It was a dark and stormy night, insofar as all nights are dark and in the
town of Nilport storms are to be expected. To set their minds from the
inclement weather outside the patrons of the Rusty Shackle Inn were kicking
up a wild party into the wee hours of the morning. The entire inn had the
general demeanor of a dungeon with a lack of windows and heavy stone
construction which forced the taller patrons to duck around the frequent
stone arches which broke up the rooms between pillars. The Inkeeper Dorgas
Silverglint had been busy throughout most of the evening’s festivities but
had finally retired to the bar to relax from his repertoire of dwarven
drinking songs. It seemed that Star finally had her chance to speak with the
"Mr. Silverglint," she called, for once without her ubiquitous badger. "May
I have a word?"
"I suppose so young lady," he replied, seeming a little weary from his
exertions but unwilling to turn away another patron.
She scrambled up onto the next barstool. "I, uh… well, I'll get right to
th'point. I knew a family Silverglint back 'ome… the Deepin'ome. I dun'
suppose ye'd be any relation."
At the mention of the Deepinghome all weariness vanished from his face and
his eyes fastened on the gnome with intense interest, "I'd reckon I would
be," he replied earnestly, "My father was from the Deepinghome, was stranded
in Athalin after the war"
"What was his name?" she pressed.
"Muklun Silverglint, he had a bit of a misfortune in that his name sounds a
bit… messy in the Athalish tongue but me pop was too stubborn to change
Star scratched her head, trying to figure out whether or not she knew this
name. "What was yer mum's name? Did you have brothers… sisters?"
"My mother was Nemla but she was of Athalish decent so I doubt that will be
much help." He stopped for a moment, "Perhaps we should talk somewhere else,
could you come with me?"
Star nodded in agreement and slipped down to the floor.
Dorgas led her to his quarters deep in the bowels of the building and hung
his lantern on a peg in the center of the room. It was a spartan chamber
with a few ledgers across an otherwise barren desk marked with many ink
stains. Beyond this in the shadows was a low cot of the kind used by the
dwarves of the Deepinghome. Dorgas took a seat on a short stool and with a
key from around his neck unlocked a drawer of his desk to reveal an ornate
leatherbound book embossed with silver. Unlocking the lock on the cover he
opened it to one of the later pages where, penned in brown ink was a
geneological tree, Star quickly realized that the lowest branch of the chart
read simply Dorgas Silverglint, with a birthdate.
Dorgas paused for a moment, "after two generations of war with the goblins,
drow and finally Athalin, the dear Silverglint clan was somewhat whittled
down, there's likely not much more than a hundred of them in the Deepinghome
at present, Perhaps we should start with immediate relations and work
outwards. My father had six brothers two of whom died before marrying.”
Star pulled up a nearby chair and got settled next to him. "I had a friend,
Usha Silverglint, when I was growing up. Her mum, Tiera, was mum to me
after me parents never come back from the war in Mazavi. Her husband was
lost there, too—he was Belthrus Silverglint. I used to call 'im 'Uncle
Belly' when I was a tot."
“If Usha was about your age then that mean that Belthrus was likely a bit of
a young parent, perhaps we should be looking for his father?”
Star sighed. "Dunno I could tell ye his pop's name." She shut her eyes to
think. "I think I remember him, though… Usha's grampa. He came to visit
us after the news about his son. There was a lot of nicknames in the
family. What was it she called him? 'Grampa Gray', I think it was."
"AhHA!" the dwarf cried jumping from his stool and dropping a finger
triumphantly on his book, "Dormak Silverglint, one of my father's brothers,
also known as Gray"
Star grinned, and pressed her fingers to her temples, trying to figure out
the relation. "So if Belthrus's father was yer uncle… that would make 'im
and Tiera yer cousins."
"Aye, so this Usha you speak of would be my first cousin, once removed."
Star nodded. "And me, too… disregarding blood relations."
"So you were raised in the family then?" he inquired.
"From the time I was ten," she replied. "I hated to leave them, but…"
She trailed off, letting her reasons speak for themselves.
"Would they be proud of what you're doing out here in the world?"
Star took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Proud? I dunno. I
think they disapproved of my leavin', out of a familial concern. After all,
the last family they watched walk out o' the Deepin'ome never came back.
But aside from the fear for me safety… I think they'd share the desire for
what it is I'm after."
"Which would be?" prompted the dwarf.
