Project Update: Chapter 4 || Catalina's Catatonic Brews
Gray, Fluff and Abitail all seem to disappear the moment the sign for Catatonic comes into view. From the gold-lettered black wood plank to a lantern made out of a skull, the whole place looks like a textbook definition of “someone’s dark magic ritual gone wrong”.
Tuff heads in with Soot and Spud, stepping cautiously through the hallway lined with candles. He almost expects to see a summoning circle on the ground with hooded cult-like magicians running around. They all trod along silently until it opens up into a proper bar, going magically from zero noise to almost overwhelming laughter and song within moments.
Spud grins and leads them all to the bar top, calling over the bartender with a level of familiarity. “Still workin’ off that bet, Ms. Bartender?”
A regal-looking cat swoops her way up to them in a flowing magician’s robe that is in no way an outfit you’d expect for anyone filling up cups with brews and cocktails. She narrows her eyes, and swishes a glowing hand; her annoyance is clear as a stein slams down in front of Spud out of thin air. He seems entirely nonplussed by this and picks it up.
“You mean the one where Simon won our ridiculous guild contest and I had to bartend here until The Black Cat festival? Then he bought Three Whiskers and renamed it Catatonic just to spite me?” The bartender grimaces, and does an intricate hand cast. The next moment, a little red imp runs up, grabs another cup and rushes away. She sighs, then more gently hands Soot a similar drink, some resemblance of respect clear to the guild master. She turns to face Tuff. “Catalina of Catatonic Brews, at your service. Let me know what you want, and the minions will grab it for you.”
“She’s a summoner,” Spud explains, “which mostly just means that she makes her minions do everything. She honestly makes this bar sound like a chore, but she’s now the richest person in the guild by a mile. She should thank Simon at this point.”
Tuff finally can’t stop himself from asking: “Who’s Simon?”
Soot meows in laughter. “Just a guildmate.”
Spud grimaces. “Trouble, more like.”
“A menace.” Catalina sighs, which seems to be her favorite reaction. “Anyway, enough about him. I think my little Pesto is hanging out with your friend Castor.”
“Castor’s here?” Tuff asks.
She nods, and waves her hands again, and there’s a strange meowing noise in response. A mushroom dryadcat very clumsily jumps onto the bartop and settles underneath Catalina’s paws, just as another cat, draped in a leaf, follows.
“Oh hey Tuff, fancy finding you here,” Castor says as he settles in. The little minion immediately goes back to him and flops down across his leaf hat. “Don’t mind Pesto. He’s fine unless he turns blue, then you should probably run.”
Tuff blinks slowly. “Blue.” The green minion stares at him with unblinking eyes. “Right.”
“The little guy knows how to cast a spell. Or eat one.” Castor laughs. “The merchant guild tried to buy him off of Catalina a bit ago. Have you met with them yet?” Tuff shakes his head. “They just got here for the festival yesterday. Worth hitting up if you’re planning on pushing into Grimalkin Grotto.”
Catalina joins in at that, her hat meowing with her sudden interest. “Oh, yes! I hope they’ve brewed some of their more interesting potions. The Potion of Invisibility is always good, and their Potion of Heroism somehow tastes like apples, I’m told. Are you going to buy one?”
Steadily more of the story comes together! These chapters are harder to write than most probably think, haha, but I'm having fun with it. There's a lot of: "But what if this isn't interesting / but what if this isn't weird enough"
TL;DR - typical writer things.
Hope you enjoy these new unlocks!! They definitely changed quite a bit just to fit the story!
🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia