So what might be so special about this blue blood that I speculated upon back in Primordial Soup then? Selitos is our main blue blooded example but his power was held to be in his ‘magical’ ability to look into the hearts of men and read them like heavy lettered books, and he was not alone…
‘In those days there were many who could do such things but Selitos was the most powerful namer of anyone alive in that age.’
Are we suggesting then that this blue blood of the namers (and/or shapers perhaps?) is in some way fundamentally different to the red blood of those without any such naming powers? Elodin tells us that a namers walked the streets like tiny goods and were obviosly far superior to their servants, the common folk and other serving men like Lanre and his soldiers but could anyone become a namer or is this skill inherent only to certain bloodlines?. More importantly, is this power that these blue bloods possess able to be passed on biologically to their blue blooded offspring (if any there be?) in order to continue the namers dynasty of power. That anyones blood could suddenly change colour upon gaining mastery of naming powers seems an unlikely twist, (but not impossible!) and so it would seem to be the safest approach to go along the easily explained route and simply say that Selitos and his peers were not just a bunch of learned mortal namers who had learnt to work ‘magic’ but instead were all members of the non-human faen species who were currently spending their spare time living it up in the lands of mortal, much like Bast is currently doing in Newarre and Felurian was once wont to do on occasion in Murella.
Perhaps they were using their innate faen glamourie skills to walk freely among the race of man cleverly disguised as fellow humans. If this were so then it appears that whilst they were here, some of them were actively using their powers to act like ‘tiny gods’ over a land which was not their own and were actively exploiting their power to secretly rule over the lives of the lesser mortals who they treated like pieces to be won or lost in the playing of their faen games. Whay little we know of these rulers of Ergen tells us that they were either making alliances with or waging war upon each other and in doing so were employing these local mortal men (like Lanre) in their armies to battle against their enemies own monstrous regiments.
Who then would be that enemy? That would clearly be some other factions from the faen realm, the darker sort mentioned by Felurian who ‘would love to use you for their sport’, beings like Encanis who declared upon the wheel that ‘your people are like cattle my kind feed upon… etc etc’. This dual fae line of reasoning will give us a situation where we actually have two different faen groups (namers and shapers if that helps any) who, by our own mortal standards, must both of them be considered as alien invaders and who were in fact only fighting their faen wars for faen reasons upon a battlefield of mortal land and mortal blood under the mortal moon.
History might perhaps record them by using a good fae/bad fae analogy but ultimately, if they were all fae, then from a neutral viewpoint I would suggest that the local humans whose land this once belonged to would have been far better off without the both of them. Of course we must also remember that, according to further Felurian revelations, there was no actual faen realm yet for them to have either come from or to go back to since all of that was still yet to come. Complicated here, innit!
But leaving all those mad faen thoughts to run off and play in the woods for a bit, let’s get back to our thoughts on the Ergen blue blood. How do we even know that it even actually exists in the first place and is not just something that I have made up to help explain a point? Well Felurian, whose authority we can trust absolutely concerning such things tells us quite catagotically that
‘There were never any human Amyr.’
Now Selitos One-Eye was the founder of the Amyr. Selitos was also the Lord of Myr Tariniel. Selitos was also therefore a man of Ergen… an Ergenite? QED. Selitos one-eye would not be classed as a human when he formed his Amyr. This was something Felurian said most assuredly, laughing at the very thought of such a thing as a mortal Amyr, and she should know since she was probably there herself on the day that they were formed…
On the other hand, Lanre most definitely was a man. Arliden tells us so.
‘A story of a man. Proud Lanre.’
When mining for tinfoil we have to follow the rule that everything that we are given to work with in Pat’s great work is truthfully spoken by the character involved, although perhaps only as far as the speaker believes themselves to be telling the truth. (Man mothers is one good example to ponder here.) This means that we must accept both these Pat quotes to be true, and if you do that then it becomes clear that these two famous names from Skarpi’s history of Ergen were actually two people from two completely different species. One of them human and other one assuredly not! Now we aren’t simply talking about them both hailing from two of the many different peoples of Temerant here, one of them with say black skin and the other with perhaps red hair, oh no, this goes an awful lot deeper than that! Whilst this might mean that Selitos was actually one of the fae, (and that is the most likely answer to run with since using words like ‘Titan’ will only confuse matters. ;o))
Lots of things can be regarded as not being human. Species like fish, birds and insects we can quickly disregard but Selitos and his ilk might possibly be considered to be more like a breed of very clever and evolutionarily advanced animals, planet of the apes style thinking perhaps, advanced apes with not only the power of human speech but also this strange new power which lets him see into the hearts of men, something most ‘normal’ humans simply cannot do.
