DOAT Book II, Chapter 13: Questions. No Answers. Fizban’s Hat.

Welcome back Dragonscouts to another exquisite chapter of Dragonlance in which we ask questions and receive no answers. Who wants to take bets on whether we’re going to figure out who this alleged traitor is in this chapter, eh?

We join our brave companions as both Gilthanas and Eben meet up with the group. Eben has a suspiciously plausible story as to where he’s just disappeared to. Tika seems to believe Eben’s story, especially after he starts kissing on her hand. This makes Caramon ragey, but for some reason, he doesn’t attack, which strikes me as extremely out of character.

Gilthanas, when asked where he’s been, responds with “YOU’RE NOT MY DAD.”

dont tell me

Also, he points out, Raistlin was super tired when we left… SUSPICIOUSLY tired. Actually, he went missing at the same time as Gilthanas and Eben did… so perhaps it is HE who is the traitor!

Faced with this accusation, Raistlin responds with “YOU’RE NOT MY DAD.” Caramon leads his brother back to bed.

thorandloki

you guys are not even trying.

Ugh. So now we have THREE potential traitors, each of them with their supporters, and Tanis is feeling VERY put upon. He realizes that this whole thing might be a trap, using the excuse of a revolt to kill all the slaves AND our noble heroes, thus snuffing out the threat of Goldmoon for good. He considers abandoning it, but then decides not to because… it would be too disappointing to the slaves. Cool, Tanis. Now just go to sleep without doing anything and that’ll… yeah… great plan my dude.

Tanis is not the only one who abandons any attempt at a plan to get some sleep. Tasslehoff wakes up in the morning, having slept through the night instead of cunningly waiting for Pyros to fall asleep so that he can rescue Sestun. Fortunately for him, the dragon likes a good lie-in, and is still asleep when he wakes up.

Tas and Fizban embark upon a HILARIOUS series of fuck-ups in an attempt to rescue poor innocent Sestun. They’ve just floated Sestun up to where they’re hiding when Lord Verminaard comes into the dragon’s lair. The dragon and the highlord start discussing their villainous plans when they see Fizban’s hat come floating down to the floor.

reaction-cersei-1

Meanwhile, Tanis wakes up and decides to go through with the plan, even though it means both certain death for all of them, and playing right into the traitor’s plan. Tanis is hinging his hopes upon there not actually being a traitor, which we, the audience, know is completely untrue. Oh the dramatic irony!

Tanis has a dramatic farewell with Laurana, who is still determined to prove that she isn’t useless. She reminds him, correctly, that even if her combat training was “ceremonial” it was still goddamn combat training, which makes her marginally more useful than Tika (poor Tika).

The plan is in motion! Everyone is disguised as women (except for their facial hair for some reason), and goes to wake the children and lead them outside. But, unexpectedly, there’s a guard at the door where there never was one before! (This place seems pretty shoddily guarded tbh.) The guards say that they’ve been ordered to search the women before they can go into the children’s room and are really freaking creepy about it. But one of them makes the mistake of calling Sturm ugly and Sturm, realizing the destructive nature of the patriarchy and the male gaze, begins the attack.

fuck the patriarchy

Our heroes make short work of those sexist draconians (ugh) and run into the children’s room where they’re soon to encounter a motherfucking dragon.

Back to Tasslehoff and Fizban, who have just gotten caught trying to rescue Sestun from Lord Verminaard and Pyros’s clutches. Pyros in particular is concerned, because he now knows that they caught him talking about the mysterious green gemstone man, a secret for which he’s willing to kill. OH NO!

Fortunately for them both, Fizban turns out to be good for something. He grabs Setsun, casts a darkness spell, and tells Tasslehoff to run. He’s even able to protect them from the dragon’s firey breath! Astonishing! Could it be that The Old Man is Not What He Seems?

