Smokes were small, silvery balls that one could throw onto the ground to produce a flash of light, and shimmery sheet of shmoke that hid the user from view. The guards of Grull would use them to practice magic
tricks illusions on their off hours, which made the Smokes particularly valuable to the inmates, as they could use them as a form of currency. With enough smokes, one could bribe the guards into letting them get away with anything, leading to some prisoners leading the lives of kings/queens within the prison, notabley The Baus and Verona.
Skud Derringer witnessed Jimmy Skaags pay off a guard using 6 Smokes to keep quiet their sneaking into see the Baus. This prompted Skud to tell the others about this little barter system, so that they incorporated acquiring some as a part of their escape plan.
Toby Treacletart's cell-mate, Steinar Ulth, overheard this plan, and told them that he could make smoke bombs if he were to get his hands on a book from the restricted section of the library, Oric's Compendium of Alchemical Tinctures and Solves. Lahni, assigned to the library, made it her mission to acquire the book.
Rowan Grey was made to bring a glass of lemonade to another prisoner, Verona. As thanks, and because she thought Rowan was cool, Verona gave her a single Smoke, which Rowan brought back to the group that night.
- This is a satire of the idea of cigarettes being used as currency in prisons. Cigarettes are often referred to as "Smokes"