DOAT Book II, Chapter 10: The Royal Guard. The Chain Room.

Greetings Dragonscouts! Time to get back to our noble band of heroes as they attempt to infiltrate Pax Tharkas in order to lead a slave revolt against an army that has motherfucking dragons.

They’ve just been turned aside by a giant slug, obtained a potentially enchanted blade, and discovered that Laurana’s followed them all the way from Qualinost. And now they’re forced down the tunnel that Raistlin called “evil.” I’m sure that it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out, right?

star trek nod

Laurana, for her part, is scared, but refuses to run back to Tanis, and it occurs to her that she’s serious about wanting to make Tanis proud of her. Oh, so just now you decide it’s serious, Laurana? Following this group of seasoned fighters into certain death was a frivolous whim? Good lord.

Shade

They come to the end of the tunnel where they find a hole that apparently radiates evil. I’m not sure what the physics of this might be. Is evil a plasma, perhaps?

Gilthanas, Raistlin and Tanis decide to enter the hole of evil, and find themselves… in another room. Apparently, they’re the crypts of the Royal Guard, who are pledged to continue their duties even in death. Raistin helpfully informed Tanis that unlike the friendly zombies of Darken Wood, these guys will straight-up kill everyone’s ass for disturbing the king’s rest. Willickers! How are they going to get out of this one? Maybe with a balls to the wall fight to the death?

terrible battle

maybe we’re unclear as to what “fight to the death” entails.

…annnnd nope. Goldmoon comes into the room, shows off her medallion, and the ghosts melt away. So much for thrilling ghost fights.

63_sad-crying-full-house-michelle-tanner

They come to a false door, but just as they despair of going further, Raistlin whips out a spell from the Book of Fistandantilus, and the entire wall opens up. Not bad, Raist! But the spells sure do take it out of him, or so we’re to understand.

This leads them to the famous Chain Room of Pax Tharkas, which is so famous that we’re only hearing about it just now. Apparently if the chain is released, it drops massive blocks of granite behind the gates of the fortress, preventing anyone from opening them. This seems like a short-sighted strategy to me – what happens if the fort-dwellers drop the chain, then win the battle? Now that they can’t open their own front doors, it’s going to be a little hard to go out for groceries during peacetime.

Poorly planned fortress logistics aside, the group starts searching the chain room and find a new secret door in some of the stones. Raistlin immediately warns them against opening it, saying that he senses enormous power behind it. I’m sure that since Raistlin has been right about basically everything that has happened so far, the group will listen to what he’s saying, right?

nope

Gilthanas opens the goddamn door, because of course he does, and reveals… treasure!

scrooge

Oh man! Gold bricks everywhere! Rich stuff! The treasure of Kith-Kanan! What could possibly go wrong now?

cher yuk

This question is immediately answered by the spirit of a dark elf attacking them. So, what is a dark elf exactly? We haven’t heard about dark elves in this book yet, and in fact, we’re explicitly taught that elves always “wore the white robes of good.” Is it another breed of elf? Have the rejected the ways of the white robed and gone rogue? Not finding the answers to these burning questions in our book, I turned to Wikipedia to see if I could figure this out.

Aha, so a “dark elf,” or “drow” in Dungeons and Dragons tradition is defined as “a generally evil, dark-skinned subrace of elves.”

lav7

Ooh. Guys. Guys. You guys. Guys.

To the book’s credit, it doesn’t describe this particular elf as being dark-skinned, but only “coldly beautiful” and “distorted.” Evidently she was sentenced beyond death to guard the king’s treasure, and she starts doing it quite effectively. Raistlin has just enough time for a quick “I TOLD YOU SO” before telling everyone to run.

The ghost of the dark elf evidently attacks by screaming and flailing at our heroes, and we’re left to wonder: 1. how this is in any way effective; and 2. why ghost elves need to catch their breath to scream. Before these questions are answered, Raistlin swings into action. He faces down the dark elf by… summoning his inner strength, I guess, although there’s a bit that I’m sure won’t end up being significant at all about him calling out the spell in a strong, clear voice that is not his own. Anyway, he seals the treasury door, trapping the dark elf and saving everyone. Again. But he collapses, forcing his brother to carry him around. Romantically, I mean.

true romance

haven’t deployed this one in a while.

The group makes its weary way through another passage, and finds themselves in the cellar of Pax Tharkas – meaning they’ve made their way inside the fortress. Huzzah! There is, of course, the minor matter of Tasslehoff and Fizban going missing, but eh, I am sure nobody will really miss them. Onward to glory!
Asshole count: In this one, it’s got to be Gilthanas. He’s been with our heroes long enough to get with the program that when Raistlin gives you a dire warning about something, you stay the eff away from that thing. Honestly.

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DOAT Book I, Chapter 21: The sacrifice. The twice-dead city.

Greetings Dragonscouts! When last we saw our fearless adventurers, they were just outside the lair of a fearsome dragon which, despite their best efforts, had not yet been de-dragoned. Will they be roasted or smoked? And what of Raistlin and Bupu? Let’s find out.

Tanis’s first thought is that the band has been betrayed by Raistlin – but he immediately discounts this for… reasons.

jlaw okay

Sturm meanwhile is itching to go in and fight him some dragon. I have to say, this is not one of your better ideas, Sturm. Remember when you fought the dragon men? Who almost killed you? That head injury? Remember that? No? Welp, everyone else seems to think this is a great idea so off to the dragon’s lair they go. Onward to death and glory and whatever. The only one who doesn’t seem to care about this is Tasslehoff, who helpfully reminds Flint that kenders don’t fear death because they are sociopaths. Once in the chamber, they are cheerfully greeted by a motherfucking dragon. Surprise, it got the drop on Raistlin, and is now threatening him with its claws! Oh no! What will you do, Caramon? Cry at it some?

MAYBE.

MAYBE.

