Ningguang’s Smoking Pipe

Being the Tianquan of the Liyue Qixing is no easy task; it requires technical thinking, long work hours, and the ability to work well under a level of pressure that would break most other people.

It’s interesting, then, that Ningguang has extremely few outlets in her life for personal relaxation to help her unwind from her duties, and most of them are fairly mentally-taxing to a degree in themselves (such as the chess-like game that she invented, Liyue Millennial).

One of the outlets she does have, though, is smoking her pipe from time to time. This is also showcased in one of her in-game idle animations.

Ningguang’s pipe is a type of Japanese tobacco pipe called a ‘kiseru’. Versions of them were first built in the 16th century, and eventually found their way over into mainland China as well as Korea. The tobacco used in them is sliced into long, very thin strands that burn extremely easily and quickly – reflecting the idea of Far Eastern smoking as a quick refreshment, whereas the English smoking of the day was more of a moderate hobby.

There are two general sizing profiles for kiseru pipes. Smaller, less robust pipes range in length from 6″ to 12″, while longer, more robust variants can be fully extended up to 22″ long. There isn’t a tremendous sizing difference in terms of how large the burn bowl is for either – the intent was that a large kiseru, made out of a combination of aluminum and brass, could actually double as a mild weapon of sorts as it was basically a metal pipe with one side being heavily weighted. How practical or usable this was in practice depends on who you ask.

I’ve recreated a simple kiseru pipe in the general style of Ningguang’s – this one is 10″ by default, but can be fully extended up to 14″ by sliding the burn bowl and mouthpiece ends further out along the center pipe.