Apocalypse in 7/8
Have you ever noticed that the following lines appear on NotW p. 77?
Seven things has Lady Lackless
Keeps them underneath her black dress
One a ring that’s not for wearing
One a sharp word not for swearing
Right beside her husband’s candle
There’s a door without a handle
In a box, no lid or locks
Lackless keeps her husband’s rocks
There’s a secret she’s been keeping
She’s been dreaming and not sleeping
On a road that’s not for traveling
Lackless likes her riddle raveling
I’ll tell you right now, I don’t have all the answers. This is one of those that is a work in progress.
The tRIaNGle Cycle.
If you have come from my Lady Perial and her rings of gold theory to get here you will start to see how fiendish this riddle unravelling game can be. My approach to the two Lockless songs (I & II) is one that involves reducing each line down to its most salient word and ignoring the other indicators, for now, as it is easier to work with smaller pieces at this level. And one line at a time…for now.
In LacklessI Seven different things are being described, and the first two items that Lady Lackless currently has about her person are a Ring (for which I shall use letter O) and a Word. (W)
Then things start to get a bit funny. The second Lackless rhyme (LII) lists all seven items clearly in 1,2,3 order, but LI doesnot, it only really defines the first two of them as hers before the next items are shared out equally between the husband and the wife, the riddle continues by naming her Husband’s (H) one-time posessions. We have his candle (C) which stands outside the door (D) which is plainly going to be the door that Caudicus mentions as an heirloom that lies on the oldest parts of the family estates. Being the Husband of Lady Lackless would make him Lord Lackless and this is therefore his door, too.
Lady L might physically have possession the Box (B) but without the means of opening it, she cannot in any truth claim full ownership of the contents…his Rocks (R), The seventh and final thing that the lady keeps is a Secret (S) and this final item appears to be all hers.
Using Algebraic lettering like this gives us the simple identifiers O,W,C,D,B,R,S.
Factoring in Lord Lackless as being an equal partner in the Lackless family would mean that all possessions would be jointly owned, so if 7 things has the Lady then it follows that 7 things also has (or had) the Lord… presuming that all ownership is oddly dual… like the chancellors socks !
This line of thinking would only work whilst they were still married and still a going concern in the world. After they had departed from that place then the charge of stewardship of this door and box, and their encumbent rocks and attendant candle, would then be passed down through the family tree as dual heirlooms to be held by eldest remaining member of the next generation.
We should also note that among the earliest spellings used in Lockless history for the true family name are Loeclos, or Loklos, or Loeloes and they were all at one time valid. But although the Loeclos Box is how Meluan Lackless, the current Lady of the house Lackless, refers to this ancient family heirloom herself. This does not quite end our digging. That name relates to the boxes age. The name Loklos might just be a transitory step in the whole chain of events that led to the box, and may indicate a time where the ‘ck’ part was first married to the ‘Loe’ part, creating the lock. The bottom of the pile theory is that LoeLoe’s could indicate loe + loe which I might even suggest to be an acronym for the combined initials in Lord Of Ergen and Lady Of Ergen.
Our first rhyme actually locks things up betweeen the husband and wife for us already since if you have B in your hands then you also have R. You cannot really have one without the other by default and similarly if you are in the presence of D then you are also in the presence of C! or in English, the rhyme dictates that you cannot own the box without also owning the rocks, or be at the door without also being at the candle. Each two items come as a pair.
This leaves us with the W and S which do actually fit nicely enough together as Secret Words are the key to revealing secrets of the mouth, a thing much spoken of by Teccam in his Theophony.
‘There are two types of secrets, Secrets of the mouth and Secrets of the heart.’
Words are necessary devices for the revealing of Secrets of the mouth. The other kind of secret he explains is a secret of the heart and whilst we do not know what that means yet, this line of reasoning does provide another nice double link between the last bits of our mad algebra a third pair in our overall view of things. It would also be expected that one of these two will correctly be positioned under her husbands list of possessions to make all three brackets neat and tidy and since the Lady has claimed posession of the S, his piece must be the W by default.
This has now become a double triangle problem with the three superimposed corners being C/D, B/R and W/S which should also follow the pattern dictated that one triangle is specifically associated with the Lord and the other is designated for his Lady.
