‘Blood, Bracken and Bone! I wish you creatures had the wit to appreciate me. Whatever else you might forget , remember what I just said.
Blood, bracken and bone then, that’s what he just said and so, technically, this is the line that that we should remember. Sometimes you need to focus on the carrot, and not the stick to do things right. If you need to cut your carrots into the right shaped pieces then you sometimes have to get a bit technical with things and this ‘phrase?’ also rings a bell from somewhere else. I have no idea what the bracken part is all about, (possibly something to do with brackish which implies salty water, a reference to sweat maybe? Though I cannot make that one stick for all the salt in me! It may deserve a dedicated and technical book of it’s own but for now, I shall put bracken down as being a weed in need of salting… if salting weeds is of the lethani of course, sometimes it’s a choice between weeds or nothing.) but leaving bracken for now, this isn’t the first time that the other two substances have been used together in the books. Master Kilvin elsewhere warns us that…
‘One must be careful when meddling with the sygaldry for ones own blood. More importantly, the sygaldry necessary for such a device is only entrusted to those who have reached the rank of El’the. The runes for blood and bone have too great a potential for misuse.’
Elodin reveals that climbing the ladder to Re’lar might allow Kvothe access to many new university secrets and learning the advanced bindings were his own hearts desire during his student days, but Elxa Dal refused to teach him these secret things. It seems that master Kilvin is equally unwilling to allow Re’lar Kvothe access to ‘some smattering of Dubious Runes.’
Now, Exactly how many make up a smattering? this is one of those technical Elodin questions you don’t need to know too much about, and if you did have an answer to that part you still then have to factor in the fact that some is not all and so you would then need to perform a second dividing function on this and, at the same time, still keep another eye on the remaining that before you can even hope to establish some sort of an answer. But we can now, hopefully, begin see the edges to the problem.
One of these dubious runes is definitely for bone, and when working as part of an Arcanum gram this 1DR will now create a shield against any malfeasance directed specifically towards it. It works in tandem with the other 5DR for the other necessary substances that we learn of from the marvellous Five-gramme’s schema, namely the DR for blood, saliva, skin, hair and urine. This gives us a probable top end to the scale of 6DR suggesting the correct answer to our latest problem as
‘At least one and probably no more than six.’
(give or take an eLodin.)
Kilvin was talking about what is required to construct a Gram, such as the ones described in Risk-Ass-essment, except that the level of protection for Arcanum Gram would apparently extend to bone care too. (How exactly one is expected to provide a sample of their own bones up as substance for a gram construction I have no idea. It’s daft to think that all those who carry the university style gram have gone through such extreme measures to do so. I mean how is anyone ever going to get themselves a piece of your bone to use as a link? Chop of your thumbs? Its beyond daft, but given the medica’s expertise and Gibea’s journals (assuming they weren’t among the lost volumes of course) then technically… such a thing would be possible.)
But regardless of the perceived daftness of it all, the rune for bone is acknowledged as an important thing in Pat’s world for the arcanum to desrire protection against for it to be used in any such secret sygaldry in the first place, as is the rune for Blood. Now Blood is also one of the ‘dubious runes’ denied to lesser students and this one was used in the construction of our Vintish five-gramme and so adding a bit of bone into that schema would bring us up to Six substances total, all of which combine and contribute to protecting the wellbeing, or rather Vaevin, of the whole body from any maleficient attack. Furthermore, each DR is explicitly specific to the individual gram wearer. There is no ‘all blood is one blood’ going on here, all blood is NOT one blood, you cannot perform malfeasance upon a person using a drop of someone else’s blood, in fact all of these substances should fall outside of that erroneous statement. We are all individual. Together, this makes for an interesting subset (a bit like the noble gasses, but not quite) where all these six anomalous substances fall outside the normal order of ‘all fire is one fire’ yet inside a second set of ‘these are much more complex that usual’ and so whilst they act independently and each has it’s own specific dubious rune, their place in the grand schemata of things is to be all pooled together into one body as the individual L-fractions that will naturally combine to form a whole, which in turn is part of the missing broken binding for which we are searching… give or take an L that is.
In combination, all of these gram samples are acting like a shield to absorb any power used against you and to filter it harmlessly away into the body of the actual gram itself. It’s a glorified heat eater. A gram is used in opposition to a mommet although they are pretty much two ends of the same thing really, like a pair of puppets linked by the same unique piece of invisible string, only one sides puppet is technically called a mommet for differentiation purposes. The link between them may be lightly strengthened by similarity to the individual, ala ‘put a little robe on it’ sort of thing, but that method will only get you so far. A proper link requires an authentic corresponding piece of your target’s own substance to work. Hair and blood are the most commonly used in these books although a glass of piss or one of your thumbs would also do the trick, and the more pieces you have to link to, the greater the bond between them and the less like a mommet it becomes as it inches closer to becoming a full sized carbon copy double of the man himself. A perfectly sculpted mommet incorporating all six of these substances together would represent the best attempt yet to build a mommet that is fundamentally an exact match down to the same substances present in the carbon based life form that is called a man, but the difference between a mommet and a man is like the difference between a corpse and a zombie. The missing link between them is best though of as the breath of Life itself, and now we are really getting into gold-foil territory.
