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 8: Doubts. Ambush! A new friend.

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

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

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

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

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

shrug-house

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

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

dont be suspicious

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

rear guard. GET IT?

rear guard. GET IT?

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

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

ohhh no

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

he waved his de-sexing stick most un-sexily

he waved his de-sexing stick most un-sexily

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

basic bitches

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

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

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

malcolm transpo

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

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

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

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?