Inconsistencies within the

Witch World Timeline pt. 2


Year of the Unicorn & The Jargoon Pard

vs: The Warding of Witch World


By a very dedicated fan named Jack

with some answers from another fan named Jay(not the webmaster)

and other fans as well.

Continued from Inconsistencies within the Witch World Timeline pt.1


15. Why are the children of the Dale brides & Wereriders important in the coming war? P.194. Why were their children considered a “new race”? Why wasn’t the Halfling Were Herrel part of this new race, but Aylinn was included (she has none of that blood).? Ibycus says “the new race” of Were children are to be vitally important in the coming war. Is it because ½ Weres are more powerful because they have better control over their Were natures and so walk another path, perhaps, joining their kin at Reeth and become fully of the Light? Or do they influence their fathers, causing them to join peaceful and good adepts? Or does the mixing of Were and Dale create something strangely different and somehow stronger? I don’t see how a Lesser Power such as Were Riders can make much difference when there are so many more powerful ones. I can see Kethan being important since he is suppose to be an adept, but why the other halfbreed Weres?

15A: An answer from a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

The children of the Dale Brides are the next generation of Were riders. We see that Herrel is less and more than his father. And yes, he is part of that next generation. My observations of Were Riders is that they are both mage and beserker. They can make cloaks with magic symbols, and they can turn into large preditors at need during battle. We don't know why that next generation would be important in the coming war, as that war didn't happen in the books.

16. Why hasn’t Elys lost her power when she wed Jervon? “All other witches always lose their powers, otherwise why would they stay virgin. Only Ladies Jaethe and Gillan who both married men who had their own powers kept their witch talents, unlike Jervon who has none. Does this mean all future witches will not lose power if they marry? If so, many will wish to wed, so their daughters will increase, there being no risk to themselves. This makes no sense based upon your previous stories.

16A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

      This is an interesting question. I guess it has to do with the nature of the Old Race in Estcarp/Karsten and the Turning. It seems the Old Race in Arvon, and those who remained in Escore, don't have the same gender limitation on magic as the Old Race in Estcarp/Karsten. Both men & women of the Old Race in Arvon & Escore can use magic. My guess is that back when the Old Race who fled Escore into Estcarp and turned the mountains behind them to stop the armies of the Dark created an imbalance in the magic of the Old Race. It's possible the males of the Old Race sacrificed their magic to Turn the mountains and cast the spell that prevented them from thinking about the east, which caused only women to be able to use magic. It may be that the women of the Old Race in Estcarp made a magical deal (with Dians?)/spell to help them survive and that's why they had to remain virgins to use the Power. And it only seems to be a limit on the Old Race within the area of Estcarp & Karsten. When Witches end up in High Hallack, Arvon and Escore, or married to men with some Talent, they find themselves able to use magic even after they've given up their virginity.

      With the Turning between Estcarp & Karsten, the Witches were decimated and this may have broken the limitation that only virgin women could use magic. With Escore open once again and the spell causing the Old Race to forget the east broken, it's hinted in later stories that the Old Race of Estcarp (and Karsten) were beginning to find non-virgin women and even men who can work magic.

17. What other powers does the pard belt possess? Just a small spell to shapechange. Still in man form with the belt on “that my own senses seemed heighted in a way I had never noted before. When I looked about me colors were brighter, the outlines of plants and flowers sharper, more distinct. The scents caught by my nostrils were richer, my hearing keener.” p.65. “There grew in me, a need to be one with the growth about me.” p.66. This happen to him as a beginner in man shape. “The jargoon buckle was blazing as if it sucked avidly at that moon heat. I felt about me, used such to build up an inner energy. The gem dazzled my sight and--” In your recent book, the belt has lost its ability to do anything, except shapechange. Since he can do that anyway, why bothering wearing after all these years? Must he remain a beginner the rest of his life? Yet nothing like the above happened in your last book. Kethan just merely acted as scout and warrior. Yet before, once he put on the belt he was warded from Ursilla’s attack. P.47, “... the gem of the pard’s head took fire from the moon in a way I had never seen any gem burn before.” “It blazed up, more and more. I was caught in a fiery cloud.” p.49. “I unhooked the buckle, held the gem head....” “Yes, in the day, it was dimmer.”

