The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

Fortune's Children

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


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


Lyse is a warrior and also a woman unusual even in Witch World. She was born in a cow barn and left there to be stepped on by a caw. But the cow-keeper raised her as his own and taught her to fight. She was a blank-sword and fought for whoever paid her until the day she had had enough. She had come to High Hallack to search for her mother but she knew not why. One evening she is in a tavern and get challenge by a young warrior and without knowing it she tries to kill him but is stopped by one named Jaryl. That night they are sitting around the campfire and she shows Jaryl the talisman she has around her neck and explains that it and the ragged scarf she wears are the only things left her by her mother. Jaryl tells her that he can find the other half so she follows him on this quest. Way out in the Waste they find her mother guarding a gate to another world. Her mother is Chace a witch of Estcarp who has been guarding this gate for the past 26 years but called to Lyse because she now needs the talisman that is around Lyse’s neck. For it is the key to the gate, and it must be destroyed before the evil can invade again.

Timeline Points:

  1. p196. Lyse 16 when she joins the army. Attackers from The Waste attacked 3 northern keeps - battle lasted from spring to autumn.
  2. p200. "I fought my first battle when I was younger than you. I have been a warrior for 10 years."
  3. p210. Lyse's mother was a witch from Estcarp.
  4. p211. Lyse is 26. Lyse: "It does not take nine months to get from Estcarp to High Hallack. Normally." Chace: "You were conceived across the sea."


Sorcerer's Notes:
There are no specific details when this takes place but Lyse must have been conceived sometime before the Turning. The remaining Witches after the Turning would not have risked their powers by getting pregnant. Also there is no mention of the Invasion by the Hounds of Alizon so this probably takes place before then. There are mentions of attacks from The Waste in Dream Smith which may place this story around that time.

The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: Of the Shaping of Ulm's Heir

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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