Rogues of the April Deer
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Deer College Odyssey

The Buck Stops Here




by Spring-Only Broker Pansy the Pisshead (⁂pansies_masterpiece)

Since the beginning of history, there has been an unbreakable, solid bond between humans and alcohol. In times when humans had yet to figure out how to walk on two legs and wandered around between the woodlands and grasslands of East Africa1, they probably stuck their hands in tree hollows and licked the fermented juice out of them. Even today, it's not much different.

However, there is a more unorthodox bond between us Deer and booze - it's not some childish connection between the spelling of Beer and Deer, but rather something worse. The Speakeasy Festival, an abominable tradition that takes place the last week of April, is perhaps the best example. Let's take a look back at the history of Deer to find out more about this cursed festival.


For the first few years after its memorable inaugural year, Deer students did almost nothing student-like2. There was a simple reason for this; as Deer had very few faculty and students in its early days, there were no kiosks or grocery stores around campus, making it look like a 14th century monastery. In such an isolated piece of Three Portlands, students gasped with poor conditions and spent their days wandering the campus looking for the entrance to Canyon House, which would go missing every day.

The first instigator of the scheme is said to be a third-year student named Kibling. This fellow, then nineteen years old3, was a petite, good-natured but unserious student who always sat in the corner of a bar when he was not attending lectures. He desired to continue such a life even on campus, so he founded a secret4 society involving several other drunken students with similar circumstances to his.

They named their gathering the "Teenage Club". What a joke! Even in Three Portlands at that time, underage drinking was prohibited. But since the city police5 lacked enough low-ranking officers to detain mere students for underage drinking, the club was completely free to operate. They had built a secret cellar in a section of the Old Dorm Block, so that they could have a drinking session on campus at any time. In that time and age, rotten Deeries' nefarious deeds were still at such a low standard!


Until 1963, the Deer students had been enjoying peace. Aside from a number of skirmishes with ICSUT Portlands, most of the college's foul traditions that have endured to this day had yet to emerge. Indeed, the spring semester of 1963 was the root of all evil and the turning point of the age. After the Christmas break, the students who walked through the entrance gate of Deer, sullenly preparing for the resumption of their report-frightening days, were greeted by a dreaded rule that restricted drinking on campus to nighttime only.

This rule, enacted at the behest of the then college president Gringhuis, was prompted by an unfortunate accident that occurred during the final exam of the fall semester — A student neglected to generate a memory loop despite the fact that it is an elementary point always taught in an overview of hyper-algebraic theory, resulting in six grizzly bears to materialize in the examination hall. Seventeen people were wounded to varying degrees in the chaos, the south wing of Knorr Hall was sealed off, and Dean Betelgeuse was recalled from the academic conference to erase anomalous causal protections that had been granted to the bears.

The problem is, during the on-site inspection after the incident, a large amount of beer and wine were discovered under the floor of the examination hall. Many Deeries6 had believed that consuming the right amount of alcohol would help ease tension, relieve a stomachache, and provide the calmness needed to face the exam questions. Some unserious students even resorted to openly drinking in the examination hall as a silent protest against the professors who would not allow them to pass their papers.

It remains controversial whether the student who ended up solving the "grizzly bear arithmetic" was inebriated or not, but whatever the case, President Gringhuis decided to tighten discipline. The faculty council approved his policy after at least three brawls, and the new rules were enacted in the spring of 1964. The hours when alcohol could be consumed on campus were restricted to 20:00 to 1:00, and the places where drinking was allowed were also limited. Some facilities added restrictions on the act of drinking itself — At Haunted House, for example, only liquor that had been stored underground for at least three years could be consumed, and wine was required to contain a corpse preservative.

Even sixteen years after its founding, there were still few convenient facilities such as cafeterias and stores around Deer. Restricting alcohol consumption on campus provoked a backlash that would be unimaginable from the perspective of today's students, resulting in a sharp increase in conflicts with college authorities. What Gringhuis misunderstood was that, according to Matthew, "Man shall not live by bread alone."7 Students indulging in this simple pleasure that has been practiced since the dawn of time to survive the hellish college life were many more than he had imagined. In March, several students were arrested by the authorities and penalized for their service8, which created a very tense atmosphere on campus.

Under such circumstances, a particular notice was pinned up on the student bulletin board in front of Knorr Hall in mid-April, just before the final exam.

Dear Honored Students


Fifteen years of our efforts at Deer are now under threat. The recent decision by President Gringhuis means that the college upper management has been captivated by the temptation of wicked tyranny and has completely forgotten the philosophy of Deer, which is the free pursuit of intellectual curiosity.

