(urth) wolfe playing dirty in sorcerer’s house ...

Marc Aramini marcaramini at gmail.com
Mon May 21 08:29:47 PDT 2018

So there are a few things that didn’t add up in the conclusion of the
sorcerer’s house. One is the funeral of skotos with three guests - one of
them is Mr Black, who Bax concludes is Skotos, though Hardaway does not
recognize him, even though he was good friends with Skotos. That argues
against Skotos being Black. The other is Nick’s story of he and Nicholas
being grown in a trough by mr Black ... clearly either that or his later
identification as zwart  black is a lie.

Bax sees a white horse in the middle of the story. While I wanted to make
this a kelpie kind of spirit, we should remember that the butler of Herod
(anachronistically) has the head of John the Baptist, who proclaimed the
coming of Christ. Bax arrives in January in Medicine Man. Duke at the duchy
of cumberbach makes a compelling case that medicine man is Medicine Hat,
Canada, in which a local legend says that one man sacrificed his wife to
the river to get the hat of the shamans (see the pelt/hair of lupine).
Kipling said the town had all Hell as a basement.

We have Nick and Nicholas and a Greek. St Nicholas was born of a Greek
family. He gives gifts, but more importantly, I feel in doing his research
Wolfe looked up all kinds of house spirits, which include Shinto figures,
kikimora, domovoys ... and, in some versions, Knecht Ruprecht, st nicolas’s
Servant, is associated with kobolds.

Look at this description, and remember that mr Black has a staff he always
carries, a white horse appears, Bax receives gifts, is beaten by a stick,
the prominence of someone pretending to be Mr Black, the double mention of
Nicholas, the position as a butler, and a man dressing up as a woman
(winker is called a He by Ieuan and later Doris thinks the obverse of the
coin features a man rather than a woman), also keeping in mind that The
house is called the devil’s house

“Knecht Ruprecht is Saint Nicholas' most familiar attendant in Germany.
According to some stories, Ruprecht began as a farmhand; in others, he is a
wild foundling <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_abandonment> whom
Saint Nicholas raises from childhood.

Ruprecht wears a black or brown robe with a pointed hood. Sometimes he
walks with a limp, because of a childhood injury. He can be seen carrying a
long staff and a bag of ashes, and on occasion wears little bells on his
he rides on a white horse, and sometimes he is accompanied by fairies or
men with blackened faces dressed as old women.[2]

According to Alexander Tille
<https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Tille>, Knecht Ruprecht
originally represented an archetypal manservant, "and has exactly as much
individuality of social rank and as little personal individuality as the Junker
Hanns and the Bauer Michel, the characters representative of country
nobility and peasantry respectively."[3]
<https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knecht_Ruprecht#cite_note-tille-3> Tille
also states that Knecht Ruprecht originally had no connection with
Ruprecht was
a common name for the Devil <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil> in

Nicholas’s companions are also thought of as kobolds or house spirits. Bad
children are punished by being thrown in sacks and beaten or thrown in the

When bax asks nick if mr Black is dead, a non sequitur on both parts
occurs. He answers “you, um. Sir. Or the boys, sir. Emlyn, I would think.
Or both, sir.”

“I did not kill him, Nick. I have never killed anyone...”

“Sir?” (258)

The question here might indicate that nick is not talking about someone
being killed - and he is saying that perhaps both of the boys are dead,
grammatically. Unfortunately, there are still some aspects this really does
not explain (Ambrosius, whose name means “immortal” being strangled by
Goldwurm and thrown into the river, though Nicholas has hands which
strangle. And how this overlays with Ted Griffin and Doris, though the
names Ted, Ieuan, and Doris all mean “gift” - st Nick gives them, after
all. But at the end there are only lupine and (two) emlyns. Kate Finn and
Cathy Ruth have first names which mean clear or pure - the last name of
Thelma Nabor means to cleanse or purify. The victims of the wolf attack are
Martha murrey’s neighbor and a nurse (she wanted to be a nurse). Finn’s
last name means fair or white - Ruprecht means bright.

Bax rejects the valuable gift he was given and has to pay the price. But
there are still some things, like what happened forty years ago, that make
little sense and require huge amounts of extrapolation. Staff, horse, gift,
blackface (metaphorically), Devil, House spirit and the name Nick might
invoke Ruprecht here, but I don’t think this is very fair.
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