‘soup is easy’
This one feels a bit ‘unnecessary’ to me in that I feel it is so obvious that it sort of goes without saying, and yet it needs to be said anyway in order for this history to progress further. Proving something by connectivity cannot always be achieved satisfactorily, but a heavy implication can carry an awful lot of weight. The point is that even though Ergen and everything it stood for has now been deliberately forgotten about across all of the diverse nations of the four corners, life continuëd, obviously.
When you think about that a bit you come to the conclusion that those few folk who had somehow survived the fall of Ergen, (approximately 1/8th of the original total… and some change), must have also managed to make their seperate ways through all of the horrors of the demon daze that were to follow until the day when they finally gathered together in one disparate group of assorted refugees who somehow came to stand before Lord Aleph in order to receive his judgement on the shape of the new world to be. According to Skarpi#2 this group of men and women are now collectively referred to as the Ruach, when actually they were all technically still classic Ergenites at heart. Some of them (like Selitos one-eye) could still expect to have had a larger say in matters than others as he was once acknowledged as their supreme leader in the past and furthermore he would also be considered to still have the blood of Myr T running through his veins, and bloodlines are very important things in Temerant today, incredibly so in some cases.
Natural selection dictates that the cream will always rise to the top in any given society and so the strongest, tallest, fastest or simply the cleverest, richest or the most powerful will always dictate the road for their herd to follow, and the closer to the top you are then the creamier you will deemed to be. This will naturally establish a pecking order, and therefore a class system, and ultimately create a hierarchy where Lord Aleph must be at least one step above Lord Selitos which will make Him a very, very powerful fellow indeed. On hearing of Aleph’s plans for their future, Selitos promptly refused his acknowleged lord at which point some of the other Ruach chose to follow his leadership and took the rank of subordinate Ciridae beneath him. Eight more of the Ruach chose to follow Lord Tehlu instead and became the angels with all that entailed and so departed the land never to be seen again. This will leave the rest of the ruach, a number that is referred to as most of them ‘who were afraid and didn’t want to become involved in great matters’ standing at the back of the hall like so many wallflowers at a barn dance. These unchosen ruach have instead decided to step away from the responsibilities expected from the upper echelon’s of future power and opted instead to make their own ways in the new world. The top rungs of the power ladder were clearly deemed too high for them to aspire to and so, left to their own devices, these lower case ruach will have moved to consolidate their own immediate futures at a position found a few rungs down the ladder of power from that of the Amyr and Angels (and the singers and Sithe) somewhere in the middle levels where they felt that they could better operate to the best of their abilities. This lesser rung was a level where they might have felt more comfortable but it was clearly not going to be at the very bottom rung of the social ladder, obviously, as that’s where all the ravel will eventually end up.
Skarpi’s information about these ruach is ended here quite abruptly and so we will never get to hear about their true fate meaning that all these remaining ruach have promptly disappered off of our radar as they stepped away into the great labyrinth of history, which will begin writing itself in the year 2Æ, just as soon as there is something new to write about.
The situation for us historians now is akin to observing the sowing and sprouting of the first green shoots that will eventually make up a whole new forest of Temeranti family trees to replace the officially dead EveRGreEN trees which have all now been chopped down and burnt to ashes in a fiery pit in Atur on the orders of Lord Tehlu!
Now, there are two ways of going about continuing this piece. I could either bore the pants off you all by meticulosly examining all the quotes we have about the histories of each culture and highlighting all of the little indications Pat has cleverly given us just to try and prove a point. Or… I could just stick with outlining the general theory and let you fill in the relevent citations for yourselves so to more easily make up your own minds as to each ones veracity and relevance. After a month of low productivity working painfully towards plan A, I have now decided life is too short and so I will follow plan B instead, which is quicker, easier, and will perhaps help us all to sharpen up our Alar’s a bit more.
So, ignoring what differences this decision might actually make, if any, to this whole project and assuming that time did indeed run concurrently across both timelines of our Erg>Tem chronology… and ignoring the moon, and the fae, and the larger plans of Aleph, Amyr, Haliax, the7 and all that other fun stuff for now, we can understand that there must then have been a moment in time when these two seperate era’s of man will have met, overlapped, officially stopped, and then officially re-started again under a new guise. This will mean that the lives of these remaining ruach will now become a lot like a collection of Adam and Eve projects, a study of whom which will result in us affirming the point of view that anyone who has ever lived in New Temerant should all still carry some small link to the now forbidden Ergen bloodlines of the distant past buried somewhere deep within their own genetic make-up, with some folk moreso than others.
Society today can be likened to the horse analogy Denna used when she explains how the strongest, fastest and fanciest horses will always get the best treatment. To win in that game is always a gamble based upon the assumption that breeding and pedigree equals class and power with the best bloodlines holding the truest down through the ages suggesting that the earlier you can trace your ancestors lineage, the more ‘pure blooded’ and therefore the more ‘noble’ your station in life will be deemed to be. Such is the way of all worlds, alas.
This situation will become a bit more sticky if we can also imagine that perhaps there might have been something a bit ‘special’ about the blood of old Ergen, something which marked all those who carried it in their veins to be considered as being somehow ‘superior’ to all the others… we might use the term blue blood here perhaps to ease our thinking. If that is so then we must now be talking about two seperate races of man, the more common red bloods v’s the more noble blues (United v’s City perhaps ;-)), giving us an image of a class divide in action. However, if we also consider that everyone who was still alive after the year 1Æ had a drop of Eld Ergen in them then at some point in our history, a second strain of a more ‘common’ bloodstream would have been required to dilute this ‘royal’ bloodline down into the lesser version of itself that it clearly is today. This would perforce require the introduction of a new blood group that wasn’t there before, or rather it was always there before but was always considered to be a lesser variant to that of the ‘blood of kings’ making it ‘the blood of peasants’ instead.
