The Dark ages.
There is a big hole in our history of Temerant where nothing happened, or rather nothing was written about it. This is not a good time for the world and not a good time for tinfoil as almost everything here is supposition with only a few hints to eek things out with. It is not my best work, but it’s all I’ve got, that’s not to say I’m incorrect though. No triangles were hurt in the writing of this chapter. We need another lucky number to get us through here. #7.
Chaen means seven. Ben says that this is a word from the language Temic, which predates Tema by about a thousand years, vague dates from long ago. It marks the seventh day in the language of the land like the earlier numbers were given to the first six. If you have to count things in numbers then that is as good a place to end the counting as any other. Seven is a lucky number as it remembers the one city to survive the fall of Ergen and that is why we celebrate on Caenin. The common people could count to seven and a lucky number was as good a number as any to define a weeks length. Perial’s story features the number seven a lot, the townsfolk came for menda on the first day of the seventh span, numbers were all we have left from the dark ages to mark the time between things. But then we get something different. We have Felling, Reaving, Cendling, and Dearth, all tacked onto the end which Trapis tells us are the names that were given to commemorate the final days of the Demon Lord Encanis’ reign and the end of a bad time for the world. These are Church names but we still acknowledge the old seven day week, somethings are too ingrained to be erased from history thus the church commemorate this number accordingly with their own seven days of high mourning which are held on the days leading up midwinters day. This is a great pageant organised by the church, a time for demons to be seen once more and a rememinder as to exactly why Lord Tehlu is revered as the one true Lord God and Saviour of all mankind.
But the church is not all that old in the grand scale of things, maybe a thousand years or so guesses Trapis, so what happened to all the uncounted years leading up to his tale? Time is broken and church time is very confusing. Even the moon cannot be trusted to tell the time, but we have one number that we can trust in absolutely. Haliax hasn’t slept for five thousand years. The Cthaeh said that and it cannot lie. Now, it is possible to suggest that 5k years in fae would be different to 5k years in mortal, time flows differently there although we share the same moon…sort of. Complicated machinery of math will give us conflicting answers as to how many moons make a faen year but we don’t actually need to go there. Cthaeh also reveals that he can count in mortal time as the reference to seeing Cinder ‘a day or three ago’ reveals. Regardless of Fae, time marches onwards and Haliax has spent all of his time in the mortal realm searching for what he seeks and to achieve his goal, Take that as written, I Know Shit. We know from when he was called Lanre, that he fought at the Blak of Drosson Tor, where Caesura was also carried by Finol of the clear and shining eye, it’s 30th owner. 237 owners in total gives an average of approximately 5000/207, which works out at about 24 years each, give or take, which is a very vague number to measure each generation. Kvothe used a base of ten years in his maths and thus came up with less years than we know to be true. Using this mean average we can at least guess at some other things, such as how old the Modegan lineage of Sovoy might be whose ‘blood goes back fifty generations, older than tree or stone.’ The same use of a generation can be used to work backwards from Finol, where using my mathematics, it implies that Chael shaped his blade over 700 years before Drossen Tor, giving us a guess at the length of the creation war at over seven centuries! But these are boring numbers with no substance as thirty owners may have died in one week and then there is the uncounted time that it has spent since, sitting on the shelf awaiting the right hand to come and ask it to dance again.
But if Haliax hasn’t slept since Myr Tariniel fell then that does date things accurately enough to put a pin in the ground. The day that shaped the world afresh was 5000 sleepless years ago.
‘and since that time the land has broken and the sky has changed. Seven names have been carried through the crumbling of empire, through the broken land and changing sky.’
Folk still remember the number Seven as being a lucky number but we don’t get told anything more about that or anything else about this missing time in our history books. Not. One. Word.
Languages of Temerant.
The next thing we know of history is the settling of the Shalda mountains some three thousand years later by Heldred, the founder of the Ceald nation. That is a long time to be a homeless nomad, wandering around the world in the aftermath of Lanre’s destructive action in search of mountains. The Cealds clearly desired a purpose to their life which led directly to them finding their own corner of the world up in the mountains where they foundried their own empire and stamped their name across the known world. That is a gap of many years and miles and, indeed, about 125 of our generations, but they are a clannish people and work well together. Women do some things and men do other things and everything gets done, especially the laundry. The Cealds also have their own secret language which might contain some historical records about what had just happened in the world but it is exactly that, a secret and it’s a bastard to make any sense of too. As far as I can tell, Siaru translates into ‘of clay.’ (I’ll give it a go some other time…maybe… It’s Painful stuff).
We suspect the Loeclos box to be somewhat older than this, but the only form of recorded history available would be from Yllish story knots which were being tied ‘long before man begun scratching pictograms on the skins of sheep’. Yllish may very well be the Loeclos language but another part of Vintas spoke Eld Vintic until the conquering Aturan Empire, which wasnt even formed yet, bought in their own preferred lingua franca. Eld Vintic is the language from the area of land comprising both the ancient Eld and Tinuë, already established elsewher as the lucky seventh city, the one remaining hope of all Ergen. Modegan is just a red hairrring there is nothing to see there. We get two words of Modegan to play around with, about the same amount as we do of Yllish, but whatever was going on in the world around them the Modegans wanted no part of it. They seceded from the outside a very long time ago and their high king was the wisest man in the world. They built their city among the ancient trees of the Eld and shut the door behind them.
