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Name: Kvothe
Canon: The Kingkiller Chronicle , by Patrick Rothfuss (series of novels)

Original or Alternate Universe: Original
Canon Point: At what point in time are you taking your character?
The end of the second novel The Wise Man's Fear shortly after he returns from Ademre. This is not the Kvothe from the frame story, from which he retrospectively tells a biographer about the main story.

Number: 366


The Kingkiller Chronicle Wiki Page

The Name of the Wind Wiki (Book One)

The Wise Man's Fear

The world of the KingKiller Chronicle (called Temerant) is similar to Europe in medieval Earth, but is more scientifically advanced and slightly more egalitarian in some aspects. Its political system is somewhat feudal, with the nobility and royalty possessing vast swathes of land and considerable military might. It has steampunk and magical elements to the world that are generally only familiar to wealthier or more educated people, but advanced technology is not unheard of by the general populace. It is heavily implied that the world had an advanced civilization about 2000 years before the story begins (also implied is that Kvothe's antagonist brought about its downfall). Kingdoms are split among cultural, economic and territorial lines, and are generally at peace/detente. Cultural cross-pollination is common and Kvothe visits many different locales and meets a staggering variety of people throughout both of the novels. There are strong religious themes throughout the book, and demonology is an accepted study for those in the Tehlin church (although the current practice is full of superstition and apocrypha).


Kvothe was born one of the Edema Ruh, a far-flung family who live as itinerant troubadors on the far-flung roads of the world.


Kvothe was born one of the Edema Ruh, a far-flung "family" who live as itinerant troubadors on the far-flung roads of the world. Our version of the Ruh would be the Romani people. His father Arliden was an extremely talented musician, actor, and composer (the last of which would be his downfall. His mother Laurian was a noblewoman before she wed his father, forever leaving behind a life of carefree nobility for the adventures of the road. It is implied in the books that she was of the storied Lackless family, which would make Kvothe one of the last remaining heirs to a centuries-old legacy.

Kvothe was raised playing music and performing constantly for the crowds of Baron Greyfallow, his troupe's patron. He affected a dizzying array of personas, demeanors, and accents for his roles and became an accomplished lutist at a very young age. Storytelling was also an important part of his youth, as he learned of the history of his people, the world, and the exploits of mythical heroes through them. One notable hero was Taborlin the Great, a wizard who "knew the names of all things" and successfully outwitted the Chandrian. (The Chandrian are the main antagonists and are said to be seven people cursed with immortality who appear before, and subsequently kill, whoever speaks their true names or really anything at all about them.)

He met his mentor Abenthy when the latter was being harangued by the local constabulary for being an arcanist and invoked the name of the wind to literally blow the police away. Ben asked to join the troupe; Kvothe's parents agreed, and he became Kvothe's first mentor. Abenthy recognizes his intelligence as well as his thirst for knowledge, training him in science, rhetoric, logic, history, and magic, with the intention of preparing Kvothe for the Arcanum, a University where students can pursue magical and mundane studies. After mastering the state of mind called Alar (called "the riding-crop belief", which is faith controlled by personal will), Kvothe is shown a form of magic called sympathy. He expresses disappointment in it, feeling it isn't magical enough. It allows the linking of different objects, and the transfer of kinetic, magnetic, and heat energy through that connection. This becomes a mainstay in Kvothe's arsenal during his travels, and has essentially infinite uses to the clever user. It is a curiously mechanical type of magic that subverts, but does not outright ignore, the laws of physics (which operate about the same as they do on Earth).

Kvothe also learns the state of mind called Heart of stone in the course of his sympathy training. It allows the user to to shut out any emotions and focus entirely on logical thought; Abenthy describes it as "a way to attend your sister's funeral without shedding a single tear." This is crucial as Kvothe tends to let his emotions and his cleverness rather than his reason and caution guide him.

Higher mathematics and magic are essentially held in the same level of esteem in this world; thus, equal focus is placed on Kvothe's scientific and magical education. The downside of this is that scientists have been perceived as those who traffic in demons in the past, with a few of the more superstitious cultures still harboring fear and suspicion of unknown practices (Vintas especially).

