Thu
Feb 2 2012 1:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: Speculative Summary 9: “That sparked the entire Creation War”: Speculations on the Creation War

The Patrick Rothfuss reread on Tor.comWe’re half way through our no moon left unturned re-read of Patrick Rothfuss’s The Wise Man’s Fear, and we’re going to pause here for another speculative summary. After we’ve summed up some of the speculation we’ll be moving on. These posts assume you’ve read all of both books The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, and they are absolutely full of bizarre speculations and spoilers for all of both books. Please don’t go beyond the cut unless you want that!

Abbreviations: NW = The Name of the Wind. WMF = The Wise Man’s Fear. DT = Day Three, the forthcoming final volume. K = Kvothe or Kote when I can’t figure out what to call him and I’m feeling Kafkaesque. MT: Myr Tariniel. D = Denna

Useful links: The Sleeping Under the Wagon post, in which there are lots of theories. The re-read index. The map.

This is different from the other speculative summary posts, where I’ve mostly been quoting from discussions that have arisen and pulling things together.

As I’ve been doing that, for all four together, I kept coming again and again on the Creation War and how significant it is and how little we know about it.

 

A brief summary of the Creation War as I understand it

What I think happened was that there were people — neither human nor fae. Some of them were very powerful, and they lived in the seven cities plus Myr Tariniel. Felurian was one of them, the Ctheah was one of them, as were Iax, Lanre, Lyra, Selitos, Aleph, Tehlu and the other angels. We do not know if Cinder and the other Chandrian were among them. Teccam may have been one of them. We don’t know if they were immortal but killable or what.

There were two sides, Namers and Shapers. Shapers included Iax. Namers included Lanre, Lyra, Aleph, and Selitos. There were also neutrals — Felurian and presumably others.

The Shapers created Fae in some way, along with a lot of other cool stuff. There was a war, but there could have been a peace except that Iax stole the moon. He may have spoken to the Ctheah first — Bast says he did.

At the battle of Drossen Tor, the Namers won and shut Iax beyond the Doors of Stone, whatever the heck that means. (Waystones? The Four Plate Door? The Lackless door?) Lanre died killing an uber-draccus. Lyra called Lanre back from the dead.

Then Lyra died — we have no idea how. Then Lanre talked to the Ctheah and became Haliax and destroyed six cities and MT, leaving one city, probably Tinue. Selitos cursed him.

Then the remaining Namers got together and divided. One lot, led by Selitos, became the Amyr, out for revenge against Haliax and the Chandrian. The other lot, led by Aleph, set out to avenge evil done in future and became angels. Tehlu was one of this lot, and the confusion of Tehlu with an actual deity is just that, confusion. The Amyr and the angels are still out there.

There were now two worlds with the moon divided between them and moon-operated gates between them near Waystones. There were two lots of people, mortals in the 4C world and immortal Fae in Fae.

There are also tinkers, who may be related to or working for the angels. We don’t know if they are mortal or what. We don’t know if they existed before the Creation War — there’s one in Hespe’s story, but Hespe’s story is oral tradition. (I think it’s possible that it wasn’t a tinker but the Ctheah who set Iax longing for the moon for his created world.)

We do not know the relationship between Selitos and his Amyr and the human Order Amyr that was connected with the Church and the Aturan Empire.

We do not know of the Creation War went cold, or whether it’s all really a case of the war being won by one side and the survivors of that side being the new side, with the other side beyond the Doors of Stone. (That’s how it looks to me.)

We also don’t know if Kvothe is going to let them out, but I strongly suspect he is.

More thoughts, anything I’ve missed or got wrong?

I should be home by the time this is posted, and we’ll get back to normal and carry on with WMF and Felurian next week.

 


Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published two poetry collections and nine novels, most recently Among Others, and if you liked this post you will like it. She reads a lot, and blogs about it here regularly. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are more varied.

93 comments
Katy Maziarz
1. ArtfulMagpie
Thanks for this. I tend to get tangled up when thinking about all the different stories we've heard about the Creation War and the major players, trying to piece together the probable sequence of events...this is helpful. :-)
BJ Homer
2. bjhomer
Okay, so this has nothing to do with the creation war, but I had a thought this week that needs to be shared.

I've been reading through Name of the Wind again, and I was hit by a theory that I don't believe anyone has discussed.

I was reading the part where Kvothe first goes to the Eolian and plays for his pipes (Ch. 54), and I happened to look up the word "Eolian" in a dictionary. It means "Relating to or arising from the action of the wind." Given the name of the book, and the importance of names in this series, that made me stop.

If the Eolian has something to do with the wind, then perhaps we should look at what happened there. Kvothe played and sang the tale of Sir Savien, and Denna joined in singing the part of Lady Aloine. This is the first time we've seen her since the trip from Tarbean to the University. So this triggered a thought: *Does Denna have something to do with the wind?*

I know there has been lots of talk about Denna and the moon, but hear me out.

We often hear about the "ever-changing name of the wind". And here we have a character whose name is ever-hanging. And who Kvothe meets at a place "relating to the action of the wind".

Note that Denna can't stay in one place for very long—neither can the wind.

Who does Kvothe meet when he's off "Chasing the Wind"? Denna.

When Kvothe asks Denna what flower she would bring him, she replies "A willow blossom." A short while later, Kvothe says "Your flattery is naught to me but wind". (Remember Kvothe's talent for inadvertently using the correct name for things.) Denna replies after a moment "Beyond all other trees, the willow moves to the wind's desire."

Chapter 68, "The Ever-Changing Wind", is about Denna seeing Fela give Kvothe a cloak in gratitude for saving her life.

Chapter 69, "Wind or Women's Fancy", is largely Deoch and Kvothe talking about Denna.

And on and on. Once you start seeing it, it's *everywhere*. I don't know how this fits with the "Denna is the moon" theories, but I think you can make as strong a case that "Denna is the wind". Or, at least, that she's strongly connected to it. And if so, then the title of the first book takes on a whole new meaning.

Related tangential theory: What if it's some part of Denna (perhaps the name of the wind?) that is locked in Kvothe's box?
Steven Halter
3. stevenhalter
@Jo:I think that's a pretty good approximation for what we know about the Creation War so far. The Namers, Shapers and Neutrals are probably the right major categories and are probably how the individuals generally considered things.
It seems possible that there was another major category--call them the Instigators that may have been composed of only the Cthaeh (or maybe more or someone else) who had some purpose in stirring things up and fanning the flames.
Rob Munnelly
4. RobMRobM
Jo - more questions than you can shake a stick at.

- need to address the role of the Adem. The Chandrian story told to K in Haert is that the people who later became the Adem were living in the surviving city during the War and then were somehow kicked out. 843-44 in my hardcover copy. Maybe that they are not really human and don't reproduce in the ordinary way - wouldn't that be a kick?

- I'm also fascinated by whether there is some connection between Adem and the Amyr. If, as we believe, the home of the Amyr in the west near the Academy became Imre, query what was the root word that became Ademre in the East and whether it also was an Amyr derivative or Amry influenced. If the Lethani is akin to Spinning Leaf which is akin to the mental attitude needed to access naming, perhaps all the Adem originated as Namers.

- Where the heck did the 3,000 Amyr go when banned by the Pope several hundred years earlier?

- What is Scarpi? An angel? An Amyr? Is it same person as Scopi in the K story told to Sim and Wil near the bridge? If so, what does it make Chronicler, who is working with Scarpi?

- Also, what about human Amyr, especially those with a role to play near the Academy (such as whether Iax is buried in the basement)? Certainly makes sense from a Second Foundation-like perspective. Is Lorren one? I love the comment on last week's post speculating that Lorren left the Academy to go to Tarbean for the purpose of helping Scarpi get out of jail. What would that imply.

- How about Bredon - is he an Amyr? I re-read the "beautful game" discussion. Such a game can be when you create a trap, the opponent enters it knowing it is a trap, and you succeed anyway. That could very well be what Bredon is doing as patron to D - creating and distributing a Lanre story that will pull Chandrian out of hiding and, potentially, lead to a situation of which Bredon can take advantage - even if it causes hurt to D (for the greater good).

Etc...

Rob
Anthony Pero
5. anthonypero
@BlueJo:

It would be helpful to list these "facts" as bullet points, with the sources they come from in parentheses. By sources, I mean, who is telling the story, such as Scarpi, the Adem, etc...

Bullets that have 3-5 points of corroboration can safely be assumed "true", things with two points of corroboration are probably iffy... and things with only one point of corroboration should be held suspect.

EDIT: For instance. Skarpi is the only one who mentions that Lanre became Heliax. Other stories mention Lanre, some mention Heliax, but not as the same person. This is a point that should probably be held suspect until we can understand Skarpi's motives better.
George Brell
6. gbrell
I’ve been waiting to make this post for a couple weeks after I posted early with my Cthaeh thoughts. I think the Creation War is a deep subject that provides a lot of the backstory in the world, but is both over- and under-described in the text.

The Creation War

I agree with Jo that the Creation War appears to have been a war between the Knowers (Namers) and the Shapers, but that provides us with little information.

It doesn’t answer a number of big questions like: What role did humans, the Fae and other species play in the war and how were they aligned? We have little information on this point. However, I think Rothfuss has provided us enough to make some speculations.

It is worth noting that to this point we have three/four stories about the Creation War. In book order, they are Skarpi’s two stories, Felurian’s story and Shehyn’s story.

The First Peoples

Skarpi’s second story recounting the creation of the Angels/Singers mentions a group called the Ruach. But that name appears nowhere else in the two books. In the story, a portion of the Ruach chose to become the Amyr and a portion chose to become Angels/Singers. A greater portion appeared to have chosen neither of those options.

