DOAT Book II, Chapter 14: Matafleur. The magic sword. White feathers.

A’IGHT DRAGONSCOUTS WE’RE ON THE HOME STRETCH MY GUYS.

Only like a chapter and a half or so until we reach the end of Dragons of Autumn Twilight. Will our brave heroes survive their suicidally idiotic plan to free the slaves down the mine? Will Tasslehoff and Fizban ever become less annoying? Will we ever discover the identity of the mysterious traitor that they’ve teased for like ten entire chapters? Let’s find out!

Our chapter begins with our heroes entering the dragon’s lair to save the children, only to find a mysterious absence of children and a fuckton of dragon.

smaug

AIIIEEEEE!!!!

Only here’s the thing, this dragon is old and she’s a girl, so no need to worry your pretty heads about her.

toofless

aiiee?

Her name is Matafleur, but goes by Flamestrike to mere mortals (if dragons are immortal, how is this dragon decrepit? Like what good is immortality if you just fall apart and rot year by year until there’s just like string and tendons holding you together? Guys?).

Anyway, this dragon’s super into taking care of the children, so like, a babysitter dragon I guess. The children are I guess in the room beyond the dragon, so the group starts walking past her without her giving it a second thought. Until, that is, Tanis’s sword starts to buzz like a hive of bees or some shit.

hes got bees

Raistlin jumps in and reveals that the sword is magic and anti-dragon somehow, which I mean is the worst thing you can do for someone as self-important as Tanis, giving him a magic dragon-slaying sword. Anyway, the dragon is not fooled, she realizes that these folk CAN’T be women because women can’t have swords!

ohhh no

fuckin sexist dragons

Anyway, the sword distracts the dragon enough that the rest of the group is able to run in and grab the children anyway. The plan goes well until the children see Tanis threatening their dragon with a sword and decide to revolt.

baby fight club

i guess.

Anyway, this plot contrivance goes nowhere, since Goldmoon is able to calm the children down and get them to run outside to their mothers. Let me guess, this is because she’s a woman? :))))) and naturally able to talk to children? :))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Anyway, this causes the dragon to I guess have a psychotic break and revert back to the past when her actual children, like dragon type children, were killed. This puts Tanis in an incredibly dangerous situation, so of course Sturm steps up ready to fight. But then Raistlin’s all like “STAND BACK FAM I GOT THIS” so Sturm runs and I guess now it’s Tanis and potential traitor 1/3 against a fucking dragon.

Everything looks dire for a good two seconds until Raistlin just blinds the dragon and they run out while she’s confused and trying not to set fire to the children. So much for an epic dragon battle. Anyway, Tanis and Raistlin reach the rest of the escapees when fucking Pyros just bursts out of the castle.

Annnnnd we cut to Tasslehoff and Fizban, who are still falling along with the chain in the machine room. Fizban tries to cast a “pheatherfall” spell, but only gets the “pheather” part out before he’s crunched to the ground. Tasslehoff, meanwhile, falls into a pile of feathers.

womp womp

WOMP WOMP

Meanwhile, Tanis tries to herd the women and children into the mines, despite knowing that his plan has finally been foiled by Verminaard and Pyros. The men of the mines, meanwhile, start running into the courtyard to find their wives and children, meaning that they’re fleeing safety and shelter. It’s all turning into a clusterfuck, and honestly, Tanis only has his poor-ass planning to blame. Suddenly he and Sturm realize that Eben has just run into the mountains and OH NO WE DIDN’T SEE THIS SHIT COMING FROM TEN CHAPTERS AWAY.

Eben, potential traitor 2/3 and ACTUAL FUCKING TRAITOR is running off to find the green gemstone man because, lest we forget, he is important for some reason. We get some deeply unimportant backstory about him, then cut to him encouraging the men to run out into the courtyard. And then the gully dwarves join them because they’re too stupid to understand what an escape plan is.

cher yuk

Anyway, Eben finds the gemstone man, but has a dilemma. He can’t keep him in the mines, because everyone will find them when the dragon strikes and they run for shelter, but he also can’t take him in to Pax Tharkas, because then Verminaard will find them and Pyros doesn’t want that shit. So he decides to take the dude into the woods and lay low until the massacre is over.

