(urth) Damn filthy Hiero-wasp-creatures
thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Tue Jan 8 05:08:13 PST 2008
On Tue, 08 Jan 2008 17:37:27 +1100 "Roy C. Lackey"
<rclackey at stic.net> wrote:
>>Sev's religion is based ultimately on Sev's own claims to be a
>>Conciliator and the "miracles" he performed; of course these
>>"miracles" were merely phenomena of a higher technology.
>Sev's abilities to heal and to raise the dead to life again are
>products of alien high-tech. Even mighty Tzadkiel could not heal
>arm or raise Zama to life the way Sev did, as Barbatus explained
>complained of being brought back to life as a mere high-tech
A couple of things. First, I think the Hierodules are dupes. They
probably believe all this hogwash. (I think Father Inire is a dupe
also, whether or not he's actually a Hierodule.)
Second, I concede that maybe not everything Sev does faux-miracle-
wise has a Tzadkiel-tech basis. Another annoying but evident
possibility is that Sev somehow or other has Magic Blood which lets
him draw & focus energy from external sources in time-twisting
Even if this is the case, it doesn't imply any kind of divine
origin for this power & it remains the case that it was Sev's own
miracles which boosted the establishment of the New Sun religion,
which was my original point.
Sev may be the Hierogrammate's chosen one just because this Magic
Blood is a necessary attribute of what they want from the Hieros,
possibly the original source of their own time-twisting powers. At
least this would provide some better motivation for the question of
why Sev. Perhaps he's supposed to mate with every female on Ushas
>>One of his functions no doubt is to take the burden of guilt for
>>the coming destruction away from the Hiero-dudes. As T says in
>>parting words, Urth will be destroyed at *Sev's* command - not
>And just before saying that, Tzadkiel said, "The death agonies of
>you know will be offered to the Increate. [. . .] Much that is
>will perish, and with it most of your race; but your home will be
>(153) And that seems to be the point of it all. Bad-ol'-Man needed
>slapped down -- again. That's how the god-game works. Sacrifice in
>attempt to placate a wrathful god, a conciliation made by a
>Only Sev isn't the one who had to pay the price, no matter how bad
>he felt about it all after the fact. After all, torturers are
>their sympathetic qualities.
Of course, as you say, it comes down to whether or not you think
Tzadkiel actually has any idea of what the Increate might want. I
think it fits better to assume that Wolfe's Increate is not in fact
a wrathful Jehovah figure, and Tzadkiel is bullshitting himself
>In any event, BF&O thought of themselves as holy slaves, but they
>Tzadkiel's slaves, even though they had been fashioned by the
>Hierogrammates. As Famulimus said, " How could Hierodules be holy,
>not serve the Increate? Our master is he, and he only." (36) My
>is that both the Hierogrammates and their helpers seem to believe
>were serving the Increate when they did what they did, to, for and
>people of Urth.
But obviously, belieiving it doesn't make it true.
>>Perhaps this points to another reason for Wolfe including the
>>SilkHorn-meets-Sev scenes in SS: the (IMO) far greater work
>>expunging or perhaps redeeming the lesser ...
>Silkhorn continued to make sacrificial offerings to the Outsider,
>he was on Blue and gave up on being just a reader of entrails. You
>think Silkhorn a fine, upstanding dude and the Outsider the True
>Silkhorn did the same thing Severian-the-Conciliator did, only on
>scale; a matter of degree, not kind. If Wolfe's work is any
>indicator of his
>religious leanings, he seems to regard the concept of religious
>a favorable light.
Really, I think Wolfe would indeed see a qualitative difference
between sacrificing animals and killing off most of a planet full
of humans, as I imagine most people would. Maybe that's actually a
bad distinction, but I don't think Wolfe would aagree. I certainly
don't think SilkHorn is perfect, and in fact I think sacrifice is
an area where he's a bit of dunce. He never seems to get the point
of Oreb squawking "No cut!" all the time.
But I think Olivine's little communion is supposed to show that
Silk did decide that sacrifices weren't pleasing to the Outsider,
the only god. SilkHorn doesn't explicitly remember this decision,
but think of his "sacrifice" of bread and wine to the Outsider
after the Battle of Blanko. Also think of his digust at the hordes
of animals slaughtered in the sacrifice in the Grand Manteion in
I wouldn't be surprise to find that SilkHorn would still
participate in animal sacrifices even if he did remember the
decision, if necessary. He'd just think of them as rather
meaningless and distasteful.
And, obviously, I do indeed think that Wolfe intends SilkHorn to be
a very fine upstanding dude, and the Outsider to be the really-
truly God. (Obviously, that doesn't mean that I necessarily agree
that SilkHorn is my idea of an exemplar or that I actually believe
in any kind of god.)
One final thing: Wikipedia says Tzadkiel is supposed by some to be
the angel who stopped Abraham from killing Isaac. I vaguely recall
that this is supposed to be the definitive point at which Yahweh
made it clear that human sacrifice is a Bad Thing. It seems that
even T's name is a lie.
But I don't think he always lies. Eg: Mini-T says to Sev beside
Madregot: "I've many times been called a liar".
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