A Sampling of Elanthian Tobaccos
A Sampling of Elanthian Tobaccos is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
A Sampling of Elanthian Tobaccos
by Aramsen Yshur-alit
Through my many travels and years spent in trade with the known world's various cultures, I gained great knowledge of a subject that is enjoyable to me: smoking. Granted, the possibilities are varied and wide, full of curiosities and applications, with the habit of smoking entering practices that range from repose and leisure to ritual and religion.
However, while I have explored these things and may touch on other subjects in the future, my primary interest lies in tobacco. It is wondrous to learn of the ways in which various peoples have learned to cultivate this beguiling plant, how they prefer it cured, the additives they favor, and the ways in which they choose to enjoy it. These methods and preferences are as varied and unique as the colors of a desert sunset.
As such, it would take several volumes to fully explore all of the varieties and cultures from which they originate, so I have chosen only my favorites to highlight in this essay of sorts. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all varieties and curing methods among Elanthia's many races and numerous cultures.
I shall begin with the one I find most familiar, and that is the Qekem Uv Zammir from the human Tehir tribes. As a member of the Shakat, this variety is the most difficult for me to come by as relations with my former brethren are rocky at best. Still, the knowledge of the variety has stayed with us, and on the rarest of occasions, I do manage to procure some for my own enjoyment.
In the Tehir language, Qekem Uv Zammir means "Boon of Sunning," and the tobacco is named such as it is most often sun or air-cured. It is a highly stimulating variety, soothing to the nerves in the highest, and generally consumed without being diluted by other weaker varieties. Whether smoked in cigar, pipe, or in a vuida oud (meaning "fiery air," as a type of hooka unique to the Tehir), the People are partial to adding spices and certain desert flowers to their blends. The spices can include anise, cassia, ginger, saffron, and cinnamon, though certainly this is not an exhaustive list, and anything that adds a bit of a bite or a hint of sweetness would be appropriate. Because of the hot and dry environment in which the tobacco is grown, pests are an uncommon problem, and harvesting is typically done by women as the leaves require a soft touch to retain the height of their potency.
Among the Dwarves, my favorite variety is cultivated by the Ralgrenek Clan and is called The Lady's Bounty. A tribute to Imaera, I am told. I can see how that would be the case as this tobacco has a distinctly earthy aroma and flavor, though it can vary to musty, peppery, creamy, or strongly floral depending on a variety of variables from fertilizers used to curing methods. Speaking of which, the Relgrenek Clan typically use a pressure fermentation method for curing their tobacco, first drying the leaves, then rolling them into tight bundles to then be packed into whiskey or ale barrels. The yield is a slow-burning leaf, and blends made with it are often mixed with mushrooms or toadstools, lichens and mosses, plums, mulberries, or cherries. Peculiar notes about this variety are that the dwarves sucker and prune the plants to only ever have twelve leaves, harvest consistently in the late evening, and clean the leaves meticulously before hanging to dry. For certain, the Ralgrenek Clan does not lack devotion to its smoking endeavors.
If it is a sweet smoke you're craving, you need look no further than the Amber Sugar Bract cultivated by the Malghava halflings during their short summer seasons. The sugar content of the plants is so high that the leaves turn a brilliant gold with curing, which is primarily done in tightly enclosed outbuildings. Essential to the curing technique is a moderate humidity level, and the Malghava achieve such by creating a sauna-like atmosphere, where water is poured over heated rocks. The result is a tobacco that is both strong and fragrant, though occasionally harsh if scalded. It is usually coarsely cut, and the most common additives to blends are chocolate, sugarcane, vanilla, cardamom, and savory florals.
The Greengair gnomes cultivate a variety that is both highly aromatic and smooth, and they call it Gold Leaf. This is perhaps due more to its curing methods, which include spending time beneath the heat of the golden sun before being wrapped in animal skins and buried underground for six to eight months. The plant itself is naturally small-leafed, and it is harvested when the oldest leaves have begun to ripen. While not as naturally sweet as Amber Sugar Bract, the Greengair gnomes make up for this by supplementing sweet ingredients in their blends. The most common include peach, nectarine, and berries, but can also include herbs, florals, and crabapples.
Living up to its name, the Black Wendigo tobacco cultivated by the Wsalamir Arctic Clan of Giantmen turns pitch black when the curing process is complete. This technique often includes being fire or smoke-cured over hardwoods, aromatic shrubs, and fragrant herbs in tightly sealed barns. Each batch is subtly different depending on the smoking elements involved, but the cultivar never fails to produce a leaf with a pronounced and smoky flavor that burns slowly and coolly. Unlike the two previous varieties, Black Wendigo is most often blended with savory herbs and spices, occasionally select florals, and is rarely ever sweet. It is robust, much like the clan that cultivates it, and offers a gratifying smoking experience.
The final cultivar on my list of favorites is one grown by the House Ardenai elves called Shade's Embrace. While some might find this name mildly ominous, I can assure you that it refers only to its growing environments, which are shaded groves of densely canopied trees. The heat and humidity of these shadowed woods are meticulously controlled to maintain a delicate balance between the two. Unlike all of the aforementioned tobaccos, this one is not shredded and used in blends for smoking, but rather is used exclusively as cigar wrappers. Only perfect leaves are cured, and they can be identified by their large size, caramel coloring, and smooth veins. They are exceedingly delicate before being cured and are tended regularly to check for pests, flaws, and cleanliness. As for what the elves prefer to smoke within their perfect, leaf-encased cigars is up for speculation as it seems to vary widely, not just from House to House, but elf to elf.
And, here, my friends, my discourse on tobacco cultivars ends for the time being. I will say it was most enjoyable doing the research required to bring this information to you, and I dearly hope in the none too distant future to be able to bring my further explorations of this subject to you for your enjoyment.
Until then, may your leisure be smoky and flavorful.
Set down on this twelfth day of the month of Lumnea in the year 5122.
- Created by GM Xayle
- Released June 12, 2022