The dragon is actually pretty pleased to see everyone, as they’ve brought her what she’s been searching for – namely, the blue crystal staff. She orders Goldmoon to bring her the staff, and to everyone’s surprise, Goldmoon agrees. She pushes Riverwind away then clasps Tanis in “a loving embrace.” kanye wtf

…uhhhh what? Weren’t you full on making out with Riverwind in the last chapter, and now you’re all “step aside son, I’m thirsty for some half-elf!” Anyway, after telling Tanis to make sure that Riverwind doesn’t try to follow her, she starts to walk toward the dragon. Once she gets to Sturm, she stumbles, then when he catches her, she hisses that he has to do what she tells him. Homegirl has a plan!

Sturm joins her on the march to the dragon. We switch to Raistlin’s POV. He’s trapped under the dragon’s claw being a bit of a bitch, thinking that he deserves to live more than anyone else because they’re all idiots. Well… you’re not wrong there, Raist. But then he starts hearing voices which from the description, is apparently normal for him in times of stress. This is kind of troubling, Raistlin!

That's where I saw the leprechaun. He told me to burn things.

That’s where I saw the leprechaun. He told me to burn things.

As Goldmoon approaches the dragon, he muses on the fact that his new eyes make everyone look withering and hideous before realizing that she’s about to sacrifice herself to the dragon to let everyone else live.

a noble savage indeed!

a noble savage indeed!

Raistlin is basically just trapped under the dragon’s claw, rolling his eyes in bafflement at the sheer what-the-fuckery of it all. Aren’t we all, Raist? Anyway, the dragon tells Goldmoon to lay that staff of hers down on the big-ass pile of treasure the dragon’s sitting on. Goldmoon hesitates, apparently to allow Sturm the opportunity to search for the discs amongst all the other gold… things in the pile. Which… how is this a good strategy? They could be buried under a pile of like… dubloons… or grills… or snuffboxes… or whatever other gold stuff dragons collect. And how are you going to pick a ring of gold disks out of a ton of other stuff that is also gold, Sturm? RIDDLE ME THAT.

So Goldmoon’s strategy is apparently to tell the dragon “whacha gonna pay me for this staff, biznatch?” Maybe that was a mistake.

biznatch

Dragon’s basically “maybe I won’t kill all your friends, how about that?” Goldmoon is visibly distressed by this, but Sturm clandestinely interrupts her by telling her he found the disks. Christ, a miracle indeed. Goldmoon is now resolved to sacrifice herself to allow the rest the time to grab the disks and run, and now SHE starts hearing voices jfc.

ralph

Goldmoon raises her voice for one last resounding “BIZNAAAAAAAAAAATCH” and hits the dragon with the staff. For no apparent reason, EVERYTHING CATCHES ON FIRE. The leprechaun was right!

Sturm is pretty upset by the fact tat the only lady in their party is burning to death under a dragon, but that doesn’t stop him from racing straight to the disks and grabbing them. But suddenly a BLOODY HAND reaches out and grabs him! AHHH ARE THERE TREASURE ZOMBIES??? Nope, it’s just Raistin who… somehow has managed to teleport himself from under the dragon’s claw – which, if I neglected to mention it, IS ON FUCKING FIRE – to a completely unrelated part of the treasure pile that just happened to be right by the disks. How… how did you do that, Raist? Logic

Raistlin is NOT DISTRACTED by the dragon that is on fire, or the fact that they just got the treasure they’ve been looking for – he wants that fucking spellbook, and he wants it NOW. And then… for some reason… the room starts to collapse and the dragon’s gone (busted out??? it’s unclear!) and then the entire city starts caving in and HOW DO YOU PHYSICS?

Tanis is baffled as to how they’re going to get out of there, when a small but bad-ass voice pipes up that SHE KNOWS THE WAY. Who could it be?

Bupu, motherfuckers.

Bupu, motherfuckers.

Nothing can stop them now – except Riverwind, who is a little upset about the fact that his girlfriend just burned to death in front of him. Tanis tells everyone to go on without him, presumably so he can spend his last moments in Riverwind’s barbarian embrace.

pictured.

pictured.

The others wait outside the chambers hardly daring to hope… when Riverwind steps out of the chamber, with Tanis’s limp body in his arms!

tina dancing

Bupu leads the group out of danger like the fearsome beautiful animal she so obviously is. But oh no, the only way they can get out of the underground city is by using the lard pot elevator that was the site of their terrible battle with the draconians (ugh) several chapters hence. The group comes upon several draconians (ugh) fighting their way into one of the pots. Raistlin puts the ones who aren’t magic-resistant to sleep, and Caramon and Sturm prepare to fight the rest. And suddenly in the midst of battle Riverwind pulls himself out of his “my girlfriend burninated herself to save me” induced depression and starts killing fucking draconians with his fucking bare hands while their weapons have no effect on him. Shade

Caramon finally catches the lower pot and holds onto it for the others to climb in. Flint, Sturm and Tasslehoff grab Tanis and then Riverwind (who by now is suffering from an excess of draconian (ugh) battle) and haul them into the pot. They yell for Raistlin to get in, but he (unlike the rest) remembers that motherfucking Bupu needs to get in there too – he grabs her

like a boss

Once the pot begins to rise, Tanis wakes up with a “stir and [a] moan.” Sturm expresses his happiness about this by “grasp[ing]” him, h[o]ld[ing] him close” and speaking in a “husky” voice.

…god, I so regret using up my “Henry and Glenn Forever” pic earlier. Let’s see what we can dig up from the vaults for this one.

theeere we go.

theeere we go.

But Tanis ruins the mood by asking about Riverwind with his first breath. Cockblocked, Sturm!

There’s a bit of a throwaway where they hear the screams of multiple gully dwarves in the other pot, which is going down while propelling the pot with our heroes up. So… guys. You are not even caring right now that tens… nay twenties and thirties… of gully dwarves are basically plummeting to their death into the rapidly collapsing Zach Braff just so you can make your way to safety? WHAT KIND OF HEROES ARE YOU?

idk the asshole kind i guess?

idk the asshole kind i guess?

Even Bupu laughs at them. Christ you all are corrupting Bupu.

