Day and Night
Now that we finally have one foot in the Fae, some form of map may be rather useful before continuing. Half a page or so of hints is not much to go on but it should be enough as life in the Fae is governed by two things, dark and light, and the further out from the centre you go, the darker it gets. To gather the materials for Kvothe’s shaed took an expedition out into the outer limits where strange and dangerous things live. The sky darkened and the stars dwindled but there were still trees in this part of Fae, vast trunks and dark branches like a cathedral towered all around them. One unseen but terrifying presence was attracted by foolish Kvothe when he decided to make some light to see by, stupid boy. Now it may very well have been the light itself that attracted it, that is the most likely explaination, however it should be noted that he didn’t use something as mundane as a tinderbox, oh no, he used sympathy in a motion-to-light binding (Capacatorial Kinetic Luminosity?) and since he was stark naked and had no piece of metal to focus on, I can only assume his power source was his own red mortal blood which might be part of an answer too. Whatever he did, something came to investigate and Felurian had to act swiftly with the rebuke ‘ciar nalias’ whichmay well mean ‘Stop That!’ or ‘Put That Light Out’ but it could equally translate as ‘No Sympathy.’ which I prefer because Pat’s a funny guy. Kvothe broke the binding but the damage was done and their presence was now known to this other presence.
Felurian acted swiftly again to hide them and this time had to speak a word or name of power of her own, softer than a whisper it was gentle and edgeless, but then so are most of her words. This may have been to hide them beneath a web of stillness but a second word was necessary too, one that stilled Kvothe from total movement. Even this was not enough and thirdly, Felurian breathed in the air from his mortal lungs and replaced it with her own honeysuckle silence. ‘For an endless moment my heart ceased beating in my chest’ and then the danger was gone, the disturbance that Kvothe had caused in this part of the fae was calm again since there was nothing now left of him for anything to notice, not even a heart beat to pump his ruh blood about. Kvothe was completely still and silent and technically ought to be dead too but it did the trick, the presence departed, and his heart thumped again. For that moment he was completely controlled by the eternal breath of Felurian, first lady of twilight who relaxed and then laughed wildly as if she had played the most marvelous joke…probably upon death itself.
Of course that doesn’t help with our maps but it needed saying anyway. Back in the darkness they continued further out into the stillness where sound is soft and darkness absolute. This is the limit of their faen journey and even the starlight has left them. In theory, continuing through the dark could have bought them full circle back into the light once again but I’m glad we don’t have to go the long way around, three dimensions are enough to struggle through without dawn bringing more trouble.
There was something sentient and light beyond the darkness though, things that live out the deep of the night and when they came to Kvothe he thought of them as Tom Sparks, Will o Wisps, or Dennerlings with lanterns full of corpse light. Anything is possible in the fae after all, but they were actually moths of some sort, which shone a pale and silvery light which lit their path onwards.
‘We walked a long while after that. Felurian leading between the trunks of ancient trees. Once I felt grass soft beneath my bare feet instead of moss, then there was soft soil, as if we were crossing a farmer’s fresh-tilled soil.For a time we followed a twisting path of smooth paved stone that led us over the arch of a high bridge. All the while the moths followed us, giving me only the dimmest impression of our surroundings. Eventually Felurian stopped. By now the darkness was so thick I could almost feel it like a warm blanket around me. I could tell by the sound of the wind in the trees and the motion of the moths that we were standing in an open space.
There were no stars above us.
Grimward and Grinning
We are told that there are no compass points in Fae, but we can navigate by the stars if you know all their stories. The shapers who built the fae also made a star each ‘tto light their new and empty sky’ and so the further from their light that you get, the further into the outer dark you go. Conversely the brighter it gets, the nearer to the centre you are. I imagine this would make Fae look like an LP record with Shaed Land being track one, Moth World making up track two, and The Twilit Pool being track three. Later on, Kvothe walked inwards through the trees of track four towards the brightening light of the horizon until all the trees finally ended their faen song… all bar one.
‘The trees gave way to a grassy plain. All the parts of the Fae Felurian had shown me had been forested. So this seemed a clear sign I was well outside of the bounds where I ought to be.
So imagining our record scenario again means that if the trees are what make up all the song grooves and track listings then this grassy plain would be the bit where the label is stuck and the run off groove disappears, and in the middle of that is the hole where the whole album spins around and around on a spindle. And nobody ever goes here on pain of death… Well, that’s the theory anyway.
This centre, a deceptively large area which is at least half a mile from the the central lone tree in all directions which is a good bowshot for the Sithe archers to shoot crows over, is therefore the pin that marks the absolute centre of the Faen realm and is the area subjected to the most brighness since it is permanantly bathed in light of day. An eternal daylight to match Felurians eternal twilight and this is almost certainly what makes it a perfect prison for an unseen oracle. The Cthaeh cannot leave it’s tree because it is elementally a creature of darkness and therefore cannot stand the touch of any exposure to the faen light in much the same way as it doesn’t like the smell of iron on Kvothe and moves further away from that too. Fire and Iron in any form are anathema and the sunlight burns like the iron bites. This means that the Cthaeh itself must have to spend it’s entire eternal existence imprisoned and protected by the shaed of it’s own tree, which would make it officially ‘yoked to shadow…’ just like Lanre is back in Mortal.