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

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

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

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

smaug

AIIIEEEEE!!!!

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

toofless

aiiee?

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

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

hes got bees

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

ohhh no

fuckin sexist dragons

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

baby fight club

i guess.

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

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

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

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

womp womp

WOMP WOMP

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

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

cher yuk

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

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

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

reaction-cersei-1

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

pointless

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

drogon

AAAAAIIIIIEIEEEEEE!!!!

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

xena.gif

AIAIAIAIAIAIAI BITCHAAAAAAAAAAS

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

DOAT Book II, Chapter 13: Questions. No Answers. Fizban’s Hat.

Welcome back Dragonscouts to another exquisite chapter of Dragonlance in which we ask questions and receive no answers. Who wants to take bets on whether we’re going to figure out who this alleged traitor is in this chapter, eh?

We join our brave companions as both Gilthanas and Eben meet up with the group. Eben has a suspiciously plausible story as to where he’s just disappeared to. Tika seems to believe Eben’s story, especially after he starts kissing on her hand. This makes Caramon ragey, but for some reason, he doesn’t attack, which strikes me as extremely out of character.

Gilthanas, when asked where he’s been, responds with “YOU’RE NOT MY DAD.”

dont tell me

Also, he points out, Raistlin was super tired when we left… SUSPICIOUSLY tired. Actually, he went missing at the same time as Gilthanas and Eben did… so perhaps it is HE who is the traitor!

Faced with this accusation, Raistlin responds with “YOU’RE NOT MY DAD.” Caramon leads his brother back to bed.

thorandloki

you guys are not even trying.

Ugh. So now we have THREE potential traitors, each of them with their supporters, and Tanis is feeling VERY put upon. He realizes that this whole thing might be a trap, using the excuse of a revolt to kill all the slaves AND our noble heroes, thus snuffing out the threat of Goldmoon for good. He considers abandoning it, but then decides not to because… it would be too disappointing to the slaves. Cool, Tanis. Now just go to sleep without doing anything and that’ll… yeah… great plan my dude.

Tanis is not the only one who abandons any attempt at a plan to get some sleep. Tasslehoff wakes up in the morning, having slept through the night instead of cunningly waiting for Pyros to fall asleep so that he can rescue Sestun. Fortunately for him, the dragon likes a good lie-in, and is still asleep when he wakes up.

Tas and Fizban embark upon a HILARIOUS series of fuck-ups in an attempt to rescue poor innocent Sestun. They’ve just floated Sestun up to where they’re hiding when Lord Verminaard comes into the dragon’s lair. The dragon and the highlord start discussing their villainous plans when they see Fizban’s hat come floating down to the floor.

reaction-cersei-1

Meanwhile, Tanis wakes up and decides to go through with the plan, even though it means both certain death for all of them, and playing right into the traitor’s plan. Tanis is hinging his hopes upon there not actually being a traitor, which we, the audience, know is completely untrue. Oh the dramatic irony!

Tanis has a dramatic farewell with Laurana, who is still determined to prove that she isn’t useless. She reminds him, correctly, that even if her combat training was “ceremonial” it was still goddamn combat training, which makes her marginally more useful than Tika (poor Tika).

The plan is in motion! Everyone is disguised as women (except for their facial hair for some reason), and goes to wake the children and lead them outside. But, unexpectedly, there’s a guard at the door where there never was one before! (This place seems pretty shoddily guarded tbh.) The guards say that they’ve been ordered to search the women before they can go into the children’s room and are really freaking creepy about it. But one of them makes the mistake of calling Sturm ugly and Sturm, realizing the destructive nature of the patriarchy and the male gaze, begins the attack.

fuck the patriarchy

Our heroes make short work of those sexist draconians (ugh) and run into the children’s room where they’re soon to encounter a motherfucking dragon.

Back to Tasslehoff and Fizban, who have just gotten caught trying to rescue Sestun from Lord Verminaard and Pyros’s clutches. Pyros in particular is concerned, because he now knows that they caught him talking about the mysterious green gemstone man, a secret for which he’s willing to kill. OH NO!

Fortunately for them both, Fizban turns out to be good for something. He grabs Setsun, casts a darkness spell, and tells Tasslehoff to run. He’s even able to protect them from the dragon’s firey breath! Astonishing! Could it be that The Old Man is Not What He Seems?

The three make their way back to the mechanism room, while Pyros starts breaking through the goddamn wall. The only way down is by crawling down the mechanism’s chain, so that’s just what Fizban, Tasslehoff and Sestun start to do. Unfortunately for them, the dragon bursts through and attacks. Finding that his breath can’t touch the three due to Fizban’s spell, Pyros does the next best thing and attacks the chain instead, melting the links and causing them to fall to their certain doom.

womp womp

WOMP WOMP

However, unbeknownst to Pyros, he’s just set a giant cogwheel in the mechanical room a-turning, to what purpose… we’ll have to find out in a later chapter!

Welp that certainly…barely advanced the story. But good news Dragonscouts – there’s only two more chapters and an epilogue to go, meaning we are almost done with Dragons of Autumn Twilight!

Asshole count: whoever knows who this goddamn traitor is but isn’t telling me.

 

DOAT Book II, Chapter 12: The parable of the gem. Traitor revealed. Tas’s dilemma.

Greetings Dragonscouts! When last we met, our bold heroes were about to be betrayed by a traitorous traitor, Tasslehoff and Fizban were off being useless, and we found out that dragons can transform into humans for some reason. If the title chapters are as spoilery as ever (and I’m sure they are), we’re gonna find out who that traitor is, at least! Let’s dive in.

