May 15 2014 10:00am

Rothfuss Reread: What Can We Learn From The Name of the Wind Playing Cards? (Part 3)

Patrick Rothfuss The Name of the Wind playing cards My obsessively detailed reread of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles is over, but we want to keep on talking about the books. I’m going to post the occasional continuation post when the last one gets too long or if there’s something to say.

Spoilers for all of The Wise Man’s Fear and The Name of the Wind—these discussions assume you’ve read all of both books, and frankly they won’t make the slightest bit of sense if you haven’t. But we welcome new people who have read the books and want to geek out about them. This post is full of spoilers, please don’t venture beyond the cut unless you want them.

We’re still considering the Albino Dragon playing cards, produced with the close cooperation of Pat Rothfuss.

Abbreviations: NW = The Name of the Wind. WMF = The Wise Man’s Fear. D3 = 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, 4C = Four Corners, CTH—that thing I can’t spell! IID3Y = Is it Day Three Yet?

Useful links: The Sleeping Under the Wagon post. The reread index. The map. The timeline. Imaginary Linguistics.

So we considered the box, and the spades and hearts, let’s move on to the other two suits!

Clubs are the “lute suit” and the lute is specifically identified on the Kickstarter page as “Arliden’s lute.”

The Ace is another allegorical picture. There’s a club, with the words “Like a dying dream” on scrolls. There’s Arliden’s lute, smashed in the street in Tarbean. There’s a waystone with something sitting on it—an owl? Could it be? And in the background, there’s a crescent, the same one as on the box, and the cloud is in front of it. Hmm.

The 2 has the falling feather.

The 3 has the little plant with drifting leaves.

The 4 has the thing I think is Kvothe’s thief’s lamp.

The 5 has the candle.

The 6 has the pile of books.

The 7 is new—3 iron drabs!

The 8 is the quill in an inkwell.

The 9 is the lute.

And the 10 is the thief lamp again—twice in the same suit!

The Jack is Kvothe, very different in the two sides as two aspects. In one he’s juggling balls of light in front of an Edema Ruh wagon in a purple twilight landscape, with two people watching him. He’s young and red-headed. There is no visible moon. In the other he has his hands over his face, in a pose of despair. Behind him there’s a cobblestone wall, and through a door we can see a well lit room with a table and chair.

These are interesting Kvothe images for the “lute suite” because he isn’t playing the lute in either one. One is triumph and the other is disaster, but I can’t recognise either of them as specific moments in NW. I’d say K definitely does belong in this suit.

And the swag here is fascinating—a lit candle and an unlit one. A candle radiating light and one radiating darkness. I think we’ve seen one of those somewhere before, and here it is with Kvothe. Fascinating.

The Queen—I thought initially that it was D, but Thistlepong says it’s Laurian, aka Netalia Lackless, aka Kvothe’s mom. It’s two different images again. In one, everything is burning in blue fire, clouds are behind the crescent moon, and she is running away with her arms out. I can’t see any Chandrian, unfortunately, I’d love to see some. (On the card. Not in reality. “What’s your plan?” I’d gasp out, instead of running outside to hide.)

On the other half she’s singing and happy and the lights are normal and clouds are in front of a half moon. But it seems to be otherwise the same, trees and the wagon are in the same place. Guess it’s just a general camp thing. The swag is the same, light and dark candle.

And the King is Arliden, again doubled. In the light one he’s singing and happy, in the dark one there’s blue fire and he seems to be waving farewell. He has his lute in both, but there’s no moon in either, just purple clouds. And the swag is the same here too.

Now Kvothe, Laurian, and Arliden are definitely a family and belong together in the same suit, and in the “lute suit” too.

And diamonds, the “Kilvin’s lamp” suit.

The ace has a diamond with a hanging globe of ever burning lamp, with the words “Music is a fine thing but metal lasts”. There’s a half moon behind, with no cloud on it, and it looks like a “real” moon, as if the other half of the globe is there. The diamond is set in an anvil, with wood and water and hills behind.

All of the diamonds have the dangling lamp in them.

The 2 has the falling feather.

The 3 has the pile of books.

The 4 has the waystone.

The 5 has the drabs.

The 6 has the quill and inkwell.

The 7 has the lute.

The 8 has the plant.

The 9 has the sword, and it has an unusual pattern of distribution of diamonds.

The 10 has the coin that’s visible on the box flap, with the wreathed head.

The Jack is Ambrose, mirrored. He’s wearing purple and has a big hat with a feather, a flower (carnation?) in his hand and a scowl on his face. He has dark hair and a beard. Behind him are houses—probably Imre, or maybe around the University, there are shop signs. And in the swag are two crossed swords and a copper jot—clever!

The Queen is Devi, mirrored. She has a bookshelf behind her, and a curtained window. She’s smiling, and wearing a pendant and a low cut dress, and she has something in her hand—a glass vial of blood? A pen? A cigarette? In the swag is a candle, a retort, scales, and something—an abacus? All these things look alchemical to me.

And the King is Kilvin, dark skinned, scowling, with his ever-burning globed burning behind his head. He’s holding something metallic and examining it. he’s extremely burly and he has his sleeves rolled up. In the swag is an anvil and some tools.

Do Ambrose, Devi and Kilvin fit as a family? They certainly all fit with diamonds, coins, sygaldry, alchemy, and all of that. They don’t fit together, they aren’t friends, and they don’t have the same kinds of relationship with Kvothe. Ambrose is an enemy, and Devi is ambivalent and Kilvin is a mentor.

And that’s the whole set—except for the extra cards!

There’s Willem, playing cards—dark skin, beard, purple waistcoat, cards held in both hands. He has a bottle of beer. There are three unrecognisable people in the background.

There’s a card with a real world C.14 Benedictine curse on bookstealers, and a black and white illustration of Lorren in his study, frowning, with books. It’s lovely.

There are two jokers, Elodin and Auri. Elodin is based on Neil Gaiman, and shows him barefoot on the roof at the moment Kvothe jumps off. I think Elodin as a joker makes perfect sense. In the background is green grass and distant trees and a blue cloud streaked sky.

Auri’s also somebody famous, but not anyone I recognise. She’s also on a roof, at night, with a full moon in the sky and a piece of cloth beside her with tiny treasures on it. She looks poised to run. We can see the skyline of the University buildings behind her. Can’t wait for the Auri story!

And that’s it. We’ll resume our regular intermittent posts.

Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published three poetry collections and nine novels, including the Hugo and Nebula winning Among Others. She has just published a collection of her posts, What Makes This Book So Great. She has a new novel My Real Children coming out in May. She reads a lot, and blogs about it here irregularly. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are more varied.

Andrew Mason
2. AnotherAndrew
I'm glad I'm not the only person who got confused about Laurian and Denna. Is Rothfuss trying to signal to us that they look alike?
3. Marco.
There is *someone* in the Laurian print.

In front of the wagon, with sword. on brow?
4. Marco.
Also, happy wagon on one side, burning on the other. I think it's meant to be the night she died.
Jordan Frandsen
5. jorgecuervos
The Jack card with Kvothe shows him crying after the attack in the inn. Chronicler is in the background helping someone with his will. Kvothe goes out back of his inn and weeps over the loss of townspeople or from the family that comes in as he assumes responsibility for the little-known, big impact war that is going on in 4C land.
Daniel Posey
6. dposey
View details for a print and click on picture to enlarge.

Can see a Chandrian and Ambrose has a rose, which is typical.
Steven Halter
7. stevenhalter
In the Laurian print at:
you can clearly see a pair of legs draped over a log. In the car it is blocked by the clubs symbol. Laurian is crying and looks to be beseeching someone. There is a figure with a sword and the blue flames are clear.
8. Rich C
I mentioned this on the previous thread, but on the Laurien card, on the happy half, there appears to be a large wild animal (mountain lion?) standing in the background, near the tree, with glowing eyes.
Robert Dickinson
9. ChocolateRob
Ambrose is based on Jim Butcher, Author of the Dresden Files.
Aurie is based on Felicia Day as the first poster said. She is probably best known for Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog (chin up Billy buddy).

Devi is holding a pin for the blood to go in the vial.

The corner picture on both the twos is leaves, not feathers.

I'd say that Kvothe's parents looked sad rather than scared on the burning sides, perhaps they're being seen as recently deceased spirits. The blue light/flames lend a very ghostly look to the scene.
10. Marco.
My assumption on the Kvothe crying card is that it's the scene right after the tells the story of his parents death:
Eventually he stopped completely and stood for a long minute, still as stone. Only then did his composurebreak. And even with no one there to see, he hid his face in his hands and wept quietly, his bodywracked with wave on wave of heavy, silent sobs.
Jordan Frandsen
11. jorgecuervos
That is the scene I was probably thinking of. I knew he went out back for a cry, couldn't exactly remember when.
Roland of Gilead
12. pKp
Re: Queen of Clubs (Laurian/Natalia) : if you look at it here (second picture), you can clearly see someone in front of her burning wagon. They have a sword and white hair. I'm pretty sure that's Cinder. So we do have a Chandrian.

The six others are in the background of Arliden's card, with one standing in front of the others - probably Haliax.
Roland of Gilead
13. pKp
Oh, and neat little detail on Bast's card: his eyes aren't the same in the two side - one has him with normal eyes, the other with Faen solid-blue ones.
14. kingkillerthriller
Modeg cards are awesome, and leave me with so many questions.
Evgeni Kirilov
15. ArgentSun
A noteworthy piece of trivia is that Arliden's and Laurian's cards are meant to be complementary - they sing a duet in the "happy" half, and reach for each other in the "sad" one. Put the cards together, you'll see it.

Another thing I randomly just noticed is that the Jack of Clubs (young Kvothe / crying Kvothe) is slightly different on the website than it is in print. My card, which comes from the deck itself, doesn't have the Chronicler and Bast in the background of the "crying" half.
jum bles
16. jumbles
Rich C@8: I think mountain lions have longer bodies than that. It looks more like a wolf to me.

A note on the lute. Arliden's lute is not the same lute that is featured on the back of the cards or on the Ace of hearts. That lute has a lion head. Arliden's lute has the head of some bird of prey, and I can't help but notice that Lord Greyfallow's poker chip also has a bird of prey on it. His poker chip also has a crescent moon.

Auri's treasures are Taborlin's tools: key, candle, and coin. She is also out on the roof during a time she doesn't like to be. There is a full moon and a clear sky. She doesn't like going on the roof when there's a lot of moon, she doesn't like the open sky, and she likes it when it's cloudy (NotWc53).

The Ace of clubs looks like it could be on the Great Stone Road. And a note on the Great Stone Road, I think it is supposed to be perfectly straight since "Stonebridge rose ahead of us: two hundred feet from end to end, with a high arch that peaked five stories above the river. It was part of the Great Stone Road, straight as a nail, flat as a table, and older than God" (WMFc36). The flat as a table can't refer to the bridge since it has a high arch, so straight as a nail and flat as a table must refer to the road. This suggests that their world is round since the map makes the road look curved. Thanks to Valyrian for suggesting this in comment 76 of part 1 of these playing card posts.

I didn't see the Chandrian on Arliden's card mentioned here, so I'll just point out there are six of them on his card. At least I assume they're Chandrian.

And the moon phases are different on every Ace.
Spades: Full
Hearts: 1st Quarter
Diamonds: 3rd Quarter
Clubs: Waning Crescent
I wonder if the moon phases occur in the same order over there as they do for us?
John Graham
17. JohnPoint
jumbles @16 re Stonebridge:

I actually think that the "straight as a nail, flat as a table" does refer to the bridge, not necessarily to the road. The bridge is straight across the river, not curved or bent at all. (We're used to modern bridges being straight most of the time, but this wasn't always the case.) The "flat as a table" refers to the paving of the bridge -- side to side, it is flat. No worn ruts on the bridge, no uneven stones, etc.

I agree that "flat as a table" and a "high arch" are a bit awkward together, but I also think that the construction of the sentence means that the list refers to the bridge, not the road.

ETA: But I'm not sure, and could see the quote refer to the road, not the bridge. The curve on the map could certainly be an effect of the planar projection, as discussed before. The other thing that makes me question this is that the section on the "Great Stone Road" on the map (as linked in the header above) says:
...while the Aturan Empire claims to have built the Great Stone Road, any historian worth his salt knows this is patently untrue. While at the peak of it's power, Atur certainly did much to improve the road, cobbling large sections of it, but old records clearly show the road existed long before Atur was an empire. In fact, the road seems to have existed long before Atur was even a country, or there was even a city of that name. Truthfully, its origins are lost in the dim reaches of pre-history, and therefore speculation on that subject is better left to storytellers than any self-respecting historian.
The fact that the Aturan empire cobbled large sections of the road makes me wonder whether it is actually "straight as a nail" and "flat as a table" across the entire several thousand mile stretch...
jum bles
18. jumbles
Ah, that's a good quote for this. I still think the straight as a nail and flat as a table refer to the road, but they may not be 100% true; the road just has a reputation and is close enough to being those things compared to the other roads.

ETA: We can clearly see on the tuck box that the road isn't straight.
John Graham
19. JohnPoint
Re the GSR on the tuck box: that's a good counterpoint too, though personally, I think that the artwork on the box maintains artistic license and is meant to be allegorical, not literal. For instance, the bridge on the box also doesn't have nearly as high of an arch as is stated and implied in the text. (This also raises the question of whether we can use the clouds behind the moon as evidence that the moon is in the atmosphere, or whether it is intended to show that part of the moon is *literally* missing when it's not full.)
jum bles
20. jumbles
I completely agree about the artwork not being literal. We know the river is used for shipping. No ship carrying cargo or passengers would be able to make it through there. The water is too shallow and if the water-level rose the bridge would be too low.

Part of the moon is definitely supposed to be missing when not full. During the Kickstarter videos they discussed that. To the best of my knowledge they never discussed the moon being in the atmosphere, though.
21. Trollfot
Have we discussed the possibility of Auri cracking due to a Fae visit?
22. maybem
I don't know if anybody has mentioned this yet, but one of the things Albino Dragon sells is this coin here, which is called Elodin's Question and contains a clear image of the moon with a star visible through the "dark" part. Elodin's Question, being, of course "Where does the moon go when it is no longer in our sky."
Jo Walton
23. bluejo
Or even the question about the synodic period. So very very clever.
24. Tap
So out of curiosity, why don't you display all of the cards so we can tell what you're talking about rather than just one of two?
thistle pong
25. thistlepong

Reckon they don't own the images. Also reckon a gallery has been linked in the last four posts. Here's one RR:WCWL2.
Bruce Wilson
26. Aesculapius
We discussed a few things about the Laurian and Arliden cards towards the end of the last thread; I won't re-post it all but here's quick summary of the comments:
The paired nature of both the light and dark pictures -- dancing and singing together in the light; fearful and reaching for each other in the dark. The final camp, before and during the Chandrian attack...?
The obvious blue flames in both dark cards.
The six hooded figures behind Arliden and one with sword drawn behind Laurian, presumably all seven Chandrian, with the one being Cinder...?
The quadruped with bright eyes in the background of Laurian's dark pic.
The absence of Arliden's beard -- which is definitely mentioned in the text.
The allegorical rather than truly representative nature of the pictures.
Bruce Wilson
27. Aesculapius
Edited -- redundant comment, sorry...!

Now very much anticipating The Lightning Tree and The Slow Regard of Silent Things.
28. Marco.
I keep coming back to the Laurian card and the figure in the background. If you go to the albino dragon website and look at the print, and then mouse over it to blow it up there appears to be a bright white spot on his forehead. This is similar to the Kvothe/Felurian fight where his power was "like a star on his brow".

This got me thinking of what the chronicler said to Kote to try and drag his story out along th e lines of: " some say there is a new Chandrain". Previously, I had always dismissed this as Chronicler just trying to be persuasive, but seeing Kvothe and the Chandrain exhibit similar behavior casts it in a new light for me.

After all, for people to identify K as a Chandrain, he'd need to exhibit some sort of Chandrain like characteristics, yes? Up until now I had trouble identifying any, because all we know about the Chandrain is that they show up and kill you when you say their names, make things rust, and turn fire blue.

I suspect forehead star wouldn't be enough, so Kvothe would have to do something else to be identified as a Chandrain. Killing a guy in the town square doesn't seem to rise to the level of supernatural baddie bent on murder.

Has anything else (attributable to Kvothe) been foreshadowed that would be bad enough to earn him membership in the club in the eyes of the masses?
Rob Core
29. robtcore
Off topic from the cards, but it seems the most recent post is usually the best place to add general comments.
Possibly for the department of imaginary linguistics? It's about Bast and the term "Reshi." I did a quick search, and didn't see it discussed before.

An odd connection jumped out at me while I was looking at Doug Henning's wikipedia page (long story, if you care for boring details, PM me).
Henning was a TM enthusiast, which was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. I knew the first word is a title, and that "Maha" is a prefix meaning "Great."
I looked up "rishi" and according to Wikipedia it refers to "an inspired poet of ?gvedic hymns, who alone invokes the deities with poetry," and "Post-Vedic tradition regards the Rishis as 'sages' or saints, constituting a peculiar class of human beings who have received enlightenment direct from God, in some cases Rishis may also refer to abrahamic prophets as mentioned in the earliest Vedas."

I know we've talked about how Pat seems to take inspiration from real world languages. In addition to "teacher" that we've talked about before, I think there's a case to be made for it to be "Poet".

(Which sends me down great rabbit holes involving his sword, expressed feeling on poetry, and the lack of music in the Waystone. . . )
Rob Core
30. robtcore
AAAAND I just realized I only searched blog posts, not comments.

It's been covered before in Speculative Summary 20: Watching his Master by both Valgaroth and Pykus.

Nothing new under the sun, alas.

Here's the search I found it on (with which I discovered it?):
Carl Banks
31. robocarp

Unlikely that Kvothe actually is a Chandrian because of the prologue and epilogue to the first two days, that claimed that Kvothe was a man waiting to die. A Chandrian can't die so if Kvothe were one that's not what he'd have been waiting for.

You know it's spelled "Chandr ia n" (I before A), right?
jum bles
32. jumbles
I think Haliax is the only Chandrian that is said to be unable to die. The others seem to have long lives, but I don't think anything says they actually can't die.

ETA: And Trapis' story says that only one life doesn't end in death. Though it is unclear if his story takes place before or after the Chandrian were created. Also unclear how much of his story is accurate.
33. Marco.
My spelling is a constant embarrassment to my friends and family. :)

To be clear, I don't think Kvothe actually is a Chandrian - my concern is around why people would say he is.

The seven are mythical undead, cursed for all time, who appear in the night to kill you if you say their name.

Kvothe kills a king. This makes him an assassin. Seems to fall somewhat short. What could he have done to rise to their level in the eyes of the public?
John Graham
34. JohnPoint
Marco @33 --

- Kills a king via all sorts of "powerful magics" which:
- Sets off a war that:
- Releases all sorts of fell beasts ("demons") on the world and:
- Blurs the lines between reality and story.

Kvothe takes the responsibility for starting the whole war (whether it is his fault or not is a separate question). If others trace the war to him, and recognize the blurring between the Mortal and the Fae realms, it makes sense that this would be somewhat comparable to the Chandrian. Particularly in the eyes of someone (like an Arcanist) who knows more about the Chandrian than just the children's rhymes and folk superstition. The Chronicler doesn't indicate that the belief is (necessarily) widespread. As you say, he just says "Some say there is a new Chandrian..." In this case, "some" could refer to just a few people.
jum bles
35. jumbles
Five things:

1. I just noticed something very interesting near the end of WMFc45. Kvothe says, "All the way the winter wind chilled the iron around my hands and feet until it burned and bit and froze my skin." That's cold iron hurting Kvothe. Cold iron is said to be effective against demons. In fact the exact same wording is used when Encanis was bound in iron, "Encanis thrashed on the wheel and began to howl as the iron burned and bit and froze him" (NotWc23). We know Kvothe works with iron with no trouble, and even cold iron doesn't bother him when his gram is chilled by an attack. Also, Chronicler sees Bast's true form but notices nothing about Kvothe.

2. Regarding Selitos=Cthaeh: Lanre binds Selitos so that he cannot move or speak, but can still see. Sounds a lot like the Cthaeh's current situation except Cthaeh can speak now.

3. The above lumps seeing, speaking, and moving together. El'the could mean Mover. I don't really see any significance there, though...

4. "Without her, Lanre's life was nothing but a burden, and the power he had taken up lay like a hot knife in his mind" (NotWc26). That's another bit a wording that matches Encanis. "Encanis, whose voice was like a knife in the minds of men" (NotWc23).

5. The Waystone Inn could be Jax's old broken house. From Hespe's story:
lived in an old house at the end of a broken road ... What can you expect of a boy who lives alone in a broken house at the end of a broken road? ... This was something of a surprise, because the road was broken, so nobody ever used it ... The tinker looked up at the huge old house, one short step away from being a mansion.
So Jax's first house was old, broken, huge, and almost a mansion. The road was broken and unused.
The description of the road outside the Waystone Inn:
Footprints of lamplight from the inn's windows fell across the dirt road and the doors of the smithy across the way. It was not a large road, or well traveled. It didn't seem to lead anywhere, as some roads do.
Sounds similar to the broken road. And large houses or mansions are sometimes used as inns. I can't recall the Waystone Inn being described as old or broken though.
Another combination of broken road and broken house occurs when Kvothe fights the scrael near Newarre:
... he was still on the road when night fell, making the rutted dirt road a stumbling ground of half-seen shapes ... It was a bonfire roaring in the ruins of an old house, little more than two crumbling stone walls.
The road sounds like it may be in disrepair, which might pass for broken; and the house is definitely described as broken and old. But this house seems to lack the importance for being Jax's house.
And lastly, for those that believe that Skarpi/Sceop is the tinker that met Jax: Sceop "was going from nowhere to nowhere" (WMFc37). The first nowhere could be Newarre; the second was later revealed to be Tinue. If he was leaving Newarre and Jax's old house, then the Waystone could be it. It would also make sense that Skarpi finds Kvothe before anyone else if he lived there and maybe still has contacts there.
36. janniek
In part 2 on the playing cards people mentioned the detailed images of the cards on the website of Albino Dragon so I went there and looked at them and noticed that some of those cards are different from mine!

