The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

Races of Witch World ~ Vars


Vars are first introduced in Port of Dead Ships. They have their own enumeration of years, based on the founding of their city.

Appearance: Those of Varn are tan or dark skin, very tall and skinny. Their hair and eye color are not mentioned but they could have black hair and brown eyes, based on Earth humans with similar skin pigmentation. Most of the men wear small chin beards and pointed helmets with turban-like bands of cloth wrapped around the rim. Women and children are rarely seen outdoors by strangers and the women probably go out heavily cloaked if they must. Children probably never go outside unless they are under heavy supervision.

Living Area(s): Varn

Life Span: The life span of Varnians is unmentioned but it appears to be long and their population is fairly stable with birth rate steady with death rate. It's possible with birth rates so low it caused the men to be over-protective of their women and children. Many women and children were killed in the earthquake in Port of Dead Ships when buildings collapsed but with Gunnora's blessing rejuvenating the energy of the crystal of the Seated One and the destruction of the evil black cube gate in the Port of Dead Ships, they may recover and even prosper.

Power: They seem to have means of detecting Power and females among them can use it. Whether males can use Power is unknown. Despite (or perhaps because of) this females (except for Power users) and children are kept within the deepest part of their houses when outsiders visit. Their spiritual leader appears to be a powerful woman seer who is completely wrapped in bindings like a mummy (including her entire head and hands) who sits on a glass throne in their temple and holds a crystal orb of power. She has a cowled priestess who is the "Speaker for the Seated One" (who can use mindspeech, among other powers) as her voice to the people and representative in Council.

Other: The Vars may have come through a Gate that is presumably closed. Since the current year in Port of Dead Ships is the "Founding Years of Varn" 6810, they have been on the Witch World nearly seven thousand years and their city could be older than Es itself.
They are taller than any other known race and are exquisite glass-makers. They are also good fishermen and raise a unique breed of sheep which produce wool that is is highly sought after and rarely traded.
Their houses are brightly colored on the outside and are set in the cliffs facing a bay. Their temple is highly ornamented and contains many examples of their beautiful glass art.

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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