Meanwhile, Verminaard is feeling pissy. After some useless back and forth with an inferior, he jumps onto Pyros’s back and they decide it’s time to get slaughterin’.

We cut back to Tanis and Sturm, the latter of whom seems pretty ready to get murdered for someone who’s characterized as a swordsman who never gives up. But then, like, for some reason Eben and the green gem guy run past because Eben didn’t bother to find an alternate route? So now that there’s an enemy weaker than himself to pick on, Sturm whips back into action. But the green gem guy stops his blade arm, and everyone gasps in astonishment to see that… the guy has a green gem embedded in his chest.

reaction-cersei-1

Everyone’s so shocked that they let the green gem guy and Eben run to the gates, where the two are promptly crushed by the falling boulders released by the mechanism that Tasslehoff activated.

pointless

Verminaard and Pyros decide that this is the perfect time to attack the horde of helpless slaves, when suddenly, IT’S ANOTHER FUCKING DRAGON!

drogon

AAAAAIIIIIEIEEEEEE!!!!

Oh, wait, right, it’s that old-ass dragon we met earlier. She’s apparently succumbed to her dementia to the point where she’s decided it’s clobberin’ time. Pyros, trying to defend himself from his attack, forgets that Verminaard is riding him and lets him fall to the ground. The battle devolves into chaos, during which time Laurana decides to STEP THE FUCK UP, kill herself some draconians (ugh) and become the warrior princess she was always meant to be.

xena.gif

AIAIAIAIAIAIAI BITCHAAAAAAAAAAS

And here the chapter ends. A good ending at least! Next time, our final chapter and the epilogue and WE ARE DONE with Dragons of Autumn Twilight!

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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 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 3: The slave caravan. A strange old magician.

Greetings dragonscouts! When last we joined our fierce band of adventurers, they had just compounded all of their terrible, terrible decisions and got arrested by a bunch of draconians (ugh) in Solace. From the chapter titles, looks like we’re in for some exciting adventures in slavery! Let’s read!

We begin with our heroes trapped in literal cages with bars and everything, set in the middle of a clearing that we’re invited to imagine had been cleared by the finest of fiery dragon breath. As day dawns, they find that they are not alone, but are part of the last slave caravan to leave Solace for Pax Tharkas. And… what is Pax Tharkas? Honestly it’s been so long since I’ve read the start of this freaking book that I can’t remember whether we’ve been told what the heck that is yet.

confused but sexy

I’m so glad that stock photography exists to illustrate how I feel in a vaguely sexual way.

A control-F search later (God bless the Kindle-on-browser option, just bless it) reveals that the motherfucking dragon back in Xak Tsaroth was going to head there to meet with Lord Verminaard who I think is the leader of this whole freaking army that I was asking about a few chapters back. Well finally we’re going to find out who’s in charge, at least!

Anycrap, we focus on Tanis, who has a severe case of The Sads now that he’s, y’know, enslaved. We then cut to our hobgoblin captor, whose thoughts are focused on Tika’s titties. You couldn’t go five minutes without sexually objectifying Tika, could you, book?

nope

Tanis gets talking to the stranger from the last chapter, who as it turns out, is his elf friend Gilthanas. Gilthanas breaks the news that this Lord Verminaard has decided to exterminate the elves on Krynn. So we’re adding genocide to the mix – funnnn. Githanas sort of obliquely accuses Tanis of knowing about it and growing his beard to hide his half elven nature, which does nothing to help Tanis’s mood. Then, just to lighten things up, the hobgoblins throw the blacksmith into the cage, minus his forgin’ arm. Just… just blood freaking everywhere, you guys. It’s so gross.

Still not above this.

Still not above this.

