"One day you will be old enough to leave the nest and fly. Then you will find that there is more to life than Del Harbour. The world is wide, Britta, and full of wonders."
— Dare Larsett to a young Britta
Dare Larsett was once a famous trader of Del who found the Staff of Tier. He was betrayed by Mikah before returning to Del, and framed for Mikah's treacherous deeds. He was the father of Britta and Margareth and the husband of Maarie.
Dare Larsett was born in Del, possibly during the last years of Alton's reign. Seven years after Endon was crowned king, he heard Lean Alice prophesy the Shadow Lord's invasion from the Shadowlands and a dark time that would last sixteen years or more, and, not wanting to be trapped in the city when it happened, he attempted to stow-away on Mab's ship as he had heard that the Rosalyn fleet would be fleeing the country before the Shadow Lord's arrival. However, he was caught, but instead of casting him out, Mab decided to take him on as part of the crew, as they were short-handed. Dare told Mab that he wanted to sail be a trader, like her, sell and get rich, and sail the nine seas and find all the wonders he had read about in tales; the Isle of Dreams, the Crown of Snakes, the Staff of Tier that cures all ills. Mab told him that if such fables interested Dare, he was not a trader but a treasure hunter, and would come to no good, but she allowed him to stay as part of the crew instead of casting him off, as they were short-handed as it was. So it was that Dare lived in exile aboard the Rosalyn fleet for sixteen years, as part of its crew.
Exile with the Rosalyn fleet
During the time of exile Dare trained as a trader of the Rosalyn fleet. Mab took a liking to him, and he came to have a close relationship with her.
Return to Del
Soon after the re-establishment of the monarchy in Deltora, the Rosalyn fleet returned to Del harbour. Sometime afterward, Dare met and married Maarie of Del, and they had two children, Margareth and Britta.
Two years before his ill-fated voyage on the Star of Deltora, Dare sailed to Illica aboard the Pride of Rosalyn with the Rosalyn fleet. There, he discovered Bar-Enoch's resting place by following the clues laid out in Cladda's Mysteries of the Silver Sea, but unlike previous adventurers, he took heed of the warning written, and left the Staff where it lay, deciding to return when he had found a way to take it from Bar-Enoch's body and live. While in the Blind Tower Dare ran into an eleven-year-old Collin, who looked sad, and made an attempt to cheer him up by telling him there is more to life than the Towers of Illica and that the world was 'wide and full of wonders'.
Quest for the Staff of Tier
At an unknown date, Dare chose to leave the fleet and become an independent trader. He came to own the Star of Deltora, which was captained by Mikah. In preparation for his quest for the Staff, Dare had an iron box built within the cargo hold. When Britta was eight years old, he set out on the Star's maiden voyage, on a quest to find the Staff of Tier. He travelled to Two Moons, where he traded with Thurl for a goozli doll which he meant to use for an unknown purpose. He then sailed to Illica, where he finally took the Staff from its place and carried it aboard the Star of Deltora.
Larsett planned to sail back to Del and give the Staff to King Lief so he could use it to cure those ailing in body and soul from the Shadowlands invasion. Larsett believed the magic of the Belt of Deltora would prevent Lief from being overcome by the Staff's power and enable him to use the Staff for good.
However, the quest ended in blood and horror, as Captain Mikah was unable to resist the Staff's lure and tricked Dare into the cargo hold with him. When Larsett grasped the Staff, Mikah severed Larsett's hand and fused it to his own arm, thus claiming control of the Staff. Larsett's handless skeleton was sent back to Del aboard the Star of Deltora bearing a false note claiming it was Mikah's skeleton and Dare Larsett was the one who betrayed the crew and now ruled the Isle of Tier. The note was believed by everyone in Del. Dare's skeleton was buried at the Del harbour graveyard and marked with a gravestone bearing Mikah's name, reading "Beneath this stone lies Mikah, 45 years, first Captain of the Star of Deltora. Foully betrayed by one he trusted, he perished attempting to bring his ship home. His courage will never be forgotten."
After Dare's disappearance, his family went into hiding. His ship was sold to the Rosalyn fleet and his other treasures were also sold.
It was not until Britta returned to Del from the Isle of Tier and Mikah had been killed that Dare Larsett's name was cleared. Mab read an excerpt of his journal aloud, revealing the truth about the King of Tier and redeeming Larsett's dishonoured name. A ceremony honouring his memory was held in the graveyard outside the Traders' Hall.
When he met Mab and fled Deltora with the Rosalyn fleet, Dare was dark-haired, dark-eyed, dirty and 'thin as a rail'.
As a youth, Dare Larsett was savvy and wise, listening to Lean Alice's predictions and seeking a way out of Del before leaving became impossible. He did not want to be trapped in the city during the Shadow Lord's tyranny, highlighting his independent, adventurous spirit and his intelligence. For as Mab states, he is smart in wanting to leave Del before the Shadow Lord's arrival, and perhaps has an inkling of what will be coming for the people in the city and does not want to be a part of it. As a child, Dare also had a sentimental, dream-seeking streak, shown in his desire to explore the nine seas and find all the mythical places and treasures spoken of in all the old tales.
Larsett was very compassionate and sought a way to cure Sheevers and others like him. The combination of his compassion and adventure-seeking led him to search for the Staff of Tier.
Dare is skilled in trading, as he was once a renowned trader of Del. As the Master of the Staff he had powerful magic allowed him to cure ills and ailments.
Britta and Dare had a close, loving father-daughter relationship. After Dare's disappearance, however, Britta thinks of him with mingled pain and bitterness, angry at the loss of her dream to be a trader. When she finds out the truth, she is able to let her bitterness go, forgive her father, and remember him with fondness.
Gripp and Dare were old friends, and sailed together on many voyages before Dare's death.
Mab and Dare had a very close relationship before Dare's death. Mab saw him as a son and doted on him.
Larsett loved Maarie very much and was grateful that she 'put up' with him 'despite his faults'. He traded for an odi shell hair clip bearing the symbol for 'forever', with intentions of giving it to Maarie.