A short story by Andre Norton, sequel to The Toads of Grimmerdale.

Publishing History

Timeline Notes

  1. p196. 'Lithendale, though no fortress for defense, rather an abiding place for the Dames who gave refuge to all, still held something of grim darkness in this early spring. Snow lay in ragged, mid-edged patches upon the ground, and the courtyards showed a gloss of damp upon worn stones.' Hertha gives birth to her child.
  2. p198. Hertha: "This is my daughter, Elfanor…"
  3. p200. 'As days passed Hertha never spoke again of what she might do.' 'Sudden winds came out of the south. The earth dried after the last of the snow's burden soaked into it. Spring was coming early.' 'At the fourth week she asked for formal audience with the abbess, her plans made.' (This is probably the Month of the Hawk in the Year of the Unicorn.)
  4. p202. Hertha: "Lady, I imperiled myself so months ago." (see: The Toads of Grimmerdale)
  5. p206. Hertha leaves the abbey. 'On the fourth day her road branched, one part turning south.'
  6. p207. '…early evening…' Hertha arrives at Gunnora's Shrine.
  7. p210. Hertha leaves the Shrine the next morning.
  8. p211. 'After a full day's travel she slept but fitfully…' 'The second day had no sun…' 'Twilight came early…' Hertha reaches Grimmerdale.
  9. p212. 'That night she did not sleep…' Dawn- Hertha prepares to seal the circle of the Toads with three blue stones.
  10. p215. Trystan arrives to help find the third stone.
  11. p211. The final stone is placed and the circle sealed just before sunset. Elfanor's curse is lifted.


  1. Roughly 3 months after The Toads of Grimmerdale, early spring. This suggests Hertha was only pregnant for 6 months at the most, as she was only pregnant for 3 months in Toads of Grimmerdale. It's possible the interference of the Toads accelerated her pregnancy, strangely, no-one comments that Elfanor is premature here, just that she is a "Changeling".
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