The name of the wind, p.1
The Name of the Wind, p.1Part #1 of The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss
THE NAME OF THE WIND
THE NAME OF THE WIND
THE KINGKILLER CHRONICLE DAY ONE
DAW BOOKS, INC.
DONALD A. WOLLHEIM, FOUNDER
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
ELIZABETH R. WOLLHEIM
SHEILA E. GILBERT
Copyright © 2007 by Patrick Rothfuss
All rights reserved.
Jacket art by Donato.
DAW Books Collectors No. 1396.
DAW Books are distributed by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Maps by Nathan Taylor www.king-sheep.com
All characters and events in this book are fictitious.
All resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.
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HECHO EN U.S.A.
To my mother, who taught me to love books and opened the door to Narnia, Pern, and Middle Earth.
And to my father, who taught me that if I was going to do something, I should take my time and do it right.
A Silence of Three Parts
A Place for Demons
A Beautiful Day
Wood and Word
Halfway to Newarre
The Price of Remembering
Of Beginnings and the Names of Things
Thieves, Heretics, and Whores
Riding in the Wagon with Ben
Alar and Several Stones
The Binding of Iron
Puzzle Pieces Fitting
Interlude—Flesh with Blood Beneath
The Name of the Wind
Distractions and Farewells
Roads to Safe Places
Fingers and Strings
Bloody Hands Into Stinging Fists
Basement, Bread and Bucket
A Time for Demons
The Burning Wheel
Interlude—Eager for Reasons
His Eyes Unveiled
Tehlu’s Watchful Eye
The Doors of My Mind
The Broken Binding
The Nature of Nobility
Coppers, Cobblers and Crowds
A Sea of Stars
Yet to Learn
A Parting of Ways
Sympathy in the Mains
On the Horns
The Flickering Way
The Burning Glass
Interlude—Some Tavern Tale
The Ever-Changing Wind
Interlude—A Silence of a Different Kind
The Nature of Wild Things
Tar and Tin
A Place to Burn
Flame and Thunder
Patrons, Maids and Metheglin
Interlude—The Parts that Form Us
Names for Beginning
All This Knowing
Walking and Talking
Nine in the Fire
A Matter of Hands
The Ever-Changing Wind
Wind or Women’s Fancy
The Mating Habits of the Common Draccus
Ash and Elm…
A Sudden Storm
Hands Against Me
The Fire Itself
A Pleasant Afternoon
Worthy of Pursuit
A Silence of Three Parts
…all the readers of my early drafts. You are legion, too many to name, but not too many to love. I kept writing because of your encouragement. I kept improving because of your criticism. If not for you, I would not have won…
…the Writers of the Future contest. If not for their workshop, I would never have met my wonderful anthology-mates from volume 18 or…
…Kevin J. Anderson. If not for his advice, I would never have ended up with…
…Matt Bialer, the best of agents. If not for his guidance, I would never have sold the book to…
…Betsy Wolheim, beloved editor and president of DAW. If not for her, you would not be holding this book. A similar book, perhaps, but this book would not exist.
And, lastly, to Mr. Bohage, my high school history teacher. In 1989 I told him I’d mention him in my first novel. I keep my promises.
A Silence of Three Parts
IT WAS NIGHT AGAIN. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.
The most obvious part was a hollow, echoing quiet, made by things that were lacking. If there had been a wind it would have sighed through the trees, set the inn’s sign creaking on its hooks, and brushed the silence down the road like trailing autumn leaves. If there had been a crowd, even a handful of men inside the inn, they would have filled the silence with conversation and laughter, the clatter and clamor one expects from a drinking house during the dark hours of night. If there had been music…but no, of course there was no music. In fact there were none of these things, and so the silence remained.
Inside the Waystone a pair of men huddled at one corner of the bar. They drank with quiet determination, avoiding serious discussions of troubling news. In doing this they added a small, sullen silence to the larger, hollow one. It made an alloy of sorts, a counterpoint.
The third silence was not an easy thing to notice. If you listened for an hour, you might begin to feel it in the wooden floor underfoot and in the rough, splintering barrels behind the bar. It was in the weight of the black stone hearth that held the heat of a long dead fire. It was in the slow back and forth of a white linen cloth rubbing along the grain of the bar. And it was in the hands of the man who stood there, polishing a stretch of mahogany that already gleamed in the lamplight.
The man had true-red hair, red as flame. His eyes were dark and distant, and he moved with the subtle certainty that comes from knowing many things.
The Waystone was his, just as the third silence was his. This was appropriate, as it was the greatest silence of the three, wrapping the others inside itself. It was deep and wide as autumn’s ending. It was heavy as a great river-smooth stone. It was the patient, cut-flower sound of a man who is waiting to die.
A Place for Demons
IT WAS FELLING NIGHT, and the usual crowd had gathered at the Waystone Inn. Five wasn’t much of a crowd, but five was as many as the Waystone ever saw these days, times being what they were.
