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Inconsistencies within the Witch World Timeline ~

Year of the Unicorn & The Jargoon Pard vs: The Warding of Witch World

By a very dedicated fan named Jack

with some answers from another fan named Jay (not the webmaster) and Yes other fans as well.

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Dear Ms. Norton,

         I want to thank you for writing so many wonderful stories, especially the Witch World series. THANK YOU! You’re truly a creative wondrous writer. However, after I finished The Warding of Witch World. I do have some questions, which I had hoped you could answer, for I am confused. Since you are no longer of this realm, perhaps someone else might have the answers.


1. Why didn't the foreseeing or reading of Kethan's future, where he was to be an ADEPT come true? p.138-140, The Jargoon Pard, "Now the Eight House--wherein lie your nature gifts--The Magician!" "Mastery of skill, of wisdom, the ability to direct Power through desire into manifestation--" p.138. "The ability to take Power from above, direct that through desire into manifestation" and "ruling Power of belief, the need to be one with others--"(adept, mage) p.139. "But her foretelling . . . Master of skill and wisdom…" "There were such--one heard tales of them-- the Voices, others, some of the Dark, some of the Light. But they dwelled apart, and one might not see one in a long lifetime-- nor even meet another human who had seen one!" Kethan was to be one of the Adepts, but in your latest book you seem to have forgotten this!

         Why didn’t this happen? Kethan’s ability to shape change & Were powers should be the least of his talents. The Were Blood in Kethan is the key, when mixed with the Old Race of his mother’s Witch Blood causes it to combine into a powerful mixture. Never has Witch and Were Blood blended in a child. “... forge from their uniting a third stronger more powerful than either alone. “ Whenever different lesser powers combine, there results a stronger blend than either parent. If only one parent has talent, the best the child could have is similar power to that parent, but unlikely to be greater since the talent is diluted by the blood of the parent who has none. If both parents have similar talents, the child will have similar talent, depending on whether the parents both have great or lesser abilities. But when different talents and gifts are mixed, the result is a wildcard or freak of nature with more powers than either parent, since the child has a combination of both heritages. “Though that part of the power which is wield by a sorceress is not the same as that of which a Warlock or Wizard may summon still she (the wise woman trained Kethan) gave me what training she deemed useful.” p.17.

         Who’s to say when Ursilla called upon Dark powers on that fateful night and awoke the Ancient Guardians of Arvon, what those Powers did to the two babies yet to be born? “Her efforts in that direction (obtaining a male heir) evoked the knowledge of one to whom is entrusted the duty of keeping the balance of power here in Arvon.” p.194. “But Ursilla …felt the beat of wild nature’s force…“ “In her grew fear and wonder…“ “She longed to use the Power, to perhaps read the meaning behind the fury that enfold them.” p.9, The Jargoon Pard.

         No one knows who was summoned to the bed of Heroise, to give her the child, an unknown father who had moon talent. Obviously, Kethan and Aylinn are significant players, if Greater Powers interfere in their lives. Did they bless them with extra special gifts and powers? It was cruel that the Powers of Light who knew of the exchange of babies, not only permitted it, but also used it as a tool to their advantage: “Thus we made use of her ambition in order to temper those who are to stand firm in times to come.” p.194. Kethan grew up alone and unloved. “Lonely I was, and turned inward upon my thoughts more and more.” ”…my growing loneliness?” p.30 Aylinn had Gillan and Herrel’s love and care, but Kethan didn’t even have a friend while he lived in Car Do Prawn. He paid the price with a lonely and cruelly painful years for the Ancient Powers meddling in his life. What great purpose did it serve? It’s a wonder, he is not full of hate and rage at Ibycus and the Light for using him so. What glorious, grand purpose did it serve, to grow up separated from loving parents? His cousin, Maughus, bullied and tormented him, for he was jealous that Kethan was to gain Lordship of Car Do Prawn, for which he was being trained.


2. What happened to the Rise of Darkness & Shadow in the forest and lands of Arvon? Evil was spreading everywhere in The Jargoon Pard. Did it just disappear on its own? p.127, Kethan is able to sense that there were all sorts of Shadow creatures increasing; all of Arvon had prepared themselves for WAR. What happened??? “The Shadow gathers strength. Those who have taken the Darker Way awake, prepare to fare forth once more.” p.116. People lived in fear. After the Wererider delivers his message to Herrel, he says, “We must hurry. The Shadow is on the move!” p.108. “There were places that I avoided with inner shrinking. And it appeared to me that they grew more numerous every night, as if some seed of evil had been planted, sprouted, now grew outward, to encompass more and more about it.” p.128, “Perhaps the inflow of Shadow that Pergin had spoken of now gain momentum.” p.167, “Twice I edged by places wherein there was the stink of Shadow like pools of corruptions.” p.168, “However, I dread the fact that such appeared to be spreading in the forest.” “We can only try that we not be caught utterly defenseless. Therefore, let us live each hour as those who must prepare against siege.” p.58. “It begins so always-- while in us there gathers an uneasiness of spirit . . . preparation for a siege.” “So the Shadow comes-- as the sea tides-- yet not so often—“ p.32. “Overseas those of our cousinhood…“ “This war they won, but in the winning, they made such an effort with the Power that for generations they may not be able to summon much to their service.” “Who know if such a draining has not weakened the safeguards of our world so that those beyond . . . sense or know that this be the hour to move again.” p.57. “We were being hunted. Only the hound that coursed us was a thing of Dark the mere emanation of which was enough to start the stampede.” p.99. He escapes one Shadow creature only to be caught in the Dark web of another evil creature, where he is rescue by Herrel. p.108. P.128, he finds that the lord of the keep is gone with many of his men to the “mustering of forces at the keep of our High Lord, the coming together of the Redmantle Clan.” To fight in the coming battles with the Shadow (also see p.133).

         Coming wars and battles were how the Pard book ended. Gates had opened and Dark creatures had returned and hunted, even within the forest where Reeth, the Star Tower stood. Darkness spread over all of Arvon. There were rumors that a few Keeps had fallen to the Shadow ones, while some had thrown wide their gates to false promises of the Dark ones. There never was a follow up book. Please finish the story. Did the Light win or were they forced to retreat and hide for a 1000 years? p. 57, “...that there will be a muster of forces. We stand with the HIGH LORD AIDAN as does Bluemantle and Gold. But Silver?”No man knows. There have been coming and going between the Keeps of the Western Marches and the Inner Lands. Silver ever had a liking for alliances with the Voices (adepts) of the Heights.” “Their blood is half of the Oldest Ones under the moon (Silvermantle).” “Everywhere men are unease. They have taken to riding armed when abroad.”

         So Red, Blue and Goldmantles joined into a huge army under Arvon’s High Ruler Aidan. Who is this High Lord Aidan? Is he the most powerful of the Seven Lords? Or just a Lord of Power, who happens to be the Guardian of Arvon? Clearly, Silvermantle joined up with the Voices of the Heights. How strange and different is Silvermantle, if ½ of their blood is nonhuman? The Dark forces and Shadow were increasing and running in the night, not only awake, but spreading, multiplying and growing.

         Don’t leave us hanging. Tell us what happened next. You told us that there was coming long seasons of war to balance out the many years of peace. Those at the Star Tower needed “…to stand firm in times to come…“, and had been tested and tried to forge them into a team to fight the Shadow menace. “And the last venture-- within this you four have woven well a pattern that will hold—“ p.194. “There are new rulers in Arvon.” “In time the Riders will take service with some one of the Seven Lords.” p.168 - Year of the Unicorn.

         Who are the current Seven Lords and what are their powers? Is each an adept like his father? In Pard, p.18 “However those of Arvon had always had the talents in lesser and greater degrees, and our Lords and rulers were often also Masters of Powers.” p.179, Year of the Unicorn, “…those who dwelt in Arvon, shared in some use of magic…“ “There were adepts who dwelt apart, wrapt in their studies of other times and worlds which touched ours only momentarily at intervals, and who were now scarcely even of human seeming.” and “... number of alien folk” also lived in Arvon like the Wereriders. Please complete the story.

2A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

Going by Songsmith & The Warding of the Witch World, the rising Dark in Arvon seems to be tied in with the evil mages taking over Garth Howell. They are the main source of it. I know, somewhat of a letdown from the build-up in Jargoon Pard, but there you go.


3. In The Jargoon Pard, Garth Howell was a place of Light, for wise women only, nor were they of the Shadow. However, in your latest book, it has become a place for evil men, dark mages and Sarn Riders. What changed??? p. 31, “Of Thaney (Kethan’s cousin and his betrothal) I had seen little since she had gone early to Garth Howell , where the wise women gathered, there to learn such sorceries as those of healing and protection of house and home. It was reported that she showed something of a talent in such matters . . . “

         You switched the facts back and forth, which is bewildering for the reader. P.4, Aylinn’s own mother “... had studied with the wise women of Garth Howell.” And even the evil wise woman, Ursilla of Garth Howell was able to enter the Ashrine of Gunnora who “... has no priestesses nor shrine attendants.” p.5 (Now Gunnora, suddenly has priestesses in your last book). No men were accepted at Garth Howell. Did the Shadow prevail and overthrow the wise women of Garth Howell? P.214, The Warding of Witch World, “…Garth Howell. That nest of corpulent vipers...” “ was firmly believed that the major mages there followed the Dark road.” Is all of Arvon under Dark rule? This is inconsistent and bewildering.

3A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

Again, as I've written elsewhere, nowhere does it say that Garth Howell is exclusively women, just that women go there to study magic with wise women. It simply doesn't mention men. But as we read later in Songsmith and Warding, it looks like men studied there with mages, just as maids studied with wise women, and a bunch of evil mages have taken over.


Further conversation by fans on several topics mentioned within these questions can be found in the following thread at Sci-Fi Fandom


4. What happened when the Exiled Ones returned? Some of the Exiles had returned as they were promised. “As there was a treaty we were allowed our time of grace to apply at the Gate (into Arvon)-- and it was open to us.” Year of the Unicorn, p.168. “They cannot deny us Arvon for that is our birthright and the terms of the treaty have been fulfilled.” The terms of the treaty require that all the other exiles be granted their birthright to enter Arvon. Some exiles had already returned, while others were still to arrive. P.19, The Jargoon Pard, “Many of the Great Ones who had used the Power to their own wills were thereafter either exiled beyond Gates that led to other dimension and times . . . “ (So you see that some of the gates were opened by the Light and the Seven Lords of Power). Being good, they promised a 2nd chance. p.19, The Jargoon Pard, “Then their followers also went out into exile under certain bonds of time.” After the expiration of the exile, they were allowed to return by the law of the treaty. So what happened when they returned? The story is incomplete.

         You said that some would want revenge, while some might be peaceful like the Wererider. p.168, Year of the Unicorn, Herrel says, “We rode in exile because we had supported lords who went down to defeat in one of those ancient battles.” After “…there had been struggles for power fought with more fearsome weapons…“ He said it was not because they were “deemed disturbing factors like to bring dissension into seeming peace.” In Gryphon in Glory, p.184, “There was some great warring here once. Those who chose the Dark were changed. Then there are the ones who made no choice, who withdrew. They changed in another way-- drawing further apart from either good or ill into a state where they acknowledge the power of neither and cannot be summoned to a quarrel.”

4A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

As for the evil exiles, it seems they're the ones trying to open gates all over the place since the Magestone left the Witch World and The Warding is all about dealing with them.


5. Why can’t Kethan shape change without the belt anymore? p.114, Herrel tells Kethan after examining his palm: “It is Not the BELT that wrought your change. That only provided a key to open the door. Unfortunately, because it was the key, your guess that this wise woman can use it to control you now is the truth.” Herrel says, “The answer lies within yourself and only you can find it (shapechanging without the belt) p.116. Aylinn says, “Listen. But there is another key besides the belt. If you can learn it, then you shall be far greater than you believe. I only trust you shall find your key.” p.119. “Thus began my self-schooling.” “...I would turn my key-- and the power to stand as Kethan grew each time (shapechange) I marshaled it to my service.” p.127.

         It makes sense to say, Kethan, who has both Herrel’s Were blood and Gillan’s Witch blood, is a powerful adept/mage, since the combination of these varied powers multiplies and becomes greater in the child The mixture of different ancient bloods with various talents and abilities, resulting from the parents, makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts, creating a powerful adept. Kethan should be able to call upon more powers than his parents. Am I wrong?            

         But instead in your last book, it seems he is weak and limited to being a Were and yet, he has only 1/4 of that Were blood. Moreover, he can’t even change without his pard belt anymore, which seems to be his crutch. What changed? Please explain. P.146, Kethan says, “I was told there was a key, if I could find it. I searched, and this was what I found-- Not by the belt but within myself.” Gillan says, “Well done. In truth, you have walked a goodly way down a strange road but not Shadow.” p.147, Kethan works Power: “Go from us, look to your candles. Use again the key you have found yourself—“ p.144, Kethan farsees from Car Do Prawn to the Star Tower, traveling the distance by mind. However, in your latest book, he now says, he can’t farsee.

         Huh? Why can’t Kethan change without the pard belt? I thought it was only suppose to be a key for a beginner and to escape Ursilla hold on him.”Ursilla had sensed some talent in me and thus made sure that be quenched or imprisoned by the spell they wove around me that night.” p.121. Also see p.20-21 for the spell of binding on Kethan when he was a young child to prevent shapechange (Ursilla was wearing a moon pendant). Kethan breaks thru the Shadow spell of Ursilla (which prevents shapechanging) and he gradually learns how to shapechange, by practice, without the Pard belt. p.124. The least of a Were’s talent is the ability to shapechange. Or will the full moon have no affect on him without the belt? I thought the belt had more magical powers, than to merely help change him (see #16 below). It would have the same affect on a nonwere too. He seems to have less talent than his father and very little of his mother witch abilities. All he can do is become an animal and even that he can’t do without the belt (He did it without the belt since it had been stolen). But now he has reversed himself in The Warding of Witch World and is unable to make the change without the belt. He has forgotten everything he had learned so painfully! Instead, he has become the weakest of Weres, in your recent book.

         This time the voice was sharp order so swift and powerful he could not help but obey.” (an adept being forced to obey a lesser creature?). “By himself he could never have touched such alien creatures with mind-send.” p.343. “He had never even thought of trying this before.” “...Kethan gave a leap of mind, not body, into paths he had never trod before.” p.342. “Only with the belt did he have a chance against the birds and this Wasteborn monster.” p.279. “Sassfang little power....” This Kethan seems to know less than a Were. The Weres don’t merely shapechange. While much of their power has to do with battle magic, they have other sorcery and spells. By the strength of will without his belt which had been stolen form Kethan, he does change from pard shape to man form and with each practice time he is able to make the transformation last longer. p.126 Ursilla, the evil wise woman recognizes that Herrel is a Were (p.5) and knowing that sets a spell to bind Kethan from ever shape changing, until he gets the belt which sets him free. Kethan was handicapped by Ursilla evil binding spell. In your last book he so inexperienced and unlearned. Kethan is not 1/3 Were, he is ¼ Were. His father is ½ Were and he gets ½ of ½ which equals ¼ not 1/3 like you stated in your last book. He seems to be limited to the ¼ Were blood, completely ignoring ¾ of his other blood (¼ Were + ¼ Old Race Arvon + ½ Witch Esctarp).

         Even Trevor seems to have more talent than he does and he has far less talented blood. The Weres have their magical powers and his mother is a full witch. In The Jargood Pard he is forced to begin to learn to change shape without the belt, but in The Warding of Witch World he has forgotten everything he learned and now cannot change without the belt (p.278, 279, 331). “He could not make the change without the belt. No. ...Kethan proceeded to do what he had never done before.” see p.278. Huh? What happened to him? The belt seemed to give him certain powers, but Herrel assures him the belt is only a key, that he can change without it because it’s in his Were blood. The simplest most basic first ability of a Were is to shapechange. It’s what makes a person a were. If he can’t change without the belt, then he is NO Were! What makes a person a Were anyway - a belt?

         He had the farsight ability in The Jargoon Pard, where he was able to penetrate the defenses of the stronghold of Reeth, several days distance thru their wards and see them working their power. But in The Warding of Witch World he has lost this ability. “He did not have farsight.” The evil wise woman Ursilla set spells to bind him and his Were abilities and the belt broke thru that spell. He doesn’t seem to have developed from a beginner, who knows the simple spells, rather he has regressed. He has falls into a glamorie Shadow trap: “He had been caught, he knew now by glamorie.” (p.276) of Sassfang, in your recent book. But even as a young child, Kethan was able to sense, “There is always about the Towers a seeming of shadow. --Within the walls... there abides a chill that none save I seeemed to note. There I had often the sense that things moved along its shadowed rooms which had little in common with the ways of mankind.” p.14-15.

         Kethan should have his mother’s talent to see thru illusion – “illusion-breaking sight” or “true sight” p.177, Year of the Unicorn, but instead he fell into the the glamorie trap of the evil bird-female and Rus birds (p.277). Kethan’s Were talents should be the key that unlocks his mother’s talents in him, causing the full extent of all her witch power to transfer to him, since its mergered together. If his father had no talent it’s very possible he would have no talent either. The inner ability to shapechange is the most basic part of being a Were. Since he is less Were and has his mother’s talents, perhaps he has more control over his wild Were nature and it has less control over him. He should be able to learn most of Gillan’s and Herrel’s spells and old knowledge. Plus, he should find some other school to learn. P.41, Ibycus asked Kethan to look into his ring’s stone surface and he sees “... the head of a snow cat!” Does this mean that’s Kethan’s true Were nature and not the pard? On p.287, The Warding of Witch World, when Aylinn removes his belt, when he is gravely injuried, he immediately regains his man form. However, in The Jargoon Pard, when his belt is torn off him he is struck in pard shape, until he learns to use his willpower to change. Why couldn’t he use that same willpower to bring his belt to him, instead of being forced to use the cat, Uta, bring it to him? He was helpless without it and afterwards, was limited to claws and teeth as weapons. His mother previously had used her will to snatch the belt out of Ursilla’s hand, when she was tormenting him.


6. How is it possible to close all gates? Who is going to dare closing the gate on p.192, The Jargoon Pard and risk awakening god-like, terrible ancient powers, before whom the most powerful adepts would be like a grasshopper? What about new gates, the Mages of Garth Howell and other dark adepts could always create, within their own wards and borders? Wards set to seal gates can always be broken like any other barrier, by a stronger will and power. All spells strength fades with time. Plus, if it were possible to seal gates forever, don’t you think that those Ancient Powerful Ones of the Light, would have done so long ago with vaster knowledge and superior powers? Closing a gate even temporarily would require more power than all the surviving witches of Estcarp could possess. Their power would surely be destroyed without any success. What’s to prevent adepts or scientific geniuses like the Kolders to create and open new gates from their strange weird worlds like they did before? And why would you seal gates that are harmless or do good? Why waste the energy that can be used to fight the Dark or do other good? What about evil gates that lie inside ancient evil cities, castles or forests that to enter such a place would not only compromise your very soul, but change you into the dreaded Evil Dark?

         If the Horn Crowned Lord, Landsil, Gunnora and other Great Ones knew better to leave such places undisturbed, perhaps, they were not fools. For every action there is a reaction to keep the balance. Such meddling by the Light will awaken the Greater Dark to restore the balance. See p.246, Horn Crown, “But you have opened gates in plenty, wearer of horns.” “Yes, the gates have opened, the Horned-Crown Lord said, “As above, so below. Each Power must have its light side and the dark-- they were balanced. Save when that balance was disturbed and one grew the greater, then the fates-- the need for all things being equal-- took a hand. The righting of the balance might be bloody and dire, still it must come within all existing worlds.” p.243. “Power-- it rests upon the balance of Powers, Kurnous continued.” “Do you not understand that whoever gathers too much power, be it of the Light or the Dark, tips the scales and only chaos will fill the Land? We learned that lesson long ago-- and found it hard learning. This land was once great and strong until the balance was upset.” p.250. The sealing of gates will cause a major terrible backlash.

         Does the Horn Crown Hunter live in Arvon or in some other dimension? The man-beast who was the Kurnous’s opposite seemed to live in Arvon, where he fought Kerovan, Landsil, Neevor, Gryphon and Joison and was defeated in Gryphon in Glory. There will also be hidden, secret gates for which there are no records, in places impossible to find. The specific gates mentioned that were closed make sense, but still nothing lasts forever. Some of the gates were opened by Great Ones of the pure Light, to let in a tribe or clan during a desperate crisis to save a people. It was the Light’s Horned Crown Lord, who let the Dales people in (see near the end of that book). The Kioga’s own Shaman created a gate from their side of the world to escape into Arvon. And what chance would the Sulcars have had, if a Mage who created a gate from their world, hadn’t been the Good Samaritan, but turned his back on them? How can anyone be of the Light, yet still have no pity to take action, to help, if you can? Those persons, who accidentally come thru a gate and don’t want to remain, can be returned by those powerful enough to seal gates. But Simon Tregarth was hunted on his home world and had to flee thru a gate as a last resort to escape. Few will want to be returned.

         How can the loss of the Magestone, open all gates? It would take a god to create a Magestone like that! One gate at a time is possible. But all gates? The Magestone would have to have god-like powers to do that. No one is strong enough to create such a stone. If the loss of the Magestone had opened all gates, then why was it necessary to shed blood at both sides of the blood gate to open it? And why was it required that the dark mage travel in person and call upon all his powers to open the Dark gate in the Waste/Arvon, if it was already open? That means both of these evil gates were not really open. Right? The crystal gryphons globe open gates and was “... more to the key... it is a very special key.” p.142, Gryphon in Glory. “That opens doors....” p.136. When it was lost or destroyed, it didn’t open all gates like the loss of the Magestone. How can any stone be that powerful?


7. Why does Trevor, the child of Elys and Jervon have any talent? He is only ½ blood of the Old Race of Estcarp? No Estcarp men have any real power only the Witches do. Elys’ own brother had no talent. So why does Trevor? His blood is further diluted, since his father is of the Dales, who has no power or talent. This makes no sense based upon your previous stories. His sister, Eydrth is only ½ of witch blood and ½ of Dales, yet she seems to be equal to her Witch mother, Elys, in talent. How can this be?

         Loyse’s mother was a full witch and her father of Alizon (by rape), yet she had only a small talent and is no Witch. While her son, Simond has ¼ Tor + ¼ Gorm from his father + ¼ Witch Estcarp + ¼ Alizon from his mother and he has no talent. If Eydrth has that much talent, then Herrel should be equal or greater than his WereRider father, yet he wasn’t. Plus, Herrel should have whatever small talent from his Redmantle clan mother. Neither Eydrth nor Alon have any blood relation to Landsil or his kin, furthermore they are not possessed by his spirit, so why are they considered part of the line of the Gryphon? The Warding of Witch World P.555, “Alon and Eydrth of the Gryphon line....” Only Kerovan and his family can have any possible claim that they are possessed by Landsil. The Lady Sylvya has the best claim, yet she is excluded? Why? Sylvya is blood kin to Landsil and is sister to a most powerful ancient adept on her human side of the family. With the blood of several adepts flowing in her veins, she should be far superior in power and talent to both Kerovan and Firdun and at least equal to Hilarion and Ibycus and perhaps far more than any living adept. It doesn’t make much sense that Kris Tregarth should have no talent. How is that possible? First, his grandmother is a Witch. His mother is the most powerful of those in the Green Valley, while his father has some talent too, so does his grandfather (otherworld talent). All his uncles are warlocks on both sides of the family. All his kin have talent. So why not him? Does Hilarion using Kris as a tool cause the same result as in the Sulcar girl, Audha, who gains alien powers when her body was used as a tool?


8. Why is Firdun, the son of Kerovan and Joison, a powerful mage? His father only has a small part of the Spirit of the Gryphon inside of him; however, none of Landsil’s blood or genes. Firdun’s father and mother are both of Dale blood, perhaps with a little of old blood diluted by many generations. At the best if Kerovan is somehow able to pass on Landsil’s gift to his son won’t it be further diluted and weaker than he possessed. How does it become greater? I’m puzzled at how Firdun is equal to Ibycus/Neevor and becomes Guardian to Arvon. How does their small talent multiply 1000% in their son? Why does Firdun have violet power in your last book, when Landsil himself does not? See p.239, Gryphon in Glory, “The point of the white light fell forward as if it were a swift sword.” “A black stain..., dimming the glory of the white.” P.240, “Once more that white blade lifted.” Landsil’s own power was white not violet power. So how did Firdun get violet power of the spirits. P.88, The Jargoon Pard, “Violet is pure power among the spirits, and few, even of the Voices can claim to harass it.” Is Firdun a spirit? Hilarion’s power use to be blue in the Sorceress of Witch World, but now it become violet in your last book too. What caused the change?

         Firdun cannot be greater than his father, because his blood is further diluted. How is it possible for Kerovan to pass on the spirit of Landsil to his children, it’s not in his genes or blood? How can that small portion of Landsil spirit reproduce itself if Firdun? Are you suggesting that Landsil meddled and created them to be his creatures for his own purposes, no matter how lofting and noble the ideal, when it’s without Firdun’s permission its evil and of the Dark. If Landsil tampers with such life forces, how is he any different than the most foul creature of the Dark. Firdun didn’t what to be Guardian of Arvon, he was given no choice in the matter.


9. If Trevor and Firdun are each equal or more powerful than Kethan. Than that would mean the less talent your parents had, the greater your chances of being a powerful mage, right? That’s why I am so confused. I am not saying that Trevor, Firdun, Aylinn, Joison and Kerovan can’t have power. Instead, I am stating since each of these had one parent with little or no talent, how much greater must be Kethan’s, who has two parents with strange and unusual powers.


10. Why is Reeth, the Star Tower an important place? What’s makes it so important? “Reeth has a place, so our forseings show, an important place in Arvon.” (The Jargoon Pard, p.175) Even in The Warding of Witch World, p.228, it says Herrel and Gillan “...they had been led to Reeth....” and “... a purpose which they did not yet understand.” So when did they ever find out? It’s years later. Does the Star Tower become a refuge for the forest folk and wonderful animals who have some talent for power, when the Dark Power strikes and destroys their homes? It seems a small tower to shelter so many. Plus, “... feeling of secretiveness and withdrawal.... ... as if those sheltered there had, by choice, little to do with the ways of men.” p.87, The Jargoon Pard. “We are those who dwell apart, asking naught of any man save that we be left to follow our own ways.” p.111.


11. Who is Uta? Why was she exiled and cursed to cat shape for so long? I thought Kethan was madly in love with Aylinn, his Moon Maid and that they were bonded together being born the same day? “My Moon Witch!” p.112. “... how I longed to know her name.” p.120. “... I was all inwardly a man, and a man drawn by the fairest that lies in women.” p.84. “Within me another magic worked, one that bore no kinship with power.” p.113. “My feelings for her recoiled a little, ....” p.114. Later, he demanded he be killed rather than turn Aylinn over to Ursilla for her evil plans, because he was in love with her. Finally, it was Aylinn who drew him forward as a couple at the end of the book. “Why did I long above all else, to stand well in her sight?” P.118. The pard belt was a betrothal from Thaney, his cousin and his betrothed, but there was no love between them. He loved his Mood Maid instead. Is Aylinn’s unknown father, the moon’s Horn Crowned Hunter? How did the Old One Elysha know Uta so well? In your last book, purple power is used by Elysha of the Light, but Ursilla, evil wise woman used “... the purple of the Shadow” too. The Jargoon Pard, p.88, “Purple is a force that is drawn upon warily for it carries the seeds of lust, hate, fear, power-- and it is too easily misused.” On p.174 of The Jargoon Pard, Aylinn was discovered by the Fane of Neave to be a Moon Drawer and so went to Linark and later also learned from her foster parents since Moon Magic had been practiced at Reeth in the past. However, on p.271 of The Warding of Witch World, you now say that Aylinn went to Linard of the healers and there later on learned of her moon power and went to that school too.

11A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

     Uta is the intelligent cat that helps Brixia, Marbon & Dwed defeat Zarsthor's Bane. It is revealed in The Warding of the Witch World that she is a "shapechanger" and it's implied that she did something in the past to keep her trapped in cat form as a punishment. Kethan may have thought he was madly in love with Aylinn when he first met her but being a Moon Maiden I suspect she wasn't ready to give up honoring Dians quite yet. We also discover in The Jargoon Pard that Herrel is half-brother to Lady Heroise, Aylinn's birth mother, and therefore Kethan & Aylinn are cousins. Now Andre hasn't flinched from having cousins marry in other Witch World stories but still, finding out the girl you have your first crush on turns out to have been raised by your biological parents, also happens to be your cousin, and is probably worshiping Dians would put a bit of a cold shower on those feelings.

     Andre's system of colour magic is interesting because she informs us that while each colour branch of magic is neutral, some are more easily abused like red & purple while others are less easily abused like blue & green.

