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Literature: Dragonlance
Dragonlance is a series of fantasy novels and an accompanying Dungeons & Dragons setting, devised by husband-and-wife team Tracy and Laura Hickman, and popularized via novels by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

In the Planescape, Ravenloft, and Spelljammer settings, the Dragonlance setting is part of a larger universe that also includes the Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk.

The concept of the Balance Between Good and Evil is a central theme of the setting, as the stories have shown similarly dire consequences when good and evil each spiral out of control. Another theme that's prevalent throughout the books is spiritual abandonment and discovery, as the gods have a distinct tendency to run out on the world whenever they screw things up bad enough. This shows up even in the first novel, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, as the gods had abandoned the world some hundreds of years before after the first Cataclysm, and the protagonists must not only deal with the covert return of Takhisis, the Dark Queen of the evil gods, but also with the Seekers, who have invented false gods as a pretext to seize power.

Notable for taking extreme D&D influences and making them work on their own. For example, the original 'Heroes of the Lance' consisted of such a generic Tabletop RPG party that they could easily be renamed according to their Character Classes — if it weren't for the fact that each character is given a strong and distinct personality, detailed backstory, and oodles of Character Development (for most of them) throughout the series. Also notable for mixing stock Medieval European Fantasy with a Native American flavor (the Plainsmen, and a lot of the artwork), a bevy of unique and sometimes quirky races (Kender, Gully Dwarves, Draconians, and plenty of others), a unique magic system and a greater focus on Dragons as the primal movers and shakers of world events.

The Dragonlance world has turned into a major setting with many authors writing stories for it- in total, at time of writing there are more than 180 novels comprising it, not including anthologies, manuals and various other extras. See the Kingpriest Trilogy for one particular sub-series.

As with nearly everything else, it has its own wiki which can be found here.


This series provides examples of:

  • '80s Hair: Kitiara and Tika in Larry Elmore's artwork most noticeably (Kitiara's practically a Pat Benatar Expy in some of those old paintings), but other characters may qualify as well. Of course, the first book came out in 1984.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The eponymous artifact is one of very few things that can penetrate a dragon's hide.
  • Addictive Magic: High Sorcery is said to be addictive for some of its users. Wizards casting spells are described as feeling as though the magic is coursing through their body like quicksilver, complete with a feeling of empty lethargy when the spell is over. There is even mention of hedonist mages who do nothing but cast Useless Useful Spells over and over just for the sensation it brings.
  • Aerith and Bob: While most characters have fittingly fantastic names, most of the Knights of Solamnia have good old straight up English names.
  • Affably Evil: A good amount of evil characters and even evil gods in the setting come across as rather nice sometimes. This probably has to do with the Balance Between Good and Evil and how both sides have to work to maintain it.
  • After the End: The years after the Cataclysm could be considered this sort of setting. The world gets better though. And then, between Chaos, new super-dragon demigods and the War of Souls it got much, much worse.
  • Air Jousting: Sort of the whole idea behind the Dragonlance to begin with.
  • Alien Sky: Krynn has three moons of different colors, and a very different set of constellations. The single moon that was around during the early Fifth Age made for an Alien Sky for all of Krynn's inhabitants.
  • All There in the Manual: It is a book series of course, but there is tons of information about the world in the various Dungeons & Dragons supplements across all editions that is not found in the novels.
  • Alternate Timeline: The setting has multiple alternate timelines, most of which are detailed in the Legends of the Twins sourcebook.
  • Alternative Calendar
  • Always Chaotic Evil:
    • Subverted with the Draconians, who are introduced as this, only to have it revealed that because they inherited their draconic progenitors' intelligence and independence, they are quite capable of growing beyond their evil "programming".
    • Minotaur are Always Lawful, and although most of them are evil and worship Sargonnas, some turned to Good and the worship of Kiri-Jolith.
    • Pretty much every "evil" race has subverted this trope at least once by now.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Sturm's armor and sword belonged to his father, and the sword was eventually passed down to his son Steel. Also, Palin Majere ends up wielding the Staff of Magius that belonged to his uncle Raistlin.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • A small case of this at the end of Amber and Ashes, when Mina is locked away in a magical room, where not even the Gods themselves could hear the screams of the person trapped inside. She escapes, though...
    • In the short story Into Shadow, Into Light Rennard suffers eternal torments in the Abyss after his death- constantly hunted and slain by the people he murdered only to rise again, his body ravaged by the fever and denied even a sip of water he so desperately craves. The end of the story does give him hope he might finally earn release, though.
    • At the climax of the Taladas Trilogy, Big Bad Maladar is punished for failing his god by having his soul tossed into a lake of lava, where it will be burned for eternity with no release- unless said god has need of him again.
    "Maladar screamed for centuries."
    • The Goblins in the Stonetellers Trilogy believe that if a body is left whole then the spirit of the deceased will return to its old body and be trapped in it. This is why the Goblins burn the body, or even just cut off a limb. The Goblins believe in a form of reincarnation, and that the body must not be whole so that the spirit can find a new body(which will also be a Goblin, as they believe that members of each race will always be a member of that race no matter how many times they reincarnate) to inhabit.
    • At the end of the Ogre Titans trilogy Golgren casts Xiryn into the depths of the Fire Rose he coveted so desperately, doomed to burn for all eternity and never to die.
    • And, of course, Raistlin's ultimate fate in the timeline where he succeeds in becoming a god: eternity floating alone in the void above a dead world.
  • And Man Grew Proud: The time-travel storylines that reveal the truth behind such legendary events as the Cataclysm and the Fall of Istar, and such mythologized historical personas as Huma Dragonbane. Often a deconstruction.
  • Angst Coma: Subverted by Laurana while a prisoner at the Council of Highlords. She seems to go catatonic after hearing what Kitiara has planned for her and seeing Tanis serving Kitiara, but she is actually just feigning numbness to get Kitiara and Tanis to drop their guard, so she can make her escape.
  • Animated Adaptation: The first book has been adapted into a cartoon film by Paramount.
  • Animate Dead
  • Anti-Hero: Raistlin in Chronicles is a perfect example. Dhamon Grimwulf from the Dragons of a New Age trilogy, the Dhamon Saga and The Lake of Death.
  • Anti-Magic: Tol from the Ergoth Trilogy had an Irda Null Stone that completely nullified all magic near him.
  • Anyone Can Die: Pretty much the entire central series from Dragons Of Summer Flame onwards. The fates of the cast of the original trilogy, spoilered below...
    • Sturm is killed by Kitiara in Winter Nights, Flint dies of a heart attack in Spring Dawning, Raistlin and Kitiara both die at the end of the Legends Trilogy, Tanis is shot from behind by a mook in Summer Flame, Tasslehoff is squashed by Chaos' foot in Summer Flame (although he comes back for awhile, he eventually returns so he can die when he's supposed to), Riverwind dies in between books when the Dragon Overlords come, Laurana died during the battle against Beryl in Qualinesti, and Goldmoon died in Mina's arms in the War of Souls. Gilthanas died according to the adventure path, although it hasn't been committed to a book yet. Caramon and Tika both died peacefully of old age, and Alhana Starbreeze is the only one left alive (Laurana's brother Porthios is also still alive but may or may not count as one 'of the cast' depending on your point of view.)
      • Although Sturm's death is foreshadowed fairly significantly in the previous book.
    • Any of Richard Knaak's books. Special mention goes to the Minotaur Wars trilogy. Even being immortal doesn't save you!
  • Apocalypse How: There's the main Cataclysm, in which a "mountain of fire" (Word of God says it was a meteor) annihilated the Kingdom of Istar and killed millions outside of it with fire, earthquakes, etc. On the same day, Taladas, the continent to the northeast of Ansalon, suffered the "Great Destruction," in which an earthquake wiped out the mighty Aurim empire and filled the interior of the continent with molten lava and poison gas. In Adlatum, the third continent the Cataclysm came in the form of the Great Drowning in which massive tidal waves flooded large parts of the land and never receded.
    • The "mountain of fire" is explained in the Kingpriest Trilogy as the hammer of the god Reorx.
  • Artificial Limbs: The Silver Arm.
  • Ascended Extra: Tika Waylan (later Majere) in the original trilogy. Starts out as a barmaid who serves the party in Dragons of Autumn Twilight, ends up learning to fight and becoming a member of the party through the final events of Dragons of Spring Dawning.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Any Minotaur used to be able to challenge their emperor to a fight to the death, and if they won, they got to be emperor. It is said that this has changed after the War of Souls though.
  • The Atoner: Rennard the Oathbreaker in the short story Into Shadow, Into Light.
  • Attempted Rape: When Bakaris tries to rape Laurana in Dragons of Spring Dawning.
  • Author Tract: The blatant insistence that the viewpoint "the gods were abandoned by mortals" is right and "the gods turned their backs on mortals" is wrong takes on some rather interesting undertones when one remembers that both of the Hickmans, the creators of the settings and one-half the authors of the original trilogy are devout Christians (well, specifically Mormons).
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A lot of Tinker Gnome inventions.
  • Axe Crazy: Gair Graymist from The Silver Stair does a Face-Heel Turn and becomes this after delving into magic that deals with spirits.
  • Back from the Dead: Tas in the War of Souls trilogy. Raistlin comes back from the dead several times in different books. Goldmoon is also killed by Dhamon Grimwulf in the Fifth Age trilogy only to be resurrected later in the trilogy.
  • Bad Ass: Everyone has their moment.
  • Badass Boast
    Huma: I am a Knight of Solamnia. I am the hand of Paladine, of Kiri-Jolith, and of Habbakuk on this world. You are on Krynn. You are mine, Queen of Darkness.
  • Badass in Distress: Laurana while a prisoner in Neraka.
  • Bad Ass Mustache: The Solamnics Knights sure do think mustaches look cool.
  • Bad Ass Normal: Arguably anyone who can not use magic but holds their own in combat against supernatural threats, which is to say, a lot of people, such as Caramon, Tanis, Laurana, Kitiara, Flint, Tasslehoff, some more recent examples would include Faros Es Kalin, Golgren, Gerard, Rhys. Tol from the Ergoth Trilogy is perhaps the greatest example, he never used any sort of magical weapon, but was able to go against supernatural foes and win.
    • Huma. A mere Knight of the Crown who defeated the Dragonqueen.
  • Badass Princess: Laurana.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: One of the core concepts of the setting. Palin Majere even lets followers of evil deities set up temples in Solace as long as they do not commit any evil acts.
    • The background material (especially the Kingpriest of Istar) seems to show that good inevitably becomes Lawful Stupid if it's not balanced by evil.
  • The Baroness: Kitiara
  • Bash Brothers: Caramon and Raistlin.
  • Batman Gambit: Kitiara successfully pulls one on Laurana in Dragons of Spring Dawning.
  • Battle Strip: Caramon has to fight a half-ogre bandit chief. Since he doesn't have any armour, he strips down to his loincloth.
  • The Beautiful Elite: The ancient High Ogres were said to be even more beautiful than the Elves. Elves get this treatment too, especially in Chronicles, but it is not as prominent for Elves in most later novels.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me
  • Berserk Button: It is not a good idea to call a Minotaur a "Cow".
    • Also not a good idea to hurt Talon Leader Huzzad. The first-generation female draconians will literally rip you apart for hurting the closest thing they have to a mother.