We start out with Caramon, in drag, getting sexually harassed by Eben.

brule shock

Apparently they are “doing comedy” for the woman captives down the mine. The women, held apart from the society of their children for so long, are so deprived of amusement that they find this hilarious for some reason. Tanis, in another rare moment of good judgment, has located the natural leader of the women, Maritta. In a move of astonishing stupidity on Maritta’s part, she has agreed to Tanis’s plan to potentially endanger their children who, lest we have forgotten the last chapter are: 1) being held in an undisclosed location; and 2) being guarded by a fucking dragon. So maybe Tanis was being an idiot all along!

makes sense

Maritta tells Tanis that the Highseekers are also being held prisoner, but are being treated better than the rest (aka, they are not being forced into slave labor), and thus will cause some problems during the planned revolt.

Maritta also reveals that she is not an idiot by telling Tanis that his plan is contingent on their children coming to no harm during the process. Tanis reminds here that there is a fucking dragon guarding them, and Maritta laughs.

brule shock

Apparently the dragon is old and feeble, and the children love her. Not only this, but the dragon thinks the children are her children. And anyway, she sleeps late, so they can just sneak the kids past her before breakfast. THAT WAS LUCK, TANIS. THAT WAS LUCK. DON’T YOU DARE THINK THIS WAS AT ALL DUE TO YOUR DUBIOUS INTELLECT.

Anyway, the women set to work on the plan by sewing some clothes to disguise the men as women. However, Sturm starts to make trouble when they insist that he shave off his mustaches in order to pass. Which, Jesus Christ Sturm, we’re talking about rescuing literally hundreds of people, including children, from a life of slave labor. You could  maybe sacrifice a few hair follicles, which may I remind you, FUCKING GROW BACK for such a worthy cause, right?

…no. Tanis just has him cover his face with a scarf.

cher yuk

Then Riverwind starts to make a fuss, saying that his tribe punishes cowardly warriors by making them dress up as women, so he won’t do it.

ron swanson 2

The solution to this is wrap him in a cloak and have him lean on a stick like an old woman which… how is this any different than having him dress up as a woman? IDK at least he buys it which is good enough for now.

Meanwhile, Tanis is preparing his genius disguise by wrapping his face in a scarf instead of shaving

malcolm transpo

and Laurana calls him out on it, proving once again that she is better for this group than Tanis. Further, when Tanis tries to apologize for snapping at her, she insists that he was right, but that she’s going to prove her worth somehow. This apparently makes Tanis’s “soul [stand] breathless,” which I assume means it gives him a half chub.

Finally, when everyone’s about ready to go, Raistlin makes trouble by saying that he’s too tired to go along with him. I have to hope that he said this before making the women go through the trouble of sewing him a costume. They decide to leave him there, which after all, was not too hard.

The draconian (ugh) guards come in, apparently after having enjoyed happy hour, and completely buy that all these dudes with obvious facial hair are, in fact, women. So the idiotic plan is now in motion. Let’s hope nobody fucks up, my dudes!

Meantime, Tasslehoff and Fizban are finding extremely convenient secret doors and trying to make their way around the fort. Fizban engages in some artistic appreciation, and shows Tasslehoff a battle scene in which good gold and silver dragons battle the evil red and black ones. Then Fizban spells Tasselhoff to forget this information, and they go traipsing off to find the dragon’s lair, which seems like an incredibly terrible plan.

pointless

Our heroes in drag are in shock as their plan begins to go surprisingly well, up to the point where they find the menfolk in the mine. However, the men are skeptical of Goldmoon’s claims that a goddess gave her some metal discs so they should risk their lives for reasons. The Highseeker, as predicted, starts the trouble, and it seems like the men are going to start a days-long argument. And even worse, they hurt Goldmoon’s feelings!

63_sad-crying-full-house-michelle-tanner

this is my new favorite gif btw

They come across a super old and dying dude, one of the Highseekers who actually spoke up against Lord Verminaard and his minions. He apparently has whatever the fantasy equivalent of cancer is, which makes him saintly and philosophical, as cancer tends to do. He asks Goldmoon that if she’s really the emissary of the old gods, why the hell did they wait so long to come back to Krynn?

Goldmoon thinks about this, then says that it’s basically like if you drop a jewel in the forest and are afraid to go back to get it, she guesses. This apparently makes complete sense to the man and he is INSTANTLY CONVERTED from his previously strongly held beliefs. Good job, Goldmoon!

But then, Tanis gives the group some disturbing news – BOTH Eben and Gilthanas are nowhere to be found. Womp womp! Guess we’ll have to wait for the traitor to be revealed for at least a couple more pages.

We’re taken back to dragon Pyros’s POV, in a tiny (for a dragon) chamber, where bad boss Sestun is being offered as the dragon’s dinner. Pyros is so gully dwarf racist that he won’t even eat Sestun, which I would be mad at if it didn’t mean that Sestun would live to see another day. Hooray for Sestun!

whoo whoo

The traitor then enters the room to rat on our bold companions. When the individual throws back their hood to reveal their face, there’s a barely audible gasp as Tasslehoff, hiding somewhere near the ceiling, recognizes who they are. The audience, on the other hand, is left in the dark, in a gambit that is getting increasingly irritating.

