DOAT Book II, Chapter 12: The parable of the gem. Traitor revealed. Tas’s dilemma.

Greetings Dragonscouts! When last we met, our bold heroes were about to be betrayed by a traitorous traitor, Tasslehoff and Fizban were off being useless, and we found out that dragons can transform into humans for some reason. If the title chapters are as spoilery as ever (and I’m sure they are), we’re gonna find out who that traitor is, at least! Let’s dive in.

We start out with Caramon, in drag, getting sexually harassed by Eben.

brule shock

Apparently they are “doing comedy” for the woman captives down the mine. The women, held apart from the society of their children for so long, are so deprived of amusement that they find this hilarious for some reason. Tanis, in another rare moment of good judgment, has located the natural leader of the women, Maritta. In a move of astonishing stupidity on Maritta’s part, she has agreed to Tanis’s plan to potentially endanger their children who, lest we have forgotten the last chapter are: 1) being held in an undisclosed location; and 2) being guarded by a fucking dragon. So maybe Tanis was being an idiot all along!

makes sense

Maritta tells Tanis that the Highseekers are also being held prisoner, but are being treated better than the rest (aka, they are not being forced into slave labor), and thus will cause some problems during the planned revolt.

Maritta also reveals that she is not an idiot by telling Tanis that his plan is contingent on their children coming to no harm during the process. Tanis reminds here that there is a fucking dragon guarding them, and Maritta laughs.

brule shock

Apparently the dragon is old and feeble, and the children love her. Not only this, but the dragon thinks the children are her children. And anyway, she sleeps late, so they can just sneak the kids past her before breakfast. THAT WAS LUCK, TANIS. THAT WAS LUCK. DON’T YOU DARE THINK THIS WAS AT ALL DUE TO YOUR DUBIOUS INTELLECT.

Anyway, the women set to work on the plan by sewing some clothes to disguise the men as women. However, Sturm starts to make trouble when they insist that he shave off his mustaches in order to pass. Which, Jesus Christ Sturm, we’re talking about rescuing literally hundreds of people, including children, from a life of slave labor. You could  maybe sacrifice a few hair follicles, which may I remind you, FUCKING GROW BACK for such a worthy cause, right?

…no. Tanis just has him cover his face with a scarf.

cher yuk

Then Riverwind starts to make a fuss, saying that his tribe punishes cowardly warriors by making them dress up as women, so he won’t do it.

ron swanson 2

The solution to this is wrap him in a cloak and have him lean on a stick like an old woman which… how is this any different than having him dress up as a woman? IDK at least he buys it which is good enough for now.

Meanwhile, Tanis is preparing his genius disguise by wrapping his face in a scarf instead of shaving

malcolm transpo

and Laurana calls him out on it, proving once again that she is better for this group than Tanis. Further, when Tanis tries to apologize for snapping at her, she insists that he was right, but that she’s going to prove her worth somehow. This apparently makes Tanis’s “soul [stand] breathless,” which I assume means it gives him a half chub.

Finally, when everyone’s about ready to go, Raistlin makes trouble by saying that he’s too tired to go along with him. I have to hope that he said this before making the women go through the trouble of sewing him a costume. They decide to leave him there, which after all, was not too hard.

The draconian (ugh) guards come in, apparently after having enjoyed happy hour, and completely buy that all these dudes with obvious facial hair are, in fact, women. So the idiotic plan is now in motion. Let’s hope nobody fucks up, my dudes!

Meantime, Tasslehoff and Fizban are finding extremely convenient secret doors and trying to make their way around the fort. Fizban engages in some artistic appreciation, and shows Tasslehoff a battle scene in which good gold and silver dragons battle the evil red and black ones. Then Fizban spells Tasselhoff to forget this information, and they go traipsing off to find the dragon’s lair, which seems like an incredibly terrible plan.

pointless

Our heroes in drag are in shock as their plan begins to go surprisingly well, up to the point where they find the menfolk in the mine. However, the men are skeptical of Goldmoon’s claims that a goddess gave her some metal discs so they should risk their lives for reasons. The Highseeker, as predicted, starts the trouble, and it seems like the men are going to start a days-long argument. And even worse, they hurt Goldmoon’s feelings!

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

this is my new favorite gif btw

They come across a super old and dying dude, one of the Highseekers who actually spoke up against Lord Verminaard and his minions. He apparently has whatever the fantasy equivalent of cancer is, which makes him saintly and philosophical, as cancer tends to do. He asks Goldmoon that if she’s really the emissary of the old gods, why the hell did they wait so long to come back to Krynn?

Goldmoon thinks about this, then says that it’s basically like if you drop a jewel in the forest and are afraid to go back to get it, she guesses. This apparently makes complete sense to the man and he is INSTANTLY CONVERTED from his previously strongly held beliefs. Good job, Goldmoon!

But then, Tanis gives the group some disturbing news – BOTH Eben and Gilthanas are nowhere to be found. Womp womp! Guess we’ll have to wait for the traitor to be revealed for at least a couple more pages.

We’re taken back to dragon Pyros’s POV, in a tiny (for a dragon) chamber, where bad boss Sestun is being offered as the dragon’s dinner. Pyros is so gully dwarf racist that he won’t even eat Sestun, which I would be mad at if it didn’t mean that Sestun would live to see another day. Hooray for Sestun!

whoo whoo

The traitor then enters the room to rat on our bold companions. When the individual throws back their hood to reveal their face, there’s a barely audible gasp as Tasslehoff, hiding somewhere near the ceiling, recognizes who they are. The audience, on the other hand, is left in the dark, in a gambit that is getting increasingly irritating.

Pyros is as unimpressed by the plan to free the saves as I am, and moves to more important things, namely that the unnamed prisoner brought to Lord Verminaard during the last chapter is HIM whom they’ve been searching for all this time. Given that there has been literally no foreshadowing about this apparently insanely important individual, the import of this statement is kind of lost on me. Anyway, Pyros thinks that the guy is fine where he is for now, considering the coming attack on Qualenesti. Once that’s over with, Pyros will take the man to the Dark Queen. Great plan, Pyros! What could possibly go wrong?

Anyway, Pyros tells the traitor that he has to keep this dude safe until he can get back from deep fat frying the elves. The traitor agrees, and fucks right out.

Tasslehoff starts crying with the realization of who has betrayed them, but still won’t say who it was, which is getting REALLY ANNOYING. But then he says that even though they can’t warn Tanis, given that they have no idea where he is, they’re going to do the next best thing and rescue Seston.

My god, this is enough to get me to start liking Tasslehoff again.

And here ends the chapter, and I’m sorry to say that our chapter titles are goddamn liars.

Asshole count: If not the chapter titles, then for sure any dude whose masculinity is so fragile that he can’t shave his facial hair or dress in drag in order to rescue hundreds of people, including children, from a lifetime of slave labor.

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.