The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy View Post
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    But were the Disks really necessary for making that first cleric? If you track the sequence of events in the book, Goldmoon boldly presents the staff against the dragon, is seemingly disintegrated, is found alive, and then announces she is a now a "true cleric" all before she ever touches the Disks (much less reads them.) She doesn't actually interact with the Disks directly until after she has already become a cleric which suggests the Disks weren't actually necessary to make her that first cleric.
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    Looks to me like it was the act of sacrificing herself and the blue crystal staff which clerified her. This isn't exactly an option that's available to everyone. The Disks are an artifact which allow people to become clerics. There are probably other ways to make them -- Takhisis didn't need such an artifact to make Verminaard -- but this is one way.

    The annotated dragonlance chronicle note this is a shoutout to the author's faith tradition which we can't discuss here.



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  2. - Top - End - #272
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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
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    Looks to me like it was the act of sacrificing herself and the blue crystal staff which clerified her. This isn't exactly an option that's available to everyone. The Disks are an artifact which allow people to become clerics. There are probably other ways to make them -- Takhisis didn't need such an artifact to make Verminaard -- but this is one way.

    The annotated dragonlance chronicle note this is a shoutout to the author's faith tradition which we can't discuss here.



    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    Aren't the Discs platinum?

  3. - Top - End - #273
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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Indeed, the discs are platinum . Does that mean they sold a tremendous number back in the day?

    Tongue-in-cheek,

    Brian P.
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  4. - Top - End - #274
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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Speaking entirely from a meta-narrative position:

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    The purpose of the disks was to convert Elistan, so he could become the new high priest of Paladine. This was one of the problems I had with Goldmoon's depiction in the book. Her only purpose was to find the legendary artifact and hand it over to the real chosen one. Then she all but drops out of the story entirely.

  5. - Top - End - #275
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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by JadedDM View Post
    Speaking entirely from a meta-narrative position:

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    The purpose of the disks was to convert Elistan, so he could become the new high priest of Paladine. This was one of the problems I had with Goldmoon's depiction in the book. Her only purpose was to find the legendary artifact and hand it over to the real chosen one. Then she all but drops out of the story entirely.
    I always thought that was a natural result of having two many characters in the Party, the group does start at around 8 already: Tanis, Flint, Tas, Sturm, Caramon, Raistlin, Riverwind, Goldmoon.

    That's alot of characters to write for and keep track of, plus its rather large for an adventuring party. Most adventuring parties range closer to 5-6.

    It is way smaller than the number of available NPCs in each Baldur's Gate game, of which you could only use 5 of though. Which is rather nice, gives some good interaction, and involvement. Without feeling that anybody is being left out.
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  6. - Top - End - #276
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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post

    The final encounter with Khisanth, by Clyde Caldwell. I'm not an expert at AD&D, but I think letting your magic-user be incapacitated by the end-of-dungeon boss before even rolling init isn't great tactics.
    It sure is nice that Goldmoon managed to find some pants between this illustration and the last one. Khisanth also appears to have gotten quite a nice last meal.


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    In hindsight, I really think Goldmoon should have stayed dead. She doesn't really do anything for the rest of the series, and as it is immediately resurrecting her kind of cheapens the whole thing.
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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by russdm View Post
    I always thought that was a natural result of having two many characters in the Party, the group does start at around 8 already: Tanis, Flint, Tas, Sturm, Caramon, Raistlin, Riverwind, Goldmoon.

    That's alot of characters to write for and keep track of, plus its rather large for an adventuring party. Most adventuring parties range closer to 5-6.

    It is way smaller than the number of available NPCs in each Baldur's Gate game, of which you could only use 5 of though. Which is rather nice, gives some good interaction, and involvement. Without feeling that anybody is being left out.
    I agree that 8 characters is rather too many, and back in the days of playing AD&D I would have agreed that 8 players* was too many - but 8 was the standard party size for AD&D adventures.

    *I used to reckon that 4 players was optimum, but so was 8 characters (B because that is what everything was written for, and not just for AD&D) so I tended to think a compromise of 6 was best - that or 2 characters per player which wasn't a popular idea. I no longer hold that opinion.

    As for comparisons with Baldur's Gate - it's almost a generation later when the industry has more than doubled in age!
    D&D first published - 1974
    DL1 - publshed 1984
    Baldur's Gate - published 1998

    So, when Dragonlance was conceived D&D was (at most) 10 years old, when Baldur's Gate was released it was 24 years old. Gaming theory had moved on (a lot).
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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    That's true, back in the days of 1E a 'standard' player group was expected to be around 6-8 players. Look up modules from that period, and you'll see that is the usual suggestion for group size.

  9. - Top - End - #279
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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Bumping this to note I'm still avidly waiting for the next installment. I actually purchased the modules on drivethrough RPG just for this readthrough!

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    Wow, glad you're enjoying that much! Glad to have you along for the trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    It sure is nice that Goldmoon managed to find some pants between this illustration and the last one. Khisanth also appears to have gotten quite a nice last meal.
    If you're going to be agonizing incinerated in divine fire while slaying a dragon, one should obviously be wearing pants. It's only proper.


    Onwards, to where our heroes had just stolen Mishakal's favorite CDs back from some jerks.

    22: Bupu's gift. An ominous sight.
    The companions make it out of the lifts just as the whole ruin crumbles and falls. Tanis yells for everybody to head back to the temple of Mishakal, Flint asks if he's back to trusting in the gods, but Tanis is too out of breath to answer.

    Sturm starts to drag Riverwind along, but he insists that his wounds aren't serious, and tells the knight to leave him, but doesn't move. Tanis looks at Sturm, who, as a knight, considers suicide honorable, while Tanis, as an elf, considers it an unthinkable crime. Tanis grabs Riverwind's hair, stares into his face, and yells at him to go and die and shame Goldmoon, who had the guts to fight. Riverwind reacts to this by throwing Tanis across the room, getting up, and storming out.

