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 1: Night of the Dragons

Greetings dragonscouts! I’m happy to report that we are ready to embark upon Book 2 of Dragons of Autumn Twilight, our master course in “a D&D campaign is not a novel.” This means that we are over halfway through book one of this delightful, nostalgia-infested trilogy! I’m so pleased. While my posting schedule has been erratic of late, I hope you’ll stick with me as we continue our journey to lance some goddamn dragons.

Our heroes have just escaped from the earthquake-induced destruction of Xak Tsaroth which they… probably helped cause, to the detriment of the entire enslaved population of gully dwarves who live there. Our heroes give exactly zero fucks about this, but are upset when they look to the horizon to see the hometown of the majority of the group, Solace, is on fucking fire.

spongebob

Not so funny when it’s not gully dwarves is it, you racist fucks?

We open our chapter not with our heroes, but with Tika. Remember Tika? I remember Tika! She’s the waitress who was childhood friends with many of our heroes, before they infiltrated her house, stole all her food, killed a bunch of goblins (getting god knows what kind of bodily fluids on her rugs), broke down her door, knocked over her furniture, and high-tailed it out of there, leaving her to be arrested or worse. So what torments has Tika been through while our heroes have left her to fend for herself?

frying pan

According to the book, cleaning. Thank god Otik is there to console her when she can’t get the table clean enough for her lady-standards.

Cinderella

FUCK YOU, DIRT

Apparently it was the middle of happy hour a week back when Solace came under attack from A MOTHERFUCKING DRAGON during the High Theocrat’s (you may remember him from the severe burnination that occurred in Book I, Chapter 3) speechifying. Apparently he was Quisling-ing out, telling the townsfolk that all he was going to do was let the draconian (ugh) armies through town so they can attack the elves in the south. Don’t worry guys! It’s just like Belgium!

Belgium

Worked out super well for Belgium. Twice!

So apparently the Theocrat is elf- and dwarf-racist, and approves his draconian (ugh) overlords so long as they get rid of all those nasty magical folk AND FOREIGNERS. Let’s not ask him his opinion on gully dwarves, as I’ve had enough gully dwarf racism for one book. Anyway, all this racism is a moot point once a dragon swoops in and sets Solace on fucking fire.

drogon

Take that, racism!

Actually, it isn’t just one, but five motherfucking dragons along with an entire army of draconians (ugh). Tika, like the bad-ass bitch she is, immediately sets up a makeshift hospital in the bar (even if she didn’t mean to) and gets to work.

So now, in the present, there are only a couple buildings left standing, and they’re on the ground because Lord Verminaard ordered the dragons to grab them in their fucking claws and drop them. The inn’s back in business because draconians (ugh) are super into two for one shots at happy hour, I guess. And now Tika’s exhausted her stores of badassery and is cleaning and crying like a lady should.

f...fuck you, dirt...

f…fuck you, dirt…

She’s at least pissed at Otik for serving buttery nipples and sex-on-the-beaches to the draconians (ugh), though she seems to conveniently forget that this is a choice between service and stab wounds or slave labor which kind of makes sense. I bet they are shitty tippers though.

So six draconians (ugh) walk into the bar and… the chapter ends.

Well, that was depressing. We didn’t even get to see our heroes be assholes, which always cheers me up. Then again, pretty much everyone in this story is an asshole, so.

Until next time, please tip your saucy bar wenches, especially at happy hour.

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.

 

 

DOAT Book One, Chapter 14: Prisoners of the Draconians

You guys words cannot express the utter loathing I feel in my soul every time the term “draconians” is mentioned in this book. This chapter is going to be a long slog. Oh well, let’s dive in.

When we last left our mighty band of heroes, they’d been knocked out by magic and have fallen into the hands of those dastardly draconians (ugh). Well it could be worse, at least this chapter title isn’t a complete spoiler for its events. Let’s dive into the murky swamps of ADVENTURE.

