Dwarven Bacon

Asantha And The Bacon

  "In the land of the ancients, was told a tale,
Of a land across the sea.
A land that was home to bird and beast,
Where grew the sweet vine and dragon tree.

Those who made the voyage saw heavens come to earth
And the ocean meet the sky.
And for all the gold in a noble's worth,
This was something they could never buy.

Sail across the ocean deep,
Sail away to the east.
Sail away to the precious land,
The home of beauty released.

It is told that there was a wondrous food,
Made from the wild boars that roamed.
Dwarven Bacon was cured and smoked
Served feasts when travelers returned home.

Sail across the ocean deep,
Sail away to the east.
Sail away to the precious land,
The home of beauty released.

No one has tasted the meat of these boars
Since the days of the unending cold.
No one has found the isle of beauty and lore
No ship has been so bold.

Will the Dwarven Bacon ever be tasted?
Does this heaven on earth still exist?
How many lives will be lost or wasted,
Travelling through the mists?

Sail across the ocean deep,
Sail away to the east.
Sail away to the precious land,
The home of beauty released.

Summary

The island continent of Mosai Mekape (Asantha) was once a destination for the wealthy to visit, kept as a wildlife refuge by law.   But since the events of The Cataclysm and The 30-Year Winter, no one has been know to set foot alive on Asantha.   One of the delicacies brought back from Asantha prior to The Cataclysm was Dwarven Bacon. This prized meat was smoked and cured from the belly of wild boars found on Asantha,   Since it has been nearly 5,000 years since anyone has seen or tasted this delicacy, it has been imbued with stories of magical import, from giving additional life to building stronger muscles. Given its name, many believe it was a meat that was originally prepared by Dwarves, and so many a Dwarf has the belief that Dwarven Bacon is sacred, and only for the consumption of Dwarves.   It is also believed that the consumption of Dwarven Bacon can foretell the outcome of battle, making it highly desired by more aggressive cultures.

Historical Basis

Dwarven Bacon was originally the belly meat (a type of pork belly) from the slaughtered Pygmy Asanthan Wild Boar (Porci Asanti). These boars roamed freely on Asantha. So freely, that they began to overrun the resorts where travelers lodged. In a change from the general law that governed Asantha, it was decided that any boars that entered ther resorts could be caprtured and slaughtered, but that they must be used in their entirety. This meant that all parts of the pig, bones included, needed to be used for something. Hides were used for leather-making, while many bones were ground for use as bone-meal in fertilizing agricultural crops back on the mainland.   Dwarven Bacon (a fanciful name for the meat) was made using the boar belly. Sliced away as an entire slab, it was then cured with sea salt extracted from the local seawater. Given the thick kelp forests offshore, this water had both a high salinity and an almost herbal aftertaste that permeated the bacon. The bacon was first brined in the seawater with ground peppercorns, wrapped in kelp leaves. The brining process lasted four days, after which the kelp was removed, and the slab set in a drying building where the sea breezes passed through removing much of the moisture. This also left behind a thin crust of sea salt.   The slab was then moved to a second building for smoking. Here, dried kelp and wood from native fruit trees was used to create a cold smoke which was allowed to permeate the slab for two days. The resulting slab was then known as Dwarven Bacon. It was used in a variety of dishes, and eas most often sold as a solid chunk or slab, allowing the consumer to decide how they wanted to portion it. Most commonly, it was cut into thin slices, while nearly as often it would be diced and crisped.   After the The 30-Year Winter, the loss of airships to Asantha mean the end of Dwarven Bacon as a commodity. Many have tried to replace it with their own recipes, but none can be the same given the specific methods and ingredients used in making the original. Indeed, it is unknown if the boars, or any of the flora and fauna on Asantha, made it past the Cataclysm.

Spread

The story of Dwarven Bacon was common throughout Arnathia after the Cataclysm, as it helped many individuals survive. Because of the brining and curing menthods, many locations had some of the bacon on hand in their supplies, and it aided in their survival. This gave Dwarven Bacon an elevated status. Of course, by the time a decade had passed after The Cataclysm, all supplies of Dwarven Bacon had long since been exhausted.   The meat began to take on a legendary status. Since it helped many to survive a harsh and difficult time, Dwarven Bacon began to gain a notoriety as a "life-saver". Over time, this morphed into it acting as a healing agent, or something that added strength. Stories began to be told about how the meat was provided by gods for strength and power. And of course, Dwarves created their own mythos about the meat, imbuing it with magical properties including the belief that it would help grow beards that were long, thick, and nearly impenetrable.

Variations & Mutation

The most common variation is that believed by Dwarves. But others also exist.   For example, in the country of Kheghwuhyahr, where Dwarves are looked down upon, the idea of Dwarven Bacon is considered an abomination. There are two variants there in Kheghwuhyahr. The first is the belief that Dwarven Bacon is actually made from Dwarves. The belief is that the when a Dwarf dies in battle, their body is processed and the flesh used for the bacon.   The second variant in Kheghwuhyahr is the belief that Dwarven Bacon is cursed, and eating it will cause an individual to fall ill and die, This is likely due to someone ingesting a badly preserved piece of pork belly that was purported to be Dwarven Bacon, and getting ill from trichinosis.   Finally, among aggressive nations, it is believed that eating Dwarven Bacon can give an individual the ability to see the outcome of battles before they happen. In these cultures, the bacon is said to only be available to specific leaders so they can do their battle planning.

In Art

The idea of Dwarven Bacon has appeared in many pieces of art, including music. The song "Asantha and the Bacon" (above) is a prime example of one of these pieces of music telling the tale of the bacon.
All Images created BY Kahuna the Elder, with source materials from Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash, Artbreeder and public domain sources.
Date of First Recording
Unknown, told throughout Arnathian history since the Cataclysm

Comments

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12 Jul, 2021 17:45

Yep, you completely had me at the title of "Dwarven Bacon". The rest? It was just icing on the ... uh ... bacon? bacon!   The song is just so great and a nice start to the article! Halfway through, I felt the urge to try and sing it. :D   I'm also picturing a haggard explorer, who finds a lost storehouse... he goes inside and ( que Hollywood angelic chanting and lens flare ) sees a slab of preserved Dwarven Bacon on a shelf!   In my read through, I did notice this typo: "Given the theick kelp forestrs offshore" ... I think you mean "Given the thick kelp forests offshore" right?   Really, all told, I'm loving this one! Nice work!

— The wolf of Tales of Justice, Creator of Legends of Elohey, Star Wars: Shards, Fiven Chronicles and more!
12 Jul, 2021 18:26

Thank you sir! Off to fix typos!

Kahuna the Elder aka Leo - www.kahunatheelder.com Creator of Arnathia
12 Jul, 2021 19:47

From meme to article XD

12 Jul, 2021 21:13

It has been immortalized!

Kahuna the Elder aka Leo - www.kahunatheelder.com Creator of Arnathia
Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
20 Jul, 2021 00:48

5,000 years without bacon?! Say it ain't so!

20 Jul, 2021 18:32

Bacon was available. But not true Dwarven Bacon. Which yes, could be a tragedy.

Kahuna the Elder aka Leo - www.kahunatheelder.com Creator of Arnathia
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