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

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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.

 

 

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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.