From the journal of Mme Celia H Faucons, Epicurean explorer, 18 July, 1897: At the outskirts of inhabited London sits Mrs Plenty's Most Distracting Carnival. If you can part with a small sum of moon-pearls you can buy entry into this funfair. If you cannot, the workers will be happy to accept a secret or two instead. It seems that information is the true currency here in the Neath. On the surface, this carnival seems no different from its sun-drenched counterparts. It is an assault on the senses, to say the least. An array of lights line the paths between colorful tents, and a lively, maddening tune echoes through the cavern air. The refreshments pavilion emanates strong, unusual aromas. Naturally, I gravitated here. Instead of candy floss and peanuts, a smattering of Neath exclusive snacks are offered. The hot spiced wine and spore toffee are invigorating and surprisingly enjoyable, especially considering their fungal origins. Subterranean chefs really should be lauded for their creative use of the abundant toadstools. I suppose necessity truly is the mother of invention. However, the longer I stayed in this world of smoke and mirrors, the more I sensed a darker underpinning beginning to emerge. Looking past the laughing revelers, one starts to notice pairs of more somber visitors here and there. Clandestine meetings between factions of the Neath, I was later told. I could almost admire the brilliance of it. What better place to exchange information than under the tents of a raucous, bustling circus at the edge of civilization? Where whispered words are drowned out by merriment, and faces are blurred amidst a dizzying display of amusements. In a world of rainbows, hardly anyone notices a shadow. A most distracting carnival indeed.
High caffeine | Steep at 212° for 4 minutes.
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