The Sithe and the singers.
This one shouldn’t take long because we know bugger all about them, that’s the theory anyway. Young Kvothe has never heard of them and focuses more on the Amyr. But Kote has heard that the Sithe are a faction among the Fae. Powerful, with good intentions— ‘ (that’s three separate things btw). Haliax implies that his chandrian can suffer at the Sithe’s hands along with those of the bloody handed Amyr and are also in danger from the mysterious singers. (another triad). We also know that they are excellent archers with long horn bows which has a small side parallel to the Cthaeh whose words are like an arrow shot into the future, and also to Horn from Aerueh which is good gor making bows from and therefore to the archers Aethe and Rethe I suppose (if we are trying to make a third three, and thus a nine… very wobbley that one, but you never know, all stories are one story after all). So let’s take Bast first, he seems to know the most about the the Sithe.
‘You don’t understand them if you use the term ‘good intentions.’ But if any of the Fae can be said to work for the good, it’s them. Their oldest and most important charge is to keep the Cthaeh from contact with anyone. With Anyone.’
But Bast is only 150 years old and doesn’t know everything, this oldest and most important charge was given to them before his time… but by whom? Someone important no doubt but before we get onto that mystery there is one other Bast mention of them too, and a very important one as well. When he is making his holly crown defence against any future skin dancer attack, he also talks once again of the Sithe.
‘I’m running dark on this myself, Reshi. I know the Sithe used to ride out wearing holly crowns when they hunted the skin dancers…’
If you factor in the similarity in their bows we can clearly see the links between the Sithe and the White Riders forming that make them one and the same thing. Kote also knows of an old Faen song about them called the White Riders Hunt.
Rode they horses white as snow. Silver blade and white horn bow,
Wore they fresh and supple boughs, Red and green upon their brows.
Where has he heard this from? you might suspect that Felurian may have taught it to him, it was originally a faen song after all, maybe Illien wrote it, he wrote everything else it seems, it might have been something he picked up as a child listening to faerie stories but young Kvothe say’s that he has never heard of this name. We can actually glean that Kvothe must have remembered it (perfectly, of course) from the old Vintish book he found in the archives, A Quainte Compendium of Folke Belief, in which the author recorded ‘songs about the grey ladies and the white riders’. Now this is very interesting because this book was written two hundred years ago and thus predates Bast but it is by it’s very name a book of mortal folk belief. Since every mortal who ever tumbles into and returns from the Fae (a very small number) is usually mad and mostly dead very soon after and we must assume the songs and stories did not come from them. Yet these songs did come to mortal attention long ago, possibly from as far back as the demon days, when these faen white riders must have visited mortal lands themselves and done so regularly and genially enough for this song to be known here, hinting that there must have been some mortal/fae collusion too, interbreeding between the two groups was not unknown after all. Another possible swapover is heard by Kvothe at the Eolian one night, a Yllish song called En Faen’t Morie, which sounds a bit faen in itself, but this other forgotten folk song of Temerant is definitely an original faen song written about one of their own faen factions favourite pastimes…hunting skin dancers. It is a song about the Sithe and their enemies, and these true enemies are not the actual mortal skin owners themselves but are the faen masters who control the poor mortal puppets in question, and this other fae foe faction were called the Mahael-Uret.
Now there is no reason to assume that the Mahael-Uret mob have anything to do whatsoever with the chandrian, but the fact they do share a common enemy with the Sithe cannot be overlooked. And the enemy of my enemy is my friend sort of thing.
Small crumbs, yes, but I work with what I’m given. The Sithe once came to mortal to hunt down skin dancers. This actually makes perfect sense as a faen entity is the only ‘demon’ capable of controlling a skin dancer but would need a mortal body to possess in the first place, like one did to the waystone mercenary and who’s language this puppet was forced to speak in which I’m going to christen Eld Faen* which was the language spoken in the time of it’s ancient master and is all it had to work with. Since there aren’t any mortals in fae, the dancers masters must be historically tied to Temerant by default. We have another account of them doing just this in Trapis’ tale where he talks explicitly about a rank among the demons ‘who stole the skins of men and wore them like clothes’. One level below Encanis in the demon list of perceived badness which gives them another vague chandrian link and which would clearly mark these demons in particular as being what we now call skin dancers.