We begin the chapter with the revelation that Tasslehoff has somehow escaped the clutches of the draconians (ugh), and so has Flint, mostly because Tasslehoff clocked him on the head WHILE UNDERWATER because KENDERS ARE SOCIOPATHS.

Sighh, still, I guess wasted, half drowned and unconscious is better than in the knobbly claws of those draconians (ugh), so points for you, Tas. I still don’t trust you.

In an interesting development, however, the draconians (ugh) are unable to pick up Goldmoon’s blue crystal staff – it zaps them every time. After some deliberation, the leader of the draconians (ugh) comes up with the idea of wrapping the thing in a blanket and carrying it that way. By the way, the authors refer to this plan as “ingenious.”

Shade

Flint wakes and appears to be miraculously sober, attributable (I guess) to that smack on the head by his “friend” Tas. The two resolve to go rescue their friends, despite the fact that Flint has lost both his helmet and his axe, which he (rightly) sees as a major liability.

The two follow their captive friends into the draconian (ugh) camp, where they find the draconians (ugh) celebrating and HOLY SHIT THERE’S A DRAGON.

okay a little more threatening than that one.

okay a little more threatening than that one.

Flint is naturally freaking out because dragons don’t actually exist (OR DO THEY), but Tasslehoff is a bit more skeptical. He darts right into camp and starts calling for Tanis. Surprisingly this works, and Tanis wakes up JUST THEN. Tanis’s first instinct is to reach out and touch Sturm.

henry and glenn

finally.

Sturm, who has apparently been awake for some time now, gives Tanis the news that they’ve been captured, Tas and Flint are missing, and Raistlin is injured. Apparently not trusting that evil magic would lay the uber-wizard low, they also hit him with a poisoned dart. I mean… honestly guys, probably a good call, even if it seems a little excessive.

Goldmoon is trying to tend to Raist as best she can, but regrets losing her healing staff… forgetting I guess, that the last time Raistlin tried to touch it it zapped him so she’d just hurt him more?

Anyway they, like Flint, are pretty freaked out by the sight of the dragon looming over the camp, so even though Caramon could likely snap their bamboo cage, they elect not to try an escape.

Tanis tries to talk to a draconian (ugh), who refuses to help Raistlin. Raistlin, in fact, has started to get worse. This upsets Caramon for some reason

this reason.

this reason.

and he busts through the cage, dragon or no. His friends are the ones who have to subdue him before he brings the entire draconian (ugh) camp on their heads.

At this point, the dragon starts to talk, which seems to surprise everyone in the camp, especially the draconians (ugh). Our heroes overhear a military draconian (ugh) and a robed draconian (ugh ugh) discuss the fact that the dragon never speaks until the head draconian (ugh) priest is there. I WONDER IF THERE ARE SHENANIGANS AFOOT.

Despite this weird inconsistency, the draconians (ugh) do as the dragon says, and bring Caramon to see it. The dragon tells the draconians (ugh) to let Caramon have his weapon back, which, shockingly, they do. Meanwhile, Flint appears near the cage where the others are, and whispers for them to get out of there, revealing the SHOCKING news that it’s Tasslehoff voicing the dragon.

mind blown

Flint explains that anyone can control the dragon by pulling some levers and speaking into a tube, and also that the dragon is made of wicker which… how did anyone not notice this?

pictured: not an actual person.

pictured: not an actual person.

Anyway, Flint explains that Tasslehoff has a plan, but to make sure Goldmoon gets out of the way real quick because LADIES AMIRITE.

ohhh no

Meanwhile, Caramon is gearing up to fight pretty much the entire draconian (ugh) camp. Just as he’s about to start, the others race up, explain the plan, and have Caramon grab the group’s staves. Tasslehoff somehow makes the dragon fly (what? how? why?) and the group rushes to the woods.

Goldmoon takes this opportunity to touch Raist with her staff, which surprisingly does not zap him. A little inconsistent there, inanimate object. Anyway, what does happen is a gigantic fire. God damn it, blue crystal staff!

