Literature: Kingpriest Trilogy
Prequel to the main Dragonlance
novel series, focusing on the titular Knight Templar
who brought about The End of the World as We Know It
350 years (approx.) before Dragons of Autumn Twilight
In the mighty Empire of Istar, the Kingpriest has had a vision of his own death, and a high priestess goes on a quest to find his successor, guided by a prohpecy. She finds Brother Beldyn
, a wise-beyond-his-years young monk with incredible supernatural healing powers and believes that he must be the Lightbringer
. Other events are afoot, however, including a plague that leaves the Empire on the brink of civil war, a young bandit named Cathan, whose destiny is bound with Beldyn's, and the mysterious sorcerer Fistandantilus
, who has a centuries-spanning Evil Plan
of his own nearing fruition.
Needless to say, this won't end well
The books are:
- Chosen of the Gods
- Divine Hammer
- Sacred Fire
This trilogy contains examples of:
- A God Am I: Both Fistandantilus and Beldinas himself pursue this in Sacred Fire. Neither succeeds, but their actions set up much of the setting's future.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Andras is a wierdly pathetic figure at the end, as is Beldinas, if you count him as a villain.
- Big Bad: Fistandantilus
- Blank White Eyes: Cathan has these after his resurrection. Most people find them very creepy- only Beldinas and wizards are able to meet his gaze for long.
- The Caligula: Beldinas, by the end, is completely insane. Somewhat subverted in that he still has the charisma to make everyone think he's still a Messianic Archetype.
- Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": In Sacred Fire a band of warriors are attacked by a many-legged monster that burrows under the desert sands. They note its resemblance to a legendary demon known as the "caterpilyo".
- Character Alignment:
- Chessmaster: Fistandantilus.
- Color-Coded Characters: The different clerial orders wear:
- White- Paladine
- Blue- Mishakal
- Gold- Kiri-Jolith
- Green- Branchala
- Purple- Habakkuk
- Corrupt Church: To an extent, but things get to their worst when the guy who isn't traditionally corrupt takes the throne...
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: Paladine. Complete with a "Holy Triangle" of himself, Mishakal and Kiri-Jolith.
- Dating Catwoman: Cathan and the sorceress Leciane in Divine Hammer (though which of them is "Catwoman" depends on who you ask).
- Dead Guy Junior: Wentha's son Tancred, named for her and Cathan's older brother, who died during the plague.
- Deadpan Snarker: Fistandantilus. Cathan also has his moments.
- Death Is Cheap: Averted. Only Beldyn (and possibly Cathan) can bring people back to life; after Cathan is resurrected he is regarded witih awe and trepidation as "the Twice-Born".
- Did You Just Flip Off Draco Paladin
- Downer Ending: Hoo boy (though it pretty much had to be considering how Chronicles opens). Beldinas has been prevented from ascending to godhood and wrecking the balance, but the world is in ruins and almost all the main characters are dead, to say nothing of untold millions of others we don't get to know by name. Oh, and Fistandantilus gets away too, but he's not quite a Karma Houdini because we know exactly what his Magnificent Bastardry wil get him in the end- a grisly death at the hand of the one Bastard in Krynnish history more Magnificent than he is.
- The Dreaded: Fistandantilus again.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In Chosen of the Gods, a few scenes feature a rather stuffy young squire named Loren Soth, who goes on to become one of the most iconic villains in the whole Dragonlance metaseries, the death knight Lord Soth.
- The Empire: Istar is a relatively benevolent example, but things get worse after The Messiah, of all people, takes the throne...
- Evil Chancellor: Quarath and ultimately Fistandantilus too.
- Evil Prince: Kurnos isn't technically a prince, but as priest next-in-line of the succession, he might as well be.
- Evil Sorcerer: Fistandantilus, Andras.
- The Faceless: Fistandantilus.
- Disc One Final Boss: Kurnos.
- Fantastic Racism: Wizards in particular get a lot of it, as do certain intelligent nonhumans.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Istar itself resembles Rome a great deal, while the Draavinish are distinctly Arabic.
- Fictionary: The Church Language, which in some respects resembles Latin.
- First Episode Resurrection: At the end of Chosen of the Gods, Cathan is killed by Kurnos and immediately after revived by Beldinas.
- Foregone Conclusion: If you've read Chronicles you know how this ends.
- God Emperor: The Kingpriest is as good as this.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Beldinas
- Ill Girl: Wentha, Cathan's little sister. After Beldyn heals her, she goes on to be an important recurring character.
- I'm Cold... So Cold...: Leciane's lover Vincil says this literally after he catches an axe just before he teleports the surviving wizards away from the disasterous moot with the Kingpriest in Divine Hammer.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Essentially a whole trilogy about this concept.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: What convinces Ilista that Beldyn is the Lightbringer. Ultimately subverted in that he isn't incorruptable, just corruptable in a different way than usual.
- Kill It with Fire: The holy texts of the Gods of Light say to purge evil with fire. While probably not what they intended by that, their followers tend to break out the stake and logs whenever they capture evil clerics and black-robed mages alive so that they can be burned alive.
- Knight in Shining Armor—> Knight in Sour Armor: Cathan in the last two books.
- Knight Templar: Beldinas and the Divine Hammer descend into this.
- Meaningful Rename: Beldyn to the more regal Beldinas, after he becomes Kingpriest.
- The Mole: Tancred in Sacred Fire.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Andras. "I never meant for this to happen. I only wanted revenge..."
- Obstructive Zealot: Bron in Sacred Fire.
- Oh My Gods!: Palado Calib (Blessed Paladine) is a common oath.
- Our Elves Are Better: No points for guessing at Quarath's disposition.
- Prophecy Twist: Everyone things Beldinas is the Lightbringer. It's really Cathan all along, and he ends up sacrificing himself to save the only complete copy of the setting's Bible from Beldinas himself.
- Raise Undead: The cult of Chemosh's MO.
- Religion of Evil: Several show up, worshipping dark gods; they're portrayed more like cults of fringe lunatics than anything majorly widespread, however.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Andras.
- The Scottish Trope: Nobody likes saying Fistandantilus's name- they mostly call him "Dark One" along with a handful of other epithets.
- Smug Snake: Quarath and Kurnos.
- Supporting Protagonist: Cathan is the main POV character, but this is really Beldyn/Beldinas's story.
- The End of the World as We Know It: The world survives the trilogy (barely), but the gods' justice on Beldinas smashes it beyond recognition.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Played straight, lampshaded, and deconstructed all at once in Tithian's first appearance.
- Unwitting Pawn: Everybody. I mean everybody even Fistandantilus himself.
- Villainous Breakdown: Kurnos and Andras both have these.
- What If?: The short story "There Is Another Shore You Know, Upon the Other Side" (in the Dragons of Chaos collection) and this scenario cover what would have happened if Beldinas succeeded in his plan. In the former the gods are reduced to human (albeit immortal) forms and tortured eternally; in the latter the former traitor turned High Protector of the Faith is Cathan the "Thrice-Born".
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Fistandantilus does this a lot, though its less about cruelty and more about covering his tracks.