For example Bast has normal eyes on both sides of my card.
And on the waystone side of the jack of clubs the table in the other room is empty. Bast and Chronicler are not sitting there.

I thought there was only one version of the cards.. I have a limited edition deck and live in the Netherlands and a friend of mine has exactly the same cards.
I am confused. Does any of you have an idea?
Alf Bishai
37. greyhood
@28 What if K.'s Chandrian sign is...silence.
thistle pong
38. thistlepong
A little snippet of Four Corners history appears in the upcoming Pairs rulebook:
Pairs exists in one form or another throughout the civilized world, from Vintas and the Commonwealth to the farthest corners of the small kingdoms. In his seminal history, The Chains of Empire*, Etregan speculated that the game originated in Atur, and was spread by conquest, Just as Atur brought rule of law, common language, and a standardized system of time-keeping to the lands it subjugated.

Many scholars disagree, citing as evidence Modegan decks that appear to predate Atur's expansion by more than 400 years. Others point out iconography in Aturan decks that predates the empire and seems to originate in pre-plague Caluptena. The game's origin seems lost to history, with countless regions having their own decks and variations of play.
Nothing, like, earth shattering there, but it does make the game as old or slightly older than the earliest surviving mention of the Loeclos family name. And it marks pre-plague and post-plague eras for Caluptena.

* not to be confused with Araman Ashbride's monograph "Shackles of Empire," Feltemi Reis's Fall of Empire, or Greggor the Lesser's The Fall of Empire
39. angledge
Guys, I'm going to Pat's reading/signing event in Austin tonight. What question should I ask (if he's answering questions)?? It's got to be something he might actually feel like he could answer....
John Graham
41. JohnPoint
thistle@38 -- Interesting. My first question is: What iconography on the Aturan deck (presumably the standard NotW deck) seems to originate in pre-plague Caluptena? The back of the cards has a stone dolmen and holly (and the crescent-moon-with-star that seems to verify once again that the moon is actually missing parts), so those are possibilities. I also still harbor a suspicion that the calamities cards represent the Chandrian and their signs, so that could also relate to Caluptenan iconography. Maybe the stylized sun on the card back...?

Otherwise, I can't see anything that definitely appears to be pre-Aturan. Now the Faen and Modegan decks, on the other hand...
Jerry Grzeskiewicz
42. SwordOfMidAfternoon
Bast story in "Rogues" is MOST excellent. I was worried that he'd mail this one in as well, but my worries were groundless. What a painful tease for Day3.
Fae and magic insights a-plenty.
43. Ryan H
So good! Bring on the re-read!
44. Goldfrapp
Bast is totally the "demon" summoned by Kvothe.
His name rings like a bell when spoken by Kvothe in the Lightning Tree.
45. Ryan H
What's the spoiler policy for The Lightning Tree in this thread?
thistle pong
46. thistlepong
Ryan H @45

Jo indicated she'd be doing a post about "The Lightning Tree." Prolly just givin' folks some time to read it. While there's no spoiler policy other than that the posts and the comments will contain all kinds of spoilers, chances are we'll all get more out of the discussion when that post goes up.
47. Goldfrapp
My apologies for the amatuer mistake. I'm just very excited.
jum bles
48. jumbles
I just noticed that the Name of the Wind Pairs deck has been specified to be a Commonwealth deck.

ETA: And these decks are supposed to be ones that people in the four corners would actually use. Does that mean that the Faen would use the Faen deck? If so that would mean that Bastas, Remmen, Kvothe, Auri, Elodin, Tehlins, and tinkers are all important to the Fae.
Andrew Mason
49. AnotherAndrew
Has it been said that all these decks are actually from Kvothe's world, or only that the standard one is?

In any case, I'm guessing that the iconography Rothfuss is referring to is not on any deck we can see - note he just says 'Aturan decks', which could mean some specific ones, not all of them.

Will the be a post about the Pairs decks? There seems to be enough in them to make one worthwhile.
50. satyreyes
Viewed from the ground, airplanes pass behind low clouds but in front of high ones.
Jeremy Raiz
51. Jezdynamite
If a "reputable cover story" was needed to cover up the real reason for burning down Caluptena, avoiding the spread of plague would fit nicely.
Carl Banks
52. robocarp
Jezdynamite @ 51

It would be, but that would make the phrase "pre-plague Caluptena" redundant. (Although the I guess "pre-plague" could just be descriptive.)
Jeremy Raiz
53. Jezdynamite
Hi robocarp @52

I'm not sure why it would be redundant. Post-plague Caluptena would be Caluptena-in-ashes. I think I'm missing some sort of obvious insight.

Similar to the Great fire of London in 1666, which took place 12 months after the Great plague hit London.
Carl Banks
54. robocarp
Jezdynamite @ 53

It's redundant because things like iconograpy can't really originate in a place after it's been destroyed. If Caluptena was destroyed soon after the plague, then any time someone says something originated in Caluptena, it would all but imply pre-plague; hence it's redundant to say "pre-plague Caluptena".
55. grinachu
Does Arliden's lute have 8 strings? Am I miscounting?
John Graham
56. JohnPoint
Grinachu @55 -- Not sure what you're looking at, but I see 7 tuning pegs on the lute-in-club motif (the white dots at the top of the lute, inside the upper "bulb" of the club). I do see 8 frets (the horizontal black lines across the neck of the lute), so perhaps that's what you're counting?
Jeremy Raiz
57. Jezdynamite

Thanks. I see what you mean.
Would you say this is accurate for our timeline (based on dates already in our timeline)?

Plague Caluptena
-1000: Aturan empire starts
Caluptena burned down
-300 to -200: Aturan empire collapses
Jeremy Raiz
58. Jezdynamite
In terms of the location of Caluptena, would this imply that Caluptena is in Atur:

"Others point out iconography in Aturan decks that predates the empire and seems to originate in pre-plague Caluptena."

i.e. I assume that the mentioned "Aturan Pairs decks" would likely have Aturan iconography. Looking at Faen/Modegan decks, they have Faen/Modegan iconography.

Pity we don't have an Aturan deck to look at.
Carl Banks
59. robocarp
Jezdynamite @ 57

I'd say the wording strongly implies plague in Caluptena was before the Aturan empire began, yes.

But is there any good evidence to put the Caluptena burning after Atur was founded? I am suspicious that both the plague and the burning of Caluptena happened before the Aturan empire, and that Atur is built on Caluptena's ruins. It actually makes a lot of sense: the church got concerned that Caluptena was starting to uncover secrets and burned it down, then built its own city in the ruins.
Jeremy Raiz
60. Jezdynamite

No good evidence that I can find in both texts. Only guesswork and assumptions that I can see (and, good ones at that).

I can't find anything concrete to corroborate the age of the University either, other than some references to it being (1) old, (2) built on ancient ruins, and (c) that a courtyard at the University was called "Quoyan Hayel" (the House of Wind) long ago when folk spoke differently.

One point: If Caluptena was burned over 1000+ years ago, I wonder if there's a reason why it would take staff/students at the university over a 1000+ years to translate the rescued objects. Unless they've forgotten the rescued objects over time, deemed them unimportant or perhaps (drum roll) the university is purposefully not translating them.
thistle pong
61. thistlepong
robocarp@59 (and Jez@60)
But is there any good evidence to put the Caluptena burning after Atur was founded?
Yes. There are, like, six mentions of Caluptena. The evidence suggests it was burned by the church within the Imperial period, probably early on. Caudicus's genealogy speculates that records of the Lackless might go back further than nine hundred years "if not for the burning of Caluptena."

We know the establishment church itself extends back about a thoussand years both because that's how far their records go and via Trapis's rough estimate. And there's this:
“The University has the most open-minded atmosphere since the church burned Caluptena to the ground."

Like a lot this stuff, it has to be cobbled together from multiple data points. We can get a good idea about the church and the Lackless and the Empire. And we can use that to get a rough idea for when Caluptena burned.
Carl Banks
62. robocarp
((Edit: I added a few paragraphs based on suggestions by JohnPoint, jumbles, and BigVik. Updates marked with a *.))

I was bored, so I decided to collect everything we know about Creation War cities and list it here. There are three main sources of information on CW cities: ancient stories, modern place names, and Denna's travels.

Ancient Stories

There were eight ancient cities named by Skarpi: Antus, Belen, Emlen, Tinusa, Vaeret, Murilla, Murella, and Myr Tariniel. Felurian corraborates that there was a city called Murella; Shehyn, Denna, and Bast corraborate that there is a city called Myr Tariniel or something similar. We'll take the rest of the names as given; Skarpi had no reason to lie about this detail.

According to Skarpi, Myr Tariniel was a city about the size of Tarbean (so probably at least a few hundred thousand) in the mountains approachable only from a few directions that were easily guarded. It is the home city of Selitos and the angel Kirel. Skarpi describes it as an idyllic mountain town; Denna describes it as an overpopulated warren.

The main thing we know about Murella is that it had walls that existed before the Creation War began (Felurian sat upon them eating silver fruit).

Belen seems to be the home city of Lanre and Lyra, and is known to be the home city of the angel Geisa. It had walls during the Creation War which fell during the Betrayal.

After the Betrayal, Selitos looked out and saw six smoke plumes, but expected to see seven. This suggests that the other seven cities were all on the same side of the ridge that Myr Tariniel sits on; however we have to be careful of this for two reasons: 1. Selitos looking in only one direction is a minor detail in a story about something else, by a storyteller who implies that he sometimes exaggerates, and 2. Selitos has the gift of Sight and for all we know could be able to look at both sides of the ridge simultaneously. Nevertheless, lacking any better information on geography, it seems reasonable for this to be a working assumption. Also it matches modern information well (see below).

One other clue about geography comes from Hespe. Jax follows the moon eastward on a long road until he comes to a mountain pass and talks to a hermit that has a similar worldview to Selitos (emphasizing things like Listening and Sight). This would match the geography of the 4C map if Myr Tariniel was in the Stormwal mountains at the end of the Great Stone Road.

Surviving City

One of the eight cities survived the Betrayal: This is agreed by both Skarpi and Shehyn. It's open question which city it is.

It's known that Belen and Myr Tariniel both fell, so it's not them.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no direct evidence that Tinuë is the surviving city, although it's certainly the most obvious guess. Facts suggesting Tinuë could be the surviving city: 1. It has a similar name to the CW-era city Tinusa (however, this is true for other cities as well, as we'll see), 2. it's the most famous city in modern 4C (I would guess Tinuë is the most often mentioned city in the novels that Kvothe hasn't been to), and 3. it's used in a modern phrase which seems like something that might arise from a Creation War story. However, this is all circumstantial evidence. Meta-evidence is the fact that the city's name is spelled like the last two syllables of "continue", so it could be a clue that it's the city that continued.

There is another chain of logic suggesting that the surviving city is in Yll. According to Elodin, they were tying Yllish knots (a true form of writing) in Yll while other peoples were scratching pictures on animal skins. This means that Yll was civilized earlier than other parts of the 4C. One explanation for this is that the surviving city was in Yll and maintained civilization continuously since the Creation War, whereas civilization was lost then slowly regained elsewhere.

* One other possibilty for a surviving city is Caluptena, mainly because it is old (pre-Aturan-Empire) and was a bastion of knowledge. We don't know much about Caluptena, though; especially not where it is. It had a plague at some point (whether it was confined to Caluptena isn't certain), it has the oldest surviving written works other than Yllish knots, and was burned by the Tehlin church probably no more than 900 years ago. And it has little resemblance to the ancient city names.

Modern Evidence

There are some modern geographical clues, mainly places that have names similar to the Creation War cities.

Denna seems to have been visiting the old Creation War cities. Soon after she meets up with Kvothe in Tarbean near the end of WMF, she tells Kvothe about the cities she'd seen: Tinuë, Vartheret, and Andenivan. All three cities have names resembling a CW city (namely Tinusa, Vaeret, Antus). Furthermore, this is what we might call a superfluous detail: Kote (and PR) could have just said, "She told me about the cities she'd seen." and left it that, which would have very little effect on the story. You have to be careful, of course: this could just be a case of "worldbuilding" or merely a little detail to add flavor to the narrative, but I'd still say it makes it likely that this is actually a clue.

Earlier, in Severen, Denna told Kvothe that she'd been all over the world digging up pieces of the Lanre story. This certainly jibes with the idea that she's visiting the modern locations of CW era cities.

We know nothing else about Vartheret and Andenivan. We can make a wild guess about their locations. Denna probably went to Tinuë after leaving Severen, then visited Vartheret and Andenivan (in that order) before meeting Kvothe in Tarbean. This means Vartheret is probably closer to Tinuë and Andenivan is closer to Tarbean.

We know a bit about Tinuë: they grow limes there, it was formerly owned by the Lacklesses before the "bloodless rebellion" that seems to have happened fairly recently (Kvothe is uncertain if Meluan is a countess or not on account of it) and is probably the reason for the epithet "Free City". There are probably a lot of roads that meet there (but notably not the Great Stone Road). Apart from the name and the fame, nothing really connects it to a CW city so far, let alone the surviving city.

* Moving on: what other places had Denna visited? Tarbean (at least twice), Imre (at least three times), Anilin (at least twice), Trebon, the Small Kingdoms, Severen, and Yll.

Imre is located in a region known as Belenay-Barren in the Central Commonwealth, according to the postal address of letters Kvothe received and sent. (We might observe that the postal address is a superfluous detail.) This, of course, resembles the name of the CW city Belen. The "Barren" part could refer to it having been laid waste during the Betrayal, perhaps. Near Imre is the University which, of course, has the Underthing, which is clearly very old. Imre seems to be an excellent candidate for the site of Belen.

Tarbean is another possibility for Belen. In our world, Tar- or something like it is used as a prefix for city names in Semetic-speaking areas. If the same is true for Tarbean, it would mean "City of Bean", and "Bean" is similar to Belen.

It's even possible that Belen was so large that Tarbean and Imre were both part of it. According to Skarpi more poeple died in Drossen Tor than are alive in the world today, so (if true) those cities had to be really big. A 50-mile diameter might have be reasonable for Belen. (Though personally, I think Skarpi was full of it.)

Now there's very little to suggest Anilin as a CW city. We don't know anything about it except that some assassins hired to kill Kvothe had business there. It has a vaguely similar name to Emlen, but it turns out that there is another city which is a far better candidate to be Emlen. So Anilin is probably not built on the site of Emlen.

* Trebon is an interesting. It's only a small town, its name does not resemble any CW city names, and Denna was not there to do research. It does have the vase with depicting the Chandrian; however, the vase is clearly post-Betrayal: it shows Lord Haliax and the other Chandrian with their signs, and it also shows and Amyr. Nevertheless, it does seem that Trebon is more likely to be the site of a Creation War city your average small town in the 4C. Also, based on Kvothe's speculation on the geography, it seems like Trebon could have built on the site of a ancient battlefield.

* Denna says she spent "some time" in the Small Kingdoms, and witnessed a skrimish between mounted soldiers there. It's certainly possible that she was there some time to do research, so it would be a good guess that there was a CW-era city in what is now the Small Kingdoms. We don't know much about the Small Kingdoms. Its roads are not safe and there seems to be constant warfare. Also there was a poet who was also a King from there who had used Vashet as a bodyguard.

Yll we already speculated upon: there is slight reason to suspect that the surviving city was there, and Denna's visit adds an even slighter bit of support for that.

That leaves Severen. Denna does not seem to have been "digging up pieces of the story" there, and it doesn't resemble the name of any CW era city at all. Master Ash, who is helping her dig up the Lanre story, is not around. I can think of nothing in Severen that suggests it could be very old or related to the CW. I think we can conclude that Denna was just hanging out.

In looking at the cities Denna visited, we've seen four place names that kind of resemble the names of a CW-era city. But there is one modern place name Denna didn't visit that has almost exactly the same name as one. When Kvothe is small-talking with Sleat, he says, "I heard you arranged to get a message to Veyane's father in Emlin despite the fact that there was a siege going on." So there is a city called Emlin (and it's a city: no one really sieges provinces). Veyane is not mentioned anywhere else, and the nationality isn't obvious.

* Sieges usually occur on the frontier of countries that are in the process of losing territory; therefore an obvious guess is that Emlin is in what's left of the Aturan Empire. If you look at the 4C map (a colorized one), you should see small pockets of yellow land isolated from the main mass in the center of the continent. My guess is that Emlin is in one of those.

* Another possibility is that Emlin is in the Small Kingdoms, with all that war. Denna might have done research there while in the Small Kingdoms, assuming the siege had ended by the time she visited. (Or unless Sleat or Master Ash got her in.) One argument against this is that the might not be any Small Kingdom with the resources to conduct a siege; it often takes a large army to successfully siege a city.


Very little is known for sure, but I would say the preponderance of evidence supports the idea that the Creation War cities were located in the same land the Four Corners occupy now (with Myr Tariniel up in Stormwal), that various modern place names derive their names from the old cities, and that Denna is visiting them.
thistle pong
64. thistlepong

Reddit Fantasy is hosting AMAs with Terry Brooks (7-8) and Pat (7-9) in support of this week's Worldbuilders event if y'all wanna ask 'em any questions.

edit: dates, the Terry Brooks AMA is today
John Graham
65. JohnPoint
Robocarp @62 -- Nice. I would add two other places that we know Denna has been: Trebon and the small kingdoms.

I've postulated before that Trebon might be related to a CW city or outpost, and there is circumstantial evidence that supports it. 1) Kvothe proposes that there is an old hill fort burried at Borrowill, and indicates that, back when it was built, the area may well have not been the middle of nowhere. 2) One of the only references to the Chandrian Kvothe finds in the library is from A Quainte Compendium of Folke Belief, which is at least two hundred years old. In it, the author says, "One rather drunk Tanner in the towne of Hillesborrow said in hushed tones, 'If you talk of them, they come for you.'" I propose that "Hillesborrow"is Trebon ("Borrowill" = "Barrow-Hill" = "Hillesborrow"), and we know that there is Chandrian history in the area.

I don't know whether Denna was in Trebon to dig up CW stories or not, though it seems like it was a bit early for that. Though M. Ash may well have been there for just that purpose, with the wedding just an excuse.

The small kingdoms appear to have connections to Yll, or it's possible that Denna was just passing through on her way elsewhere.
jum bles
66. jumbles

Good stuff. I would remark that Denna witnesses a skirmish in the Small Kingdoms and that Kvothe doesn't consider the roads safe there. So Denna has been somewhere there, and I think they are more likely to be at war than Atur.
thistle pong
67. thistlepong
Pat's AMA is open.

Answers will begin at 7pm CST

I asked, "How's the road to Tinue?"
68. Marco.
@64/67 - Appreciate the heads up.
69. BigVik

Great analysis, but I have a question for you (or anyone): These cities you talk about are all the old imperial cities (the old Empire of the CW, not Atur). It appears that the Empire spread quite far as these cities span practically the entirety of the 4C (with some possible exceptions, see below), except that that leaves us with the question where did the Enemy come from?

I mean if the whole world is held by the Empire, where does the Enemy recruit the vast armies it commands? Is this implying the 4C/Fae distinction? According to Felurian it doesn't as she was in one of the Imperial cities, or did the aftermath of the CW include some kind of forced resettlement and physical separation of the two realms? That forced resettlement happened is confirmed by Adem, but no other group talks about it. Physical separation is strongly implied but apparently unfinished and reversible.

Another possibility is that some of the 4C lands are candidates for the Enemy lands, primarily to the north and west (Modeg and Ceald) but we know little about them. Also conspicously missing from your analysis of either the Enemy city or the surviving city is Caluptena. According to the recorded history, not CW legend, this is the oldest city we know of. The fact that it was burned 1000 years prior to NOTW events suggests a very old city, but it name doesn't resemble any name on the list, nor do we have any other important information about it, especially what role, if any, did it play in CW.
70. quintas11
Still nothing on the Lightning Tree? Anyone else ready to discuss that?
Jo Walton
71. bluejo
Quintas11 -- I'm doing a post on it, but it's slow, because there's a lot there and I've been away. I'll try to get it done for next Thursday.
jum bles
72. jumbles
My favorite exchange from the AMA was:

soddingjunkmail: Are the out of place capital letters in Denna's letter a worthwhile course of study? (I have spent, strictly speaking, more time on this than any sane person would deem advisable.)
PRothfuss: You Mean yOu haven't fiGureD it ouT yet?
BrettTheMonkey: You are such a punk sometimes, Rothfuss.
PRothfuss: I'm am a bad person. I freely admit this. I also should not be taken too seriously.
pogo13: I'm am .... okay this must be a code too.
PRothfuss: You should pretty much assume that anything I write is deliberately crafted so it can be anagramed into a spoiler for book three.
73. Goldfrapp
Not sure if anyone's seen this yet, Pat reads the prologue to the tale of Laniel Young Again
74. Rogerdodge
Ok, I just watched the video where Pat reads the beginning of Laniel young again, and something struck me. HARD. The theory that the modegans worship trees and nature spirits had been discussed before, but I never really gave it much thought. Hearing Pat read about the tree god of Laniel's town, I couldnt help but think of the story about Old Holly. I think I really want to go back and reread it before reading the story of laniel young again. Anyone else with me?
Igor Bugaenko
75. BioLogIn
Pat will be announcing the name of 4C world as a stretch goal for current fundraiser.
thistle pong
76. thistlepong
Excited. But not too excited. It doesn't say when ;)

Also, thanks.
John Graham
77. JohnPoint
Rogerdodge @74. Yep. I agree (as I mentioned when Thistle linked the post a couple of threads back.) I think that Old Holly almost certainly takes place in Modeg, and that Old Holly ties in to the Modegan religion.
Igor Bugaenko
78. BioLogIn
thistlepong @76, yeah, exactly. Honestly, I'd very much prefer to see that name on top of the "detailed map" they promised at 600k at Worldbuilders this winter ...
79. Marco.
That was my question, and while anything more than a flippant response from Pat was probably too much to hope for, I'm choosing to place a fair amount of stock in Amanda's response to Pat's first response:
Please be aware that Pat is occasionally cruel and likes to **** with people.
I'm making several assumptions:
1. that she's in a position to know the answer
2. she's taking pity on my miserable soul
3. she can be trusted
4. that I'm reading her response properly as identifing Pat's "you mean you haven't figured it out" as him being misleading

I'm concluding (not definitively, but on balance of probability)that the Letters are a red herring, and abandoning my efforts.
Carl Banks
80. robocarp
JohnPoint @ 65

Both the vase imagery and story of the Tinker in Hillesbarrow connect to a post-Betrayal period. The vase shows the Chandrian, with their signs, and an Amyr. The story describes the Chandrian as they're known today and seems different from the Chandrian from the Creation War. So I would disagree that anything directly connects Trebon to a CW-era time, although I definitely think it's possible that they're indirectly linked. ("The vase and story came out of Trebon because it was important back then; it was important back then because a CW city or outpost had been there.")

jumbles @ 66

Good point. I updated the post with that suggestion.

