Originally published in September 1985, this novel has seen multiple reprints with the latest reprint in March 2004.  The novel has also been adapted into 12 issue comic book series.
The book begins with Tanis Half-Elven in Flotsam. Kitiara has recently left for Solamnia to lead the Dragonarmies in their failed attack against the High Clerist's Tower, which was depicted in the previous novel and resulted in the death of Sturm Brightblade. Taking advantage of her absence, Tanis leaves to meet with the other companions again, unaware that he is followed by the draconian Gakhan, Kitiara's personal assassin. Returning to his friends (Goldmoon, Riverwind, Tika Waylan, Caramon Majere and Raistlin Majere), Tanis tells them the half-truth that he was mistaken for an officer by a Dragon Highlord and forced to continue the impersonation for his own safety. Ashamed of having spend the past several nights with Kitiara, Tanis does not tell them she is the Highlord in question. Only Raistlin realizes the half-elf is lying at least in part and makes a point of telling him so when they are alone.
Later on, the companions arrive at the ship Perechon, where the mysterious Berem (also called "the Everman" and "the Green Gemstone Man") works as a helmsman. The ship sails out to the forbidding Blood Sea of Istar, a sea that was created by the destruction of the legendary city of Istar during the Cataclysm. At the center of the blood sea there is a perpetual storm over a whirlpool. This whirlpool continually churns up the rich red soil of Istar from the sea floor and gives the waters the appearance of blood.
Kitiara leads her forces and her dragon Skie to follow the Perechon. Berem panics when he sees the minions of Takhisisand steers the ship straight towards the whirlpool. Raistlin recognizes Kitiara despite her armor and Tanis tells the companions the full truth of his absence. Although their faith in him has been shaken, the companions choose to continue following Tanis, much to his shame.
The Perechon is caught in the whirlpool and the heroes realize they're doomed. Believing Raistlin's magic is their only hope for survival, Tanis and Caramon find him only to realize he is planning on escaping by himself by using his Dragon Orb to teleport away. When Tanis asks if he can teleport them all away, Raistlin says doing so would tax him more and possibly cause failure, something he refuses to risk. Believing that Raistlin will not harm his brother Tanis orders Caramon to stop him but is shocked when the mage reveals that he already proved he is quite capable of killing his twin during his test at the Tower of High Sorcery. Raistlin vanishes, leaving Caramon shocked by his twin's abandonment. Soon afterwards, the Perechon tips over the edge of the whirlpool and the rest of the companions vanish beneath the waves.
Raistlin's spell brings him to the steps of the Great Library of Palanthas, where the great librarian/historian Astinuslives. Astinus is said to have been the first living thing on Krynn and will supposedly also be the last and he seems to spend every waking moment chronicling the history of the world around him. The strain of working such powerful magic has left Raistlin on the verge of death. When told of his presence, Astinus orders his aesthetics (a semi-monastic order responsible for the preservation and cataloguing of Astinus's voluminous history of Krynn) to bring the mage into the library.
As Raistlin recovers his wits, Astinus refers to him as “old friend”, which confuses him and causes him to wonder if they've met before. Likewise, Raistlin is startled by the fact that he doesn't see the effects of age and time touching the historian's face. Although Astinus claims that they have met before and that Raistlin gave him an object known as the Sphere of Time, he does not go into greater detail than that.
Knowing he will die soon, the mage requests access to the ancient spell books in the Great Library. Astinus grants this, but Raistlin becomes violently angry when he realizes that the spells of these books can't be accessed without "The Key”, a formula that has been lost over the ages because it was so common that no one bothered to write it down. Watching over the wizard who he believes will die soon, Astinus says his good-byes but then accidentally lets slip the fact that the gods Paladine, Gilean and Takhisis, Queen of Darkness, are possessors of "the Key of Knowledge." Calling upon the spirit of that has helped him before (during the Test) and that has spoken through him before (during Dragons of Winter Night), Raistlin makes some kind of dark bargain saying "Save me and save yourself." As he vanishes away, Astinus wonders about what evil he has helped unleashed.
The Master of Past and PresentEdit
While exploring Palanthas, Tasslehoff Burrfoot and Flint Fireforge have a close encounter with the Tower of High Sorcery of Palanthas. Flint and Tasslehoff come across the tower while wandering the streets of Palanthas, and despite the feeling of terror that sweeps over them, they get closer than any human being has ever gotten. As soon as the pair come within sight of the Shoikan Grove that surrounds the tower and see the dark cloaked shape that drapes its gates, they flee in terror.