17A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

     Another Interesting Question. I suggest you read the novella Were-Wrath. In it, Farne has a belt that helps him shape shift. He has an intelligent cat companion who watches over him and a sword that he has been avoiding taking up. When he takes up the sword at the end of the story, his belt dissolves. The sword reminds me of the one Herrel wields in The Jargoon Pard that is shown to channel his magic. Farne's belt doesn't have a jargoon buckle like Kethan's so it may be that the gem is special to Kethan as a focus for his magic instead of getting a sword. It's never explicitly revealed if Were-Wrath takes place in the Witch World or not but it certainly has many elements of it and it makes for an interesting bridge between Kethan's belt and Herrel's sword. It is a bit sad that Andre seemed to have forgotten the development of Kethan when she wrote "Warding" though it's possible he's a slow developer or simply not much time has taken place between the end of The Jargoon Pard and The Warding of Witch World and he hasn't had time to fully explore his abilities yet.

18. How can Estcarp and Escore become allies with Alizon? See p.228, Gryphon in Glory, Neevor says, “There is a race of flawed and evil men overseas .... They are of the Dark, doubly so.... Therefore, twice as dangerous. They send war into the Dales.... They are of a kind who can provide a rally point for many who have nourished the Dark here.” Will you next tell us that Sarn Riders, Rus, Gray Ones, Rasti, ect; have become good too? Internal warfare and civil war within Karsten and Alizon with bloodshed and lawlessness will draw the Dark. Not only will the Gray Ones, Rasti, Sarn Riders be led within their borders, but also many other Shadow creatures will find an open door. Also some lords may make common cause and find allies among those of the Dark against their neighbors. They may make bargains and pacts with the Shadow. Many of the Dark Ones will find new homes among these new races and perhaps even conquer them. Estcarp will have little to fear from its old enemies as they will be too busy fighting one another for a long years.

18A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

I think Andre has always allowed for redemption in her characters. At the time of the Invasion the Alizon race was pretty much controlled by the Kolder, Galkur, and their own corrupt politics and culture. In the Magestone and Warding of Witch World, characters are introduced who are making changes in Alizon. As for Sarn Riders, Rus, Gray Ones and Rasti... who knows? The Keplian are slowly being turned to the good. It's possible in the right set of circumstances the right person could make a difference in changing the others too. (Personally, I think only the Gray Ones have a chance of it. The Sarn Riders just seem like Tolkien's Ring Wraiths to me and the Rus and Rasti are evil, vicious, cunning animals.)

Ever since the Were-Riders returned from their banishment in the Year of the Unicorn, Arvon seems to have opened up their borders a bit and rejoined the world again. Then, Kerovan & Josian managed to slip through thanks to Landisl's geis and maybe that helped convince the Voices to ease off on the barriers to the outside world and allow a few traders to pass through. It seems people with power can leave and return to Arvon if they want. Ibycus in his Neevor guise certainly left and returned in The Crystal Gryphon & Gryphon in Glory even before the Year of the Unicorn. Also Hylle from Amber out of Quayth left and brought Ysmay out of the Dales with him back to Quayth but that is also set shortly after Year of the Unicorn.

