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In many RPG games, monster materials (items that we can get from slaying them which are usually used for production/creation of many crafts used to run the economy) drops/scavenged/extracted from monsters that makes the lives of human miserable.

Let's just say that we have a hammer space where we can put our dragon innards/flesh/parts/skin/bones, by any means how do we preserve this parts to prevent the item quality from deteriorating. Please do note that we're not going to use dragon liver or other innards/parts as food but alchemical ingredients.

By Item quality, I mean that it retains its freshness or original state so that it can be handed over to craftsmen to preserve the materials further or be utilized.

Specifics

  1. Dragon Flesh lasts for 4 days before it spoils, this is generally consumed as food as if it is smoked properly it can last for 7 years in barrels. But you can't do that in the wilds so generally salting it will make it last for 2 weeks
  2. Dragon Blood spoils in a matter of hours but also fetches quite a high price as it is used as regents for many high quality potions and used for high quality armors. Generally has many uses.
  3. Dragon Plates and Scale don't spoil however can easily decrease in quality over time if the spoiling parts(Flesh, blood) are not separated or cleaned from it. Older dragons have plates while the younger ones have scales.
  4. Dragon Organs(Liver, Heart, brains, Kidney and etc) Spoils in 3 days during those 3 days their quality quickly goes down the closer it gets to its expiration.
  5. Dragon Innards are purpose made containers as finish product and don't spoil for a week.
  6. Dragon Lard doesn't spoil however decreases its quality over time if not preserved skillfully.
  7. Chemical preservatives are good however they affect the quality of the parts as such can't be used much for its organs and blood.
  8. General preservation of meat (Salting, Smoking, Fermenting) will destroy the quality of the organs and innards.
  9. Chemically preserving both blood and organs will worsen the quality.
  10. Freezing the blood and lard will slowdown the deterioration quite a lot and it also preserve the organs. However the batteries for the freezer last only for 2 weeks at most.
  11. All organs, flesh, meat and blood can only last for 2 weeks in hammer space with preservation however since the hunting grounds are quite far (takes 2 months for an expedition to go back and forth on a normal basis).
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    $\begingroup$ Magic! How are the innards /etc. supposed to be used as alchemical ingredients? Can we just use methods we use for normal food or are there special properties that need to remain as they are? Can we ignore some things we have to keep in mind when handling food? Normally humans try to keep meat in a state that it can be eaten by humans afterwards. More specifically: What defines "item quality" in your case? $\endgroup$ – Sec SE - clear Monica's name Feb 1 '17 at 13:03
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    $\begingroup$ hammer space? I have read this question three times and still don't quite get what you meant here. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Feb 1 '17 at 13:10
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @Mrkvička - additionally I'd like to add that the question as it stands is impossible to answer. You're suggesting a magical material in a magical world and asking how to do something without any constraints. Are answers supposed to just say "magic" or use real-world options like freezing and salting? You really need to not only constrain this a lot but also make it clearer what would make a good answer useful for you. $\endgroup$ – Tim B Feb 1 '17 at 13:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Mołot I believe the OP is referring to -- WARNING: TV Tropes ahead! -- hammerspace. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Feb 1 '17 at 15:52
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    $\begingroup$ I still wonder why you can't just say something like "dragon blood doesn't spoil when I put it in this magically treated vial!". You are trying to forge armor using dragon blood. Is realism really necessary? You are not leaving us much choice: normal ways don't work, everything spoils fast and your trip takes 2 months(!) (important info hidden as one little last info by the way -> make it more visible by e.g. putting it as a last paragraph). Also: those are a lot of things. Maybe you could pick one of those? And you should check this $\endgroup$ – Sec SE - clear Monica's name Feb 1 '17 at 19:42
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You need to resurrect the concept of the hunting lodge.

If you're going somewhere specifically to hunt, you'll want a base there to sleep, store equipment you don't need to haul every time and to prepare your kills for transport.

A good lodge will have a smokehouse and rooms for hanging meat to cure, hides to dry etc. In season merchants wanting these products ahead of the return trip will send caravans to you to buy on the spot. People in need of fresh dragon blood the same, if the only way you're going to get adequately fresh blood in town is to drag a live dragon there and kill it in the square, then wizards needing such ingredients will have to travel out into the wilds.

All this means that not far from the hunting lodges will be the frontier towns, half wild places where adventurers and dragon hunters can be found rubbing shoulders with merchants and wizards.

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First, it is easy to allow for the idea that magical beasts are magically resistant to rot and decay. A dragon's meat, blood, etc., maybe just doesn't rot as quickly as mundane flesh. If you want germ theory to work in your world, then this slower decay time is because magical beasts have a magical resistance to the microscopic organisms that start the decay process. As an aside, would carrion eaters eat dragon carrion? Would mushrooms? If so, would those also carry magical properties? Maybe this is where "magic mushrooms" begin?

