Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Chapters 3 – 9.

Chapter 3. Knight of Solamnia. The old man’s party.

Tika describes the messenger: “He was wrapped head to foot in clothing of every description. I couldn’t even see his face. His voice was hissinglike and he spoke with a strange accent.” I like that they had the idea of Draconians before even writing the novels. I know Draconians were created for DragonLance, which was first released in the 80’s. Dragonborn were created for 3rd edition, which means Draconians came first, am I correct for assuming this? Let me know if I’m wrong.

The friends turned. All were immediately overwhelmed by the beauty of the Plainswoman. They stared in silence. I’ve always imagined Goldmoon to be extremely beautiful, almost god(dess)like. If DragonLance ever made a film, I feel Goldmoon, Raistlin, and Caramon would be the hardest actress and actors to cast. Everyone has this visual of an amazingly beautiful woman (even with her features described), that it’ll be hard to please everyone with a film, since most people envision her different.

The woman shrank back into the shadows, her face filled with alarm as she noticed Tanis and his friends staring at her. Really!? I always pictured them gawking at her. Show some respect!

From out of nowhere, apparently, a lute appeared in the old man’s hands. He gave it to the woman who stared at him in fear and astonishment. The way I always pictured this scene was the lute literally “poofing” into Fizban’s hands. I’m surprised this alone didn’t create a commotion in the inn, especially so that the High Theocrat was already present in the inn. I understand that people could have assumed it to be magic (of the arcane), especially so that Fizban is dressed as a wizard; However, mages are pretty rare and more-so during this time. I wonder how often Goldmoon and Riverwind (other than what he had seen during his adventure receiving the staff) witnessed any sort-of magic.

Goldmoon’s Song (The Ballad of Goldmoon). I wanted to type the entire ballad here, but I figured it would make this entry far too long and it’s already going to be longer than my previous entries. I’ll just make a separate post with the lyrics; However, I’ll place a link to a YouTube video that has it being sung by Mary Kovarik, who Tracy Hickman had gone to high school with and where they used to sing Folk Songs together. This song, throughout my adventures in Science Fiction and Fantasy, is still one of my favorite ballads- definitely in my top five.

Suddenly his hands slipped. He slid down the rope, unable to stop it tearing the skin off his palms. Way to go, Tanis! Haha. I always found this humorous, because Tanis is supposed to be our dexterious Ranger. What a time to roll low!

Chapter 4. The open door. Flight into darkness.

“Dead?” asked Tanis as Caramon bent over them, examining them by the light of Raistlin’s staff.
“I’m afraid so.” The big man sighed. “I hit them too hard.” I love Caramon. I love how Margaret Weis really added humor to this. She states that this was inspired by Porthos from the Three Musketeers.

Chapter 5. Farewell to Flint. Arrows fly. Message in the stars.

Caramon’s dragon helm glinted in the flickering lights; his ring-mail armor was visible whenever the wind blew his cape back. A longsword clanked against his thick thighs, a short bow and a quiver of arrows were slung over his shoulder, a dagger protruded from his belt. His shield was battered and dented from many fights. The giant was ready for anything. I feel like this is the first time a character in the book was described as a complete bad ass. At least, looking like a bad ass.

“Tanis…” Raistlin wheezed, his breath nearly gone. “The constellations…”
“What?” Tanis was truly startled by the pallor of the mage’s metallic gold skin and the feverish luster in his strange eyes. “What about the constellations?”
“Gone!” rasped Raistlin and lapsed into a fit of coughing. I remember getting goosebumps when I first read this as a teenager. I’d be quite startled myself if stars that were always there, especially all the stars that formed a specific constellation, had upped and vanished. Plus, Raistlin knows the lore that when constellations vanish in the sky, it means the deity has left the heavens and come to the land.

Caramon held him. “C’mon, Raist,” he said soothingly. “Don’t get so worked up. It’s only a bunch of stars.”
“Only a bunch of stars,” Tanis repeated flatly. The group is quite tight nit, growing up together (other than Riverwind and Goldmoon). They know each other quite well. Caramon and Raistlin especially. I always found it weird that Caramon didn’t believe Raistlin. Along with Tanis, who knows how smart and wise Raistlin is. I believe Caramon stated this to calm Raistlin, though, so he doesn’t get worked up. I feel it wasn’t necessarily that Caramon didn’t believe it, he just didn’t want his brother getting worked up over it, since he was already sickly.

Chapter 6. Night in a cave. Dissension. Tanis decides.

