May was a busy month, but I still had time to answer some important questions posed by my Patreon supporters. Such as…
Are there soft drinks in Khorvaire?
One source of soft drinks that’s been called out in canon sources are the Zil waterhouses. A waterhouse is a restaurant that serves only bread and water, but both are infused with flavor using prestidigitation. This flavoring can be subtle or exceptionally strong. It can mimic mundane flavors, but it can also create unique flavors that can’t be found in nature; I imagine “vazilla” as a unique Zil take on vanilla. The Waterhouse is an old Zil tradition, and part of the point of it is getting an artisanal experience, flavored fresh for you. However, in my campaign House Ghallanda has expanded this tradition; House arms like the Gold Dragon Inn sell a variety of beverages, alcoholic or otherwise, using flavors crafted by a long lasting form of culinary prestidigitation; this can also add carbonation to a beverage. So Black Dog Fizz is a popular cola-like beverage available at any Gold Dragon Inn… along with many other options.
Nightwood ale is popular across Khorvaire, but expensive beyond Karrnath. What are some other popular ales in the taverns of Khorvaire?
Nightwood Ale is widely recognized as the BEST beer in the Five Nations. But the CHEAPEST ale is Black Dog Brew, produced by House Ghallanda and sold in any licensed tavern. Anyone with a refined palate will sneer at you for drinking Black Dog, but it’s cheap, reliable, and universally available (and not to be confused with Black Dog Fizz!). Swordtooth Ale is Ghallanda’s higher quality beer. Dwarves will want to look for Londurak’s Bounty or Greenspire Stout, potent Mror mushroom brews that will wreck any species that’s not resistant to poison damage. Meanwhile, Jorlanna d’Cannith and House Jorasco are collaborating on Iron Bull, an innovative energy drink. Needless to say, there are dozens of other brands out there, but that’s something to get you started.
What are some of the regional specialty dishes that can be found at a Gold Dragon Inn?
I’m not a culinary expert or historian. I can make up some completely random things — and I will — but it’s not going to meet my usual standard of worldbuilding, because I don’t have time to study historical cuisines and figure out something that would actually feel realistic. Notably, I’d expect climate and local crops to play a role; if I was taking this seriously, I’d want to research the correlation of those things in our world and consider the impact of manifest zones or magic to create a realistic menu. I have discussed my opinion of general styles of national cuisine in this article on potatoes, so here’s a few ideas for things you could find at the Gold Dragon Inn…
- AUNDAIR: Fey Cakes. Ostensibly, enormous cakes for a sprite; in practice, tiny cupcakes with overly elaborate frostings and toppings. Usually delicate, light cake with a sparkling texture achieved using prestidigitation.
- BRELAND: Boranel Potato— Typically called a “Borry Spud”, this is a fully loaded baked potato.
- CYRE: Cyrans love the King’s Meal, a collection of small plates reflecting the traditions of many other nations; this is a sort of diverse dim sum or tapas.
- KARRNATH: During the various famines that afflicted Karrnath, the most reliable food sources were plants that grew in Mabaran manifest zones. These generally have a very bitter taste but are highly nourishing… in part because they suck the lifeforce out of other things and concentrate it. Bitter biscuits are a form of hard tack made using Mabaran manifest dusk flour; soldier’s spread is a Marmite-like paste. Most people find these products revolting, but they are mainstays in the Karrnathi military and were important staples for commoners during the war; a taste for soldier’s spread is the sign of a true Karrn.
- THRANE: Thranes LOVE baked beans.
Now, as I said, I’m not an expert, but I CAN make up completely random things. So without further ado, here’s a table of things you could find as daily specials at the Gold Dragon Inn…
I’ve answered many more questions on my Patreon and the associated Discord server. This month I’ll be doing another live Q&A and the next session of my Eberron campaign… along with a preview from Frontiers of Eberron! So check it out if you’re interesting in any of those things. Otherwise, let me know what soft drinks are available in YOUR Eberron in the comments!