The Underthing

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I live in the Underthing. It goes all over.

– Auri[1]

The Underthing is a long and wandering series of widely varying underground spaces underneath The University where Auri makes her home and which she is the sole caretaker of. Kvothe uses the Underthing to enter The Archives after he is banned.



Mantle is Auri's private space and bedroom within the Underthing. Along with a bed, there is a fireplace with a mantle (hence the name), a sitting chair, a cedar clothing box, and various other trinkets, including Foxen, which is an ember that is Auri's primary light source while exploring the Underthing. Mantle has three exits, a hallway, a doorway which leads to Port, and a door which she notes "is not for her", made of oak and bound in Iron.


Port is accessed through the doorway in Mantle. It contains a bookshelf, wine rack, and wall shelf, and a table in the center, all of which hold many different trinkets. There is a crack in Port's wall which leads to Van, and a slanting doorway which leads to Withy.


Van is accessed through a crack in Port's wall. It is described as being a tall room with straight walls of white stone. It is at least somewhat aboveground, as Auri can see light through a dilapidated archway inside of it[2]. Van is empty except for Auri's standing mirror and hairbrush. Van leads into Rubric.


Rubric is accessed through Van. Rubric is made of red brick tunnels that are covered in winding pipes. The pipes vary in type from tin to steel to copper to iron to ceramic. Some are wrapped in cloth of various types, the noted ones being cotton and linen. It leads to Umbrel and Greely.


Umbrel is between Rubric and The Twelve. It echoes and has barrels.

The Twelve

The Twelve is far below all of the previously mentioned locations. It is a tall space, crisscrossed by bridges, walkways, and pipes. Gratings at the top of the room lead to the outside streets of the University and occasionally let in light. On the floor, there is a deep pool of water that is filled with old pipes and walkways. strange things appear in this pool, including bones. The Twelve changes often depending on the day, and so does its name. It has been referred to as The Yellow Twelve and The Gray Twelve so far.


Withy has implied stairs and leads into Darkhouse.


Darkhouse has spiraling stairs and occupies the same room as Clinks. There are several windowsills.


Clinks occupies the same space as Darkhouse and starts when the spiraling stairs descend into swirling water. There are living things in said water, hopefully fish. It has a small niche that holds things, most recently a blue bottle.


Vaults has a floor with three cracks in it that you have to vault, hence the name. It leads into the Twelve.


Tenners leads to Bakers.


Dunning leads to Bakers.


Bakers is made of brick and full of long pipes that are red-hot, making it into a sort of oven.


Borough has low stone doorways and multiple doors leading into other parts of the Underthing. There are also windows, despite it being underground.


Greely has twisting and crumbling walls and smells of sulfur.


Crumbledon is basically just a dirt hole with a ladder made of sticks in it. This ladder leads to a small stone room with an oak door. This door leads to Wains.


Wains is a very ornate room. The floor is made of marble. The walls are made of dark wood, and have plasterwork done near the top. The pictures are of high society people lounging. From the ceiling hangs a crystal chandelier. There are 12 oak doors in Wains, 3 of which are opened. The ninth door leads to Annulet.


Annulet is accessed through the ninth door of Wains. It is a nice sitting room. It contains a velvet chair, a low wooden table, a couch, a plush carpet, and a small cart full of bottles.


Ninewise is a set of somewhat shattered stairs leading to Tumbrel.


Tumbrel is accessed through Ninewise. It appears to have at one point been a fancy bedroom, but the ceiling has fallen in. It contains a crushed four-poster bed, a vanity with beauty products and accessories haphazardly arranged on top and a triptych mirror, and a tall wardrobe made of dark wood. The wardrobe is full of very fancy clothes and shoes, and the drawers contain things like sheets. A door leads to a small closet containing a chamberpot, a wash bucket and brush, and a birch broom. The vanity contains several drawers containing handkerchiefs. Under a loose stone, there is a small leather sack and a piece of wool padding.


Delving smells of earth and the walls are close.


Woods' roof is sagging and has beams strong enough to swing on.


Cricklet has cool water from a small stream running down one wall. This attracts crickets, hence the name.


Applecourt sometimes has apples and is where Kvothe waits.


Tree is a sort of kitchen area. It contains pans, a spirit lamp, a cracked clay cup, a silver bowl (formerly with nutmeg in it), and several miscellaneous food items. There is a chill-well, which has a lump of butter that is full of knives.


Tenance is entered through a plain wooden door and is not technically part of the underthing. Auri refers to it as "a between place"[2]. It is very dusty and full of tools, shelves, bottles, and boxes. A set of old black bootprints is the only thing on the floor that is not covered in dust. Auri dislikes these for an unclear reason.


Pickering's walls have specific angles that can be wrong or sullen.


Scaperling is grim and gritty.


Mote has a pool.


Throughbottom is cavern full of ancient wreckage, with ceilings so high they resemble a cathedral. It is full of "long-dead mechanata", or ancient machines, all broken and covered in fungus and rust. It is unwelcoming.

Trip Beneath

Trip Beneath is the place in the secluded part of the University with the drainage grate she meets Kvothe at.


Mandril is twisting and gets wet with heavy rains, because of the runoff gate on its end. The gate leads to a gully near Haven.


Billows is a maze of tunnels full of endless wind and pipes. It leads to a small slanting room which leads into the lowest level of Stacks, in The Archives.

Old Ironways

Old Ironways has a grate that filters in the moonlight.


Draughting is full of wires.


Boundary is behind the iron-bound door in Mantle. Shelves holding alchemy ingredients line the walls, and stone shelves covered in glass hold dangerous things. A workbench holds a faucet and several tools, both on top of it and in drawers. She notes that this place is not for her, but it once was.


Lynne is a piping place.


Tocks leads out of the Underthing and into the storeroom of a fine inn.

The Woods

The Woods is a collection of ruined rooms and hallways that are all propped up by wooden support beams, supposedly resembling trees in a sense.

Undescribed Places

  • Candlebear
  • Grimsby
  • Oar
  • Winnoway
  • Veneret
  • Doubton
  • Downing/Downings
  • Nodway