“A man named Kenneth Barnes created the House of Nepenthe because he wanted to give people one last chance to communicate with loved ones before they died. Even if they were unresponsive to the outside world, perhaps dying in some hospice somewhere, they would still be able to communicate through this private construct. It is rare to see good intentions in a Vinestead employee, and even when you do, it often comes coupled with ignorance. It is not hard to take this idea to its inevitable conclusion: inducing a coma, keeping someone on the very edge of death, and thus trapping the victim in the House of Nepenthe forever.”
— Anela Zabora to her sister Kaili, Brigham Plaza
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer, swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee, Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore; Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
— The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
1. a drug or drink, or the plant yielding it, mentioned by ancient writers as having the power to bring forgetfulness of sorrow or trouble.
2. anything inducing a pleasurable sensation of forgetfulness, especially of sorrow or trouble.