Pyros is as unimpressed by the plan to free the saves as I am, and moves to more important things, namely that the unnamed prisoner brought to Lord Verminaard during the last chapter is HIM whom they’ve been searching for all this time. Given that there has been literally no foreshadowing about this apparently insanely important individual, the import of this statement is kind of lost on me. Anyway, Pyros thinks that the guy is fine where he is for now, considering the coming attack on Qualenesti. Once that’s over with, Pyros will take the man to the Dark Queen. Great plan, Pyros! What could possibly go wrong?

Anyway, Pyros tells the traitor that he has to keep this dude safe until he can get back from deep fat frying the elves. The traitor agrees, and fucks right out.

Tasslehoff starts crying with the realization of who has betrayed them, but still won’t say who it was, which is getting REALLY ANNOYING. But then he says that even though they can’t warn Tanis, given that they have no idea where he is, they’re going to do the next best thing and rescue Seston.

My god, this is enough to get me to start liking Tasslehoff again.

And here ends the chapter, and I’m sorry to say that our chapter titles are goddamn liars.

Asshole count: If not the chapter titles, then for sure any dude whose masculinity is so fragile that he can’t shave his facial hair or dress in drag in order to rescue hundreds of people, including children, from a lifetime of slave labor.

DOAT Book II, Chapter 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 7: Farewell. The companions’ decision.

Greetings Dragonscouts! Welcome to the chapter where we FINALLY GET SOME FREAKING FOOD. These elves, man, I don’t care if their houses are made of quartz, they are stingy bastards. Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the rest of our band of noble heroes after the sexually aggressive awkwardness of the last chapter.

We start off with Goldmoon… not eating, because the elven feast reminds her of her mother’s funeral.

ron-swanson 1

Still, Riverwind has taken a break from being an emo fuckass and is actually being supportive, so that’s something.

Laurana is… not eating, she’s staring at Tanis.

ron swanson 2

Tanis is… eating but not tasting anything. Flint is… not eating because he doesn’t like elven food. (WHAT DO ELVES EAT?)

Raistlin is… not eating much, but then he never does.

Tika is… not eating because she feels frumpy in front of the elven women.

ohhh no

Caramon is… eating, thank god, but not satisfied. He at least gives us a description of what elves eat: fruits and vegetables cooked in delicate sauces, served with bread, cheese and wine. That actually sounds kind of good, but I get the feeling that Caramon is a meat-and-also-more-meat kind of guy.

bacon and eggs

So this is a very frustrating feast for pretty much everyone, and also they are being pretty rude guests with all this not eating the food that has been finally served to them. Well, at least the elves deserve it.

And hey, Flint? You don’t like elven food which means you don’t like… fruit, vegetables, bread, cheese or wine. WHAT DO YOU LIVE ON. HOW DO YOU LIVE FLINT. I AM PRETTY SURE WE HAVE SEEN YOU EATING AT LEAST THREE OF THOSE THINGS ALREADY.

bacon and eggs 2

bacon and eggs 3

Apparently only Tasslehoff and Fizban are enjoying the dinner party, and Tasslehoff spends most of the time stealing shit because he is a – you know what? Forget it. Everyone else is being such a dick that I’m not even mad. You do you, Tas.

So then Gilthanas is up and – oh my god, he’s going to indulge in some oh-noetry. He sings in elvish while Tanis translates for Sturm. It is, predictably, about sunsets and fireflies. I don’t have the strength to transcribe it. Just imagine choppy free verse that expresses the elves’ infinite sadness or whatever.

cher yuk

Finally this gruesome feast is over, and it’s time for the meeting of the High Council. Oh boy, that sounds fun. But my sarcasm is proved wrong, because as it turns out, the council is held while standing on a giant map! Both Tasslehoff and I are unreasonably excited about this.

Hope it's as good as this map!

Hope it’s as good as this map!

Still, the meeting takes a downward turn when the Speaker announces that elves cannot fight against fucking dragons, so they’re going to head toward Silvanesti, which is an even older elf residence, sort of like Lothlorian to Qualinost’s Rivendell (gee, I bet nobody’s ever made THAT connection before).

But the plan won’t work unless they can stop the army currently at Pax Tharkas, which is where Lord Verminaard hangs. The Speaker explains that the captured men of the surrounding area are slaves, with their wives and children held hostage to ensure good behavior. This seems like a really shortsighted plan, Lord Verminaard. You have over half the population of captives as a sheer drain on resources. Put the women and children to work! Kids love to work.

mugatu

See?

Anyway, the Speaker thinks that if  the women and children are freed by our mighty heroes, the men will revolt, destroy the army and give the elves the time to dash on out of there.

Guys.

Guys. GUYS.

  1. Women can’t revolt???
  2. ELVES CAN’T HELP REVOLT???

Man just fuck y’all elves. Riverwind agrees with my point #2 at least, claiming that the revolting humans won’t survive making an attack like that. The Speaker helpfully explains that all the humans were going to die in the mines anyway, so what’s the big deal? They can, like, live in the mountains and stuff. Humans love mountains, right? Everyone glares at him, so he says that Gilthanas can go along with them too, if they want. Cooooooollllllll.

kanye laugh

So our heroes confer about this incredibly stupid and destructive plan. Tanis is in favor of splitting up so that Goldmoon can go with the elves to protect the Disks, but everyone shuts that down in a hurry. Even Fizban uses his mental powers on Tanis to go along. Tanis is a little weirded out by this, and confers with Raistlin about how This Old Man Is Not What He Seems. Raistlin agrees that the guy has some kind of great power, and it’d be dangerous to stop him.

