====January 24, 2014
==== Mayte and Sadaiya
==== Sadaiya comes into Corks and Works for that wine tasting she mentioned and gets the low-down on what's happening in the wine trade. Also, who says Pern is flat?

Who Mayte and Sadaiya
What Sadaiya comes into Corks and Works for that wine tasting she mentioned and gets the low-down on what's happening in the wine trade. Also, who says Pern is flat?
When One month and 18 days until the 12th Pass
Where Corks and Works Winestore

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Corks and Works Winestore
Day or night, this shop is well lit on the inside, by day with Rukbat's beams, and by night by the grace of many glowbaskets that are very liberally used to maintain lighting. When a chance is gained to look about the shop, one easily sees why - there are shelves upon shelves of wine here. The perimeter of the wine shop is lined by shelves four high, and each shelf is carefully stacked just short of bursting with wine of various vintages, regions, sweet or bitterness, and even more importantly, price. But lo, wine is not the only thing to be found on the shelves here - one wall is dedicated to other liquors, from ale to brandy to vodka, and many in between. A carefully written sign nearby says, 'if you don't see what you're looking for, let us know!' There are also a couple of shelves on the wall of the main door, dedicated to things not of vintner make. Although they are bare at the moment, a portable chalkboard plaque says, 'Sienna's Cheeses'.
Even the wall behind the counter has wine bottles on it, but it's the counter itself that is more of note. Approximately four feet high, there are wine bottles underneath as well - empty ones this time, as if to display the wines that have passed through here in the past. Many of which are highly remarkable in either name or vintage. The top of the counter is typically kept clean and polished to shine. A heavy book for keeping track of sales is atop the counter, as well as a stylus for writing with, and an inkwell. One of the shelves behind the counter has been reserved for clean wine glasses, and there is a tub for dirty glasses beneath it; next to it are small clothe bags with the shop's name embroidered into them, for the customers who buy more than a single bottle of wine.
In the middle of the room is a circular wooden display with spaces for wine bottles to be inserted, while the card on the little shelf below tells the name of the vintage or wine of the sevenday. A table and chairs are sometimes brought out from the storeroom to the front room, when there are particular customers about, or when there is a particular event going on. The shop itself is manned at all times, even during the night, sometimes by the feared Eollyn herself, and sometimes by Mayte or other apprentices.

It's been a long, hot seven-day and most people are trying to avoid things that make them hotter - ergo, the winestore is hot and sticky inside, and relatively empty. Mayte is behind the counter, fanning herself with a cloth while Kalligon is sulking in the corner, dusting some surprisingly clean bottles. "Kalligon," Mayte murmurs from her desk, "Don't think I don't see you there." The junior apprentice is only mildly repentant, moving one bottle over. On her part, the dark haired girl scratches down something else in the log book - though from the length of each stroke of the pen is longer than a letter each. Mayte might just be doodling.

"Hello to the shop~" comes the chipper sing-song of Igen's first lady, cutting through the silence of inactivity as Sadaiya sticks her head in to greet the vintners. "Is there enough time to take you up on that tasting I was offered? I may want to put in a decent-sized order, so be of good cheer."

Customers? Customers! Mayte looks sharp, and Kalligon, slightly less obtuse: "How can I help you?" Mayte calls back to the front, hopping off her stool to round the corner and… "Oh! Weyrwoman!" Time has eased the awkwardness of The Time Before, and now Mayte is just looking pretty genial, "You're looking for some wines and tastings?" A sharp look to Kalligon who scurries to the back, from whence clinking sounds begin. "Do come this way, Weyrwoman," Mayte is smooth and effusive, waving her hand to a stool before the bar. "What sort of wines would you like to try?"

Sweeping over, Sadaiya deploys air-kisses on either side of Mayte's face, then steps back to give Kalligon a faint wave goodbye. "It looks like we're going to need to ask some favors of the Hold, so what do you have in the category of special stock?" For this admission, her voice lowers, her eyes casting to and fro in an exaggeratedly conspiratorial manner. "Something that'll really get their attention, that says 'Igen Weyr cares enough to try our best to ingratiate ourselves to you before begging for assistance'. Though, unlike roses, Idunno if there's a particular stock for sentiments like that."

