The Rising Sun.

On the wall in Pat’s office there must be a map of the Waystone Inn since all of the individual mentions of the pubs layout correlate perfectly with each other and thus to this master architects blueprint. It is a device used by the writer so that he doesn’t get confused one day and accidently have someone go through a door that isn’t there or have the sun rising in the West. The Sun of Temerant rises in the East, just like in our world, although that was a very small crumb to finally track down in a very big book. But find it I did and that gives us a place to start our pub crawl and to see if we cannot recreate Pat’s clever map for ourselves. Long after I had first fallen down the rabbit hole, and my re-reads were somewhere in double figures, I started to collect notes for easy reference, I can barely make sense of my own scrawl now but they aren’t that important really once you learn your way around. It was during one of these re-reads that I jotted down all the little clues I could find about the shape of the Waystone Inn itself. It isn’t that hard to do as the Inn only appears during the interludes so the crumbs are few and far between but every crumb we gather helps us to understand the loaf better. Knowing about compass points is important because one line repeats itself for emphasis and talks of the fireplace on the Northern wall, which gives us a place to start. With one pin in the map we can then begin to turn one point into two and very easily on to four. Don’t worry about triangles for this exercise, and don’t worry whether things are true square or not because a square is also two dimensional and later on we can start to build upwards from the flat pencil foundations and begin to turn a square into a cube.

You will need a fresh sheet of paper, graph paper is very good if you have it, and a sharp pencil to write North at the top of the page. You will also need a ruler and almost certainly an eraser too.

Of Beginnings…

There is a massive black stone fireplace on the Northern Wall, so turn your paper landscape wise, mark the compass points in their correct places, draw a long line near the top and mark the chimney stack lightly near the centre of this first wall. Kvothe’s own small room is upstairs and also has a black stone fireplace, but his is in the centre of his room and is described as ‘a feat of engineering of which he was rather proud’. There is obviously some clever linkaging going on here since this fireplace is clearly not using the same chimney breast as the one one downstairs, that would be the fireplace in Bast’s room, but all that will become apparent later when we build the upstairs floor. Downstairs we are told that Bast once had his back to the bar when looking through the wide front windows at Newarre’s only road and on another occasion we are told that

‘ (early morning) sunlight poured into the Waystone. The light flowed across the bar, scattered a thousand tiny rainbow beginnings from the coloured bottles and climbed the wall towards the sword.’

The wide, and currently un-shuttered, windows (plural) that are mentioned here must face East in order for the sun to do this and so the bar is therefore against the Western wall, but the large public bar is only one part of the downstairs. Behind the single large taproom is the (probably) smaller kitchen area. We can’t draw in any details here since we never see it, but it needs to be acknowledged regardless. Draw the Eastern wall square to the Northern wall, and thus locate the Southern and Western edges of the building proper, we must also divide our building into two pieces with a dividing wall which is good for hanging swords on,somewhere between the taproom and the kitchen, probably unequally so I suggest a 2:1 size ratio would be a fair guess, although the kitchen size is unknown. That would give us a nice square bar room to decorate and leave the rest of the rectangular building given over to the unseen kitchen area. Building this wall means that we shall probably have to reposition our ‘massive’ fireplace a bit since it will likely be central to the room… That’s what I had to do and so I hope you have your rubber handy.

The street out front runs through the middle of town, North to South. The blacksmith lives opposite and so the Inn’s wooden front door is on the same Eastern wall as our wide light admitting windows are. The middle would be one guess with one window either side, but we have already learn’t from our fireplace mistake about assuming things without thinking. Both Carter and the mercenary bang this door open against the inside wall and for this to happen the East facing front door would have to hinge to the South-East corner of the pub and bang flat against the Southern wall when it is opened fully inwards. It would not be a small door, it has to admit some barrels later, but this isn’t a barn either so it is probably a bit narrower than either our wide windows, making it about half the width of our massive hearth. There is also mention of a raised planking area out front, a verandah with a small roof I suspect, directly in front of the pub windows which a lot of the locals stand upon to view the scene of the crime in the aftermath of the mercenary’s death. The front of the Inn is lit by lamps and is no use at all if you want to watch the sun set outside with a nice pint after a hard day’s work. By now we should have drawn a rectangle with a line dividing it somewhere to the left of centre giving us a square taproom with a door in one corner, probably two windows on the Eastern wall and a massive black hearth still holding things together at the top of the page.

