(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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