Beris, Ixanedre, Ramita


Ixanedre gets a little more than he bargains for when going for 'bartenders choice'… and maybe to Beris and Ramita's amusement


It is afternoon of the first day of the fourth month of the fourteenth turn of the 12th pass.


The Pit, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 17 Jun 2018 04:00




The Pit

One does not enter The Pit so much as descend into it. Why else the name? The Steen ancestors paid for their square footage with sweat, excavating the area and building curved walls up around it. Wide, smooth steps descend into a large entry area that overlooks the pit and galleries. Floors, ceilings and walls have been whitewashed with limestone paste, increasing the amount of light reflected back from the numerous glow baskets hung on the walls. A rounded doorway to the right leads one into the business' "office", which is furnished in spartan style: cushions for kneeling or sitting upon, a desk that's low to the ground constructed of the same whitewashed stone as the rest of the building, and niches carved out of the walls themselves for decorative pieces. Here is a small sculpture of men wrestling, there is a wooden carving of a champion with a foot upon his vanquished foe.

Continuing on through the lobby brings one to another set of six stairs that descend into the galleries surrounding the sand-filled pits. A low wall separates audience from combatants, but even at its highest point, those in the galleries are never more than twenty feet away from the action. The sand is raked daily, with fresh sand added whenever the blood to soil ratio becomes too great.

The afternoon rumbles on, the spring heat more bearable even with the sun at its peak. Here in the Pit, there is some relief from the sun's intensity if one sits in the right place. The place is between fights, with people out on the ground raking the sand and adding some fresh to cover certain unpleasant fluids. Much of the crowd has dissipated, a few worried that the thunderstorm lashing the outer reaches of the desert will make its way over the Weyr. Of those still in the Pit, before the evening's events, Beris is one. She's sweeping around the bar area, carefully brushing together pieces of a shattered glass into a more manageable pile. Her expression is quite relaxed - but then, it would be, in this lull between busy periods.

And from one of those well hidden stairwells into the interior of the Pit, comes Ramita, bearing a small case full of citrus and some other garnishes. The Steen woman neatly side steps around Beris and her sweeping (and more importantly that broken glass), before placing that case on top of the bar with a slight tsk. "So how many does that make this seven?" Her head tilts towards the shards the other woman is cleaning up. "Am I going to have to talk one of my cousins into becoming a glassworker?"

One of the other souls lingering about is a younger man. Ixanedre is of no mind to vacate the area quite yet! He should probably be working, but with more than enough hands back at the shop, the potter decides to indulge in a self-appointed ‘rest day’. Later he will catch hell for it but for now he lives in the moment! There are marks burning a hole in his pocket and, in one of his moods to spend the day binging, has come here to enjoy a few of the early fights. And what good is enjoying them if he can’t have himself a drink? So off he goes to wander towards the bar, where Beris and Ramita currently are.

Beris rolls her eyes skywards at the talk of shattered glasses. "I dread to think." But, since Ramita is pretty much her boss, she does add: "six, if my count's right." Which it probably is. Beris's record-keeping has come on a long way since she started working at the Pit. "How many cousins've you got you could convince into that craft? More than one might be useful at this rate…." Then Ixanedre's approach is noticed, and Beris tilts the broom, pointing the stick end at him. "Mind the glass," she warns, before she leans the broom against the bar and rummages behind said bar for a dustpan to finish the job at hand.

"Pity even if I managed to convince one, they'd end up getting kicked out for being like a bovine in the porcelain shop…" Ramita gives a bit of a shrug before she goes back to stocking all the citrus in preparation. Being an off hour, there's nobody else manning the bar area besides the two women, and since Beris is clearly occupied with the glass, the vintner stops with the stocking to turn towards the approaching customer. "Can I help you, sir?"

