Starvald Demelain [star-vald dem-eh-lain] was an Elder Warren also known as 'The First Warren', the 'Warren of T'iam', and the 'Warren of Eleint/Dragons'. It lay at the centre of the system of Warrens. All other Warrens sprouted from this Warren.
Lesser Creatures of Starvald Demelain
- D'isthal Wyvalla
- Locqui Wyval - aka 'Wyval'
- Purlith bats
In Midnight Tides
A cavern in the Refugium contained twelve gates to other places, including Starvald Demelain. Ulshun Pral, one of the Imass of the Refugium, told Udinaas and Feather Witch that the gate to Starvald Demelain had been closed "by the mixed bloods who gathered long ago." He named the mixed bloods as Draconus, K'rul, Anomandaris, Osserc, Silchas Ruin, Scabandari, Sheltatha Lore, Sukul Ankhadu, and Menandore.
In Reaper's Gale
Shadowthrone and Menandore struck a deal granting the God of Shadow one-time use of the Refugium's gate to Starvald Demelain in return for his help in the goddess' fight against Sukul Ankhadu and Sheltatha Lore.
Emroth, one of the Crippled God's Unbound, passed through Omtose Phellack towards the Refugium. She was joined on the journey by the ghost of Hedge, who suspected she might be attempting to turn the thousands of Imass that lived there to the worship of the Crippled God. But when he realised she was more likely interested in the realm's gate to Starvald Demelain where anything was possible, including the destruction of the warrens, he killed her with a cusser.
- "The gate was a shattered mess on one side. The huge cyclopean stones that had once formed an enormous arch easily five storeys high had the appearance of having been blasted apart by multiple impacts, flinging some of the shaped blocks a hundred paces or more from the entranceway. The platform the arch had once spanned was heaved and buckled as if some earthquake had rippled through the solid bedrock beneath the pavestones. The other side was dominated by a tower of still standing blocks, corkscrew-twisted and seemingly precariously balanced."
- ―Description of the gate to Starvald Demelain
After passing through the gate, they found a world of black volcanic ash beneath a vast nearly black sky. Even the three blazing suns could barely cut through the darkness. The air was lifeless and foul, bearing a taint of immeasurable grief that seemed to drain the strength from the body and spirit. The rough plain before them was covered with the bodies of hundreds of dead dragons. Although the dragons' bones were shattered and their skin and sinew was desiccated and contracted, none showed any sign of wounds. They had all died of old age, not violence, and perished where they settled facing another gate that led to the Refugium. Udinaas compared the sight by the Refugium gate to blue flies dying on the sill of a window which remained closed despite the flies' attempts to escape.
The arch of the Refugium gate had flanks that "were high as towers, thin to the point of skeletal, while the arch itself seemed twisted, like a vast cobweb wrapped around a dead branch. Enclosed by this structure was a wall smooth and grey, yet vaguely swirling widdershins – the way through, to another world." At its base they found the desiccated body of the Bentract Bonecaster who had sacrificed herself in an attempt to save the dying Refugium. The same gate appeared to burn in silent flames on the Refugium side that momentarily winked out as Ruin's party passed through.
Menandore declared to her sisters that Starvald Demelain was the very heart of the Warrens, the heart of K'rul. The Bonecaster's attempt to seal the gate with her own soul was affront that weakened K'rul and weakened everything.
According to his promise to the Azath Tower, Silchas Ruin delivered the Azath's seed to the Refugium and used Scabandari Bloodeye's Finnest to awaken Kettle House. At the same time this carried out his revenge against Scabandari, making the god a prisoner of the Azath. The House grew to contain all twelve gates within the Refugium, anchoring the dying dream world to reality. Afterwards, Quick Ben speculated that this had been Shadowthrone and Cotillion's plan all along as the Azath's control of the gates meant the two gods now had full access to them.
In Fall of Light
Notes and references
- Gardens of the Moon - Chatting with Steven Erikson, part 1 - As pronounced by Steven Erikson at 1:19:33
- Gardens of the Moon, Glossary, UK MMPB p.707
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, US HC p.239
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 5, US TPB p.140
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 1, US HC p.53
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.485
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 5, US HC p.128-129
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 17, US HC p.506-508
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 21, US HC p.662
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 21, US HC p.664
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 23, US HC p.721-724
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 23, US HC p.732
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 23, US HC p.720
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 23, US HC p.741