==== December 29th, 2013
==== Mayte, Atzi
==== Atzi shelters at Corks & Works, does some business. Mayte fosters the booming pink wine business at Igen.

Who Mayte, Atzi
What Atzi shelters at Corks & Works, does some business. Mayte fosters the booming pink wine business at Igen.
When There are 0 turns, 4 months and 8 days until the 12th pass.
Where Igen Weyr

Mayte6.jpg atzi.jpg


Corks and Works
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.

Igen Weyr residents never really forget the sandstorms from summer to summer - the moment the sand started to blow, everyone who wanted something converged on the winestore, picked their poison, paid, and scarpered home to wait the sand out. It's getting to be a trend, though, so Mayte and fellow apprentices are getting very good at restocking the suddenly nude shelves. In fact, with the sands raging outside, Mayte is just adding some final tallies to the log book while Kalligon is making sure the bottom shelves are thoroughly filled - if only because it's easier than hauling the ladder over. The store is otherwise pretty bereft of population - who would be caught outside in this meteorological insanity?

Atzi, that's who. She'd spent much too long re-negotiating the contract for citrus from Hagra's jumped up son Dimat such that when the warning buzz and howl of wind over the awnings came she was only half done with the day's errands. She wasn't due at the Cantina until evening, so… what better place to ride out the storm than a place as well stocked as her own Cantina? Plus, she'd not made aquaintance with the purveyors of many of the Cantina's wine-stores and this was long overdue. Atzi ducks inside the door, pulling it closed, a balance of slipping in and bracing against the door so that it doesn't slam, but also closing it quickly so that no more dust enters with her than absolutely necessary. She stomps, shaking sand and dust loose as close to the entrance as possible - the better to sweep away later. Dark hair, dark skin, dark eyes, she peels the headwrap away looking around the store and at the bustling apprentices. If the Corks & Works folk are familiar with the Tlatoani, she bears many of their looks, darkness, long triangular jawline. In her family (though not all the Tlatoani shared this particular tradition), it was customary to present a gift when sheltering from the storms in a place other than your own. Setting aside her parcels, Atzi places several citrus fruits in a fold of her robes and steps forward, a warm and slightly bemused (embarrassed) smile on her lips, "Honor to your roof." It has the ring of tradition.

Mayte looks up crossly at the fool who… er, the customer who opens the door. As the enwrapped figure closes the door and unwraps itself, Mayte watches, putting her stylo down, bracing elbows against the desk before her. It's a girl… a somewhat familiar… "Oh. Hello there." It's not you, it's the sandstorm: Mayte inhales and deliberately tries to look pleasant. Success is in the eye of the beholder. A narrow look is cast at Kalligon who, for once, has stepped up to the plate and already picked up a broom. Anyways, the Senior Apprentice listens to Atzi's greeting and nods, replying with a faintly sardonic grin, "Thank you. It's held up so far." As that teasing tone settles down, Mayte does peer curiously at the fruit and replies formally, but woodenly, taking a role she's not very good at, "And honour to yours; may it shelter your," penguins, that's not right, "People for better or for worse." And now with the ritual (badly) done, Mayte can't keep herself from wondering, "What in Faranth's name were you doing out there?"

The young woman's cheeks color slightly. She'd been caught out… gone from Igen long enough to have lost some of her finer instincts. They would need honing. In many areas. Atzi looks over her shoulder towards the outside and back to the vintner, "Business took me farther afield than I had planned." And far longer. She gestures with the makeshift basket for Mayte or anyone to take the offered fruit. Once the fruit is sorted (and she may resort to simply arranging it in a pleasant pile somewhere appropriate). There was business to attend in any case. She dips into a curtsy, "I am Atzi, grandniece of Jharlodar, of the Tlatoani. I am looking for an apprentice, Mayte, so that we may discuss some buisness."