    Sturm hauls Tanis upright, and they head back through the mausoleum. Walking is difficult, as the floor is shaking badly. Finally the reach the foot of the stairs, where Tas is waiting. He tells them that the others have already gone up, but Flint said it was safe to wait here, since the stonework's dwarven. Also, apparently Riverwind is in a bad mood and isn't that interest -

    Tanis cuts Tas off, and says he needs to rest for a moment, so Flint should take Tas and head up the stairs. Sturm obeys, and Tanis slumps against the wall, his ribs blazing with pain, from where the roof of the dragon's cave fell on him. Then with a great grinding noise, everything up to the foot of the stairs breaks away and tumbles into the abyss, burying Xak Tsaroth in the depths of Newsea.


    Tanis wearily enters the round room at the top of the stairs, feeling like absolute crap. The only sound in the room is the others' breathing, so Tanis staggers over to them and collapses. Sturm, Caramon, Raistlin and Flint are all lying around in similar states of total exhaustion, and Tas is staring curiously at the top of the pillar he was so interested in when they went down. Tanis asks where Riverwind is, Sturm and Caramon exchange a look, which gets Tanis mad enough to stand up again. Sturm stands in front of him, and says that it's Riverwind's decision, and his people's custom, as it is the custom of the knights. Tanis just shoves Sturm out of the way, and heads towards the doors to the next chamber. Flint is also standing in the way, and refuses to budge.

    Tanis tells Flint to get out of his way, Flint looks at him sadly. Tanis can see the years of pain and wisdom that made them friends in the first place. Flint tells him to sit down and pay attention to his human side, even if the elf can't understand it. Then they hear a cry from within the temple, and Tanis shoves Flint aside and goes inside.

    Within the temple he once again feels a great sense of peace, but this only makes him angrier. He yells something about being unable to believe in gods that demand a blood sacrifice, and how the gods should just leave them alone, what with bringing the Cataclysm and everything. Through his tears, he can see Riverwind kneeling in front of the statue of Mishakal, sword in hand. Tanis steps around the statue, and is stunned into immobility and temporary disbelief. He looks at the statue, and then back at -

    - Goldmoon, lying peaceful and asleep at the statues' base. The staff is back in the statue's hands, but around Goldmoon's throat is the statue's necklace.


    Goldmoon explains that she is now a true cleric, and through her faith, she has returned the power of healing to the world. She touches Tanis and prays quietly; he immediately feels refreshed and healed. Flint points out that having a cleric around is great and all, but apparently Verminaard is also a cleric; and probably pretty powerful, since he seems to have found the ancient evil gods a lot sooner than they found the good gods. He isn't sure how exactly the Discs will help.

    Goldmoon says he's right, she's not a fighter. Her task is to find somebody with the power to unite the peoples against the forces of darkness, and give them the Discs. Everyone stands there, thinking for a moment, then Raistlin says they need to leave. On the air is the sound of horns; the war has begun in earnest.


    They flee what is left of Xak Tsaroth at twilight, heading back westwards, heading for Solace. There they can resupply, and figure out where to go searching for the leader Goldmoon spoke of. Already they are arguing about which way to go; Sturm holding out for Solamnia, Goldmoon talking about Haven, while Tanis thinks they should head to Qualinesti. They travel uninterrupted late into the night, before camping on top of a mountain.


    Raistlin wakes in the dim predawn light, to the sound of something - someone - crying. He's about to dismiss this as Goldmoon, but then he realizes it's Bupu. Everyone is asleep, except for Flint, who's across the camp on watch. Raistlin goes over to Bupu, and asks her what's wrong. Bupu wants to stay with Raistlin, but is going to miss her fellow gully dwarves. Raistlin looks at her with great tenderness, an expression nobody else will ever see. He knows how Bupu feels, weak, wretched, scorned and pitied. He tells her that she has been a good friend, and saved his lives and the lives of his friends. He tells her that he wants her to go back to her people, that he must walk dangerous paths he cannot ask her to take.

    Bupu wants to know if he will be sad without her. Raistlin tells her that he'll be happy in the knowledge that she is with her people and happy. Bupu says she'll go, but first she wants to give him something. Raistlin - recalling the lizard cure - starts to protest, but Bupu produces a blue spellbook with silver runes from her bag. Bupu asks if he likes it; he very much does. She explains that she took it from the dragon's lair when Goldmoon struck Khisanth. She makes ready to leave, saying she'll go find the Highbulp, and asks if Raistlin's sure he doesn't want the lizard cure. Raistlin declines.

    Rastlin puts his hand on Bupu's head, and asks the "Great One" that if there is any power within him, that Bupu live a happy, safe life. Bupu stares at him for a moment, then heads off. Flint comes over, saying that apparently Raistlin's finally gotten rid of his "pet" gully dwarf. Raistlin gives him a look so terrifying that Flint turns around and leaves. Raistlin caresses Fistandantilus' spellbook fondly; looking forwards to the slow mastery of its contents, and the greater power they will bring. He looks out to the west, which is just beginning to brighten with light from the rising sun. Then he goes and wakes up Tanis.

    They can see a long ways from the top of the mountain. Away, over the grasslands, Solace is burning.

    Commentary

    This week, why not try some Dragonlance power metal?

    This album actually covers all of Chronicles, but this is the first time we're far enough in to do an entire track without spoilers. Also, this album is awesome

    This is very much a transitional chapter; we wrap up the last of the Xak Tsaroth plotlines (Goldmoon and Riverwind playing resurrection hot potato, Bupu) and set up the next big thing. The much-foreshadowed war is now on for real. There's something really chilling about the line "Solace is burning." It's not like we spent a lot of time there, but the town's clearly meaningful to most of the companions, and the name Solace both emphasizes the connection and hammers home the already-feared loss.

