The Sword Coast is home to numerous herbs, fungi, roots, tinctures and essential oils that are capable of altering one's consciousness. Their effects are as varied as the means of consumption. Whether they are smoked, drank, sniffed or rubbed on the skin, the various natural intoxicants are readily available in Baldur's Gate.
Regulating mind-altering substances is nearly impossible, Baldur's Gate has dozens of apothecaries, alchemists, mystics, midwives, healers, clerics and wizards. All of them utilize numerous intoxicants that would be far too difficult for the city's leadership to catalog, much less understand. As a result, the City Watch enforces a rather simple methodology.
In Baldur's Gate, any substance is permissable to consume. Provided one does not commit a crime while under the influence, they are safe from arrest. The same rules apply for sale and distribution. For example, a merchant can sell all of the hallucination-inducing mushrooms he likes, but failure to pay taxes on his profits will result on a visit from the tax collector and his armed guards.
In recent weeks, a new substance called "White" has been growing in popularity. Its manufacture and origins are a secret, but many speculate that it comes from Neverwinter. Its sole distributor is a thin, dangerous-looking man named Stevnos. He arrives in Balur's Gate once a month aboard a chartered ship called the Blue Dragon.
From the safety of the ship and protected by guards, Stevnos sells the White to anyone interested in distributing it in the city. He does not sell single doses at this time. Only serious investors willing to spend a few hundred gold pieces are welcomed.
White is a pale, sticky substance. Each dose is sold as a small nugget about the size of a pinky nail. It is consumed via a pipe and produces a thick, white smoke. The effect is rather debilitating, as the user's muscles relax and a comforting feeling of heaviness settles in. A single dose costs 5 sp and lasts several hours. Two doses will last a user an entire day.
White is not addictive, but its users become quite fond of the languid haze it produces. While under its influence, all attacks are made at a -4 penalty. It is not possible to cast Wizard spells when one is affected by White. Similarly, it's not possible to cast Cleric spells higher than 2nd level. Curiously, Druid's find their spell-casting abilities to be unaffected.
White's use is not widespread throughout the city. Due to its limited availability, its users are limited to a rather small section of the city. It seems to be particularly popular along Pigeon Street and the surrounding neighborhoods.