Pipeweed

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Pipeweed is a common name for a range of mild herbs that are smoked as relaxants by a wide range of cultures. Pipeweed is traditionally grown by hobbits in Gracht and neighbouring Syborite. Common pipeweed is only very mildly addictive, but some of the alternative herbs are much more addictive, as well as being more effective.

Description

Fresh pipeweed looks like any other leafy plant, to the uninitiated. Cured pipeweed is usually a tangle of long light-brown fibres, with a hay or fruit aroma. It is usually carried in a small pouch along with a clay pipe, within which it is traditionally burned while inhaling through the pipe. It produces sweet greyish-white smoke.

Effects

Common pipeweed relaxes you and takes the edge off your tension, without clouding the mind or senses. It is said that "smoke blown out clears your mind of shadows within. Anyway, it gives patience, to listen to error without anger". Other variants may have stronger effects; hemp can leave you "stoned", disconnected, or giggly, while divine sage is hallucinogenic.

It is almost impossible to take too much pipeweed, and most forms are non-habit-forming, although pleasant enough to encourage repeated use. Tobacco is perhaps the most addictive. There are no long-term side effects of using any sort of pipeweed, apart from stained fingers.

Variants

Common Pipeweed

Perhaps the Halflings’ only contribution to culture, common pipeweed can be found in Gracht and throughout the inland baronies, growing on or near the Dragonspine Mountains. As well as its aromatic soothing smoke, it is appreciated for its sweet-scented flowers. Its elvish name is galenas, although elves use it solely for tisanes and poultices.
The best-known types of common pipeweed are Longbottom Leaf, Old Toby, and Southern Star.

Tobacco

The Plaz'toro Halflings grow a stronger variety of pipeweed, that the call tabac, or tobacco. Tobacco is an acquired taste, but is popular amongst sailors, as it is strong-tasting, keeps well, and can be taken without the use of fire.

Hemp

While hemp is predominantly used for rope making, a delicate varietal has been grown in Syborite.for use as pipeweed. While it does not light as cleanly, and the smoke rings are of poorer quality, the relaxant effects are very strong. Side effects include increased appetite and reduction of work ethic. It is said that smoking enough hemp will reduce people’s brains to the level of Halflings.

Divine Sage

Divine Sage is a type of pipeweed smoked by Elfenburg residents, and has recently become common in parts of Alfheim. It is an hallucinogenic form of mint, and leaves the breath fresh after use, avoiding the least desirable side-effect of most pipeweed. Divine Sage is not considered safe to smoke for anyone except elves.
Divine Sage can be chewed, smoked, or taken as a tincture to produce experiences ranging from uncontrollable laughter to much more intense and profoundly altered states. The effects of smoked Divine Sage typically last for only a few minutes. The most common effects include increased insight, improved mood, calmness, and a connection with nature.

Application

Pipeweed is usually placed in a clay or wooden pipe, often with a briar stem, and then lit. Gentle puffing through the hollow handle keeps the pipeweed burning slowly, and allows the soothing smoke to be breathed directly. Sick children can find pipeweed harsh on their lungs, so it can be seeped in boiling water to make a mild tea instead.
In some of the cities in Eltrandor and Brandenburg, people are choosing to roll up their pipeweed in small tubes of paper, or rolled into a blue-grey leaf, and lit. These blunts or joints can be carried singly without the need for a large pipe.
In the Far East, pipeweed is smoked indirectly, through bongs (bamboo water pipes), so that the smoke is purified by passing through water before being inhaled.
When an open flame is too dangerous, such as on board ship or when engaged in midnight shopping expeditions, tobacco can be chewed instead. The flavour is much stronger and coarser, but the relaxant effects are roughly the same. Only the very strongly addicted and uncouth would chew tobacco when sticking it in a pipe is possible. No other variants of pipeweed are commonly chewed.
Fresh pipeweed can be leached in high-proof spirits (often grain alcohol) to create a "Green Dragon", which is particularly efficacious.

Recommendations

Longbottom Leaf is the most complex tasting of the common pipeweeds, and produces the best smoke rings. Hemp is perhaps the most relaxing.