BigVik @ 69

The Four Corners is not the entire world. (Although I just noticed the 4C map on PR's site is misleadingly called "The World".) At least one place, Tahlenwald, is known to be east of the Stormwall mountains.
Steven Halter
81. stevenhalter
Temerant. The name of the world is Temerant. As in En Temerant Voistra.
(Pat announced the world name on his blog as a stretch goal.)
Steven Halter
82. stevenhalter
Temerant, in Latin, is the third-person plural present active indicative of temero.
I violate, defile, pollute, contaminate. I dishonor, disgrace.

While it is unlikely this is the meaning, it is interesting and it seems likely that Pat is aware of this.
Igor Bugaenko
83. BioLogIn
Yeah. "En Temerant Voistra". Imaginary lingustics folks, any ideas about translation?

"History/Chronicles of Temerant"? "Rulers/Kings of Temerant"? If we are to assume latin roots of this language, as 'temerant' suggests, then 'voistra' might be a plural noun (as in data/datum), right?
Andrew Mason
84. AnotherAndrew

The Four Corners is not the entire world. (Although I just noticed the
4C map on PR's site is misleadingly called "The World".) At least one
place, Tahlenwald, is known to be east of the Stormwall mountains.

Well, strictly the page on which the map is displayed is called 'The World'; the map is called 'the Four Corners of Civilization'. And while this might seem a distinction without a difference, I feel there is a bit of a difference; it's not so much saying 'this is a map of the world' as 'look, here you can see what world it is set in'.

As well as the Tahlenwald, there is also the Lanett (home of the Lenatti), which seems to be across the sea.

But another possible answer to BigVik's question is that as it was a fight between factions - known for convenience as 'Knowers' and 'Shapers' - it may be that there is no enemy territory as such; both factions are everywhere. Of course once the war starts there will be specific bits of land which are occupied by one side or the other, but there need be no answer to 'where did the enemy come from?'.
Carl Banks
85. robocarp
BioLogin @ 83

Since they can't find it in the Archives, it could be something ominous and revealing like "Shaping Magic of Temerant" or "All About the Faerie Portals in Temerant".

But I reread the passage and think it's very possible that Elodin just made the book up, so it could be something mundane like "Travel Guide to Temerant". IOW, I have no guess.
Jo Walton
86. bluejo
Do we even know what language that is?
Steven Halter
87. stevenhalter
We don't, but Tema or Temic would be my guess.
Jeremy Raiz
88. Jezdynamite
Would you feel that all of these are either Tema or Temic:

En Temerant Voistra (book title)
En Faent Morie (song title)
Vorfelan Rhinata Morie (chisled into the stone above the archives doors)
Steven Halter
89. stevenhalter
Jezydynamite@88:Wil identified "Vorfelan Rhinata Morie" as Temic and gave us the loose translation of "The desire for knowledge shapes a man".
The Morie connects it to "En Faent Morie" and the En is common with "En Temerant Voistra".
En is also common as a part of several Fae words like enbighten but I don't see that it is used by itself in any Faen phrases.
So, I would tend to go with Temic followed by Tema.
jum bles
90. jumbles
stevenhalter@89: So far as I can see, Wil provides a translation of Vorfelan Rhinata Morie, but doesn't identify the language. Kvothe early in NotW supposes that it could be Yllish or Temic, but I don't see anyone positively identifying the language. If I've missed something, could you point it out to me?
Steven Halter
91. stevenhalter
jumbles@90:You are right. That's what I get for going from a note and memory.
(It still seems like Temic/Tema.)
92. BigVik
Question regarding the Chandrian vase: How come it exists at all?
A country bumpkin digs up the vase and voila Chandrian blow him up and his wedding party. Yet the vase was originally made and nothing happened to the people who made it and used it?

Is it possible that the mention and the knowledge of the Chandrian was once common and slowly got stamped out over the years? Kvothe mentions something about being safe nowdays in mentioning Chandrians' names as they are mentioned all over the world so they're not exactly going to sense one guy talking about them in the middle of nowhere.

Maybe if you can't pass through the door of forgetfulness you can at least make the whole world forgest about you. Maybe Haliax and his cohorts gave up on destroying the world after their first attempt and just really trying to push themselves into oblivion and Selitos and his Amyr are preventing them from it, at the price of burning down the whole world?

This would kind of fit more with Denna's version of the story, but also with some other hints, like Amyr being the "scariest one" on the vase, Selitos not giving up on his grudge, the colaboration of Chtaeh on tracking down Cinder (we know that tree is up to no good).

I think we should really seriously consider what we're seeing in the book one more time. There's a reason PR hasn't let us see Denna's song -- there may be quite a bit of truth in it.
93. BigVik
Jumbles @90

If Morie=man, En Faent Morie would be the song about a man in Fae, which according to books is a theme for stories and songs (not only about Felurian). En Faent Morie = In Fae (a) Man.

Following that logic En Temerant Voistra = In Temera (world) Something or Someone. I can't speculate on what this is (even though the "skindancer" used a lot of "voi" type words in his little speech at Waystone Inn), but as for the language I can almost bet it's Temic or Tema, as it now appears to me that Tema would be the original language of Temera.

For a while I thought Rhinata was a Man and Rhinta was "more yet less than a Man"; but now I'm reinterpreting this. If Morie is a Man, then Rhinata can either be "A desire for knowledge" or "Shapes". Both meanings are loaded when it comes to Lanre and his Chandrian, aka Rhinta. It was Lanres' desire for knowledge that led him where it led him so Rhinta could be interpreted like "the ones that looked for knowledge where knowledge shouldn't be looked for (probalby Chtaeh)". On the other hand if it is "Shapes" than it could point out to Rhinta as Shapers, or mis-shapen, or any number of things that would fit both the story and the mythology surrounding it.
Steven Halter
94. stevenhalter
Any other Rothfian readers planning on being at Loncon 3? (I'll be there and I see a number of panels with Pat on them.)
Jo Walton
95. bluejo
Steven Halter: I'll be there. Anyone else?
Andrew Mason
96. AnotherAndrew
I'll be there. (I'm sure there will be more than three of us, but I fear not many people will see this.)
Patrick Stultz
97. Audion
Alas, I'm in Seattle. Next time he comes up here I'm going to try and get out to see him. London is a bit far to travel for me. :)
Patrick Stultz
98. Audion
I take that back, I am going to be in Minnesota next time he's out here in Seattle on Aug 29th. Figures.
Jason Hudson
99. Pykus
I just wanted to propose that the story of Sceop is indeed the story of Skarpi. I would say he is still doing what the Ruh asked of him. The thing that stood out to me as I was flying home was the fact that his story entranced the Ruh. The wording makes it taste like another kind of magic. If that's true, it would suggest that Kvothe's awakening in Tarbean was not just about the story for the sake of the story, but because of Skarpi's magic.

It also occurred to me that the story of Sceop may have a kernel of truth buried deep... I'm still piecing things together, but Kvothe says more than once that the Waystones mark old roads. Perhaps this is a certain KIND of road that isn't the ones people generally think of. What if the waystones are placed at intervals between gates? The gates are reminiscent of Stonehenge with a gate of three waystones, all of which lead to a hub, like the spokes of a wheel, where all roads meet... Faeriniel. From there a traveler, never traveling TO Faeriniel, but only ever on their way somewhere else, can have quick access to six locations to which it connects, which I can only assume to be the seven ancient cities of the empire, Murilla and Murella perhaps served by a single gate.

I like this idea beacause this would mean that Sceop might not have been traveling from campfire to campfire, but between the fires of the cities that fell, each in a separate state, meeting the residents of those areas and being chased off or rejected for various reasons according to the problems being encountered there. Maybe that means that Scarpi is the one that did not forget the Lethani. His city did not fall, but he is in exile, searching through a post-apocalyptic world for the civilization that fell... I'm not sure why, if that's the case, he would not just stay in his own city, but as I said, I just thought about this.

This also makes me wonder if this massive transit system, which would have made ruling this vast empire work much more easily, was what spawned the idea of creating another world. The connecting of different cities by traveling "outside" might have been the kind of magic, bent to a different purpose, that formed the Fae.

Also, if the lockless door on Lackless lands requires being of a certain bloodline that seems important. Maybe its a magic posessed by a certain family? Also the fact that the Ruh being at the center of the ring of waystones with a fire that could be distinct from the fires that burned the ancient cities seems very significant. Perhaps it is the Ruh that were the bloodline that is actually required, or perhaps the specific combination of Lackles and Ruh blood. That's a bit of a stretch from such a small idea, but still...

Finally, If the ancient enemy was locked away behind the doors of stone, perhaps they were trapped between gates as they traveled?
Jason Hudson
100. Pykus
This also makes me think there must be a connection with stealing the moon, a key that unlocks the moon, and such. No idea yet what it is, but I feel it there like a bone stuck in my teeth.

Also the fact that Rue means Road in French makes me think that Ruh may specifically mark the Edema Ruh as the tenders of the waystone roadway. This would also make the waystones significant and worth stopping around while traveling. Their magic as a people is the magic of the roadway. The roadways are badluck to other people beause they mark the prison of the ancient enemy, but the Ruh continue to tend them, perhaps without knowing it?

I'm gonna keep gnawing on this.
Jason Hudson
101. Pykus
Okay something else came to me. The sigma surrounding the Ruh is that they are thieves. These things are said to usually have a grain of truth several times, once as Kvothe is telling the story of Sceop. What if... Iax was a Ruh? Now people are angry at all the tenders of the ways for what he did. Maybe Iax was feeling used and so stole the moon as an act of spite? Maybe it was necessary to give the fey some permanence? Whatever the case, I like the idea. :)
Jason Hudson
102. Pykus
Each of the gates is sealed, as the one that is now in the archives. I could imagine that perhaps books from all over might have been brought to Myr Tariniel to be kept safe so as to try to ensure that they were kept together in expectation of the closing of the ways. Myr Tariniel was at the hub on the 4C side of Faeriniel. The university was built there.

Each door holds back the flood of the ancient enemy.
103. BigVik
Here's my attempt at a question that bugged me for a long time: What is the approximate population of 4c?
Let's start then, shall we? What do we know:
1. Civilization is simmilar to that of Europe in the first half of 18th century, with slightly more urbanized west (Commonwealth and Ceald), and slightly more rural east (Modeg, Vintas, Small Kingdoms).
2. Continent is sparsly populated, especially in the east (in Eld there are miles and miles of nothing but forest, but even in the west Kvothe often travels without encountering habitation for miles).
3. There are few cities (1 in Ceald, 1 in Modeg, 3 in Commonwealth, 3 in Vintas, maybe 1 in Atur, probably none in Yll and Small Kingdoms and none for sure in Ademre).
4. Only one city seems really large and that is Tarbean.

So let's get to business: Tarbean is so big that it is said to be the only city in 4C that you can't walk from one end to the other in a day. Average human walks at 3 miles/hour, walking for a day doesn't mean literally 24 hours (which is a bit dubious as we don't know the exact length of the day in 4C), so let's assume 12 hours of walking, with rest, sleeping, etc. That equals 36 miles. If we take it that it wouldn't matter which way you walked from end to end, but excluding circular shape of the city for obvious reasons, that leaves us with a square of ~1,300 square miles. New York city is ~470 square miles with population of 8.3 million. However, NYC has highrises, so a more appropriate comparison is with the 1900 census of 3.5 million. So Tarbean would roughly have 3x3.5 million=10.5 million inhabitants.
Compared to Tarbean, other cities are smaller. Let's give each big country (Ceald, Vintas and Modeg) a Chicago size capital of 2.5 million, plus let's count Anilin into that category for total of 10 million (I think I'm being overly optimistic with these sizes). Tinnue sounds like an important and historical but not extraordinarily large city, so let's round it out at 1 million. Severen and Imre/University sound like college town/state capital type towns of maybe ~250,000 max.

Altogether 10.5+4x2.5+1+2x0.250=22 milion urban inhabitants. Let's say I overshot a bit on the size of some of the cities (fair assumption if you ask me), but that will be compensated by not counting in the population of numerous small towns like Trebon.

So for the next part of the equation let's turn to census data from urope circa 1750: Roughly 20% of the population was in urban areas, more in the West, less in the East but let's average it ~20% (~17% actually...). This would then tell us that 22 million people represent 20% of the population, making the entire population 110 million.

Now let's see if that matches the perceived low population density of the world. The only way to measure the size is to take a known size and extrapolate it to the whole map (assuming it's proportional). The only thing we can actually measure (I used ImageJ tool from NIH, free to download) is distance from Tarbean to Imre (40 miles = ~16.4 pixels). According to this scale 4C map is ~1,225 miles north to south (there are contigous non-Stormwall landmasses the entire length), and ~1,720 miles west to east (not the end of the map but Stormwall mountains where I don't believe anyone really lives). That's ~2.1 million square miles, but we must exclude water, mountains and that weird piece of land around tinker and his donkey (desert??). Again, using freehand tools from ImageJ the percentage of uninhabitable map comes to almost exactly 40% leaving us with ~1.3 million square miles of dry, presumably inhabitable land in 4C.

How does that compare with something we know from modern world? Well, US is ~3.8 million square miles inhabited by ~330 million people. So according to my calculations 4C is 3 times smaller than the US, with 3 times smaller population, leaving it with approximate population density of ~100 people per square mile. I think this is fairly reasonable, anyone who drove through the US knows there are Eld-like sections with not much habitation at all (think I75 through Kentucky, miles of nothing but bluegrass). Therefore I don't think that the perception of few big population centers, bunch of small towns and a whole lot of nothing flies in the face of my calculations.

So to conclude, 4C is a very small world, roughly 1/3 of US both in size and in population. That poses some serious physics problems. For one 4C can't be located on a round planet circling a star: curvature of such world would be enormous, not to mention lack of gravity or atmosphere due to such small size (unless it had some kind of neutron star matter in it's core but that would make planet unlivable due to gigantic electromagnetic fields such matter would generate, not to mention the curvature again). If you think that there's only one small island continent surrounded by an enormous ocean, think again -- an Earth size planet with such configuration would have enormous hurricanes blowing non stop due to evaporation and lack of landmasses to stop such extreme climate.

So 4C must be just a small cut-out from a much larger world of which it is still a part of (again sun still shines providing energy, gravity still seems to work just like here on Earth, etc.), kind of like someone put a glass jar over an anthill. This fits with the image of the current world being a leftover from a violent past that ripped the original one into several loosely interconected pieces (4C, Fae, everything else as Fae itself is described as fairly small in terms of being able to walk from one part of the day to another in relatively short time span, in other worlds 4C+Fae
104. BigVik
Here's my attempt at a question that bugged me for a long time: What is the approximate population of 4c?
Let's start then, shall we? What do we know:
1. Civilization is simmilar to that of Europe in the first half of 18th century, with slightly more urbanized west (Commonwealth and Ceald), and slightly more rural east (Modeg, Vintas, Small Kingdoms).
2. Continent is sparsly populated, especially in the east (in Eld there are miles and miles of nothing but forest, but even in the west Kvothe often travels without encountering habitation for miles).
3. There are few cities (1 in Ceald, 1 in Modeg, 3 in Commonwealth, 3 in Vintas, maybe 1 in Atur, probably none in Yll and Small Kingdoms and none for sure in Ademre).
4. Only one city seems really large and that is Tarbean.

So let's get to business: Tarbean is so big that it is said to be the only city in 4C that you can't walk from one end to the other in a day. Average human walks at 3 miles/hour, walking for a day doesn't mean literally 24 hours (which is a bit dubious as we don't know the exact length of the day in 4C), so let's assume 12 hours of walking, with rest, sleeping, etc. That equals 36 miles. If we take it that it wouldn't matter which way you walked from end to end, but excluding circular shape of the city for obvious reasons, that leaves us with a square of ~1,300 square miles. New York city is ~470 square miles with population of 8.3 million. However, NYC has highrises, so a more appropriate comparison is with the 1900 census of 3.5 million. So Tarbean would roughly have 3x3.5 million=10.5 million inhabitants.
Compared to Tarbean, other cities are smaller. Let's give each big country (Ceald, Vintas and Modeg) a Chicago size capital of 2.5 million, plus let's count Anilin into that category for total of 10 million (I think I'm being overly optimistic with these sizes). Tinnue sounds like an important and historical but not extraordinarily large city, so let's round it out at 1 million. Severen and Imre/University sound like college town/state capital type towns of maybe ~250,000 max.

Altogether 10.5+4x2.5+1+2x0.250=22 milion urban inhabitants. Let's say I overshot a bit on the size of some of the cities (fair assumption if you ask me), but that will be compensated by not counting in the population of numerous small towns like Trebon.

So for the next part of the equation let's turn to census data from urope circa 1750: Roughly 20% of the population was in urban areas, more in the West, less in the East but let's average it ~20% (~17% actually...). This would then tell us that 22 million people represent 20% of the population, making the entire population 110 million.

Now let's see if that matches the perceived low population density of the world. The only way to measure the size is to take a known size and extrapolate it to the whole map (assuming it's proportional). The only thing we can actually measure (I used ImageJ tool from NIH, free to download) is distance from Tarbean to Imre (40 miles = ~16.4 pixels). According to this scale 4C map is ~1,225 miles north to south (there are contigous non-Stormwall landmasses the entire length), and ~1,720 miles west to east (not the end of the map but Stormwall mountains where I don't believe anyone really lives). That's ~2.1 million square miles, but we must exclude water, mountains and that weird piece of land around tinker and his donkey (desert??). Again, using freehand tools from ImageJ the percentage of uninhabitable map comes to almost exactly 40% leaving us with ~1.3 million square miles of dry, presumably inhabitable land in 4C.

How does that compare with something we know from modern world? Well, US is ~3.8 million square miles inhabited by ~330 million people. So according to my calculations 4C is 3 times smaller than the US, with 3 times smaller population, leaving it with approximate population density of ~100 people per square mile. I think this is fairly reasonable, anyone who drove through the US knows there are Eld-like sections with not much habitation at all (think I75 through Kentucky, miles of nothing but bluegrass). Therefore I don't think that the perception of few big population centers, bunch of small towns and a whole lot of nothing flies in the face of my calculations.

So to conclude, 4C is a very small world, roughly 1/3 of US both in size and in population. That poses some serious physics problems. For one 4C can't be located on a round planet circling a star: curvature of such world would be enormous, not to mention lack of gravity or atmosphere due to such small size (unless it had some kind of neutron star matter in it's core but that would make planet unlivable due to gigantic electromagnetic fields such matter would generate, not to mention the curvature again). If you think that there's only one small island continent surrounded by an enormous ocean, think again -- an Earth size planet with such configuration would have enormous hurricanes blowing non stop due to evaporation and lack of landmasses to stop such extreme climate.

So 4C must be just a small cut-out from a much larger world of which it is still a part of (again sun still shines providing energy, gravity still seems to work just like here on Earth, etc.), kind of like someone put a glass jar over an anthill. This fits with the image of the current world being a leftover from a violent past that ripped the original one into several loosely interconected pieces (4C, Fae, everything else as Fae itself is described as fairly small in terms of being able to walk from one part of the day to another in relatively short time span, in other worlds 4C+Fae
105. BigVik
I'm sorry for double posting, I don't know what happened. My original post got cut, probably due to length. Here's the intended end of it:

(4C, Fae, everything else as Fae itself is described as fairly small in terms of being able to walk from one part of the day to another in relatively short time span, in other worlds 4C+Fae inside, sometimes out (therefore moving between Fae and 4C) and therefore sometimes appearing in front of the clouds as a projection.

Okay, that last part is a total stretch, but before I leave you to ponder my big cosmology here's another morsel: Skarpi says that more people died at Drossen Tor than live today. So if today's population of 4C is 110 million, and say ~120 million died in that battle, what was/is the population of the original planet? WWII is the closest approximation we can make with this battle: world population was 2.3 billion, 60 million died. Now only about 50% of the world was heavily involved in WWII, whereas it appears that the whole world was engulfed in the Creation War which would make up for the 1:2 casualty rate. If all else held, that would give us an estimate of ~2 billion inhabitants.

Anyway, that's my cosmology. I've been thinking about it for a while and even though some of it is pure conjecture I think some of it makes at least mathematical sense.
Jason Hudson
107. Pykus
Okay so I've got an idea I would like help sorting out. I think I know what the Chandrian are up to.

I think they're trying to destroy magic. I think maybe spending time in the Fey and any other such realms is what helped change people so that they were better able to perform magic and less likely to go mad because of it. Now that the "ancient enemy" is trapped behind the doors of stone people in 4C no longer have free access to the realms that helped their magical learning and so now ate far less likely to learn naming and are more likely to go mad.

