Clarenza the Sea Witch is a character from The Nickerbocker's Tale, and is the only one who practices magic in the book.
Her face and body are completely hidden by the cloak she wears, except for what appears to be a mermaid tail, which resembles the tail of a Siamese fighting fish.
She is cruel, and in the book it is stated she is like "a cat in the seas" and her "mice" are humans.
For her services, she provides two options for payment: either an incredibly large sum of money, or leaving behind a person for her to keep (what exactly she does with the person is unknown).
Role in the Book
In the book, Percival goes to ask for her aid in sneaking past The Skin-Taker's ship. Clarenza tells him it is not the Skin-Taker he must worry about -because the Skin-Taker is far too busy elsewhere- but his brother Melos. She promises to give him something to help him get past Melos. She then gives him the options she usually gives; an incredibly large sum of money (the exact amount whispered into Percival's ear for only him to hear) or leave a person behind for her.
He was going to give her money, when a member of Percival's crew named Joseph Threelegs suggests they leave behind Izod instead, and save the money. This infuriates Percival and the rest of the crew, who punish Joseph by leaving him behind with the witch instead. She gives Percival an enchanted sword, the blade made of blue gold and the handle made of mother of pearl, and an actual pearl to decorate it. She promises the sword will help him vanquish his enemies
As they sail away that night, Izod can hear Joseph screaming and the witch laughing in his dreams, and Percival tries to comfort him by telling him Joseph Threelegs deserved it. Izod asks what Percival is talking about, and Percival discovers Izod was unaware of the events that transpired earlier, and thus had no idea Joseph was left to the sea witch, making him wonder about the nightmares.
- In the book, her tail was not compared to a Siamese fighting fish, but was described in two pages. However, the description provided did match the description of a siamese fighting fish. Apparently the author enjoyed reading about far away lands, and likely came across a description of a siamese fighting fish.