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.

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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.

 

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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!

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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 9: Suspicions grow. The Sla-Mori.

Hello Dragonscouts! When we last met, our heroes were about to storm the fort at Pax Tharkas, risking certain death for a bunch of elves who don’t care, and possibly inviting traitors into the mix. Just another day in Krynn, am I right? Well, let’s see if they can manage not to get their asses handed to them in this chapter.

So the group is on the path heading toward Pax Tharkas, when Gilthanas, Tanis’s full-elven brah but not-brah, suddenly goes creeping into the bushes. Eben, who the group picked up in the last chapter, and who may or may not be incredibly suspicious, asks Tanis how much he knows about this Gilthanas person, if that is is real name. Eben doesn’t seem super interested in the answer, given that he steamrolls right over Tanis’s answer that yes, he knows Gilthanas quite well in fact, considering the two of them were raised as siblings and that Tanis finger-banged his sister quite a bit. Instead, Eben tells Tanis hints that a bunch of elves approached his human fighting troop, asking for help in raiding a Dragon Highlord’s fortress. Gilthanas disappeared in the night, and a bunch of draconians (ugh) attacked, leaving only Eben to escape their clutches. Seems mighty suspicious to me, but Tanis is Not Having It.

makes sense

I think we should trust the guy who’s deliberately leading us into certain death and who just told me our lives are meaningless to him.

Gilthanas gets back, and the group discusses their plan. They’re intending to sneak into the fortress using the secret path, or Sla-Mori, that’ll lead them past the enemy troops. Caramon and Sturm are dissatisfied with this, and seem to favor an outright attack on the front gate, but they are rightly dismissed as idiots who have no idea what they are talking about. Meanwhile, Sturm tells Tanis that he hasn’t been able to figure out who’s been following them, because he or she is quite woods-crafty. Way to double down on that uselessness, Sturm.

The group reaches a giant cliff, and Gilthanas magics the rocks open, revealing the entrance to the Sla-Mori, also known as the burial chamber of Kith-Kanan, also known as I DON’T CARE JUST DO SOMETHING ALREADY.

Flint and Raistlin engage in some nasty snapping at each other, before Raistlin pronounces that he senses “great evil” in the passage. Not to be outdone, Fizban says he also senses “great goodness,” because “[t]he elves are not truly forgotten within.” Um. Great. Those same elves that are risking the lives of a few people they don’t care about so that they can run away from the evil draconian (ugh) army instead of fighting it? Those elves? Those are the “great goodness?”

sure jan

The others are not too keen about going into the tunnel themselves, but Tanis (rightly, I’ll admit) tells them that going in the front gate would be idiotic and suicidal. He and Sturm also agree to leave the cliff face open a crack, so as to lure and trap whatever it is that’s following them.

The group decides to make camp for the night, and we shift to Tika’s POV. She’s still new to the ways of heroes, and is surprised to find out that nobody takes off their armor to go to sleep. She also notices that both Caramon and Eben are eyeing her up. She seems to be okay with this, as they’re both major hotties, but she does seem to be conflicted in her thinking about Caramon. On the one hand, thinking about their post-mortal danger groping in the last chapter makes her “shiver with delightful fear,” which is understandable. But then her last thought on going to sleep is to be thankful that she isn’t alone with him, which… ooh.

lav7

 

Let’s unpack this a little. So Tika’s being portrayed as, A of all, pretty sexually desirable what with her pretty looks and developed secondary sexual characteristics (aka, big titties). But B of all, she is also portrayed as being very sexually innocent and unsure of herself. So it’s understandable that she might be feeling conflicted about wanting to engage in sexual interaction with someone, even though it’s also exciting to her. That’s all okay. What is giving me the squicks is how Caramon is acting towards her, dig? He’s super into her, yeah, but by giving credulity to the apparently false rumors that Tika’s a big slut, he’s not giving her a whole lot of credit. And I say this, not to say that being a slut is a bad thing (it isn’t), but that Caramon should be getting his information about Tika from… Tika. And this is something he is very much not doing. He is fine talking swordfighting with her, and ordering food from her, but he is just not communicating when it comes to intimacy. This is NOT COOL. Caramon, at the very least you need a talking-to.

Fortunately for Tika, myself, and the rest of the audience, Goldmoon decides to give Caramon a talking-to. I hope her gentle womanly wisdom is going to alleviate my fears!

womanly wisdom

Pictured: womanly wisdom.

Okay, so Goldmoon takes Caramon aside and tells him she’s going to talk to him like an older sister. First off, she drops the bomb on him that… Tika’s a virgin. Okay Goldmoon, I would have gone with “so, if you want to make out with a lady, you might want to tell her that you’re into her first and see where it goes from there,” but okay Goldmoon. Your point is that Tika is inexperienced so she might not 100% know what she’s doing. That’s legit. Now are you going to tell Caramon to talk to her?

