Chopsticks

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Chopsticks is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

A History of Chopsticks

Taken from a lecture in Eloth-Ra given by an unnamed erithi scholar specializing in krolvin influences

Known across Elanthia by its Common name, chopsticks are dual-sticked eating implements most frequently found in coastal regions. In addition to cutlery (forks, knives, and spoons), several regions also utilize chopsticks. While it cannot be tied specifically to one race or culture, the origins typically have one thing in common -- coastal prominence. Settlements along both coasts of Elanith often use chopsticks, at least for some dishes, and it is not uncommon for smaller, more isolated coastal villages to eschew cutlery solely for chopsticks.

In Atan Irith, usage of chopsticks is common throughout the continent, one of the few areas we can find penetration outside of coastal areas as a primary method versus an exotic affectation by a limited few. Because of this, many feel that chopsticks possibly originated with the erithi, but records cannot be found to support this. Indeed, records seem to indicate that krolvin may be one primary origin point.

At their most basic, chopsticks are just slender wooden sticks. However, people are rarely content to leave it to the most basic, and chopsticks can be found made out of gemstones, ivory, bone, metal, and of course, various woods. They can be carved, capped with various adornments, or inlaid according to the desires of the artisan.

Krolvin

Krol extensively make use of pul'crigzt (literally "food sticks" from pulta, meaning food, and crigzta, meaning stick). Given their propensity for captives and slaves, as well as coastal raids, most scholars believe the origin of chopsticks begins here. There is some controversy over this, however, as many find it distasteful to associate a pleasant pastime with the raiding krolvin and instead point to other means. For example, human coastal settlements will claim an ancestor traveled to elven lands, picking up the practice of chopsticks and bringing it home, while elven settlements weave a story of Ashrim sailors picking up the practice from island nations and bringing it back to the elven lands.

Flotilla

The Great Piratical Flotilla claims responsibility for the popularity of chopsticks amongst coastal towns. They cannot decide if they stole the idea from krolvin raiders taken prisoner or from incognito erithi sailors posing as elves, but either way, the idea that the flotilla and its predecessors were the originators is much more palatable to some. Plus, if you ask the flotilla members about it, you're almost always guaranteed a great story. It won't ever be the same story twice, but it will be entertaining.

Realistically, it appears to be krolvin in origin as the Common term, chopsticks, is probably a mistranslation of the krolegh term. Since the word for chop is pulct, scholars typically draw the conclusion that a prisoner picked up some krol and translated the 'pul' to be pulct and not pulta, and thus, chopsticks were born.

Erithi

Erithi have used shogu'ro (literally, "food blade") for as long as their recorded memory, and thus, there is no indication of their origination other than tall tales and folklore. Unlike most other areas, shogu'ro is widely used in all areas, including inland, and other utensils, while used, are less common. When reviewing extant folklore, the one connecting thread is a coastal influence, lending credence to a krolvin influence on Atan Irith as well.

One story claims that the matriarch of an isolated coastal town named Tynathi-Re 'invented' shogu'ro when, tired of having no eating utensils, whipped the naita'ro (hairsticks) from her hair, cleaned them off, and used them to eat. Since the term shogu'ro predates the town by several years, this is an amusing local myth but one clearly based in imagination. Indeed, it's much more likely that naita'ro began as chopsticks stuck in the hair to hold it back while cooking.

OOC Notes

  • Created by GM Xynwen
  • Released September 5, 2022