Dragons of Autumn Twilight

Dragons of Autumn Twilight

Chronicles Trilogy, Volume One

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Everyone starts reading Dragonlance with the Chronicles; the tales of the War of the Lance and the heroes who manage to ceaselessly save the world over and over. This is really where it all started. The forth Chronicle, about the Chaos War, details the gods leaving Krynn. It’s strange how gods can never manage to stay in one place!

Chronicles is in the mythological structure called “heroes’ journey”. This form always has somebody old, in the form of a mentor or prophet who begins the story. In Chronicles it’s Paladine, who we see in the prologue, and who returns again throughout the three books to help instruct our heroes.

Inns are an AD&D cliché place to start games (well that’s what The Annotated Chronicles says, which is where I’m getting a lot of the info for this; I’ve never begun a game in an inn :} ).

“‘I should never have left,’ Flint grumbled… ‘And I’ll be damned if I’m ever leaving again!'” (12) ((We know where that goes))

Flint sat back down on the stone and began to carve once more. He scowled up at Tanis. ‘Why the beard? You were ugly enough.'”(14)

((Flint and Tanis were just reunited))

“‘Elven wanderer, turn from your coarse and leave the dwarf behind. We are the spirits of those poor souls Flint Fireforge left on the barroom floor. Did we die in combat?’

‘No! We died of shame, cursed by the ghost of the grape for not being able to outdrink a hill dwarf.’

‘Damn the eyes of elves!’ The spectral voice turned merry. ‘And damn the beards of dwarves!’

‘Wouldn’t you know it?’ Flint groaned. ‘Tasslehoff Burrfoot‘”(17)

“‘I think the young man was a better magician than you gave him credit for,’ he said. ‘And, you must admit, he worked long and tirelessly to help those who were taken in by the fake clerics -as I did.'” (16) ((Tanis defending Raistlin))

“New roads demand a hoopak… No road is ever old” (18)((Famous kender saying))

((Tas discussing a dagger in a goblin body)) “‘I don’t want it back. You can never get rid of the smell, you know.’

‘Besides,’ he said, ‘that dagger was Flint’s!'” (21)

“‘It was a sacred oath we took- to meet again after five years had passed and report what we had found about the evil spreading in the world. To think we should come home and find evil on our very doorsteps!'” (23-24) ((Flint))

((While Caramon hugs Tas)) “‘Caramon better look to his purse,’ Flint grumbled. ‘Or count his teeth.'” (25)

((Raistlin shows the companions his face after the Test)) “Tanis realized the young mage was getting a cynical pleasure out of seeing his friends’ discomfiture.” (32)

“‘Some plants live on air,’ Tasslehoff stated, returning with Sturm’s ale. ‘I’ve seen them. They hover off the ground. Their roots suck food and water out of the atmosphere.’

‘Really?’ Caramon’s eyes were wide.

‘I don’t know who’s the greater idiot,’ said Flint in disgust.” (32)

((As the companions head towards Crystalmir Lake)) “Tas is enjoying all of this immensely, Tanis realized. He felt like shaking the kender, lecturing him sternly on how much danger they were in. But the half-elf knew it was useless: kenders are totally immune to fear.” (52)

“‘He rules my heart, but I am his ruler. Once, when we were young we thought we could forget that. But I have been ‘Chieftain’s Daughter’ too long.'” (56) ((Goldmoon))

“‘Flint says he’ll burn before he gets in a boat- at least then he’ll die warm instead of wet and cold.'” (57)

((Tanis and Tas look around a cave to spend the night in)) “‘It will do for the night. I don’t think even the dwarf will complain about this. If he does, we’ll send him back to sleep in the boat!’

Tas flashed his own smile back at the half-elf. It was good to see the old Tanis back. He had thought his friend unusually moody and indecisive, not the strong leader he had remembered from the early days. Yet, now that they were on the road, the glint was back in the half-elf’s eyes. He had come out of his brooding shell and was taking charge, slipping back into his accustomed role. He needed this adventure to get his mind off his problems- whatever those might be. The kender, who had never been able to understand Tanis’s inner turmoil, was glad the adventure had come along.” (63)

“My body was my sacrifice… for my magic. This damage is permanent.” (64) ((Raistlin rejects the healing of the Blue Crystal Staff.))