Fortuntaely Goldmoon remembers that she’s actually good for something, and approaches with her staff. Gilthanas acts like a real bastard to her demanding that she let him die in peace “without any of your barbarian rituals!”

pocahontis

Goldmoon ignores the jerk-ass elf and puts him in his place by HEALING THE SHIT OUT OF THE SMITH. WOOOOOOOO! RELIGION!

FUCKING HELL YEAH!

FUCKING HELL YEAH!

Of course, as the caravan goes on its way we still have time for some good old-fashioned gully dwarf racism. Apparently the hobgoblins have a gully dwarf minion, and he behaves pretty much how you’d expect him to be portrayed… running elks into things and eating rotting meats that were lying “in the mud and filth.” Filth is fantasy code word for shit. Just say it’s shit, book. Just say it.

We even have an emoji for it. Say "shit."

We even have an emoji for it. Say “shit.”

Goldmoon remains weirdly optimistic, claiming that the Disks of Mishkal will be able to help them once she finds “the leader of the people,” whoever that might be.

VIL

Fantasy communism would be an interesting choice, at least.

Next, there’s a little bit of backstory about how Tika’s father, an illusionist, inspired Raistlin to take up magic. Tika has to take care of Raistlin because he’s coughing up his lungs, and this is getting Caramon to forget how much of a filthy whore she is and smile at her. True romance, guys!

kanye laugh

Sturm, and especially Tanis, are still moping around the cage worthlessly. Tanis does some backstorying of his own, and we learn that he and Gilthanas were not just bros, but brothers, raised by the ruler of the Qualinesti elves. Apparently Tanis’s mother was the ruler’s sister-in-law and Tanis was the result of her getting raped by a human. Jesus.

And on top of that, Tanis was starting to get interested in Gilthanas’s sister Laurana which is a little… incesty. Like, it’s one of those plot twists where the pseudo-incesty couple finds out that they’re not actually related, so it’s only technically not actual incest? But guys. You grew up together. That’s still super weird, and fortunately Laurana’s dad and Gilthanas thought so too. Gilthanas, in fact, was kind of a dick to him about it, as apparently is his wont. So Tanis took off in his usual angsty, morose fashion. And hey, now that they are both captured slaves, they can be angsty and morose together! Family fun.

All of this brooding is interrupted by the caravan coming upon an old man in a white robe and pointy hat yelling at a tree. This, unsurprisingly, is not appreciated by the draconians (ugh) so they throw him into the cage with the rest of our warrior band. His name is apparently Fizban, and he is here to entertain us with hilarious non-sequiturs and vague anachronisms.

Zany!

Zany!

Just then, Raistlin starts taking a turn for the worse. Apparently it’s just coughing, but fictional coughing, the kind where a single cough is the precursor for, like, everything cancer. But fortunately Fizban turns out to be a wizard (did the pointy hat give him away?) and heals him with some kind of spell that no one else can recognize. Freaky!

And here the chapter ends. Welp, that was a good deal of backstory, especially for Tanis. For some reason I don’t like him any better now that I know his moodiness is caused by unrequited incest feelings. Ugh, Tanis. You are the grossest.

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 19: The Broken City. Highbulp Phudge I, The Great.

When we last left our dashing band of adventurers, they had just squeezed themselves through a slimy pipe only to land on sacks of flour in what must have been an extremely comical comeuppance to their continued gully dwarf racism. However, it seems we’ll be meeting the Highbulp, the leader of the gully dwarves, so I’m sure we’ll be treated to still more hilarious ways in which he is completely incompetent, justifying our heroes’ scorn. Can’t wait! Let’s dive in.

We start with a brief description of how the current Xak Tsaroth came to be. Three hundred years ago, the motherfucking earthquake known as the Cataclysm occurred, and basically dumped the city into a cavern. Some of the buildings now cling to the sides of the chasm, including the one our heroes find themselves in. Tanis concludes that this building “must have been a bakery” due to the numerous bags of flour lying around. Which… raises the question, just how long does flour last? I mean, it’s organic matter right? It should be rotted, and not pristine and white enough to coat our heroes in a hilarious manner. OH WELL, maybe the earthquake had… like… magical flour-retaining properties or something.

