Tashi's Light Orphanage is a corner building in Yeddaw, cut into where two streets meet. Its main face focuses onto the large thoroughfare of the immigrant quarter of the city, and is painted bright orange. Its other side faces a wide alleyway that has some rows of seats cut into the sides, making a half-circle, like some kind of theater, though it is broken in the center for the alleyway. That alleyway strings out into the distance, but doesn't look quite as derelict as some others. Some of the shanties even have doors.[1]

Lift is told by street urchins that she can get food there, but that nobody likes the woman who runs it. Further, they tell her not to approach the place from the street side, which is for officials and real people, but by the alleyway side.[1]

In the alleyway is a kind of amphitheater, where elderly people in shiquas sit on stone benches, chat amongst themselves, and watch the children who play there.[1][2]

A section of the stone above the door upon which Lift knocks is carved and painted gold and red, though she can't read the letters.[1]

Lift later realizes just why the orphanage had been set up next to the open space at the mouth of the alleyway; she sees for herself that the children play there, in what she deems to be the most boring playground ever. A set of amphitheater steps and some open floor.[2]

Still, the children love it, running up and down the steps, laughing and giggling. Others sit in circles on the ground, playing games with painted pebbles.[2]

There are a lot of children, younger on average than Lift had assumed. Most, as she'd guessed, are the kind that are different in the head, or they're missing an arm or leg.[2]


On the ground floor of the orphanage is a kitchen and a big room where the children gather during storms. There is a flight of steps that leads to a hallway on the second floor. This floor is filled with small rooms. Several of these hold bunks for the children. The one room on this floor that is above the kitchen belongs to the Stump. It holds only a dresser and bedding on the floor. There is a flight of steps at the opposite end of the hallway that leads farther upward.[3]


  • A youth with a flat, wide face, like Lift had learned to associate with people who weren't born quite the same as other folk.[1]


In Lift's experience, what actually happens at orphanages is that people leave children who are too big to keep caring for, but can't take care of themselves or contribute to their families.[1]


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.