(urth) Sev as the avatar of Abaia

thalassocrat at nym.hush.com thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Wed Apr 5 02:47:53 PDT 2006

On Wed, 05 Apr 2006 14:55:40 +1000 Jeff Wilson <jwilson at io.com> 
>thalassocrat at nym.hush.com wrote:
>> Well, not really. But I continue to obsess about the apparent 
>> reconciliation with the pelagic foe at the end of UOTNS.
>> Don't have the book handy but most of this occurs in the last 
>> pages. 
>> With the arrival of the New Sun, Sev loses his connection to it, 

>> feeling like a man who has lost a leg. No more stellar power for 

>> him. But nevertheless, he is able to swim for most of a day and 
>> night, survive underwater, explore the ancient sunken city etc 
>An aquastor wouldn't need to rest or breathe either, of course.

I don't think that's it. Recall the scene with the Hierodules in 
the Stone Town. Sev says: "When I spoke with Master Malrubius 
beside the sea, he dissolved into a glittering dust." Barbatus 
responds: "That eidolon ... had been existence only briefly. I 
don't know what energies Tzadkiel called upon to support you [as 
eidolon] on the ship ... But even if it was a source you left 
behind when you came here, you had lived a long time before that 
[ie, in non-Hierodule terms, Sev lived a long time after that] ... 
During all that time you breathed, ate and drank matter that was 
not unstable, converting it to your body's use. Thus it became a 
substantial body."

I think the point is that an ediolon becomes a real human, given 
enough time. But anyway, it seems that an eidolon eats, sleeps etc, 
since Sev-eidolon did these things on the ship, and I imagine it 
must normally also breathe.

Beyond that, I have a big hypothesis. I think Roy, in particular, 
has pointed out the fundamental distastefulness of New Sun's 
cosmology. Hieros and humans breed each other, with the 
Hierogrammates as some kind of mid-wife species, in cycles of 
rather repulsive pain and suffering. Why is it a good thing for the 
Hieros to come into being? Why should the Increate regard it as 
worthwhile? Perhaps he/she doesn't.

The Increate is very much the Outsider in New Sun. He is, I 
believe, beyond the ken of even the Hierogrammates. (I think, for 
example, of Gabriel's comments in Melito's story of the hubristic 
cock ...) Nobody seems to stand in his direct presence. When Sev 
prays at the altar of the Pelerines before its destruction by 
Ascian artillery, he does have a divine encounter - but with 
himself. Apart from being creepy, I believe it's the closest we get 
to a numinous meeting in all of the four volumes. 

But in Short Sun and Long Sun, the Outsider comes inside. Silk and 
SilkHorn encounter him, unambiguously. 

Is it possible that we have here the real reason for SilkHorn and 
Sev meeting in Long Sun? Perhaps the meeting spawns a new, 
fundamentally changed iteration of the Sev time-line. Most people 
change after meeting SilkHorn; is it unlikely that Sev does also?

There are a few little disconnects between New Sun and the 
SilkHorn/Sev meeting in Long Sun. Some of these might be put down 
to Wolfe nodding, or not caring to balance things like a 
bookkeeper. Eg: Triskele is with Sev for much longer in Long Sun.

But there is one glaring difference which I find very difficult to 
ignore: Merryn. When Sev meets her & the Cumaean in Stone Town, 
they don't recognize each other. But in Long Sun, Sev fetches 
Merryn to meet with Jahlee; after that, at any rate, they *must* 
know each other. Something has definitely changed. 

And perhaps the Triskele factor shouldn't be discounted: Sev meets 
SilkHorn, Sev becomes a better person and a better Triskele-carer, 
Triskele stays longer with him ... And longer term, perhaps Sev 
becomes less of the torturer the Hierogrammates require. 

I don't know what his future history would be, on this hypothesis, 
or the future history of Urth. Whatever, the Increate has 
manifested himself directly to SilkHorn, and with that I think it 
very likely that Sev will no longer be required in the ersatz-deity 

BTW, I find it easy to discount Sev's statement in Long Sun that he 
won't write about SilkHorn, because nobody would believe him. Such 
a jarringly inept piece of story-stitching, taken at face value; 
much easier to believe it's a sly, backhand Wolfean clue.

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