressing in her client's favorite color was a wise move. Gnorma might be one of the few Trip would consider friends, but for today she was a client, and the bookish sage was determined to learn all the social niceties she could during this job.
As she began to lay out her supplies on a well-lit table under a window, she mused on the color-thing. Such a simple thing to find pleasure in, it would seem, but sometimes the simple things were best when trying to make a first impression. Gnorma's customer, a snooty-looking high elf chose that moment to demonstrate the point as she turned around, flinched back as if expecting an attack, then looked back at Gnorma's smiling face. "Oh. You match." With that, she seemed to regain her lost composure and didn't quite, scurry out of the shop.
Gnorma stifled a giggle until the door had shut behind the departing elf, then began talking between bits of laughter. "Oh dear ... the look on her face ... she forgot New Halas is neutral, I bet ... she's a good customer, but she always acts so snooty ... I shouldn't laugh ... be right back."
As Gnorma went into the back to compose herself and do whatever it was that needed doing in the kitchen, Trip pondered the whole "match" comment. Certainly they were both wearing purple robes of similar shades. And yes, they both had naturally white hair (though Gnorma's was short and spiky, and Trip's was long and elaborately coiffed), but there the similarities ended. Gnorma's skin was extremely pale and translucent due to spending most of her time indoors. While Triptych also spent most of her time indoors, the best description of her skin tone was blue with purple overtones.
Trip stopped her musings with a shrug. If it calmed the "snot elf" to find comfort in a gnome and a dark elf "matching" it was a good thing. She'd never personally understood the fuss about race, but her studies of ancient texts showed her that it was a very big deal with many people.
As if to echo her thoughts, and to remind her why she liked this gnome with whom she seemed to have so little in common, Gnorma spoke up from the doorway to the kitchen. "One of the reasons I chose New Halas was so that residents of all cities could safely visit and shop, and some of the Qeynos folks are having a bit of a time adjusting to the neutrality around here."
Trip arched a white brow, but her tone was almost tentative as she commented, "The other reason being that Agnor likes it here." She still was getting the hang of social chatter, and was still trying to figure out boundaries.
She relaxed her stiff pose a bit as Gnorma smiled dreamily and said cheerfully, "That too, of course!" Experimentally, she tried to smile in return.
At that, Gnorma giggled. "There you go. And your face didn't even crack! I swear, sometimes you're even more inscrutable than even Agnor!"
"I prefer to call it ... composed," Trip ventured with a serene smile, then ruined it with a nose-wrinkle that she knew Gnorma found to be hilarious. "Now, about the lettering style for this menu of yours ..."
She and Gnorma were deep in samples of varying calligraphy styles when a familiar-seeming face walked through the door. It was a muscular barbarian lady with white-blonde hair that she thought looked like one of Niami's former students. She was mentally rummaging for the proper name when Gnorma spoke up.
"Breshegh! What drags you out of your brewery so close to Brewday?" Gnorma's smile was warm and welcoming, and it was clear that Gnorma was good friends with the large woman.
"Oh, I had a last-minute idea for my Brewday party refreshments, and need some help. The sign on Mum's door says she's still under the weather, and refers all cooking-related requests in your direction." Breshegh tilted her head questioningly as she looked down at the lady-gnome.
"Right. She's been battling some sinus-thing for the last month or so and is taking it easy. While she's been scaling back on her baking business for the last year or so, she still has some long-time customers, and several of us who consult with her even now that we're off with businesses of our own." Gnorma ran a hand through her hair, rumpling the spiky locks. "I don't think she's seriously ill, but that cough has just been lingering and lingering."
Trip made a mental note of the small-talk, and the concern they evidenced for their friend and former teacher. She gave a small frown to show her own concern, pondering on how hard these emotion-things could be to get the hang of. As true scholar, she'd worked hard all her life at maintaining the emotional distance needed for analyzing ancient texts. One needed to analyze factually, not emotionally, in order to correctly interpret and evaluate the events portrayed. As a friend, however, it seemed that was a detriment, and her calligraphy customers seemed to feel it was off-putting as well.
Absently, she spoke, not really noticing that she was cutting through the small-talk. "I was just reading about a cough syrup that the dhalgar use for particularly lingering coughs. It is something given to the miners when the rock dust starts to irritate their lungs. It involves a specific type of alcohol that is no longer brewed, but another text that I read gave instructions on the brewing of it. Would you like my transcribed notes?"
Oh yes, if Gnorma's and Breshegh's faces were any indication, she'd just "nailed" the friend-thing. Maybe this would be easier than she thought! Besides, she truly liked Niami DenMother, for all that the feisty halfling was the polar opposite of "emotionally distanced", and she felt a desire to help that was most unlike her reserved nature.
"I don't know which makes me happier - the thought of making a brew that hasn't been seen in ages, or finding something to help with Mum's cold. YES! I'd love your notes. I can see what I currently brew that is close to what was used, to make some syrup up for her right away, then can wade through the brewing instructions and any aging process to make up something for longer-term use. I suspect there will be quite a market for it, too, if it works well." Breshegh's face was alight with pleasure.