The three make their way back to the mechanism room, while Pyros starts breaking through the goddamn wall. The only way down is by crawling down the mechanism’s chain, so that’s just what Fizban, Tasslehoff and Sestun start to do. Unfortunately for them, the dragon bursts through and attacks. Finding that his breath can’t touch the three due to Fizban’s spell, Pyros does the next best thing and attacks the chain instead, melting the links and causing them to fall to their certain doom.

womp womp

WOMP WOMP

However, unbeknownst to Pyros, he’s just set a giant cogwheel in the mechanical room a-turning, to what purpose… we’ll have to find out in a later chapter!

Welp that certainly…barely advanced the story. But good news Dragonscouts – there’s only two more chapters and an epilogue to go, meaning we are almost done with Dragons of Autumn Twilight!

Asshole count: whoever knows who this goddamn traitor is but isn’t telling me.

 

Advertisements

DOAT Book II, Chapter 11: Lost. The plan. Betrayed!

Well it’s time for another chapter of Dragons of Autumn Twilight, and it looks like the betrayal that I’ve been predicting for, oh, the last MILLION OR SO CHAPTERS is finally going to come to fruition. Let’s get started!

We begin with… aw freaking Tasslehoff. I thought he was lost and never to be found again! Don’t tease me like this, book. Anycrap, his narrative starts back when we meet our dark

lav7

elf. When everything goes back, someone grabs him, hoists him onto one of the chains, and tells him to climb. He does, as everybody else escapes thanks to Raistlin AND NO FREAKING ONE ELSE.

Tasslehoff and the person, who he realizes is Fizban, climb the chain until Tassheloff feels comfortable to make a pun about the chain LINKing to the mechanism, and honestly, I want to punch him about 75% more than I once did.

They decide to follow the chain over the mechanism and into a tunnel, so Fizban conjures a puffball of light to guide the way. The puffball, of course, turns out to be HILARIOUSLY disobedient and afraid of the dark.

kanye laugh

As they crawl across the chain, over a yawning chasm, Tasslehoff begins to fantasize about what it would be like if he fell and splattered on the ground. ME FUCKING TOO, TASSLEHOFF. Fortunately for them and not us, they make it to the tunnel, belatedly realizing that they have left their staffs behind.

Meantime, the rest of our brave warriors are defying my expectations by being upset that Tasslehoff and Fizban have gone missing. Tanis, in a freak instance of doing something that I actually agree with, tells everyone that they absolutely cannot go back to fetch them. Good on you, Tanis. Raistlin also takes the news of the two missing companions by shrugging then falling asleep, confirming his status as the best character in this book.

Anyway, Tanis and Sturm sit down with Gilthanas in an attempt to figure out where the fuck they are, which turns out to be in the lowest cellar of Pax Tharkas. Nearby is the prison where the women are being kept, and also nearby is A FUCKING DRAGON – a red one, named Ember. The children are being held separately, on the first floor, and are guarded by yet another dragon. This is clever of the captors, the book explains, because the women would never leave without their children and the men would never leave without their wives/children, thus meaning that the women would have absolutely no problem leaving the men. Good move, ladies.

scarjo misandry

pictured: the women escaping Pax Tharkas without those pesky men.

Also, there’s a bunch of gully dwarves working the mines alongside the men, but this is evidently an afterthought.

MIA

Eben joins the group to say that Gilthanas knows a VERY SUSPICIOUS amount about Pax Tharkas. When Tanis asks what the point would be in betraying them all at this stage, Goldmoon replies that the betrayer wants to get her, and the disks, to Lord Verminaard. Somehow this helps Tanis stop the bickering, and Gilthanas goes on to reveal EVEN MORE stuff about Pax Tharkas that there’s no reason he should know.

