The Search for Vegan Cheese Takes One to the Wildest Places
Mummer Nums is the oldest surviving tradition of the Bardagi, at a whopping sixteen years old... wait... for once I, the Book of Knowledge am struck by a sensation I don't recognise... no... it couldn't be... am I...
This cannot be right.
You are fraying my bookmark, Sir.
"Nnnnope! It's true."
The Bardagi's oldest living tradition is the act of dressing in elaborate plant and rock based disguises to hurtle themselves through the Plasma Plain for a rare form of tree grown cheese? You dogear my pages!
"Yep! Ey, my dude it's kinda fun once you stop shrieking in terror."
"Don't knock it till you try it, I dove into the sea after my little sib, think I wouldn't dress in a hollowed out rock and run through a meteor plain with plasma geisers for gouda to feed the hungry? Ooo nah man, feta. Really good feta."
I hardly see the correlation between attempting to save Icarus Areides and hurtling yourself through lethal dangers for cheese.
"It's really good cheese. Worth the battle damage."
Well, as you're the only Human to have experienced this... culinary ritual... in the first place, I suppose needs must believe. As incredulous as I remain. It's not like the Bardagi have kitchens, I recognize this is likely as close as they get to haute cuisine.
A hastily rendered drawing by Lou from memory of his and Minitron's experience surviving the Mummer Nums.
When hunger strikes, the creative get desperate enough to drape themselves in the cast off shells of armoured blossoms and molted animal carcasses in order to eat something other than Gummi Goo (which incidentally grows on cave walls and is apparently a form of mobile slime creature) or the carbohydrate forward petals of defeated Omnomnom Lilies.
The Bardagi learned of the NumNum trees as they learned about all things in their Realm. A blooming, and bloody accident. According to the oldest sage of their people (a 28 year old named Agastaberthe Stoob), one particularly brave Bardagi whose name was lost to time was chasing a marshmallow minotaur, when the creature pitched them through the air and across the plasma geyser riddled plains into a patch of forest.
This Forest of Snackies was none other than the personal snack stable of the child gods Bar and Dag, their favourite noshable being the diminutive wheels of cheese wrapped in wax leaves which grew on strangely pink trees. Even one wheel of cheese can feed most Bardagi enclaves for days, and is a welcome bit of savoury cuisine in the otherwise saccarine domain.
It also means the gods have a vested interest in protecting their yummiest snack, and choose violence whenever they catch a puny Bardagi attempting to filch their lunch.
The first step in executing the Mummers Num ritual is as follows... what? What now, Enomotarch Areides?
"You're making it sound all hoitey-toitey. Lighten up, Bookity Dude!"
Well, how would you explain it!?
"First. Find the molted shell of a Bubble Puppy or a cast off bucket blossom with eye holes poked out. In a pinch you can use armour petals, but they chafe and it is not a vibe. Then. Get a group. It's impossible to do the Mummer's Num alone, 'cause there'd be nobody to pick up your body if you get smoked by a plasma geyser or one of the gods makes ya, and pitches meteors at your head..."
"Yeah. And here's the fun part. The NumNum trees are on the other side of the Plasma Plains, so. You scream a plan of attack, cause like heck anyone can hear a whisper when you're stuck inside a bucket blossom, and then?"Yes!? What happens then, Enomotarch Leander!? What happens then!?
"The bravest among you shrieks a war cry and you run through the explosive field dekeing around meteors that spew hot glitter until you make it to the treeline, one of you crawls out of your bucket blossom and ya fill the bucket with as much ripe NumNum cheese as you can before putting the bucket on your head and running back the way you came shrieking for your lives!"... The oldest tradition in Bardagi culture is... dressing in the cast off armour of flora and fauna and... shrieking wildly through a field of lethal impediments to harvest cheese...
"The worst that can happen is the gods catch you and everyone gets beaned by meteors. The second worst that can happen is they bean the cheese and make bucket blossom fondue. Not bad, with unitaur steaks, but the glitter gets stuck in your teeth and they have not discovered dental hygiene."
The Mummer is the bravest of a Bardagi enclave, who being possessed with sweets fatigue, decides there is no recourse but to traverse the lethal mountains (they are not plains anymore, they simply are not, Sir!)...
"For now, wait a couple weeks and check back. Mountains'll be flattened, alright."
... and procure savoury, cheesy goodness with the aide of any Bardagi both brave enough and possessing most of their limbs to make the trip.
Once the cheese has been procured, the entire enclave feasts in the fashion of all Bardagi culinary etiquette.
"Shove that food in your gob as quick as you can and burp loud enough to frighten the beasts away, before the cave you're in gets crushed by another meteor."
This explains much of you at the dinner table. You've gone Bardagi.