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Dragons of Autumn Twilight
Attribution:
Author(s)

Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Publication information:
Publisher

Random House

ISBN

ISBN 0-88038-173-6

Chronology:
Series

Dragonlance Chronicles

Preceded by

'

Followed by

Dragons of Winter Night

  [Source]

Dragons of Autumn Twilight is a fantasy novel by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. It is the beginning of the Dragonlance Chronicles, that is, along with the Dragonlance Legends trilogy, generally respected as the core of the Dragonlance books.

The book details the meeting of the Companions and the early days of The War of The Lance

Plot summaryEdit

The Companions had separated five years earlier to seek proof of the existence of the True Gods of Krynn. It is the eve of their reunion and Solace is much changed from the peaceful village they left five years before. Solace is now under the control of the Highseekers of Haven, an agnostic order of truth-seekers that sprang up after the Cataclysm when the True Gods supposedly abandoned Krynn. The Seekers, however, are no longer benign and fanatical elements have gained control of their order. Even worse they are collaborating with the evil Dragon Highlords who are preparing for the conquest of the continent of Ansalon. Solace is now an armed camp and goblin soldiers patrol the once peaceful village. Tanis, Flint and Tasslehoff meet outside of Solace. After a brief confrontation, they continue to the Inn of the Last Home and meet up with their friends, and, as circumstance would have it, two barbarians, Riverwind and Goldmoon. Kitiara Uth Matar is absent, having left a letter saying that "her new lord is keeping her busy". Flint remarks that Kitiara has broken a sacred oath, bearing bad tidings upon the group. Goldmoon bears the Blue Crystal Staff, a holy artifact of the goddess Mishakal which possesses healing powers and sparks the revival of the faith of the True Gods. The Companions are forced to flee Solace after Goldmoon uses the staff to heal a Seeker, which results in a bar fight.

This pulls the Companions, unwittingly, into a great struggle against the goddess Takhisis, the Queen of Darkness and leader of the enemy forces.

The companions cross a nearby lake by boat in their escape, and Raistlin notices that the constellations known as “The Valiant Warrior” and “The Queen of Darkness” (representations of the True Gods Paladine and Takhisis) are absent from the sky, which he claims means that the two gods, the heads of good and evil, respectively, have come to Krynn. The next day, the group is attacked by Draconians. These creatures are numerous among the Dark Queen's armies, and often serve as footsoldiers into the woods, the companions soon find themselves in a place known as Darken Wood, where the Companions are attacked but are rescued by centaurs, who take them to the Forestmaster, a unicorn. The Forestmaster charges the group to go the Xak Tsaroth to retrieve the Disks of Mishakal, contain the teaching of the True Gods and are instrumental for the restoration of the faith in the True Gods.

After a lengthy trip and several encounters with the forces of darkness, the companions enter Xak Tsaroth and eventually meet some gully dwarves. One of the dwarves, Bupu, leads them to the dragon Khisanth, who is killed by the holy power of the blue crystal staff. When this happens, Goldmoon is consumed by its holy flame and presumed dead. However, they find her later resting at the foot of a statue of Mishakal, which now bears the Blue Crystal Staff, having blessed Goldmoon with true clerical powers. The Companions leave with the Disks of Mishakal and Bupu also gives an ancient spellbook (formerly belonging to the archmage, Fistandantilus, who has a dark pact with Raistlin and sometimes lends his power to him) to Raistlin and then returns home to her fellow gully dwarves. After returning to Solace (their collective hometown), despite their earlier exploits, to regroup and finding it occupied, the Companions are captured by the evil armies and, along with Gilthanas, the son of the leader of Qualinesti, the elven nation where Tanis Half-Elven was born, are captured and chained in a slave caravan. En route to Pax Tharkas, a fortress they were being carried to to work in the mines, the group is freed by Porthios, Gilthanas's brother. They return to Qualinesti and decide to lead an attack on Pax Tharkas to free the slaves and break Verminaard's hold there. The Companions journey through a secret passage underground to Pax Tharkas and device a plan to free the slaves. They also heal Elistan, a dying Seeker, and convert him to the faith of the true gods. He becomes the first cleric of Paladine, and eventually the leader of Paladine's church on Krynn, becoming a very influential spiritual leader. He also is believed by Goldmoon to be the recipient of the Disks of Mishakal, which she turns over to him. In the carrying out of the plan, they are betrayed, allowing Verminaard and his dragon to attack the Companions. His dragon is killed by another, insane dragon; Verminaard is killed by Tanis and Sturm. A mysterious figure called "The Everman”, who will come into play in later book, would later appear at a celebration following the slaves' freeing, but he fled after bring spotted.