    I had mostly forgotten about the conflict over Riverwind going suicidal over Goldmoon's death. We really get three perspectives on the matter: Tanis who's against, Sturm who's entirely accepting, and Flint who mostly seems old and sad and sort of helpless. It's an effective way of showing some real cultural distinction, and the book is actually fairly non-committal on whether Riverwind killing himself is acceptable or not. We most directly get Tanis' viewpoint, because he's the default viewpoint character, but Sturm is hardly framed as a villain or other untrustworthy person. It's a somewhat unusual note. Of course the question is moot, because Mishakal's now bating 2/2 when it comes to resurrecting loyal tribespeople. Apparently this turns Goldmoon into a true cleric, whose major job (besides band-aid dispenser) is to drop the next quest in the party's lap. Onwards to find... a person. Somewhere. So that's specific.

    The most interesting thing in this chapter however is clearly the Raistlin/Bupu interaction. Raistlin's been nice to Bupu up until now, but (aside from saving her life) that could mostly be explained by a sort of operational necessity. He needed to keep her happy so they could pull off the plan after all. But here he is genuinely kind to her. It's the only kind thing he's done all book, and directed towards somebody that all the generally much more pleasant characters doesn't even consider. It's an intriguing complication to his character, since it exists entirely side-by-side with him being a generally self-serving power-hungry jerk. It would be more consistent in some ways if he despised Bupu, since her helplessness and misery would be everything he hates most about himself; it's certainly the easier, simpler characterization where people are either Kind or Bad. But of course Raistlin doesn't hate himself for being weak, he hates the people who pity and scorn him for that.

    We don't have a tracker for Raistlin is randomly good. Maybe we should?


    Finally, this chapter wraps up Book 1 of Dragons of Autumn Twilight. So this seems like a good place to check in, and ask if there's anything you want to see more of? Less of? Are updates too long? Too short? I think I might cut back on the illustrations, it's getting really hard to find things that are remotely relevant (there's really nothing for this chapter I haven't used already). There's still lots of good scenes that are illustrated though, so I'll include them when they're relevant.

    Also a future content question. After Autumn Twilight wraps up in another 200-odd pages, the next chronological book is Dragons of the Dwarven Depths, the next published is Dragons of Winter Night. Any thoughts as to which we should do?


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    This also pretty much wraps up like 90% of the Goldmoon/Riverwind storyline. I'll touch on this later some more, but one of the interesting things about Chronicles is that there are so many characters they can actually conclude character's major plot threads, and have the entire thing keep going basically seamlessly. It's structurally a bit odd, but I like the overall effect; it makes the books feel more like history, and less like a perfect crescendo of converging plotlines where everything wraps up tidy at the end, then everybody gets married *coughHarryPottercough*

    It's also interesting to see how Bupu reappears in Legends, where she's at one point used by Crysania to try to prove that Raistlin is Secretly Good. This works very well in that context, both to show that Crysania is sort of clueless about what makes him actually tick, and the general contempt everybody holds towards gully dwarves.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

  10. - Top - End - #280
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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    This thread inspired me to re-read the dragonlance books myself, and what im doing is going Autumn Twilight, Dwarven Depths, Winter Night through the end of Silvanesti, switch over to Highlord Skies, go back to Winter Night, Spring Dawning, and then Hourglass Mage.

    Also, I think Raist's concern for his fellow downtrodden outcasts is probably the best part of his character, and you can really track his character development across the series by paying attention to it. It also really shows why he wears the red robes rather than the black, even though up until now he's been pretty exclusively selfish and uninterested in any sort of positive relationship.

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    Once he dons the black robes, that concern slowly goes more and more by the wayside, and the realization that he eventually starts grinding them under his boot as badly as everybody else is the thing that forces him to accept and understand that he's betrayed who he is in his quest for power, and causes him to try and go back, as much as he can.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Regarding chapter content, it seems to be decently chunked right now. There's enough to feel fulfilling without completely drowning in text, at least to my sensibilities. Other people might have differing opinions, of course.

    I've not got any opinions on which to do next, though. Been enjoyable so far, anyways.

  12. - Top - End - #282
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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    Also a future content question. After Autumn Twilight wraps up in another 200-odd pages, the next chronological book is Dragons of the Dwarven Depths, the next published is Dragons of Winter Night. Any thoughts as to which we should do?
    My vote would be Dragons of Winter Night. Delving into the Lost Chronicles before finishing the Chronicles will spoil a lot of the big revelations in DoWN and DoSD (lessening the impact of those books for any new readers participating in the thread).

    And I second DataNinja about liking the current length of the updates.

  13. - Top - End - #283
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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Yeah, Lost Chronicles was written under the impression that the reader already has read the original Chronicles first. Splicing them in will wind up spoiling things, as bguy mentioned.

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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    While dwarven depths is pretty lonear, it would be hard to do Highlord Skies and Hourglass Mage withiut one book spoiling the others as the chronology kind of shifts back and forth.

    Probably best to do the original chronicles and then move on to either legends or lost chronicles afterwards.

    I like the illustrations.
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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    I like pretty much everything you've done so far. I'd suggest not doing the Lost Chronicles until after you go through Legends. There's some pretty major spoilers regarding Raistlin's character in there. Also IMO, Lost Chronicles handles those spoilers much more poorly then Legends does.
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    The Lost Dragon: A story about a priest who finds a baby dragon in his church and decides to protect them.



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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    I like pretty much everything you've done so far. I'd suggest not doing the Lost Chronicles until after you go through Legends. There's some pretty major spoilers regarding Raistlin's character in there. Also IMO, Lost Chronicles handles those spoilers much more poorly then Legends does.
    I second this.
    I'd say complete the Chronicles, then go Legends.
    I also agree that the format you chose so far is pretty much perfect. It's a very enjoyable ride.

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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Just catching up on this thread to likewise say this fills me with nostalgia. Dragonlance was my gateway drug to D&D. But I originally got into the novels by first being enticed into reading one of the old graphic novels...