19. Arvon is separated by “space and time.” How is it that Dale traders for years have been freely enter Arvon without using the Gate? Those of the Dales don’t even know that Arvon exists, only that they vanished long ago. How could they enter thru the barriers and wards, without using the gate each time? See p.168, Year of the Unicorn, exiled Weres came thru a gate into Arvon from the Waste. No one came in or out of “spell-sealed” Arvon. Yet in your last book p.217, you mentioned, Hagar and other Dale traders for years freely have been entering Arvon visiting the Gryphon’s Eyrie like they’re mages to whom powerful wards and barriers mean nothing (“Those who dwelt their now... had not the Power.” p.38). How did this happen? How could anyone from the Dales be visiting with their goods? Kerovan, Joison, Elys, Jervon, the Wereriders all needed a key to go thru a Gate. The first time, Elys and Joison couldn’t even approach the gate, but were turned away weeks distances from Arvon (see Gryphon in Glory). So when did everything change? “After the last withdrawal, the ways outward from Arvon had been spell-sealed, no one venturing forth again.” P.18 of The Jargoon Pard. “We had naught to do with them (Dales).” p.38. So it’s impossible for those of Arvon to leave and that they had nothing to do with the Dales or any knowledge of Dale doings. So how could Kethan have seen the sea years ago or for he and Firdun to have visited the Dales years past. It’s not possible and forbidden. There are so many inconsistencies and changing of previously established facts. It’s baffling.

         As for those of Estcarp and Escore, they might have legends of Arvon, but they will think it only a fairy tale. Plus, the Ancient Guardians of Arvon will prevent such interference and meddling as it will only awaken the Greater Dark. “Who was-is-he? And how could he have known I was there? He was of the Border Guard by your description. As such, he is sensitive, one trained to ferreting out of any invader. Hard though the way into Arvon may be.” “...the guard would know an alien presence was there and that it was aware of more than an empty land. That was why the alarm went forth.” p.165, Year of the Unicorn. There was strong illusion on land of Arvon, so it looked completely empty of people and Dale traders would have wandered thru never seeing a soul. Plus, Arvon had many other safeguards which few could survive. “Why can I see only illusion, save when I call upon my power?” “You enter not by the gate but by the mountains and those are all filled with many entrapments.” p.165. “A multitude of small, unseen things fled away from the road and from me who they had been watching with set purpose.” p.152

19A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

     Before The Year of the Unicorn, Amber out of Quayth and Gryphon's Eyrie, High Hallack was barely aware there was another country north-east of them. After those 3 stories that take place around the same time, it seems Arvon has opened it's borders and allowed trading. The Were-riders returning to Arvon with their Dales brides & Gillan's managing to fight against Arvon's wards & see the country as it really is yet proving herself not a threat, Ysmay freeing Lady Yaal & Lord Broc in Quayth and Kerovan & Josian freeing Sylvia from That Which Runs the Ridges and reclaiming Car Garudwyn in the name of Landisl seems to have convinced the Warders to relax the borders of Arvon to outsiders.
Also Brixia, Marbon & Dwed cleansing Zarsthor's Bane in the Waste around this same time may have helped too.

20. I would be interested in a Witch World story of its early beginning days during the “Last Battle” and “Last Struggle” or earlier, when many Great Ones walk in Arvon or Escore. Such as before the “days when the Seven Lords won Peace.” How come Pergvin and the Wereriders actually saw those days and live to present time, but no one in Estcarp or Escore actually saw the great battles between the adepts and lived to tell about it? You have to assume the great wars in each land took place at different times or Arvon’s people live longer lives. Stories of the times of “The setting up of Kings...” and “... rulers of an elder age...” and “... those of that blood were very few, but we mingled...” (Year of the Unicorn). Is that Landsil kind or another blood? Do any remain? So Arvon once had kings?

20A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

Zarsthor's Bane has an extended flashback to before the destruction that created the Waste. Horn Crown also has a short "flashback" to when Gunnora and Kernous were still "carnate". They also take on a semblance of physical form (along with a glowing, winged woman) to confront Raidhan, Cuntif and the Vark woman at the end of the book.

I believe bird-like people appear in a "flashback" in Port of Dead Ships and it's possible the woman may have survived.