Apparently, every day, 10 to 12 women are allowed to bring food to the men, and then to visit their children. Gilthanas’s plan was always to have his dudes disguised as women to relay their plan of freeing the female hostages in order to alert the men that they’d be free to incite a revolt. However, according to Gilthanas, they hadn’t worked out how to free the children, because they can’t figure out what the deal is with the dragon guarding them. Oh well! No big deal, right?

nazi shrug

Despite this glaring issue, everyone agrees that this plan is A Good Plan, and they decide to strike in the morning, because Lord Verminaard and Ember will be off joining the invasion on Qualinesti.

We turn back to Tasslehoff and Fizban in the mechanism room as they try to figure out an exit plan. Just then, in an astonishing coincidence, Fizban points out that just below them is a crack in the wall that leads to Lord Verminaard’s private chambers. Even more coincidentally, they find themselves spying on both Lord Verminaard and his dragon, Ember! Willickers!

We then go into one of our confounding dragon POVs. We learn that Ember, secretly named Pyros (so original you guys) has been sent to Lord Verminaard ostensibly as a gift, but really to spy on Lord Verminaard on behalf of the Queen of Darkness (who might be a goddess I guess???). But he also has another, even secreter mission, to find a guy named Everman… or maybe Green Gemstone Man… or maybe Beren? Guys this is getting needlessly complex.

jerri 2

Anyway, Ember is in Lord Verminaard’s room, like, knocking shit over with his tail and stuff, when Lord Verminaard complains. So Ember like, transforms himself into a human which is something I guess dragons can do, but they don’t seem to like it too much. He’s apparently here to see some new prisoners brought in by Fewmaster Toede, in an effort to soothe Lord Verminaard’s wrath from letting Goldmoon escape his clutches. One of those prisoners is none other than bad bitch gully dwarf Sestun! I’m so glad he’s not dead! And then there’s another mysterious unidentified guy who is apparently deaf and mute, and who I’m sure will not be in any way important.

Lord Verminaard makes short shrift of these prisoners, telling Setsun to “feed the dragon” (nothing ominous there), and the unidentified unimportant man to go work in the mines. Ember seems to think this is a pretty idiotic idea, but doesn’t say anything. Lord Verminaard confirms that he and Ember are to join the attack on Qualinesti first thing in the morning, then leaves Ember to pace the room in evident consternation.

It isn’t long before a draconian (ugh) enters the room to give a clandestine report to Ember. Apparently their traitor (WHO COULD IT BE????) has brought Goldmoon into Pax Tharkas. Ember is apparently not too impressed by this, but orders the draconian (ugh) to bring the traitor to him tonight, without telling Lord Verminaard. And here the chapter ends.

I’m actually really impressed with this chapter in that Tanis is actually making some good decisions.

Asshole count: I wasn’t really sure, but I guess it’s going to have to be Gilthanas again, for deciding that the child captives, and by extension the woman captives, are expendable so long as there’s a revolt against the army holding Pax Tharkas. Pretty cold shit, bruh.

 

 

DOAT Book II, Chapter 2: The stranger. Captured!

Hokay, maybe now it’s time to get into the actual storyline of book II of Dragons of Autumn Twilight following that intensely important cleaning-and-crying interlude. Our fearless heroes are still somewhere outside Solace watching the flames of its destruction tint the sky, Tika and Otik are serving up Harvey Wallbangers to hordes of hard-drinkin’ draconians (ugh) and hobgoblins, and life for the folk of Krynn seems generally fucked on account of the motherfucking dragons just whipping out flames whenever anyone says something disagreeable. Apparently the jerk-ass High Theocrat who welcomed his lizard overlords into the city is now toiling in the slave mines, where they mine… well, I’m not sure what, exactly, but I’m sure it’s unpleasant, what with the whole slavery aspect and all.

So my question now, as we go into this chapter, is who the heck is coordinating all these fucking lizard men and dragons into an army? This seems like a pretty extraordinary effort which is not something that draconians (ugh) seem to excel at? And the dragons aren’t in charge, right, because they’re taking orders from the draconians (ugh)! I mean, I’m sure this is just a question we haven’t had answered yet in the scope of the narrative, but man, when we do get an answer, it had better be a good one.

i'm waiting.

i’m waiting.