Old Cob was filling his role as storyteller and advice dispensary. The men at the bar sipped their drinks and listened. In the back room a young innkeeper stood out of sight behind the door, smiling as he listened to the details of a familiar story.
“When he awoke, Taborlin the Great found himself locked in a high tower. They had taken his sword and stripped him of his tools: key, coin, and candle were all gone. But that weren’t even the worst of it, you see…” Cob paused for effect, “…cause the lamps on the wall were burning blue!”
Graham, Jake, and Shep nodded to themselves. The three friends had grown up together, listening to Cob’s stories and ignoring his advice.
Cob peered closely at the newer, more attentive member of his small audience, the smith’s prentice. “Do you know what that meant, boy?” Everyone called the smith’s prentice “boy” despite the fact that he was a hand taller than anyone there. Small towns being what they are, he would most likely remain “boy” until his beard filled out or he bloodied someone’s nose over the matter.
The boy gave a slow nod. “The Chandrian.”
“That’s right,” Cob said approvingly. “The Chandrian. Everyone knows that blue fire is one of their signs. Now he was—”
“But how’d they find him?” the boy interrupted. “And why din’t they kill him when they had the chance?”
“Hush now, you’ll get all the answers before the end,” Jake said. “Just let him tell it.”
“No need for all that, Jake,” Graham said. “Boy’s just curious. Drink your drink.”
“I drank me drink already,” Jake grumbled. “I need t’nother but the innkeep’s still skinning rats in the back room.” He raised his voice and knocked his empty mug hollowly on the top of the mahogany bar. “Hoy! We’re thirsty men in here!”
The innkeeper appeared with five bowls of stew and two warm, round loaves of bread. He pulled more beer for Jake, Shep, and Old Cob, moving with an air of bustling efficiency.
The story was set aside while the men tended to their dinners. Old Cob tucked away his bowl of stew with the predatory efficiency of a lifetime bachelor. The others were still blowing steam off their bowls when he finished the last of his loaf and returned to his story.
“Now Taborlin needed to escape, but when he looked around, he saw his cell had no door. No windows. All around him was nothing but smooth, hard stone. It was a cell no man had ever escaped.
“But Taborlin knew the names of all things, and so all things were his to command. He said to the stone: ‘Break!’ and the stone broke. The wall tore like a piece of paper, and through that hole Taborlin could see the sky and breathe the sweet spring air. He stepped to the edge, looked down, and without a second thought he stepped out into the open air….”
The boy’s eyes went wide. “He didn’t!”
Cob nodded seriously. “So Taborlin fell, but he did not despair. For he knew the name of the wind, and so the wind obeyed him. He spoke to the wind and it cradled and caressed him. It bore him to the ground as gently as a puff of thistledown and set him on his feet softly as a mother’s kiss.
“And when he got to the ground and felt his side where they’d stabbed him, he saw that it weren’t hardly a scratch. Now maybe it was just a piece of luck,” Cob tapped the side of his nose knowingly. “Or maybe it had something to do with the amulet he was wearing under his shirt.”
“What amulet?” the boy asked eagerly through a mouthful of stew.
Old Cob leaned back on his stool, glad for the chance to elaborate. “A few days earlier, Taborlin had met a tinker on the road. And even though Taborlin didn’t have much to eat, he shared his dinner with the old man.”
“Right sensible thing to do,” Graham said quietly to the boy. “Everyone knows: ‘A tinker pays for kindness twice.’”
“No no,” Jake grumbled. “Get it right: ‘A tinker’s advice pays kindness twice.’”
The innkeeper spoke up for the first time that night. “Actually, you’re missing more than half,” he said, standing in the doorway behind the bar.
“A tinker’s debt is always paid:
Once for any simple trade.
Twice for freely-given aid.
Thrice for any insult made.”
The men at the bar seemed almost surprised to see Kote standing there. They’d been coming to the Waystone every Felling night for months and Kote had never interjected anything of his own before. Not that you could expect anything else, really. He’d only been in town for a year or so. He was still a stranger. The smith’s prentice had lived here since he was eleven, and he was still referred to as “that Rannish boy,” as if Rannish were some foreign country and not a town less than thirty miles away.
“Just something I heard once,” Kote said to fill the silence, obviously embarrassed.
Old Cob nodded before he cleared his throat and launche
“I’d give a good piece for such a thing these days,” Shep said darkly. He had drunk most and talked least over the course of the evening. Everyone knew that something bad had happened out on his farm last Cendling night, but since they were good friends they knew better than to press him for the details. At least not this early in the evening, not as sober as they were.
“Aye, who wouldn’t?” Old Cob said judiciously, taking a long drink.
“I din’t know the Chandrian were demons,” the boy said. “I’d heard—”
“They ain’t demons,” Jake said firmly. “They were the first six people to refuse Tehlu’s choice of the path, and he cursed them to wander the corners—”
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