     Yea, "Linard" was a spelling error. It's spelled correctly "Linark" on pages 282 & 320 of the mass market paperback edition of The Warding of the Witch World (as per The Jargoon Pard). I have seen other spelling errors between books. The country of Varn introduced in Witch World the Turning Volume 1: Storms of Victory - Port of Dead Ships is incorrectly called "Var" throughout The Warding of the Witch World. Also Pagar of Geen, first mentioned in Three Against the Witch World is called "Pagan of Cleen" in Trey of Swords and "Pagan of Geen" in another later work (I've forgotten off the top of my head and will have to look it up. Probably Warding) So yea, it's possible Andre mis-remembered things between stories or it was a printing error introduced by the editor/publisher.

Further conversation on this topic can be found here at Sci-Fi Fandom


12. Do any of the other half-breed WereRiders of the Dale brides join their kin at Reeth? Are they mistreated, harassed and discriminated like Herrel for being a half-breed?


13. Is there no school of old knowledge that Kethan can go to and learn spells? Is Garth Howell the only place of learning, old wisdom and magic for males? How is he to learn fully his magical heritage? Gillan is a Witch of the Green Way, while Witches of Estcarp are of the Blue Silences with their crystal gems. They are on different paths with different knowledge and wisdom although there might be a few similarities. Does Gillan ever return to Estcarp, to learn her Estcarpian witch heritage?


14. Do I understand correctly in your last book that most of Arvon’s various people wished to stand neutral in the coming conflicts between Light & Dark? Does that mean few are on the Light side? What about the “forest folk” who are “closer to the plant world” (p.30, The Jargoon Pard)? Does the Green Leaf Tree Lady and her kind still existed in Arvon (p.134-136 of Horn Crown) and in the forest surrounding Reeth? Is she a tree spirt or a dweller inside a tree (dressed in living leaves of green light)? Do the huge moon cats of the Horn Crowned still live in Arvon? What about the other “alien folk” -- didn’t they serve the Light? “... those who tended the Fanes of personified Powers and Forces, a race which lived in rivers and lakes, one which chose not to be too far apart from woods and forests, and some that were wholly animal in form, yet with an intelligence....” “... so many marvels in this Arvon... could ride forever, looking, listening, and still never come to the end of them.” p.179, Year of the Unicorn.


15. Why are the children of the Dale brides & Wereriders important in the coming war? P.194. Why were their children considered a “new race”? Why wasn’t the Halfling Were Herrel part of this new race, but Aylinn was included (she has none of that blood).? Ibycus says “the new race” of Were children are to be vitally important in the coming war. Is it because ½ Weres are more powerful because they have better control over their Were natures and so walk another path, perhaps, joining their kin at Reeth and become fully of the Light? Or do they influence their fathers, causing them to join peaceful and good adepts? Or does the mixing of Were and Dale create something strangely different and somehow stronger? I don’t see how a Lesser Power such as Were Riders can make much difference when there are so many more powerful ones. I can see Kethan being important since he is suppose to be an adept, but why the other halfbreed Weres?

15A: An answer from a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

The children of the Dale Brides are the next generation of Were riders. We see that Herrel is less and more than his father. And yes, he is part of that next generation. My observations of Were Riders is that they are both mage and beserker. They can make cloaks with magic symbols, and they can turn into large preditors at need during battle. We don't know why that next generation would be important in the coming war, as that war didn't happen in the books.


16. Why hasn’t Elys lost her power when she wed Jervon? “All other witches always lose their powers, otherwise why would they stay virgin. Only Ladies Jaethe and Gillan who both married men who had their own powers kept their witch talents, unlike Jervon who has none. Does this mean all future witches will not lose power if they marry? If so, many will wish to wed, so their daughters will increase, there being no risk to themselves. This makes no sense based upon your previous stories.

16A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

      This is an interesting question. I guess it has to do with the nature of the Old Race in Estcarp/Karsten and the Turning. It seems the Old Race in Arvon, and those who remained in Escore, don't have the same gender limitation on magic as the Old Race in Estcarp/Karsten. Both men & women of the Old Race in Arvon & Escore can use magic. My guess is that back when the Old Race who fled Escore into Estcarp and turned the mountains behind them to stop the armies of the Dark created an imbalance in the magic of the Old Race. It's possible the males of the Old Race sacrificed their magic to Turn the mountains and cast the spell that prevented them from thinking about the east, which caused only women to be able to use magic. It may be that the women of the Old Race in Estcarp made a magical deal (with Dians?)/spell to help them survive and that's why they had to remain virgins to use the Power. And it only seems to be a limit on the Old Race within the area of Estcarp & Karsten. When Witches end up in High Hallack, Arvon and Escore, or married to men with some Talent, they find themselves able to use magic even after they've given up their virginity.

      With the Turning between Estcarp & Karsten, the Witches were decimated and this may have broken the limitation that only virgin women could use magic. With Escore open once again and the spell causing the Old Race to forget the east broken, it's hinted in later stories that the Old Race of Estcarp (and Karsten) were beginning to find non-virgin women and even men who can work magic.


17. What other powers does the pard belt possess? Just a small spell to shapechange. Still in man form with the belt on “that my own senses seemed heighted in a way I had never noted before. When I looked about me colors were brighter, the outlines of plants and flowers sharper, more distinct. The scents caught by my nostrils were richer, my hearing keener.” p.65. “There grew in me, a need to be one with the growth about me.” p.66. This happen to him as a beginner in man shape. “The jargoon buckle was blazing as if it sucked avidly at that moon heat. I felt about me, used such to build up an inner energy. The gem dazzled my sight and--” In your recent book, the belt has lost its ability to do anything, except shapechange. Since he can do that anyway, why bothering wearing after all these years? Must he remain a beginner the rest of his life? Yet nothing like the above happened in your last book. Kethan just merely acted as scout and warrior. Yet before, once he put on the belt he was warded from Ursilla’s attack. P.47, “... the gem of the pard’s head took fire from the moon in a way I had never seen any gem burn before.” “It blazed up, more and more. I was caught in a fiery cloud.” p.49. “I unhooked the buckle, held the gem head....” “Yes, in the day, it was dimmer.”

17A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

     Another Interesting Question. I suggest you read the novella Were-Wrath. In it, Farne has a belt that helps him shape shift. He has an intelligent cat companion who watches over him and a sword that he has been avoiding taking up. When he takes up the sword at the end of the story, his belt dissolves. The sword reminds me of the one Herrel wields in The Jargoon Pard that is shown to channel his magic. Farne's belt doesn't have a jargoon buckle like Kethan's so it may be that the gem is special to Kethan as a focus for his magic instead of getting a sword. It's never explicitly revealed if Were-Wrath takes place in the Witch World or not but it certainly has many elements of it and it makes for an interesting bridge between Kethan's belt and Herrel's sword. It is a bit sad that Andre seemed to have forgotten the development of Kethan when she wrote "Warding" though it's possible he's a slow developer or simply not much time has taken place between the end of The Jargoon Pard and The Warding of the Witch World and he hasn't had time to fully explore his abilities yet.


