The War of the Lance

Interestingly the War of the Lance, virtually the biggest event in Krynn’s history (especially since it connects so closely to other events), came relatively late, as far as the timeline of Dragonlance books is concerned, in Krynn’s history. It is the first event that readers will encounter if they begin properly with Chronicles, however.

Time of event: Three hundred years into the Age of Despair

Important characters or races involved: The companions, Paladine and Takhisis, virtually all of Krynn fought

Story: It all begins at the Inn of the Last Home, where the companions meet up. The original companions, Tanis, Raistlin, Caramon, Sturm, Flint, and of coarse Tas, are joined by their friend Tika (who is no longer the gangly adolescent they’d remembered), and two newbies, Goldmoon and Riverwind, with the Blue Crystal Staff. The whole bunch (excluding Tika who stays with Otic) leave through the kitchen on Tanis’s orders after the seekers spot them. The bunch tries to hide out in Tika’s house, but is forced to kill a goblin search party.

They flee through the woods and take a boat across Crystalmir Lake. Once across the lake, they spend a night in a cave. After their night in the cave, they decide to take the road to Haven to talk to the Seekers. They end up fighting with some draconians, who want the Blue Crystal Staff, which they kill. Sturm gets wounded in the battle, and more are coming so they run away. This is their first encounter with the draconians. They head up Prayer’s Eye Peak. At this point Sturm sees a white stag, no one else sees it, but Sturm pulls this Huma bit, so Tanis has them follow it. It leads them up a trail, which it apparently creates, up Prayer’s Eye Peak, and through Darken Wood, escaping the draconians, which have an encampment around the mountain.

In Darken Wood they speak to an army of spectral minions, who allow them to stay in the wood, and then they get carried by centaurs to a magical feast, much resembling the forth act of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. There they meet the Forestmaster. The Forestmaster throws them this big feast, and then they take a pegasus ride to just outside the Eastwall Mountains, because the Forestmaster advises they head out to Xak Tsaroth.

They are right near Goldmoon and Riverwind’s village, which they discover has been completely obliterated, and everyone within killed. They travel on after that, through the mountains, turning off the main trail and slogging through the swamp. Everyone’s captured by mage draconians at a draconian camp, except Tas and Flint. They wander into the camp, and Tas hides in the body of a wicker dragon, and makes a scene while the rest of the companions cause chaos in the camp. Tas almost gets barbequed when the dragon catches fire, but Sturm chops the head off and carries it away with Tas inside and his legs sticking out the dragon’s mouth. They come running up the rest of the companions and Raistlin thinks it’s the funniest thing in the world, and can’t stop laughing (even though he had a poison dart and he nearly died except for Goldmoon’s healing him with the staff). Then they slog around in the swamp some more until they get to Xak Tsaroth.

In Xak Tsaroth Goldmoon discovers the temple of Mishakal, and her mother’s spirit comes and talks to her about the old gods. Riverwind gets fried by Khisanth, but Goldmoon heals him with the staff. The Companions head into the city to find the Disks of Mishakal, by going down a stairway called “The Paths of the Dead”, which goes through a tomb, that leads out to a lift used by the gully dwarves. Raistlin charms a group of the gully dwarves, and Bupu, a leader among the dwarves helps the Companions around the city, bringing them to the Highbulp, Phudge I, the great. Phudge spies on the Companions, and, wanting to rid himself of the enslaving dragon, warns the dragon of their plans so they have no choice but to fight. Because of this, the Companions are unable to sneak into the dragon’s lair, and Goldmoon has to kill the dragon by hitting it with the Blue Crystal Staff. She and the dragon are both engulfed in blue flame, and everyone thinks they’re dead. Sturm grabs the Disks of Mishakal, everyone runs out of there. They fight with the draconians to get into the lift, but get in and get up to the temple. Riverwind tries to kill himself because he has lost Goldmoon, but then he finds her in the temple. While being engulfed by blue flame, she became a cleric of Mishakal, so it is now her job to spread the word of the old gods, and find the right person to give the Discs of Mishakal to. Raistlin bids Bupu a sad farewell, and she gives him the spell book of Fistandantilus, which is what he wanted out of Xak Tsaroth.

