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Foods Found in the Tondene Empire

Being cosmopolitan, the Empire is made up of just about every sentient race on Velyri, so the types of foods available is very large. In cities, “ethnic” food is common, and you can find an eating establishment that caters to just about any race’s food preference. Some larger or more established restaurants might have several different kinds of food available. Most inns will have 1-4 different dishes available on any specific night, with maybe 5-7 different kinds of beverage, not including water (beer, wine, cider, a fruit juice, milk, some spirits). The type of food will be dependent upon the proprietor, although if they have many offerings one might be from a different ethnicity. In most cities, street food is also common; it's usually grilled or fried.   Port Karn, having a fairly high population of Orcs, has a lot of Orcish food available, and it’s popular, even to non-Orcs. Human food is also very common; Elven and Dwarven foods are not common, but available here and there. Goblin food falls somewhere in the middle in prevalence. There are also fusions available; a lot of Orc-style spices are used in Human noodle dishes, for instance. This mixing is, of course, natural and expected. The food profile of Port Karn could rightly be called a melange of Orc, Human, and Goblin food styles.  


cattle (meat and milk)
horses (occasionally)
pigs (meat)
goats (meat and milk)
chickens (meat and eggs)
duck (meat and eggs)
goose (meat and eggs)
sheep (meat and milk)
deer (meat)
elk (meat)
rabbit (meat)
fish (meat)
eels (meat)
trihorn (occasionally) (meat)
auroch (occasionally) (meat)
hydrae (some varieties, usually Orcish food) (meat and eggs)
stun lizards (occasionally) (meat)
giant centipede (Elven delicacy) (meat)
giant cave centipede (Dwarven dish) (meat)
alligators (Marsh folk delicacy) (meat and eggs)
bears (occasional) (meat)
diatryma (Elven dish) (meat)
dinohyus (giant boar, Orcish dish) (meat)
hippos (occasional, Goblin dish) (meat)
gryphon (Dwarven dish) (meat)
giant rat (Goblin dish) (meat)
wolf (Goblin dish) (meat)
  “Occasional” is the equivalent of “game meats” in modern parlance. So they exist, they are eaten by some, but there isn’t a huge market for them and they can be difficult to find if you don’t know a hunter that goes after them.  


