- "And Taborlin the Great said to the stone: "BREAK!" and the stone broke..."
- ―Folk tale about Taborlin
Though his physical appearance remains unaddressed, Taborlin is often portrayed in the possession of a variety of magical objects that help to increase his prowess. These include, a key, a coin, a candle, a cloak of no particular color, a sword, a staff, and an amulet that protects him from demons, assorted complications, and illness or injury. It should be recognized however that the importance and usefulness of these items is likely greatly exaggerated. He is also known to be a talented namer, believed to know the name of all things.
In The Chronicle
In the frame story, Old Cob introduces the legend of Taborlin the Great, telling the story to his younger counterparts. The tale chronicles Taborlin's capture by the Chandrian or in later cases, the Sorcerer King Syphus. He is locked in a high tower with no windows or doors, while deprived of his coin, key and candle. The usefulness of these items remains unclear, however it appears that they would have potentially assisted him in an escape had they been in his posession. However, Taborlin still manages to escape his prison as he is able to call the name of stone to break through the wall, as well as the name of the wind, so that he may jump from the tower to the ground without consequence.
The story is also addressed in the narrative of Kvothe's childhood as one of his inspirations for attending The University. The story of Taborlin's abilities and Kvothe's subsequent witness of the use of naming by Abenthy, motivated him to seek out the knowledge and education he would need to competently use the ability himself. While at the University, Kvothe meets the Master Namer, Elodin, who also tells the story in cadence with his own personal escape from Haven, the school's mental institution.
Taborlin's feats are often referred to when people in the Four Corners speak of magic, specifically worth noting is his ability to call down fire and lightning to destroy his foes.
It is also interesting to note that thus far in the narrative, the character Auri has gifted Kvothe some of the same items (key, coin, and candle) used by Taborlin the Great.
It is possible that Taborlin's cloak of no particular color is a shaed, although this may be unlikely, as Felurian tells Kvothe that she's never heard of him.
It is possible that Elodin is Taborlin the Great, since both of them had escaped through an inescapable prison by calling the name of stone , also it would explain why no one from fae knew the name "Taborlin the Great" thus making the above speculation highly probable, since Elodin seemed quite familiar with a shaed.
The stories of both Taborlin and Kvothe appear to be versions of Wayland the Smith, which may be an inspiration for Rothfuss' Kingkiller idea.
Marten the mercenary describes Taborlin's sword as being made from copper. As copper is nameless a copper sword would be a defense against other Namers.