Sylph’s Dancedrops

“We just love the idea of magical tea for our wedding, don’t you?” the customer gushes.

“It would add a magical effect to what should be a magical day,” I agree.

“Exactly! And since we’ll be ordering in volume, I know we can great bulk discounts,” she continues.

Does she, now.

“Perhaps we should establish first what sort of magical effect will match the style of your wedding?” I ask. “The prices of the ingredients of our teas range drastically, but some of the less expensive options may not suit your vision.”

“Oh, but I’m sure we can work something out? I’d so love to be able to showcase Talmeri’s magical teas at my event, which will be playing host to many well-to-do Sayorseni on the lookout for unique experiences.”

Aha. A trifle blunt, but she knows what she’s about.

“Iskielo,” I say, “could you bring Lorwyn out front please?” To our customer I explain, “Lorwyn has a much more extensive knowledge of the availability of Cataclysm ingredients—that being the main source of price fluctuation—having worked here and closely with them much longer than I. And perhaps she might have some suggestions for a custom blend for you.”

Lorwyn was apparently listening at the door, because she’s already out in time to hear this. “Oh,” she says, “I can give them a wedding they’ll never forget.”

Iskielo gives her a look equal parts amusement and nervous horror, which just goes to show he has some sense under all his youthful enthusiasm after all.

“Indeed,” I say smoothly, “what a fantastic opportunity to showcase your skill.” To the customer I add, “Lorwyn is our in-house master brewer, and she can apply her witchcraft to your tea—”

The customer gasps. “How dare you even suggest such a thing?”

“Oh?” I ask calmly. Her reaction is clearly for show: if she were truly concerned, she’d already be backing away. “Are you not interested in our services after all?”

“You would dare attempt to foist witchcraft—”

“Our tea shop is renowned for not only Cataclysm ingredients, but safe interaction with them,” I say. “How do you think we ensure that ingredients are rendered inert if not through magic of our own?”

“What an outrageous suggestion,” she sputters. “My guests would never stand for it.”

“It would be quite daring, in our time,” I say. “Perhaps you might be advised to wait until someone else has done so first, and think of us for a future gathering?”

Her posture doesn’t change, but I catch her eyes narrowing a fraction as she senses opportunity in the water. “First? You think this will become a trend?”

“We get requests like yours frequently, though nothing on the scale of your event, of course. Such a shame, I was just thinking an ingredient like Sylph’s Dancedrops—have you tried those? We serve them in glass cups that allow you to see the twirling figures inside, all misty and sparkling—would be a lovely accompaniment to a wedding. Well, perhaps another time.”

Lorwyn doesn’t quite manage to contain her smirk. “Sylph’s Dancedrops” are one of the earliest ingredients found in the Cataclysm, which is why they have such an overwrought name; they were still a novelty, then. Lorwyn knows perfectly well they’re dirt cheap and plentiful—one of the reasons we rarely use them, as Talmeri doesn’t consider them sufficiently unique—so we can provide this woman a “discount” without taking the slightest financial hit.

“Was there anything else I can get for you today?” I prompt.

“You know, now that I’ve had a moment to think about this, perhaps my guests could be persuaded after all,” the customer says. “Sylph’s Dancedrops, you said?”

“Why don’t we step into my office?” I ask. “Iskielo, please bring a sampler tray.”

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One thought on “Sylph’s Dancedrops

  1. You may never learn how much you owe Miyara, good customer. Being outbargained is nothing compared to Lorwyn having free use of her sense of humour around you.

    Liked by 2 people

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