Anyway, they find a river, because that’s sure a thing that would exist on the side of a chasm, and follow it under Bupu’s instructions. Turns out the Highbulp lives several layers below, down the cliffside, and our heroes are forced to climb down a series of vines to get to him. Well, almost all our heroes, because Raistlin casts his “pveathrfall” spell (which, really? You think you can just stick a v in there and take out some vowels and it’ll be impressive? Jesus Christ, Harry Potter uses less obvious spells than you), causing him to float down the crevasse

like a boss

Oh, but turns out Goldmoon is afraid of heights, because women, amirite?

ohhh no

But Riverwind is like “it’s okay babe, your entire tribe is dead, you don’t have anyone to impress but me!” Naturally this does not go well for Riverwind, as Goldmoon is like “what WHAT MOTHERFUCKER” and decides to climb down the fucking vines on her own, using only spite for fuel. DUMP HIM GOLDMOON DUMP HIM.

So, everyone gets safely down one way or another, and Bupu leads them onward. They walk past ruins of what must have been the royal palace of Xak Tsaroth, where they see a bit of movement, and HOLY SHIT IT’S A DRAGON

THIS ONE AGAIN

THIS ONE AGAIN

YUUUP it’s the same dragon who attacked our fierce warriors a couple chapters ago. We switch to her POV again as she receives a report from a draconian (ugh), and she is piiiiiiissed that these brave companions have gotten past the borders of Xak Tsaroth. IDK dragon, I mean it seemed like you had a pretty good chance of killing all of these guys in one swoop when you were attacking them, why didn’t you just finish them off?

okay, okay

okay, okay

Anyway, the dragon is convinced that our brave companions are after the disks of whatthefuckeverithoth. Since they apparently can’t destroy them, the dragon decides to move them to some place called Pax Tharkas, which to my mind does not bring up the names of any celebrities about whom I can make hilarious jokes, so god damn it, Dragon.

Anyway,  the group hears the draconian (ugh) tell the dragon that they’ve brought most of the army to the upper levels, which causes our companions some concern. Even if they get past the dragon and get to the disks, there’s no way they can get out again. Then comes my favorite part of the chapter where Caramon basically calls Tanis a massive pussy and says they should just kill the dragon and have done with it.

I kind of like you, Caramon.

I kind of like you, Caramon.

Raistlin, however, pisses all over Caramon’s parade by reminding him that oh yeah, dragons can use fucking magic. Which, again, why didn’t the dragon use any magic when she was attacking them outside, where she clearly had the advantage? Dragons may have magic, but their brains seem a little underdeveloped.

Bupu, being the smartest of the group, tells them all not to fuck with the dragon, but instead continues to lead them to the Highbulp. And of course the gully dwarf section of town is “cluttered with trash and filth,” with “dirty, ragged children” running around. Oh, and Tanis adds the thought that the gully dwarves are “basically cowards” to boot.

Shade

Oh, and there’s a hilarious bit about Bupu attempting to knock a secret code, but neither she nor any of the gully dwarves can actually count, so they have to let the group in anyway. HA HA HA HA. HA HA. HA.

loki facepalm

Anyway, they make it to the Highbulp, who the omniscient narration declares is “almost intelligent.” It goes on to say that when the draconians (ugh) had entered the gully dwarf-infested city of Xak Tsaroth, the dwarves “had cringed and cowered and whimpered and wailed and prostrated themselves so abjectly that the draconians [ugh] were merciful and simply enslaved them.”

jlaw okay

Now, apparently the Highbulp had made his way to the dragon’s lair where he swiped some treasure, but alas, he hasn’t made it back since, first because it’s heavily guarded, and second because he can’t read his own map with the route back.

malcolm transpo

Then we get a fantastic description of the gully dwarves sense of decor as our heroes are led to speak to the Highbulp. Apparently, they’ve painted over tapestries and white marble statues in garish colors and anatomical detail which horrifies even Caramon as they go through this “gallery of artistic horrors.”