    It only lasted 5 'books' and didn't get through the whole series, but Book 1 ended right about where we are now and -- to me -- had the best art in the series.

    It's not easy to find good images from it, surprisingly, but there's this which is the adaptation of the first meeting of the book...

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    And here's how the second book presents precisely the last bit of the scene that has just been read...

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    I dunno, I really liked the way they inked this book, and as said, it got me to read the novels. If I can find other images on the Net from the books I'll post 'em here.

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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    Wow, glad you're enjoying that much! Glad to have you along for the trip.
    I had mostly forgotten about the conflict over Riverwind going suicidal over Goldmoon's death. We really get three perspectives on the matter: Tanis who's against, Sturm who's entirely accepting, and Flint who mostly seems old and sad and sort of helpless. It's an effective way of showing some real cultural distinction, and the book is actually fairly non-committal on whether Riverwind killing himself is acceptable or not. We most directly get Tanis' viewpoint, because he's the default viewpoint character, but Sturm is hardly framed as a villain or other untrustworthy person. It's a somewhat unusual note. Of course the question is moot, because Mishakal's now bating 2/2 when it comes to resurrecting loyal tribespeople. Apparently this turns Goldmoon into a true cleric, whose major job (besides band-aid dispenser) is to drop the next quest in the party's lap. Onwards to find... a person. Somewhere. So that's specific.
    We have a fourth perspective: Mishakel's. The miracle to restore Goldmoon to life is an implied rebuttal of Riverwind's desire to commit suicide. He sees his friend lost with no possibility of recovery. The gods have a different view of the possibilities. As events played out, Riverwind's committing suicide out of grief would have meant depriving Goldmoon of her friend and her husband when a miracle returned her to life. A replay of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, when characters kill themselves out of grief for the assumed death of the other, which makes things worse then the "dead" characters come back.

    The decision to commit suicide , in this particular instance, is an act of despair. It's not like laying down your life to save friends or suiciding when captured to prevent giving up vital information under torture. It's simply a decision that life is not worth living without Goldmoon. That might be reasonable in a universe where the gods are dead and miracles don't happen. Since this is a fantasy universe -- well, people in dragonlance don't cease to exist when they die. Having a friend die means you lose them for awhile. Committing suicide means you lose them for the afterlife as well.

    I believe Forgotten Realms expanded on this ; didn't the suicides wind up in the wall of the Faithless and the False?


    The most interesting thing in this chapter however is clearly the Raistlin/Bupu interaction. Raistlin's been nice to Bupu up until now, but (aside from saving her life) that could mostly be explained by a sort of operational necessity. He needed to keep her happy so they could pull off the plan after all. But here he is genuinely kind to her. It's the only kind thing he's done all book, and directed towards somebody that all the generally much more pleasant characters doesn't even consider. It's an intriguing complication to his character, since it exists entirely side-by-side with him being a generally self-serving power-hungry jerk. It would be more consistent in some ways if he despised Bupu, since her helplessness and misery would be everything he hates most about himself; it's certainly the easier, simpler characterization where people are either Kind or Bad. But of course Raistlin doesn't hate himself for being weak, he hates the people who pity and scorn him for that.
    Raistlin is weak and powerless, and he was bullied. Because of this, he has compassion on 'cripples, bastards, and broken things' with whom he identifies. He has little but contempt for the rich, the powerful, the healthy. Despite their pretensions of goodness they have treated him like garbage for his entire life. I think he even resents Caramon because of this, resents having to depend on him. This despite the fact that Caramon loves Raistlin and is really motivated by a genuine concern for his brother's well-being. In some ways, I think that makes it worse for him.

    We don't have a tracker for Raistlin is randomly good. Maybe we should?

    I suspect it's a tracker that doesn't need more than one digit


    Also a future content question. After Autumn Twilight wraps up in another 200-odd pages, the next chronological book is Dragons of the Dwarven Depths, the next published is Dragons of Winter Night. Any thoughts as to which we should do?
    Is there anyone here who hasn't read the original books? If there is, we should probably go in the published order. If we're all well-versed in the published material, I see no reason not to start up with DDD. I've never read that one myself.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    Last edited by pendell; 2019-06-20 at 10:26 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Is there anyone here who hasn't read the original books? If there is, we should probably go in the published order. If we're all well-versed in the published material, I see no reason not to start up with DDD. I've never read that one myself.
    There was at least one person who said they hadn't read the trilogy when we were talking about spoiler etiquette.

    Speaking for myself, I'm here for the nostalgia and have little interest in an interquel series written over 20 years after the originals. Especially since I haven't read it. I'm fine with covering them after we do the main 6, as after that my Dragonlance knowledge is patchy at best. At that point, it would be all stuff I either haven't read or don't remember, so I wouldn't have a preference. Right now though, the question is "Do we put off doing Winter's Night in order to cover Dwarven Depths?", and to my mind that isn't even a question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    There was at least one person who said they hadn't read the trilogy when we were talking about spoiler etiquette.

    Speaking for myself, I'm here for the nostalgia and have little interest in an interquel series written over 20 years after the originals. Especially since I haven't read it. I'm fine with covering them after we do the main 6, as after that my Dragonlance knowledge is patchy at best. At that point, it would be all stuff I either haven't read or don't remember, so I wouldn't have a preference. Right now though, the question is "Do we put off doing Winter's Night in order to cover Dwarven Depths?", and to my mind that isn't even a question.
    I 100% agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Is there anyone here who hasn't read the original books? If there is, we should probably go in the published order. If we're all well-versed in the published material, I see no reason not to start up with DDD. I've never read that one myself.
    I've not read them, and I think there might be one or two others (that have spoken up, at least. Don't know how many might be following along and not wanting to say anything).

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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    I wouldn't object to doing the lost chronicles, but in my experience most Let's Reads peter out before even finishing the initial book, and I would much rather see WartyGoblin get through the original trilogy (and hopefully Legends) before moving on to the Lost Chronicles.

