When we’d last left our heroic band, they’d just escaped the draconian (ugh) camp via dragon cosplay and homoeroticism. Hoo…ray? Welp, if the chapter titles are any indication, they’re not in for any kind of easy route to Zach Braff, so let’s dive in.
They start out with Riverwind leading the group through the swamp, and Tanis feeling completely incompetent. I mean… what else is new there, Tanis? But he doesn’t have to feel jealous of Riverwind’s immense swamp navigation skills for long, because Riverwind soon gets stuck knee-deep in the mire. Womp womp!
The entire group realizes that they’re going to have to wade through the murk to go any further, so they do, hiking up the skirts of their wizardly robes, and hefting the shorties over their shoulders so they don’t, yknow, drown.
Even Sturm gets in on the action, carrying Raistlin through the swamp, which… idk Sturm, weren’t you just wishing that Raistlin had been poisoned? Why don’t you just leave him to drown in the swamp? Not only are you saving the guy you hate, but you’re also possibly going to make Caramon jealous, and that’s more than your mustaches are worth.
Anyway, after that completely pointless slog through the swamp, our band of heroes collapses on the further bank… only to have Raistlin warn them that a storm is on the way, and they have to reach
Zach Braff Xak Tsaroth before the moon sets. These two pieces of knowledge don’t seem all that connected to one another, but Raist’s been proven right about pretty much every dire prophecy he’s spouted so far, so it’s high time everyone actually listened to him for once. This they do, and continue on their journey.
Fortunately, they don’t go more than a few steps before they find a whole bunch of stone ruins which, it turns out, are the ruins of Xak Tsaroth!
But they’re not the first ones to make it to is great floral printed city – they notice the claw tracks of a whole mess of draconians (ugh) leading into the ruins.
Riverwind and Tanis are keenly aware of the danger ahead, so they take this moment to declare their manly love for each other and clutch at each other’s hands.
The group steps into the ruin, and finds first a well, then a temple which somehow escaped the giant fucking earthquake that had once laid waste to the city. Before they can explore the temple, a wild draconian (ugh) appears! But before our heroes can give chase, the draconian (ugh) escapes by flying down the well.
Everyone realizes that OH SHIT that thing’s gonna warn everyone, so Raist steps right on up to cast a spell LIKE A B- oh wait, he’s so weak he can’t cast anything. Way to crap out on us, Raist, I thought you were the one who was supposed to be self righteously correct all the time and save everyone’s asses even though they’re completely ungrateful.
Tanis’s response to this obvious and imminent danger is to propose that they all take a break. Jesus Christ, Tanis, I don’t know what you’re doing anymore.
Goldmoon is lost in the fray, and Riverwind starts searching for her, despite the fact that something utterly cray is about to erupt from the ground. The able bodied half of the group drags the other half away as they see the ancient terror bursting from the – HOLY SHIT IT’S A DRAGON
Not only is it a dragon, but it is a motherfucking talking dragon who can do motherfucking magic. And that’s exactly what she does, blinding the group so she can attack unimpeded.
Now suddenly the narrative switches to the dragon’s POV which is… unexpected to say the least. We haven’t had a POV outside of our core group of heroes so the fact that we’re now thrust into the mindset of a freaking dragon is just a little bit jarring.
Anyway, we find out that the dragon’s working under the behest of Lord Verminaard (OH CHRIST), and she’s lost the blue crystal staff that this lord so desperately wants. To which I say, GIRL, YOU’RE A MOTHERFUCKING DRAGON WHY ARE YOU TAKING ORDERS?
Anyway, we get back to Tanis’s POV riiiilll quick. He cowers in terror as the dragon readies its attack, cringes in sudden pain and then.. the dragon flies back into the well.
Well that was sure anticlimactic! Thank goodness everyone’s all righ- ohhhh actually Riverwind is burned so badly his skin has fucking melted from his bones. Bummer. Tanis springs into action by helpfully vomiting. Thanks, Tanis!
Alas, it seems that there is nothing anyone can do for poor Riverwind. Tanis urges Sturm to put an end to Riverwind’s suffering, so Sturm immediately… begins to recite some oh noetry instead of euthanizing Riverwind with his sword. Again, super helpful.
I mean, it’s not as though the group has a motherfucking healing staff or anything right? Fortunately even though Tanis and Sturm have forgotten this convenient fact, Goldmoon has not. She appears, demanding that they take Riverwind over to her… and the chapter ends.
Well I’m really happy to have finally seen a dragon in Dragonlance, though it was pretty weird to be thrust into her POV without any warning. The well logistics are a little odd too, but ehhh anything goes in Xak Tsaroth, I guess.
Asshole count: Tanis and Sturm for sure. When someone’s dying in intense pain and beyond all hope of recovery, the proper response is NOT 1) vomiting; or 2) rhyming badly. Jeez.
Homoeroticism count: Tanis and Riverwind for sure! Too bad their love has come to a tragic and burninated end.
…or has it???