I must be hard for Pat, waiting all of this time for someone to finally come along and solve his fiendish puzzle. He’s placed all of his clues ‘just so’ to create the perfect puzzle, and yet nobody has managed to find them all or put them all together, which means that either we are all too thick, or that he has erred and made his clues simply too difficult for anyone to solve. If he ever decides to finally put us all out of our misery with an answer to something important and goes on to explain, for instance, exactly how and why Felurian was actually the eight chandrian all along! Everyone would believe it. At this point everyone would say ‘oh yeah, right, that’s really clever, it all fits, that’s really obvious… with hindsight, I can see how you did it now that you point it out.’ all the while kicking thems-elves for not spotting it themselves. However, If I were to attempt to explain the exact same answer using the self same clues in my own, unofficial, hypothesis, you would most likely just ignore it as the reddit ramblings of just another conspiracy lunatic or perhaps go as far as to try to find fault with it and when that fails you would reach the conclusion that is simply too just many unlikely links needing to come together in the great chain of events for it all to work like that in real life. But this is not real life, this is fantasy fiction and Pat doesn’t waste ink.
If it is written down, then it is written down for a specific reason. It might just be one single word, or even an interpretation of a single word, but sometimes that is what it takes. Of course, if it was easy to do this then some clever lettuce would surely have done so by now, their’s would be the laurels and it would be their homework that you are reading. But Pat is an evil genius and so it was never going to be that easy. Even if we did mamage to find all of his little clues then we would still need to stitch them all together into whole cloth, a bit like sewing a shaed together made entirely out of nothing but pockets. However like it or not, these are the only links we have been given to work with and as far as I can discern there is only one possible way in which they can all be joined together into anything like a credible story knot… and it has only one conclusion.
With Seven cities falling, we can assume (for the sake of fiction) that the surviving Ruach members were equally split in their city of origin. It should also be noted that the city which was saved will make up the clear majority of ruach since they lost no-one to the fighting. We know from the Adem that each of the individual chandrian betrayed one city each and so, without dwelling on this logic too much, it might very well be the case that in order for Aleph’s plan to work a physical link to each of them might be a requirement rather than an affectation, meaning that this pattern is going to be the case for all of the other groups that were formed to oppose them in the aftermath of fall of the Ergen Empire.
This line of thinking would mean that the Amyr would also have one representative from each city in their ranks which would also give us an equivalent of Eight Amyr to match the total number of cities and Chandrian both. The Eight oath’s of Atreyon might mean something specific that relies upon the number as well as the oath. The total number of angels we can count for ourselves and at Eight angels (ignoring Tehlu as being the a special case*) it does indeed tally with the Seven chandrian in that each would have had historical roots to one specific city. The obvious objection about 8 not being 7 here is easily explained away because the chandrain are well known to be one person short from having a full complement due to them missing out on a representative from the city which was ultimately saved, whilst the Angels and the Amyr (and the Sithe!) would have no such numerical disadvantage when it came to picking their sides. I like to think this idea would appeal to Pat as it nicely mirrors Elrond setting the nine walkers to match the nine black riders in LOTR.
Clue#1 ~ Ordal’s Ordeals
Without it being explicitly stated (which would spoil Pat’s game by making things too easy) it does appear to be quite a solid argument to suggest that all of the Ruach were themselves all survivors of the fall of Ergen. Those ruach who chose to follow Selitos all remembered the burning of Myr T and those who chose to follow Tehlu do appear to have had similar experiences.
Skarpi gives us a few brief lines about each of these ruach who stepped forwards to become angels in much the same way as the Adem recorded each sword bearer in Caesura’s atas. Of course on the Adem list the owners had all died, usually in nasty ways, making it read more like a very long winded obituary whilst all of those Ruach that we hear about were, against all odds, still alive for Skarpi to tell us of their life changing tales. Eight of them are featured in Skarpi’s angelic pen portraits and he paints a picture of them all as stubborn survivors and refugees who had just emerged from a great ordeal of death and destruction. All except for Ordal that is.
‘Ordal, the youngest of them all who had never seen a thing die, stood bravely before Aleph, her golden hair bright with ribbon.
This is not a description of someone who has just lived through an invasion, this is a tale of youth and innocence showing bravery above her years. The fact that we are specifically told that she had never seen a thing die can only mean that Ordal could not have born witness to any of the recent destruction that has just visited the rest of Ergen. This means, as closely as Pat will admit, that the city of which Ordal hailed from must then have been the one city which did Not fall and therefore had no deaths for her to witness in the first place.
Thats it really, that’s all he wrote. There is nothing more to add except that Denna, who knows an awful lot more than she lets on, gets in on the holy fan-girl appreciation act when she exclaims ‘sweet angel Ordal above’ in delight just as the Denner resin starts to kick in, but that’s all future happenings and this is a history knot.
Clue#2 ~ Andan other thing
With this first clue as our starting point means that sorting out which of the remaining angels might be paired with which city now becomes pretty immaterial since by default they were all among those which fell, however the last name on the list provides the next clue in our tricky triangle…
‘…And beside her came Andan whose face was a mask with burning eyes whose name meant anger.’
Andan certainly seems to have seen his fair share of woes but that is not the key observation to make here. It isn’t obvious unless you are looking for it but Pat writes it down in black and white for all to see and then ignore. ‘Beside’ her means exactly that and nothing else, Ordal and Andan both stood together before Aleph, side by side. Now according to Skarpi’s list, Tehlu was the greatest of them all and so it is to be expected that he came forward, first and foremost as the leader and orchestrator and after that his followers… followed, in one to eight format, just like Skarpi tells us. But despite being the last name on the list Andan was not spoken of, as might be expected as being ‘the last to come forwards…’ or ‘finally came…’ or perhaps even ‘the Eight among them was…’ but instead he was quite deliberately placed in a position which elevates him up from that ultimate 8th position to a universally recognized joint 7th place instead. Meaning that nobody came plum last, not in this game.
That Skarpi even mentions the words ‘beside her’ at all suggests to everyone reading between the lines that Pat wanted us to imagine them stepping forwards together before Aleph as one, equal before his eyes, and in doing so he is deliberately showing us that there was no order of prescedence in placing either one of them above the other, regardless of age or sex. In the eyes of the world they are marked as equal for a specific reason, as if he was telling us that they are always meant to be though of as a pair. Pat, like Trip, has just thrown us a pair of lucky 7’s.
‘Praise Tehlu and all his angels’ is a line from Ambrose which implies that as far as Temerant is concerned, other angels are indeed accepted as available, but it must be noted that these two particular angels are the only names from Skarpi’s list which ever crop up in our books again. The Aturan church doesn’t hold at all with Skarpi’s heretical tale of the holy angels being the last survivors from some other empire which preceded their’s, and yet as far as their names go, this pair of self-same angels are definitely acknowledged since they appear written in their own version of the beginnings of all things religous. These two names in particular are shown to us as being written in the ‘The Book of the Path’, a page of which nina stole to draw he image of the mauthern pot upon. She took great care never to erase Tehlu’s name, or that of any of the other angels, and the convenient proof of this is that Pat draws our attention to the fact that the names Andan and Ordal are found written next to each other, one on each of the Amyr’s shoulders which tells us about their physical proximity to each on the written page meaning that even in the eyes of the Aturan Church their names are expected to be found together, although it is also worth noting that in this instance, the boy’s name comes before the girl’s!
Vintish Marten, who clearly knows this holy Aturan book quite well also prefer’s to copy the books lead and names Ordal before Andan when he was praying for divine intervention to guide his arrow at the bandits camp. We hear him praying to every holy name that he knows and of all the angels to choose from, Pat uses this opportunity to make another point that these exact same two, once again, should again be seen together, quite specifically to make them the most famous and popular pair of angels in all of Temerant and the end result is that they are being shown as a pair for a reason.
The unknown yet deliberate relationship which Pat is emphasizing here might suggest many ways to connect them, husband and wife might be an answer although given Ordal’s young age the idea of them being a married couple is highly unlikely. A more plausible line of thinking is that they might well have been siblings, where a (slightly) younger sister and her (slightly) elder brother are being shown to still have a bond to share together whatever happens. Where one goes, they both go, meaning that they have a special link between them. They might even be twins…
When building the Empire of Ergen Pat decided that, for reasons of his own, having a pair of twin cities on the long lost lists of ancient Ergen was going to be part of his story. I have already written much about this anomaly in A Tale of Twin Cities and I’m sure that you can all see where this one is now heading. These two ‘twinned’ angel clues for Ordal and Andan are now almost certainly going to match up with the twin level of thinking behind Murella and Murilla. How exactly one goes about proving that IDK but the same statement also applies to disproving it. It’s on the table now and I am submitting a theory that can only be taken down, not lifted up.
The fact is that Pat gave us these last few small and obscure clues for a specific reason, to get us to this point where any further proof working becomes a job for Anisat and his bean counters. This is the correct answer given in a confirmed triangle because no other answers about any other suspects exist, and Pat doesn’t waste ink. I’ll leave you to argue about the philosopy of that in your spare time but this answer is where my Jot is being wagered. Andan and Ordal’s relationship mirrors that of the Twin cities. One came from Murilla and one came from Murella. One came from a city which fell, and the other did not.
If we were allowed to consider using the French language as a key then it would be simple to work out which city went with the boy and which with the girl… but we can’t use French in Temerant, alas, perhaps, it’s simply not allowed. But we can suggest one further line of enquiry before we give up and guess which is really which. Felurian was also a resident of Murella, one of the twin-cities and she too survived the fall of Ergen which really ought to make her a ruach in her own right and therefore place her in the same room at the time, alongside Aleph and the Amyr and the Angels. That she is now a major feature of the faen realm opens up a whole new bag of difficult questions, such as how did she end up there? Did all of the other ruach go there too? Did her city stand or fall? And Did she once have her own twin who met an opposite fate?
Pat’s giving us this small but important link between Felurian and Murella is another example of him not wasting ink whilst at the same time focussing our attenttion on the correct answer. If the clue exists, it should be solvable. The small steps that have led us here indicate that Felurian now has a 50% chance of coming from the city that was saved. That she is an important and powerful being to whom many chapters have been devoted only adds to the chances she is a winner and not a loser in life. Sex is also important since, like Ordal, she is female and the thin line that divides our twins also takes this difference into consideration.
Now, Felurian has power, most specifically a power over men, all of whom are universally helpless before her desire. This would mave made things rather awkward for any man found in Murella, be they the local residents or the unwanted invaders who might have wished to make Felurian the second woman to know the unwanted touch of man after fair Geisa met with this fate in the fall of Belen. Assuming that Felurian has always had this innate power over men would suggest the need for a rather neat and tidy solution to this problem of co-habitation within Ergen society, a solution that still exists in the University to this day. They kept the girls seperated from the boys by dint of building a wall between them, A wall which Felurian could happily sit upon eating fruit perhaps. If we are talking about a city divided like a Vintish penny is then the MurElla half was a city made up solely of women, and likewise the MurIlla half would have been the city of men, and so between them they would make up one whole city whilst at the same time still being essentially twin cities . Ordal was a girl, and Ordal’s city survived, QED so did Felurian’s. Which means that, using this logic, it would be the male half city of MurIlla which fell, whilst Felurian’s city of Murella was the one that did remember the Lethani and in doing so, saved Ergen.