Case of Jarra Spice

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The Locals Case of Jarra SpiceCopyright © 2000 by Scott Perry

As formulated by the Council of Know at the 963,369th meeting on Knowledge and Other Things that can be Known. Any comments expressed in this transcript are not endorsed by the Council of Know and may be considered opinions only.

Simon Knowles, who sat in attendance as the official scribe keeper at the 963, 369th meeting, recorded the following transcript. Any errors or omissions may be the result of the scribe and not the attendees. Any requests for corrections or additions should be directed to Mr. Knowles.


Jarra spice (also known as "spice", "jarra", "jar spice", "jarjar", "Gehenna dust", "loth dust" and "loth spice") is one of the most powerful known hallucinogen on the Planes. Jarra spice has become known as a drug that radically changes a user's mental state by enhancing a being's psychic perception to the point where visions of possible futures can occur, if they have been exposed to high doses.

Although it is derived from the Jarra plant (jarria fungus) that grows on Gehenna (supposedly somewhere on Krangath, the fourth layer of Gehenna), Jarra spice is semi-synthetic and must be altered to become potent. The jarria fungus is magically altered in illicit laboratories (believed to be somewhere on Mungoth, the third layer of Gehenna, under the direction of high up yugoloths) and converted into the addictive drug known as Jarra spice.

Even in very minute doses (for example, 50 to 100 micropinches - a micropinch is 1/1000 of a milligrab), Jarra spice can significantly alter one's psychic ability to the point of prophetic hallucination - that is, one sees or hears things that do not, at least not yet, exist. Hence Jarra spice is classified by medicinal clerics as a hallucinogen.

Specialists working at the Citadel of Chiseled Enlightenment have been able to confirm what is already widely believed, that Jarra spice is 100 percent instantaneously addictive to any user, regardless of race, faction, size, or shape. This addiction is not a physical craving; it is in fact an addiction of the psyche.

Hallucinogens across the planes have been labeled illusionogenic, psychotomimetic, psychedelic, hydromatic, and mind-expanding, depending on whether sages or addicts are talking about them. The list of known hallucinogens include mescaline (a prime drug also known as peyote), piecochet ("magic mushrooms"), and planar hibiscus. Of this group, however, Jarra spice is by far the most potent, it is approximately 2 and half times stronger than planar hibiscus, 100 times stronger than piecochet and 4,000 times stronger than mescaline.

Pure Jarra spice is a white, odorless crystalline powder made from the grinding of the Jarra plant. Because an effective dose of the pure drug is almost invisible, it is mixed with other substances, such as sugar or salt after being magically "enhanced". The drug is then packaged in containers such as sniffers or snuff pipes and distributed across the planes.

Jarra spice is usually inhaled or otherwise taken through the nose by some way of snorting. It has been suggested that it can be injected through needles or tubes, but a user surviving this harsh action has yet to be recorded. There have also been foolish attempts to snort non-magically "refined" flakes of jarria fungus. This unfortunate procedure resulted in the user becoming completely "limb-locked" and then perishing from the abrupt stoppage of the user's blood flow.


The effects of any drug depend on several factors: The amount taken at one time. The user's past drug experience. The manner in which the drug is taken. The circumstances under which the drug is taken (the place, the user's psychological and emotional stability, the physiological attributes of the user's race, the simultaneous use of alcohol and/or other drugs).

These factors are especially important with Jarra spice. In fact, the effects of Jarra spice on any user, or even on the same user at different times, are difficult to predict. Short-term effects appear soon after a single dose and disappear within a few hours or days. Appearing first are physical effects including: numbness of the limbs; muscle weakness and trembling; uncoordinated rapid reflexes; increased blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature; impaired hearing and vision; dilated pupils or eye stalks; nausea and bloody diarrhea; and, occasionally, violent seizures, which can result in death. Dramatic changes in perception, thought, and mood occur shortly after the physical effects.

These changes may include: Vivid, usually visual, "pseudo-hallucinations" that the user views as real and aware. Distorted perceptions of time (moments seem like days); distance (space becomes seemingly infinite, but yet within reach); gravity (sensations of floating or being pressed down); the space between oneself and one's surroundings (for some, a feeling of oneness with the multiverse, for others, a feeling of terror). State of sensory reversal or fusion of the senses wherein one hears colors and sees sounds, also known as synesthesia. Diminished control over thought processes, resulting in recent or long-forgotten memories resurfacing and blending with current experience or in insignificant thoughts or objects taking on deep meaning. Feelings of a mystical, religious, or cosmic nature (generally the most desired effect). The distorted visions of possible future events as well as other potential matters of the planar time continuum. Such visions are rare, but recorded prophetic episodes have occurred.

