Absentia: An expensive, addictive and highly illegal drug that, when taken, enables the user to "ride" on another person's consciousness. The catch: the user can't choose whose consciousness to vicariously experience. Ulisse d'Amici is an absentia addict.
Blood Roses: Unusual, expensive flowers, blood roses have been magically augmented in wild and unpredictable ways. The flowers from different bushes do different things; some exude darkness, some live forever, some have petals that turn to gold when they die, some smell like whatever the person holding them wishes them to smell like, and some have deadly poisonous thorns. You never know what you're going to get, and a gift of blood roses is always just a little bit dangerous.
Chaff: An inexpensive poison favored in Tarkishi, killing someone with chaff is considered a very serious insult, as if they weren't worth bothering to kill in a more civilized manner.
Charity: A type of poison that kills swiftly and painlessly. Its distinguishing characteristic is the way it causes numbness to spread throughout the body starting at the site of the wound; its antidote is a particular form of crystalline quartz.
Hotdish: Similar to a casserole, a hotdish usually consists of a meat, a starch, and optional cheese or vegetables, but unlike a casserole, a hotdish must be hot and cannot be cold. Popular examples: Tater tot hotdish (tater tots and hamburger with a mushroom soup base), goulash hotdish (noodles and hamburger with a red sauce base) and chicken stuffing hotdish (chicken, broccoli, and stuffing, smothered with cheese). Hotdish is the Meneluininese national food, and each year during the city's winter festival, there is a hotdish competition.