Elfbark, also known as delventree bark, is a potent stimulant that makes the user prey to feelings of despondency and fearfulness. This is why it is often used by slave-owners in Chalced to increase the hours that a slave can work while at the same time dampening his spirit.
It is addictive and even taken sporadically can permanently alter a man’s temperament, making him suspicious and defensive even with his closest companions, while eroding his sense of self-worth. Nevertheless, there are times when the risks are worth it for the stamina it may confer in times of necessity.
Elfbark is the bark of a tree
Bark is the outer covering of woody plants that protects them from environmental conditions, pests, and disease. In tree species, it can vary in thickness and texture, with a smooth or rough surface.
Bark also serves as a water reservoir, acting like a sponge to absorb rain water from the sky. Each tree species has a maximum capacity for absorbing rain water in its bark.
For example, loblolly pine has about 38% solid bark and the rest is open pore space that allows rainwater to soak in quickly. On the other hand, pignut hickory and mockernut hickory have much smaller pore spaces and absorb water more slowly.
Elfbark can be harvested from new branch tips on very old trees, requiring careful incise laterally along the twig and around at each end of the cut. The resulting cylinder of elfbark can then be stored in a cool dry place until it is ready to be grated into powder and infused as a tea.
It is a hypnotic tea
A little bit of research into the finer points of elfbarking shows that this thorny tree’s hypnotic powers can be harnessed to create a brew that’s more than just an enjoyable beverage. It is also a potent stimulant that can elicit a plethora of other benefits from its users, most notably an increased work output and improved stamina. It’s not a magic pill but it is well worth the effort to cultivate.
Using an abrasive rag, a small hole is cut into the bark and the resulting product can be grated into a fine powder. Once dry, the herb is brewed into a tea. Its impressive strength and low cost make it a good choice for a wide range of applications. The best elfbark is not only the most enlightening but also the most beneficial to its users. It may also be the most effective at reducing the chances of accidents at work and home. A few cups per day can have significant effects on an unsuspecting worker’s morale and productivity.
It is a drug
Elfbarking.com is a potent stimulant, but it’s also one of the oldest magics. It can be used as a hypnotic tea, but it is also a drug that can enhance the stamina of slaves and allow them to work longer hours. While it can increase a man’s output, it is also responsible for evoking a sense of despondency, and even the smallest dose can wreak havoc on a man’s psyche.
It is not hard to see why Fitz tries it out, especially with his luck at the wheel and the need for a good ol’ fashion stimulant. Kettle prepares a few elfbark laden concoctions, and even though it’s not a foolproof system, the drink does the trick. It may be a long time before Fitz has to drink elfbark again, but it did the job and made the most of his chance at glory.
It is a poison
Often referred to as delventree bark, elfbark is a potent stimulant. But it also has the unfortunate effect of dulling the mind and making the user prey to feelings of fear and despondency. This is one of the main reasons why Chalcedans use it to drug their slaves, so that they can work for longer and stay out of trouble.
Fitz used to drink a strong black elfbark tea to dull his Skill-hunger and help him with the Skill-headaches that come after he Skills. Kettle was horrified when she found out Fitz used this herb, for it is said to kill the ability to Skill in youngsters and cripple it for older ones.
After they return to Withywoods through the pillars, Kettle prepares more elfbark for the Fool to drink. This will deaden his Skill, but it is believed that it can still bind the Skill in the body, which could strengthen the Wit. It’s a fascinating idea, though it’s not a definitive case because Chade can also Skill to release Shine’s block after they fed him Delvenbark.