Anyway, we come back to Tika who has dried her womanish tears and is now serving up beer to randos at the Inn of the Last Home. But who should come strolling into the bar but our noble heroes! Which…. why? Last time you were here, if you don’t remember (I certainly do and it’s taken me longer to read this damn book than it has taken y’all to get from Solace to Zach Braff in story-time), you were attacked by theocrats, chased down the garbage chute, and hounded out of town by fucking hobgoblins. What makes you think that this is any kind of safe space for you to go now that the draconians (ugh) and hobgoblins have taken over the town?

shrug-house

Welp, idiocy aside, here our heroes are. Tika does a super big “WELCOME STRANGERS WINK WINK” like she’s the merchant in Resident Evil 4. Caramon is briefly confused by this, because apparently subterfuge is not his strong suit (putting it mildly). This doesn’t stop Tika from giving him an entire skillet of spicy fried potatoes, giving him a smooch and begging him to take her with him. Wow, Tika, I mean, I get it, your city is occupied by fearsome dragon men, but these guys are not the most reliable dudes, especially considering they destroyed your house and stole all of your stuff last time they were here. Remember that, Tika?

Tanis tells Tika to calm down. THANKS TANIS we wouldn’t want any FOOLISH HYSTERICAL WOMEN to blow your cover AM I RIGHT?

cher yuk

my face when tanis does literally anything

Anyway, Tika fills them in on the dragon attack, the rounding up and enslavement of anyone who’s not a skilled laborer into the slave mines. This makes Tika’s desperation a little more understandable, I guess. I mean, if it comes to either running away with a band of assholes or being enslaved, the assholes sound like the obvious choice. That is, until we remember the callous disregard with which our valiant heroes treated the last group of enslaved people they encountered, aka the gully dwarves… remember THEM? I DO. Remember how they barely treated the dwarves as people and then abandoned them to the rapidly collapsing city, pausing only to dump a pot of them into a freaking abyss? You might want to take your chances in the slave mines, Tika!

Anyway, Tika’s just starting to tell the group about a captive party of elves – something that gets Tanis’s attention – before she has to leave to sling a few more jagerbombs into the draconians’ (ugh) faces. Caramon experiences a strange tightening in his pants as he watches her go, but he can’t seem to figure out what those are, until he remembers the “stories he’d heard about Tika” and reminds himself that she’s apparently a big old slut. This makes him both sad and angry, and has the same effect on me.

ohhh no

Just when I thought this situation could not become more disgusting, one of the draconians grabs Tika and sexually harasses her by indicating that draconians (ugh) and humans are anatomically compatible.

marilyn-monroe-yuck-

Tanis stops Caramon and Sturm from intervening, because Tika can “take care of herself.” And she sure does – by “flouncing” off. Oh boy folks, we have the ladytimes trifecta right here: cleaning, crying and flouncing.

basic bitches

To distract everyone from the pervasive sexism, Flint starts talking smack about Raistlin while trying to figure out next steps. Tanis suggests they go to Qualinesti, which if memory serves, is where the elves hang out. This gets one of the strangers at the inn riled up for some reason, though no one but Tasslehoff witnesses this. The stranger approaches, but one of those draconian (ugh) dicks trips him on the way to our heroes’ table. Surprise, it’s a fucking elf!

legolas-and-the-oliphant-o

did he skateboard in down a fucking mammoth because otherwise how else will we know he’s an elf?

The draconians immediately jump him, and while our heroes are too far off to help out, Tika steps the fuck up and slams one of the draconians (ugh) on the head with her frying pan.

