#AtoZ: M is for Mead

This post belongs to the #AtoZchallenge 2024, where I attempt to turn a word a day into something that can be used in Role Playing Games.

Mead is an alcoholic beverage based on fermented honey. Nowadays it is mostly associated with vikings, but used to be a rather common drink all over Europe up to the Middle Ages, as well as in India and Ethiopia. It might have even been known in China.

It was often considered something connected to the sacral world of the gods, as producing mead is more expensive than producing wine or beer. It thus was used in festivities that celebrated peace treaties or alliances. Mythologically, the Mead of poetry was said to turn any drinker into a sage and a poet (and, of course, Odin drank it).

How to integrate it into your typical fantasy RPG?

  • A Mead of Tongues, a mead brewed by two brewers who speak different languages. Anyone who drinks from this mead is able to speak and understand both of the brewer’s languages.
  • A cursed Mead of Bees. Anyone who drinks it will forthwith be considered an enemy by all honey-producing insects.
  • Mead could be an important ingredient in certain rituals, and gods of merrymaking, invention or the like need adventurers to gain this special mead from a faraway place.

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