Maybe creating the fey actually took some attribute of 4C and made it separate so that destroying the fey might bring elements of the fey back, and maybe the idea is not to destroy the fey but rather to cut it away so as to make 4C entirely non-magical. That's complete conjecture based solely on the idea that the Chandrian are out to destroy magic so I'm not married to it at all.

It makes sense that the only hope for someone so powerful that they can't die is to eliminate the power itself.
108. m_k
Hi everyone, I am totally new to the series just read the two novel within one week now can't wait for book 3. But something is bothering me so i would like to ask the fan of the series who have been following the series from a long time. I want to know what are the plane the author have regarding this series, i mean will the book 3 end with something like "This is how i (kvothe) ended up in this inn"- the end and next we will get another series with resolution with the spider, war etc. If this happens i will be teribbly dissipointed but i can't see how the author will going to end the series properly with only one book. Does anybody have any idea? Also when can i expect a post on the bast story published in Rouge? Thanks for any answer....
109. Marco.

I'd modify your estimate for the population of Tarbean.

It's on the coast, so I'd expect it to develop like Chicago, in a semi-circle. I take the 'you can't walk actoss it in a day' to mean you can't walk the longest path across(as opposed to any path across) the city in a day.

Also, the fact that this is an old, winding city matters. For fun, I pulled up a map of Paris on google maps and dropped two pins on opposite ends of the city and asked for walking directions. What I got was a 30 mile walk that was only 26 miles as the crow flies.

In summary, I'd modify your math as such:
Assumed walking rate: 3mi/hr
Assumed walking hours: 12

total distance walked = 3 * 12 = 36
implied diameter of city(paris winding walking factor applied) = 36 *(26/30) = 31.2
radius of city = 31.2/2 = 15.6
area of full circle city = 15.6^2 * 3.14 = 764 sq mi
cut area in half because it's a semi circle on the coast = 764/2 = 382 sq mi
apply NYCin 1900 factor of 3.5Mpeople/470sq mi: 382 *(3.5M/470) = 2.85M people in Tarbean
jum bles
110. jumbles

The author has made clear that Kvothe's story will end with book 3. There will be another trilogy after this one, but it won't focus on Kvothe.
111. BigVik

Perfectly plausible solution Marco! In which case we'd have to revise the total inhabitant count by about 2/3 to ~35 million (I used Tarbean as a scale so if it goes down, everything goes down proportionally population wise), which makes for a very, very sparsly populated continent (somewhat more dense than Canada) which jives with the text.
In any case, 4C doesn't make much sense from cosmic perspective: its gravity has to be very similar to our gravity yet the world is much smaller. So, either there are other continents, or laws of physics as we know them don't exactly apply there (but they have to apply to a scale then, otherwise Earth-like life forms wouldn't be possible).
Fae is a mystery to me, and every time I think about it I come up with another crazy idea: now it seems to me that Fae may be a sort of 2D (quasi 3D) diorama snapshot of a world as it once was.
Certain characteristics of Fae imply this: the absence of actual Sun but the presence of a full day cycle in form of a circle conecting all parts of Fae:
1. Imagine if you took a picture of Earth above North or South Pole, you'd see a circle, half light, half dark and some shaded areas in between but you wouldn't see the source of that light (aka Sun) -- just like Fae.
2. Let's say you then put that diorama away in a closet and rediscovered it 10 years later. The house has changed, kids have grown and moved away, but diorama has been preserved very well with minimum wear and tear, a capsule in time. I think Fae is like that, that's why time perception there is so different, because time does not pass there almost at all. At the same time that would explain the seeming immortality of Faen, and maybe that's what's behind Felurian's cryptic remark about Faen "leaving something behind when entering mortal realms".
3. Fae and it's inhabitants seem more like archetypes then the real objects and creatures. Real objects and creatures have histories that imprint themselves forever changing them. This is represented through Naming: Names have been told to us to be long, complicated and changing. Contrast that to Felurian's name which is only 4 tones and for a creature that is supposedly 1000s of years old. If you think about it, it only makes sense: Imagine if time passed and experienced stayed with Felurian like they stay with mortals and change them. How many years before she tired of her infinite streak of lovers, of her small pond, of her whole existence? Yet she's always the same, an archetype of lust as Kvothe says it -- at least until she met him and he spoke her name (which I believe may have changed it permanently in Fae) changing her nature ever so slightly to allow him to escape with his own life.
Jason Hudson
112. Pykus
I have been working on lists of sevens. I know it's not entirely new, but it hit me that when Kvothe is saving face after saying he wants to study the Chandrian that he wanted to see if different cultures' folktales conform to Teccam's theory of narrative septagy. Teccam was a smart feller who knew the shape of the world, so it seems like there should be something to it. Its a clue.

I'm thinking that there should be patterns to the lists that aren't ever put in one place. Seven Chandrian is easy enough. The seven cities (and one city) of the empire is also easy enough on the surface. There are also seven elements of alchemy. Savien returned to Eloine on his seventh year, making a good number of years for him according to Threpe.

What else? I'm working on fitting a few other lists into the framework.

If there were seven cities of the empire, then I imagine them to be important cities; capitals. So seven regions that became seven separate countries when the empire fell. Seven peoples inhabiting their own country, each with their own language, each with their own talents, and each possibly with their own magic talents.

There are some lists that don't conform on the surface, but I feel like might have some hidden means of fitting. There were nine angels, but if Tehlu stood over the rest in some way like Myr Tariniel did the other cities, that would make eight, and of all the angels, the two I recall being mentioned in relation to each other were Andan, and beside him stood Ordal, and so they are mentioned together in every instance that I can recall, perhaps they should be considered together, making seven. Perhaps they were each from a different country, with Andan and Ordal coming from the same place? The same family?

The angels got six kinds of wings. Perhaps there is a seventh in the power that rode on their brows like a star.

I might be stretching things a bit, but here's where I really go down the rabbit hole...

What are the connections between these lists?

Its already been proposed that the Chandrian have a one to one correlation with the elements of alchemy. Could the same be true of the Angels? What about the seven countries that emerged from the empire, each with an element that defines it, and is perhaps found in exceptional quantity there? (Sim is the son of a paper duke bowing to a TIN king in Atur...) Perhaps there is a correlation to naming also. Ademre was the perfect place to go to learn the name of the wind...

Finally, I also wonder if each of the seven peoples from each of the seven lands had a talent that was unique to them. Hear me out...

Kvothe talked to Ben about knacks and such, meaning some people are just born with certain kinds of magic. Sceop's story held the Edema Ruh entranced until it ended, as did Scarpi's (The have to be the same person IMO), Kvothe's playing transfixes people when he really gets into it. The girl that draws Kvothe the picture of the vase said that drawing is like telling with pictures, so perhaps the various kinds of communication are the key. Words, music, Denna has a magic of writing things down to have them come true... what else could there be?

This could also be the reason for the difference between the various Chandrian if they each came from a different city and therefore a different people. Dalcenti never speaks and so might be Adem? Being described as grey might be in reference to her eyes? I assume Dalcenti is female given her name, which would fit with the idea of being Adem, but maybe she's a he.

Finally, I think this might also point to the connection between the Adem and the Adema Ruh. Besides having similar names, the dichotomy of their opinions of music are, I think, quite telling. If they came from the same place, are part of the same family, and have the same kind of magic, perhaps they split due to their differing opinions of their talent after the creation war. One side continuing to embrace it while for the other it became forbidden because it was wrong to wield that kind of influence over people. This would also help place the Edema Ruh into the framework of the seven countries since they are otherwise curiously without a specific nation to belong to.

I also intend to go through each of the folktales looking for more.

What do you think?
Jason Hudson
113. Pykus
During the Blac of Drossin Tor, Lanre died and the enemy was sealed behind the doors of stone. After the enemy was sealed behind the doors of stone, then Lanre awoke. This sequence seems important to me and here's why:

In Trappis's story it is said that "demons" were sometimes controling the bodies of men before being driven out by Tehlu. Some demons were also in the form of men. What if this is another type of posession? Since Tehlu is said to break demons in his hands and send them BACKto the outer darkness, there must then logically be the possibility that those locked behind the doors of stone to find their way back into 4C and perhaps simply take control of men from where they are. What if Iax, his power as great as it is, was able to posess Lanre and bring him back to life from behind the doors of stone? Lanre may or may not know what happened, (I think he didn't) but either way it seems like Iax is able to exercize more control on a moonless night. There isn't any direct evidence of this, but I base that assumption on the fact that though Scarpi didn't specify that the night Myr Tariniel fell there was no moon, it was described as an encroaching blackness, and if what I suggest is correct then there is another good reason to fear a night with no moon.

It seems that when night fell, lanre turned... into Haliax. He binds Selitos after the sun set, selitos watched as the city was destroyed, both of them saying nothing, then as the sun rose he could begin to move, but he still felt the fetters of enchantment binding him, suggesting that Haliax's power faded with the passing of the night. Several times it is said that Lanre turned immediately before there is a change in his demeanor. First calm and sad and asking to be killed if such a thing was possible, then after turning he is angry and aggressive.

Maybe Iax had nothing to do with his resurrection. Maybe Lanre saught knowledge where knowledge is better left alone, from Iax. He may have found some way to talk to Iax and maybe Iax found a way to reach out to him knowing his desperation.

114. Marco.
I like "Bad Lanre" as posessed by skin dancer.

Skin dancers were introduced somewhat randomly - perhaps this is to prepare us for when they're used as an explanation later so it doesn't seem cheap.
Jason Hudson
115. Pykus
I forgot to add that there were also variations in the descriptions of what Selitos see in Lanre as the morning progressed. First not seeing the evil, which makes more sense of the evil wasn't there since the sun hadn't yet set, to seeing the darkness within him, too seeing only emptiness behind his eyes, etc.

This also means that maybe it's Iax that's preventing Lanre from dying/sleeping/forgetting/going mad. If Kvothe is somehow able to kill Iax, maybe then Lanre can get some peace. :)
116. peeehbee
Noticed something on my re-re-re-reread today. When Kvothe asks Denna quite early on "What flower would you bring me?" She responds (without a second's hesitation) "A willow blossom."

Could be evidence that she has delved into creation-war-era/faen folklore long before Master Ash. As the Ctheah "resembled a vast spreading willow," "willow blossom" could easily be a folk name for the rhinna (sp?), the panacea flower of its tree.
117. BigVik
peeehbee @116

Great catch, but I have a different explanation to your extraordinary find: Remember that Bast says that people seek out mostly Cthaeh out of desperation in order to colect its flower which supposedly has cure-all properties. In this context Denna sees Kvothe as her "cure", which is true throughout the book both in physical (e.g. saving her from suffocating in Tarbean) and metaphorical meaning.
Jason Hudson
118. Pykus
But only a Dennerling would willingly talk to the Cthay.
Jason Hudson
119. Pykus
The Maedre = Ademre connection got me thinking. The horn bow connection between the Adem and the Sithe also seems important here. Might the presumed split between the Adem and the Sithe mean they have a split over their purpose? If the Sithe are determined to keep the Cthay isolated mean the Adem might think the opposite is required? Might then Maedra be the one who ultimately breaks the tree that imprisons him? I'm still contemplating the meaning in relation to the dispute between Aithe and Rethe, but it seems like a tantalizing tidbit. :)
Jason Hudson
120. Pykus
I also wonder if the Fey is as a whole on one side of a disagreement on the nature of the Cthay and what to do with it. If Bast is raised being taught that the Cthay is evil it isn't necessarily because that's true, but rather because that's the firm belief of the people who live where he grew up. Arliden wasn't so superstitious as to fear the shamblemen, but would still be wary of venturing into the woods for fear of what really was there, shambleman or no. Maybe the Cthay isn't what the Feyen think it is, but is still so volatile that messing with it is dangerous anyway. That said, maybe the solution to the problem of the Chandrian is found in making a deal with that particular devil: the lesser of two evils. It harkens back to the drawing of the vase with the Chandrian on it. It was the Amyr that was "the worst of all".
Igor Bugaenko
121. BioLogIn
I've been re-reading again, and I just had another theory on "a ring that’s not for wearing". I think it might refer for eyes / irises.

- Kvothe describes Laurian's eyes (NotW 16): "Her eyes were green with a ring of gold around the pupil."
- Kvothe's eyes / irises are known to have gold ring and also change colours:
“I thought I was imagining it before,” Denna said, looking up at me. “But your eyes really do change color. Normally they’re bright green with a ring of gold around the inside....”

“I got them from my mother,” I said.
(NotW 77)

- Meluan eyes are not described as having some special properties "She was strikingly lovely, with a strong jaw and dark brown eyes." (WMF 67)
- There are two other characters with "special" eyes (changing colour depending on mood), and both are Fae - Bast and Felurian.

The latter might be actually belong to "Pros" if we theoritize that Lackless family has some Fae heritage / blood (and / or keeps the key to the waystones / doors to Fae realm). Or that Kvothe is half Lackless, half Fae... But all this is very far-fetched, so take it with a healthy pinch of salt (if you can afford it).
122. Stuart Langridge
A minor comment about D and hair knots. There seems to be a fairly consistent underlying belief that D's actually doing something with the story knots in her hair -- that it's magic of some kind. I'm not sure it is.

We have two good examples: she knots "lovely" into her hair, and "don't speak to me" after K asks her to love him more seriously than he intended. What's interesting there is that one of those is an instruction, and the other's a description. Imagine that "lovely" is actually a surreptitious spell of some kind which causes the viewer to perceive D as lovely. That would suggest that "don't talk to me" is also such; that is, that it actually magically stops K from talking to D somehow (or from wanting to). But that doesn't seem to happen; admittedly he doesn't speak to her, but it's because he actually read the knot and followed the unspoken advice, not because it's compelling him to not do so and yet he wants to. Equally, "lovely" is not an instruction; one might assume that it's shorthand for "observer, you should find me lovely (even if you wouldn't otherwise)", but D explicitly compares it to wearing a sign saying "I am dashing and handsome", which is not an instruction; an instruction would be "Find me dashing and handsome", which isn't the same thing.

I think it's not any sort of magic... it's just a private little game she has with herself, rather in feel like not stepping on the cracks when you're walking in that nobody knows you're doing it and you don't tell anyone; it's just a thing you do, inside your head.
Igor Bugaenko
123. BioLogIn

Auri's lamp is named "foxen", right? Native speakers here to check?
Steven Halter
124. stevenhalter
"foxen" is what it sounded like to me. I'm not sure if "lamp" is the correct noun or not.

I heard him read from the start of chapter 1 at LonCon. This is going to be really good I think.
125. SaltyandStone
This might not belong in this thread, but I just had something of a brainwave and wanted to share. Hope you all don't mind!

We know that the Ruh were hunted and systematically murdered on the orders of an Aturan emperor. What if that was actually ordered by the Amyr, who were closely connected with the Aturans at the time, in order to suppress information about themselves and possibly the Chandrian. The Ruh are supposed to know all the stories of the world, and because they learn and convey them all orally, the only way to eliminate that source of information would be genocide.
Many people have also postulated that the library at Caluptena was in Yll, and that Aturan Empire burned it down as part of their conquest of the land. Most of the time, that burning is portrayed as a careless act of wartime destruction, but what if it was premeditated, or perhaps even the secret reason for the invasion in the first place.
We pretty much know that the Amyr are MUCH older than the Empire/church, but do not know how they came to be associated with them. Perhaps this is the reason. The Amyr joined the Aturans to use the army and church to help them eradicate all traces of their past, and to do so covertly. This is past the point of conjecture, but maybe the Amyr's power (magic or otherwise) was responsible for the rise of the Empire in the first place, for this express reason.
Finally, in this context Kvothe's assumption that the Amyr suppressed information about themselves so that they could remain in hiding after they were renounced seems flimsy. Aside from identifying information about specific members, I don't see how successful hiding would be contingent on eliminating basic historical information about themselves. It seems more likely that they are trying to conceal older information about their origins and their true and final mission. But the question is, why?
Carl Banks
126. robocarp
SaltyandStone @ 125

According to Kvothe, it was the Tehlin Church that razed Caluptena, which means it was probably somewhere in the Church's domain, which means it was probably not in Yll. Based on how these things usually go, it was probably the Church trying to silence people who were using learning to undermine Church teachings, and to destroy the evidence.

However, I've always wondered if the Church isn't just a front, and that the order to burn of Caluptena didn't have a deeper reason than silencing heretics.
John Graham
127. JohnPoint
robocarp @126, re the Tehlin church being a "front" --

We have discussed it a bit before, but this speculation has -- at least some -- support from the soon-to-be-released Pairs decks. There are what appear to be Tehlins (Book of the Path and all) on the 6 in the Faen deck (labeled as "Chainers"), which certainly applies that there is something more going on with the Church.
Jason Saltiel
128. SaltyandStone

Wasn't the Tehlin church associated with the Amyr and Aturan empire?(thus the confusion between Wil and Kvothe over who disbanded the Amyr) Assuming that's true, isn't it possible that the Amyr were secretly the driving force behind the destruction of the library?

If the "historical" Amyr are actually the same group as the "mythical" Amyr (which by no means is a sure bet) isn't it plausible that they would have enough power to bend the church and empire to their own means? I think they might have even engineered their own "disbandment" once they felt they had destroyed enough information so they could go back into hiding.

All that aside, what do you think of the idea that the Ruh genocide was not an act of racism, but a conscious effort to suppress information they purveyed in their storytelling? I don't think I have heard that theory before and I'd love some feedback.
jum bles
129. jumbles

PR already told us why (sort of) Caluptena was burned in this post:

Q: Why was Caluptena burned?
A: Those guys were total dicks. They had it coming.
thistle pong
130. thistlepong
"I don't go in for spoilers or anything. I'm just saying there's only so many ways you can anagram "En Temerant Voistra." (Pat)
Steven Halter
131. stevenhalter
There are lots of English Anagrams. I wonder if there are only a few in Tema or Temic.
Igor Bugaenko
132. BioLogIn
Suprisingly, it has been tried before... in Latin:
Carl Banks
133. robocarp
"treatment aversion"

I.e., don't try to see anything in this. Nevertheless:

"seven traitor Manet" - So Manet is the enemy!
"marionette taverns" - Puppet has the book.
"remotest Vint arena" - It's in the remotest part of Vint, the part they own on Yll's island.
"reverent anatomist" - Gibea was actually good.
"event names traitor" - The Chandrian are named after they battles they won/lost.

I think PR is messing with us, though.
Steven Halter
134. stevenhalter
I'm sure he's messing with us. On the other hand, I bet it is a hint. I am going to make a guess that it anagrams to seven words in Tema/Temic. Unfortunately, this makes it probably not a useful hint at this time -- unless we get some more confirmed words in a forthcoming book or D3.

Very fun stuff.
135. mutantalbinocrocodile
@stevenhalter throughout, and also @132's link: Pat clearly knows Latin very well, and I am absolutely convinced that he is using it to mess with us, not to actually give us clues. This is why I've never gotten anywhere with the Department of Imaginary Languages--I'm certain that Pat is using a pretty deep-level understanding of real ancient languages in order to trick his fans into attempting to translate gibberish. Ivare Enim Euge is definitely Latinate gibberish: FakeInfinitive UntranslatableParticle Yay. It sounds like something Elodin would do to his students. . .

In terms of stuff Elodin would do, thank you stevenhalter for translating Latin verb temero. I just want to also point out that 1) it's an uncommon verb that you probably wouldn't learn below 300-level university Latin, mostly used by Vergil, Ovid and Statius, so that suggests Pat's Latin is really very good, and 2) it can be sexual in connotation, which is very Elodin-like.
136. mutantalbinocrocodile
That said, the "Latin" anagram generator at @132's link doesn't take account of grammar. None of the sentences actually translate the way the original poster tried to make them translate, because all the nouns are in nominative. You can't have a Latin phrase with no case forms. You can, however, have an inventive in-joke.
Steven Halter
137. stevenhalter
Mutantalbinocrocodile@135:I'm not sure if we can conclude very much about PR's particular depth of knowledge about Latin from the books. We can, I think, conclude that he very much likes to play with both language and his audience.
John Graham
138. JohnPoint
Re Pat, Latin, and languages:

Pat is on record saying that he doesn't actually invent full languages (a la Tolkien), but he fakes them to sound good. That said, he definitely likes to mess with us, and as Steven said @137, play with languages. . I do know that if he speaks Latin (which I doubt, at least at any deep level) he didn't learn it in college. UWSP didn't offer Latin in depth or with any regularity, much to my chagrin back in the day.

I do appreciate robocarp's anagrams @133 -- I've never had the knack for them myself...
139. mutantalibinocrocodile
@138, useful biographical detail (the decline of Classics at state colleges is indeed sad). I have to conclude from the jokes that he must have learned quite a lot of Latin as an autodidact, enough to fool a lot of people and make some really funny jokes (I burst out laughing in public at "Ivare Enim Euge", though that probably tells you a lot about me. . .). Particles and their correct use (enim is a particle, a part of speech that doesn't exist in English) are a pretty high-level topic. The arcana of the Latin are why I think the practical joke has been going on so long. It's a lot more sophisticated than just putting -us on every other word. And much, much more entertaining.
Steven Halter
140. stevenhalter
mutantalbinocrocodile@139:Except that it isn't Latin and so Pat is free within the constraints he imposes to use any rules he wishes. Of course, parts of it do bear a similarity to Latin.
Jason Saltiel
142. SaltyandStone
Another tangent here, but I had an interesting thought: what if it is the Amyr, not the chandrian, who are trying to destroy the influence of magic/knowledge of the fae in 4Cs world. Why? Because maybe they are worried someone might learn too much, gain too much power, and do something stupid to upset the state of the world. Like Kvothe clearly does.

I will, for the space of this argument, assume that the Amyr were closely tied to and in fact controlling the church/aturan empire at the height of it’s power. Here are some of the church/empire's actions that we know of.

