A FTER SEEING AMBROSE AND Denna in Imre, I fell into a dark mood. On the walk back to the University my head spun with thoughts of them. Was Ambrose doing this purely out of spite? How had it happened? What was Denna thinking?
After a largely sleepless night, I tried not to think of it. Instead I burrowed deep into the Archives. Books are a poor substitute for female companionship, but they are easier to find. I consoled myself by hunting through the dark corners of the Archives for the Chandrian. I read until my eyes burned and my head felt thick and cramped.
Nearly a span passed, and I did little but attend classes and pillage the Archives. For my pains I gained lungs full of dust, a persistent headache from hours of reading by sympathy light, and a knot between my shoulder blades from hunching over a low table while I paged through the faded remains of the Gilean ledgers.
I also found a single mention of the Chandrian. It was in a handwritten octavo titled A Quainte Compendium of Folke Belief .At my best guess, the book was two hundred years old.
The book was a collection of stories and superstitions gathered by an amateur historian in Vintas. Unlike The Mating Habits of the Common Draccus , it made no attempt to prove or disprove these beliefs. The author had simply collected and organized the stories with occasional brief commentaries about how beliefs seemed to change from region to region.
It was an impressive volume, obviously comprising years of research. There were four chapters about demons. Three chapters for faeries: one of which was entirely devoted to tales of Felurian. There were pages on the shamble-men, rendlings, and the trow. The author recorded songs about the grey ladies and white riders. A lengthy section on barrow draugar. There were six chapters on folk magic: eight ways to cure warts, twelve ways to talk to the dead, twenty-two love charms . . .
The entire entry on the Chandrian was less than half a page:
Of the Chaendrian there is little to be said. Every Man knows of them. Every child chants their song. Yet folke tell no stories.
For the price of a small beer a Farmer will talk two hours on Dannerlings. But mention the Chaendrian and his mouth goes tight as a Spinner’s Asse and he is touching iron and pushing back his chair.
Many think it bad luck to speak of the Fae, yet still folke do. What makes the Chaendrian different I knowe notte. One rather drunk Tanner in the towne of Hillesborrow said in hushed tones, “If you talk of them, they come for you.” This seems the unspoken fear of these common folke.
So I write what I have gleaned, all common and inspecific. The Chaendrian are a groupe of various number. (Likely seven, given their name.) They appear and commit diverse violence for no clear reason.
There are signs which herald their Arrival, but there is no agreement as to these. Blue flame is the most common, but I have also heard of wine going sour, blindness, crops withering, unseasonable storms, miscarriage, and the sun going dark in the sky.
Altogether, I have found them a Frustrating and Profitless area of Inquirey.
I closed the book. Frustrating and profitless had a familiar ring to it.
The worst part wasn’t that I already knew everything written in the entry. The worst part was that this was the best source of information I’d managed to discover in over a hundred long hours of searching.