Taken all together this makes for a rather interesting triangle since we are told that it was actually Tehlu who ousted these particular demons all by himself, but the pieces of the puzzle fitting now has Tehlu/Menda as doing the same job as the white riders/Sithe did and therefore this will also link this ‘good’ faen faction called the Sithe to the real do-gooder Tehlu from Skarpi#2. The enemy of my enemy…
Confused? I’m not surprised, but that is what is written and that is what we have to work with.
Tehlu cannot himself be one of the Sithe because he has no adverse reaction to iron, unlike all of the other faen folk, neither is he seen wearing a holly crown or riding a horse, he was actually called the walking god and he walked the land ‘destroying’ these demons when he caught them.
Tehlu was a tool of Aleph’s justice and there are even hints that this is actually his own true long name means, like Selitos was bound by the true name of Selitos in Skarpi#1. Tehlu being the long name written in his own heart may well translate into justice in the language of such things but such translation is a chapter in itself (Teh means lock in our sygaldry alphabet and lu is one part of the moon’s true name…) Tehlu also announced before his master Aleph ‘I hold justice foremost in my heart’ and that could be read to indicate that justice is exactly what his name actually means. But he has another name too, his calling name was Menda, and Menda is a different story all together since he was born under very special circumstances. He was rushed into being born in one third of the usual time and in mortal form, in mortal lands, as the result of a holy union between God and Mortal, a union which is correctly called a Titan in the ancient greek myths of our world, a sort of demi-god. Aleph created the world but desired a more earthly form to be his instrument of justice, and Menda was the result of the union between an omnipotent Aleph who came to the important Lady that was called Perial in a dream and left her imaculately pregnant, exactly like so many greek myths have Zeus doing. (Perial’s story is equally baffling and should be coming along in due course, very soon now I think…)
Putting Menda/Tehlu in the same camp as the Sithe ideology would provide another link to another of the chandrian’s triad of enemies, the Order Amyr. According to Skarpi, the Order were formed at the same meeting that Tehlu and his angels were present and the Amyr’s number one purpose is clearly stated as being to confound Lanre and all who follow him, ie. the chandrian. That is why they exist. ‘nothing will prevent us from attaining the greater good’ said their leader which are very similar to the words that Bast spoke earlier about the Sithe sort of working for ‘the good’. In my opinion. this ‘good’ they speak of really ought to be the same good and is the good decreed by Aleph’s justice to bring an end to the demon days once and for all and to deal with the existential threat of the chandrian which would mean that the Seven’s enemies the Amyr and the Sithe should really both be present in the same room for the same reason at the same time. All the people in the world, be they demons, (fae) or mortals have all made their future intentions known by their own choices and are all now standing side by side on the same side of the path that Menda, as Aleph’s instrument of justice, drew in the dirt outside Lady Perial’s front door. And Aleph is there too to protect them, but on the other side are those who refused to cross.
‘(The chandrian )were the first six people to refuse Tehlu’s choice of the path, and he cursed them to wander the corners—‘
But I shall wait to deal with later…
If this is true tinfoil, then we are going to need a link to make it work and Skarpi doesn’t disappoint, you might not think so but it’s all clearly written there for those with eyes to see. Whilst there is no actual mention of any Sithe in the room, we don’t get to hear hear the whole of the story. Not only is the ending cut short abruptly by the actions of the church justice Erlus, but Kvothe also arrives too late to hear the children request this day’s tale, and at six bells one of them must have asked for this exact story in Skarpi’s talent contest, probably along the lines of ‘ I want to hear what happened to Selitos next’ or some such story. Kvothe was late (damn that kid!) and thus valuable first hand knowledge is now lost to us… damn that kid. Now I don’t think the Sithe to be are still among the remaining Ruach who were too scared to get involved in great matters, but rather they have already played their part and made their Sithe decisions some small time before Kvothe finally arrived, something that is sort of confirmed by this other ancient ruach namer Skarpi who before he makes his own exit gives Kvothe a little half-smile when he managed to catch his eye.
