What’s Old Solcintra?Edit

  • a planet in the Old Universe from which Cantra yos'Phelium and Tor An yos'Galan piloted Quick Passage into the Liaden Universe, bearing the last surviving ssussdriad
    • and bearing Jela's unborn son, Val Con the 1st
    • and zillions of sleeping passengers
  • Disambiguate from the city of Solcintra on Liad
  • Featured in the Migration Duology: Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon

The Planet, People, & PortEdit

  • an inner world, but at the outer edge of the charmed circle

Kind of an Inner world, was Solcintra, or near enough that somebody from the Rim might think it not quite on the Arm, proper. A kind of has-been old settle in a quiet area where everyone traded with neighbors, that was all. Not a place she’d normally find herself. Still, you never knew.[1]

  • Insular, intolerant, pretentious, self-satisfied:

Nobody went to Solcintra, which Solcintra liked just fine, the founders of same having explicitly wished to divorce themselves from the so-called “dissipated lifestyle” embraced by the citizens of the Inner Worlds.[2]

  • “a not-especially-prosperous world” [1]

Solcintra Port didn’t precisely tantalize a trader with promises of wealth and treasure, be that trader Light, Grey or Dark. Point of fact, Cantra was near to calling it the sorriest port she’d ever had the misfortune to find herself on—[3]

  • Self-Absorbed High Houses

Pilot Tor An yos'Galan, reflecting on "the amazingly self-centered Solcintra Heritage Library, where events of galactic importance lay near-forgot in favor of High Family histories and genealogies, which was, after all, where the answer was found: The grottoes and fountains were the result of a bitter rivalry between the Families, each bent on showing how much they could do for the public good."[3]

  • When the Sheriekas turned towards Solcintra, its "noble" High Houses secretly departed on a luxury liner, leaving everyone behind:

“...the High Families were vacating the premises, which was what all the extra shipping — including that liner — was up to.”

He turned wide, shocked eyes on her..."They removed to safety and left the Service...but no! That cannot be possible...”[4]

Solcintra GarrisonEdit

  • “There’s a military unit garrisoned there...a good few dozen ships attached to it. Most of them seemed to be in twilight.”[1]
    • Turns out one of those mothballed ships will become The Ship of the Migration[5]
  • Commander Ro Gayda sent Jela to Solcintra Garrison about five years before the Exodus, soon after he rescued a small tree:

“Finally, you may take a long-term temporary assignment delivering a very nearly surplus vessel [Salkithin Troop Carrier] to a long-term storage area [Solcintra Garrison] with appropriate adjustment of rank [and salary, which will just be piling up for Cantra]. You would oversee the delivery crew and be responsible for seeing the vessel properly shut down in case it must be redeployed [for a mass exodus or galactic war, ya know]. You would also assist in assessing local unit response readiness, from a pilot’s viewpoint, in areas you travel through, to and from [turns out Captain Wellik is everything he oughta be and more, and Jela's troop is crazy dedicated, but don't get me started on Commander Gorriti at Vanehald]. In order to facilitate this, you would undergo a short, specialized, dangerous, and highly confidential training [yeah, even the military will be after you, to say nothing of the Sheriekas]. It will not be an easy assignment.” She stopped. Looked expectant. Waited.[6]

  • Jela left his troop at Solcintra Garrison when he went to Faldaiza to meet a contact. Instead, he happened upon a dancer and pilot, Cantra yos'Phelium[1]
  • A well-run garrison, one of the last dutiful units
  • Captain Wellik reassures a doubtful Tor An yos'Galan, who learned to fear tatooed Yxtrang at Korak Garrison:[7]

“Don’t judge all soldiers by a bunch of rowdies with a withdrawal order on their belts. Troops here are disciplined, and we know our duty -- to hold this world against attack, and to guard the civilians, should attack become imminent.”

Though he could hardly credit it himself, Tor An had developed a liking for Captain Wellik, who remembered Jela fondly, and received Scholar dea’Syl with reverence.[8]

  • Jela gets Cantra to head for Solcintra Garrison -- not a place she'd go -- to deliver his logbook:

“The troop I’m talking about is the double-secret unit personally sworn to Commander Ro Gayda, garrisoned at Solcintra. There’s those couple dozen twilight ships you might remember I mentioned in close orbit. That’s where I sent Liad dea’Syl and the boy. It’s the only place left.”[9]
—-“the only place left” —- is everywhere else gone?? Decrystallized?


The great migration into the Liaden Universe began in Solcintra orbit, led by the flagship, Clan Korval’s Quick Passage. Countless ships followed behind, including The Uncle’s, while Wellik’s faithful Troops flew rearguard.[5]

Ship of the MigrationEdit

Quick Passage, Homeport Solcintra, Owner Cantra yos’ Phelium[10]

  • formerly Salkithin, the huge Troop Transport Jela delivered to Solcintra for Commander Ro Gayda
  • Jela’s troop faithfully maintained and upgraded Salkithin, which Jela bequeathed to Cantra:

Wellik: “Jela named you his next of kin...” He looked up and met her eye, though she hadn’t said anything. “You’re right that Series soldiers don’t have next of kin in the ordinary sense of things, but the protocols exist and I’m the one to make the decision, so I’ve decided to honor his request.”[11]

  • Cantra hasn’t flown anything much bigger than Spiral Dance, or so she tells Tor An: "My life’s been small ships. I dont know how to take the measure of anything more than a shuttle or courier.”[4]

Cantra allowed herself to be in awe of such a ship. The keepings of a small planet could be packed into the outer ring of pods, if the balancing was done fine, and more soldiers than she felt comfortable thinking about could ride at slow-sleep in the second. The third ring was quarters and mess for wide-awake crew, while deep inside, at the very heart and soul of the cluster—that was the pilots tower. [3]

  • Spacious but...
    • Limited room for luggage, and absolutely no room for herds. (Duh, Speaker Olanek!) “Livestock travels as embryos and batch samples. The ship’s equipped with reconstitution equipment” [12]

Captain’s Contract with PassengersEdit

  • signed in Old Solcintra with nonnegotiable "Captain’s Justice" terms for all passengers on Quick Passage

Korval is contract-bound to stand as Captain to all the passengers until released by the Council of Clans, the successor to the Transition Committee.