After the rest go to get some sleep, Caramon and Sturm corner Tanis because they don’t trust Tanis’s not-bruh Gilthanas. His story about living while his entire army was either killed or burninated doesn’t sit right with them, and they think he might hand them over to Lord Verminaard. I mean, he is a dick, but Tanis doesn’t think he’s a traitor – he’s just misguided. Then Tanis abruptly yells that if there’s someone he doesn’t trust in their group, it’s Raistlin and the old man.

well that was just uncalled for.

well that was just uncalled for.

Later that night, Tanis is awoken by someone mysterious standing over his bed. Naturally, he grabs that person, pulls them across him, and puts a knife to their throat. I’m sure you’ll be shocked when I reveal that the mysterious night stalker is Laurana wearing only a “flimsy nightdress.” Tanis immediately gets a mega boner.

divine4

Laurana warns Tanis that her father doesn’t actually expect his lead-the-slaves-into-revolt plan to work, and that he’s basically sending Tanis & Co. into a death trap. Tanis decides it’s now the moment to be all noble, and tell her that even if the plan has just a slim chance, it’ll be worth it, because sometimes you have to risk your life in something you believe in. I don’t quite get your logic on this particular plan, Tanis, but okay.

jlaw okay

The one person who’s moved by this impassioned speech, however, is Laurana, who goes back to her bedchamber with newfound resolve. Does she have something she’s willing to risk her life to get? Would it be Tanis’s yogurt-slinger? I have no doubt we’ll find out soon enough.

Asshole count: This one’s tough. Tanis is in the running for that unsolicited comment about Raistlin, and then Gilthanas is just a dick all round. But I think the award his chapter goes to the Speaker for sending our brave companions – not to mention the entire slave population of Pax Tharkas – into certain death just to let the elves escape. Because fuck humans, am I right?

DOAT Book II, Chapter 6: Tanis and Laurana

Ohhh goody. We’re embarking on a chapter literally named after my two least favorite characters in the entire trilogy. Welp, it’s time to suck it up and try to find ways that Tanis and Laurana are not so bad after all, because what’s a 20-years-later recap without a little introspection, am I right you guys? Let’s dive in.

When last we joined our heroes, Laurana was leading them to somewhere with beds, and please god, food. My latest wish gets answered right away as they get to walk through an orchard and pick what they want and get delivered bread. Okay, maybe I don’t find fruit picking all that charming, but I can think of better ways to treat your guests then to tell them to harvest their own dinner. At least the bread came pre-made. Oh, and they’re invited to “relax on soft moss beds” instead of, you know, actual beds. Aren’t there bugs in those? Jesus christ, elves, you are never going to be Martha-level hostesses if you keep pulling this weak-ass hosting shit.

martha is pissed

Tanis refuses the food. WHAT THE FUCK TANIS.

ron swanson hulking

Laurana, however, tries to be a better hostess than her accommodations suggest, and starts making the small talk. She even compliments Tika’s hair! Ladies supporting ladies, what could be better?

Tanis throws down an apple (I thought he refused the food? And is he so mad about ladies complimenting each other?) and wanders into the trees. Both Laurana and Tasslehoff follow him, Laurana because she is thirsty for that half-elven D, and Tasslehoff because he is a sociopath.

So Laurana basically jumps Tanis and claims they’re engaged, which Tanis quickly shuts down. Guess their getting engaged as youngsters did NOT go over well with Laurana’s family, causing Tanis to leave Qualinost and set out on his journey of self-discovery. We can see how well that worked out.

Laurana insists, despite Tanis’s protests, that he came back because he’s in lurrrve with her and wants to maaaaaaaaarry her and oh yeah I can see why I found this annoying back in the day. Tanis tells her that actually, he’s in love with Kitiara (who we STILL haven’t met yet, ugh) and can’t marry Laurana because his heart is divided. Oh WOE FOR TANIS. He has too many ladies, what shall he do?

Shade

Anyway, he gives Laurana’s ring back, and she screams and throws it at him in rage. Coooool. I guess when the authors distinguished Goldmoon from “foolish, hysterical women,” this is what they were thinking of?

ohhh no

Tasslehoff, meanwhile, is watching the entire time, and steals the ring. Just… fucking wow.

Anyway, Tanis wakes up later… on the moss beds I guess? to Gilthanas sitting over him, thanking him for breaking Laurana’s heart and proving that he was right about Tanis being a half-human fuckboy this whole time (which to be fair, he is). He then tells Tanis to wake the others for the feast and… here the chapter ends. Wow! Short and pointless!

I feel a little vindicated about being annoyed by Laurana in this book, although now it’s tinged with the frustration of how poorly the authors write female characters. It’s doubly frustrating because one of the authors is a freaking woman. I know, product of its time and adhering to fantasy tropes and all, but the only women we’ve really met in the book so far are: the serene nurturing healer, the jealous town slut- but-not-really-a-slut, and the beautiful spoiled brat who’s convinced everyone luuuurves her because she’s just so pretty. Someone give me a lady with a fully developed character AND A GODDAMN SWORD.

Asshole count: TANIS AND LAURANA

DOAT Book II, Chapter 3: The slave caravan. A strange old magician.

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

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

confused but sexy

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

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

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

nope

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

Still not above this.

Still not above this.

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

pocahontis

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

FUCKING HELL YEAH!