I think that this is likely the ur-species previous commentators have identified as a precursor to humans and the Fae. What caused the massive drift between the two species later is unknown, but it is curious that humans retained at least a vestigial ability to Name (the apparent dominant magic of the Creation War), while the Fae possess abilities similar, but distinct (grammarie, glamourie). Was this division caused by their changed environs (i.e. did living in the Fae change the Fae) or were the two species set on their paths prior to moving into their respective worlds?

It is not clear, however, that all people were of the Ruach. There are other possible species mentioned. One of Saicere’s previous owners, Finol, is described as having slain “two daruna” prior to being killed by “gremmen” at Drossen Tor. What were these groups? Are they the prototypical orcs, trolls and goblins that populate post-Tolkien fantasy or are they something wilder, stranger or completely different? I have no idea.

The Stories

I’d also like to highlight some of the unanswered and intriguing points brought up in Skarpi’s stories and Shehyn’s story. Felurian’s story will probably wait for a week or two when we get to those chapters.

Skarpi’s story

“ight cities remained. They were Belen, Antus, Vaeret, Tinusa, Emlen, and the twin cities of Murilla and Murella. Last was Myr Tariniel, greatest of them all and the only one unscarred by the long centuries of war.”

“Remained” implies that there were more than eight cities previously. Whether those lost cities were great cities along the same lines is not known, but the world was apparently greater than simply eight cities.

In terms of their names, we can try and draw some connections. Tinusa is the closest to Tinue. Antus could be Anilin (so too could Emlen). Imre could by related to Myr Tariniel. But none of the other cities we know seem to fit with the names of modern cities: Ralien, Hallowfell, Tarbean, Atur, Cershaen, Renere, Severen.

“They fought unceasing for three days in the light of the sun, and for three nights unceasing by the light of the moon.”

I assume the Blac of Drossen Tor postdated the theft of the moon. So is this language (1) artistic license, (2) was the moon in her four corners-phase or (3) is the assumption wrong?

“Selitos knew that in all the world there were only three people who could match his skill in names: Aleph, lax, and Lyra.”

On my quick reads, I’ve always viewed the Knowers and Shapers as two large groups of distinct individuals. But if Skarpi’s story is correct, the truly powerful Knowers/Shapers numbered only four (pre-Lanre/Haliax) and there powers were not distinct from one another. The distinction between Knowers and Shapers appears not to have been predetermined, but rather a conscious choice of how to use the power and how to view it.

Iax was a Shaper. The language that Skarpi uses to describe Selitos appears to be that of a Knower (“Just by looking at a thing Selitos could see its hidden name and understand it.”), but he is shown Shaping Haliax. Aleph is also only shown Shaping others. Lyra’s calling of Lanre back from death can certainly be read as Shaping. What does it say that the only stories we have of the Knowers are stories where they break down and Shaping, demonstrating mastery over another being?

"My wife is dead. Deceit and treachery brought me to it, but her death is on my hands.”

When I read something about a dead wife in the same context as “deceit and treachery,” my mind immediately jumps to Othello. Who then was Lanre's Iago? For reasons I'll get to in a moment, it couldn't have been the obvious choices: the Cthaeh or Iax.

What’s odd is that Lanre describes "eceit and treachery" as bringing him “to it,” which I read as Lanre killing Lyra. However, he then states: "but her death is on my hands," which implies that the previous clause should disassociate him from the guilt of her death. I have no idea how to reconcile these apparently contradictory phrases.

With regards to who the deceiving party was, I think we have no suspects. He supposedly spoke to the Cthaeh only after Lyra’s death. Iax was sealed behind the doors of stone prior to Lanre's reincarnation. We are left with no apparent plague ship to start this new round of disaster. Then again, human beings (or their precursors) are certainly capable of deceit and disaster on their own.

Shehyn’s Story

In her story, Shehyn describes the “people” inhabiting the realm as “what Ademre was before we became ourselves.” “ women and men fair and strong. They sang songs of power and fought as well as Ademre do.”

Again we see the mention of “songs of power,” an attribute attributed to Angels/Singers and the Tahl. Are these related to Naming? (Kvothe’s battle with Felurian involves a Naming song and his entreaty of Vashet involves him playing the song at the core of himself). Is the Ademic taboo against singing/music related to this history? Is their a reason the Edema Ruh (a potential fragment of the ur-Adem) value music/singing so highly?

Shehyn says that the “he name of the empire is forgotten,” but Skarpi names it Ergen, a name I don’t remember appearing at any other point in the book. But since that time, “the land has broken and the sky changed.” For a series that relies so heavily on the moon’s role, what exactly is meant by the “changing sky”?

The most interesting part for me, however, is Shehyn’s comment that “The enemy’s name is remembered, but it will wait.”

She never mentions the enemy’s name. She mentions the names of the Chandrian, but characterizes them in internally contradictory ways:

“He poisoned seven others against the empire, and they forgot the Lethani. Six of them betrayed the cities that trusted them.”
“The name of the one and of the six who follow him.”
“he names of the seven traitors.”

The first line implies that the enemy poisoned seven others, six of whom betrayed their cities. Thus, the enemy would be Haliax. This is consistent with the line regarding the one and the six who follow him.

But if Lanre helped defeat the enemy at Drossen Tor and helped seal the enemy (presumably Iax) behind the Doors of Stone, how could he be the enemy?

Linguistically, there is a problem as well. How is Haliax a traitor? If he was the enemy, he isn’t traitorous. He is only traitorous if he was turned, as Lanre was, which means the enemy must predate him.

My best guess is that something has changed in this story, that something is omitted or slightly different. Alternatively, Lanre and Iax could be the same person (as has been hypothesized before), but that feels clunky to my narrative sensibilities.
Jo Walton
7. bluejo
BJHomer: One of the most satisfying things about doing this reread is seeing other people have incredible insights like that. Wow. Thank you.
logankstewart
8. logankstewart
@2 bjhomer:

This has already been discussed in the comments under "A Girl Standing Nearby: Speculations on Denna" post in the re-read index. However, after reading your thoughts and those, I'm surprised that this theory doesn't have as much weight as the moon theory. The anthropomorphism as the wind is clearly there, but then again, so is the moon. Reminds me of when Kvothe rescued Denna in Tarbean, calling the Name of the Wind to fill her lungs with air.

Great thinking!
Rob Munnelly
10. RobMRobM
I agree with @8. It's been discussed before, and a good point. It highlights how important D is to the overall plot. K has now spent 2 books seeking and then acquiring mastery over the name of the wind (note, curiously, that he has made no apparent efforts to name fire or stone). He is essentially doing the same re D. Always looking, rarely finding, intermittently but rarely understanding.
Rob Munnelly
11. RobMRobM
Edit - Double post
Chris Long
12. radynski
Where does this Shapers term come from? I don't remember ever reading it, and you all keep talking about it. Did I miss something or are you extrapolating?
Steven Halter
13. stevenhalter
radynski@12: In chapter 102 of WMF we have:
She drew a deep breath and let it out in a sigh. “then came those who saw a thing and thought of changing it. they thought in terms of mastery.
“they were shapers. proud dreamers.”
So, Felurian called them shapers. We've adopted the term as the counterpoint to Namers.
daemin
14. daemin
@13

I've always been of the opinion that the shaper/namer distinction is something people have read into the text that is not supported by it. As you note, the name comes from Felurian.

The full passage is this:
long before the cities of man. before men. before fae. there were those who walked with their eyes open. they knew all the deep names of things.

mastery was not given. they had the deep knowing of things. not mastery. to swim is not mastery over the water. to eat an apple is not mastery of the apple.

these old name-knowers moved smoothly through the world. they knew the fox and they knew the hare, and they knew the space between the two.
then came those who saw a thing and thought of changing it. they thought in terms of mastery.
they were shapers. proud dreamers.and it was not all bad at first. there were wonders.
The way I think its supposed to read is that there were namers who wanted to control things. When she said "they were shapers" she was merely alluding to the fact that they wanted to tinker (heh) with things rather than just understand things. So, technically speaking, there are two groups of people, but its not a separation based on ability, but based on how they chose to use that ability: merely for understanding, or for altering.
Chris Long
15. radynski
@shalter: Thanks for pointing that out.

And yeah, I'm not sure that based on what Felurian says, we can really claim that Namers are different from Shapers. I don't really get that distinction.
George Brell
16. gbrell
@14.daemin/@15.radynski:

I don't think anyone is suggesting the two camps are fundamentally separate, but they are useful terms to identify the two opposing sides in the Creation War. As that does appear to be the issue on which the schism was predicated, it also seems appropriate.
Steven Halter
17. stevenhalter
@16:Yep. It's a matter of emphasis. The shapers wanted to change and control. The Namers wanted to understand.
logankstewart
18. spirit theif
@6 gbrell

I think the interesting piece about Sheyen's story is the reference to the city that was saved. There were eight cities, and the enemy poisoned seven against their cities. But one did not betray a city, and that city remained. Tinue maybe?

Then we get the names:
Cyphus bears the blue flame.
Stercus is in thrall of iron.
Ferule chill and dark of eye.
Usnea lives in nothing but decay.
Grey Dalcenti never speaks.
Pale Alenta brings the blight.
Last there is the lord of seven: Hated. Hopeless. Sleepless. Sane.
Alaxel bears the shadow’s hame

Does's everyone's books say hame? Or is it supposed to say name? I looked up hame. It has to do with a piece of a horse's harness.