The remaining O we have already identified as being the Golden ring around the eye and they are unique to Lady Perial Lackless (and her heirs) but this ring is singularly spoken of which doesn’t fit with a pair of eyes or the dual pattern emerging since her husband would not share her ocular appearance as he lacks the requisite link since he is in no way God’s father.
And so it appears this path is becoming a dead end as the two cannot share this same eye ring. So we can either give up … or assume that there must be a second riddle ring to discover. OO
The Ring Cycle. part II
As I pointed out earlier, Lord L could himself once be considered as the joint custodian of the Lockless door and Loeclos box, unless of course he predated their construction, however the candle and rocks were definitely once his own personal belongings and are only in his wife’s current safe keeping since his absence. There ought to be a rhyme somewhere that lists the seven things that Lord Lackless owned too, really, and that would double up to fourteen things in total.
Seven things stand before the entrance to (Lord)Lackless’ door.
One of them a ring(O) unworn
Two a word(W) that is forsworn
Three a time(T) that must be right
Four a candle(C) without light
Five a son(S) who brings the blood
Six a door(D) that holds the flood
Seven a thing(T2) held tight inn keeping
Then comes that (the answer) which comes with sleeping.
Ooooooo-K! Back to work on Ringlore.
Trying to compare the two riddles as one for alternate lines for his Lordship and her Ladyship is the way forward. Remembering that the original way into this mess was by closely examining a Vintish copper penny, I will hazard a guess that our puzzle is a lotlike looking at a newly broken penny where each part is now a single and seperate thing. It would appear that for some unknown reason the happy couple are no longer together, their marriage has been reft apart like everything else in this part of the world has been, and while if is for her to remain by the door, he has gone into exile. This separation would also seem to be a tragic event in her Ladyship’s eyes in that it was enough to make her afterwards become famously noted as wearing a black dress and black is readily acknowledged as being the colour of mourning.
note: this shouldn’t be confused with the name of the last day of the week, or that Mourning’s colour would likely be Tehlin grey! although i’m sure that the sentiment is the same. Or even mentioning that ‘blak’ meant ‘battle’ in the old tongue of Ergen…
All the indications and hints I am getting from the various songs we hear of in the world are that a mutually happy separation doesn’t exist. The Lay of Sir Savien is a tragedy of love lost and this seperation is comparable in that it has also left our lady all alone. There is further musical indications of lonliness due to separation like the lady in the lyrics to Violet Bide perhaps, who waits for her lover to come back from the sea, or maybe like the one from In the Village Smithy! who’s husband has gone off to war. I would guess that if music is anything to go by, the Loeclos seperation was almost certainly deemed to be a necessary one and that it has been imposed upon the lovers not by cruel fate, but by design. Since our Lady is also known to be the mother of God among her other titles, (pure of heart and above any reproach, saviour of the world, mother of dragons etc. etc.) and considering that her ex-husbands keepsakes are all she has left to remember him by, and are the whole families most treasured possessions, then it really ought to be the case that nobody could ever have the authority to be able to tell her who she must or mustn’t be with, not the Emperor who couldn’t tell her to cross the road,, nor the King of Modeg who was more wicked than she, not even the Pontifex could make that decree, since she is the Queen of the world and outranks him. No, Only a higher authority than man could have been responsible, namely her own first born son Menda/Tehlu/Aleph/God. Only He would dare have the right to demand any such a thing of her and her choice of husband. No mere mortal man could hope to dictate their will to be above that of God’s own mother which suggests that their parting must have been an essential part of God’s own plan, the sort of thing that was held to be a necessary sacrifice… possibly because it was for the greater good…
The alternative is that she threw him out for diddling the chambermaid or something like that.
The bottom line is that the husband is clearly no longer on the scene and only his ex-wife knows the importance of his last remaining possessions, and she isn’t telling anyone what that is because it’s a secret of the heart, and the unhappy couple are both holding onto the answers very tightly.
The Lord of the Rings.
There is a lot of similarity between the two lists and the two rings are close enough at first glance to be assumed as being one and the same, but this is not so. If we are looking for ‘his n hers’ then a ring unworn and a ring that’s not for wearing are clearly not the same thing. Perial’s rings are visibly for wearing and cannot be removed and this is where the differences inherent in the two riddles answers begin to appear, they refer to seven answers for each partner. So what is his ring all about?