Needless to quote Anacharsis, alcohol can bring some madness - academic madness! A flash of brilliance that strikes our brains like a thunderbolt, and Hypnos' right hand that instantly wipes it away into the rug of oblivion! A brief repose, a blissful slumber, followed by an incessant headache the next day! Frantic regret, and a return to the same place.

That is exactly what we seek. Free study, free speech, free action.

No matter what the chief of the scholars says, swear on six horns, the Deeries are free! We will not yield to oppression. There are only three things that can judge the Deeries; ​final exams, intensive lectures, final exams, and graduation thesis. Except for these, nothing and no one can stop us from indulging.

We, the Teenage Club, are proud to announce our resistance to the authorities. Our cellar will be unlocked, and there will be enough beer to quench the thirst of all our schoolmates. The rally is to be held on the 27th. Gather at the liberated zone.

The slogan is Speakeasy.

It is unclear by which member of the Teenage Club this notice was written. Despite the rudimentary counting error9, the effect of the announcement was substantial. Since students were already frustrated to the limit with final exams and graduation theses to be submitted very soon, having an outlet for their frustration turned the situation into a campus-wide movement.

Contrary to most people's expectations, no serious trouble arose. The banquet held on the banks of a lake around the Canyon was reportedly small and moderate, considering the number of attending students10. Apart from a few students who broke out into duels and were arrested by Community Safety, there was not much mess. The revelry began in the early afternoon and continued intermittently until the next morning, during which the college authorities practically tolerated it; the students dispersed after vowing to gather again next year for another festival11.


I have to admit that "out of the blue" is somewhat of an exaggerated headline.

1965 was a peaceful year. Gringhuis had retired and his successor, Heather "Hornless" Davis, was busy taking control of the college board, so the Teenage Club and its merry comrades basked in the afterglow of the previous year's victory. The banquet was a bit more modest than 1964.

The banquet was not held in 1966 — The night before, Community Safety raided a secret small room in the Old Dorm Block and seized at least several hundred gallons of alcoholic beverages and detained five students who were holding a pre-party feast. It is debatable whether the time was after 1:00 AM or not. The club argued that the temporal flow in the extended space was different from the standard time in Three Portlands, but the faculty council's tribunal dismissed this claim. The appeal plea was also rejected12.

What happened next was quite aggressive. President Davis exposed her blatant sadism to the public — The seized liquors were turned into fresh water through a cleansing enchantment by her own hands, and then released into the lake that was to be the banquet site. By the end of the fourth period lectures, the spectacle could be seen from most of the campus buildings that existed back then.

Many Deeries were horrified by the sight of the golden liquid pouring out of a cluster of beer barrels suspended at thirty meters above the ground, turning transparent in mid-air and raining down into the lake; however, some students made their rebellious spirit dangerously strong. What this exemplary punishment brought about would become clear years later.


In the early 1970s, Deer was in a rough spot. President Davis' long administration was becoming increasingly harsh, and Community Safety Team was reduced to tools of oppression. However, there were no major incidents worth documenting. By this time the dean-level faculty members, including the president, had begun to be assaulted by desperate students wanting credits around the time of the annual examinations — But then again, someone who can't compete with failed students who have no chance of passing their final exams would not be able to teach at Deer.

However, the situation was developing under the radar. Clipper Strouse was a re-enrolled student and one of the few Deeries who experienced the damnable crackdown of '6613. He conducted his secret research day and night in the basement of MadSci, and finally reached its esoteric depths. This was the birth of a homebrew beer, which is the specialty of Deer to this very day. He named his invention "Gold Longhorn," but never told anyone where the recipe originated, which led to a lot of speculation.

Despite the fact that the entire process from raw material production to brewing took place on campus, this provocative golden beverage successfully managed to fool the Deer College authorities completely. Strouse apparently enlisted the help of some faculty members, and also partnered with several companies in Three Portlands to improve his industrial-grade liquid filtration equipment — Behind this advanced industry-academia collaboration agreement lurked the ambition to sell this Deer-made moonshine throughout Three Portlands.

His ambition came to a half-hearted fruition. In April of '71, he decided to avenge the humiliating defeat of five years earlier. Since the Speakeasy slogan was already a legend in Deer, Strouse connected it with his home-brewed beer and planned to serve it in a guerrilla marketing style, completely free of charge. To ensure his safety, he even prepared a feather of Hermes as an escape tool.

His plan, backed by volunteer students, was crashed a few days before it was to be carried out. The Three Portlands Police Department arrested Strouse's dealers for selling tax-qualified alcoholic beverages without a city sales license and, after uncovering the cabal through their network, demanded an exorbitant amount of surcharge.