    Although, if we are going by publication date, Second Generation, Summer Flame, the War of Souls trilogy, and maybe the Raistlin prequels would probably come before Lost Chronicles, which are, iirc, the last things actually published by Weiss and Hickman.
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    By coincidence, I had just started to reread DL when this thread started. Being a somewhat fast reader, I finished Chronicles and, hearing for the first time about the Lost Chronicles in this thread, got a copy of them and just finished it yesterday.

    My point in telling this is to say that both trilogies are very fresh in my mind, and I really think they should be read separately. Lost Chronicles are ok (Dwarven Depths was my favorite, it recreates amusingly the "campaign log" feel of the Original Chronicles, warts and all), but they add very little to the story, and some of it spoils the biggest surprises in Chronicles if read cronológically.
    Last edited by diplomancer; 2019-06-20 at 12:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    The decision to commit suicide , in this particular instance, is an act of despair. It's not like laying down your life to save friends or suiciding when captured to prevent giving up vital information under torture. It's simply a decision that life is not worth living without Goldmoon. That might be reasonable in a universe where the gods are dead and miracles don't happen. Since this is a fantasy universe -- well, people in dragonlance don't cease to exist when they die. Having a friend die means you lose them for awhile. Committing suicide means you lose them for the afterlife as well.

    I believe Forgotten Realms expanded on this ; didn't the suicides wind up in the wall of the Faithless and the False?
    I don't think the same rule applies on Krynn.

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    Keep in mind that the Solamnic people are described in Dragons of Winter Night as a people who had always been faithful followers of the gods. (And the Knights of Solamnia in particular were created to basically be Paladine's mortal champions.) Thus as a faithful people with a close relationship with their gods, it is very unlikely they would develop a cultural practice of tolerating suicide if there was any kind of explicit divine prohibition against it. (And it is very difficult to believe Paladine wouldn't warn his mortal followers against suicide if it actually did trigger automatic eternal damnation.) Thus the fact that the Solamnics appear to be ok with suicide in certain circumstances suggests that on Krynn it doesn't automatically trigger eternal damnation.

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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    So the consensus seems to be just reread Chronicles straight up. This is certainly my preference, but I'm happy to bend to the will of the audience. Live to please, that's my motto.

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy View Post
    I don't think the same rule applies on Krynn.

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    Keep in mind that the Solamnic people are described in Dragons of Winter Night as a people who had always been faithful followers of the gods. (And the Knights of Solamnia in particular were created to basically be Paladine's mortal champions.) Thus as a faithful people with a close relationship with their gods, it is very unlikely they would develop a cultural practice of tolerating suicide if there was any kind of explicit divine prohibition against it. (And it is very difficult to believe Paladine wouldn't warn his mortal followers against suicide if it actually did trigger automatic eternal damnation.) Thus the fact that the Solamnics appear to be ok with suicide in certain circumstances suggests that on Krynn it doesn't automatically trigger eternal damnation.
    It definitely doesn't.

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    Recall in War of Souls that the One God/Takhisis tries to woo Lord Soth to her side, and as a side effect winds up killing him, which results in his soul being freed, and him going to search for his wife and child in atonement for his sins. Given that Soth's list of sins at that point include killing one wife, one of his children, abusing his next wife, and failing to stop the literal apocalypse because he was afraid his wife was cheating on him, it's safe to say that Dragonlance works on a pretty different sort of afterlife. Of course that's after Takhisis steals the world, so the metaphysics might have permanently changed - they certainly did temporarily at least. Sorta the whole point of the War of Souls



    Anyways, on to Book 2:

    1: Night of the dragons
    Tika Waylan is wiping down the bar in the Inn of the Last Home. When she goes to squeeze out the rag, the water immediately turns black with soot. She doesn't even bother to change the water again, but goes back to scrubbing, trying to wipe her eyes with her apron when Otik isn't looking.

    Otik sees her crying though, takes her by the shoulder and turns her gently around as she cries. Tika sobs that she can't get the bar clean, though they both know that's not exactly why she's upset, but it isn't too far from the mark. The soot, Tika cries, gets on everything and they won't stop burning.

    Otik tells her to be grateful the Inn at least is intact, but Tika wishes it had burned as well. Otik is clearly not entirely sure how to handle this, and settles for stroking her arm. Her blouse, which she always took such care to keep spotlessly white, is sootstained and filthy.


    There wasn't any warning that Solace was going to be attacked. Some refugees had arrived, spreading stories of terrible winged monstrosities, but the High Theocrat, Hederick (he of the self-incinerated hand if you recall) reassured everybody that the town was safe. As he explains to a packed Inn, he and the other Seekers, unlike the idiots to the North who tried to fight the Dragon Highlords. Lord Verminaard - who is a true cleric - comes in peace, and only wants to use Solace as a base to attack the elves. Hederick is just extolling the virtues of signing up with Verminaard for a spot of elf genocide, when he's interrupted by a dull roaring sound.

    Then the Inn goes utterly dark. There's a moment of confusion, and the Inn is lit by a sudden blast of firelight. The pressure wave is so strong it blows out the windows, and sets the great vallenwood shaking - a tree that stays steady in even powerful storms. Tables fall, candles and lamps spill, people stumble. Over the other sounds rises a terrible, high pitched shriek of hatred. A great gout of flames spring up outside the Inn. The town is burning.

    Smoke streams in through the broken windows, bringing with it the smell of burning wood. And burning flesh. Small flames from the spilled lamps have started inside the Inn as well. The cook rushes in smouldering from the kitchen, which is engulfed in flames; Tika extinguishes her with a mug of ale. Somebody yells that they need to leave the Inn before it burns down.