18. How can Estcarp and Escore become allies with Alizon? See p.228, Gryphon in Glory, Neevor says, “There is a race of flawed and evil men overseas .... They are of the Dark, doubly so.... Therefore, twice as dangerous. They send war into the Dales.... They are of a kind who can provide a rally point for many who have nourished the Dark here.” Will you next tell us that Sarn Riders, Rus, Gray Ones, Rasti, ect; have become good too? Internal warfare and civil war within Karsten and Alizon with bloodshed and lawlessness will draw the Dark. Not only will the Gray Ones, Rasti, Sarn Riders be led within their borders, but also many other Shadow creatures will find an open door. Also some lords may make common cause and find allies among those of the Dark against their neighbors. They may make bargains and pacts with the Shadow. Many of the Dark Ones will find new homes among these new races and perhaps even conquer them. Estcarp will have little to fear from its old enemies as they will be too busy fighting one another for a long years.

18A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

I think Andre has always allowed for redemption in her characters. At the time of the Invasion the Alizon race was pretty much controlled by the Kolder, Galkur, and their own corrupt politics and culture. In the Magestone and Warding of the Witch World, characters are introduced who are making changes in Alizon. As for Sarn Riders, Rus, Gray Ones and Rasti... who knows? The Keplian are slowly being turned to the good. It's possible in the right set of circumstances the right person could make a difference in changing the others too. (Personally, I think only the Gray Ones have a chance of it. The Sarn Riders just seem like Tolkien's Ring Wraiths to me and the Rus and Rasti are evil, vicious, cunning animals.)

Ever since the Were-Riders returned from their banishment in the Year of the Unicorn, Arvon seems to have opened up their borders a bit and rejoined the world again. Then, Kerovan & Josian managed to slip through thanks to Landisl's geis and maybe that helped convince the Voices to ease off on the barriers to the outside world and allow a few traders to pass through. It seems people with power can leave and return to Arvon if they want. Ibycus in his Neevor guise certainly left and returned in The Crystal Gryphon & Gryphon in Glory even before the Year of the Unicorn. Also Hylle from Amber out of Quayth left and brought Ysmay out of the Dales with him back to Quayth but that is also set shortly after Year of the Unicorn.


19. Arvon is separated by “space and time.” How is it that Dale traders for years have been freely enter Arvon without using the Gate? Those of the Dales don’t even know that Arvon exists, only that they vanished long ago. How could they enter thru the barriers and wards, without using the gate each time? See p.168, Year of the Unicorn, exiled Weres came thru a gate into Arvon from the Waste. No one came in or out of “spell-sealed” Arvon. Yet in your last book p.217, you mentioned, Hagar and other Dale traders for years freely have been entering Arvon visiting the Gryphon’s Eyrie like they’re mages to whom powerful wards and barriers mean nothing (“Those who dwelt their now... had not the Power.” p.38). How did this happen? How could anyone from the Dales be visiting with their goods? Kerovan, Joison, Elys, Jervon, the Wereriders all needed a key to go thru a Gate. The first time, Elys and Joison couldn’t even approach the gate, but were turned away weeks distances from Arvon (see Gryphon in Glory). So when did everything change? “After the last withdrawal, the ways outward from Arvon had been spell-sealed, no one venturing forth again.” P.18 of The Jargoon Pard. “We had naught to do with them (Dales).” p.38. So it’s impossible for those of Arvon to leave and that they had nothing to do with the Dales or any knowledge of Dale doings. So how could Kethan have seen the sea years ago or for he and Firdun to have visited the Dales years past. It’s not possible and forbidden. There are so many inconsistencies and changing of previously established facts. It’s baffling.

         As for those of Estcarp and Escore, they might have legends of Arvon, but they will think it only a fairy tale. Plus, the Ancient Guardians of Arvon will prevent such interference and meddling as it will only awaken the Greater Dark. “Who was-is-he? And how could he have known I was there? He was of the Border Guard by your description. As such, he is sensitive, one trained to ferreting out of any invader. Hard though the way into Arvon may be.” “...the guard would know an alien presence was there and that it was aware of more than an empty land. That was why the alarm went forth.” p.165, Year of the Unicorn. There was strong illusion on land of Arvon, so it looked completely empty of people and Dale traders would have wandered thru never seeing a soul. Plus, Arvon had many other safeguards which few could survive. “Why can I see only illusion, save when I call upon my power?” “You enter not by the gate but by the mountains and those are all filled with many entrapments.” p.165. “A multitude of small, unseen things fled away from the road and from me who they had been watching with set purpose.” p.152

19A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

     Before The Year of the Unicorn, Amber out of Quayth and Gryphon's Eyrie, High Hallack was barely aware there was another country north-east of them. After those 3 stories that take place around the same time, it seems Arvon has opened it's borders and allowed trading. The Were-riders returning to Arvon with their Dales brides & Gillan's managing to fight against Arvon's wards & see the country as it really is yet proving herself not a threat, Ysmay freeing Lady Yaal & Lord Broc in Quayth and Kerovan & Josian freeing Sylvia from That Which Runs the Ridges and reclaiming Car Garudwyn in the name of Landisl seems to have convinced the Warders to relax the borders of Arvon to outsiders.
Also Brixia, Marbon & Dwed cleansing Zarsthor's Bane in the Waste around this same time may have helped too.


20. I would be interested in a Witch World story of its early beginning days during the “Last Battle” and “Last Struggle” or earlier, when many Great Ones walk in Arvon or Escore. Such as before the “days when the Seven Lords won Peace.” How come Pergvin and the Wereriders actually saw those days and live to present time, but no one in Estcarp or Escore actually saw the great battles between the adepts and lived to tell about it? You have to assume the great wars in each land took place at different times or Arvon’s people live longer lives. Stories of the times of “The setting up of Kings...” and “... rulers of an elder age...” and “... those of that blood were very few, but we mingled...” (Year of the Unicorn). Is that Landsil kind or another blood? Do any remain? So Arvon once had kings?

20A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

Zarsthor's Bane has an extended flashback to before the destruction that created the Waste. Horn Crown also has a short "flashback" to when Gunnora and Kernous were still "carnate". They also take on a semblance of physical form (along with a glowing, winged woman) to confront Raidhan, Cuntif and the Vark woman at the end of the book.

I believe bird-like people appear in a "flashback" in Port of Dead Ships and it's possible the woman may have survived.


21. Do the Were horses have any talent or power, other than speed to carry the Weres? The Star Tower has a small herd of them. Are they like the Keplians or Renthans of the Green Valley? Or are they shadow horses which might explain why; they caused fear in normal horses in your last book. On p.7, The Jargoon Pard, it was the were horses that went wild screaming and rearing, not the horses that were normal. Yet exact opposite happened on p.246 of The Warding of Witch World, the normal horses were uneasy while the Were horses remained calm. Why did it reverse itself? “Several horses grazed in the paddock, two of them with colts by their sides. p.87, The Jargoon Pard. Should there be more horses after some 20 years? “That the rest of them (herd) did not show the frenzy my presence had always evoked in their species before surprised me.” “They returned to their grazing,.... Beyond his watchfulness, he displayed no fear.” p.87, The Jargoon Pard. Herrel’s “... horse came to us, snorting a little, glancing from side to side, as if it perceived more lurking in the forest shadow than we could see.” p.159, Year of the Unicorn. “... it swung its head about, surveying me as if it were no mere beast, but carried intelligence akin to mine in its narrow head.” “Still the mare looked upon me in that measuring fashion.” p.61, Year of the Unicorn.

 21A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

The Were breed horses appear to have a similar level of (animal) intelligence to the Kioga's horses, maybe a bit more. They don't communicate telepathicly at any point in any of the books, so they probably have less than human intelligence. I suppose their Gift is insight into the true nature of other creatures which may be why they spook normal horses as "unnatural" and bond with the Were-Riders. They'd also carry the scent of their were-rider which would be disturbing to other horses.


