The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Four Sorcerers ~ Elwher, Metaldragon, Indagare & Lotsawatts

 


Books of Witch World

The Jargoon Pard

 3rd Novel in the [Witch World: High Hallack Series] by Andre Norton

 

 

 

[Bibliography Page]

[Coulson's Index]

See Also: [Martinez ~ Glossary] [Martinez ~ Races] [Schlobin ~ Survey]

[Back to Contents]

[Expanded Reading Order]

[Updated: 09/16/2019]

 

Edition Used for Analysis:

(1983) Published by Ballantine Del Rey, PB, 0-345-31192-2, $2.50, 224pg ~ cover by Laurence Schwinger

 

Synopsis:

Following the custom of the Four Clans of Arvon, the Lady Heroise (sister to Lord Erach of the House of Car Do Prawn) will be the mother of the Heir to the House and Lordship.  When it comes time for her to give birth, she and her Wise Woman nurse Ursilla travel to the Shrine of Gunnora.  There they encounter a man waiting outside in the stable while his lady gives birth.  Heroise is certain she will bear the child who is the Heir to Car Do Prawn, but when the babe is born--it's a girl.  However, the other mother has just given birth to a son, so Ursilla casts a spell of sleep and forgetfulness on the mother and her midwife, then switches babies.  Kethan, as Heroise names him, grows up as the Heir, but is unsatisfactory to Lord Erach, as he cannot hunt, since horses and dogs seem to fear and abhor him.  Before he can be confirmed as Heir, there comes a trader in gems and other luxuries.  Kethan is drawn to a belt of fur with the buckle formed by a jargoon carved in the shape of a snarling cat's mask.   With malice aforethought, Lady Eldris (Heroise and Erach's mother, who favors Erach's children) gives Kethan the belt as a betrothal gift--he's supposed to marry his cousin and thereby secure the inheritance.  However, when he puts the belt on, he is transformed into the pard of the buckle's likeness.  Hunted away from the Keep, he encounters, and is saved by, his true father, unbeknownst to both of them.  Ursilla and Heroise realizing their plan has failed, hatch another plot to summon the girl child and somehow ensure that Kethan is made into the true child of Heroise, thereby giving Heroise the power and rulership she desires.  But Gillan and Herrel, and the girl they had raised as their own, pit their Powers against Ursilla in an ancient place of ceremony and win out over the evil she tried to raise. ~ SL

 

Timeline Points:

