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Type Moss
Used for Anti-inflammatory and recreational drug
World of Origin Roshar
Universe Cosmere

Rubbing firemoss was said to make a man’s mind more receptive to thoughts and ideas. The one time Szeth had tried it, it had given him a headache and two blistered fingers.

Szeth on firemoss[1]

Firemoss, sometimes referred to simply as moss,[2] is a plant native to Roshar. It has a psychotropic effect on humans and can be a highly addictive drug.[3]


Firemoss is red-brown in color, and it has a distinct smell when dried.[4][2] It is known to grow on rockbuds in Alethkar. During summer, the moss dries out and can spontaneously combust, burning the rockbuds and drawing flamespren.[4] It is presumably uncommon in some parts of Roshar, as Shallan Davar had never seen it before she traveled to the Shattered Plains.[5]


Firemoss has several effects on the human body. It can be used medicinally for pain relief and to reduce extreme cases of cerebral edema, although under what exact etiology is unclear. It should only be used as a last resort when fathom bark is not effective, as there is a high risk of the patient developing an addiction; Lirin hates using it.[3][6]

When used recreationally, the user rubs the moss between the thumb and forefinger. This triggers a reaction that results in a visible glow resembling an ember. The moss then produces wisps of smoke and a crackling sound similar to a knife scratching bone.[2] Inhaling the smoke makes the user feel relaxed and euphoric, ignoring any stresses in their life and altering their perceptions to become more receptive to new ideas. The body adapts to the drug, as the psychotropic effects decrease with regular use, often leading to addiction.[1][7][4] The heat of the moss may cause finger blistering until calluses are built up; even experienced users may get blisters if they use too much moss.[1][2] In some, firemoss use can induce headaches.[1] Recreational use is sometimes referred to as "grinding" moss.[8]

Frequent use of moss in large quantities can cause the wasting of one's body, and can cause one's eyes to become glazed over.[9]

During withdrawal, some firemoss users have seizures, and its aftereffects can still reappear after years of stopping consumption.[10]

Economy and Legality[edit]

Firemoss is commonly used in disreputable locations such as gambling dens and wrestling dens.[1][4] The Alethi consider public intoxication on firemoss to be a crime.[11] Some members of the nobility such as Gavilar and Toh have obvious contempt for firemoss use.[4] Although firemoss grows in the wild, there is a market for dried moss in cities and in the warcamps.[7][4] Sellers of firemoss often operate from inconspicuous locations that never close, staffed by unsavory characters. These locations presumably sell firemoss at a premium price, as people who are addicted to moss can go bankrupt buying it.[7]


After the unification of Alethkar, Dalinar Kholin used firemoss recreationally when he didn't want to think about politics or war. He noted that the effects of firemoss were not as strong as what he felt from the Thrill.[4]

Szeth once tried firemoss but did not experience any mental effects other than a headache, and never tried it again.[1]

When Kaladin was recovering from the fight with a chasmfiend and wandering in the chasms, he was offered firemoss as a pain reliever. He refused it because he knew firemoss was addictive and remembered that his father hated using it.[6]

Shallan once noticed her brother Jushu rubbing a plant between his fingers, although she did not know what it was at the time.[12] Tyn later openly used firemoss in front of Shallan.[5]

Teft developed an addiction to firemoss when he was in the Sadeas army, but never could get in too much trouble due to a lack of money. Shortly after Shallan's encounter with Re-Shephir in Urithiru, it became obvious that he had relapsed. He was physically addicted to firemoss, as he no longer experienced euphoria and had to use the drug just to feel normal. His powerlessness to resist the drug made him feel ashamed, and he rejected the honorspren trying to bond him because of it.[7] Eventually, Teft was arrested for public intoxication on firemoss, though the Highprince of Information, Aladar, quietly had Navani issue orders to release him.[11] After he swore the the Third Ideal of the Windrunners during the Battle of Thaylen Field, he discovered that the Ideals did not make his addiction go away, but Kaladin promised to help him.[13] When he fell unconscious during the occupation of Urithiru, Kaladin thought that Teft had used firemoss lately and was having withdrawal symptoms or aftereffects.[10]when he woke from his coma during the occupation of Urithiru, he assumed he had used firemoss. When he realized he had not, he prided himself on have not been using firemoss for nearly seven months.[14]


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