When you rattle the books, something new always falls out that you never noticed before. I’ve found some pretty big clues in my time, but my latest find might just unlock a whole new level for exploration and imagination both. Auri has just presented Kvothe with a key. This is the first gift that she brings him and it turns out to be key to unlocking what comes next.
“What does it unlock?” “The moon.” “That should be useful.”
Her timing is perfect as holding thoughts about the moon in my head over the following few chapters led me to noticing a few familiar shapes in the overall pattern of things, and when you notice a pattern to follow, if gives you some idea of where the next step really ought to be, even if you cannot actually see it, and that gives you the confidence to take a more confident leap into the unknown, relying on what isn’t actually stated there to support you and your theory both. And I can show the path to you, too. Chapter 59 is the part you need to re-read, NotW p.395. All This Knowing.
‘See them as they go’ directs our Pat, asking us to picture the scene for ourselves, assuming a viewpoint more usually taken by a narrator than a barman. Pat wants us to imagine the scene being described as the stage props are put in place and then tells you everything that you need to know to paint the details on the scenery. It is written very much like the ‘silence in three parts’ chapter in many respects, a detailed overview from a more distant viewpoint. We have an indication of the time, it being ‘the late hour’, which suggest it is long past closing time and the hour when most normal god-fearing folk should be safely tucked abed. The hour is late and the small stitched sounds described underpin the general backdrop of respectful silence.
‘The night was like warm velvet around them. The stars, burning diamonds in the cloudless sky’ and so we can imagine our stage lighting and that we are lit by starlight which shines bright and clear on the Old Stone Road beneath our feet, adding some silver to the grey stones and waystones both. We know our starting point and we know our destination, but right now we are approaching a point somewhere between, neither here nor there, and we know that on such a journey the boys must navigate the crossing point found between the two towns. Superstition abounds around the Old Stone Bridge, ‘spit for luck!’ It is a high place with a chance of falling, a dangerous place. A greystone is nearby among the old trees and even older stones, a place where the fae are rumoured to frequent and this all fit’s well with the line that ‘The night is perfect in a wild way, almost terrifyingly beautiful.’
The scene is set in shades of silver and shadow and you can see this feeling echoed in the three boys, ‘one light, one dark, one …fiery.’ …who are remarkably oblivious to the obvious, that there is clearly a hint of …’something’ blowing on the wind. On another night on this very road, we are told that the boys decided they are far too wobbly to attempt the bridge road and chose to shelter down by a greystone to sober up for a while, but not tonight, this is a night when a wise man would go straight home and close the door firmly behind him. Tonight is a wild and special night, one that still has a touch of the fae about it.
‘Something that appeals to all the fae are places with connections to the raw,true things that shape the world. Places that are touched with fire and stone. Places that are close to water and air.
When all four come together…’
Tonight was also a night for celebration and drunkenness enough for the boys natural bravado to banish the unseen fears. What is Unseen is exactly what is missing here, it is not spoken of in any sense, colour or form, as secrets often aren’t, and the best way I know to understand what someone is really saying, is to listen to what they don’t say instead and listen to all that is implied by default. There is, quite deliberately, no mention of the moon.
Kvothe won his talent pipes on a moonless night. Change My Mind.
A moonless night is a night that all wise men ought to fear. Teccam nails it to the wall and Felurian echoes his words so that Kvothe cannot help but hear, ‘a wise man views a moonless night with fear’. She also tells us that this is the time most acceptable for the fae to pay a visit to mortal for the night…and so maybe, just maybe, some of them walk among us tonight! Bast does have a ‘lovely’ pair of boots, or does he? He is a fae in mortal so perhaps other fae are similarly disguised nearby, dressed in traditional tinkers robes perhaps, or more fully glamoured and wearing dresses fit for a queen, and all the time knowing enough not to be seen. It is nice to think that perhaps one or two or even three of the occasional visiting fae are going to be music lovers, like Felurian is partial to a song or two herself, and maybe one or two of them might be found among the audience tonight? Lured across the divide by the promise of fine faerie song… Perhaps Kvothe isn’t the only one in the room that has ‘a bit of fae about him…’ it might even be ‘faedies’ night!