If the components must be preserved raw, then you're down to using preservative spells or preservative magic containers (bags of holding and portable holes, in D&D parlance). If raw is not a requirement, then look to techniques used by pre-industrial societies to preserve meat. Smoking meat into jerky was a fairly common practice. Ancient America: Eating a Buffalo describes an assembly-line-style process for rendering a buffalo before it could spoil. This was an event that required "all hands" to help out, not just the hunter(s) who brought down the animal. This article lists sun-drying, boiling, grilling, earthen ovens, etc. as ways to preserve meat.

For things like blood, an air-tight container would slow the drying process. It is difficult to discern how much, as modern blood containers have vacuum seals and anti-coagulant chemicals in them. Refrigerated blood in sealed containers can be stored for up to about 42 days based on blood-bank practices. Again, magical bottles could make this an indefinite window.

If your world has many dragon-hunts, then there would probably be a market for containers. Some might even work!

Winter hunts would be easier, as cold weather would help slow the spoiling process.

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    $\begingroup$ I like the idea that the organisms which would consume the decaying corpses would get infused with some of the magic. As for the anti-coagulants, an interesting note is that one of the most commonly used one is actually the salt of citric acid; if one brought a donkey load of lemons, then one could potentially preserve the blood of a whole dragon. $\endgroup$ – Mrkvička Feb 13 '17 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ But would adding anti-coagulants ruin the usefulness of the blood? "Dragon blood is potent magic. Dragon blood + lemon is the worst lemonade ever and useless to me..." $\endgroup$ – CaM Feb 13 '17 at 13:22
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    $\begingroup$ That question I leave for the wizards to answer - maybe it helps, maybe it ruins it, maybe it turns it into the most awesome cocktail in existence ;) $\endgroup$ – Mrkvička Feb 13 '17 at 13:27
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Magic and Fire!

Your world is full of magic. Why not put it to good use? So, you and your friends just killed a mighty fire-breathing dragon and ask yourselves what to do with the loot to fetch the highest price:

  • Dragon blood: The blood of dragons is extremely valuable. Only a handful of people manage to kill a dragon, let alone butcher it to get the valuable loot. When your tough adventurers want to sell the dragon blood they have to act fast! The blood is a rare ingredient because it spoils so fast. Unless you have your trusty magically treated vial of preservation! This little helper is a must-have for every dragon-killing adventurer: the secret magic that was used to create this thing keeps the dragon blood completely fresh. It is difficult to create them and therefore they are rare and expensive. Furthermore they are very small so that only a small portion of the dragons blood can be contained, which makes dragon blood extremely valuable: kill a dragon, own a vial of preservation and manage to extract the blood fast enough. That's nothing for an average Joe ;)

  • Dragon flesh: Your dragon has a lot of tasty parts. But sadly they tend to spoil quite fast. If there is no town near you your helper should just try to eat as much of the dragons flesh as they can. It is delicious and there are rumors that you become stronger with every bite you take! But there are also a few parts that should not be eaten immediately as they tend to fetch a high price with the nobles in town and they can be transported for some time: the dragons breast! It is common knowledge that the dragons breast contains a lot of magical energy and is very hot. Caution dear adventurer: you don't want to touch this with your bare hands! It remains hot for a few days and together with the only gradually declining magic your dragons breast can remain intact for at least a few weeks. This should help you in your journey, as you probably want to go home right away after killing the fierce beast.

  • Plates/Scales: Well, nothing to do here. Just clean them up and they are ready to be transported. But they might be useful for a few other things:

  • Organs: Dragon scales and plates are very good at insulating things and as everybody knows: the insides of a dragon are hot! The organs are created to be kept in a warm environment and very heat resistant. Just make a box out of dragon scales/plates and put the organs into the box to keep them warm! -> dragon thermos bottle! Remember: the organs are hot when you carve them out of a recently dead dragon. BTW: a dragon thermos bottle might be able to slow down the spoiling of the dragon blood too, but not as efficient as a vial of preservation.

  • Innards and lard: If you are really desperate and don't want to feed these things to your animal companions you should put them in a plate/scale box too. The heat will slow down any unwanted processes.

Other than that: I recommend everything that has to do with fire. Dragons breath fire, everything in their body has to be used to heat. And fire kills most other things. You could even invent a way to preserve the food by putting it in a flame 2 - 3 times a day for an hour or two by saying that you need a much higher temperature and a much longer duration if you really wanted to process them. This way you just need a lot of time and careful preparation. Plus you always have to keep an eye out for predators who might want to steal your goods while you are treating them so that they don't spoil.

After all: this is a magical world with a magical fire-breathing creature and a magical bag that can contain everything you want. If you don't want to use teleportation just use fire in one way or another.

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I don't remember if Robin Hobb or Ursula K. Le Guin had this problem solved very easily with "merchant spell". They cut the guys tongue and send it to his lord after the guy is present at the court so everyone will see it. And to prevent the muscle from spoiling they casted "merchant spell" used by merchants to preserve fresh meat from spoiling during transport. And that's all.

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