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!

Advertisements

DOAT Book II, Chapter 11: Lost. The plan. Betrayed!

Well it’s time for another chapter of Dragons of Autumn Twilight, and it looks like the betrayal that I’ve been predicting for, oh, the last MILLION OR SO CHAPTERS is finally going to come to fruition. Let’s get started!

We begin with… aw freaking Tasslehoff. I thought he was lost and never to be found again! Don’t tease me like this, book. Anycrap, his narrative starts back when we meet our dark

lav7

elf. When everything goes back, someone grabs him, hoists him onto one of the chains, and tells him to climb. He does, as everybody else escapes thanks to Raistlin AND NO FREAKING ONE ELSE.

Tasslehoff and the person, who he realizes is Fizban, climb the chain until Tassheloff feels comfortable to make a pun about the chain LINKing to the mechanism, and honestly, I want to punch him about 75% more than I once did.

They decide to follow the chain over the mechanism and into a tunnel, so Fizban conjures a puffball of light to guide the way. The puffball, of course, turns out to be HILARIOUSLY disobedient and afraid of the dark.

kanye laugh

As they crawl across the chain, over a yawning chasm, Tasslehoff begins to fantasize about what it would be like if he fell and splattered on the ground. ME FUCKING TOO, TASSLEHOFF. Fortunately for them and not us, they make it to the tunnel, belatedly realizing that they have left their staffs behind.

Meantime, the rest of our brave warriors are defying my expectations by being upset that Tasslehoff and Fizban have gone missing. Tanis, in a freak instance of doing something that I actually agree with, tells everyone that they absolutely cannot go back to fetch them. Good on you, Tanis. Raistlin also takes the news of the two missing companions by shrugging then falling asleep, confirming his status as the best character in this book.

Anyway, Tanis and Sturm sit down with Gilthanas in an attempt to figure out where the fuck they are, which turns out to be in the lowest cellar of Pax Tharkas. Nearby is the prison where the women are being kept, and also nearby is A FUCKING DRAGON – a red one, named Ember. The children are being held separately, on the first floor, and are guarded by yet another dragon. This is clever of the captors, the book explains, because the women would never leave without their children and the men would never leave without their wives/children, thus meaning that the women would have absolutely no problem leaving the men. Good move, ladies.

scarjo misandry

pictured: the women escaping Pax Tharkas without those pesky men.

Also, there’s a bunch of gully dwarves working the mines alongside the men, but this is evidently an afterthought.

MIA

Eben joins the group to say that Gilthanas knows a VERY SUSPICIOUS amount about Pax Tharkas. When Tanis asks what the point would be in betraying them all at this stage, Goldmoon replies that the betrayer wants to get her, and the disks, to Lord Verminaard. Somehow this helps Tanis stop the bickering, and Gilthanas goes on to reveal EVEN MORE stuff about Pax Tharkas that there’s no reason he should know.

Apparently, every day, 10 to 12 women are allowed to bring food to the men, and then to visit their children. Gilthanas’s plan was always to have his dudes disguised as women to relay their plan of freeing the female hostages in order to alert the men that they’d be free to incite a revolt. However, according to Gilthanas, they hadn’t worked out how to free the children, because they can’t figure out what the deal is with the dragon guarding them. Oh well! No big deal, right?

nazi shrug

Despite this glaring issue, everyone agrees that this plan is A Good Plan, and they decide to strike in the morning, because Lord Verminaard and Ember will be off joining the invasion on Qualinesti.

We turn back to Tasslehoff and Fizban in the mechanism room as they try to figure out an exit plan. Just then, in an astonishing coincidence, Fizban points out that just below them is a crack in the wall that leads to Lord Verminaard’s private chambers. Even more coincidentally, they find themselves spying on both Lord Verminaard and his dragon, Ember! Willickers!