Many other thoughts are available to our tinfoil minds and so part humans who are also part non humans might be the answer. Trapis, for instance mentions of Perial’s fellow villagers that
‘They were afraid that she may have lain down with a demon, and that her child was a demon’s child. Such things were not unheard of in these dark times, and the people were afraid.’
This statement will allow for cross breeding between two species as being an actual thing and that situation might well make any such demon children also count as being decidedly non-human, things to be regarded not as true men but more like ‘bad things in the shape of men’ perhaps. Other non-human words we might call upon to ponder here are dennerlings and shamblemen, gremen and daruna, and from HOHCTB we have reports of men bent into the shape of wolves with tongues of fire which might suggest to us that even if they were not now considered as human then Selitos and co. may at some point in time may still have been part of the original founding race of men but at some point had been bent into something more and/or less than they once were, more like a creation of parts rather than a true man as we might consider such things to be. A hybrid perhaps of both man and fae might work which would create a situation where any such half fae might now be labelled as a third species not able to be banished back to their own land like the fully fledged demons were by any means known to Tehlu because of their unique dual nationality of having a faen spirit wearing the fleshy body of a man. This might even lead us to think of Selitos to be best considered as a skin dancer using Pat’s terminology there but for now, I’m going to go with simply calling him a mutant because I just watched X-men again.
Standing against whatever Lord Mutant was biologically we have Lanre, who was born and named as a true man should be, one who was also now considered to be a leader of men who had armies of other loyal men under his command. He was also referred to as one of the lords of Ergen who had often spoken with his Lord Selitos in the past as two equals might. But Myr Tariniel always outranked the other cities in the grand order of Ergen and so Lord Lanre would still be counted as this mutant Lord Selitos’ inferior as far as having any real power was concerned.
All of this rambling will help lead us to a very interesting scenario unfolding before us which is starting to look a lot like a situation where this master race of mutants were ruling over the subordinate race of mankind, a species who hadn’t even realised what was really going on yet.
‘Was I counted a good man, Selitos?’
‘You were counted among the best of us, we considered you beyond reproach.’
These lines compond the dual situation we are investigating but just who is this ‘we’ that Selitos speaks of here? The other lords of Ergen perhaps, his fellow rulers of the other seven cities? Or just the other powerful folk like Selitos who posessed naming powers of their own, his fellow members of the Ergen arcanum perhaps? I suggest we are actually looking for the ‘many who could do such things’ here of whom Skarpi has earlier spoken.
Whilst we will never know exactly how many is that many, we do know about those specific three persons whom Selitos personally names as being his equals in power. Aleph, Iax, and Lyra, a statement which must surely mark all of these three to be of the same name knowing species as himself marking them all to be further examples of non-humans, too. Below these four we would then perhaps find some of the other leaders of the other cities, people of high office from across all of the eight ruling races of Ergen, with perhaps only a few of them being as human as they might first appear to be.
One such ruler of Ergen was Lanre himself, husband to Lady Lyra of Belen and therefore Lord Lanre by default in the public eye although his own power came not from any naming skills but from the strength of his arm and in his command of loyal men. Yes, he was a strong and brave man, skilled with a sword in his hand. Yes he had been their great champion and saviour at the Blak of Drossen Tor and so yes, Lanre was certainlty someone who would now be considered beyond reproach and welcomed with open arms by these blue blooded ruling lords and ladies into their inner councils as a token of respect shown to the mortal peoples greatest warrior and the best hope for the salvation of all the other blue blooded Ergenites. But whilst he was being counted a good man, he was always going to be just a man whilst his ‘old friend’ Selitos, as we now know, wasn’t really any kind of human at all… and it is growing ever more likely that neither was Lanre’s wife Lyra! Meaning that Lanre had married a mutant.
‘I am sorry to tell you this thing. You are a good man, and a pretty thing. But still, you are only a man. All you have to offer the world is your anger.’