Oh no, wait, it’s the giant wicker dragon crashing into the draconians’ (ugh) bonfire and bursting into flame.

dramatic reenactment

dramatic reenactment

Flint freaks because Tasslehoff is in there, and runs into the draconian (ugh) camp. Caramon tries to stop him but just then, Raistlin wakes up, completely cured, and murmurs Caramon’s name.

christ this is reaching Moffat levels here.

christ this is reaching Moffat levels of teasing here.

The draconians (ugh) have now lost all interest in chasing their former prisoners, so frantic they are that their dragon has apparently committed seppuku, and also because they are on fire. There’s some commentary in the book about the soldier dragons being smaller and more panic stricken, while the wizard dragons are larger and more intelligent, but Jesus Christ, I’m so exhausted I can’t even deal with draconian (ugh) racism on top of everything else.

Sturm and Flint manage to find Tasslehoff, who saved himself from the firey flames by lodging himself in the dragon’s wicker head. They can’t get him out, and the neck’s about to catch fire, so Sturm has no choice but to guess at where the kender’s head is, and chop the dragon head away from the neck. With Riverwind’s help, they grab the head with Tas still inside, and run.

Back in the forest, Raistlin’s giving Caramon the cold shoulder (after all that romantic murmuring!), and Tanis rushes back, followed by Sturm, Flint, Riverwind, and the head. This causes Raistlin to crack up for some reason, and the occasion is treated as quite momentous by the authors. Not sure why, other than the fact that Raist’s laugh is apparently uber creepy.

Caramon tears open the dragon’s head with his bare hands. Tas is unharmed, and more worried about his hair than anything else.

he'd just moussed.

he’d just moussed.

And Raistlin is still, inexplicably, creepy-laughing as the band gathers itself to travel deeper into the forest.

Thus we end chapter fourteen. Not a bad one, despite the overwhelming number of draconians (ugh). We had some death defying stunts, some sexual tension, some close brushes with death, but most importantly we had ‘splosions!

Asshole prize: I was going to give it to Tas for being basically crazy in this chapter, but at the last minute, a dark horse came up – it’s Sturm, who, upon learning that Raistlin had been saved by Goldmoon’s staff, says “a pity.” Ummm wow, dude. Raistlin may be annoying, but I don’t think he’s done much of anything to warrant a “too bad he’s not fucking poisoned” response from you… at least for now. Go groom your mustaches or something.

Homoeroticism prize: I don’t even have to say it.

kiss kiss

 

DOAT Book One, Chapter 13: Chill Dawn. Vine Bridges. Dark Water.

Hellooooo dragonscouts! Your khaleesi is back from crazy work/holiday schedule and ready to go on some epic dragon themed adventures! I bet this chapter has us crossing some vine bridges over some dark water, what do you say? Bring the excitement!

Our chapter begins with Tanis waking from a horrible nightmare. He tries to take over the watch from Riverwind, who can’t sleep due to his entire tribe of people and way of life being destroyed utterly the day before, something lame like that.

Actually it seems like no one in our heroes’ camp can get any sleep. Tanis finds Flint engaging in his favorite hobby, whittling. They exchange some exposition about how they are on some road that will maybe get them through the mountains and possibly lead them to Zach Braff Xak Tsaroth. However, they’re running short on time, considering the Forestmaster had given them two days to reach the mysterious ruin, and now there’s only one day left. Sooo… thanks for that, pegasi.

you tried

haha no you didn’t.

 

An examination of Tasslehoff’s pre-cataclysm (and thus incredibly out of date) shows that they might just reach Xak Tsaroth this afternoon, if the land isn’t too bad. Nobody seems surprised or elated by this, they just… kind of sit around and eat breakfast. Well, at least Raistlin makes an effort to lighten the mood by needling Goldmoon about the deaths of her entire tribe. Way to be a dick, Raist!