"Fabulous!" Gnorma grinned and rubbed her hands together. "Now, about your party refreshments. What can I do to help?"
"I have most of the refreshments already taken care of, but I need something that will go with a liqueur-tasting that I will also be doing. I've been working on a dessert liqueur line that I am going to be unveiling and I am at a loss as to what dessert to offer with them."
Surprising everyone, including herself, Triptych offered up another conversational tidbit. "Chocolate goes with almost everything. Why not encase small bits of each drink type in a ball of chocolate? You'd have to use some way of marking or decorating them to keep track of which alcohol is which, but ..."
That set Breshegh and Gnormajean off on an excited conversational whirlwind that lasted several minutes.
Triptych listened in fascination for several minutes before she felt compelled to interrupt again. "You both agree that it is a good idea, and one that makes for a cooperative marketing opportunity between the two of you. However, Gnorma, much as some sort of tinkered injector contraption thingamabob looks to be the best long-term solution, you know it will take time to develop and test it -- especially since Agnor will insist on doing a safety inspection or three. You may be an atypical gnome in some respects, but I've heard of some of your early explosions. Since Breshegh's party is next week, might I suggest a short-term solution?" At the curious nods from both women, she took a breath and continued, "I am a wizard as well as a sage, you know."
At the looks of noncomprehension on both faces, she resisted sighing, barely. They might be eminently capable women in their own fields of expertise, but they couldn't always mentally keep up with her. (Yet another reason she tended to prefer ancient books over people!) "I can use magic to help. Specifically cold magic. I know alcohol doesn't freeze easily under typical conditions, but my cold magics are anything but typical. Pour out a measured amount of alcohol into a thin chocolate shell to give it shape, flash-freeze the chocolate, then drop it into your melted chocolate to thoroughly coat it. Boom. Done. None of this making a thick shell for the bottom and sides, then pouring in the alcohol, then trying to seal a chocolate top onto it and worrying about leakage if it seals improperly, or a weakness that causes it to crack along those lines before it is transported and eaten."
NOW they got it, and Trip gestured to the kitchen. "I'm sure you two can hammer down the details while I finish the mock-up for Gnorma's wall menu. I'll just leave room at the end to add something about these cordial-things, if they take off, shall I?"
Smothering a grin at Trip ordering them out as if she were the employer and they the employees, Gnorma and Breshegh did, indeed, hammer down the details.
A week later, Triptych showed up at Gnorma's shop to deliver the completed sign, and to enchant enough globules of alcohol for Gnorma to have some to sell as a test batch in the shop as well as plenty for Breshegh's party that night. She also had some small fliers that she had made up, extolling the marriage of Breshegh's high-grade dessert liqueurs and Gnorma's gourmet chocolates. She admitted to herself with being quite pleased, not only with how the sign and fliers turned out, but with how much more profitable her association with Gnorma had become, between the extra fliers, and the pay she would receive for the spellcasting. Maybe she should try this friendship-thing more often?
Maybe she should try this friendship-thing LESS often was her half-horrified thought that evening, however, as she arrived at Breshegh's party. Sure, it would be good for her calligraphy business to have people associate her face with the fliers that would be placed on the serving table with the cordials. And it was considered "being a good friend" when you agreed (after coaxing) to attend the tasting party. On the negative side of the ledger, it was, in essence, a party to celebrate alcohol ... on Brewday ... held by a barbarian brewmistress. Definitely not the chosen entertainment of a bookish wizard-sage who didn't drink. At least it would present opportunities for further societal interaction, or as Gnorma called it, people-watching.
It all seemed to go rather smoothly, Trip thought, until she realized that Breshegh seemed to be a bit sad that folks weren't dancing after she'd gone to the trouble of hiring a band. After a bit of thought, and some mental rummaging for a half-remembered spell that she'd read about several months ago, Triptych caught Breshegh's attention and waited for the barbarian lady to join her in her quiet corner.
Bresh's eyes widened a bit as she noticed that Triptych seemed to be extremely mellow and happy, and quite unlike the hauteur in which she normally wrapped herself. She glanced at Trip's drink. Yep, still merely water. Then she noticed Trip's plate had some cordials on it, and she stifled a grin.
"I've been working my way through tasting all of the different cordials for the first time. I don't drink, so am not an expert, but some of these are quite good! A few, however, are ... not quite to my taste, though they seem to be a big hit with the iksar over there." She gestured vaguely across the room, and narrowly missed knocking her plate to the floor. "But that's not what I called you over for. I know of an ... oh what is that term? Ice breaker! Yes, that's the term! A temporary spell I could put on that rug to encourage folks to dance when they stand on it."
"That would be fun, if you think you are up to it."
"Up to it? Why wouldn't I be? It is a simple enough spell that I could do it in my sleep." With that, she stood up, swaying slightly, and made her way over to the rug that was set up for a "dance floor".
The spell seemed to work flawlessly, causing the three folks already standing on the rug to start begin dancing. She wove her way through the gathering crowd, and smiled widely at the startled Breshegh as she made her way back to her seat.
