Tabacca is an herbal mixture that evokes disgust in non-users due to the obnoxious smells and smoke, despite being hailed by those who use it as a wonderful relaxant without any unpleasant side effects, which Opium usage normally imparts. Tabacca, occasionally referred to as “Bacca” in Daendroc has become a very popular export from the southern plantations. In fact, it has grown to such a degree that there are in fact only two major exportations from Daendroc, being Tabacca and Opiates. Tabacca is not marked as an addictive substance or a controlled product in Regalia, despite the disastrous side-effects of overuse. It is commonly available in most apothecaries, sigg shops and curiosity stores. Out of all the alchemical products, it is undoubtedly the most widely available herbal mixture with numerous applications.
Tabacca was originally developed by Daendroquian plantation owners based on the various hallucinogenic Lafenall Leaf products that the Avanthar used. In order to dull down the leaf’s effects, the addition of fiberroot and tabacca leaves allowed for the lafenall leaf to allow it to burn slowly, whilst producing a pleasant smell and easily inhalable smoke, courtesy of the tabacca leaves. Around 198 AC, the tabacca mixture experienced an explosion of popularity among local plantation owners who rapidly switched to the more globally marketable product. By 240 AC, for every 200 Regalian houses, there was some form of shop selling tabacca tabacca, while a mere ten years later, the smoking of tabacca was no longer limited to the conventional consumption of smoking through a pipe, thanks to the garette and the sigg.
Tabacca can be prepared in numerous ways. The most conventional method is pipe preparation. For the pipe preparation, a three part equal mixture of tabacca Leaves, rasp of the Daendroque fiberroot and lafenall are sun-dried for several days, (though cheaper products have been known to be smoke dried, which has resulted in considerably lower quality yields, though cheaper production times). When the products are dried, they are all ground into a semi-rough compound, which must remain granular enough to allow some fibers to remain visible, but ground enough to resemble wood shavings. While any layman can create a Tabacca mixture with the right ingredients, it is often better purchased from an alchemist who can minimize it's side-effects.
A garette is a less common variety of Tabacca consumption that involves a small white paper-rolled sigg developed by Duke d’Garette of Ithania. In order to prepare tabacca for garette-smoking, the mixture receives a half part less lafenall and a half part more root. This causes garettes to burn much slower than pipes, but impart less impact on the user, thus requiring two garettes to achieve the effect of one pipe. When preparing a sigg, a heavier Lusits variety of the Garette that involves fragranced paper and high quality Tabacca leaf developed by the Siggoinas plantation family, a quarter of both the root and lafenall are sacrificed for an equal amount more tabacca. Additionally, producers will occasionally add drizzles of burnt sugar cane to the mixture to give the siggs a very sweet and strong smell, though siggs burn faster and, akin to the garettes, produce weaker effects. Siggs are particularly popular among Nobles due to their strong and pleasant high quality smell, especially since sugar is often a resource only available to upper class individuals.
Tabacca can be consumed in various ways. The most common manner is smoking the pipe, where smoke is inhaled through the pipe end. Siggs and garettes function in much the same way, by inhalation through the mouth. It is also possible for one to intentionally, or unintentionally second-hand smoke, by is also possible re-inhaling the exhaled smoke someone has produced. This method is considered ten times less effective at receiving the effects. Finally, some Northerne tribes simply put whole tabacca leaves up to their teeth and suck on them, though this method is considered too uncivilized for Regalians. To aid the consumption of pipes, siggs and garettes, items referred to as striking pins have been developed. These small wooden pins can be struck up against any solid object, causing friction that ignites small granules of fireweed that are stuck to the tip with resin. The striking pin will be hot enough to cause a small flame on flammable objects for a few seconds which allows a tabacca product to be lit. It will only function when the smoke can be inhaled, and hence it must be ignited.
Many tabacca use it for the nerve-calming effects. Smoking tabacca has been known to lower anxiety and cause shaking or stuttering to cease, and smoking is often prescribed to patients with night terrors or sleeping issues. Aside from medical practices however, smoking siggs has became very popular among noblemen, as it is often considered an expression of wealth and fine taste. Many noble houses in Regalia possess smoking rooms, which are separated from the rest of the house, and have specific ventilation to the outside to allow for smoking without disturbing the other tenants. Finally, garettes are very popular among scholars and criminals, largely because they are the cheapest to manufacture out of all the varieties of tabacca, but also because they are most commonly available. Scholars in particular use them to keep their mouths busy while they work, or to take a moment of relaxation to reconsider their intellectual approach or thesis.
Tabacca appears just like any other leaf, though it is often colored yellow or dark brown when dried. All other ingredients become dark brown when dried, and when everything is ground up together, the mixture is barely distinguishable from dark brown wood shavings. When compacted, it simply appears like dead moss. Tabacca smells a bit bitter, with a strong smell reminiscent of eastern spices, nutmeg and chopped wood. More high quality Tabacca can be smelled because of a faint whiff of freshly cut grass, which is often produced by the more fresher Lafenall.
- While Tabacca is generally more culturally acceptable than Opium, the arrival of tabacca has not pushed away the popularity of Opium, largely due to the machinations of the Anahera Opium Magnate.
- Opinions on tabacca are very clear-cut. Either it is hated for the smell, or loved for its effects. Heated debates can often form between smokers and non-smokers purely because of the aesthetics of smoking, even if all sides accept the medicinal values.
- Some scholars claim smoking causes instability of the humors and tar-lung, a condition where heavy smokers cough up blackened blood. No real long term proof has been provided for this thesis though.
- Once during a heavy storm, a ship full of dried tabacca sank in the Regalian Harbor. For two weeks, the specific bay it was anchored in was so filled with tabacca leaves that the water turned brown and the whole area reeked of dried tabacca.