Shackled to the Age of Worms
Lazare was a dragonchess champion in the Free City of Restov some twenty years ago, and used ample winnings gained there to purchase a mine in the hills northeast of Diamond Lake. He and his family moved to the village and a new life as mine managers, but failed to anticipate the desperate, appalling politics of the mud-soaked mining town. Within three years, Lazare was all but bankrupted, forced to sell his mine to Balabar Smenk, whom the usually serene chessmaster still hates with undisguised passion. Lazare blames Smenk for the death of his beloved wife, who grew gravely ill at the height of the ownership struggle. Lazare cherishes his daughter, Dannath, who reminds him of his lost love and the stakes of Diamond Lake politics.