She narrowed her eyes slightly and gave him a long look. "Revenge," she
"Against the Ludimarites then?"
She nodded solemnly.
"Well there are many good reasons to take a stand against the Ludimarites"
replied the dwarf, “but perhaps revenge might not be the best of them,
revenge won't bring your family back after all.”
"I know that," she replied, with a touch of coldness in her voice. "But
revenge is what I want. And the more Ludimarite blood I spill, the less
families like ours are goin' to lose loved ones. I may have come out 'ere
with vengeance on me mind, but the more I see of this world, the more I
realize 'ow badly it needs to be rid of 'em."
"Unfortunately for each one you kill, another ludimarite rises to take his
place. With the ludimarites half the time even it's the same cursed one you
just put down."
"So what's your plan then?" she spat, crossing her arms indignantly. "Just
sit back an' take it?"
"Not in the least, But for those who fight against Ludimar I think they
should consider doing more than fighting against those they happen upon, try
to strike out against the really powerful ones."
"I shall do so when I find 'em," she replied. "You needn't think me a
child, strikin' out at everything I see. What am I travellin' for if not to
learn the best way to me goals?"
"I guess what I'm trying to say that if you fight them purely out of hate
you're apt to be little better than they are, but fight them out of
compassion for the innocent then you're on the right path, it seems you just
need to decide which path to walk, in any event don't heed me oermuch, I've
done little against Ludimar this past decade other than give free room and
board to some wounded soldiers from time to time."
"Well… that's somethin'," she acknowledged, and paused to think about his
words. "Maybe I dunno if I'm aimin' to fight more out of hate, or
compassion… goodness knows I'm feelin' a lot of both. But for now I'm
thinkin' that bein' rid of Ludimar is a goal enough."
"Being rid of Ludimar…" echoed the dwarf, "Aye that would be the day."
"Then we understand each other," Star concluded.
"Well for the time being we should see to what we can do here" he replied
taking out a quill and an ancient looking vial of ink, Tell me what you can
remember of your family in the Deepinghome and we'll add it to the book."
"Well, Belthrus son of Dormak, Tiera and Usha are the only names I know.
What else did you want?"
"Tiera's maiden name perhaps?"
Star propped up her elbows on the desk and sunk her chin into her hands.
"Hmmmm," she mused. "Something… song. I think it was Bladesong."
"I'll write it in small so it can be changed if need be," he finished his
work and then turned to Star, "I think you should go in here as well, family
is family blood relation or not."
Star smiled. "I'd be right honoured, Mr. Silverglint… but I don't know
that my full name'd fit on the page."
"Knocked bottles!" exclaimed the dwarf, "We'll make room, now what's that
name of yours lass?”
Star laughed. "It's been a long time since I've even used it." She took in
a deep breath and let out gradually, "Setarrevarremeryennel
Ketaralanezzemaurelenna Valerosenuggermuggian. Do you want me to spell it?"
The dwarf looked stunned for a moment, then sighed, "You weren't kidding
She shook her head sheepishly. "Gnomes can be a bit… ostentatious with
their names. I dun' mind if ye shorten it."
"What do your companion's call ye?”
"For the tree we'll call you Star Silverglint" he replied, "If it's to your
"I'd like that."
The dwarf carefully penned Star's newfound moniker into the tome and then,
after drying the ink carefully with his breath locked the book. "This
belongs to the Silverglints in the Deepinghome and I doubt I'll be back that
way for many generations, I don't suppose that in your travels you could see
the book back to its proper people?"
Star ran her hand over the book's cover thoughtfully. "With what I've been
through thus far, I can't say t'would be entirely safe in me hands.
Besides, I dunno if and when I might be back to the Deepinghome. Maybe I'll
come back for it someday."
"There's nary a place in the world that's safe these days" replied the
dwarf, "Besides in a strong book protected with runes older than some
mountains I doubt theres much you could do to it beyond misplacing it for a
time even then it's more likely to find it's way home than it is rotting in
my office, it may be of some use to you, there's a great deal of history in
there, the deeds of ancient heroes of our clan and the like.”
Star grinned. "Well then, I'd be quite honoured to hang onto it for a
"When ye do make it back home tell my kin hello for me, you'll know who
there are by the book."
"I will," she promised. "And hopefully when I do see 'em, I'll have plenty
of other good news for 'em."
"I'm sure you will lass, I'm sure you will."
Star by Mandy, Dorgas Silverglint by Tim