FUCKING HELL YEAH!

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

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

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

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

VIL

Fantasy communism would be an interesting choice, at least.

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

kanye laugh

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

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

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

Zany!

Zany!

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

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

DOAT Book II, Chapter 2: The stranger. Captured!

Hokay, maybe now it’s time to get into the actual storyline of book II of Dragons of Autumn Twilight following that intensely important cleaning-and-crying interlude. Our fearless heroes are still somewhere outside Solace watching the flames of its destruction tint the sky, Tika and Otik are serving up Harvey Wallbangers to hordes of hard-drinkin’ draconians (ugh) and hobgoblins, and life for the folk of Krynn seems generally fucked on account of the motherfucking dragons just whipping out flames whenever anyone says something disagreeable. Apparently the jerk-ass High Theocrat who welcomed his lizard overlords into the city is now toiling in the slave mines, where they mine… well, I’m not sure what, exactly, but I’m sure it’s unpleasant, what with the whole slavery aspect and all.

So my question now, as we go into this chapter, is who the heck is coordinating all these fucking lizard men and dragons into an army? This seems like a pretty extraordinary effort which is not something that draconians (ugh) seem to excel at? And the dragons aren’t in charge, right, because they’re taking orders from the draconians (ugh)! I mean, I’m sure this is just a question we haven’t had answered yet in the scope of the narrative, but man, when we do get an answer, it had better be a good one.

i'm waiting.

i’m waiting.

Anyway, we come back to Tika who has dried her womanish tears and is now serving up beer to randos at the Inn of the Last Home. But who should come strolling into the bar but our noble heroes! Which…. why? Last time you were here, if you don’t remember (I certainly do and it’s taken me longer to read this damn book than it has taken y’all to get from Solace to Zach Braff in story-time), you were attacked by theocrats, chased down the garbage chute, and hounded out of town by fucking hobgoblins. What makes you think that this is any kind of safe space for you to go now that the draconians (ugh) and hobgoblins have taken over the town?

shrug-house

Welp, idiocy aside, here our heroes are. Tika does a super big “WELCOME STRANGERS WINK WINK” like she’s the merchant in Resident Evil 4. Caramon is briefly confused by this, because apparently subterfuge is not his strong suit (putting it mildly). This doesn’t stop Tika from giving him an entire skillet of spicy fried potatoes, giving him a smooch and begging him to take her with him. Wow, Tika, I mean, I get it, your city is occupied by fearsome dragon men, but these guys are not the most reliable dudes, especially considering they destroyed your house and stole all of your stuff last time they were here. Remember that, Tika?

Tanis tells Tika to calm down. THANKS TANIS we wouldn’t want any FOOLISH HYSTERICAL WOMEN to blow your cover AM I RIGHT?

cher yuk

my face when tanis does literally anything

Anyway, Tika fills them in on the dragon attack, the rounding up and enslavement of anyone who’s not a skilled laborer into the slave mines. This makes Tika’s desperation a little more understandable, I guess. I mean, if it comes to either running away with a band of assholes or being enslaved, the assholes sound like the obvious choice. That is, until we remember the callous disregard with which our valiant heroes treated the last group of enslaved people they encountered, aka the gully dwarves… remember THEM? I DO. Remember how they barely treated the dwarves as people and then abandoned them to the rapidly collapsing city, pausing only to dump a pot of them into a freaking abyss? You might want to take your chances in the slave mines, Tika!

Anyway, Tika’s just starting to tell the group about a captive party of elves – something that gets Tanis’s attention – before she has to leave to sling a few more jagerbombs into the draconians’ (ugh) faces. Caramon experiences a strange tightening in his pants as he watches her go, but he can’t seem to figure out what those are, until he remembers the “stories he’d heard about Tika” and reminds himself that she’s apparently a big old slut. This makes him both sad and angry, and has the same effect on me.

ohhh no

Just when I thought this situation could not become more disgusting, one of the draconians grabs Tika and sexually harasses her by indicating that draconians (ugh) and humans are anatomically compatible.

marilyn-monroe-yuck-

Tanis stops Caramon and Sturm from intervening, because Tika can “take care of herself.” And she sure does – by “flouncing” off. Oh boy folks, we have the ladytimes trifecta right here: cleaning, crying and flouncing.

basic bitches

To distract everyone from the pervasive sexism, Flint starts talking smack about Raistlin while trying to figure out next steps. Tanis suggests they go to Qualinesti, which if memory serves, is where the elves hang out. This gets one of the strangers at the inn riled up for some reason, though no one but Tasslehoff witnesses this. The stranger approaches, but one of those draconian (ugh) dicks trips him on the way to our heroes’ table. Surprise, it’s a fucking elf!

legolas-and-the-oliphant-o

did he skateboard in down a fucking mammoth because otherwise how else will we know he’s an elf?

The draconians immediately jump him, and while our heroes are too far off to help out, Tika steps the fuck up and slams one of the draconians (ugh) on the head with her frying pan.

WITNESS ME

WITNESS ME

This, understandably, causes a fracas to break out, as our heroes struggle to prevent the draconians (ugh) and hobgoblins from calling the guards outside. Well, all but one of our heroes struggle, as Raistlin takes one look at the melee and nopes right back to his seat. Kind of a dick move, bro, but a pretty rational take on the situation.

