The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

The Sentinal at the Edge of the World

A Novella in the [Witch World Saga] by David Wind


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


Vadim is a Blank Shield, a mercenary for hire and is currently unemployed. Waiting in The Bold Falcon for an offer to arise Vadim has about given up on the day when a stranger walks in and is looking for a Blank Shield. After many a stray questions answered only with riddles Vadim follows Horvan out of the tavern and into an adventure he will truly never forget. After following Horvan for days Vadim is told that he must enter the gray which is at the edge of the mountains and place Horvan’s body on the stone circle in the middle of the river Tele. The next morning Horvan is dead and Vadim believes he shall never be paid for Horvan had promised Vadim would learn his birth name. After a long journey the stones are in site but are guarded by three Gray-ones which Vadim defeats but is mortally wounded and lays down to die. Only to awaken and discover that he is one of the Sentinals at the Edge of the World.

Timeline Points:

  1. p316. 'This story takes place in those uncertain centuries after the Old Race had fled the unleashed Powers of Escore 1, but before the coming of the Kolder, and naturally, in a time before Simon Tregarth arrived upon the Witch World2, and begot the three children who were one.3
  2. p317. Asfrid is Duke of Karsten.
  3. p324. Vadim (narrating) 'We traveled three days and nights, stopping only long enough to eat and relieve ourselves.' 'At the hour of midnight, of our third day of travel, we reached the mountains of Estcarp, which bordered I knew not where, for suddenly I realized that not I, nor any other to my knowledge, had ventured here before.'
  4. p328. Horvan, "And to learn, you must cross through the veil of gray mist, and enter the land of Escore." "In Escore, you will follow the River Tele to the Place of Stones." "At the Place of Stones, you will set my body upon the center stone. You will leave my husk there, and follow the blue path to the Place of Healing. Sleep there you will, in a pit of red bubbling mud, and when you awaken, you will be given the wisdom to make the decision you must."
  5. p329. Vadim awakes to finds Horvan dead.
  6. p336. Vadim attacked by Grey Ones.
  7. pp339-340. Vadim (narrating) 'I saw a woman, as iridescent as the birds I had seen when I first entered Escore. Her face, oval and fine-featured, was turned toward the sky. Her long hair, falling in thick waves down the length of her back, radiated with a shimmering green glow.'
  8. p340. "I am Margua, half-sister to you who was sent to the other side, to learn." "Nay, you are lord, risen to take your father's place, just as your son will take your place and his son his, until the three who are one arrive." (A prophecy of the Tregarth triplets.)
  9. p341. Margua, "Know you for who you are. Know you, Kalmar, son of Horvan, that you are the chosen of the Old Ones. Within you rests the fate of Escore. Rise, Guardian of the Land Between, Sentinel of the Gray Mist, and take your rightful place in this riven land." Kalmar (formerly Vadim, narrates) 'Horvan was my father, the Sentinel of the Gray Mists, the Lord Protector of Estcarp and Escore. And I had inherited that title. Now it fell upon my shoulders to be guardian to both lands. No evil of the old wars was to be allowed freedom to Estcarp. No person of Estcarp was to be allowed entry to Escore until the three who were one were ready. and of my missing years, what I had thought to be my childhood? There were more than a dozen, much more, for in those years I had been trained by my father Horvan, among the last of the Old Ones who chose to stay behind to combat the unleashed forces of those gone to evil. And I was trained also, in the clean Powers of nature itself, by my mother Lonia of the Green People of Silence.'


Sorcerer's Notes:
If Margua's prophecy is correct, it's Kalmar's grandson who will be Sentinel of the Gray Mists when the Tregarths arrive in Escore. That means, if Kalmar is maybe 30yrs old (possibly older?) and both his son and grandson take that long to go through the same mind wipe & 'get to know how the Old Race is doing in Karsten & Estcarp' rite of passage… that would maybe be another 60 years roughly give or take… This story is probably set between 60 and 100 years before the Tregarths arrive in Escore. Possibly even longer with the mix of Old Ones and Green People of Silence blood in the family. Since the Sentinel is never mentioned in any other story, it's possible the last one died shortly after the Tregarths crossed the border, having fulfilled his purpose, so they never met him?

1. See: Futures Yet Unseen
2. See: Witch World
3. See: Three Against the Witch World (This is also sometime after the Falconers race fled Salzarat and settled in the Eyrie/Women's Villages between Karsten and Estcarp.)

The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: Tall Dames Go Walking

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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