Severian, an apprentice turned journeyman of the Order of the Seekers for Truth and Penitence, commonly known as the torturer’s guild of the Citadel begins his coming-of-age journey equipped with two items entrusted to him by his Master. First is the odd sword Terminus Est, filled with mercury. It is light to raise and weighty to descend, making for deadly blows. Second is the cloak in the tinct of the torturer’s guild. Its color is fuligin, a shade so dark no light reflects off its surface.
Here, he has recently been expelled from the guild in defiance of long-established traditions, and is making his way to the city of Thrax, where he shall serve the remainder of his banishment.