  1. p13. Of Gunorra's Shrine and What Chanced There in the Year of the Red Boar
  2. p13. 'Many are the chronicles of Arvon, for that is a land old beyond the imaginings of men, even though those men may be born of the Elder Races and, therefore, long in their own lives.' (The Old Race is one.)
  3. p13. 'For in a land where the Power is known and used, then marvels do follow after, as the long-fleeced sheep of the Dales follow close upon the piping of their shepherd. (This could be a reference to the Dales of High Hallack but from the way it's described in Year of the Unicorn, Arvon also has dales.)
  4. p13-14. 'There is much in Arvon pertaining to the Seven Lords and those who ruled before them that is lost, though their judging still lies active in the land.' (The rulers of Arvon.)
  5. p14. 'Who was Gunnora? Was she once a Wise Woman of such stature in the land that after her passing some spoke of her as never having been flesh, but spirit alone? If so—that part of the truth is long befogged. But that Gunnora's influence remains, that all womankind knows, to take heart in. For she is the one whose sign is a sheaf of ripe grain bound together with fruit of the vine ready for the plucking. It is Gunnora's amulet each maid wears, upon which she lays her hand at the moment that she conceives, and that she will hold tightly when the time of childbirth is upon her. To Gunnora's shrine came those for whom doubtful runes have been cast, that in her sanctuary they may be cured of barrenness, or else have an easier time of childbearing. And that she has power within the matter of healing, all will testify.' (Religion in Arvon.)
  6. p14. 'Thus, at Gunnora's shrine, begins the chronicle of Kethan—or if I speak less like a songsmith and more in the common tongue of the land—my own story.' (The narrator names himself.)
  7. p14. 'It was the custom of the Four Clans—Redmantle, Goldmantle, Bluemantle and Silvermantle—that inheritance follows the old ways. Thus a man's son does not succeed him in leadership, no, rather the son of his full sister does bear a boy child. For it be the blood of the women of the Clan that is reckoned the truest by descent.' (Arvon culture.)
  8. p14-15. 'In the House of Car Do Prawn, she who would provide the heir was the Lady Heroise. Though her brother, the House Lord, Erach, had wed early, having already a son, Maughus, and a daughter, Thaney (yet an infant in her cradle), Heroise showed no inclination to take any man to her chamber. She was a woman fiercely proud, with a small talent for the Power. As a young maid she had studied with the Wise Women of Garth Howel, bringing one of their number, Ursilla, with her to Car Do Prawn when summoned to return. The idea was firm in her mind that she should, in time, bear a son to take the chieftain's chair. To the shaping of that son, mind and body, she must bend every care, so that when the day arrived that he was shield-raised by the men-at-arms, and his name shouted to the four corners of the Great Hall, it would be her will that would govern all his actions.' (Important characters, places, and customs in Arvon.)
  9. p15. 'Who was the father of the child she carried in the early spring of the Year of the Red Boar no one could name. It was accepted as her right to chose such in temporary alliance only, if that was her wish. Stories were whispered behind hands that her mate was of Ursilla's providing, but it was best not to inquire too deeply into his beginnings lest that be uncovered which would make the coming heir less—or perhaps—more than human.' 'In the Month of the Snowbird, the Lady Heroise and her women, together with Ursilla, travelled to Gunnora's shrine, for the Wise Woman, Ursilla, had cast a foretelling that troubled her.' 'Thus by easy stages, for ragged sweeps of snow still lay upon the ground (though the hint of coming spring was in the air at midday at least), they came to the shrine.' [Kethan & Aylinn were born in the Month of the Snowbird in the Year of the Red Boar.]
  10. p15. 'Gunnora has no priestesses nor shrine attendants. Those who seek her out come into a Presence that they may sense but never see.'
  11. p15-16. 'But in the stabling, a little distance from the shrine, were two horses, while in the outer court a man paced like a great caged cat up and back, up and back, since he dared not enter the inner chamber, which was Gunnora's alone.' (This is Herrel, see: Year of the Unicorn but this is not revealed until much later.)
  12. p15. 'There was a languorous scent upon the air, as if all the flowers of late summer bloomed in abundance, and it seemed to the Lady Heroise that she drifted among the beds of a great garden. She knew pain, but that was a far-off thing, which had no tie with her body and meant nothing. Rather in her now worked a great joy, such as in her cold and devious mind she had never known before.'
  13. p15. 'Nor was she aware that in a neighbouring chamber of the shrine rested another woman and with her one of the Wise Women from the neighboring village. She, too, dreamed joyfully, awaiting a child to fill her arms as love for it already filled her heart.' (This is Gillan, see Year of the Unicorn but this also is not revealed until much later.)
  14. p15-16. 'Nor were either aware of the storm that gathered, though the man [Herrel], who paced and waited, went to the outer doorway and stared at the black massing of clouds overhead, regarded the clouds anxiously and shivered. It seemed to him that, though he know all the humors of nature well and through many years, the brooding stillness under the dark roof now stretched over the land was not quite like anything he had seen before. Because of his own nature, he was alert to forces that were not of the Arvon of men, but the Arvon of Power. Perhaps now that Power was about to manifest itself in some fashion that was a threat to all below.'
  15. p16. 'His [Herrel's] hands went to his belt, and he ran his fingertips questioningly along it, as if he sought something there that was no longer his to find.' 'His clothing was plain, a brown sleeveless jerkin over a shirt of forest green. His cloak lay behind within the court. On his feet, the boots of a horseman were dull brown, the breeches above them green. Yet there was that about him which said he was no field man, nor even chief of some small and unimportant holding, such as his garb suggested. His dark hair was thick and grew in a peak upon his forehead, and his eyes were strange in his weather-browned face—for they were a tawny yellow, like unto the eyes of some great cat. Anyone glancing at him once might well turn to look again, drawn by his air of authority, as if here stood one who answered only to his own will.'