Soon, Astinus encounters Laurana Kanan, Flint and Tasslehoff and relates to them the story of the Tower of High Sorcery of Panlanthas, telling the elf-maid that “its history is bound up in your destiny." He explains that the tower was one of the five original Towers of High Sorcery. During the Lost Wars, it was abandoned due to the rising mistrust of magic. But after everyone had apparently left and contemporary politicians were about to take possession, a black robemage revealed himself at the top of the tower and proclaimed “The gates shall remain closed and the halls empty until the day that the master of both the past and the present returns with power!” The mage then flung himself onto the gates, dying from impalement as he cursed the grounds and the grove with dark magic.
Not long afterwards, Laurana receives a message from Lord Gunthar Uth-Wistan, leader of the Knights of Solamnia, in which he names her as the new commander of the knights stationed in Palanthas (a political move on Lord Gunthar's part to limit political maneuvering within the knighthood). Lord Amothus of Palanthas then places her in command of the armies of Palanthas as well, since the city is full of peaceful people and the army has been deemed rather pointless for some time.
Gilthanas and Silvara arrive at Palanthas, bringing the legendary good dragons with them. The two explain that together they journeyed to Sanction, the home of the Dragonarmies and discovered the truth about the origin of the draconians. The Dragonarmies had ensured that the good dragons would not join the war against them by taking their eggs hostage. But now in the Temple, Gilthanas and Silvara see that the clerics of Takhisis and the mages of the black robes have been perverting the eggs of the good dragons with in order to spawn the new race of draconians. Having been told what has happened with their eggs, the good dragons are now willing to join the fight and avenge their children.
With the Dragonlances in her possession and the good dragons on her side, Laurana organizes a flying cavalry of Knights of Solamnia. Tasslehoff and Flint ride a bronze Dragon known as Fireflash during one aerial engagement and are able to capture Kitiara's second-in-command Bakaris (who had insisted on riding into battle despite not being able to use one of his arms). Eventually, Bakaris is forced to surrender and Tas takes him prisoner.
Due to her many victories, Laurana becomes known as the "Golden General." She drives the Dragonarmies out of Northern Solamnia and is able to liberate the city of Kalaman in time for the spring dawning festival. However, Kitiara has allowed her some success, as this has led Laurana's forces to spread thin, making them vulnerable to sudden attack. Before she begins this new offensive however, Kitiara plans to demoralize the Palanthian forces by removing their Golden General from the picture. Kitiara sends a note to the elf maid claiming that Tanis is with her and has been gravely wounded, proposing that the half-elf can be exchanged for Bakaris. The story seems plausible since Kitiara spoke of Tanis at the High Clerist's tower and Gilthanas overheard her mention the half-elf when he was in Sanction. Over Flint's objections, she decides to risk everything for the chance that the note is true.
With Flint and Tasslehoff's help, Laurana sneaks Bakaris out of the city to the rendezvous point and finds Gakhan and a pair of wyverns waiting for them. Bakaris orders Gakhan to go, leaving him alone with Laurana, who he intends to rape as revenge for his injuries and imprisonment. After a struggle, Bakaris falls on his own knife and dies. The three companions are about to return to Palanthas when they are stopped by the death knight Lord Soth, of Kitiara's most devoted servants. Soth's power is far too great for the companions and he takes Laurana.
Following their voyage into the whirlpool, Tanis and his companions, along with Berem the Everman (who reveals he only pretends to be mute) find themselves in the ancient city of Istar, which is underwater and now inhabited by sea elves who saved them from death. The companions meet the sea elf Apoletta and her husband, a red robed human mage named Zebulah. At first Apoletta is reluctant to help the companions or allow them to return to the surface, believing that the war on the surface is none of her peoples' concern. But when Tanis tells her of the Dragonarmies and explains that the good dragons have not been seen, nor even remembered except in legends, she realizes how dire the situation is and relents.
The companions wash up just outside of Kalaman with only vague memories of the underwater city. They arrive in the city find Tasslehoff who tell them everything that has happened. Returning to Kalaman, Kitiara reveals that Laurana has been taken to the temple of Takhisis in Neraka. She demands unconditional surrender and that Berem the Everman must be delivered to her within three weeks. Grief-stricken, Tanis resolves to go to Neraka with Berem and attempt to rescue Laurana. Caramon, Tika, Flint and Tasslehoff agree to accompany him but Tanis refuses to allow Riverwind and Goldmoon to come along as they have a child on the way. Before Tanis leaves, he and Gilthanas come to understanding, as the elf now also understand the pain of love due to the fact that he feels he can't return Silvara's affections as she's really a dragon. Before they part, Gilthanas calls Tanis “brother” and agrees to take over the defense of the city.
