Black Vinegar is unique to the famous Dwarven chefs of Degroz-Dag. It is made under the supervision of specialized dwarves who's soul purpose is the vinegar's quality control and keeping the process a secret. Black vinegar is made when the darkest dwarven meads go sour. Large amounts of sugar and other secret ingredients are added and the final product is akin to the long-aged syrupy, viscous balsamics of our world. Made properly, it requires at least ten years of aging in treated oaken barrels, away from any light sources or heat.
Black Vinegar, or Ooxsus as the dwarves call it, is then bottled and exported, as well as used by the dwarves themselves as a flavor addition to their meaty and hearty recipes. It is never used in the cooking process due to its extremely concentrated and piquant flavor, but as a final accent in the form of several gooey drops right before the meal is served. With its sharp, pungent smell and deep, smokey, muti-layered flavor, it is a favorite at all Dwarven marriage feasts.
The humans have taken to making imitation Ooxsus, but this comes out more sour and less thick than the dwarven original. This pleases the enterprising dwarves, since it just allows them to charge even more for their Ooxsus. Go to Comment
I am reminded of an old science fiction short story where every person was given a talking cuddly teddybear. By law, the child was allowed to have contact with the bear. These teddybears were to help educated each child, socially, intellectually, and (most important) morally. Two generations after the bears were in place, crime and violence were practically nil... as children learned directly early on that it was wrong to kill (or even harm people for personal reasons). (The grand son of the inventor was given a modified bear which did not teach, you can't kill... so he was the only person left on Earth who could kill (thus used when the government needed him).
Still a handy tool. While these are not specifically educational (or indoctrination) tools, they can be helpful to that culture. Go to Comment
The high magic Old World was brought to an end by the abuse of magic, and when it ended, many magical things ceased too be. almost every homonculus that was active at the end was undone, its animating magical force unraveled. For the century that followed the end of the Old World, known as the Twilight, magic was unpredicatable and was just as likely to blow up in a magis face as it was to fail. It also followed that there was a social and cultural backlash against magic, and the trappings of it. Go to Comment
Love subs like this! Travel guides for campaign worlds! People, Places and Things. Though I'm now familiar with most of these places from previous subs, its nice to see it all together. Gives the world overall panache! Go to Comment