Kvothe is borne to the Edema Ruh, wandering entertainers who are often despised. His father is Arliden, leader of the troupe, and his mother is Laurian who fell in love with Arliden and left her home to be with him. Throughout his life Kvothe (which his father once told him meant "to know") accumulates a multitude of names: E'lir; Reshi; Dulator; Shadicar; Lightfinger; Six-String (named after his self-taught ability to play a lute with only six strings instead of seven), Kvothe the Bloodless (inspired by his use of painkilling pharmaceuticals during an administrative flogging side-effects of which resulted in significantly reduced bleeding); Kvothe the Arcane; and Kvothe Kingkiller. The name Maedre—which can mean The Flame, The Thunder or The Broken Tree—was given, or seen in him, by Magwyn, a namer of the Ademe. He was also given a sword by the Adem called Saicere (meaning to break, to catch, and to fly) which he prefers to call Caesura (meaning a jarring break in a line of perfect verse).