The Ever Burning Lamp

In order to even attempt the question ‘How could someone actually steal the moon?’ we must first understand the tinfoil behind how she moves around the skies, and before we can do that we must first dispell a few Terran ideals we have about our own moon which need not apply in Pat’s world and will only get in the way of some proper tinfoil thinking. I spoke earlier about the possibilities of a disc moon being a thing and that thought will come back into play here but first you need to forget the argument that the moon obviously has no light of her own and that all Kvothe sees at night is reflected sunlight. That is only a comfortable truth if taken from an Earthling point of view and this is fantasy fiction ffs and we think how we like in here. Believing that Pat’s moon actually shines with her own inner radiance is therefore quite an acceptable thought to think if your alar is strong enough.

I am actually pretty convinced that Pat’s moon will also turn out to be the inspiration behind all of the ever burning lamp tales which master Kilvin is so obsessed by and would suggest that the phrase is only a simplistic explanation of old Celadish folk tales from a forgotten age. Before writing was invented, poetic descriptions like this may have been passed down from mouth to mouth through the fall of Ergen, to a time when the moon used to appear exactly like that, as a permanent presence providing their home with a natural nightlight that never, ever went out…until one night, it did!

Now our earliest Pat reference to the moon comes from Old Holly and it might just prove to be the key to unlocking this whole moon puzzle.

There was day, which was light. There was night which was dark. There was the moon which was both light and dark.’

There we have it written down in black and white, the moon was both, and Pat cannot write this fact down any clearer than that. Yet we also have it on rather good authority that up until her theft, a timeframe into which this story fits, the moon was always light and round and full in the mortal sky with nary a mention of any ‘dark side of the moon’. Now I’ve put a lot of thought into this paradox and there is only one answer which can satisfy everyone and that is that both are going to be true. To appreciate this answer properly we need to envisage the moon not from a Temerant viewpoint, but from somewhere out in the depths of space. Somewhere where we can view all sides of everything all at once in 3D. From such a position we would, I believe, be able to discern that Pat’s moon actually has two distinct sides, like a coin does, and that one side is seen to be illuminated whilst the other is not. Now the coin analogy here is useful as it allows us to think quite easily about the differences between spheres and circles via the heads and tails analogy, however a proper disc-moon based along these criteria fails as it would not provide the correct waxing and waning phases that we are shown exist on the mauthern pot. So instead of a flat moon we must always think of her then as being spherical but at the same time as her being two faced, that is comprised of two hemispheres touching each other back to back to give the impression of a whole. Further observations would show us that the illuminated ‘heads’ half will always have been facing Aleph and the darker ‘tails’ half will not. As far as mortal Murella was concerned the moonlight was always goinfg to be full because it shone from the side they saw and so mattered most to them. If the full ‘heads’ half would only ever shine her ever burning light upon Aleph’s new world then reciprocally the darkness of her empty ‘tails’ which will always be facing away from it.

Now these observations of such a locked orbit of hers needs not have her held absolutely static and unchanging in the night skies. There is a chapter which is entitled ‘the ever-moving moon’ and I would like to think that she has always moved, or rather danced, and that she was actively rolling around the skies in those early days, cartwheeling perhaps, always in motion yet always facing the same mortal direction all of the time.

We can apply some of our Terran inspired astrophysics to understanding this moon model better if we compare Pat’s moon to our own planet Uranus, a planet whose ‘north’ axial pole (as we imagine such things) actually points to the centre of the solar system, inwards towards the sun. This will naturally mean that Uranus ‘south’ axial pole will always points away from the centre, off into outer space, and so has spent its entire existence in a state of permanant darkness. We might also imagine there to be an equator on Uranus where (if it wasn’t a gas giant) you could stand on the very edge between both light and dark with one foot on either camp as it were and then roll around the rim like a cog as the world turns beneath your feet. Dividing the circle of that equator line into two new axes of E-W and N-S will give us three lunar effects on to consider…but that’s got nothing to do with anything imprtant today. Considering the other possible axes of Pat’s moon will give us a total of three main observations to choose from, the first gives us an always full/empty view, the second gives us the phases we know from our own moon. And the third will give us a permanent half moon in the sky

Invisible String

To build a working model of my theoretical cosmic orrery will require a ball of invisible string. Now if we pinned this string to the very centre of the moons light face then we could pretend that today, matthew, we were going to be Alpeh’s planet of Temerant. Then if we then spun around with the string stretching out taught by the application of centrifugal force, we could observe that the moon half with the pin in it’s centre would always be facing towards us. In practice this will ensure that Temerant would always and only see her face which was full of moonlight.

Now, if we pinned another piece of string to the centre of the dark side instead and repeated the experiment we would of course see only her dark half, and that darkness would be lost against the pure black sky behind rendering the moon herself totally invisible. The view we receive from this second string would of course be the view of someone standing in the moonless realm of the Mael instead. The third string experiment would be to attatch both of our strings at once and then to begin to spin the actual moon around in the centre causing the same cosmic forces to throw both of the mortal and mael realms out into synchronous locked orbits which will make both realms circle around her instead of following the blinkered Terran ideal that the moon will always move around the planet, and never the other way about.

This is now becoming a bit like watching a wheel turning and comparing two opposite points on it’s rim in relation to the hub. It is very much worth thinking further about the maths involved behind the path travelled by a six spoke wheel and especially of a) The point on spoke #1 where it joins to the hub and b) The point on the opposite spoke#4 where it joins to the rim. (and c) all points in between!) Both points a&b will follow a different journey through the exact same amount of degrees but one must travel further than the other although it will take them both the same amount of time to make a complete circuit. This is prolly the place where the time differences inherent between realms will come into play but thats a quantum question for the whiteboard to discuss further.

