The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

Races of Witch World ~ Karstenians

Karstenians are one-time allies of the Old Race who turned on them due to Kolder manipulation. Their origins are unknown, except for the fact that they come from over seas "ten generations" ago.

Appearance: Fulk of Verlain is described as having red-gold hair, Hunnold's looks are described as foxy with hair colour to match, and Yvain has a sandier look of the same colors but whether this is true of all of Karsten blood is not mentioned. Loyse is described as having very pale blond hair, almost white. (See: Witch World) In Ciara's Song and The Duke's Ballad brown or hazel eyes seem to be common.

Living Area(s): Karsten

Life Span: The exact life span of Karstenians is not mentioned, but they have been in Karsten for some ten generations.

Power: Karstenians do not seem to have Power on their own. They do have a unique religion in the Temple of Fortune- a Brotherhood led by the obese "Reverend Voice" Siric. He wears yellow robes and has a servant priest.

Other: Karsten was thrown into turmoil after the Turning. They have an "old nobility" which may trace their lineage back to the first ships to arrive in Karsten or perhaps even older. It's important to them, as they consider mercenaries like Yvian as upstarts and this class division created much tension in the country that is explored in the Witch WorldWeb of the Witch WorldCiara's Song, and The Duke's Ballad.


Sorcerer's Notes:
It is possible the Karstenians are related to the Dalesfolk of High Hallack (and the people of Gorm?). They have axe-marriages like those in the Dales do. There is so little mentioned in most books about their overall culture, except in Ciara's Song and The Duke's Ballad, that it's really hard to know. In those two books the ties to the Dales culture is strengthened. It seems strange that a great deal of time is spent in Karsten in the early books, yet so little is really mentioned about those living there.

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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