The Western edge of the taproom is the location of the bar and this is the wall where folly hangs on her mounting board. The tap room itself is open plan with scattered tables and chairs. It has beams in the ceiling but no supporting pillars are ever mentioned. The only measurement I found was Aaron standing fifteen feet from the scrael table which is pretty useless but at least gives us some scope. Somewhere there is a staircase and the only spare wall space left for that is the Southern wall but again we need to find a true reference for us to draw that conclusion for certain. Fortunately Chronicler provides this on the second morning.

‘Chronicler reached the bottom of the stairs and stepped into the Waystone’s common room.Stopping in the doorway, he eyed the red-haired inn keeper hunched intently over something on the bar.’

Thanks Pat, a perfect vista of the stage properties is now ours to decorate. The front door we have worked out is the only door and must be in the South-East corner of the bar room. Since the stairs are not in the centre of the room nor do they obstruct the windows or hearth we can confidently put the staircase climbing away from the door across the Southern wall of the bar, a design which would allow guests to come and go from their rooms to the road without having to pass through the main tap-room at all or for the staff to answer any late night callers. The Bottom step should leave plenty of room for the door to bang past and the top step should definitely reach the safety of the supporting Western wall which is standard practice as any good builder will confirm. All that really remains now for the downstairs is to find the correct entrances through this wall to the basement and the kitchen ares respectively and then we can go for a drink at the bar.

Bast gives us the best ideas about the Basement as he uses it the most. On one occasion he emerges from the kitchen and crosses the room to the basement stairs. they are not side by side and so there is one door either side of Folly. I may have it the wrong way around but I believe the kitchen door is at the South West corner of the bar by the staircase which would only leave the cellar door to be in one of the Northern corners. The stairs down do not have a door themselves, just a doorway is mentioned and so opening in the North East corner, directly onto the street, is out of the question as the wooden stairs lead straight down and therefore away from the bar room but not crossing outside of the four boundary walls. Barrels get taken across the room from the front door and down the wooden steps to the basement which must therefore lead down to a room below the kitchen. The final barrel is manouvered behind the bar, through the kitchen and into an unseen pantry. Lastly, when Bast is eavesdropping on his masters story he is doing so from below, possibly directly below Kvothe’s chair listening through the cracks in the wooden floorboards so we could well assume that the cellar floor is the same size as the floors of the building above. When he does emerge through the doorway he stops and talks to Kote at the bar before he then springs towards Chronicler who was siting at a table out in the bar-room proper therefore he is leaping in an Easterly direction further into the room. This leaves the only place for the basement doorway to be at the North end of the bar and to the left of the fireplace, creating a hole in the supporting West wall.

Polishing off the Bar

The bar itself is a long stretch of polished mahogany and is polished at every idle moment. Bar’s get old over time to achieve that ‘old’ look about them but Kote has only been in town a year or so and it is his bar now, he also gets upset if you scratch his floors. This single piece of wood doesn’t allow direct access from the kitchen to the cellar doorway and so it must curve around at one end right into the wall itself. Many bars put a serving hatch at this point but there is never any mention of one here so a larger bar area here instead would afford all those sitting on stools at this end a good wide space to huddle around and argue about things over a nice bowl of stew. The old git’s corner. It is also the area that would be warmest as they would always be sitting with their backs towards the massive fireplace, something else which is also cleaned regularly. No actual cellar door is mentioned in our hole-in-the-wall, just the wooden stairs leading down, and it might well be that the gents toilets are to be found downstairs too in case nature calls. Ladies like Mary and little Syl are allowed through the private kitchen door at the other end of the bar by the staircase to do their necessary in private.

The wooden floor of the bar is also meticulously swept every night and is mopped a lot too, its had a lot of mopping recently which all helps to make the place look old. Tables come and go in various shapes and sizes and chairs are available if you don’t merit a stool at the bar. Behind the bar itself are Kote’s special bottles…

Teaching Colours to a Blind Man.

‘Two huge barrels loomed on the counter behind the bar, one for whiskey, one for beer. Between the barrels stood a vast panoply of bottles: all colours and shapes. Above the bottles hung a sword.’