grains (wheat, corn, barley, millet, rice, rye)
vegetables (too many to list; anything found in a grocery store)
fruits (too many to list; anything found in a grocery store)
nuts (peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, pine nuts)
Kingtree fruit (Elven, although you can very rarely find the fruits elsewhere)       Human foods conform to medieval norms: lots of grilled meats, and several vegetable dishes that wouldn’t be out of place at any standard European or American restaurant. Pasta/noodles are a thing, although the dishes are closer to chow mien rather than spaghetti and sauce (so vegetables and meat mixed with noodles). Breads of various kinds. The lower classes tend to not get meat too often, so for them, meat is a condiment or flavor additive, more than a specific dish.   Orcish food tends to be spicy, and meat-heavy, often pork. They like intense flavors. They also historically didn’t use a lot of dairy, mainly because they didn’t have a lot of milk-producing animals in their herds, which was most often pigs and boars, with the occasional herd of deer or elk. Milk products just weren’t a thing with Orcs. Nowadays, in the Empire, that’s different; dairy products are consumed all the time. The cheeses they prefer tend to be very strong, like bleu cheese, stilton, muenster, strong cheddar, and limburger.   Example dishes: Ukavallun: Spiced pork on fermented cabbage (kimchi, basically) Caruk avheuke: Spicy pork and bean stew (a sort of chili) Ukhelavas: Porridge with chili peppers and olives.   Goblin foods tend, like Orc dishes, to be heavy on the meat, but even more so, being (mostly) carnivorous. Vegetables are a side dish, at best. They like just about any kind of meat. They also like sauces, such as gravies, cheese sauce, and cream sauces. Their love for spicy foods varies depending upon region; the more equatorial Goblins like very spicy food, while their more higher-latitude cousins like more mild foods. Goblin foods also tend to be on the sweet side, so spicy-sweet or savory-sweet tend to be their flavor profiles. Lots of the “baking spices” (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, anise) tend to be used in Goblin dishes. Moroccan food would be a decent analogue.   Example dishes: Shaal taliin: Grilled venison with spicy cream sauce; Shuukhaan der hagekki: Baked beef en croute with gravy; Shaal hiin shokhaan: Chili peach chutney.   Elven foods tend to be vegetable-heavy, and while many Elves are vegetarian, that is hardly the norm. They eat meat as much as humans do, perhaps more, given that meat can be expensive, and most Elven communities are fairly egalitarian, and tend to share their hunting results with the community.   Example dishes: Remmen laicolassë: Green salad (a hearty version, uses kale, nuts, and berries in addition to other types of greens and vegetables) Remmenwa maxe laicolassë: A salad with strips of meat laid over the top; Andatelcoli laimamatta: Centipede meat with gingered carrots and onions; Oiossëva malma: Roasted diatryma leg with garlic and lemon.   Dwarven foods tend to be very earthy, likely because one of their main ingredients is mushrooms (of various kinds). They also eat meat, and utilize dairy products. About the only nuts they really utilize are peanuts (called “ground beans”). Peanut sauce is a Dwarven invention. They tend to prefer more savory notes than sweet in their foods, so to many non-Dwarves, Dwarven food can taste somewhat bitter.   Example dishes: Khuzd goraz: Dwarven Ale is basically a bitter stout in flavor, but with a dark amber color. Ganabruhas zarshamâd: Cave centipede with mixed mushrooms. Ablâkhul’uznash hasas zarshamâd: Griffon flank with grilled mushrooms.   Aarakocra food is limited, and isn’t really eaten by non-Aarakocra. Most is raw, although they do grill or cook meat. Non-meat ingredients are sauces/flavorings; they don’t eat a lot of vegetables (they are raptors, after all). They don’t really have cuisine; at best, they have BBQ.   Hobbits haven’t met a food they didn’t like. Originally, their diet was similar to Humans, but they glom on to anything they think tastes good, which is just about everything. Marsh Folk were the ones to come up with most of the rice-based dishes, and cultivated the greatest varieties of rice. Steamed rice, pilaf, fried rice, rice noodles. They tend to like both simple fare, and complicated yet subtle blendings of flavors. Some of the best chefs are Hobbits (love of food is a great incentive for cooking). While they don't really have their own style of cuisine, they are often the ones to come up with interesting dishes based on combinations of other ethnic foods.  