There are few allowed into Mayte's personal space and Sadaiya, for all that she has a strange manner when her dragon is looking peaky or shiny, is one of them. Mayte doesn't quite airkiss back but she moves her head appropriately and grins back: "Some favours, huh." Moving away to save Sadaiya's hearing, Mayte hollers towards the back, "The good stuff!" In the back room, the clink sounds pause, and then change to something either dustier or further away. Mayte, however, is up front, the face of the store: "Something, you mean, that will encourage them to… be genial?" She'd say convivial if Mayte knew the word, but the nearly-sly smile is the same, "As for our stock… you'd be surprised how many men have to buy their ways back into wifely affections that way." Clink clink from the back room as Kalligon emerges with a selection for the front.

"VERY genial," agrees Sadaiya, delicately resting herself on one of the stools and crossing her ankles. "Have you considered offering a selection of sweets in tasteful boxes, or bouquets of flowers? Not that it'd be easy to keep those stocked, what with the location and the fact that the dragonriders are bu-say lately. Oof!" Her hands flitter in the air in a frustrated sort of gesture, her kohl-lined eyes rolling dramatically. "Ah! Kalligon, my dear. Smile for us!"

Mayte looks over the selection that Kalligon has brought them and mmms. He's busy eyeing Sadaiya with a mix of alarm and potential adoration, but his smile is brilliant, if a little saccharine. "Kalligon," Mayte sounds entirely distracted in her perusing of the supply, "Can you bring a bottle of the last rack? Lower shelf, of course. Two of them." Kalligon's smile slowly dims to an eager grin as he darts away. "Good then," Mayte says, pulling two of the bottles out, and placing them on the table: "Would you like to try a red or a white, Weyrwoman?" Without much pause, Mayte nearly purrs, "The white is said to be scented of wildflowers and redfruit, while the red is more berry with a hint of klah." Does that not sound tempting enough? "The white is relatively sweet, to be enjoyed with a lighter meal, while the red can be enjoyed with most anything." Full saleswoman right now, Mayte is already pulling out two small glasses and taking out a cork remover to hover behind the bottles.

Sadaiya reflects the apprentice's smile with one that's more sincere, but equally bright. "There you go, kiddo," she murmurs, then shifts her attention to the bottles before her, furrowing her brow. "Hrm. I suppose I could go with one dinner, one dessert wine, just to make sure I've got everything covered. Let's try the lighter one, first. I'm a touch parched. Meetings. NOTHING but meetings, all day. This was W'rin and Ch'ael's idea, you know, getting the Hold a gift basket. They're practically civilized!"

Ergo, the white gets uncorked first. "It's a good idea to have a strategy on wines for dinner," Mayte says on her sandsoap box, "I remember hearing of a Lady ordering seven different wines for one dinner!" The apprentice doesn't roll her eyes, though she'll admit, "Even now, I think it was a bit over much, but for Lords and Ladies," Mayte says allowingly, "They're probably much more used to it." And so, the white is poured into a glass and slowly pushed forward to Sadaiya. Due to the warmth, there's a bit of condensation on the glass. "Have a taste," Mayte offers while she moves to pour a glass of water for afterwards.

"Well, it really depends on how many courses there are," Sadaiya says, lifting the glass to catch the color in the light. "If they're used as condiment rather than just an aperitif or digestif or means of getting crazy wasted, it's a bit more understandable." Passing the glass under her nose with a delicate sniff, the Weyrwoman finally takes a taste, eyes closed as she rolls the liquid around in her mouth. "Hm… oh you weren't kidding about the florals! Whoo!" Giggling, she takes the last swallow of the wine, then pushes the glass back and reaches for a palate-cleansing cracker, using it to gesture at her friend/hostess. "I'll have to get a second opinion on the Lady's tastes first. It seems like one of those personal taste things, although I love it. Where's it from, or is it one of your personal presses?"

Admitting that with a graceful incline of her own dark curls, Mayte grins slightly as she brings her gaze up, "It's of course, the hostess' preference," but the wink Mayte gives could mean that the hostess takes into account her guests, or 'let's get whamo' except that she pushes forward the glass of water too. "It is very floral, but would do well paired with a light salad-and-meat entree," Mayte avers, also bringing a fresh plate of crackers, face flushing briefly at the situation of serving the Weyrwoman stale crackers. "I'm not sure of the Lady's tastes myself," the apprentice mentions, "Usually at that rank, Journeywoman Eollyn cares for those orders though," hefty sigh, "Eollyn is due very soon." Kalligon emerges with the extra bottle and Mayte nods her thanks before he gives Sadaiya another toothy grin as he disappears into the back again. "This particular vintage," Mayte peers at the label, "is something new… a trader brought it in, saying there would be more, if we were interested." Still, Mayte watches in careful curiosity while pouring a glass of the red to follow the water.

