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If someone said it was possible to smoke crack in a game with a Teen rating, what would you say? "Shut up." "Get out!" "I think you're the one smoking the crack here, buddy..." Or would you believe this hypothetical? There would be no reason to feel ashamed for thinking the questioner was full of shit; however, you would be wrong. You can smoke crack in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, a game that just so happens to have been given a Teen rating by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (more commonly referred to as the ESRB.)

In the fictional world of Nirn, lies the continent of Tamriel. Now remember, Nirn (and more specifically Tamriel) is a creation of fiction; yet like any masterfully crafted work of fiction, the various cultures are derived from ancient and/or modern cultures of reality. This rule of thumb is also applicable to traditions, values, and...crack/cocaine. In Tamriel, this nefarious narcotic is known as skooma.

Tamriel is supported by ten major civilizations spread across nine provinces (both the Orsimer and Bretons share the province of High Rock,) all under the rule of the Glorious Empire. In one of Tamriel's nine provinces, the indigenous and eternally (in)famous spice known as moon sugar is found. This province is Elsweyr, home to the Khajiit. A feline race of self-described tricksters and merchants, the Khajiit live their lives by the cycle of the moons. They also happen to be in possession of what could be called, with more or less accuracy, a sweet tooth.

Why did the Khajiit cross the road? To get his moon sugar!
While moon sugar is very much apart of the average Khajiit's lifestyle, the shrewd cats are well aware of moon sugar's tertiary uses. When moon sugar is properly cultivated, and altered through various alchemical processes, skooma is produced. As an essential ingredient in the creation of skooma, and its abundance in Elsweyr, the Khajiit merchants have created a highly profitable trade, bartering with the various smugglers whose life's blood is the selling of the final product.

Ever to the chagrin of Tamriel's ne'er-do-wells, the drug skooma has long since been banned throughout the empire. But there are certainly provinces wherein the Skooma trade thrives. It should go without saying that Elsweyr is one of these provinces, it is the source of the drug itself. Another province mentioned earlier, in which skooma proliferates, is the Dunmer province, Morrowind.

As a quick aside, "mer," in the world of Nirn (again; more specifically in Tamriel) is the suffix seen in the names of the Dunmer, Bosmer, Altmer, and Orsimer races that loosely translates to "elf." An irony may be found in the use of the "mer" suffix, for while the descendant races of the Aldmer (Dunmer, Bosmer, and Altmer) are all in fact elven races; the Orsimer are elven no longer. Although once of Aldmeri blood, their race's demise altered them in ways not even the Dunmer's can understand; this is said, for the Dunmer were originally known as the Chimer, however changing after the war with (and extinction of) the Dwemer. It was the destruction of the Orsimer god, Trinimac, that sealed the fate of the Orsimer. Risen anew from their ashes, the Orsimer became the "orcs" of Tamriel.

The human races (Imperial, Nord, Redguard, Breton) and the aforementioned elven races have had a by-and-large tenuous relationship, resulting from the Imperial Emperor Tiber Septim's conquest of all nine provinces - these including the elven provinces. So it is no surprise that the elves have had issues accepting Imperial authority; unlike the conquered beast races, the Khajiit and Argonian, who have seldom interfered with the Imperial presence in their provinces of Elsweyr and Black Marsh, respectively.



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