On the day that the Faelight was turned on and the cthaeh was caught in the shadow of his tree, something else rather important happened. The Sithe were formed to guard him.
‘If any of the fae can be said to work for the good, it’s them. Their oldest and most important charge is to keep the Cthaeh from having any contact with anyone. With Anyone.’
That their oldest and most important charge was given to them on the day that the prison was constructed for occupancy is irrefutable because until the intended prisoner arrived, there would have been no need for any such guards to exist. As to who would have charged them with their new task? well that can only have been on the explicit orders of the creator of the prison tree (and it’s attendant cage of light). The prisons chief warden would only be one they deferred to, one who would have the requisite authority to command this task of members of the powerful fae to join his faction, much like Selitos would be the one in command his Amyr, making this sithe lord one whom they would have considered as their natural Lord and master. This power was also going to need to be the equal to the Cthaeh and the only one in the universe who might wield the kind of powers that would be needed to subdue such a wicked enemy would be one of those found on Selitos list of powerful Ergen names, not the recently dead Lyra, nor the mysterious Iax but the one who even Selitos one-eye kneels before and calls his Lord, the original creator of the universe, the knower of all of the names of all things, the lord of light himself, Lord Aleph…
Across both of the two realms Lord Aleph was the only one who could be considered up to the task of confining the cthaeh to his prison of shadows since only a being of light can ever hope to defeat one of darkness. Aleph is also the one who is currently calling all the shots over in mortal and he will soon be bringing his own eternal light into the land of shadows, under which he plans to catch that which lies at the heart of all things wicked and hold it in safe detention as far from mortal as can be. That he may have been acting through the agency of ‘god made flesh’ in Menda, the son of himself who was also named Tehlu is not important here since he was also declared to be the father of himself, which makes them all one and the same thing.
In Trapis’ tale, whilst wearing his Thelu face, he claimed that he was the one who created and watched over the world, whilst in the Waystone Inn this is a claim that Kote attributes to Aleph. But although Encanis and his captor have departed from the land, apparently burning to ash in a fiery pit in Atur is not enough to stop Tehlu from coming again ‘to judge and punish if he is called in the proper way.’ This line acts a nice stepping stone between our two main stories as ‘punishing and rewarding what you yourself witness’ is exactly the task that was offered to Selitos and accepted by Tehlu (and his angels), a charge that was all part of their acknowledged Lord’s masterplan that we hear about in Skarpi#2. Watching over things is what these two Lords are supposed to do, and if Lord Tehlu is supposed to be still out there somewnere, watching out for the mortal half of things, then his alter ego Lord Aleph should also be the one who will be doing the same sort of thing over in the faen side of things by ensuring that his own ever burning light, which imprisons the lord of shadows underneath it, will never falter and so enforce the prisoners total banishment from ever influencing all things mortal ever again.
The act of turning on this new light in the fae will obviously have created a very visible difference in the perception of all things faen, just as the moon and stars would have previously altered the endless black that came before. This new spotlight shining upon the lone tree will now create an effective light barrier through which the lord of darkness who is trapped in its shadow can never escape. Furthermore this new intrusion of a ring of light in the darkness will also mean that neither could ‘all the demons in the outer dark’ ever hope to approach the prisoner coming from the outside in. For one mile all around the prison tree was now a ring of desolation where no encroaching shady tree cover will ever be allowed to grow again. The new treeline then will now mark the perimiter fence that will define a killing ground for the prison warden’s newly formed Sithe guards to patrol and cover so effectively against any unwelcome intruders with their longbows of horn.
Out beyond this clearing, beyond the prison walls as it were, the faen realm still extends in all directions outwards and it’s ubiquitous trees are witness to the change as this new fangled faelight will start to fade into the encroaching colours of night that surrounds the one forbidden tree at fae central. Walking out towards the darkness with the light at your back will mean that en-route you needs must pass through the twilight zone which is an inevitable by-product of the all creators magical light show. The shining of a single shaft of faelight in the forever darkness would create a third region that needs to be drawn on any faen map worth it’s salt and this neutral zone, situated part-way between the two extremes, is obviously going to be a domain dominated by neither true light nor full shadow.
Famously this no-mans land has it’s own female overseer in the form of Felurian and it would be a fair bet to theorise that all of these major changes which were suddenly effected upon the faen realm (namely Felurian herself, the cthaeh, the tree, the light, the shade and the Sithe)…. all happened along on the exact same day all together. Furthermore, if this were true, then we can also assume that at this exact same time-frame over in the mortal realm, the other half of Aleph’s equally momentous plan to banish wickedness safely away was reaching it’s own conclusion simultaneously. That mortal side of his great plan, so Skarpi tells us, was the part where the Lord Aleph was busy creating all of the other safety measures that he knew would be needed to be put in place before he could execute the final act required to make both of his plans come together from the opposite sides of all things in order to isolate the cthaeh in his new solitary confinement all the more securely.
‘Most of the Ruach hung back from Selitos, too.’
Of course, all of this is merely tinfoil thinking given that there precious little substance to back it up written in the books themselves, but there is the opportunity for such things to have happened as I have just described and the missing link to the puzzle of Pat’s work is that Skarpi#2, as we know it, only covers the latter part of the tale regarding the Ruach, Lord Aleph, Selitos one-eye and Justice Tehlu and nothing is actually mentioned about this absent but equally important Felurian/Sithe part of his plan… except for that one small word ‘ too.‘ which tells us that something and more importantly someone had been another option for these potential volunteers to consider besidesfollowing Selitos, an option which had already been refused by those assorted ruach present who were scared and didn’t want to get involved in great matters by accepting either choice.
