You guys words cannot express the utter loathing I feel in my soul every time the term “draconians” is mentioned in this book. This chapter is going to be a long slog. Oh well, let’s dive in.
When we last left our mighty band of heroes, they’d been knocked out by magic and have fallen into the hands of those dastardly draconians (ugh). Well it could be worse, at least this chapter title isn’t a complete spoiler for its events. Let’s dive into the murky swamps of ADVENTURE.
We begin the chapter with the revelation that Tasslehoff has somehow escaped the clutches of the draconians (ugh), and so has Flint, mostly because Tasslehoff clocked him on the head WHILE UNDERWATER because KENDERS ARE SOCIOPATHS.
Sighh, still, I guess wasted, half drowned and unconscious is better than in the knobbly claws of those draconians (ugh), so points for you, Tas. I still don’t trust you.
In an interesting development, however, the draconians (ugh) are unable to pick up Goldmoon’s blue crystal staff – it zaps them every time. After some deliberation, the leader of the draconians (ugh) comes up with the idea of wrapping the thing in a blanket and carrying it that way. By the way, the authors refer to this plan as “ingenious.”
Flint wakes and appears to be miraculously sober, attributable (I guess) to that smack on the head by his “friend” Tas. The two resolve to go rescue their friends, despite the fact that Flint has lost both his helmet and his axe, which he (rightly) sees as a major liability.
The two follow their captive friends into the draconian (ugh) camp, where they find the draconians (ugh) celebrating and HOLY SHIT THERE’S A DRAGON.
Flint is naturally freaking out because dragons don’t actually exist (OR DO THEY), but Tasslehoff is a bit more skeptical. He darts right into camp and starts calling for Tanis. Surprisingly this works, and Tanis wakes up JUST THEN. Tanis’s first instinct is to reach out and touch Sturm.
Sturm, who has apparently been awake for some time now, gives Tanis the news that they’ve been captured, Tas and Flint are missing, and Raistlin is injured. Apparently not trusting that evil magic would lay the uber-wizard low, they also hit him with a poisoned dart. I mean… honestly guys, probably a good call, even if it seems a little excessive.
Goldmoon is trying to tend to Raist as best she can, but regrets losing her healing staff… forgetting I guess, that the last time Raistlin tried to touch it it zapped him so she’d just hurt him more?
Anyway they, like Flint, are pretty freaked out by the sight of the dragon looming over the camp, so even though Caramon could likely snap their bamboo cage, they elect not to try an escape.
Tanis tries to talk to a draconian (ugh), who refuses to help Raistlin. Raistlin, in fact, has started to get worse. This upsets Caramon for some reason
and he busts through the cage, dragon or no. His friends are the ones who have to subdue him before he brings the entire draconian (ugh) camp on their heads.
At this point, the dragon starts to talk, which seems to surprise everyone in the camp, especially the draconians (ugh). Our heroes overhear a military draconian (ugh) and a robed draconian (ugh ugh) discuss the fact that the dragon never speaks until the head draconian (ugh) priest is there. I WONDER IF THERE ARE SHENANIGANS AFOOT.
Despite this weird inconsistency, the draconians (ugh) do as the dragon says, and bring Caramon to see it. The dragon tells the draconians (ugh) to let Caramon have his weapon back, which, shockingly, they do. Meanwhile, Flint appears near the cage where the others are, and whispers for them to get out of there, revealing the SHOCKING news that it’s Tasslehoff voicing the dragon.
Flint explains that anyone can control the dragon by pulling some levers and speaking into a tube, and also that the dragon is made of wicker which… how did anyone not notice this?
Anyway, Flint explains that Tasslehoff has a plan, but to make sure Goldmoon gets out of the way real quick because LADIES AMIRITE.
Meanwhile, Caramon is gearing up to fight pretty much the entire draconian (ugh) camp. Just as he’s about to start, the others race up, explain the plan, and have Caramon grab the group’s staves. Tasslehoff somehow makes the dragon fly (what? how? why?) and the group rushes to the woods.
Goldmoon takes this opportunity to touch Raist with her staff, which surprisingly does not zap him. A little inconsistent there, inanimate object. Anyway, what does happen is a gigantic fire. God damn it, blue crystal staff!
Oh no, wait, it’s the giant wicker dragon crashing into the draconians’ (ugh) bonfire and bursting into flame.
Flint freaks because Tasslehoff is in there, and runs into the draconian (ugh) camp. Caramon tries to stop him but just then, Raistlin wakes up, completely cured, and murmurs Caramon’s name.
The draconians (ugh) have now lost all interest in chasing their former prisoners, so frantic they are that their dragon has apparently committed seppuku, and also because they are on fire. There’s some commentary in the book about the soldier dragons being smaller and more panic stricken, while the wizard dragons are larger and more intelligent, but Jesus Christ, I’m so exhausted I can’t even deal with draconian (ugh) racism on top of everything else.
Sturm and Flint manage to find Tasslehoff, who saved himself from the firey flames by lodging himself in the dragon’s wicker head. They can’t get him out, and the neck’s about to catch fire, so Sturm has no choice but to guess at where the kender’s head is, and chop the dragon head away from the neck. With Riverwind’s help, they grab the head with Tas still inside, and run.
Back in the forest, Raistlin’s giving Caramon the cold shoulder (after all that romantic murmuring!), and Tanis rushes back, followed by Sturm, Flint, Riverwind, and the head. This causes Raistlin to crack up for some reason, and the occasion is treated as quite momentous by the authors. Not sure why, other than the fact that Raist’s laugh is apparently uber creepy.
Caramon tears open the dragon’s head with his bare hands. Tas is unharmed, and more worried about his hair than anything else.
And Raistlin is still, inexplicably, creepy-laughing as the band gathers itself to travel deeper into the forest.
Thus we end chapter fourteen. Not a bad one, despite the overwhelming number of draconians (ugh). We had some death defying stunts, some sexual tension, some close brushes with death, but most importantly we had ‘splosions!
Asshole prize: I was going to give it to Tas for being basically crazy in this chapter, but at the last minute, a dark horse came up – it’s Sturm, who, upon learning that Raistlin had been saved by Goldmoon’s staff, says “a pity.” Ummm wow, dude. Raistlin may be annoying, but I don’t think he’s done much of anything to warrant a “too bad he’s not fucking poisoned” response from you… at least for now. Go groom your mustaches or something.
Homoeroticism prize: I don’t even have to say it.