Elfbark is a substance that can be brewed into a strong tea to dull Skill-hunger and to relieve Skill headaches. It is also used to drug slaves in Chalced, increasing their stamina and slowing their minds so that they cannot escape.
Kettle warns Fitz that elfbark can actually deaden Skill and can be addictive. It is not something that she wants to encourage him to use again.
It is a hypnotic tea
Elfbark is a hypnotic tea made from the bark of the elfin tree. It is used for a variety of purposes, including making hypnotic drinks and promoting sedation. It can be found in the forests of Chalced and is usually sold by slave-owners to increase their slaves’ stamina, but it also dampens the mind and makes the slave feel depressed and scared, which can make him more likely to try and escape.
Kettle was horrified to find Fitz using it, as it is known to destroy the ability to Skill, which can be a major pain for anyone who has to use it regularly. She tries to persuade him to take a more moderate dose, but he is unwilling to go against his hunch. He eventually ends up drinking more of it than is healthy, but he still manages to find a bond with the staff through Skilling. It was an interesting occurrence that is worth remembering.
It is a drug
Elfbark is a drug that can be brewed into a tea. It’s a strong black brew, with a bitterness that dulls Skill-hunger and helps with the Skill-headaches. Kettle was horrified to hear that Fitz was using it. She said that it could deaden one’s ability to skill, and given in large doses it would cripple the growth of Skill for older users.
In Chalced, elfbark is used to drug the slaves, for it increases their stamina but dulls their minds, so that they will not try to escape. It’s also said that it could kill a slave who uses it too much, or who is attempting to Skill too many times in a row. Fitz is not aware of this, and he resists taking it when Peottre arrives with cakes containing it. He gives a coded warning to Chade when she arrives, and they both prevent Thick from taking any. Fitz’s rejection of the substance is a difficult choice, and the pain of it sets in afterward.
It is a painkiller
Elfbark is the herb of choice for pain management in the wizarding world. The most common use is as a stimulant, but it can also be used to dull the pain of a wound or a headache. It can also be used to relieve insomnia and treat certain anxiety disorders. A swig of elfbarking.com can help you to sleep like a baby, but don’t drink too much, or you’ll lose your marbles before you know it!
While Kettle is not too pleased with the fact that her brother Fitz has been drinking a cocktail of this ilk for over two centuries, the herb does have its uses. In fact, it is one of the few substances that can tame his temper, as he is often fidgety and incoherent when he is in pain. That’s the reason it is the ingredient of choice for many a coterie, or group of Skilled-Ones who work together as one to achieve a common goal (like stealing the crown of Monarch). It can even be found in a few lucky places in the real world.
It is a stimulant
Elfbark, also called delventree bark, is a powerful stimulant with the unfortunate side effect of making the user prey to feelings of despondency and fearfulness. Used by slave-owners in Chalced to increase the hours a slave can work while dampening his spirit, it is addictive and even taken sporadically can permanently alter a man’s temperament, making him suspicious and defensive with his closest companions, while eroding his sense of self-worth.
The best quality elfbark comes from the new branch tips of very old trees. To harvest it, incise laterally along the twig and around it at each end. Then, using a fingernail or knife point, carefully loosen the freed bark from the branch. This will cause the bark to curl into a cylinder, which can then be stored in a pouch until it is dry enough to be grated and made into a powder. Then it can be infused as a tea, or consumed immediately if the need is immediate.