  16. p17. 'There were elements of strangeness about these two mounts now prepared to defend their own quarters against any invasion. They were dappled gray and black, the markings not well defined, but so intermingled that perhaps in the wooded countryside, their shading would produce cover to confuse any who searched for them. Longer of leg than most were they, also, and slimmer of body.' 'narrow heads' (Wereriders horses.)
  17. p17-18. 'Pergvin had served the Lady Eldris in years gone by, she who had borne the Lord Erach and his sister Heroise. Deep in him memory stirred, yet it was a memory that he would not share with any here. If what he half suspected might indeed be true, what a child chance of fate had brought this meeting at this day and hour? He wanted mightily to confront the stranger, call him a certain name, see if he made answer. Only there had been an oath sworn in the past after an exiled one went out of the Gates of Car Do Prawn never to return.'
  18. p18. 'Cadoc, the commander' (The head of Lady Heroise's retinue.)
  19. p18. 'Again the stranger's [Herrel's] fingers dropped to his belt, slipping back and forth, searching. He wore a short sword, but the weapon—closer to a forester's all-purpose tool and clearly no battle arm—was tight sheathed.'
  20. p21-22. Her [Ursilla's] hand rose and fell, as with the tip of her finger, she drew signs and symbols on the surface of that barrier. Some of them flared red for an instant, as if a spark of hearth fire glowed in them. Others Heroise could not follow for the swiftness of those gestures. While she signed so, Ursilla chanted, her voice rising and falling as she recited words, spoke Names. Still never was it louder than a whisper. Yet it carried to Heroise's ears through the rumble of the storm. At the sound of one or two of those Names, she shivered and shrank, yet she did not protest.'
  21. p22-23. 'She [Heroise] peered down into his face where eyes dark-lashed were tightly closed, one small fist pressed against his mouth. He had dark hair. She pulled away the cloth to inspect the small body critically. Yes, he was properly fashioned, with no mark upon him that could afterward be raised to question his identity. "He is Kethan," she said swiftly, as if she feared someone to dispute her naming and her owning. "He is my true son, heir to Car Do Prawn, so do I swear before the Power."'
  22. p23. "She is Aylinn, my true daughter and that of my Lord."
  23. p24. 'As he [Herrel] hurried to his wife, he heard a stirring in the other chamber, but it held no interest. Nor did he even watch when, in the morn of the following day, those from Car Do Prawn rose away, their mistress in her horse litter, her son in her arms. For the three left behind, there was also a faring out some time later. They turned their faces northward to the wilds of the forest, which to them meant home.' (Reeth is in the forest north of the Shrine of Gunnora.)
  24. p25. Of the Heirship of Kethan and Life in Car Do Prawn
  25. p25-26. 'Car Do Prawn is not the greatest of the Keeps that gave allegiance to the Redmantle Overlord, nor the richest. But what it olds within its boundaries is satisfying to look upon. There are orchards of cherry and apple, from which come not only fruit in due season, but also cider, a cherry cordial for which we have no small fame in Arvon. There are also fields of grain, always yielding abundantly at Harvest tide. And there are flocks of sheep and a goodly herd of cattle. Centermost in this smiling and fruitful country sits the Keep itself, and about that a small village. The village lies open under the sun, it's cottages possessing sharply gabled roofs, the eaves of which are carved with fanciful shapes. Their walls are all of a light gray stone, the roofs of slate, while those carvings are entwined with runes painted green and gold. But the Keep itself, while of the same stone, has no lightsome embellishments. There is always about the Towers a seeming of shadow. It might be that some invisible cloud keeps it so. Within the walls, even in the depths of summer, there abides a chill that none save I ever seemed to note. There I had often the sense that things moved along its very old corridors, in the corners of its shadowed rooms, which had little in common with the ways of mankind.'
  26. p26. 'Until I reached the age of six, I lived in the Ladies' Tower, where my only companion in age was the Lady Thaney, she who was Lord Erach's daughter and my elder by a year. It had been told me early that our destinies were designed to be one, that when we came to a suitable age, we would be wedded, thus fast locking together the House fate; though at the time this meant little or nothing to me, or perhaps to her. Thaney was tall for her age, and very knowing, also somewhat sly.'
  27. p27. 'With her brother Maughus, the matter was far different. He was some six years my elder and dwelt in the Youths' Tower, coming only at intervals to visit his grandam, the Lady Eldris, his mother having died of a fever shortly after Thaney's birth. I say his grandam, though by decent, I was also a grandson.'
  28. p.27-28 ''Whether in the past there had been any clash of wills between her and the Lady Eldris, decided in my mother's favour, I never knew. However, when Lord Erach was absent, it was the Lady Heroise who held Manor Court in the Great Hall and gave the orders. At such times she had me ever beside her, seated on a small stool a little behind the Lord's great chair, which had the red mantle of our clan draped across it's back, listening to what judgements she would give. Afterward, she would explain to me the way of this or that decision, whether dictated by custom, or the product of her own reasoning. That she longed to occupy the seat permanently, I learned by instinct while I was yet a small child. It was as if the qualities that were adjudged by the world to be those of a man had been embodied in her woman's flesh, so she chafed against our customs, decreeing the narrow limits of her own life. In one thing alone she was free, and that was the use of the Power.' 'The Lady Heroise lacked the temperament to school her own desires and emotions for any further training in the Other Ways than she had learned in her youth.'
