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.

 

DOAT Book II, Chapter 7: Farewell. The companions’ decision.

Greetings Dragonscouts! Welcome to the chapter where we FINALLY GET SOME FREAKING FOOD. These elves, man, I don’t care if their houses are made of quartz, they are stingy bastards. Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the rest of our band of noble heroes after the sexually aggressive awkwardness of the last chapter.

We start off with Goldmoon… not eating, because the elven feast reminds her of her mother’s funeral.

ron-swanson 1

Still, Riverwind has taken a break from being an emo fuckass and is actually being supportive, so that’s something.

Laurana is… not eating, she’s staring at Tanis.

ron swanson 2

Tanis is… eating but not tasting anything. Flint is… not eating because he doesn’t like elven food. (WHAT DO ELVES EAT?)

Raistlin is… not eating much, but then he never does.

Tika is… not eating because she feels frumpy in front of the elven women.

ohhh no

Caramon is… eating, thank god, but not satisfied. He at least gives us a description of what elves eat: fruits and vegetables cooked in delicate sauces, served with bread, cheese and wine. That actually sounds kind of good, but I get the feeling that Caramon is a meat-and-also-more-meat kind of guy.

bacon and eggs

So this is a very frustrating feast for pretty much everyone, and also they are being pretty rude guests with all this not eating the food that has been finally served to them. Well, at least the elves deserve it.

And hey, Flint? You don’t like elven food which means you don’t like… fruit, vegetables, bread, cheese or wine. WHAT DO YOU LIVE ON. HOW DO YOU LIVE FLINT. I AM PRETTY SURE WE HAVE SEEN YOU EATING AT LEAST THREE OF THOSE THINGS ALREADY.

bacon and eggs 2

bacon and eggs 3

Apparently only Tasslehoff and Fizban are enjoying the dinner party, and Tasslehoff spends most of the time stealing shit because he is a – you know what? Forget it. Everyone else is being such a dick that I’m not even mad. You do you, Tas.

So then Gilthanas is up and – oh my god, he’s going to indulge in some oh-noetry. He sings in elvish while Tanis translates for Sturm. It is, predictably, about sunsets and fireflies. I don’t have the strength to transcribe it. Just imagine choppy free verse that expresses the elves’ infinite sadness or whatever.

cher yuk

Finally this gruesome feast is over, and it’s time for the meeting of the High Council. Oh boy, that sounds fun. But my sarcasm is proved wrong, because as it turns out, the council is held while standing on a giant map! Both Tasslehoff and I are unreasonably excited about this.

Hope it's as good as this map!

Hope it’s as good as this map!

Still, the meeting takes a downward turn when the Speaker announces that elves cannot fight against fucking dragons, so they’re going to head toward Silvanesti, which is an even older elf residence, sort of like Lothlorian to Qualinost’s Rivendell (gee, I bet nobody’s ever made THAT connection before).

But the plan won’t work unless they can stop the army currently at Pax Tharkas, which is where Lord Verminaard hangs. The Speaker explains that the captured men of the surrounding area are slaves, with their wives and children held hostage to ensure good behavior. This seems like a really shortsighted plan, Lord Verminaard. You have over half the population of captives as a sheer drain on resources. Put the women and children to work! Kids love to work.

mugatu

See?

Anyway, the Speaker thinks that if  the women and children are freed by our mighty heroes, the men will revolt, destroy the army and give the elves the time to dash on out of there.

Guys.

Guys. GUYS.

  1. Women can’t revolt???
  2. ELVES CAN’T HELP REVOLT???

Man just fuck y’all elves. Riverwind agrees with my point #2 at least, claiming that the revolting humans won’t survive making an attack like that. The Speaker helpfully explains that all the humans were going to die in the mines anyway, so what’s the big deal? They can, like, live in the mountains and stuff. Humans love mountains, right? Everyone glares at him, so he says that Gilthanas can go along with them too, if they want. Cooooooollllllll.

kanye laugh

So our heroes confer about this incredibly stupid and destructive plan. Tanis is in favor of splitting up so that Goldmoon can go with the elves to protect the Disks, but everyone shuts that down in a hurry. Even Fizban uses his mental powers on Tanis to go along. Tanis is a little weirded out by this, and confers with Raistlin about how This Old Man Is Not What He Seems. Raistlin agrees that the guy has some kind of great power, and it’d be dangerous to stop him.

After the rest go to get some sleep, Caramon and Sturm corner Tanis because they don’t trust Tanis’s not-bruh Gilthanas. His story about living while his entire army was either killed or burninated doesn’t sit right with them, and they think he might hand them over to Lord Verminaard. I mean, he is a dick, but Tanis doesn’t think he’s a traitor – he’s just misguided. Then Tanis abruptly yells that if there’s someone he doesn’t trust in their group, it’s Raistlin and the old man.

well that was just uncalled for.

well that was just uncalled for.