We are all carbon based lifeforms underneath and so our DR’s would all have to be part of the same carbon family subset. Carbon gets a few mentions in Pat’s world, not least being that if bonds well with iron to make steel. However, when it comes to finishing off a demon, Kote needs a shim implying that carbon infused steel is useless for that job. The mercenary too had no qualms about grabbing a sword blade and shrugging off a knife attack but Aaron’s rod (HA!), which was basic pig-iron with no fancy carbon added to contaminate and nullify it’s power, left a much deeper impression on him. And so it appears that carbon will actually neutralise iron as far as faerie stories go meaning that the word Carbon is a bloody nice thing to consider as a badge to use when talking about all of the DR’s together. On earth we know that carbon can occur in various completely different forms, such as graphite or diamond, two distinct forms of exactly the same thing, much like our Iron and Loden twins are, but whilst that pair are comparatively linked because of their innate attraction to each other, diamond and graphite are definitely not magnetic.
When experimenting with Loden and iron, Denna muses about other metals possible magnetism.
‘I wonder if it only likes iron because it’s made of iron?’ then raises the question ‘if someone found a Loden stone made of brass, would it like other brass ?’
Since brass is an alloy, and not an element, then it is already invalid in our quest for the missing broken binding as brass it has already found a willing dancing partner twin being already itself a binding of copper and zinc. One could argue that all alloys will fall outside of our magnetic field and that by combining iron and carbon into steel the same principal will apply. But her question is all very hypothetical and the fully researched answer for all possible elements would cover a vast amount of trial and error which, fortunately for us, is all totally unnecessary since we are only concerned with finding the one correct answer that will fit our parameters and that is covered by ‘Could Carbon ever have a natural magnetic twin of itself?. Research into this possibility tells us
‘Each carbon atom has six electrons, three of which exhibit a spin pointing up and the other three pointing down. Consequently, the magnetic movement of a carbon atom is Zero. It is a perfect ‘Diamagnet’ repelled by an external magnetic field.’
So as far as Carbon is universally concerned we have discovered that it’s magnetic potential of Zero, makes it the most inert element in our periodic table and so the answer we seek is a definitive No. There is nothing carbon based in this universe that finds other carbon forms attractive making it the favourite to fill one part of our broken L-binding. Further online research will also show that not only is it numbered as our periodic table element #6 but also that we can easily think of it as looking like a single six pointed structure onto which we can hang each of our six Dubious Runes on all in one convenient place together, like six hats on a hatstand, or better for us, when viewed from above (or below!) it should look a lot like the six radial spokes which support Tehlu’s Iron wheel rim. In our TFC frameworking each complete carbon6 wheel would also be as individual as one man is to another and therefore as unique as a snowflake.
Caudicus and Abenthy both wear an arcanum Lead gram which gives anyone else touching it a bit of a bite. Kvothe’s gram responds to the assault of a blood link by channelling the form of the given action into it’s opposite reaction, sharp pain into dull pressure, extreme heat into an icy cold, therefore a gram works by maintaining the neutral balance on a given scale and mirroring any positive increase with a returned negative decrease (or vice versa). All 5DR’s in it’s construction react reject and reflect the influence of any similar substances that may come into contact with it causing the numbing feeling experienced by Simmon’s skin as the device sees this as an attack on kvothe’s own skin and therefore it is treated as an enemy. It rejects any substitute substance that doesn’t exactly mirror it’s own unique internal reference sheet. If Sim had attempted any other interaction with an untuned gram, or wearer, and had, say, spat upon it it would possibly have boiled his wet spittle dry before it reached him, It might also frazzle any foreign hairs it encounters, and probably turn piss into something that is decidedly not delicious candy. It is ,of course, something you would need to remove if you were planning a night out in a brothel, which gives Master Hemme an excuse to remove his quite often, so I hear.
The main body of our Vintish 5gram is made of iron and we are told that it is slightly larger than a Commonwealth penny, an Iron penny of course, but we are also told that any such construction would require the use of gold for the inlay and that means we are getting into that dangerful territory where things might go bang. Things are all starting to spin along nicely now as the presence of Gold also indicates to us the Aleph level of tinfoil tinkering, off the end of the scale stuff, and only the direct intervention of the Aleu of Light would have the necessary jenesaisquoi to actually spark this carbon based wheel of life into action in the first place, and only the Aleu of darkness would have the desire to want it to roll over and die.
The fae have an aversion to all iron that mirrors a mortal man’s aversion to a gram. Prolonged exposure becomes unbearable to both, a bit like you trying to hold onto a piece of fire perhaps. So how would someone like Bast consider a gram? In The Lightning Tree he constructs a charm for a boy using for a basis a specially shaped stone with a naturally formed hole passing through it, aka a Hagstone. The fae like the raw elemental things in life and this hagstone would differ from a common stone because of the hole, it has something about it that would give the stone some extra shape in the world, it would allow the wind to pass through it for a start, or naturally falling water, and so one could argue that it’s shape allows it to be home to two elemental forces in one. Hagstones would make a beautiful wall. Bast creates a further bond within this wind-stone with a drop of blood, from both mortal and fae, although the two never touch, and then rubs the finished article with honeycomb wax, possibly to act as a preservative for that small drop of power., IDK. As a simple charm for common folk it will now have at least the placebo effect, like Nina’s bit of engraved tin does, but it may also have some true warding potential against any close blood relative too, one drop from both mortal and fae for either grimward or grinning, like I said, IDK but that is about as I can go into a Faen Gram. However there is one more piece of protective jewelry that needs a lot of overthingking and that is the magic amulet which Taborlin the Great acquired from a traditional tinker in one of Old Cob’s stories.