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"No one should ever die from ambush on the road."

The Bloodless is an artificing device developed by Kvothe during his time at the University. Its purpose is to protect travelers by sympathetically stopping arrows shot by highwaymen. It resembles an eight-sided all-metal lantern.[1]

The device was named by Elodin while Kvothe was taking a term off.[2] Prior to this, the placeholder name was an 'arrowcatch'. Kvothe also debated calling it the 'Arrow-trap', 'The Traveler’s Friend', 'Banditbane', a 'clank' and 'the Kvothe'.[1]

It takes less than fifty hours for a skilled artificer to make one.[3]

The cost of the materials is nine jots. The device is sold for eight talents, though Kilvin paid Kvothe twenty-five for the original.[1]


The device stops arrows using a bear-trap spring to negate or deflect the motion of the incoming arrow. The sygaldry binds with any incoming piece of iron at 20 ft, obsidian and glass at 15 ft, or thin cylindrical piece of wood at 10 ft. When such an object is within range of the device and traveling at a sufficient velocity, the spring triggers, deflecting or negating the momentum from the incoming object. The Bloodless can theoretically stop eight arrows before the springs need to be reset. As there is one spring on each face of the lantern, the device hangs on a pivot ring enabling it to stop multiple arrows shot from a single direction. The energy of an incoming arrow tends to swing the device around to the nearest untriggered spring, similar to how a weathervane points into the wind.[1]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Wise Man's Fear, Chapter 44: "The Catch"
  2. The Wise Man's Fear, Chapter 143: "Bloodless"
  3. The Wise Man's Fear, Chapter 44: "The Catch"
    "About a hundred. Maybe a hundred and twenty. But a lot of that was experimentation and testing. I could probably make another in fifty or sixty hours. Less if moldings are made."