The companions depart for Neraka and meet up with Fizban and the golden dragon Pyrite (who "polymorphs" into a statue so that he can be carried for the trip). During the trip, Berem runs off and is soon tracked to a rock face with a narrow tunnel. Flint is the first through and the first to enter the bowl shaped, boulder strewn valley known as Godshome. During the chase, Flint's heart gives out and he collapses. Berem, hearing Flint cry out, rushes back to help him and reaches the Dwarf just as Tanis emerges into the valley. As he lies dying, the old dwarf reveals he has had a heart condition that has been acting up and he says farewell to his friends. Looking at Fizban, he claims to at last understand who the old wizard is and asks that he ensure he doesn't have to journey alone. Fizban promises and the old dwarf dies. Fizban then carries Flint to a pool of glassy black rock in the center of the valley, a rock which seems to hold the image of all the stars and moons. Reaching the center of the rock, the pair vanish before Tanis' eyes. In the rock, the constellation of Paladine (which had vanished in the first book of the series) returns to the sky, though when Tanis looks up he still can't see it.
Berem finally decides to tell the companions his full story. He explains he was born near Neraka only a few years before the Cataclysm. He had a sister name Jasla and one day they discovered a jeweled column half-buried in the ground. This was in fact the foundation stone of the Kingpriest's temple and it had landed there after being hurled through various planes of existence. When Berem was overcome with greed and proceeded to pry one of the emeralds loose but Jasla sensed the sacred aura of the place. They struggled and Jasla died when she fell against the column. The Queen of Darkness herself then manifested and seared the emerald into Berem's chest as a reward for freeing him, revealing that this column is like a doorway to the Abyss. Jasla's pure spirit, however, remains with the column and she blocks the Dark Majesty's escape, telling Berem to run as a new Temple of Takhisis is built around the site. Since that day, Takhisis's true goal has been to use the Everman to break his sister's enchantment upon the column and fully return to the world.
The companions reach Neraka and the Temple of Takhisis, underneath which they know the column remains. When guards become suspicious of them, Tanis decides he's the riskiest prisoner to be discovered and needs to separate from the others. He quickly calls out to Kitiara nearby and joins her, hoping to save Laurana while the others can take care of the column without getting caught. Tanis tells Kit that he has come to offer himself in exchange for Laurana and that he is prepared to serve under her as an officer in the Dragonarmies. Kitiara seems to agree but actually intends for the elf maid to be tortured by Takhisis and given to Lord Soth to become his undead consort. By forcing him to witness this, Kitiara hopes to break Tanis once and for all and remold him to her liking.
Meanwhile, Gakhan realizes the true identities of the ones who arrived with Tanis. When he tries to grab the Everman though, Berem kills him and an alarm sounds during the battle. Berem hears his sister Jasla calling to him and sets off to find the jeweled column. Caramon follows the Everman while Tika and Tas run off in another direction to draw off pursuit.
Meanwhile, up above, the Grand Council of the Dragon Highlords has begun and Tanis marches into the grand chamber at the head of Kitiara's troops. Lord Ariakas presides over the council, since he possesses the Crown of Power and, as Kitiara explains "whoever holds the crown rules." All the Highlords are there except for Lord Toede, who has been killed by the Kender hero Kronin Thistleknot. Queen of Darkness herself manifests upon the largest platform in the room. Kitiara presents Laurana to the Queen and then she presents Tanis for service in the Dragonarmies. Takhisis agrees to accept Tanis as an officer says he needs only to lay his weapon at the feet of Lord Ariakas to symbolize his allegiance. Tanis considers killing Ariakas instead, but realizes the Highlord is a magic-user and has protected himself with a type of force-field. Tanis then hears a voice in his head that seems to be coming from a black robed wizard standing next to Takhisis. The wizard tells Tanis to strike, assuring him that he will be helped to defeat the Highlord's magic. eaching Ariakas, Tanis draws his sword and runs the evil Highlord through with it, surprised to find the Highlord's shield disrupt as he makes the killing blow.
Chaos and EscapeEdit
Moments later, trumpets blare, are a signal that a very special chamber deep beneath the temple is beset by intruders. The Queen of Darkness commands the black robed wizard to investigate and he vanishes. Tanis wears the Crown and attempts to save himself and Laurana but the elf maid, believing Tanis corrupt, shoves him aside to escape by herself. The Crown falls and chaos erupts as everyone tries to grab it.