· Conquer and suppress almost all of the 4Cs world, This includs Yll, which due to its connection with story knots has been tied to the Lackless box, and therefore the Cthaeh. The Yllish also use a lunar calendar, which, knowing the significance of the moon to the fae and magic, has caused some people to hypothesize that the yllish were tied closely to the faen realm before the conquest
o They also conquered a ton of other countries and converted them to tehlinism, essentially annihilating local customs and religions that might have hidden knowledge about the fae and magic. Notable exception to this are the Modegans, who have their own language and religion (which people here have noted, is probably polytheistic)

· Tehlin inquisition (which we know exists in modern times from skarpi’s arrest) suppresses all other religions that tell stories other than mainstream tehlinism. An attempt at keeping people like skarpi from spreading the truth behind the dogma? Perhaps. The inquisition was probably also used as a method to destroy competing religions in conquered lands.

· Aturan emperor orders the genocide of the Ruh, who “know all the stories of the world.” This seems to me not just racism, but a conscious attempt to suppress knowledge.

· Church burned Caluptena and the library therein, which contained tons of knowledge, some of it likely concerning the fae and magic

· The Iron law, which I believe originated with the Aturans, has old
laws against “consorting with demons” Another anti-magic, anti-fae policy

· The arcanum at that time as a secret “strong brand” as elodin called it, and even then it might have been attacked/destroyed, as the current university is built on the ruins of something.
143. Stuart Langridge
I wonder what's behind the curtains in Puppet's room?
Igor Bugaenko
144. BioLogIn
Well, if you ask me, there is a secret door that can be opened by a certain golden key.

Because Puppet is allusion to Geppetto (, or Papa Carlo (, depending on the version you prefer. And Papa Carlo had a picture of hearth in his room, and that picture hid a secret door that could be opened with a golden key. And Pat had clearly read some Russian classic literature (refer to his explanations of Vaevin with "toska") and is known to insert literature and cultural references to his books (Edro, as above so below, etc.) so yeah, it perfectly fits.

In case you wondering, I'm just fooling around now =)
145. ScottyP
Loving the posts in these card threads. . . . Unfortunately due to Dragon's position on postal service I cannot purchase them in Australia and have had to just drool over pictures I've found online. . . .

However on a separate and exciting note, I just read on Mr. Rothfuss' blog that he's going to be narrating The Slow regard of Silent Things and there's a short 3 minute preview of him reading it. If you enjoy any kind of teaser I recommend checking it out. . .So many tiny details in such a small space. . . . .
Sahi Rioth
146. Sahirioth
@ mutantalibinocrocodile

Pat claimed in a 2009 video (link below) that he only speaks one language: English. So unless he managed to get REALLY into Latin since then (which I doubt, considering how busy he's been with writing/Worldbuilding/fathering etc.) there's no reason to believe he is even halfway proficient in Latin. Unless he was lying. Which is entirely possible, but cui bono?
Charles Umana
147. I am TWO
Hello, I recently sat through all of these and read the whole of it in 2 days... Considering I am in between exams, I think you made me addicted to this.

There are over 140 posts already... I wonder if you will actually read this?
Well, here goes:

I believe Selitos is the Cthaeh, as opposed to Lanre or Encanis. I believe this because of some of the theories alraedy propposed in here.
1: Selitos obtained better sight after gouging out his eye. What better sight than the Cthaeh's?
2: we know MT was among mountains, thus we can place Selitos near a mountain with ease. Iax spoke to thet Cthaeh before stealing the moon, but the story we have only places him as speaking to someone in the mountain. Wouldn't it be possible for Iax to have encountered Selitos before he was segregated?
3: We know the Cthaeh seems to have something agains't The Rhinta, who could have more of a grudge against them than Selitos?

In another note, I really really want to get a signed copy of "The slow regard of silent things", but the only place to pre-order one is in waterstones, anyone know how reliable this site is?
thistle pong
148. thistlepong
Gonna go with, "A meteor rent Vintas," 'cause it fits ever so well with "since that time the land has broken and the sky changed," and could quite literally be a piece of the moon.
Steven Halter
149. stevenhalter
I am TWO@147:Waterstones is fine.
Pat's Tinkers Pack store is down for maintenance right now but he often has signed books there.
Charles Umana
150. I am TWO
thanks for the reply
what did you thikn about my theory?
John Graham
151. JohnPoint
I am TWO @150:

We have discussed the Cthaeh=Selitos theory quite extensively in the past, including your three points. I'd say that opinions are relatively evenly divided between people who are convinced that Selitos=Cthaeh, people who entertain it as a possibility but not a certainty, and people who are convinced that Selitos is not Cthaeh.
Steven Halter
152. stevenhalter
I tend towards thinking that the Cthaeh is the Cthaeh and no one else. But, I certainly entertain the Selitos and other possibilities since Pat could pretty much do whatever he wants.
Jason Saltiel
153. SaltyandStone
Is there a thread for the Lightning Tree/will there be? I'm really curious to hear everyone's thoughts. I for one was giddy just to be reading something new after so many rereads of the first two books.
jum bles
154. jumbles
There's sort of a thread for it here:

There was supposed to be a spoiler thread for it eventually, as you can read in that post.
157. Goldfrapp
@ 121 BioLogIn
I never caught the passage about Laurian's eyes, though I did notice that only Fae characters eyes change color. If Jo Walton is correct, the Arliden is Amyr, and Felurian's statement that there are no human Amyr is also true, then Kvothe is (half) fae because of his father.

The Lackless bloodline can be entirely human . I believe Kvothe is Lackless and Fae. I believe that is crucial to the overall plot. Those traits allow Kvothe to do whatever awful thing he does, opening boxes and doors and all that.

Related to opening things. I think Kvothe has a Knack for opening locked things. He is surprised when someone else breaks into his room at Ankers even though he locks himself out all the time. There are many comments throughout the books that Kvothe has an easy time with locks.

@ 108 m_k
A lot of us are hoping for a happy ending and some resolution to the war, scrael, and other issues in the frame. If you listen to Pat's interviews (link from his blog) he is pretty clear that Kvothe's story is over in three books. During his interview on Triangulation, the man asks Pat if the books will end with all that tied up and Pat says something like "a lot of people think that." The tone of Pat's answers in interviews support the idea that Kvothe suffered an irrepairable fate worse than death. I like Jo's idea that Chronicler will Name him better after hearing his story, but I don't think it's in the cards.
Patrick Stultz
158. Audion
I'm still not convinced there is anything otherworldy about Kvothe. I think he's just a really talented person.. I'm not even convinced there is any royal connection at all.
I think the story so far is supposed to make us think that. The way it's told, and what we know after disecting it.. but remember one thing. Patrick Rothfuss loves messing with us.
He's said many times he doesn't like the cliche story of some king in hiding ousting the villian from his thrown.. it's been done.
And because of that.. I trust none of the red herrings we've seen so far.
Carl Banks
159. robocarp

Based on what I read in the Lightning Tree, I doubt there's anything outerworldly about outer world beings either, at least not inherently.
thistle pong
160. thistlepong
Taking a stab at organizing my thoughts on The Slow Regard of Silent Things at The Larkin Ledgers. Spoilery and kind of messy.
Bruce Wilson
161. Aesculapius
Must take a look -- thanks, Thistle.

I'm still doing much the same myself; trying to pick out subtle themes and small hints and all the ephemeral and insubstantial things that flicker on the edge of conscious awareness as you read it.

All told, I very much like it. And I like Auri.
I'm obviously one of *those* people from the Author's Endnote...
163. Britunculus
What follows is my disjointed interpretation of the book ‘The Slow regard of Silent Things’. All my own opinion.

There *are* spoilers.

The book is about a girl playing with junk in the sewer. The book is about the crafting of poetry and words. The book is a metaphor of Pat's process of writing the King Killer Chronicles.

Let's peel back the layers.

In The world of Temerant, things have names and these names give power over the things. The name of the wind allows control of the wind, and so on. This is the core of the magic we see in the books, that of naming. This fact should not be underestimated. Do you not think that in such a world that the things would be just a bit like people. So in that world, when you accept that Naming is a very real thing in Temerant, Auri isn't crazy, she's just got her eyes open. When she communes with these objects, that's her dreaming mind.

In Slow Regard we find that Auri is actually a very good namer, or possibly something else entirely (shaper?), but certainly that she has power over things and through her understanding of that 10% of Alchemy has reached a place where she can shape the world. In writing and poetry we have such power over the page, but that power can be paralysing. What a responsibility! Her ability to commune with these things combined with her power over them has left her with an overpowering empathy for the inanimate world. So much power, but what to do with it, but hide from desire?

It's like the Buddah says, `Desire leads to suffering'. Or as Uncle Ben said, `With great power, comes great responsibility'. In a sense, Auri is the personification of a struggle with writer's block.

The words, the characters and things on the page are the Silent Things. They do not speak, we speak their names and we have power over them. Perhaps they yearn to be known. In poetry we seek to understand and to convey understanding.

Auri is a metaphor of Patrick Rothfuss dealing with all the people baying for book three. They're even in the book as the people outside the door. To keep them outside the door she does makeshift alchemical plumbing at one point. It's a highly stressful scene.

But as Auri says, chemistry is 90% waiting. Even if Patrick spends time with his son or his charity, this is all part of the writing process. When you do the 10% you feel so powerful, but the 90%, the waiting brings humility.

So we meet Auri diving in an alone place. She pulls things up from the deep. The deep is the subconscious, the dark, the things are Patrick's ideas. Some days are the right day to do this. Some days we swim down to the depths and bring back treasure. Some days we work on the things. Some days we achieve nothing. This is the life of the creative.

So, back to the cog. The gear/cog is Kvothe or at least his story. The cog is lost in the world and Auri want to help it, but so does Patrick want to help his idea. Auri trys out different places for the cog, just as Patrick writes different scenarios for Kvothe and abandons and revises them over time. First the cog is pointing downwards, then upwards , it's possible that this is Patrick deciding on the story structure for Kvothe. Is this a tragedy or a quest with a girl and a bag of treasure at the end? However, we can no easier have book three now than we could leave the cog on the shelf reaching upwards. It's just not right, the cog isn't happy and it doesn't fit. It's too heavy.

So if the objects are ideas, or stories.. I think the soap is this book, Slow Regard because it goes not to Kvothe but to herself. The candle is part of book 3 because it's for Kvothe. Auri considered giving the soap to Kvothe, but it's not right. He gets the three part presents, the candle, the Amyr statue and the place to stay with a new Name (Kote). These are clues of what will happen to Kvothe in book three. The bone may be The Princess and Mr Whiffle. The Buckle is the lightning tree perhaps?

The cog breaks into three pieces, much like Patrick describes the silence being broken into three pieces at the beginning of book 1 and 2 and how Kvothe's story is broken into three pieces, the three books. Further at the end, she only place the first two parts of the cog in places then brings out a leather book `uncut, unread, and utterly unknown'. The third cog goes nowhere because it's not done yet.

Lastly, Auri says Kvothe is coming a day early. Poor Auri is working to an impossible deadline so she has to break her rules to produce. But she doesn't do it for herself, or the people outside. She does it for Kvothe.

So in closing, 90% of chemistry is waiting, and the same is true for good art.
164. Quintas11
Britunculus: Thanks for the review, that seems very insightful.

Based on reading this, and some of the other reviews, I plan on gladly skipping this book and just continue waiting for Day 3. I'm not angry in the least that Rothfuss wrote it. I just don't think I would enjoy it at all. Not interested.
Thanks again for the feedback
John Graham
165. JohnPoint
I posted these comments on Thistle's new blog (linked above), but in the hope of generating further discussion, I'm cross posting them here:

Something I'm struggling with is exactly how the timeline fits with K's story in WMF. The sixth day of SR (Auri day 6, or A6) correlates with the 10th day of the admissions span, the day that Kvothe takes his admissions (Kvothe day 10, or K10). That makes A1=K5, and so on. A3=K7, which is the day Kvothe gets dosed with the plum bob is the day that Auri cries, which seems to correlate.

However, what strikes me as strange is that in SR Auri doesn't see Kvothe at all during the 7 (or rather, 6) days of the story. In WMF, Auri sees Kvothe the night of the plum bob incident (A3/K7) and it is strongly implied that he sees her other times during the span as well (he just doesn't play music for her). After telling her that he would play for her in six days he goes into the archives nearly every night to study. He also tries to go into the Archives on K8 or K9, but backs out after getting a plum bob echo. He was clear that "(he) probably could have found (his) own way, but (he) preferred to have Auri as a guide. She knew the Underthing like a tinker knows his packs," so it seems doubtful that he wouldn't have seen her at some point before K10/A6.

An additional timeline sticky point for me: the conversation between Kvothe and Auri about playing in 6 days occurs on K1/A(-4). that would mean that he would play for her on K7/A3, which makes sense given his original Admission slot. However, he ended up not going through Admissions until K10/A6 because of the plum bob. Thus, technically at the beginning of SR (A1/K5), Auri should be expecting him in two days time, not 6-7. I don't know whether this is an error on Pat's part, evidence for Kote being an unreliable narrator, or further indication of Auri's special powers, but it's suspicious.

(Edit to correct brackets within the quote, and to comment re Steven @166, yep, the scene in the chapter "Haven" was how I determined that K10=A6)
Steven Halter
166. stevenhalter
JohnPoint@165:The timeline is very interesting. Auri gives Kvothe the candle at the beginning of chapter 11 (Haven). That is later on K10, so A6 does seem to equal K10. The other discrepencies fall into the interesting category.
Bruce Wilson
167. Aesculapius
@165 JohnPoint (above)

JP, do you have any firm reason to believe that the days covered in Slow Regard *directly* link with any one specific time period covered in eithe D1 or D2...?

Could it be that this may relate any seven-day period during K's time at the University, and not necessarily a time or a visit to Auri that he's specifically described to Bast and Chronicler...?
John Graham
168. JohnPoint
Aesculapius @167 --

It's not 100% certain, but is strongly implied by Auri's gifts for Kvothe -- a lavender scented candle (which she made), a place to stay with her in the Underthing if everything goes wrong, and a (hinted-at-in-SR) kiss on the forehead. These are the three gifts that she gives him when he meets her on K10 after the plum bob incident. Also, she brings a jar of olives to the dinner in WMF, presumably the same jar that she took from the basement storeroom in SR.

However, since we don't actually see her meet Kvothe, the gifts could be in preparation for a later meeting and we can't be absolutely sure that it's the same time.

ETA: I expect that there may be some other correlations (for example, descriptions of the weather, season, or external events that she hears), but I have only read SR once so far, and haven't had a chance to look for additional connections.

As a side note, I find it very interesting that Kvothe works on piecework at the Fishery *including brass gears* on (probably) K5 or possibly K6.
169. Marco.
Does anyone know if Jo has plans to do a post on TSRoST?
Bridget McGovern
170. BMcGovern
@169: Yes--Jo read it last week and is definitely planning on covering it as part of the Reread. She's been traveling quite a bit over the last week, but should be posting in the near future. I'm really looking forward to her analysis!
171. Marco.
thanks - I'm looking forward to it too.

I hope she spends some time exploring the parallels between Auri and the hermit from the Jax story. I have some comments, but I'll save them for the official thread.
thistle pong
172. thistlepong

There's a lot there tying TSRoST to that particular point in WMF and I'm pretty sure he actually noted that readers could figure out where/when it takes place.

@JohnPoint, it took me a bit to find the discrepancy about preferring Auri as a guide and then going in every night after working in the Fishery. I wonder if it's reconcilable by comparing her sleep schedule? I'll defintely take a look as I go through.

Post III is up.
Steven Halter
173. stevenhalter
JohnPoint:A3 (Hollow) just has the text
ON THE THIRD DAY, Auri wept.
This actually matches up with the plum bob incident and it doesn't say that she didn't go to see Kvothe. The rest of the text is her preparing for his visit, so that doesn't preclude her going to see him--especially in the addled state he was in. Auri may very well be an incomplete narrator.
John Graham
174. JohnPoint
Stevenhalter@173: Yeah, I agree re A3 and the plum bob. As I indicated above, A3=K7, and there could be a correlation between her weeping and visiting Kvothe: as you say, there isn't anything explicitly stating that she doesn't visit him that day.

However, I definitely got the feeling from my (single) read of SR that she doesn't see him in the Underthing during the time, as would be expected if she were guiding him to the archives every night. Nothing conclusive, but it definitely had that feel. As thistle pointed out @172, it's possible that this could be resolved via her sleep patterns.

*Alternatively*, the essence of Kvothe's upcoming visit to Auri (and what she was waiting/preparing for) might be his music, rather than just seeing Kvothe himself. That would definitely resolve the mismatch. I wonder if Auri is somehow "tuned" (pun not intended) to Kvothe's music -- afterall, we have speculated before that his is actually engaging in Naming magic with his music. For instance, at one point on A1 or A2 she listens intently, thinking that she hears him playing on top of things, but by the time she gets ready and goes outside, he's not there. This could easily be correlated with Kvothe playing at the Eolian in WMF Ch6 (on day K6(?)/A2 when he plays "Bell-wether" and "Tintatatornin", and gets mixed reviews from the audience, depending on whether they know anything about music or not), or perhaps when he picks up an extra night at Ankers (presumably on K5/A1, WMF Ch5). If the music is what Auri is waiting for, perhaps she was able to sense that he was playing. Thus, she could have seen him in the Underthing and helped him to get into the Archives, but wasn't what she was actually waiting for.

On a related note, she is definitely able to guess/predict/know that he would come on A6 instead of A7, and that he would bring three gifts. This could be evidence that she has some special psychic-like connection with him, or it could be further evidence of her Naming powers -- she is able to see and understand the true shape of the world.

Interesting comment about Auri being an incomplete narrator -- did you get the feeling that she was actually narrating the text? I interpreted it an onmiscient narrator telling us things that went through her mind. Obviously, an omniscient narrator can still be incomplete (particularly when we're seeing the world through Auri's somewhat cracked mind), but I tend toward counting the narrative voice in SR as more reliable than Kvothe's narrative in KKC... thoughts?
Steven Halter
175. stevenhalter
The story is presented as about Auri rather than by her and is in third person. I'm not sure this precludes Auri as being the third person narrator of her own story. If Auri is operating as multiple viewpoints that aren't necessarily communicating fully with each other, that could explain some of the gaps in just who is talking to Kvothe and when. Maybe Auri's sleeping mind is powerful enough to fully manifest.

I know what you mean about SR feeling more reliable than KKC. Probably that is an effect of the third person style.
thistle pong
176. thistlepong
I know what you mean about SR feeling more reliable than KKC. Probably that is an effect of the third person style.
It's the truth. First person narrators are always unreliable; regardless of whether they're honest. TSRoST grabs some unreliablility from staying inside Auri's personal space. She knows wrong things, for example. But the narrative nonethless presents that accurately.

Part IV, on the Dedication, Vi Hart, and Tunnel Bob, is up.
Steven Halter
177. stevenhalter
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Auri Underthing wgah'nagl fhtagn.
Sahi Rioth
178. Sahirioth
Did Jo ever do a post on The Lightning Tree? As in an analysis/speculation post.

Absolutely loved SR, by the way. (Going to get involved in the SR discussion once the experience of reading it has settled properly in my mind.)
179. Blue Elodin
A thought on "Valaritas" (sorry, if this has been brought up before):

If we suppose that "lar" has the same meaning as in "Relar" or "Alar", we have a starting point for analyzing the linguistic structure of the word: Va-lar-itas. It occured to me that "Va" might be the same element that we have in "Va-shet".

Now, we can be quite sure that "lar" means "concept"(i.e. "name") or something similar: Relar = He who speaks the concept/name; Al-lar = "powerful thinking (that "Al" means powerful is suggested by "Al-eph", "Al-veron" etc.).

Vashet, as she herself explains, means "the hammer" in the sense, among others, of "that which forms". So, if "Va" has something to do with "forming", it seems not unreasonable to guess that "Va-lar" could mean: “he who forms the concept = shapes the name”. It might be more than a happy coincidence that this is also the name of the powerful beings who created the world in Tolkien's mythology.

If this is correct, there is behind the door named "Valaritas" something connected to the shaping of names. It might, for instance, mean "prison of the one who shapes names" or "room for practicing the shaping of names".
thistle pong
180. thistlepong

Did Jo ever do a post on The Lightning Tree? As in an analysis/speculation post.

Not yet. I reckon I'll take a look at it after I finish The Slow Regard of Silent Things. Part V is up.
183. Blue Elodin
Just one addition to my post on Valaritas: If the linguistic structure is correctly analyzed as „Va-lar-itas“, one might perhaps go a little further:

1. As Abenthy tells Kvothe’s parents, ”Chandrian” means “seven of them” with “chaen” being the element that means “seven”.

It seems to me that “ri” might be the element that means “of”. We may, for instance, compare “Felu-ri-an”, which, taking “Chand-ri-an” as analogon, might well mean “desire of them”.

2. We have one example for the use of “tas”: Vin-tas. As the word refers to a country, it seems a reasonable guess that “tas” might have a spatial meaning like “land” or "realm". Vintas would then probably mean “land/realm of vin” (whatever “vin” may be).

These two aspects can help us to analyze “Valaritas” further, if me make one more assumption, namely that there are, in the history of the languages of the Four Corners, assimilations of neighbouring letters/sounds. An example would be the reduction of “Al-lar” to “Alar” which we have to suppose if the analysis of the word as formed by “Al” (powerful) and “lar” (concept/name) is correct.

In the same way, “Va-lar-itas” may derive from “Va-lar-ri-tas”:
land/realm (tas) of (ri) those who shape (Va) names (lar).
184. Marco.
I think Foxen is made of copper, perhaps a figurine(?).

There are chemicals (luminol + others), that when placed on copper produce a blue glow.