  29. p28-29. 'But, even as my mother enforced upon me her form of training, so did the Wise Woman [Ursilla] concern herself equally with my affairs. Though that part of the Power which is wielded by a sorceress is not the same as that which a Warlock or Wizard may summon, still she gave me what learning she deemed useful…'
  30. p29-30. 'Arvon itself, I discovered, had not always dreamed away time in this ease of golden days that now seemed endless. In the past (the addition of years was obscure since it seemed that those who wrote the accounts were never interested in reckoning up any strict numbering of seasons), there had been a great struggle that had nigh destroyed all ordered life. Before that period of chaos, our present domain had not been bordered by the mountains to the south and east, but had spread beyond, reaching east to the legendary sea, also south into territories long since forgotten. However, those of Arvon had always had the talent in lesser and greater degrees, and our Lords and rulers were often also masters of Power. They began to experiment with the force of life itself, creating creatures to serve them—or, in mistaken experiments, ones to slay their enemies horribly. Ambition as strong as that which moved my mother worked in them, so that they strove to outdo each other to establish only their wills across the land. They awakened much that should never have been allowed life—opened Gates into strange and fearful other dimensions. Then they warred, ravishing much of the land. Many of the forces they had unleashed were plagues destroying even some of the Power itself. The disputatious Lords withdrew as their numbers grew less, returning here to the home—heart of their own country. Some came quickly, alarmed and dismayed by manifestations that they could not control. Others lingered as long as they might, their roots planted so deeply in their own holdings that they could hardly face what seemed to them to be exile. Of these latter, a few never came back to Arvon. Perhaps in the Dale land to the south, where another species of man now lives, they or their descendants still had a shadow life.1 But none here knew if that were so. For, after the last withdrawal, the ways outward from Arvon were spell-sealed, no one venturing forth again. Still not all who had retreated were content with their escape from the results of folly. They continued to challenge their fellows, until the day when the Seven Lords rose in wrath and might, and there was a final, terrible confrontation between the ones who chose the path of struggle and those who wanted only peace and perhaps forgetfulness. Many of the Great Ones who had used the Power to their own wills were thereafter either exiled beyond Gates that led to other dimensions and times or extinguished when their will force was utterly reft away. Then their followers also went into exile under certain bonds of time.'2
  31. p30-31. 'When I came upon that story in the Chronicles, I asked of Ursilla whether any of the wanderers had ever returned. I do no know why that was of importance to me, save that my imagination was struck by the though of myself being so sent out of Arvon to wander hopelessly in an alien world. "Some have." She made me a short answer. "But those are the lesser. The Great Ones will not. It is of no matter now, Kethan. Nor should such concern you, boy. Be glad you have been born into this time and place."'3
  32. p31. 'What did change was that I reached the age when, by custom, I must go out into the Youths' Tower and there begin the tutorage that would make me a warrior (though for some long years there had been no war except some raiding at intervals from the wild men of the hills). The night before the event, Ursilla and Heroise took me into the inner chamber, which was Ursilla's own shrine, if shrine might be the term given it.' (Kethan 6 years old)
  33. p37. Of the Trader Ibycus and the Jargoon Belt He Brought
  34. p40. "He was a son of the House," Pergvin said reluctantly, "Or rather a halfling son—" "It was in the long ago when the Lady Eldris was but a young maid. There was a love-spell laid upon her and she answered it—"
  35. p41-42. Pergvin: "Yes, the Lady Eldris went as she was called. But it was not a man of our Clans who laid the spell upon her. Those were the days of the Last Struggle, and there was a gathering of the Clans and others who were then our allies to determine defences and ploys against the Dark Lord of Ragaard the Less. Since all who answered the summons needs must leave their Keeps but lightly defended if they were to join such a gathering, there were ladies then who rode in amor and led levies from their own lands. While at the Fortress of the Redmantle, the Lady Eldris was seen and desired by one of the Wereriders—a lord among them. It was he who laid the spell that brought her to his bed. But his spell did not last, and no real liking came of their meeting on her part. So that in time she returned to her own people bringing with her their young son— It is said that when she left, her Warlord and his Clan were elsewhere, for they were always in the midst of the bitterest fighting, they being what they were born to be. And, by the time he got note of her going, it was too late for him to claim her again. Her brother, Lord Kardis (he who fell some years later at the Battle of Thos), gave back freely her Clan right and laid it also on her son. However, as the boy grew older he showed the blood of his father the stronger. At last he went to Gray Towers where he could find cup-fellows and shield-companions of his own kind. Then later, when the Seven Lords won peace, those of the Werefolk were sent into exile, for their blood is ever hot and they take not easily to a world without war. It was only a few short seasons ago they returned to Arvon from far wandering. But I do not think that any old sorrow binds the Lady Eldris. She later took the Lord Erach's father to husband and bore both him and your Lady Mother. Thus perhaps time faded all that lay behind. But it is true that her elder son did dwell here in his early youth, and that those weapons were his." (Herrel)