I like the "Sane." reference. He can't pass through any of the doors- not sleep, madness, death, forgetfulness.
Jesse Sayers
19. Fluvre
@6 There is another creation war story, or potential story. The one that Trappis tells Kvothe when he is sick after he gets beaten in Tarbein. It's obviously a very different from the other stories but there is likely some truth to it. Tehlu chases Incanis, a deamon that is covered in shadow. Incanis destroyes 6 or 7 cities (can't remember which) and then Tehlu catches him. Tehlu then uses iron (representing stone/a bane to the fae) and his own strength to hold Incanis down.
Also we don't know when exactly Lanre speakes with the Cthaeh all we know is from Bast that "Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh before he orchestrated the betrayal of Myr Tariniel. The creation of the Nameless. The Scaendyne."
Picking up a book a reading that scene again there are a couple of really interesting things Bast says "I swear it on the doors of stone." for one, meaning the doors are still around. The other being that there is something known as Nameless.
Going back to the Creation war, we seem to have at least parts of the story as it is seen by the Amyr (Scarpi's), Singers (Trappis'), the Ruach (The Adem), and the Chandrian (Denna's). This probably isn't completely accurate but considering 3 of the 4 view the Chandrian as the antagonists I think it's safe to say they are the main antagonists of the story.
I'm also starting to wonder if we've met the potential 8th chandria (that didn't destroy MT). Scarpi maybe? I'm not sure what faction he fits best in.

@18
It's hame, it is in the audiobook too. It ties in with Ben saying that he was "yoked to shadow" as well.
Maybe Selitos didn't actually shape Lanre's name, he just changed shadow or something close to Lanre.
As far as tinker's go I really don't think there is anything to them. Kvothe just likes tinkers and stories, so in his telling they always have everything he needs even if he doesn't take them up on their offers.

On a side note, for those of you that don't read Rothfuss's blog. He runs a charity called Worldbuilders that puts money to getting sustainable food supplies to people in 3rd world countries. By donating you get a chace to win some of a couple hundred books this year. In addition to that he's auctioning off spots to play in a D&D game he will DM based in the Four Corners world in addition to a bunch of other cool things. You can get to his blog at blog.patrickrothfuss.com Thought some of you might want to know.
Justin Levitt
20. TyranAmiros
A thought about Lanre and the Cthaeh:

If the Namers vs. Shapers debate was over the ethical right to use magic for creation (hence, "Creation War"), what if Lanre's fall is indeed related to Lyra bringing him back to life? gbrell, above, is right that this sounds more akin to what we believe Shaping is than Naming. If she was fighting for the Namers, they may have wanted to expell her, but couldn't--not with the conflict at hand--but after the worst of the conflict ended, someone in the Namer leadership decided she shouldn't be trusted anymore. Lanre pleaded with them to help her, but they refused to do anything that smelled like Shaping. In desperation, Lanre went in search of the all-healing flower.

Finding out where to go would have been difficult for him at best, particularly if most things Faen were created by/run by the Shapers, and knowledge would have been scarce. By the time he reached the Ctheah, Lyra was dead. All the Ctheah would need to tell Lanre at this point was something like, "If you'd been on the other side, you could have gotten Lyra back, but because you helped the Namers defeat the Shapers, no one's going to help you bring her back". This would be clearly up the Ctheah's alley--twisting one of Lanre's proudest accomplishments intods his worst nightmare. Lanre's mind broke just like Kvothe's, which allowed him to tap into that state where he could Name. The Ctheah would have taunted him about all the other victims of the War who had lost loved ones, not to mention all those yet to be born who would suffer from grief. Lanre, in his own despair, could take this as though it would be less cruel to destroy the world now and prevent future suffering, and would now set off for the destruction of Myr Tariniel and the rest.

The numbers are consistent between stories--eight cities, eight rulers, and Lanre. Myr Tariniel is a special case I'll discuss below, so for now we'll say seven cities and seven rulers, who we don't have names for. Of the seven, six fall and become the six Chandrian minions. The seventh (Tinusa/Tinue) remains, its ruler and city resisting. Of Myr Tariniel, let's return to the story of Lanre, as Skarpi tells:

Selitos knocks Lanre out of his nihilism, but in doing so, puts him into a worse one--cursing Lanre, who becomes Haliax, and those who follow him. By doing this, Selitos, like Lyra, has gone from Knowing to Shaping. Thus, Selitos, I believe, is the seventh person in Sheheyn's story. This also is why Skarpi's story is so dangerous in the eyes of the Church--Selitos is the hero, but he's not a good guy. He stands up to Aleph--to God--to become Amyr and strive for the greater good, which may not always be what the Church demands.
Alice Arneson
21. Wetlandernw
I've been wondering about something for a while, and in light of the above discussion about Naming and Shaping, I'll ask it here. Where does the current University practice of learning the Names of things (wind, stone, iron, fire, etc.) fit in the Name-Knowing vs. Shaping spectrum? There are times when Kvothe simply knows the Name of something, seeing it clearly with his sleeping mind, but more often it seems that Naming something gives mastery of a sort - the thing you Name has to do what you want it to do. Does Fela Shape her stone ring, rather than merely knowing/speaking the Name of stone? Does Kvothe Shape the wind? Does he Shape Felurian somehow?

Is there a range of values between Knowing the Name of something and using that name to Shape it? Or is everything Kvothe has told us so far about Naming actually been Shaping?

bjhomer @2 – As others have pointed out (I didn’t remember so I went back and looked), the suggestion of a connection between Denna and the wind has been made before, but not in such detail or with so much supporting evidence. To me, it makes a lot more sense than associating her with the moon, too. Thank you for posting that.

Jo - I'm glad you created this thread; the multiple Creation War stories (and several other stories about the long-ago that get mixed in) make my head hurt. I'm not entirely sure we'll really get anything sorted out, so reading the discussion may just make my head hurt more... but I'm grateful to have the ideas collected in one place. :)
Steven Halter
22. stevenhalter
Over on PR's blog he talks some more about Worldbuilders and in specific he is putting up 1 favor ring for auction & 1 in the general pool. For this you can ask him a favor. He gives various common sense rules and then mentions some things he wont put in D3 for you:
No, I won’t change book three so that, say, Kvothe and Elodin have a sex scene. Or Kvothe and Ambrose have a sex scene. Or so someone dies, or doesn’t die, or has a threesome with Bast and Chronicler, or whatever. Sorry.
So there you go--some clear info on D3 and bad news for any Kvothe/Elodin, Kvothe/Ambrose shippers out there. ;-)
Steven Halter
23. stevenhalter
Over on PR's blog he talks some more about Worldbuilders and in specific he is putting up 1 favor ring for auction & 1 in the general pool. For this you can ask him a favor. He gives various common sense rules and then mentions some things he wont put in D3 for you:
No, I won’t change book three so that, say, Kvothe and Elodin have a sex scene. Or Kvothe and Ambrose have a sex scene. Or so someone dies, or doesn’t die, or has a threesome with Bast and Chronicler, or whatever. Sorry.
So there you go--some clear info on D3 and bad news for any Kvothe/Elodin, Kvothe/Ambrose shippers out there. ;-)
By the way, the rings are like the name rings in WMF--they will be gold with Pat's name on them--pretty cool.
Rob Munnelly
24. RobMRobM
Wet - clear from the book that when you know something's true name you can both understand it and control it, just as Elexa Dal could put his hand in fire and Fela can make a ring of stone.

As to the Namer/Shaper distinction, one way to look at it is that Namers have the ability to Shape but choose not to do so. So, not a matter of ability but a matter of attitude.

I hearken back to the Adem's discussion of the Lethani and wonder whether it plays a role in the Creation Wars. Lethani is essentially rightness in decisionmaking and, according to Sheyen's tale re Creation War days, it is very old. Sheyen states that the Adem's predecessor in the time of Creation Wars were in a city that lived by the Lethani, but the other seven cities were turned away from the Lethani and became evil. I wonder whether living by the Lethani equates to those who elected to remain Namers and didn't tip over into the Shaper camp - as changing the essential nature of things is not with the Lethani and, ultimately, wrong This idea makes sense to me because there seems to be a link between the attitude needed to suceed at the Lethani - intuitive action akin to Kvothe's Spinning Leaf attitude - seems precisely the same intuitive, back of the mind attitude that Elodin seeks to foster among students in his Naming class.

Rob
andrew smith
25. sillyslovene
@24, Rob

Some good thoughts- the question I have for it though is about the idea of narrative (and maybe I have this on the brain because I've been trying to get my students to think about this in the last few weeks): Is the Lethani really that ancient? or do the Adem foist it back farther into history than is real as an attempt to further their own separation and foster a sense of superiority over the other cultures? Personally, I think that PR might not stretch it that far, and that the Adem and the Lethani are meant to be that old...but his ideas and theme of narrative and how stories change to fit the perceptions/agendas of those in the present make me want to question even the smallest details like this.