Whichever way you choose to look at it Felurian’s Amyr quote clearly tells us that non-humans did indeed once exist as an actual factual presence in the mortal world, and indeed that many of them had held positions of great power to boot. Selitos is our opening link but we can also now see that all of those faithful Ruach who stepped forward to become his original Amyr will also be caught by Felurian’s catch-all statement. There were never any human Amyr and so obviously none of these faithful Ruach could ever have been considered human either. Our net can be expanded far further than that thought as Felurians rule must also apply to ‘the rest of the ruach’, too since this collective group of ex-Ergenites provided the original cloth from which all of Selitos Amyr were once cut. Then there are Lord Tehlu and his angels, none of whom could ever have qualified as humans in the first place by the same token and so it now seems that it would be fair to say that there wasn’t a single drop of red blood in the room with Aleph on that day. This was a private meeting for just the blue bloods who were dealing with a purely mutant problem since it was the red blooded Lanre who had torn their playhouse down, and this gentile man was still out there somewhere displaying all of his righteous anger towards them and their kind.
This pleasing image should give us some idea of the scope of things as they stand. The blue bloods have had their power broken and are now just a tiny minority of blue blooded mutants hiding out among the red blooded population of mortal man. Outside of Aleph’s door the reds are rife, doing whatever it is that any common or garden red blooded barbarians would normally find to do now that the creation war, which had blighted their human lives since time immemorial, was finally over.
So if Lanre’s fellow men were our red blooded humans and Skarpi’s Ruach are our blue blooded mutants then between them it is clear that they did somehow reach some kind of an accomodation and did go forth together into the purple pages of history to shape the new future of Temerant the colour that we now see it to be. As an invasive non-human mutant species, these ruach might walk like a man and talk like a man, but they are catagorically Not representative of mankind as we know it. If the truth about what they really are ever came out, well they would most likely be treated appropriately by the local superstitious commoners, armed with flaming torches and pitchforks no doubt, who would happily solve the problem by holding burnings at the stake whenever any such a demon touched creature who had clearly been meddling with dark forces was ever suspected of living amongst them.
Now the Adem already know about the presence in the world of these mutants and in their language they call what Selitos refers to as a Ruach, a Rhinta (the plural of which I predict will be Rhinata) who are defined as being a group of men who are more than men but less than men… shaped men.
‘Old things in the shape of men… and there are a handful worse than all the rest.’
But the real point of interest to be deduced here is that she still speaks about two groups of them the bad ones and the worse ones and therefore knows that both kinds of these collective mutants all still have their own place in the world today. This means that despite all of these mutants being recognized as old things, they are all of them also acknowledged to still be still active even after all of these long years later. The implication of that will mean that all of these ruach/rhinta/blue blooded/ mutant/ chandrian people walking about today are still the originals who must then be considered as having lived very long lifespans when compared to their short lived human counterparts.
Way back at the beginning of writing these pages my first published piece concerned Skarpi and now I suppose we can tack this pice onto the end of that (incredibly long!) piece when I proposed that Skarpi himself is one of these immortal ruach people. I also called Skarpi a namer which will tick both boxes and make him our prime example of what an actual factual blue blood still alive and well in Temerant today. Is this then the magical benefit of having too much blue blood in your veins? Immortality? Well perhaps immortal is too far fetched a word even for this particular tinfoil tangle and so I will officially downgrade the immortal mutant theory here and now to Extreme Longevity instead since it must be noted that Sheyehn admits such things can be killed, just not killed easily. Our faen example of Felurian, whom Kvothe admits could have ripped apart like a butterfly is further proof that the fae can die but also gives the Extreme longevity clause it’s full backing at the same time so perhaps we can agree that none of these classic blue blooded muants will ever likely die naturally of old age.
‘Death. All lives end in death, excepting one. Such is the way of things.’
As for Tehlu’s one and only exception to this rule the one man in the world who can lay claim to being truly immortal, well this line that was attributed to Tehlu can only ever be applied to Lanre to whom death is always an open door. But despite all of his new found powers and his guaranteed immortality, he was born a man and so will remain one in my eyes no matter what his name might have been changed to today. And he will remain a man ‘until the world ends and the Aleu fall nameless from the sky’.