They head off to Solace, and find out the whole town’s burned down except the inn, blacksmith’s shop, and general store. Tika flirts non-stop with Caramon, then they all get taken prisoner and sent off to be slaves in the mines. Gilthanis, an elf Tanis grew up with, and Theros Ironfeld are in the same caravan, along with a crazy mage named Fizban. Gilthanis had been attempting to warn Theros (who had been helping elves escape Solace) that he had been betrayed. He did not manage to, and along with being shipped off, the draconians chopped Theros’ arm off. Goldmoon healed him, saving his life.

The Companions are rescued by Qualinesti elves and invited into Qualinost, only to find out it’s being abandoned by the elves. They meet Laurana, the elfmaiden who loves Tanis, who Tanis won’t get with because he’s torn between his human and elven halves. They decide to go off on the mission that Gilthanis and a bunch of his fellows failed: freeing the slaves from Pax Tharkas. They run off to Pax Tharkas and meet up with a guy named Eben, who says he’s fighting the draconians during a battle against a group of draconians (after which Caramon almost takes Tika off for some battle-lust). They go into Pax Tharkas through a side entrance that Gilthanis opens with a spell. Eben sits around the whole time trying to convince everyone that Gilthanis is a traitor. They enter Kith-Kanan’s tomb, and open a door that lets out a giant slug, who tries to eat everyone, and nearly succeeds eating Tanis because Laurana comes in (after tracking them all the way from Qualinost) and screams right when the giant slug comes. The slug leaves when Kith-Kanan’s skeleton gives Tanis his sword, Wyrmslayer, and Tanis holds it up. Then Tanis yells at Laurana and calls her spoiled and such and Laurana vows to make Tanis proud. Everyone heads down the other tunnel, where they nearly get killed after trying to enter the treasure room (which is guarded by a dark elf). They sneak down to the women slaves and tell them their plans, and dress up as women to tell the men their plans. Elistan is discovered as the guy who should read the Disks of Mishakal. Eben’s a spy, and he tells everything to Ember. Meanwhile, the Everman appears, and Ember’s all excited about that, plus Verminaard’s troops head off to attack Qualinost. Tas and Fizban (who were separated from the other companions) free Setsun (a gully dwarf who was a slave of Toede’s), but not before Fizban shows Tas a tapestry of the knights riding good dragons and makes him forget what he has seen. The Companions free the children, the men revolt, Ember goes to kill everyone and Flamestrike gets mad as hell about “her children” dying, so they have a huge battle and kill one another. The Companions kill Verminaard, and there’s a huge battle in general, where Laurana does a lot of killing. Then all the humans escape, and the gully dwarves hold the fortress. The escapees make the mountain pass their home, and Goldmoon and Riverwind get married. You’d think that’s all, but that’s just Dragons of Autumn Twilight.

Dragons of Winter Night begins with the Companions and the refugees from the slave mines staying in Thorbaden. We discover that the Companions have rescued the Hammer of (the hammer used to forge the Dragonlances), and traded it to the mountain dwarves for the refugees being allowed to live in Thorbaden. The refugees are unhappy there, and the Companions head to Tarsis the Beautiful to see if it will make a good home for the refugees. Laurana has found that her diplomatic skills are very useful to Elistan, so she helps him, wanting to prove useful.

They get to Tarsis and find out that its no longer a seaport and unfriendly to strangers. They meet up with Alhana Starbreeze, who falls in love with Sturm, and is terribly upset by her love for him. The city’s attacked by dragons, and the Companions get split into two groups. Group one is Laurana, Tas, Flint, Sturm, Gilthanis, Elistan, and the three knights. Group two is Raistlin, Caramon, Tanis, Tika, Goldmoon, Riverwind, and Alhana. Group one heads to Icewall, and group two heads to Silvanesti.