“‘I am a knight of Solamnia,’ Sturm said. ‘My word is my honor and my honor is my life. I gave my word, back in the Inn, that I would protect you and your lady. If you choose to dispute my word, you dispute my honor and therefore you insult me. I can not allow that insult to remain between us.'” (65)

Tasslehoff yawned. ‘Well,’ he said, putting the map back carefully in the case, ‘it’s a problem that will be solved by wiser heads than mine. I’m along for the fun.'” (67)

“‘Look- even the dwarf is out cold.’ ((Caramon))

‘I don’t have to look,’ Tanis said. ‘The Theocrat can probably hear him snoring in Solace.'” (67)

“‘Be serious,’ the dwarf ((Flint)) hissed at Tasslehoff. ‘Or I’ll take you by the topknot and tie you to a tree as a warning to all kenders-‘” (69)

“‘Good,’ Tanis said. ‘Tas, you know your way through Solace Vale. You are guide. And remember, we’re not on a picnic!'” (71)

“‘But, remember, Tasslehoff Burrfoot, keep your eyes open and your wits about you. No roaming off the road and above all’ –Tanis fixed the kender’s eye with his own sternly- ‘keep your hands out of other people’s belongings.’

‘Unless they’re bakers,’ Caramon added.” (74)

“The kender’s hoopak staff struck the dwarf in the back of the knees, causing Flint’s legs to buckle beneath him. The creature’s sword whistled harmlessly overhead as the dwarf gave a startled yell and fell over backwards on top of Sturm.

Tasslehoff, hearing the dwarf shout, looked back, astonished at an odd sight: a cleric was attacking Flint and, for some reason, the dwarf was lying on his back, legs flailing, when he should have been up fighting.

‘What are you doing Flint?’ Tas shouted. He nonchalantly struck the creature in the midsection with his hoopak, struck it again on the head as it toppled foreward, and watched it fall to the ground, unconscious.

‘There!’ he said irritably to Flint. ‘Do I have to fight your battles for you?'” (91)

“‘You’re suggesting we follow an animal we can’t even see?’ Caramon said, his jaw going slack.

‘It would not be the strangest thing we have done,’ Raistlin commented sarcastically in his whispering voice.” (99)

“‘Goblins, boats, lizard men, invisible stags- what’s next?’ complained Flint to the kender.

‘I wish I could see the stag,’ Tas said wistfully.

‘Get hit on the head.’ The dwarf snorted. ‘Although with you, we probably couldn’t tell the difference.'” (100)

“‘Looks are as deceptive as a light-fingered kender,’ Raistlin whispered harshly.” (104)

“‘We need light,’ Flint said uneasily as night’s shadows closed in thickly. Sounds in the woods that had been innocent in the daytime now seemed sinister and threatening.

‘Surely you do not fear children’s stories,’ Raistlin hissed.

‘No!’ snapped the dwarf. ‘I just want to make certain the kender doesn’t rifle my pack in the dark.'” (110-111)

“‘The deer fulfills his purpose by providing sustenance for the hunter- be it wolf or man. We do not mourn the loss of those who die fulfilling their destinies.’

It seemed to Tanis that the Forestmaster’s dark eyes went to Sturm as she spoke, and there was a deep sadness in them that filled the half-elf’s heart with cold fear.” (123-124)

“‘How do we know, Master,’ Tanis asked hesitantly, ‘whether the life of any creature has fulfilled its destiny? I have known the very old to die in bitterness and despair. I have seen young children die before their time but leave behind such a legacy of love and joy that grief for their passing was tempered by the knowledge that their brief lives had given much to others.’

‘You have answered your own question, Tanis Half-Elven, far better than I could,’ the Forestmaster said gravely. ‘Say that our lives are not measured by gain but by giving.'” (124)

“‘These armies, Tanis, armies of Draconians, will overrun Solace and Haven and all the lands of your fathers. This is the reason we must reach Xak Tsaroth. What we find there will prove this army’s undoing.'” (129) ((Raistlin))

“Tasslehoff, examining the tracks, suddenly realized that they might be walking into a large camp of the monsters. He shrugged. No use worrying about such minor details.” (152)

“‘There’s a whole damn army up there!’ the dwarf ((Flint)) gasped, grabbing the kender by the shoulder.

‘Yes, well-‘ Tas paused to consider the situation. He brightened. ‘That’s all the better. The more of them there are, the less chance they’ll have of seeing us‘” (152-153)

“‘Tanis put his hand on Riverwind’s arm. The elves have a saying: ‘Only the dead are without fear.’

Riverwind startled him by suddenly clasping the half-elf’s hand with his. ‘I have never known an elf,’ the Plainsman said. ‘My people distrust them, saying that the elves have no care for Krynn or for humans. I think my people may have been mistaken. I am glad I met you, Tanis of Qualinost. I count you as a friend.'” (169)

“Tasslehoff had his hoopak and a small dagger he had discovered. He was very proud of it and was deeply wounded when Caramon told him it would be of use if they ran into any ferocious rabbits.” (188)

“‘I tried to climb it last night,’ he ((Tas)) said, ‘but it was too slippery. I wonder what’s up there?’