Strouse disappeared from Three Portlands before the day was out as he fled to the swamplands of La Rue. His minions were also gone in a puff of smoke. Surprisingly, his basement was left untouched — Aurendil, a fourth-year student in the Division of Unnatural Sciences and a member of MadSci Community Council, had disguised Strouse's brewing equipment as an experimental device for the Alchemy Department Liquid Homunculus Competition and successfully evaded the TTPD's investigation. It is surely no coincidence that the frame of his portrait hanging on the third floor of MadSci is adorned with gold antlers.

While the original creator of the "Gold Longhorn" disappeared from the history of Deer14, the Speakeasy tradition persisted in a curiously altered form. As the name originally implies, the Speakeasy was associated with moonshine, and it became a secret tradition that was quietly practiced in "Prohibition-era" Deer.

There was another incident that year. Community Safety's ferocious enforcement finally extended to sports. The first of these was the annual rugby match between Deer and ICSUT. In the midst of a home game for the Deeries, the Safety Team interrupted a curse-fest between the two audiences and tried to take away the beer from them; their brutality drew fierce condemnation, and the pitch on Deer side turned into a bloody mayhem. Fortunately nobody was killed, and Davis was forced to explain herself on the incident, keeping her men quiet for a while. Perhaps this ensured the eventual victory of the Deeries.

For years following this event, both sides moderated their radical actions. It's not very fair that sacrifices has to be made to calm the boiling blood in your brain. Dudenay, the 1970 head of the French Department, unfortunately got involved in the conflict that resulted in the stretching of his shoulder blades by six meters, which has since interfered with his everyday life. The fact that he still receives sympathetic letters is probably a sign of Deeries' slight remaining conscience.


Although uneventful in every sense of the word, 1977 is still noteworthy as the year the infamous President Davis retired. A scheme to rain wine down at her retirement ceremony and dye her prized school cap red was nearly carried out, but somehow never happened. I suppose even Deeries didn't think it was morally right to spit on the back of the departing president, or maybe they just got scared. When I look at her impressive record in witchcraft duels after she retired, I can't bring myself to denounce the Deeries of that time who spared their own lives.


By the 1980s, it became apparent that Deeries' perseverance was the key to eventual victory. Initially, President Bragdon followed the wishes of his predecessor in his attempts to keep alcohol off campus in order to protect the healthy spirit of Deeries. But he had much more human tastes than Davis — When it was discovered that he always drank two beers after dinner, it became paramount to bring this delightful bearded hunk to the side of the students at all costs.

At a Christmas party in 1981, the bribed members of the student government conspired to replace the contents of Bragdon's mug with "Gold Longhorn" beer15. He drank it down unaware, and then, with a twinkle in his eyes, said that today's beer made him feel better than any other he had ever had before. That was the result Deeries had desired, the moment of victory.

As a result of their fearsome efforts to bribe successive student government associations, Community Safety's mid-level captains, college security guards, student cafeteria guards, and numerous other staff members with both tangible and intangible benefits, the descendants of the Teenage Club16 had gained unprecedented access to the college's executive administration. Soon the president's dinner table was always served with our moonshine.

One evening, Svensson, who was then the student government chairman, whispered the truth in the president's ear. This was the moment when six years of our activities came to fruition.

Frankly speaking, I doubt that it was really worth all this enthusiasm and effort to win back the right to drink freely on campus. Maybe it was just a matter of pride and anti-establishment ideology on the part of the Deeries, and the truth is that people were not that interested in booze.

Anyway, a historic statement was made in March of 1985. Although President Bragdon, a fair-minded educator, never admitted to the various acts of oppression that had taken place in the past and maintained the view that the college was properly managing campus discipline, he did declare that "some outdated rules need to be streamlined." The rules established by Gringhuis were repealed; the distribution of "Gold Longhorn" beer on campus was fully guaranteed, and it was agreed that legitimate taxes would be paid to Three Portlands through the college.

April 24th of 1985 was a Wednesday. The banquet on the lake shore was officially named the SpeakEasy Festival for the first time. It should be noted that more than thirty faculty members attended the grand drinking party, including Bragdon himself. All members of the Deer rugby team, who had been specially invited, got so badly drunk that they caused a disastrous defeat in their subsequent game, and from the following year all sports teams with official games in May has been banned from attending the banquet. The only exception is the Quidditch team17.


Thus, the eighteen years-long conflict between the college administration and Deeries concluded. As everyone knows, the SpeakEasy Festival is now known as the last celebration before the final exams. After this fiesta, there are only exams, papers, and a few sports games. We drink a lot and rejuvenate ourselves before going to the last battles of the year.

The 24th of this year is a Tuesday. The ceremony will be held at 17:00 on the shore of the lake. The first day should be low-key — If you want to invite your sweetheart, Wednesday night would be a good time. Concerts go on all day Friday, and summer skating starts at noon on Saturday.

Let's enjoy the last one week before we plunge into hell.

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