Far be it from me to question Trapis own faith in his story, but if there is one thing that we are repeatedly told by reputable sources it is that demons don’t exist. Sheyehn tells kvothe this quite catagorically and furthermore she adds that the Tehlin priesthood tell stories of demons to frighten folk. Coming from the head of a culture with over 5000 years of history to draw upon that should be seen as pretty definitive proof. Kvothe tells Chronicler the same thing, as does Bast who adds that…
‘You are an educated man. You know that there are no such things as demons. There is only my kind’
But this is patently not the full answer since he forgot to add the line ‘and your kind’ which goes without saying, of course. If we are being technical about reading things that aren’t actually said and we are looking for a loophole in Pats clever words, then we are looking to find some common ground between our disparate reports for an answer that satisfies a situation where demons can both exist and not exist at the same time. Shröedinger’s demon. If we begun by trying to prove Shehyn’s statement as true then we would immediately be challenged by Uresh who would tell us that ‘you can’t prove non-existence. Faulty logic.’ which is one of the rules of the world that we must abide by. Another rule is that all of the people in these books must at all times be regarded as always telling the truth about the shape of the world (as they know it.) We must also assume that they are only really sure of their facts via personal experience or an unequivable trust in those who taught them. Given that we know just how unreliable the recording of any such events historical are this may just make their truthful sounding words into an unintentionally false statement.
‘The real question is this: Would you go into the woods?’
Bast is 250 years old which puts most of his knowledge of all things Cthaeh down as history lessons which he has somehow learnt from his elders and betters (even though nobody in the Fae ever talks about the Cthaeh.) Relying on history to prove your point allows time to enter into any present day equation, giving us both the past and the future to consider, which means that as far as Shröedingers demon is concerned it can only ever be true to say with any authority that as far as he/she is concerned, that demons don’t exist Anymore… andthe sole reason for this non-existence is, so we are told by the equally faliable Tehlin priesthood, all thanks to Tehlu and his iron hammer.
Altering the lines into ‘there are no such things as demons Any More!’ indicates to all parties the unspoken detail that there might possibly have been a time when there were such things abroad in Mortal which creates the loophole that we are looking for and so believing Trapis tale in full means that the last time when any demons might have existed in mortal can be dated to the mystical year 1Æ when Encanis and his minions were finally cast out by the good Lord Tehlu to mark the conclusion of the Demon Daze. Trapis lists the assorted monsterous forms that these demons took before this date and they were many. Some of his descriptions align well with the adems reports of ‘old things in the shape of men’, ones who walked the world freely doing terrible things… and all before the sky changed and land was broken.
So what’s in a name? The Adem records also speak of other fearful creatures of long ago that they called Gremmen and Daruna, Skarpi speaks of another terrible foe, the black beast of Drossen Tor whose breath was a darkness that smothered men. All of these things might be thought of as various daemonica, as well may shamblemen or dennerlings. That none of these things are believed to exist any more is in no way proof that they never existed at all.
‘Tehlu grabbed the demon and broke it in his hands, cursing it’s name and sending it back to the outer darkness that is the home of it’s kind.’
That Tehlu banished the demons back to where they came from implies that they must have originally come to mortal (or Ergen) as an invasive force from somewhere else. This then marks their own realm as being found in the ‘outer darkness’, which aligns rather nicely with a line from act III of Daeonica concerning ‘all the demons in the outer dark.’ So if that is where they came from, and that is also where he sent them back to, then we might also consider wether this dark place full of cursed demons is somewhere out there still, and moreso if is possible that if Tehlu’s mighty hold over them ever wavered… then all of there bad things might someday find a way to return to mortal once more!
The power behind the skin dancer who so disrupted the Waystone Inn was an old one which spoke an ancient language (eld Faen) that was a precursor of Bast’s own language as it had such hints of the fae about it which implies that it predated not only Bast’s lifespan but that of the entire Faen history. It was also likened to something from the Mael, as Bast calls it, and these Mael creatures were not ‘his kind’, (making his earlier statement doubly untrue!) meaning that they were neither mortal nor fae but a third party completely beyond his ken.
He also informs us that the Mael’s border is about as far away as anything can be in the fae which, using our circular map from Track Record, would put the Mael as far from the central illumination as possible, out beyond the point where even the faen starlight reaches, out in the utter darkness where the moths live and shaeds can be gathered. The Mael are indignantly rejected by Bast as being any sort of relation to him or his ancestors and given how long ago the last of them was hunted down these creatures could now almost be considered the faen equivalent of a fairy tale themselves, something that once was, but is no longer, and as we well know, all the stories in the universe contain a grain of truth. The Mael is as therefore as good a name as any for the place where these now non-existent demon’s might possibly still reside.
It is then possible that this Mael and it’s inhabitants might then be considered as a third realm to run alongside both Fae and Mortal and that would make an interesting triangle indeed. However, for the triangle to be complete there would need to be a way to travel from any given realm to either of the other two, and whilst Kvothe did indeed travel across the border from Mortal to Fae and then onwards from the Fae to the Mael, there is no reason to assume that beyond Mael we could complete the triangle and cross directly back into mortal once more. (at least not in this chapter). If that third pathway ever did exist it is now a broken road meaning that there are only two realms left that are still bound together and we know this to be true by dint of only two realms sharing the one and only moon.
In Track Record I described the shape of he Faen realm as being rather like an LP record and explained how the further out you travel, the darker it becomes. The outer ring of darkness is then where the mael is to be found. Felurian lives midfae in her twilight zone and the Cthaeh is forever being held prisoner in the central spotlight. It is also worth considering that when Kvothe journeys to the outer limits he does indeed encounter something which may be thought of by some as being a form of demon whose breath was a darkness that swallowed men, but that encounter was still technically somewhere still within the fae as there was yet a little of the faen starlight to see by and the stars, we are reliably informed, shine only on the Faen land.
‘At the end of all their work , each shaper wrought a star to fill their new and empty sky.’
So if the faen sky used to be empty before it was lit by starlight, then we have to assume that until these stars creation it was a land of total darkness with none of this inner or outer stuff to seperate it. So when did all the daylight arrive? We do know that after the starlight was added there came a failed attempt by the master shaper to further enhance the brightness of the faen realm with more than a touch of moonlight, but at no point are we told where the patch of ever lightening faelight which kvothe journeyed through actually comes from. There is never any mention of the Sun in the faen realm, just of the moon and the stars. This faelight then must then be an even later addition to the realm and if Felurian knows about it’s origin then she isn’t telling us because that final detail wasn’t part of her moon story time frame.
The story of who bought faelight to the realm is one that could only have had it’s beginning at a point after her own moon tale was ended, and it is one that is (hopefully) about to be explained by my deepest tinfoil mining expedition yet.
We now stand at the very heart of the web which I am weaving here, the place where all of the strings must come together into a central knot. All of the previous pages have led us to this one specific point in time and space which I call 1Æ. The point when Ergen ended and Temerant began, when the sky changed and the land was broken. Like Faeriniel this is the point where all roads meet, both mortal and faen, (but not those of the Mael!) these two realms are then like opposite sides of the record. A pair of discworlds which lie back to back and revolve around this one place which binds the two realms together. If God were a DJ then this is when and where he stopped the music, took up the record, flipped it onto it’s b-side, and started the needle playing once again.
Tehlu hold and overroll me : Tehus Antausa Eha!