"See? Easy-peasy, as they say." She popped another cordial in her mouth. "Mmmm, cherry! That goes SO well with the chocolate!"
Some time later, Triptych was faceplanted on her now-empty plate when Breshegh shook her awake. She felt ... fuzzy-brained ... but eventually Bresh's words about people unable to stop dancing sank in. Rather than trying to get her thick tongue to work properly, she marched over to the rug with only a few missteps ... into a potted plant ... into a chair ... into a spectator. She forced her eyes to focus on the rug, and noticed several exhausted-looking dancers still gyrating wildly, with a couple passed out along the edge of the rug. She tried to form a smug thought about unconscious ones being unable to handle their liquor, but the thought process just would not complete.
One blue hand shot out and she snagged a bedraggled fae by the arm and pulled him from the dance floor. While he sat and panted, Trip stalked as regally as she could back to her corner table, while sheepish dancers moved off the enchanted rug under their own power.
After it took her 4 tries to actually sit back in her chair, she shot a horrified glance at Breshegh. "Oh dear Solusek, I'm more than a little tipsy, aren't I? But, but, all I had were a few chocolate cordials! All right, so, one of each, to compare them, you know. Oh, and a second one of the ones that I liked. And a third of that cherry elven wine, and that one that tasted like honey..."
A tiny sober part of her mind noted that it was likely she would experience another friendship ritual firsthand in the near future -- that of being teased. But a bit more sleep was needed before she'd be able to decide if that was a bad thing or a good thing.
Brewday, which is the celebration of all things Brell and beer, returns to EverQuest2 on March 3, 2016 (12:01 am Pacific) and runs until 11:59 pm (Pacific) on March 17. It includes one new collection, a new book of craftables, and several new buyables.
The Bar of Brell is located in several spots near major cities:
Inside the bar you will find a number of NPC questgivers, and a merchant, Balin Copperfoot. In addition to items sold for Beer Tokens (earned from the various quests, including the repeatable quests), Balin sells recipe books that are only available during this event. The all-class recipes require not only low-level (T1 & T2) harvestables, but also special Brewday harvestables as primary ingredients.
In addition to being able to obtain these harvestables from your Upgraded Pack Pony, once you have completed the Ale Goggles quest from Gillin Rockbreath (inside the Bar of Brell), you can wear these goggles to see special Bountiful Brewday gardens in Commonlands, Antonica, Greater Faydark, Darklight Wood, Timorous Deep, and Frostfang Sea.
If you need additional information on the Brewday quests, the wiki's Brewday page has a good rundown, including which repeatable quests you can do for additional beer tokens. Also, as has been her tradition for the last couple of events, Casdoe of Maj'Dul put together a Brewday quest tracker spreadsheet for folks to download.
Balin Copperfoot in the Bar of Brell now sells "Brewday Accoutrements to Craft VII" (in addition to the previous six volumes from past years). Recipes for the following new items can be found in this book:
|Blackburrow Rocking Barrel
||Bottle of Alivan Ale
||Butcherblock Metal Torch
|Flaming Hot Vulrich Leg
||Hewn Stone Fire Pot
||Hewn Stone Sign
(message can be added*)
|Kaladim Mini Keg
||Large Oversized Clover-Globe
||Square Lucky Streak
*The (floor-placed) Hewn Stone Sign acts just like other sign items that we already have, with the ability to set both a title and a message.
Balin Copperfoot in the Bar of Brell sells the following ten new items (along with returning items from past years):
|Arctic Badger (housepet)
10 beer tokens
|Barrel Room Sign
(message can be added*)
15 beer tokens
|Cutting a Rug**
15 beer tokens
|Glacierbane Axe Replica
5 beer tokens
5 beer tokens
|Kaladim Stone Stout
5 beer tokens
|Hewn Stone Bridge
30 beer tokens
15 beer tokens
|Inebriated Brewday Celebrator:
8 beer tokens
|Inebriated Brewday Celebrator:
8 beer tokens
*The (ceiling mounted) Barrel Room Sign acts just like other sign items that we already have, with the ability to set both a title and a message.
**Cutting a rug: This rug causes players who stand upon it to dance -- you do your dance moves, pause, do your dance moves, pause, etc. The term was used in the 1920s-1940s as slang for dancing. I have tested sliding it underneath another rug, and it still triggered the dance, so those of you who have created, or are planning, dance floors can hide it under something else if need be. You also start dancing if you stand under it. This rug has collision, and has the pattern visible on the underside of the rug as well.
There is one new collection this year, "More Brews is Good News", to be found out in the world. I'll post spoilers on the shiny locations below the pic of the quest reward, so that those who truly want to do things the hard way and figure it out on their own can do so. ;) Please note that you need to complete the Brews Across Norrath collection, which is returning again this year, before you can see the shinies for this new collection.
|Malduran Relief of the|
Tired of the same old brews and searching for something new? Some of the new(er) locations in the lands just might have what you want! Not only do these locations each contain two unique purple shinies for the eight-piece collection with the reward pictured above, but you can also harvest some alcoholic brews instead of just buying them off the nearest bartender. Some of the shinies can be found in more than one location: