No Particular Colour.
Information about the chandrian is virtually non-existent. An amateur Vintish historian’s two hundred year old work A Quainte Compendium of Folke Belief is the best that Kvothe finds, a hand-written octavo which shows us that it has not been tampered with. It is probably the source of Kote’s song about the white riders from in the second book, but of the Chaendrian the authors extensive research reveals nothing. It is interesting though that his most earnest rebuttal of folk revealing anything chandrian came at the Towne of Hillesborrow, which sounds awfully similar to Borrorill if you think about it. Hmmm…
His lack of findings has a parallel with Alveron’s fruitless searching for the Amyr, and Denna’s research into Lanre. There is nothing written anywhere in any book about matters this secret and ancient. Their combined search results tell us that Kvothe should give up on his own efforts because others have looked already on our collective behalf. In fact I could state that he could look for a hundred years and he shall never see what is in front of him, no… wait, that was puppet…Anyway, books are not going to help him anymore, others have already saved him and us this task. What he really needs to continue his research is to one day be gifted an uncut copy of The Book of Secrets.
So where else to search then? Ben tells us something interesting. Different countries have different specific ideas about what folk ought to be afraid of and they all think that their neighbours superstitious beliefs are all wrong. The scary things in the dark are always something else in different cultures whether it’s shamblemen, draugar, dennerlings or fae. But everyone knows about the chandrian, and that it’s not good to talk about them which gives their existence more credence because despite never being spoken of aloud they have achieved a unique level of global infamy. If you combined all this research together you might conclude that it perfectly supports Teccam’s theory of narrative septagy. Arliden also struggled to make much headway in his own search, nobody speaks about them and nobody sings any humerous songs about them either. The only peple who happily ignore this trend are children, and you would be surprised at the sorts of things hidden away in children’s songs. Every child chants their song says our two hundred year old Vintish book and we are shown five different verses of the chandrian song, three we hear from the Waystone kids, Denna and Kvothe remember the rest from their own childhood. It is described as being ages old when their grandparents chanted it. The information the song gives us matches with Kvothe’s own personal encounters and with all his unique findings ever since. How the hell the kids got such accurate information I don’t know*, but it is the truest source of knowledge we have and even balances up to the Adem ‘signs’ story. There could even be a link to a possible seventh verse going on in the ‘other’ childrens song we hear about involving a special sort of fire. That song goes ‘let me tell you what to do, dig a pit that’s ten by two, ash and elm and rowan too’ which if you try and fit it amidst our other verses it does appear to share a similar style, rhyme and meter.
‘when the hearth fire turns to blue ‘what to do? What to do? Run outside run and hide’. It is almost call and response, question and answer, verse and chorus? Maybe? maybe not? …You decide.
So the surprising thing going on at the very start of book one, chapter one, page one is that despite all the evidence telling us it doesn’t ever happen to anyone, anywhere…ever…Tonight, live at the Waystone Inn, Newarre. Felling night, A moonless night, the first voice we hear on this story-teller’s night is that of the local know all, holding court to a captive audience of common folk with a story about Taborlin the Great featuring…the chandrian!
Enter Old Cob, Stage Left.
Although this goes against the grain, these are different times and strange things are abroad in the night once more. Before, there was only Kvothe who was alone in the knowledge that the Chandrian actually existed beyond the verses of childrens song, that they were an actual force to be reckoned with in the world. But times have changed. When Kote repeats the long names of the chandrian, names with the power to be heard by those with ears to listen, Bast is rightly horrified. Kote knows what he is doing though and explains that with all the trouble in the world right now you can bet that the old stories are being told again ‘from Aerueh to the Circle Sea.’ From a geographical point of view we can assume that the circle here is a translation of Centhe as it is the only sea there is and it does indeed form a (broken) circle around all the four corners. The break occurs where the Stormwal mountains interrupt the circle and so this must be the location of our infamous Aerueh, a place known for its fine ink and polished horn. A better translation would be to say that folk are frightened about the chandrian across the all the land from the mountains to the seashore, ie everywhere, which tells us that since the end of book two, the chandrian have been very publicly outed from their usual secret undertakings and are once more, universally acknowledged not as a long forgotten faerie tale, but as a faerie fact. Folk are seriously worried and desire protection, Iron is selling well and any other useful knowledge is much sought after and so, across the land long forgotten stories are coming back to light and learned folk like Old Cob find themselves the centre of attention. I wonder who’s door we can lay the blame for all this at?
Taborlin is in his prison and the torches are burning blue. There are no doors and no windows, the walls are of plain stone and it was a cell no man had ever escaped. An argument ensues and the story remains unfinished. But some of Cob’s words are directly quoted from what must be the official master version. Later, when Elodin takes up the story, he loosely sets the same scene then repeats the same lines as Cob does verbatim.
‘But TTG knew the names of all things and so all things were his to command.
He said to the stone BREAK and the stone broke.’
Then Kvothe recounts the story and he continues…
‘So TTG fell, but he did not despair. For he knew the name of the wind and so the wind obeyed him. It cradled and caressed him.It bore him to the ground as gently as a puff of thistledown’ it set him on his feet as gently as a mother’s kiss.
The exactness of the thistledown and mother’s kiss lines here matches perfectly to Cobs version which tells us that this part, at least, must be a true rendition of the original storytellers script with no embellishment. Marten’s version on the other hand has nothing about towers and wind, he has TTG’s prison underground, yet he does get the BREAK the stone part spot on. Parts of the true tale are clearly easier to quote than others. This tale has been broken into many pieces across time but
one thing is constant, that TTG knows the name of all things as claimed in all versions. The two examples used are wind and stone, yet Marten also claims he can speak the name of fire although only Master Hemme touches upon that name when he casually alludes to ‘roaring sheets of fire, magic rings, invisible cloaks and swords that never go dull’ and even then only dismissively. Swords are contradictory but everyone knows about TTG’s cloak of no particular colour. Our bandit hunters all give their various thoughts about what colour that might be.
Dedan thinks it is shimmery, like tallow on cobbles whilst Hespe goes for a washed out dirty grey. Tempi, who may very well be hearing this tale for the very first time cleverly points out that white is no colour, which is a very astute observation really. Marten goes with pale sky-blue though he’s not sure exactly why. But Kvothe is Edema Ruh and knows all the stories in the world. He suggests a patchwork of all colours but also knows that the cloak had lots of little pockets full of many wondrous things, it was a bit of a cornucopia really containing whatever may be needful for the moment, much like a tinkers pack always seems to be. It also protected him from rain, arrows or fire and was part of a changing disguise to hide behind. However the most knowledgeable character to ask in these books would be puppet who has read every book in the archives. If there is a definitive answer to find then he would be the one to have found it.
Without our even asking for any answers, Puppet puts on a performance and Black is the colour.
This is in the same vein as Tempi’s clever suggestion, no colour. Although it’s only a costume show he is quite insistent on doing things as accurately as possible and insists that ‘you can’t do Taborlin properly without his hood’, which would make sense because all cloaks have hoods. He also thinks that he ought to be properly summoned too. When he finally gets things correct to his satisfaction we get see the complete performance
‘We were confronted with a looming figure in a dark robe. His cowled hood shadowed his face, with arms upraised the long sleeves of his black robe billowed strikingly.
Puppet thinks that Taborlin the Great is most accurately portrayed as being dressed from tip to toe in darkness with special emphasis on a cowl hiding his face in shadows. A perfect description of Lord Haliax.
‘Shadow pooled around him gathered thicker around his head. I could catch a glimpse of a deep cowl like some priests wear. Haliax spread his arms and the shadow surrounding him bloomed like a flower unfolding.
As we have already ascertained elsewhere, Puppet is more than he appears, he is none other than Selitos, the one who dressed Haliax in this shadow hame originally with his own curse using his own blood as a link. Which tells us that Puppet knows without a doubt that any tales about Taborlin the Great are really tales about Haliax, the Lord of the Chandrian.
Lanre was a soldier who had no skill in naming which is quite possibly how he lulled Selitos into a false sense of security when he lured him away from Myr Tariniel. Once they were alone, Lanre revealed his new naming powers over Air (Aeruh) and Stone (Silanxi) with which he bound a rather surprised Selitos (Selitos) into submission.TTG is said to know the names of all things but the names of air and stone are central to both storylines. As Lord Haliax we also witness that he has a command over Iron (ferule) as he demonstrates when he uses such a binding upon Cinder. Ferule is a compound word, a phonetic parallel binding where two things are bound together as one, tearing each other apart in the process. In this instant these things are the name of Iron and of Cinder himself. Kvothe explains to us that ‘Ule and Doch are both for binding’. Our world’s use of Fe for iron appears to be universal as Pat uses Fehr as the rune for iron in Sygaldry. We can get a further clue from Kvothes study of Ferrous and Cupric Metallurgy and this is also confirmed by looking at his tuition fee slip just before he first meets Devi which informs us that he must pay 3Tln, 9Jt, 7Fe where Fe. Stands for Iron pennies. We are also present to witness Chronicler binding Bast using Iron’s name, although our sleeping minds weren’t really awake enough to hear it properly and we only hear him say (iron). It’s surprising we hear anything at all really.
With three names triangulated, power over all the rest must now be assumed too. Lanre aka Lord Haliax aka Taborlin the Great all know the names of all things which is enough proof for me to bind this trio together as one and the same person. This once mortal man Lanre, who began with no name knowledge of any sort, is now on an equal power footing with the creator god of the world that is Aleph.