We hear from Bredon about the tradition of exchanging courtly rings among Vintish society as a way of displaying your rank and power and that the three levels of power are lowly Iron, Silver parity and finally superior Gold. On that basis, Lady Perials own golden ring marks her as being accorded a status far above all others in the way of such things and the most important O that there can ever possibly be. None is held in higher regard than she, not even her husband can claim that accolade and although we do not know his own ring status to properly compare them, we can assume that he was most likely regarded as silver for parity in the three ring scale as you wouldn’t insult sucha man with iron. but then we are told that there is a fourth ring to consider, a lower rung of the ladder than iron which once used to appear in the rankings long ago to mark a servant but the practice has now fallen out of use completely and is only remembered as a plot device in a number of old plays…
In a modern comparison to our historical investigation, the difference between the top ring and bottom rung of the status symbols would be best depicted by when Lady Meluan Lackless gives the Edema Ruh Kvothe a wooden ring with her own name freshly burned into if. Such is the depth of division displayed to all here by the Lady Lackless giving anyone a wooden ring shows to the whole world that she is taking the most extreme method of making her point, telling the recipient that he is to be considered as far beneath her in every shape, way and form imaginable, and that the ravel ruh are ranked in her eyes as the lowest of the low, that the Edema are an excresence on the arse of world, or even that they are like the discharge that drips from it. Compared to her own lofty golden station they are lower than the shit on her horses shoes and that they aren’t even bracketed as being the same species as herself. This is her own opinion of someone in the know as to the two opposite ends of the social spectrum and is the view of the Lackless family as a whole who even disowned their daughter for joining with a different family, the One family of the Edema Ruh.
‘That means to her you aren’t even a person. You aren’t worth recognizing as a human being… It’s not the sort of ring you wear,’ Said Bredon uncomfortably, ‘It’s quite the other sort of ring actually.’
Stapes confirms this on the next page when he asserts that ‘You really shouldn’t wear it’ to which Kvothe, who understands her accompanying letter, replies ‘I’m not ashamed of what I am, If this is the ring of an Edema Ruh, I’ll wear it.’ Stapes sighed, ‘It’s more complicated than that.’
It doesn’t look that complicated to me, it is twice clearly stated that a wooden ring is a ring that’s not for wearing and is therefore the ring of the original Lord Loeclos and of the Edema Ruh both. Lord Lockless is considered as deserving the same rank as the travelling ravel as Kvothe is, and Lady Lackless is dismissing Kvothe Utterly. His rejection has further comparisons to the Adem’s act of ‘cutting away’, which is the ultimate in exile from their own silent family for breaking the unbreakable rules. The implication is that the whole Lackless family, their song, their history of misfortune and scandal and the origins of the old Vintish tradition the giving of ‘a ring that’s not for wearing’ is the same method the original family used to deliver the ultimate message to any that they consider the Edema Ruh men that the all Lackless ladies never want to ever even think of again. It is a banishment and an instruction to never darken their door again… which is a bloody good line to use here as their door in question is already lit by the ravel lord’s own candlelight as per the Lackless song. Perhaps Stapes was right, it IS more complicated than that.
Like our original ring unworn, this ring also happens to be a ‘ring that’s not for wearing’… and it’s a wooden one. Meluan Lackless knows better than any the import of this old tradition to let her true feelings about the Edema Ruh known to Kvothe. His newly given ring he keeps as a memento of his own, it is also really an heirloom since it is the ring of the lackless outcast and given his mothers bloodline this is his true birthright and this one is even a true Lackless ring, it’s even got the name burned into it. Of course, being his mother’s son, he already has the Golden rings of the Lackless family and so now he has a matching set . OO. So if the Golden ring is from his ultimate grandmother, and the bloodline is still unbroken all down through the ages, then the wooden ring must represents his ulimate grandfather…whoever that may be, and Kvothe the Bloodless is looking like he is in all actuality the son that brings the blood.
Auri say’s that a wooden ring holds your secrets, and Auri is very wise about such things.