We then go into one of our confounding dragon POVs. We learn that Ember, secretly named Pyros (so original you guys) has been sent to Lord Verminaard ostensibly as a gift, but really to spy on Lord Verminaard on behalf of the Queen of Darkness (who might be a goddess I guess???). But he also has another, even secreter mission, to find a guy named Everman… or maybe Green Gemstone Man… or maybe Beren? Guys this is getting needlessly complex.

jerri 2

Anyway, Ember is in Lord Verminaard’s room, like, knocking shit over with his tail and stuff, when Lord Verminaard complains. So Ember like, transforms himself into a human which is something I guess dragons can do, but they don’t seem to like it too much. He’s apparently here to see some new prisoners brought in by Fewmaster Toede, in an effort to soothe Lord Verminaard’s wrath from letting Goldmoon escape his clutches. One of those prisoners is none other than bad bitch gully dwarf Sestun! I’m so glad he’s not dead! And then there’s another mysterious unidentified guy who is apparently deaf and mute, and who I’m sure will not be in any way important.

Lord Verminaard makes short shrift of these prisoners, telling Setsun to “feed the dragon” (nothing ominous there), and the unidentified unimportant man to go work in the mines. Ember seems to think this is a pretty idiotic idea, but doesn’t say anything. Lord Verminaard confirms that he and Ember are to join the attack on Qualinesti first thing in the morning, then leaves Ember to pace the room in evident consternation.

It isn’t long before a draconian (ugh) enters the room to give a clandestine report to Ember. Apparently their traitor (WHO COULD IT BE????) has brought Goldmoon into Pax Tharkas. Ember is apparently not too impressed by this, but orders the draconian (ugh) to bring the traitor to him tonight, without telling Lord Verminaard. And here the chapter ends.

I’m actually really impressed with this chapter in that Tanis is actually making some good decisions.

Asshole count: I wasn’t really sure, but I guess it’s going to have to be Gilthanas again, for deciding that the child captives, and by extension the woman captives, are expendable so long as there’s a revolt against the army holding Pax Tharkas. Pretty cold shit, bruh.

 

 

DOAT Book II, Chapter 10: The Royal Guard. The Chain Room.

Greetings Dragonscouts! Time to get back to our noble band of heroes as they attempt to infiltrate Pax Tharkas in order to lead a slave revolt against an army that has motherfucking dragons.

They’ve just been turned aside by a giant slug, obtained a potentially enchanted blade, and discovered that Laurana’s followed them all the way from Qualinost. And now they’re forced down the tunnel that Raistlin called “evil.” I’m sure that it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out, right?

star trek nod

Laurana, for her part, is scared, but refuses to run back to Tanis, and it occurs to her that she’s serious about wanting to make Tanis proud of her. Oh, so just now you decide it’s serious, Laurana? Following this group of seasoned fighters into certain death was a frivolous whim? Good lord.

Shade

They come to the end of the tunnel where they find a hole that apparently radiates evil. I’m not sure what the physics of this might be. Is evil a plasma, perhaps?

Gilthanas, Raistlin and Tanis decide to enter the hole of evil, and find themselves… in another room. Apparently, they’re the crypts of the Royal Guard, who are pledged to continue their duties even in death. Raistin helpfully informed Tanis that unlike the friendly zombies of Darken Wood, these guys will straight-up kill everyone’s ass for disturbing the king’s rest. Willickers! How are they going to get out of this one? Maybe with a balls to the wall fight to the death?

terrible battle

maybe we’re unclear as to what “fight to the death” entails.

…annnnd nope. Goldmoon comes into the room, shows off her medallion, and the ghosts melt away. So much for thrilling ghost fights.

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

They come to a false door, but just as they despair of going further, Raistlin whips out a spell from the Book of Fistandantilus, and the entire wall opens up. Not bad, Raist! But the spells sure do take it out of him, or so we’re to understand.

This leads them to the famous Chain Room of Pax Tharkas, which is so famous that we’re only hearing about it just now. Apparently if the chain is released, it drops massive blocks of granite behind the gates of the fortress, preventing anyone from opening them. This seems like a short-sighted strategy to me – what happens if the fort-dwellers drop the chain, then win the battle? Now that they can’t open their own front doors, it’s going to be a little hard to go out for groceries during peacetime.