  • Betty and Veronica: Laurana and Kitiara.
  • Big Bad: Normally Takhisis, but depending on the era other dark gods, Chaos, Fistandantilus, or the Dragon Overlord Malystryx can take over the role.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Dargaard Keep
  • Big Eater: Caramon eats a lot in the "Chronicles" series, and is miserable if he's deprived of regular (and very large) meals. Despite this, he never gets fat, presumably due to his active lifestyle. In the "Legends" series after Raistlin abandons him, he becomes so depressed that he ceases to be active and takes up drinking heavily. That, combined with his big eating, soon turns him into a tub of lard.
  • Bigger Bad:
    • Hiddukel in the Taladas Trilogy.
    • Takhisis may also take this role in books like the Kingpriest Trilogy where she's alive and plotting, but not directly active. Of course, the Biggest Bad in the whole 'verse is Chaos, but mercifully he's only been active during the Chaos War.
  • Black and Grey Morality: the Rise of Solamnia trilogy. The protagonist, Jaymes Markham is a Utopia Justifies the Means warlord who murders prisoners, breaks truces and uses a love potion to get a useful princess to fall in love with him (see What the Hell, Hero? below). The villains are (marginally) worse.
    • The Minotaur Wars trilogy has this in spades too, with a choice between a quite possibly psychotic, merciless and vengeful rebel leader with a penchant for murdering prisoners, leading his followers on pointless death marches and fantasizing over the deaths of friends and enemies alike, or a Corrupt Church led Empire that enslaves the dead and makes any who speak out against it mysteriously disappear. Most half-decent characters have a habit of dying.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Dragonlances themselves, which are powerful against dragons and are the best weapons to use from dragonback.
  • Blood Bath: Maladar's backstory contains a few details about slaughtering thousands of noble's sons just so he could bathe in their blood.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Raistlin
  • Blood Magic: The Ogre Titans used Elven blood and other ingredients to fuel their transformation from normal ogres into Ogre Titans, and to remain as Ogre Titans they must get new infusions of the elf blood potion periodically or turn into hideous degenerate monsters.
  • Bohemian Parody: An old issue of Dragon magazine included the cast of Chronicles singing one.
  • Brainless Beauty: Subverted in Laurana (see under Hidden Depths).
  • Brains and Brawn: Raistlin and Caramon.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: In the initial trilogy, the main group is split onto two separate paths after the city of Tarsis is attacked.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Fizban sort of does this, he makes reference to a "21 Gun Salute" once, there are not any guns in even the most current timeline(Well, there probably are lots of gun-like Tinker Gnome inventions) but a "21 Gun Salute" is a concept from Earth. Cue the Epileptic Trees.
  • Brought Down to Normal: All Wizards and Clerics lose their powers for a while after the Chaos War. Some picked up Primal Sorcery and Mysticism when they are discovered.
  • Bungling Inventor: Tinker Gnomes.
  • Byronic Hero: Raistlin.
  • Cain and Abel: Caramon and Raistlin.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The Appendix that was in the hardcover version of ''Dragons of a Vanished Moon" is now considered non-canon.
    • A lot of things are brought out in one novel, only to then be officially banned from continuity in another. Two of the most famous examples; the short story implying that Raistlin was courted by, and fathered a daughter upon, a female Irda (a member of the Ogre race before their fall to Takhisis), and Lord Soth being a Darklord in Ravenloft.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Raistlin fakes this in Dragons of the Hourglass Mage.
  • The Caretaker: Caramon. His name is literally derived from "Caring man."
  • Celibate Hero: Raistlin. The annotated version of War of the Twins specifically states, "Raistlin must resist sexual passion in order to preserve his power."
  • The Chains of Commanding- Laurana is under great stress while leading the Whitestone Army as the Golden General.
  • Chaotic Stupid: Kender can be (and often are) viewed in this light, particularly those whose experience with them comes more from players of the RPG then the actual novels.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Raistlin is the king of this trope.
    • He betrays his brother, as well as Tanis, Goldmoon, and Riverwind when he saves himself with the dragon orb when they are trapped in the Maelstrom.
    • He betrays the conclave of wizards by switching from Red robes to Black without consulting them.
    • He betrays Ariakas by aiding Tanis in assassinating him.
    • He betrays Takhisis by allowing Berem to seal her away in the abyss by impaling himself on the stone column.
    • He betrays Fistandantilus when he was under his apprenticeship in Istar by turning the tables on him, and using the bloodstone to consume his soul.
    • He betrays Tasslehoff by making him break the magical time traveling device as the fiery mountain is about to fall on Istar, sending him to the Abyss.
    • He betrays Caramon again by promising the Dewar his head in exchange for their help in taking over Pax Tharkas.
    • He betrays Crysania when she has outlived her usefulness to him.
    • He betrays himself when, on the cusp of victory, he is dissuaded by a vision of a dying Bupu, which was symbolic of the last dying shreds of his humanity and empathy. When the vision dissolves, revealing Crysania, he has Caramon take her back through the Portal and stays behind to thwart the Queen.
    • Fortunately, dying cures him of his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. He spends the rest of his appearances (And there are a lot of them) acting for the greater good. Or some odd definition of it. Apparently he's just waiting for Caramon to die so they can go to the next life together, but he shows up an awful lot.
      • "I didn't do it for you mages, I didn't do it for this conclave - I had one debt left and it is paid".: The debt is to magic itself.
    • If Raistlin is the king of this trope his half-sister Kitiara would have to be it's queen. In order, she betrayed her mother when she succumbed to magic-induced insanity, Tanis when she used him like a dirty half-elven whore and threw him aside like a dirty dishrag, Sturm Brightblade when she seduced him into breaking his vows of chastity and walked away laughing, her friends when she failed to show up at the Solace Inn after their five year pact, Laurana when she lured her to a false parley and had her kidnapped, Raistlin and Iolanthe when she tried to have them assassinated, Tanis again when she tried to grant Laurana's soul to Lord Soth, Dragon Highlord Ariakas when he was assassinated by Tanis and she made her play for ultimate control of the Dragonarmies, Lord Soth when she allowed Tanis and Laurana to escape, Raistlin again when she had Lord Soth attack Lady Crysania, Dalamar when she literally backstabbed him during his vigil to keep the Portal closed, and finally either Raistlin yet again or the Dark Queen when she invaded Palanthas, depending on who was winning; if Raistlin was winning when he came back through the Portal, she would offer him her army in exchange for power when he became a god, but if he was on the ropes, she had an army ready and waiting to bring down the most powerful archmage of all time in service to her Queen.
      • Quite honestly, when it comes to Kitiara, there are two kinds of people: Those who have made it their life's work to slice her open like a halibut, and those she hasn't slept with yet.
  • Church Militant: Any church that is devoted to a martial deity like Sargonnas or Kiri-Jolith can be like this, but the last Kingpriest of Istar formed the Knights of the Divine Hammer to eradicate all evil through military force.
  • Citadel City: The books enjoy deconstructing this trope. After all, defenses such as stone walls are little good against attacks from dragons...
  • Climb, Slip, Hang, Climb: In Dragons of Autumn Twilight, this happens to Goldmoon, who's terribly afraid of heights, when she needs to climb down a vine-encrusted cliff.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Both the wizard robes and dragons.
  • Color-Coded Wizardry: The three orders of magic.
  • Conspicuous CG: The animated movie is a great example of this. Anything dragon related is rendered in 3D while the rest of the movie is 2D.
  • Continuity Drift: The Gods of Magic were originally just meant to be power batteries and in Dragons of Autmun Twilight even Raistlin was not aware of the existence of Nuitari. The Gods of Magic later gained personalities and are now full deities.
  • Continuity Lockout: To just get up to date to the current timeline requires reading fourteen books, three of which are out of print. There are also lots of other novels written by different authors that detail important aspects of the world and its history.
  • Continuity Nod: Silvara makes an unnamed appearance in ''The Legend of Huma': she was the silver dragon ridden by Avondale.
  • Continuity Snarl: Multiple things in the setting contradict each other. One of the more well known issues is whether or not Sturm and Kitiara visited Lunitari or not. Some fans say they did, others that they did not.
    • The visit was a crossover with Spelljammer, a setting that WOTC has mostly ignored for years.
    • Trying to piece together exactly what happened in the Third Dragon War can be...challenging. Dragons: The Lost Histories states that the war began when Deathfyre, the sole surviving dragon of the Second Dragon War, dug up his dead comrades' eggs and spread them around the world while posing as a dwarven jewel merchant. In the Legends trilogy, Raistlin states that it started due to the fact that the Towers of High Sorcery used a portal network which Takhisis used to trick a Black Robe into setting her free. The events of The Legend of Huma could be taken either way, though they do seem to vaguely reference the latter.
    • In the original version of the timeline, the Second and Third Dragon War were the same event. It can be a bit jarring to read The Elven Nations Trilogy , where they talk about Huma 1000 years before he was born and centuries before Solamnia would even exist!
  • Corrupt Church: The Church of Paladine under the last Kingpriest of Istar became one of these.
    • The Kingpriest himself was a notable aversion, never becoming corrupt in the traditional sense. Of course, things might have been better if he did.
      • We actually see a world where the Kingpriest overthrows the gods in a short story. It's... not pleasant.
      • It is implied that he uses wizards' magic while condemning all the wizards of evil; that sounds like pretty corrupt behavior.
  • Creator Cameo: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman show up in the animated movie as background characters.
  • Crossover: Dragonlance has had Crossovers with both Spelljammer and Ravenloft. The Tinker Gnomes have a strong presence in Wildspace, and Lord Soth has been to Ravenloft for a while. The setting has never really crossed over with Planescape, possibly because of Dragonlance's ties with the Spelljammer setting in 2E, and in 3.5, the Dragonlance setting has its own cosmology separate from the Great Wheel.
    • Not official canon, but Dalamar made a series of cameo appearances in the "Wizards Three" Dragon Magazine articles by Ed Greenwood, meeting to trade magical secrets, gossip, and junk food with Mordenkainen and Elminster.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Fizban, Gully Dwarves when cornered.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus:
    • Paladine is almost literally an example of this trope.
    • The Citadel of Light is meant to be similar to the Unitarian Universalist church.
  • Cthulhumanoid: The Yaggol are Dragonlance's version of Mind Flayers. They live in the Jungles of Taladas and use Mysticism instead of Psionics.
    • The real thing does show up in the short story "Through the Door at the Top of the Sky" A gnome builds a prototype technojammer (a jammer powered by technology rather than magic) and encounters a Mindflayer nautilus ship that follows him back to Krynn. They're never referred to as such, though.
  • Curious as a Monkey: The entire Kender race.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Wizardry in general, with the Test always asking a steep price.
    • Raistlin's in particular; attaining his magic left him with ruined health, golden skin, white hair, and golden eyes with pupils shaped like hourglasses that see the world and everyone in it perpetually decaying around him.
    • Also, Lord Soth: his betrayal of his wife and abandonment of his Gods-given mission left him an immortal undead knight who can terrify even the 'fearless' Kender race and kill people by pointing at them and saying 'Die'. Cool.
