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Dhirken is the captain of the brig, Black Drake, a contraband runner on the Bay of Eltair. She has a waist-length black braid and freckles, and large, callused hands. She dresses with dash and flair, as is customary for contraband-running captains.

Dhirken is reputed to have gained the captainship by right of arms following her father's death at sea, although there are rumours to the contrary.

Role in the Story

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from multiple books in the series.

Ships of Merior

Third Age 5645: Dhirken is first introduced in the Kittiwake Inn in Shipsport, following the death of Halliron. Arithon attempts to bargain for the service of the Black Drake. Despite Dakar's machinations, Arithon uses his music to put the entire Inn to sleep, except for the crew of the Black Drake. They then transport the sleeping Dhirken to her ship and set sail.

When Dhirken awakens, her ship is in the middle of the bay, with no knowledge of where its headed. Dakar warns her of Arithon's true identity, and Arithon once again bargains for her service, in exchange for steering her ship to Farsee by using the lost arts of navigation. After reaching Farsee, a change in Arithon's plans sees the Black Drake sailing north without him to pick up his cargo from Maenalle. As a gift, he grants Dhirken the dividers and cross-staff of Leinthal Anithael.

Dhirken then sails north to collect Maenalle's cargo, her intent to deliver it to Arithon in Merior. When she arrives for the rendezvous, she is also met by Jieret, who wishes to warn Arithon of the happenings in Rathain. The Black Drake arrives in Merior but Arithon is in Innish. Dhirken sails on to Shaddorn but cannot purchase any south shore charts from jealous merchants there. The journey is delayed without charts, but Arithon has arranged for charts to be available in Southshire, along with instructions pay some merchants from Maenalle's cargo.

Third Age 5646: The Black Drake arrives in Innish on the Spring Equinox. After her crewmen locate Arithon in a tavern, Dhirken, Jieret, and Arithon have a strategy meeting on the Black Drake. Dhirken agrees to work for Arithon temporarily to run messages and transport timber for his shipyard. The Black Drake accompanies Arithon back to Merior, assisting with the founding of the shipyard. Dhirken also brings word from the north that the city garrisons of Rathain are mustering in Etarra.

Warhost of Vastmark

Third Age 5647: The Black Drake is captured by Alestron's galleys, north of Perdith, shortly before the exchange of ransom at King Eldir's court in Ostermere. Before the ransom exchange, Dhirken is executed in spite of her insistence that her connection to Arithon was purely contractual, and not out of sworn loyalty. Mearn s'Brydion believes this until he discovers Arithon's gift of Anithael's cross-staff.


  • Captain Dhirken calls all her young shiphands "Lad" until they mature and earn their deep water skills.