Kilvin is a Cealdish man with thick shoulders, shaggy hair and a bushy black beard, he is approximately 20 stone in weight. (280lbs) He often surprises Kvothe by displaying a precise memory. He is well versed in artificing and sygaldry. He hopes to one day build an ever-burning lamp, an art he believes has been lost in antiquity.
In The Chronicle Edit
Master Kilvin is Kvothe's sponsor when he petitions for admission into the University. As such, Kvothe joins the master in his Artificing class starting the first term. Kvothe continues in his classes throughout his tenure, arguably building the closest relationship he has with any of the Masters. When Kvothe is charged with malfeasance by Master Hemme in The Name of the Wind, it is Kilvin and Elxa Dal's inquiries that lead to a staunch deduction in the charge. Though Kilvin opposes any consequences for this action, his opinion is outweighed by a majority vote. However, Kvothe is sentenced to only three lashes instead of expulsion and is then admitted as a member of the Arcanum. Kilvin shows an earnest affection for Kvothe as time passes, even going as far as ennacting a short lived ban on his extra work in the Fishery when he discovers Kvothe has become fatigued from an overreaching schedule. After Kvothe completes his apprenticeship with Manet by building a "thieves" lamp, Kilvin displays his honorable and honest demeanor by rejecting the piece for sell in the Artificery's shop. He does however allow Kvothe to keep the lamp, extracting a promise that he will not sell or lend the item to anyone, an oath Kvothe takes very seriously and has thus far abided.
Many fans believe that the narrator, Kote, drew his name from a cealdish saying he learned from Master Kilvin, "Chan Vaen edan Kote," which translates to, "Expect disaster every seven years." It is believed that Kote is siaru for Disaster.