Oh, those disgusting gully dwarves! How dare they sully the pure white marble of these statues! Except that… wait, the pure white marble statues of Greek antiquity that these were apparently based on were actually painted in bright colors in the first place. OOPS I GUESS THOSE GREEKS WERE NO BETTER THAN GULLY DWARVES SMH.

kanye laugh

 

CHRIST the levels of gully dwarf racism and inaccurate art history are so ridiculous that I can barely point them out any more. Seriously, a new one pops up every single line of the page! Okay, okay I’m going to keep taking us through the plot, trying to bypass all the rage I’m feeling right now UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

ANYWAY, the Highbup, seeing our brave companions’ weaponry, very sensibly assumes that they are there to slay the dragon – which would be of great advantage to him, as he’d get to reap the benefits of stealing the dragon’s treasure. Very clever of you, Highbulp! The companions say that actually, they just want to sneak into the dragon’s lair, steal some shit, and run out again. The Highbulp – again very sensibly – asks what the fuck proof does he have that they’re not going to steal all the dragon’s shit, leaving the gully dwarves to deal with one pissed off dragon? Tanis assures the Highbulp that allowing them to go to the dragon’s lair will result in the Highbulp getting “all the treasure.” HOW THE FUCK WOULD THAT HAPPEN TANIS??? Again, the Highbulp clearly sees that he is a lying idiot. GOOD ONE, HIGHBULP. He also refuses to lead them to the treasure because WHY THE FUCK WOULD HE RISK HIS ASS TO DO THAT FOR YOU JERKS???

Anyway, it’s revealed that the Highbulp had been eavesdropping on the group as they had waited for audience, and he’s not going to let them mess with his people’s futures. Instead, he’s decided to bargain – not for riches for himself, but for their precious freedom. YOU FUCKING GO, HIGHBULP. Once the companions have left, he sends them his map to the lair, but also sends guards to the dragon to let her know that this group of idiots are on their way to steal some shit… and here the chapter ends.

JESUS FUCK that was a lot of gully dwarf racism. And, I mean, lest anyone say “you’re overreacting, this is just a dumb fantasy novel and they’re dwarves,” let’s reiterate what I find so objectionable here. It’s incredibly lazy writing to use a race as code for any sort of behavioral trait, be it “evilness” or “stupidity” or what. That’s the kind of shit that leads to really insidious racial profiling and racism justification in real life, so it’s really shitty to see novels play into the “all [insert race] are [insert trait].” And even when the actions of the gully dwarves in this chapter subvert these notions, the framing of the chapter still portray the dwarves as stupid and sneaky, and our heroes – who, let’s not forget, are discounting the gully dwarves on the basis of race with every breath – are noble and virtuous. We’re meant to feel contempt for the Highbulp when he betrays our heroes, but actually, he’s making the decision that’s going to benefit, oh I don’t know, THE ENTIRETY OF HIS ENSLAVED PEOPLE. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Asshole count: EVERYONE WHO IS MEAN TO THE GULLY DWARVES INCLUDING THE AUTHORS JESUS FUCK.

DOAT Book One, Chapter 18: Fight at the lift. Bupu’s cure for a cough.

After all that gully dwarf racism in the last chapter, I’m a little hesitant about this one. I mean, Bupu’s cure for a cough is going to end up being something charmingly primitive or hilariously dim-witted and we can all laugh at how awful gully dwarves are, because dwarf racism = comedy I guess. But there’s a fight at the lift to get through, so it’s time to get going.

When we last left our intrepid adventurers, they were about to jump some draconians (ugh) at their makeshift lift made of lard rendering pots so that they can get down into the underground tunnels of Xak Tsaroth. The lift is apparently run on gully dwarf power, as they have to get into the top pots to give the necessary ballast to lift the draconians (ugh) to the top. Not this time though – no sooner do the draconians (ugh) start spouting shit at the gully dwarves than Caramon and Sturm wade in to start fucking their shit right up.

