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Kvothe's Sympathy Lamp

A sympathy lamp is a device used to produce bright and steady light continuously for a long-lasting period of time.


Sympathy lamps use sygaldry to sympathetically convert ambient environmental heat– say, from the hand – into light[1], by extracting heat from the metal. (If the metal is too cold, this does not work.) The lamps are brighter than gaslight, steadier than candles or lamps, and last nearly forever.[2] Because of their high costs, they are not particularly well-known.

Outside of members of the Arcanum, Baron Greyfallow has a sympathy lamp in his library at his manor[2].

The typical lamp glows with a deep, red light,[2] though an artificer may also make lamps that burn bluish. Although the light from these latter lamps are easier upon the eyes, they require hazardous reagents such as bone tar or toxic transporting agents in their manufacture.[3] As a result, such lamps are quite valuable and therefore very expensive.[2]

The steps used in creating a sympathy lamp include casting plates, grinding lenses, doping an emitter (which contains arsenic), and using sygaldry to bind the pieces together.[4]


  1. The Wise Man's Fear, Chapter 18: "Wine and Blood"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The Name of the Wind, Chapter 8: "Thieves, Heretics, and Whores"
  3. The Name of the Wind, Chapter 62: "Leaves"
  4. The Name of the Wind, Chapter 64: "Nine in the Fire"