Aleph’s plan for confining the enemy in the faen side of things must then, I believe, have been dealt with earlier on in the tale and that would have taken place at the start of the story which Skarpi began telling at six bells sharp… the part of the story which an oversleeping Kvothe was late for. Damn that boy.
But at the same time, deep inside me something selfish was saying ‘If you had come earliler and found out what you needed to know, it wouldn’t be so bad now, would it?’
This new Skarpi #1.5 scenario is then where my investigations have now brought me and if you too are up to date with my views on the shape of the world so far then you, too, might now be able to sense the edges of the masterplan to save the world from wickedness coming more into focus before your very eyes. But with all of these important pieces, the Sithe and the angels, and not to mention the Amyr and the chandrian, now being placed upon god’s great tak board, with each one having a specific role to play in the success or failure of Aleph’s great masterplan, we must now ask ourselves the question ‘how exactly does Felurian enter into his great equation?
In mortal mythology, Felurian is also called the lady of twilight, which is a title describing her area of faen governance and describes her realms boundaries perfectly as she abides in the twilit strip which now lies partway between this new faelight and the outer shadows. However, in all the eons of time between Alephs’s original void splitting creation and her twilight’s first gleaning, this zone of halflight could not have existed in the fae-side of things at all. Before the fae became illuminated to the level that it is now seen to be, the perpetual darkness had another name, which I think of as the Mael, a place without any lights of any sort, just endless darkness which was home to all of the light-hating demons. In more recent times the Mael which once attacked the light of Ergen has slowly been pushed back by the Fae(l) incursion as the first of the new light-wielding shapers arrived and their infiltrations began to slowly eat into the Mael darkness as they grew stronger in their art. Over time (!) this broken land will have acquired something that the mael residents (think jax) had never seen before in the form of the faint starlight twinkling down from the individual stars above, stars which were placed there by the powers of the very first of the fae. Individually wrought by each and every one of these first shapers as a permanent display of their power and prowess in taming the darkness for thems-elves.
I might also suggest that these new stars might well have provided a personal link to each of these shapers when creating their own individual ‘ever burning light’ which might well have provided each of these new fae with an eternal power source for them to always have available to draw upon.
After the stars, there came also, perhaps, the possibility of a little moonlight to also see by, and although that attempt to illuminate the land more fully was not a complete success, what it did achieve was another partial incease in the nocturnal faen light levels, all the better to drive the light fearing demonic enemy forces of the mael even further back.
But even with this newer and brighter level of night time illumination to work with there was still nothing over there that could be thought of as remotely capable of creating the band of ‘solar’ twilight that exists there today. That means that an even greater shaper, someone with with even more power than the anonymous moon thief had, must have then come along at a later date and succeeded in creating his own brand of illumination to light up the faen sky which will have also created this twilight zone at the same time.
What all of this means is that it will place the earliest possible date for the Lady Felurian to be moving into her new twilit glade and accepting her new twilit title and as being not earlier than the date of the Cthaeh’s incarceration, and it’s mortal equivalent date of 1Æ.
‘This was before. There was but one sky. One moon. One world. And in it was murella.’
As far as we can ascertain, Felurian was not herself one of these original shapers who wrought themselves their own faen constellations but was instead simply a guest there, invited into their new world from her old home in Murella, a city of the Ergen Empire over in the mortal realm. This latest line of thinking would also mean that as a citizen of one of the seven great cities, Felurian was also a surviving member of ‘the war’ which the moon thief started and maybe even of Lanre’s great betrayal itself, which would technically qualify her as being one of the Ruach who came together before Aleph in Skarpi#2
Felurian was clearly not born in fae since she remembers a time before if was even created. QED. Neither does she give us any indication that she was one of those who shaped it to their desire and wrought their stars in the first faen sky as these ‘shapers’ are spoken of as being a group apart. There is therefore no way of discerning her pedigree however given the way that time works in this new realm then it is quite possible that, as a mortal mortal, she simply decided that all the benefits that come with moving into the eternal realm far outweighed the dangers of remaining in a war torn Ergen, especially after the seven cities had fallen.
We can pinpoint her departure date a little closer by examining her memories of the mortal realm, namely that she knows about the exploits of the first Amyr, a group of other ex-Ergen ruach who simply did not exist before Lanre’s betrayal gave them a reason to form, which seems to imply that she was still living as an Ergenite up to at least the early days of Selitos’s Amyr’s formation. She has clearly swapped the mortal realm for the Faen realm at some time after this creation date, but before the days of the Tehlin church and their latter day amyr equivalent came along, (and before her mortal body began to age and start sagging a bit at the edges!) If I were a betting man I would be placing my jot on her having a time-window memory of no more that 7 mortal years of true Amyr history to draw from before she actually departed for good to the fae! Why seven years? Because that is the number that we associate with the all important things that happen around here and it will marry up quite nicely with the time frame that it would have taken Selitos to train his first ciridae which would have taken at least three years of proving themselves and three years of training. These are the numbers that we learn from Count Threpe’s question concerning the life and times of Sir Savian Tralyard the Amyr whose exploits were famously recorded in song by Illian, a man who is also, somehow, another one of Felurian’s fonder memories.
But move house she did, for reasons unknown, and only her occasional visits ‘home’ to abduct a fresh manling to satisfy her insatiable lust would now allow her any opportunity to catc
h up on all the latest Amyr gossip (a subject unlikely to come up very much given all of the, ahem, frolicking). It is much more believable to to just assume that ever since she became the lady of twilight she has had no further news of her birthland.