After gaining mastery over all of the sympathetic bindings, he tried to bind the air of the world to his lungs and nearly died when he stopped himself from being able to breathe. His cleverness getting the better of him is a recurring pattern, and he would have asphyxiated had Ben not called the wind to flow back into his lungs.

Unfortunately, this near-death experience caused a minor rift between the two, which would have been mended if Ben hadn't left the troupe to marry a widow and run a brewery. He left Kvothe a book "Logic and Rhetoric", and told him to defend himself well at the University. His departure would be the only reason Abenthy survived his time with the troupe.

During all of this training, Kvothe's father Arliden had been hard at work composing a song about Lanre, the man who nearly caused the collapse of all civilization 2000 years ago. He researched every shred of information available to him, and interviewed the few who had knowledge of Lanre and the Chandrian, fairy-tale men who appeared in blue flame and killed people for reasons unknown. Kvothe overhears his father say he knows "why they do the things they do".

Kvothe never gets the chance to find out what his father meant. The next night, the Chandrian appear from nowhere to kill every member of the troupe, displaying all of the signs from the story of Taborlin the Great (blue flame, rusting metal, an unearthly chill, among others). Cinder, the leader of the group, approaches him, saying his family had been "singing entirely the wrong sort of songs." Kvothe, just returning from the woods, is nearly killed with his family but manages to escape.

His entire extended family dead, his life in tatters, Kvothe flees into the woods with little more than his father's lute and Ben's copy of Rhetoric and Logic . He is twelve years old at this time, mind shattered and numb. He spends about half a year recovering, becoming so skilled with the lute that he could convey specific images and feelings through the notes. Even as a string breaks, he learns to play with less strings. One by one, his strings snap until he has too few to play with, and is forced to find a city. A farmer named Seth helps him make it there, and offers to take him in. Kvothe declines, at this point still unable to trust another person.

The first day he reaches the city of Tarbean (capital of the Commonwealth) his lute is stolen and smashed, then is nearly beaten to death by an urchin named Pike and his gang. Kvothe breaks out of the grip of his captors and flees to where Seth is, but gets lost in the city instead.

While in Tarbean, he has trouble finding enough food but does find a shelter where three roofs meet above a candleworks that protects him from the elements and prying eyes. After his encounter with the urchins that destroyed his lute, he keeps the copy of Ben's book squirreled away in his hideout.
One night, Kvothe is woken on his rooftop crevice by a group of urchins beating and possibly raping a boy. He wants to help, but is afraid of the gang discovering his hard-won pennies and his safe haven, and does nothing. From the retrospective frame of the story in Waystone inn, Kvothe says this event more than any other made him the Kvothe of stories and legends (because we are being told all of this by Kvothe as Chronicler... chronicles his autobiography). The fact that he couldn't help that boy eats him up even years later, and spurs him to help those in need even at great risk to himself.

The rest of his three years there are an education on thievery, begging, lockpicking, and the practical applications of class differences. The first three result in countless beatings with a few coins for his trouble, the third he discovers when he begs in the gentrified Hillside and is then almost killed by one of the guards.
To quote Kvothe: “... for most practical purposes, Tarbean had two parts: Waterside and Hillside. Waterside is where people are poor. That makes them beggars, thieves and whores. Hillside is where people are rich. That makes them solicitors, politicians and courtesans.” After he is left to die in the snow from the beating, a man dressed as the demon Encanis, the sort-of equivalent of Satan, helps a broken Kvothe out of the snow and gives him a staggering amount of money. He learns to stay away from Hillside after that. He slowly recovers from his injuries but becomes deathly ill.

He becomes deathly ill after the guard beats him, which leads to him seeking out Trapis, a middle-aged man living in a dingy basement who takes it upon himself to care for the city's homeless, unwanted children. Trapis helps him regain a bit of himself, as he is the only one in the city who cares for Kvothe's well-being. It is from Trapis that Kvothe hears the story of Tehlu (basically God), born to an innocent woman named Menda and Encanis, the Deceiver. Of note is that Tehlu-as-man (angry Jesus at his finest) used a bar of unforged iron to destroy demons, and Encanis was destroyed by being submerged in a fire while strapped to an iron wheel, although Tehlu perished in that fire as well. Tehlu's followers who flocked to him during his short years on earth formed the basis of the Tehlin church, an extremely powerful religious authority and arbiter of law that is still active in Kvothe's day.

