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Real life drugs in a fantasy setting


Article Team
I remember reading something where coffee was referred to as caf, but I don't remember what it actually was. It didn't work for me though as the word's too similar to the real world word for it, and it felt like they'd made the change just for sake of it.

In a different story (The Deeds of Paksenarrion), a brew called Sib fills a function similar to what coffee does, but it's never described exactly what it is or how it looks. It's just part of the camp rituals and in my meaning it works a lot better.

It's probably one of these things that varies from reader to reader and book to book though. I still think that even after considering all of the advice given here (and in other places), you'll have to be honest with yourself and stick to your gut feeling.


If I were to incorporate a drug into my story, it wouldn't be opium. Opium doesn't lead to anything even remotely positive. When opium's used, the drug addict seems to be sleeping. Not very exciting.
That's precisely what I'm going for. Conflict, not excitement.
Hi 2Way,

Yes. In Wildling I had a psychedelic drug mentioned repeatedly which I had my character use as a weapon. I called it white wrath and made it a mushroom, which when you heated released spores. It essentially was the essence of a bad trip.

Cheers, Greg.
Quite a few of my characters, mercenaries, get high off "Leaf" which is pretty obviously weed. I don't go around calling it weed or grass or cheese or whatever, or cannabis, and neither do they smoke fat spliffs or anything, but I do use terms like High and Stoned quite a bit.
Hi Wielder,

Have you heard of Qat / Kat? Its a chewed leaf that many Africans (Sommalia I think) use which leads to a euphoria. And its been a problem for soldiers as loads of them have been stoned while carrying weapons.

Cheers, Greg.


Way back in my junior high years, I wrote a story where a herd of Triceratops were munching on marijuana plants in the jungles of Cretaceous North America. This had the effect of lowering their guard, making it easier for the T. Rex MC to sneak up and ambush them. The concept of Triceratops eating marijuana got a chuckle from my readers, but then I learned that cannabis as we know it comes from the chilly highlands of Central Asia, not the American tropics. In retrospect, coca would have worked better for my purposes since it is a tropical New World plant.

I didn't use any slang or in-world jargon for my story though. I simply called the plants marijuana.