The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

Darkness Over Mirhold

 A Short Story in the [Witch World Saga] by Patricia Shaw Mathews


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


Derris is reaching the age of womanhood and will be cast out if some one does not claim her soon. Rovagh of Mirhold has come looking for a wife and leaves with Derris. On the trip to Mirhold Rovagh tells Derris of all the darkness that covers Mirhold. How the hold is in ruin, the people will be jelous of her and how he goes into rages for which he has instructed her to run if she ever sees it. She spends the next couple of years learning to be wife, lady of the house and Queen to the people of Mirhold. Until the day the raiders came and now she has to be a warrior. With that they learn of the Darkness Over Mirhold and how to drive it out.

Timeline Points:

  1. p154. Wars between Karsten and Estcarp are over, Louvain now Duke of Karsten. There is a shrine of Gunnora (see: The Warding of Witch World) and abbeys of Dames in Karsten.
  2. p157-158. Rovagh of Mirhold, "I doubt they taught you in Karsten to defend yourself, but this is the Border."
  3. p159. "We shall not ride through Falconer country, but east-ward." (see: Falconers)
  4. p171. Samiel reveals herself to be an Alizonders sorceress with a blue stone(!) (see: Alizon)
  5. p173. Samiel, "My father—so he is in all but blood—reared me in High Hallack, and I was sealed to Gunnora as even shield-maids are in the Dales."(!)


Sorcerer's Notes:

  1. This story seems to imply that Rovagh was a blank shield of the Old Race who fought both the Hounds of Alizon and Karsten and ended up settling in Karsten after the racial unrest finally settled down. He killed Samiel's sister when he massacred Samiel's fishing village in Alizon and somehow she was adopted and raised in High Hallack by a man who rescued her, where she got magic training(!), a blue stone (!!) and was "sealed to Gunnora"(!!!). How an Alizonders child was accepted in High Hallack by the Dalesmen and how she overcame her own racial aversion to magic to receive magic training and a (what appears to be an Estcarpian Witch style?) blue stone to channel her magic instead of Gunnora's traditional amber amulet of wheat & grapes would be a very interesting tale. She is probably in her late teens here and is probably descended from one of the two mages who brought her people into the Witch World. (see: The Magestone)
  2. This story probably takes place after Port of Dead Ships at least (if not later) for there to be a shrine of Gunnora in Karsten and for the Old Race to be no longer killed there too.
  3. The mention of Abbeys of Dames in Karsten further implies that the 'younger' race of Karsten were Dalesmen who left High Hallack to settle in Karsten.
  4. "Shield-maids" are pretty rare in High Hallack. Elys and Joisan are about the only two who could truly be thought of as such! It's possible the Dalesmen decided to finally teach their women how to defend themselves after the Invasion and all the rapine from bandits they had to deal with in the aftermath. Still now sure how they'd be "sealed to Gunnora" though…!
  5. This story, like La Verdad: The Magic Sword has many problems that may push it into non-canon status.

The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: The Jargoon Pard

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ Mat, 2022

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