- published in A Liaden Universe Constellation volume 1
- and in Shadows and Shades: Adventures in the Liaden Universe #8
- paired with Naratha's Shadow
- see The Books (and other stories)
- set in circa 1374 in Solcintra
- about 18 years before “Agent of Change”
- Pat Rin yos'Phelium, about 20 Standards
- Closing the wardrobe, he considered himself in the thin mirror: a slender young man, dark of hair and eye, cheekbones high, brows straight, chin pointed, mouth stern.
- Luken bel'Tarda
- Nova yos'Galan
- Nova’s twelfth Name Day had been celebrated only a relumma past, and already she showed warning of the beauty she would become. Her hair was gilt, her eyes amethyst, her carriage erect and unstrained. She had, so he heard, passed the preliminary testing for pilot-candidate...
- Er Thom yos'Galan, Korval-pernard’i
- In the past, long ago:
- Del Ben yos’Phelium and Master Trader Lisha yos’Galan
- Line bel’Tarda is third in Clan Korval, after lines yos’Phelium and yos’Galan. It’s relatively new to the clan. The story Heirloom portrays how bel’Tarda came under the Dragon’s wing, and how Del Ben yos’Phelium died.
- Luken’s family heirloom is “An old carpet, a treasure —- a Quidian Tantara, the pattern as old as weaving itself.”
- Thus he named his new shop on Surebleak "Tantara Floor Coverings"
- Yielding much of Pat Rin’s perspective, Heirloom offers a rich character study of the young lordling, some time after he returned from university
- Heirloom offers a tender picture of Luken and Pat Rin’s relationship. Luken’s love and unconditional acceptance. His wise guidance. And Pat Rin’s pain.
- We see Pat Rin make decisions about his life, later more fully manifested on Surebleak — in the novel I Dare.
- And Nova at only twelve Standards experiencing her first living memory of ancient history, awakening to her dramliza gift / curse. The Healers say her talent is rare...
He had long ago understood that neither the clan’s ships nor the clan’s allies among the Healers or the dramliz would provide his sustenance, and he had begun casting about for what he could do to support himself, for he was a young man, holding in full measure all the stubborn pride of his House. He would take not a dex from the clan that could not use him. His quartershares could accumulate in his account until the cantra overran the bank and flowed down the streets of Solcintra.
“I don’t know why,” Pat Rin said, after a moment, “I can’t be left in peace. How many times must I fail before they will understand that I am not a pilot, nor ever will be?” He took a breath, and did glance down, his eye snagging on the manifest, the upside down Tree-and-Dragon, sigil of the clan in which he was second of two freaks, his mother being the first. “If I am asked to take the test again, I will not,” he stated, and raised his glass decisively.
Nova continued to stand at menace in the center, her attitude too—old, somehow. Too tense. And now that he brought his attention to it, he saw that her face was tight with an adult’s deep and hopeless grief—and that her eyes were black, amethyst all but drowned in distended pupils. Too, she stood in something very close to a fighter’s stance . . . and was not quite looking at him.
Pat Rin frowned. Something decidedly odd was going on.
“You know your mother and I have no love lost between us,” Luken said slowly, “despite that which the Code tells us is due to kin. And you know that, as a youngling, you were moved from your mother’s care into mine, by the word of the delm.”
The delm. That would have been Daav yos’Phelium, his mother’s brother, gone from the clan these years, on a mission of Balance. There had been no love lost between his mother and her brother, either, Pat Rin knew, though as a child he had adored his tall, easy uncle.