Ixanedre stops mid-step as Beris warns him of the glass, tilting his head to glance downwards until he’s assured he’s not about to end up with shards through his footwear. “Thanks.” he quips at her in a near grunt, giving her a scrutinizing once over that is repeated for Ramita once she draws his attention. What can she help him with? “Yeah,” he says with a mild scoff. Isn’t it obvious? “I could go for another drink.” Duh. He’s already had one or two, but holds his liquor well enough that the effects aren’t hitting as hard as it would for some.

Beris's snort at that comment is amused, though she doesn't offer any verbal response, not when there's a customer about. As she sweeps the shards into the safety of the dustpan, and on to the glass bin, a chorus of tinkling glass. Where Ixanedre's survey of the two women is rather obvious, Beris's looks at the man are more covert, snuck in here and there as she busies herself with cleaning her hands behind the bar. There's a twitch of her eyebrows at his attitude to Ramita - but, then, it's not an attitude that particularly surprises her in this place. While Ramita deals with him, Beris moves herself towards the various drinks available, ready to grab whichever one might be ordered.

One of the perils of Ramita's particular craft is definitely dealing with asshole customers. Even as early as the day is, Ixanedre probably isn't the worst that she's dealt with this shift and so the vinter puts on small fake smile while keeping her eyebrow from twitching. "That's convenient, since we have several. Was there a particular type of drink you'd like, or prefer to take a chance on barkeep's choice?" Sure, there's plenty of ale to be had, but Ramita's hand is going towards one of the spirits bottles for one of her latest concoctions, even before the man has a chance to respond.

No, he’s definitely not the worst! Arrogant, self absorbed and rude? Definitely Ixanedre. Intentionally cruel? Not so much. He just doesn’t care to tailor his natural personality to spare those he feels too delicate to handle it. Brows lift for Ramita’s suggestion, a darted look passed to Beris when she moves to the bar. Where his expression had been in resting bitch-face mode, it now mellows to a smirk. “I like the idea of an easy gamble. Barkeep’s choice!” he replies with little hesitation once he catches where that hand is being gestured to.

Under the guise of rearranging some bottles, Beris flicks a glance that notes where Ramita's hand is reaching. To her credit, the young woman keeps a straight face as she recognizes the spirit the Steen is aiming for. "Good choice," she affirms Ixanedre's decision in a jovial tone, customer service personality in full play. "Ramita's our resident Vintner. You're in very good hands." While her smile is slightly too cheery to be truly genuine, the smile in her dark eyes is very real as she turns to watch the proceedings, idly wiping down the bar top.

Ramita will not just stop at the latest brew. The bottle is uncorked and quickly freehandedly measured into a waiting shaker. From the supply of garnishes that had been waiting just under the bar, she slips two small red peppers into the container as well, followed by a pour of some syrup. Unfortunately that's where she runs out of ready ingredients. Now comes a lime and knife in hand. "It'll be just one moment…" It doesn't take long to slice that up and then a healthy measure of fresh squeezed juice into the shaker as well. That done, she'll wipe her citrus-y hands on her apron before closing the shaker and giving it a few solid shakes before it's time for the carmine cocktail to be poured into a tumbler and slide over towards the potter, even before marks are exchanged. It's not like the guards will let someone get far without paying. "Enjoy… and Beris, I'll have to teach you the recipe later. I feel this will become quite popular for those that can handle it." The vintner's icy eyes focus solidly on Ixandedre even as she throws out that not so subtle challenge.

“That so?” Ixanedre is almost skeptical sounding in his reply to Beris, but it could be that he’s distracted once Ramita is on the move and in her element. As the drink is passed down the bar to him, he’ll move to lean against the edge while picking the glass up in one hand. The contents are eyed dubiously, while the further comment-challenge earns both women a narrowed look. “Guess I shouldn’t be worried of poison? That’d be bad for business.” he mutters. Glancing to where the shattered glass had once been strewn on the floor, he’ll make a belated comment. “Should look into alternatives other than glass.” Then he’ll tip back his drink and take a good, deep, swig of it. Will he regret it?

