Stemweed

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"After only a few chews of the pungent-tasting plant, the world around her lit up. The stars were embraced by vast rainbows of light, the thin torchlight of the caravan was engulfed in a gorgeous supernova of colours-that-have-no-name. There wasn't anything that could compare to it, aside from the brief forays she had experienced into the Plane of Madness."

- Ella Delacrois, Famous Stemweed Advocate


Introduction

Stemweed is a fast growing, easy to manufacture herb. There are four strains in total, each with differing strength of the basic effects. When smoked, the plant creates a calming, happy effect on the mind, and hallucinogenic effects when eaten. Both of these effects vary between each different strain. The plant was first cultivated by the Riffari due to its ability to grow nearly anywhere, such as inside crude flower pots. Due to its hardy nature, it has become one of the most popular plants in the world due to its resilience and ability to grow fast. It is also a famous export from the Faecourt, that specializes in creating an especially strong strain.

Characteristics

At first glance, wild Stemweed can be difficult to spot as it often can blend in with basic flora in thick forests as which it gets its name, as it is a weed. However, specifically grown Stemweed is much different compared to its wild counterpart. In the wild, Stemweed is a dark, dusty green with smaller leaves and lower to the ground. When cultivated and grown specially, it changes in appearance varying between its types. For Desert Haze Stemweed, the plant changes to lighter green color with the long, elliptical shaped leaves with pointed ends that stretch out from its thin stems that can range from 1 - 10 ft in height. Priest's Breath is the one most similar to its wild brethren, which is the shortest of the strains and the deepest in green color, its difference between its wild variant being that its leaves are much bigger, the biggest out of the strains.

The Lemweed strain grows shorter in height, more akin to ferns with much more clustered, thinner leaves with small specks of yellow. Tiarna's Gift is the most interesting of the strains, able to grow to heights ranging to 14ft with thicker stems and redder tones, with curly stems that extend out into its leaves that droop downwards with a far more rounder, teardrop shape.

Properties

All forms of Stemweed can be eaten and smoked, but each have their own differences in effects. Wild Stemweed in particular oddly enough offers no effects, only giving a pungent earthy taste. Only when Stemweed has been selectively bred into its specific strains will its relaxant and hallucinogenic properties appear. There are four strains that are most popular and well known of Stemweed to date, but this hasn’t stopped individuals from trying to create their own strains and rise it to popularity with their own spin on the Stemweeds properties.

Riffari Strain, 'Desert Haze' - A smokey, herbal strain that is known for the pungency of the smell that latches into clothing. Originally cultivated by Riffari, it is often kept in medium sized planters that keep the plant small for travel. It can also be eaten after it has been refined through a process of laying strips to dry in the sun or baked into different meals, and is in fact the only strain that can be used in cooking. When smoked, it creates a relaxed and general feeling of happiness. When eaten, it is a mild hallucinogenic that can make one's vision slightly trippy and even mishear small things, but still allows someone to still function properly, such as walk around and hold conversation. However, a special effect happens when it’s used to bake into foods, allowing you to indulge in the relaxed feeling the plant gives when smoked instead of hallucinating.

Lounge Strain, 'Priest's Breath’ - Not smoked or eaten, but is instead burnt as a kind of incense. Incredibly cheap and fastest growing out of all the strains. It is typically formed into incense sticks or cones before being burned, but some simply smoke the dried leaves alone, claiming it gives it a better effect. It is usually mixed with other scents before being smoked, but has a distinct difference to typical incense as it has a very pungent, herbal scent that remains strong after any interference. When burned, it creates a very gentle relaxing effect on those that breathe it in, although hardly noticeable and won’t override any other thoughts, feelings, or emotions. Made to create a relaxing atmosphere.

Amryian Strain, ‘Lemweed’ - An ashy, lemon tasting citrus strain that holds more active relaxing properties with little to no hallucinogenic additives. For this reason, it is preferably smoked rather than eaten, and if eaten it would be seen as a great waste. Unlike any of the other strains, it doesn’t leave a strong scent on one's person, in fact the opposite, it leaves a lovely and subtle citrus-like scent.