…No, she’s not. She tells Caramon that Tika wants Caramon’s approval, but that he shouldn’t use that as a way to get sex. Okay. Also legit, Goldmoon, that is a good thing to say but I think you are skirting the part where CARAMON SHOULD TALK TO TIKA ABOUT WHAT THEY WOULD BOTH LIKE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER.

Incidentally, Goldmoon also tells Caramon that she and Riverwind haven’t done the deed yet, because it’s their tradition to wait til marriage. Y’know, though, now I think on it, Goldmoon and Riverwind have not exactly demonstrated great communication skills as a couple, so maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised that she isn’t emphasizing that particular important ingredient to a healthy relationship.

Meanwhile, in the non-sex-obsessed part of the camp, Tanis is trying to get Gilthanas to explain why he’d abandoned the humans and elves during the draconian attack. Gilthanas just says he was trying to get the druids to help them out (druids again! Will we ever see the druids?), came back to discover the battle already raging, then got hit on the head. Tanis is not too keen on this explanation, which is probably wise of him.

In the morning, our brave companions come to a fork in the passage. Riverwind detects the tracks of humans (?) and animals. The animal tracks stop where the paths cross, and the human (?) tracks go right, not left. This is ominous supposedly, but honestly I’m just kind of confused. You’re bad at describing tracks, Riverwind. Raistlin comes up and says that the evil comes from the right. That’s a nice, clear explanation, and everyone is the better for hearing it. The group goes left, and they find themselves in a gigantic hall in which they find… A SKELETON!

Sans_normal

sup

Apparently it’s the remains of Kith-Kanan, “greatest of the elven kings.” Gilthanas and Tanis go to their knees and solemnly pray, while Tasslehoff declares that he has no intention of stealing the elf-king’s sword, meaning the thing’s as good as stolen. He and Raistlin go up to examine the remains further, and Raistlin discovers that the sword is enchanted, and tells Tasslehoff to definitely not touch it ever. I’m going to go ahead and guess that Tasslehoff will not follow this particular instruction.

The group examine the chamber further, and Gilthanas and Raistlin discover a helpful map carved into one of the doors. All seems to be going splendidly, when Tasslehoff hears a scraping sound coming from behind the map door. Before they can shut them, the doors slam open revealing HOLY SHIT IT’S A… giant… slug? Kind of disappointing, until the authors let us know that it can shoot projectile paralyzing saliva at its prey. That’s pretty cool, you guys. Go on.

jurassic-park-spitting-dino

Our heroes are fighting the slug when a voice yells Tanis’s name. Surprise, it’s the person who was following them… Laurana!

This surprises Tanis so much, he gets a slug-loogie on his sword, causing the sword, then his arm, to start dissolving. Thanks, Laurana.

Fortunately Goldmoon remembers that she has a healing staff this time, and heals Tanis up while everyone else keeps fighting the battle slug.Tanis is trying to protect both Goldmoon and Laurana with just a bow, but the thing charges them, causing him to dive toward the elf-king’s throne. So in the end, it’s Tanis who steals Kith-Kanan’s sword, and uses it to de-slug the hall.

The group is forced back the way they came, while Tanis and Gilthanas ask Laurana what the fuck she thinks she is doing. She insists on going with them, and reminds them both that all elven women are trained as warriors. And that raises the question – if all elven women are trained as warriors, why can’t they form an army to fight the draconians (ugh) instead of relying on this increasingly idiotic sneak attack? Tanis explains that it is because it’s not “serious training.” Fuck you too, Tanis.

Raistlin cuts through the bickering, saying that Laurana’s going to have to come with them, because she could be captured if she tries going home from here. As usual, he is right, and now we’ve got Laurana along for the ride, hoorayyyy. Tanis takes a minute to let her know that she’s on her own, she’s a spoiled brat, and she’d better not get them all killed. Nice, Tanis.

So, the group is forced to the evil path of the fork in the road. We end our chapter with Tanis revealing to Raistlin just how he got the enchanted sword. Apparently, it was bequeathed upon him by none other than Kith-Kanan himself. So an elf-king had to raise himself from the dead just to save our heroes from Tanis’s incompetence. Sure you guys want him to be your leader?
Asshole count: Gotta be Caramon this chapter. His rapeyness is continuing to make me super uncomfortable. Tika, you in danger, girl.

DOAT Book II, Chapter 8: Doubts. Ambush! A new friend.

Greetings Dragonscouts! When last we met, our noble band of heroes were about to take a plunge into Certain Death to save a bunch of elves who don’t care about them, and Laurana was taking Tanis into Grappling School. Sexy danger! What is in store for our brave companions in this chapter? Y’know besides doubts, ambush, and a new friend.

Our heroes wake up to a totally-not-metaphorical storm stretching its stormy fingers towards Qualinesti. First thing Caramon says to Gilthanas, when he comes in with supplies, is that Tika needs armor, a shield, and a sword. FUCK YES, CARAMON. I can almost forgive your slut shaming for this! Gear up, Tika, you’re gon’ be a fighter! Caramon offers to help her put on her armor, but Goldmoon intervenes, because someone needs to tamp down that mighty boner somehow.