      • Notably this is subverted in that, while Soth was miserable as a Deathknight, just about every other 'fallen knight' cursed to become one has enjoyed it immensely. Mostly because they were horribly corrupt to begin with, rather than easily manipulated.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: How Wizards view Primal/Wild Sorcery, this is due to the fact that three Sorcerers ended up accidentally creating magical storms that wracked all of Ansalon at the end of the Second Dragon War when they were fighting dragons. Interestingly, these three Sorcerers became the first Wizards after the Gods of Magic taught them High Sorcery so that they would not end up losing control of Primal/Wild Sorcery again.
  • Darker and Edgier: This is what the Fifth Age was likely meant to be. The heroes of the Dragons of a New Age trilogy only succeed in stopping the Big Bad's plan, but at the loss of one of their companions.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Iolanthe from the Lost Chronicles is a Black Robe Wizard, but she is actually quite nice.
  • The Dark Times: The Age of Starbirth
  • Dead Guy Junior:Caramon and Tika named one of their sons Sturm. Didn't end well either.
  • Deceptive Disciple:
    • Raistlin. After having gained power and knowledge from the ghost of the undead evil archwizard Fistandantilus, Raistlin became the next Master of Past and Present. He then traveled into the past to usurp all of Fistandantilus powers by going back to a time when the man was still mortal and posing as one of Fistandantilus' own apprentices. When Fistandantilus tried to suck out Raistlin's lifeforce and take over the young man's body to extend his own life (as he used to do with his apprentices), Raistlin killed Fistandantilus instead and took his place in history
    • Dalamar also made a career out of betraying Raistlin, his master. Of course, Raistlin knew about it the whole time.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Both Aurak and Bozak Draconians explode when they die.
  • Defector from Decadence: The Irda are an entire race of them, having defected away from the high ogre race: just before the ogres devolved into the big, dumb, ugly brutes they are today.
  • Defensive Feint Trap: The Blue Dragonarmy uses this to wipe out Derek Crownguard's troops at the High Clerist's Tower. Later on Laurana returns the favor by using the same tactic to crush the Dragonarmies at the Battle of Margaard Ford.
  • Depending on the Writer: This can cause very different portrayals of members of different races. Elves, for example can be portrayed as being vegetarian in one book, and having no problem with eating meat in another.
    • The world can also either be depicted as being a gritty medieval one, to being about as gritty as a Renaissance Festival.
    • Fistandantilus is portrayed by Weis and Hickman as a sneering and humorless, but he's a snarky Magnificent Bastard in Chris Pierson's Kingpriest Trilogy. Probably justified in that the Fistandantilus Weis and Hickman usually show is the undead version who made a deal with Raistlin- his, er, situation at the time would have had him a little stressed.
    • Likewise Weis and Hickman depict Toede as a bootlicking and pompous cowardly buffoon while Jeff Grubb wrote him as a cunning schemer and fast talker who also has a good line in snark (though he is still a coward.)
    • Another very noticeable one concerns gnomes and their building abilities. The gnomes in books by Weis and Hickman talk extremely fast, are completely incapable of building anything that functions even remotely correct (except in special cases, such as Gnimsh), and all have names beginning with "gn". Gnomes in "Darkness and Light" by Paul B. Thompson and Tonya Cook, on the other hand, talk normally, are excellent inventors and buildings and are experts in their field of practice, and have names describing what they do, such as "Cutwood" and "Roperig". The differences in gnomes might make one think that they're two completely different races.
  • Determinator: Huma. His eventual heroic death bordered on the Rasputinian.
    Takhisis: You still live! What does it take to kill you? You are only mortal!
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Atta (A dog) bites Chemosh (The god of Death) in the ankle in the Dark Disciple trilogy.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • When Raistlin kills all of the gods in the alternate future.
    • The Kingpriest also does this in an alternate universe short story entitled "There Is Another Shore, You Know...Upon The Other Side" in which he absorbs the power of all of the deities of Krynn. The deities now reside on the mortal plane, stripped of their power, but unable to die. They are tortured by the Godking's followers: Zeboim, the Goddess of the Sea, for instance, is tied to the back of a boat and dragged along the water almost drowning all the time, but unable to die. And the three moons have been replaced with a single, all-seeing eye.
    • Huma Dragonslayer assaults Tahkisis with nothing more than a broken Dragonlance... and wins without aid from an immortal. Raistlin is the only other mortal to even attempt this. This leads to him being resurrected as a Steel Dragon (Paladine's personal entourage in the afterlife) in the RPGA 3.5 Edition Dragonlance setting of Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Dinky Drivers : Tasslehoff runs into this problem when he tries to control the flying citadel: the captain's chair (which allows someone to mentally direct the citadel's movement) is just too big for him. (Un)luckily, there's a gully dwarf nearby ready to help...
  • Distress Ball: Laurana gets stuck with this in Dragons of Spring Dawning when after having previously been shown as a brilliant military commander she suddenly and inexplicably completely falls for Kitiara's rather obvious trap.
  • Distressed Damsel- Laurana after being captured by Kitiara. Though it is partially subverted in that she does end up largely escaping on her own.
  • Divine Delegation
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Raistlin.
  • Door Stopper: The Annotated versions of both Chronicles and Legends.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The ending of Dragons of Winter Night, when Sturm dies.
    • Also the ending to Dragons of a Lost Star, when not only Laurana and Goldmoon die, but the entire city of Qualinost literally has a dragon fall on top of it, causing the nearby river to flood the whole place, turning it into a "Lake of Death". But on the other hand, you get to blame the whole thing on Mina and/or Takhisis!
  • Draconic Humanoid: The Draconians, of which there are five subraces, Baaz, Kapak, Aurak, Bozak and Sivak. All the races have scales of different color. Other differences between them include whether they turn to stone, dissolve into acid or explode after death. All the Draconians are however created by corrupting eggs of actual dragons with dark magic.
  • The Drag-Along: Flint.
  • Dragonlance Fifth Age Dramatic Adventure Game: The game system Dragonlance was under during the early Fifth Age.
  • Dragon Rider
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The Silvanesti dream that the companions share foreshadows future events in the story.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Most of the deaths of the original Heroes. The character mentioned in Downer Ending above is died in a noble Heroic Sacrifice that perfectly suited his character, but that doesn't always happen. The others? SPOILERS AHEAD: Flint's sudden heart attack, Tanis getting stabbed in the back by a random Mook just after recognising Steel as Sturm's son, Laurana and most of Qualinost literally having a dragon so huge that she frequently ate other dragons dropped on them, and Goldmoon has the life drained out of her by Takhisis after she defies the goddess.
    • On the other hand (or not) Caramon and Tika pass away peacefully of old age. And right before Caramon goes, he realizes that something is terribly wrong and makes a Last Request to Gerard that sets him and others on the path to making it right. Raistlin decides not to usurp Takhisis' godhood after seeing the terrible future that would come to pass if he did, and ends up in a magical sleep for most of the rest of his life (waking up and visiting Krynn a few times to make things more interesting). Tasslehoff gets stepped on by Chaos, but manages to cut his foot a split second before that, which allows the heroes to get the drop of Chaos' blood required to defeat him. Riverwind is mortally wounded while fighting in Kendermore, but his actions buy enough time for a lot of kender to escape the dragon Malystryx.
  • Dumb Muscle: Caramon in Chronicles. Less so in Legends.
    • An interesting example in that throughout the Legends trilogy, he is shown thinking things through quite thoroughly and logically, showing that he's a perfectly intelligent person but only appears dumb next to his genius brother. Since they are usually joined at the hip, Caramon ends up taking a mental back seat to Raistlin, and since he never has to speak up whenever there's a dilemma at hand, this led to most of the party, especially Raistlin himself, having a low opinion of his intellect. Eventually, Caramon came to believe it, too. A large amount of his Character Development deals with him realizing that he can think for himself without using his brother as a crutch.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The early years of the setting had some oddities because not everything about how the setting worked had been worked out yet. So, in some instances readers can see references to "Drow", which do not exist on Krynn (Ansalonian Dark Elves are Elves who have been banished from their homeland, not dark-skinned elves who live underground).
  • Earth All Along: The dark future portrayed in the Legends Trilogy, created after Raistlin destroys all of the other gods and is left to devour himself over an ash-choked wasteland, having no power to create anything new. Caramon and Tasselhoff think they've been stranded in another world until they discover the ruins of their hometown, complete with the rotting corpses of Caramon's wife and Caramon himself. Fun for all the family!
  • Eccentric Mentor: Fizban. Natch.
  • Elemental Baggage
  • Elemental Powers
  • The Empire: The Dragon Highlords (early on) and the Knights of Neraka. Also the Minotaur empire.
    • On a more historical basis, Ergoth was a large and highly oppressive empire before Vinas Solamnus' rebellion reduced it to a vestige of its former power.
  • Enemy Civil War: The battle between the Dragon Highlords at the end of Dragons of Spring Dawning, a foretaste of which can also be found in the prequel Dragons of the Highlord Skies.
  • Enemy Mine: Raistlin's post Face-Heel Turn intervention at the end of Dragons of Spring Dawning. He enables Tanis's assassination of Ariakas and helps Berem to seal the temple stone, preventing Takhisis from entering the world, so he can go forward with his own master plan of becoming a god.
    • This also occurs when the Knights of Solamnia and the Knights of Takhisis team up during the Chaos War to fight off Chaos.
    • Also at the end of the Third Dragonwar the Black Robes ally with Huma and the Knights of Solamnia when it becomes apparent Takhisis intends to replace them with Galan Dracos and his cabal of renegades. Their first loyalty is to Nuitari after all, not Takhisis.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: Fistandantilus in the Kingpriest trilogy is shown to have a constant aura of darkness around him. Another character notices that the air becomes colder when he is nearby, plants wither, and animals die.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Raistlin's intro in Dragons of Autumn Twilight is a great example. He is sitting in a dark corner of the Inn with his hood over his head. When he greets his friends, his appearance is startling to them due to his gold skin and hourglass eyes.
    • It's worth noting that Stephen King and R.A. Salvatore have claimed that the character introductions of 'Dragons of Autumn Twilight' is the greatest opening to any novel made after either Lovecraft or Tolkien in SF/Fantasy.
  • Eternal English: "Common" doesn't seem to change at all over 300 years and characters from different times in the Legends trilogy make no comment on having to try to understand each other.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Done remarkably well in Test of the Twins when Caramon jumps forward through time into the future Krynn, after his brother has ascended to godhood.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Rhys' dog, Atta, can sense if somebody is a Beloved of Chemosh. When she does she begins growling and barking, and will attack them if they don't back off.
  • Evil Matriarch - The Dark Queen Takhisis, a tyrannical evil Goddess, (usually) the Big Bad, and appearing in a variety of forms: including an ominous, armoured Dark Lord, a voluptuous raven-haired seductress, and an apocalyptically-huge five-headed dragon with one head representing each of the evil dragon races. She also rules the Abyss, is the mother of all the evil dragons, the instigator of the War Of The Lance and the two great dragon wars preceding it, the creator of the Draconians, Ogres, and other evil races, and The Chessmaster behind Mina's rise to power.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Fistandantilus. And Raistlin after his Face-Heel Turn. There are tons of others, this being a fantasy book series with over a hundred novels.
  • Evil Will Fail: One of the main themes of the setting is that evil often fails because of its own inherent flaws.
