Apple and Elderberry is the first chapter of the novel The Wise Man's Fear. It is part of the frame story arc.

Chapter summary

A bored Bast is pacing the common room of the Waystone Inn alone and restlessly looking for something new. He plays the Maple, Maypole counting game to choose between the bottles at the bar and attempts to create a cocktail from the chosen liquors. During the game he is interrupted by Kote's arrival at the common room. Kote and Bast discuss the attack of the skin dancer the previous night and come up with a measure of precaution to increase the safety of the inn. Bast then leaves the inn to do what is required for the safety measure, while Kote goes through his usual routine at the inn.

Shortly after Kote has set everything ready, Graham arrives at the inn with three new barrels he made for Kote. The barrels are bound with brass instead of iron on Kote's request. The two of them maneuver the barrels to the basement and into the pantry. While drinking beer he gets from Kote, Graham brings up Shep's death the previous night and expresses he wants Chronicler to write him a will in case something happens. He guesses that other townsfolk would want to do the same. When Graham asks Kote's opinion about the bad times they are in, Kote advises him to get ready for a hard winter and to defend himself if need be.

The Bentons stop by and Kote buys half of their cartload of apples, then spends time sorting them. He brings the apples with a bruise or brown spot to the garden at the back of the inn where he makes cider using a cider press.

Characters list


The word "Apple" refers to the apples Kote buys from the Bentons.

The word "Elderberry" refers to the elderberry liquor Bast tries to find at the bar of the inn. It is also the last word in the first couplet of the counting rhyme he employs to choose between the bottles.