I'm assuming.

I’m assuming.

Still, it’s not a cut-and-dried battle, as the book is quick to point out: “[u]nlike goblins, who attack anything that moves without strategy or thought, draconians [ugh] are intelligent and quick-thinking.” Oh great, so you made some room in your gully dwarf-racist chapters for a little goblin racism. Thanks, book.

Anyway, the two remaining draconians (ugh) release the mechanism on the lift so they can drop down and get reinforcements – oh no, wait, 20 draconians (ugh) are already on their way up in the second pot. Caramon, Sturm, Tasslehoff, Tanis and Flint all jump into the pot after the two going down, increasing the speed of the reinforcements on their way up to slaughter their less combat-experienced companions. Great job. Additionally, Flint’s battle strategy seems to have been landing in the pot head first and getting stepped on by Caramon. Still want to talk about how stupid gully dwarves are, Flint?

gimli dignity

Anyway, the pot battle rages with five of our adventurers against two draconians (ugh) while twenty of them continue to rise to the top to face Goldmoon, Raistlin and Riverwind. Riverwind, very sensibly, decides it’s time to try to stop the lift mechanism to prevent the imminent attack. But while he’s uselessly trying to figure out how to do this, Raist shoves him to one side and jams his staff between the wheel and the floor, halting the pots

like a boss

Meanwhile, in the pots, Caramon decides to cut through the bullshit and just throw one of the draconians (ugh) off the side. But unfortunately the twenty draconians (ugh) in the other pot have decided to try to swing over for an attack. All the swinging around and shifting weight actually make for a very exciting battle, so I’m giving the authors credit where it is due for this one. After much hacking, slashing and dizzy spinning, Tanis gets hit on the head (of course).

reaction-cersei-1

Raistlin, as usual, steps in to save everyone’s shit. He gathers his new friends, the gully dwarves, around and tells them that to keep the “bosses” from hurting him, their BFF, all they have to do is jump on the chain with the draconians’ (ugh) pot. All of them (except his bae Bupu) do so as Raist pulls his staff out of the wheel, and the combined weight sends the reinforcements down into the hole, while bringing Tanis and co. back up. Hooray!

Welp, obviously we’re not going to reach the Highbulp through the well. Fortunately Bupu knows a secret route, so she leads are heroic band down another corridor. As it turns out, Bupu too has some magic in her, as she waves a mysterious object at one wall, and a secret passage appears! Oh man, what magical object does Bupu have under her command???

…it’s a dead rat.

marilyn-monroe-yuck-

As Tasslehoff helpfully explains, the mechanism was actually a hidden floorboard, but HA HA gully dwarves are too stupid to know what floorboard mechanisms are! She thinks she’s people! Tasslehoff laughs about how she probably tripped on it once while carrying the rat, and now thinks the rat is magic, because lest we forget, Tasslehoff is a sociopath.

Anyway Bupu is like “DO YOU WANT TO KNOW THE WAY DOWN OR NOT” and hustles the group into a slimy pipe. I can only consider this Bupu’s revenge on everyone for underestimating her. “I could have taken you through the garden terrace, but OH NO you CRITICIZED MY RAT, it’s the pipe for you motherfuckers!”

Everything is going disgustingly in the pipe until Raist starts coughing again, and Bupu provides him with the chapter’s titular cough cure-all – a lizard corpse on a string, to wear around one’s neck. This he rejects politely, although first she gives him A MOTHERFUCKING EMERALD, his reward for being the only member of our heroes who isn’t a goddamn gully dwarf racist. That sounds like my preferred cure for a cough, tbh.

I FEEL MUCH BETTER THANK YOU

I FEEL MUCH BETTER THANK YOU

The chapter ends as the group turns a corner and ends up sliding down into a room where sacks of flour break their fall, and also coat everyone in white powder. Good work, Bupu! I don’t believe what anyone says about gully dwarves, you are one bad bitch.

mia bad girls

Despite the continued racism, this was a much better chapter, highlighted by the epic lard-pot-in-midair battle royale. And I’m glad to see Bupu get some of her own back too, coating assholes in flour and handing out magical shit and emeralds like it ain’t no thing.