Surprise, the guards get called, and the inn is surrounded. Just then, Tanis and the elf, who is apparently called Gilthanas. This has no bearing on the fact that they’re about to get the shit arrested out of them. One of them tries to grab Raist, who is like “AH NO SON IT IS ON” and magics him to death. When the head hobgoblin threatens to kill Tasslehoff if he does it again, Raist’s response is basically “meh, idgaf.”

last fuck

nope, there goes my last fuck.

Still, the numbers are too great for him to hold out, so in the end, everybody surrenders. Raistlin ensures no one will touch their shit by bullshitting a curse

like a boss

but alas, they are dragged away by their captors, and so ends the chapter.

Well after the cleaning and crying fest of the last chapter, this one was actually a fun ride, albeit a pretty sexist one. It’s nice to add another lady to the mix, especially since she can hold her own in a fight, but does she have to use a frying pan to do it? I mean, really guys? I would just like one lady with a sword, please. Just one. For starters.

Asshole count: You know, I think most people would give this one to Raistlin for standing by in the fight, but he more than made up for it by protecting everyone’s shit, in my opinion. Asshole count goes to Caramon for equal parts objectifying and slut shaming Tika. Poor Tika. You deserve better, girl, especially when that second trilogy comes around, ya dig?

DOAT Book I, Chapter 21: The sacrifice. The twice-dead city.

Greetings Dragonscouts! When last we saw our fearless adventurers, they were just outside the lair of a fearsome dragon which, despite their best efforts, had not yet been de-dragoned. Will they be roasted or smoked? And what of Raistlin and Bupu? Let’s find out.

Tanis’s first thought is that the band has been betrayed by Raistlin – but he immediately discounts this for… reasons.

jlaw okay

Sturm meanwhile is itching to go in and fight him some dragon. I have to say, this is not one of your better ideas, Sturm. Remember when you fought the dragon men? Who almost killed you? That head injury? Remember that? No? Welp, everyone else seems to think this is a great idea so off to the dragon’s lair they go. Onward to death and glory and whatever. The only one who doesn’t seem to care about this is Tasslehoff, who helpfully reminds Flint that kenders don’t fear death because they are sociopaths. Once in the chamber, they are cheerfully greeted by a motherfucking dragon. Surprise, it got the drop on Raistlin, and is now threatening him with its claws! Oh no! What will you do, Caramon? Cry at it some?

MAYBE.

MAYBE.

The dragon is actually pretty pleased to see everyone, as they’ve brought her what she’s been searching for – namely, the blue crystal staff. She orders Goldmoon to bring her the staff, and to everyone’s surprise, Goldmoon agrees. She pushes Riverwind away then clasps Tanis in “a loving embrace.” kanye wtf

…uhhhh what? Weren’t you full on making out with Riverwind in the last chapter, and now you’re all “step aside son, I’m thirsty for some half-elf!” Anyway, after telling Tanis to make sure that Riverwind doesn’t try to follow her, she starts to walk toward the dragon. Once she gets to Sturm, she stumbles, then when he catches her, she hisses that he has to do what she tells him. Homegirl has a plan!

Sturm joins her on the march to the dragon. We switch to Raistlin’s POV. He’s trapped under the dragon’s claw being a bit of a bitch, thinking that he deserves to live more than anyone else because they’re all idiots. Well… you’re not wrong there, Raist. But then he starts hearing voices which from the description, is apparently normal for him in times of stress. This is kind of troubling, Raistlin!

That's where I saw the leprechaun. He told me to burn things.

That’s where I saw the leprechaun. He told me to burn things.

As Goldmoon approaches the dragon, he muses on the fact that his new eyes make everyone look withering and hideous before realizing that she’s about to sacrifice herself to the dragon to let everyone else live.

a noble savage indeed!

a noble savage indeed!

Raistlin is basically just trapped under the dragon’s claw, rolling his eyes in bafflement at the sheer what-the-fuckery of it all. Aren’t we all, Raist? Anyway, the dragon tells Goldmoon to lay that staff of hers down on the big-ass pile of treasure the dragon’s sitting on. Goldmoon hesitates, apparently to allow Sturm the opportunity to search for the discs amongst all the other gold… things in the pile. Which… how is this a good strategy? They could be buried under a pile of like… dubloons… or grills… or snuffboxes… or whatever other gold stuff dragons collect. And how are you going to pick a ring of gold disks out of a ton of other stuff that is also gold, Sturm? RIDDLE ME THAT.

So Goldmoon’s strategy is apparently to tell the dragon “whacha gonna pay me for this staff, biznatch?” Maybe that was a mistake.

biznatch

Dragon’s basically “maybe I won’t kill all your friends, how about that?” Goldmoon is visibly distressed by this, but Sturm clandestinely interrupts her by telling her he found the disks. Christ, a miracle indeed. Goldmoon is now resolved to sacrifice herself to allow the rest the time to grab the disks and run, and now SHE starts hearing voices jfc.

ralph

Goldmoon raises her voice for one last resounding “BIZNAAAAAAAAAAATCH” and hits the dragon with the staff. For no apparent reason, EVERYTHING CATCHES ON FIRE. The leprechaun was right!