I think that we need a new sheet of paper now, the bar is like the altar and deserves some details. Draw two large circles for barrels and hang the sword above. You are in Master Bast’s hands now, and his lesson starts as he points at the first bottle on the bottom row. He began chanting as he counted bottles down the line. This is his drinking song.

Maple. Maypole. Catch and carry. Ash and Ember. Elderberry.

How many bottles is that? I make it 6, Maple and Maypole have a capital each and a period between Catch begins the next name but the lower case lettering for ‘and carry’ ties it to the former and this one bottle simply has a longer sounding name, names are important after all. It sort of sounds like what you might do to an apple falling from a tree so perhaps that is a clue as to it’s fruity contents?? Ash and Ember do not have a period between them but both have their own capital letter so I would suggest they are bottles 4 & 5 respectively despite the linkage process changing. The trick here is all about the meter of the chant again and Bast both likes, and expects, Elderberry. He has sung this rhyme before, but something makes him taste from this bottle #6 which is described as being ‘squat and green’ before he pours. Maybe this is because it is the wrong colour or shape? and instead of his usual tipple he get’s some sort of sour melon instead.

The reason why his counting is out is because the night before Kote smashed a bottle of Elderberry in the mercenary’s face, we can smell it, and so Bast is actually drinking what used to be bottle #7. which is his sour melon thing. He then picks up a curving red bottle instead which has something spicy in it’s flavour, possibly cinnamon. We can only guess that this was the 8th bottle in line but his rhyme then continues from this place as he pointed to the next bottle along and started counting again.

Woolen. Woman. Moon at night. Willow. Window. Candlelight.

Another half a dozen bottles and we can see the trick now, it’s the same meter and ‘Moon at night’ is in the same place as ‘Catch and carry’ from before but I haven’t the slightest what that one might be. His cinammon bottle may well translate into ‘Woolen’ and ‘Woman’ could very well be a fresh replacement for the strawberry drink Kote broke two days before. But ‘Candlelight’ is a clear bottle with a pale yellow liquor inside. Bast is not suspicious to taste this one at all, he knows it is the correct shape and colour as usual and is exactly the one that he wanted. There are a few reasons why Bast must know that he has the right bottle in his hand this time despite his earlier mistake. Firstly there is the colour of the contents, but that is no guarantee since two yellow bottles may exist, this also applies to the shape of the bottle but the odds are that each liquor is unique. But this is a counting game and randomly picking colours is against the rules. As to the count being correct, he can no longer be totally sure on that count whether he does indeed hold Candlelight in his hand… unless of course Candlelight is always the final bottle in the line and we have therefore reached the second of the two vast barrels, one for whiskey, one for beer, and the next drink ‘Barrel’ which begins his final verse, is this barrel.

‘Barrel. Barley. Stone and stave. Wind and water—-‘

Assuming this singsong chant to be an extension of the bottle song would bring us to the barrel which really ought to be beer given the phrasing earlier… but continuing the chant gives us Barley next followed by stone and stave. Now, since we have finished with bottles and the barrel is vast it might be lying tight up against the stone wall and the wooden doorframe of the cellar entrance and that is what is represented. More likely it is referring to the Stave of the barrel itself and Stave and Stone doesn’t have the same ring to it somehow, I dont know, but if we are still in barrel land then the Barley part must be referring to the barrel’s contents, and that means whiskey…not beer.

Crazy Martin has planted all barley again this year, which is a good thing to do if you are running a still and need a lot of raw materials, as Bast discovers he is in The Lightning Tree. The other time we go to the whiskey barrel is when the regulars have a tumble of barrel whiskey together which is very generous of Kote because barrel whiskey is far superior to bottle whiskey and costs a penny a swallow. That would all tally with this whiskey being a single malt whiskey which is a top class spirit made with Barley. Purists will argue about brewing requirements and whether whisky is spelt with an ‘E’ but regardless of that, this is where it is tapped from. This could also explain how Kote could afford to stock it in ‘vast barrels’ I mean how many swallows is that? That much whiskey would cost a bit too but even though money doesn’t seem to matter to Kote it might be noticed by a suspicious mind that this is a very expensive aquisition for a poor village pub. Buying local would also tally nicely with his general persona of looking out for all of the diverse members of his community financially if he can help it, he tends to his flock, usually at his own expense, in fact his generosity is an underlying theme throughout all of the interludes. With the barrels out of the way Bast continues his pointing through ‘Wind and water’ which should bring us up to the basement which might indicate the presence of our gents toilet or maybe something more subtle, a small window perhaps with a rain barrel outside maybe but we do know when we to the end and find our massive black fireplace again we have a good closing link for that.The fire place is a place to keep mulling stones as Kote shows us when he makes his nutmeg drink, although Kvothe cannot stand nutmeg and the final part of the preparation process. The final word of verse three is cut short here, but Bast does have the last word when he repeats his rhyme to the soldiers in the woods in the final scene. The final word is MisbehaveĀ  and on that occasion he is pointing directly at the fire giving Bast’s song and my extrapolation some balance and some closure.

Half Built Houses

Kote’s room is found directly at the top of the stairs in the South West corner. It’s door is above our dividing wall and so it is the same length as the kitchen is wide. It is a small narrow room with a desk, two chairs, a small central fireplace and a narrow bed with the thrice-locked chest of Kvothe the Bloodless at it’s foot. It also has a window that overlooks the garden. Basts room is larger with wood panelling, thick carpets, and two lounging couches. One corner of the room is dominated by a large canopy bed with deep green curtains, and it also has a window. The fireplace in Bast’s room has a mantle and would likely use the same chimney as our massive hearth downstairs putting it in the North East corner overlooking the street. Chronicler is put to bed in one of the many other rooms on the second floor, I take this to be the first floor proper as the basement will count as ground Zero, I don’t think this is a skyscraper. It is a large room with a bed, a chair, and a heavy chest of drawers beside the window which gives him a view of the little town to the East. This room is uncomfortably close to Kote’s and his late night visitor urges quiet in case they are heard.

Bast moved to the room at the opposite corner of the pub from Kote’s room so that any noise he makes won’t disturb his reshi if he has guests calling since six solid walls are between them. That is all we get but it would appear that the two rooms at the front balance with perhaps four smaller rooms at the back and the hallway running the buildings length between putting it directly above the bar. This would give a layout providing both masters and servants rooms balanced at the front and back for any overnight guests, although the roles are reversed for the staff. There may be a room between Chronicler and Bast but that is not necessary to know as it really depends on how you go about counting our six solid walls. What we do need to know is how you might get from one of the front rooms to another without using the corridor. This is done by climbing through the windows and inching along the small roof I suggested earlier which covers the planking area at the front.

Our kitchen has a pantry with an apple barrel, a table and chairs, an icebox, a stove and a back door. Water comes from a pump, possibly at a sink or straight from the rain barrel. Kote is also suspected of brewing his own beer somewhere for the vast barrel in the tap room although the cellar would be the place for brewing. Out back is a small private garden where Selas vines (not flowers though) are to be seen. The garden is sheltered by trees and is also where the cider press lives. Firewood is stacked further back into the woods.

Ladies Night

Back to the bottles though and Kote also tells us what he has to offer with a list down the line of his own which we can use in combination with Bast’s chant.

‘I have it all right here’ Kote gestured expansively behind the bar. ‘Old wine, smoothe and pale? Honey mead? Dark ale?

This would bring him up to the first, and leftmost Barrel, since we then reach the Liquor cabinet.

‘Sweet fruit liquor! Plum? Cherry? Green apple? Blackberry?

These four descriptions would give us a proper matchable content for the first four names in Bast’s song. Thus Maple would be Plum. Maypole would be Cherry… and that means that ‘Catch and carry’ does indeed refer to my predicted Green apples! I love it when a plan comes together :0)

But there is a final twist to be added, a Woman is involved and the smell of strawberry fills the air. Kote is facing the bottles now facing his memories, his hands flat on the counter before his bottles.

‘His right hand, tangled in a clean white cloth, made a slow fist. Eight Inches away a bottle shattered. The smell of strawberries filled the air…’

If he stopped naming bottles at #4 and put his hands on the counter there, eight inches would put him close enough for my liking to being bottle #8. Strawberry wine, the drink we associate with Denna.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *