Prologue: The River, the Factory, the Caravans
Do you know? A river cuts through the Four Lands that lie between the tunnels that lie between worlds.
Cold and wild Elcon, Unreasonably Damp but pleasant Bluville, Blazing and untamed Korund, and the vibrant and vaguely fungus infested Faror.
This river passes through them all, in spite of the endless Wasteland that keeps those lands separate.
In each of these lands, with their strange denizens, the river is known as the Chocolate River.
It isn’t actually a river of chocolate, but a river of chocolatey looking and tasting water. The kind of chocolate that it tastes like is not too sweet, but not too bitter. It is such a wonder that those with the ability to move from the Four Lands to other dimensions could make quite an obscene amount of wealth and power from selling the water. Yet, for beings that can so casually find and leave the Four Lands, well, it isn’t that likely they’d interest themselves in such a matter.
In Elcon, the Honey Factory makes good use of this luxurious yet hum-drum water.
As for what the Honey Factory is?
Well, the Honey Factory produces all kinds of confectioneries, cakes, sweets and so on. That doesn’t seem so amazing does it? After all, though many beings of Elcon can live off of such things, not all can.
What the Honey Factory is most known for in Elcon, is the honey drink.
Delicious but not addictive.
A small amount and nothing else can for a number of months sustain a large denizen, though, more than that length of time would lead to starvation.
A taste that one never grows tired of, familiar and yet it presents new aspects every now and then.
Filling yet light.
Healing properties for the mind, body and spirit.
Able to beat back the most chilling cold and leave a gentle warming that doesn’t even harm ice based denizens.
Also valuable as a training supplement.
Somehow works as an all-purpose seasoning.
In essence, the honey drink is a wunderdrink. A miraculous liquid far greater than the sum of its parts, some of which are milk, honey and chocolate water. Many alchemists, regular chemists and mages of all stripes have tried to unlock the mysteries of this drink, to reproduce its effects.
All have failed. The Master of the Honey Factory, the benevolent but mysterious being known only as Mr. Honey has in spite of plots, threats, bribes and all matter of events, not leaked even the smallest secret of the creation of the drink.
Many believe that Mr. Honey is some higher being from the Dimension of Food.
Regardless, the Honey Drink is a staple of Elconic cuisine and life, and few things are as effective at driving the cold.
Naturally this drink is distributed throughout Elcon, by portal, by caravan in air, snow and earth.
In Elcon, they actually have a name for a caravan that carries confectioneries and the honey drink.
While in general the Honey Factory’s own transport is heavily guarded and left alone by bandits and other ne’er-do-wells, the same cannot be said of all the caravamels that depart from Elcon.
Mr. Honey runs a strange business, in that, the first crate is always free, and quite generously sized.
Naturally such a crate can provide for a village at quite a high rate of consumption, but there is larger places, and even a small village may thirst for more.
Another reason that a village might buy more than one crate is…
Well, in Elcon, where distances are rarely the same and the land can hide locations, a great many things can happen to a travelling caravamel.
This is a small tale of one such caravamel, carrying just two crates of honey drink and nothing else.
A caravamel just setting out from the Honey Factory.