The Forge Feast
The Forge Feast is a tradition of the Dwarves of Darghel wherein, on the eve of the last major harvest of the season, any dwarf that kept a forge would (unless working a very important order, not something done lightly at all) would spend the day preparing a harvest feast using the forge to cook. The previous day and part of the current morning would be spent cleaning it. The feast would be shared with all the dwarf (or dwarves) deemed family or important to their craft. Suppliers, miners, traders that buy directly from the craftsmen, etc. But in particular, farmers (or any food producers, including hunters) are generally welcome.
The tradition has been going on a while. Though no one is quite sure how long, most, if not all, remembered history marks it. The story goes that long ago, a more simple, traditional harvest feast took place on the last harvest in the small pockets of dwarven farming villages. It was always done outside under the open sky and under a harvest moon. However one day, as the setup was happening, a huge storm blew over one of the villages. It destroyed most of the tableware that was set out for the communal feast, plates, bowls, cutlery and the like, as well as putting out the cooking fires that took quite some time to build up to be hot enough. All that was left burning were the more sheltered forges that were used in smithies. In a move to salvage the feast for the next day, all the local smiths came together to build up the fires in the forge and set up makeshift spits to cook the meats that the feast would have. While some of the other forges were set up as ovens to prepare various other bits of food that came from the harvest. There was also the lack of tableware that was destroyed in the storm. While to foods were cooking, (mostly the meats roasting through the night) the smiths also worked together to forge new sets of said tableware for the village to use. The new tableware was then divided up after the feast among the village families to replace what was destroyed.
The feast, (albeit a little more smokey than what is usually intended) was very successful, and though no storm happened the next year, the forges were still used to cook the foods. Though this time, tableware was again forged, it was done in full sets and then those sets were given to new families that had come together over the previous year. These were marked with the mark of the crafter, but also a mark of Gannor and Crystal to symbolize the blessing of the craft and in remembrance of the bounty of the harvest. And is, to this day,
these sets are considered the official blessing of new families and are cherished heirlooms. Though they are not handed down, as each new family gets its own.
In more modern times, the traditions largely remain the same. The smiths will usually work in a new set of tableware or two as they work orders in the time leading up to the feast, to be donated to new families that are important to the smith. How many sets are usually up to the smiths themselves, though the ones outside of Darghel tend to do less as fewer observe the feast, while in the capital proper, at least a full fourth of the forges take orders for making new sets for the family blessings, though the feast itself is observed in individual families.
Each family can have its own specific traditions that add to it, as well. Some do speeches, or special roasts, or even just an expensive variety of alcohol that usually isn’t affordable during the rest of the year. (Sometimes all of those.)
To note, it is not the sole responsibility of the forge owner to supply everything, or even cook everything, but to lend the use of the forge. Generally, everyone that attends brings dishes so that there is plenty for all.