Severian has literally joined the communion of saints among the active personalities of previous autarchs. The unchanging words of authority are then tradition, the orthodoxy of belief that is given in faith at baptism and strengthened by confirmation at the age the Christian can wield the power of words.
Governed by an autarch, the nation has an aristocracy but no indication of an imperial dynasty and a largely unknown mechanism of autarchal succession.
Following the dog's trail through underground passages beneath the guild tower leads him to Valeria, a young woman and only child who has been cloistered for centuries in a courtyard called the Atrium of time while waiting to be summoned by the autarch. Valeria tells Severian that Triskele has awakened his capacity to love.
As Severian's elevation to journeyman nears, he becomes the lover of Thecla, an aristocratic prisoner from the autarch's court.
Along with Jonas, Severian is captured by Vodalus, who sends him with a message to a spy in the autarch's hidden palace.
but people who pay dues to the ACLU and want to decide what happens to their lives and bodies themselves instead of having self-appointed little autarchs
like Falwell and Robertson calling the shots.