The Houses of Wind

The Stone Road has withstood the test of time since the fall of the Ergen Empire. If it was there before, and it managed to survive his best efforts at global destruction, Lanre himself may have once walked upon it… or maybe even built it! he does after all know the name of stone as demonstrated when he used it on Selitos.

So, finally, we ask the question ‘what do we actually know about Lanre’? Well, he was from Belen, that much is certain. Why? Because before the cities banded together against the enemy.

‘Lanre and Lyra defended Belen from a surprise attack, saving the city from a foe that should have overwhelmed them. They gathered armies and made the cities recognise the need for allegience.’

This means that they were in Belen before the attack at a time when cities relied upon their own individual strength, organising with other cities came later. Therefore, for him to have been there in the first place, he must have been born there. It was also the place where the future angel fair Geisa, who ‘had a hundred suitors in Belen before the walls fell’, once did her thing which tells us that Belen itself fell and was not the one city of hope. Lanre was born during a time of war when many cities had already fallen and where in some places mothers could no longer muster enough hope to give their children names and as we well know, names are important. But Lanre did have a city and also a name, and has also declared himself to have gotten a new name since. Young when becoming a master swordsman, he then caught the eye of, and swiftly married, a woman with as much naming power as Selitos himself, making her one of the top four powers in the land. Lanre was not a namer, his strength lay in the command of loyal men and in the strenghth of his arm, he commanded the army for love of his native land, which was Belen, and for the love of his wife Lyra. After Lyra called him back from the dead his loyal men proclaimed them respectively as ‘our Lord’ and ‘our Lady’. Making them the Lord and Lady of Belen.

Yes, No, Maybe, Elsewhere, Soon.

Belen is fallen, yet a hint of the whereabouts of Belen still remains. We get to see two written letters which are addressed to the University proclaiming it to be situated in an area of the Central Commonwealth called Belenay-Barren. At Faeriniel, where all roads meet, the old man was heading to Tinuë but the ruh troupe he joined were heading to Belenay, and the straightest and safest route between the two would be along the Old stone road. The Barrens are an area of the commonwealth that lie further westwards, the Empire claimed it as the Greater Barony of Umbrea, but could Belenay-Barren be a reference to the location of Belen of old? Possibly the ruins of the underthing are in actuality the ruins of Lanre’s birthplace. But what is this ‘-ay’ nonsense on the end? My best guess would bethat it might have been added to mean ‘of old’ but that has no substance. The site of the University, however, gives us another solid link to a different city, the old stone road runs straight to Tinuë, which also has visual similarities to Tinusa. The ending has been changed but the start is still pronounced the same way. Fortunately, kindly Pat has given us a pronunciation guide in the Appendices which informs us that Tinuë is pronounced Tin-yu-A, with this hard A noise being pronounced the same as in fAble, giving us a perfect rhyme to Belen-Ay. Given the differances in miles and also language barriers between the two and remembering the useful admission from the historian Caudicus that ‘spelling was rather less important in those days’ (900 years ago) it is possible that adding an -AY sound to the end of a placename could have been common practice to identify them both as new places that were rebuilt on original sites of long ago. It could also indicate that Belen was the major city of the province of Belenay and that Tinusa was likewise the major city of the province of Tinu-ay.

Spelling and punctuation are perfect throughout our text, we have chronicler to thank for that but we are going to need access to a good dictionary to continue. Renfalque’s Dictum is unavailable so I use my trusty old copy of Chambers. Strap in, this is going to go into Deep Tin Foil territory.

This diacritic mark above the ë has a special meaning in my dictionary. It is placed there to inform the reader that it needs special emphasis, as in the Brontë Sisters. However, when following a vowel it also tells us that both vowels must be pronounced in the word, as in the girls names Chloë or Zoë, and must not be tied together into a single diphthong, effectively giving the word an extra syllable. This would cause havoc to any potential poet or songwriter, Denna is our example here when she falls foul of a mistake in The Song of Seven Sorrows. Her song used Mirinitel (4 syllables) and Kvothe foresaw that any change to Myr Tariniel (5) would wreck the meter she had fitted it to. In the case of Tinuë we must assume that it is a special case and that this is a deliberate alteration for reasons unknown as it is the only word in these books that feels the need for any such decoration. There are no accent marks deemed necessary anywhere else in Temerant or indeed in the entire books text. Of course before modern Aturan took over as the lingua franca around Tinuë, they used an earlier language that has it’s own quirks in pronunciation, Eld Vintic.

Puppet knows it (of course) and he has shared his knowledge with Simmon, who has a fondness for Eld Vintic poetry. This comes in very useful when the boys are translating the Scrivani, word-work of Surther for Kvothe’s gram. Maer Alveron is also spotted reading Fyoren’s Claim of Kings in it’s original Eld Vintic. I have yet to ascertain whether Eld simply means ‘old’ or something else completely but that is unimportant for now. What is interesting is that Modern Vintas is a combined area covering all of it’s cardinal farrells, During the time of the Aturan Empire we can clearly see the original Kingdom of Vint as a smaller area of the whole situated to the north of the waters between Tinuë and the Eld Wood, and therefore an original frontier/neighbour to the former Lacklass estates which once covered both of these and more.