We know copper is significant in Rothfuss' world, and I think Auri knows enough chemistry/alchemy to know this.
185. Bliue Elodin
@ 62 Great overview. Just one comment: I think "Tar" is more likely to mean something like "great" or "strong":

1. Tar-sus (a hero)
2. Tar Vintas (probably "Great Vintas")
186. lupis42
@Bliue Elodin

thistle pong
187. thistlepong
I think Foxen is made of copper, perhaps a figurine(?).

There are chemicals (luminol + others), that when placed on copper produce a blue glow.
That's interesting. I'm pretty sure it's more of a stone or coin or ingot typre of thing than a figurine. In WMF Kvothe descibes something the size of a coin and in TSRoST it's slightly larger than a coin. I mean, there's nothing stopping it from just being a copper coin, to be honest.

The blue glow of luminol itself seems pretty short lived, but it's a good place to start. Thanks for pointing it out.

Part VI.i is up. The first chapter is kinda dense, so I broke it up a bit.
Sahi Rioth
188. Sahirioth
lupis42 @186

That's Taborlin, actually. Odd how some names tend to get jumbled more than others, like the Cthaeh, and Felurian becoming "Ferulian" (giving rise to a bunch of theories connecting her to Cinder).
Matthew Jackson
189. lupis42

Damn, I should have remembered. Maybe I was getting mangled with Tarbean.
190. Ryan H
One thought that I haven't seen mentioned but I think might be a massive thing is that Kvothe re-Named Auri. It's been more than hinted in the main books that her name was significant or insightful in some way, but tSRoST make it explicit that he gave her a new Name.

Now, it's possible that she was so mentally broken that she had no name before, but I don't really think that's possible in this world. Everything has a Name that describes it, animate, inanimate, broken or whole. So Kvothe replaced Auri's previous name with a new one. Accidentally. And her new name is "burning like a fire inside her".

He replaced and re-wrote the fundamental nature of her existence. Without meaning to. And that's terrifying.

I think it also makes for a nice Namer/Shaper comparison. Kvothe is a Namer. He gives things Names. The things themselves do not change, but their fundamental nature does.

Auri is a Shaper. We see her very carefully learning what things are already called. Their existing name. She changes what things are. Their nature does not change, but they are re-formed and re-shaped. This scares the hell out of her, which strikes me as a perfectly rational response.

It also makes a nice parallel to Glammourie and Grammarie from The Lightning Tree. Two somewhat associated magics. One manipulates what a thing appears to be, the other what a thing fundamentally is.

All this means that Kvothe has a demonstrated ability for replacing Names. Which should make a lot of the speculation about the status of the framing story more interesting.

So, there are my thoughts. Kvothe is way scarier and more disturbing than I had assumed. Auri's insanity is a perfectly reasonable response to her abilities. And some interesting magic parallels.
thistle pong
191. thistlepong
Ryan H@190
Auri is a Shaper. We see her very carefully learning what things are already called. Their existing name. She changes what things are. Their nature does not change, but they are re-formed and re-shaped. This scares the hell out of her, which strikes me as a perfectly rational response.
I took Auri "learning what things are already called. Their existing name." to mean that she was more philosophically similar to the old name knowers Felurian talked about who "knew the fox and they knew the hare, and they knew the space between the two." Or the hermit in "The Boy Who Loved the Moon" who encouraged Jax to listen.

She seems to be trying anyway. Trying not to interefere with anything unless she has to. Or unless it's for someone else, like she does with Kvothe's candle. I agree that she seems to be a capable shaper, but it looked like she was almost illustrating the difference between the two sides.

As for her name, I think this line lends some metaphorical support to what you're suggesting:
It was one thing to be private. But to have no name at all? How horrible. How lonely.
But I don't know if TSRoST actually confirms that her name was changed. I looked for phrases in NotW and WMF similar or identical to "Her name was burning like a fire inside her." and couldn't come up with anything conclusive. When aleph changes the angels, there's some fire imagery but nothing within. No names. In WMF everything that burns like a fire inside is emotional. Anger.

I really wanted that to be the key, but if there is one it must be under some other rug. Good post. Lots to think about.

(PS: Part VI.ii is up.)
192. Matt_P
So, on Pg 71, the story states that Auri found a bowl with fresh bread underneath and that the other bowl held milk. She felt free to take the bread but she didn't take the milk because it wasn't for her. Rather it was for the fairies.

In Chapter 81 (Pg 543) of the Wise Man's Fear, Dedan states that "the fair folk make their homes here. Cloven-hoofed pucks that dance when the moon is full. Dark things with long fingers that steal babes from cribs. Many's the woman, old wife or new, WHO LEAVES OUT BREAD AND MILK AT NIGHT."

Auri notes that the milk is for the fairies but why does she feel free to take the bread? She doesn't seem like the type that would take something that doesn't belong to her. It seems that she's possibly one of the fair folk albeit not a fairy... whatever that means.

And why would anyone be afraid of the Fair Folk near the university? Where exactly is the Underthing?
193. Blue Elodin
Just an additional thought on Valaritas: A good candidate for the last semantic element "itas" would be a connection to "atas" which likely means something like "history" or "ancestry" in Ademic. Since it goes with something - the sword - which is very old, we may guess that the word is also very old. A possible analysis of Va-lar-itas would then be: "history of the shaping/shapers of names" which would fit well with a room in an archive.

The change from "a" to "i" in an environment like this (dependent on a change of the stressed syllable) would be very familiar to Latinists, although the analogy is, of course, by no means necessary or a definitive pointer. I only wanted to mention it to point out the possibility that despite the "i/a"-differnce "itas" may be semantically connected to "atas".
Steven Halter
194. stevenhalter
thistlepong@191:I agree that Auri is very much in the mode of the Namer side of things. I think that we see that the difference between Namers and Shapers isn't one of technique, but of philosophy. They both have access to the fundamental nature of things. One side, Namers, embrace how things are and try to make changes that only enhance or correct a balance.
Shapers see how things are and make changes that operate in the way that the Shaper thinks they should be.
Steven Halter
195. stevenhalter
Ryan H@190:It does seem that Kvothe has given Auri a new piece of herself in the act of naming her Auri. The question is, though, did he Shape her into something he wanted or Name her to bring back a balance and thus restore her to herself.
I lean towards the later.
Steven Halter
196. stevenhalter
It occurs to me that the definition of powerful Namers as people who are philosophically inclined towards viewing the true names of things and placing/working towards things such that changes lead towards them being more attuned to their essential nature (Auri's little movements of things in rooms) leads towards an interesting perspective on the the motto of the Amyr--"Ivare enim euge" that means "For the greater good".
We are used to living in a world in which concepts such as "greater good" are subjectively defined. With the original Amyr, they would be able to see the underlying nature and know that towards which the world strove . They would define this as reaching a greater good.
This in turn, leads towards a possible reinterpretation of some events. For example, with Kvothe and the caravan, it could be that his nascent Naming ability lead him towards the true nature of the guards and what should be done with them--acting at an essentially instinctual level. . We've talked a bit about this sort of possibility, but Auri seems to be living in this Namer world view and enforcing those possibilities.
John Graham
197. JohnPoint
Steven @196 -- Interesting thought. I like it. (Though it took me a minute to work through all the "towards," lol.) It doesseem to provide some insight into what the Amyr might have *actually* been doing originally.

I also wonder if it gives any basis to interpret Felurian's comments that there were never any human Amyr -- those who were "actually" Amyr either were something before humans (Ruach?), or became something other/more than human by becoming namers.
thistle pong
198. thistlepong
Auri notes that the milk is for the fairies but why does she feel free to take the bread?
It's all about the position of the dinnerware:
A wooden plate covered with an overturned wooden bowl rested there. Beside it was a bowl of clay, covered with a glazed clay plate.

Auri lifted the wooden bowl and found a piece of fresh brown bread beneath. It held health and heart and hearth. A lovely thing, and full of invitation. She put it in her pocket.

She knew the other bowl held milk, but the plate that covered it faced up. It was not for her. She left it for the faeries. (71)
Both the milk and the bread are, probably, intended for the faeries by the inhabitants. Felurian mentions, "solid-hearted farmer’s wives who know the rules of games we play and give us bread to keep away. But there are apparently nuances to the game. Besides tending to things, Auri's apparently also a strict rules lawyer.


That could work. The figurine she finds is unusual in its depiction of an Amyr as sweet and kind compared to most of the KKC so far. It would make sense that it's part of a reconsideration.


I'm still of the opinion that the Ruach were distinct from humans. There's an old interview with Speculate where he talks about the Creation War era folks. I'll try to find it.

Part VI.iii is up.
199. Ryan H
@ thistlepong 198

It's worth considering the narrator in this case. Auri is undeniably interacting with the world on channels that most people don't access, but at the same time she is also a starving and mentally unstable girl. I strongly suspect that her mind would provide her with as many rules-lawyer loopholes as she needs to avoid actually starving.

I think the narrator is also worth considering when it comes to the Amyr figurine. The text tells us that she finds the figurine sweet and kind, but that is filtered through a set of senses that judges on very different criteria than most people would use or understand.

I think it's pretty debatable what the term 'human' even means in a era or world populated by active Namers and Shapers. These were (are?) people capable of creating their own universe/planes of existence.
thistle pong
200. thistlepong
Ryan H@199

The narrator isn't exactly Auri, but I take your point. Taken too far, it puts us in the same position we are when speculation about unreliable narrative voices in The Kingkiller Chronicle gets out of hand. Most of it should be relaible, otherwise there's no reason for the story.

I figured the upside down/right side up thing was probably about the proper way of doing things. I took her action to be legitimate since she didn't even agonize about a possible trade. It's sorta the same with the Amyr. In the parent text, we're told that not all of the stories about them are bad; we just don't get to hear any.

Part VII.i is up.
201. Ryan H
In this case, 'the propper way of doing things' could very well be 'things that keep a young girl from starving'. Not only objects and epic powers have needs. If a mirror can have needs that have to be addressed, Auri is certainly alowed to have needs too. There is a danger in reading every small action or event as being larger and meaningful outside of the immediate scope of the characters.

And your own personal re-read is excelent. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Alf Bishai
202. greyhood
hi everyone! here are some thoughts on SRST (why isn't there a dedicated post on this yet!)

-1) the first time Auri's mind (narrator, whatever) plays with a word, she stops short of 'Faen' or 'Fey': "More faint. Feint. Feigned. Fain." Interesting. If she is all these things, then she is happily willing (fain) to be almost invisible (faint) as a deceptive move (feint) to be pretend to be something she's not (feigned).

0) She cuts an apple into seven equal pieces. That may be masterful craft, but it seems pretty fae/angelic/non-human. That is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to do.

My more substantial thoughts:
1) Auri HAS TO factor significantly into the ending. Otherwise she's just color, an episode, Bombadilic. And she doesn't seem to be that. The fact that she was added later (sorry!) suggests that she is part of a rewrite of Act 3 (it's much harder to change Act 2, and almost an entire rewrite if you change Act 1). The fact of a dedicated Auri book before D3 comes out (unlike the Bean books of Ender's Game world, for instance) suggests she is not Bombadilic, but rather critical to D3.

2) Her putting of things in the right place is so so clearly a counterbalance to the willfullness of Shapers. It made me wonder: how? Why? What does it matter if that broken gear is in the drawer and not on the shelf? Thought: perhaps because of a later event. Someone will find it there, triggering an action, a thought, etc., which sets them on a certain course, all according to how things 'should be' (I'm ignoring the 'final layer' implications of that phrase - the will of the world, of Aleph, some embedded principle, etc.). A challenge to that idea is that things have different proper places within the story even though no one encouters them (or maybe they did and we didn't see it).

3) The Cthaeh. This is the ultimate Shaper - bending the world to its desire - in this case a pervasively malignant one. Everyone is so taken by its ability to shape the world (by sending infected people outward to do its will), that there is no thought of an antidote, only of slaughtering the infected people. What if Auri is the antidote? Her job is to put things in their proper place, which is the only way to neutralize the agency of the Cthaeh, who directs things out of their proper place. She even states that her desire is to be small, safe, etc. where she can occasionally mend things unseen. K. under the influence of the Cth. is just such a thing that needs to be set right. This might also explain why K. doesn't seem too worried about the Cth.'s influence on him. It's been cured. Didn't his nonchalance about the Cth. bother anyone? "You've been infected with the Black Death and just sneezed and bled into the town's water supply!" "Ya, I know. No biggie." He knows he's not infected.

4) The candle. Nothing happens in this book? Nonsense. Auri makes a candle. That candle is IMPORTANT!!! PR is just messing with us by directing us away from this book (nice try, PR). All her power is chanelled into making something that K. is going to breathe in. This is like the red candy or cookie the Oracle keeps feeding to Neo (undoubtedly an upgrade). I say that candle is part of Auri's antidote to the Cthaeh. I'm not even sure which happens first - the candle or the Cthaeh - but it doesn't matter. Auri herself doesn't have to know. She is just putting things in their proper place, and being guided by that inner 'yes', or 'not quite right'. I need to go back and see what principles are in that candle.

5) Disaster. Doesn't it say K. kills an angel to get his desire? Auri has to be the angel. And my guess is that his desire is to kill Cinder, which is also the Cthaeh's desire. This isn't fully formed, but my guess is that Auri is trying to superimpose redemption onto K., and he doesn't want it. In the moment of crisis, he will choose to have his revenge and break the world and all manner of willful things, and he will have to kill Auri to do it, probably incidentally, and maybe deliberately in a moment of madness where he is fighting Cinder and she is getting in the way.

6) This is a different speculation. Auri gives him a bed, a kiss and a scented candle. That candle might be a love potion. That would make some sense against her hinted-at backstory, in a very heart-breaking way. She is a broken, sweet, lonely, abused soul who has gone mad and fled the world. She sees a kindred spirit in him, and idolizes him intensely. The one desire she indulges herself is 'for him'. If this is true, it would explain, in a way that is consistent with this story, why he kills her. He almost killed Felurian - Auri's foil - who tried to control his love with her power; might he actually do it if Auri's possessive magic proves a deeper threat?

Auri is NOT going to walk off the stage at the end of this story.
Alf Bishai
203. greyhood
A thought! Auri gave K. a candle, etc. just like Taborlin had, right?

WHAT IF... Auri gave TABORLIN his candle, etc. Which is the angel that first knew the unwanted touch of man? What if she is that angel, and is very, very old. She changed her name and forgot who she is. But her craft is her craft. Maybe Taborlin talked to the Cthaeh too, and that candle brought him back. Maybe he too was 'her Ciradae'.
204. BigVik
greyhood @202&203 Brilliant! In some of the previous threads I wrote at length that Denna may not be The Woman in Kvothe's tale, but that Auri may be that person. After listening the SRST audiobook I'm even more convinced of this.

First, it is hard to do any kind of analysis with a rented audiobook, but I'll try to point out some stuff that others didn't at least so far:

1. Auri has an interesting relationship with bottles and there's a lot of description going into them. At one point she even considers a bottle containing breath as a gift for Kvothe and she says it would be approapriate as he loves bottles (or something to that effect). What I find interesting is that (at least to my knowledge) the only mention of Kvothe's bottles is in the frame story, years after all of this happened, so then how would Auri know this? And Kvothe handles bottles with true emotion in the frame story: "and it soon became obvious that polishing was only an excuse to touch and hold.". I'm trying to see if there are any specific descriptions of those bottles, but so far I failed to see anything. Also, we should look for the leaf, box of rocks, sheets, blanket... I bet these objects are hidden somewhere in the frame of NW and WMF if we just carefully look for them. If Auri is dead, betrayed by Kvothe, I would think he'd keep mementos like these.

2. Auri is preparing for the time when Kvothe will come to stay with her, all broken and when she'll give him his new name. Some here siad it is Kote, but I don't buy it as in NW it clearly says he gave that name to himself, plus do you really think Auri would give him a horrid name such as Kote? It just sounds like Auri to me to name him "Dulator because she liked the sound of it".

3. NW mentions at the second sentence of the very first chapter that the first mosto bovious silence was "hollow", and this word keeps repeating regarding Kote's eyes, etc. In SRST "hollow" is also used quite often to describe the pre-Kvothe Auri, as well as many other things including future Kvothe. Knowing how careful PR is with his words I don't think this is a coincidence. Interestingly enough, Cinder's eyes are also described as hollow and silence is the first thing we encounter about him.

4. Having read SRST chapters immediately following Kvothe's frame interlude where he announces the arival of The Woman seem to describe Auri rather than Denna: "...a truly wild thing... Her wildness is of such degree, I fear approaching her too quickly even in a story. Should I move recklessly, I might startle even the idea of her into sudden flight" exactly how he approaches Auri who startles at everything. Then he proceeds to first introduce us to Devi (red herring), then in Tar and Tin we actually hear Auri but he's careful not to mention her at all, just a whisper of a clanging grate and someone good with runes. Then in Slow Circles he makes it sound like he's talking about Denna, but the first one she goes seeking is Auri, now with her new shiny name.

5. Auri loves Kvothe, even a man thick as a brick (i.e. myself) can see this in SRST. It's beautiful.
thistle pong
205. thistlepong

1) Bombadilic

Point of interest. Pat lurves Tom Bombadil. In a couple interviews (maybe a blog, too) he waxes eloquent about what Tom means to LotR and why he's anything but episodic and is, in fact, critical to the meaning. I hadn't consdidered Auri that way before, but I could see him trying that.

4) The candle comes first.


3) Hollow appears 13 times, twice as the chapter title. Auri's described as hollow both before Kvothe and after/during. More after, to be honest. But looking quickly made me want to look closely. Thanks for pointing it out.

4) That's lovely; "we actually hear Auri..." I'm still not a fan, but this is the most convincing paragraph I remember seeing.

Part VII.ii is up. I couldn't help bringing rings and some alchemy into it.
206. Marco.

I love the idea of Rothfuss playing slight of hand with who "the woman" is and it being notDenna, but I can't get past these two quotes:

"In some ways, it began when I heard her singing. Her voice twinning, mixing with my own. Her voice was like a portrait of her soul: wild as a fire, sharp as shattered glass, sweet and clean as clover." (NotW, c7)

THE EOLIAN IS WHERE our long-sought player is waiting in the wings. I have not forgotten that she is what I am moving toward. If I seem to be caught in a slow circling of the subject, it is only appropriate,as she and I have always moved toward each other in slow circles. (NotW, c53)
Alf Bishai
207. greyhood
Interesting that he likes Bombadil. My point though is that it seems like Auri's story is building to something at the end, unlike Bombadil, who would seem entirely out of place and ex machinistic at the battle with Angmar.
208. BigVik
@205 I love your new summary thread as it is actually putting in words I can see stuff that I can only hear on my way to and back from work listening to the audiobook. Can't wait for the hard copy to arive!

I'm happy you liked some of my clues. Here's another one after I re-listened for the 4th time the audiobook today:

5. Both in NW and in WMF Kvothe tells Denna that she reminds him of selas flower. In WMF she even agrees that she shares some characteristics with this flower. Then in SRST Auri debates whether to give her new soap as a gift to Kvothe, but decides not too because he's "too much oak and willow, and selas... he's definitely not the selas kind!". This thing also reminded me that the soap base was made of the cinder wash made of ash ashes (plus hawthorne and something else). How interesting! Yet ash was in Auri's mind a very good tree.

I'm still listening/looking for a bottle connection. So far only a "green bottle" comes up, there's one Auri describes when she's looking for a bottle for Foxen, and another one from which Kote serves Chronicler and Bast some drink after their Name of the Iron spat. Very long shot, I know...

@206 The second paragraph could be explained away as I think Auri has an access to Eolian (in SRST she uses her passageways in the Underthing to go to the best inn she knows, which I can only guess is Eolian), and in any case, after that sentence, Kvothe just casually introduces us to Auri then goes over to Denna in Eolian.

The first paragraph seems like the best one to kill my theory outright, but in all seriousness it could be just another misdirection. I see Auri being wild as a fire (see previous post), sharp as shattered glass for sure and definitely sweet and clean (face and hands and feet) as clover. I can't say the same about Denna. We haven't yet heard Auri singing that I remember of, or maybe Singing if she truly is and angel aka Singer. Maybe Singing (Shaping?) is what she did to mold Kvothe's candle. Maybe he'll end up living with her in the Underthing and they'll Sing there together. I don't know, it's all wild speculation.

And here's my last (for now) defense of Auri as The Woman. PR/Kvothe is a good writer/storyteller, so I expect nothing less than this kind of ambiguity. If we were dealing with a lesser writer, it would be altogether clear what's going to happen. Is he slowly circling around Auri in the story, is it Denna or some third woman? My money is on Auri as I like her, plus I think it would make sense and be both surprising and satisfying.
John Graham
209. JohnPoint
BigVik @208: I'm with Thistlepong @205 -- your point about Auri is better than others that I've seen, however, I'm not convinced either.

As Marco pointed out @206, we have the Eolian and singing comments to deal with. We also have Kote's description in NotW Ch 57:
The trouble is, she is unlike anyone I have ever known. There was something intangible about her. Something compelling, like heat from a fire. She had a grace, a spark....
The trouble comes from comparison, you see. If I say ‘she was dark haired,’ you might think, ‘I’ve known dark-haired women, some of them lovely.’ But you would be far off the mark, because that woman would not really have anything in common with her. That other woman wouldn’t have her quick wit, her easy charm. She was unlike anyone I have ever met….
Her eyes were dark. Dark as chocolate, dark as coffee, dark as the polished wood of my father’s lute. They were set in a fair face, oval. Like a teardrop.
Her easy smile could stop a man’s heart. Her lips were red. Not the garish painted red so many women believe makes them desirable. Her lips were always red, morning and night. As if minutes before you saw her, she had been eating sweet berries, or drinking heart’s blood.
No matter where she stood, she was in the center of the room.” Kvothe frowned. “Do not misunderstand. She was not loud, or vain. We stare at a fire because it flickers, because it “glows. The light is what catches our eyes, but what makes a man lean close to a fire has nothing to do with its bright shape. What draws you to a fire is the warmth you feel when you come near. The same was true of Denna.
Say this, that she was dark haired. There. It was long and straight. She was dark of eye and fair complected. There. Her face was oval, her jaw strong and delicate. Say that she was poised and graceful. There.
Finally, say that she was beautiful. That is all that can be well said. That she was beautiful, through to her bones, despite any flaw or fault. She was beautiful, to Kvothe at least. At least? To Kvothe she was most beautiful.
Now, I suppose that an argument could be made that - contrary to the implication, he isn't actually talking about Denna (the comment "The same was true of Denna" could technically be misdirection, something along the lines of: "Person A was this, this, and this. The same was true of Person B." Afterall, we parse everything the Cthaeh very carefully and dissect implied and stated comments), however, this comes right after he meets Denna again, and the description certainly doesn't match Auri's description at all.