Poorly planned fortress logistics aside, the group starts searching the chain room and find a new secret door in some of the stones. Raistlin immediately warns them against opening it, saying that he senses enormous power behind it. I’m sure that since Raistlin has been right about basically everything that has happened so far, the group will listen to what he’s saying, right?

nope

Gilthanas opens the goddamn door, because of course he does, and reveals… treasure!

scrooge

Oh man! Gold bricks everywhere! Rich stuff! The treasure of Kith-Kanan! What could possibly go wrong now?

cher yuk

This question is immediately answered by the spirit of a dark elf attacking them. So, what is a dark elf exactly? We haven’t heard about dark elves in this book yet, and in fact, we’re explicitly taught that elves always “wore the white robes of good.” Is it another breed of elf? Have the rejected the ways of the white robed and gone rogue? Not finding the answers to these burning questions in our book, I turned to Wikipedia to see if I could figure this out.

Aha, so a “dark elf,” or “drow” in Dungeons and Dragons tradition is defined as “a generally evil, dark-skinned subrace of elves.”

lav7

Ooh. Guys. Guys. You guys. Guys.

To the book’s credit, it doesn’t describe this particular elf as being dark-skinned, but only “coldly beautiful” and “distorted.” Evidently she was sentenced beyond death to guard the king’s treasure, and she starts doing it quite effectively. Raistlin has just enough time for a quick “I TOLD YOU SO” before telling everyone to run.

The ghost of the dark elf evidently attacks by screaming and flailing at our heroes, and we’re left to wonder: 1. how this is in any way effective; and 2. why ghost elves need to catch their breath to scream. Before these questions are answered, Raistlin swings into action. He faces down the dark elf by… summoning his inner strength, I guess, although there’s a bit that I’m sure won’t end up being significant at all about him calling out the spell in a strong, clear voice that is not his own. Anyway, he seals the treasury door, trapping the dark elf and saving everyone. Again. But he collapses, forcing his brother to carry him around. Romantically, I mean.

true romance

haven’t deployed this one in a while.

The group makes its weary way through another passage, and finds themselves in the cellar of Pax Tharkas – meaning they’ve made their way inside the fortress. Huzzah! There is, of course, the minor matter of Tasslehoff and Fizban going missing, but eh, I am sure nobody will really miss them. Onward to glory!
Asshole count: In this one, it’s got to be Gilthanas. He’s been with our heroes long enough to get with the program that when Raistlin gives you a dire warning about something, you stay the eff away from that thing. Honestly.

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 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 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 I, Chapter 22: Bupu’s gift. An ominous sight.

Well good evening dragonscouts! Your Khaleesi has been away but has returned to serve you fresh and steaming liveblogging of Dragonlance for your bored-at-work pleasures. Let’s get back to our noble heroes, who when last we met, were fighting their way out of the draconians (ugh) lair, sacrificing gully dwarves along the way like they ARE NOT SENTIENT CREATURES JFC.

Okay. Our heroes are dragging their unconscious and/or injured brethren (Raistlin and Riverwind respectively) out of the lard pot elevator mid-motherfucking-earthquake. No sooner have they gotten Riverwind out of the pot than the entire mechanism breaks off from the ground and crashes into the pits below. The book does not mention, but I feel compelled to add, that the crowd of gully dwarves who were in the lower pot have now certainly had their brains dashed upon the rocks below. Do any of our heroes give one single fuck about this?

no_fucks_given

Riverwind is pretty much ready to curl into a ball and die. Sturm is weirdly into this, but Tanis is not having it, so he starts up a little hair-pulling as foreplay.

you have my attention.

you have my attention.

 This, at least, seems to pull Riverwind out of his suicidal mood, so together the heroes stumble toward the Temple of Mishakal. Zach Braff Xak Taroth, meanwhile, is drowned.

eh. it was for the best.

eh. it was for the best.

