(urth) Agilus and Agia

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Thu May 2 05:07:45 PDT 2013

>David Stockhoff: The wearing of masks points to the warlocks. I don't think the
>ribbons need to be painted on.

I think it must have been Borski who suggested the ribbons were painted on. But if
the mask itself ties Agilus to the Jungle Sorcerers I don't have much of an opinion
either way. Agia's use of the "athame", the warlock's blade, also fits into this
connection. So after Agilus' death, Agia replaces one warlock with another, Hethor. 

(just learned that the athame is the sword which is represented in the four suits of
tarot cards- wands, cups and pentacles being the other three. Interesting.) 

>aaron: I still can't shake the relation to the masks of the Hierodules.

Given the demonic connection we get for Agilus and Agia, I think the relationship of
these sets of masks is quite apt. There is some veiled recognition in UotNS that Biblical
angels are the same sort of beings as demons, except that the latter are fallen. There
will always be some connections between the two.

So if the servants of the angels wear masks on Urth, we may expect the servants of
demons, like Agilus and the Jungle Sorcerers, to do likewise in symmetry. (of course 
Severian also wears a mask when performing his guild's work....)

>I even asked Wolfe about Inire's appearances (or lack of) in TBotNS, and he basically 
>just said "Maybe he's there, maybe he's not."

D.S.: Schrodinger's vizier? Now I'll have to lie awake considering the ramifications of 
Father Inire's potential nonexistence . . .

Heh! Well, Inire does write Severian a letter and he appears in the stories of several 
other characters so I think his non-existence isn't a well supported theory.

In my opinion, Father Inire's appearances are a mystery along the same lines as identifying
Severian's family. There are a few very strong, highly likely examples. Then there some
moderately strong examples which are a bit harder to spot. Finally, there are a handful of 
possible but very tenuously evidenced examples. I think Wolfe wrote these mysteries 
deliberately that way and it is accurate, even for him, to say "maybe, maybe not" for the 
final group.

FWIW, I think the strongest examples of family members are Dorcas and Ouen while the strongest
Inire appearances are the cowled servitor in House Absolute and the masked jungle guide. Some
moderately supported family members are Catherine, Cyriaca and Agia/Agilus while some moderately 
supported Inire appearances are Isangoma, the old boatman and the baboon who checks in on Severian 
after avern wound. (I'm tempted to include Hethor also because the mirror/monster and young girl
attaction are such compelling connections to Inire for me. But not for many others, I think) 		 	   		  

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