Caramon and Berem reach the chamber of the jeweled column and but are suddenly blocked by Raistlin, who now wears black robes. Looking stronger and sounding a bit different, Raistlin explains that he allied himself Takhisis to get greater power (and presumably to obtain the Key of Knowledge) and that he has now in turn betrayed her by helping Tanis kill Ariakas. To Caramon's surprise, Raistlin allows Berem to go to the jeweled column. The Everman throws himself upon the column and, killing himself. As his spirit is reunited with his sister Jasla, the Dark Queen's doorway to the real world closes. By using Tanis and the Everman, Raistlin has now taken away his two rivals Ariakas and Takhisis and is now the single most powerful force for evil on Krynn. The Queen of Darkness is banished once more and her temple begins to collapse.
Believing he still owes some small debt to his brother and to Tika and Tasslehoff, Raistlin helps them (even saving Tasslehoff from death) and aids in their escape from Neraka. Raistlin then summons Cyan Bloodbane and flies away, but not before Caramon (who knows that his twin now walks the paths of darkest evil) makes a plea offer to accompany him. Raistlin refuses and tells his twin that they are now as the gods meant them to be, two whole and separate people.
Tanis is able to fight his way out of the great hall and he then runs desperately through the corridors searching for Laurana. He finally catches up with her and pleads for forgiveness. As Kitiara and Lord Soth approach, Kitiara offers Tanis one last chance to join her as ruler of the Dragonarmies. Tanis refuses and tells Kitiara that he will not only die for Laurana but that he will use his dying breath to ask Paladine to shield the elf maid's soul from Lord Soth. Laurana realizes Tanis has not become corrupted and Kitiara reluctantly tells the pair the location of the same exit that the other companions used. Tanis and Laurana flee just as Lord Soth enters the chamber and the Death Knight presents the Crown of Power to Kitiara. Kitiara reveals to Lord Soth she has in fact exacted her final revenge upon Tanis and Laurana, performing an act of mercy that will always keep her in Tanis' thoughts.
Endings and EpilogueEdit
Exiting the city, Tanis and Lauran meet up with Fizban, Caramon, Tika and Tasslehoff. Fizban then reveals (as Tanis had begun to suspect) that he is really the god Paladine. Tanis also recognizes him now as the old man at the Inn who first spurred them into action by calling for the guards in Dragons of Autumn Twilight. Fizban tell the heroes that both the good and evil dragons will remain on Ansalon and that balance has been restored between good and evil. He says that good was once the dominant force on Krynn during the reign of the Kingpriest, that this bred intolerance and arrogance, forcing the gods to bring about the Cataclysm in order to humble and temper mortals. Fizban explains to Caramon that the spirit who has helped Raistlin at times (and who Raistiln made a bargain with in the Great Library) is the ancient evil wizard Fistandantilus. But he points out that Raistlin is not being possessed and chose his life and his actions all by himself.
Tasslehoff, learning that Fizban is a God, is heartbroken to realize that he will have to say goodbye to yet another friend. To comfort Tasslehoff, Fizban tells him that Flint waits for him beside the forge of the god Reorx. He also implies that Tasslehoff will be experiencing a time travel adventure soon (which will occur in Dragonlance Legends) and decrees that "Fizban" will now be his name among the kender.
Laurana and Tanis go off alone and Tanis presents her old ring to her again. She throws it away however and tells him that it is the symbol of an immature selfish love, promising that she will make Tanis a new ring, made of steel and gold to properly symbolize their love.
As morning dawns, the companions separate, Tasslehoff to travel to Kenderhome, Caramon and Tika to travel to Solace and Tanis and Laurana to travel to Kalaman. In the Epilogue, Raistlin marches through the streets of Palanthas in the middle of the night and claims ownership of the tower of High Sorcery. Dismissing the spirit of the dead black robe, Raistlin proclaims himself to be the master of past and present whose coming was foretold and he settles into his new home.
This final book seems to deal with the majority of characters fully asserting their individual identity and growing up into a different person than they were in the first book. Raistlin is finally a stronger, independent man who doesn't need to lean on his brother for support. Tasslehoff learns fear for others through grief and becomes different from other kender. Tanis realizes that his love for Laurana is the balance of his dual nature. Laurana completely alters her views on the world and on what love means. Caramon seems to be the only one of the companions who is emotionally stuck, unwilling to let go of his brother or to accept Raistlin's capacity for evil.
Also Known As Edit
- Hungarian - A tavaszi hajnal sárkányai