Ital Market

There is a section of Tolkeen noted for its pungent smells and chaotic sounds. Few humans dare to tread its cobblestones.   It is the I-tal market. It is a center of ethnic foods, foods that are as close to a deebee's native diet as can be made possible here on Rifts Earth.   There are rows of cages full of live animals. Slaughterhouses line the alleys and rooftop gardens grow rare and priceless fruits and vegetables. Spice merchants ply their trade on the outskirts trying to lure passersby with their fragrant products and natural remedies. But as one approaches the center of the market, one might catch a glimpse of sights better left unseen as that is where the cannibalistic and sacrificial dietary needs are satisfied.

Purpose / Function

In the The Church of Bob, there is a belief in sanctity of Ital, food that has not been processed by man. While original Rastafarian beliefs tended to understand this as food that is as Jah presents it, the followers of the The Church of Bob, especially in Tolkeen, have interpreted this to mean food that is not corrupted by humans or that even comes from Earth. They believe that Itality is true to the original diet of their homeworlds, or whatever their non-human origin may be.   Needless to say, some creatures can achieve their native diets more faithfully than others. This market exists to serve this demand as much as possible.

Architecture

The slaughterhouses are consolidated to a two-block area, and the drains run red, and blue, and green, with blood. Under this section is an arcade full of basins, vats and piping to collect the blood for myriad uses.   This subterranean space is full of collonnades supporting the many-domed ceiling and shadows cast by suspended lights and shuffling attendants give it the apearance of infinite expanse.

Tourism

The Ital market is a center of gravity for deebees of all shapes and sizes, but is also well-visited by elite chefs from as far away as the Federation of Magic. It is also a popular subject of adolescent dares, as young humans and others sneak in to spy on or even partake in some of the more unique or gross processes and foods.
There is a certain view of ital foods held by some Mutant Animals. Although mutant animals are as much human as they are animal, the aversion to humanness and the embrace of non-humanness that is the core driver behind Tolkeen's version of Rastafarianism has led many mutant animals to deny thier humanity and embrace their source animal predecessor's nature. This leads many mutant animals to seek diets restricted to what their animal would eat if it had not been mutated with human DNA. Needless to say, this is not the healthiest choice for many, but they view it as spiritually pure.


Cover image: Alien Market by Joao Paulo

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