The only actual marriage that we can reference from before this time gives some credence to the claim holding water when we consider the marriage of Lyra and Lanre. Lyra knew the names of things and so knew true power which has been compared to that of a tiny god. She was named by Selitos as being one of the four most powerful people in all of Ergen whereas her husband was not on his power list in any such shape or form and so ultimately he must have been regarded as ‘just a soldier’ who found glory in war and who’s own ‘power’ was found in his strength of arm. Whilst he was a man who’s actions may well have led him to be ‘considered beyond reproach’ by the powers of Ergen who actually ruled the cities and who trusted him to fight and die for them, he was still not ‘one of them’ in the classical sense. They might have married for love and he did have the command loyal men but he was never going to be considered to be her equal in true power and was therefore always going to be of a lower social standing than his wife. Then came her death which was soon followed by his great betrayal which ultimately bought down seven of the eight pillars of empire and necessitated great changes to fall upon all of the diverse peoples of the land leaving them as homeless nomads wandering in a land beset by demons.
The collapse of empire would of course mean that much of it’s inherent power base was also lost and that would have been a great leveller to those who did manage to survive, be they prince or pauper, as they were now all in the same boat together, the reds and the blues, surviving the whims of life and death as best they could until the next round of great events arose. That would be the state of the nation until the coming of Tehlu which created a second chance for everyone who was left standing to start all over again once more, and so we can imagine them all now attempting to rebuild what they had lost from among their severely diminished stock, a sitiation which will always lead to a future that can only ever be a shadow of its former self.
Now Tehlu might have had a hand in plotting the roadmap for this great change unto all the races of mankind when he gave everyone in the entire world a brand new name via a tap or three with his magic iron hammer, apparently, and possibly it was this analogy of action in action which had the end result of subltly altering not only their names but their genetic fingerprint in the process (Discuss for homework)
A much simpler answer can be conjectured by applying simple biology in that everyone knows that it takes two people to make a baby, a man and a woman, but with so much life having been lost during the fall of empire it would be fair to assume that most of Ergen’s surviving population will now have lost at least a few of their former loved ones to the fighting and so they might now find their own particular branch of the universal family tree to be threatened with extinction… unless they could find a suitable new mate from whatever breeding stock was left available at the horse market. The planting of these new Temerant family trees may mean that those who were once regarded as the most noble houses might well now have had to resort to mixing their own refined bloodline with that of a ‘lesser’ family than they would normally consider as being suitable. Some would find such unions as these absolutely necessary to ensure the future of their lineage, an action which will, of course have the unavoidable side effect of diluting the bloodstreams of these noble families future breeding stock down by a notch or two from the strength which it once might have held.
‘In those days the arcanum was a strong brandy, now it is a well-watered wine.
This quote from Elodin can be used to help understand what it is I am actually trying to say here. Wine is not brandy but blood is still blood so if a surviving lord or lady had lost part or all of their own family line during the fall of his or her city (or indeed to the departure of the angels, Deah is one such example) yet still needed a mate with whom to replenish the family name then they would needs must have married beneath themselves, dropping their sights down to a lower station than they might have chosen before in order to produce more heirs. If the best match left available to them was that of say a rich merchants daughter then that lord’s heirs would now find themselves carrying only half of his blue blood and half of her red blood meaning that the future rulers of Temerant will not be as true blue as before but be considered as being more of a purple colour instead.
This human breeding program will have been strengthened or weakened by the careful selection of suitable matches from amongst the ‘old blood’ families ever since and thus a form of status quo is still maintained among the upper classes as best they can. But once it has been cut, no bloodline will never truly recover back up to the rarified quality of the Ergen blue that it was once deemed to be because entropy always increases.
Even the loyal servants of today, such as Stapes, might also lay claim to a purple lineage of his own spent in loyal service to his lord Alveron’s blue whilst at the same time being undoubtedly common and lacking any noble bearing in his appearance whatsoever making him look ‘more like a grocer’ as Kvothe often comments. Stapes own family history has clearly run parallel to that of the kings of Vint right back to the ‘old’ days when the Vints were no more than a bunch of squabbling sea kings. They were served by their own army of loyal staff all following in their own personal family footsteps, like father like son, down through the same long centuries as their masters and perhaps even further backwards in time to the same forgotten events that shaped them all. Even the original common folk of Ergen would have found themselves just as caught up in the same fall of empire as their peers and would likely have survived in much the same diminished percentage rates as anyone did on that fateful night when Lanre orchestrated his great betrayal. The same basic survival rates would have carried some of the luckier ones all the way through until we reached the year 1Æ when the good Lord Aleph caused his great humanitarian reset to be and so across the board the same luck of the draw survival rates will have held their shape across all of the races of Ergen. When the cities fell everyones chances were all the same and so we can imagine that only a random sample of folk will have survived the trials and tribulations, hailing from all walks of life and representative of all races and not just those select few who wielded the real power in the land, who lived in a big city and perhaps even had a big palace to call their own.
We can therefore happily assume that every single one of the diverse peoples we hear of in the world today could, given accurate enough records, all work out their own ancestral family tree which in theoretically could be traced back through time to the time of the ruach as this same date in history of 1Æ. And those alive on that day would all have descended from the self same root stock that was the eight great cities of Ergen. Everyone must have originated from somewhere, after all.