Sturm is pretty upset by the fact tat the only lady in their party is burning to death under a dragon, but that doesn’t stop him from racing straight to the disks and grabbing them. But suddenly a BLOODY HAND reaches out and grabs him! AHHH ARE THERE TREASURE ZOMBIES??? Nope, it’s just Raistin who… somehow has managed to teleport himself from under the dragon’s claw – which, if I neglected to mention it, IS ON FUCKING FIRE – to a completely unrelated part of the treasure pile that just happened to be right by the disks. How… how did you do that, Raist? Logic

Raistlin is NOT DISTRACTED by the dragon that is on fire, or the fact that they just got the treasure they’ve been looking for – he wants that fucking spellbook, and he wants it NOW. And then… for some reason… the room starts to collapse and the dragon’s gone (busted out??? it’s unclear!) and then the entire city starts caving in and HOW DO YOU PHYSICS?

Tanis is baffled as to how they’re going to get out of there, when a small but bad-ass voice pipes up that SHE KNOWS THE WAY. Who could it be?

Bupu, motherfuckers.

Bupu, motherfuckers.

Nothing can stop them now – except Riverwind, who is a little upset about the fact that his girlfriend just burned to death in front of him. Tanis tells everyone to go on without him, presumably so he can spend his last moments in Riverwind’s barbarian embrace.

pictured.

pictured.

The others wait outside the chambers hardly daring to hope… when Riverwind steps out of the chamber, with Tanis’s limp body in his arms!

tina dancing

Bupu leads the group out of danger like the fearsome beautiful animal she so obviously is. But oh no, the only way they can get out of the underground city is by using the lard pot elevator that was the site of their terrible battle with the draconians (ugh) several chapters hence. The group comes upon several draconians (ugh) fighting their way into one of the pots. Raistlin puts the ones who aren’t magic-resistant to sleep, and Caramon and Sturm prepare to fight the rest. And suddenly in the midst of battle Riverwind pulls himself out of his “my girlfriend burninated herself to save me” induced depression and starts killing fucking draconians with his fucking bare hands while their weapons have no effect on him. Shade

Caramon finally catches the lower pot and holds onto it for the others to climb in. Flint, Sturm and Tasslehoff grab Tanis and then Riverwind (who by now is suffering from an excess of draconian (ugh) battle) and haul them into the pot. They yell for Raistlin to get in, but he (unlike the rest) remembers that motherfucking Bupu needs to get in there too – he grabs her

like a boss

Once the pot begins to rise, Tanis wakes up with a “stir and [a] moan.” Sturm expresses his happiness about this by “grasp[ing]” him, h[o]ld[ing] him close” and speaking in a “husky” voice.

…god, I so regret using up my “Henry and Glenn Forever” pic earlier. Let’s see what we can dig up from the vaults for this one.

theeere we go.

theeere we go.

But Tanis ruins the mood by asking about Riverwind with his first breath. Cockblocked, Sturm!

There’s a bit of a throwaway where they hear the screams of multiple gully dwarves in the other pot, which is going down while propelling the pot with our heroes up. So… guys. You are not even caring right now that tens… nay twenties and thirties… of gully dwarves are basically plummeting to their death into the rapidly collapsing Zach Braff just so you can make your way to safety? WHAT KIND OF HEROES ARE YOU?

idk the asshole kind i guess?

idk the asshole kind i guess?

Even Bupu laughs at them. Christ you all are corrupting Bupu.

But their hubris comes to a hasty ate when the lift mechanism stops working, and a batch of draconians (ugh) threaten to jump into the pot. Oh no! What will our heroes do? Raistlin bravely volunteers his LAST OUNCE OF STRENGTH to cast a spell while Caramon protects him. So touching! So manly! So romantic! Raistlin casts the hand-to-web spell! It’s super effective!

THIS IS NOT AT ALL A METAPHOR FOR EJACULATE

THIS IS NOT AT ALL A METAPHOR FOR EJACULATE

Two draconians (ugh) are felled! The last flees in awe of Raistlin’s mighty web strength! The day is saved! And Raistlin sinks into his brother’s arms, unconscious. You know, erotically.

true romance

And here our chapter ends. Well that was confusing but also exciting. I think the moral of this story is that 1. If there’s a dragon, set it on fire, even if it seems like a bad idea and/or you might die. 2. If your girlfriend dies, you are suddenly impervious to weapons. 3. Fighting is good, but magic is better. 4. Gully dwarves are expendable and not actually people.

ohhh no

I’m a little sad that Goldmoon is gone. Not because she was particularly clever or made, you know, good relationship choices, but she was The Lady of the group for a while, and honestly this sausage fest of a warrior team is getting a little old. Well maybe Bupu can take her place as the baddest warrior bitch of them all.

Homo and heteroeroticism prize: Tanis. Jesus christ, Tanis. Just pick someone and make out with him/her already; you are being such a cock/clit tease and it isn’t cool.

DOAT Book I, Chapter 20: The Highbulp’s Map. A Spellbook of Fistandantilus.

Hello dragonscouts! Your khaleesi has had to take an extended absence from adventuring due to further world-conquering activities. But I have not forgotten our delightful and racist adventures! Let’s get back to them, shall we?

When we last joined our fearless troupe of warriors, they were about to go sneaking into a magical dragon’s lair on the say-so of the king of the gullydwarves, who both craftily and correctly decided to betray them. What will happen to our noble heroes? How much more dwarf based racism can the authors cram into this chapter? These answers are to come!

Our companions are resting in the Waiting Room outside the Highbulp’s chambers, a room that is described as both “filthy” and “vulgar.” Glad to see that racism going strong, authors! Even better, Bupu is depicted as eating something rodent-like, tail and all. Which just means she is vigilant about getting herself the protein she needs to survive without being too picky about its source. Good for you, Bupu, you are the best.

