Moon bread Tradition / Ritual in Scarterra | World Anvil

Moon bread

It is common for many Scarterrans to use bread trenchers, especially in West Colassia where bread (from wheat, barley, and/or rye) is not just a major staple but is the major staple.   A bread trencher is essentially a flat piece of somewhat stale bread bread used as a plate. It's allowed to get stale so the trencher is a little more solid and able to bear the weight of other food.   Bread trenchers are dined on by peasants and princes alike but actions and attitudes towards bread trenchers are different based on social class.   If food is scarce, a peasant family is likely to eat their trenchers after a meal. If food is relatively not scarce, they will probably toss their trenchers to the family pigs.   Upper class bread trenchers are generally made from a higher quality bread and certainly higher quality food on the trencher. At the end of the night, the trencher is probably soaked with the gravy and juices of all the meat, vegetables, and fruit tarts of the meal before.   It considered very bad etiquette to eat a bread trencher in a noble house hold, especially if the meal is a special occasion like a banquet or feast. These trenchers are traditionally given to the poor.   These used trenchers are often "moon bread." First off, the plates are generally round like the moon. Second off, it is a common occurance that acts of charity to the poor and downtrodden is considered an act of devotion pleasing to the god of the moon Zarthus who frequently advocates for the poor and downtrodden.  
by Eron12 with Hero Forge
-Danuta, matriarch of the Fumayan Masks
"Maybe giving moonbread as alms to the poor will win mighty Zarthus' favor, maybe not. One thing I know is it won't placate the Lanterns. Nothing is every good enough for them! They'll stand in a bread line and ask for toast."


by Eron12 with Heroforge
Zajac, Fumayan Lantern
"There has always been some form of giving to the poor in every era of history. Supposedly even the dragons made some token gestures of charity in the First Age.   Nor is charity limited to the followers of Zarthus. Most priesthoods dabble in charity if only to maintain appearance...okay not the Testers and Children.
  Even the Masks and their noble puppets like to pretend to be generous. After stealing most of the fruits of the peasants' hard labor, they will give them back a small portion of it and pretend to be magnanimous."

Components and tools

"A bread trencher is made like most bread. Typically you spread the dough flatter and don't let it rise as much as traditional loaves but you do let it rise a little bit.   I always put extra effort into my bread trenchers when I know the bread is going to become moon bread. I don't skimp on the higher quality grains and might mix in a little bit of fruit or nuts if they are available.


by me with Hero Forge
-Gaatha, Lantern of Zarthus
"True charity is done privately. Most rich people give away moon bread simply for the sake of appearances.   They tend to make a loud public gesture out of the bestowing of their alms to the poor. If they can, they will try to get a Lantern to bless the ritual of giving.
  It's a little irksome to go along with the dog and pony show, but I suppose as long as the poor get fed, Zarthus is satisfied. Otherwise, they might toss their leftovers to the dogs rather than to the people."


On almost any day, poor people will except moon bread from the rich, and most of the time it's not that hard to find a Lantern to officiate a simple ceremony of giving.   That said, poor people cannot expect moon bread every day. It depends largely on how wealthy and how generous the locals. Even the most miserly nobles try to give away moon bread at least once or twice a year, and some nobles who are both wealthy and generous (or especially concerned with their image) might give away moon bread weekly.   Any holiday is a good excuse for giving out moon bread but Zarthus holidays are considered especially appropriate.
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