‘but at the same time, deep inside me, something selfish was saying, if you’d come earlier and found out what you needed to know, it wouldn’t be so bad now, would it?‘
a bit of our mind reading name knowing stuff going on here maybe? (Read big brother and then come back later if you don’t understand), it’s shaky, yes, but it is strongly hinted that what we need to know, the tale about what happened next was the story spoken for everyone else to hear, children, barman, Erlus & co. included, all neatly explained by Skarpi in the earlier part of this story, a part Kvothe missed because he was late for class…damn that kid.
Every single word used in these books is far too important to be ignored as mere filler, some moreso than others, and as well as this, (in addition, also) we know from our reading that Pat Doesn’t Waste Ink! which only goes to highlight one small but very important word in Skarpi#2 that is easily overlooked in such a large book but has been bugging at me for years now… the word Too.
Too, tōō adv. as well. in addition. also.
‘Most of the Ruach hung back from Selitos, too. They were afraid and did not wish to become involved in great matters. But Tehlu stepped forward…
So this means that before the Ruach had a choice to join Selitos, they had Already turned down another option. That is written as clear as day. Some of them who could not just forget Lanre’s destructive actions so easily decided to sign up to the Order Amyr, and some would go on to sign up for the angel program… But ‘most of the Ruach’ refused Selitos too which means that they had already refused another choice of option at this meeting, possibly even more than one option was available, and they were all attending this meeting to discuss what is best defined as the question ‘What are we going to do about the unkillable problem that is Lanre’? The combined findings of this meeting would be that they were offered at least three choices that they could have signed up for depending on their willingness to get involved in progressive plans. One option was becoming an extension of Lord Aleph’s judicial plan which would involve volunteering to join the Angels. This was an option already offered to and indeed turned down by Selitos as being not good enough who instead decided that it was necessary to form another group with a different tactic of confounding Lanre and all who follow him, and some of the Ruach decided that this was much more their cup of tea. And the most logical extension to our options would thus be for some of them to sign up to do the work of Aleph best in a plan which was missed by Kvothe but would allow them to threaten the chandrian existence in a third Aleph allowed shape and form by joining the faen branch of operations and become a Sithe. The Sithe were charged as being full time guardsman to something equally important in the grand scheme of things who would stop anyone (chandrian included) from gaining access to the entity that is the Cthaeh.
Since everything is getting knotted nicely together now I might as well correlate the name of the third mysterious chandrian danger ‘the singers‘ to this Aleph meeting just to really stir matters up further. The singers are neither the Amyr nor the Sithe but must have been present here too by default to be recognised as a third important threat by the Chandrian since this is where all the new powers were allocated once and for all. I will suggest that we have already met the final members of group3 when I point out that Tehlu’s army of angels were also given their wings at this very same meeting for a specific task which was considered less extreme than that of the Amyr when they were touched by Aleph and had their long names changed by him.
‘They came to Aleph, and he touched them. The touched their hands and eyes and hearts. The last time he touched them there was pain, and wings tore from their backs that they might go where they wished… Then Aleph spoke their long names and they were wreathed in a white fire. The fire danced along their wings and they became swift. The fire flickered in their eyes and they saw into the deepest hearts of men. The fire filled their mouths and they spoke songs of power.
This is very reminiscent to when Kvothe learned his own true name from the Adem Magwyn, the salient points being the hands and eyes and hearts which she inspected most carefully three times. Menda also struck everyone three times with iron when he was giving them all a new name. This is how the naming of all men is held together, through these three parts that form their three part names. Hands,eyes and hearts.
However, The part we require to solve our latest triangle is the final line ‘The fire filled their mouths and they sang songs of power.’ which would make them powerful singers (no capital required). The singers are just a descriptive name for the Angels, they sing songs of power, and either name fits perfectly as being the third threat to the chandrian wellbeing along with the Amyr and the Sithe, One group to guard against them, one group to confound them and one group to punish them. Its as easy as 1,2,3 really.