MIA

Riverwind decides to sit apart from the others and stare “moodily at the floor” like a 15 year old in a sulk because he couldn’t get a ride to the Hot Topic. Goldmoon comes up to him and is like “we must talk” and we all know what THAT means – breakup time!

bye bitch

 EXCEPT NO, Goldmoon instead asks for Riverwind to forgive her! WHY, GOLDMOON? This guy has been a complete morose loserface since this entire adventure began! You’re getting it done! He’s holding you back! DUMP HIM GIRL!

sassy gay friend

 Nope, it doesn’t happen. Riverwind and Goldmoon beg each other’s forgiveness, and there’s a lot of hetero groping and stroking. The word “love” is used with great frequency. I grit my teeth with rage. They reminisce about when they fell in love which, surprise, started when Riverwind was a dick to Goldmoon in front of the entire tribe. TWOO WUV.

 Fortunately we’re spared any further exhibition, as a gully dwarf guard interrupts to provide the group with the Highbulp’s map to the dragon’s lair. Thank you, gully dwarf guard! Nobody can convince me that gully dwarves are not the best ever.

 Unfortunately the Highbulp’s map seems to be unreadable. The author’s don’t actually describe why the map is so useless, relying instead on the chapter illustration, shown here:

The Map

 Okay authors, okay. I understand that you are writing a book in English, and need the English-reading audience to understand your words and pictures. But. Just three chapters ago, you specified that the gully dwarves have their own “shapeless language.” If so, WHY ON EARTH WOULD THE HIGHBULP WRITE THE MAP IN (what is known in this book as) THE COMMON TONGUE? Wouldn’t he write it in Gully Dwarvish? Especially if it’s so super secret that the draconians (ugh) who understand Common, would be able to read it if they got a hold of it? UGH BOOK UGH.

 Anyway, the group is stumped at how on earth they’re going to get to the dragon’s lair, until Raistlin helpfully points out that there is ONE BAD BITCH who knows just where the dragon is, and HER NAME IS FUCKING BUPU. She’s apparently been running in there to nab “pretty rocks” on the regular. Even fucking Bilbo couldn’t do that shit more than once without getting caught.

mia bad girls

While everyone starts to plan the trip to the dragon’s lair, Raistlin and Caramon step aside and begin some kind of super secret sneaky plan. Caramon doesn’t like the plan, apparently, but Raistlin uses his powers of seduction to convince him to go along with it. Let’s go through them step by step:

 He speaks “gently”;

Thor plus Loki

 He lays his hand on Caramon’s arm and draws him close;

thorandloki

  1. His touch is “unusually hot,” and “his eyes burn[].”

kiss kiss

Caramon can’t resist the temptation! He agrees to the plan (whatever it may be). We find out that Raistlin’s goal is to get Caramon to bring him a spell book – which he’s known has been in Zach Braff for a while now. Since there’s now a chance it hasn’t been destroyed, Raistlin REALLY wants it. Surprise, the book is the Spellbook of Fistandantilus, which is a ridiculous name, even for a wizard.

Badass Wizard

Caramon isn’t so big on this plan, because he’s worried that Fistandantilus “wore the Black Robes,” which I guess means he was evil or something. Ah, color essentialism at its finest. Raistlin gets super pissed at Caramon for asking about this, snapping “How can any of you understand me!” Jesus, Raistlin, now who didn’t get a ride to the Hot Topic?

 Once Caramon goes back to the group, Tains is suspicious, thinking that while Caramon would protect them all with his life, he’d betray them too if Raistlin told him to. This is actually pretty smart of you, Tanis. So what are you going to do with that bit of information? Oh, what’s that? Nothing? Jesus Christ, Tanis.

reaction-cersei-1

Anyway, the plan seems to be that Bupu and Raistlin are going to go lure the dragon out of its cave with some kind of magic

magic bitches

 and the rest of them are going to storm the dragon’s treasure hoard for the disks and the book.

 We switch to Raistlin’s POV as he and Bupu start toward the dragon’s lair. Raistlin is worried, because the crowds of Gully Dwarves seem to have disappeared. He’s right to be worried, as they are soon followed by a pair of armor-clad figures.

 We cut back to the larger group that’s following Tanis. They’re making their way through a flooded corridor to a trap door. Flint immediately volunteers to lift it, claiming that if a gully dwarf can, so can he. He spectacularly… fails to lift the door at all. And another reason it is unjustified to be racist toward gully dwarves is revealed, because Bupu only goes to the caves when it’s dry, because she is AWARE OF THE FACT THAT WATER IS HEAVY.

Logic

Caramon gets the door open because he is a bad-ass new god made primarily of oiled muscly flesh.

pictured: bad-ass old god.

pictured: bad-ass old god.

They wait for a count of five hundred to give Raistlin time to deploy his diversion, then descend the ladder into the unknown. After some wet travel, they reach the dragon’s lair… but what’s this, dragonscouts? Waiting for them in the lair is… A MOTHERFUCKING DRAGON.

 And here our chapter ends. CLIFFHANGER!

All and all not a bad chapter, some more redeeming qualities for our gully dwarf friends, and two very sensual makeout scenes for our couples, Goldmoon/Riverwind and Caramon/Raistlin. But if I want to award the prize for best couple, it’s going to have to be Caramon/Raistlin. Congratulations gentlemen, you were canon twincest before it even was a thing (that I, naif that I was in 1994, had heard about, anyway).