‘Well, whatever it is will have to stay forever beyond the reach of kenders,’ Tanis snapped irritably.” (189)

“‘But you have known me many years, Sturm Brightblade, and I give you my word of honor- you may trust my brother as you trust me. If ever a time comes, when that is not so, may my death -and his- be not far behind.'” (190) ((Caramon))

“‘One, and one, and one.’ Bupu counted until she had used up all of her fingers. ‘Two,’ she said. ‘Not more than two.'” (216)

“‘My dear brother,’ Raistlin whispered, ‘your strength lies in your swordarm, not your mind. Tanis is wise, as the knight said when we started on this little adventure. You would do well to pay attention to him.'” (222)

“This, of coarse, didn’t fit in with Phudge’s plans. He therefore assumed he hadn’t heard correctly.” (229)

“‘I was angry because I knew when I saw you standing there, refusing to kneel before me, that I had lost part of myself and that, until you claimed it, I would never be whole again.'” (234) ((Goldmoon talking to Riverwind))

“‘I understand,’ Raistlin said calmly.

I wish I did, Tanis thought bitterly. I wish I understood what was going on in that mind of yours, mage.” (237)

“‘You know, Flint,’ the kender ((Tas)) said seriously, ‘my people don’t fear death. In a way we look forward to it- the last big adventure. But I think I’d feel badly about leaving this life. I’d miss my things’ -he patted his pouches- ‘and my maps, and you and Tanis. Unless’ he added brightly, we all go to the same place when we die.’

Flint had a sudden vision of the happy-go-lucky kender lying cold and dead. He felt a lump of pain in his chest and was thankful for the concealing darkness. Clearing his throat, he said huskily, ‘If you think I’m going to spend my afterlife with a bunch of kender, you’re crazier than Raistlin.'” (243)

“For the first time in his life, the kender ((Tas)) felt small and helpless and alone. It was a horrible, unpleasant feeling, and he thought death might be preferable.” (246)

“Bupu rolled over to face him. Her eyes were red, her nose swollen. Tears streaked down her dirty face. She snuffled and wiped her hand across her nose. ‘I don’t want to leave you. I want to go with you,’ she said brokenly, ‘but- oh -I will miss my people!’ Sobbing, she buried her face in her hands.

A look of infinite tenderness touched Raistlin’s face, a look no one in his world would ever see. He reached out and stroked Bupu’s coarse hair, knowing what it felt like to be weak and miserable, an object of ridicule and pity.

‘Bupu,’ he said, ‘you have been a good and true friend to me. You saved my life and the lives of those I care about. Now you will do one last thing for me, little one. Go back. I must travel roads that will be dark and dangerous before the end of my long journey. I can not ask you to go with me.'” (265)

“Bupu looked at him sadly, then -greatly daring- she caught his hand in hers and kissed it swiftly. She turned away, her head bowed, sobbing bitterly.

Raistlin stepped forward. He laid his hand on her head. If I have any power at all, Great One, he said inside himself, power that has not yet been revealed to me, grant that this little one goes through her life in safety and happiness.” (266)

“‘Please, Sturm,’ Tanis said quietly. ‘Trust me. This is not our time to die.’

Sturm hesitated, glancing around at the goblins inside the Inn. They stood back, fearful of his sword and his skill, but he knew they would charge in a rush if he made the slightest move. ‘It is not our time to die.’ What odd words. Why had Tanis said them? Did a man ever have a ‘time to die’? If so, Sturm realized, this wasn’t it- not if he could help it. There was no glory dying in an Inn, trampled by stinking, flapping goblin feet.” (281)

“‘Mishakal!’ he ((Fizban)) said, peering at the amulet around her neck. ‘How very interesting. My, my.’ He stared at her in astonishment. ‘You don’t look three hundred years old!’

Goldmoon blinked, uncertain how to react. How do you know? Do you recognize-? I’m not three hundred-‘ She was growing confused.

‘Of coarse, you’re not. I’m sorry, my dear.’ The old man patted her hand. ‘Never bring up a lady’s age in public. Forgive me. It won’t happen again. Our little secret,’ he said in a piercing whisper.'” (295)

((When Laurana enters the room)) “Even Raistlin stared, his eyes seeing beauty at last, for no hint of decay touched the young elfmaiden.” (323)

“‘We know, Tanis,’ Sturm said quietly. ‘And we trust your judgment. But- it’s too dark a night to walk with your eyes closed, as my people say.'” (338)

“Caramon walked beside Tika, resplendent in her mismatched armor, instructing her on the use of her sword. Unfortunately, the teacher was having a bad time of it.

