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 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 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 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 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 8: Search for truth. Unexpected answers.

When we last left our fearless band of heroes, half of them were cowering in a ditch to hide from a bunch of priests based on their sociopathic kender’s (redundant) “eerie feeling.” The other half consists of two large fighters with swords, one of whom has already declared his intention to “take care” of said priests, and two fugitives from pretty much all the authority in the area who have run out into the road in an effort to test the healing powers of their staff.

Goldmoon is in the lead of those running from the bushes, and the book takes pains to tell us that “this was not the act of a foolish, hysterical woman.” Oh, thank goodness you said something, book, because that is what I TOTALLY would have thought.

ohhh noWe go into a little backstory about Goldmoon, and how she’s had to rule her people ever since her father got debilitatingly sick, ten years ago. Buuut… wait a sec. In the very last chapter, we had a story about how Goldmoon’s father was the one to have sent Riverwind out on this impossible quest. And even if that had happened before her father had taken ill – so ill that he couldn’t speak clearly, or move his right arm and leg (so a stroke, I guess), according to Goldmoon’s story, Riverwind had gotten back only two days prior to the current events of the book. He’d presented the staff to Goldmoon’s father – not to her – and her father had declared him a fraud and ordered the tribe to stone him to death. And… how did he do this? Even if we accept that he was able to be propped up, and his speech interpreted, it was Goldmoon who “ruled the tribe in all but name.” As their leader, why couldn’t she just overrule her father, declare that the staff was cool, and order everyone to, I don’t know, not stone her boyfriend?

Logic

Ucchhhh okay, fine, book, I will take your word on this one and move on. This part doesn’t have nearly enough Raistlin in it anyway.

Anyway, Goldmoon offers to help the sick priest, but declares that she is the staff’s rightful owner until she learns definitively otherwise. Tanis, watching this exchange, gets nervous as he notes that the priests keep feinting towards their belts, under which lie strange bulges that can’t be prayer books!

Sooo is that a prayer book in your pocket or just an obvious joke?

Sooo is that a prayer book in your pocket or just an obvious joke?

Neither Sturm nor Caramon apparently share Tanis’s homoerotic musings, as although Sturm stayed in the road to kill the priests, and Caramon ran into the road to protect Goldmoon, they have both let their guard down and are now “completely relaxed.”

loki facepalm

I just assume this is Raistlin’s reaction, and I’m probably not wrong.

The priest gratefully accepts Goldmoon’s help, and invites her to travel to Haven with his group, in order to convince her that the staff really belongs to them. So generous! He leads Goldmoon to the cart, and inside she finds… an ambush!

Not only that, but Tanis – still hiding in the bushes – is jumped upon from above. Fortunately, Flint smacks the attacker with a log, and Tanis is in for another surprise – it isn’t a man, but a lizard man.

The most dangerous game.

The most dangerous game.

Goldmoon and Riverwind, meanwhile, have been attacked by lizard men disguised as priests. Fortunately, unlike Riverwind who is paralyzed in terror, and Caramon and Sturm, who I assume are still relaxing, Goldmoon proves herself to be a pretty badass fighter with her staff.

Sturm apparently snaps out of his stupor and sticks one of the lizard men with his sword. At this, he gets a nasty surprise – the thing turns to stone, leaving Sturm’s sword stuck inside it. Raistlin sees this, and appears in time to warn Caramon against stabbing the dudes. Caramon attempts to fight them by… flexing somehow, and Raistlin puts them to sleep…

LIKE A B – oh, shit, it doesn’t work, because the lizard men are magic resistant! Caramon employs his head-smashing technique (most recently exhibited on goblins) and decimates the lot.

Oh shit, I did something right!

I did something right!

Raistlin, not to be outdone by his own brother, sets the remaining lizard men on fucking fire.

like a boss

Tanis, meanwhile runs up to Sturm who is lying in the road and crying like a little child about his sword, like he’s wounded or something.

No, I'm not above using this joke.

No, I’m not above using this joke.

Tanis leaves Flint and Tasslehoff to guard Sturm while he gets the rest of the group together. But Tasslehoff traipses of to grab Sturm’s sword some…how?

Like this, if King Arthur were a kender?

Like this, if King Arthur were a kender?

There’s some hilarious slapstick high jinks that I’m just too exhausted to recap here – let’s just say that Tasslehoff pounds the lizard man with pretty much no effort because that’s just what kenders do.

Anyway, more fighting, then Tanis manages to get everyone rallied into one group. Tanis decides that they have to head south into the woods where the misogyny zombies live.

HISSSSSSSSSSSSSS WOMEN ARE WEAKER THAN MEN IT'S JUST BIOLOGY

HISSSSSSSSSSSSSS WOMEN ARE WEAKER THAN MEN IT’S JUST BIOLOGY

And that’s the end of another chapter. It’s action heavy, and apart from the extremely contradictory storyline we get about Goldmoon’s past, and a little background about how well Caramon and Raistlin are able to fight together (even if they don’t get along), not much character development. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, guys! We can do both!

Idiot count: This one is clearly Sturm and Caramon for apparently letting their guard down pretty much immediately after they were already primed to, you know, kill some fucking priests. As you do.