The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

The Judgement of Neave

A Short Story in the [Witch World Saga] by S. N. Lewitt


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


Tisia and Amrys are sisters who live in Grimmerdale1 and are young shepherdesses. Amrys (age six) comes on a flat rock with a star shape engraved in it.2 Amrys resists her sister's attempt to take her away from the rock and instead runs to it. Tisia manages to keep her sister from it but falls on it and is transported from the meadow to an ancient keep.
As she explores the keep she is sad to see it abandoned despite its fine make. There is a smell of roasted meat, and she recalls warnings of horrors from the Waste.3 She is, however, very hungry and decides to see if the cook is friend or foe. She also hopes to get directions, mentioning an awareness of a great road running from the Dales into the Waste.4 She comes into an outer court of fruit trees and meets a seemingly young man with his horse.
The young man calls his horse Gerres and himself Kaedril of Blue Mantle Clan.5 He explains that she is in Arvon and must have arrived via a gate. He also mentions and explains the Fane of Neave starting with the adepts and their war. He says Neave was one who left but her Fane retains her power: none there may speak anything but the truth nor can there be any fighting. He goes on further to explain there are votaries of Neave and one was always in Blue Mantle's hall. The last died in the winter and he's now searching for a new one, whom he thinks is Tisia. Tisia is less than sure of this, but is willing to go along with him for now. She also mentions the Dames of the Flame.6
In the morning they leave the keep and travel through the next day. When she wakes again she notes a wound on Kaedril's hand that had not been there before but he rebuffs her when she offers aid. Around noon they stop again and he tells her that they are on the edge of Blue Mantle lands and she notes there's a village nearby.7 She leaves Kaedril and goes to the village where she is welcomed and fed and sleeps well.
The next morning she tries to inquire about Kaedril from Eleha, the daughter her host, but gets no answers about him or anything else. It's not until a young boy selling oil arrives that she tells her he is named Perris and that he sells oil for his widowed mother. Also that olive trees are quite common in that area.8
Shortly after this, Perris is found crying because the money he earned was stolen. When the villagers refuse to do anything Tisia feels enraged. The leader mentions her being found as Naeve's votary, though its a bit threatening. She orders them to the rock where the money was lost. She accuses the stone, but really was looking for a place where water collected since the oil on the coin (having been put in Perris's bucket) would show on the water. The thief admits it and repays double and the villagers go home ashamed.
After she explains it to Perris, he changes first into Kaedril and then into an Old One who tells her she has earned her place as a votary of Naeve.

Timeline Points:

  1. p74. 'We have not been in these Dales very long, but there are already stories of things left by those who lived here before.' Probably only a few generations after Horn Crown.
  2. p75. The Waste is mentioned (placing this after WW: ss - Peacock Eyes).
  3. p80. "I am called Tisia of Grimmerdale of WW: Places - High Hallack." (Oddly, no mention of the infamous circle of Toads…)1
  4. p80. "I am called Kaedril of the Blue Mantle Clan. You are in Arvon…"
  5. p82. 'Oh, if the good Dames could see me now.' (This is after the order of the Dames is formed and the Flame is passed on to them from the Bards who eventually died out.)


The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: Gunnora's Gift

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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