WITNESS ME

WITNESS ME

This, understandably, causes a fracas to break out, as our heroes struggle to prevent the draconians (ugh) and hobgoblins from calling the guards outside. Well, all but one of our heroes struggle, as Raistlin takes one look at the melee and nopes right back to his seat. Kind of a dick move, bro, but a pretty rational take on the situation.

Surprise, the guards get called, and the inn is surrounded. Just then, Tanis and the elf, who is apparently called Gilthanas. This has no bearing on the fact that they’re about to get the shit arrested out of them. One of them tries to grab Raist, who is like “AH NO SON IT IS ON” and magics him to death. When the head hobgoblin threatens to kill Tasslehoff if he does it again, Raist’s response is basically “meh, idgaf.”

last fuck

nope, there goes my last fuck.

Still, the numbers are too great for him to hold out, so in the end, everybody surrenders. Raistlin ensures no one will touch their shit by bullshitting a curse

like a boss

but alas, they are dragged away by their captors, and so ends the chapter.

Well after the cleaning and crying fest of the last chapter, this one was actually a fun ride, albeit a pretty sexist one. It’s nice to add another lady to the mix, especially since she can hold her own in a fight, but does she have to use a frying pan to do it? I mean, really guys? I would just like one lady with a sword, please. Just one. For starters.

Asshole count: You know, I think most people would give this one to Raistlin for standing by in the fight, but he more than made up for it by protecting everyone’s shit, in my opinion. Asshole count goes to Caramon for equal parts objectifying and slut shaming Tika. Poor Tika. You deserve better, girl, especially when that second trilogy comes around, ya dig?

DOAT Book II, Chapter 1: Night of the Dragons

Greetings dragonscouts! I’m happy to report that we are ready to embark upon Book 2 of Dragons of Autumn Twilight, our master course in “a D&D campaign is not a novel.” This means that we are over halfway through book one of this delightful, nostalgia-infested trilogy! I’m so pleased. While my posting schedule has been erratic of late, I hope you’ll stick with me as we continue our journey to lance some goddamn dragons.

Our heroes have just escaped from the earthquake-induced destruction of Xak Tsaroth which they… probably helped cause, to the detriment of the entire enslaved population of gully dwarves who live there. Our heroes give exactly zero fucks about this, but are upset when they look to the horizon to see the hometown of the majority of the group, Solace, is on fucking fire.

spongebob

Not so funny when it’s not gully dwarves is it, you racist fucks?

We open our chapter not with our heroes, but with Tika. Remember Tika? I remember Tika! She’s the waitress who was childhood friends with many of our heroes, before they infiltrated her house, stole all her food, killed a bunch of goblins (getting god knows what kind of bodily fluids on her rugs), broke down her door, knocked over her furniture, and high-tailed it out of there, leaving her to be arrested or worse. So what torments has Tika been through while our heroes have left her to fend for herself?

frying pan

According to the book, cleaning. Thank god Otik is there to console her when she can’t get the table clean enough for her lady-standards.

Cinderella

FUCK YOU, DIRT

Apparently it was the middle of happy hour a week back when Solace came under attack from A MOTHERFUCKING DRAGON during the High Theocrat’s (you may remember him from the severe burnination that occurred in Book I, Chapter 3) speechifying. Apparently he was Quisling-ing out, telling the townsfolk that all he was going to do was let the draconian (ugh) armies through town so they can attack the elves in the south. Don’t worry guys! It’s just like Belgium!

Belgium

Worked out super well for Belgium. Twice!

So apparently the Theocrat is elf- and dwarf-racist, and approves his draconian (ugh) overlords so long as they get rid of all those nasty magical folk AND FOREIGNERS. Let’s not ask him his opinion on gully dwarves, as I’ve had enough gully dwarf racism for one book. Anyway, all this racism is a moot point once a dragon swoops in and sets Solace on fucking fire.

drogon

Take that, racism!

Actually, it isn’t just one, but five motherfucking dragons along with an entire army of draconians (ugh). Tika, like the bad-ass bitch she is, immediately sets up a makeshift hospital in the bar (even if she didn’t mean to) and gets to work.