Nodding, Sadie does the ol' swish-and-spit, dabbing gently at the corners of her mouth afterwards. "Mm. Oh! No fooling!" Her mouth curves upwards over the edge of the napkin, eyes twinkling. "Maybe O'ell will finally let her do things like 'reach for objects on a shelf' or 'go to other rooms alone' once this is all over with. He tries SO hard to be Lord Crabbypants, but he fails SO hard around her. I can only imagine what will happen if they have a daughter." Chuckling again, Sadaiya re-folds the linen cloth, giving her small hands something to do while she chit-chats. "I'll have to put in an order for the happy couple as well. Something fancy and… Idunno, something not-whiskey. If W'rin can be marginally groomed to be civilized, I'm certain we can get O'ell to be gentlemanly and enjoy big kid drinks." Peering at the somewhat aged looking bottle of red, the goldrider's interest sharpens. "A special vintage, huh? Got any more information than that, or is it a big secret to everyone but you lucky, lucky vintners? I mean, the dust looks impressive!"

It's been a while since the proper way of wine-tasting was employed, so Mayte looks at least appreciative. On the topic of Eollyn and her gentleman, Mayte rolls her eyes so briefly - she is a young adult after all - "He's been around more and more, since Eollyn really started showing." That's between us ladies, right? Mayte looks around to make sure no one's hearing, but, asks, "Please don't tell him this but… I think he'll be pretty good." The idea of W'rin being civilized past bare necessity earns a wry grin from the young Vintner, "Yeeeeah, we're working on that." By 'we', Mayte indicates the entirety of the store, even if Eollyn and Kalligon aren't present to defend themselves. Unto the red, Mayte deigns a faintly hesitant look: "Wellll, it's not so much a secret now…" Which is always a way to start a new conversation.

"It is if you don't tell me! And I might just explode with curiosity now, so I'll bite: what's in the bottle, Mayte my dear?" Craning her neck and pushing up off of the stool slightly, Sadaiya makes a great show of peering around the other woman, casting back and forth with wide eyes like a playful kitten. "And just how hard will I faint dead away when I hear what it is?"

Admittedly, getting exploded upon is a new threat to Mayte: "Well," she starts brightly, "There's supposed to be a trader coming through town with some rare vintages," and there, Mayte's tone trails off thoughtfully, "Some are supposed to be about 300 Turns or so." The red is tipped back, "This is actually a greeting bottle that he sent to us, only 150 Turns, but still," a nod to the glass that she poured, "It's quite good." Mayte is sounding so very enthusiastic about this bottle, "Tell me what you can taste in it. Is it the age of klah bark, or the vintage of stones watching Turns pass by?" Customer Service is a poetic art.

Settling back down, Sadaiya contents herself to making grabby-grabby motions by flexing her fingers, which then turn to a single pointed digit at Mayte. "Oh, that was nice. Did you come up with that yourself, or get one of the Harpers to help you?" The glass comes within grabby-grabby distance, and grabby-grabbied it is, the Weyrwoman going through the same traditional look-smell-taste motions as before. "Ooh. OOOH. That IS something else," she breathes happily, as easily subjectable to a sales pitch as ever. "It's PERFECT for relaxing, like reading or listening to quiet Harper music." Another sip, small, savoring, a shiver of pleasure coursing through her person. "And this is the LESS interesting vintage? So what happens with the other one, do you open it and suddenly a whole team of Seacraft men pop up, all oiled and stuff, waiting to give you a foot massage? This, though, this is definitely on my to-buy list. Lots of this. All of this. When do you expect the supposedly 'more exciting' bottles?"

"Neither. That was the trade pitch," Mayte is not ashamed to say, since Sadaiya seems to know the same tune. She watches Sadaiya's reaction with aplomb, then a slight grin, "It's very nearly the perfect wine, isn't it?" Mayte enthuses. What happens with the other vintages, Mayte shrugs, a little uncertainly, "I'm… not sure, but it sure sounds like it would be the perfect accompaniment, right?" When the Weyrwoman presses, Mayte leans forward -between girls, right? "Well, I don't know if this has been going around, but…" Mayte's voice hushes, "The Trader's headed directly to Igen Weyr. Hoping to trade his collection in the next few seven-days or so." However, the apprentice adds with youthful disgruntlement, "Would have been nice to hear from him first, though."