I'M JUST MISUNDERSTOOD

I’M JUST MISUNDERSTOOD

Surprisingly, no one offers to pound Raistlin for that. Instead, Riverwind just walks off to be broody and Tanis starts giving Goldmoon a sensual backrub which… why… would you even… do… that? I really don’t think you’ve established the kind of relationship that allows unsolicited backrubs but… Goldmoon seems not to mind, so why the fuck not, I guess.

Riverwind comes back to let Goldmoon know that, by the way, he saw footprints leading from the destroyed village, meaning that some of their people might still be alive, and by the way, that means she’s the Chief now. He rains on this immediately by stating that it’s possible the draconians (ugh) followed the folks into the mountains, but hey, the thought was there. He and Goldmoon start fighting about their relationship immediately, which is I guess reasonable, seeing as how Goldmoon is under a lot of stress, and Riverwind is not being all too helpful. She is, by the way, back to telling about her father’s former condition, saying that all he did was “drool[] and mumble.” And this is the guy who was supposed to be coherent enough to order Riverwind to be put to death?

jlaw okay

Anyway, after that exciting bit of rehashed character development, the adventurers continue down the road where they come across a giant swamp. You know, one of those swamps that are right next to the desert plains. As in all desert-adjacent swamps, there is quicksand deathmirk, and surprise, Flint falls into it. You know, one of those funny dwarven pratfalls that lead to death.

dignity!

dignity!

Fortunately their resident Thor cosplay enthusiast Caramon is able to drag Flint out of the deathmirk, just in time for them to be goosed by a gigantic snake. Swampy fun!

After the typical we’ll never make it through/there’s no other way argument by Tanis and Raistlin, Riverwind reveals that actually, he does know the way through the swamp, because he’s been there before. Surprise! Everyone suddenly figures out that Riverwind’s half-remembered adventure during which he obtained the staff was Xak Tsaroth all along. SURPRISE YOU GUYS!

Shade

 

Riverwind leads the group through the swamp until the path leads straight into a mass of dark water. Everyone is in despair over the fact that they will have to stop, until Riverwind points out the vine bridge spanning the dark water.

malcolm transpo

 

Thanks to the vine bridges and Riverwind remembering the safe path through the swamp… somehow… even though he can barely remember anything else about his trip… I guess… the group makes it safely to the other side of the dark water. Hoorayyyyy. Oh except Goldmoon and Riverwind aren’t speaking anymore so maybe she’s finally decided to dump his peasant ass after all.

It's a good choice, Goldmoon.

It’s a good choice, Goldmoon.

Tanis is worried about Flint, who got soaked in the deathmirk, so he asks Tasslehoff to help him out by warming him up. Tasslehoff responds by skipping away to give Flint a flask of brandy, which… not exactly a scientifically proven method of hypothermia prevention. I mean, I expect this from Tasslehoff, who is a sociopath, but I expected a little better from you Tan… oh, no I actually didn’t.

The group travels on, and Tasslehoff decides that the best way to deal with this is to get Flint wasted.

ohh yeah this will end well.

ohh yeah this will end well.

But oh shit, as they’re crossing a fallen tree, a group of draconians (ugh) leaps out at them! They try to fight them off, Tas a bit more successfully than Flint, who again takes a plunge into the dark water. Successful-ish as he is at hitting stuff, Tasslehoff isn’t able to stop one of the draconians before it starts to cast a spell. Tas decides to leap into the water rather than get magicked, which is actually a pretty solid decision.

The rest of the group, hearing the attack, comes running. Raistlin immediately realizes that this is a mistake, but it’s too late – it seems that everyone gets clocked by the draconian magic. And on that cliffhanger, the chapter ends.

This was at least better than the last chapter by a pretty long shot, which I know isn’t saying much, but it at least has me interested in what happens next. The conflict between Goldmoon and Riverwind is pretty manufactured, though, you know the writers just want to give them some kind of tearful make up scene in the next couple of chapters or something.