Pat is nothing but exact when setting a scene, he has done so before. There is a floorplan for the waystone Inn for you to draw off in Pub Crawl, and the Aeolian is equally well described, or well enough for us to make a few rough etches of it at least. And what we see is quite revealing. ;o)
First of all, to discover how they might arrive remember that there is the greystone by Stonebridge and there is much evidence of the fae using such stones to come and go, as Felurian and Kvothe passed greystones when crossing between the two worlds. We should also mention the statue and the fountain in the square outside which is a very pagan scene of a satyr and nymph’s, the faen folk in their more natural form dancing and cavorting and ting. It’s as good as a signpost that shows the Eolian to be in a rather enlightened neighbourhood to erect such a pagan landmark since Imre is a town where folk frown upon the warlocks meddling with dark powers across the river, yet are happy with such a classical pagan fountain. The church may well have had something to say about that, but the commonwealth church is strongest in Tarbean and Imre has a much more Bohemian atmosphere, until someone starts summoning demons on the cobbles that is, But that’s when they call upon the Iron Law of the Commonwealth instead of that of the Tehlin Church.
A Game of Corners
Passing Deoch a jot at the door, we step into the auditorium and can see the stage opposite. But we want to be taking in an architects view of the room, an overhead shot, and so a compass rose should be used to navigate the page. Draw one in the far corner of your paper. The stage is going to be imagined as being against the Western wall because tonight Kvothe has chosen to turn his back to the University and focus on his musi The Easterly side of the room puts us high up in the Gods, which will be found at the furthest and therefore the highest point from the stage that there is, up on high where one can more privately observe everything that occurs below . At the Eolian this is the third seating level and it is described as being a crescent shape hugging three walls so draw such a shape on your paper in the form of a thick backward Ͻ. Don’t worry about scale as it just needs to touch three outside walls and so the cresent shold run in a thick curve from the North, down and round through East and on to the South. It is not very deep but it provides a counter stage for Denna to sing from, as her and Sovoy had their table here on the top floor.
The second floor is larger, a converted balcony with the rows of seats ripped out to be replaced by tables. It is certainly jutting further out into the room than the crescent but not more than halfway across the room so as not to obstruct the eyeline view of the stage from the seats above. Halfway is an appropriate enough number for us to use to use to divide the room in two for our two performers to sing their duet. For individual floor plans we might want to use a new sheet of paper, but for now we want to see an overhead view and so you should draw a D shape superimposed above our crescent using the same three exterior walls for sizing.
Deoch’s door is across the ground floor across from the stage. Let’s say the south east corner, and so Stanchion sits at the opposite north west corner, between the stage and the bar. The room is dominated by the curving mahogany bar, which is 50 ft long and follows the curve of the North wall as if bends away from the stage. This is the only real measurement we get, but since the walls and stage are being dictated from above the shape that will fit best here is a rainbow to run across the top of our map for 50ft. Stanchion sits on his stool at the far end like a Leprachaun guarding the stairs to the stage itself, which also curves, but back out into the room making it look like a bite out of an apple, or maybe a lemon. Of course the curving wall will continue to curl around behind him whilst he plays until it rejoins the room and is therefore seen to be ellipse lying flush with the curving Eastern wall.
Now. Spiralling is a useful word for Pat to use to describe the staircases as it relies upon them following a rising curve around the edges of our room to reach the balcony on the second floor above . Since this is an overhead view we are sketching we can clearly see that our room is going to be circular in it’s footprint for it to accommodate these several staircases and so we can confidently finish the curving outline with symmetrical assurance with a matching rainbow to run back around past the doorman and until it reaches the start of the curving mahogany bar again.
The eOlian is clearly a cylindrical building with a circular overall footprint and we can complete out floor-plan with a large O encompassing both of the other two floors.
When viewed like this, stacked ‘one a’top t’other’ the room turns into something vaguely resembling the cross section of an eyeball. Where the door is the optic nerve and the stage is the pupil, the place where Kvothe will stand and be judged, a bit like when he was brought up on the horns.
A better observation can be made from drawing these three floor shapes side by side for comparison, where we can now see that they have translated themselves into a different but still recognizable pattern which if we are observant we will remember seeing somewhere else in these books. The three floors of the eOlian are shaped as the runes O D Ͻ and are therefore also shaped like the phases of the moon.
Full Moon, Half moon, Sliver moon. ODϽ just like we see painted above Haliax on the Mauthern pot.