The main feature discussed in Eld Vintic verse is the use of the Caesura (note the diphthong!) which is pronounced as ‘a break in the line’, a pause, ‘like you can’t catch your breath.’ In our world the word descends from the Latin meaning ‘to cut off’.

The Adem name Kvothe’s sword Saicere, which Magwyn tells us means ‘to break, to catch, and to fly.’ Our speciality namer Kvothe agrees that this is close, but not quite correct and so he renames it.

‘How can I say this so you can understand? Saicere was a fine name, it was thin and bright and dangerous.It fit the sword like a glove fits a hand, But it wasn’t the perfect name.

This sword’s name was Caesura.

This sword was the jarring break in a line of perfect verse. It was the br0ken breath. It was smooth and swift and sharp and deadly.
The name didn’t fit like a glove, it fit like skin.’

Kvothe’s sword has a name taken from Eld Vintic.

There is a similarly contradictory thing going on if you try to elongate a diphthong to pronounce both vowels. You would have to verbally force another syllable into the word in order to accommodate this instruction and this is exactly what has happened to the truncated word Tinuë. It has become a diphthong. A simple cutting would be to discard both of the final letters of the original yet whilst one letter of the name has been cut away completely the other letter still remains and is emphatic about announcing it’s presence. This must have been of vital importance to whoever changed the original name. If it were not, then they would have quietly and seamlessly wedded this ravel-end of a letter onto to the rest of the name which over time would lead to it being pronounced in the same way we would say, for example, the word ‘continue’, rather than quite emphatically insisting on it’s future pronounciation as being ‘continu-ë (ay)’.

The caesura is the legacy of the reason for the change.

In turning Tinusa into Tinuë, the syllable count remains the same, yet now the letter ‘a’ has become dominant and is now stressed ā whilst the letter ‘s’ has been amputated, or ‘cut away’ leaving only the ¨mark as a scar to show that anything else ever even existed in this ‘line of perfect verse’. Any songs or stories that mentioned Tinusa could easily be transcribed by poets and singers and within a few generations nobody would know differently. Cob’s mangling of Imre to Amary is worth noting here as a good example of how word of mouth compares to, for example, Kvothe’s The Lay of Felurian which he tells us crossed the world yet remained whole or of the various versions of the tale of the girls rescue which has been broken into a hundred stories as it was passed from campfire to campfire on it’s way across the land. A song can carry the original words across worlds better because there is a rhythm to it and it’s meter is dictated by the amount of syllables.

Among the Adem they have a phrase ‘to be cut away’. It is the term that Tempi uses to explain what may happen to him, and indeed Kvothe, as punishment for breaking the adem laws. His reds, his sword, his name and the school would be taken from him. He would be outcast and suffer a total and utter disassociation from everything Ademre. Punishment for breaking adem law was not the Adem’s concern in Kvothe’s case, what with him being a barbarian. Their concern was rather that he must not be able to teach others what he had learnt of stolen Adem secrets. Killing him was considered to be ‘against the lethani’ and that is always their number one consideration, whilst imprisonment would be impractical and also barbaric. Maiming and blinding are mentioned as are the cutting out of his tongue and the removal of fingers. Cutting away is the ultimate and most severe form of disassociation that there is, mere banishment would be a mild alternative.

The Winds of change.

Someone once deemed that changing the name of the last outpost of Ergen was imperative and that one part of it’s former name must be cut away completely whilst necessarily retaining the remainder. Whoever ordered this was successful in their mission. Nothing remains to suggest that there was never anything else here other than Tinuë in the lands of the Lord & Lady.

It is the oldest place in the four corners, and that’s all that anyone needs to know. Ergen never existed, it was a myth so move along now, nothing to see here.

‘History books that once mentioned them as doubtful rumour have long since crumbled into dust.

Changing any name is not a matter to be taken lightly as we are repeatedly told that Names are Important. Aleph can do it. Menda did it. Lanre has had it done to him. Master Namer Elodin is horrified at the thought of anyone doing it, yet this is exactly what Kote has done. Kvothe has become Kote in more than just a simple calling name, the change lies deep at the heart of his very being and is much more profound. On the the surface the differences between his new name and his old name are plain to see, the letters V&H have been ‘cut away’ and whilst outwardly he may look the same, he is not who he once was. When spoken aloud, as a calling name, nobody could possibly connect the two despite the fact that the name Kvothe uses all four of the letters in Kote, in the correct order too yet in no way could they be said to rhyme. He is now emphatically no longer Kvothe, which we are told means ‘to know’, and anyone searching for him under that name in any form would draw a blank.

Kote comes from the Cealdish, a language not widely known, and most likely translates into ‘disaster’

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