Goldmoon had split Tika’s red barmaid skirt up to her thighs for better movement. Bits of fluffy white from Tika’s fur-rimmed undergarments peeped enticingly through the slits. Her legs were visible as she walked, and the girl’s legs were just as Caramon had imagined- round and well-formed. Thus Caramon found it rather difficult to concentrate on his lesson.” (343)

“The sword began to give off a faint red glow. Raistlin smiled and said softly, ‘It is enchanted.’

Tas gasped. ‘Good enchantment? Or bad?’

‘I have no way of knowing,’ the mage whispered. ‘But since it has lain undisturbed for so long, I would certainly not venture to touch it!'” (359)

“‘Light- to the tunnel,’ Fizban ordered, his bony legs wrapped around a link in the chain.

The puffball appeared to consider the command. Slowly it skittered around the edge of the tunnel, and then stopped.

‘Inside the tunnel!’ the magician commanded.

The puffball flame refused.

‘I think it’s afraid of the dark,’ Fizban said apologetically.” (376)

“About halfway across the gap, the kender considered what it would be like to fall from this height, tumbling down and down and down, then hitting the stone floor at the bottom. He wondered what it would feel like to splatter all over the floor…” (376)

“Men- Knights of Solamnia -mounted on other dragons were fighting back! The dragons the Knights rode were beautiful dragons -gold and silver dragons- all the men carried bright weapons that gleamed with a shining radiance. Suddenly Tasslehoff understood! There were good dragons in the world- if they could be found- who would help fight the evil dragons, and there was-

‘The Dragonlance!’ he murmured.

The old magician nodded to himself. ‘Yes, little one,’ he whispered. ‘You understand. You see the answer. And you will remember. But not now.’ Reaching out, he ruffled the kender’s hair with a gnarled hand.

‘Dragons. What was I saying?’ Tas couldn’t remember.” (392)

“‘What did your father say?’ asked Fizban gently.

‘He said kenders were small because we were meant to do small things. ‘If you look at all the big things in the world closely,’ he said, ‘you’ll see that they’re really made up of small things all joined together.’ That big dragon down there comes to nothing but tiny drops of blood, maybe. It’s the small things that make the difference.'” (398) ((Tas))

“‘Poor Fizban,’ Tas said, blinking tears from his eyes as he floundered in an ocean of white chicken feathers. His last spell must have been featherfall like Raistlin uses. Wouldn’t you know it? He just got the feathers.'” (418)

“‘It was your love and your faith in each other that brought hope to the world. Each of you is willing to sacrifice your life for this promise of hope, each has saved the life of the other. The sun shines now, but already its rays are dimming and night is ahead. It is the same for you, my friends. You will walk through much darkness before morning. But your love will be as a torch to light the way.'” (435) ((Elistan talking about Goldmoon and Riverwind at their wedding Ceremony))

“‘Pledge your vows, one to another,’ Elistan said, ‘and exchange the gifts of your hands and hearts.’

Goldmoon looked into Riverwind’s eyes and began to speak softly.

Wars have settled in the North

and dragons ride the skies,

‘Now is the time for wisdom,’

say the wise and the nearly wise.

‘Here is the heart of the battle,

the time to be brave is at hand.

Now most things are larger than

the promise of a woman to a man.’

But you and I, through burning plains,

through darkness of the earth,

affirm this world, its people,

the heavens that gave them birth,

the breath that passes between us,

this alter where we stand,

all these things were made larger by

the promise of a woman to a man.

Then Riverwind spoke:

Now in the belly of winter,

when the ground and sky are gray,

here in the heart of sleeping snow,

now is the time to say,

yes to the sprouting vallenwood

in the green countryside,

for these things are far larger than

a man’s word to his bride.

Through these promises we keep,

Forged in the yawning night,

proved in the presence of heroes

and the prospect of sharing light,

the children will see moons and stars

where now the dragons ride,

and humble things made large by

a man’s word to his bride.”


“‘Hope is the denial of reality. It is the carrot dangled before the draft horse to keep him plodding along in a vain attempt to reach it.’

‘Are you saying we should just give up?’ Tanis asked, irritably tossing the bark away.

‘I’m saying we should remove the carrot and walk forward with our eyes open,’ Raistlin answered.” (440)

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Last modified on October 18, 2009