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

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

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

brule shock

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

makes sense

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

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

brule shock

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

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

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

cher yuk

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

ron swanson 2

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

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

malcolm transpo

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

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

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

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

pointless

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

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

this is my new favorite gif btw

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

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

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

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

whoo whoo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

you tried

haha no you didn’t.

 

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

I'M JUST MISUNDERSTOOD

I’M JUST MISUNDERSTOOD

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

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

jlaw okay

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

dignity!

dignity!

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

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

Shade

 

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

malcolm transpo

 

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

It's a good choice, Goldmoon.

It’s a good choice, Goldmoon.

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

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

ohh yeah this will end well.

ohh yeah this will end well.

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

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

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

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

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