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Kinthus is a plant somewhat akin to poppies, native to Sartorias-deles, with a thin trumpet-shaped white flower, very tiny. There are different varieties; those grown on mountainsides as a vine on old, fallen logs, etc., is the kind harvested as a drug. Most varieties have the same effect, it's just that the effect of ground-grown kinthus is more bitter than pain-relieving. The darker the flower, the more weak the effect on humans. (See Purple Kinthus below)

Kinthus loses most of its special properties when soaked in seawater. Brine-soaked kinthus becomes mere wood.[1]

Green kinthus

If the leaves are picked before the plant flowers, the plant is known as green kinthus, which is a pain-killer. It is far less dangerous than its counterpart, white kinthus, especially when used as a weak tea. It is a truthworthy pain-killer, a step more effective than steeped willow bark or listerblossom.

A heavy dose of ground green kinthus is used by many governments in truth extraction. Mental boundaries do not dissolve with such profound immediacy as they do when the person is under the effects of white kinthus. What mostly happens is that the person loses the ability to compartmentalize thoughts and begins to babble about anything that comes into their mind. Skilled questioners will guide the person to the subjects under question, and the person will not be able to keep up with the flow of their own talk, usually saying things like "I can't talk about X! Y will be so angry if I--oh no--yes, the green flag, I have to forget the green flag because they'll know about the chalice from the palace--no, no," which can be very humiliating once the effect wears off. Under skilled direction, one answers all questions in a stream-of-conscious manner, saying everything one believes is true. This is a painless method, and an infallible one for gathering the truth of what a person believes--but despite its painlessness, the threat of it often acts as a deterrent, and inspires the truth to come out without benefit of doses. People dread spilling everything inside their heads, for the most part. It has even been dangerous: people have been assassinated by their own allies when the prospect of kinthus questioning is raised--often people at high levels indeed, who have a lot to lose at being revealed.

What is asked, what is told from the sessions, can vary from place to place: the prospect of having all one's secrets spread around can be a worse threat than dismemberment or even death.

White kinthus

After the blossoms are soaked and then distilled is when the plant is known as white kinthus. It makes a drug powerful enough to relax will and inhibitions. It was once used as a truth drug, until general knowledge spread of the danger:t the mind, separated from the physical self, can wander off into dreams long enough to leave the person in a coma and weaken them, even kill them. The effect is cumulative over a lifetime. White kinthus produces especially strong reactions on the Hill-Folk; while it produces a dream state in them like it does in humans, the hill-folk never wake up. [2]

White kinthus was used for a time by various groups in ritualized, magic-enhanced attempts to emulate dena Yeresbeth, never with great success: that is, for every person who traveled successfully on the mental plane and then returned to tell about it, three or more never returned at all. And of course those who successfully returned rarely did after a second or third dose.

White kinthus has been outlawed by various governments over the centuries, but always makes a reappearance when someone is determined enough to get the truth from someone else, and has the money, patience, or expertise to acquire this method. At other times it's been used to emulate those old rituals in a bid to gain power in the mental realm.

burning kinthus spreads the effect: it will kill some of the indigenous races, like the Hervithe.

Purple Kinthus

Purple Kinthus is also known as 'steep' or tea. Generally it is fairly tasteless. It has a mild effect, a sense of calm and clarity at most, though some of that expectation might be brought to it. At any rate, few grow purple kinthus by itself for consumption as the taste is at best bitter; where it has been successful is in grafting Camellia sinensis to it, to flower best on sunny slopes, such as the northern slopes of Sartor's mountainy areas. It is grown with success in other places, but because of historical associations Sartoran Leaf is regarded as the best, and is the most expensive. This blend of native kinthus and the tea plant produces a tasty tea, called steep that has very mild effects.


  1. CD.p433
  2. CD.p267

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Page last modified on May 10, 2008, at 06:07 PM