He finds a storyteller named Skarpi shortly thereafter with an open wager to whoever asks for a story he does not know. Seeing a chance for sweet, life-saving coin, Kvothe requests the story of Lanre (the head of the Chandrian). A great hero who was killed in battle, and then revived by his Namer/magician wife, Lanre went insane after his wife died. He gathers as much power as he can, but cannot revive her. Unable to die, go insane, forget, or even sleep, he attempts to destroy the Seven Cities that comprised civilization out of a sense of twisted grief.
Kvothe is told by Skarpi to wait until the next day to hear the second part of the story, but arrives late. He is just in time to hear of the one city that was saved, before Skarpi is arrested.
Then the old storyteller calls Kvothe's name though Kvothe never told him.

This restores Kvothe's memories and most of his skills; he later realizes that Skarpi must have Named him, bringing him back from the door of forgetfulness.

Kvothe then remembers his dream of making it to the University, going so far as to sell Ben's copy of Rhetoric and Knowledge to finance his trip there, although he does keep a receipt.

On his way to the university, he meets an extremely pretty girl named Denna who pops into Kvothe's life again later. Many, many times

He dazzles the masters at the University (with a little cheating beforehand to scout what kind of questions he had to answer) and convinces them to pay him to study there, at least for his first term.

Within three days, Kvothe embarrasses the pompous Master Hemme by offering to lecture about sympathy in his place, lighting a fire under him (quite literally) and is brought up on charges of malfeasance, a serious charge of using sympathy for malevolent ends.

Kvothe somehow uses his rhetorical skills to convince the masters to allow him an official spot into the Arcanum, granting him the title of E'lir, which means "seer", one who acknowledges that there is more to the world than meets the eye.

Unfortunately, he does have to be whipped thrice as penance for injuring a master, however slightly. He takes a drug to stop himself from bleeding or feeling much pain, earning him the name Kvothe the Bloodless.

He goes to the Medica, and there is examined by Master Arwyl, head physicker. Arwyl takes him on as a pupil after he sees Kvothe's knowledge of herbs (as he took the nahlrout before the whipping).

He meets his archrival, an arrogant noble's son named Ambrose Jakis, when he refuses to let Kvothe into the library. After the whipping, Kvothe is confused and thickheaded. He is tricked by Ambrose into paying a false "stacking fee" to be let in and brings in a candle that Ambrose gives him. Master Librarian Lorren then bans him from the Archives, ending Kvothe's short-lived access to a repository of knowledge he'd been looking for all his life.

Kvothe spends the rest of the term learning Artificing, and trying to learn Naming magic unsuccessfully from a particularly loopy Master named Elodin.

Kvothe has to take out a loan to pay up for the next term of school, and meets "Demon" Devi, a gaelet who takes his blood as collateral. Blood in the magical world can be used to create a "mommet", a voodoo doll of sorts that can kill a person. It can also be used to track someone down to slit their throat in their sleep. Kvothe refuses, horrified at the possibilities.

Then he passes by a pawn shop where he sees a lute, talks the owner into selling cheap, and then takes the loan from Devi (at 50% interest... yikes).

He practices his music ceaselessly and earns his silver talent pipes from the Eolian (an inn famous for its incredible music performances), no mean feat for someone his age. He sang an incredibly difficult song, and a mystery woman sang the accompaniment for him. This woman turns out to be Denna, his lady love that he never quite openly pursues, but is always happy to spend time with.
His talent pipes allow him to play anywhere in the city of Imre (across the bridge from the University) and gives him a source of income.

His feud with Ambrose Jakis, though, leads to him being tacitly banned from playing at most inns, although one called Anker's is happy to have him. Kvothe actually starts feeling at home for the first time.

