The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

The Weavers

A Short Story in the [Witch World Saga] by Esther M Friesner


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


The silence of the forest of the Moss Wife Fyuru is broken by the frantic gasping breaths of a runaway girl. It seems she is not just fleeing, but is also searching for something or someone. The calm of her forest shattered, Fyuru wishes the girl would leave and take her troubles with her… but memories from 15 years ago connect her to the girl and the man she knows is inevitably following. Her memories return of a young man who stumbled, wounded but the blades of his enemies, into her forest. His pain driving her to tend to his healing and the anticipation of his fear making her weave her appearance into that of a human woman. His gratitude turned to desire and the pull of his desires drew Fyuru from her home to his. With the birth of their daughter, his need for justice turned to ambition and the sharpness of that twisting drove her to flee once more to her forest. Now 15 years later, from whispered rumour, a daughter comes seeking her mother and freedom from the ambitions of her father. The man finds the girl collapsed in the clearing. He orders her home and to accept the marriage he has arranged for her. She refuses, her talent for song drives her to find her own path. He prepares to drag the girl home but Fyuru tells him to let her daughter go. He draws his sword but, wracked with violence of that action, Fyuru binds him with vines. Once more transforming herself into human form, she confronts them and their past together. She sends her daughter forth on her path to the future she seeks. When Fyuru returns, the man tells her he still loves her, so she transforms back to her true form. She replies he must kill her if he would pursue their daughter as she will not let him. He bargains that if she turns human again and returns home with him, he will leave their daughter alone. She refuses as she has finally learned the price for compromise came too high. Defeated, he leaves. Their daughter becomes a roaming minstrel, her voice beloved by all.

Timeline Points:

  1. Set in the Forest of the Moss Wife Fyuru. The Forest of the Moss Wives is in Escore but there are hints they may possibly also live in Arvon.
  2. No indication of when, but since Escore (if it is indeed Escore) seems more settled and not torn by war, possibly sometime after The Gate of the Cat or maybe in the ancient past before the rise of the Shadow in Escore?
  3. The man and the girl both have blond hair which would be strange in Escore as it is home to the Old Race. Could his bloodline be from the younger race of Karsten?
  4. Further speculation: If this is not set in Escore, it's possible her forest is in Arvon or The Waste and the blond haired lordling is from High Hallack?

The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: Godron's Daughter

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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