The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

Races of Witch World ~ Vupsall


The Vupsall are a race of nomads first mentioned in Sorceress of the Witch World. It is unclear whether or not they are a gated race though, given the sheer amount of races that were gated in by the adepts of old, they probably aren't native to the world.

Appearance: The Vupsall have red-yellow hair1, dark brown skin, and broad features. Their eyes aren't described but, given their skin color, probably are brown (at least Kaththea makes no mention of their eyes being brightly colored).

Living Area(s): Escore (nomadic)

Life Span: The Vupsall life span is not mentioned directly, but Utta has outlived several generations of them by the time Kaththea shows up.

Power: Except for The Scent of Magic there is no mention of the Vupsall being able to use the Power, though their smiths and a few Wise Women might have something of it.

Other: The Vupsall, or at least the band described, seem to have originated somewhere in the north-eastern part of Escore before their tribes were broken and scattered by sea raiders. They are somewhat barbaric in many ways, but may have once had a more advanced civilization. They are extremely skilled with gems and metal-forging and practice elaborate burials. They paint their bodies and might also dye their hair. They seem to have large, wolf-like dogs that can be hitched to sleighs. These dogs have cream-colored bodies and brown legs with a brown stripe running down their backs to the tip of the tail.
The tribes of the Vupsall practice polygamy, with a chief having several wives. Raids on other tribes for supplies and slaves probably occur. They are no friends with the sea raiders.


Sorcerer's Notes:
Though they seem to enjoy the nomadic lifestyle they currently have it could be possible that the Vupsall once held a sea coast similar to the Dales, and like the Dales they were invaded. In their case, however, the tribes didn't unite to fight a common enemy and were broken and scattered. Whether they might ever settle again is unknowable since, aside from Sorceress of the Witch World and The Scent of Magic, they are never mentioned again in any Witch World story. It's possible that after Sorceress of the Witch World, since Kaththea felt responsible for the Vupsall after the fate of the tribe she was forced to look after by Utta, she returned with Hilarion to rebuild his Tower and gathered the tribes under their protection.

1. Kaththea, in the book, seems to think their hair color looks unnatural, especially since they have 'dark brows'. Given their habit of body painting, it's entirely possible the Vuspell have naturally black hair that they dye.

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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