Kvothe's father was a master musician and had been working on a song based on the legends of the Chandrian for years. One evening when the troupe made camp early, Kovthe went for a walk in the woods for an hour and came back to fine the caravans in flames and everybody dead. The Chandrian were not pleased with his father's attempts to capture them in song and exacted their vengeance. It was only by fortune that he escapes them when he returns and finds them still there.
Driven by thoughts of revenge he stays alive for three years begging and thieving on the streets of a city, until he finally works up the nerve to do what his teacher wanted him to do; apply at the University to continue his education in that world's version of magic. It's during his time at University that his legend is born. One of the best parts of the book is when we hear the local storytellers telling their versions of events we've heard Kvothe recounting to the Chronicler. You could barely tell that they were talking about the same thing; in fact, if it weren't for the name being the same, you'd never know.
Rothfuss is a skilled story teller himself and wisely gives us breaks in Kvothe's story telling periodically to bring us back to the present day. Each time he does he increases the air of foreboding that he had established at the beginning of the book that portend it's not just Chronicler who is going to catch up with Kvothe, but other, more otherworldly creatures as well. As Rothfuss has Kvothe telling his story he is feeding us the information about his character, his abilities, and how his desire for knowledge of the Chandrian continued to consume him during his early months at the University.
As Kvothe is laying the groundwork for his war with the Chandrian, Rothfuss is leading us to believe that some sort of fell creatures are seeking out Kvothe, and his worst battles are still to come. We still don't know the story of what happened during the balance of the intervening years that lie between the present and when Kvothe was still in University as The Name Of The Wind comes to an end. In fact like all good story tellers Rothfuss has actually generated more questions than answered questions with his opening book.