Literature: The Legend of Huma
The Legend of Huma
was the first Dragonlance
novel, published in 1988, which did not involve any of the original companions. It tells the story Huma, the man who won of the Third Dragon War and saved the world through the aid of Paladine and the other gods of light.
By the time Legend
starts, things are not going well for the Knights of Solamnia or their allies. Takhisis' hordes have overrun most of the world, Solamnia's last strongholds are under siege and there are rumors that the Dark Queen is about to manifest herself in the flesh. It's up to Huma, his friends Kaz the minotaur (who has defected from the Dragonarmies), the mysterious magic-user and childhood friend of Huma Magius and Huma's mysterious lover Gwyneth to save Krynn from total destruction.
It's notable that this book is quite possibly the only source of information you can use to read the history of the Third Dragon War. Even the Dragonlance Lexicon Wiki barely mentions it.
Now has a Graphic Novel published in 2006 by Brian Augustyn and Sean Jordan. Sadly, it only covers the events of the novel up to the arrival at Magius' tower.
This novel provides examples of:
- Air Jousting
- Artifact of Doom: The Sword of Tears. An elegant sword with an emerald worked into it, it constantly whispers promises of power, happiness and wealth to its user, while slowly corrupting their soul to evil. According to Paladine, it was what corrupted the ogres into a race of cruel tyrants and will be used on the "last day" by the final champion of darkness to lead the charge against the forces of the light when the final apocalyptic battle for Krynn is fought. (It should be noted that this is the only work that has so far mentioned this "Armadgeddon" doomsday that will end Krynn's history)
- Back from the Brink: Even more so than the War of the Lance, and that's saying something.
- Badass Normal: For a guy who has no magic and no overt divine powers until he gets the Dragonlance, Huma can throw it down with the best of them. When he gets attacked by five enemy soldiers while he's already weak and wounded, he attacks with only his sword until after they're all dead.
- Breath Weapon: According to Gwyneth, all dragons "except for the cowardly White" can breathe fire, but it takes a huge toll on dragons that aren't Red or Gold to do so.
- Canis Major: Direwolves, enormous wolves with their skin flayed off that can talk like humans. Sweet dreams
- The Chosen One: Played with in that Huma he wasn't the first to undergo the tests to become Paladine's champion, but he was the first who truly cared about the people of Krynn enough to win them.
- Captain Oblivious: You'd think that Huma would have picked up on Gwyneth's secret a little bit earlier, given what appears immediately after her Stealth Hi/Bye routine.
- Cessation of Existence: Gaelan Dracos
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Gaelan Dracos tortures Magius to death.
- Deader Than Dead: When Gaelan Dracos is defeated by Huma, he realizes that Takhisis is going to torture him in the Abyss forever due to him only summoning her avatar at partial strength. He incinerates himself with green flames, which Takhisis tells Huma destroyed not only his body but also his soul so that he could escape A Fate Worse Than Death and also erases most memories of him.
- Determinator Huma
- Early-Bird Cameo: Fizban (though not by name), Heart as Gwyneth's unnamed sister and a young Cyan Bloodbane, who serves as Gaelan Dracos' steed.
- Escort Mision: Huma and Kaz, riding dragons in the air, must escort Magius' caravan carrying the Dragonlances through the woods leading to Vingaard Keep. They save the lances, but Magius is taken prisoner.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Most of the wizards in Takhisis'corner of the ring are regegades such as Gaelen Dracos who have rejected the Orders of High Sorcery. The Black Robes begin assisting the forces of darkness, but this is just to set up their Big Damn Villains moment. This goes along with Raistlin's claim that most of the Black Robes had realized that Takhisis' darkness would bring their own destruction and assisted in the creation of the Dragon Orbs.
- Evil Versus Evil: Krynus, Takhisis' chief warlord and Gaelan Dracos, her most powerful sorcerer, have a strong rivalry. Most of the black robes turn on the rest of Takhisis' forces to save themselves and the world.
- Evil Versus Oblivion: The black robes turn on Takhisis because they realize they'll be destroyed too if she succeeds in coming into the world.
- Exact Words: Takhisis promises that she and her dragon brood will stay off of Krynn as long as the world is whole. Huma probably should have demanded that she be broader than that.
- The Faceless: Morgion, as his Aspect appear to Huma, is an invisible face in darkness with sinister red eyes beneath a bronze crown. According to Dragons of Summer Flame, he has skin peeling off a pale face like a plague victim.
- From Bad to Worse: The book starts with Takhisis' armies of ogres, minotaurs, goblins and evil humans overrunning most of Solamnia. Then they open up portals to the Abyss where the Legions of Hell pour out. Huma manages to kill most of those by slicing the Dragonlances through the magically-generated dark clouds covering the land and letting in the sunlight, which is deadly to them. Gaelan Dracos then uses the power Takhisis has given him to summon thousands of Chromatic Dragons from every corner of Krynn. Finally, he summons the Dark Queen herself to the mortal world.