"I'd go 400 years into the past and introduce this wine to my parents," Sadaiya says, eyes closed, face reverent. "I would make Tanmorand sleep on the floor. I would burn my knot and go live in Crom. Get those wedding marks pressed for me, darling, because I am in lo~oooove~." With a big, heart-tugging pout, she finishes off the last of the dark liquid, then sighs. "Pff. Having been one, I can attest to the fact that Traders sometimes, whether necessary or not, work on their own schedule, and it's ALWAYS longer when you're anticipating. What's the caravan name? Where are they FROM? Will I have to marry them, too, for more of this?"

Hooo-boy. Mayte watches Sadaiya with newly cautious eyes, but she's too professional to let that slip, "It is truly a wonderful vintage." The last time the Weyrwoman was so inclined, … well. Mayte tries not to blush in memory. "The Caravan hasn't revealed its name," the apprentice reveals, whether or not that's true, "But they should be here in the following days." AS for marriage, Mayte chuckles a little and offers another taste of it with a gentle push of the bottle, "Would my lady like to sample more of it?" Mayte tries to busy herself a little, commenting out of the air, "The Head Trader is talking about having a wine tasting of some of his vintages, before auctioning off the more aged bottles he's come into." Enticing? Perhaps, but there's still a slice of reservation in Mayte's tone: "Myself, I'm fascinated at how well these wines have kept over the Turns."

"Your lady would very much love to. Here," With a small rustle, Sadaiya shifts part of her skirts aside and pulls out a half-mark, setting it on the counter. "For your troubles, just in case I forget. Hey, some people have access to some really amazingly climate-controlled caverns. I know my family's hold has deep, deep caves that stay the same temperature and humidity year-round, no matter what the weather. Maybe they have an agreement somewhere for storage. I'd let them use my Weyr in its entirety if I got some of THIS in return. Make sure to keep me posted about when the tasting is, because I'd LOVE to put some marks towards something truly unique, especially for Keroon, perhaps." Delicately, she clears her throat. "How much more of this do you have, though? Can't hurt to get… let's sayyyy… six, if possible? Bottles stuck away, and six of the white from before. Maybe even eight of the red if you have it."

The half-mark Sadaiya puts down is observed, but Mayte doesn't rush to take it. "The thanks of Corks and Works," she says gravely, her fingers caressing the edges of the mark above the desk surface, before a grin peeks through, "I've heard of these cellars. One of our apprentice tours," cuz interHold-al education is important, people, "was through a nearby wine cellar." Rapturous, Mayte's tone might say, though her eyes are smiling a bit more wryly. About that tasting, Mayte nods, "Certainly, I'll have one of the apprentices notify you the moment we hear something at the st… in the Bazaar." As for the amount of wine Mayte has, she's happy to say, "We certainly have six of the white," to which Kalligon disappears into the back, "But were sent only six of the red." A very faint grin, "Currying some rarity perhaps. But we'd be glad to deal the Weyr what is available." The tone that follows isn't for anyone else, "It'd be difficult to find someone who could… appreciate this wine so well."

Again with the facial exaggeration. You can take the Sadaiya out of the Harper, but you can't take the Harper out of Sadaiya. Or the Smith. Ho ho ho. Anyway, she slits her eyes at Mayte, pulling her mouth to the side as she peers through her eyelashes. "And I take it you want to make sure to get the best price? Well I don't blame you. I SUPPOSE I should be less greedy and not try to buy up ALL of them, though I very, very much want to — especially one or two for my own cellarette. We REALLY want to ingratiate ourselves, though. Heh, suppose I shouldn't stink so much of desperation. Okay, I'll take the lot with the understanding that you can come over for dinner with Tan and I sometime and have a glass. What's the damage going to be and should I hold on to something?"

"Weeeeelll," Mayte drawls slowly, though with a growing grin, "There should be more on its way." Promising, yes? "And any Lady Holder tasting this will understand the levels she is speaking with." I.e., the highest of the high, especially vertically (on dragonback). Mayte flicks a finger at the watching apprentice in the doorway who soon comes out with another, smaller apprentice and some wine-baskets, filled with the whites and reds. The damage is lessened as Mayte grins a little goofily at the offer of dinner and a glass of the stuff, but she shakes her head, "It shouldn't be extravagant," because apparently Sadaiya makes more money than Moreta or something, though she names a price that would stun most of her other customers. "However," Mayte continues, "I would have to consult my Journeywoman to be sure." Wink wink, nudge nudge, room to debate.