But their hubris comes to a hasty ate when the lift mechanism stops working, and a batch of draconians (ugh) threaten to jump into the pot. Oh no! What will our heroes do? Raistlin bravely volunteers his LAST OUNCE OF STRENGTH to cast a spell while Caramon protects him. So touching! So manly! So romantic! Raistlin casts the hand-to-web spell! It’s super effective!

THIS IS NOT AT ALL A METAPHOR FOR EJACULATE

THIS IS NOT AT ALL A METAPHOR FOR EJACULATE

Two draconians (ugh) are felled! The last flees in awe of Raistlin’s mighty web strength! The day is saved! And Raistlin sinks into his brother’s arms, unconscious. You know, erotically.

true romance

And here our chapter ends. Well that was confusing but also exciting. I think the moral of this story is that 1. If there’s a dragon, set it on fire, even if it seems like a bad idea and/or you might die. 2. If your girlfriend dies, you are suddenly impervious to weapons. 3. Fighting is good, but magic is better. 4. Gully dwarves are expendable and not actually people.

ohhh no

I’m a little sad that Goldmoon is gone. Not because she was particularly clever or made, you know, good relationship choices, but she was The Lady of the group for a while, and honestly this sausage fest of a warrior team is getting a little old. Well maybe Bupu can take her place as the baddest warrior bitch of them all.

Homo and heteroeroticism prize: Tanis. Jesus christ, Tanis. Just pick someone and make out with him/her already; you are being such a cock/clit tease and it isn’t cool.

DOAT Book One, Chapter 15: Escape. The well. Death on black wings.

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!

you tried

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.

Get it together, dwarves.

Get it together, dwarves.

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!

finally!

finally!

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.

appropriate.

appropriate.

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.

It's my lunch hour.

It’s my lunch hour.

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.

This terrible idea is interrupted, however, by an earthquake that crumbles the well, nearly taking Tas with it.stop_dont_come_back_willy_wonka

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

A REAL ONE THIS TIME

A REAL ONE THIS TIME

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?

dont tell me

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???

DOAT Book One, Chapter 14: Prisoners of the Draconians

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.”

Shade

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.

okay a little more threatening than that one.

okay a little more threatening than that one.

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.

henry and glenn

finally.

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

this reason.

this 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.

mind blown

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?

pictured: not an actual person.

pictured: not an actual person.

Anyway, Flint explains that Tasslehoff has a plan, but to make sure Goldmoon gets out of the way real quick because LADIES AMIRITE.

ohhh no

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.

dramatic reenactment

dramatic reenactment

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.

christ this is reaching Moffat levels here.

christ this is reaching Moffat levels of teasing here.

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.

he'd just moussed.

he’d just moussed.

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.

kiss kiss

 

DOAT Book One, Chapter 11: The Forestmaster. A peaceful interlude.

Welp Dragonscouts, I have to say that these spoilery chapter headings were the worst idea, because I can already tell this chapter is going to be boring as shit. Ugh. Well I’ve made the commitment to get through this thing, so let’s dig in.

So, when we left our fearless band of warriors, they had run through the gauntlent of zombies and centaurs, and are now facing a… horrifying disembodied voice. Tanis and Caramon react immediately to this – Tanis by yelling, and Caramon by “bluffing” that he won’t harm the voice. So… okay Caramon, first of all, it’s a disembodied voice. Second of all, your first instinct is to “bluff” that you won’t hurt it? You have like, at least some serious anger management and/or violence issues dude.

NO I DO NOT

NO I DOOON’T

Okay Caramon, okay.

The Forestmaster assures the group that no, they won’t hurt her because she’s taken all their weapons. And then she reveals herself to be… a unicorn!

I'M ALIIIIIIIVE

I’M ALIIIIIIIVE

Despite the fact that this group is comprised entirely of assholes, the Forestmaster lets them chill in the forest for the night. Oh, thanks so much, Forestmaster, I would love to stay in your forest that is TEEMING WITH FUCKING MISOGYNY ZOMBIES.

HISSSSSS LET ME TELL YOU HOW WHITE MEN ARE OPPRESSED SSSSSSSS

HISSSSSS LET ME TELL YOU HOW WHITE MEN ARE OPPRESSSSSSSSSED

Caramon is super into this because the Forestmaster mentions the possibility of food, so obviously we now know where is priorities lie – food and twincest. He proves this by “eas[ing] his brother to the ground.”

You know that I will use every excuse to put up this image.

You know that I will use every excuse to post this image.

The centaurs prove to be domestic servants, and bring out a bunch of tablecloths, glowy insects in lanterns. and apparently objectionable chairs. Still the chairs turn out to be magic or whatever.

IDK this is basically the only chair that counts as magic in my opinion.

IDK this is basically the only chair that counts as magic in my opinion.

They all sit, and the centaurs lay out a magical feast. Caramon gets ridiculously excited about the meat until he realizes the deer is probably one of the Forestmaster’s subjects. Somehow, the Forestmaster seems really cool with everyone eating her people – er, animals – except that she stares creepily at Sturm while she says that it’s cool for folks to die fulfilling their destinies. Tanis manages to convince himself that this is all in his imagination, because he is an idiot.

The Forestmaster tells everyone to chill out about death and have a nice meal, which they do, apparently enjoying each others’ company for pretty much the first time in the book. Sturm talks to Tasslehoff without strangling him, and keeps him from stealing everything that isn’t nailed down. Caramon hoovers all the food in sight and plays with his bones, which, gross. Raistlin picks at everything and doesn’t talk, Goldmoon acts like a princess, basically, and Riverwind is awkward as hell.

One thing I like about this chapter is how it is subverting everyone else’s stupid ass prejudice about how Goldmoon is this barbarian who has no social skills applicable to the outside world. As it turns out, she is the only one who knows how to behave at a fucking dinner table with any kind of poise. Even so, girl, Riverwind is not doing you any favors. I hate to say it, but maybe daddy was right, and you need to kick him to the curb for someone who knows how to interact with people?

I'm just saying.

I’m just saying.

