A Little Tinkering…
Now if we are going to go meddling with dark forces, a little added protection might not go amiss and so we ought to find an amulet. Kvothe gives a very scared Nina a special charm to ward off demons, a bright disk of metal with intricatre sygaldry which he ‘tunes’ to her by reciting ten lines of the old language Tema which is actually a load of cobblers as it is just a piece of tin he had been tinkering with but it wasn’t worth a tinker’s cuss for warding off demons. He made up Veloran and stole ten inappropriate lines from Ve Valora Sartane (the brave little soldier??) which he spoke in the old Language that only priests know. It has no power except as a placebo but sometimes that is all you need, and to speak some old words in Tema, such as Tehus antausa eha which apparently works to protect from demons during the seven days of high mourning. Such superstitions are common among the poor folk of the world and are readily used as protection against the terrors of the night. And so for Verainia Greyflock, it was a most excellent charm against demons. When she later comes looking for Kvothe again, master Kilvin gets to hear of it and is unimpressed with Kvothe or anybody tinkering with this sort of nonsense as it gives the university a bad name.
A Choice of Path…
Some say the best way to ward off malfeasance is to own a rather unimpressive looking flat piece of lead with some unfamiliar writing stamped onto it. This is a description of an Arcanum Guilder, awarded to full Arcanists by the University when they reach a required level. Since the university is the foremost seat of learning in the land you would expect this to be the best model available, not least because all the masters should wear theirs at all times (except Hemme) in case of any unexpected attack. The Amyr, if they need one, would also require the best protection available and so it must protect against everything the Seven can throw at them. So I will guess it should protect Seven different ways at least which would require seven different pieces of it’s bearers substance in it’s construction. Schema for building one is restricted to El’the level students such as Mola, although the eternal Eli’r Manet says that they are overrated too. It is entirely possible that Amyr Gibea would know the most about such things as he has done the most research into bodily parts. In the old language of such things it is more properly called a Gilthe.
Failing that option, you could make yourself A Marvellous Five-Gramme Proven Most Effectatious in the Preventing of Maleficent Sympathe which as the name suggests will protect the bearer from five different forms of attack. We know this because the one Kvothe made for Alveron required five different substances to attune it to so that it would work for him alone. It is a round iron disk ‘slightly larger than a Commonwealth penny’ (an Iron Penny I assume) and is not stamped like the Guilder is but instead it has it’s sygaldry inlaid with gold which is something nescessary for the construction of all gram’s, says master Kilvin, who also reveals that one would require the sygaldry for blood and bone which are restricted knowledge.
They are both comfortably worn by their owner in various styles, a fine chain or leather thong around the neck or maybe hidden on the wrist like a watch, it matters not at all although it works best in contact with the skin itself. It’s touch is quite natural to the individual bearer but nobody else can abide it’s bite for long as it makes your hand go numb if you try to hold on to it which sounds a bit similar to Bast when he is deliberately holding Iron… perhaps it makes your eyes change colour too.
Imperial V Metric
Now a University Arcanum guilder would be an Amyr guilder, and therefore connected to Atur and so I shall call it (AG) whilst our Five-Gramme was designed by an arcanist called Surther who we know hailed from Vint since his diagrammes were written in Eld Vintic. This shows it’s age up well since Vint was absorbed by Atur over 400 years ago. It is only rated as 5power but is still very good and so we shall call this one (VG).
Spit for Luck
The five substances needed to tune a VG are blood, saliva, skin, hair and urine. The AG must be a load of old wank IMHO. Given the difficulty in obtaining a piece of your own bone to tinker with I would hazard a guess that the seventh substance should be sweat. Which might help to explain why Cealdish people are all so fastidious about the laundry, a sweaty shirt would provide much the same link as the equivalent threat from a blooded roof tile in the wrong hands after all, but this is an Eld Vintic Gram, not a Siaru one.
The one substance Kvothe was most worried about the most was blood since with a drop of his blood someone could perform some pretty nasty malfeasance upon him, although hair was used as a suitable link in Master Hemme’s classroom example. Each substance has it’s own part to play if you want to piss somebody off properly.
Interlude ~ Foreshadowing
Seven points are worth making now which are probably going to relate to some later scenarios for those who are more worried about stuff that may happen in Book3.
I will leave them up here for homework.
- Auri knew what to do and had the necessary items perfectly in position already when Kvothe went to clinks with a problem to solve… she even reminded him to add some hair too. She has done this before and afterwards she includes herself in the situation when she say’s We are safe now…
- Kvothe was according to (Aaron?) expelled for stealing secret magics? If that were true then this would fit perfectly into the grand Schemata of things…
- Maer has a gram now to protect him from five attacks, something that he is not meant to have. This is important since he has had dealings with the the Amyr and is a secret they might discover if Agent Caudicus had found this out and reported it back to Master Puppet along with Kvothe’s name and description….
- All the Arcanum Guilders would have required some of each persons substance, add that to the fact that puppet has a mommet ready prepared for Kvothe and a bit of his hair would make a very fine simulacrum indeed. Adding a drop of his blood would be dangerous…
- The thugs in the Alley had a hair and compass finding thingy attuned to Kvothe on the Mauthern wedding night…
- Blood and wax don’t mix…the wrong principals to bind, ask Auntie Fela by the firepit.
- Manet doesn’t want an AG, but he could make one tomorrow if he did.
These are all wonderful questions to contemplate while you are waiting and might well take you off through the doors of stone as a map if you are looking for answers to other questions… I will probably get there before you, truth be known, but I’ve got a play to rewrite first, an old play about old things, a play not a lot of folk know… though every fool claims to know.
So, since I’m still tinkering in the past with dark forces best left alone, my next clue is from Old cob who has TTG receiving an amulet worth a whole cart load of nobles from a friendly tinker. This might sound the most useless of the information received but that’s where I’m going next.