Later that night, Tanis is awoken by someone mysterious standing over his bed. Naturally, he grabs that person, pulls them across him, and puts a knife to their throat. I’m sure you’ll be shocked when I reveal that the mysterious night stalker is Laurana wearing only a “flimsy nightdress.” Tanis immediately gets a mega boner.

divine4

Laurana warns Tanis that her father doesn’t actually expect his lead-the-slaves-into-revolt plan to work, and that he’s basically sending Tanis & Co. into a death trap. Tanis decides it’s now the moment to be all noble, and tell her that even if the plan has just a slim chance, it’ll be worth it, because sometimes you have to risk your life in something you believe in. I don’t quite get your logic on this particular plan, Tanis, but okay.

jlaw okay

The one person who’s moved by this impassioned speech, however, is Laurana, who goes back to her bedchamber with newfound resolve. Does she have something she’s willing to risk her life to get? Would it be Tanis’s yogurt-slinger? I have no doubt we’ll find out soon enough.

Asshole count: This one’s tough. Tanis is in the running for that unsolicited comment about Raistlin, and then Gilthanas is just a dick all round. But I think the award his chapter goes to the Speaker for sending our brave companions – not to mention the entire slave population of Pax Tharkas – into certain death just to let the elves escape. Because fuck humans, am I right?

DOAT Book II, Chapter 6: Tanis and Laurana

Ohhh goody. We’re embarking on a chapter literally named after my two least favorite characters in the entire trilogy. Welp, it’s time to suck it up and try to find ways that Tanis and Laurana are not so bad after all, because what’s a 20-years-later recap without a little introspection, am I right you guys? Let’s dive in.

When last we joined our heroes, Laurana was leading them to somewhere with beds, and please god, food. My latest wish gets answered right away as they get to walk through an orchard and pick what they want and get delivered bread. Okay, maybe I don’t find fruit picking all that charming, but I can think of better ways to treat your guests then to tell them to harvest their own dinner. At least the bread came pre-made. Oh, and they’re invited to “relax on soft moss beds” instead of, you know, actual beds. Aren’t there bugs in those? Jesus christ, elves, you are never going to be Martha-level hostesses if you keep pulling this weak-ass hosting shit.

martha is pissed

Tanis refuses the food. WHAT THE FUCK TANIS.

ron swanson hulking

Laurana, however, tries to be a better hostess than her accommodations suggest, and starts making the small talk. She even compliments Tika’s hair! Ladies supporting ladies, what could be better?

Tanis throws down an apple (I thought he refused the food? And is he so mad about ladies complimenting each other?) and wanders into the trees. Both Laurana and Tasslehoff follow him, Laurana because she is thirsty for that half-elven D, and Tasslehoff because he is a sociopath.

So Laurana basically jumps Tanis and claims they’re engaged, which Tanis quickly shuts down. Guess their getting engaged as youngsters did NOT go over well with Laurana’s family, causing Tanis to leave Qualinost and set out on his journey of self-discovery. We can see how well that worked out.

Laurana insists, despite Tanis’s protests, that he came back because he’s in lurrrve with her and wants to maaaaaaaaarry her and oh yeah I can see why I found this annoying back in the day. Tanis tells her that actually, he’s in love with Kitiara (who we STILL haven’t met yet, ugh) and can’t marry Laurana because his heart is divided. Oh WOE FOR TANIS. He has too many ladies, what shall he do?

Shade

Anyway, he gives Laurana’s ring back, and she screams and throws it at him in rage. Coooool. I guess when the authors distinguished Goldmoon from “foolish, hysterical women,” this is what they were thinking of?

ohhh no

Tasslehoff, meanwhile, is watching the entire time, and steals the ring. Just… fucking wow.

Anyway, Tanis wakes up later… on the moss beds I guess? to Gilthanas sitting over him, thanking him for breaking Laurana’s heart and proving that he was right about Tanis being a half-human fuckboy this whole time (which to be fair, he is). He then tells Tanis to wake the others for the feast and… here the chapter ends. Wow! Short and pointless!

I feel a little vindicated about being annoyed by Laurana in this book, although now it’s tinged with the frustration of how poorly the authors write female characters. It’s doubly frustrating because one of the authors is a freaking woman. I know, product of its time and adhering to fantasy tropes and all, but the only women we’ve really met in the book so far are: the serene nurturing healer, the jealous town slut- but-not-really-a-slut, and the beautiful spoiled brat who’s convinced everyone luuuurves her because she’s just so pretty. Someone give me a lady with a fully developed character AND A GODDAMN SWORD.

Asshole count: TANIS AND LAURANA