Asshole count: ANYONE WHO IS MEAN TO BUPU.

DOAT Book One, Chapter 17: Paths of the Dead. Raistlin’s new friends.

Oh my god you guys oh my god oh my godddd we’re getting to the gully dwarf chapter you guysssssssssss! I vaguely remember gully dwarves as being liiike… the “special” dwarves? The ones with the hilarious speech impediments and low intelligence levels that are nonetheless somehow charming and full of innate wisdom that the smarter characters so sorely need? Like… this is so ableist. Really embarrassingly so, actually. And the thing is, there’s not one Gully Dwarf who’s like, the special Gully Dwarf who teaches too-smart-for-his-own-good Raistlin about friendship and the simple things in life. The entire race of gully dwarves are written as being sub-intelligent and worthy of scorn.

And this really gets into the whole race-essentialism that I think plagues fantasy, particularly fantasy since Tolkien because so many are still writing under his shadow. Like, there’s no goblins who just want to hang out, raise a family, maybe start up a farm or business venture. Nope, they’re all eeevil and want to destroy shit because why the fuck not. As an entire race, they’re given extremely sketchy motivation, and their race is used as shorthanded coding for whether we’re supposed to like them or not. All jokes about goblin-racism aside, the worlds that are being set up here are so black and white. All goblins are evil. All gully dwarves are idiots. Frankly, it’s lazy, and I’m happy to see in recent years writers starting to peel away from it, because even your fantasy worlds need to be more complex and less, y’know, fucking racist, even if it is toward a magical group instead of a real one.

Okay, serious diatribes about writing aside, I wrote all of this before digging into the chapter, so it’s informed by my memories about reading these things twenty years ago. Let’s start reading and see if my outrage holds up, and pepper my swears with comedic gifs!

When we last left our heroes, they were having a kip in the temple of the goddess who had just healed all of them, including Riverwind, who had basically melted, but who they’re not… too…sure… they want to believe in… just yet.

makes sense

Tanis has apparently slept in, and after waking up, spends some time musing over the nature of life and death instead of being useful in any way. I don’t know why I keep being surprised at Tanis’s utter uselessness, but I don’t know, optimism is part of the human condition I guess. Anyway, Tanis starts thinking about how they have no chance to fight against any dragons who decide to, y’know, fight them instead of running down wells, and starts getting pretty depressed. This is an understandable reaction, but everyone else is actually doing stuff right now – putting on their armor, studying their magics, polishing their swords. So get it together, Tanis.

We get an inventory of the weaponry used by the group which is actually quite interes- NO IT’S SO BORING OH MY GOD. Tasslehoff skips off, eager at the prospect of seeing a real live dragon… which… Tasslehoff did you not see the dragon yesterday? The one who melted your pal? I actually looked back in the book and there’s no description of Tasslehoff seeing or reacting to the dragon attack, but honestly, I think a dragon flying into the sky and setting shit (people) on fire has to be pretty fucking hard to miss.

I'M RIGHT HERE BRO

I’M RIGHT HERE BRO

They start traveling through Xak Tsaroth, where they find a room with a spiral staircase. Raistlin informs the group that these are called “the paths of the dead,” which causes the others to VERY SENSIBLY ask him why the fuck he knows the names of specific staircases in this city that’s supposed to have been lost for… what is it, years? centuries? His answer that he read about it somewheres is also, understandably, a little frustrating. Of course, Sturm takes things too far, suggesting that Raistlin has sold his soul to obtain his ARCANE KNOWLEDGE (which raises the question – if there are no gods, good or evil, left on Krynn, to whom did he sell his soul?).

