(urth) The Piteous Gate (was: Book of the new sun (1-4) questions)

Tony Ellis tonyellis69 at btopenworld.com
Tue Feb 21 11:08:38 PST 2006

Duncan wrote:
>1: what happened at the piteous gate? there was a riot,
>there were clone soldiers...?

The explanation for this has cropped up a few times in the list,
actually, but since it's my explanation I'm happy to repeat it. :-)

The soldiers are driving people off the road, because it's illegal to
use the roads of commonwealth. 

We're given all the facts we need before Severian even sets off on his
journey. Master Palaemon tells us: "...there is a redoubt, so I've
heard, every fifty leagues... [the roads] are patrolled by uhlans under
orders to kill anyone found on them, and since they have permission to
loot the bodies of those they slay, they are not much inclined to ask
excuses." Shadow, XIII

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