21. Do the Were horses have any talent or power, other than speed to carry the Weres? The Star Tower has a small herd of them. Are they like the Keplians or Renthans of the Green Valley? Or are they shadow horses which might explain why; they caused fear in normal horses in your last book. On p.7, The Jargoon Pard, it was the were horses that went wild screaming and rearing, not the horses that were normal. Yet exact opposite happened on p.246 of The Warding of Witch World, the normal horses were uneasy while the Were horses remained calm. Why did it reverse itself? “Several horses grazed in the paddock, two of them with colts by their sides. p.87, The Jargoon Pard. Should there be more horses after some 20 years? “That the rest of them (herd) did not show the frenzy my presence had always evoked in their species before surprised me.” “They returned to their grazing,.... Beyond his watchfulness, he displayed no fear.” p.87, The Jargoon Pard. Herrel’s “... horse came to us, snorting a little, glancing from side to side, as if it perceived more lurking in the forest shadow than we could see.” p.159, Year of the Unicorn. “... it swung its head about, surveying me as if it were no mere beast, but carried intelligence akin to mine in its narrow head.” “Still the mare looked upon me in that measuring fashion.” p.61, Year of the Unicorn.

 21A: An answer from Jay Demetrick a fan from Sci-Fi Fandom:

The Were breed horses appear to have a similar level of (animal) intelligence to the Kioga's horses, maybe a bit more. They don't communicate telepathicly at any point in any of the books, so they probably have less than human intelligence. I suppose their Gift is insight into the true nature of other creatures which may be why they spook normal horses as "unnatural" and bond with the Were-Riders. They'd also carry the scent of their were-rider which would be disturbing to other horses.

Some WERE-POWERS & Talents:

         Weres can set wards of protection and are supreme as fighters. Year of the Unicorn P.176, "The beasts you have seen are not the only shapes we may take upon occasions, only those which are the most familiar." "I do not know what shape they will...." "... multitude of shapes, ever changing--" "... a scaled dragon...." "... any figure in that weaving of dissolving and reassembling forms." "... web of changing forms... company of man-like beings, concentrating upon holding the sorcery screen they had wrought." p.181. "I am a Were-- and so against the true course of nature. My kind may not ride in the deep dark, but we go overshadowed through our lives." p.173 Weres have "war sorcery". "The Riders will rouse what they may to front us." p.167. "For if I summon them thus, then I must be prepared to meet them with full power and array--" p.176. "Herrel I had seen appealing to forces and powers for my healing while the Werefires blazed about me and I lay covered with a blanket of flowers." p.208. "His sword was a live thing, and from that blade those things flinched and cringed." (spirit sword) p.211. It too, was green. A spear of light might have been forged into that splinter shaft." "By the bone of death, the power of silver, the force of our desire--" p.105. "By the Ash, the Maul, the Blade that rusteth never, by the Clear Moon, the Light of Neave, the blood I have shed to He whose semblance I wear." p.155. "By the virtue of the Bane-bloom, and the Lash of Gorth, the Candles of the Weres-- come you back! ... an imperative call.... I opened my eyes. Light... but of green flames." P.155-156. The Weres have "... the key to gate..." of "another world".

     The Wereriders were able to open a gate to the Other World, but Gillan and Herrel fought and returned to their bodies. p.175. "Like draws like. He raised his hand and lined a symbol in the air between us. Green it was as if traced in the faintest curl of mist, and then became blue which was gray in its dying." p.102. "... we fastened our wills on this.... He has his battle and I had mine..., yet we must fight it singly." p.218. "I do not know now what I am, for we have been a journey like to change any living thing. But of these towers I am not.... So we shall go to see that which we are-- for that we must learn." p.223. "Powers we have which those of other races do not use." p.73. Weres can cast illusions. "Illusions they dealt in-- but illusions can be common or very complex. And the opening of the gate allowed them to draw upon sources of energy which had been dammed from their use for a long time." p.103."And his (Herrel) touch built illusion. We stood not in a steep walled, dark cut, but in a place of springtime. Small pale flowers...." p.92. "The longer I looked and willed, so more did the enchantment fade and dim." "And their faces were rapt, bemused, those of mortals caught in a web of glamourie." p.49, 50-53, Year of the Unicorn.

