Noble Salt looks like either pure white or slightly green salt, available in either small grains, or larger flakes.
Origin & Source
Raw Noble Salt can only be found on one shallow beach on the western cape of Thea. The town of Saltshore was settled as the primary refining site for the mineral.
History & Usage
Though raw Noble Salt was known about by a few individuals since the mid-First Era, it only became widely popular in the early years of the Third Era. This time saw a rapid increase in its use among the nobility. Raw Noble Salt is hazardous due to both a strange mental effects it has on individuals who consume it in large quantities (increasing aggression, lowering mental faculties, and causing the individual to seek out bodies of water), as well as its highly addictive nature. Several noble houses nearly tore themselves apart through conflict or bankruptcy before a method for removing the negative effects was discovered. The alchemist who researched the process went on the found the Saltshore Refining Company.
Noble Salt is often either sprinkled on prepared foods, or ingested directly in small amounts. Though the effects of the salt differ between individuals, the most common results are mild euphoria, increased alertness, reduced fatigue, and in some slightly increased magical potency.
Cultural Significance and Usage
Due to its rarity, Noble Salt has always been a high priced commodity. Over time this lent it a perception of being a commodity of the noble classes, one that has only increased and these noble classes have worked to restrict its usage by anyone of lower station.
The Saltshore Refining Company uses a proprietary series of alchemical and magical methods to remove the detrimental and addictive effects of the raw salt flakes, before refining the now safe material into grains and flakes. The exact details of the process are a highly guarded secret, both in order to maintain the company's monopoly on the product, and to prevent any person or organization from reversing the process to make use of the raw salts dangerous properties.
Trade & Market
Noble Salt is a high cost luxury good most often seen in the kitchens and dining halls of the nobility of the continent, hence the salts name. All Noble salt is initially distributed by the Saltshore Refining Company, and may be funneled through secondary markets before reaching consumers.
Noble Salt has the same storage requirements as ordinary sea salt, with the one exception being stricter controls as to water exposure. This is because once Noble Salt is dissolved in water, it quickly loses its additional effects, rendering it normal salt, even if re-crystalized.
Law & Regulation
A few kingdoms limit the availability of Noble Salt to only the aristocracy, or ruling parties.