    • Takhisis does end up learning from her mistakes, however; after the War Of The Lance she looks for servants who are Lawful Evil and are thus not prone to the Chronic Backstabbing Disorder that derailed her plans the first time. It works out better and actually results in her taking over the entirety of Krynn. Fortunately for all of the mortals living there, she eventually gets her comeuppance.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Saga is called 'Dragonlance'. Every so often there is this weapon mentioned in the series called a 'Dragonlance'. The Final Jeopardy answer is, this is what type of weapon it is and this is what creature it should be used to fight. It's a tough one, I know. Don't hurt yourself. We'll wait.
    • For a bonus, guess the race of Tanis Half-Elven.
  • Exact Words: At the end of The Legend of Huma, Huma forces the the Dragonqueen to swear by the Highgod to take her dragon children and leave Krynn. She swears to do so and never to return "so long as the world is whole". Then the Cataclysm happened...
  • Executive Meddling: Wizards of the Coast listed Dragonlance as a part of the Great Wheel Cosmology that linked all their campaign settings together. The setting creators insisted that it isn't.
  • Fainting: Laurana suffers an Emotional Fainting in Qualimori after being publicly insulted by her father and brother. Later on she pulls off a Fake Fainting when she tries to fight off Bakaris.
  • Fallen Princess: Laurana lost all standing with her people and was disinherited by her father after she ran away from home to chase after Tanis.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Silvanesti elves have one.
  • Fantastic Racism: Most every race hates another race. Minotaurs hate everyone, Kender are universally despised, Dwarves don't trust Elves, Elves look down on everyone, etc...
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Theoretically, the tinker gnomes could easily invent working guns, but they don't, because, well, they're pretty much incompetent bunglers as a rule. And because they're the only ones who have really mastered technology, other races are put off of the idea of learning it.
    • In a short story called "Boom", a gnome actually invents an atomic bomb. It is quite blatantly thus, too, being fuelled by the splitting of the fundamental particles of reality (which he calls "atomies") and with it being mentioned that an area in which it detonates will be rendered barren and lifeless for several human generations. His fellow gnomes thought that this idea sounded so dangerous that they confiscated and tried to bury all his research. Driven mad by this, he built an atomic handgrenade and tried to offer it to a Dragon Highlord. Between questioning just how they would be able to actually use the thing and quailing at the sheer destructive potential it held, the Highlord refused, ultimately hiding the bomb away in the impenetrable mountains and sending the creator into slavery.
  • Fate Worse than Death: This is what was supposed to happen to Lord Soth, but it ended up being more of a Cursed with Awesome kinda thing.
    • Debatable. Soth himself is thoroughly miserable being a Death Knight, and for added lulz, the gods cursed the Elven women who manipulated him into killing his wife with undeath as well and Soth makes a habit of wallowing in his misery by forcing them to endlessly recite the entire tale over and over again.
    • At the end of Test of the Twins Raistlin almost had this happen to him, but because of his Heroic Sacrifice Paladine saved him from Takhisis' eternal torment.
    • Kitiara's plan for the captured Laurana. To have her tortured and then made into the undead bride of Lord Soth.
  • Fearless Fool: Kenders.
    • At least until Malystryx burned Kenderhome to cinders. A lot of the survivors became "Afflicted", which made them morose, nervous and paranoid. It's not entirely clear whether being Afflicted is purely psychological or partly magical.
  • Fictionary: The language of magic, which is based off of Indonesian's grammatical structure. However most of the actual words are just gibberish.
  • The Final Temptation: The Sword of Tears works on Huma's ego, initially convincing him that it will let him defeat the Dragonqueen and the making him fantasize about using it to gain personal power. Huma rejects the sword when it tries to force him to kill an innocent who refuses to allow him to pass while he carries it, but will not defend himself. Overcoming the sword is the final test he must pass to be worthy of the Dragonlance.
  • Flat Earth Atheist: In an interesting example, Chemosh the God of Death, and the one who watches as souls pass out of Krynn, encourages his followers to preach that there is no afterlife and that Undeath is the only way to become immortal. He is lying, but he still gets some people to believe in him.
  • Flaw Exploitation:
    • Kitiara does this to Laurana in Dragons of Spring Dawning. By using Laurana's love of Tanis, Kit tricks her into being captured by Lord Soth.
    • Raistlin is quite skilled at this, most notably when he uses Crysania's unacknowledged arrogance and ambition to make her go along with his Evil Plan.
  • For Science!: This is pretty much the main motivation for any Tinker Gnome.
  • For the Evulz: Fistandantilus, Maladar, Malys, and a lot of other villains.
  • Four-Star Badass- Laurana as the Golden General.
  • Freudian Excuse: Raistlin's childhood is responsible for him becoming the main antagonist of the Twins Trilogy.
  • Friendly Enemy: White Robe and Black Robe Wizards can find themselves on opposite sides of a conflict, but will gladly talk about magic if they are both in a Tower of High Sorcery.
  • Frying Pan of Doom - One of Tika's more memorable scenes in the original Chronicles, when she bashed in a Draconian's skull with a large - not to mention hot off the stove: cast iron skillet. Her stat blocks in the most recent (3.5) editions of the roleplaying supplements list her primary weapon as "Iron Skillet. (Treat as Heavy Mace)"
  • Functional Magic
  • Gainaxing: Tika in the animated movie.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Dragonlance is based off of Dungeons & Dragons, in which there are spells that can cure any illness or even resurrect the dead. Characters in novels almost never consider trying to resurrect a character who has died, it can be justified, especially in times when Clerical magic is not around. Diseases often end up simply being incurable even by a powerful Cleric. It is sometimes averted, such as when the Kingpriest of Istar resurrects a recently dead character, but it is generally played straight. Of course, most uses of this trope are for Rule of Drama.
    • This is actually justified ingame as well, Dragonlance is a low magic setting so it might be possible that the only character high level enough to be capable of resurrecting a character was the Kingpriest.
    • Dragonlance Adventures from AD&D openly states that resurrection magic is almost unknown except to the highest-level clerics. It's stated in the modules that Chemosh has repeatedly tried to remove knowledge of resurrection from Krynn itself - so successfully that the only location of any "Anti-Death Magic" (as it's colloquially known) is in the tomes of Fistandantilus and the Platinum Disks of Mishakal. The only problem with using it is it holds the exact same penalties as a Wish spell — the caster ages five years and five days of becoming comatose, a loss of one constitution point to the recipient, a loss of a level and the inability to restore those abilities without the Restoration spell... which is only in Fistandantilus' books and Mishakal's disks. The spells are also moved from Level four (which is already a High-Level Campaign level) to Level six — the highest level of magic usable outside of The Night of The Eye. It's been stated that at that level you're already close to becoming a demigod under the DragonlanceDragonlance rules: Raistlin, for example, was on a 13th-level magic-user when he attempted to usurp Tahkisis.
    • In the annotated versions of the original trilogy, the authors sometimes remark on phrases they wrote where they could "hear the dice rattling in the background" when they read them. For example, when they talk about a group of people in an inn who are "dressed like rangers", clearly meant to invoke images of the character class, but to a non-gamer reader would interpret as all rangers having a uniform dress code.
    • Averted when it comes to arcane magic-users, most notably Raistlin. D&D makes heavy used of the Vancian Magic system, and this carries over to the books, when he struggles to learn advanced spells, even when he has the proper spellbook in front of him, as well as having a limited amount of spells per day and needing to reread his own books in order to replenish his supply.
  • Garden of Evil: The Shoikan Grove
  • Gender Neutral Writing: Used in Dragons of Winter Night when describing Kitiara before the companions meet her.
  • The Generic Guy: Riverwind.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: Chaos stomps Tasslehoff at the end of Dragons of Summer Flame
  • Girls with Moustaches: Female dwarves have "sidewhiskers" or beards that are less full than those of male dwarves. Male dwarves seem to find this attractive.
  • Gladiator Games:
    • Caramon is forced to become a Gladiator in Time of the Twins.
    • Very prominent in many of Richard A. Knaak's books involving the Minotaur empires.
  • God: The Highgod
  • A God Am I: Raistlin Majere, Fistandantilus, Galan Dracos, Beldinas Pilifiro, Malystryx.
  • God Emperor: The last Kingpriest, Beldinas Pilofiro tried this but it didn't work out so well for him.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Averted, the gods do not need people to believe in them to survive.
  • God Was My Co-Pilot: Fizban turns out to be Paladine.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In the short story ''There is Another Shore You Know, Upon the Other Side," an alternate version of Krynn where Istar never fell is ruled by the Godking, the Kingpriest having ascended and stolen the power of all the gods. The protagonists from the normal version of Krynn, witnessing how he has committed genocide against dragons, Irda, and kender (with many others in-progess), subjected the depowered gods to a Fate Worse than Death, enslaved and conquered every nation/continent and has sealed off all of the exits to Krynn's crystal sphere, decide they have only one option that might improve things: Summon Chaos by breaking the Graygem.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Tasslehoff's magical glasses allow him to read the words of any language.
  • Good Is Boring: Elistan. So boring that Margaret Weis notes in the annotated Chronicles that she tried to write him out of scenes and extracted a promise from co-author Tracy Hickman to kill him off by their next book.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Metallic Dragons have a strong tendency to be this. Duranix from The Barbarians Trilogy is an especially good example. He has no problem with meting out harsh punishments to those who have committed crimes.
  • Götterdämmerung: Twice; once in the Back Story, when the gods agree to leave the world alone in the wake of the Cataclysm, and once when Takhisis steals the world from all the other gods and tricks the mortals into believing the gods abandon the world altogether after the Chaos War.
  • Grand Theft Me: Fistandantilus would steal the bodies of one of his apprentices. He was tricked by Raistlin during the ritual to steal Raistlin's body and was instead absorbed by Raistlin.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Subverted. One of the big lines for writing stories featuring the original characters from the first trilogy is taking up mentioned events or questions about what happened to various characters off-screen. Want to know what happened to Sturm and Kitiara when they went off together after the first meeting of the Heroes of the Lance? Want to know how and why Flint was captured by gulley dwarves? How Flint and Tanis met Tasslehof Burrfoot? There are novels answering all of these.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Tanis only realizes he still has feelings for Laurana after seeing her become close to Elistan.
  • Green Lantern Ring: This is pretty much how the Fire Rose works, but it enacts a heavy toll on its wielder.
  • Grey and Grey Morality: Minotaur Wars trilogy begins as this, with sympathetic motives and actions on both sides. After Nephera and Ardnor try and murder Bastion and actually murder Hotak and Faros encounters Sargonnas it becomes pretty clear who the good guys are and who the villains are but one sympathetic character remains on the 'evil' side till the end.
  • Grim Up North: Inverted, at least on Ansalon, it is Grim Down South, where Icewall is located. The northernmost land, Nordmaarnote  is a tropical jungle. This makes sense as Ansalon is in the southern hemisphere of Krynn.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Laurana at the start of the series, though as the War of the Lance progresses she loses her naivety and eventually becomes a Four-Star Badass.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Humans can crossbreed with many races on Krynn. In addition to the Dungeons & Dragons classic, the Half-Elf, and the somewhat less-common but still well-known Half-Ogre, mentions in the various novels have been made to Half-Dwarves, Half-Kender, Half-Goblins and Half-Gnomes.