Likewise, with Elodin- it is apparent that he has knowledge of the Adem and their language and probably knows the Lethani. It does fit with his style of teaching- but the question is: does he know how this fits in with the knower/shaper dichotomy, or has he just found that it is the best way to teach students/enhance his own understanding of naming? He has actions that might not fit into the Lethani though- is it right to break into another's personal space and burn their things? He also seems to be more on the shaper side in some things: changing the wall by name to get out of his room when he doesn't need to (i.e. he isn't locked in there any more...)? Is that how it started during the Creation War- with some people thinking, "hey it's cool to know all this stuff, but if we aren't using the knowledge to make a difference in the world, is it really worth it?"
Felipe Martins
26. felipem
@5. I made a comment on the previous summary exactly about that and even did the bullets thing!
@20. I love your theory, you convinced me!
logankstewart
27. Silkki
@24 I don't think Lethani is that old. Remember the scene when Kvothe is explaining to Celean about his own culture?
“Some women do, but for many it is considered not of the Lethani.” I used the phrase “of the Lethani” because I could not think of how to say “proper behavior” in Ademic.
Even if Adem story is saying some people were following Lethani, it doesn't mean they were actually following Lethani. It's pretty much saying "turned away from the right and made wrong choices", but in terms that Adem can understand.
Rob Munnelly
28. RobMRobM
@27 Sheyen expressly refers to Lethani and turning away from the Lethani in the ancient story. In contrast to K and Celean, she knows what she is talking about and uses precisely the correct words at all time. If she intended an action similar to Lethani, she would have said so, just as she said the people involved were not Adem but were the people who became the Ademre.
logankstewart
29. Bluelise
Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but last night I was re-reading WMF and was at the part where Kvothe and Tempi are making their way to Haert. They're sparring and Kvothe smiles from enjoyment of it. They get into a discussion of the Lethani and Tempi says, "Only barbarians and madmen take pleasure in combat. Whoever loves the fight itself has left the Lethani behind." (From Chapter One Hundred Nine, Barbarians and Madmen, WMF)

This seems in opposition to Bredon's beautiful game, right? I'm not sure what the significance of this could be, but it stood out to me.
logankstewart
30. Silkki
@28 Rob. Sheyn is reciting a story thats several thousand years old. And seems like it's passed from mouth to mouth. It's not first hand knowledge. No questions afterwards also means any misunderstandings don't get corrected. In no way can you claim that Sheyn knows for a fact that great cities knew of Lethani.

Also ademre didn't always have Lethani to guide them.
"As I have said, this was long years and distant miles from where we sit. In those days, the Adem did not have the Lethani to guide us"
And
"These tales were the beginning of our understanding of the Lethani. They are the root of all Ademre."
In the story about great cities Sheyn tells us.
“Once there was a great realm peopled by great people. They were not Ademre. They were what Ademre was before we became ourselves."
This gives us a timeline that follows roughly like this.
Great cities existed
Ademre became ademre
Ademre finally discovered Lethani
Andrew Mason
31. AnotherAndrew
This gives us a timeline that follows roughly like this.
Great cities existed
Ademre became ademre
Ademre finally discovered Lethani

On the other hand, we know that Saicere had been in use for many generations before one of its bearers was killed at Drossen Tor. I suppose its early bearers may not have been Adem, but then what were they? Certainly, they were people who already had a practice of preserving swords and telling their story. Altogether the chonological order of events seems very puzzling.
Rob Munnelly
32. RobMRobM
@30-31.
This gives us a timeline that follows roughly like this.
Great cities existed
Ademre became ademre
Ademre finally discovered Lethani


I don't think that's quite it, although I agree there is a lack of clarity. They key question is - when did the 99 tales happen - pre-Creation war or after it. Sheyn implies (but does not state) it preceded Creation War. If so, I'd say

Great cities existed, including one populated by Adem predecessors

A system of thinking that was Lethani or something like it was in place (following 99 tales).

Creation War happened, sparked in part by all but one city (the Adem predecessor one) ignoring Lethani principles

Adem predecessors began long travels.

Adem predecessors became Adem

Lethani or Lethani-like principles become modern Lethani.


Putting that all aside, my big picture question remains whether the Lethani (or something like it) is critically important to naming and, more importantly, to disseminating naming skills broadly through a populace. Furthermore, whether the moral component can help hinder the types of abuses apparently created by Shapers. If so, this might be the route that is taken by K and others to bring back the Golden Age of naming in D3.
Ashley Fox
33. A Fox
Its curious to point out that the swords themselves are quite possibly shaped. They are certainly not rdiary swords.

Also in terms of working out a time line...

The 99 tales. We are not told if these tales are allegory or whether they are historical tales.

If they are historical tales then it is possible that the Adem lost the Lethani during their travels-during the dark age that fell after the creation war. And that the 99 tales were of times before, reminding them of the right way, reinstating the Lethani.

I woud also argue that the Adem did not come from the city that did not fall, as part of the stories is them being forced from their lands. To me this indicates that their city was one of those that fell, perhaps even one which was led by one of the Chandrian.

Also on Myr Tarienel. People have been supposing that it is under the uni: this has been discussed before but the text states that it was at the end of the great stone road, in the mountains (Selitos and Lanres confrontation happens in the mountains) and that from its heights you could look down and see the other cities burning.

We also know that Belen was one of the first cities to fall, and the area of Belanay is near the uni. As the War gets thicker, the battle get greater, then we have Drosson Tor. Then then coup. Anywho what im getting at in a circular way is that the battle swings from west to east. The thickest part of the Battle taking place around what is now th Eld.

Curious that the Scraelings are also sweeping from west to east.

Im going to stop now as I have winter flu and am rather brain dead and suspect that this may resemble giberish....
logankstewart
34. Spirit theif
I like the shapers/namers distinction but then what is the dividing line? Fae and mortal at completely different, using completely different "magics." if Fae were shapers and mortal were namers, how did they become so different?

I dont think Kvothe is really capable of shaping- of making things like Ferulian does. And then we have the ademic swords and "force fields" in kilvins office. I think these were made by shaping, but kilvin can't figure out how they were made.

I like the theory that namers and shapers are different because of how they use their powers- but what happens that divides them into two separate groups?
George Brell
35. gbrell
@33.A Fox:

Curious that the Scraelings are also sweeping from west to east.

I don't think we have any basis for that assertion. I've argued that Newarre is in Northern Vintas, which would make the logical mountain range the Stormwal to the East, so they'd be travelling East to West.

@34.Spirit Theif:

I like the shapers/namers distinction but then what is the dividing line? Fae and mortal at completely different, using completely different "magics." if Fae were shapers and mortal were namers, how did they become so different?

I don't think that Fae and mortal split along shaping/naming lines. One theory that I've put forward before is that the division occurred around naming powers. The Fae inherited strong naming abilities, but trapped in a world that is constructed, their powers would be inherently limited. Mankind inherited a strong will, which leads eventually to sympathy and artificiery. The Fae are impulsive and brash, unable to control themselves (e.g., Felurian, Bast's comments about the Cthaeh), while humans' sleeping minds are almost completely dormant.

Rothfuss seems to be setting up a number of these potential dichotomies with Naming/Sympathy, Fae/Human, and Adem/Edema Ruh.

Alternatively, the Fae powers of grammarie and glamourie could be something completely separate.

Perhaps a throwaway line, but one that I'll likely revisit next week (with Felurian) is the fact that Illien is known to the Fae where no other folk heroes are. I've long suspected a connection between music and naming, but could this also suggest a connection between music and the Fae themselves?
Anthony Pero
36. anthonypero
grammarie could be related to a Gram, which would make it some sort of protection spell, or it could be related to "Grammar", or word useage and sentence structure... in other words, writing words that have power and come true, such as the magic Denna asks them about at the Eolian, and of course, Yllish knots...
Justin Levitt
37. TyranAmiros
"Grammarie" is also a variant term for "grimoire," a spellbook. Maybe something lost in the Library? Could it fit in with Denna's question about magical writing in WMF?
Alice Arneson
38. Wetlandernw
"Grammar" is also used to refer to the rules of any art, science or technique. "Gramarye" is an archaic term for occult learning or magic. I suspect that all of the above (@35-38) went into choosing the word "grammarie" for one the Fae magics - and I'm betting that a "gram" is intended to give us a clue that its creation and/or usage are similar to those same magics.
logankstewart
39. onereader
Re: the Eolian. Eolian (or Aeolian, or Aeolic, Greek) was the traditional dialect of lyric poetry, the poetry of personal feelings sung accompanied by stringed instuments (as opposed to written and recited).

I suppose it's not something widely known, if you don't happen to have a classical education (Latin, Ancient Greek).
Alf Bishai
40. greyhood
I am thinking out loud. I'm trying to get my head around how much the Creation War factors into the resolution of this trilogy. I'm thinking of this question: what is the Kingkiller Chronicles about? What is going to make a satisfying ending? What stories need to come to a proper conclusion?

Think of Star Wars. The Empire had to be defeated in a decisive, crippling battle/the Emperor's command had to be terminated/Luke had to internally, decisively repudiate the Dark Side and therefore avoid the fate of his father/Annikin had to redeemed. The Mediachlorians (HYST) didn't have to have an origin story, nor did Leia's use of the Force really have to be developed. You get what I mean.

So with KC, what are the story lines that must be wrapped up? I'm thinking global/interpersonal/personal.

K's personal story: I see K like Jax, willfully smashing through life with increasing power, ultimately causing Disaster. (He named himself Kote to remind himself that his old ways lead there.) K's story will finish when he becomes the monk in the cave - a peaceful Listener (El'the?). I see him as doing this now as the innkeeper, listening to his roah chest. An innkeeper is not unlike an old man sitting in a cave. And I think he himself doesn't know how he can undo the global disaster he has caused, especially as the peaceful Listener. Perhaps this explains his tired frustration. Perhaps he still has his intrinsic power but if he uses it he will leave the path of Listening. This may explain the cut flower business. He sees himself as cut off from the only way he has ever known how to act, i.e. with power, aggressively. In other words, K is expecting to become something really powerful - like the old man in the cave - through the path he is taking. He's counting on it. He's even sitting out the war - a real gamble - believing that he needs to become El'the to make things right. Perhaps one Chases the Wind by sitting on edges, but one becomes El'the by the Way of the Cut Flower.

K.'s interpersonal story: The main line here is Cinder. Denna is romantic sub-plot. Cinder is plot. I can see D wandering off unresolved (don't think this will actually happen), but it would be deeply wrong if K and Cinder don't have a showdown. Is there any other character like this? It's Cinder, Cinder, Cinder. He's the one he wants.

Global Events: This story can properly be called an epic, meaning the main characters' actions affect the global politico-historical stage. In fact, this story has two epic fronts: the Creation War and the Kingkiller angle.