  36. p42. 'There are many strange folk in Arvon. We are not all of one kind or nature. Some are very different indeed when we compare them to ourselves. Of that number not a few are dangerous enough so that those of the Clans avoid them and their territories. There are those totally unlike us as to body and mind, others that mingle within their natures both that which is like unto us and that which is strange beyond our understanding, a third kind that are both different and enemies to our ways. Yet it is not any physical difference alone that raises barriers between one sort and another, but rather spirits that cannot meet. I have seen the forest people come freely to our sowing feasts, our Harvest festivals. These we welcome, though they are closer to the plant world than to ours. Also I have seen some with the outward seeming of the Clansmen from whom I shrank as if from a blast of winter's strongest cold. A Wereriders, like the forest people, possesses a mixture of inheritance, being sometimes man, sometimes animal. I had come across divers references to such shape-changes in the Chronicles Ursilla had supplied, but at the time I had had little interest in them.'
  37. p43-44. 'I had passed from boyhood into the time of young manhood when we had an extremely plentiful harvest that overjoyed us all. Yet that was also the Year of the Were-wolf, which was an ill sign in every way and which in a measure we dreaded. By rights, this season should have celebrated my wedding to Thaney. Only, under such a sign, Ursula decided—and Heroise, in spite of her desire to further her plans, backed her—no such uniting could prosper. Thus it was decreed that with the coming of the new year—which lay under the sign of the Horned Cat, a powerful one but such as promised better, the wedding would take place.' (Kethan 14-15?)
  38. p44. 'Of Thaney, I had seen little since she was gone early to Garth Howell, where the Wise Women gathered, there to learn such sorceries as those of healing and the protection of house and home.'
  39. p44. 'Maughus was much away also, acting as messenger for his father in various meetings of the Clan or Clans—for all four of the Great Clans were astir. Arvon itself had passed into a period of unrest which crept upon the land subtly enough. The very names of the years, as they passed, showed that the balance of the Power was a little troubled. For we had behind us such as the Years of the Lamia, the Chimera, the Harpy and the Orc. There were signs that the golden peace of my childhood was fading, though the why of this puzzled all who thought about the matter. And there were embassies sent to the Voices, asking for readings on the future. That this grew cloudier they admitted. Still there was no menace that was openly discernible, upon which men could set their eyes and say—this is what troubles us so.' (The name of years leading up to the Year of the Were-wolf.)
  40. p44. Pergvin: "It is like the sea tides, this flow and ebb of the Power. When too much of it fills the land, then there is trouble and restlessness." "It begins so always, too—with the land bearing in great abundance, as if we were being warned to fill up all storage places in preparation for a siege. While in us there gathers an uneasiness of spirit, as if there were a whispering in our ears, urging us to action we do not want to take. So the Shadow comes—as the sea tides—yet not so often—"
  41. p45. Pergvin: "My Lord, how many years of life think you stretch behind me?" 'When I had been young enough to first come under his tutoring, I had thought him old. But, as my own years mounted up, I had guessed him to be of middle life. Age in the people of Arvon was hard to count until they reached near the end of a long, long span of years. Men could die of certain sicknesses, or baneful curses, and in battle. However, natural death and the lessening of visor, held off a long time from us. "I do not know," I answered truthfully. "I was one of those who took the Road of Memory through the Waste in the Dales," he said slowly. "The Great Time of Trouble, I knew, and what followed it. Yes, I saw the sea, for I was born within sound of its never-ceasing waves." 'The same awe that I held for Ursilla touched me now. It was as if some hero from the Chronicles had stepped from the parchment rolls to front me. That Pergvin could remember the Exile from the South was such a marvel.'
  42. p46. 'He was not a tall man, the trader, who introduced himself as one Ibycus (a name that had a new ring, not akin to any we knew). However, though he lacked inches perhaps, he did not lack presence. His manner was easy with all the polish of a high House, the air of command upon him as surely as it rested on my uncle. The longer I watched him, the less I believed he was one of our own folk. In spite of his youthful appearance (for in his outward seeming he might as well court not many more years than did Maughus who had not yet returned from his last mission), Ibycus gave a deeper impression of not only age, but of wisdom well controlled. I was led to wonder if he were not perhaps more than a trader, perhaps some one of the Wise Ones using his present employment as a useful cloak.'
  43. p48. 'It was a belt made of golden fur, so sleek and gleaming that, even among the riches heaped about it, the fur retained a brilliance, or so it seemed to me. The clasp was a single large gem—yellow-brown in shade—the like of which I had never seen. The gem had been wrought into the likeness of a cat's head. Still, studying the buckle much closer, I saw that the cat was not intended to resemble a small, tamed one, but perhaps one that was akin to the dreaded hunter of the heights, the snow cat—more deadly a fighter than any other beast we knew.' "A goodly piece of workmanship, my Lord. The clasp—it is a jargoon, a stone that is of the more common sort. But it has been most cunningly cut by one who knows the art well." "The skin—ah, that is of the pard. One sees them seldom nowadays. They are as fearsome hunters as their cousins of the snow—although somewhat smaller."
  44. p50. Of the Gift of the Lady Eldris and the Coming of the First Full Moon Thereafter