Ademic, on the other hand, has always existed to faithfully record all of the oldest swords atas in written form since before day 1AE, or After Ergen. Ademic is a language from the age of the Ergen Empire as it was used at the time of Drossen Tor, making it the oldest language in the world that we know of so far. Caesura is also a word from this time and it occurs in Ademic and Eld Vintic both giving us a connection. Unlike Eld Vintic or Siaru or Yllish or Modegan, Ademic has been declared outlaw along with all those who speak it and is now so secret that nobody in all the four corners is supposed to know it even exists at all, especially not barbarians. The Adem are the silent people. They don’t talk to outsiders and certainly not in their own language, they learn the tongues of man when they do venture back into civilization. They speak with their hands when they talk amongst themselves and they don’t really ‘do’ singing either. The Adem, and all their memories of Ergen, were actively driven out of the four corners by the combined strength of the other languages, the eld vintics, the siarueans , the modegans, the Yllish and the temeranti. Driven from the land wherever they tried to settle, although it was pretty much the Aturan Empire doing all the pushing at the end. So what is the difference between Tema and Temic and Eld Vintic And Yllish and Siaru and Modegan and Ademic? I think that these were the surviving langauges of the various voices of Ergen, maybe it was one per city? Each with their own language and way of life. That would make the most sense to me. The ruach were inhabitants of the original cities but then came the fall and the assorted peoples of the land became as one under the language of their conquerers that arrived after the encroaching blackness swept through Myr Tariniel. This is when the demons took over. Time passed, as it does, although what the moon was doing right now is another story. But finally Encanis and his kind were banished by ‘Tehlu, the Walking God’ who appointed priests to care for the people after he too departed the world. The Tehlin priesthood decided to start repairing the broken world as they saw fit, and this incorporated giving the world a whole new language to speak where any mention of what may or may not have come before has been completely edited out.
The Tehlin church is relatively new on the world scene but it can still remember its roots, written in it’s holy book in the old language of Tema is ‘The Hempen Verse’ and anyone who can still read it is entitled to a church trial.
‘Right. You see, there’s two lines in the Book of the Path, and if you can read them out loud in the old Tema only priests know, then the iron law says you get treated like a priest.That means a commonweath court can’t do a damn thing to you. If you can read those lines, your case has to be decided by the church courts.’
Being able to speak this ancient, forgotten and indeed forbidden language of Tema marks you as a special case to be tried by your peers in secret. It marks you as knowing about secret things, such as forbidden languages. Chaen is a number older than Tema, it is taken from Temic which Ben tells us ‘predates Tema by about a thousand years’ which makes it ancient indeed. Aturan is the modern day language of Temerant but is neither Temic nor Tema in much the same way that English is neither Roman nor Greek. Knowing Tema would mark you as having ‘old blood’, which is always worth more than ‘new money’ and therefore you would have the exalted blood of Ergen flowing in your veins. The Modegans keep their bloodlines pure, the same sort of thing happens across society as a rule but further from the top it gets the weaker it becomes, the Modegans also breed horses based on pure bloodlines. Common people would be a nag by comparison although some rare folk may have occasional traces of ancient blood still in them, having ‘a touch of fae’ about them as Deoch say’s. Perhaps the power of old blood will occasionally show up in common folk and announce itself as knacks, such as Trip always rolling Sevens. Common folk don’t like folk like that, weirdo’s who somehow grow the best tomatoes, were always finding good water or predicting the weather. They drive them away from society and the blood grows thinner in that village. Outcasts are unwelcome but all of them are welcome to gather together under one blanket if they are lucky enough to encounter the wandering, travelling roadshow of the assorted mixed blood that makes up one family that is the edema ruh. All outcasts together.
But back to #7 again, remember that? The Aturan equivalent for Seven is Caenin, but in the oldest language of the land, Chaen means Seven and Dian means ‘of them’. There is an alteration in the 10 AE where Trapis now, rather interestingly, uses the original Temic word instead. Knowledgable Ben knows about these things but Arliden didn’t, well travelled with all the stories of the world in his head he didn’t know where the original names for the first seven numbered days in a span came from, which is quite understandable because only the university teaches this language nowerdays, and only to arcanists like Ben. Laurian didn’t know this either although she did have a better ear for such things, perhaps it’s in her blood. This is very confusing now because Kvothe also gives us a statement which seems to order them both the other way around! When showing Simmon a book by Gibea, the secret Amyr, he tells us of the hidden code that ‘It’s not temic, it’s Tema, an archaic usage.’ and Kvothe has not yet learn’t to speak Tema in a day. But whichever of these came first it tells us that Selitos’ words of old ‘ivare enim euge’ are also from our eldest known form of these forbidden languages, the Language of Myr Tariniel was Tema or Temic and these are clearly the original roots of Temerant. It was this language which we heard spoken by Selitos to Aleph before the gathering of the ruach it means ‘for greater good’.
Lets take a breather there. That’s three lumps of tinfoil to take in and three is also a lucky number.
The blood of Ergen has something special about it and the Ruach all survived the fall of Ergen. We aren’t talking about future generations here, these Erganites all survived Lanre’s betrayal personally. Therefore we can say with some certainty that the time span between Skarpi’s first and second tales can now be put down as ‘less than a ruach lifetime’, or rather within the lifespan of Ordal, the youngest angel, who’s name is still remembered in the Tehlin’s Book of the Path. Tehlu is their god but it was Aleph who altered her forever. Not Tehlu, Aleph.