|“||Lander: You don't seem afraid, Captain Blackstar. You're smiling.
Lord Fleck Blackstar, often remembered as Captain Blackstar, was a miner-turned-soldier who served King Whitson Mariner and became the first Lord of Kingston Citadel. He was the originator of Blackstar's oath.
|“||My lord, I would be honored to trade my life for yours. I would gladly die to preserve the queen's life or Prince Lander's. I will be loyal to the end.||”|
One afternoon, Fleck Blackstar is gardening, reminiscing about his father and the days of mining before they left Golden Coast. His friend Galt joins him a few hours later, and the two bucks talk about the ominous mountains across Ayman Lake and the duties they owe King Whitson Mariner. Fleck points out that they desperately need coal, and that there might be some in the mountains. He resolves to seek an audience with King Whitson.
A few days later, Fleck is admitted into Whitson's office. They talk briefly about Fleck's father before Whitson inquires why Fleck has come to him today. Fleck notes the community's need for coal and presents his idea that there may be some in the mountains, if they could be allowed to cross the lake and mine for it. Whitson, who was already having a ship built, favors Fleck's plan and makes him a captain, giving him his permission to lead a company into the mountains.
Eager to begin his trek, Fleck forms a company of Burnley, Galt, Massie Burnson, and six other young bucks. They secure weapons, begin training together, and even help with the completion of the new ship, Vanguard. They cross Ayman Lake on this new ship, and Fleck and his company survey their new territory warily.
After a bit of searching, they find a good potential mining location and set to work. Just as they think they've struck coal, they suddenly hear an eerie sound, at which they all take defensive positions. Whitson Mariner crashes into the clearing. Fleck had anticipated this, and had already moved to tackle the king as a precaution. Too soon, Gavin fires his bow, hitting not Whitson but Fleck. Horrified, Gavin starts to flee, but is tackled by Massie Burnson. The company hurries back to Vanguard and sets off for Seddleton, but not before Gavin again makes a run for it, and succeeds this time.
Two weeks later, Fleck has recovered from his injury somewhat. He is saddened by the report of Gavin's desertion, but is pleased to see that two more ships, Lillie and Natalia, have been constructed. Over the next week, Fleck recovers the rest of his strength and is eager to return to the mountains.
Back across the lake, the mining work continues while Fleck resolves to take Massie and hunt for Gavin. They return from their search empty-handed, however, and carrying an increased dislike for the territory. That night, on the decks of Vanguard, a brooding Fleck is joined by Whitson, who tells him of the Ruling Stone and the Green Ember. Awed by this tradition, Fleck further pledges his loyalty to the monarchy.
The next morning, the company returns to the foothills. On the voyage, however, Fleck and Whitson are shocked to discover Prince Lander hiding in the hold. On land, Fleck is pleased to see how much progress has been made on the mines. In the midst of their jubilation, however, the eerie sound is heard again. Fleck studies the forest's edge for a moment, then plunges in, followed by the majority of his company. On the edge of a cliff they find an emaciated-looking Gavin, who is mumbling crazily to himself about "terrors" and "coming." Fleck attempts to reason with Gavin, who for a moment recognizes him, but then Fleck is forced to tackle the maniacal rabbit. Gavin is restrained, and they return to camp. There, Gavin warns them all that monsters are coming, then falls into a coma.
Just as Fleck and the others are discussing what they should do next, they hear the terrifying screech again and look up to see dark shapes coming down from the mountains. Chaos breaks out, with Fleck and the other leaders struggling to hold control of their rabbits. They move towards the shore, but the monsters are still coming. Vanguard, Lillie, and Natalia set off into the middle of the lake, where Whitson believes they will fight more favorably. Whitson orders Fleck to stay with Lander as he takes the wheel. Fleck offers Lander a position on Black Star Company as he gazes into the young buck's eyes, seeing a better future for the rabbits of the world.
The monsters, identified by Whitson as birds of prey, approach as the soldiers prepare for them; but most of them fly on past the ships to Seddleton, where they immediately start setting fires. Unable to wait for them to attack him, Fleck hurls himself at one of the birds. It slashes him with its talons, and he falls into the water, where despite his pain he climbs back onto the Lillie via a net slung over its side. Battle is thick on deck. Fleck runs to help Massie defend the weakened Gavin, then hurries to free Galt from assault. Both bucks are picked up by birds, but Massie fires an arrow into their attackers, and Fleck and Galt plummet into the water near Dobble's Point.
Panicked, Galt deserts and flees into the forest, but Fleck returns to the fray. He reaches Lillie and climbs back aboard, where he instructs Gavin and others to set fire to blastpowder barrels. He and the others raise the call of "burnout." Then, seeing Whitson surrounded by birds on the command deck, Fleck charges at the king and takes him over the side just as Lillie explodes. There in the water, Fleck falls unconscious.
Fleck comes to a little while later, being tended by Doctor Grimes, and Whitson informs him with relief that the battle is over. Fleck is relieved, even more so when he sees that Gavin and Lander are safe. He falls back unconscious, then wakes up again a short while later to see the royal family standing above him. As promised, Fleck gives Lander his black star patch.
In the time after the battle, Fleck is made a lord by Whitson and agrees to stay behind when the king resolves to take most of the community and leave Seddleton to search for a new, safer settlement. Instead, Fleck promises to continue working on the mine and aspires to build a secure underground warren, called Kingston, for himself and the others.
Before Whitson and the community leave Seddleton, he and Fleck have one final exchange; Whitson on Vanguard's deck, Fleck on shore. Fleck and the others kneel, and Whitson calls out the oath coined by Fleck during the Battle of Ayman Lake: "My place beside you. My blood for yours. Till the Green Ember rises, or the end of the world!"
Massie Burnson recalls the events of the Battle of Ayman Lake and how Fleck Blackstar had risked his life to save King Whitson Mariner. It is revealed that Fleck had been promoted to a lord shortly before the king left Kingston. Whitson had charged Fleck with keeping the coal mine running and building a war burrow for future raptor attacks. Massie and Prince Lander both lamented that Fleck was not with them following Lord Grimble's betrayal. Galt asked after his old friend and was stunned to hear of his elevation, though he readily agreed that it was deserved.
Fleck's heroism would be remembered many years beyond his time, with Whittle Longtreader and others sharing stories of his deeds with their children. At Cloud Mountain, a statue depicting Fleck alongside King Whitson was the namesake for King Whitson's Garden.
Fleck was mentioned by Slimmo, who greatly admires the long dead captain-turned-lord. He also noted that Fleck built a stronghold known as Warren Fortress, a name Slimmo later applied to his own hideaway.
Fleck was a grey rabbit with blue eyes, a grey nose, and a pale muzzle. He wore a long, dark coat as well as a white tunic, a belt, and brown trousers. He used to wear his father's black-starred mining patch on his shoulder, but after he gave this patch to Lander, he wore the late Burnley's patch.
Personality and traits
|“||You are harsh, Captain Blackstar, but also tender.||”|
Fleck was described as being loyal and kind. He served his king, queen, and prince faithfully, even going so far as to be willing to lay down his life in protection of the royal family. A natural born leader, Fleck presided over Black Star Company with a "harsh" yet "tender" manner, treating every buck as if he was his own brother and feeling personally responsible for each of them.
- The surname "Blackstar" is of English origin and is derived from the Old English word "blaecan," which means "to bleach."
Take a look at our gallery for Fleck Blackstar by clicking here.