    Hederick is among the first to the door. Outside he can see the red light from the burning town reflecting off of draconian wings as they march through the forest. Overhead, five red dragons swoop over the town, breathing great blasts of fire into the town, or casting that impenetrable magical darkness, crippling any chance the defenders had of fighting back.

    The rest of the night passes in a nightmare haze. Tika keeps thinking she should leave the Inn, but it feels safer than anywhere else, so she stays even when the heat from the burning kitchen becomes nearly unbearable. Finally that portion of the Inn breaks away, saving the rest of the building. Then Tika starts tending the wounded, using the work to block the sights and sounds of destruction from outside. The wounded never seem to end, when she looks up she realizes there are more people in the Inn than when the attack began. A wounded Seeker guard says it's the only safe place, everything else is burning.

    Hederick stands at the door, murmuring that there's been a mistake...


    The attack was a week ago now. The Inn was not the only building to escape the firestorm; the dragons knew what parts of town were useful and also spared the blacksmith and the general store. The blacksmith was always on the ground - forges in trees is a bad idea - the other buildings are deposited roughly on the ground by red dragons. Draconians have a taste for strong drink, and don't like dealing with the stairs. The third day after the attack, the Inn reopens.


    Straightening up, Tika says she's alright now. She hasn't cried since the night the dragons came, and she won't cry again. Otik doesn't really understand this, but is relieved that Tika isn't crying anymore. In an attempt to be cheerful, he says they'll open soon, maybe have a good crowd. Tika shouts at him about taking the draconians' money, but Otik points out it's good coin. Tika corners him behind the bar and pokes him in the gut, asking how he can laugh at their jokes. She hates the draconians, hates the way they smell, the feel of their scaly hands when they grab at her.

    Otik says he's too old to be taken as a slave, and it's only working at the Inn that keeps Tika safe. This is too true; aside from the slave wagons that move through town every day, angry draconians kill first, ask questions never. As Tika thinks this, a half dozen draconians swagger into the Inn, and declare it open.

    Commentary
    We're back in the Inn, with Tika, and everything's gone horrible. The old man had said that they were due for a storm like Krynn had not seen for centuries, he certainly wasn't lying.

    I genuinely like this chapter. It's short, packs in an enormous amount of information, and instantly shifts the story from running around having goofy wicker dragon hijinks in Adventurer Mode to there being a real war on, while being a solid structural and thematic reference to the beginning of the novel. It's also an extremely unpleasant, normal person's view of being invaded and occupied, which is a thing more fantasy should do. It's one thing to have your main character Prince Whatever ride through some devastation and feel appropriately bad, it's another to go through it with a terrified nineteen year old barmaid. Don't get me wrong, this isn't super grimdark, or a meticulously researched look at life under an occupying army or anything, it's still Dragonlance after all. But it packs a lot of punch for what it is.

    It also works well as a counterpart to the sequence in the ruins of Que-Shu. We learn what caused that level of destruction (red dragons), get some more insight into just how terrible Verminaard is, and generally round out our view of being invaded by dragons as really, really sucking. In particular I find it interesting how their attack is described very much like a modern airstrike, with the noise and the shockwave blowing out the windows. In a world of dudes with swords this makes the dragons seem really over-the-top powerful, and somehow enormously more alien as well. This is also I think the first time we have a reference to Dragon Highlords - note the plural. This at least strongly implies that there are multiple armies. Not good.

    On a very minor character note, Hederick really is a tool.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

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    I honestly think they went a bit over the top with Hedrick, especially in Dwarven Depths. Its one thing to be a self-serving opportunist, but Hedrick is legitimately stupid, to the point of self-destruction.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    I'm all for doing things in the published order. Haven't actually read the Lost Chronicles, so that will be something to look forward to.

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    Funny that you mentioned the dragons as an airstrike. I remember reading a comment from the authors saying that they wanted to capture how big flight was to warfare and how it changed things.
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    The Lost Dragon: A story about a priest who finds a baby dragon in his church and decides to protect them.



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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    I honestly think they went a bit over the top with Hedrick, especially in Dwarven Depths. Its one thing to be a self-serving opportunist, but Hedrick is legitimately stupid, to the point of self-destruction.
    His reaction to a literal life-saving miracle is to set himself back on fire, so I think legitimately stupid to the point of self destruction is pretty in character, all things considered.

    Onwards we go, to

    2: The stranger. Captured!

    It's turned out to be a slow night in the Inn of the Last Home; just some draconians, a couple of hobgoblins, some particularly unpleasant murder-happy human mercenaries, and a couple of dispirited locals. The High Theocrat is conspicuous by his absence, having been hauled off to the slave mines in thanks for his services. Around sunset a hooded stranger enters the Inn, and asks if he can rest by the fire while he waits for someone. Tika offers him ale while he waits, and he accepts.

    As Tika goes to get the ale, another group enters the Inn. She looks over, nearly does a double take, and tells the strangers to sit anywhere. A large man in the new group seems like he's about to say something, but Tika gives him a quelling sort of look. A bearded man, who seems to be in charge, leads the others past a group of draconians, who note with interest the group's unusual make-up: five men, one who coughs a lot, one very large, one quite tall, a woman walking arm-in-arm with the tall man, a dwarf, and a kender. One of the draconians figures them for refugees, and wonders why they haven't been hauled off to the mines yet, since they look healthy enough. But they're off duty, so that's somebody else's problem.

    Tika delivers the first stranger's ale, then goes to ask the group what they want; which turns out to be ale and food, and hot water for the coughing man. Tika heads to the kitchen - at first heading towards the old, burned, kitchen out of habit, and grabs an entire skillet of Otik's famous spiced potatoes, and heads back to the newcomers' table. After checking that the draconians are once again immersed in their ale mugs, she throws herself at Caramon, kissing him and saying she knew he'd come back for her.

    Caramon is caught somewhat flat-footed by this, and looks questioningly at Tanis, who points out that they should probably not go drawing attention to themselves. Tika, suddenly businesslike, straightens up, smooths out her apron, and starts handing out plates, while another waitress brings the ale and hot water. While spooning out food, Tika fills them in on what's happened to Solace. Apparently the only people to have escaped getting shipped to the slave mines are those with indispensable trades, like Theros Ironfield, the blacksmith. But he's heading for trouble, since he's refusing to work with the Dragon Armies, after the captive elves -

    "Elves!" Tanis interrupts, much too loudly. The draconians stare at him, as does the hooded stranger. Then the draconians hollar for more booze, and Tika has to go. The companions eat without much apatite, though Raistlin's unpleasant beverage eases his coughing. Caramon's also distracted by the whole bit where Tika just threw herself on him, lips-first. He wonders if the rumors about her are true, and hopes they aren't.

    One of the draconians makes a rather unpleasant pass at Tika (is there a pleasant way to be hit on by a murderous lizardman?), which gets Caramon rumbling deep in his chest, and Sturm reaching for his sword, but Tanis tells them to chill. They can't go starting fights, and Tika evades the draconian's hands easily enough.

    Flint wonders what they're supposed to do now. Solace is occupied, they've got no food, a bunch of distinctly inedible platinum discs, a new spellbook that still doesn't solve the food problem, and no idea of where they should go in any case. Goldmoon suggests heading to Haven. Tanis is holding out for Qualinesti. Tas finds all this talk of where to go boring. He wants to go investigate the somewhat modified Inn, but Tanis told him not to start trouble, so instead he examines the hooded stranger by the fire, who is watching them closely. Behind him Tanis says something very loud about Qualinesti, which is definitely starting to draw attention.

    Just then Tika reappears, and Caramon asks for more food, turning bright red when he realizes Raistlin is eyeing him. Tanis is still going on loudly about Qualinesti, when the hooded stranger gets up and starts to walk towards them. Tas points this out to Tanis, which shuts everybody up. As he passes their table, one of the draconians trips up the stranger. The hood is pulled away from his face, revealing him to be an elf. The elf says he just wanted to go talk to the companions, but the draconians think he's going to talk to the Fewmaster instead.

    Tika says he's a customer just like anybody else, but a draconian just shoves her aside, then punches the elf in the face. Another draconian says they should kill him, so the first one decides it'd be fun to carve his eyes out. Sturm starts up, though he doesn't think he can get there in time.

    Tika, however, has had entirely enough of everything, and slams her cast iron skillet of potatoes down on the draconian's head. It stares at her stupidly, then keels over. Then draconians are jumping at Tika, the elf pulls a knife and goes for the draconians, Sturm and Caramon start thumping draconians and everything gets a bit chaotic. Tika thunks a hobgoblin with her frying pan, but another jumps out the window before anybody can catch it. Goldmoon grabs Raistlin, telling him to use his magic.



    Tika, armed to the teeth. Yes, I already posted this picture, no I don't care. Also if you look for pictures of Tika Waylan, there's a lot of really good cosplay.

    Raistlin however says that there's no point, and he's not going to waste the magic. One of the unpleasant human mercenaries tackles Tanis. Tas jumps on the bar and starts chucking mugs. Flint takes a look at the elf, realizing that it's - but is felled by a flying mug to the head, much to Tas' chagrin. Tanis strangles the human grappling into unconsciousness, grabs Tas off the bar, and hoists the groggy Flint back to his feet. Flint wants to know what hit him, Tas insists it was the big mercenary. Tanis looks at the elf, and recognizes him as Gilthanas, who also recognizes Tanis, calling him Tanthalas, and saying that he's basically unrecognizable with that beard.

    This pleasant reunion is interrupted by the sound of horns. They've got to get out of there in a hurry, but there's no back to the Inn this time! Somebody declares that they are now prisoners. Standing in the door are hobgoblins carrying torches, while a small horde of goblins presses in behind them, or stares in through the windows.

    Sturm is about ready to throw himself into the enemy, but Tanis catches his arm, saying it is not his time to die, and offering their surrender. Sturm finds this somewhat confusing, does anybody have a 'time to die?' But he doesn't particularly fancy dying trampled by flapping goblin feet, pointless and ingloriously, so lowers sheathes his sword.

    At that, the figure in the doorway, flanked by his small army worth of hobgoblins and goblins, feels safe enough to enter, revealing the unpleasantly grey splotchy skin and piggy eyes of... Fewmaster Toede. Tas hopes that the Fewmaster won't recognize them, after all it was dark when he stopped them, looking for the staff.

    This is a safe guess, it's been a busy week for the Fewmaster, who is not exactly a genius in the first place. Seeing Sturm's Solamnic armor, Toede figures they're refugees from the north. Tanis is quick to agree with this story, figuring that Toede doesn't know about the Discs or the destruction of Xak Tsaroth, but Verminaard will. Better then to have come from the North than the East, which would link them with Khisanth, and the missing Discs.

    Toede is also fine to go along with the refugee story, but finds Raistlin lurking at the table suspicious, and sends a goblin to fetch the mage. Raistlin gets up and reaches for his staff, and the goblin grabs at him. Raistlin insists that the goblin not touch him, because he is Magi. Toede has no patience for this, and tells the goblin to grab him anyway, figuring Raistlin is bluffing. The goblin menaces Raistlin with a spear, and Tanis grabs Caramon to keep him from jumping to his brother's defense.

    Raistlin raises his hands in surrender, then turns the gesture into a spell, causing tiny glowing darts to shoot from his fingertips into the goblin, which collapses with a yell and an unpleasant burning smell. The other goblins surge forwards, ready to skewer the mage, but Toede calls them to heel. Verminaard pays well for live mages. Trying to motivate Raistlin to surrender, Toede threatens to have Tas' tongue cut out if he doesn't give himself up. Raistlin shrugs, saying the kender is nothing to him. Tanis feels cold at Raistlin's apparent callousness.