It could also be argued that he *is* describing Denna, but he's not describing *The Woman.* However, I think that's a pretty weak argument, particularly when you combine the "singing" quote, the "Eolian" quote, the emotion behind this descriptions of Denna, and the fact that the setting is in the Eolian right after Denna was singing with him.

I think that it's possible that Auri could have named him Dulator, though there is a convincing argument that Felurian was actually that one ("sweet poet" being roughly equivalent to "dulce orator" giving rise to "Dulator").

I also found the comment in SR re selas to be very intriguing. It could well be more evidence for Auri's magic -- Kvothe and Denna are evidently bad for each other (and the world...), and Auri realizes it.

Regardless, if your speculation about Kvothe killing Auri turns out to be correct, well, that will just about break my heart. Particularly after reading SR, seeing inside her head, and gaining some understanding of her thoughts about K etc.
210. BigVik
And now something completely different, bunsh of odds and ends really:

I don't think Auri=Fae holds water as she's clearly touching iron (mostly grabbing iron pipes or pushing off of them while diving, repairing them, etc.) with no repercussions whatsoever.

There is one place where name is mentioned in a fashions similar to
"Her name was burning like a fire inside her.". It happens to be in NW, Skarpi's story of the fall of Myr Tariniel, Selitos tells Lanre: "Your name burns with the power in you". Kind of creepy but wait for the next one:

Auri finds a tiny solider wearing a hauberk and identifies it as a Ciridae. Where have we heard that word before? It actually gets only one mention in WMF in a scene where Kvothe and the gang are attacking bandit camp, and it is Cinder who's wearing "a hauberk of chainmail".

And now onto the whole issue of time that some people already brought up -- more precisely timelines not matching:
I think there has to be something there, otherwise a lot of what we learn makes no sense at all.

Kvothe says in NW that Auri can't be more than 20, yet she says (thinks) in SRST a number of times that she spent "long time", "long years", etc. in the Underthing. Now, if she's biologically not more than 20, this makes no sense. What's "long years"? In a world of 20 year old, I don't know maybe 4-5 years? That would make Auri 15-16 when she transitioned into Underthing, and if she was at the University before that, she'd be what 12-13 being admitted (in order to do complex alchemy with Mandrag she would have needed to reach higher status, that's why I'm adding a few years). Unless Kote is lying about this and Chronicler hasn't done his reseach -- this is impossible as Kvothe is the youngest student, at least in a long while. Not to mention that everyone would have been abuzz regarding a super young alchemy maven gone missing.

So where did all those long years happen? My current favorite theory is that Underthing is a leftover from the old, pre Creation War world, before the split between Faen and Temerant. In that case time may be moving there according to some completely different rules if it is moving at all. I have no "smoking gun" evidence for this, but a lot of little details:

1. "Kote shook his head: it was long time ago-; Not even two years, Chronicler protested". So we know Kvothe has been absent for less than two years, but he's done obviously more living that that. This plus other things in both books (like the Felurian episode) suggest that time passes differently in Faen, so why not in the Underthing.

2. Unless Auri is one heck of a sweeper, dust doesn't seem to settle in the Underthing, this is obvious when Auri goes to pick up the tenacullum from the In Between place which is covered in thick layer of dust and shows some footsteps from long ago, yet no dust is found in front of the door in the Underthing.

3. Iron rusts and copper corrodes rather quickly when permanently submerged, yet there are submerged iron and copper pipes on the first day that Auri holds on and pushes off when searching for gear, etc. If Underthing is so old and parts are temporarily or permanently flooded you'd expect things to rust with the passage of time.

4. Auri pulls a branch with foliage and a living snail when she finds a key and a buckle. Where did those come from? Water that she's in is clearly stagnant, not flowing, so how did it get itself tangled with the key and the buckle, yet preserve its foliage for so long? Also, the brass gear would have lost all of it's zinc and would have been reduced to a spongy coroded copper residue if it has been down for a long time.

5. A lot of furniture, wood and even textiles such as linen sheets survived seemingly intact for many years, yet in reality this can't be. How many medieval bed spreads are still in use today? Exactly! Linen dries up and falls apart like paper after long time, wood either rots away, or is eaten up by bugs or it cracks from drying up.

So either the Underthing is not that old, or the laws of physics and chemistry cease to work there, or time passes differently there.

Here's another thing that annoyed the heck out of me: Those people obviously had a well developed water delivery/sewer system yet they used chamberpots? Disgusting! No one smart enough to invent toilets? No wonder their civilization fell...
211. BigVik

I guess you guys are right. I wish for it to be Auri, and in her own words "wishing things to be truth is one thing...". Still, I don't like Denna and she never struck me as The Woman material, more like that highschool girl that got away. Here you were infatuated with this pretty thing, yet your true love was always right in front of your nose. It would be very Kvothe-esque for this to turn out to be true.
Still, I'll keep searching for the clues: bottles, boxes of rocks, leaves, anything with strawberries connected to Auri, you name it!
212. Ryan H
In the end, I'll be incredibly disappointed if every single character, object and action ends up being 'Signifigant' in some greater plan or design. That gives the universe no room to breath, no ability for an interesting character or a cute moment to just be an interesting character or a cute moment. If every bottle or every candle mentioned isn't just a good metaphor or motif but is a specific part of a larger plan it cheapens the lush detail of the world.

I've seen a few posts that Auri (with similar comments for other interesting side characters like Puppet) MUST be central to the story, with lots of hidden revelations and epic back-story otherwise they are 'just colour'. What's wrong with colour? A colourful side character can be interesting and important and shape other characters and shape the story. Devi for example is a side character than is never going to turn out to be the long lost daughter of the Amyr etc. but who has, and likely will continue to, deeply shape how this story has played out.

A lot of these 'Everything MUST BE capital-S-ignifigant' posts end up creating a world where everyone and everything except for Kvothe is in on one vast conspiracy. We'd come to the end and everyone would be shocked that Kvothe didn't know what was going on the whole time. "Everyone else knew, we just assumed that you did too and were playing along REALLY well".

This is a better story than that. Rothfuss is an amazing writer who loves using language in creative ways to embed hints and foreshadowing. Digging these out and appreciating the level of his craft is one of the best things about the series, but acting like that's all the books have to offer is devaluing. Sometimes a bottle is just a bottle.
213. Ryan H
@BigVik 210&211

#3 & 5 - I'd assume anything at the university (or what the university used to be) would be heavily influenced by Alchemy and Sygaldry. Normal rules need not apply.

#4 - There are also storm drains and a certain amount of connected-ness implied to the water system.

There is an enormous amount of infrastructure and architecture implied in the underthing. Not just the pipes and utilitarian things but bath houses and multiple stories of housing. There is a lot of stuff going on there.

Kvothe passes through the underthing to meet people in the library and is not noticeably late or early. Any time dilation would have to be pretty selective. I think it's more likely that the described timelines and observations have a bit of fudge factor in them. Kvoth's feel for Auri's age could have been somewhat wrong or thrown off by her malnutrition. If she's even 25 and been down there for 3 years that make the whole thing work just fine.

One thing this story lays to rest is the idea that Auri has spent some significant time in Faye or is otherwise chronologically displaced. Her mention of Mandrag means that she is a moderately recent student.

Finally, I think describing Kvothe and Denna as an unwise high school crush is about perfectly right. They are both incredibly young. And they have both been shown, particularly Kvothe, to be the causes of their own troubles more often than not. Why would their relationship be a good idea or healthy for either of them?
jum bles
214. jumbles
2. Unless Auri is one heck of a sweeper, dust doesn't seem to settle in the Underthing, this is obvious when Auri goes to pick up the tenacullum from the In Between place which is covered in thick layer of dust and shows some footsteps from long ago, yet no dust is found in front of the door in the Underthing.
So glad you wrote that. I had noticed it when I read the book and thought it very strange but had forgotten it by the time I finished reading.

Regarding "The Woman," I am very firmly in the Denna camp. However, I think what being The Woman entails is up for discussion. I think it's clear that The Woman is the woman most famously romantically associated with Kvothe (excluding Felurian). The Woman is also probably also the most important woman to Kvothe's search for the Chandrian or at least one of the most important people. The Woman could also be, but is not necessarily, the love of his life.

Hmm... And now I just thought of something else. This trilogy is called The Kingkiller Chronicle. Kvothe appears to be most famous for killing a king, not for anything Chandrian related. I don't think any of the stories we've heard about Kvothe in the frame have mentioned the Chandrian. The Chandrian could be a red herring that never gets a resolution. Or maybe its resolution doesn't come until the frame. If that's the case then maybe The Woman would be important for the kingkilling rather than or in addition to the Chandrian.
Alf Bishai
215. greyhood
Ryan H@212
I agree in general that not everything must be significant. But there still is a sense from the story who is and who isn't. Puppet will probably not end up being significant to the plot. Same with Devi. Or Fela. Or Deoch. Or the man in the Encanis mask in Tarbean. I don't even like he bald scary security guy in the Maer's court (can't remember his name) being anyone important like Cinder.

But Auri seems to be more than an interesting character.

Ryan H@213
Just because Auri studied under Mandrag doesn't mean she isn't as old as the CW. We don't know what happens when you change your name. But SOMEONE changed their name, and the previously-unamed Auri - who is also a friend/project of Elodin's (the one who freaked out when hearing a girl changed her name) - is a prime candidate.
216. BigVik
@212, 215

Yes and yes. Naturally, green bottle is most likely just a green bottle, but heck "Not tally a lot less" is just a silly ending to a silly song, right?

Problem, or rather the fun of it is that we don't know what details are just details thrown in by a skilful artist to depict the settings better, and which ones are somehow connected. I agree that most of the stuff is just a coincidence, or maybe even homages and cameos (for example the security guy is Dagon -- a name of one of the Cthulhu from Lovecraft's books, and PR put Lovecraft on his top 100 list, heck even Cthaeh sounds like Cthulhu a bit, not many cths in English language), but some of it is for sure red herrings and some of it is legitimate foreshadowing.

That said, SRST is first and foremost a story about Auri, not Kvothe and should be read as such on it's own merits...

...Still, personally, I'm having a lot of fun speculating and reading other people's speculations and ideas. So let's go back to that:

As a biochemist I almost crashed the car laughing after I heard the "to my intoxicating Ester". but I wonder if non-chemists got the joke?
217. QDefenestration
I haven't participated in these discussions before, but I just read through the reread (after Sword and Laser's recent read), and Slow Regard, and I think there's one important thing people haven't picked upon. The Underthing is a Renaissance Era city. Like everywhere else in the present of the 4C. The description the bedroom Auri finds could just as easily fit any inn we've seen Denna stay at.

We expect the Underthing to be either:
A) something very old from earlier in 4C civilization, and thus a medieval or classical place
B) something from before the Creation War, and thus something resembling the kinds of places Felurian describes

A) is clearly not the case, because it's Ren era stuff. B) seems to not be the case, because everything is mundane, not magical, and there appear to be little to no cultural differences between the people that lived there and the people living now.

I mean really, if you are able to Shape super duper fancy apple-glowy trees out of nothing, are you going to be heading down the street to buy your lady love a nice bottle of perfume, with a quaint message scratched onto it (which either is written in modern Aturan, or else Auri can read ancient languages, either of which is significant).

It really seems to me that the Underthing is something weirder and/or more special than we've previously thought. My pet theory right now-- it is tightly connected to the world as a whole in some way. It is ren era tech because the world has gotten up to ren era tech. And Auri mending it is in a way helping to mend the broken world. Maybe that mending explains a lot of what is going on in the world. Why do the Chandrian start making a fuss, striking 3 times at least in a few years, when such strange incidents seem *radically* drawn out other times? Why do a billion crazy random happenstances hapen to Kvothe, directing him on this very specific Chandrian-and-Amyr laden path? Why does everything eventually go wrong? Maybe it's been Auri's work since she's been down there, and maybe, at some point, she's no longer there to take care of the world.

Maybe, after Kvothe has engaged in a bit too much regicide, he takes her up on her offer. And he discovers Black Door. Maybe that leads to him killing an angel like he burned down Trebon.

Some thoughts.
Sahi Rioth
218. Sahirioth
The pipes in The Twelve do rust. It's mentioned when Auri is salvaging the brass gear and scrapes her back on a pipe on her way up.

Also, what's with the copper knives in Boundary?

And BigVik - I learned about esters during high school chemistry classes, so I understood that there was some sort of joke there, but I don't get it. Grateful for an explanation ?
219. Ryan H
@ QDefenestration 217

First, welcome to the party!

I'd be careful about getting too attached to any particular historical analogue. Social and technological progression doesn't work as cleanly as we might think. For example, when the Roman Empire fell there was a massive loss of technology and sophistication. For almost a thousand years after you could have dug up almost any city in Great Britain and found far more sophisticated architecture underneath.

Written languages can also remain readable for very long times, particularly if they get codified or associated with religious texts. Latin would be a good example. But even Shakespeare is still fairly readable despite being 400 years old and from a time before we really started codifying the language.

Does anyone have any references for the age of the university? I'm thinking a few hundred years, but probably not more than 5 or 6?

Finally, we really need a new thread. 219 comments is so many!
Igor Bugaenko
220. BioLogIn
google "ecgonine methyl ester" )

Thanks for the blog!
221. BigVik
I'm a mol. biologist by training, with a lot of biochemistry background, so this will probably sound too nerdy, but I think PR dabbed in chemistry before going with writing. I don't have a book in front of me so I don't know if the bottle said Esther or Ester, but it's a play on words: it's a female name but also a type of organic chemical synthesized by reacting alcohols with organic and/or inorganic acids. It's significance here is that esters are extremely volatile (hence intoxicating) and they form a base of many naturally occuring smells (some pleasant, others not so much) and were used in perfume production since ancient times.

By the way, PR is technically correct when he says that the oily residue Auri squeezed from the nutmeg seeds mixed with ester solution contains tetradecanoic acid (better know as myristic acid, for which nutmeg is one of the main sources). Having this acid in the soap mix will allow for other active substances to be absorbed through the skin (through the process called myristoilation), and esters of this acid are used in cosmetic preparations all over the world today to enhance the absorbance of whatever active substances are included in the prep.

I hope I didn't bore too many people with this, but I really appreciate the level of factual accuracy that PR deploys in his writing.

That brings me (back) to the whole Namer/Shaper controversy. I still think there's some confusion as to what is what. I think in the text these two are sometimes used interchangeably, as if over time Shaping became synonimous with Naming as people forgot the difference. I wrote about it before, so I won't belabor it here, but there's another example in SRST: brazen gear!

Brass is an aloy of copper and zinc. Now, unless the process of making an alloy somehow transforms copper (this would be factually incorrect, but in line with medieval alchemical theory, so maybe my example is dead on that technicality), brazen gear should be immune to Naming powers. However, it clearly isn't as Auri can read it like a book (it's secrets, it's feelings, etc). But, when you think back to the original text, the resistence of copper to naming is always brought up in the context of acting upon copper, aka shaping. It's a good material for a sword to be used against a Namer (Shaper), it's used to prevent Namers (Shapers) to escape inprisonment, etc. All these presume that Namer is attempting to do something to that copper, to which copper is resising. So, I think that copper is really not nameless material, it has a name and it tells a story, but instead it's resistent to Shaping, that's in modern day 4C synonymous with Naming.
thistle pong
222. thistlepong
If that's the case then maybe The Woman would be important for the kingkilling rather than or in addition to the Chandrian.
The whole thing about the Chandrian being outside the Kvothe legends, with the exception of Chronciler's goad, thus far in the frame and the narrative is dead on. But this part here is especially insightful. The woman is what gets Kote talking.

I think there's one important thing people haven't picked upon. The Underthing is a Renaissance Era city.
I wanna second the welcome! I mentioned this in one of the early blogs. Wains in particular has all the trappings of the Italian Renaissance.

Pat's actually said the setting is more like Renaissance Europe than anything else, with several variations.

Ryan H@219
Does anyone have any references for the age of the university? I'm thinking a few hundred years, but probably not more than 5 or 6?
Elodin says it was built on the ruins of an older University. I've maintained for awhile now that it's limited by the end of the Aturan Empire mainly 'cause they wouldn't have put up with a bunch of loose canons mucking about with demonic forces better left alone. So three centuries, give or take a few years.

Big Vik@221
By the way, PR is technically correct when he says that the oily residue Auri squeezed from the nutmeg seeds mixed with ester solution contains tetradecanoic acid (better know as myristic acid, for which nutmeg is one of the main sources). Having this acid in the soap mix will allow for other active substances to be absorbed through the skin (through the process called myristoilation), and esters of this acid are used in cosmetic preparations all over the world today to enhance the absorbance of whatever active substances are included in the prep.
I love this. It was brought up in another discussion and some folks suggested that the stuff she factored out of the nutmeg could be hallucinogenic, accounting for the rather ethereal descriptions that follow. Someone cited an old text on alchemical cosmetics. And someone else dug up tweets Pat posted in January about trying to extract tetradecanoic acid from nutmeg.

Thanks for the explanation.
So, I think that copper is really not nameless material, it has a name and it tells a story, but instead it's resistent to Shaping
So, like, you can name it but you can't change it?

Part VII.iii is up, looking at why Auri goes crazypants after repairing the pipe.
Sahi Rioth
223. Sahirioth
@221, 222

Thanks for the explanation. I got the whole Ester/ester double entendre (picked up on it because I thought the spelling of the name sans H was odd in an English context), but I thought there was some deeper level there. Useful to have someone with insight scouring through the (al)chemical details.

As for nutmeg: you can get high off of it, but it'll land you with the worstest little hangover you even done saw.
224. BigVik

First off, thank you so much for putting up the recap! I think you nailed it by noticing how Auri reacts to any attempts (deliebrate or not) to bring up her past. I want to take your observation one step further and hypothesize that this is also behind her behavior after some of the important pieces of work that she does. In short, doing work that she's familiar with brings back memories of who she is, which leads her to slide into madness.

Here's why I think this: Let's imagine you're a runner and one day you get hit and badly injured by a truck while running. You recover, but forget the accident due to the shock and suppress the memories of ever running as it brings up terrible trauma back to the surface. If anyone asks you about running, or sneakers, or even track events at the Olympics, you freak out, start shaking and leave the room. Soon your friends learn not to ask... But then one day your daughter who just learned how to drive crashes your car in front of the house and you need to go to the store for the medical supplies. You don't think, your muscle memory takes over and you run there and back. Once she's all bandaged up and the initial high wears off, you start shaking uncontrolably as the memories brought on by the muscle memory and what you just did start surfacing...

I think the same is the case with Auri, she obviously used to be a promising alchemist, but actually going to the Boundary is a traumatic event for her and she tries to ignore and forget that the place even exists. Yet when she's forced to put "angry" wax and "screaming" nutmeg in there, she nearly falls apart. The same happens after the tenaculum incident.
225. BigVik

Now a bit more about copper: Yes, I think copper has a name but is difficult, if not impossible to shape. It was made clear throughout PRs books that being nameless is a terrible thing, yet copper is used quite a bit and Auri sees brazen gear as something almost perfect, hardly a nameless thing.

Actually, Auri hints that the gear carries the weight of the world, shapes the world and is "perfect true". Unlike other objects in her life that need constant tending, gear seems out of place due to its perfectness in an imperfect world. What does this mean?

We hear throughout the books about Naming and Shaping, but as I previously posted I think these are somewhat muddled in the "modern" 4C. In general I think there is Naming in the narrow sense (for example what Auri does and what Felurian says the first Namers did), mainly seeing the true nature of the things and behaving toward them as that nature demands (and in the damaged world of 4C it also means non-stop mending).

Then there's Naming in the modern sense, mainly what Elodin and his students do: they see not only the true nature of a thing but also all of its potential and are able to bring that potential out at their leisure. For example the nature of the wind is to blow in all the different ways, but a modern Namer can call upon that nature of the wind to say knock their opponents off their feet through a sudden storm, etc. They are not changing the nature (Name) of the things, but they are able to bring out certain aspects they want. I think that here the differences between materials come to play: wind is a fickle thing with a lot of potential so it "easy" to bend to different purposes, and I think copper is "true" therefore not being bendable by Naming in modern sense of the word. Possibly that's why it's used in a lot of dishes, gears, etc. used by Arcanists as it minimizes the possibility of reactions going awry.

Finally, there's Shaping, which changes the names of things (shiny tree in Murella from which Felurian ate) or people (Haliax) and their nature as well. I'm not sure that we've seen much of it in the books in the present time. Giving names to people and things that lost or forgot theirs doesn't count I think (like Kvothe giving Auri her name), and bending the world to your desire (as Auri calls it) doesn't count either as I believe that's just the modern day Naming. As for copper, I'm not sure how it would fare against Shapers...
226. Goldfrapp
As to Kvothe naming Auri: when he names the wind, it helps him, it serves his purposes, without any conscious effort on his part. The wind catches him on the ledge it stills the blade-like leaves.

Auri prepares a place for him to stay, comes after he has the plum bob, gives candle, key, and coin. She serves his purpose.

He tries to keep her safe: he won't share the Underthing with Devi because he fears for Auri, he threatens to do something stupid to Elodin, he brings her food...