Raistlin certainly wins the asshole prize in this one for, you know, joking about the possible massacre of Goldmoon’s tribe, but for sheer what-the-fuckery, Tanis and Riverwind are neck and neck. Between giving your bro’s girlfriend a “sorry your people got slaughtered” backrub and “remember all that shit I said I forgot well I REMEMBER NOW hahahaaa” I just don’t even know what either of you are doing. Maybe after Goldmoon officially dumps you, Riverwind, you and Tanis can get together and be stoic and mirthless as, like, a couple.

As for Tasslehoff, he doesn’t even register on this scale anymore because he’s a sociopath.

DOAT Book One, Chapter 11: The Forestmaster. A peaceful interlude.

Welp Dragonscouts, I have to say that these spoilery chapter headings were the worst idea, because I can already tell this chapter is going to be boring as shit. Ugh. Well I’ve made the commitment to get through this thing, so let’s dig in.

So, when we left our fearless band of warriors, they had run through the gauntlent of zombies and centaurs, and are now facing a… horrifying disembodied voice. Tanis and Caramon react immediately to this – Tanis by yelling, and Caramon by “bluffing” that he won’t harm the voice. So… okay Caramon, first of all, it’s a disembodied voice. Second of all, your first instinct is to “bluff” that you won’t hurt it? You have like, at least some serious anger management and/or violence issues dude.

NO I DO NOT

NO I DOOON’T

Okay Caramon, okay.

The Forestmaster assures the group that no, they won’t hurt her because she’s taken all their weapons. And then she reveals herself to be… a unicorn!

I'M ALIIIIIIIVE

I’M ALIIIIIIIVE

Despite the fact that this group is comprised entirely of assholes, the Forestmaster lets them chill in the forest for the night. Oh, thanks so much, Forestmaster, I would love to stay in your forest that is TEEMING WITH FUCKING MISOGYNY ZOMBIES.

HISSSSSS LET ME TELL YOU HOW WHITE MEN ARE OPPRESSED SSSSSSSS

HISSSSSS LET ME TELL YOU HOW WHITE MEN ARE OPPRESSSSSSSSSED

Caramon is super into this because the Forestmaster mentions the possibility of food, so obviously we now know where is priorities lie – food and twincest. He proves this by “eas[ing] his brother to the ground.”

You know that I will use every excuse to put up this image.

You know that I will use every excuse to post this image.

The centaurs prove to be domestic servants, and bring out a bunch of tablecloths, glowy insects in lanterns. and apparently objectionable chairs. Still the chairs turn out to be magic or whatever.

IDK this is basically the only chair that counts as magic in my opinion.

IDK this is basically the only chair that counts as magic in my opinion.

They all sit, and the centaurs lay out a magical feast. Caramon gets ridiculously excited about the meat until he realizes the deer is probably one of the Forestmaster’s subjects. Somehow, the Forestmaster seems really cool with everyone eating her people – er, animals – except that she stares creepily at Sturm while she says that it’s cool for folks to die fulfilling their destinies. Tanis manages to convince himself that this is all in his imagination, because he is an idiot.

The Forestmaster tells everyone to chill out about death and have a nice meal, which they do, apparently enjoying each others’ company for pretty much the first time in the book. Sturm talks to Tasslehoff without strangling him, and keeps him from stealing everything that isn’t nailed down. Caramon hoovers all the food in sight and plays with his bones, which, gross. Raistlin picks at everything and doesn’t talk, Goldmoon acts like a princess, basically, and Riverwind is awkward as hell.

One thing I like about this chapter is how it is subverting everyone else’s stupid ass prejudice about how Goldmoon is this barbarian who has no social skills applicable to the outside world. As it turns out, she is the only one who knows how to behave at a fucking dinner table with any kind of poise. Even so, girl, Riverwind is not doing you any favors. I hate to say it, but maybe daddy was right, and you need to kick him to the curb for someone who knows how to interact with people?

I'm just saying.

I’m just saying.

When the meal is finished, Raistlin asks the Forestmaster what the fuck are those lizard men, basically killing the mood. Thanks a lot, jerk who wants to know what the fuck is going on in his town. The forestmaster tells him that the beings are called… wait for it… “draconians.”

oh my god of course they are.

oh my god of course they are.

