Dakar - Role in the Story (Ships of Merior)

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Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Ships of Merior.

Third Age 5644: Six years after the Battle of Strakewood, Dakar has been left in the service of King Eldir. His antics involving a poker game and a butcher's knife leave him with what seems to be a mortal wound. After King Eldir's champion is sent after Asandir, Asandir explicitly reveals Dakar's longevity training. Dakar mentioned it in passing to Lysaer in the previous book, but this is the first confirmation of his extended age (587 years old). For his antics, Dakar is punished with more nightmares and a forced service under Arithon.

He leaves Havish in late spring, but ignores his charge, choosing to travel across the continent from bar to bar. By late autumn, he reaches a backwater tavern in the Skyshiels, along the coast between Highscarp and Jaelot, where he meets Halliron and Arithon (disguised as Medlir. He agrees to travel with them to Innish. While Dakar is initially suspicious about Medlir, his subtle tests convince him that the man is not Arithon.

While stopped at a posthouse because of Halliron's poor health, he wins a gelding from dicing mercenaries. He names the horse, Faery-toes. Because of Faery-toes' antics, Dakar is arrested at the entrance to Jaelot. After an overnight stint in jail, he is brought before the Jaelot City Court and found guilty in the destruction of the Mayor of Jaelot's crown molding. He is sentenced to a large fine and forced labor. Dakar causes enough havoc in his stint in the mason's yard (cutting sea wall stones) that he is sent to solitary confinement instead.

Third Age 5645: Three months later, in mid-spring, he is returned to the general populace to lay stones for the sea wall. To avoid this dangerous assignment, he attracts a pack of iyats with a bit of leaked spell charge, and sets them loose. The guards are forced to relieve him of his hard labor, believing that he's a fiend magnet. In the months leading up to the solstice, Dakar is tasked by Halliron to gather gossip in town. On the solstice, he is rearrested and chained up in the Mayor's banquet hall. After Arithon raises the Paravian mysteries, he frees Dakar and the pair escape from Jaelot, in spite of Dakar's feeling of betrayal over Arithon's disguise. After evading several packs of guards from Jaelot, the group is intercepted by Asandir who leads them to a safe cave. Out of guilt, Dakar tells Halliron that he will survive to see Innish again. He begs Asandir to assist, and in exchange, gives his word that he will resume his original duties of protecting Arithon. He attempts to sneak away in the darkness, but is caught by Asandir, who casts a geas on him to force him to uphold his word.

The next day, Dakar leaves Arithon's company only to have his day grow progressively worse. He ends up sick in a ditch, only to be rescued by Arithon again. He sneaks away and ends up in the town of Tharidor. After sampling beers and foods throughout the town, he finally ends up at an herb witch's shack where he learns that Asandir's geas will "react in force and sour every pleasure of the flesh, even to the food and drink [his] body requires to survive"[1]. Upon hearing that the geas is tied to the living presence of Arithon, he travels to Shipsport to track down him down. His attempt to kill him in the shrine to Ath Creator is deterred after he learns of Halliron's death.

When the pair arrive at the Kittiwake Inn, Dakar attempts to sabotage Arithon's plans by starting a brawl with the crew of the ship Arithon is trying to hire. This backfires, and Dakar ends up helping Arithon instead. After Arithon enspells the patrons of the tavern in a Masterbard's sleep spell, he and Dakar return with the sleeping Dhirken to her ship. When Dhirken awakens, her ship is in the middle of the bay, she secures a very seasick Dakar in the hold. He does his best to thwart Arithon's plans, but fails again. During Arithon's subterfuge to gain the trust of Dhirken, Sethvir contacts Dakar and asks him to visit Alestron -- the Fellowship is shorthanded, and the s'Brydion brothers are experimenting with black powder in secret.

Dakar schemes to give the job to Arithon in hopes that mishap will befall him. He travels overland to Alestron with Arithon and then poses as a gem merchant to gain entry into the citadel. Informed by his double cross, the brothers take Dakar captive and bring him along, hoping to catch Arithon in the armory. After Arithon finishes his inventory and starts a fire as a diversion, he frees Dakar. However, Dakar is grabbed by Parrien before he can escape. In the interrogation that follows, Dakar strings a set of lies while setting a geas of thirst on the brothers with his toes. He hopes to get the brothers passed out drunk so he can escape the fate of being publicly executed. This geas goes against the Law of the Major Balance, but Dakar deems this offense insignificant when compared to his alternate fate. He manages to weave lies until Asandir arrives and releases him, then flees the keep.

Dakar rejoins Arithon in an oak grove outside of Alestron, where he realizes how his hatred was used by Arithon to gain access to the armory. The pair flees to Kalesh. After his failure in Alestron, Dakar switches strategies to staying senselessly drunk. He suspects that Arithon is up to some devious plan when they travel to Merior, but is mollified to learn that Arithon plans to build a pleasure sloop to visit Halliron's widow in Innish. He occasionally feels a stir of his gift of prescience, but keeps it at bay with drink. When Elaira moves into Merior, she can sense the unbridled hatred that Dakar has for Arithon. He tries to warn Arithon that Elaira will uncover his loss of mage powers, but does not succeed.

Third Age 5646: Dakar accompanies Arithon on his sailing trip to Innish, but spends most of it drunk. When Arithon and Jinesse disembark to visit Halliron's family, Dakar is "bludgeoned into sobriety" and remains aboard the sloop. Dakar stays with Arithon, who agrees to perform in Innish for the remainder of the season, and recites a spoken word prophecy concerning Kharadmon while in the company of a doxie. The prophecy is heard by Sethvir.

Returned to Merior, Dakar loses a contest of insults to Ivel and ends up trapped in a barrel adrift on Garth's Pond. Local fishermen rescue him but filch his beer store first.

Dakar travels with Arithon to Selkwood around the Autumn Equinox, although he continues to spend his time drunk and does not participate in any of the events onshore. He later sails with Arithon to Werpoint.

References

  1. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 187 (US-Hardback