The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

Strait of Storms

A Novella in the [Witch World Saga] by K. L. Roberts


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 3] (1989) Published by TOR, PB, 0-812-54757-8, 978-0-812-54757-3, $3.95, 343pg ~ cover by Victoria Poyser


There is a place known as the Strait of Storms, right between the Gulf of Hilarion and Oceax Bay. In the middle of the strait is group of craggy islands for which nothing lives except some spiny thornwort and according to lore a witch and her child. The witch is all black and brown and her tunic but rags and the child resembles the walking dead. Every day the witch Miriel and her child would stand watch over the straight and any time a ship ventures close she conjures up a storm and causes the ship to founder.

Garth a sailor on the Lucky Wind sees the witch just before he abandons ship and reports his sighting to Duke Chastin Lord of Escores coastal regions, explaining that he saw a raggedy old hag and his friend Rolf saw a beautiful maiden. The duke and Chamberlain discuss this matter and decide that the best way to handle this problem is send a shape-changer disguised as a Krogan to island to dispatch of the witch.

Kentan Grenwall is a patron of opportunity and volunteers to do the task but for a fee of course. Although the price is high the Duke acquiesces for the shipping must be allowed to continue. And so with the help of his wise woman friend Twyx, Kenton transforms to a Krogan and swims out to the island and battles with the witch and her familiar (a vicious bat thing), kills the already dead child and takes possession of the witches’ power stone. Only when transforming back to human something goes wrong and the rest is history.

Timeline Points:

  1. Set near Old Port, Gulf of Hilarion, Escore.
  2. p289. Lormt is far to the west in Estcarp.
  3. p291-292. "In Es he heard a sad and rather strange tale…" "…she wandered overmountain and was taken in by the Green People…" "She was noticed by a man of the Old Race shortly thereafter, and left with him." "…they traveled east…"
  4. Sometime after the Turning and the Old Race from Karsten settled in Escore. Probably after The Gate of the Cat when it's safer to travel around Escore.

The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: The Hunting of Lord Etsalian's Daughter

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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