(urth) Thea's Identity

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Mon Apr 22 06:38:34 PDT 2013

On 4/22/2013 9:18 AM, Lee Berman wrote:
>> Jeff Wilson: Meh. The servants seem to have no trouble maintaining loyalty to
>> the new Autachs, and it would make the Torturers, Witches, Librarians, and
>> Stewards curious exceptions to the auto-cloning rule, as we know they get
>> at least some of their number from outside the House and Citadel. It would
>> bring into question why the autarch always has a great man soldiers but
>> never enough, and it would fubar the basis for your identity intrigue on
>> the raft.
> Well, it was actualy David and Thomas who were mulling over the possibility of
> autarch cloning and literal "self-rule", not me.
> I get the impression that the commonality and autochthons types are  not the usual
> clients of the torturers and witches. Though a lot of fuss is made over such a highly
> placed client as Thecla but all the torturer boys fantasize about which noble family they
> may have been taken from. I would lean toward the convention that cloning is restricted to
> exultants, armigers and servants of the throne for some combination of vanity and utility.
> It might be for a source of blood for beauty like khaibits, the duplication of an effective
> soldier or servant like Odilo, or the creation of a close companion as Pega was for Pelagia.

High Middle Ages society was famously characterized not only by its 
three classes---peasants, lords, church---but also by the way the second 
two became completely intertwined, with noble families feeding the 
church with its surplus children. So as exceptions the orders are not 
really curious at all. The real issue is the tension between (1) intense 
breeding and (2) new blood. We know the Commonwealth system has both; 
cloning does not change that.

On one hand, the boys' fantasies are obviously offered ironically, since 
they can't all be true and most are probably not. On the other hand 
(setting aside the fact that Severian's fantasy is ironically true), the 
possibility is strong that most of the boys originated somewhere well 
above the bottom of the pecking order, or else their fantasies would 
just be silly.

However, the orders appear to be a dead end, since opportunities for 
breeding with any other part of society seem low. The orders are in a 
sense genetically locked.

More information about the Urth mailing list