(urth) Undines+humans =3D3D Green Man?
thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Sun Apr 10 05:29:20 PDT 2005
The status of Abaia et al with the coming of Ushas has bugged me.
They survive (as far as I know), there's lots of water for them,
and if they want to create a race of slaves it seems that they
should be ideally positioned to do it, given that the Commonwealth
has been destroyed & that humanity has been reduced to a scattered
One of the first descriptions we have of Abaia is in Sev's dream
while he shares a bed with Baldanders: the undines say, "... Abaia,
who will one day devour the continents." (Shadow, p98) To the
extent that the ocean is the realm of Abaia et al, this is pretty
much what happens with the coming of the New Sun.
Apart from a whole lot of people being killed and Urth becoming
Ushas, the coming of the New Sun also heralds the emergence of a
new race. We are given lots of hints about this (eg, in Talos'
play) & I guess it must necessarily be true, if the New Sun is
vital for the eventual emergence of the Hieros.
I have a notion that Abaia et al will play an essential part in
this. What examplar of a new race do we actually encounter, whose
existence is predicated on the New Sun? Obviously, the Green Man. I
don't think it's a big leap to see him as a stage in the evolution
towards Hiero-ness. What are his distinguishing characteristics vs
old-style humans? Algae in the blood for energy and the ability to
time travel. Who does that remind me of? The undines.
Maybe a hint: while Sev prepares to torture junior Undine Idas in
his cabin on the ship, he has these thoughts about why he had not
at first recognized Idas as an undine: "The undine's [Juturna's]
hair had been green, not white; perhaps that had done most of all.
I should have realized then that such a true and vivid green is not
found in men or beasts with hair or fur, and when it seems to occur
is the effect of algae, like that of the blood of the green man at
Juturna says of Abaia that his goal has been to "make of us a great
people". (UOTNS, p306) This, of course, is also one way of
expressing the goal of the Hieros. Both have proceeded up until
now with equivalent harshness: Abaia by "taming" a swathe of urth's
population, "cutting out their conation"; the Hieros by cutting the
heart out of the Old Sun.
Immediately after Juturna's speech, Sev reflects on Famulimus'
Socratic question: "Is all the world a war of good and bad? Have
you not thought it might be someting more?" And then on aquastor-
Malrubius' belief (taken from Sev's own mind) that Juturna had
saved him from drowning because "I would be a torturer and an
Autarch. It might be that neither he nor the undine were wholly
He recalls aquastor-Malrubius' image of humanity being forged
between hammer and anvil. I believe these are the Plan of Abaia,
and the Plan of the Hieros. With the coming of the New Sun, perhaps
a synthesis between the two is achieved, and perhaps it is indeed
the case that Sev has furthered the ends of both.
On this story, Abaia et al opposed the coming of the New Sun
because they wished to work their Plan with Old Humans as the raw
material. Perhaps some species of compassion was involved. (If they
are like the Mother on Blue, this is easy to believe: everything we
see of her is consistent a being who wants to be loved and
worshipped & is extravagant with her gifts in return. She is
dangerous, I think, not because she is evil, but because prayers to
her are efficacious.)
You could argue that the Ascians and their war are not the work of
benevolent beings; but they same could be said of gutting the sun,
and it takes two to make a lasting war.
Anyway, continuing the made-up story: presented with the fait
accompli of the New Sun, Abaia et al change tack. Now gigantism and
retreat to the ocean are not the only option for longevity; a bit
of Abaian genetic engineering and some pond scum will do instead.
Green Men instead of undines, and (somehow or other) we're on the
evolutionary path towards Hiero-hood.
You also need to posit some kind of reconciliation between the aims
of Abaia and the aims of the Hieros. Perhaps Sev is a "Conciliator"
in this respect as well.
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