When the meal is finished, Raistlin asks the Forestmaster what the fuck are those lizard men, basically killing the mood. Thanks a lot, jerk who wants to know what the fuck is going on in his town. The forestmaster tells him that the beings are called… wait for it… “draconians.”

oh my god of course they are.

oh my god of course they are.

Apparently some of the Forestmaster’s zombie minions killed a bunch of them, which is cool. But before they did, they found out that the draconians (ugh) are: 1) not “of this world” (ugh ugh) and 2) comprise all those armies in the north that Tanis spotted while on top of the mountain.

Everybody starts yelling at each other about where they ought to go next, but fortunately the Forestmaster shuts that shit down by saying that SHE will tell them all where they need to go.

Raistlin is naturally suspicious, because who the fuck is this random ass unicorn to tell him what to do?

dont tell me

The Forestmaster has an answer though! Some dude, apparently large and shiny, told her that some folks were going to come into the forest, that the zombies would be cool with them, and that she’d have to tell him that they have to “fly” over the mountains and to some place called Xak Tsaroth in two days.

Dick

how do you even pronounce that shit? like “Zach Braff?”

Flint is like “wtf is this bs, you can’t get over the mountains in two days,” which seems a legit argument. Not only would they have to go back through the draconians, but they’d also have to go through the plains, where Goldmoon and Riverwind are basically under a death sentence. And then there’s the issue of whether they’re actually going to follow the advice – Sturm wants to go back to his homeland in the north because, you know, armies of fucking lizard men are there, and Riverwind still wants to cut his losses and head out to Zach Braff Xak Tseroth with Goldmoon by themselves.

Raistlin gives Riverwind a dire prophecy of death if they go off alone, which prompts Tanis to drag him off and give him a stern talking to. Sturm warns Caramon that there’s a “dark side” to his brother

uhh no fucking kidding.

uhh no fucking kidding.

which Caramon doesn’t even bother to deny. So… foreshadowing I guess.

Instead of bitching him out for threatening the pair of Plainsmen with death. Tanis asks Raistlin about what he knows about Xak Tsaroth. Raistlin replies that there used to be a temple to the ancient gods there, before being destroyed in the Cataclysm, before going off on a tangent about how he’s better and smarter than any of them, which is actually pretty awkward, bro.

Okay honey, okay.

Suuure, honey.

Once he’s done bitching, Raistlin tells Tanis that the draconians (ugh) are trying to conquer all of Ansalon (this is the first time the name is mentioned, and I only found out by searching my Kindle that it’s the continent they’re all on), and that the group will find whatever it is they need to defeat them in Xak Tsaroth. His advice is that they get there as fast as they can and get the whatever-it-is before the draconians (ugh) do.

Tanis asks Raistlin if he thinks that they’ve all been chosen for this task, and Raistlin agrees that yes, they were… but the question is, by whom?

dun dun dunnnnnnn……

So, despite the chapter title, this chapter was at least mildly interesting what with the interplay between the characters as they actually get along, and the threat of dire prophecies. Here’s hoping for some excitement in Zach Braff Xak Tsaroth.

get ready for thrills, motherfuckers.

get ready for thrills, motherfuckers.

Asshole count: Likely Raistlin again for bitching everyone out, though Caramon gets a shoutout for being a complete pig at the dinner table.

DOAT Book One, Chapter 10: Darken Wood. The Dead Walk. Raistlin’s Magic.

Our chapter begins with our heroes walking boldly into the zombie packed forest where they are horrified to see… absolutely no zombies. In fact, there are actually Disney-fied amounts of happy birds twittering in the trees and little animals scampering in the dappled sun. Tanis is, naturally, rather incredulous about Raistlin’s dire warnings, but fortunately, we Dragonscouts have our spoiler-y chapter headers to tell us that there is going to be some zombie shit going down soon. Can’t wait!

In fact, the entire group, except for Raistlin, decides their fear is silly, and start to relax.

loki facepalm

They walk on until the sun begins to set, and it gets to be time to make camp. This seems like a good thing as both Raistlin and Sturm – who has been healed by the staff but only barely – are pretty clearly hurting. They come across a comfortable looking glade, and blow off Raistlin’s additional dire warnings about not to leave the path. He sits down in the middle of the trail himself, and foretells more doom for the group, particularly if they try to kill any animals for food. Okay, you may end up being right, Raist, but you’re also being kind of a one-note killjoy, ya know?

Everyone settles in for the evening, but the woods suddenly seem more menacing. Tanis notices that his elf eyes, which I guess are some kind of infared vision that senses living warmth, aren’t working any more. He decides to take first watch with Sturm, and just as everyone starts to settle in, they find themselves surrounded by zombies.

shocker.

shocker.

And not just zombies, but a fully armed and armored zombie army. Welp, Raistlin, I hope you enjoy being right for the minute you have left to live.

Raistlin explains to Tanis that these are spectral minions who failed at performing some promised pledge, and are doomed in death until Isildur’s heir comes to free them from their bonda- oh wait, that was another zombie army that happens to be completely identical to this one.

IT'S A COINCIDENSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

IT’S A COINCIDENSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

By the way Raist, how do you know all this shit about them? Did you spend the last five years majoring in zombie studies? Well whatever. Raistlin tells Tanis that he’ll perform a communication spell to allow the group to find out what these zombies are after. He casts the spell, and the King of the Zombies steps forward to communicate. Tanis is duly impressed by Raistlin’s awesome zombie-taming power, although Caramon seems kind of upset.

The King of the Zombies uses Raistlin’s body to ask the rest of the group what the shit they are doing in his forest. Everybody is tongue tied except for Tasslehoff who, being an utter sociopath, runs up and immediately asks the zombies what crap they pulled to get them stuck here. The King rather indulgently explains that they had vowed to protect the land, but that when some crazy earthquakes occurred (referencing, pretty obviously, the Cataclysm discussed in earlier chapters), they ran away instead of fighting, and now must remain here until “evil is driven back and balance restored again.” So my only question is, why is everyone, including whatever higher power sentenced these knights to an eternity of servitude after death, not recognizing that knights cannot fight against fucking earthquakes????

