A Drunkard's Tale (IV)
One of many drinking tales popularly told in Mondstadt. This wolf told a tale of wine and wolf to a drunken man of Mondstadt.
Legend has it that the first wine of Mondstadt was brewed in the age when the north wind howled.
In the age when the Kings of Ice and Frost fought for dominion, Mondstadt's forbears brewed rudimentary wine from wild fruits, even as they shivered in the biting cold. They did so to ease the pain of their frostbitten fingers and to give them the courage to face the harsh and unforgiving ice. For at that time, the land of Mondstadt was engulfed by ice and snow, and the dandelions had not yet reared their heads.
It is said that the first person in Mondstadt to discover the craft of wine brewing was a grossly negligent guard.
In a tribe beset by blizzards on all sides, it was the unenviable job of the hardy hunter-gatherers to stock the storage pits with food, and it was the guard's task to guard against intruders.
The sight of a human intruder was a rare one indeed in that harsh environment — but there were other creatures who could better withstand the cold, and they would burrow underground to reach the food stocks. The rules of the tribe were that one person should inspect the storage pits at all times, filling in any mouse holes discovered — or better still, catching them red-handed in the act
of pilfering — to keep the tribe's food supplies at plentiful levels.
At that time, the damp, dark caves needed constant care and attention to prevent the food they held from going bad and rotting. On top of this, the mischievous little creatures that hid away out of sight would sometimes play pranks on the guards.
One day, a wily wind spirit noticed that the grossly negligent guard was once again being grossly negligent. So, the spirit took the form of a fox and crept into a pile of wild apples. There, it caused yeast to grow, ripening the apples and causing them to ferment.
The grossly negligent guard was ravenous when he returned, and elected to partake of one of the apples. The mellow taste of fermented fruit delighted both his body and his mind. Immediately, he took animal hide and squeezed the juice from the apples, creating wine.
The grossly negligent guard who first invented brewing in the age of ice and snow also became Mondstadt's first drunkard. It is said that he was the first person ever to fall into a drunken dream.
In his first drunken dream, he drunkenly dreamt that he had become a lone wolf. Somewhere in the long-lost past or possibly
the far-flung future, he fought fang and claw with rival wolf packs, battled with humans for food in the midst of a raging snowstorm, and met the first seelie.
The tribe-dwelling human and the pack-dwelling wolf could not bear to live in solitude. This newly brewed wine served to bring man and wolf together in their dreams.
But their attitudes towards these dreams were poles apart.
The human who knew only the wind and snow yearned for the wasteland where the lone wolf runs freely, but the lone wolf was fearful of the human's desire. It could not understand why this human was captivated by dangerous illusions and sought hope from within them.
What concerned the wolf even more was that when in a drunken human dream, it could no longer distinguish whether it was a wolf or a human with a wolven spirit.
So the wolf swore an oath never to touch the humans' poison again, to resist the allure of wine.
Wolves are not the children of the wind, and the land of wine and song is not their home. So the wolves left the humans' domain and settled far off in the wilderness and deep in the mountain forests, places where the scent of wine could not reach them.
"What you humans call wine, we wolves call the abyss,"
The wolf haughtily concluded.
But as the wolf turned towards the drunkard to say this line, it discovered that the drunkard was now lying fast asleep on a bed of pine branches.
The wolf was most displeased, and violently expelled a puff of air from its nostrils before leaving the still-pungent pile of sleeping
human to his business, and going on its way.
"A Drunkard's Tale (IV)" can be obtained within Lisa's library in Favonius HQ.