It's called 'good investments' and 'tips from future people before she left her family and their major Hold behind'. Sadaiya can handle it. "That's … actually not as bad as I was worrying, but do please talk to them? Just because I knew about the Cromcoal going bye-bye doesn't mean, like, I can go between and harvest marks from the dragon poop that's there." She titters. Ain't she the naughtiest thing? "Nevertheless, I like seeing a friend get ahead in her craft and with her superiors. I'll make sure to let her know what a wonderful experience this was. Not that I'd be exaggerating! It's just, y'know, nice to be the Weyrwoman sometimes. Oh oh oh~ I can't waiiiit~ for the auction. Make sure to let us know ahead of time when it is so we can set aside some space, make sure Thread isn't coming, what-have-you. It could be a good thing for the entirety of the Bazaar to have all those customers come in from all the corners of Pern!" She pauses thoughtfully, tipping her head to the side. "Why do you suppose people say that when Pern is round?"

Wait, isn't forewarning of trading illegal elsewhere? Maybe just no Pern. "I'm so very glad to hear it, Weyrwoman," Mayte soothes, "And of course we'll get you the very best price for these." Tit for tat, right? This is about the time that other customer service starts to flutter but Mayte draws the line at flittering: "I pride myself on making each customer feel comfortable and welcome." The waterglass gets refilled for the gold-rider in case, and Mayte nods. "I'll keep an ear to the ground about the upcoming auction," she promises, but the last question throws this only-somewhat-worldly apprentice for a loop: "Ahhhhh…. Because it's always been that way?" S'a better story than being flat on the back of a giant turtle, right?

Don't forget the elephants! They're the ones who let Sadaiya pull a Biff Tannen, naturally. "Charge me whatever's fair, Mayte. Even a little more, if it'll see you put in the good graces of your craft." Sadaiya winks broadly, flashing her even, white teeth in a smile. "I can manage it, especially for whatever vintage this is since I have a feeling that whatever transgressions we may or may not have committed against or intend to commit against the hold will be forgiven instantly with baskets of these. I'm already feeling more charitable towards myself for deciding to set aside a bottle of this. Good job, me! Yaaay!" Her tiny hands come up and clap excitedly. "So now that business has been conducted, how are you OUTSIDE of your lovely craft and the forthcoming blessing of Eollyn and O'ell's baby?"

It's almost too good to be true, except Mayte's not licking her lips in anticipation. Instead, "We wouldn't dream of charging you more than the wine's worth, Weyrwoman," Mayte proclaims, even if she has an answering grin, "And if it pleases the Holder, all the better for us, right?" It's all about the advertising. The open wines are corked and put away (after a quick refill of the red, just in case, Mayte ahhing, "Very little is going on… I'm working on a project to try to protect our grapes in these awful storms, But I've complained about that before." Something new to complain about? "Actually apart from the baby," which earns a tone of bemusement from the Vintner apprentice, "And the incoming Trader, there's very little going on." You'd think that's a relief, right? Mayte's tone is a little suspicious: "That's when it gets really busy." Harrumph

"Noooo! Mah wahhhne!" Sadaiya brings the back of her hand up to her brow, tipping her head back with enough drama to make Camilla look stable. "I wish there were more I could do to help you on that front, but hopefully your craft can manage with, Idunno, walls and stuff. Hey, I just drink it, I don't … grow … wine." Too bad there's no Reagan here. Maybe vino could be ruled a fruit, like ketchup is a vegetable. "So nothing else? Nothing at all? Not even updated K'vvan antics? I don't suppose you saw that, for the Keroon gather, I got him into some costume makeup. I consider it my crowning achievement." Her eyes go distant for a moment in that way that 'riders tend to do, then she laughs. "Yes, even more than that, Jivayath. She's so literal sometimes, I swear."

Mayte is used to some theatrics, but Sadaiya's are entirely unexpected. Thankfully, they're not drawn out; Mayte grins a little while pushing the little glass of red to Sadie. TAKE MY SACRIFICE! "We're working on a solution proposal to submit to the Weyr," Mayte replies, "But the fine details are a little harder to work out. She's starting to shake dark waves at the idea of anything new happening, though she can't quite hide her grin at the mention of K'vvan: "Nothing new there. We're good friends, though." Good friends or not, Mayte giggles, "I saw that. It looked really good on him for a while." Enough riders come through that Mayte can wait a few moments, polishing the corner of the desk until Sadie comes back to the conversation, but she doesn't have much to add there, just a cheerful grin.

"He needs to loosen up," notes Sadaiya, grinning widely even as she pushes herself up from the stool. "And on that note, stop by sometime! We'd love to have you! I'll get back to you with the bill later!" And, on that, scene as they finish up.

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