Through this all, Kvothe pursues an elliptical relationship with Denna, who is a heartbreaker. He never tries to seduce her or hold her down, but makes every effort to act as the one guy she can trust, because he will never ask too much of her. He'll never ask to keep her to himself. She trusts him more than anyone else, because she trusts no one else at all.

Kvothe goes on to save the city of Trebon from a Draccus (a fire-breathing lizard that eats only trees) using sympathy, finds crucial clues about the Chandrian, and manages to spend a few days with Denna here and there. Denna's

Far later on, he travels to Vintas in search of a patron, uses sympathy and newly-gained woodcraft skills to take out an entire camp full of bandits with lightning strikes.

He is sucked into the Fae, a parallel world where Faen (fairie) creatures come from. Specifically, he is lured by an ancient, seductive being named Felurian who, to put it lightly, takes his innocence. Repeatedly.

He is almost subdued by the force of her seductive powers, but calls the Wind and her Name, which he uses to nearly kill her. As it is, he decides the world is better for having Felurian, and releases her from his surge of power (it dissipates, leaving the name of the Wind forgotten).
He leaves the Fae later with his mind intact, and achievement on its own. He also gets a pretty awesome sword-proof cape made from starlight that Felurian made him.

He goes to the country of Ademre in the far east to save a friend from a terrible fate, and learns hand-to-hand combat as well as swordplay. He also learns of the Lethani, a spiritual "way to know the way" that the Adem people have adopted to guide them philosophically.

Kvothe continues to study a variety of arcane subjects, and at this point in the story is trying to find and locate a secret society of warrior judges called Amyr in order to hunt down his parent's murderers.

Personality: Kvothe is a prideful, kind, determined warrior with an urge to see justice in the world. He is primarily motivated by his parent's deaths, his urge to succeed, and his desire to further his musical talent.

Abilities, Weaknesses and Power Limitations:

Kvothe is a human, and will die from anything that would kill a regular human, excepting some forms of magic he is resistant to. His shaed given to him by a primordial lust goddess turns away swords and arrows, but will still leave a painful bruise if he's hit by a sword. Kvothe has no resistance to being stabbed or shot if he is not wearing this cloak. If he is sleeping and is stabbed in the face, Kvothe will die, shaed or no shaed.

Poison, electricity, extreme temperature change, explosions, drowning, and acid can kill Kvothe, as can being crushed or beheaded. Being launched into space would also likely kill him.

His copious amounts of scar tissue could be a medical problem in some situations.

His biggest weakness is his pride, which coupled with his impulsiveness causes him to make hasty decisions or say things that could make things worse for him in the end. His urge to help others can cause him to rush into hopeless or suicidal situations regardless of risk to himself. That he is still alive after each of these is a testament to his luck, ingenuity, and resilience. Mostly luck. He has done some very foolhardy things in order to please Denna (some of which have endangered his life) so she is a weakness as far as he is concerned. Unless Denna is on the Tranquillity, that probably won't be a factor.

His low birth can be a weakness in social situations, since he is very proud of being Edema Ruh, and insults about being Ruh can cause him to lose control of his emotions.

Lastly, Kvothe spoke to the Cthaeh, a being in the Fae that can see every single outcome of the future, and always chooses to enact the most horrible one. Merely by talking with the Cthaeh, Kvothe has steered his life into the worst possible course, although it is theorized that the Lethani (spiritual guiding path) he learned in Adem may counter this. Unlucky things might happen to Kvothe due to his decision to talk to the creature, and it may seem as though events were set up to unfold in a certain way.


Socially speaking, his acting skills and knowledge of different social classes can help him blend in anywhere. He can be extremely deceptive and hard to predict, which can make formulating a strategy against Kvothe challenging.

Kvothe is a skilled engineer, artificer, chemist, and mathematician.
He is a budding physician, with excellent knowledge of anatomy, pathology, first aid, poultices, medicinal herbs, poisons, and antidotes.
He is a very well-read historian and a polyglot. He has learned a language in a day, although to be fair that language was the root language of his lingua franca, much like Latin is to Italian.
He is also an accomplished musician, singer, and storyteller. He once sang colors to a blind man, if you can believe that. Kvothe composes music as well, and is fairly good at coming up with ribald lyrics to accompany his tunes.