This gif is going to be deployed a lot, isn't it?

This gif is going to be deployed a lot, isn’t it?

The King of the Zombies now demands to know why the group has entered the wood, and the imperturbable Tasslehoff launches straight into the story. Like, the entire thing, every single event we just read. Okay, well all the events up to the crystal staff, which causes the King to react rather strongly. He stalks straight to Goldmoon, who, to her credit, doesn’t even flinch, but goes straight up to the undead dude. The King of the Zombies suddenly draws his sword and!!! does nothing with it at all except hold it in the air. The sword and the staff both start to glow and Goldmoon is all like “OMG SAMESIES!”

The King now reaches toward Raist, and Caramon, having had enough of this zombie nonsense, tries to stab the King with his sword. This does not go well, as when the stabbing occurs, it’s Caramon who gets his ass (or rather arm) injured, and is reduced to a sobbing heap on the ground. Way to be a complete whuss, Caramon, you can’t even kill one zombie?

The King now grabs Raistlin, who does not fall to the ground shrieking in pain, but willingly follows the zombies into the woods. The others decide to follow, except for Caramon, who is a crying mess and has to be convinced by Tanis.

The group goes through what sounds like a huge battle until they find themselves in a large glade where Raistlin stands by himself. He collapses, and Caramon races to “reach his brother and gather him tenderly in his arms.”

so hot.

so hot.

The rest of the zombies vanish, and instead there stands before the group an army of alive dudes all pointing their spears. So, not really much of an improvement I guess. But oh shit, not only are these dudes alive dudes, they are centaurs!

but are they, like, homoerotic centaurs?

but are they, like, homoerotic centaurs?

Also it seems as though Flint is allergic to centaurs as well as horses, continuing in his dwarven allergies to any mode of transportation but sprinting. And yes, centaurs count as a mode of transportation, because they immediately offer our band of fearless heroes transport to anywhere they might want to go. Which seems a little undignified, but if you guys want to be pack mules, centaurs, be my guest.

The group gratefully accepts the offered transport, and the centaurs take them to the mysterious Forestmaster. In the meantime, the centaur upon whom Tanis is riding tells him to “relax” and “put thy hands on me rump.” Finally I think this book is getting where I want it to go.

That would be homoerotic centaur wrestling. The ancient Greeks wanted it too - no need to be ashamed.

That would be homoerotic centaur wrestling. The ancient Greeks wanted it too – no need to be ashamed.

The centaurs take the group to the center of Darken Wood and leave them there without even one awkwardly mannish kiss. But suddenly a voice comes from the forest to tell Goldmoon that her staff is a weapon against evil… annnd the chapter ends on that cliffhanger.

Unlike the last chapter, this one felt relatively short, and although there wasn’t much action per se, it was interesting what with all the zombies and centaurs and all.

Asshole count: Raistlin wins the prize here what with all his moaning and whining about how everyone is doomed when actually the zombies were pretty friendly – not to mention the centaurs. Still, I’ll give him a pass because his spells evidently saved everyone, and I’m guessing this won’t be the first time. Caramon wins for “least effective fighting technique” for his attempts to kill zombies by crying at them.

DOAT Book One, Chapter Six: Night in a Cave. Dissension. Tanis decides.

We rejoin our fearless group of heroes as they huddle together in a boat, as a rainstorm rolls in. Sturm and Cerulean Caramon are at the oars, with Sturm pointedly not speaking to Caramon, probably because he has realized that Caramon is kind of an asshole. Tanis is navigating and manages to find the group a convenient cave that’s large enough to house them all. I have no idea how he did this, but it probably has something to do with being an elf, or some crap like that. Elves are supposed to be able to do pretty much anything, at least according to Lord of the Rings movies, right?

So realistic.

So realistic.

Tasslehoff in particular is pleased with these developments, since in the… I don’t know, four or five? hours since he met Tanis on the road to town, he thought that Tanis was being “moody and indecisive,” which is apparently very different from Tanis’s usually strong-leadery self. To this I say… really? Indecisive? Moody I get, if only because he’s been tuning his friends out to think about how upset he is about not getting to fuck, but indecisive, absolutely not. Let’s take a look back at the last five chapters to see where Tanis has and hasn’t made decisions, shall we?

  • Chapter one: he declares that it’s time to go up to the inn instead of chilling on the road when presented with this decision by Flint.

  • Chapter three: After, admittedly, getting prodded by Tika, who mostly just filled him in on the general tenor of the townsfolk since he left Solace, Tanis decides that the group has to escape through the kitchen, and he’s forced to convince Sturm not to stand his ground in the meantime. Then he decides that they’ll hide at Tika’s for the night, allow the Plainsfolk to rest up at his house, then send the “barbarians”

pocahontis

          to Haven.

  • Chapter four: Lest we all forget, it was Tanis’s decision to WRECK TIKA’S HOUSE in order to allow the group some getaway time. Everyone else went along with it like the destructive assholes they are, but this brilliant plan was Tanis’s from the start. Once Sturm asks where they’re going to go, Tanis does hesitate, but only to consider the options before them. Then he decides that they’re all going north, at least to the crossroads, and possibly further.

  • Chapter five: It’s Tasslehoff’s idea to go by boat rather than Tanis’s, this is true. But when sent to reason with Flint as “the diplomat” of the group, he decides it’s better to let Flint go his own way than to drag him into the boat.

Basically, Tanis has been making almost all the calls during this adventure, with everyone else not only following his lead, but turning to him for guidance – Sturm asking where they’re going, and Tasslehoff running the idea of taking the boat across the lake by Tanis before he goes thieving borrowing. The one time he shows hesitation is when he’s considering his options. If this is indecisive for Tanis, he must have been a real dictator beforehand. Tasslehoff’s thinking that he’s glad for the adventure which indicates to me that kender are kind of sociopathic, which is obviously part of their charm.