    • One of the "Prequel" novels, set before the Companions meet up again at the start of the first book, has a Half-Orc, despite Orcs not existing on Krynn (also, a rather lusty she-dwarf temporarily falls in love with said half-orc, at least until she realises that he's a cold, cruel, ruthless assassin... and ends up killing her).
  • Handicapped Bad Ass: Golgren, who only has one hand, but is a very capable fighter.
    • Steeltoe (another half-ogre, a human/ogre hybrid) has (surprise surprise) a peg leg made of steel, which he uses as an extra weapon. He gives a fully-functioning, gladiator-mode Caramon a major run for his money.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Coryn Brinewater from the novel Wizards's Conclave very quickly masters High Sorcery to the point that she is only just below Dalamar(who is currently the most powerful Black Robed Wizard, and had to study for decades to get to where he was) in terms of power. She caused a lot of divisiveness amongst the fandom as it had previously been established that High Sorcery took years and even decades to even begin to get skilled at it, and Coryn masters it in about six months. She WAS a user of Primal Sorcery before she became a Wizard, but she was only a little skilled at it.
    • In fact, when it came time to convene the Conclave and elect new leadership, Coryn was made Master of the White Robes. She protested at this, claiming that she had a legitimate claim at being Master of the Conclave after coming out of her Test strengthened, rather than handicapped. The remainder of the Conclave disagreed, as her previous use of Primal Sorcery had left her tainted in their eyes, and despite her promises, they could never be sure she wouldn't fall back on using it in the future. Being made the Head of her order was the best they could do, and they flat out told her that she had no chance whatsoever of being made Head of the Conclave and that she should be happy with the position she has.
  • Have You Seen My God?: Happens several times throughout the timeline. The first was after tha Cataclysm. The gods weren't actually gone, but the mortals believed they were. Second, the companions notice during the War of the Lance that the constellations of Takhisis and Paladine are missing from the sky. Third, after the conclusion of the Chaos War, the gods are missing because Takhisis stole the world and shrouded it from the other gods, so that she would be the one and only god on Krynn.
    • Notably the first one is a bit ridiculous, since Wizards, who still had their powers, draw all their power from their gods. One would think a helpful white robe or power-hungry black robe would've mentioned this to the general public.
      • Not really. In a pantheon of dozens if not hundreds of gods, wizards draw their power exclusively from three specific ones, and those three have no priests or any other way of influencing the world. It's not too much of a stretch to believe that they would stay around when all others leave or that their power is controlled directly by wizards somehow. Wizards' magic proves that the gods existed at some point, but not that they are still around and listening.
  • Hellish Pupils: Raistlin's hourglass shaped pupils.
  • Hermetic Magic: Used often in the novels, even though the world is officially under Vancian style magic, authors like to use this type of magic because it is easy to justify whatever magical effect they need to happen for the story.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Caramon and Tika, respectively.
  • Heroic Albino: In a Dragonlance short story, there is an albino silver dragon. A knight thinks it is a white dragon and slays the creature. (The fact that white dragons have a cold/ice breath and silver dragons have a paralyzing breath aids the confusion. The knight realizes too late that when he couldn't move, he didn't actually feel cold.) After realizing he just slaughtered a being of pure good, the knight decides to care for the dragon's baby. Perhaps not actually a hero, but it is an albino creature that is completely good, killed because of the way she looks.
  • Heroic Bastard: Tanis Half-Elven is the product of a Human Warrior raping his Elven Mother.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sturm Brightblade performs a heroic sacrifice in Dragons of Winter Night when he buys the Knights time to activate the Lost Superweapon, which resulted in his death, and giving the Knighthood an example to strive for, pulling them from their slide into corruption.
    • Raistlin also fits here at the end of the Legends trilogy. He sacrifices his own life in order to save his brother, Crysania, and the rest of Krynn from Takhisis entering their world.
    • And Tasslehoff, who sacrifices himself, allowing a drop of Chaos's blood to be captured in the Greygem, sealing him away and ending the Chaos war.
    • In "By The Measure" in Love and War, a single exhausted Knight of Solamnia takes on an entire Dragonarmy, is captured, withstands three days of torture, demands death by combat with the army's general, puts up a remarkably good fight, and finally drops dead: of plague, which proceeds to wipe out almost the entire army in the following four days.
    • Word of God from the Annotated Edition of the original trilogy was that Flint's death by heart attack was a specific aversion of this trope. They wanted to show that a hero doesn't have to die in battle but can live a good long life and die naturally. He was even given a noble send off in honor of how he lived, not how he died.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Kang and Slith, Kang even lampshades it in his thoughts. Caramon probably wanted to have this sort of relationship with Raistlin, but it did not turn out that way because of Raistlin's ambitions in the Dragonlance Legends Trilogy.
  • Hidden Depths: Laurana is initially regarded as just a Brainless Beauty but when tested by war she proves to be a skilled warrior and great leader.
  • High-Altitude Battle: Any battle between Dragonriders. Battles on the Flying Citadels too.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Substitute Ganon with Takhisis, and you have the War of Souls trilogy.
  • Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Humans, Elves, and Ogres cannot alter the past while time traveling. Other races however. In the Legends trilogy, Par-Salian goes over the extensive set of instructions that goes along with the time travel spell they plan to use on Caramon. It includes a very stern warning that time travel cannot be used to alter history to prevent the Cataclysm, something which has been learned at great loss of life.
  • Hit So Hard The Calendar Felt It: The Catalycysm.
  • Honor Before Reason: The Knights of Solamnia. And how! Their absurdly strict code of honor for dictating their every action was critisized numerous times throughout the setting, and they could spend hours debating over the most minute of clauses in the Oath and Measure, to the point where they are utterly bewildered when someone made an action that wasn't dictated by it.
    • These problems were partially rectified when Lord Gunther released a revised Measure (the knighthood's code of laws) that was far more flexible in how it dealt with certain protocol, ironically taking a page from the Knights of Takhisis, who steamrolled across Ansalon in a matter of weeks due to a unity in purpose and became surprisingly tolerated in occupied lands due to their stern-but-fair brand of justice and ability to (sometimes literally) cut through red tape. But before then, literally centuries went by where a vast majority of the knighthood's higher offices were vacant due to a requirement in the Measure that a minimum number of knights be present to vote in candidates. But the Measure never took into account that in the wake of the Cataclysm, such a quorum didn't exist. So the knighthood could not elect new leaders because of an unfeasible requirement of the Measure, but could not alter the Measure because there existed no provisions within the Measure for it to be altered. The knighthood's darkest hour came when their final stronghold was under siege by the dragonarmies and the various faction heads continued to struggle for the leadership under parliamentarian points of order.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: It took a little while for the wielders of Mysticism and Primal Sorcery to get the hang of how to use it.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: In the Age of Dreams, the Wizard Conclave created five portals to link the five Towers of High Sorcery. Unfortunately, in creating an extraplanar means of rapid transit between them, they also unknowingly created a link to the Abyss. Takhisis, never one to miss an opportunity to come into the world, gave a black-robed mage a dream in which she told him that she was a beautiful woman trapped in another plane and that he was the only one who could save her. He fell for it completely. Ever wonder how the Third Dragon War that Huma fought in started? Well...
  • Hypnotize the Princess: A rare case of a good guy doing it. Well perhaps not 'good' exactly (Jaymes Markham is canonically Lawful Neutral) but still the character we are suppossed to be rooting for.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Dragons of X, Y of the Twins, Amber and Z, etc.
  • Ignored Epiphany: We see Raistlin having one in the storyline when Caramon goes to the future and Raistlin has become a god and defeated all the others one by one. Lord Soth's backstory contains several.
  • I Have No Son: Solostaran does this twice. Once with his daughter Laurana after she leaves Qualinesti to follow Tanis Half-Elven, and later to his son Gilthanas when he aids the companions in stealing back the Dragon Orb from the elves.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Raistlin, more or less.
  • Inept Mage: Fizban the Fabulous, although he's more than he appears.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Raistlin's childhood, as detailed in The Soulforge.
  • Interquel: The Lost Chronicles series.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Gilthanas and Silvara.
    • Huma and Gwyneth. Interestingly, Gwyneth and Silvara were sisters.
  • It's Raining Men: Well, Draconians really.
  • Jerkass Gods: The entire evil side of the pantheon, and especially Takhisis. The gods of good are not immune to this either though, as could be seen when they threw the fiery mountain on Istar to punish an arrogant punk of a Kingpriest, which ravaged the continent, killed thousands instantly, and many more later to starvation. Oh, and it kind of allowed the primary god of evil to partially enter the world again, resulting in another massive war. Admittedly, the gods of evil were in on the Cataclysm too. It was a group action to punish somebody who had made them all angry.
    • What really makes the gods of light look like this — and can arguably push them into Designated Hero territory — is how they handled the Cataclysm. The signs of their anger were vague to the point of uselessness, as while it was obvious that somebody was making the gods angry, nobody knew who was responsible (the Kingpriest) or why (his mad A God Am I plan). Then they snatch away all of the true clerics who still uphold their faith... and keep them from ever going back to Krynn. So in the wake of the disaster, there is nobody around to minister to the sick, starving and maimed or to preach the truth about how the Kingpriest and the Corrupt Church he had founded caused this disaster. When the ignorant mortal races, naturally, angrily proclaim that the gods have misused and abused them, the gods turn their back on any and all prayers that their former followers offer up, and insist that the mortals have turned their backs on the gods.
  • Join or Die: One of the three Nerakan Knights orders' motto is "Submit or Die".
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The chain of events leading into the Cataclysm. The Kingpriest of Istar started by crusading against Always Chaotic Evil monsters, then against followers of evil gods, then against the wizards of the black robes, then against less organized and powerful evildoers... then finally anybody who wasn't good enough. In the end, he decided that the only way he could eradicate evil entirely was to become a god. The gods caused the Cataclysm in a last-ditch effort to stop him.
  • Kangaroo Court: The Gnome courts.
  • Keet: Any male Kender really.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: In the Ogre Titans trilogy, a group of freed Elven prisoners maul to death an Ogre Titan(who was holding them prisoner) who is helpless, but he is only helpless because he tried to attack them after being forced to free them by other characters. One of the other characters put a medallion on the Titan that would make his spells backfire on him if he tried to harm anyone.
  • Knight In Shining Armour:
    • Sturm is this trope played straight and to the hilt. Less true of some of the other Solamnic Knights, making Sturm all the more a Tragic Hero.
    • Cathan Twice-Born of the Kingpriest Trilogy also fits this pretty well.
    • Huma Dragonbane, Knight of the Crown and Champion of Paladine.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Sturm might be Lawful Good and believe in chivalry, but he's quite bitter about it.
  • Knight Templar: The last Kingpriest of Istar and his own Knightly order, the Knights of the Divine Hammer.
  • Lady of War: Laurana. Also, Kitiara, though Paladine help you if you call her a lady.
    • Not that Kitiara has a problem with being called a lady; she's been known as both the "Dark Lady" and the "Blue Lady" and never seemed to mind. It's more that the adjective "ladylike" can be applied to Kitiara about as accurately as the adjective "cuddly" can be applied to a shark.
  • The Lady's Favour: The starjewel given to Sturm by Alhana Starbreeze.
