(urth) the assassin

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Wed May 31 10:09:03 PDT 2006

I chanced upon a couple posts from last year about the assassin Severian 
encounters in the Secret House on flood day.  I have a possible (if not very 
specific) solution to his identity.

Once again I think it is tied to a Wolfe deception.  I've noted some of his 
deception techniques, which include  putting a clue far out of context in 
the text, pairing two clues together so you tend to forget the first one, 
characters making misleading, though true statements and Severian 
mis-identifying people.

This is something similar in that Severian, who is constantly making 
comparisons in the text, fails to make an obvious one.  In the sorceror's 
jungle saddle, one of them shows Severian his weapon, a set of blades that 
fit between the fingers attached to a bar held in the palm.  Later, in the 
ziggurat, Agia slaps him in the face and he loses consciousness and awakes 
with a torn cheek.  He then starts talking about her weapon as though it was 
something new. He calls it a "lucivee" which has blades hidden between the 
fingers and a metal bar in the palm.  He also mentions rings to attach the 
thing to two fingers, but surely it is the same weapon as that of the 

Others have speculated that Agia is associated with the sorcerors because of 
the strange symbols she scratches with a coin before Agilus' execution.  A 
juripari ,being a local S. American demon, might make sense as a totem for 
that group.  But I haven't seen anyone connect her to the sorcerors using 
the lucivee before.  Wolfe's trick worked?  Perhaps weapons are an important 
way of connecting Agia with other characters.  It all starts with the avern 

Agia also uses a crooked dagger in Casdoe's house.  And at the Saltus mine 
she uses the athame (I think) which (I think the appendix tells us) is the 
"poisoned warlock's sword".

I think the assassin is just a way to tell us that Agia's malice continued, 
in one form or another, all through the time Severian was on his trip.


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