  45. p51. 'The Youths' Tower was the northernmost of the Keep and the window faced that direction. I could make out dimly the fields and orchards that stretched outward—the village lay southward. Beyond, the forest began, a wood wall between us and the high hills, which held so much that instinct taught us to avoid. For the forces of Arvon that wrought disaster in the past had, in the last reckoning, fled back into the hills and forests. Barriers of the unseen Power, as strong as the concentrated will of the Wise Ones and the Seven Lords had been able to set, restrained them there. No man knew now if any of those we considered the enemy still lingered, or whether they had opened other gates between worlds, those that they knew so well to manipulate, leaving Arvon. Some of their servants, the lesser ones, were still a menace. But it was part of the nature of those that they were tied to certain portions of the land and did not often stray from their accustomed "runs." Thus, for the main part, they could be avoided. And, of those, some were in a way an added defence to our own northward direction.'
  46. p51-52. "The Dales! I remembered what Pergvin had told me—that he as one who had taken the Road of Memory, the Road of Sorrows, followed by the exiles who had withdrawn during the dark days into Arvon. Those who dwelt there now were not of our race, being lesser, in that they had not the Power, barbarians only a few generations away from utter chaos. They were short-lived, too, seeming to last but a day or so of our time before they matured, then died of that age, which had set a deadly finger upon them from their birth. We had naught to do with them.'
  47. p53. Ibycus: "Lord?" He put his head a little to one side, his eyes very bright as he surveyed me. I might be now some trade object he had to value. "I am a trader, not the master of a Keep." 'Something within me was stubbornly certain that, while he might not be the master of any holding within Arvon, neither was he trader only.'
  48. p56-59. 'Three days later, came the day of my birth anniversary.' Lady Eldris gives Kethan the belt as a gift for his betrothal to his cousin Thaney.
  49. p61. Of the Warning from Ursilla and the Cloud over Arvon
  50. p66. Heroise: "The belt is cursed." "It is a thing of the Wererace. Ursilla knew it for that when first she saw it."
  51. p67. Heroise: "Ursilla scented Power in him [Ibycus]. He can only be one of those set to stir up mischief and strife. In other days there were such, traveling among our people, striving to influence them this way or that. Ursilla has read the stars. They are not well positioned for Car Do Prawn, perhaps even for this land."
  52. p67. Heroise: "A shape-changer is always vulnerable. Unless he is a trained Were, he has no control over such changes. Do you think that any within Car Do Prawn would accept your lordship if they knew that was your failing? It was tried here once before. There was an heir true born before Erach, of a different father. He was half Were, and when that was known, his mother, all within these walls, exiled him. You are not even half Were. Wear the cursed belt and you will not be able to control shape-changing. One moment a man—the next an animal! Do you think Thaney—any maid would wed with you? You would be hunted out from these walls. And—the longer you cling to that thing of horror—the deeper will become its hold on you! Give it to me!"
  53. p70. 'Cadoc, who was his [Erach's] Commander and Marshal, Hergil, a quiet, older man whose passion was the keeping of the records and who was reputed to know much of those who practiced the Were Power, were there. Hergil had been on a month-long absence from the Keep. But so unobtrusive a person was he that one did not miss his presence much. Neither did he speak often. But, need any reference be made to some event of the past, and it was to Hergil one applied for confirmation.'
  54. p71. "It is true then"—Erach spoke heavily, as if whatever news he must make plain to the rest of us was not of a favourable kind—"that there will be a muster of forces. We stand with The High Lord Aidan as does Bluemantle and Gold." "But Silver?" pressed Cadoc, as my uncle lapsed into silence. "No man knows. There has been coming and going between the Keeps of the western marches and the Inner Lands."
  55. p71. "Silver ever had a liking for alliance with the Voices of the Heights," Hergil commented. "It was they who held the Hawk's Claw for night half a year in the days before we took the Road of Memory out of the Dales. Their blood is half of the Oldest Ones under the moon." "But who meddles?" demanded Maughus suddenly. "I have been messenger to some twenty Keeps. I have ventured clear to the Whiteflow. Everywhere men are uneasy. They have taken now to riding armed when abroad. Yet there is no reported foray of the Wild Ones from the Higher Land, no war horn has sounded."
  56. p71-72. 'We do not know," his father [Erach] replied then. "Yet such is our heritage that we can sense a storm ahead. It is said that the Voices read the star charts and so can foretell. If this they have done now, they have sent forth no warnings. It may well be that one of the Gates shall open and some terror long ago expelled through it return, strengthened and armed, to confront us."
  57. p72. '"There is this," Hergil said in his quiet voice. Low though his tone was, we all turned our eyes to him. "There had been a great warring throughout our world. The Dales4 have battled ruthless invaders5 and, after a long term of years, driven them forth again. Overseas those of our cousinhood6 have also been embroiled in a struggle that has left them near beaten into the ground. This war they won, but in the winning, they made such an effort with the Power that for generations they will not be able to summon much to their service again.7 Thus our element of defence has been drained bit by bit, both from the new peoples who are not of our blood and from those who are like unto us. Who knows if such a draining has not weakened the safeguards of our world so that those beyond a Gate, or Gates, sense—or know—that this be the hour to move again?"
  58. p73. Of Maughus's Plot and the Opening of My Own Eyes
  59. p74. 'The days, then the weeks passed, and time came once more to the full moon. Our labor were slackening. The greater part of all our land could produce in the way of food was now well stored. The had had perfect weather for that garnering—no days of rain—not even the overhang of a threatening cloud. Almost we could believe that the Power itself was extending this favour to us.'8