I was reminded of this from NTW: Hope "who knows the inner turnings of your name... Who keeps you safe... And whose purpose do you serve?"

Auri also keeps him safe by putting his blood in clinks.

I'm not sure about this connection but the Namer protects the Namee who serves the Namers purpose. Kvothe and Auri seem to reciprocate. Her purpose may be to be "Small in the world" like Kote
227. Goldfrapp
Also, Kvothes purpose is to open the four plate door. Fela, a namer, dreams Valeritas is a king. Maybe Auri opens the door or otherwise reaches the other side while serving Kvothes purpose. Kvothe then steals her "from sleeping barrow kings."

When Kote asks Aaron to hear his story he offers "stories no one has ever heard before. Stories no one will ever hear again... The truth about princess ARIel."

Like Denna and the moon, there is some reference to royalty near every scene with Auri in NTW and WMF.
thistle pong
228. thistlepong
As for nutmeg: you can get high off of it, but it'll land you with the worstest little hangover you even done saw.
I'll keep that in mind. Maybe there's a shift from euphoria to delirium to discomfort before she evens out.

Big Vik@
In short, doing work that she's familiar with brings back memories of who she is, which leads her to slide into madness.
That's kind of what I was going for. Once she's done with the repair, she's on the run. Thanks for fleshing it out.

I haven't had the chance to link it until now, but Part VII.i went up. it's one of two on BEAUTIFUL AND BROKEN, dealing with the ring elements and some callbacks to the the KKC.
thistle pong
229. thistlepong
I can't remember if anyone ever mentioned the following. It feels like something I just stumbled on and I'm not sure if it's meaningful or not. This first bit's from The Name of the Wind when Kvothe's trying to come up with a nickname for Denna's patron.
“Fine,” I said, as I fished the leaf out of my mouth. It was yellow, shaped like a spearhead. “The wind has decided for us. Master Ash.”
“Are you sure it isn’t Master Elm?” she asked, eyeing the leaf. “It’s a common mistake.”“Tastes like an ash,” I said. “Besides, elm is feminine.”
She nodded seriously, though her eyes were dancing. “Ash it is then.”
And the second is from Felurian's admonishment to Kvothe that the Fae have indeed visited the four corners fairly often and he's heard plenty of stories about them.
“many of the darker sort would love to use you for their sport. what keeps these from moonlit trespass? iron, fire, mirror-glass. elm and ash and copper knives, solid-hearted farmer’s wives who know the rules of games we play and give us bread to keep away. but worst of all, my people dread the portion of our power we shed when we set foot on mortal earth.”
Anyway. Both ash and elm end up pointing toward and way from the fae. Does this have any bearing on folks' opinions about who Ash is?

In other news Part XII.ii and Part IX.i of Reading The Slow Regard of Silent Things are up.
Kate Hunter
230. KateH
Okay, I've been absent a good long while, but just picked up the books again after reading SRST. Various things are striking me on my first re-read in over a year (though probably 9th re-read overall).

But here's one thing a google search suggests has never been put forward on these discussion threads. In Hespe's story of Jax I see a reference to Diogenes and Alexander the great. The old man/hermit in the cave (Teccam-ish, it's been suggested) tells Jax not to unfold his folded house just outside his cave where it would block "my sunlight." (WMF 591.) Diogenes is frequently portrayed as living in a barrel lying on its side, a rather cave-like dwelling.

I'm not sure how far to run with the analogies here. Teccam/hermit/wise Greek Philospher and Iax/Jax/Alexander/conquerer of much of the known world. But the encounter between Diogenes and Alexander, if real, would have taken place before Alexander went on to make most of his military conquests.

For those who have no clue what I'm talking about:

Kate Hunter
231. KateH
Re: the elm/ash thing and the quote above @229. The spearhead shape of the leaf jumps out at me when associated with ash. Ash is exactly the wood used in ancient cultures for spear shafts. It's used for baseball bats in modern times for the same reason - ash wood absorbs sharp impacts very well without breaking.

Rothfuss seems to be telling the careful reader here that K & D aren't speaking to one another in English. Elm is not feminine in English because nouns have no gender in our language. But the shape of a leaf and the properties of a given type of wood are not dependent on the words for them in any language. Is Rothfuss pointing to something here, or not? Does D's patron have something to do with a spear? Or are we over-analyzing?
thistle pong
232. thistlepong
But the shape of a leaf and the properties of a given type of wood are not dependent on the words for them in any language. Is Rothfuss pointing to something here, or not? Does D's patron have something to do with a spear? Or are we over-analyzing?
That's kind of what we do. Sometimes it pans out. Sometimes it doesn't. Other than the ah/elm scene, "spear" is shockingly infrequent.
The draccus reared again, coming down hard on the tree. I watched, certain that it was about to impale itself on the broken limb, but the jagged spear of hard wood barely dimpled its chest before splintering. The draccus crashed into the trunk, and though it didn’t snap, it fractured with a sound like a crack of lightning. (NW 617)
Manet glared at me while he gathered in the cards. “Here’s a primer for admissions.” He held up his hand, three fingers spearing angrily into the air. “Let’s say you have three spades in your hand, and there have been five spades laid down.” (WMF 59)
Pretty much confirms that Manet is her patron.

Part IX.ii is up. Both parts of IX have drawings Nate did for the book that didn't make it into the published version.
John Graham
233. JohnPoint
Re spear-shaped leaves:

I think that Pat is being literal here, not trying to hint anything. Botanically speaking, the shape of ash leaflets is "lanceolate" which literally means "spear shaped." Thus. I think that he's just anglicizing the latin term for us.

Also, ash and elm are both feminine in latin -- Fraxinus being the genus for ash, Ulmus the genus for elm. Both take feminine specific epithets (e.g., F. nigra and U. americana).
234. jjsaul
Have there been any detailed discussions of Devi's reason's for wanting access to the Archives here? I think I've gone through all the reread threads, but didn't do them in order, so may have missed one.

If not, I'm surprised that there hasn't been more speculation that she could have a similar motive to Kvothe's... she's more a parallel to him than any other character in the story (even down to red hair and superior skill in Sympathy), but most of all in obsessive need to get into the archives.

It could be general lust for knowledge, but I suspect a more specific focus that matches Kvothe's... to further a goal involving the information that has been redacted nearly everywhere else.
Kate Hunter
235. KateH
@jjsaul re:Devi

Interesting speculation. Mola (I believe it's Mola, or else Fela) also says that it's a shame for K & Devi to be at odds since they're a lot alike. This is just before the assault on Ambrose's rooms.

I've outlined elsewhere my theory that by the end of WMF Devi has brokered a deal with Ambrose for access to the Archives (whether she knows it's Ambrose or is dealing with a proxy of his). And her end of the deal was information on K and what he left as collateral for the loan that funded his trip to the Maer's court, viz: D's ring, thus K's connection to D. We'll see what she does with that access early in DOS, I'm guessing. It could be very specific information. Could be something she put there and wants to retrieve. Or she could just want to further her education. There's been no hint that she's more interested than anyone else in the 4-plate door. On the other hand, would she have let that slip if she were especially interested?
236. jjsaul
Having read these threads in one long binge, I may be mixing your comments with someone else, but was it also you who pointed out that Devi lives above a butcher, and always seems to have incense and other scents going in her office? While I don't yet buy the idea that she's a hidden Chandrian, it is interesting that she stays in that location, even lives there. The "my customers need to find me" excuse seems insufficient.

Because I like her character I hope she's on Kvothe's side at the end (and that both are on the "right" side) but she's definitely guided by an overpowering motivation that could cause harm to others if she saw a clear shot at getting into the archive.

Rereading the books after Slow Regard, I've been looking at Kote's narrative from different angles, assuming that he's weaving it toward certain ends (coaxing the Chandrian into a trap at the Waystone.) Since the perspectives of Auri and Bast in their stories are different, if still unreliable, I thought there might be common elements that would jump out. Because of that, I'd love to get one from Devi's point of view.
237. BigVik
I think you may be right, but we'll never know and I don't think it bears any particular significance for the story development. I think I found other such "cameos" and I mentioned them in this and/or other threads over the years. One that keeps coming to mind is Cthaeh and Cthulhu similarity in both the incredible un-English spelling and dormant alien malevolence capable of coroding the minds of the ones who listen to their call; plus a cameo by one of the Deep Ones: Father Dagon in the character of a particularly unpleasant commander of the guard... As Rothfuss lists Lovecraft among one of his favorite authors and considers KKC to have a lot to do with dead deities and religions, I think it's safe to say these things I just listed are not coincidences. That said, I don't think this will have anything to do with the narative or help us predict anything that will happen in the next book.
238. BigVik
Some of the comments here, combined with SRST and umpteenth rereading lead me to this proposition:

Temerant is a broken world with Chandrian trying to finish it off and Amyr trying to patch it up. It all makes sense to me now. Someone mentioned here the possibility that Auri is a true Amyr in that she's trying to mend the world (For greater good). I went back to Skarpi's story, and voila! it's all there: Haliax and Selitos fully agreed that the world was broken, their disagreement came in later in the approach on how to proceed with it. Haliax wants to destroy it, like helping an old friend with a mortal wound, saw salt lest the bitter weeds grow, etc. Selitos on the other side still sees good in it and even hopes Haliax would see it as well. In his binding of Haliax to his new form (and afterwards in front of Aleph), Selitos specifically says that he will work to thwart the efforts of Haliax and his followers. What that tells me is that Amyr do the exact opposite from Chandrian.
So if Chandrians' purpose is to undo the world, Amyr are there to keep fixing it. This is also another basic difference between the Angels/Singers and Amyr, with the former acting in the present as to prevent bad things and punish bad deeds (like flying in AFTER Chandrian attack on Kvothe's caravan or at the bandit encampment) now, whereas Amyr take a long game approach in fixing what was broken before as well as trying to thwart any and all actions by pre-empting them not intervening once they happen.

I think this also explains why so many talented students end up in the Haven. Elodin says that all current forms of art once were part in parcel with naming, which is obviously a way to see the real turning of the world. We see this with Auri first hand, as she's obviously a talented alchemist but found out that that 1/10th of 1/10th of alchemy was seeing the truth of things (aka. naming) and she even uses it at one point to make Kvothe's candle. So then it goes without saying that talented students sooner or later (like Auri) glimpse at the true nature of the world and this is where cracking hapens. Why? Probably because the world is cracked itself. Auri says as much herself, not just that she's all unkilter but that the world itself is not right and needs constant mending.
This makes sense, in the old days great namers, shapers, etc. didn't lose their minds, but now that the world is broken a glimpse at its true shape by an open, unprepared and vulnerable mind probably leaves such a person in a state of temporary or permanent insanity. This would also explain why Haliax is so hell bent on destroying it: can you imagine if you truly saw this broken world all the time without being able to die, go mad or even sleep part through it? It also makes me wonder at the mental state of the Amyr, and judging my Auri and stories of Duke of Gibea, etc. it doesn't sound too good either.
239. Broken Derek
Wow, BigVik! I have been lurking on this site since its inception. I knew someone much more insightful than me would put all of the pieces into a theory that makes sense and incorporates all of the major story issues. Well done sir, I believe you've nailed it. We won't know for sure until book 3 (and even then, not for sure), but I 'feel' like you've 'done it'.
Steven Halter
240. stevenhalter
BigVik@238:That seems pretty close to what was going on. It seems like the group led by Iax/Jax who we generally call the Shapers were the ones who "broke" the world by doing things like changing the "natural" position of the moon.
The Haliax/Selitos disagreement is then one on what to do about the brokenness. Then, as time goes on, some groups lose track of what exactly is broken.
The brokenness causing madness through seeing the underlying broken nature is very interesting, but I'll just note that we don't actually know that people didn't go mad from Naming in the Creation War days. Maybe they didn't, maybe they did and we aren't seeing records. It could also be that they had methods of teaching that were less prone to causing madness.
Kate Hunter
241. KateH
BigVik@238 I also think this is a very interesting theory about Temerant. I don't think I can argue with anything you say. And I agree with stevenhalter that we're left with a question as to which group is really in the right - the ones trying to finish off a broken world, or the ones trying to patch things up? We don't know what would come after the destruction of a broken world, so who can really say which group is working for the ultimate greater good? These questions we're left with are just what Rothfuss is aiming for, I'm sure.

Also, if perceiving the brokenness of the world is to risk madness, then how much greater was that risk for Lanre, who presumably saw not just the brokenness, but the breaking? And yet, Shehyn's story specifically says that Alaxel is sane. If the escape hatches of sleep, insanity, and death are all unavailable to him, how great is his suffering?
Kate Hunter
242. KateH
I found a Lesbian kyma in SRoST. I had to double check to make sure. It's there; and it's not by chance. It's just possible that it made its way into the book without intention of deeper meaning, but...I'm sure we all would be skeptical of that idea.

But there are so many wildly different meanings it might possibly hold that I hardly know where to start. In case any of you don't know what I'm talking about, I'll leave it to you to investigate and discover for yourselves. Should be a fun bit of sleuthing. If you're stumped or would rather have an explanation, PM me.
jum bles
243. jumbles
BigVik@238 and stevenhalter@240 Re: Broken world and cracked namers

I agree that it looks like Iax may have "broken" the world when he stole the moon. It also looks like the moon is related in some way to the cracking namers experience. The words "lunacy" and "lunatic" are related to the moon, and we've already seen that Pat will give in-world etymologies for words (see: vintage and Vintas). Also look at this exchange between Elodin and a Haven employee:

"They're too wild today, sir. We think there's a storm coming in. The moon's getting full, too. You know how it gets."
"Sure do." (NotWc46)

The employee says the inmates are worse during a full moon, and Elodin seems to agree.

It could be the moon itself causing the lunacy, but if seeing the brokenness of the world is the cause of the insanity, and the stealing of the moon was what broke the world, then why would a full moon cause the insanity to get worse when the moon is where it should be in an unbroken world? Perhaps Felurian can shed some light on this:

"and when your moon is waxing full, all of faerie feels the pull. she draws us close to you, so bright. and now a visit for a night is easier than walking through a door or stepping off a ship that's near the shore." (WMFc102)

So maybe it's the closeness of the Fae realm that causes the insanity. But then, the Fae realm isn't what's broken with Temerant, is it?

But then Elodin, despite apparently agreeing that a full moon makes the crazy even crazier, says something else entirely causes the students to crack:

"Why does a University with under fifteen hundred students need an asylum the size of the royal palace?"
My mind raced. "Most students are from well-to-do families," I said. "They've led easy lives. When forced to . . ."
"Wrong," Elodin said dismissively, turning to walk down the hall. "It is because of what we study. Because of the way we train our minds to move."
"So ciphering and grammar make people crazy," I said, taking care to phrase it as a statement.
"Trigonometry and diagrammed logic don't do this," Elodin said, looking me in the eye. (NotWc46)

So in conclusion I don't know.

On another topic, for a series with such a strong theme of properly using power and understanding it, it's rather conspicuous when Elodin is never shown to try to teach, or even mention, the ethics of naming. He obviously cares about his students and fellow namers, as evidenced by his actions at Haven and his reaction to thinking a student had changed their Name. Other than that, knowing what naming should and shouldn't be used for seems to be less important than being able to name. Though I suppose any lesson like that may have been held for book 3 since it could give away a lot of information about shaping.
Kate Hunter
244. KateH
@Jumbles #243

I think you're right to ask why there's so little discussion of ethics around naming/shaping. I've discussed this elsewhere on these threads, but basically my take: the Lethani is the critical thing that was introduced in WMF. DoS will hinge (har har) on ethical use of power. Themes found in SRoST make me even more sure of this.

As for Elodin's panic around someone changing their name, I think it might be a mistake to interpret that as concern for the individual student. Elodin is certainly not a bad guy, but he's a very far cry from a mother hen. I think in that moment he was more concerned about the implications for the world than for the person changing their name.
245. jjsaul
The lack of discussion of ethics in Naming could be an artifact of the unreliable narrator in Kote's telling of Kvothe's tale... he might leave it out, just as he left out a detailed discussion of the malfeasance inssues surrounding his actions when "storming" the bandit camp, until it comes back around to bite him in day 3.
thistle pong
246. thistlepong

Haliax and Selitos fully agreed that the world was broken, their disagreement came in later in the approach on how to proceed with it. Haliax wants to destroy it...

I'll start by saying that I think, like most folks who've weighed in, that the nature of the oppositional structure you posit is more or less correct. I'm just not sure we can say definitively that the Seven are on the side of annihilation.

I'm always leary of that interpretation since it's utterd by Selitos in a pro-Selitos story. A lot of what Lanre/Haliax says in that narrative might suggest he ways to destroy the world but they;re really talking about Myr Tariniel. Stripped of Selitos's summary, Lanre's commentary might be more about its inhabitants than Temerant writ large.

Even in "Tehlu's Watchful Eye," the Amyr's only remit is to counfound the Chandrian. That's the greater good. They're not about any more significant motive without our, or Tehlin Aturan dogma, placing it there.

stevenhalter@240 (& jumbles@243)
It seems like the group led by Iax/Jax who we generally call the Shapers were the ones who "broke" the world by doing things like changing the "natural" position of the moon.
"The Boy Who Loved the Moon" opens with Jax in a broken house at the end of a broken road. At the very least, doesn't this suggest the possibility of a world already "broken" long before the creation of Faen and the theft of the moon? While we don't have the full story from either Hespe or Felurian or both together, it might be worth considering that detail .

@Jumbles and KateH

Other than that, knowing what naming should and shouldn't be used for seems to be less important than being able to name.


I think in that moment was more concerned about the implications for the world than for the person changing their name.

I think both of these are on the nose. The Naming Elodin's teaching is amoral. It's power they can have and have over things. Elodin's only charge is guiding those with demonstrated ability to some degree of control. The only ethics are in not deploying the power by accident.

And I think that KateH is probably right about his concern for the world. We suspect that Lanre is the only being to have changed his own name and that appears to have had some negative consequences.

The TSRoST read continues. Parts X (HOLLOW) and XI (THE ANGRY DARK) are done. KateH went into more detail about the plate pattern in the comments.
Steven Halter
247. stevenhalter
thistlepong@246:That's a good point to bring up--Iax's original broken house. It could point to Temerant having been broken for a long time or, that the house world where Iax originally was from* was broken and he took his tendency towards moving against the rightfulness of the world along with him.
*(There being many of these connected worlds has long been a theory of mine here.)
jum bles
248. jumbles

The broken house/road could be related to the broken world. Here's something else to consider:

Shehyn spoke with great formality. "Once there was a great realm peopled by great people. They were not Ademre. They were what Ademre was before we became ourselves.... These people had a great empire. The name of the empire is forgotten. It is not important as the empire has fallen, and since that time the land has broken and the sky changed. In the empire there were seven cities and one city. The names of the seven cities are forgotten, for they are fallen to treachery and destroyed by time. The one city was destroyed as well, but its name remains. It was called Tariniel" (WMFc128).

This suggests the world broke after the time of the empire. It also states that the land broke, which I wouldn't think would involve the moon unless people are right that it was made from the Reft. But then since the sky changing is mentioned separately, the moon may not have caused the breaking. And of course breaking the land may or may not be the same thing as breaking the world.

Also, I suppose it's possible for the world to have broken many times. Maybe it gets broken, then fixed, then broken again. Or it just keeps breaking worse and worse. Either of those scenarios would allow it to break before and after the empire.

ETA: I'll add that I also share thistlepong's doubts about the Chandrian wanting to destroy the world.
Patrick Stultz
249. Audion
RE: Ethics

I agree that there doesn't seem to be a class on ethics at the school, but lets not forget that the majority of the rules for the Arcanium involve misuse of those very powers. I think most of the ethics come in the form of "if you do this we'll kick you out or make you miserable with higher tuition".

Kvothe almost got Ambrose suspended with the threat to the teachers of giving the gilder to idiots and what that would do. One of Kilvins serious misgivings about Kvothe, and probably why He wasn't the one to raise him to Re'lar, was the questions he had about his integrity (i.e. suspected of selling charms to farmers daughters).

You don't always have to have Morality 101 in order to get your point across to your students.
jum bles
250. jumbles

I do think the University in general is very concerned with the ethics. My point was that Elodin in particular doesn't seem to place much importance in the ethical use of what he's teaching. He also hasn't even gone over the safe use of naming.

And in regards to
You don't always have to have Morality 101 in order to get your point across to your students.
I think in Kvothe's case maybe you do. Combine Elodin's possible negligence with Kvothe's questionable moral compass or just plain recklessness and bad things can happen.
Patrick Stultz
251. Audion

Agreed on the questionable nature of Elodin's teaching. But, he also didn't want Kvothe to take his class. He let Kvothe jump off a roof to prove the point of how reckless he was.
It wasn't until he saw the use of his powers to help/name Auri that he decided it might not be a waste of his time. Now, that could mean that Kvothe might learn something.. OR it might mean that he recognized a powerfull namer and wanted to keep him under thumb so to speak.

Either way, the school could probably do well to have an actual class in morality with the powers they are stirring in their pupils.
252. Ryan H
I think the university is very concerned with things that would gather a poor reputation for the university in general and the Arcanum in particular. In the "they might burn us all as witches" sense of bad reputation.

This is a world where nobility and privilige are still very much in force. At home Ambrose could have Kvothe flogged in the streets and no one would care. "Ethics" means something very different.
thistle pong
253. thistlepong

I'd thought about Shehyn, but figured it might still be worth mentioning the beginning of Hespe's story. There's really nothing stopping the story from fitting somewhat properly within what the Adem remember or believe. We know there was a period of time when Shapers within the empire explored the limits of what was possible. Silver fruit and whatnot.

So imagine, I guess, the story of Jax starting there. The world is already full or bent names before Faen is created and long before the moon is stolen. I'm not asserting unequivocally that's what happened, but I don't think they're incommensurate,

Part XII is up, or has begin anyway.

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