Annotation: During the early days of the first book, Margaret was having trouble getting a handle on Tanis’s character. His voice and actions just didn’t seem right to her. In the end, she asked me about him and I told her Tanis was simple: He’s James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise.” Of course, Capt. Kirk himself was also modeled after Horatio Hornblower. Anyway, the analogy worked for us. Margaret had no more trouble understanding Tanis. – Tracy Hickman. I always knew I recognized Tanis’ character, I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

Tasselhoff wrapped a blanket around the dwarf who sat huddled on the cave floor, his teeth chattering in his head so that his helm rattled. “B-b-b-boat…” was all he could say. Not only was this scene humorous, but it showed Tasselhoff having compassion for Flint early on in the story, even when Flint complained about him and treated him with harsh words (I’m sure it was all out of love, although the Dwarf wouldn’t admit it).

The night passed- slowly for those on watch, swiftly for those asleep. Caramon relieved Sturm. Tanis relieved Caramon. Ah, the traditional three shift D&D watch. I like how it states that watch passed slowly for those awake. I wonder what they did as everyone was sleeping, other than watching the surroundings and being alert. These days, we have cell phones, mobile devices, games, even books to help pass the time. 6 – 8 hours of mindlessly looking around is quite boring.

The knight looked at Tanis’s calm, thoughtful face, the almond-shaped eyes that held the wisdom of his many years of wandering. The knight had often tried to resolve within himself why he accepted Tanis’s leadership. He was nothing more than a bastard half-elf, after all. He did not come of noble blood. He wore no armor, carried no shield with a  proud emblem. Yet Sturm followed him, and loved him and respected him as he respected no other living man. A paragraph later: He knew that if that day came, Tanis would be at his side, holding the crumbling world together. I really love this friendship. I cant truly relate. I feel that I am Tanis, and my friend is Sturm. This really hit home with me and these are some of my favorite statements in the entire DragonLance series.

Chapter 7. The story of the staff. Strange clerics. Eerie feelings.

Annotation: I have often wondered just where Riverwind went for so many years when his journey apparently led him only to the eastern side of the mountains next to his home. – Tracy Hickman. I, too, wondered this. It’s been a while since I’ve read Riverwind the Plainsman, but I don’t remember it taking place over the span of a few years.

Chapter 8. Search for truth. Unexpected answers.

Annotation: Dragonmen, or draconians, as they are here known, were another purely Krynnish creation. Originally they were intended to add a new opponent to the game, but they subsequently gained considerable depth as the story progressed. Creatures created from Dark Magic, each type died in spectacular and unexpected ways as the magic that lived in them was released in death. – Tracy Hickman. As I referred to earlier, I believe Draconians were created before Dragonborn were. I could be wrong.

Chapter 9. Flight! The white stag.

“It may not be,” Tanis said. “We’ll get a look around from Prayer’s Eye Peak.”
Annotation: Highest of several peaks in the Sentinel Range. I love that they already knew what was the highest peak in the area. In-depth world creation!

After his mother’s death, the young man became a seasoned warrior under the guidance of Tanis and Flint, who adopted Sturm as they had unofficially adopted Caramon and Raistlin. Together with Tasselhoff, the travel-loving kender, and, on occasion, the twins’ wild and beautiful half-sister, Kitiara, Sturm and his friends escorted Flint on his journeys through the lands of Abanasinia, plying his trade as metalsmith. This is quite touching. Tanis and Flint were the old geezers who adopted and took a bunch of Orphans and street brats under their wings. You can see why their group was quite close.

“I suppose so.” Flint sighed. He was silent a moment, then said, “Someday I’ll slow you up, Tanis. I don’t ever want you to think, why do I put up with this grumbling old dwarf?”
“Because I need you, grumbling old dwarf,” Tanis said, putting his hand on the dwarf’s heavyset shoulder. He motioned into the wood, after the others. “I need you, Flint. They’re all so… so young. You’re like a solid rock that I can set my back against as I wield my sword.” Seriously, who’s cutting the onions? This still gets me emotional, no matter how many times I’ve read it. Tanis and Flint, due to their long lives, have had the longest friendship among all the other companions.

That’s all from my notes so far! Please keep up with the website and posts! Thank you for reading and I hope my notes bring back nostalgia and maybe give you a revelation of DragonLance. Let’s keep the fandom alive!

Est Sularus Oth Mithas,
Aaron Dogah

Go vote!

Greetings all,

Wizards of the Coast has recently conducted a survey on what you, as a consumer, want to see more of! Help keep DragonLance alive and go vote for it! You can find the link to the survey here: https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/news/dd-survey Help DragonLance by your participation in the vote. It literally takes 5 minutes to do!

