(urth) Questions about BNS

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Wed Nov 14 22:14:38 PST 2007

Welcome, Eric!

Search the archives for "Piteous Gate" for past discussions of the incident.

As several others have said, the fiery apparition witnessed by Severian and
Dorcas in Book I is indeed the "miracle" of the rising, burning tent
cathedral of the Pelerines mentioned by the lady vendor in Saltus in Book

Eric Ortlund wrote:
>>5) One more and I'll stop - when Severian nearly drowns in the Gyoll
near the beginning of Shadow, he sees a woman's face; later, during his
dream while he's sleeping next to Baldanders, the brides of Abia hint
that they came to see him at the Gyoll - so that's who he sees.<<

More specifically, the huge face he sees is that of Juturna. See Book V,
Chapter XLIII.

>> Two
questions: who is the woman crying that he hears - Thecla? <<

As Andrew has also suggested, I believe the woman was his mother.

>>  Also, when
his friends pull him out, he says that he saw the dead Malrubius - and a
boatman asks if Malrubius is a woman.  I know this is really small, but,
like I said, no detail is insignificant; why would the boatman say this?
Is there anything here? <<

I believe that Robert Borski was the first to suggest that the boatman
is/was Dorcas' husband. I know of no better explanation.


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