The group huddles down in the cave, with special attention being paid to Raistlin, who can’t get his feet wet and has to be carried around by his brother.

This is getting very romantic.

This is getting very romantic.

It’s been hinted that Raistlin is in very poor health what with his not being able to walk very far, and lingering cough of doom, but this is the first indication that it’s serious – he starts coughing up blood, which seems to be kind of a liability for a traveling wizard. Tanis is now struck with a memory of having to save Raist (and I think it is totes adorbs that Caramon calls Raistlin “Raist”) from a mob that was trying to burn him at the stake for exposing a false cleric. Tanis ponders about how people need to believe in something and hate those who expose their false idols, but as for myself, I feel like Raistlin probably exposed the cleric in the most assholeish way possible.

Either way, everyone starts feeling sorry for the guy and ineffectual attempts at making him feel better commence. Caramon first puts his own cloak around Raistlin’s shoulders – ignoring the fact that not only was he rowing in a rainstorm, but he’s the one who got in the water and shoved the boat off in the first place, meaning the thing is probably soaked. So, thanks bro.

Goldmoon then attempts to help by giving him some wine (which, may I add, is stolen from Tika) that Raistlin can’t drink, then offers to heal him with her staff. Apparently over the course of two chapters, she has forgotten that last time Raistlin attempted to touch the thing, it shocked him so badly that his brother nearly beat her up. Raistlin, you are surrounded by idiots. Of course, Raistlin’s response to these ministrations is not to point out any of these obvious facts, but to make dramatic pronouncements about how his body is a permanent sacrifice for his magic. So… yeah, I think you are bringing this on yourself there, Raist.

Sturm walks into the cave, dragging Flint along with him, and acting generally pissy, I assume because his moustaches are frizzy from the humidity. He starts getting into a spat with Riverwind over some bullshit about his word being his honor and protecting ladies and other such nonsense, and before long, the two have glove-slapped their way into a duel.

glove-slap-o

The two square off into what promises to be an epic cave battle. Their oiled muscles are clad in tiny bikini armor undies and glistening in the firelight, their lips trembling in lustful hate. And as their limbs meet in a sweaty, musky embrace of rage and desire, their grimacing faces only centimeters from each other – oh wait, none of that happens. Riverwind apologizes to Sturm and then collapses. Tease.

rasslin

There had better be some homoerotic wrestling in this book, is all I’m saying.

Well, everyone starts to fall asleep, leaving Tanis and Tasslehoff to try to plan their route. Well, Tanis does, while Tasslehoff sorts through his bag of stolen mysteriously acquired trinkets. Among them, Tanis recognizes a gold ivy-leaf ring, which he recognizes as his, “given Tanis long ago by someone he kept on the borders of his mind.” So I’m sure now that he has his ring back, we will never hear more about it, or this unnamed person ever again, right?

Oh, and Tasslehoff insists that Tanis must have dropped the ring on the floor of the inn, and it sure was a good thing he picked it up, proving once again that he’s a goddamn sociopath. I’m meant to love this, and oh, I do. They confer over Tasslehoff’s maps, and are concerned that there are no ways to Haven apart from the obvious main roads. Well, Tanis is concerned. Tasslehoff thinks this all will be great fun, and falls fast asleep.

The group spends the night in the cave as a ferocious storm rages outside, which is in no way any kind of foreshadowing of conflict to come. And the wind is bitter, and comes from the north, which are surely only atmospheric coincidences, meaning nothing.

In the morning, the group cooks up a little of the meager supplies they were able to steal from Tika, which turn out to be not a whole lot. Tasslehoff remarks that Tika must eat her meals out, which, what a fucking relief, am I right? Poor Tika. At least she has some spicy potatoes to console her, which reminds me, I’m’a try to do a recipe post one of these days. Spicy potatoes for everyone!

When the time comes to figure out what to do, everybody stares at Tanis, apparently because he is so indecisive am I right? Their first plan is to go to Haven, but if that doesn’t work, Tanis proposes to go to the elven lands, known as Qualinesti. Only problem is, nobody has any idea how to get there… except Raistlin of course. And… how do you know about that, Raistlin? You know, since you are pretty clearly not an elf, and Tanis is?

Ohhhh I have my ways.

Ohhhh I have my ways.

Well, apparently the paths to the wood are suitably Raistlin-y, as they are filled with hoards of the living dead.

MEN HUNT, WOMEN DO LAUNDRY HISSSSSSSSS

MEN HUNT, WOMEN DO LAUNDRY HISSSSSSSSS

Ugh, misogyny zombies, apparently. I want to go to the forest with the misandry zombies. Both Sturm and Caramon seem to agree with me, because they freak right the fuck out about going into the Darken Wood, which was probably what Raistlin intended in the first place. Ass.

Tanis shuts this shit down immediately, which I have to admit is a good idea. Sturm even has a moment of quiet contemplation about how he’ll follow Tanis to the ends of the earth because of his, I don’t know, natural leadership or some crap. Sure is a change from the indecisive and moody dude from the past few chapters, am I right guys?

Anyway, Tanis decides to ask Goldmoon what she wants to do, and although Riverwind grumbles, she decides to go with the rest of the group and take the staff to Haven, instead of leaving the group to take the staff to… also Haven. Some decision Goldmoon, who do you think you are, Tanis or something?

With much grumbling from Flint and much passive aggressive stonewalling from Riverwind, the group makes their way out of the cave and along their journey.

So, this chapter was more satisfying than the last one in terms of character development. Although we don’t exactly get into new territory with our characters, we do get a little deeper into what’s making them tick, so it doesn’t feel so much like we’re rehashing old territory. As for action, all we get is huddling in caves, which isn’t nearly as satisfying as battling hobgoblins. Even our promised fight scene between Riverwind and Sturm fizzles out. But I’m sure we’ll have more epic battles on our journey, so never fear, Dragonscouts!

Asshole count: So many in this chapter you guys, but I think this time it’s Tasslehoff who wins the prize, what with his being an utter sociopath. However, Raistlin, Riverwind and Sturm all have their moments of nastiness this time around, and I’m going to give Riverwind a close second, for both being a jerk to the guys who are pretty much saving his ass at every turn, and then fainting and denying me my erotic wrestling scene.

