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Elxa Dal is the Master Sympathist at the University.


Elxa Dal has a severe dark eyes, a lean face, and a well-trimmed black beard, often reminding Kvothe of an archetypal villain in a bad Aturan play. He's the only one of the University Masters who looks comfortable in his formal robes.

He is soft-spoken and charming, with a good sense of humor and flair for dramatics. When he teaches, his personality "[strides] back and forth between mad prophet and galley-slave drummer."[1]

He knows the name of fire, and one other name that is alluded to but not shown.

In the Chronicle

Elxa Dal was first introduced at Kvothe's admissions interview, where he asked Kvothe questions about words for kinetic bindings as well as the synodic period of the moon. He was later present for Hemme's malfeasance trial against Kvothe, where he openly criticized Hemme's actions.

During Kvothe's second term, he began taking classes in sympathy from Elxa Dal, where Dal began to pit students against each other by competitive dueling. He stressed the importance of thaumic overfill (or "slippage"), where a student channels so much heat that they raise their body temperature to dangerous levels, and can be left with brain damage from fever or even cook themselves from the inside out.

During Kvothe's trial in Imre, he helped to testify on Kvothe's behalf. Afterwards, he advised Kvothe to leave the University until the backlash from the trial had died down, by telling him a story called 'The Ignorant Edema.'


  • Elxa Dal is the only Master who is commonly referred to by two names, instead of simply as "Dal" or "Master Dal," and it's therefore possible that "Elxa" is also a title, rather than a given name.
  • Dal is rumored to have a standing wager of ten gold marks to anyone who can make Lorren laugh.[2]
  • Elodin was taught by Elxa Dal, and his first use of naming was during an argument with him regarding advanced sympathetic bindings. [3]
  • According to Devi, she was expelled from the University because Elxa Dal couldn't beat her in a duel, and they feared a woman who could match a master by her second year. [4]
  • Elxa Dal has stated that he knows the name of fire and "one other," but the other has not been stated.


  1. The Name of the Wind, Chapter 52, "Burning"
  2. The Name of the Wind, Chapter 37, "Bright-Eyed"
  3. The Name of the Wind, Chapter 86, "The Fire Itself"
  4. The Wise Man's Fear, Chapter 26, "Trust"