Thursday, February 12, 2009

Newbie tune

The "Dish and the Fiddle" is a bar where the Lost hang out. Mortals who find the place are in one of two categories: either they're the enchanted companions of one of the patrons, or they were very definitely looking for some other place. It's a fairly common phenomenon for places owned, operated and frequented by the Lost. There's no way to know whether it's some kind of trade-secret Contract similar to the one that maintains Goblin Markets, or a not-quite-Noble bestowment, or just something that the Lost generate instead of dandruff.

A selling point is that there's an ever-changing cast of live music. No two acts are ever exactly alike, except for two things. The first is that they all tend to be some variation of folk music. The other is an unbroken tradition. The first time that any newcomer sets foot into the place, no matter who happens to be playing, the band immediately breaks out in the unofficial Newbie Anthem. You've heard it before. It's officially called "Mad About Me", though most non-Star Wars fans just call it the "Creature Cantina Theme".

I've heard some of the more literary-minded among the Lost describe it as the archetypal theme to "Crossing of the First Threshold" in the Hero's Journey. Most of the rest of us just say that it's like an announcement that "you're not in Kansas anymore, Toto". And damn if it isn't worth it for the looks some of the accidental tourists get on their faces. We all maintain our Masks, of course, and unless they come in with the means to see past such deception, the mortal visitors only see a strange cross-section of perfectly human demographics. It's still somewhat unsettling, though, because the "Dish and Fiddle" doesn't have a recognizeable 'vibe' that mortal barflies could 'tune in' on and use.

And that's the way we like it.

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