Entities referred to as angels are mentioned at various points in the folklore and mythology of the Kingkiller cultures. People have been quoted as exclaiming "Tehlu and his angels" in surprise or exasperation, and they are implied to exist throughout the Tehlin religious text The Book of the Path. Not much is known about the specifics of what angels are or how they behave, but entities described by Skarpi in a tale that, ironically, had him arrested for heresy, seem similar to what many people would recognize as angels.
- "They came to Aleph, and he touched them. He touched their hands and eyes and hearts. The last time he touched them there was pain, and wings tore from their backs that they might go where they wished. Wings of fire and shadow. Wings of iron and glass. Wings of stone and blood.
- Then Aleph spoke their long names and they were wreathed in a white fire. The fire danced along their wings and they became swift. The fire flickered in their eyes and they saw into the deepest hearts of men. The fire filled their mouths and they sang songs of power. Then the fire settled on their foreheads like silver stars and they became at once righteous and wise and terrible to behold. Then the fire consumed them and they were gone forever from mortal sight.
- None but the most powerful can see them, and only then with great difficulty and at great peril. They mete out justice to the world, and Tehlu is the greatest of them all-"
Perhaps even more telling is the fact that of the named angels in Kvothe's story, they are also characters in this tale told by Skarpi.
Before Skarpi was interrupted by the Tehlin Justice, he says that among the angels, "Tehlu is the greatest of them all", so that, according to his version of the story, even though Tehlu could be 'just an angel', not a god, he was still the greatest among the angels, probably inferior only to Aleph.
- Tehlu - But Tehlu stood forward saying, "I hold justice foremost in my heart. I will leave this world behind that I might better serve it, serving you." He knelt before Aleph, his head bowed, his hands open at his sides.
- Kirel - Tall Kirel, who had been burned but left living in the ash of Myr Tariniel.
- Deah - Deah, who had lost two husbands to the fighting, and whose face and mouth and heart were hard and cold as stone.
- Enlas - Enlas, who would not carry a sword or eat the flesh of animals, and who no man had ever known to speak hard words.
- Geisa - Fair Geisa, who had a hundred suitors in Belen before the walls fell, the first woman to know the un-asked-for touch of man.
- Lecelte - Lecelte, who laughed easily and often, even when there was woe thick about him.
- Imet - Imet, hardly more than a boy, who never sang and killed swiftly, without tears.
- Ordal - Ordal, the youngest of them all, who had never seen a thing die, stood bravely before Aleph, her golden hair bright with ribbon.
- Andan - And beside her came Anden, whose face was a mask with burning eyes, whose name meant "anger".
Interesting to note is that in the Wise Man's Fear, where Kvothe's sleeping mind awakens in his fight with Felurian, he gains great ability in naming and his power is described as a 'white star' on his brow.
This is very similar to the above description of the power of the angels, "The fire flickered in their eyes and they saw into the deepest hearts of men. The fire filled their mouths and they sang songs of power. Then the fire settled on their foreheads like silver stars."
Wings of Fire and Shadow
In Skarpi's story, Aleph gave his angels wings of Fire and Shadow. The angels can only be seen by really powerful people, and only in moments of great peril (otherwise they are invisible to mortal eyes). On Tarbean, Kvothe sees "a bird with wings of fire and shadow", when he is beaten up and nearly dead in the cold, before being saved by the man using Encanis' mask.
"I imagined death in the form of a great bird with wings of fire and shadow. It hovered above me, watching patiently, waiting for me...
I slept, and the great bird settled its burning wings around me. I imagined a delicious warmth."
He 'imagines' a warmth protecting him. Great wings of fire and shadow hovering above, watching patiently, waiting for him, warming him from the freezing cold. Because there's no other place in the books mentioning 'fire and shadow' in this way, this passage can mean that one of Aleph's angels was protecting, or perhaps claiming Kvothe on that night.
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