The Skill is a type of magical telepathy that exists in the Realm of the Elderlings. In its most common forms this magic allows Skilled individuals to hold conversations at great distance and to influence the minds of others.
The ability to utilize the skill presents itself most frequently in descendants of the Royal Farseer Line. However the skill does appear in individuals who have no known connection to the Farseers, and it is suggested that the ability will present itself whenever there is a mixing of Outislander and Six Duchies blood.
The Fool has also suggested that the Skill may come from an influence of Dragon's blood within the Farseer Line. As evidence he points to the similarities between the skill and the telepathy powers that Dragons possess.
Examples of useEdit
A basic use of the magic allows Skill Users to communicate with each other over seemingly limitless distances. Often this communication is done directly between two skill users, but if special care is not taken other skill users may be able to overhear their conversations. It is not uncommon for entire Coteries to communicate as a group using this method. This form of communication can normally only happen between those with the ability to utilize their skill.
- Verity Farseer uses this form of the skill to communicate with the members of Galen's Coterie.
- FitzChivalry Farseer also utilizes this ability to communicate with his uncle Verity at various times, and later to communicate with the other members of Dutiful's Coterie.
A more advanced use of the magic allows a Skill User to essentially ride inside the minds of others. This allows them to see through the eyes of the other party a well as have a deeper connection to their thoughts and emotions. It is unclear as to the required level of Skill in the person to be "ridden".
- Verity uses a form of this ability to see through August's eyes during his wedding to Kettricken.
- Verity uses a different form of this ability to accompany Fitz around Buckkeep and on several missions.
A skill user can at times reinforce a verbal command and, presumably a non-verbal command, with a burst of skill power. When the skill is used this way the person thus commanded has little or no choice but to follow the command. There are occasions where such a skill command can be made without the users intending to make it, if the user is strong enough and less educated in their abilities removing the command can prove difficult or impossible.
- Chivalry Farseer places an obedience skill command on Galen while protecting his brother and is unable to remove the command.
- Galen places a skill command on the members of his coterie instructing them to serve him and his half-brother Regal Farseer instead of King Shrewd and his proper heirs. Will later replicates this command on the Coteries he creates for Regal.
- Fitz accidentally places a skill command of "don't fight me" on Dutiful Farseer when the two of them are fighting on the beach at Other's Island. Fitz is at a loss as to how to remove the command at first but Dutiful is able to break trough the command at a later time.
Skill users can subtly affect the minds of others by suggesting things are different than they actually perceive them to be. Unlike other uses of the Skill, this particular ability does not require the target to have substantial amount of ability in the skill themselves, though presumably they need to have some inherent skill ability.
- Verity frequently used his skill ability to attack the minds of Red Ship Raider crews. He would touch the minds of various crew members and cause them to go off course or make them believe an approaching storm was of much less severity. Verity's Skill Haze was only effective as long as he placed at least some concentration on the task.
- Galen seemed to be able to place a more lasting form the Haze on Fitz by using it to convince the boy that he lacks talent in the skill. This particular use may be some combination of the Skill Command and Skill Hazing abilities.
- Will, with the assistance of Burl and Carrod, uses this type of skill to convince Fitz that he is approaching Regal's quarters at Tradeford when in fact he was being steered into a trap.
Some skill users can use their abilities to excert control over their own dreams or even enter and control the dreams of others. This particular use of the skill seems to be a rarer incarnation of the magic.
- Nettle Farseer showed particular talent with this form of the use of the skill. She on several occasions was able to enter the dreams of others, including her father's and those of Thick. Nettle is even able to enter the dreams of the Dragon Tintaglia as well as expel the dragon from her own dreams.
A concentrated skill effort can be used in conjunction with a knowledge of the body to accelerate a body's natural healing ability. A skill healing can bring someone back from the brink of death but not without a cost. Since it merely accelerated one's natural healing abilities, the healing process presents a substantial drain on the healed body's resources and reserves.
- Dutiful's Coterie performs a very powerful skill healing on Fitz after he is wounded in his battle against Laudwine. Most notable is that this skill healing doesn't seem to end after the Coterie ends their attempt. Fitz continues to heal on an almost nightly basis and it even seems to slow his ageing.
- Thick is able to single handedly heal some wounded refugees from Aslevjal
- FitzChivalry Farseer is able to control the healing of the Fool's body, while he is inhabiting it after the fool's death. This particular healing also involves the use of Wit Magic.
- Fitz also performs another solo healing on the Fool much later in their lives, but with a previously unknown side effect of taking on some aspects of the healed injuries himself. It is suggested that this may be because he shares a special bond with the fool.