     "The weave spell" p.54 and "hinder-cord" "A spell laid to slow and perhaps lame a horse." p.85. "Herrel rode... now and then he held high his head, his nostrils expanding as if he would scent something in the air which might be odor of danger." p.70 (in man shape). "Herrel was uneasy.... His testing of the winds increased. And I saw that others of the Riders moved restlessly about, their pacing almost being of animals scenting a danger yet afar." p.71.

     "By what fear of sorcery he wrought.... But those upright flames nearest him bent horizontally and over them he sept me with him." p.221. Green was that light... the Were flames I had seen before...." p.220. "They are well served--. The bird was small rusty brown,.... In this much it watches our path." "And here in Arvon, they bend much to their will. From this hour on we ride in danger. I know not what they may send against us." p.162, Year of the Unicorn. p.107. "... that the Riders might, with their bedazzlement also alter time at their pleasure." p.62. "... where a green line crawled across the floor." p.66. "... he moved his hands in the air, at the same time uttering words in a tongue I did not understand." p.65.

     "Harl, say the Seven words while it rest in your-- fingers. Words-- or sounds-- so sharp they hurt ears, rang into one's skull-- words of alien power." p.78. "... your thought of me that you broke that geas, Herrel! Remember that. For never have I heard of a man breaking a geas set in earnest spell." "Through their clouds of sorcery, ill meant have we broken thus far. You have not failed in battle or you would not have continued to ride with the Pack." p.162.

     "The Riders are without the law, ...." p.168. "... we will not let our breed die. Thus we take brides among men...."Halfblood is not always as great as full-blood." "True. But, my lady, you forget that we do have powers and arts. Not all the changes we can make are to confuse the eye only." Does this mean they can alter nature to make the halfbreeds into full-bloods Weres?

     Elys said of the Wereriders, "They are strong--" p.81. "There is Power there.... There is no sense of ill, but neither is there any force that is friendly, or beneficial. It is just-- Power." p.81, Gryphon in Glory. "No rather my energy was steadily sapped, my will itself weakened with every step I fought to gain." "Then it was as if a strong force swept me up, a storm of wind pushed me away, heavy at my back."... guarded refuge-- the wood was a sanctuary...." p.65. Even wearing the crystal griffon, Joison's gryphon globe was unable to help her penetrate thru the Wereriders defensive wards and barriers into their spell-warded lands (p.64-65). "The land is closed...." "It will open to their (Weres) desires only."

     Elys said that after Joison told her that ".... there was a barrier." p.81. "... a star was outlined in red-brown. The center of that was a mass of runes and symbols...." "... when one viewed it directly they came to life, wriggled, coiled...." p.74. “... Herrel leaned forward to sweep out an arm. As if he had loose the latch of a door a mass of branches lifted, swung to one side...." "Stone formed the wall, of the first story, but rising above that were set.... The strangest thing was that these logs were not dead.... Rather branches jutted here and there bore living leaves." p.71.

     On p.72, it says "there were full twenty banners" for each Were and 23 weres rode into Arvon, so none died during the war in the Dales against the Alizons. They must be invincible in battle. The Weres were able to place "safeguards". "...four peeled wands" each with a different animal fur or bird feather and the horses do not stray past them." p.69. P.63, "I realized I could not move fast nor could I touch any of those hoofprints with my boots. Rather without any volition, I wa zigzaging back and forth just to avoid that."

     On p.6. The Jargoon Pard, while Herrel was waiting for Gillan to give birth to Kethan, he sensed a storm, of power: "Because of his own nature, he was alert to forces that were not of Arvon of men, but Arvon of Power. Perhaps, now that Power was about to manifest itself in some fashion that was a threat to all below." "Now his lips shaped words but he did not utter them aloud. His hand rose from his belt to make a small sign in the air." P.9, "But Pergvin saw that the man's eyes were closed and his lips moved to shape words, which he could not, or dared not, voice aloud." Normal horses and dogs would go crazy with fear/terror and flee, if Kethan approached them in man form. p.28. Weres can cast love spells. p.28-29. Herrel was a palm-reader. p.114. Herrel’s sword, “Along its blade ran tiny wavering of light, steeling blue.” “The wavering lines upon the sword blade flashed brighter. They ran, they dripped in tiny, flashing goblets from the point of the blade.” p.145, The Jargoon Pard. “And there is Weretime and spelltime..." which governs Weres. Weres can forread "... through the stars." "The wind time and the star times-- which are times of the Great Lords and the Voices” p.170, The Jargoon Pard. “For if he were no Voice, yet that he govern Powers of his own was something I well knew” (of Herrel) p.171. Herrel seemed able to read Kethan's mind.