- God: Huma forces Takhisis to swear by the Highgod that she will leave Krynn and take the chromatic dragons with her.
- Handicapped Badass: Wyrmfather, who despite being blinded and imprisoned by Kiri-Jolith for five millenia is still nearly more than a match for Huma.
- Humans Are Special: As she lies dying beside him, Gwyneth tells him that the dragons are astounded at how much humans strive to accomplish in their short lives. She also tells him that she first learned to love as a human, and that is how she chooses to die. Earlier, the Metallic dragons had told Huma that they weren't giving up solely because they believed in him.
- Interspecies Romance: But not the way Huma thinks...
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Kaz shows the Knights that minotaurs are not Always Chaotic Evil, though even good virtuous ones like Kaz are still very aggressive at first. According to Kaz, the minotaurs have a warlike culture but are slaves in everything but name to the ogres who are holding their homelands on Ansalon's eastern coast hostage.
- Near Villain Victory:
- By the time Legend starts, most of the world has fallen to Takhisis' armies and the regions that haven't have been devastated by the omnipresent cult of Morgion's plagues. Hylo and northern Ergoth fall during the course of the novel and Solamnia is on its last legs, having already lost major territories such as Eldor, Huma's birthplace, nearly a generation ago. Even most of Ansalon's forests have been burned by Takhisis' scorched-earth tactics. If Huma hadn't found the Dragonlance, the war wouldn't have lasted longer, it would have been over.
- When Astinus writes in the prologue that he was worried that the Third Dragon War would be the event that ended Krynn's history for good, you know you're dealing with a Near Villain Victory.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Krynus, who's been given magical enchantments by Dracos to the point of being barely human. He can regenerate from nearly any injury, including decapitation.
- Plague Master: Morgion. Subverted in that, while he's most associated with diseases, he's a god of all types of decay. His portfolio includes rust, aging and madness too.
- Wyrmfather, the first dragon. He's described as long, grey and worm-like, as well as being the largest dragon in Krynn's history. It's unclear how he fits into the history the original five chromatic dragons that inhabited primeval Krynn in "Aurora's Eggs" but he may have served as the Žarly "prototype upon which Takhisis later improved upon, given his radically different anatomy.
- The ogres, which are still around and leading Takhisis' armies but only at a fraction of their once-powerful empire's strength.
- Physical God:
- Gaelan Draco's ultimate plan is to become one of these by hoping that Takhisis will make him a demigod once he unleashes her on Krynn. Ironically, Huma in his humility succeeds where he fails in pride, being transformed into a golden avatar of Paladine for a brief instant so that he can stab Takhisis' avatar.
- Wyrmfather, who was only defeated and imprisoned after Kiri-Jolith (yes, that Kiri-Jolith) fought him in a battle that lasted an entire year.
- Ret Gone: Wonder why there's no mention of Gaelan Dracos in the Canticle of the Dragon or any other legend about Huma? Because he wipes himself out of existence, annihilating his soul and erasing almost all memories of him.
- Right Hand Versus Left Hand: Even in the Time of Myths, the forces of good's clerics and mages won't have anything to do with each other, setting up shop on opposite sides of the Solamnic Knights'camp.
- Sand Worm: Wyrmfather definitely has this vibe going.
- Secret Test of Character: 2 out of the 3 of Huma's trials to become Paladin'e champion involve this.
- Shock and Awe: Kaz's bronze dragon, Bolt, is the most proficient lightning caster of his species. And when we say "lightning," we mean that he actually strikes the target with bolts from the sky, though he can also do it with his breath.
- Shrouded in Myth: Huma, who becomes the subject of many legends, some true and some exaggerated, even while he's alive that bring him a great deal of embarassment because he feels like he's not worthy of them.
- Vestigial Empire: Ergoth, which can only spare a few thousand soldiers in the war. Rumor has it that the court of the Ergothian Emperor is so posh that he doesn't even know that there's a war going on. They do send in The Cavalry, though.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- There's no mention of the White Stag, which played such a prominent role in the Legend of Huma as it was told in Dragons of Autumn Twilight. (Huma does glimpse a brief flash of white in the woods, but he believes that it's a Direwolf. It may have been the stag but he never gets a good look at it.)
- The Dragon Orbs are never mentioned, though the mages might have been using them to turn back the huge swarm of thousands of dragons at the end.
- Younger Than They Look: Huma's age is never given, but he apparently his blond hair turning grey long before it should be.
- Zerg Rush: The knights observe that Takhisis attempts to only send in her goblin armies for an attack if they outnumber the enemy 6-8 times, due to their small size and poor fighting skills.