Travel Foods

There are several kinds of foods that are suitable for travel. All focus on reducing spoilage, instead of being tasty. While they can be both, travel rations emphasize foods that can be stored for a long time.   Elves make lembas; also known as Elven waybread. It looks like shortbread (and tastes a bit like shortbread, but with a floral note reminiscent of honey, lavender, and elderflower), wrapped in the leaves of a plant designed and cultivated by the Elves to exude preservatives to keep the lembas fresh. It can last for years if kept in the original wrapper, but will go bad quickly if it isn't. One cake (it's actually more of a cracker) weighs an ounce, and equals 3 meals. This magically enhanced bread is made only by Elves, but is rumored to use the essential food spell,(but lasts for a very long time if kept in the original wrappings). The cost to make is unknown, since it is never sold; only given as a gift. Occasionally lembas can be found for sale in some cities, but never in large amounts. Prices range from $100 each to $500 each, depending upon the local market conditions and the seller.   Dwarves make cram, a bread made from mushrooms, rye flour, and other more esoteric ingredients. One slice is equal to one meal, and the loaf itself seems hard enough to be used as a weapon. There are 20 slices in a $200 2 lb. loaf. The baking process is rumored use the essential earth, earth to stone, and create food spells. It doesn’t taste all that great, and tends to be on the bitter side; the common joke is that one of the ingredients is the sweat of the baker. Non-Dwarves also joke that if you don't eat it carefully, it will crack your teeth, since it seems to have pebbles in it. It's not far from the truth, it has been known to crack teeth.   Hard Tack (Ship's Biscuit): hard, unleavened bread made from flour (could be of any grain, really), salt, and water, baked twice (or sometimes more, in order to drive out the moisture as much as possible). They aren't fun to eat, but if stored properly can last a year. While they can be eaten as-is, they are often softened with water, milk, wine, beer, or brandy before being eaten. Often they will be pounded back into a chunky flour and used in cooking, or added to soups/stews to thicken them up. Usually made into a four ounce disc. Typical sailor's ration is four per day (about a pound). Cost: 12 for $1. Bulk quantities can be cheaper, depending upon the bargaining being done.   Journey Cakes: Like Hard Tack, but baked only once, so they can often be soft and a bit fluffier, although still unleavened. These actually taste pretty good, if a bit bland. They will last a few days to an eightday, depending upon how they are stored. Good for shorter trips, whereas Hard Tack is good for long trips and sea voyages.   Waxed Cheese: This comes in various kinds, but all are firm cheeses on the dry side.   Pemmican: Suet (fat), ground dried meat, and dried berries, usually formed into soap bar sized cakes. Can be eaten as-is, or used in cooking (such as creating a base for soups and stews). The meat can be just about any kind, as can the berries. Sometimes diced dried apples are used as well, but they usually lack the tartness that makes Pemmican more palatable. It's got good flavor, but the texture can take getting used to. High calorie food; a half pound can supply about 1500 calories. A cake is about 1 meal, and costs $1 for 2 cakes.   Dried fruit: Dried berries, apples, pears, plums, mangoes. Costs $2-3 for a pound. Not always available.   Nuts: Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts. Costs $3 per pound.   Meat jerky: Dried meat, usually beef, pork, or mutton, but can also be elk, venison, or other exotic meat. $1 for a quarter pound of meat, $2 for game meats (they are less common).   Traveler's Rations: Typically a mix of several of the above common types of food. Jerky or pemmican, cheese, journey cakes or hard tack; sometimes comes with nuts and/or dried fruit. Half pound and $2 per meal; $3 if it has some fruit and nuts. Not all chandleries and general stores will have pre-made traveler's rations; although they will usually have enough separate parts to assemble them. When they do have them pre-assembled, they will likely be individually packaged in canvas pouches. The typical pouch will contain a journey cake, small waxed round of hard cheese, and a brick of pemmican or some strips of jerky. Those with nuts and/or fruit will have a smaller chunk of pemmican or fewer strips of jerky.  

Everyday Prices

  Drinks at the local taverns start at $1 for cheap beer (usually of poor to average quality, think Bud Light), $2 for decent beer (high end commercial beers), and $3-4 for good beer (good craft beer). A glass of wine can cost $2-$6, depending upon quality; a bottle will be 4x that price. A glass of spirits can run $1-$10, depending upon what kind of spirit it is and it's quality; most taverns will have one or more of the following: vodka, rum, whiskey, brandy, liqueurs. Cheap vodka and rum will be at the low end (and likely to leave you with a hangover), whiskey doesn't usually get lower than $3 per glass; brandy and liqueurs are usually at the higher end. Mixed drinks aren't really much of a thing, yet (although I wouldn't be surprised if a Hobbit somewhere was doing experiments....)   Meals at the local inns and eating establishments run from $2 to $5, and they will have 1-3 different things on the daily menus. Some high end restaurants will have food prices much higher than that ($10-$50 per meal). You are paying for the status and ambiance of the place, in addition to the food. Bread and cheese (or porridge/oatmeal) can be had for $1 at most places, for those on a budget.   Note that eating out all of the time can be rather expensive in the long run. $5 for an average meal and drink; more if Alcoholism or Gluttony is one of your disadvantages. High Status can also make food costs higher, simply due to higher expectations and a reluctance to eat "crappy food".

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