Apparently some of the Forestmaster’s zombie minions killed a bunch of them, which is cool. But before they did, they found out that the draconians (ugh) are: 1) not “of this world” (ugh ugh) and 2) comprise all those armies in the north that Tanis spotted while on top of the mountain.

Everybody starts yelling at each other about where they ought to go next, but fortunately the Forestmaster shuts that shit down by saying that SHE will tell them all where they need to go.

Raistlin is naturally suspicious, because who the fuck is this random ass unicorn to tell him what to do?

dont tell me

The Forestmaster has an answer though! Some dude, apparently large and shiny, told her that some folks were going to come into the forest, that the zombies would be cool with them, and that she’d have to tell him that they have to “fly” over the mountains and to some place called Xak Tsaroth in two days.

Dick

how do you even pronounce that shit? like “Zach Braff?”

Flint is like “wtf is this bs, you can’t get over the mountains in two days,” which seems a legit argument. Not only would they have to go back through the draconians, but they’d also have to go through the plains, where Goldmoon and Riverwind are basically under a death sentence. And then there’s the issue of whether they’re actually going to follow the advice – Sturm wants to go back to his homeland in the north because, you know, armies of fucking lizard men are there, and Riverwind still wants to cut his losses and head out to Zach Braff Xak Tseroth with Goldmoon by themselves.

Raistlin gives Riverwind a dire prophecy of death if they go off alone, which prompts Tanis to drag him off and give him a stern talking to. Sturm warns Caramon that there’s a “dark side” to his brother

uhh no fucking kidding.

uhh no fucking kidding.

which Caramon doesn’t even bother to deny. So… foreshadowing I guess.

Instead of bitching him out for threatening the pair of Plainsmen with death. Tanis asks Raistlin about what he knows about Xak Tsaroth. Raistlin replies that there used to be a temple to the ancient gods there, before being destroyed in the Cataclysm, before going off on a tangent about how he’s better and smarter than any of them, which is actually pretty awkward, bro.

Okay honey, okay.

Suuure, honey.

Once he’s done bitching, Raistlin tells Tanis that the draconians (ugh) are trying to conquer all of Ansalon (this is the first time the name is mentioned, and I only found out by searching my Kindle that it’s the continent they’re all on), and that the group will find whatever it is they need to defeat them in Xak Tsaroth. His advice is that they get there as fast as they can and get the whatever-it-is before the draconians (ugh) do.

Tanis asks Raistlin if he thinks that they’ve all been chosen for this task, and Raistlin agrees that yes, they were… but the question is, by whom?

dun dun dunnnnnnn……

So, despite the chapter title, this chapter was at least mildly interesting what with the interplay between the characters as they actually get along, and the threat of dire prophecies. Here’s hoping for some excitement in Zach Braff Xak Tsaroth.

get ready for thrills, motherfuckers.

get ready for thrills, motherfuckers.

Asshole count: Likely Raistlin again for bitching everyone out, though Caramon gets a shoutout for being a complete pig at the dinner table.

DOAT Book One, Chapter 9: Flight! The white stag.

Ooh, Dragonscouts, an actual exclamation point in our title! How exciting. When we last left our intrepid heroes, they were fleeing a hoard of lizard men into the forest, Flint leading the way in a classic Dwarven sprint.

gimli running

Tanis decides, with no evidence other than his… elven perception, I guess… that the lizard men must have blocked all the exits from he forest except the one leading to the Darken Wood. He proposes heading to Prayer’s Eye Peak to get a good look around, but after Raistlin collapses, decides they should rest first. Sturm is looking pretty beat down too, but is talking all this with suicidal amounts of stoicism.

Just a lil mustache grooming and I'll be fine.

Just a lil mustache grooming and I’ll be fine.