Some WERE-POWERS & Talents:

         Weres can set wards of protection and are supreme as fighters. Year of the Unicorn P.176, "The beasts you have seen are not the only shapes we may take upon occasions, only those which are the most familiar." "I do not know what shape they will...." "... multitude of shapes, ever changing--" "... a scaled dragon...." "... any figure in that weaving of dissolving and reassembling forms." "... web of changing forms... company of man-like beings, concentrating upon holding the sorcery screen they had wrought." p.181. "I am a Were-- and so against the true course of nature. My kind may not ride in the deep dark, but we go overshadowed through our lives." p.173 Weres have "war sorcery". "The Riders will rouse what they may to front us." p.167. "For if I summon them thus, then I must be prepared to meet them with full power and array--" p.176. "Herrel I had seen appealing to forces and powers for my healing while the Werefires blazed about me and I lay covered with a blanket of flowers." p.208. "His sword was a live thing, and from that blade those things flinched and cringed." (spirit sword) p.211. It too, was green. A spear of light might have been forged into that splinter shaft." "By the bone of death, the power of silver, the force of our desire--" p.105. "By the Ash, the Maul, the Blade that rusteth never, by the Clear Moon, the Light of Neave, the blood I have shed to He whose semblance I wear." p.155. "By the virtue of the Bane-bloom, and the Lash of Gorth, the Candles of the Weres-- come you back! ... an imperative call.... I opened my eyes. Light... but of green flames." P.155-156. The Weres have "... the key to gate..." of "another world".

     The Wereriders were able to open a gate to the Other World, but Gillan and Herrel fought and returned to their bodies. p.175. "Like draws like. He raised his hand and lined a symbol in the air between us. Green it was as if traced in the faintest curl of mist, and then became blue which was gray in its dying." p.102. "... we fastened our wills on this.... He has his battle and I had mine..., yet we must fight it singly." p.218. "I do not know now what I am, for we have been a journey like to change any living thing. But of these towers I am not.... So we shall go to see that which we are-- for that we must learn." p.223. "Powers we have which those of other races do not use." p.73. Weres can cast illusions. "Illusions they dealt in-- but illusions can be common or very complex. And the opening of the gate allowed them to draw upon sources of energy which had been dammed from their use for a long time." p.103."And his (Herrel) touch built illusion. We stood not in a steep walled, dark cut, but in a place of springtime. Small pale flowers...." p.92. "The longer I looked and willed, so more did the enchantment fade and dim." "And their faces were rapt, bemused, those of mortals caught in a web of glamourie." p.49, 50-53, Year of the Unicorn.

     "The weave spell" p.54 and "hinder-cord" "A spell laid to slow and perhaps lame a horse." p.85. "Herrel rode... now and then he held high his head, his nostrils expanding as if he would scent something in the air which might be odor of danger." p.70 (in man shape). "Herrel was uneasy.... His testing of the winds increased. And I saw that others of the Riders moved restlessly about, their pacing almost being of animals scenting a danger yet afar." p.71.

     "By what fear of sorcery he wrought.... But those upright flames nearest him bent horizontally and over them he sept me with him." p.221. Green was that light... the Were flames I had seen before...." p.220. "They are well served--. The bird was small rusty brown,.... In this much it watches our path." "And here in Arvon, they bend much to their will. From this hour on we ride in danger. I know not what they may send against us." p.162, Year of the Unicorn. p.107. "... that the Riders might, with their bedazzlement also alter time at their pleasure." p.62. "... where a green line crawled across the floor." p.66. "... he moved his hands in the air, at the same time uttering words in a tongue I did not understand." p.65.

     "Harl, say the Seven words while it rest in your-- fingers. Words-- or sounds-- so sharp they hurt ears, rang into one's skull-- words of alien power." p.78. "... your thought of me that you broke that geas, Herrel! Remember that. For never have I heard of a man breaking a geas set in earnest spell." "Through their clouds of sorcery, ill meant have we broken thus far. You have not failed in battle or you would not have continued to ride with the Pack." p.162.

     "The Riders are without the law, ...." p.168. "... we will not let our breed die. Thus we take brides among men...."Halfblood is not always as great as full-blood." "True. But, my lady, you forget that we do have powers and arts. Not all the changes we can make are to confuse the eye only." Does this mean they can alter nature to make the halfbreeds into full-bloods Weres?

     Elys said of the Wereriders, "They are strong--" p.81. "There is Power there.... There is no sense of ill, but neither is there any force that is friendly, or beneficial. It is just-- Power." p.81, Gryphon in Glory. "No rather my energy was steadily sapped, my will itself weakened with every step I fought to gain." "Then it was as if a strong force swept me up, a storm of wind pushed me away, heavy at my back."... guarded refuge-- the wood was a sanctuary...." p.65. Even wearing the crystal griffon, Joison's gryphon globe was unable to help her penetrate thru the Wereriders defensive wards and barriers into their spell-warded lands (p.64-65). "The land is closed...." "It will open to their (Weres) desires only."

     Elys said that after Joison told her that ".... there was a barrier." p.81. "... a star was outlined in red-brown. The center of that was a mass of runes and symbols...." "... when one viewed it directly they came to life, wriggled, coiled...." p.74. “... Herrel leaned forward to sweep out an arm. As if he had loose the latch of a door a mass of branches lifted, swung to one side...." "Stone formed the wall, of the first story, but rising above that were set.... The strangest thing was that these logs were not dead.... Rather branches jutted here and there bore living leaves." p.71.

     On p.72, it says "there were full twenty banners" for each Were and 23 weres rode into Arvon, so none died during the war in the Dales against the Alizons. They must be invincible in battle. The Weres were able to place "safeguards". "...four peeled wands" each with a different animal fur or bird feather and the horses do not stray past them." p.69. P.63, "I realized I could not move fast nor could I touch any of those hoofprints with my boots. Rather without any volition, I wa zigzaging back and forth just to avoid that."

     On p.6. The Jargoon Pard, while Herrel was waiting for Gillan to give birth to Kethan, he sensed a storm, of power: "Because of his own nature, he was alert to forces that were not of Arvon of men, but Arvon of Power. Perhaps, now that Power was about to manifest itself in some fashion that was a threat to all below." "Now his lips shaped words but he did not utter them aloud. His hand rose from his belt to make a small sign in the air." P.9, "But Pergvin saw that the man's eyes were closed and his lips moved to shape words, which he could not, or dared not, voice aloud." Normal horses and dogs would go crazy with fear/terror and flee, if Kethan approached them in man form. p.28. Weres can cast love spells. p.28-29. Herrel was a palm-reader. p.114. Herrel’s sword, “Along its blade ran tiny wavering of light, steeling blue.” “The wavering lines upon the sword blade flashed brighter. They ran, they dripped in tiny, flashing goblets from the point of the blade.” p.145, The Jargoon Pard. “And there is Weretime and spelltime..." which governs Weres. Weres can forread "... through the stars." "The wind time and the star times-- which are times of the Great Lords and the Voices” p.170, The Jargoon Pard. “For if he were no Voice, yet that he govern Powers of his own was something I well knew” (of Herrel) p.171. Herrel seemed able to read Kethan's mind.

     Kethan was unable to do any of this in your last book. Why not?

