Alcohol of the Sawdust Pile Tavern
The Sawdust Pile is known as a rough and tumble tavern in Zihlsah due to it being frequented by workers of the Wood Union. Its menu is no less rough and tumble, especially to any outsider that happens to wander through the doors. To the Kuzaarik that call the Savage River Valley home the Sawdust Pile provides all the comforts of a home-cooked meal and ample alcohol to help them forget the aches and pains of a hard day’s work. The alcohol available to the Sawdust Pile is limited by the availability of varieties coming out of the one brewery in Zihlsah and the continuous wagonloads that the Merchant Union transports over the mountains from Kuzaarl. Most of the beer sold out of the Sawdust Pile is Pyk Sahryvo, a dark, lumpy beer with a porridge-like consistency and a low alcohol content. It is by far the cheapest beer available at the Sawdust Pile and all over Zihlsah. It is also the easiest to brew and is done so in vast quantities at the Low Water Brewery. The cost of a pyk sahryvo is generally about five Tahnza Mahz (half a bronze Talent). With Pyk Sahryvo the local breweries also make Ghryakah, the derisive nickname given to a mixture of Pyk Sahryvo and zoykal milk that is drank in vast quantities by the workers at the mines and logging camps outside of Zihlsah. It is highly nutritious, filling, and slightly alcoholic. Most workers get their fill of ghryakah, literally “mud,” while they work outside of town. Once back in town very few drink the obnoxious concoction and those that do are made fun of endlessly by their friends. A ghryakah will cost you eight Tahnza Mahz (three quarters of a bronze Talent) at the Sawdust Pile. Sahryvo is a more common drink ordered in the Sawdust Pile. Depending on where the sahryvo is made the taste of the beer can vary wildly. It tends to be a dark, smoky, and sweet beer made with whatever local herbs are available. This means that no matter where you go in Kuzaarl, the sahryvo will taste different. The only exception lies with the large breweries in Kuzaarl that transport barrels of their sahryvo to outlying towns and work camps throughout Kuzaarik controlled areas. Normally sahryvo would spoil after a few days of the trip over the mountains but Merchant Union Kryomancers assure that the brew is kept near frozen until it reaches its destination. The Merchant Union and Livestock Union relentlessly seek out Kuzaarik Kryomancers willing to forego PDC and military careers and instead accompany wagon loads of beer from Kuzaarl to the last of the Kuzaarik Confederacy’s outposts. Sahryvo coming from Kuzaarl tends to have the distinctive flavor of a tree local to Kuzaarl, the sunkahvyk. The berries from the sunkahvyk tree and even some of the branches are brewed with the sahryvo. The sunkahvyk imparts a sweet and sour taste, with notes of evergreen trees underlying it. This is by far the most common sahryvo at the Sawdust Pile and comes by the wagonload from Kuzaarl nearly every day. If you’re looking for a sahryvo you’ll have to give up a Tahnza Hahnda (one bronze Talent). The sahryvo that is brewed in Zihlsah has a different taste altogether than Kuzaarl sahryvo. The owner of the Low Water Brewery uses different herbs and has found a way to make the sahryvo lighter and less smoky. The finished product is a crisp sahryvo that has the strong flavor of rockroot and Vorzaf berries found in the rockier ground around Zihlsah. The Low Water Brewery’s sahryvo is in high demand at the Sawdust Pile and demands a high cost. Vihtyoon, the owner of the Sawdust Pile, buys every bit she can from the Low Water. Drinkers at the Sawdust Pile that are looking for something with more alcohol in it order the Mahskyl, an ale with a much higher alcohol content and sweeter flavoring that is a favorite with the loggers who have just returned from a long season under the leaves of the Shadowwood. The mashskyl is transported from many of the same breweries as the sahryvo but bears different flavors. A mahskyl will cost you two Tahnza Hahnda (two bronze Talents) at the Sawdust Pile. For those looking for something more than alcohol while visiting the Sawdust Pile the cooks always have something in the pot for the famished traveler. Vihtyoon pays a premium to the Livestock Union for daily supplies of meat from the fields and from the hunters that track their prey through the mountain passes around Zihlsah. For just two Tahnza Hahnda (two bronze Talents), you can get a bowl of the local stew, kahrpal. Root vegetables, some herbs, and what meat can be afforded are thrown in a giant pot and let simmer all day. It is stirred occasionally by whoever is passing by but generally left to its own devices. The resulting kahrpal is steaming hot, thick, and hearty. The stew’s warm and heady scent ambushes any who open the door to the Sawdust Pile, inviting you in while competing with the odor of hard-working Kuzaarik and the smoky-sweet sahryvo being poured into mug after mug. Most who eat at the Sawdust Pile in Zihlsah will be treated to the kahrpal but occasionally one of Vihtyoon’s specially commissioned hunters will bring in a wild koyzal or the antlered Rhool that drift through the wooded valleys of the northern mountains. Roasted meat is beloved by most Kuzaarik and its availability is always a reason for celebration at the Sawdust Pile. For this reason it is seldom had except on Kuzaarik religious celebration days or upon the return of the loggers from the Shadowwood at the end of the season. Four Tahnza Hahnda (four bronze Talents) will get you a mug of sahryvo and a handful of roasted meat when it is available. To the outsider who has had very little contact with the Kuzaarik on their own ground, Kuzaarik cuisine seems simple: Common ingredients and heavy doses of local herbs to mask the bland to foul-tasting root vegetables seem to attack the taste buds rather than grace them. Their alcohol is the same way: finesse is not something the Kuzaarik are good at in any walk of life. Many outsiders, especially Faelers, find Kuzaarik cuisine much like the Kuzaarl language: heavy handed, coarse, and ugly. It will never, however, leave a traveller hungry or if they want, in possession of their sobriety.
- Item type
- Consumable, Food / Drink