Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Pocket Full of Posies; chapter 1, page 10

Customs among the various cultures in the known galaxy are as diverse as the galaxy is vast. And in the world of fine – and less than fine – drinking establishments this is especially true. For as the second Space Age of Man passed into the third, many worlds had developed intricate rituals and customs around the dining table.

Within the courts of the Leuxo Empire it’s customary to have an elaborate table dressing made from the feathers and carcass of an Imgret; one of the larger predatory birds of the forests of Shramu, just outside the capitol city on Mangar. It’s considered an offense not to have this complex and often considered visually stunning décor not at the head, or crossing of the gathering. So much so that the bird has been exported far and wide throughout the sector into any habitable forest; despite the fact that they are quite destructive to ecosystems; often wreaking havoc on an environment to the point of near destruction.

The practice finds its roots in an aged old tradition of thanksgiving when the first settlers to the region had to make due with native vegetation and prey when their supplies were extinguished. At least that is the official accounts that are taught to the school children and those children, as adults, perpetuate into the society. No, the real fact of the matter is that the Leuxo Empire started as a penial colony of the dregs of the Nortonal Union, and the Leuxo Correctional Corporation had mismanaged the entire endeavor, which had ended with the colony in revolt and declaring itself a free nation. 

And the bird? Well, the warden, it seems by firsthand accounts, had gone quite mad in the tenth year of the colony and had taken to dressing himself in nothing but a coat made from the Imgret plumage that he had guards shooting and prison work details collecting. When the revolt finally came the prisoners, now organized into a unionized confederation, ceremonially executed him and laid him out at the head of their victory dinner dressed up in his fine feathered coat made by their hands.

From the extensive catalog of the Intergalactic Pub Crawl Team comes the tale of the Ring’s Round-About; a tavern located in the town of Hawthorne; part of the provisional settlement of Edinburg which is located on the third moon, Rickenbach, around the ringed gas giant Sasamon. There, during the seasonal harvest festival, locals take part in outdoor games that carry on in the tradition of the original agricultural settlement that first landed there. This includes the obvious tests of horticultural prowess, local arts and crafts, foods, family styled games and activities, but also feats of strength and endurance. 

In one such contest mugs of beer are placed in front of two contestants who sit at a table. The idea is to then steal and drink the opposing party’s beer. He, or she (As there is a very popular women’s event for this, too.) is allowed to resist in any non-lethal means necessary - with gimmicks welcome - while, in turn, attempting to steal their opponent's beer. However, at no point is either contestant allowed to leave their chair, or they forfeit the match. 
While no two locals will be likely to give you the same answer as to how this tradition got started, it is noted that this is one of the most popular games during the festival; often played between family members, husbands and wives, and domestic partnerships. It should also be noted that Edinburg has a peculiarly low divorce rate, but more dentists per capita.  


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