  • Language of Magic: The language Wizards use if often described as being "spidery". It is also supposedly based off of a language spoken in Indonesia.
  • Last of His Kind: Riverwind and Goldmoon are the last surviving members of the Que-Shu tribe.
  • Lawful Stupid: The Knights of Solamnia are often portrayed as being unable to act effectively because they are overly dogmatic towards their order's regulations known as "The Measure". They are usually portrayed as being a hindrance to the real heroism of the motley adventurers.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Most of the main characters from the original Chronicles trilogy are referred to as "The Heroes of the Lance" in the later books and everyone seems to know their stories.
  • Living Labyrinth
  • Living Legend: Many. The Heroes of the Lance, Raistlin in particular, Huma. As an epic fantasy series, this is to be expected.
  • Lizard Folk: Draconians, and the Bakali.
  • A Load of Bull: Minotaurs are a major race with their own civilization, and are among the setting's greatest seafarers.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: With over 200 novels, there are a lot of characters.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Raistlin, as a result of the Test of High Sorcery.
    • Also Clerics of Morgion, god of plague and disease.
  • Long-Running Book Series: The series has been releasing novels since 1984, and there are now over two hundred novels and numerous Dungeons & Dragons sourcebooks as well. The last official Dragonlance novel was released in January 2010. As of now, the line has been shelved for the foreseeable future.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Laurana's love for Tanis is what causes her to pick up the Distress Ball in "Dragons of Spring Dawning".
  • Loving a Shadow: Raistlin has shades of this for Laurana in Dragons of an Hourglass Mage. Because he sees time's effects on all things and because Laurana is barely out of her teens in elf years, she is perhaps the only person Raistlin can still see as beautiful. She also treated him with a healthy dose of awe and respect, which is a lot more than the barely-restrained suspicion he got from most of the others in the party. He realizes that his crush (to call it that) is just a fleeting fancy, but that doesn't stop him from looking for ways to rescue her from Kitiara should the opportunity arise. Though it never did.
  • Made of Explodium: Anything created by a gnome.
  • Mad Scientist: Tinker Gnomes
  • Mage Tower: The Towers of High Sorcery.
  • Magi Babble
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Played straight sometimes, but averted at other times. Dragonlance is based off of Dungeons & DragonsDragonlance, so Vancian Magic is in effect for Wizards and Clerics, but not every author adheres to this, as many of them just have magic do whatever they need it to do in the story. Primal Sorcerers and Mystics magic is more freeform(or at least it is supposed to be) so they do not have any rules to follow, aside from that initially Primal Sorcerers could only manipulate non-living matter and Mystics could only manipulate living or once-living matter under the SAGA ruleset, but that bit of flavor seems to have been dropped.
  • Magical Gesture
  • Magical Incantation
  • Magical Native American: The Human Barbarian tribes like the Que-Shu, and the Kagonesti often get depicted as being like this.
  • Magical Society: The Wizards of High Sorcery
  • The Magic Comes Back: The War of the Lance saw the return of Clerical magic to the world. The early Fifth Age saw the rediscovering of Primal Sorcery and the discovery of Mysticism, and finally High Sorcery and Clerical magic return after the War of Souls. Krynn's magic is a bit unstable...
  • Magic Feather: A short story in the War of the Lance anthology says that this was the case for the Dragonlances.
  • The Magic Goes Away: After the Chaos War.
  • Magicians Are Wizards: Well, at least Raistlin is.
  • Magic Knight: There's a semi-religious organization of Wizards of High Sorcery that actually try to subvert this trope. They've made all sorts of laws and social stigma against a wizard wearing armor or carrying martial weapons. Wizards who do so anyway are looked down upon, such as...
    • The Knights of Neraka faction, the Knights of the Thorn. They can cast arcane spells with a reduced chance of failure when using armor, and often resort to melee combat. They are referred to as Grey Robes, in a mockery of the aforementioned wizards of High Sorcery.
    • The main reason they even are allowed to carry daggers is because Huma made a big deal out of it after his friend the wizard Magius was tortured before being killed. The daggers are meant to be used to avoid this fate, more than for actual combat.
  • Magic Misfire: "Fireball... how did that go again?"
  • Magic Versus Science: Not really a key aspect of the world, but many Tinker Gnomes believe that science is superior to magic. Interestingly, the Solamnic Knights, who do have some White Robed Wizards as part of their Auxiliary, have shown a keen interest in Tinker Gnome technology. The Solamnic Knights are often portrayed as not being too fond of magic(except for a Cleric of a good deity, and they may not even consider what Clerics do magic) and so they are interested in finding technological methods to improve their lives, and many Knights wish they did not even have the White Robes as part of their Auxiliary forces.
  • Magnetic Hero: Laurana inspires thousands to join the Whitestone Army.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: Middle of Nowhere
  • Mama Bear: The ancient, senile red dragon, Flamestrike.
    • Laurana Kanan and Ahlana Starbreeze also show shades of this in later books.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Fistandantilus was behind the reign of the last Kingpriest of Istar.
  • The Man Behind The Monsters
  • Manipulative Bastard: Kitiara Uth Matar.
  • Meaningful Name: Most dragons have a true name and a "human name". Their human names tend to be something revolving around their color, a red will be Ember, a black will be Oil, etc etc etc. There is also "Caramon" which was derived from another language and is meant to sound similar to "Caring Man".
  • Meanwhile, in the Future: Raistlin uses the dragon orb in War of the Twins to contact Dalamar in the future, so he can find out how to escape the same fate as Fistandantilus. You only see Raistlin beginning to use the orb, and then you get the next chapter which takes place in the future (well, present really, but future relative to the rest of the book).
  • Merlin and Nimue: Raistlin and Crysania play this to the hilt, with about the only difference being that Crysania isn't actually his student.
  • Metaplot
  • Mixed Ancestry:
    • Tanis Half-Elven. Played ridiculously straight in the animated movie where his left ear is elven and his right ear is human, possibly either a Shout-Out to The Order of the Stick or simply a case of Off Model animation.
    • Gully Dwarves are the now true-breeding result of hybridisation between dwarves and gnomes.
    • Golgren, a major character from the Minotaur Wars trilogy and the protagonist of the Ogre Titans trilogy, is half-ogre, half elf. Not a half-human hybrid, but noteworthy all the same.
  • The Mole: Eben in Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Rennard in The Legend of Huma.
  • Monogender Monsters: The Draconians are an example of the all-male variety. Played with later on, as it's revealed that their creators deliberately kept the Draconians all-male to stop the race from being able to sustain itself naturally. The Draconians took issue with this, and eventually found the creators' stash of female Draconian eggs, which they'd planned to hold as blackmail. Then the female Draconians grew up and proved to be every bit as Bad Ass as their male counterparts.
  • Monster Shaped Mountain: The game-setting has Skullcap, cranium-shaped site of a long-ago evil wizard's stronghold, and the cover of the module Dragons of Light features a huge dragon statue carved out of a mountaintop.
  • Mooks: The Dark Queen's armies have many, but the Draconians are the most notable.
    • Not to mention souls. Lots and lots of souls. It's not called the "War of Souls" for nothing.
  • Morality Pet: Bupu for Raistlin.
  • Motor Mouth: The Tinker Gnomes.
  • Munchkin: Raistlin Majere, both in and out of setting. Starts off with a character build that lowered his constitution to the point that he constantly coughs blood in exchange for increased intelligence and magic-detection with the trade-off actually written into his backstory... and goes into a positive-reinforcement cycle from there, ending only when he becomes one third of the world's pantheon. At which point he stops and reconsiders since in D&D that kind of thing makes your character an NPC.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Kitiara's solution to her romantic rivalry with Laurana.
  • Mutually Exclusive Magic: Godly Magic and Ambient Magic are like this in a way. Godly magic is either magic granted by the gods to their Clerics, or magic drawn from the Moons Gods from their three moons in the sky. Ambient magic is either Wild/Primal Sorcery, which is drawn directly from Krynn, or Mysticism, which is drawn directly from the users soul. They are generally believed to be incompatible with each other.
  • Nay-Theist: Mystics, due to the nature of their powers requiring that they believe in themselves.
  • Necromancer: Black Robed Wizards, Clerics of Chemosh, or even Mystics can become one.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Whenever there is a cleric around that is on your side, everyone else becomes Nigh Invulnerable, unless their faith isn't strong enough.
    • Mina in the War of Souls trilogy because she is protected by Takhisis. Who protected who? Mina unknowingly used her own powers for Takhisis' case.
    • Lord Soth since technically hes already dead.
    • Warlord Crynus, who can survive and recover from any injury, up to and including decapitation.
    • Huma, thanks to The Power of Love and Incorruptible Pure Pureness goes toe-to-toe with the supreme god of evil in Good Old Fisticuffs and wins.
  • Noble Demon: Blue dragons collectively seem prone to this. They are clearly the least evil of the evil dragons and any that have any sort of characterisation at all are given at least one sympathetic trait, most commonly tremendous loyalty to their riders (see Kitiara and Skie or Medan and Razor).
  • No Budget: The animated movie was made with a budget of roughly one million dollars.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Averted with Draconian females, but played straight with Dragonspawn females, but Dragonspawn are the result of experimenting on Humans, so a Dragonspawn female would have once been a Human female.
  • Noodle Incident: A somewhat famous one was mentioned when Par-Salian was sharing details of the time travel spell with the other Heads of the Conclave from his Tome of Eldritch Lore. One of the restrictions was that time travel cannot be used to prevent the Cataclysm, "something we have learned at great cost, to our sorrow". The other two wizards treat this as a stunning revelation, while Par-Salian says that even trying was a desperate, foolish act. This incident has never been mentioned, before or since, and the Annotated edition has the authors declaring, "Who is this mysterious time traveler? We'll never tell!"
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: Raistlin carries a dagger in a leather thong up his sleeve that is rigged to drop down into his hand with a flick of the wrist.
  • Not Quite Dead: In Dragons of the Hourglass Mage Raistlin assumes that his brother, along with Tanis, Tika, Goldmoon, and Riverwind died in the maelstrom after he abandoned them to save himself, but they were actually saved by sea elves. He later finds out they are alive and visits them as Flint dies, although he was invisible at the time, so they never knew he was there.
    • This may also be the case with Fistandantilus, who apparently managed to revive himself in a short story, but nothing has been made of it since.
  • Not That Kind of Mage: A Wizard might be annoyed at being mistaken for a Primal Sorcerer. The two have different philosophies towards magic. To Primal Sorcerers, magic is just a tool, to Wizards, magic is almost a religion, it is something they revere.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • Kender come off as cluelessly chipper and annoying, but often have a far greater grasp of the situation than they let on; similarly, Gully Dwarves are a lot more cunning than their can't-count-beyond-two stupidity indicates. But the out and out master of this trope is Fizban/ Paladine.
    • As Speaker of the Suns Gilthas fell under this, though in his case it was more Obfuscating Weakness.
  • Obviously Evil: in the Animated Adaptation, anything even remotely Draconic (Takhisis, Dragons, Draconians, anything reptillian really) was rendered in CG. Which kind of gives away the surprise of the cloaked monks looking for the crystal staff to heal one of their sick being revealed as a group of Draconians just a little early.
  • Odd Friendship: Huma, Knight of Solamnia and Kaz the Minotaur.
