Greystones ~ Their Form And Function.
The Waystone Inn is not by the way of anything in particular. It is in the middle of Nowhere.
Waystones is the name Ben knows for the various Greystones dotted around the world but whilst he is worldly wise, Ben is not Edema Ruh to whom they are special. The stones are rectangular about 12ft long and half that square ‘Smaller than a Draccus’. Some point upwards, some lay flat, often alone, sometimes in groups and there is much folklore associated with them. The Edema Ruh stop for the day, no matter what, whenever they see one. Apparently this is for ‘tradition and superstition’ which are much the same thing. They are also meant to be good luck and everyone enjoys a holiday. All the travellers at the Faeriniel crossroads had stopped to rest there despite there being no inn although the presence of greystones may just be coincidence and like Simmon, who is disconcerted by them, most groups made camp in the surrounding woods instead. The ruh, however, deliberately made their nights camp among the actual stones, safe from the unwanted presence of superstitious travellers who may seek to do them wrong.
Other traditions are investigated by the boys which gives answers including pagan relics, safe places and road markers, all of which could be seem to apply although no reason takes presedence. Kvothe’s argument holds the most water so let us consider the ones we visit during the text.
- The single upright by the side of the Kings Road in the Commonweath which the troupe stop beside when they reach it with Ben.
- The pair Kvoth and Denna discover out back of a roadside inn at a pool’s edge on the way to Imre, One upright. One horizontal (artwork suggests actually into the water)
- One Upright on the Imre side of Stonebridge, 50 ft from the Old Stone Road which the boys investigate.
- Two separate horizontal stones and two standing upright with another balanced atop, making an arch or doorway on the hilltop near Trebon.
- One Horizontal in a dell outside Imre where Kvothe retured Denna her ring.
- One upright by the wide West road outside of Severen where Denna played her song.
- Two upright Kvothe passes through when he leaves fae, Apparently present in both worlds simultaneously since when he looks back at Felurian from mortal, she stands between them. A reference to passing greystone is also glimpsed when he enters the Fae from one of the deepest and oldest parts of the Eld, not far from Felurian’s pool.
- Bast’s stone near the lightning tree is single and leaning over enough for small children to climb the leaning edge and jump from the top. ‘No-one taller than the stone’ is the rule. There is also a stream nearby.
The results of the boys research tell us variously
9. Of pagan frolics at a pair of matched stone monoliths with a third across the top marking a doorpost. One usually reliable source claims this arch can be a door to Felurian and the Fae realm at certain times and also…
10. Speculations of them marking roads, despite some being found on the side of mountains or river bottoms where no road could be
Then we have Arlidens part-remembered poetry.
‘Like a drawstone even in our sleep
standing stone by old road is the way
to lead you ever deeper into fae.
Laystone as you lay in hill or dell
Greystone leads to …’
This appears to be a list of instructions, with an appalling lack of period and of terrible meter. It needs music to carry its message properly. But the words themselves may well apply to all the written greystone reports as the limited information we have on them does tell us of their geographical positioning and they all fit nicely into three categories of old road, hill or dell.
, Number 10 is a catch-all location for other, unspecified greystones. Either high on mountainsides with the advantage of a wide view (hill) or low in safe places to rest near water (dell).
Line 2: Standing stone (single) next to an old road gets a perfect tick with numbers 1, 3, & 6.
Line 4: Laystones are found Lying in a pair on a hill, or singly in a dell with numbers 4 & 5.
Number 2 has both kinds in combination. It is in a small wood behind a wayside inn, the dell has become a pond. It is a safe place for travelers to rest. One stone for each bit of poem.
In the Lightning Tree, Bast reveals a secret about the Fae when they visit mortal.
‘When they do come, they like some places better than others. They like wild places. Secret places. Strange places.Places with connections to the raw, true things which shape the world. Places that are touched by fire and stone. Places that are close to water and air.
Which nicely applies to all our greystones, and especially to the central line in Arliden’s poem.
Numbers 2,7 and 9 are our doorways of the Fae realm.
Bast’s own stone is strange. It obviously was once upright but has fallen slightly, though whether through time, design or accident is not known. Lightning perhaps had a hand, but it is off in the middle of nowhere and so a simple sign of showing it’s age is most likely. Bast himself is fae and has made it his special place, on a hilltop, near water, by old stone, and with the Lightning Tree itself which has the added bonus of being ‘touched by fire’.
‘When all four come together…’