So now, in the present, there are only a couple buildings left standing, and they’re on the ground because Lord Verminaard ordered the dragons to grab them in their fucking claws and drop them. The inn’s back in business because draconians (ugh) are super into two for one shots at happy hour, I guess. And now Tika’s exhausted her stores of badassery and is cleaning and crying like a lady should.

f...fuck you, dirt...

f…fuck you, dirt…

She’s at least pissed at Otik for serving buttery nipples and sex-on-the-beaches to the draconians (ugh), though she seems to conveniently forget that this is a choice between service and stab wounds or slave labor which kind of makes sense. I bet they are shitty tippers though.

So six draconians (ugh) walk into the bar and… the chapter ends.

Well, that was depressing. We didn’t even get to see our heroes be assholes, which always cheers me up. Then again, pretty much everyone in this story is an asshole, so.

Until next time, please tip your saucy bar wenches, especially at happy hour.

DOAT Book I, Chapter 22: Bupu’s gift. An ominous sight.

Well good evening dragonscouts! Your Khaleesi has been away but has returned to serve you fresh and steaming liveblogging of Dragonlance for your bored-at-work pleasures. Let’s get back to our noble heroes, who when last we met, were fighting their way out of the draconians (ugh) lair, sacrificing gully dwarves along the way like they ARE NOT SENTIENT CREATURES JFC.

Okay. Our heroes are dragging their unconscious and/or injured brethren (Raistlin and Riverwind respectively) out of the lard pot elevator mid-motherfucking-earthquake. No sooner have they gotten Riverwind out of the pot than the entire mechanism breaks off from the ground and crashes into the pits below. The book does not mention, but I feel compelled to add, that the crowd of gully dwarves who were in the lower pot have now certainly had their brains dashed upon the rocks below. Do any of our heroes give one single fuck about this?

no_fucks_given

Riverwind is pretty much ready to curl into a ball and die. Sturm is weirdly into this, but Tanis is not having it, so he starts up a little hair-pulling as foreplay.

you have my attention.

you have my attention.

 This, at least, seems to pull Riverwind out of his suicidal mood, so together the heroes stumble toward the Temple of Mishakal. Zach Braff Xak Taroth, meanwhile, is drowned.

eh. it was for the best.

eh. it was for the best.

Tanis looks around and doesn’t see Riverwind. Everyone else attributes this to, y’know, your basic suicidal tendencies, but Tanis is again NOT HAVING IT. He runs into the interior of the temple where he thinks he hears Riverwind. But when he gets in there, instead of looking for his friend, he starts screaming at the goddess that he doesn’t believe in her. ………………why? If you don’t believe in them, why are you screaming for them to leave you alone, Tanis? I mean, I guess that’s the DRAMATIC IRONY here, but authors, you could at least have your hero use the basics of logic even when he’s pissed. Anyway, Tanis finishes his hissyfit, looks up at the statue and OH SHIT IT’S GOLDMOON.

brule shock

Yup I suppose our Token Lady has traded her staff for the statue’s necklace some…how… but she sure is alive!

So Goldmoon wakes up and declares that she is a “true cleric” and disciple of Mishakal. Apparently this means she can now heal people by touching them on the forehead which is pretty cool as far as god-granted powers go. Goldmoon even declares that she is not a warrior but a healer which… because girl, I guess.

lady sif please

Anyway, Goldmoon says that her task is to find the one person who has the strength and wisdom to unite the people, fight evil, and set the world in balance. Welp… good luck with that, Goldmoon.

Anyway, our noble band of warriors gets the fuck out of Xak Tsaroth before the armies of draconians (ugh) can find them. Their plan is to go to Solace to supply up, which, JESUS CHRIST WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? You left that place as fugitives, remember? With the hobgoblins or whatever they were knocking down doors to find you? WHY WOULD YOU GO BACK THERE?