While in Icewall, group one fights a wizard and gets the dragon orb. Sturm is handed the Dragonlance by a knight of Solamnia, possibly Huma, after Gilthanis melts the ice to get the lance out of the knight’s hands. Laurana becomes the leader of group one, and does a lot of the fighting against the wizard. Meanwhile, group two (which was trapped below the collapsed Red Dragon Inn, where they were staying) becomes part of Lorac’s dream in Silvanesti, dragging most of group one and Kitiara along for the ride. The dream foretells many future events, and everyone in it but Raistlin dies. Everyone survives the dream, however, and they all remember it later. Raistlin releases Lorac from the hold of the dragon orb, and Lorac dies. Alhana stays behind to bury him before returning to her people, and the rest take the dragon orb and head off again.

Group one sails off and is followed by a white dragon, Sleet, who tries to kill them, but doesn’t quite succeed, because Laurana shoots an arrow through its wing. They land on the island inhabited by the three elf races, the Silvanesti on one side of the river, the Qualinesti on the other, and the Kagonesti in whatever parts they can find. The three races are about ready to kill one another, and many of the Kagonesti become slaves. The Qualinesti try to keep the dragon orb with them, but Laurana knows it is not right. She gets Silvara, Theros Ironfeld (who’s been hanging out with the elves), and group one together, and they sneak off, pursued by the elves. They have to split up, Sturm and Derec take the dragon orb to the Knights of Solamnia, and the rest are led, by Silvara, to the Cave of the Silver Dragon and Huma’s tomb.

In the tomb Tas meets up with Fizban, and, after some confusion about Fizban being dead, but not being dead, Fizban and Tas go back to the others. Silvara reveals that she’s a silver dragon (Huma’s lover’s sister actually), Tas goes off with Fizban, Gilthanis’s really hurt (but he still goes with Silvara on a secret mission), Theros gets busy making dragonlances, and the rest head back to Solamnia.

In Solamnia Sturm’s become a puppet in Lord Gunthar and Deric’s power struggle. He’s sent off to the High Clerist Tower after nearly loosing any chance of becoming a knight, and Laurana arrives on the scene later to get him his knighthood. Fizban and Tas get the dragon orb back from the gnomes (including Gnosh, whose Life Quest is studying the orb, who comes back with them). The elves come over for a meeting and get into a huge fight with the gnomes. Tas smashes the orb to stop the fighting (nearly getting himself killed and upsetting Gnosh terribly), and Theros comes into the meeting with a dragonlance, which clears things up a bit. Fizban tells Gnosh he can study the dragon orb from the inside out, so his Life Quest isn’t lost.

Group two decides to spend a night at the Pig and Whistle Tavern in Port Balifor and ends up spending a couple months there. Raistlin decides to perform magic for money (because they’re so low on funds), and he gets the rest of the group in on the performance. Tika does a naughty dance in a revealing outfit, Caramon performs feats of strength, Tanis sees in the dark with his elven sight, and Goldmoon sings while Riverwind plays. They earn plenty of money for the ship passage, develop the guise of players, spread the message of the true gods, and Raistlin has a damn good time (though he doesn’t tell anyone). Group one then heads off to Flotsam to get a passage by boat to Palanthas. Tanis’s life is saved by Kitiara who thinks he’s one of her men because he and Caramon stole dragon army armor so they could travel freely and get supplies without being questioned. She takes him to her room and they have several wild nights, then she runs off to go see the war.

Laurana heads off to the High Clerist Tower (with Flint and Tas) and gives Sturm his knighthood. Sturm’s happy, but Deric isn’t. Deric takes all of the Knights of the Rose and Knights of the Sword off to battle the armies and looses terribly. Sturm and the Knights of the Crown are the only ones left defending the High Clerist’s Tower, which blocks the pass to Palanthas. They do really badly the first day, and the second day the dragons come. Laurana figures out how to use the dragon orb, and two of the dragons come, get stuck inside the fortress, and are killed by dragonlances. Sturm stands out on the front wall and fights the lead dragon, and is killed by its rider, Kitiara. When Laurana uses the dragon orb all the draconians run around in every direction, so most of the army’s scattered.