     Kethan was unable to do any of this in your last book. Why not?

         Aylinn says, “Lately the Riders themselves have sent messengers to my father, saying the day comes when they shall be summoned to defend their lands. Not yet has he answered them fully. I think in him kin-ties pull one way, his old anger another. Until he settles that struggle within himself he cannot say he will do this or that.” p.175 Herrel’s says to his father, “I am beginning to know that I am more than you allowed me to be Hyron.” p.187, Year of the Unicorn

 Response by Michael Martinez ~ Sci-fi Fandom

[“By the Ash, the Maul, the Blade that rusteth never, by the Clear Moon, the Light of Neave, the blood I have shed to He whose semblance I wear." p.155.”]

Not that I want to derail the topic, but I wonder if that last part doesn't hint toward the origin of the Were-riders. Were they like Sylvya, somehow connected to Adepts who had transformed themselves into otherworldly creatures like Landisl and the "Sky Ones" -- who apparently made lesser creatures more like themselves?

Loskeetha and the Moss-wives comes to mind, as they seemed to resemble here. And I think Kemoc tells the reader that Orsya's people were also made to serve some great Adept in ancient times.

I cannot think of other examples off the top of my head, but it just makes me wonder if the Were-riders don't owe their existence to ancient Adepts who adopted specific animal shapes.

Response by Jay Demetrick ~ Sci-fi Fandom

Jack, you may also find the novella Were-Wrath interesting. Besides the original chapbook, it was re-printed in Wizards' Worlds and The SFWA Grand Masters: Volume 2. The description of Farne's belt and it's role in his transformation as well as his sword are very similar to Kethan's belt and Herrel's sword. Also his gray furred cat companion Grimclaw is similar to Uta from Zarsthor's Bane & The Warding of Witch World.

Reading between the lines, the places Thra mentions: Lanfort, Laniat, Greer sound a lot like High Hallack as Thra describes them and the "northern lands" and their political strife sounds a bit like Arvon and it's clans. The way Lanfort is destroyed sounds like the work of the Hounds of Alizon during the Invasion of High Hallack. Since Arvon was sealed off from the world during that period, this area may be in a more hospitable area of the Waste where the Were-Riders must have lived at one point after being exiled. Or, if the short-story Rite of Failure is cannon, one could speculate that Farne may have descended from Aurek & Derora.

By the way ~ Josian's name is spelled with an "a", not two "o"s.

Response by ZigZag ~ Sci-fi Fandom

There is no question in my mind that the Weres were a created race by one of the Adepts who was looking for servants and followers. The adept is long dead or gone, but his followers remain and have been on there own for at least a few thousand years.

Why else are all the Were Riders males and only a few? Why did they so desparately need Dale brides and asked the Dale Lords that in return for fighting the invasion of Alizons and they were willing to fight years for wives.

"the blood I have shed to He whose semblance I wear" that you quote seems to indicate that there a higher Lord of Power he was pleading to in whose form and likeness he wore.

Second response by Michael Martinez ~ Sci-fi Fandom

It seems to me that the were-power only manifests itself in male heirs, so they constantly had to find brides among human (or near-human) groups.

Second response by Jay Demetrick ~ Sci-fi Fandom

As far as we know, the only official "heirs" to the were-power are Herrel, Kethan and Farne (if Were-Wrath is set in the Witch World). All the rest of the were-riders (before Year of the Unicorn) are the originals who were created by an ancient adept. There are three other Tales of the Witch World stories which feature other "heirs" but they were not written by Andre.

