Full Item Description
According to the vendor, elven green tea is picked from tea trees growing near the heart of the elven lands. The trees are watered by dew, and the leaves are picked by elfin maids who are not deemed old enough to wander the world freely. Once picked, the leaves are carefully prepared and dried, ensuring that the best flavor possible is preserved.
Tea has had a long history, one that has ranged from a simple treat, to being a symbol of revolt, as in the Boston Tea Party. It is only fitting that the drink make its way into the fantasy milieu, with a suitable twist.
The Real Deal
Elven Green Tea is a complete and total barmy lie. There are no magical glades of elven tea trees, and there are no young nublie elven princesses picking it. The Elven Green Tea, and associated Guild of the same name have simply come up with one heck of an idea. Since few humans ever see the elven homelands, it is easy to slap the name “Elven” on their product and sell it. It is an easy scam, many nobles are eager to buy anything that is haute-couture. Elven products demand a radically higher price than comparative human wares, why shouldn’t someone benefit from that?
The Guild maintains tea orchards in the old satrapy of Falhath, well south of Sangreal. The warm climate favors the trees well and despite its price, the tea is of good quality. Local workers, usually children and younger women actually do much of the picking and drying since it is not as heavy labor as the jobs of the men. Most local men are involved in stone cutting, mining, and the sowing and harvest of cotton, flax, and other heavy crops.
A small band of ships handle shipping the cargo along the coast, passing it along through proxy so that it never arrives at a selling destination in a human build cargoship. In some areas, Half-Elves are hired to deliver the tea to its consumer, furthering the image of the product. The operation is expensive, but the price of the tea more than compensates for the cost.
The Cost of Tea - Pirates have been active along the coast, and the tea coasters have made inviting targets. The pirates have taken to smuggling the tea into towns and selling it cheap. The Elven Green Tea Guild wants the PCs to A. protect a ship, B. Hunt down the pirates and destroy them, C. infiltrate the pirates to help the guild’s mercenaries put them all to the sword.
Bonfire - The local clergy decries the cost of tea, and the amount of money that nobles are spending on it. The Clergy want the shipments halted. Alternately, a political faction, such as Via Humanitae could decide to embargo any and all products made by non-human races.
The Potion - A local alchemist discovers a way to create a healing or general health tonic from distilling tea leaves. The PCs are requested to try it out on their daring adventures.