The Kingkiller angle: This is the less interesting of the two. There is some manoevering, a king is killed, another takes over and becomes Penitent, disowning K and his actions which benefited his position (already sounds familiar). Etc. But the real interesting story is...

The Creation War: The war culminated/ended with Iax being locked behind the Doors of Stone, and K is almost certainly going to mess with these Doors. Haliax is one of the central players of the Creation War. (Cinder seems to be secondary.) Selitos is also central (Amyr). Tehlu also (angels/singers). There is a complex web of antagonism surrounding the aftermath of the war. But this web of antagonism does indeed seem like the aftermath of the CW rather than the war itself. It feels to me that the CW proper ended (unpermanently) with Iax being locked away.

We are currently trying to sort through the rampant historical revisionism surrounding the CW. I'm not sure we are meant to an actual CORRECT ANSWER. And now I'm coming to my point. I have the impression that the ambiguity and confusion will ultimately lead K to choose the wrong ally/advisor and side with the bad guys. (This is what happened, I think, to Lanre.) He will betray/be betrayed. He will open the Doors of Stone. He will recommence the Clone, I mean, Creation War.

(Prediction: Haliax is K's ancestor. He's got a red mane under that shadow's hame.)

And then K will need to reverse the damage.

If all that happens (working only with the current pieces) then that will be a logical/satisfying conclusion. I think.
logankstewart
41. robocarp
Just some random points.

A couple questions from the initial summary

Do we know that Iax was defeated at Drossen Tor? The beast that Lanre slayed was closed behind stone doors, and Iax was as well, but it doesn't mean they are the same.

Where is said that tinkers are a race? It seems to me that it's just a job.

Location of the Ergen Empire

Everyone is assuming that the Ergen Empire existed where the FC are today, but I question this. Skarpi says that more people were killed in Drossen Tor than are alive in the world today. How did all those people (the world is quite well populated in Kvothe's time) fit into eight cities? I don't consider Skarpi perfectly reliable, but if it's true one must consider that the cities of the Ergen Empire might not be literal cities: they could have been, say, continents or even planets. I throw this crazy theory out there to make people think a bit, but for the rest of this post I'm going to abandon it.

The Chandrian

It seems obvious to me (and I mean beyond-doubt obvious), based on Shehyn's version of the story, that the other Chandrian were the leaders of six cities that fell during the Great Betrayal. The leader who wasn't poisoned and didn't betray a city was the leader of Tinusa (that being our best guess of which city survived), whoever that was. Maybe Tehlu himself....

Creation War Politics

I believe it's more complex than merely Namers vs. Shapers. A main reason for this is that the Chandrian are feared in Faen as well as in FC; if the politics were simple the Chandrian would simply be on the Shapers' side.

I suspect the enemy comprised more than just Shapers, and that not all Shapers were enemies. In fact I'd guess many Shapers were horrified by Iax's action. The Ergen Empire almost certainly had pre-existing enemies: the city of Murella had walls that Felurian sat on eating silver fruit before the Creation War. Once Iax stole the moon and found himself wanted, he allied with those enemies and that's how the Creation War played out.

Then the Chandrian got involved and made it more complex: they seemed to be enemies to both sides, forming alliances then breaking them according to need (Haliax wanted to sow salt everywhere weeds grow).

I could even believe that the Creation War ended when the original belligerents just signed a treaty and ended up allying against the Chandrian, but I suspect it's more complicated.

Creation War Aftermath

This is the big question: what happened after the Great Betrayal (one city survived, then what?) and how did it evolve into the the world in Kvothe's time? A bunch of things happened: somehow the people became divided into Men and Faeries, one mortal, one immortal. Hostilities ceased, new empires formed, a powerful church sprang up.

One thing I think is overlooked is the intolerance of Faeries to iron. Men have no such intolerance, and presumably the predecessor race didn't either (they seemed to use iron weapons and armor). My guess is that this has something to do with the end of the War. Iron is one of the hardest metals, resistant to shaping. I suspect that Namers realized this property and somehow collectively called Iron as a weapon against the Shapers and other enemies.

Another clue: Felurian says that the thing Faeries fear most when going to FC is the power they lose. Why do they lose this power? Again, I suspect the Namers had something to do with that: they were able to make the Man world immune to some kinds of Shaping. Faeries thus became relegated to the fringe, and ended up becoming legends that many don't believe in the Man world.

Mortality may also have something to do with this: did those who became Men make a deal with the Devil (so to speak) sacrificing their immortality so as to be able to defy their enemies?

Clearly all this is highly speculative: we just don't have data from this time, as we will see below.

Timeframe

The Creation War happened around 5000 BK (before Kvothe). We know this because the Cthaeh says that Haliax is over 5000 years old, and we also know Lanre was born during the Creation War. (I am assuming we can disregard the disparity in time between Faen and the FC, which I'm guessing doesn't ebb and flow at such large scales. You might lose a year here or gain a year there, but 5000 years is 5000 years either way.)

Written history (at least at the University) dates back to around 2000 BK, with Caluptenian Empire. It's uncertain whether writing hadn't been invented before that, or it was suppressed, or just lost. (The history of Adem swords, now written, was obviously originally oral.) Regardless, there's a 3000-year gap between legendary times and historical.

By the way, it's very unlikely Teccam lived during the Creation War, because his written works still survive. I'd put him at about 1500 BK, during the early days of the Aturan Empire. And, incidentally, I'd set Tabolin the Great at around 1000 BK (though he might be fictional), and Illien at about 500 BK.

Timeline Relative to Adem Folklore

The Adem timeline is a mess. They clearly own weapons that date back to the creation war, but Shehyn says that was when the Adem were what they were before they became Adem. The story of Aethe and Rethe clearly occurs after the Adem became Adem. This, I would say, trumps evidence suggesting that it happened before the Creation War. I'd set the Aethe and Rethe story quite recently, at 1000 BK or so.
logankstewart
42. spirit theif
@41
There's also the namer's reaction to copper. Elodin's room is covered in copper wire, Taborlin's sword is made of copper. I can't remember where there's other evidence, and I don't know if there's an obvious connection between FC namers and copper, but it seems reasonable. Fae hate iron, mortals hate copper. Possibly.
George Brell
43. gbrell
@41.robocarp:

Nothing in Felurian's story suggests she was allied with the Shapers. I think it's a mistake to assume the mortal/Fae divide corresponds with the Namers/Shapers divide.

I also don't think we can identify Iron as having specific naming-related properties. Chronicler knows Iron's name and only that name and I believe Elodin idenifies it as a simpler name to learn.

@42.Spirit Theif:

Amber is also mentioned as having power over Demons (the Fae?). Humans' reaction to copper is quite different from the Fae's reaction to iron. Not sure they're related, but it's a good point.
Rob Munnelly
44. RobMRobM
Yes, and K is supposed to have an amber ring per WMF. I wonder if copper is a poor conductor for sympathy, so it is hard to break in that way.

Also agree that Fae are not the Shapers. Created or modified by the shapers perhaps, buut not allied with them.
Katy Maziarz
45. ArtfulMagpie
"Skarpi says that more people were killed in Drossen Tor than are alive in the world today. How did all those people (the world is quite well populated in Kvothe's time) fit into eight cities?"

As has been pointed out above by gbrell, Skarpi's story says that eight cities REMAINED. Eight cities WERE LEFT after all the years of fighting in the Creation War. The entire pre-Creation War population was not smashed up into 8 little cities. There could have been 50 cities, or 100, or more....but such was the fighting that only 8 remained, of which 7 were betrayed and fell.

"Do we know that Iax was defeated at Drossen Tor? The beast that Lanre slayed was closed behind stone doors, and Iax was as well, but it doesn't mean they are the same."

The beast was not set behind the doors of stone. My copy reads:

"After the battle was finished and the enemy was set beyond the doors of stone, survivors found Lanre's body, cold and lifeless near the beast he had slain."

If Lanre's dead body was still right beside the dead uber-draccus, I don't think the beast was beyond the doors of stone! Only "the enemy," which in this story is not specified as being Iax. We have assumed/reasoned that the enemy set beyond the doors of stone is Iax, though.
- -
46. The_Bloody_Nine
Are we certain the doors of stone are physical, rather than metaphorical though? To me, the phrase " the enemy was set beyond the doors of stone, " could well be a euphemism for death and defeat.* Maybe the doors of stone are neither the Lackless nor the four plate door, but the final of the four gates passage through which Haliax has been denied - the gate of death.

If this is in fact the case, PR has quite brilliantly thrown a lot of people off the trail by offering us a glance at one very special door quite early on in the first book, and repeated rumours of a second at several points throughout the story. (Which, for the time being, is enough for me to consider the theory plausible, if not probable.)

I would also point out that this needn't necessarily remove any potentially major players from the field. We've already been told Lanre returned from the beyond, so who's to say a powerful Shaper such as, for instance, Iax could not do the same?

* This would, of course, presume that the enemy referred to is the entirety of the opposing army, rather than a singular leader thereof.
logankstewart
47. robocarp
@43. grbell

I'm not sure where you get that I was suggesting Felurian was allied with the "Shapers". (I think it's a gross oversimplification anyway to characterize the War as Namers versus Shapers; I think it was more like Good Namers + Good Shapers versus Evil Shapers + Pre-Existing Enemies.) Felurian obviously sympathized with the side the Namers were on.

But the fact is, she did move to a realm created by the Shapers, where shaping magic was freely practiced, and so regardless of Felurian's personal views, it made her and the rest of the Fae targets of Man's efforts to limit the powers of Shapers. I mention Fae intolerance for iron as one mechanism by which Men might have accomplished that, since the race that the Fae were before they were Fae (Ruach?) didn't appear to have this intolerance.

And as I said it's all speculative, we know almost nothing about what happened between the fall of Myr Tariniel and the beginning of historical records.