Tales of the Witch World 1- "Were-Hunter" has Glenda, a young woman from Earth enter a gate into the Witch World where her antique cat ring turns out to be magic and transforms her into a were. She meets Harwin, the son of Harl & Kildas. This is probably set after The Jargoon Pard as Harwin seems a bit older than Kethan and he is Harl & Kildas's third child.

Tales of the Witch World 2- "Rite of Failure" features Aurek, the son of the were-rider shaman, Huran. This is set not long after the Were-Riders were banished from Arvon. He's about Herrel's age. (His mother isn't mentioned.) He nearly fails his rite of passage to become the next shaman, loosing his hand in the battle but falls in love with Derora, the daughter of an adept, who loves him in return. It's mentioned that Aurek and Herrel are the only children of were-riders at that point.

Tales of the Witch World 3- "Were-Flight" introduces the daughter of one of the were-riders. Herwydin gets separated from the rest of the pack while fighting the Hounds in the south of High Hallack. In the fens he meets a Daleswoman, Tirath. They fall in love, he dies fighting the Hounds but she's pregnant and has a daughter, Khemrys. Tirath dies when Khemrys is 11. When Khemrys turns 16 she discovers she's a were. She meets Harlyn who seems to be the son one of the Were-Riders but his mother doesn't seem to be a Daleswoman from her description.

The last story shows that the were-power can be passed on to the daughter of one of the were-riders. If it's considered canon, then yes, it is possible to have female were-riders.

Third response by Michael Martinez ~ Sci-fi Fandom

Andre's canonical issues are among the most complex in science fiction and fantasy, I think. She supposedly reviewed and edited all the stories in the anthologies published during her lifetime. It was also my understanding she would pass stories back to authors for revision.

So how much collaboration went into each story is probably impossible to measure. I am sure with some stories she functioned more as an editor and with others she functioned more as a co-author.

Response by another fan of Andre’s ~ Sci-fi Fandom

I don't think that Andre Norton worried about us trying to follow the genetics involved in the Were Riders. I believe that Andre Norton worried about a story being interesting and well written.

If you are going "canonical" on us, I wouldn't include the TALES short stories. If you want a wider interpretation....

Well, the ability to shape change seemed to have been given to the original Weres, all male, created by an adept. I am not sure that any mention was given to there being women in their clan. The first mention of any women was the birth of Herrel to a woman of the [Redmantle?] Clan. The bargain struck with the warriors was that the Were would fight alongside of Koris, and the borderers, and in exchange there would be brides. This being done so that the race would not die. This needed if the gate would not open to let them back to their own lands. So there would be a new group of half breeds born to the Were riders.

Now, whether or not there were ever any girls born to the Weres before the turning, we don't really know. When asked about this kind of quandry by a reader, Andre would have probably replied, [paraphrasing here] "I don't know either, why don't you write it and then we both will know." So a short story might be written, giving the writers view of what would happen if a daughter was born, and if that daughter might transform. And another story was written about what would happen if a person came through a gate with a ring, and with that came the ability to transform. These were probably both the answer to "what would happen" questions.

Forth response by Michael Martinez ~ Sci-fi Fandom

I think Ibycus mentioned there were other half-breed children to Kethan at some point. He said something like a new race was emerging from the 13 Dales-bride marriages. That would be quite an interesting topic to explore literarily.

I mean, the Witch World was changing by this time, growing away from intermittent and continual warfare. The nations were coming together gradually to accept each other and cooperate better. The Warding of Witch World shows the process has begun, though I am sure it would take centuries more to continue.

So what do you do with the various breeds and races that were created to be warriors? They would have as much right to live as anyone, would they not?


Sincerely ~ A Major Fan ~ Jack


As re-posted on Sci-Fi Fandom website on 07/26/2014

~ although we did reformat and correct spelling errors.

Thread Title = Year of the Unicorn/Jargoon Pard vs Warding of Witch World

Originally posted in 2009 at Sci-Fi Fandom