Witchland

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Witchland
Location of Witchland
Location of Witchland (in northeast)
Real-world
Series The Worm Ouroboros
Creator Eric Rücker Eddison
Genre High fantasy
Fictional
Capital Carcë
Ethnic groups Witches
Government Monarchy
Witchland
Witchland crab.jpg
Emblem of Witchland
The Worm Ouroboros location
Creator Eric Rücker Eddison
Genre High fantasy
Type Country
Notable locations Carcë (capital city), Tenemos (port), Druima river
Notable characters Gorice XI, Gorice XII, Corsus, Corund, Corinius, Lady Prezmyra

Witchland is a large and powerful country in Eric Rücker Eddison's fantasy world, described in The Worm Ouroboros. Contrary to what one might think based on the name, Witchland is home to people who - with one exception - seem to have no interest in magic.

Witchland is the setting for some of the events in the story. Witchland's geography seems to be flat and well suited for farming. The Demonlords somewhat dismissively call it watery. Witchland has a large city on the coast, the great walled city of Carcë. Witchland is one of several important realms in the book. The others are Demonland, Impland, Goblinland, the Foliot Isles, and Pixyland.

Witchland bears a slight resemblance to the kingdom of Gondor in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It has also been compared to Troy, Babylon, and Rome.

Witchland is less well described than Demonland. The port next to Carcë is called Tenemos. Other lands nearby are: Pixyland and the Foliot Isles. Other lands and cites which owe loyalty to Witchland are: Buteny, Estremerine, Shulan, Thramnë, Mingos, Permio, Ar, the Esamocian Marches, Trace, Beshtria, Nevria, Ojedia, Maltraëny, Baltary, and Toribia. However Eddison, unlike his better known contemporary Tolkien, never mapped his world so the location of these places is uncertain.

Government of Witchland[edit]

Witchland is ruled by a king who, on death, is instantly reincarnated into another, somewhat different form. Each King of Witchland goes by the name of Gorice. The two kings in the story are Gorice XI, the wrestler, and Gorice XII, the sorcerer. Previous kings were conquerors and sword masters. The king, ruling from Carcë, has a number of nobles who do his bidding.

The main nobles of Witchland are:

  • Duke Corsus, old and fat. He has a wife and sons (named Dekalajus and Gorius) as well as a beautiful daughter named Sriva.
  • King Corund, a mighty warrior with many sons (named Hacmon, Heming, Dormanes, Viglus, and Cargo). His second wife is the Lady Prezmyra, the sister of King La Fireez of Pixyland.
  • Corinius, a young and dangerous man, only slightly less capable than Corund.
  • Lord Gro, a Goblin, foster-brother of King Gaslark of Goblinland, now allied with Witchland, one of the novel's main characters.
  • Laxus, the great admiral of the Witchland fleet and a noble man.
  • Gallandus, second-in-command to Corsus in the invasion of Demonland.

Two battles are fought in Witchland during the book:

  • 1st Battle of Carcë - Corund, Corsus, and Corinius defeat a small Goblin army led by King Gaslark, capturing Lord Juss and Brandoch Daha with nets.
  • 2nd Battle of Carcë - Corund is mortally wounded by Lord Juss, Corinius is forced to flee from battle by Brandoch Daha and the armies of Witchland are broken. This is the last battle and grand climax of the book.

Maps[edit]

  • Gerald Hayes, a cartographer with the Royal Navy, created the first map for The Worm Ouroboros circa 1925 - initially from internal evidence, and later in consultation with Eddison. He states in a letter to C.S. Lewis that he secured Eddison's approval "as a true presentation of all the lands, seas, and countries of his history." Source: Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Vol II, page 559. Not sure if it still exists! States crude copy made for Lewis.
  • Another map of the world by Bernard Morris was published in Twilight Zine No. 4 and reprinted in the book An Atlas of Fantasy (book author: Jeremiah Benjamin Post) in 1979.
  • For a map of the world created by David Bedell in 1978, see The Worm Ouroboros.
  • For another map of Witchland created by J. B. Hare in 2004 see The world of The Worm Ouroboros.