The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

Sea Serpents of Domnudale

A Short Story in the [Witch World Saga] by Ginger Simpson Curry


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 starts in the Month of the Ice Dragon, Year of the Yellow Dwarf.1 Zvetta of Domnudale2 consults the Wise Woman Elsgeth after having five nights of dark dreams. She fears for herself and her lord Maurs. Elsgeth warns that Zvetta will give birth to twins, one good and one evil (something that's happened before).3 She warns that, as things stand now, the evil twin will win but that Zvetta may be able to change this. When she gets home she wants to talk with Maurs, but he hates magic and tries to disprove it. When the protective bracelet she's wearing starts rubbing her skin red due to a black rock, he removes it and they have sex. However, later, the black rock takes over Maurs to have sex again, and though she's able to dispel it with her bracelet, Maurs has vanished.

On the seventh day of the seventh month of her pregnancy Zvetta has a vision-dream commanding her to kill the evil twin and thus prevent the prophecy. When the birth pains start she goes to the secret escape tunnel that lets out by the sea, and there gives birth to Quirinus and Remus.4 Though she sets out to kill the evil twin she cannot tell the difference. Her bracelet leads her to the sea where the living Domnu greets her. She begs him to tell her which is which but he tells her to return on the seventh day of Chrysalis5 in the year of the Moss Wife (ten years in the future)6. Unable to resist the geas to kill the evil twin she sends them away, losing the ability to commune with some animals and causing her garden to go barren.

We find out the sea serpent is Maus transformed who is also sharing memories with the Old One Domnu. He encounters a Decca (a ten-tentacled, toothless creature capable of injecting and creating both salves and poisons) that tries to eat him until it realizes he's a sentient being. Maus explains what happened to him to it. Though he wants to be friends the Decca refuses, claiming it wants nothing to do with the Dark.

When the time comes, Zvetta brings her sons out to sea.7 A Decca pulls her under but through the use of her bracelet she's able to be safe underwater. It's in the Decca's lair that the truth is revealed: Remus is the evil twin. Remus summons his true father, Bafel, to kill Maurs and Domnu, though his mother kills him after. Maurs and Domnu merge and kill Bafel. When Zvetta learns who he is, she asks her bracelet to turn her into a sea serpent too so they can be together again. They then both escort Quirinus to the shore.

 Timeline Points:

  1. p18. Year of the Yellow Dwarf.
  2. p27. Year of the "Moss Wifes was ten years hence" (10 years after Yellow Dwarf).
  3. p28. Return in the Year of the Moss Wife.
  4. p32. Year of the Moss Wife - boys are 10 years old.


The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: The Crystal Gryphon

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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