A second universe model can be constructed if we suppose that Alephs mortal world were to be considered the centre of Pat’s universe around which everything else is spun, and the moon did indeed orbit it (on a piece of this invisible string). App;lying the same centrifugal forces would also make this model work. If we remember that there is another realm, a twin to mortal (see maestrom) which only over gets to see the dark side of the moon and we attach this place, by the second piece of string, to the moons dark side this will turn our Mortal-Moon bolus into a string of three beads instead. Mortal-Moon-Mael. Even with mortal being the driving force as the hub, this arrangement will still have the effect of making the moon the central point as the two realms would still hold position around her, although the moon herself would of course eclipse their view of each other…you with me? Now we need to create yet another realm, our fourth bead, and to place this one somewhere on the string between the Moon and the Mael. This new place will of course mark the loction of the Faen realm. The Mael will now find itself to be eclipsed by the intrusion of the newly minted fae and so receive no view of the moon whatsoever, not even one of the side that it could never see in the first place! and the fae will instead take over this reverse view of the moons dark side. So, having finally built your faen realm in just the correct place and possibly even in the correct time brings us to the point in history when Jax now needs to pursuade the moon to submit to his desire.

His desire was to make her choose to swap the old view from the ever rolling pattern that she was used to and and to make her turn her head and face in his direction instead.

This half and half moon theory of mine would create conditions that will satistfy the requirements from Old Holly, Felurian, and Hespe and the model further reveals that if Iax really wanted her to stop shining onto the mortal sky and to instead come over to the faen sky then all that he really needed to do was to make her turn around 180° and to face the other way!!

That is the the theory in a nutshell and is therefore exactly how I believe that he did it, or tried to. However, this plan famously failed and this was, I suspect, because it was not thought through properly. I can imagine the major problem to overcome was that if the moon was once still in the sky, then moving her from a position of stasis into a mobile one meeds first to overcome inertia! And only when it was too late did he consider the problem of how do you make something stop again once it has started to turn. Building the brake is a very important detail indeed.

There might even be another parallel here to Kvothe and the time when he tried to show off his wind mastery to Ben. I believe that in that instance he used his own breath like you would shoot an arrow which he fired towards the bird. Unfortunately his action also had no brakes attatched to it and so the wind-arrow that he fired just continued to fly onwards and onwards, drawing his breath out behind it, all unravelling like an endless ball of our invisible string would since there was no command for it to stop once it had achieved it’s initial target. Stupid boy. He should have thought of the consequences of not applying balance in all things.

The shaper of the dark and changing eye could perhaps claim that he was blinded by love when he made his attempt, or maybe he was just short sighted, but he appears to have made this same schoolboy error and as a result of all his pulling, the moon did indeed turn around to face him… but then, having achieved momentum in a vacuum… the moon would then have just carried on spinning in space right going on past him and back round towards mortal again…and then back towards the fae again… etc, etc, etc. Jax has made his move, and made his mistake, and so Ludis is now permanantly locked into a spin cycle.

If, as I believe, the moon was never standing still and instead used to cartweheel around the sky then that would truly make her live up to her description as the ever moving moon. Always was. Always will be. I prefer this approach because it is quite likely this movement which provides her with the kinetic energy needed to light up her face in the first place. So if you were trying to turn this ever rolling moon around and yet not to stop her rolling pattern then that will require a handbrake turn and reverse of gear. Even if you tried to make her just stop and stand still instead, well, all that rolling energy has to go somewhere and so it turned into spin instead. The way that she moves now indicates that whilst her facelight has held to the same cosmic plane, her axis is now turned perpendicular to that which it was before. The roll has become a spin and that change would be transnslated into her appearance in mortal and fae as she adjusted herself into this new version of her ever moving pattern. Ultimately, Iax has only won half moon and not a whole one.

*It occurs to me that a third outcome would exists where her light could have turned to face neither realm directly but instead… facing upwards, (as we imagine things), yet still rotating as before. This would have the effect of both realms seeing two halfs of her her from along her line of division, creating identical images of a permanantly horizontal half moon, curving either up like a dome or down like a cup. In holding such a shape she would then never appear to change from either viewpoint although she would still technically be the ever moving moon.

Of course even ironing out the unseen side effects and having a fully functional rotational moon theft plan would not do you any good unless you had an actual factual physical link to the moon herself to perform any such a theft in the first place. You can’t do anything without a proper link and so you would still have no hope whatsoever of putting your plan into action. Possibly knowing her true name might carry some weight in the linkage department but a name is not exactly a tangible thing, in fact it ‘doesn’t have any weight, any substance. It behaves like a wave, you shouldn’t be able to touch it.’

Aside from naming, all of the more physical forms of magic we have seen in Pat’s world require something more tangible to work with, something you can actually hold in your hand and surely no ammount of tinfoil stretching would convincce us that it was ever possible for anyone in Temerant to own a true piece of the moon with which to control her. Someone would surely have spotted if a link existed by now. But Pat is nothing if not thorough and so, quite remarably perhaps, he has provided full instructions on how anyone with enough power, be they of mortal or fae, could get hold of an actual piece of the moon and bend it to their will. These instructions are printed in wmf page 674. This knowledge has huge implications since if Faen Felurian and Mortal Kvothe can both hold moonbeams then there is no reason to doubt that Iax couldn’t have done exactly the same, and once you held even a piece of her you would have all kinds of power over her since all moon is one moon.

Stretching the tinfoil further might suggest that this theft was described in the tale of the fastingsway war, which was an account of a daring moonlight escape. I now have a nice mental image of Jax towing Ludis through the doors of stone by a string of her own moonbeams.

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