Many users also experience unpleasant reactions to Jarra spice. Fear, anxiety, and depression may occur, even with experienced users who have had no prior adverse reactions. Calling these reactions "bad spice" or "jarra burn", users feel that they are losing their identity, disintegrating into nothingness, and that there is no reality. This has called some alarm among medicinal clerics, as the drug would unfortunately favor interest from those of the Doomguard faction.

Pseudo-hallucinations give way to terrifying true hallucinations, sometimes resulting in violence, homicide, or even suicide. In some cases, this psychotic state lasts several days or even longer with one report involving a Sensate in which he lapsed into a cycle-long catatonia. Multiple deaths resulting exclusively from Jarra spice overdoses and excessive use have been reported. Cases of suicide have occurred during or following Jarra spice inhalation. Other results of violent or hazardous behavior include accidental (sometimes-bizarre) fatalities, homicides, and self-mutilations.

Long-term effects appear after repeated use over a lengthy period or some time after the short-term effects of a single dose have worn off. "Jarraflash" (unpredictable, spontaneous recurrences of the original Jarra spice experience without the user's taking the drug again) can occur weeks, months, or even cycles later after the last encounter with the drug. Typically, these flashbacks last only a few minutes or less and are usually visual images ranging from formless colors to frightening hallucinations of possible futures. The cause of the flashbacks is unknown, but they frequently occur after a Jarra spice user smokes tobacco or other leaf-based products.

Chronic Jarra spice use may result in prolonged depression and anxiety. Often the heavy user may have a reduction in the quality of their eyesight and in some cases the result has been complete blindness. In cases where total blindness has occurred, there has been an increase in the ability to see future events or occurrences. Some believe that the loss of normal vision has enhanced the user's "mind's eye".

Tolerance and Dependence

Tolerance to Jarra spice's hallucinatory and physical effects develops rapidly, making larger amounts of the drug necessary to produce the same effects. Often, within a few days of consecutive daily doses, no amount of the drug will produce the desired effects. After several days of abstinence, however, both the hallucinatory effects and the effects on blood pressure and reflexes are again felt. A being that has built up tolerance to Jarra spice will also be resistant to the effects of the other, less potent hallucinogens, such as piecochet and planar hibiscus. This phenomenon is called cross-tolerance.

Normally, there is no physical dependence on Jarra spice after continuous use since there are no withdrawal symptoms if the drug is discontinued. However, some regular Jarra spice users have developed slight physically dependence on the drug. The need to keep sniffing the drug became a compulsion. They represent a small minority of Jarra spice users, however, and in street chant are called "spiceheads", "spice freaks", and "jarheads."

All Jarra spice users fall to an inescapable addiction, an addiction of the mind. A psychic addiction is immediately developed once a being uses the drug. There is currently no known cure for this addiction and oddly it poses no direct threat to the user, other than the fact that the psyche craves the drug, again and again.

Who Uses Jarra Spice

Availability of Jarra spice tends to vary with its popularity on the street. When the drug is in fashion, it is usually easy to obtain. At other times, it can be difficult to find. Such substances as planar hibiscus powder (also known as PHP) are frequently passed off as Jarra spice to the unsuspecting buyer. It is believed that yugoloth forces directly control the entire supply of Jarra spice.

Jarra Spice and The Law

Jarra spice was recently classified as a restricted drug under Schedule H of the Fraternity of Order's Food and Drug Act of the Twelfth Volume of the Sixth Revision in the Third Issue of the Ninth Declaration on Law and Commerce. Without authorization, it is illegal for anyone but the Harmonium to be in possession of the drug. Their possession is for the collection of evidence only. Authorization is granted only to qualified sages and research clerics conducting approved clinical and experimental investigations.

If tried by summary conviction, a first offender charged with possession faces a maximum penalty of 6 cycles imprisonment. There is a maximum penalty of 10 cycles imprisonment for subsequent offenses. If tried by indictment, Jarra spice possession carries a maximum penalty of 13 cycles imprisonment. Trafficking and possession for the purposes of trafficking, if tried by summary conviction, are punishable by a maximum of 18 cycles imprisonment. If tried by indictment, these offenses carry a maximum of 100 cycles imprisonment.

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