Est Sularus Oth Mithas,
Aaron Dogah

Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Prelude, Chapters 1 and 2.

I’ve recently acquired the Annotated Chronicles and have decided to reread the Chronicles, but this time, I have annotations to accompany the novels. As I reread the novels, I’ll be going through them and highlighting things that stand out to me. Things that may have appeared small, or great, that I feel should be touched on. Through this journey, I’ll be pointing them out as I go.

Prelude. The Old Man.

Right off the bat, the novel states: She tossed the soapy bar rag into the water pail. I never took strong notice of this until now, but the rag was soapy and there was a water pail nearby, probably filled with soapy water. The thing that I find interesting about this is that the Inn of the Last Home had customers healths in mind. Keeping utensils and the bar itself clean. Perhaps they were hygiene conscious.

In the annotations, Tracy Hickman notes: The heroes’ journey, a classical mythological structure, always has an older person, mentor or prophet, who sets things in motion. This grand old gentleman is part of a tradition that is older than Plato. Personally, I’ve taken note of this, because I’m an inspiring author and an avid Science Fiction and Fantasy reader. I found it true, yet I never noticed beforehand. Thanks, Mr. Hickman.

Looking around the Inn, Fizban notices things: He looked with particular interest at the fireplace, which stood about three-quarters of the way back into the room. The only stonework in the Inn, it was obviously crafted by dwarven hands to appear to be part of the tree, winding naturally through the branches above. I don’t remember if it touches on this later, but it made me wonder if Flint was the one who made the fireplace. I know he was a metalsmith, but I’d imagine he knew SOME stonework. If anyone knows the answer to this, feel free to let me know.

In the same paragraph: A bin next to the side of the firepit was stacked high with cordwood and pine logs brought down from the high mountains. No resident of Solace would consider burning the wood of their own great trees. This really made me feel like they put a lot of forethought into Solace. It really makes it feel like there is so much depth to this town in the trees, even as the words were being written. Solace is still one of my favorite towns that has appeared in any Fantasy novel.

Chapter 1. Old friends meet. A rude interruption.

Thin columns of smoke curled among the treetops, the only sign of the presence of Solace. I pointed this out because I never realized just how well hidden Solace was. I always imaged you could see the houses in the trees from a distance, but apparently you couldn’t. I’ve fooled myself for so many years.

“After one hundred and forty-eight years, I ought to have learned!” – Flint.
“You’ll never learn, dwarf,” a distant voice answered him. “Not if you live to be two hundred and forty-eight!”
Annotation: Dwarves on Krynn live to be 450 years old.
I wanted to point this out because I’ve always assumed Flint was an old Dwarf. Don’t get me wrong, he was old, but not by Dwarven standards. So him dying at 149 years of age, which is quite young for a Dwarf in my opinion, really hits a bit harder. I love Flint. He was always the father figure of the group, I felt. If not the father figure, then the grandfather figure. He also added to the harmony and humor within the group.

Chapter 2. Return to the Inn. A shock. The oath is broken.

Throughout the civilized world, the Inn of the Last Home was known as a traveler’s refuge and center for news. It never occurred to me how popular the Inn of the Last Home was. Don’t get me wrong, the night the companions gathered, the Inn was packed, but it was portrayed that it was due to the fear and suspicion going about Solace, that residents of the town gathered there. Later in chapters to come, we know Goldmoon and Riverwind show up, but I always assumed they were just passing by, not that the Inn was THE place to go.

“My friend!” Caramon’s eyes were wet. He seemed to say more but was overcome by emotion. I love Caramon. He’s my second favorite character in all of DragonLance, but definitely my favorite character among the Companions. This is one of the reasons. He loved his friends, to the point of tears. I really could relate to this character as a youth. Just his introduction, where he bear hugged all his friends for the reunion. Already, a lovable character in my eyes. The adventures in chapters and books to come, turned him quickly into my favorite character among the companions (before him, Rennard the Oath breaker; and after him, Raistlin, his brother).

In the annotations, it’s noted: An early version of the dwarf called him Flint Fieryforge and made him a rather dapper Falstaff-type character. Never knowing this until now, it makes me wonder if Flint’s original appearance went to Dougan Redhammer (The God Reorx’s avatar). I’m glad Flint was a Fireforge, rather than a Fieryforge.

With these notes, I hope you all have enjoyed these few that I posted. I’ll be doing more as I continue reading through the original trilogy of the Chronicles. Please continue to come back and check on any new posts I make in the future. I’ll try and be more active on Twitter, and I ALWAYS post announcements on Twitter whenever I do make a new entry on the website.

Est Sularus oth Mithas,
Aaron Dogah