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The Mir’Kraj feast is about as informal a formal feast as can be had, and so described because it is how the Moncs welcome friends to Tel’Forae. It is a wonderful celebration of shared bonds, frivolity and no small measure of fanfare. Gravity defying “vine dancers” take to the highest canopies in brilliant displays of strength, balance and beauty. Colorful, richly detailed costumes, fire jumpers and acrobatics of every imaginable sort are on full display as we partake of the banquet set at our feet…literally…
Caderyn noted how some of the fluid movements here reflected The People’s use of the Drunken Step…a comment that drew a sharp glance from Jon. Bal’ka, not knowing what Caderyn was referring to, said the movements they were witnessing were to be used in the defense of Tel’Forae should it come under attack. It took everything Jon had not to openly laugh at Caderyn’s sudden discomfort.
The bounty before us included several Monc staples including several preparations of a sweet pastry called Jamlat. The Jamlat varieties were particularly tasty as the fruits used as filling can only be cultivated in the deepest, richest soil of Tel’Forae and therefore inaccessible to all but the Moncs and the creatures that call this beautiful, if dangerous, place home. A ground-dwelling bird called a Fahnya was caught and roasted in our honor. Its rich flavor is a cross between duck and well-marbled beef. It sounds far stranger than it tastes. If one is not a vegetarian, they will experience gastronomic love at first bite. A well-known Monc ale, Dewsha, flowed endlessly from the massive wooden kegs of their final aging. A superbly balanced beverage, one had to think it was crafted especially for the Fahnya for its ability to disperse some of the decadence of the flightless bird from the palette. A sharp afternote is said to come from a berry that would help mitigate the hangover. (Upon hearing this, the Bloksus among us ceased consuming the Dewsha in favor of a “less safe” beverage called Theskarj which none but the sturdiest Moncs dared to drink, and only when they were not to be on patrol for the better part of a week.)
Mir’Kraj is a celebration of commonality, not uniformity. To enforce the stately qualities of this gathering, Monc cooks recreated many staples of each race that had come into their home as friends. The accuracy of the recipes took most by surprise whether it was the ever-elusive spiced broth of The People’s Wastil Stew or the subtleties of the Slow Walkers’ favorite dish known as Lanbotta. Bal’ka explained their expansive knowledge and culinary inventiveness developed over time as various Breeds sought to join the Moncs. The Breed refugees of Erebos’ genocidal swipe only served to bolster the cooking talents in the treetops.
It would seem that as the Bloksus are notorious drinkers, the Moncs have a non-prejudiced view of food types. “If it is good, it is good,” chortled Bal’ka as he took a mighty bite from a plate of Lambotta. The Slow Walkers were visibly pleased. His equal relish of Wastil Stew even drew the barest hint of a smirk from Caderyn.
Who would have believed that aside from Erebos’ pure evil, that food, of all things, would help bridge the cultures? We could learn a few lessons from this in our own lives, I think.