         Aylinn says, “Lately the Riders themselves have sent messengers to my father, saying the day comes when they shall be summoned to defend their lands. Not yet has he answered them fully. I think in him kin-ties pull one way, his old anger another. Until he settles that struggle within himself he cannot say he will do this or that.” p.175 Herrel’s says to his father, “I am beginning to know that I am more than you allowed me to be Hyron.” p.187, Year of the Unicorn

The following conversation can be found at this thread on Sci-Fi Fandom

 Response by Michael Martinez ~ Sci-fi Fandom

[“By the Ash, the Maul, the Blade that rusteth never, by the Clear Moon, the Light of Neave, the blood I have shed to He whose semblance I wear." p.155.”]

Not that I want to derail the topic, but I wonder if that last part doesn't hint toward the origin of the Were-riders. Were they like Sylvya, somehow connected to Adepts who had transformed themselves into otherworldly creatures like Landisl and the "Sky Ones" -- who apparently made lesser creatures more like themselves?

Loskeetha and the Moss-wives comes to mind, as they seemed to resemble here. And I think Kemoc tells the reader that Orsya's people were also made to serve some great Adept in ancient times.

I cannot think of other examples off the top of my head, but it just makes me wonder if the Were-riders don't owe their existence to ancient Adepts who adopted specific animal shapes.


Response by Jay Demetrick ~ Sci-fi Fandom

Jack, you may also find the novella Were-Wrath interesting. Besides the original chapbook, it was re-printed in Wizards' Worlds and The SFWA Grand Masters: Volume 2. The description of Farne's belt and it's role in his transformation as well as his sword are very similar to Kethan's belt and Herrel's sword. Also his gray furred cat companion Grimclaw is similar to Uta from Zarsthor's Bane & The Warding of the Witch World.

Reading between the lines, the places Thra mentions: Lanfort, Laniat, Greer sound a lot like High Hallack as Thra describes them and the "northern lands" and their political strife sounds a bit like Arvon and it's clans. The way Lanfort is destroyed sounds like the work of the Hounds of Alizon during the Invasion of High Hallack. Since Arvon was sealed off from the world during that period, this area may be in a more hospitable area of the Waste where the Were-Riders must have lived at one point after being exiled. Or, if the short-story Rite of Failure is cannon, one could speculate that Farne may have descended from Aurek & Derora.

By the way ~ Josian's name is spelled with an "a", not two "o"s.


Response by ZigZag ~ Sci-fi Fandom

There is no question in my mind that the Weres were a created race by one of the Adepts who was looking for servants and followers. The adept is long dead or gone, but his followers remain and have been on there own for at least a few thousand years.

Why else are all the Were Riders males and only a few? Why did they so desparately need Dale brides and asked the Dale Lords that in return for fighting the invasion of Alizons and they were willing to fight years for wives.

"the blood I have shed to He whose semblance I wear" that you quote seems to indicate that there a higher Lord of Power he was pleading to in whose form and likeness he wore.


Second response by Michael Martinez ~ Sci-fi Fandom

It seems to me that the were-power only manifests itself in male heirs, so they constantly had to find brides among human (or near-human) groups.


Second response by Jay Demetrick ~ Sci-fi Fandom

As far as we know, the only official "heirs" to the were-power are Herrel, Kethan and Farne (if Were-Wrath is set in the Witch World). All the rest of the were-riders (before Year of the Unicorn) are the originals who were created by an ancient adept. There are three other Tales of the Witch World stories which feature other "heirs" but they were not written by Andre.

Tales of the Witch World 1- "Were-Hunter" has Glenda, a young woman from Earth enter a gate into the Witch World where her antique cat ring turns out to be magic and transforms her into a were. She meets Harwin, the son of Harl & Kildas. This is probably set after The Jargoon Pard as Harwin seems a bit older than Kethan and he is Harl & Kildas's third child.

Tales of the Witch World 2- "Rite of Failure" features Aurek, the son of the were-rider shaman, Huran. This is set not long after the Were-Riders were banished from Arvon. He's about Herrel's age. (His mother isn't mentioned.) He nearly fails his rite of passage to become the next shaman, loosing his hand in the battle but falls in love with Derora, the daughter of an adept, who loves him in return. It's mentioned that Aurek and Herrel are the only children of were-riders at that point.

Tales of the Witch World 3- "Were-Flight" introduces the daughter of one of the were-riders. Herwydin gets separated from the rest of the pack while fighting the Hounds in the south of High Hallack. In the fens he meets a Daleswoman, Tirath. They fall in love, he dies fighting the Hounds but she's pregnant and has a daughter, Khemrys. Tirath dies when Khemrys is 11. When Khemrys turns 16 she discovers she's a were. She meets Harlyn who seems to be the son one of the Were-Riders but his mother doesn't seem to be a Daleswoman from her description.

The last story shows that the were-power can be passed on to the daughter of one of the were-riders. If it's considered canon, then yes, it is possible to have female were-riders.


Third response by Michael Martinez ~ Sci-fi Fandom

Andre's canonical issues are among the most complex in science fiction and fantasy, I think. She supposedly reviewed and edited all the stories in the anthologies published during her lifetime. It was also my understanding she would pass stories back to authors for revision.

So how much collaboration went into each story is probably impossible to measure. I am sure with some stories she functioned more as an editor and with others she functioned more as a co-author.


Response by another fan of Andre’s ~ Sci-fi Fandom

I don't think that Andre Norton worried about us trying to follow the genetics involved in the Were Riders. I believe that Andre Norton worried about a story being interesting and well written.

If you are going "canonical" on us, I wouldn't include the TALES short stories. If you want a wider interpretation....

Well, the ability to shape change seemed to have been given to the original Weres, all male, created by an adept. I am not sure that any mention was given to there being women in their clan. The first mention of any women was the birth of Herrel to a woman of the [Redmantle?] Clan. The bargain struck with the warriors was that the Were would fight alongside of Koris, and the borderers, and in exchange there would be brides. This being done so that the race would not die. This needed if the gate would not open to let them back to their own lands. So there would be a new group of half breeds born to the Were riders.

Now, whether or not there were ever any girls born to the Weres before the turning, we don't really know. When asked about this kind of quandry by a reader, Andre would have probably replied, [paraphrasing here] "I don't know either, why don't you write it and then we both will know." So a short story might be written, giving the writers view of what would happen if a daughter was born, and if that daughter might transform. And another story was written about what would happen if a person came through a gate with a ring, and with that came the ability to transform. These were probably both the answer to "what would happen" questions.


Forth response by Michael Martinez ~ Sci-fi Fandom

I think Ibycus mentioned there were other half-breed children to Kethan at some point. He said something like a new race was emerging from the 13 Dales-bride marriages. That would be quite an interesting topic to explore literarily.

I mean, the Witch World was changing by this time, growing away from intermittent and continual warfare. The nations were coming together gradually to accept each other and cooperate better. The Warding of Witch World shows the process has begun, though I am sure it would take centuries more to continue.

So what do you do with the various breeds and races that were created to be warriors? They would have as much right to live as anyone, would they not?


Sincerely ~ A Major Fan ~ Jack

As re-posted on Sci-Fi Fandom website on 07/26/2014 ~ although we did reformat and correct spelling errors.

Thread Title = Year of the Unicorn/Jardgoon Pard vs Warding of Witch World

Originally posted in 2009 as the following thread at Sci-Fi Fandom