Dire meats are a category of meat made from the flesh of dire beasts or other extremely dangerous beasts or monstrosities. The sale of dire meats is illegal in most cities and townships, to discourage ill-prepared hunters and fishers from seeking the meat out to sell for profit, and typically punished with both a short jail sentence and a steep fine. Naturally, this has given rise to a thriving black market. Hunting for dire meats in isolated areas like Isle Machmorraig or the Gaeno Woods is a common training exercise for a beginning Adventurer, as well as a common cause of death for said adventurers. There are a wide variety of dire meats. A few of the most well-known are listed below.
- Direpork is the meat of the dire boar, an omnivorous boar-like creature the size of a horse that hunts in passels of thirty to fifty members. Once they have spotted potential prey, a stampeding passel can overtake it in as little as three to five minutes. Direpork tastes like a richer, more flavorful version of pork; as with pigs, various cuts of the dire boar can be cured into ham or bacon, though this process takes longer than it would on standard pig meat.
- Owlbear meat, as its name suggests, is from the owlbear, a fearsome woodland predator likely created by a Fey curse in ages past. Its upper body is that of a giant owl (including wings), and its lower body is that of a grizzly bear. The most bear-like cuts of the animal are similar to beef or lamb, and best served braised or in a stew, while the most owl-like cuts resemble goose meat. Where the two bodies fuse together, there is a unique melding of the flavors and textures, best eaten cured, sliced, and fried like bacon.
- Diregator meat is perhaps the most dangerous of the well-known dire meats to harvest. An adult dire alligator can grow up to 20-30 feet long, and can crush and swallow even a skilled warrior in a single bite. Diregator meat is quite firm and chewy, and requires tenderization, curing, or drying before it is palatable. It keeps particularly well as a jerky; a single alligator's worth of jerky can feed a mid-sized village for months.
- Deep oysters are a type of shellfish that grow along ley lines that run along shores or the seabed. They grow to the size of the average human hand and have tiny retractable teeth along the rim of their shells that are capable of shredding nets and even severing fingers. Occasionally, a deep oyster will form a dark-colored pearl that has fortifying and restoring properties for magic users. Deep oysters are eaten fresh and raw, served on ice with Lemdina juice and a thin, vinegary chili sauce.
- Roper tentacles are cut from the roper, a type of deep-sea Aberration. They are pale in color and continue to writhe even when cut off, sliced into pieces, or chewed. They are typically served raw, occasionally wrapped into sushi rolls with rice, seaweed, or other vegetables (though their constant movement compromises the structural integrity of the roll somewhat). Though some consider them a delicacy, others find the writhing a little too off-putting. Roper tentacles and deep oysters are legal in Cantonova because of a Y1104 bill introduced to the Council of Wargraves by Raven Fischöder, then-Wargrave of Cuarto Alto representing the Fishmongers' Guild. This was widely regarded as a bad move that likely led to Wargrave Fischöder's ousting in the elections of Y1106, but the law nonetheless stands.
Consumable, Food / Drink
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