 

Continued with WW: Books - Jargoon Pard, The - part 2

 

Sorcerer's Notes:

Year Since the Betrayal

Year Name

Event

 

Year of the Red Boar

Aylinn & Kethan born, 15 years before Year of the Werewolf, sometime after Year of the Unicorn

1049

Year of the Kobold

The Turning

1050

   

1051

Year of the Horned Hunter

 

1052

Year of the Lamia

 
 

Year of the Chimera

 
 

Year of the Harpy

 
 

Year of the Orc

 
 

Year of the Werewolf

Aylinn & Kethan reach 15?

 

Year of the Horned Cat

follows Year of the Werewolf


Footnotes:

1. High Hallack
2. This is a reference to the formation of The Waste and why the Dales were unpopulated as seen in Horn Crown. Further glimpses of these wars were shown in Zarsthor's Bane.
3. We have seen such a return in Year of the Unicorn.
4. High Hallack
5. The Hounds of Alizon. As chronicled in The Crystal Gryphon, Dragon Scale Silver, Gryphon in Glory, The Toads of Grimmerdale and Year of the Unicorn.
6. The Old Race of Estcarp.
7. This refers to the Turning. See: Three Against the Witch World.
8. This would be in the early autumn probably.

 


The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: Falcon Law


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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ April, 2019

Copyright ~ Elwher, Metaldragon, Indagare & Lotsawatts
Online Rights - Andre-Norton-Books.com

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