  • Oh Crap: Happens to Raistlin when Tas and Gnimsh suddenly appear in War of the Twins at the same time as a group of Dwarves enters his tent intent on assassinating him. Before this happened, Raistlin knew he could not die because Fistandantilus did not die, but the Kender's presence allows for time to be altered, thus the Oh Crap. He can die!
  • Older than They Look: The Kender look like little children far into their older years. Much of Kender female makeup is based on trying to induce wrinkles and greying hair to look older.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: The Flying Citadels
  • Omniscient Morality License: The Cataclysm was supposedly necessary for the betterment of the world. All of the deities were in on it, Good, Neutral, and Evil.
  • Our Demons Are Different: The three Fiendish races, Daemons, Demons, and Devils exist, but they are all subservient to the gods of evil. They are rarely seen as the gods of evil prefer relying on their mortal servants to do whatever they want done. The gods of evil are even far more likely to send an aspect of themselves to talk to their followers directly than to send a Fiendish servitor.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same : Varies depending on the writer. Dragonlance is one of the few settings that brings in the varied dwarf races that are present in D&D. At the very least, Flint (main character in early books) is a hill dwarf, not a mountain dwarf - and then there's the gully dwarves (technically hybrids). In a few books you get the equivalents of the Dungeons & Dragons "derro" and "duergar": the Thiewar and Dewar, one of whom is a pale race that can't handle bright lights but spawns the only dwarven mages, and one of which is apparently Always Chaotic Evil with a tendency to madness.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: May have been the Trope Maker.
  • Our Gods Are Greater: Krynnish deities do not need worshipers to survive, unlike deities in some other Dungeons & Dragons settings. They also do not have statblocks, and can not be killed by mortals.note 
  • Paint It Black: Raistlin's Face-Heel Turn.
  • Pals with Jesus: Tasslehoff is close, personal friends with Paladine, AKA Fizban.
  • Personof Mass Destruction: Maladar from the Taladas Trilogy, but any powerful spellcaster can also be one.
  • Pet the Dog: Raistlin has many of these moments throughout the series.
  • Phosphor-Essence: The Great Priest of Ishtar is the greatest cleric on Ansalom and is perpetually clad in unbearable light. It's later revealed that it is much less impressive than it seems.
  • Physical God: Chemosh (God of Death) and Zeboim (Goddess of the Sea) have had major physical appearances, and part of The Dark Disciple trilogy is told from their perpectives. They act a lot like the squabbling deities in The Iliad.
  • Picked Last: Raistlin apparently had this happen to him (Due to his frailness) whenever he tried to play physical games with his twin brother and his friends. He eventually just stopped playing with them.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: A Red Dragon named Pyrothraxus took over Mt. Nevermind, home of the Tinker Gnomes during the early Fifth Age. The Gnomes keep pestering him, wanting to learn about him, and even though he has killed some of them, they keep bothering him For Science!. He is said to have gone insane.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Tasselhoff Burrfoot, playing off grumpy Flint Fireforge most of the time. Also, any and all Kender, Tinker Gnomes, and Gully Dwarves. Occasionally, these get somewhat cruelly played for tragedy).
    • One of the worst examples of that was The Wish, a short story in The Reign of Ishtar collection which followed a motley group of nonhumans including a kender. The others, as well as the audience, assume that the kender's ditziness is just being a typical dumb kender, but in the scene when he is describing witnessing the murder of his parents, you realize that he is in fact five years old.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Raistlin and Caramon.
  • P.O.V. Sequel: Many books in the saga are of this type.
  • Powered Armor: A Tinker Gnome in the novel Conundrum wears a suit of powered armor he made himself.
  • Precision S Strike: In "The Raistlin Chronicles". Caramon, Ariakas, Baron Langtree, and a Red Shirt trainee in Ariakas' army all utter "shit" at one time or another.
  • Pretty in Mink: Perhaps not in the actual text, but some of the covers show ladies wearing fur capes. This includes two different covers for a "War of the Twins" book showing (possibly) Crysiana wearing a white fur wrap. Variant 1, Variant 2.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Some of the designers for the 3.5 ruleset for Dragonlance were fans.
  • Proud Scholar Race Guy: The Tinker Gnomes probably see themselves as Type I, and the Irda are Type II.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy:
    • Minotaurs.
    • Kagonesti elves can also go this route.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Kitiara is this for Tanis in both the Chronicles and Legends.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Kang and Slith and the Doom Brigade. They were only working for the Dragonarmies army because they were born and raised to be. Even then they are prone to complaining about their "jobs" as soldiers. They eventually abandon the Dragonarmies and go found a city for Draconians.
  • Race Lift: This happens with cover art sometimes, in the novel The Sellsword the protagonist is described as being black, but on the cover he kind of looks like Jason Statham. The Kagonesti elves also have this happen to them in book cover art, and sometimes in sourcebook interior art. They are supposed to be brown-skinned, but get depicted as being as pale white as their Silavnesti and Qualinesti cousins.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: See the Legends trilogy.
    • The Kingpriest's direct appeal to the Gods wherein he demanded they grant him the power to purge evil from the world completely would seem a different version of this.
  • Random Encounters: When the Companions are inside Kith-Kanan's burial chamber, and a giant slug comes out of nowhere and attacks them.
  • Ranged Emergency Weapon: When Sturm needs to buy time for Laurana to use the Dragon Orb, he decides that he needs to draw the attacking dragons toward him, and fires a bow at them to do so, even though he never otherwise uses a ranged attack.
  • Rebellious Princess: Laurana. She runs away from her family twice, becomes a Lady of War in defiance of elven tradition, becomes the Four-Star Badass leader of the highly chauvinistic Knights of Solamnia, and ends up abandoning her army to try and save her love.
  • Red Baron: The Golden General.
  • Redemption Equals Immortality - Lord Soth, following his refusal to aid Tahkisis anymore and her subsequent admonition that she would rend him complete from this world, he still refuses. The next time he's seen he's in the Court of Paladine wearing gray armor, instead of shining, in the RPGA guidebooks: his gift for the suffering he was put through is the ability to move anywhere on Krynn, but only as a mortal appearing as he once did before becoming a Death Knight.
  • Redemption Quest:
    • In his Back Story, Lord Soth failed one of these, which caused the Cataclysm.
    • Dhamon Grimwulf later on in the Age of Mortals has one of these as well.
  • Religion is Magic: Played with, often Clerics will not even refer to what they do as magic. It seems that the word "Magic" is synonymous with "Wizard" a lot of the time. Played straight other times, as people will talk of the loss of Divine magic after the Cataclysm, and about the loss of both Arcane and Divine magic after the Chaos War.
  • La Résistance: In Dragons of the Hourglass Mage Raistlin works for a secretive group in Neraka that is working to bring down the Dark Queen Takhisis, called the Hidden Light.
  • Retcon: The War of Souls trilogy (Dragons of a Fallen Sun, Dragons of a Lost Star and Dragons of a Vanished Moon) reveal that the very ending of Dragons Of Summer Flame was actually a trick by Takhisis, and that far from the other gods leaving voluntarily she stole and hid the world and manipulated Palin into 'discovering' wild magic. The trilogy pretty much reverses nearly all the changes done in Dragons Of Summer Flame.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Gilthas Pathfinder in the War of Souls and Elven Exiles trilogies.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: Gnomeflingers. Or generally, anything made by gnomes.
  • Sacrificial Lion: In the original Chronicles, Sturm Brightblade.
  • Saintly Church: The church of Paladine under Elistan, as opposed to it under the Kingpriest, which was a Corrupt Church.
  • Sapient Steed
  • Schizo Tech: To an extent, The Gnomes of Mt. Nevermind power their extinct volcano home with geothermal power. One Gnome in the short story "Boom" by Jeff Grub made an atomic bomb, but it never got detonated. A Gnome in the novel Conundrum made a power suit of armor. The Gnomes in general have a higher tech level than the rest of Krynn. It is prone to malfunctioning and exploding a lot, but apparently even they can get stuff to remain stable enough to use reliably (such as their Geothermal power). A lot of this technology doesn't spread because a lot of people are afraid of Gnomish Technology.
    • Justified, once you consider that nine times out of ten, gnomish technology has a nasty tendency to explode. Or break down catastrophically. Or do something radically, potentially lethally, different from what it was designed to do. The tenth time, it works fine or can be repurposed into something that does what you expect it to. But I wouldn't want to wait around for that tenth time, either...
      • To say nothing of the fact that any Gnomish invention that isn't potentially lethal is considered a failure by the Gnomes, and treated as a hindrance to technological progress.
      • Really, any tech that actually simply works is considered something of a failure by the Gnomes; if it has no flaws, how can future generations improve on it?
  • Screw the War, We're Partying: The day long Spring Dawning Festival held in Laurana's honor after she liberated Kalaman.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Chaos in the Graygem of Gargath.
  • Series Continuity Error: It happens.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: Sturm Brightblade is forced to fight in the arena against a minotaur gladiator, who uses a massive sword with a jagged edge.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Happens several times in Legends.
    • The obvious one is when Caramon sees the future when Raistlin ascends to godhood and goes back to the present to stop him.
    • Tas attempting to stop the cataclysm, but instead breaks the time traveling device because Raistlin wanted him to die.
    • Raistlin killing Gnimsh in the Thorbardin dungeons in order to prevent him from activating the time traveling device which interrupted Fistandantilus' spell in the past, resulting in his death.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Tika when they first meet up at the Inn.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: The Tinker Gnomes, but they do tend to lack in common sense.
  • Significant Anagram - metatextual. Margaret Weis uses an anagrammatized Fizban as an Expy in other works: in The Death Gate Cycle he becomes Zifnab, and in Starshield, he becomes Zanfib.
    • It's strongly implied that he's the same continuitous character throughout all the series he appears in; he just can't remember his name when he shows up. This makes sense in context, though.
      • Not necessarily. For example with Zifnab it seems more likely that he actually had read the Dragonlance Chronicles in his youth, and modelled his personality after the character he liked the most. He also tries to become James Bond at times, with less success. In the end it's outright Jossed that he would be any kind of deity.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Followers of Chemosh are fond of this sort of wardrobe.
  • Smug Snake: Quarath in the Kingpriest Trilogy.
  • Some Call Me Tim: Pretty much the entire race of Gnomes, as well as a great many elves.
  • Something Completely Different: Lord Toede was a Blackadder-like comedy about the eponymous minor villain who had been previously killed and had later returned. This was so bad, it was actually commented on by the author of Lord Toede in the 15th anniversary edition of the Chronicles.
  • Sourcebook: There are many Dungeons & Dragons sourcebooks for the series.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Laurana
  • Squishy Wizard: A rare subversion is Dunbar Mastermate. Rules of conduct for mages generally keep them frail and unathletic, but Dunbar's work on a ship didn't conflict with the rules and did give him "a physique that even Caramon might have envied".
  • Stable Time Loop: This is how time travel is supposed to work for humans, elves, and ogres. Other races break this trope for everyone involved though.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting
  • Stars Are Souls: Stars over Krynn are portals to the plane of Radiance. But each new one is created upon a Heroic Sacrifice — inhabitants of the world being aware of this fact, and supposedly rejoicing.
