The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

The Hunting of Lord Etsalian's Daughter

A Short Story in the [Witch World Saga] by Clare Bell


See Also: [Martinez ~ Glossary] [Martinez ~ Races] [Schlobin ~ Survey] [Coulson's Index]

[Expanded Reading Order] [Bibliography Page] [Read it Here[Return to Contents]


Edition Used for Analysis:
[Tales of the Witch World 2] (1989) Published by TOR, PB, 0-812-54757-8, 978-0-812-54757-3, $3.95, 343pg ~ cover by Victoria Poyser


The story is told from the first person view of Megarti, a former Witch of Estcarp. It takes place within a year of the Horning and the sealing of the border '…within a year of the horning of Karsten and the sealing of the Border, a task that heavily depleted the strength of the Council and indeed of all witches in Estcarp.' 1 and when Estalian's daughter Chrina is ten. 2 

Megarti was only a novice when Estalian had raped her and stripped her of her Power. This happened the same day that Estalian's wife was buried. It was rumored that a witch did it and he raped the first Old-Race woman he saw. 3

She mentions a sister in Power, Toriswithe, thinking she might have aided her by sending the blizzard. It's not the season for winter gales (though it is winter), so other aid seems likely. It was Toriswithe who shapechanged her into a snow cat, giving her a collar that could allow her to return to human form once she removed it.
She manages to successfully attack and hamstring Estalian and continues to harass them both, though Chrina figures out that the apparent snow cat is much more than it seems. This causes Etsalian to confess of his rape. Megarti still nearly kills Chrina but thanks to her animal senses also senses the Power in her. 4 She leads them to a shelter for the night. In the morning his men find them and nearly kill Megarti in her snow cat form, but Estalian halts them. Later she returns to human form and tells Estalian about her daughter's Gift. She does promise not to tell her about the rape. 

Lord Etsalian reluctantly agrees to send Chrina with Megarti in two day's time to Es City for witch training 5. He's told that once her training is complete Chrina can choose to visit him again if she wants.

Timeline Points:

  1. p4. '…within a year of the horning of Karsten and the sealing of the Border, a task that heavily depleted the strength of the Council and indeed of all witches in Estcarp.'
  2. 'Long were those months and years of enduring and waiting.'
  3. p12. Megarti senses the witch-gift in Chrina.
  4. p15. Megarti tells Estalian she is taking Chrina to Es Castle in two days to be trained as a Witch. (Chrina could be anywhere from 6 to 13 yrs old.)


Sorcerer's Note:
There is some confusion here as the Horning and the Turning took place twenty-four years apart!


The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: The Stillborn Heritage

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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