(urth) Two tombs

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Fri Jul 7 22:46:48 PDT 2006

bsharp wrote:
>He definitely dies and leaves a body on Tzadkiel's ship and as Apu Punchau
>so if somebody is collecting his old bodies and putting them in the
>mausoleum, that would account for two coffins.  Anyone have thoughts on the

The body of strangled Apu came back to life when the first light from the
White Fountain reached Urth, so we don't really know what may have happened
to it after Sev used the Corridors of Time to get back to Ushas. The revived
Apu was exactly equal in knowledge and power to the newly made eidolon,
equal at least up to the moment he was strangled. So if eidolon Severian
could walk the Corridors, so could he. Who knows where/when he may have

An obvious candidate for one of the coffins is the person for whom the
mausoleum was built in the first place. In the second chapter of SHADOW we

"Our necropolis is said to be the oldest in Nessus. That is certainly false,
but the very existence of the error testifies to a real antiquity, though
the autarchs were not buried there even when the Citadel was their
stronghold, and the great families--then as now--preferred to inter their
long-limbed dead in vaults on their own estates. But the armigers and
optimates of the city favored the highest slopes, near the Citadel wall; and
the poorer commons lay below them until the farthest reaches of the bottom
lands, pressing against the tenements that came to line Gyoll, held potter's
fields. As a boy I seldom went so far alone, or half so far."

Autarchs had never been buried on Citadel Hill, which eliminates Ymar;
neither were exultants. The mausoleum was evidently built during the period
of the autarchy, by or for an armiger or optimate. Neither armigers nor
optimates were normally classed as "servants of the throne", but neither
does that exclude them; after all, the cacogen Inire was such a servant.

There are scattered hints in URTH that Sev, in the future, would do some
time traveling that was not related in the manuscript. One or more of those
trips may have been directly related to the building of the mausoleum. This
theory is reinforced by the three graven images above the door, which point
directly to Sev and which would have no special significance for anyone
else. I don't know what position he may have held during the early autarchy
or how he died, if he did die (it may have been a cognate), but it earned
him a position high on Citadel Hill.

Another candidate for a coffin is the "first Severian" who was not (who
*could not*) be returned to his own time after failing in Yesod.


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