From his time in Tarbean, Kvothe learned to be a stealthy sneak and can hide when he needs to.
He is skilled at picking locks, pickpocketing, sleight of hand, and running like hell.

Kvothe is familiar with the spiritual/philosophical system of the Adem known as the Lethani, which allows him to find the best course of action even in impossible circumstances. He is most in tune with this system when he is in the "Spinning Leaf" mental state.


Kvothe is an extremely skilled hand-to-hand combatant, and is adept at swordplay. He knows striking, grappling/escaping grabs, joint manipulation, kicks, and throws. It is implied that he knows human pressure points fairly well, and has a physician's knowledge of anatomy.

Kvothe also has the power of Sympathy.

This allows him to manipulate heat, kinetic energy, electric charges, magnetic fields, and push objects.
The more similar two objects are, the more he can affect one with the other.
A user of sympathy can bind two coins on separate tables, move one, and have the one on the other table move with ease. Dissimilar objects require more energy and lose more kinetic/heat discharge.
Every action with sympathy requires energy, and can kill the user if too much energy is used.
A user of sympathy can use his or her own body heat and blood heat (for quicker release of energy) to effect sympathetic changes, but this can cause hypothermia known as "binder's chills" and possibly death.
A user of sympathy can use any heat source to generate a staggering amount of power, so sympathy (within certain limits) can accomplish tremendous feats with enough heat or kinetic energy. A weakness of this power is that excess heat that doesn't go into the binding will go into the user, literally cooking them alive if they are incautious. This takes a tremendous amount of heat energy to accomplish, and is usually the result of sloppy bindings or a weak Alar.

Sympathy is subject to the following rules:
The Doctrine of Correspondence: Similarity enhances sympathy. Conversely, dissimilarity diminishes sympathy.

The Principle of Consanguinity: A piece of a thing can represent the whole of a thing.
Have a strand of someone's hair? Roll it up inside a ball of wax, shape it into a person, and make a binding. You have a voodoo doll! If it burns, that person will burn up from the inside .

The Law of Conservation: Energy cannot be destroyed nor created.
Sympathy can modify energy, but it can't create it. It's basically "energy moneychanging" with a variety of applications.

Alar: "The riding-crop belief" is a faith controlled by personal will that is forceful enough to impose its energy upon reality. For example, a sympathist must have a firm Alar in order to maintain a belief that the wick of a candle will burst into flame. A common trick for training one's Alar is to split one's mind into separate parts and believe two conflicting things at once.

Kvothe can split his mind into several pieces, each thinking on its own. Each division of his mind is equivalent to one simultaneous sympathetic link he can perform. To date, his record is 7 simultaneous sympathy bindings.

In addition, Kvothe can go into altered states of mind through concentration:
The Heart of Stone: A frame of mind in which a sympathist is able to shut out the distraction of emotions and focus rational thought to the utmost.
Spinning Leaf: which supercedes thought and is a way of accessing his unconscious mind more directly.
The two states of mind are seen as opposites. Kvothe can see the Names of things more easily in this state of mind, and understands the Lethani better here as well.

His will is very strong thanks to his arcane training and his years of hard living in Tarbean. This has helped him resist extremely powerful mind control in the past.

Kvothe has the ability to make a type of pendant called a gram that will greatly reduce the damage inflicted of any magical attacks.
(E.g. a stab delivered via voodoo doll becomes light pressure instead of life-ending wound.)
It is geared to protect against extreme kinetic and heat changes, but could possibly protect against other magics as well. gram, no passive magic resistance.
Kvothe can still resist a spell or enemy sympathy with his Alar, but it would take a lot of effort and constant vigilance. He cannot do this while asleep.

Kvothe can use Sygaldry, which involves inscribing runes while using his Alar to create permanent Sympathy effects. For best results, Kvothe needs certain metals, acids, bases, clays, wood, and solvents, although given enough time, he could use Sygaldry with any material. Using Sygaldry, he can make two bricks attract to each other without mortar, make a lamp which converts ambient heat into light, or create a refrigerator that runs off of ambient heat. He can craft all manner of marvelous things with this ability. The only real restriction is time and the possibility of failure when trying out new combinations. Once he figures out how to make an object once, he can sketch up a quick blueprint and repeat the process endlessly.

