The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

The Sword Seller

A Short Story in the [Witch World Saga] by Patricia C Wrede


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


Auridan is a blank-shield looking for a sword at the fair. He finds the sword-sellers booth and is rather dismayed at the unorganized pile of weapons he finds there. As he is about to leave he is attracted by a blue flash he sees coming from the bottom of the pile. When he pulls out the unkempt sword the first words out the sword-sellers mouth is “That sword is not for sale.” Auridan begins to argue the point that it is not marked as sold in anyway but the sword-seller holds his ground so Auridan places the sword back on the pile and begins to leave. The sword-seller tells him that he may have the sword as a gift. Again Auridan argues with seller and tosses some coin on the table and leaves with the sword. Latter Auridan is sitting in the serving tent drinking some wine and thinking over his next move when he is approached by a beautiful young girl looking to hire an escort to Uppsdale. On the way to Uppsdale they are attacked by a feather cover serpent and Auridan discovers that he has been tricked into being Champion for the Light. Thus proving that you should never take a gift from a stranger for the price will always be more than you can pay.

Timeline Points:

  1. p440. Auridan is looking for a sword.
  2. p443. 'The annual Fyndale fair had been resumed shortly after the end of long war with the Hounds of Alizon, and it had grown every year since. Ten merchants' flags had flown above the booths at that first fair; now, four years later, there were thirty or more…' (First fair would have been in the Year of the Unicorn, this would be 4 years after.) (see: Year of the UnicornThe Toads of Grimmerdale & Amber of Quayth)
  3. p444. Cyndal: "I wish to go north, to Abbey Norstead."
  4. p447. Cyndal: "Hervan has been lord in Slyedale since my uncle died two years ago."
  5. p448. Auridan: "By the Nine Words of Min, lady…" (see: Nine Worlds in Winter)
  6. p452. Cyndal: "I've seen it happen; Uppsdale isn't very far away, and I remember how Lady Annet treated Ysmay. And Ysmay had dowry enough to marry, in the end; I don't even have that." (see: Amber of Quayth)

The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: Ully the Piper

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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