How much cleaner is this bar top gonna get? Beris is still idly wiping with the cloth as she watches Ramita at work, something she always enjoys. "Good colour," she comments when the final product is slid over to Ixanedre. Her eyes lift from the tumbler to the man's face. "We prefer repeat customers," she notes, cheerily, before tucking the cloth away into a pocket on her little half-apron. Shrugging non-committedly at his advice, she leans comfortable against her side of the bar to watch as he drinks. "I look forward to making it myself," she notes to Ramita, giving the other woman a sideways look with a gleam of amusement in her dark eyes, and the slightest of mischevious grins on her lips.

"Indeed," Ramita will coolly agree that poisoning is indeed bad for business and to Beris' assertion about repeat customers as she goes back to cutting up the rest of that lime in case anybody else is going to wander over to order something, although she is watching the potter out of the corner of her eye even as she cuts. "Wood cups look pretty, but cleaning them is a nightmare. Metal is too expensive and wouldn't want to touch them in summer. Ceramic… ceramic could work, but it's heavier and doesn't display the drink as well. And we'd still have people dropping it and cutting themselves on the shards." This is definitely a topic she's thought a lot about. Probably while cursing internally as she cleans up yet another broke glass, or sent Beris to clean it up instead. As for the drink itself… it shouldn't be too bad if Ixanedre is one of the Igenite's used to eating some of the bazaar's spiciest concoctions on a regular basis. But there's definitely a very solid kick accompanying that lime juice as well.

Another grunt of acknowledgement from Ixanedre to Beris’ cheery comment. Too absorbed in the moment (and let’s face it, himself), he’s not catching on to the hinted mischievousness. With much of the drink consumed, he seems unaffected at first. “Clay?” he goes to suggest to Ramita’s list of materials, only the word comes out more strangled than smooth. Clearing his throat and then clearing it again, he’ll attempt to suavely cover that blunder up. Is anyone else sweating? No? Just him? “Some firing techniques can lend an expensive-looking flare if that’s what you’re looking for.” Is this turning into a sales pitch? Ixanedre is probably just stalling as he composes himself. At last, he tilts the glass and gives both Beris and Ramita a look. “This is the popular go to?” Uh oh. Someone doesn’t like it!

Beris will leave the business talk, such that it is, to Ramita. She'll neaten things up under the bar, so that she's still facing out and able to keep in the conversation rather than turn her back to Ixanedre. Besides, she's got his reaction to the drink to observe. Initially, Beris's mouth twitches in amusement, and she ducks down to do something that requires particular attention. When she rises again, she's managed to school her expression back to politely smiling. Though that smile slips when the potter gives his verdict on the drink - sort of. Implied verdict? "Our spiced drinks are very popular," she jumps to the Pit's defence, though Ramita will probably want to step in lest Beris get too hot-headed in her defensiveness.

Life didn't give Ramita lemons, she bought them and the limes. And while lemonade might also sell well on a hot day, she's busy slicing them into wedges instead. "They are. Some folks like something to stir the blood along with watching the fights. But of course… not everybody is up to that." She's totally not shrugging. It just happens to look like she is as she slips the latest cut citrus into the bin. "We do have a selection of several local lagers and ales. Some wines, both local and imported. And well, there's always some lighter cocktails. I believe Beris has gotten to be a deft hand at making a Fortian." That berry flavored beverage would probably be the furthest away from the spicy cocktail they could offer.

Ixanedre is catching on to what probably isn’t being hinted at by Ramita’s suggestion; but leave it to his own temper to assume wrong. Narrowing his eyes again, he’ll scoff. “I’ll stick with this.” Only now out of sheer stubbornness and pride. Plus he’s paying for it and if he’s going to burn through his marks… no sense in wasting them. Grudgingly the correct amount will be passed over. Commotion by the ring draws his attention away and when it’s evident that another round of fighting is about to commence, the young man abruptly excuses himself. Will Ramita and Beris see him again? Probably not this afternoon… but he IS a regular among the spectators. So their paths may be fated to cross again!

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