…the election of the high priest was progressing smoothly, until the upstart candidate Felvor claimed divine endorsement from Lhankor Mhy himself in a dream; he was informed coldly that the gifts of the spirit could not be bought and that the vision was indecently ambitious.” Theo. Pandarus, temple collator.
[xxix.8900.soc.tasty-beverage.1] From the Meditations on a Tea Ceremony by the venerable exarch Lap-Sang Su-Chong:
It is when one partakes in the divine drink (the introduction of tea is credited to the emperor who introduced civilized arts to the world Shavaya, the emperor of Splendour) that one is closest to oneness with the void. The unfolding of the aroma and taste as the liquid draws out the essence of the humble plant mirrors the minds awakening and apprehension of the nature of the cosmos. Just as a humble plant has within it the potential for the sublime, so do we contain within us the essence of the divine. To lose oneself in the smell and taste of tea is the first step in the path to enlightenment…
…you have heard of the drink that the benighted foreigners call Ka-fee and I must tell you to beware this dangerous brew. Whereas tea will lead one to the void, this Ka-fee will lead one along mistaken paths. You can easily tell one who is caught up with this invidious drink as he exhibits none of the serenity of the truly enlightened. His eyes are wide and bloodshot and his hand quivers as an outward show of his inward turmoil, he can no longer seek the rest and recuperation of sleep and dreams. Truly this Ka-fee is a temptation that is best to be avoided and yet more evidence for the wrongfulness of foreign ways.
[xxix.8900.soc.tasty-beverage.2] Excerpts from the address of talar Earl Grey in Arrolanit on the occasion of sentencing a Manirian trader to terminal tapping:
You dare to question the undoubtedly wise and correct sentence which has been passed down in accordance with all our traditions? The crime is self evident; you brought in a sample of a banned and evil substance and tried to tempt true humans with it in wilful disregard for our laws and age-old traditions. Through your actions a whole village of farmers and their junior grade talar have been sentenced to hideous death by Old-Age.
Still you profess ignorance. As is good and true to all real humans the traditions and customs of old must be kept and each true human must keep to the dictates of his class. The sanctioned drink for farmers is water before noon and ale after as obviously they are not cultured enough for anything greater. Knights are allowed to partake of wine or brandy if they have sustained damage in the course of Talar sanctioned duties. Zzaburi are allowed sherry in the afternoons or a single glass of port after evening meals. Talars, being the most refined, are given license to drink the greatest and most ancient of all drinks, tea.
This coffee that you bring into our lands is well known as a vile Vadeli plot against true humans everywhere and you have been used as their dupe, wittingly or unwittingly. For this the sentence is death.
Note: According to eye-witnesses, Talar Grey was observed to develop three wrinkles on his brow just upon smelling the beans demonstrating the evil potency of the substance.
[xxix.8900.soc.tasty-beverage.3] Dar Jeeling Speaks – excerpts of a Pamaltelan Tale:
Dar Jeeling: “Gather round children, bring your minds and your souls to bathe in the warmth of the wisdom of our ancestors.
“Look around. What do you see? Yes, beautiful green plants that mark thepresence of the ancestors. See how strong and green they grow, they growwith the strength and beauty of the children of our fathers and ourfather’s fathers. Through these lineage plants our ancestors commune withus and give us strength and comfort. During the changing of the year under the guidance of the elders and the wise women of the oases we pick the top two leaves and the bud which are the portion of the living and the young. From this we can brew Pamalt’s drink which gives us comfort and refreshment and fortifies us against all ills. This is the way the world should be as ordained by the wisdom of father Pamalt.
“Let us look at those who do not have the beneficence and guidance of the ancestors.
“The Old Men, the first-born of Grandfather Lodril, they suffer, they ragebecause of their great thirst. One drink of the ancestral brew and theirthirst is overcome and they are comforted and can gain rest!
“The City Men to the north. They shut themselves in their sterile cold walls of stone and can find no stillness, no balance. They do not partake of the symmetry and beauty of the necklace. They must constantly fight and struggle for they do not have the wisdom of the ancestors to guide them on how to live with the land and the spirits. They blind their souls with a vile concoction of darkness that affects them so that they can no longer feel the comfort and satisfaction of connectedness. Instead they are filled with a false and unfocused energy that rages and rants yet achieves nothing!
“Let me tell you a secret, this brew, this vile substance that they callCafe’ is simply a trick of Bolongo on the poor deluded ones. Look at aman on this brew. What do you see – the red eyes, do they not look likethe fire through Bolongo’s mask? The strange grimace when the drink istasted, such amusing contortions are surely the doing of the Empty One. They even look like the Foolish Ghost masks! The actions of these menare empty, like Bolongo, full of sound and fury, they signify nothing.
“But such is the wisdom of Pamalt that even Bolongo’s silliest tricks can be made useful. There are those who cannot find rest, whose souls and legs can find no respite in stillness. These are those who have felt the call of Jijime and they can use this dangerous brew. But, my children, unless you wish to abandon your home and tribe and spend you life in fruitless wanderings, look beyond the mask of Bolongo!”
[xxix.8901.food.seafood.1a] “In his cups, he boasted of a grandmother murdered by Erigians for her collection of bears’ paws, though history, unusually sober, prefers her dying in Neapolis, over prawns of inferior quality.”
[xxix.8902.soc.politics.sartar] In the day one sun shines, in the night two moons glow, in the marsh three rivers join, in the hills four winds blow, in the year five seasons pass, in the land six heroes remain, in Sartar seven kings reigned, but the eighth king rules uncrowned.
[xxix.8903.rec.arts.library.announce/threat] Temple Circular from ANIAS, Deputy Chief Librarian: Know that it is a serious offense to remove any document from the reserve collection of the library, without the express permission of the Deputy Chief Librarian. The following 19,406 works cannot be located, and must be returned forthwith! #1, Vols. 43, 66, 69 of the Golden Books of Elephantis, urgently required by initiate Ficus Lovechild, currently completing his priesthood thesis on Ulerian variances; #2, The Nochet Index and Cataloguing System Made Simple – How to Find That Missing Scroll in Minutes, lost somewhere in the Mezzanine stacks; #3 Lady Uroxi – A Case of Mad Cow Disease?…
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