Logic aside, they strike out. During their overnight camp, Raistlin wakes up and hears muffled cries. Why, it’s Bupu, who has repressed her sadness until it can no longer be contained.

like a boss

Bupu is sad because she wants to stay with Raistlin (don’t we all) but she’ll miss her bros back home. Raistlin tells her she should go back and is basically super sweet to her in that way you’re sweet to someone when you’re all like NO DON’T FOLLOW ME INTO PERIL.

stop_dont_come_back_willy_wonka

i need u bb

Bupu is so grateful for Raistlin’s solicitude that she pulls out a gift. Is it a lizard? A rat? NO IT’S THE MOTHERFUCKING SPELLBOOK OF FISTANDANTILUS! Bupu snaked it from that motherfucking dragon after all!

mind blown

With that awesome and incredibly convenient gift, Bupu leaves, and Raistlin watches her go with a single tear and an inner wish for her best life. Never mind that her city just got fucking destroyed and her friends killed, RAISTLIN IS A GOOD GUY DAMN IT. Of course Flint comes in to dig at him about his “pet gully dwarf,” further hammering in the message that everyone but Raistlin is a gully dwarf racist asshole.

Farewell Bupu! ILU you bad bitch.

Raistlin goes back to stash his new book in his pack when he sees a glow on the horizon. Is it the dawn?

nope

IT’S MOTHERFUCKING SOLACE ON FIRE.

SO MUCH FOR THAT AWESOME PLAN GUYS.

And that’s the end – not just of the chapter but of BOOK ONE. We’re on BOOK TWO guys, and it’s only been… like, jesus, I don’t even want to say. My goal is to start updating regularly again! We have more dragons to… lance, I guess.

ANYWAY, thanks for coming with me on this journey so far, dragonscouts! Onward into Book 2!ga

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 13: Chill Dawn. Vine Bridges. Dark Water.

Hellooooo dragonscouts! Your khaleesi is back from crazy work/holiday schedule and ready to go on some epic dragon themed adventures! I bet this chapter has us crossing some vine bridges over some dark water, what do you say? Bring the excitement!

Our chapter begins with Tanis waking from a horrible nightmare. He tries to take over the watch from Riverwind, who can’t sleep due to his entire tribe of people and way of life being destroyed utterly the day before, something lame like that.

Actually it seems like no one in our heroes’ camp can get any sleep. Tanis finds Flint engaging in his favorite hobby, whittling. They exchange some exposition about how they are on some road that will maybe get them through the mountains and possibly lead them to Zach Braff Xak Tsaroth. However, they’re running short on time, considering the Forestmaster had given them two days to reach the mysterious ruin, and now there’s only one day left. Sooo… thanks for that, pegasi.

you tried

haha no you didn’t.

 

An examination of Tasslehoff’s pre-cataclysm (and thus incredibly out of date) shows that they might just reach Xak Tsaroth this afternoon, if the land isn’t too bad. Nobody seems surprised or elated by this, they just… kind of sit around and eat breakfast. Well, at least Raistlin makes an effort to lighten the mood by needling Goldmoon about the deaths of her entire tribe. Way to be a dick, Raist!

I'M JUST MISUNDERSTOOD

I’M JUST MISUNDERSTOOD

Surprisingly, no one offers to pound Raistlin for that. Instead, Riverwind just walks off to be broody and Tanis starts giving Goldmoon a sensual backrub which… why… would you even… do… that? I really don’t think you’ve established the kind of relationship that allows unsolicited backrubs but… Goldmoon seems not to mind, so why the fuck not, I guess.

