The concept of gift-giving is an central tenet of the Order of Arcadium. Despite the research of Loremasters that came before me, we have only theories as to how this came to be such an important part of the cultural practices of the Order across the world.
Like in many cultures, it is a common practice to wrap gifts and in the past there were even particular styles used to convey different messages. For example, it was once tradition to wrap gifts in blue for those you admired. It is thought that as the pigments used to dye paper blue was so rare and used so sparingly, to use the colour blue to wrap your gift showed your particular reverence for the recipient.
There was also another practice of using white string or ribbon in wrapping your gift if you wished to say, ‘I would love to go on an adventure with you‘. In more recent times, these traditions have largely been abandoned as Adventurers moved to the use of gift cards instead. I, for one, do find the traditions sweet and would love to see a return to these practices.
The most common and traditional gifts for Adventurers are those of chocolate and tea. Chocolate having long been associated with the Order’s roots in the Founding Chapter of Tezcatlitempan and gifts of tea with the Founding Chapter of Ménkăn. Both were traditionally consumed as drinks used to fortify the spirits of Adventurers before their quests, but the practice now is very much to enjoy a block of decadent chocolate with a lovely warm cup of tea, or refreshing brew; depending on the season.
Much as they are enjoyed around the world, gifts are given for all kinds of special occasions such as birthdays, but they are also given particularly to celebrate festivities around beginnings such as New Years, New Moons and New Seasons. That is to say, these fortifying and enlivening gifts were used to wish luck and energy for those about to embark on a new adventure denoted by a new season.
I have recently heard of the practice of Adventurers giving gifts rather more spontaneously, particularly to those that they have missed over the last difficult year. For what better way is there to say, “I am thinking of you my friend and do not forget, life is an adventure every day!”