Krrf is a stimulant derived from the bark of trees native to Arabie. It is usually sniffed, snorted or smoked, and tolerance and dependence develop rapidly. Its most common usage is as a component in some types of snuff although it is often used in a purer form by prostitutes as it is a potent anti-fatigue agent. Krrf also cancels hunger while giving the feeling of great physical strength and increased mental ability while numbing pain and dulling emotion.
Sanctuary is both the major point of import for krrf and where the bulk of imports are consumed. While it is not illegal to use krrf in the Western Kingdom, being in possession of more than a few pinches of krrf is a serious offence in many baronies, and krrf-dealers are often classified with necromancers, mimes and lepers as targets for popular entertainment.
Krrf is a dark powder with a strong, heady aroma like a combination of tobacco and liquorice. It is usually carried in a small bag made of pig's intestine or little snuff boxes. It is traditionally shipped hidden inside blocks of cheese or in specially-moulded clay pots with fake bottoms. Amongst the Ilsigi of northern Ranke, taking krrf is considered a cultural tradition.
Good quality krrf makes you feel young and brave, and can make fighters prepared to kill. A small amount of krrf will give you an edge of alertness, extra energy, and enthusiasm. Even the weakest krrf dulls the darker side of the mind, making horrible memories bearable, and helps against pain, despair, and hunger. Judgement and fine motor skills may become slightly impaired.
Taking large doses of krrf can make you "stoned", and repeated use causes addiction quite quickly. Regular use of excessive amounts can cause complete suppression of appetite, resulting in starvation for the poor, and rapid weight-loss for the wealthy.
The first time you use good krrf, it will increase your PC and WP by up to 5, and decrease your MD by 2, for a short period. The effects reduce on subsequent doses. The effect of good Krrf is similar to that provided by Prince Ipos.
- Domestic Krrf
- Common krrf is little more than a minor stimulant to be taken in the evenings to stay alert and sociable. No one has ever reported any problems with taking domestic krrf, and it is not considered addictive. Would you like some?
- Black Krrf
- This pure form of the drug is very expensive, but has almost no side-effects. It is the form preferred by nobility and the idle rich. The finest, pure black, unadulterated krrf comes in an ebony block embossed with the supplier’s seal – a phoenix within an auroboros. Dealers in Sanctuary include the Hawkmasks, Lastel, Marype, & Amoli (who pays her girls in krrf).
- In the Five Sisters, you can purchase the equally addictive Ghassa, which has similar effects, and will reduce krrf cravings somewhat. Most of what is said about krrf applies to ghassa as well. Ghassa is not available outside the Five Sisters.
- A special krrf derivative that enhances and heightens artistic senses, though it will dull practical perspective.
- This weaker, nastier version of krrf causes euphoria, but is highly addictive. The pungent and sickly smoke of kleelel is used by the Ilsigi and other poor folk as they don't have money for the more expensive krrf . Kleelel is generally smoked in pipes. After two or three pipefuls, the smokers will be vomiting, but they claim that the euphoria is worth it. Kleelel is available throughout northern Ranke, though outside Sanctuary it may be hard to acquire for non-Ilsigi.
- This cheap and ineffective substitute for krrf dulls both Krrf cravings and despair by dulling the senses. Lung-rot is a common side effect of 'dust'. It is available on the Sanctuary Docks, in The Maze, or from disreputable krrf dealers everywhere.
The Ilsigi prefer to smoke it in tobacco or pipeweed, where possible. Alternatively, little piles of powder can be snorted directly into the nostrils, from krrf poured into a clenched fist using thumb muscles as a well. Regular krrf users often have a dark-stained right thumb. The terminally addicted mix it with other drugs that make it sink into the blood directly through the skin, to increase its effects although they can become less predictable. Muse can be brewed with hot water like coffee.
Clarissa d'Ornay: "Krrf habit-forming? Of course not. I ought to know, I've been using it for years." (apologies to Tallulah Bankhead)