@45. ArtfulMagpie

It doesn't matter how big the Ergen Empire was: by the time Drossen Tor occurred the Empire was down to eight cities, but somehow those eight cities (and a countryside beset by plague and famine) were able to supply enough soldiers to fight a battle where more people died than are alive in the world in K's time (which is a lot people). Either Skarpi was exaggerating--which I wouldn't be disinclined to believe--or the cities were orders of magnitude larger than cities in K's time.

And yes you're right about the beast, I misremembered that part.
Anthony Pero
48. anthonypero
In Skarpi's first story, Lanre (post-CTH visit) is wearing black armor that to me, at least, seemed to be made from the beast he had slain... did anyone else read it like this? Has this been discussed elsewhere? Could wearing this armor somehow how effected Lanre?
Katy Maziarz
49. ArtfulMagpie
"Either Skarpi was exaggerating--which I wouldn't be disinclined to believe--or the cities were orders of magnitude larger than cities in K's time."

The latter is probably true. The earliest cities in our world--in Mesopotamia--measured their populations in the tens of thousands. Mohenjo-daro had an estimated 40,000. Babylon, 200,000. Even 40,000 people would be a lot in a civilization mostly made up of small villages of a few hundred or couple thousand people--which seems to be what we've seen so far in the Four Corners. Since modern cities are now measured in the millions in some cases---Chicago, where I live, has 2.7 million---I can believe Skarpi's claim. If city populations in the modern Four Corners are measured in tens of thousands and city populations pre-Creation War were measured in the millions, there very well could have been more people killed in one big battle than are alive today, ha. (If we assume that the advanced magic/technology and civilization of the pre-Creation War times lead to a population boom not supported by the quasi-Medieval conditions in modern Four Corners, of course.)
George Brell
50. gbrell
@47.robocarp:

I think I was extrapolating from this comment:

I suspect that Namers realized this property and somehow collectively called Iron as a weapon against the Shapers and other enemies.

On re-reading your original comment, I mischaracterized the main thrust of your argument. I wold say that I agree with most of what you wrote. I also think that the Creation War was more complicated than the sparse information we've been given.

Perhaps the intolerance to iron is a symptom rather than an intended goal. Let us assume that the Namers remained in the mortal world while the Shapers were locked away in Fae. The prison, as demonstrated by the moon, is not airtight, but would likely prevent masses of Shapers from traveling to and fro.

Now trapped in this created world, probably with scores of people who were unallied or simply unfortunate, the Shapers may have continued to Shape and twist on the only remaining vestiges of the original world, the people. The Fae's intolerance then might be a side effect of prolonged Shaping.

Alternatively, parts of the difference could be encompassed by Shaping the relationship between the mortal world and the Fae, although that doesn't explain why Fae remain intolerant to Iron in Fae, but it does provide a cleaner explanation for why they lose power in the transition.

Once Iax stole the moon and found himself wanted, he allied with those enemies and that's how the Creation War played out.

This line of yours makes me think again of Shehyn's line: "“The empire had an enemy, as strength must have." I feel that the obvious leap is that the empire was composed primarily of the Namers and the enemy was composed primarily of the Shapers, but I think this is a red herring.

I talked earlier about how Shehyn's story frames Lanre/Haliax as the enemy, but is internally inconsistent in doing so. Even if the enemy is the Shapers, why was the enemy "not great enough to pull down"? Skarpi's story seems to imply that the Namers (or whichever Lanre primarily led) were barely winning, and for the greater portion of time appeared to be losing.

This may be redudant at this point, but how can the enemy not be the Cthaeh?

From Shehyn's story:
" moved like a worm in fruit. The enemy was not of the Lethani. He poisoned seven others against the empire . . . ."

Iax's actions sparked the Creation War, but what led him to those actions? Lanre's actions eventually defeated the empire, but what led him to his nihilistic view? I'm paraphrasing a little bit, but I think the real unanswered question behind all of this is "what's it plan?"
Steven Halter
51. stevenhalter
In the various myths, the cities are called "cities" but I wonder if that is what they really were. "Cities" may be the term that is currently being used in the 4C as they really don't have a word for what the organizations actually were. If, for example, each city represented a world accessible through the waystone paths then the story of the Tinker travelling to Iax "broken mansion" and the creation war take on an interesting meaning.
logankstewart
52. AndyW
@47 robocarp:

We've pretty well established that the power of the Namers and Shapers is the same (i.e. Naming) and the divide is in the use of that power (post 14 in this thread says it well). Therefore, it doesn't really make sense to have Namers and Shapers on the same team. I think you're right about it being more complicated. I don't think it's about good vs. evil at all.

It is worth noting that the current day "Namers" are using Naming for mastery, and so are really Shapers. The Creation War was more accurately between the Knowers and the Namers/Shapers.
logankstewart
54. ryan7273
@18 If you go back to older definitions, it makes a bit more sense. In Middle English, hame meant a cover or skin. I took "Alaxel bears the shadow’s hame" to be a poetic way of saying "Alaxel is cloaked in shadow"
Bruce Wilson
55. Aesculapius
@51:

shalter, that's genius! Even if it turns out not to be true, it's a wonderful idea. It would also bring a whole new significance to Faeriniel, "where all the roads in the world meet."

In truth, it sounds, perhaps, more like something from Raymond E Fiest than from PR - but, hey, anything is possible...!
Steven Halter
56. stevenhalter
@55:Thanks. I'm not sure if I believe it myself or not, but it does fit well along some axis. It has some elegant potentials.
logankstewart
57. Spirit theif
@52
I think your distinction of knowers vs shapers/namers works best. I just assumed it was shapers vs namers and Fae vs mortals without any evidence. This makes more sense. Knowers have understanding. Namers control an object, while shapers would change the essential nature of an object. (this is just my speculation). The knowers become upset when the moon is stolen, which would upset th balance of their world somehow. This resulting effect on FC starts the creation war.

In trapis's story, would Encanis represent Lanre? Then Tehlu offering people entrance into the good side would be entrance into either Fae or FC, while the seven cities destroyed by Encanis are the ones mentioned by skarpi. But then who is the good guy(s) that Tehlu represents? Ise he the Church's coverup of the Amyr?

And last thing
Doors of stone. What could happen that causes the degradation of frame story FC? If doors of stone are grey stones, what would happen if the doors never closed? If fae was always accessible to FC? If tampering with them let out the scrael, what other enemies could come from the doors? (once again, I have no evidence to back up this speculation.)
Jo Walton
58. bluejo
I just thought in re Encanis/Lanre, that this story of Tehlu beating up Encanis etc. happened after the rest. Because Tehlu wasn't an angel until afterwards. So there was the Creation War which ended with Lanre becoming Haliax and Selitos cursing him. Then Selitos founds the Amyr and Aleph founds the angels. Then and only then, did Tehlu and maybe the other angels go on their great crusade to separate men and demons, which ended with Tehlu binding Encanis to the wheel. But the interesting point here isn't necessarily Encanis/Lanre/Haliax, it's separating humans and demons. We know they call all kinds of things demons, from draccus to fae, but what might they be in that story? This is a religious fable and filtered through a church and a memory, but it's also probably a fuzzed up record of something that happened.
Felipe Martins
59. felipem
@41
Intresting thought on iron... I'm not sure what to get from that, but remember one of the Chandrians?
"Stercus is in thrall of iron."
@42
I've always wondered whats the problem with copper. It's not only Elodin's room or Taborlin's sword, if I remember correctly, we also have one of the locks in Kvothes chest and the plates on the 4 plate door. I think that either copper doesn't have a name, or it's possibly the hardest name to learn.
Steven Halter
60. stevenhalter
Jo@58:That's a very good question. The candidates would seem to be the Chandrian, the Fae, stray Shapers (not behind doors of stone), the Amyr or someone/thing else unknown to us.
Stray shapers or unknowns seem somewhat more likely to me. I can't think of any decisive arguments supporting one or the other at the moment.
George Brell
61. gbrell
@58.bluejo/@60.shalter:

Considering the similarities between the skinwalker we meet in NotW and the description of at least one of the demons in Trappis' Tehlu story, I think that Fae is a pretty solid guess.

I also think, however, that Bast's comments about skinwalkers at the end of NotW illustrate both the immense size of Fae as well as the fact that the things populating Fae are not as diverse as humanity, they are as diverse as the ecosystems of the Four Corners.

I noted earlier that we have a handful of mentions of things (daruna, gremmen, etc.) that are not clearly human. Looking at what we ourselves have seen, how could the Scrael develop? They don't eat, have no organs; they appear to be completely devoid of "life." If they were created, what is their purpose? (That's a question that comes up over and over in this series). They appear to me to be nothing so much as "living" weapons.

The Shapers created great things, but how would those talents be turned to war and where would all of those creations go when the war ended? I think the Tehlu mythos (whether it actually featured Tehlu or in what capacity) encapsulates a Dark Ages-period that followed the Creation War and only began to end when many of those creations were finally driven back to Fae, contained or destroyed (perhaps by/with the power of the Loeclos box).

Also, I've always gotten the feeling that Trappis might not be the most orthodox of Tehlin monks. That perhaps his story has some small measure of heresy about it in the same way that the gospels of Thomas or Judas take a familiar story and twist it slightly. I can't confirm this with any other textual evidence, but that's just my impression.

@51.shalter:

It's a cool theory, but how would you account for the moon? The moon never travelled in the early days, so it was either locked in one "city," meaning that all the cities but that one (including "Fae") lacked a moon or there is some very quantum mechanics-esque relationship between these "cities" and the moon.
George Brell
62. gbrell
Another random thought:

If we accept Meluan's dating, the Loeclos box is dated to two millenia after Haliax's cursing/the end of the Creation War.