Mayte nods brusquely, "It'll do that." Dialects world apart, but Mayte still grins as she eyes the fruit. Kalligon is similarly interested, but he asks politely enough, "May I please have this citrus?" What's he going to do with it? No one wants to know. Mayte watches the curtsey with a faint look of dread, but she's behind the desk, so she only has to nod her head in response: "That's me. What can I help ya fer?" All the pretty words are seemingly lost on Mayte, except for her eyes, which seem to sharpen a little at the news of economic transactions: "My journeywoman has dealings with Jharlodar of the Cantina already," disappointing in itself, "Is this a private discussion?"

Atzi smiles with an open handed gesture, Please, to Kalligon's question. She smiles, "Ah, good, Mayte," she says the name, nodding and filing it away. She notes the sharpening of Mayte's eyes, "This isn't in place of any standing arrangements between our superiors. Simply a special order." Her brief look around the store earlier hadn't yielded what she'd sought so she takes the little sign's advice and 'let's Mayte know.' "I'd like to see your stock of pink wines."

Kalligon is happy to take a fruit, bow his own head in thanks, and scamper off to the back room. Mayte, on the other hand, ahhs, "Okay, then this isn't a bulk order?" Slipping off her chair, Mayte crooks a 'follow me' finger, talking on as she marches to a wall with dusty bottles, "Right this way, to our admittedly small area of pink wines…" Roses are still a growing wine taste here at Igen, as Mayte dusts off one bottle. "It's not in huge demand right now, but I'm sure it'll catch on." Ever the optimist, Mayte has now doomed the rose wine industry at Igen Weyr with her notably bad predictions. "Are you looking for something in specific? How many Turns old?" Mayte asks rapidly, ending with a faint quirk of her mouth, "And what price range?" Mayte may be an opportunist, but she's a fair one.

Atzi follows on Mayte's heels, "No, not a bulk order. Four bottles," she listens dutifully to the descriptions of the wines. "I have not seen the like. Do you have any open that I may sample?" Don't worry Mayte, K'vvan will keep the rose alive with the entirety of his Wingsecond income. Atzi will see to it.

Mayte hmms, tapping finger to chin as her eyes roam over the bottles available before her hand stretches out to withdraw one bottle. "It's something new to try," Mayte announces proudly, "It's from red grapes, but we treat them in a white-wine process. That means the wine doesn't sit on the must, it's sweeter and a lower alcohol point because…" Is she running off at the mouth? Probably, "Because alcohol is actually transformed sugar." That neatly sums up pink wine. "But the Cantina doesn't order much of this," Mayte comments idly, though her eyes are vaguely suspicious, "Says it doesn't sell well. Is this for you, personally, then?" Even before Mayte's mouth closes on the 'n', she shakes her head, "Nevermind, thats not for me to ask. And yes, if you'll step back to the desk with me, we can have a try of the pink." And thus is Mayte leading the way, Kalligon emerging from whence he disappeared into the back room with two bottles of similar labels to the bottle in Mayte's hands. There, Mayte starts to set up - a glass is brought out and inspected for cleanliness, the spare bottle of pink is opened and an ounce poured into the glass set before the sampling stool, "Tell me what you think of that."

Nodding through Mayte's description with interest, Atzi listens closely. She hadn't followed a trade, not even one acceptable for women, but she's curious and clearly Mayte is passionate about her craft. At the questions about the purpose of her purchases, Atzi looks down, studying the bottle in Mayte's hands. She is not about to divulge the reason or person for whom this purchase will be made, private or professional. She smiles appreciatively as Mayte spots where she'd overstepped her bounds and retreats. There is probably enough information out there to piece together that this is a business purchase… from the slightly formal opening of the discussion, to the fact that -had this been a personal purchase- Atzi hadn't ever tasted or even seen the wine. Four bottles was a large purchase. But. Atzi will not be pointing these things out. And thus the identity of her MYSTERY CLIENT remains a secret. "MmmMmmm," is Atzi's eloquent response at tasting the wine. For all that she is not verbally expressive beyond that, without the vintner vocabulary, she tastes the wine like someone who has done this before. "Where does this one fall in age and price?"

