(urth) The face of Pas

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Fri Sep 10 22:33:09 PDT 2010

Typhon's maniacal obsession with his own face is a given, well established
in the Urth Cycle. The head on the left side of Piaton's body had yellow
hair, the head on the right side had black hair (SWORD, chap. XXIV). The
head on the left was Typhon's (URTH, chap. XXXIX, 274). Severian at first
thought Piaton "a species of idiot" (SWORD, XXV) because he rolled his eyes
and his lips moved but he was unable to speak. Piaton was unable to speak
because "He can't get his breath, poor fellow," as Typhon put it (ibid,

Silk had yellow hair, as is mentioned many times in LS.

Shortly after Mint and Remora and some others climbed out of the tunnels,
Remora shot Sand and Pas made a theophany in the Sacred Window in the
Prolocutor's Palace. This is what Mint saw:
She blinked and stared, then blinked again. Not one face but two crowded the
Window, one gaping and gasping, the other radiant with power and majesty,
just--and more than just--pitiless and nurturing. "My faithful people,"
intoned Twice-headed Pas, "receive the blessing of your god." (EXODUS, 204)

The "gaping and gasping" face was clearly Piaton's. Mint (and Remora) damn
well knew what Silk's face looked like. Had she recognized the other face in
the Window as Silk's, she would have been shocked silly and the course of
the story would have changed radically. Ergo, the other face was not Silk's.

Nature versus nurture issues aside, on the nature end a clone should look
almost identical to the original.


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