Lastly, Kvothe has the power of Naming. He has demonstrated a connection with the wind, and has an easier time invoking its name rather than other primal forces. He once broke his rival's arm by calling the wind, although calling it often happens when he is enraged or in a heighened emotional state.
He has called the name of Felurian, an immortal Fae from a parallel world, and beaten her thusly.
Understanding something's true name is difficult, and requires years of study without guaranteed results. Furthermore, the Name of the Wind is ever-changing and must be perceived anew each time one seeks to call it.
Despite how rarely this comes into play, it's an ace up Kvothe's sleeve that has pulled him out of tricky situations.

Despite his weaknesses, Kvothe has turned around impossible situations before with trickery, magic, his quick wits, and unorthodox solutions. He has killed a draccus with a combination of a magnet, a bell, copious amounts of drugs, and an iron wheel. He stopped two footpads with sympathy (a magic flashbang with some alcohol-induced fire), scaring them so thoroughly that the entire assassin community refuses to accept a contract on him. He escaped a laboratory saturated with acidic explosives while carrying an unconscious friend using water, a cloak and sympathy to shield them both. He called a barrage of lightning bolts down on a small army of bandits whose commander was an undying horror... and won.
He has come close to death many times but has escaped mostly unscathed. Mostly.

Inventory: A shaed/cloak with a lot of clever pockets.
One very old (2000 years+) durable sword named Saicere/Caesura.
A gram on a thin metal chain.
A ball of wax.
A lute, inside a waterproof case.
A bag of sliced dried apples.

Appearance: Red hair, green eyes, tall, caucasian. Sensitive, slender hands with long fingers. Eyes turn dark when angry. Moves gracefully, most of the time.

Age: 20


Log Sample: I can tell you that being constantly surrounded by metal is unnerving. How much would it cost to build something like this? Never mind the centuries of sygaldry that it would take to keep this bulk together. For all I know I've gone mad and currently pissing myself in the Rookery. Wouldn't that be a laugh, Kvothe the Mad, they'd call me.

It could be worse.

There are numerous men and women aboard the ship, but I'm fairly certain some of them are Fae if not outright demons. They have not yet attempted to eat me, so I am choosing to consider them friendly. They still appear to be absorbing their new surroundings, every gleaming bit of them. The surroundings, I mean.

[He walks into the darkened hallway, looking for a window.]

I focus, make a binding, and light blooms from my hand. Much better. I wish it could lighten than the murky void outside; points of light obscured by some kind of dust cloud. It's fascinating really, but I'd be far more interested in scientific inquiry if I wasn't going stir-crazy. I'm going to fashion a few lenses once I find the materials. Then I can try to figure out where we are. Or if I'm just mad.

Time to explore. Hallways, with obscenely soaring architecture. A cathedral to alien gods, invisible, unknowable. The shape of the walls leave me with a dull chill in my veins.
Poor circulation? [Rubs his hand along his other arm.]

Suddenly, it hits me. I'm traveling farther than any Ruh before. First Felurian, now the stars? Maybe I'll earn another name with this unlikely jaunt.

Kvothe the Starchild. Kvothe the Moonbringer.
[Chuckling, he shakes his head.]
I'll think of something appropriate.

[He leans against the wall, unclasps the case of the lute he concealed in a corner.
It pops open audibly, and Kvothe cradles it like a newborn child.]

[Gently] It has been a while, hasn't it.

[One string, slowly plucked. The sound lingers in the air, fading.]


[Two strings plucked, then a song begins in earnest.
Entranced, he forgets where he is and sings a few verses of "Tinker Tanner".
His foot starts tapping automatically, and a smile plays upon his lips.]

Mmm. This place might not be all that bad.

Comms Sample:
Hello, is there a kitchen anywhere around here? I'm a fairly good cook, and I'd like to help prepare a meal, if you please.

If this is the Fae, tell Felurian she's doing an excellent job of confusing the hell out of me.