This would also mean that it can only have been the powerful singing Angels which interrupted the chandrian when we see them last, since they are the only ones which have the necessary job descriptions and holy remit to do so, tidying up after the event. They have wings and powers so that they might go where they wished invisible in their righteousness, which would be rather necessary if your threat is described as an invisible presence coming late to the scene from a certain corner of the sky ! even young Kvothe can sense a watching feeling, a tenseness, a subtle change in the texture of the air. Cinder also uses the word watcher when he compares Haliax to being ‘as good as a watcher’ just before he receives Lord Haliax’ own brand of punishment.
We get a few hints on how to summon an angel from Trapis, he quotes the Lead angel saying
‘If I am needed and called in the proper ways then I will come again to judge and punish.
The correct way to summon Lord Tehlu during the classic recreations of high mourning is to say Tehlu’s name in it’s classical Temic form ‘ Tehus! Tehus! Tehus antausa eha’ which according Kote is how you traditionally banish demons. And as Trapis adds…
And that is how we know Tehlu cares for us, and watches us, and keeps us safe from—‘
‘—the chandrian’ is what really fits best here to finish the line , although it has probably been sanitised into harm or some other soft nondescript wording by the Tehlin church, it matters not. Perhaps using true names is how Tehlu is called in the proper way? Marten is praying to Tehlu like crazy when Kvothe is battling Cinder in the Eld.
‘Tehlu whose eyes are true, Watch over me. Tehlu son of yourself, watch over me. Tehlu who was Menda who you were, watch over me. In Menda’s name, In Perial’s name, In Ordal’s name, In Andan’s name. Watch over me.’
This is probably the church version of praying from the Book of the Path and therefore unreliable for accurate references to the real shape of things, but they do have the names correct, Andan and Ordal are still written on the page of the holy book Nina used for her picture and appear to be watching over her when she had repetative dreams. They came to her in the aftermath of the latest chandrian attack of their own volition,almost as if they were watching over her. this is their task, they watch, they punish or they reward and they don’t always need summoning to do it. the Amyr and the Sithe may have their own special powers but are both depicted as horse riders, not winged beings and these groups have a more preventative bent to their modus operandi. And so it is therefore left to the watching Angels whose task it is to watch and to mete out justice to the world on behalf of Aleph in response to any chandrian related actions and ‘to punish or reward only what you yourselves witness from this day forth.’ Sod everyone else, the singers only act in the aftermath of a chandrian attack, these are the only crimes deemed important to them like the Amyr only known task is to deal with confounding the chandrian menace too. The singers are up there… somewhere, everywhere, newarre, whatever… watching for the chandrian next attack, and whilst they cannot interfere by Aleph’s decree, they are now allowed to act and are swiftly on their winged way to punish or reward and to sing their songs of power, possibly a similar sort of song to the one that Kvothe saw and sung and thus tamed the mighty Felurian… The chandrain choose to flee any such punishment leaving Kvothe alone in the ashes of his despair to receive these singers full attention.
If any of this is making any sense at all then come please see me after class and explain it back to me…slowly. I sm deliberately leaving some things alone for now so as to not clog things up too soon, this is an extrapolation in three parts at the moment and looks less like a story knot and more like like a hairy ball of string or the Chancellors sock drawer to the untrained eye. But as sceptical as you should be you should hopefully agree that this theory does quite nicely put all three of the groups that Haliax protects his chandrian from all together into one convenient location at the same time…. and the same place. The place in question is where Aleph held court to the Ruach in our trusted account from Skarpi#2. And it becomes quite apparent that entire point of this meeting was to shape the world anew ‘from this day forth’ as Aleph said. Everything was decided here and the location of the meeting was at Perial’s house.
All of this makes it pretty clear now to me that this meeting was the most important meeting ever to take place in the history of Temerant. Ergen is no more, Tinuë is entering the history books and great changes were made to the world on this day without a date. VD day, the day the threat of the Demons was ended. Three factions of the Ruach were charged with different tasks on the same day to uphold Aleph’s edict. And all three tasks are designed to answer the unsnswerable question ‘How do we deal with Lanre? the eternal man who cannot die?’