Tanis and Riverwind have a quiet chat, in which Riverwind reveals that the lizard men were participants in his Lovecraftian fever dream. Both he and Goldmoon are worried that the lizard men have attacked their village, but assure themselves that the warriors of their tribe will make short work of them. Riverwind’s nastiness finally cracks, too, as he thanks Tanis and the rest of the group for all of their help. So touching you guys! Friendship is magic.

The group grows nearer to Prayer’s Eye Peak, so named because it looks like praying hands. So wouldn’t it be Prayer’s Hand Peak? Fantasy world, you make no sense.

The group continues toward the mountain. Sturm insists on taking the rear guard even though he feels like he’s going to pass out, which now starts going beyond suicidal stoicism to homicidal stoicism. Seriously Sturm, what do you think is going to happen if those lizard men start sneaking up on everyone, and you can’t even see as far as putting one foot in front of the other?

It's this. This is what will happen.

It’s this. This is what will happen.

Sturm starts remembering back to when he was a child, hearing stories of the knight Huma. Evidently when Sturm was a child, his father and mother were basically Knights of Solemnia lifers, and I guess spoke of nothing else, ever. No wonder Sturm’s personality is basically “mustache.” Dad packed his wife and kid off in order to save lil Sturm from discrimination, as the Knights were pretty much universally loathed for a reason I’m still not quite clear on. They wound up in Solace where Sturm became besties with Caramon, but Sturm’s mom was too good to make friends and died alone.

The fate of haughty bitches and Oedipal sons everywhere.

The fate of haughty bitches and Oedipal sons everywhere.

So Sturm became part of a quasi-family consisting of Tanis and Flint (the mom and dad of the fam, I’m assuming), Caramon, Raistlin, Kitiara and Tasslehoff, going around and having adventures, as one does. But with growing tales of evil in the land, the group had split five years ago and gone their separate ways. Sturm went north to seek news of his long lost dad.

Here the book gets SUPER SLUDGY with oldschool style exposition about the Knights of Solemnia. Seriously, it is SO BORING with tons of Capital Letter Words of Great Import which I have No Patience With, so I will sum up in a bullet list, yeah?

  • Huma was a Knight of Solemnia and Big Damn Hero who drove out the darkness and evil and whatever a long-ass time ago.
  • The earth went BOOM and there were no more gods, boo.
  • Knights, as it turns out, can’t battle fucking earthquakes and volcanoes. So everyone hates them.

makes sense

So Sturm stumbles forward, remembering his vow to restore the knight’s honor, and feeling dissatisfied that all he has to fight are lizard men instead of dragons. Sturm. Dude. The lizard men almost killed you. How the hell are you going to be standing up against a dragon? So we’ll add “suicidal stupidity” along with “homicidal stoicism” and “mustache” into your list of personality traits.

Sturm suddenly sees a huge and very magnificent white stag that no one else can see, but this has something to do with Huma, so he insists that everyone follow it. They decide he must have a head wound, which just enrages Sturm. He starts screaming at Caramon about what an idiot he is, which really doesn’t sound very fair.

Tanis decides that Sturm is making sense, as he has been with someone who had seen the stag and followed it. He starts twisting his ring around his finger and thinking of some crying elfmaiden WHO I AM SURE WILL HAVE NO BEARING ON THIS STORY IN ANY FUTURE TIME.

Anyway, Tanis is in favor of following the stag up the western side of the mountain. Caramon insists that there aren’t any trails on that side, because no one ever goes there. But if no one ever goes there how would you know?? I am beginning to think Caramon deserves the abuse he’s been getting from Raistlin and Sturm so far.

Goldmoon throws her vote in with Tanis, and the group follows the stag to the south, where they find… a trail!

surprise.

Not only is there a trial, but it’s a trail that’s ridic old, and with no tracks on it to indicate that any humans have been on it like… ever.