Homoeroticism count: Again, loads of this in this chapter! We have our twincestuous pair, Caramon and Raistlin, our homoerotic wrestling pair, Sturm and Riverwind, and our homo-fantasizing pair, Sturm and Tanis. This chapter, I will have to go with Caramon and Raistlin, as the two have actual physical contact over the course of the chapter. But I’m holding out for future wrestling. Don’t disappoint me, Sturm!

Don't worry, Khaleesi!

Don’t worry, Khaleesi!

 

 

 

DOAT Book One, Chapter 5: Farewell to Flint. Arrows fly. Message in the Stars.

Good evening Dragonscouts! Just for your info, your Khaleesi is going to have a sporadic posting schedule for the foreseeable future. But never fear, she will continue this foray into nostalgic fantasy fiction, and continue to bring your at-least-weekly chapter reblogs.

We last left our intrepid heroes as they trashed a nineteen year old waitress’s house, and escaped into the night without a backward glance like the complete assholes they are. The mere act of trashing a house and then running away from it seems to have taken the strength out of our fearless band of warriors, as Goldmoon’s face is “scarred with weariness,” Riverwind’s “shoulders sagged,” and Raistlin is “shivering, lean[ing] against a tree and wheezing for breath.” Way to be big damn heroes, jerks.

Tasslehoff suggests crossing Crystalmir Lake by boat, and is undeterred by the fact that our bold fellowship is not currently in possession of a boat. Tanis gives Tasslehoff his approval of this plan, but warns him not to tell Flint. I mean… seriously, is Flint allergic to every method of transportation that doesn’t involve walking? He already sneezes at the mere whiff of horse, however that works, and now he’s allergic to… what, water? Just stick to sprinting I guess, lil dawg.

Dwarven water allergies tragically claim three more victims.

Dwarven water allergies tragically claim three more victims.

Anyway, Tasslehoff leads the group on a night excursion to purloin borrow a boat with which to cross the lake. Ceridwen Caramon expresses concern to Tanis that the barbarian

pocahontis

Riverwind doesn’t trust them, which Tanis decides is a pretty legit reaction to this entire excursion. And much as I hate to admit it, Tanis does have a point. The entire group is pretty sketch, what with their can’t-be-in-town-one-full-night-without-attracting-goblin-crackdown-ness, criminally negligent attitude toward personal property, not to mention the fact that Riverwind’s broke ass is supposed to be protecting the goddamn princess of his nation. But he doesn’t do much about this except give the entire group suspicious looks, so I mean, way to not be proactive, Riverwind.

Sturm is the only one who expresses some reserve about their excursion, saying “[f]irst we’re murderers, now we’re about to become thieves.” Caramon scoffs that he doesn’t consider himself to be a murderer, because “goblins don’t count.” So this is a clear expression of Caramon’s species-ism. I mean, “goblins don’t count?” They’re sentient beings, right? With the ability to feel pain and emotions and all that? What on earth about goblins besides the preconceived notion that they are somehow “evil” makes them not count when you’re killing them? Maybe we will discover this later on, but right now it smacks of Tolkien-y “orcs were made by evil dudes so they are automatically evil and nothing can change that even if they are supposedly sentient creatures with free will and junk.” Grosssss.

We get still more character development as Caramon, dickish as he is toward goblins, shows a relatively surprising level of compassion toward his brother, who’s struggling to keep his feet. Raistlin spurns Caramon’s attempts to help him along the path, and although Tanis wonders out loud why Caramon puts up with him, both he and Sturm seem a bit jealous of Caramon having family close to hand – unlike the two of them. Sturm has apparently spent the last five years in an unfruitful search for his father, whereas Tanis, the product of assault, has no family at all. This is all very sad, but it seems that it might be a little better than having an unrepentant jerkass as a little brother.

This relationship will in no way cause me any regret, right lil bro?

This relationship will in no way cause me any regret, right lil bro?

Sudden lights in the distance show that Tanis and his group of property destroying dickwads are being chased, likely for the destruction they wreaked on Tika’s treehouse. Tanis finally clues Flint into the fact that they’ll be crossing the lake by boat, and we’re treated to the knowledge that Flint is not allergic to water, but rather has a mortal fear of boats after nearly being drowned by Caramon one time. So… not really doing much in the way of redeeming yourselves, guys. Riverwind seems to think so too, as he apparently attempts to convince Goldmoon to split up and take their chances in the forest. Goldmoon, however, is having none of this, and orders her lovahhhh into the boat. He seems none too pleased with this, but bro, that’s what you get for dating princesses.

PRINCESSES DO WHAT THEY WANT

PRINCESSES DO WHAT THEY WANT

As it turns out, Riverwind is dwarf and elf and kender racist, a trait all of the “Plainsmen” (except Goldmoon who is apparently preternaturally enlightened) share. Soooo primitive, am I right guys? Good thing Plainsmen are in no way based on an actually existing race of humans or that would be suuuuper awkward.

Tasslehoff arrives with the boat, and Flint straight up refuses to get in. Tanis, in a rare moment of not being an asshole, doesn’t allow Caramon to knock Flint on the head and drag him into the boat, but shakes the guy’s hand and lets him go. This doesn’t last long, however, as Flint reappears, chased by a regiment of goblins. He dashes to the boat and gets hauled in, while Sturm rows them out into the lake. This is problematic, however, as the moons (there are two, one silver and one red) cause the boat to show up against the water, making the group an easy target. We’d better do what we always do in impossible situations, which is let Raistlin handle everything. He casts a spell and all the goblins on the shore topple over, fast asleep.

like a boss

 

So the group is safe for the time being, and Goldmoon and Riverwind engage in some post mortal danger groping. But they are interrupted when both Goldmoon and Raistlin notice that two constellations – the Queen of Darkness and the Valiant Warrior – have vanished from the sky. This, Raistlin claims, is a portent of war, death and destruction, but Caramon scoffs in disbelief. And so I have to assume that this prediction will in no way come to pass, because that would just be foolishness.