    The failure of his threat seems to entirely overwhelm Toede's mental faculties, and he looks almost pleadingly at Raistlin, who shrugs and agrees to surrender if nobody touches him. Relieved of having to think, Toede agrees, and orders the goblins to collect the companions' weapons and gear.

    Tanis surrenders his sword, and the others follow his lead readily enough. Except for Sturm, still holding his father's sword, and Goldmoon, who begs to be allowed to keep her pack, which contains the Discs. Things look like they're heading for another fight, when Raistlin steps up to Goldmoon, having already surrendered his spell components, books, and the Staff of Magius. The books will drive anybody but their owner mad if somebody tries to read them, and the Staff can look after itself.

    Raistlin gently tells Goldmoon to give them the pack, since otherwise they'll all be killed. Toede agrees, Goldmoon protests, but Raistlin's weird hypnotic power is washing over her, as he insists that their gear will be perfectly safe. And didn't the staff shock him? The gods protect their own.

    Goldmoon gives the pack to Raistlin. This just leaves Sturm holding his sword, but Raistlin tells him he will guarantee the sword's safety. Sturm asks how, but Raistlin tells him he's not going to explain. Sturm still hesitates. Toede yells to just kill them so he can get back to sleep, which finally is enough to get Sturm to lay his sword on the stack of the companion's weapons. Toede eyes the beautiful blade, with the devices of rose and kingfisher, covetously.

    But before he can get his grubby hobgoblin mitts on it, Raistlin knees next to the weapon pile, muttering strange words. There's a bright flash of light, and Raistlin slumps over, seeming to be tired. Then he stands up and declares that he has summoned the Great Worm, Catyrpelius, from the Abyss to guard their weapons. If anybody tries to take them, Catyrpelius will suck all the life from them, leaving an empty husk. Tas, naturally, finds this fascinating, but Tanis puts a hand over his mouth. The goblins edge backwards from the now ominous seeming pile of weapons.

    Toede yells for somebody to collect the weapons, but nobody's in any hurry to obey, so Toede contents himself with ordering the companions hauled off to the slave cages. As they're led away, Caramon asks Raistlin in awe about that spell, but Raistlin says it's about as powerful as his brother's brain, showing the tell-tale marks of flash powder on his hands.

    As they're led out of the Inn, Tanis takes a last look around. The place is a shambles, and he almost wishes he'd died before seeing it like this. The last thing he hears, as the door closes, is a couple of goblins arguing over how to move their weapons.

    Commentary
    Hey hey hey, it's our old friend, the ridiculously titled Fewmaster Toede! This could easily be a really grim chapter, and it still sort of is, but our hilariously monikered evil flunky pal keeps things on the amusing side of being hauled off to a slave camp. There's a certain mismatch between the content of this chapter and the tone, is what I'm saying.

    I enjoy this. A lot of books seem to take the view that they must exactly duplicate the mental state of the characters, put it onto the page, and then jam it right through your eyeballs into your prefrontal cortex, like delivering a play-by-play of fictional characters' thoughts is the sole purpose of telling a story. This chapter at least seems to take the attitude that telling an entertaining and engaging story is the primary purpose of telling a story. Thus our reactions are in places not only allowed, but encouraged, to be separate from those of the characters. So we can laugh at Toede being an idiot (named Toede!) and Raistlin's bluff with the great worm, Catyrpelius, or being intrigued by the budding Caramon/Tika romance, while still recognizing the situation as, for the characters, absolutely deadly serious. See Sturm's reaction to surrendering his beloved sword, or Goldmoon with the Discs.

    https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2...newest-feature
    Link because the image is huge, but speaking of being dissolved by abyssal worms, this Penny Arcade has always reminded me of this bit.

    Character-wise we once again get Raistlin saving everyone's bacon by being smart about things. And apparently being very protective about his personal space; he goes from warning to lethal force before you can roll for init. So +1 to the tracker for saving everybody again. Also +1 for once again never missing a chance to imply that his brother is a moron?

    Raist-o-Meter:
    Times Evil: 1
    Times horrible to Caramon: 4
    Times saved the party + 1: 3

    We also get Tika stepping up and getting her hero on, which is excellent. Sure she did sort of beg Caramon to rescue her, but under the circumstances "get me out of here" is an entirely reasonable thing to ask somebody, whether you have a giant crush on them or not. More importantly she was probably the most effective of any of the characters, Raistlin excepted, since she stopped Gilthanas from getting messily dissected in the common room, and demonstrating excellent form both in dealing with unwanted sexual advances in the workplace and the proper administration of blunt force trauma via frying pan. Also I just like Tika as a character.

    Incidentally I rather like the Tika/Caramon romance. At this point in the story she's 19, and he's 25. So when he left she was 14 and he 20, i.e. it's totally plausible that Tika had a massive teenage crush on him, and he's been totally oblivious and also gone. Thus he's rather startled when she launches herself at him seemingly out of the blue.

    We also get a very brief appearance by Gilthanas. If you have either a really good memory for passing references or have this entire series memorized, Gilthanas is Tanis' adopted brother, and they don't get along. This will be an important dynamic later.

    Finally of course, everybody's captured. Again. By Fewmaster Toede. Is this a greater indignity than getting set up by Highbulp Phudge I, the Great?
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

  30. - Top - End - #300
    Troll in the Playground
     
    JadedDM's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    I like Tika, too. I always thought she was more interesting than Goldmoon or Laurana, anyway.

    Speaking of Tika, I remember when I ran this game my players had some ludonarrative dissonance with her. In the story, she's a simple, untrained barmaid who wields a frying pan, and later learns a bit of swordplay as things progress. But in the original module (Dragons of Flame) that she appears in, she's a dual-classed Fighter 4/Thief 3. Which puts her on par, more or less, with the Companions who are seasoned adventurers.

    Gilthanas, meanwhile, is a multi-classed Fighter 5/Magic User 4, if anyone is curious.

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