(urth) The Tomb of the Unknown Severian

gwern0 at gmail.com gwern0 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 7 18:10:39 PST 2008

On 2007.12.20 00:57:12 -0600, Jeff Wilson <jwilson at io.com> scribbled 1.9K characters:
> Roy C. Lackey wrote:
> > Peter S. wrote:
> >> The green man is wandering through the corridors of time looking for a
> >> situation where Sev is captive so that he can free him. He seems to save
> >> him from Hethor's monster in the Antechamber, although he doesn't free
> >> him then -- Thecla does that.  Could the green man have freed Sev1 here?
> >
> > I don't think that the Green Man was involved in the Antechamber episode,
> > but in any event it is far from certain that Sev1 ever even met the Green
> > Man. Though the general outline of the life of Sev1 was the same as Sev2's
> > between the time of the near drowning and becoming autarch, the details
> > varied considerably. Sev1 didn't have the Claw, so everything associated
> > with it, including the burning of the tent-cathedral and the Pelerines'
> > flight from the city, didn't happen the same way for him. No Dorcas, no
> > excuse for Jonas to intrude himself on the theater troupe, no blue-light
> > special for the man-apes, etc. And the Green Man came from a sunny future --
> > Ushas -- that Sev1 did not bring.
> >
> > Any other candidates?
> Given that Sev1 succeeded in becoming Autarch but failed in Yesod, a
> pro-New Sun agent may have arranged for a change in history to drown
> him, clearing the way for another candidate to become Autarch and win
> Yesod.  Then Juturna has a justifiable reason to save Sev2, hoping to
> restore the timeline and serve Abaia by preventing the New Sun.

Would that've been necessary? The New Sun was en route for an awful long time. Plenty long enough for many many Autarchs to have been tested. What made one particular failed non-time-travelling Autarch (Sev1) so crucial, so make-or-break that important players would've expended effort on him? If he failed the test, I don't see how Sev1 would've been very important at all. Sev2 was important because of the Claw, his future/past paths and so on. Sev1? Not so much.

And what chance could the pro-New Sun agent have relied on that whoever was next would have been any better?

> This would mean that the Green Man may have been lurking about, hoping
> to kill or otherwise derail Sev2, rather than save him. His greeness is
> pond scum after all, making him likewise adapted to lurking camoflaged
> under yucky Gyoll water. This also explains his exceptional change of
> mood at being given a whetstone by Sev2; touching his hand, he is able
> to feel that presence extending through time into Ushas, affirming the
> arrival of the New Sun.
> --

5926 Belknap VIA rail DSNET3 FSB erco imagery William BOP
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