Tanis looks around and doesn’t see Riverwind. Everyone else attributes this to, y’know, your basic suicidal tendencies, but Tanis is again NOT HAVING IT. He runs into the interior of the temple where he thinks he hears Riverwind. But when he gets in there, instead of looking for his friend, he starts screaming at the goddess that he doesn’t believe in her. ………………why? If you don’t believe in them, why are you screaming for them to leave you alone, Tanis? I mean, I guess that’s the DRAMATIC IRONY here, but authors, you could at least have your hero use the basics of logic even when he’s pissed. Anyway, Tanis finishes his hissyfit, looks up at the statue and OH SHIT IT’S GOLDMOON.

brule shock

Yup I suppose our Token Lady has traded her staff for the statue’s necklace some…how… but she sure is alive!

So Goldmoon wakes up and declares that she is a “true cleric” and disciple of Mishakal. Apparently this means she can now heal people by touching them on the forehead which is pretty cool as far as god-granted powers go. Goldmoon even declares that she is not a warrior but a healer which… because girl, I guess.

lady sif please

Anyway, Goldmoon says that her task is to find the one person who has the strength and wisdom to unite the people, fight evil, and set the world in balance. Welp… good luck with that, Goldmoon.

Anyway, our noble band of warriors gets the fuck out of Xak Tsaroth before the armies of draconians (ugh) can find them. Their plan is to go to Solace to supply up, which, JESUS CHRIST WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? You left that place as fugitives, remember? With the hobgoblins or whatever they were knocking down doors to find you? WHY WOULD YOU GO BACK THERE?

Logic aside, they strike out. During their overnight camp, Raistlin wakes up and hears muffled cries. Why, it’s Bupu, who has repressed her sadness until it can no longer be contained.

like a boss

Bupu is sad because she wants to stay with Raistlin (don’t we all) but she’ll miss her bros back home. Raistlin tells her she should go back and is basically super sweet to her in that way you’re sweet to someone when you’re all like NO DON’T FOLLOW ME INTO PERIL.

stop_dont_come_back_willy_wonka

i need u bb

Bupu is so grateful for Raistlin’s solicitude that she pulls out a gift. Is it a lizard? A rat? NO IT’S THE MOTHERFUCKING SPELLBOOK OF FISTANDANTILUS! Bupu snaked it from that motherfucking dragon after all!

mind blown

With that awesome and incredibly convenient gift, Bupu leaves, and Raistlin watches her go with a single tear and an inner wish for her best life. Never mind that her city just got fucking destroyed and her friends killed, RAISTLIN IS A GOOD GUY DAMN IT. Of course Flint comes in to dig at him about his “pet gully dwarf,” further hammering in the message that everyone but Raistlin is a gully dwarf racist asshole.

Farewell Bupu! ILU you bad bitch.

Raistlin goes back to stash his new book in his pack when he sees a glow on the horizon. Is it the dawn?

nope

IT’S MOTHERFUCKING SOLACE ON FIRE.

SO MUCH FOR THAT AWESOME PLAN GUYS.

And that’s the end – not just of the chapter but of BOOK ONE. We’re on BOOK TWO guys, and it’s only been… like, jesus, I don’t even want to say. My goal is to start updating regularly again! We have more dragons to… lance, I guess.

ANYWAY, thanks for coming with me on this journey so far, dragonscouts! Onward into Book 2!ga

DOAT Book 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).

DOAT Book One, Chapter 19: The Broken City. Highbulp Phudge I, The Great.

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

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

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

like a boss

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

ohhh no

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

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

THIS ONE AGAIN

THIS ONE AGAIN

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

okay, okay

okay, okay

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

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

I kind of like you, Caramon.

I kind of like you, Caramon.

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

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

Shade

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

loki facepalm

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

jlaw okay

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

malcolm transpo

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

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

kanye laugh

 

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

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

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

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

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