Legacy from Sorn Fen

~ A Short Story in the Witch World Saga by Andre Norton


Synopsis ~

A tale of misused power and the peculiar justice found within the fens of High Hallack. Caleb lacked an eye and walked with a limp. When he was near the Fen of Sorn, he chanced upon a creature that looked almost like a human woman being attacked by herdsman. He drove off the men and was given a gift. He no longer had a limp and turned a burned-out ruin into an inn. An ambitious lord stole his secret, but now it is time to pay the price.


Write-up from a fan ~

After the Invader's War, a landless man managed to rise to the Holding of the Gate of Klavenport and married the Lady there.  He was a hard man, but Lady Isbel managed to enforce a rule of charity.  One day Caleb came; he was missing one eye and lame enough in one leg to nearly fall over whenever he tried to take a full stride.  But he was willing and able to make himself useful around the Keep, mostly dealing with the gardens.  Higbold seldom bothered with the gardens, except to use them to scheme and plot with others where no one (he thought) could hear.  However, Caleb did overhear him plotting one night, and knew that rumors and gossip would get back to Higbold and Caleb's life would not be spared.  So he spoke privately with Lady Isbel, and left, taking all his belongings.  On the road alongside Sorn Fen, he came upon some drovers who were mistreating what looked like a human woman, but wasn't. Caleb drove them off and gave what succor he could to their victim.  He was rewarded by a bit of magic which repaired his crippled body and the burned-out shell of a formerly prosperous inn.  Higbold heard of Caleb's newfound prosperity and sent a female spy to tease out the reason.  She managed to steal a great ring, and turned it over to Higbold.  Caleb's inn burned shortly thereafter, and Higbold's grandiose plans to become King of High Hallack seemed on track.  However, Caleb has plans to retrieve the ring and does so, bringing Higbold down in the process. ~ SL


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • Garan the Eternal (1972) Published by Fantasy, HC, 0-686-02511-3, LCCN 73160575, $4.95, 199pg ~ cover by Morris Scott Dollens (Re-released in 2012)
  • Lore of the Witch World (1980) Published by DAW, PB, 0-879-97560-1, $1.95, 223pg ~ cover by Michael Whelan (Re-released in 2012)


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1990) Combined with "One Spell Wizard" ~ Published in Simferopol, by Tavria, no ISBN, PB, 80pg - translation by E. Drozd ~ cover by V. Kras ~ Russian title Общественное порицание [Public Reprimand] (a collection of short stories)
  • (1992) Combined with "One Spell Wizard" ~ Published in Alma-Alta, by RGZHI "Deuir", 5-862-28022-7, PB, 312pg - translation by S. Gontareva ~ Russian title Не только мертвые. Сборник фантастических произведений писателей Англии и США [Not Only Dead Men: A Collection of Fiction Writers fron England and the US] (a collection of short stories)


See Also: Write-up in The Sorcerer's Conspectus ~ WW: ss - Legacy fron Sorn Fen