There's a difference between living and surviving.  
— Heoi, Hākari-Kaia while trying to convince someone to eat deep-fried Heza
    Hākari-Kaia are Kaia who have focused their attention on finding delicious food and rare ingredients to the exclusion of all others. They leave the hunt for ores and oddities to others, preferring to chase dangerous but tasty beasts and strange but succulent mushroom. To the Hākari-Kaia, a bland dish is an abomination.      

Explorers of Cuisine and Caves

There are none better to have at your back when you need to prepare a really great pot of Chnagahn!  
  While most Kaia are focused on discovery, wealth and necessity, the Hākari-Kaia seek rare delights of food and drink. There is no better way to light up a dreary and miserable cave, the Hākari-Kaia say, than with the smell of a great meal. Many view them as odd or even crazed, but they are just as popular as other Kaia when they visit - perhaps even more so, as they usually bring with them an unusual feast.   Hākari-Kaia split their time roughly between finding the latest delight to add to their menu, some rare and wondrous ingredient, and experimenting with existing ones. While their rare discoveries is a luxury reserved for the wealthy and powerful, the Hākari-Kaia know that most will never eat such fine dining and seek to make the most of more readily available material. As a result, Hākari-Kaia tend to be both popular and well-connected, at least as long as times are good.   There are much fewer Hākari-Kaia than there are Kaia and the two sometimes compete. This is fine by the Hākari-Kaia: such contest stirs the appetite.      

Skills & Abilities

  Despite their focus, the Hākari-Kaia are still Kaia. They are experts at navigating the caves and tunnels of Araea, capable of identifying a wide range of flora and fauna, and survive in places where others would surrender. However, Hākari-Kaia are not usually as good at identifying minerals, ores or other non-edible things. They are on the average greater warriors and their team compositions tend to skew towards Kaia-Heoa (warriors) and Kaia-Gai (logistics), as their prey quite often fights back.  
Mmm.. That smells real good. What is it?  
  In addition, each Hākari-Kaia team have at least one expert chef. These may or may not accompany the expeditions themselves, sometimes chosing to focus more on their cooking and research than the procurement itself. Most Hākari-Kaia are at very least good chefs and many chose a specialty to focus on: brewing, smoking, meat or fungi, and so on.      

Becoming Hākari-Kaia

  The rite and initiation to become one of the Hākari-Kaia are much like those of becoming another Kaia, except with the added requirement of cooking and tasting. Some Hākari-Kaia teams require their initiates to be able to cook them a meal they find pleasing before they are welcomed even as an apprentice, though this isn't always the case.   Once an apprentice has been accepted, their route is much like among the Kaia. There is no set time of training or apprenticeship, with the initiate becoming one of the Hākari-Kaia proper only when the rest of the team deem them ready for the honor. The celebratory feasts, however, stand out from regular Kaia.   Even more than Kaia, Hākari-Kaia guilds are found in larger settlements. City-states such as Mharaji and Dūbavum - the Drowning City both have several guilds of Hākari-Kaia.    
Try anything. You never know what you might think!  
— Heoi, Hākari-Kaia while trying to convince someone to eat deep-fried Heza

The Explorers of the Deep

  The Kaia are highly respected profession of explorers and adventurers. More than one settlement have avoided starvation or poverty when Kaia have braved unknown and dangerous territory to find new resources. Even with all the time that humanity have spent in the underground, most of Araea remain unexplored.   Read more about the Kaia - The Explorers of the Deep        

Cuisine in the Caves

  In a world without sunlight, food has taken on a different flavor. Mushroom, fungi and insect are the staple of most, with meat coming mostly from rodents, lizards or fish. In Araea, people make the most of what they can find and almost everything is tried at least once. The Hākari-Kaia embody this principle of culinary curiosity, even if it is driven by necessity.   Read more about Cuisine in the Caves    

Bug Pot Party!

  One of the most wide-spread and popular meals in the cave is Chnagahn: a boiling broth into which raw ingredients are dipped and then consumed. As much an event as it is a meal, Chnagahn is something that bind communities and families together. Every Hākari-Kaia worth her salt is capable of producing some of the best pots of Chnagahn in the caves and the parties they host are legendary.   Read more about Chnagahn    
by Keiko Pham

Cover image: by Richard Dorran


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17 Dec, 2018 12:14

food magicians? count me IN! i love the idea of a whole culture dedicated around food too, really gets the belly rumbling!   I wonder if there are unspoken (or spoken and enforced) limits to what the Hākari-Kaia will turn into a meal? Will they stop at corpses of their own kind? Corpses of other sapient creatures? Sacred mushrooms? Poisonous substances? Or do they go ham and eat everything??

18 Dec, 2018 15:58

Out of curiosity, what makes you call them "magicians"? :)   Same kind of limits as in most society (and logic): don't eat poison stuff, don't eat people. I'm sure there are more extreme Hekari who will stretch those rules, too...   Thanks for reading :) I am glad you liked it

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
18 Dec, 2018 20:53

mostly your usage of ‘procure’ with the food making! reminds me of a magic potion, which is cool! plus the imagery of a Hākari-Kaia whipping up a delicious meal for the whole crew seems kinda magical in my opinion!   oh geez, being fed literal poison and/or body parts of any person sounds less than appetizing! but i kinda wanna read about it now, a Hākari-Kaia gone mad while still retaining a food-centered ideology...

18 Dec, 2018 08:28

This is a great tie back to Chnagahn! This does a lovely job further contextualizing the meals into the world and making the place feel very livable, I love it.

Admin of the WA Codex & Discord

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18 Dec, 2018 15:57

Thanks! I'm glad you like it! :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
12 Mar, 2022 16:42

I love their philosophy XD Though how often do they get poisoned from just attempting to taste anything that moves? XD

To see what I am up to:WE list of articles and goals.
25 Mar, 2022 10:20

Very regularly - I should add something about that, and about their hired (or "hired") food testers :D   Thank you :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
4 Sep, 2022 22:47

I enjoyed a lot the articles about the Kaia and their different skills. But I think Hākari-Kaia are my fave! Because I love food and they seem like a fun bunch.