Riverwind comes back to let Goldmoon know that, by the way, he saw footprints leading from the destroyed village, meaning that some of their people might still be alive, and by the way, that means she’s the Chief now. He rains on this immediately by stating that it’s possible the draconians (ugh) followed the folks into the mountains, but hey, the thought was there. He and Goldmoon start fighting about their relationship immediately, which is I guess reasonable, seeing as how Goldmoon is under a lot of stress, and Riverwind is not being all too helpful. She is, by the way, back to telling about her father’s former condition, saying that all he did was “drool[] and mumble.” And this is the guy who was supposed to be coherent enough to order Riverwind to be put to death?

jlaw okay

Anyway, after that exciting bit of rehashed character development, the adventurers continue down the road where they come across a giant swamp. You know, one of those swamps that are right next to the desert plains. As in all desert-adjacent swamps, there is quicksand deathmirk, and surprise, Flint falls into it. You know, one of those funny dwarven pratfalls that lead to death.

dignity!

dignity!

Fortunately their resident Thor cosplay enthusiast Caramon is able to drag Flint out of the deathmirk, just in time for them to be goosed by a gigantic snake. Swampy fun!

After the typical we’ll never make it through/there’s no other way argument by Tanis and Raistlin, Riverwind reveals that actually, he does know the way through the swamp, because he’s been there before. Surprise! Everyone suddenly figures out that Riverwind’s half-remembered adventure during which he obtained the staff was Xak Tsaroth all along. SURPRISE YOU GUYS!

Shade

 

Riverwind leads the group through the swamp until the path leads straight into a mass of dark water. Everyone is in despair over the fact that they will have to stop, until Riverwind points out the vine bridge spanning the dark water.

malcolm transpo

 

Thanks to the vine bridges and Riverwind remembering the safe path through the swamp… somehow… even though he can barely remember anything else about his trip… I guess… the group makes it safely to the other side of the dark water. Hoorayyyyy. Oh except Goldmoon and Riverwind aren’t speaking anymore so maybe she’s finally decided to dump his peasant ass after all.

It's a good choice, Goldmoon.

It’s a good choice, Goldmoon.

Tanis is worried about Flint, who got soaked in the deathmirk, so he asks Tasslehoff to help him out by warming him up. Tasslehoff responds by skipping away to give Flint a flask of brandy, which… not exactly a scientifically proven method of hypothermia prevention. I mean, I expect this from Tasslehoff, who is a sociopath, but I expected a little better from you Tan… oh, no I actually didn’t.

The group travels on, and Tasslehoff decides that the best way to deal with this is to get Flint wasted.

ohh yeah this will end well.

ohh yeah this will end well.

But oh shit, as they’re crossing a fallen tree, a group of draconians (ugh) leaps out at them! They try to fight them off, Tas a bit more successfully than Flint, who again takes a plunge into the dark water. Successful-ish as he is at hitting stuff, Tasslehoff isn’t able to stop one of the draconians before it starts to cast a spell. Tas decides to leap into the water rather than get magicked, which is actually a pretty solid decision.

The rest of the group, hearing the attack, comes running. Raistlin immediately realizes that this is a mistake, but it’s too late – it seems that everyone gets clocked by the draconian magic. And on that cliffhanger, the chapter ends.

This was at least better than the last chapter by a pretty long shot, which I know isn’t saying much, but it at least has me interested in what happens next. The conflict between Goldmoon and Riverwind is pretty manufactured, though, you know the writers just want to give them some kind of tearful make up scene in the next couple of chapters or something.

Raistlin certainly wins the asshole prize in this one for, you know, joking about the possible massacre of Goldmoon’s tribe, but for sheer what-the-fuckery, Tanis and Riverwind are neck and neck. Between giving your bro’s girlfriend a “sorry your people got slaughtered” backrub and “remember all that shit I said I forgot well I REMEMBER NOW hahahaaa” I just don’t even know what either of you are doing. Maybe after Goldmoon officially dumps you, Riverwind, you and Tanis can get together and be stoic and mirthless as, like, a couple.

As for Tasslehoff, he doesn’t even register on this scale anymore because he’s a sociopath.

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.