Drug use in the Sunset Isles is generally a vice restricted to the wealthy. Outside of the city of Tien Lung, most powders and potations are too expensive to be affordable to any but the more prosperous class of merchant. A commoner seeking oblivion can get it more cheaply with a half-dozen tankards of strong rice beer, and the dangers of trying to rob a Tien Lung drug merchant are far too great to make a brief thrill worth the danger. No laws forbid consumption of pleasure-drugs, but export from Tien Lung is invariably heavily taxed by the Ministry of Tariffs, which is responsible for all such imposts on taxable trade good movements.

Still, the vice is occasionally a burden to those once graced with wealth who find themselves no longer capable of affording their pleasures. Fallen courtesans and city officials are exceptionally susceptible to this, falling out of favor with their patrons or the Mandarin and suddenly losing the pipe or dust that made the wearisome days so pleasant. In Tien Lung, this fate can befall a far larger range of society, as even dockworkers can often find the coin for a pipe of opium after a long day's work. Those particularly hard-racked by addiction can often be found susceptible to all manner of demands and tasks in exchange for another taste of their favorite delights.

Below are a few of the more common drugs to be found in Xian and the other cities of the isles. All are addictive to one degree or another, but addiction is considered a roleplaying element, and does not carry specific game-mechanical risks or penalties. Barring magical drugs or plot-specific extracts, players can decide on their own when and if a PC becomes addicted or recovers. Withdrawal from the drugs listed below is almost never fatal, but ranges from annoyingly unpleasant (Opium) to excruciatingly painful (River Lotus Dust).

Opium is the most common and cheaply-had drug. In Xian, a pipe can be had for a silver piece, and for but two or three copper stalks in Tien Lung. Commonly employed by physicians to kill pain, a pipe is generally enough for four or five hours of langorous peace and relaxation, leaving the user in a dreamy, distracted state. In Tien Lung, the pipe is popular with commoners troubled by hard, tedious workdays, and it is everywhere a favorite of those plagued by some lingering sickness or injury that admits of no cure. It's not unknown for a scholar afflicted with some terminal illness to "ascend with the smoke", and spend the remainder of his span on earth comfortably numbed by the opium's relief.

Alchemist's Opium: Level 3+. Component Cost: 30+. Market Price: 90. Time: 30 minutes. Skill: Nature (no check). Power (Consumable, Healing): Short Rest. Use on you or one ally who is suffering from the effects of a disease. The source of the disease cannot be higher than 5th level. Until the next time the target takes an extended rest, the effects of the disease are suspended, the user automatically fails all Perception rolls, and takes a -1 penalty to Will. The opium neither aids nor hinders the treatment of the disease, and does not constitute treatment or allow bonus healing checks. This formula can be powered up at 8th, 13th, 18th, 23rd and 28th level; in each case, the level of disease source affected increases by 5, and the penalty to Will defence increases by 1.

Impious Daughter Root is one of the most sternly disapproved of the pharmaceuticals manufactured on Ektau, albeit the market for it remains brisk. A woman who consumes a finely-diced chutney of the root becomes sterile for as long as a month, depending on her weight and metabolism. Scolds among the scholarly class in Xian deplore the effect as an inducement to vice and an unjust deprivation of descendants for the family. Users tend to either be very discreet or very indifferent to such opinions, and it's commonly sold to to harlots and laboring wives alike. The five silver coins that a month's dosage requires is a steep price for most such buyers, but the cost of an unanticipated pregnancy is counted far dearer. No form of addiction to this drug is known.

Yellow Jade Leaf is grown on hillside plantations west of Tien Lung, where it sells for a silver piece per measure- or five times that in Xian. When chewed by the user, it banishes fatigue and blurs attentiveness a little, making the user comfortable with simple, tedious tasks. In game terms, it eliminates nonmagical fatigue for eight hours per dose, but applies a -2 Wisdom penalty while in effect. Addicts in withdrawal tend to suffer shooting pains at even the most moderate exertions.

Alchemist's Yellow Jade Leaf: Level 1. Component Cost: 10. Market price: 50. Time: 10 minutes. Skill: Nature (no check). Power (Consumable): No Action. Use on yourself or one ally before beginning a Skill Challenge that includes Endurance or Athletics as key skills. The user gains +2 on rolls using those Skills which contribute to the Challenge, and takes a -2 Wisdom penalty until their next short rest.

River Lotus Dust is the somewhat inaccurate description of a bluish spore scraped from the underside of low-hanging vines that grow in certain carefully-tended plantations. When inhaled, it serves as an intense aphrodisiac and stimulant that lasts for hours after ingestion, rendering even the most unpleasant coupling a delightful experience. Addiction among the better class of courtesans is by no means rare, as it helps them better tolerate their more demanding clientele. In Tien Lung, a dose goes for five silver, while in Xian a buyer might pay three or four gold. Withdrawal from long-term use of the drug is singularly unpleasant, as unregulated senses accentuate and aggravate every unpleasant stimulus into a stomach-churning noisomeness.

Witch-maker Oil is rarely found even in Tien Lung's marketplace, but there is a small but steady demand for it in certain circles. The plant itself is only found wild in mountain foothills, and collecting it requires risking encounters with the goblinoids who so predominate there. Once properly gathered and distilled into a viscous green oil, it can be applied to a willing- or less willing- subject. The drastic physical changes it provokes are most emphatic in the goblinoids who use the extract in the rare instances of a male desiring to join the priestesshood, but show effect in males of all the common native and refugee species. Over the course of three to five months of steady use, the male's features soften, body hair is lost, hips widen, and breasts form. Sterility and voice tone changes are common side effects, albeit not universal. The speed of the change varies for each individual, and the oil must be applied at careful intervals in the alteration. Failure to complete the regimen in a timely fashion almost invariably results in death as the user's overstressed body fails. The changes are effectively permanent, though it's possible that specially-designed magical healing may be able to revert the alteration. Its use as revenge upon a particularly detestable rival is by no means unknown in goblinoid circles. A full regimen of witch-maker oil easily runs as much as two hundred gold koku.

Sagacious Magistrate Cordial is perhaps inaptly named, as the hallucinogen does very little to improve the sagacity of the user, with the strange visions and brilliant colors the drinker observes. It does, however, fill the user with a sense of overwhelming rightness and moral rectitude and give them profound confidence. The user tends to see things that aren't there, and thus everyone around him is treated as automatically having 20 percent concealment. In addition, the user's judgment is badly impaired by his confidence, resulting in a -4 Wisdom penalty. The sense of moral certitude provided increases Charisma by 2, however, as their powerful confidence motivates them. A single dose costs five gold in Tien Lung and 10 in Xian, and can be expected to last for half an hour. Withdrawal symptoms for an addict include confusion, weakness, and a tendency to obey any firmly-stated command.

Sagacious Magistrate Cordial: Level 4. Component Cost: 20. Market Cost: 90. Time: 30 minutes. Skill: Arcana (no check). Power (Consumable): Use on yourself or one ally before beginning a Skill Challenge that includes Diplomacy or Intimidate at key skills. The user gains +2 to rolls involving those skills that contribute to the challenge. Until their next short rest, the user treats all creatures not adjacent to them as having concealment, and takes a -2 penalty to Will defence.

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