The elves also give them some dried fruit to eat along the way, which disappoints Caramon still further.

Ron-Swanson-Re-Think-That-Move-Son-Parks-and-Recreation

They head out of Qualinesti at dawn, with Tanis noting that Laurana didn’t even show up to say good bye. Maybe because you are kind of a jerk, Tanis?

shrug-house

Deprived of the chance to mansplain how to put on armor, Caramon decides to mansplain swordsmanship to Tika as they go. However, the authors are quick to note that Caramon is distracted by the view of Tika’s legs and undies, which raises the question – why are men always the swordsmen, when they can be distracted so easily? Men are just over-emotional, and should stay in the kitchen. Leave the fighting to the women, kay?

Caramon’s so obsessed with peeping at Tika that he forgets he’s supposed to be helping his brother. It gets so bad that Gilthanas, who cares nothing for humans, asks where Raistlin is before anyone else does. Fortunately for everyone, Raistlin was just doing some non-creepy lurking in some bushes. NBD!

dont be suspicious

When they stop for lunch, Fizban helpfully informs Tanis that something is following their noble band. Gilthanas immediately dismisses this, for he has not yet gotten the memo that The Old Man is Not What He Seems. Sturm, however, decides to take things seriously, and takes the rear guard.

rear guard. GET IT?

rear guard. GET IT?

They come to a clearing full of corpses, as one does in high fantasy novels. There is one non-corpsified human, but our heroes are concerned, as he (OR SHE) might be on the enemy side, serving Lord Verminaard. Upon further investigation, they determine that the human is: 1. a dude; 2. alive; 3. able to speak; and 4. a friend of Gilthanas’s, named Eben. (I didn’t realize Gilthanas had human pals? but okay?)

Unfortunately, just as our heroes discover this important information, a dozen draconians (ugh) attack. Raistlin has to stop Fizban from charmingly(?) burning them all to death, instead of fighting, which is not a great use of his time. Tika, as it turns out, is not yet very good at swordfighting (this is what comes from having a man teach you how to fight, Tika). Caramon tells her to run to the trees with Goldmoon and Fizban “like a good girl.”

ohhh no

Tika rightly tells him to go eat a dick, and immediately kills the fuck out of two draconians (ugh) by bashing them with her shield. This rekindles Caramon’s boner, and the two of them engage in some post-mortal danger groping that quickly gets out of hand. Tika, who has never made out with anyone before, starts to panic, while Caramon, slave to said boner, starts to carry her into the woods. Fortunately for both of them, Raistlin puts an end to that nonsense with the power of his boner-killing glare.

he waved his de-sexing stick most un-sexily

he waved his de-sexing stick most un-sexily

The battle won, the group listens to Eben’s tale of being beset by hobgoblins, and abandoned by his companions as dead. Gilthanas is pretty suspicious of this story, but agrees to add him to the group for his swordsmanship. Just then, Fizban hilariously(?) casts an offensive cobweb spell, and I think we are supposed to be delighted or something.

basic bitches

The heroic band reaches Pax Tharkas by sunset, and Flint reveals that the massive towers of the fortress were built by dwarves and elves, back when they were friends. TBH I think it’s probably a good thing that the dwarves dumped the elves, considering what dicks they’ve been, but I guess they were pretty good at architecture.

These days, Pax Tharkas is populated by draconians (ugh) and hobgoblins, whom our brave heroes watch as they march to attack Qualinesti. The plan, apparently, is to sneak inside, free the prisoners, spark the revolt, and force Lord Verminaard to call the army back to deal with it, allowing the Qualinost elves safe passage.

Tanis and Gilthanis confer, revealing that they still don’t quite trust this Eben. Gilthanas goes on to insist that he himself is not a traitor, and is willing to sacrifice his life to kill Lord Verminaard. Oh, and by the way, the lives of Tanis and the rest of his crew are meaningless. Cool, thanks Gilthanas! This is really inspiring me to put all of my trust in your idiotic plans!

malcolm transpo

The chapter ends as Sturm, who has been absent for most of the chapter, catches up with Tanis and confirms that they are being followed. WHO COULD IT BE? (I bet you can guess; I sure have.)

Asshole count: Caramon is in the running for this one, given his condescension, peeping at, and grappling with poor Tika. But this is a little mitigated by the fact that he insisted on Tika being armed in the first place, proving that when he isn’t distracted by his boner, he can be a decent fellow, at least I hope. The whole grabbing Tika to take her into the trees is getting a little bit rapey for me, and all I can do is hope that once Tika got her breath back to say “no,” he would, y’know, listen to her and stop. Since Raistlin intervened, Caramon’s rapeyness is still theoretical, so I’ll refrain from judgment until we have more information.

Therefore, the prize goes to Gilthanas, who not only let Eben, who might be untrustworthy, into the group’s Secret Plan without much thought, but also revealed that he doesn’t care about his own freaking semi-brother and his friends as long as they’re a means to his ends. Elves, man. I’m sure this Eben fellow will in no way cause you to regret the immense trust you have placed in him for no good reason.