(urth) Hierodules and time

thalassocrat at nym.hush.com thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Fri May 26 04:18:25 PDT 2006

So just trying to find a consistent solution to the Hierodules/time 
problem (foolish though the attempt may be).

1. There is evidence that they do, by nature, experience time 

- When parting from Sev on the ship, F asks: "Tell me if you will 
see us more?" Sev says: "Many times". She says: "You know our 
nature, that is plain. We greet you then, and say farewell". (UOTNS 

- Earlier, Sev ruminates on the recent attempt on his life outside 
his cabin: "Doubtless the Hierodules, whose time ran counter to the 
time we know, had foreseen <etc>". (UOTNS Ch6)

2. On the other hand, there is evidence for Don's sensible solution 
(ie that they occasionally travel into the past, but do not 
actually live backwards).

- These same two encounters on the Ship. For them, their first 
meeting with Sev is the first occasion they meet on the Ship, at 
the time of the attempt on his life; and they already know him when 
they "greet and farewell" him as he leaves the Ship. They are 
moving in the same temporal direction as Sev.

- In the encounter at Baldanders' tower, they know of the (earlier) 
scene in the gardens of the House Absolute in where they (or their 
colleagues) fired on Baldanders; and they seem to be aware of past 
interactions with B involving themselves. (Sword Ch34). 

- The overall absurdity of trying to imagine any kind of coherent 
inteactions between two entities moving in opposite directions 
through time.

The easiest solution seems to be to dismiss (1), and go with Don. 
But then you have some other complications. Sev's first 
interactions from his POV go like this:

(a) First meet at Balanders' tower.
(b) Have numerous meetings during the period after the conclusion 
of BOTNS, while he is Autarch.

The problem is that at point (a), the Hieordules remember (b). So 
their movements would have to be something like this, at the 

- Arrive at Urth some time when Sev is Autarch, and have multiple 
interactions with him in forward-time until he leaves for his 
- Then go back in time to start doing stuff with Baldanders, up 
until the time Sev arrives at his tower.

Of course, their movements could be more complicated than that, but 
if so, it would only highlights the natural question: Why go to all 

Hmmm. Now I guess I'll go obsess about something else for a while 

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