She was born Mary Alice Norton, but the Science Fiction/Fantasy World knew her as Andre Norton. She was a magnificent writer and her work has had a profound effect on my imagination (and as I have mentioned before her creation: Witch World helped me build Relmorin). I do not recall which book of Ms. Norton’s I read first, Lore of the Witch World or Spell of the Witch World, but which ever it was, it led me to seek out more and more of her work. On Wednesday, June 4, 2014, I started reading The Warding of Witch World and once again I am swept up into magic and mystery of her work. Whenever I think of Rilmorn, I think of it in terms provided by Andre Norton and her Witch World.
There are many examples wherein Witch World and other works by Ms. Norton have shaped Rilmorn. It was through the Witch World novels and stories that I was introduced to the concept of “Gates,” portals that allow one to travel between realities. “Rilmorn” translates into “Gateway” in Orthoni, one of the primordial languages of Rylmorrin, because of the number of Gates that cover the world. While the Chalice of Dragons in my game and the Dragon Silver Scale Cup in Ms. Norton’s work have nothing in common in their nature, I took the image from Andre Norton’s Work and used it to create an essential element of my world. The Rylmoré Cluster archipelago uses a system of names for its years based on Norton’s Year of the Unicorn (the Forgotten Realms uses a like system and I stole year names from them, too). The Sanderzani of my world were influenced by the Sulcar. Places of Power, odd-shaped towers, and the Colours of Magic all come from Norton’s work. There are probably many more, but I cannot recall them now. Suffice it to say that without Andre Norton and her work, Rilmorn would be a far less interesting place.
Other authors have influenced my games, but none as much as Andre Norton. I am sorry that I never got to correspond with or meet her. I would have loved to hear all about how she developed her worlds and put them to paper for the rest of us.
If you don’t know her work, go find a book of hers and Read On!