Kitiara gives Laurana three days off for the funeral, and Laurana holds a funeral for Sturm and the other dead Knights of the Crown, and pouts about all the fighting among the good guys.

Alhana knows Sturm’s dead because of the Starjewel, and she’s all sad, but then when she goes to bury the Starjewel, a tree in Silvanesti stops being deformed and crying blood and stuff, so she decides she will go back to her people and fix things.

This is where Dragons of Spring Dawning begins. Group two’s still in Flotsam wondering what the hell happened to Tanis. Tanis sneaks out of Kitiara’s bedroom and is followed by a draconian. He lies about what happened to him while he was missing, but urges everyone to get on Marquesta’s ship (which they booked passage on) as fast as possible. Marquesta’s all “We can’t sail in a horrible storm”, but Tanis points out that she’s unwittingly been carrying the Green Gemstone Man around, and she’ll be in trouble if Kitiara finds out about that one. That gets them going.

This is a journey all over the lands of Krynn, returning to the inn and joining Tika later, before getting captured, and escaping with Fizban’s help, transversing the whole of Krynn, meeting up with the fleeing Qualinesti, finding the draconions in Xak Tsarath, finding the dragon lances and meeting with Theros Ironfeld who fashions them for the army of Solamnic Knights, escaping from the warped dream of the Speaker of the Stars, training knights for dragon flight and fight, getting the Dark Queen’s crown away from the man who held it and giving it to Kitiara, and winning the war. ::gasps for breath:: The balance is finally restored by the war.

The coming of the companions to the Inn is foreshadowed in the prelude of Dragons of Autumn Twilight when Paladine enters the inn as an old man on the day the companions are to come, but before they arrive. The old man rearranges the furniture, moving it to the places it will be after the arrival of the companions. “A long, narrow table stood in the center of the common room. The old man dragged it across the floor and shoved it up against the trunk of the huge vallenwood, right across from the firepit, then stepped back to admire his work.

‘There,’ he grunted. ‘S’posed to be closer to the firepit. Now bring over two more chairs. Need six around here.’

…’Now,’ the old man said, glancing around sharply. ‘Bring two more chairs- comfortable ones, mind you- over here. Put them next to the firepit, in this shadowy corner.’

‘Tisn’t shadowy,’ Tika protested. ‘It’s sitting in full sunlight!’

‘Ah’ -the old man’s eyes narrowed- ‘but it will be shadowy tonight, won’t it? When the fire’s lit…’

‘I-I suppose so…’ Tika faltered.

‘Bring the chairs. That’s a good girl. And I want one, right here.’ The old man gestured in front of the firepit. ‘For me.’

‘Are you giving a party, Old One?’ Tika asked as she carried over the most comfortable, well-worn chair in the inn.

‘A party?’ The thought seemed to strike the old man as funny. He chuckled. ‘Yes, girl. It will be a party such as the world of Krynn has not seen since before the Cataclysm! Be ready, Tika Waylan. Be ready!'” (10)

There is more foreshadowing going on in the inn as a little boy talks to this same old man that night.

“‘Have you ever heard the ‘Canticle of the Dragon’?’

‘Oh, yes,’ the boy said eagerly. ‘I love stories about dragons, though papa says dragons never existed. I believe in them though. I hope to see one someday!’

The old man’s face seemed to age and grow sorrowful. He stroked the young boy’s hair. ‘Be careful what you wish, my child,’ he said softly. Then he fell silent.” (38)

Outcome: Takhisis did not enter Krynn, and the good guys “won”, restoring the balance.

Last modified on October 25, 2009