I should've written that contract looser, but who knew we'd even survive?

—Excerpted from Cantra yos'Phelium's Log Book[13]

Captain’s Justice

  • Cantra yos'Phelium to Nalli Olanek, First Speaker for the Families: "There's no compromise on Captain's Justice," Cantra said for the third or eighty-fourth time. Her voice was barely more than a whisper after all these hours of negotiation..."[14]
  • Vel Ter jo'Bern, clan Hedrede, second on the Service Families side of the table, was actually trembling from exhaustion

“Captain’s Justice. Despite whatever might work on the ground here in terms of councils and consensus, on a ship there can only be one voice that’s law; one person who decides for the ship, and therefore the common good. The difference between a ship’s life and death is sometimes only heartbeats—there’s no time to consult a committee...”[14]

Bridge CrewEdit

  • On the bridge when transition wave hits: Captain and co-pilot, dramliza Rool Tiazan, The Tree, Liad dea'Syl, Lucky the cat[5] (relief pilots are maybe off duty)

Captain Cantra yos'Phelium:

yos'Galan to yos’Pheliim: “He then said that — that the safety of the galaxy rested on you alone, and that he would have no other, save his true and courageous friend — bear the burden.”

“Jela said that?” She stared at him.[11]

  • Best damn pilot

“Jela vouched for you,” he said, his voice still clipped and cool. “He said you were the best damn’ pilot he’d ever seen.”

“ Jela was the best damn’ pilot he’d ever—”

“And he sat co-pilot to you!” The boy interrupted in his turn. [3]

First Mate co-pilot Tor An yos'Galan

  • Young (“the boy”), well-mannered, and pretty:

...the boy pilot -- Tor An yos’Galan. Without his jacket, dressed in plain shirt and pants, he looked even younger than he had earlier in the day, his yellow hair crisp; his eyes wide open and the color of amethysts. Two steps into the room, he stopped and bowed to her honor, just like she was respectable...[11]

  • Highly capable pilot:

unlike Cantra, Tor An “had training on the big ships...real ring-and-pod carrying transports, multimounts, that kind of thing.”[4]

Tor An played the comm board like it was a musical instrument, pulling talk, catching chat large and small..."[5]


Solcintra’s High Houses left on a large luxury liner,[4] abandoning the Service Families, who rioted and then claimed High House status: “...the Service Families have . . . reformulated themselves and are now the High Houses of Solcintra.”[15]

  • who — shipless groundlings — asked Captain Wellik for help, which he gave, through Cantra: "This ship here is set to take on all the members of the Service Families that now style themselves High Houses."[10]
  • but the High then tried to keep everyone else off Quick Passage, especially clan dea'Gauss[10]
  • So Cantra hired dea'Gauss and bade him invite everyone aboard -- "whether or not they're attached to any of the so-called High Houses"[16]

The Passengers: “Hundreds — maybe thousands” [4] of sleeping Solcintrans

"Captain, the Solcintrans will renounce us, for we embody that which they most fear...The groundlings say we are dangerous, and perversions; they call us sheriekas-spawn and they kill us out of hand...I have here healers, true-dreamers, seers, finders, hunch-makers, green-thumbs, teachers -- treasures beyond counting for the days beyond. Grant us passage and you may call upon us for any service so long as Jela's tree survives to bind us."[16]

Leaving SolcintraEdit

  • Spiral Dance plays decoy to confound the Enemy:
  • Cantra put a treelet in the copilot seat on Spiral Dance and entered the coords to ??? She gave Dancer permission to auto-pilot as needed to reach those coords.[17]
    • (But she didn’t multiply by pi, as Scholar dea’Syl instructed just before transition, [18]
    • so that might be why Bechimo’s crew found Dancer a millennium later, and far from Liad.[19]

  • Quick Passage leads the Exodus:[5]

Now who'd've expected we'd be leading a parade? Cantra thought. In her head, the golden dragon glided easy on half-furled wings, beside her the jewel-colored dragonet which the tree had settled on as its version of her co-pilot. Behind them rose dragons of all color and description, old, young, halt and hale. Some few emulated the effortless grace shown by the leaders, others were already laboring hard. Beyond the general chaos loomed a long, disciplined line of black dragons, wings steady, eyes baleful, teeth at ready -- Wellik’s rear-guard, that would be.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Crystal Soldier, chapter 8
  2. Crystal Dragon, chapter 18
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Crystal Dragon, chapter 25
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Crystal Dragon, chapter 27
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Crystal Dragon, chapter 34
  6. Crystal Soldier, chapter 5
  7. Crystal Dragon, ch 5
  8. Crystal Dragon, chapter 23
  9. Crystal Dragon, chapter 17
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Crystal Dragon, chapter 31
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Crystal Dragon, chapter 24
  12. Crystal Dragon, chapter 29
  13. Mouse and Dragon chapter 33, preface
  14. 14.0 14.1 Crystal Dragon, chapter 28
  15. Crystal Dragon, chapter 30
  16. 16.0 16.1 Crystal Dragon, chapter 32
  17. Crystal Dragon, chapter 33
  18. Crystal Dragon, chapter 35
  19. Dragon Ship and Alliance of Equals