So I’m not seeing very many independent threads, hopefully this is okay. I just wanted a spot where we can talk about our theories without it becoming attached to a particular chapter.
Here’s my wild theory:
We know that “Abroad” has technology, and probably humans. The “taint” of abroad is an ephemeral threat that nobody seems to understand, but that forces families to be separated from each other. I propose that Treehollow is some sort of scientific experiment. When a creature “goes abroad” they exit the experiment, and thus are “tainted”, aka, they can’t be allowed back in because they will somehow mess with the results. In order to keep everyone from exiting the experiment willy-nilly, they invented the story/stigma about the taint to scare everyone into staying put more or less out of free will. Tamberlane (OG name Kai?) was introduced as a variable in the experiment. The person who threw Tamberlane the rope has been observing from afar, and is probably not technically allowed to intervene (thus the secrecy, instead of just helping her out of the water immediately.)
Not a perfect theory, and I’m not super attatched to it tbh… but I thought it was interesting enough to share! Especially because it looks like we’re getting close to some big reveals.
Edit: For reference purposes, this is as of me reading page 318