Mayte watches Atzi carefully as she tastes the small amount she's been given; she's at least remotely professional in trying not to make assumptions for why someone needs four bottles and only four bottles. Careful to not smirk, Mayte does smile personably as she recites, "This bottle is rather young, only because pink wines don't need much to mature, and if they're left to age too long, they go off." One shoulder rises and falls, "It's a very good post-dinner wine, not heavy on the stomach after a large meal." A vague look crosses over Mayte's face, chased away by general pleasantness, "And it's very convenient on the markpouch, and due to the, er, volume," Mayte looks entirely innocent, "I think I can charge two and a half marks for the lot." Whoever might get a mark-up after, is beyond Mayte's purview.

"Two-and-a-half marks for a wine you," she cocks her head, "Are trying to cultivate a taste for?" that instead of the 'are having trouble moving' that sprang to mind.

Mayte gives a faint smile. "Economics of the vine," is what she says solemnly. "The red grapes are much hardier than the white, but deducing their new pressing time is more time-consuming than the usual red or white wines." Small hands brace against the desk, watching the Tlatoani girl carefully, "And in these sand-storms, it becomes more difficult on that." A sad look at the bottle Mayte has opened, but she doesn't continue.

Atzi listens to the difficulties surrounding crafting the wine, sympathetic, but unmoved. It is sturdier than a white, lighter than a red, fruity rather than sweet. Atzi squints at the empty glass, rolling the stem between her fingers. She looks up, "Where does this bottle fall in price amongst the others you showed?" If it is the low end, she can definitely see why her great uncle has not made a point to add pink wine to the contracts with the Vinters for the Cantina.

Mayte isn't moving either, not an eyebrow arching nor a threat of smile. She doesn't need to look at the bottle to tell Atzi, "It's the mid-range wine. Of them all," for a moment, Mayte's voice goes almost theatrically soft with memory, "This one sells best." Mayte doesn't blush, but she hmms, "For the price and quality, this wine is the best balance." After a moment of watching casually, Mayte leans back and glances casually to that small, darkened area, "Though if you'd like a better quality, I can most certainly suggest another vintage."

Mid-range. Suitable. Atzi is not going anywhere. The storm will quit when it quits. Her client will pay what he pays. Atzi holds up a fore-stalling finger, going over to her parcels once again and returning with a small, wrapped disc, "I will pay two-and-a-half marks and this cheese, for your four unopened bottles and," she holds up a finger, "That opened bottle, provided we share it as the storm passes." She looks to the back of the store, "Unless your Journeyman would object, of course. With…" she looks around innocently, "So many clients to see to."

Apparently Atzi is no stranger to the twisted, winesoaked path to a Vintner's heart: dark eyes gleam with a smile that spreads to Mayte's lips, "Deal and done," the apprentice replies, eyes skittering briefly over the cheese. "My journeywoman does not object, as long as I share some water," which Kalligon comes out to provide a fresh pitcher of as well as a platter of crackers, "with it occasionally." A second wineglass is brought out and Mayte instructs Kalligon, "Box up four bottles of this pink and keep them cool." As an aside to Atzi, "Kalligon will carry the bottles, wherever you require them to go." Kalligon doesn't even look like he minds this extra service, today.

Atzi inclines her head decisively, a nod of completion. She retrieves the marks, pressing them onto the table near the ledger. She leaves the boxing and service to Mayte and the other apprentice, taking a moment to look around the store. Atzi is not particularly familiar with the twisted, winesoaked paths to vintner's hearts, but it had made sense. And she'd rather enjoyed the wine. And the girl's love of her chosen craft. And she's very much stuck here. So. "My thanks, Kalligon." When the light repast is prepared she returns.

"Just a moment," Mayte says, moving the marks Atzi places to a small cup that sits next to the ledger and writes down a line with the stylo set next to it. Moving back, the apprentice takes up the opened wine again, watching Atzi move about the winestore with distracted eye as she refreshes both glasses and starts to arrange cheese and crackers in an attractive fashion for the trader's return. "As the esteemed customer, would you prefer to cut into the cheese first?" Guests first, as always. Lifting up her glass, Mayte offers, "To your health, your home, and your happiness." It sounds good, right? Well, almost anything sounds better than the sand howling outside, and Mayte continues to play graceful(ish) hostess to Atzi, answering any questions, nibbling cheese, and serving pink wine until the storm has passed.

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