The group races up the path until mid-day when they decide to stop for a break. Sturm engages in some strategic mustache grooming while Tanis and Riverwind go scouting ahead. Tanis muses on how he is beginning to feel comfortable with Riverwind because unlike his friends, who are concerned about Kitiara’s apparently ditching Tanis and Tanis obviously being upset about it, Riverwind doesn’t talk, and doesn’t know anything about Tanis’s romantic history. So Tanis, your dream bromance is someone who… doesn’t know you, won’t talk to you, and doesn’t care if you’re upset? Hooookay then.

Well, one of Tanis’s thoughts turns out to be right. When he and Riverwind look down from the heights, they see that the forest is crawling with lizard men. Fortunately however, the trail on which they’ve just passed has disappeared, leaving no trace. Spooooky!

Even spookier, Tanis and Riverwind see campfires on the horizon, portending a coming war. When they go back to tell the rest of the group, their friends are incredulous that a war would be starting just for some staff. When Raistlin tries to remind everyone about the missing stars in the sky, they just scoff all the more. Well we all know what happens when someone’s stories are scoffed at in the beginning of the story, right Raist?

Ohhhh yes. Yes I do

Ohhhh yes. Yes I do.

Before everyone can start fighting, the stag reappears and Sturm goes crashing after it. The path leads into the gap between the two praying hands that make up the mountain. By the time they get there, the group is starting to get a little testy. But when Flint makes a crack about wishing the stag were real so that they could eat it, Sturm LOSES HIS SHIT in the worst way. Fortunately Tanis is there to stop him before he takes a swing at poor flint. Jesus Sturm, calm your tits.

The group makes their way through the gap in Prayer’s Eye Peak. Everyone marvels at how nice and warm and beautiful the view is, until Raistlin points out that this is the way to Darken Wood. Sturm scoffs at this, and then decides that he don’t even care, misogyny zombies though there may be.

FEMINISTS ARE MAN HATING LESBIANS HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

ALL FEMINISTS ARE MAN HATING LESBIANS HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Still, after Tanis announces that he’ll follow Sturm but won’t take responsibility for anyone else’s life, the group elects to go forward – even Raistlin, despite portending certain doom in the forest. As he points out to Tanis, where the fuck else is anyone going to go? This pisses Tanis off, mostly because Raistlin is obviously correct.

The group reaches the edge of the forest and everyone is surprised by how not-scary it is, for a place apparently packed to the brim with zombies. Raistlin rains on everyone’s parade by warming them not to eat or drink anything in the forest, despite the fact that their supplies are running out. Good luck convincing anyone of that, Raist. In an effort to make an impression, he starts being super dramatic all over the place, predicting that the forest brings great evil to those who bring evil into it. Sturm cracks that Raistlin is the only one who needs to be worried then, and that makes Caramon go all glove-slappy. Unfortunately homoerotic wrestling is once again stymied by Tanis and Raistlin.

Tanis and Flint, at the back of the group, have a brief conversation in which they manage to pack as much soppiness as possible. Still, Tanis is worried because his dwarf pal is getting old, and isn’t quite so spry as he once was. Which, you know, is not ideal when you’re about to find a bunch of zombies.

Annnd so ends this chapter. It was SO LONG YOU GUYS. I am really hoping for some zombie action to break up the tedium here.

Asshole count: Everyone. Everyone who opens their mouth in this chapter is a complete asshole to everyone else around them. I think Sturm wins the prize for this one, but only barely.

 

 

DOAT Book One, Chapter 8: Search for truth. Unexpected answers.

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

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

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

Logic

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

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

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

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

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

loki facepalm

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

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

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

The most dangerous game.

The most dangerous game.

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

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

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

Oh shit, I did something right!

I did something right!

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

like a boss

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

No, I'm not above using this joke.

No, I’m not above using this joke.

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

Like this, if King Arthur were a kender?

Like this, if King Arthur were a kender?

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

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

HISSSSSSSSSSSSSS WOMEN ARE WEAKER THAN MEN IT'S JUST BIOLOGY

HISSSSSSSSSSSSSS WOMEN ARE WEAKER THAN MEN IT’S JUST BIOLOGY

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

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