Estebyel

While many prefer to have the Estebyel as the main aspect of a dish, I find it can complement nearly anything if you know the right strain to use. Add just a pinch of crushed fire-lilly and you can add a sweet spice to any dish that any species can enjoy.

It's hard to work around the underlying bitter taste for Humi and Tsohtsi, so for those kinds of clients I use just a bit. Add too much you'll hear spitting from the dinner table swiftly followed by shouts for a refund.

There are just as many ways to add Estebyel as there are to cook. I know of a chef in Thaul whose only mastery is the knowledge of what preparation technique does what, and what strain tastes how. It's funny, he can't even boil pasta, but he'll be able to season that pasta to make a flavor profile you'll never experience again in your life. He gave me one piece of advice: an estebyel's bitterness is directly correlated to the amount of Saykzuyg-light they get. More shade means more bitterness. Thinking on it, I belive that may be his nya, now it all make sense.
— Chef Alura

Cultivation

The only similarity between 100+ sub-species of estebyel is that they produce a crystalline byproduct of their terra-chemosynthesis. The major proponent of the vast evolutionary divergence between the strains is cultivation, agriculture, rela. Many were bred with one distinct feature, an excess extrusion of a crystalline structure. However, some were bred for paper in areas that other paper-proper plants had a hard time growing. Some still weren’t grown for quantity, but for flavor profiles. Want a sour strain, it exists; want a strain that tastes like candy, you'll find it in your local candy shop or at your local candy maker (Candied fire-byel is a favorite among the Chiran). The environmentally-driven river-bottom strain eaten by Bohbaegzjul have stubby leaves and a few long stems that create small gemstones of the Drmiøzlk.

Drmiøzlk

It's not the watery crystals, the Drmiøzlk, that contain the nutrients and flavors, but the micro-ecosystems inside. Drmiøzlk are porous, rich in nutrients not wanted by the plant. So, other tiny critters find sustenance and shelter within the hard walls. Then other, slightly bigger, critters find food too, the things eating the Drmiøzlk; they find shelter within the walls, too. In no time at all, one inch of crystal is bored out and filled to the brim with its own environment. And because a strain of estebyel excretes only what they find in thier environment and in a way that is unique to the strain, each one will have a slightly different, but overall similar micro-ecosystem to its neighbors. Any boons were quickly discovered to be enhanced by selective breeding.

Because Drmiøzlk is so healthy, many creatures find room for it in their diet. Or, like the main pedler of the plant's value, the Roqbherg, some species are wholely dependant on Drmiøzlk as their main or even sole food source. And like many evolutionary dances, estebyel find that one of the most efficient ways to spread their seeds and give their seeds the micro-biome they need to thrive is to put their seeds in the crystal.

Domestication

Roqbherg, being the intelligent people they are, have long since adopted agriculture and cultivated estebyel. Over a few thousand years, vast empires rose and fell to the success or failure of a yield. Nowadays, many large corporations own vast tiered farms that grow enumerable amounts of just one strain. History has shown this is a bad model, but the lucrative strains are just too enticing to grow much else. Luckily, many small-scale farmers, enthusiasts, and specialists will grow other variants -- at a markup of course.

This is not to say that the wild strains have gone extinct, though some have due to neglect or not knowing they exist. On the contrary, the domestication and spread of estebyel have had them stronger than ever, even being counted as invasive species in some areas. Foragers may go out to find a rare strain deep in the woods that only sprouts during a few nights in the year. Or, a strain is just too bitter for all but some select species that it's just left alone. Regardless of how they're discovered and uncovered, they persist as a silent constant of Kald.
Rela - sophont creatures
Saykzuyg - The soluar ring that encircles the world
Nya - An individuals unique magic

Life Cycle

But how would they get genetics from another plant when their offsprint is encased in rock? Follow these easy steps:
  1. Make the seeds shell harder than worked steel.
  2. Spread pollen thruout the Drmiøzlk along side the seed.
  3. Ensure that the crystal is brittle enough.
  4. Depending on what creature should eat the Drmiøzlk, intake otherwise unnessecary minerals to add color, patterns, biolumensecen, iridiences, or whatever is needed to get the right cretaures as patrons.
If everything goes right, a creature will eat multiple plants Drmiøzlk, crushing the crystal in either their teeth or bellies. In their digestive system, the still-intact seed will be polinated with whatever else the creature has eaten. And, if the creature is right and doesn't have the bit force to crush the seed, stomach acid to disolve the polin, and an exreetion patter than puts the polinated seedling in oppertune locations in oppertune fertalize, a new generate will begin!
The concoctions, or as he called them, recipes he served me over the years would put any alchemist or chef to shame. Stew, broiled, boiled, stoked, poked, raw in any number of combinations and strains, there was never enough repetition to get sick of what is essentially the same thing. Now, I don’t find them palatable, at all. But, when I visit, it’s all he has, pulled straight from the garden. I don’t even know if he’s a good cook!
— The Witch of Knowledge

Comments

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Jun 14, 2023 04:26

Good article but needs a basic statement of what Estebyel is. I gather it is a sort of crystalline lattice plant. Do the strains tie into to elemental exposures of just the sky-light? Can it grow in the dark? Is it found in the oceans? fascinating concept as a seasoning and flavor and food source.

Jun 15, 2023 13:50

Many good questions! If you're able to figure out it's a plant with a crystalline lattice, that's really all there is to it. I'm glad it spurred more questions, some of them I hadn't thought before and I'll have to add sometime.

Kriltch, arcanities not included.
Jun 14, 2023 07:11

I always love when articles include little quotes or snippets about the content. It adds color or context that might otherwise be missing... Or it's just something I really enjoy. Injecting a bit of the 'world' into the writing.

What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark?
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Jun 15, 2023 13:51

I also really like it, so I've been adding it to a bunch of my recent articles. Makes it feel less text-book like and more like someone's telling you a story with actual characters (even if it's not a story and the characters are only there in spirit)

Kriltch, arcanities not included.