Faecourt Strain ‘Tiarna's Gift’ - Terribly bitter and creates a burnt taste in one's mouth when smoked, this strain hails from the Faecourt specifically and creates intense versions of its original effects. When smoked, it can be hard to stand and talk properly, leaving the partaker in a nearly vegetative, zoned out and relaxed state. On the other hand, when eaten, the user will be greeted with an amazing array of colors and moving visuals in their gaze, even able to hear other voices or whispers that aren’t their own. Some have been spurred on with great creativity and excitement in this state, feeling as if they can see, taste, and hear more than they could before, but on the opposite side it has led to people having what is called a ‘bad trip’. This is described when the partaker will see or hear something in this state that disturbs them. In order to prevent this, precautions are usually made to allow the person to remain in a comfortable, relaxed setting before indulging to keep the happy and more nicer effects going without being bothered, or to only be given to those of sound mind. Those who have gone through lots of struggle and turmoil in their life do not make good users for the hallucinogenic effects.

Distribution

Stemweed is well known to almost all cultures across Alm, famous for being a hardy, quick to grow plant that can grow just about anywhere save for the lands in Amyria. Wild Stemweed is the easiest to find in forested landscapes at average elevation, growing close to the ground and frequently just as a weed would. The kind of Stemweed that is sold and distributed across Alm today is not that same plant, and has been selectively bred and cultivated in different places for different uses. The first and second strain was created by the  Riffari who would bring the pots and plants with them as they traveled from place to place, leading to its eventual distribution with other cultures. As the plant grew incredibly popular with other cultures, people sought out to form new kinds of strains stemming from the original created by the Riffari, leading to Lemweed and Tiarna's Gift

Desert Haze was created and produced by mainly Riffari for the longest time. Grown in small, clay pots and often mistreated due to the constant life of travel, the Riffari are known masters of Desert Haze. This strain is often not sold, as it carries a pungent and unwanted smell that has a tendency to latch onto cotton based materials. In the past, this strain was mostly used by Riffari for the happiness it brought unto them. Frequently smoked at night, it was seen often in the hands of a Riffari person who was left pondering life. It is not as strong as the other strains in effect, but it is known to be the purest form of Stemweed. When found on the markets, it is often marked down

Lemweed was created for the higher classes of society due to a distaste of the pungent smell Desert Haze left on clothing and the need for something stronger. It is exceptionally expensive in Pallomaire due to its inability to grow in Amyria all-together, and owning Stemweed is forbidden by law in all of Amyria. It is typically seen as a special, secret treat among small private parties of nobility. It’s thought to have become popular with the higher classes out of the inevitability of stress among those of political control and the heads of large businesses and royal families. As such, it has also become popular to smoke in private, similar to enjoying a cigar in one's own freetime. It may come to an Amyrians surprise to find that Lemweed sells for far cheaper (but still pricey) outside of their lands, seeing as it can be grown by anyone who knows how to.

Tiarna's Gift was created by the Faefolke of the Faecourt in the Palecoast for the party life of the court and their indulgences in freedom and debauchery, which has also become one of its more famous exports. This has led to many cases of Fae and visitors of the Court to take excessive amounts or easily mentally or physically damage themselves due to the effects. However, this does not make this strain naturally dangerous, but advised to be simply taken in moderation. Due to this, Tiarna's Gift has spotty legality in other regions of Alm, where some places outright forbid it, whilst others don’t mind.

Due to the widespread acceptance of the drug, it is fully legal to own and Darroway, and has even been administered as a medical treatment (the Desert Haze strain especially) and cooked into edible foods to those who need to relax and distract themselves from the pain.

Trivia

  • Due to the Tiarna's Gift's intense hallucinogenic effects and likelihood of causing terror to those without a sound mind, it as been rumored to be used as a torture tactic among the dangerous gangs and families of the Palecoast.
  • Priest's Breath was created and popularized by Riffari Starwatchers, who often have the incense going in their shops or businesses when open to taking readings. Nowadays, it’s common to find it burning in brothels, smoking lounges, herbal shops and other such businesses.
  • Among the Riffari, the term Kasul which loosely translates to "slug" was created to describe someone who thoroughly engages in Stemweed, but never seems to do better for themselves, instead just sitting around and smoking.

Location: Forest, The Machahallah Desert, The Ubyran Savannah

Rarity: 3/10

Can It Be Grown On Darroway: Yes

Writer: Skullpanda90

Processor: Gochnipunchni