Day 4 of the World Building blog hop, hosted by Sharon Bayliss.
Food, Drink, Holidays, and Culture
Chikara has four festivals, each on the eve of the new quarter annual: Travad, Ruis, Mau, and Braum. The palace doors are opened and all are welcomed to partake in the food, drink, and dancing. For towns not near any of the elemental palaces, they host their own festival. It is commonly agreed upon that everyone should be included in the festivities.
Food and drink in Chikara is very similar to the natural resources found on our world. They have livestock for meat and raw, unprocessed fruit and vegetables. The elementals restrict the humans from building anything such as factories, so if the food can’t be processed by hand, then it isn’t processed. However spoiled food isn’t an issue. The land produces enough food for everyone, ripe and never rotting while still in connection with the earth element. The humans learned to only take what they need for a meal, a day, or a journey, and leave the rest.
I can’t mention food without bringing up Jebaliah Lumenor Kade, a girl of sixteen and the best darn cook in all the provinces. And that’s not boasting. From the day of her birth, she had been taught of all the herbs and spices Chikara has to offer by her father, Han Kade, a very old gardens keeper. Since she had taken her first step, she’d been educated in the kitchens and taught the cooking trade. Her mother, who died in child birth, was a cook and Han wanted Jebaliah to know as much about her mother’s life as possible. Plus Han really likes to eat. Jebaliah assumed control over the Halqua palace kitchens at age fourteen and now, two annuals later, owns them.
Due to the restrictions set in place by the elementals, Chikara may seem a little antiquated compared to our world. There are no motorized vehicles, no electronics, no guns, and no telephones. Clothing is tailored and can’t be mass produced, so much of it is sewn to fit multiple body sizes with adjustable waistbands and strings and eyelets. Cloaks are preferred to coats because they can be easily shared without having to worry about size.
When Derek arrives on Chikara and strikes a deal with Alistair Hobbs to exchange service for transport and clothing, he trades in his jeans and t-shirt for wool pants and a linen shirt. The pants are generic with an open waist and long belt sewn to the back. The fabric is gathered in the front and pleated flat. The belt is then tied tightly to hold it in place around the waist. The legs are tucked into the boots to keep from dragging on the ground. The top is long sleeved with the torso tightened by lacing a string through eyelets, much like a shoe, and adjustable for whatever comfortable width. There are laces at the elbows and wrists to adjust sleeve length.
Gypsies are another part of Chikara’s culture. They wander all the provinces, trading exotic, other-worldly items and performing plays and songs and dances. They always welcome strangers to their fire and are known to be some of the most hospitable and entertaining people around, but never stay in one place for very long. They are free spirits, loving life without responsibility. It is rumored that LaTonya Embrathael Aerwether, daughter of Thanmir Harim and Thanmir Suuri, known as the Clan Crosser, lives among the gypsies, and that she transports to other worlds, returning with foreign goods and the occasional person or animal.