Based on the real world, that's actually too long a period for the messianic figure to appear in order to have the Catholic Tehlin church rise, go through its version of Nicea, its version of the Holy Roman Emperor, the Knights Templar and then begin its fall from power.

We appear to be in the midst of that last (which occured in our world around 1600 AD, I think) as the Commonwealth appears to be a post-theocracy (the vestigial religious courts are a huge tell). I would guess Atur, as the prior seat of the Holy Empire, probably has the largest powerful vestiges (though we've scene remarkably little of that country for its central location on the map), but have no idea which countries are the most Tehlin.
Katy Maziarz
63. ArtfulMagpie
"But the interesting point here isn't necessarily Encanis/Lanre/Haliax, it's separating humans and demons. We know they call all kinds of things demons, from draccus to fae, but what might they be in that story?"

Perhaps the demons are the other army. I mean, the enemy isn't singular...it isn't JUST Iax, yes? He had a whole big huge army, complete with creatures like the uber-draccus. More people died in one battle than are alive in the Four Corners today, as the story claimed--some of those people were on the "bad" side. Once Iax was defeated and set beyond the doors of stone, his army wouldn't just evaporate. Perhaps the angels hunted down the remnants of the losing side in the Creation War.
Steven Halter
64. stevenhalter
gbrell@61:Fae is stated to be a wholly created construct world into which the moon of the 4C is partially captured. The other worlds/cities could have then been pulled into the conflict. I'll certainly admit it seems a bit thin and the cities could just be cities.
On the other hand, I feel reasonably good that the doors of stone lead to (at least) another pocket world separate from 4C & Fae. That gives us at least 3 worlds. The mansion of Jax also sounds like a pocket world and the tinker seemed familiar with the concept of the unfolding world.
Steven Halter
65. stevenhalter
ArtfulMagpie@63:Yeah, that's what I meant by "stray shapers."
Katy Maziarz
66. ArtfulMagpie
ArtfulMagpie@63:Yeah, that's what I meant by "stray shapers."

Not sure that "stray shapers" really covers it, though. Not everyone in the army was a Shaper or a Namer--many people were likely just foot solidiers who chose the "wrong" side in the conflict. And some could have been proto-Fae--the ancestors of the skin dancers, maybe? Creatures that could hide, to a greater or lesser degree, among the survivors of the winning army?
logankstewart
67. reshi
Just running an idea
we know that the chandarin have 3 major enemies, the amyr, the singers and the sithe. The amyr are selitos and his 'angels' and they want revenge and to right wrongs before they're commited and generally act towards the greater good. The singers are Tehlu's 'angels' and they want to destroy the chandarin because of the wrongs they have commited. The sithe are a fae group that guards the cteathe and they want to destroy the chandarin because they had contact with it.
In relation to the story the story about the 7 becoming traitor and then becoming the six and one, the enemy at the beginning, and the ancient enemy of the adem, is the cteathe. The 6 and 1 are the chandarin, who betrayed there cities. This means that the adem, or those who became the adem, had knowledge of the cteathe before the creation war. We know this because the chandarin were created after the creation war.
Reasons for chandarin being after the creation war.
1. Lanre kills the beast and ends the war, with Lyra at his side, this means that Lyra was still alive while the creation war was on.
2. In the story of Tehlu there are only 7 cities left. There were more before the creation war. If we assume Encanis is Haliax, or the chandarin as a whole, then they must come around after the creation war.
Who's behind the doors of stone and where did the 'demons' i.e. scrael come from
The doors of stone contain Iax, this is pretty much stated by felurian and is also mentioned in Skarpi's tale. This means that Iax was the person who fought against Lanre in the creation war. At this point it was probably a war between the pre men.
It is also stated that Tehlu drives out the 'demons'. we can assume that this means members of the fae that are dangerous to humanity. He drove them into the void and i believe the door that holds back the flood, holds these 'demons' in the void. They are the flood. This means the door must have been open. The other reason is that the skin dancer in the waystone in talks in what Bast describes as an archaic language, like as if he had been gone for thousands of years and had just returned from, say, behind a door that holds back a flood.
As an interesting side note, Bast gives a date for the last time skin changers were seen. Well he says it was a long time ago, so Tehlu finished his work a while ago.
This is all just conjecture and rambling, i wasn't really trying to put forward a poiint as write down any random thoughts i had, so its probably not very logical.
Ashley Fox
68. A Fox
@58 I have thought about this, and agree that this is post CW. Ive posted my views before, but heres my perspective anywho..

The Singers were created as a justice system, likely to try and prevent anything like the CW happening again. They were to reward when they whitnessed good, and punish wear they whitnessed bad. (As we know Selitos stood aside in favour of vengence over justice. A sign of The Enemy's Poisening imo).

Presumably they did this. The historical context we are given plus logic shows that a dark age fell after the CW. All but one major city destroyed-bastions of culture, huge decline in population, loss of technology/ability t create technology, the damage to the land etc would lead to a dark age (think Europe after the Fall of the Roman Empire). This ties in with the general climate in Trapis' story. liket to be a good while after the CW-5oo years? Enough time for the details to have been forgotten, some cultures/countries to have been defined but still realtively reeling.

Tehlu whitnesses something, perhaps Haliax doing something potencially disasterous (poking at the doors of stone or somesuch ;) ). Or perhaps Tehlu revolts. He comes down, all Thor like smiting and punishing. Gets in a fight with Haliax. Kills him (but he cant die) then dies himself...for good re the convo between Scarpi and the Priest.

Church Version. Tehlu is son of God. The only one. The other singers are his Angels. Haliax is Encanis, a demon..oh and all fae are demons. The 7 cities encanis destroys are a cultural memory of the CW, enough truth to make the lies more believable, and also it would make Tehlu's power seem greater.

The separating demons bit is actually the singers justice: punishing bad, rewarding good. Mixed up with the Churchs'/Amyrs' campaign to eradicate Fae/Chandrian.
David C
69. David_C
@58 / @60:

I think that there is some textual evidence that demons and the chandrian are separate concepts. It comes from Ben's discussion of folk-beliefs: the chandrian are universally feared, demons are a local folk belief (unless they are a Tehlin religious belief).

It's actually consistent that in the 4C world "demon" has come to mean a multitude of things. Whether Encannis is the same kind of thing as the demons of pre-Tehlin folklore remains to be seen.
David C
70. David_C
@ many: Is there any textual evidence to support the capitalization of "singer"?
Alice Arneson
71. Wetlandernw
David_C @70 - WMF, end of Ch 35, "Secrets" - Kvothe's thoughts after his conversation with Nina about the picture she made of the pot:
I thought of what I'd heard Haliax say to Cinder all those years ago: Who keeps you safe from the Amyr, the Singers, the Sithe?
Interestingly enough, neither the original scene in NW (Ch 16) nor Kvothe's memory of it in NW (Ch 29) use the capital on singers. So... there's only the one that I can find by searching my ebooks.
Stephane Dauzat
72. Zolt
#40
I'm thinking El'the means "knower" rather than listener. Remember how Kvothe means "to know" (in what language??). The two share one syllable, slim perhaps, but there aint too many words ending in -the either. (Oh, hey, how about Penthe? Sithe? dammit....)

Interestingly enough a knower is what Kvothe really is by the time of the frame story. He's lost much, maybe everything but his memory... and he knows many, many things.

#45
The enemy can be "set behind the doors of stone" and still lay dead on the field. Remember Kvothe's speech early in NOTW about the 4 doors of sleep, forgetfulness, and madness? Well, Death was the 4th door and there's a chance "behind the doors of stone" might just mean "dead".
Lauren W
73. laurene135
On the subject of Namers and Shapers:
I think the difference between to two is slightly more than just philosophy.
As Felurian states:
"mastery was not given. they had the deep knowing of things. not mastery. to swim is not mastery over the water. to eat an apple is not mastery of the apple.these old name-knowers moved smoothly through the world. they knew thefox and they knew the hare, and they knew the space between the two. then came those who saw a thing and thought of changing it. they thought in terms of mastery."
My idea is this: Namers can make use of what they name--such as calling the wind--but they do not change the nature of that things. Swimming is not mastery over the water nor is eating an apple master over the apple because neither of these things changes the nature of the water or apple. This is naming.
On the other hand Felurian mentions eating a silver apple. Knowing the name of the apple and then using that knowledge to make its skin silver or make it taste like a peach is changing the nature of the apple and would therefore be shaping.
Naming makes use of what is at hand (the wind, fire, water, the apple) whereas shaping takes what is avaliable and alters its nature to serve a new purpose.
Ian Weih-Wadman
74. Dunfodabadun
It would make sense for Lyra to have died of some incurable disease, prompting Lanre to go to the Cthaeh to get one of its panacea flowers. Then the Cthaeh had the opportunity to talk to him and turn him into Haliax with whatever it said.
logankstewart
75. redgrl
Could the reason that women aren't as well accepted at the Unversity be because of Lyra bringing Lanre back from the dead, breaking some kind of natural law or pehaps before her death she passed her naming ability to him breaking some code of conduct?
logankstewart
76. redgrl
Bast mentions that theirs a special group of fey like the marines, who gaurd the Chaeth and kill those who speak to it, if that's so "How in the World" did so many people Iax, Lanre, and Kvothe speak to it and live and all they influenced as well?!!! Unless those fey are perhaps being manipulated or killed by someone.
logankstewart
77. redgrl
A little off topic, but when the book talks about how the nobility wear rings of bone and stone and how they mean different things, I wonder if a namer could pass themselves off as a noble or if the nobility were started by namers? Maybe Kvothe passes himself off as nobility after he get his namer rings.
Steven Halter
78. stevenhalter
redgrl@76:My theory is that the Cthaeh is manipulating events such that the Sithe aren't in the correct place to block those people with whom the Cthaeh really wishes to speak.
logankstewart
79. redgrl
shalter: If that's true then wouldn't some other sithe have noticed events like that? Pretty bad gaurds who can't notice when events are happening that are keeping them away from their charge. Or maybe the fey are allowing certain people to live and others to die, Bast says his people aren't known for making good choices. Example: Felurian letting him go in the first place after knowing he's talked with the Chaeth!
Steven Halter
80. stevenhalter
redgrl:The events I'm thinking of would be small scale things built up over a long time scale that would end up with all of the Sithe out of a given area. For example, a lack of purple butterflies in one area causes the Sithe to have to look for them in another region. They desperately need the purple ones as they make the very best hair decorations all in vogue this particular season because ...
Of course, its also possible that there are Fae who are either supporting of the Cthaeh or have their own agendas, like Felurian not wanting Kvothe to die.
logankstewart
81. redgrl
shalter: I can believe that. A group of fey supporting the Cthaeh, well in traditional folklore there are sidhe and unsidhe those who don't care abourt humanity but don't try to harm them and those who "HATE" humanity and want them all to die, perhaps theirs the same groups in the four corners universe. Something I find intersting is the different personalities between Felurian and Bast, Felurian acts almost primal where as Bast acts more or less completely human, except for his speech to chronicler. I wonder if the the fey suffer from personality disorders on account of their shaper past?
George Brell
82. gbrell
@77.redgrl:

The ring traditions of the Vintish nobles (iron, silver, gold) were co-opted by the nobles from the common people, who had many more rings (examples given were bone, leather, grass, horn). The wood ring that Kvothe receives from Meluan probably comes out of this tradition as well, though it's meaning appears to arise out of the noble tradition rather than the common one.

The statement by Bredon that Kvothe shouldn't wear the bone ring (given to him by Stapes, who himself is common, not noble) suggests that wearing Namer rings wouldn't really help a Namer pass himself off as nobility.

It is possible, however, that the common tradition of rings could have been an emulation of Namers, though why Bone is debt and Horn emnity would need to be explained.
logankstewart
83. redgrl
gbrell: yeah your probably right. thanks for your time.
logankstewart
84. redgrl
If naming is so dangerous why does the University teach it in the first place? I mean even if not everyone believes in the creation war, seems a great incentive "not" to teach people. Especially if teaching it largely results in people driven insane.
George Brell
85. gbrell
@redgrl:

According to Elodin, the University originally existed to teach only Naming. Elodin's itinerant classes are the only vestige of that legacy. So the teaching of Naming appears to be disappearing (perhaps due to its danger).

One point to mention, however, is that the teaching of naming isn't what presumably fills the rookery (i.e. drives people crazy). That's the teaching of sympathy ("Because of the way we train our minds to move."), which is presumably still taught because it's incredibly useful.
logankstewart
86. daves
I'm coming very late to this re-read, but I have to agree with those people who saw the Creation War as being at its heart, down to a difference of philosophy / ethics rather than basic abilities - ie what practices are and aren't acceptable for Namers. Change Namers to scientists and it's not so dissimilar to debates in our world about how far people should be allowed to go, eg with with GM crops (silver apple anyone?), cloning, etc.

Certainly the way Felurian tells it, the Namers were content just to know things and live in harmony with them (basically they were hippies!) but the Shapers wanted to use their power to make new things and change existing ones. According to Felurian, what they did wasn't bad per se, indeed she loved some of what they did, but it ended up getting taken too far - when Iax stole the moon, literally or metaphorically - and that's when debate or minor conflicts turned into all-out war.

What I find fascinating is that the "Namers" of the University are definitely "shaping" - they're not content to know things and otherwise leave them alone, they shape them, eg into rings that show their mastery. Also, on that subject, they talk openly about having mastery over a thing, eg I don't have the text in front of me but I think Elxa Dal tells Kvothe he has mastery over fire, whereas Felurian specifically dismisses the idea that Namers had "mastery" over the things they knew.

Anyway, that's a long-winded way of getting to my point which is, I wonder how that's come about? Could the "Namers" of the Arcanum actually be Shapers rather than Namers (as we think of them)? Perhaps the founders of the Arcanum themselves would have rejected the term Shapers and thought of themselves as the true Namers, perhaps as opposed to an older, more conservative generation? And in that case, is it the "Shapers" who actually won the civil war? Or, the Arcanum - which according to Elodin was originally a secret faction within the University - was orginally founded to keep their practices alive?

Or alternatively, are the modern Namers unknowingly heading down the same path as their predecessors, with simple Naming / Listening slowly turning into Shaping, and is it leading to a new Creation War? The first conflict was triggered by the most powerful of the Shapers, Iax, doing something so beyond the pale that it led to war. Kvothe also has the potential to be an unusually powerful Namer / Shaper and we know war is coming and he at least believes it's his fault; is he the new Iax?
logankstewart
87. Dessert
I was always under the impression that shaping was the creating of new things, whilst naming is the manipulation of existing things. Shaping means making a new star, creating a new species of tree with glowing fruit or designing a new world with it's own set of physics. Naming means stirring up a storm, or suppressing a faeling's power.
logankstewart
88. Bubbleset
The amusing thing I've just realized is that the conflict was laid out from the very start of Kvothe's telling. Aleph in creating the world either gave everything a name (shaping/creation) or found the names everything already possessed (naming/understanding). "Depending on the version you prefer." So the 'Creation' war could be a dispute about the oldest philosophical/religious question around - the nature of the creation of the world itself - translating down to basic ideas of creation and naming.
Roger Pavelle
89. RogerPavelle
EDIT: This post was moved to Speculative Summary 16: You May Have Heard of Me, post #274.
George Bracken
90. jorgybear
It just occurred to me that (correct me if I’m wrong), when K was talking about secrets, he said Teccam knew the shape of the world. If knowing the Name of a thing allows you to use Naming magic, could knowing the Shape of a thing allow you to use Shaping magic? It reminds me of Fela’s (I think) Interesting Fact about blind people with restored sight not knowing which object is round without touching it.

In response to gbrell@6, "My wife is dead. Deceit and treachery brought me to it, but her death is on my hands.” It could be that Lanre was the deceitful treacherous one, and the person he betrayed was the one who killed Lyra.

It just struck me when reading a comment by daves @86 what the difference between Naming and Shaping might be. Daves suggests “the "Namers" of the University are definitely "shaping"… they shape into rings that show their mastery”. I think that when fela created her ring, she showed that she had mastery over a stone, not over stone, the whole concept of what stone is. I think to be a Shaper of stone would be to alter the very fabric of reality so that all stones were changed, a different colour, lighter/heavier, liquid, or something fundamentaly different to what Stone is. If you could do that, you’d put a stone ring on your right hand. The left hand is clever, the right hand is strong.
Kate Hunter
91. KateH
I see Shaping as a closely related discipline to Naming, and a very dangerous one. It is a level of mastery beyond Naming - which consists
of "merely" deep knowing and the ability to command. To possess skill in Shaping is to be capable of altering the very nature of a thing, akin to creation. Somehow this ties in with Lanre/Haliax acquiring power, possibly when Lyra commanded him back to life - Lyra's huge skill in Naming stretching somehow to Shaping and changing Lanre much for the worse. Possibly, she was the first Shaper, and didn't even understand what she was doing because no one had ever seen it before. Shaping must also be part and parcel with the Creation War, which may in some sense be ongoing. Human wisdom is insufficient to allow humans to wield such power responsibly or to any good effect. This probably applies equally to those of the Fae. When they speak of shaping at the University, that's shaping with a little s - they're talking about the effects of Naming, shaping rings and such. Shaping with a big S is all but unknown to humans, though Felurian remembers.

Elodin knows something of Shaping, at least the existence or possibility of it. He's wise enough to recognize it's not a discipline to be used or pursued, and this is what worried him when K asked about changing names. Both of the people he thinks of when he doesn't know who K is talking about are people with demonstrated Naming ability - K and Fela. He's utterly unconcerned once he realizes only usenames are being discussed.

Elodin says that the powers of Arcanists today are like well watered wine when compared to the strong spirits of those in the distant past. To me, this says that even those with a bit of Naming ability are very rare, and their powers weak. But in any case, Naming would be a sort of prerequisite skill to Shaping. To encounter a Namer with potential for Shaping would be utterly extraordinary in K's time. One must be quite strong at Naming in order to Shape, but almost no one who can Name has that much ability these days. And even those with the ability aren't wise enough to use it well.

K, our eternal idiotic prodigy, will pursue Shaping anyway, and employ it with disastrous results. This is, at least in part, why he blames himself for ruining the world/everything.
logankstewart
92. Blue Elodin
Please excuse if this has been brought up before:

If Denna is in some kind associated with the wind, that might also explain the similarity betweeen the names "Elodin" and "Dinael". Disregarding the "a/o" difference which might be indicative of gender, both names seem to be made up by the roots "El" and "Din".
So Elodin could mean "He who listens to the wind", while Dinael perhaps means "She who is heard by the wind" (if the reversed order means something). This would also fit well with the "El'the" = "Listener" hypothesis. (And what does Alaxel listen to? Some kind of power? The "Al" in "Alar" and "Aleph" might mean "power")
logankstewart
93. Blue Elodin
Or perhaps "el" at the end of a word indicates shaping (as in Alaxel), while it indicates naming if used at its beginning. In this case, Dinael would be "She who shapes the wind".
logankstewart
94. elricprincess
I was thinking this over with a friend of mine and thought to post on it.

The Shapers made the Fae world.

What if the Fae are the descendents of those Shapers who experimented on themselves?

Or perhaps the Shapers were like Frankenstein and made the Fae as experiments?

Thoughts? Ideas?

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