I have to mark this chapter as just okay. While the chase through the forest is a little thrilling, we’re going over emotional ground (Tanis and Sturm have no family, Caramon and Raistlin have a toxic, co-dependent relationship, Riverwind hates everyone) that we’ve already covered in prior chapters, so it all feels like a bit of a rehash. I hope we’ll venture into new territory in subsequent chapters.

Asshole count: CARAMON wins the prize in the assholeness contest that is this chapter. So far we learn that though he’s nice to Raistlin (who clearly doesn’t deserve it despite being competent as fuck), he’s goblin-racist, and he nearly drowned one of his best friends and nevertheless has no compassion towards said friend’s subsequent crippling fear of water and water-based transportation. Riverwind comes in second based on his racism, but he seems to not have been involved in any drowning incidents, so he gets a pass from me on this one. Tanis, surprisingly, is being a pretty reasonable dude and shows himself to be a not too bad planner in dangerous situations. However I have little doubt that he’ll show his true dickish colors quickly.

DoAT Book One, Chapter 2: Return to the Inn. A shock. The oath is broken.

Well Jesus Christ Dragonlance chapter openers, have you ever heard of a spoiler alert? So obviously now we know what the shock is, we’re ready to delve into whatever other mysteries this chapter holds for us. And we already know they’re not important enough to be mentioned in the twee chapter title anyway, so who the fuck cares? Ughhhh. Fine, we’re reading it anyway. Let’s go.

For starters, we get treated to a little worldbuilding. So far we have been confined to the tree-bound town of Solace, but now we know that there are a bunch of big cities/settlements nearby: Haven to the northeast (this is where the fundies come from, it seems), Qualinesti to the south (elves, if you couldn’t tell. I COULD.), and the Abanasinia Plains to the east. So apparently folk are just streaming out of these places to go to the Inn of the Last Home, which I TOLD you is a sick hipster bar, but it is still kind of problematic that you are serving drinks 40 feet in the air, JUST SAYING.

We get some description of the tree’s “convoluted” trunk, which, ugh.

The cool kids say "vermiculated."

The cool kids say “vermiculated.”

Anyway. Tanis starts worrying (blandly) about how much has changed in the five years since he’s been in Solace, so we get some (bland) thought exposition.

Apparently there was some disaster in the land called a “Cataclysm,” following which the old gods of Krynn (this is the land we’re talking about ) vanished. So the new fundies, called “Seekers” are in search of awesome new gods to worship.

haha gross

Because that has always worked out super well.

But instead of finding awesome gods, the fundies decided that they should just take over Krynn instead. Which they are apparently doing, and making stuff super awkward in the process. Like, martial law awkward.

Anyway, we find out what the chapter title oath is. Apparently, Tanis and all his way cooler than him friends made a promise to meet after five years, and talk about the bad shit they found in their travels. Tonight is the night of the big meeting (way to cut it close BLANDis), and Flint clarifies that this oath is a sacred one. Which… if the very gods of Krynn have vanished, how does one go about making a sacred oath that actually sticks? Like… with no gods, what is even sacred?

Tanis, Flint and Tasslehoff make it up the (FORTY FEET) to the bar and smell OTIK’S SPICY POTATOES which are I guess a thing (that now I kind of want to eat). They spot their friend Cardamom’s Caramon’s dragon helmet gleaming in the firelight, and Flint is somehow grumbly about how twin bro Raistlin will be there too. Which… did he not also take the SACRED OATH to be there? Why are you surprised, grumpy dwarf? We don’t even know if you have a beard yet, shut it down.

Anyway, Tasslehoff runs over to Caramon, who is introduced as being a huge, burly and muscled “giant” with a “booming” voice who immediately bro grabs everybody and cries all over them.

bro grabs

And then Tanis asks the inevitable “where’s Raistlin?” And then. Oh, my friends, and then… we get Raistlined.

You thought the loving, sensuous description of Tanis was something? Well it’s nothing compared to the apparent grotesquerie (I made up that word) that is our red robed wizard pal. His skin is gold and metallic,and all melty like somebody pulled a Viserys on him.

like that's an appropriate punishment for being an annoying sister rapey jerk.. well actually yes it is appropriate, now that I think about it.

like that’s an appropriate punishment for being an annoying sister-rapey jerk.. well actually yes it is appropriate, now that I think about it.

Not only has Raistlin’s skin gone goldfinger, his eyes have changed from the normal circles into hourglass shapes

Basically, this is the most over the top insane description of a wizard that I have ever come across, and it is SO RIDICULOUS. So instead of even trying to find an appropriate gif set to represent Raistlin in this blog series, he is just going to be Loki, because let’s face it, Raistlin and Caramon are movie!Loki and movie!Thor in their beta run.

face it ladies, it's true.

face it ladies, it’s true.

Raistin explains that he is the victim of a hideous wizard curse that he incurred because ambition and hubris and taking the wizard SATs way before he was actually ready. So now with his hourglass eyes, he can see people dying which… not exactly the biggest superpower, bro. It’s called aging? Anyway, not only did he get his new look and eyes, he also got a special staff with a dragon claw clutching a crystal. A little gaudy, if you ask me.

So everyone is feeling super awkward at this tale of hubristic wizard curses, and of course that is when Tika comes in with some beers. Rad timing girl! But then she reveals that she also has… BAD NEWS in the form of a SCROLL CASE with a SCROLL INSIDE. The post office in Krynn is pretty fancy, I guess. The message is apparently that one Kitiara isn’t going to show… OATH BROKEN. WHAT A SHOCK.

And that’s our chapter two. Not bad, a lot of exposition in this one, but we do have to have our setup. We’ll see what shocking events are in store in later chapters.

Beard count: Still just the one so far! I need to know whether Flint has a beard or not, the suspensssssssse.

Wizard count: Raistlin is basically INFINITY WIZARDS, so there might not have to be a count after this.