Drinks of the Reach

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Author (in-game): Fjoridda of Voljar's Meadery

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Fjoridda of Voljar’s Meadery If there’s one thing that Reachmen want from the lands nearby, it’s good strong drink: Nord ale, Breton brandy, Cyrodilic wine—whatever they can get their hands on. Much of the Reach is unsuited for the vineyards, barley fields, or domesticated beehives needed to produce the sort of potables that other lands turn out in such great quantities, but lots of Reachfolk have a liking for strong drink. It’s one of the few commodities the Reach is willing to trade for when they can’t steal it.

While most of the more open-minded Reachmen get their drink in trade, others who don’t have much contact with the merchants of the outside world have to make do with what they have on hand. If you travel deep into the Reach, you’ll come across Reach-made drink soon enough, generally in the form of hard ciders or a vile fermented sheep’s milk called “klef.”

Reach ciders run the gamut from dark, musty, and sweet—a decent if heavy press—to a clear, sour brew that’s more of an acquired taste. It depends on the variety of apples used and the time of year they’re pressed. Apple orchards are few and far between in the Reach, but plenty of wild apples grow in the forests and river valleys. The clans that live in those regions each have their own preferred method for brewing up their favorite cider. Some turn out good, and some are horse swill.

Klef. Well, klef is what you make when all you have are sheep. I’ve never known an outlander who could stomach the stuff. In fact, I think the Reachfolk who claim to like klef drink it just to prove how much discomfort they can endure. It’s a test of courage, I suppose. But most Reachfolk don’t even pretend to like klef. They just drink it to get drunk.

And that’s why Reachmen are some of my best customers.

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