Caramon rushes to Raistlin’s defense, but is prevented from explaining too much by Raist who’s all like ‘I have to keep my mysterious persona up bro, don’t be explaining my shit!’ Caramon listens, but then says that Raist is totes cool, bro, and may both the brothers die if that’s not the case. Tanis notices Raistlin getting mysteriously pissy about this, but hey, maybe he’s just trying to keep up his mysterious wizard persona (ladies love it).

wizards are so hot

wizards are so hot

Anyway, Sturm apologizes (which is pretty big for a guy who was actively upset that Raistlin hadn’t died a couple of chapters back), and they decide to move on down the “paths of the dead” staircase. Good decision, guys.

jlaw okay

As they move, they start hearing mysterious sounds. They grow louder until, with a rumble, a horde of small figures rushes past a nearby doorway. Flint claims that he smells something familiar and, with a face that grows “red with rage and anger,” reveals what it is – gully dwarves!

Oh my god, Flint. You’re so gully dwarf racist that you can smell them.

cher yuk

Also he threatens to kill all of them based on smell alone, apparently. Oh no, wait, he reveals that gully dwarves held him prisoner for three years, and has therefore sworn to kill all gully dwarves on sight.

kanye laugh

Still pretty racist, Flint.

Tanis posits that the Draconians (ugh) have enslaved the gully dwarves, and that they might therefore be willing to help the group out. Good thinking, Tanis! And I’m being serious about this for once, this is a really good idea!

Tanis then goes on to say “[w]e cannot trust them, of course…. As long as we don’t ask them to do anything that might endanger their own dirty skins, we might be able to buy their aid.”

lav7

The heroic (?) band hides in the shadows ready to jump the gully dwarves, but when Caramon leaps into their path and orders them to halt, they pay him absolutely no mind, but only run past him down the corridor. That seems… a pretty smart strategy, actually. Caramon 0, gully dwarves 1.

The group follows the dwarves into a series of crypts. Raistlin decides that it’s his time to take charge, so he steps forward to the group of dwarves, and starts doing some motherfucking magic, flipping gold coins in the air and making them disappear and shit. The dwarves seem to love this, and they cluster around Raist to watch his impeccable wizardry.

magic bitches
Here the book divagates into an explanation of what gully dwarves actually are… oh boy! They are the “lowest caste” of dwarves, they “live in squalor,” look “ugly” and “wretched” but nonetheless live “a cheerful existence.”

brule shock

I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Fortunately the book seems to have realized this, as it goes back to Raistlin’s fantastic magic show. Once all the gully dwarves are entranced by his sleight of hand, he casts a spell that turns them all into his friends. Too bad you didn’t cast that one on Sturm, like, four days ago, Raist.

Anyway, the spell seems to work, as all the dwarves are now enthralled by Raist, “jabbering away in their shapeless language.”

marilyn-monroe-yuck-

Actually, Sturm just had the same thought I did – that Raist could have cast the same spell on them. Considering your clear disgust and alarm, Sturm, I don’t think you have anything to worry about just now.

Anyway, the dwarves start to make a commotion when Raist ask them where the corridor leads, but one lady dwarf takes charge, grabbing Raistlin by the robes and leading him, and the rest of the band, to the Highbulp of the gully dwarves as the distant sounds of whips crack in the distance. The dwarf, whose name is Bupu, gets extra-spelled I guess, as she is SUPER INTO Raistlin all of the sudden. It’s not clear where their path goes before Tasslehoff gets back from investigating the strange sound they heard earlier – it’s a lift made of lard pots that allow draconians (ugh) and dwarves to move up or down in the underground shafts. But the problem remains – if our band of heroes goes down in the pots, how will they deal with the draconians (ugh) who are coming up? Our heroes decide to go with beating them the fuck up, and here the chapter ends.

Ugh, you guys, I can’t even with all of this weirdness. Developing an entire race of sub-intelligent beings and then going on to describe them as “filthy,” “jabbering,” yet “cheerful” is just a little bit much. It’s basically as embarrassing as I remember it being. Someday there’s gonna be like a Che Guevara of the gully dwarves to lead them all from bondage. At least there is in the book I want to be reading.

Asshole count: whoever came up with this horrible idea.