  • The Starscream: Raistlin and Kitiara both fit this trope. Galan Dracos from The Legend of Huma does too.
  • Starter Villain: Lord Toede.
  • Start of Darkness: The novel Before the Mask details how Verminaard turned to evil.
  • Stellar Name: Goldmoon.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: The Ogre Titans have eyes that are gold, glowing, and pupiless.
  • Superweapon Surprise: One short story features a quiet elven village that has been occupied by draconians. The elves turn out to be silver dragons.
  • Super Weight: Check out the super weight chart for Dragonlance on the page.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: Caramon, an impressive warrior, and Raistlin, his brother and a fearsome spellcaster. They used to hire themselves out as mercenaries, often fighting back-to-back against hordes of foes.
  • Take a Third Option: The Legion of Steel was founded to be an alternative to the people of Ansalon to the often Lawful Stupid Solamnic Knights and the Lawful Evil Knights of Takhisis/Neraka.
  • Taking You with Me: Draconians. Upon death, they turn to stone which traps your weapon, go up in flames, or just explode.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: Raistlin puts Snape to shame.
    • As does his apprentice, Dalamar. Black Robes in general seem prone to this.
  • Time Dissonance: Any race that lives significantly longer than humans exhibits this, especially elves and dragons.
  • Tim Taylor Technology: This pretty much describes the tinker gnome theory of engineering.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: It is mentioned in the Races of Ansalon sourcebook that most Half-Gnomes are the result of a male Gnome and a Human woman.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Laurana: from a spoilt, near-airhead to the Golden General.
    • Tika Waylan; from barmaid to badass in one book. Though, it isn't as poignant as in Laurana's case.
  • Tree Top Town: Solace.
  • Trickster Archetype: The entire Kender race.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Which fails when they don't have the proper paperwork.
  • True Companions: All the companions in the War of the Lance.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Theros Ironfeld was the only one capable of forging the Dragonlances.
    • He was the sucessor to Duncan Ironweaver, student of Reorx and original creator of both the Dragonlances and the Silver Arm used to forge them.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny - The final print Dragon magazine had an article about a hypothetical fight between Raistlin Majere and Elminster, both perhaps the most powerful Wizards in their respective worlds.
  • Uncoffee: Tarbean tea. There is also "Kefre", which is even more like coffee.
  • Undeath Always Ends: The Death Knight Lord Soth was cursed to forever walk the land of the living after he failed in his Redemption Quest. That is, until Takhisis made him mortal and killed him for refusing to aid her during the War of Souls.
  • Un Equal Rites: This can happen between Wizards and Sorcerers, and Clerics and Mystics. This can also occur between Wizards and Clerics, with some Clerics calling what they can do not magic but "Faith". Some Wizards dislike Clerics because it was a powerful Cleric, the last Kingpriest of Istar, who tried to annihilate all Wizards, be they good, neutral, or evil. There is also some of this from Black Robe Necromancers, and Clerics of Chemosh, with the Clerics of Chemosh believing they are the only ones worthy of controlling undead creatures. Mystics who can also create undead creatures may find themselves trying to be converted by Clerics of Chemosh.
  • Universe Chronology
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Toede in Lord Toede.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Crysania fits this perfectly. Tasslehoff also sort of fits this trope at times. When he isn't being a Spanner in the Works, that is. The Kingpriest himself to Fistandantilus. Fisty didn't get exactly what he wanted out of that scheme, but the Kingpriest was his pawn all along nonetheless. The Gods of Magic become Takhisis's Unwitting Pawns in Dragons of the Hourglass Mage.
  • UST: Goes on and on and on between Raistlin and Crysania in Legends. Made bearable by the fact that many disliked Crysania enough to not really want them to get there.
    • At least in Raistlin's eyes, letting love blossom would distract them both from the purity of purpose necessary to control the dangerous magical forces integral to his master plan. It's not strictly a Virgin Power, but it's related.
  • Vader Breath: Raistlin
  • The Vamp: Kitiara has a lot of sexual partners, and Tanis' feelings for her make him seriously consider switching sides and joining her army. Since she is one of the villains and a woman, and since her rival for Tanis' affections, Laurana, is not promiscuous at all, one could say that there are some unfortunate implications.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Iolanthe stored a component for a spell in her bosom.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Laurana.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Mina starts having one near the end of the War Of Souls.
  • Villain Protagonist: Kitiara in the 'B' storylines of both Brothers in Arms and Dragons of the Highlord Skies.
    • Dalamar is also the "hero" of his own subplots. The audience roots for him on a combination of his being something of a Magnificent Bastard (though he's got nothing on his shalafi) and because Dalamar as the most powerful Black Robe in the world is sufficiently better than the alternative.
  • Virginity Makes You Stupid: Inverted with Raistlin and Caramon.
  • The Watcher: Astinus of Palanthas follows this trope to the T.
  • Weird Science: Tinker Gnomes
  • Whatevermancy: Pyromancy, Hyrdomancy, Cryomancy, Spectramancy, Geomancy, Aeromancy, etc.
  • What Measure Is A Nonhuman: The first book applies this rather harshly, complete with the line "I don't consider myself a murderer. Goblins don't count." However, Depending on the Writer this can be averted.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jaymes Markham gets this after he uses a love potion on someone. He uses the potion to seduce a woman who was in an important position, which would help him accomplish his goals. But, this is basically raping her, as she had no control over herself when she was under the potions effect. She calls him on it when the potion wears off.
    • This is also heavily debated in the fanbase, between 'she wanted to at the time, even if she was on drugs' and 'Jaymes should be castrated'. In the end, when the potion wears off, they remain married, but live apart. Jaymes shacks up with the witch who really loved him and gave him the love potion, and his wife lives with her priestess friend in the Temple of Kiri-Jolith. So really, it seems like in the end, they all had no problem with it, since it saved Solammnia or something.
  • White Magician Girl: Goldmoon
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Berem Everman, in the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy as well as the adventures it was based on, is immortal due to having a piece of the foundation stone from the Temple of Darkness embedded in his chest. He's not at all happy about it... in fact, in the Chronicles, he's more than willing to replace the stone to seal the gate to the Abyss, killing himself in the process.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Takhisis, to Huma. See Determinator above.
  • Wife Husbandry: After the Male Draconians find the Female Draconian's eggs and let them hatch. They then raise them so that they can eventually breed with them. There were initially only Male Draconians made, so the race would have died out if they had not sought out the Female eggs that were made, but never allowed to hatch.
  • The Wise Prince: Gilthas Pathfinder.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity - Raistlin's unrelenting desire for power leads him to an epic Face-Heel Turn, betraying his brother, his friends and a woman who loved him, and nearly destroying the world by killing the Gods and taking their place: starting with the Dark Queen. Only The Power of Love (and Time Travel) could stop him.
  • Wizard Duel: Raistlin and Fistandantilus have one in Time of the Twins. Coryn and Hoarst have an even more epic one at the end of The Measure and the Truth. Which involves them flying through different planes of existence and culminates in outer space with them flying around the moons of Krynn.
  • Wonder Twin Powers: Opening the portal to the Abyss requires a Mage of pure evil and a Cleric of pure goodness to work together.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Raistlin admittedly deserves some of the things that happen to him, but at some point, him becoming a god to spite reality becomes understandable.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Laurana is described as being this.
  • World Sundering: The Cataclysm, and the Fifth Age's Dragon Overlords.
    • The Spelljammer Wiki reveals that Zivilyn, an outer planet in Krynn's crystal sphere where the titular deity resides, was home to people who tried to challenge the gods much like the Kingpriest did. They failed and now Zivilyn, once a normal terrestrial ball planet, is a series of floating islands floating in clouds.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Gold becomes devalued after the Cataclysm due to it not being useful for practical purposes. At first, a barter economy was used, and later Steel coins become the common currency on Ansalon.
  • Worthy Opponent: The Knights of Takhisis, at least originally. Though devoted to an evil goddess and imperialistic they had a strong sense of honour and treated their subjects sternly but not barbarically. After the disastorous War of Chaos (that saw the Knights lose both their leader and goddess) they slowly degenerated into a band of brutal thugs and sellswords.
    • At least until Mina came along...
      • The Minotaurs view anyone who can give them a good fight like this, especially the Solamnic Knights.
      • Extends to the Minotaur's god, too. Sargonnas views Paladine and Kiri-Jolith as worthy opponents, and vice-versa.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Raistlin punishes his apprentice Dalamar for spying on him by burning five holes into Dalamar's chest with his fingers, leaving five permanently seeping wounds.
  • Wrench Wench: Female Tinker Gnomes.
  • Wretched Hive: Flotsam
  • Yandere: Gair Graymist from The Silver Stair becomes this for Camilla Weoledge after he starts to delve into Necromantic magic and becomes Axe Crazy. He plans to kill her and keep her spirit by him, fortunately, he does not succeed.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: Fitting the novels' tabletop RPG origins, much of the course of the War of the Lance is touched off by the gathering of the Heroes of the Lance at the Inn of the Last Home. In this case it's justified by the fact that for most of the heroes, it's a reunion at a familiar gathering place rather than their first meeting, and most of the rest of it is arranged by the personal intervention of Paladine himself.
  • You Are in Command Now: When Sturm gives command to Laurana at the High Clerist's Tower and then again when Lord Gunthar appoints her to command the Whitestone Army.
  • You Do NOT Want To Know: During Dragons Of A Fallen Sun, some of the characters hold a secret meeting in a tavern run by gully dwarves. The book then explains that despite gully dwarves' many faults, they are surprisingly good cooks:provided that you tell them specifically what you do not want them to put in your food, like rat meat. So they'll make you a meal that is not only edible but quite tasty, but the book says that if you watch the preparation of said meal you will not be able to enjoy it. It's also mentioned that the gully dwarves serve some decent dwarf spirits. The dwarf spirits are made from mushrooms. The mushrooms are grown in the bedrooms of the gully dwarves. If you are unfortunate enough to know this, it says, you would do well to avoid thinking about it too much and just enjoy your drink.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: At the end of Legends, Raistlin abandons a dying Crysania after she helps him enter the Abyss and protects him while he regains his magic. He actually tells her that almost she has outlived her usefulness to him just before he leaves.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: How succession used to work for the Minotaur Empire.
  • You Mean Xmas: Yule (a winter holiday that greatly resembles Christmas), Harvest-Come (Halloween, with the carving of faces onto gourds) and Spring Dawning (Easter).
  • You Need to Get Laid: Raistlin. He tried it once. Didn't care for it. Though while in Istar, inhabiting an unravaged and healthy body, he's almost overwhelmed by lust for Crysania. Though even then, he analyzes his cravings in terms of his overall master plan: Banging the hot priestess, however much fun it would be, would not advance his Evil Plan, so he held off.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Basically how things work in the Abyss.


DragonLiterature/Dungeons & DragonsKingpriest Trilogy
Dragon's EggLiterature of the 1980sDragon of the Lost Sea
Car WarsThe EightiesForgotten Realms
The Dragon KnightFantasy LiteratureKingpriest Trilogy
DragaeraLong-Running Book SeriesDavid Gemmell
The Worm That WalksImageSource/Tabletop GamesHigh Fantasy
Dark SunTabletop GamesDungeons And Dragons Encounters

alternative title(s): Dragonlance; Dragonlance
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