According to Tracy Hickman, "The restoration of truth and faith are... to a great extent, the theme of this first book in the series."[1]

CharactersEdit

Heroes of the LanceEdit

  • Tanis half-elven, a half-elf and de facto leader of the companions.
  • Sturm Brightblade, a squire to the Knights of Solamnia and deeply honorable man.
  • Goldmoon, Chieftan's Daughter of the Que-Shu tribe, bearer of the Blue Crystal Staff, and first true cleric since the Cataclysm.
  • Riverwind, bodyguard and romantic interest of Goldmoon.
  • Caramon Majere, huge, muscular, sometimes slow-thinking warrior, with a deep affection for his brother.
  • Raistlin Majere, a powerful, sarcastic, cynical, frail mage of the Red Robes, and the twin brother of Caramon.
  • Flint Fireforge, a gruff old dwarf and old friend of Tanis.
  • Tasslehoff Burrfoot, a happy-go-lucky, innocent, and genial kender.
  • Laurana Kanan, an elven princess and romantic interest of Tanis
  • Tika, a red-haired beauty and barmaid.

OtherEdit

  • Gilthanas Kanan, brother of Laurana.
  • Porthios Kanan, brother of Laurana and Gilthanas.
  • Solostaran Kanan, Speaker of the Suns and father to Laurana, Gilthanas, and Porthios. Foster father of Tanis
  • Fizban, The human form of the God Paladine, he appears as a muddled old wizard.
  • Forestmaster, a talking unicorn.
  • Verminaard, a Dragon Highlord and one of the main antagonists.
  • Ember, a red dragon who serves Verminaard.
  • Flamestrike, a senile old red dragon.
  • Eben, a man in Pax Tharkas who betrays the Companions.
  • The Everman, an enigmatic figure seen in Pax Tharkas and shortly afterward.

AdaptaionsEdit

Animated Film: Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight (film)

Graphic Novel: Dragonlance Graphic Novles

CoversEdit

InspirationEdit

Margaret Weis includes allusions to A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, one of her favorites stories. References include But there was something disquieting about him—secret, silent, self-contained, and solitary as an oyster[2]and The fate of mankind is my business, turning the quote from meaning good to meaning harm.[3]

In the dedication to this novel, Tracy Hickman dedicates it to his wife, Laura, who he claims is the true Laurana.[4]

Chemosh, god of the undead and of sloth, bears the same name as Chemosh, Biblical god of the Moabites. The name means destroyer, subduer, or fish-god.[5]

Sirrion, god of flame and natural power, bears the same name as the River Sirion, a fictional river in the Lord of the Rings world.

Chislev, goddess of nature, has the same name as a Jewish month. The month generally saw much sowing of wheat and barley and plowing.[6]

Takhisis is strikingly similar to Tiamat. Both are five-headed dragon goddesses. One of Takhisis' other names is Mai-tat, which is an anagram of Tiamat.

Zeboim has the same name as a city of the plains, as well as a ravine somewhere north of Jericho. It also can mean gazelles or roes.[7]

Release detailsEdit

Importance to DragonlanceEdit

Dragons of Autumn Twilight is important to the Dragonlance World because it is the start of the entire series. It was based upon a Dungeons & Dragons session played by the authors, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, as well as some of their friends, some of whom became Dragonlance writers themselves. In the next book, the series began to break away from the game session, following the path of the storyline set up by the novels. It sets up many of the most important characters, The Heroes of the Lance. According to the Dragonlance Nexus, the Chronicles Trilogy is essential to setting up the foundation for the rest of the novels[8] It was once stated in a Wizards of The Coast interview that Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis make a good team because Hickman is better at writing about good characters, and that Weis is better at writing about dark characters, evident by her love of Raistlin.[9] Dragons of Autumn Twilight is the debut novel for both Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

Also Known As Edit

  • Hungarian - Az őszi alkony sárkányai
  • German - Drachenzwielicht

ReferencesEdit

  1. Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman [November 1999]. “Book 1, chapter 16, A bitter choice. The greatest gift.”, The Annotated Chronicles, 1st edition, Wizards of the Coast, 197. ISBN 0-7869-1870-5. Retrieved on 2006-07-01.
  2. Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman [November 1999]. “Book 2, volume 1, chapter 5, The riot. Tas disappears. Alhana Starbreeze.”, The Annotated Chronicles, 1st edition, Wizards of the Coast, 529. ISBN 0-7869-1870-5. Retrieved on 2006-07-01.
  3. Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman [November 1999]. “Book 2, volume 1, chapter 8, Escape from Tarsis. The story of the Dragon Orbs.”, The Annotated Chronicles, 1st edition, Wizards of the Coast, 572. ISBN 0-7869-1870-5. Retrieved on 2006-07-01.
  4. Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman [April 1984]. Dragons of Autumn Twilight, 3rd edition, Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1574-9. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.
  5. Chemosh. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.
  6. The Month Chislev. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.
  7. Zeboim. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.
  8. Recommended Dragonlance Reading List. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.
  9. Dragons of the Dwarven Depths Chat Transcript. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.

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