The Great Stone Road
This road is the elephant in the room. It dominates the map yet is rarely spoken of.
It is straight as a nail, flat as a table and older than God.
It runs from Imre to the Stormwal mountains, never deviating from it’s course. It doesn’t appear to actually go anywhere, the towns it does get close to were built because of it, not the other way around. It’s builders were even mindless of all the trees in the Eld, perhaps it was there before them. Our Earliest mention of it is in Hespe’s tale The Broken Road. Jax follows it to Tinuë, where we are told all roads lead, before travelling onwards into the mountains in search of the moon. At face value this tells us that it was there before the creation war and thus predates Lanre and the Blak of Drossen Tor, which is coincidentally very nearly an anagram. The Free City of Tinuë is Not on the road itself, however this can be altered to fit by putting the name to the ancient area of land around the roads end as Tinuë proper and the free city being one small part of the whole, like saying that the capital of Mexico is Mexico City, but you dont have to be in Mexico City to be in Mexico. Tinuë also used to be part of the Lackless estates, which were a full earldom at the time until the bloodless rebellion, a very interesting term indeed as it also Pat’s original name for the series, Kvothe the Bloodless and to Master Namer Elodin’s choice of name for the arrowcatch.
So the road runs from Tinuë to Imre, but Imre is a modern city which has grown around the useful roads end purely because of it’s usefulness. The real end of the road is some two miles west of town after the road spans the Omethi river as it approaches its final destination. Also of note is a random standing stone which we are told marks Old roads which sort of dates it as older than they.
The Omethi bridge, called Stonebridge by the locals, is our only glimpse of the road itself. It is described as ‘Ancient, mammoth and part of the landscape with not a soul wondering who built it or why.’ …until I came along that is, although we are later informed that it has more stories and legends surrounding it than any other University landmark, such as the term ‘spit for luck’. Wide enough for two wagons to pass and sporting a waist high parapet Stonebridge is part of the Stone Road and crosses the canyon for two hundred feet clearing the river five stories below until, with the last natural obstacle now behind it, it reaches its true terminus at the University itself.
The Aturan Empire expanded around it, they even renamed it the Great Imperial Road for a while but they didn’t build it. There can be little doubt that its construction was by a highly skilled civilization and it’s very stones have withstood the ravages of time with remarkable ease, the endless trees of the Eld bearing witness to this fact. Only by employing a power at least as great as the Name of Stone would be acceptable for contemplating it’s construction since the bridge still stands and the stone has refused to crack, crumble or collapse even after all this time. It is quite obviously a road built by a race of master builders whom history has long since forgotten, such as the Ergen Empire who’s inhabitants built their wonderous cities over five thousand years before.
The Archives is the centre of the University, it’s oldest part which itself stands upon the ruins of a former university telling us it too was at the roads terminus and therefore marks a previous connection. The courtyard where Kvothe received his whipping at the pennant pole is called the Quoyan Hayal, or House of Wind and still remains where it always has, outside the Archives only door, above which are carved the words of old in their forgotten language Vorfelan Rhinata Morie. Apart from housing books, the archives is the location of our greatest mystery, that of the four-plate door. Expert craftsmanship has again been employed in its design, seamlessly built from a single piece of stone in a frame, you can run your hand across it’s face and barely feel it’s outline. Neither hinge nor handle mars it’s face, it’s only ornament are the four copper plates with their mysterious holes flush against it’s face and the unknown word Valaritas. Like the unerring road, it too could have been engineered using the name of stone. It is a door which holds secrets that are not for others to know and whilst it calls strongly to Kvothe,and indeed to Elodin, like no other secret does this is a door for staying shut.
So what might lie at the far end of this enigmatic road? We haven’t seen it yet but we do hear from historians that the lands around Tinuë were once controlled by the Lackless family meaning that they, historically, have always controlled their end of the road. It is another private and secret place and we have the historian Caudicus’ self investigatory rumour that…
‘In the oldest parts of the Lackless lands, in the oldest part of their ancestral estate,there is a secret door. A door without a handle or hinges. There is no way of opening it. It is locked but at the same time lockless.’
It should also be noted that the type of key Meluan used to unwrap the Loeclos box is of a shape and design that would fit the four holes in the four plate door, Kote uses a similar locking system for the thrice locked chest of Kvothe the Bloodless. This is not concrete evidence, but we don’t believe in coincidence here and so it might as well be carved in stone for all to see that here is a link. We have a huge stone road made for unknown purpose, most probably created by using the name of stone. At each end of the road are mysteriously individual yet uncannily identical sounding individual locked doors, standing like a pair of bookends which, together, make up the working title for book III.
The Doors of Stone.