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All he felt was guilt. For years he had hated his father and blamed him for the death of his mother. He realised now how selfish he had been. As he continued to watch the night sky over Tuzanor, he could not hold back the tears.


The weeks passed in a rush of training and Vance fully dedicated himself to becoming Anla'shok. After what he had learned, nothing else mattered. He had to succeed, had to make a difference. For the first time in his adult life, he wanted to make his father proud. Well, maybe not for the first time, but this was the first time he had ever admitted it. The faith that the Colonel had put in him would be re warded, even if it killed him.

As time went on, Merreck demonstrated no more open hostility, at least none that manifested itself in outright violence, and Vance assumed that someone must have spoken to the big Minbari about his vendetta. If they had, no one mentioned it to Vance, least of all Merreck. Vance hoped Merreck might have at last called off his feud.

Nevertheless, Vance continued his study of the Star Riders as Sinclair had suggested. His investigations revealed that their name was derived from the clan's ancient history as a band of mounted warrior nomads who navigated using the stars. Their deeply honourable history harkened back to long before the first Shadow War. During that conflict, they were instrumental in the suppression of a renegade warrior clan known as the Dark Knives.

Valen's attempt to unite the warrior clans and face the Shadows as a single force failed. Seeing no other choice, Valen challenged the clan leaders to decide amongst themselves who was the strongest. He would face that champion in single combat, and the winner would lead all the clans. The champion the clans sent forth was Nershan
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