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Literature / Dragonlance Legends

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A quest for godhood.

Dragonlance Legends is a High Fantasy trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. They are the second trilogy in the Dragonlance series.

It is two years after the War of the Lance ended in victory for the Armies of Light. Raistlin Majere's betrayal of the Heores of the Lance broke his brother, Caramon, though, and has led to him becoming a drunken wreck. Raistlin, meanwhile, has started plotting his grandest ambition yet: entering the Abyss in order to challenge the Queen of Darkness for her powe so that he might become a god.

Requiring the aid of a noble cleric of Paladine, Raistlin chooses the overly ambitious but still naive Crysania Tarinius. Cryania sees a tortured noble soul in Raistlin that she can turn back to the path of Light. Crysania also covets the glory of being involved in the destruction of the Queen of Darkness. Raistlin preys upon this and Crysania's burgeoning attraction to him while Caramon seeks his own redemption with his brother.

Accompanied by the kender Tasslehoff Burrfoot, they head on a quest that will take them across dimensions as well as time itself.

The books in the series are:

  • Time of the Twins
  • War of the Twins
  • Test of the Twins

The book has been adapted into comics by Devil's Due publishing.

The Dragonlance Chronicles provide examples of:

  • A God Am I:
    • Raistlin Majere believes his powers in magic make him strong enough to be able to battle Takhasis and emerge triumphant. He's correct in at least one timeline. Unfortunately it results in The End of the World as We Know It.
    • The Kingpriest of Istar offended the gods by demanding they turn him into one so that he could cleanse the world of evil.
  • The Alcoholic: Caramon has degenerated into this after the War of the Lance. He has taken to drinking dwarf spirits constantly in order to cope with the betrayal of his brother.
  • All for Nothing: Raistlin ends up sealing the portal to the Abyss that he spent three books opening and dying in the process, causing his quest for godhood to amount to nothing. This despite literally tens of thousands of deaths involved as well as the invasion of Palanthas.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Crysania finds herself attracted to Raistlin's dark charisma, ambition, and intense power. Raistlin is actually thrown by this several times as while he knew she would be, he did not except to reciprocate.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Crysania has jet-black hair and a typical noblewoman's arrogance, leading her to look down on those around her.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Having become the most powerful mage in Krynn, Raistlin has only godhood left to achieve and drives him to even darker actions.
  • Bastard Understudy: Technically, Dalamar as he was spying on Raistlin and had hopes of taking over the Tower in turn.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In Test of the Twins, Raistlin achieves his goal in an alternate future but it results in the extinction of Krynn's people and ruling over a dead world.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Raistlin is dead, possibly tortured forever, but Paladine sends a sign that he is not. Kitiara is also dead and suffering a Fate Worse than Death. Crysania is heartbroken and blind but perhaps wiser. Caramon, alone, gets a good ending by returning to his wife.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The Dwarfgate War is fought between an army of refugees, Hill Dwarves, and other people who have been shut out of Thorbardin. Thorbardin's dwarves state they simply don't have the resources to take them in. The black is Raistlin, who is willing to kill tens of thousands of people for no reason.
  • Break the Haughty: Crysania being sent back through time and learning about the tarnished history of the gods and Istar, among other things, breaks her of her arrogance. After that she becomes much nicer.
  • Byronic Hero: Raistlin is an intelligent, introspective, ambitious, and cynical man with a desire to destroy the Queen of Darkness but he's also a Villain Protagonist who ruins every relationship he has.
  • Celibate Hero: Raistlin avoids Crysania's affections either because he fears he will tarnish her in a a way that would make her useless to him (see Virgin Power) or because he fears that lust would cloud his own judgement. Raistlin rejecting Crysania when she tries to seduce them in War of the Twins is emotionally devastating to both.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Kitiara is torn between siding with the Queen of Darkness, who she has a cushy job as the sole remaining Dragon Highlord of, versus her brother Raistlin. Notably, it's less affection than the realization that Raistlin actually win over Takhasis. She ends up betraying both and dying for it.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Dalamar serves Raistlin loyally, but is secretly spying on him for the heads of the other Towers.
  • Deconstruction: Raistlin proves to be one of these for Byronic Hero and Love Redeems. Crysania is attracted to the brooding Antihero, Raistlin Majere. She offers her love and support that he has been denied his entire life. He proves to use that, abuse it, and abandon her at the end.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Crysania does grow out of her arrogance and learn not to be such a stuck-up snob as the trilogy goes on.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: An in-universe example with Crysania framing Raistlin as a tragic Antihero instead of the Villain Protagonist that he's become. It's even partially motivated by her attraction to him.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Caramon successfully passes Crysania off as a "witch." Her great beauty mixed with her dark reputation gives her this reputation.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Raistlin Majere wants to destroy the Queen of Darkness in order to seize her power for himself. Crysania, as a Priestess of Paladine, is entirely down with this plan despite it empowering an even greater evil.
  • Godhood Seeker: Raistlin Majere has become the most powerful mage in Krynn, rivaled only by Fistandantilus himself, but it is not enough to satisfy his ambition. He formulates the plan to enter the Abyss, lure the Queen of Darkness into the physical world, and defeat her in combat to seize her power.
  • Grand Theft Me: Fistandantilus does this to his apprentices in order to achieve immortality. Raistlin, the in the past, turns it around on him and seizes his knowledge as well as power.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Par-Salian does this to Bupu, talking about her as if she were some disgusting animal, because he knows she's too scared to tell the Conclave of Wizards her story. His dismissal of her, so different from the compassion she received from Raistlin, does indeed make her lose her temper and tell the Conclave how kind Raistlin was to her.
  • Invading Refugees: The Dwarfgate War has Raistlin/Fistdantalius leading one of these consisting of people who are barely surviving after the Cataclysm. It doesn't take much to convince them they should take their chances trying to seize Thorbardin for themselves.
  • Kill the God: Raistlin has the ambition to destroy the Queen of Darkness and assume her place as the God of Evil. He ends up destroying the world in any world he succeeds in.
  • Love Redeems: Crysania believes this is something that can happen between Raistlin and her as much of his misanthropy is driven by never receiving the respect he feels he deserves (including from women) compared to his brother. It is Deconstructed as he's already the most feared man on Krynn and he has gone too far.
  • Only Sane Man: Tasslehoff Burrfoot is strangely this despite his normal role as The Gadfly and The Load. He continually points out that Caramon and Crysania's actions in enabling Raistlin's insane plans are terrible ideas and making things worse.
  • Pride:
    • Crysania VASTLY overestimates her abilities of persuasion, especially when it comes to Raistlin. She also stands up to people she might be better off avoiding.
    • Raistlin's own is his as he is driven by his desire to prove himself greater than any mage who has ever lived to the point of self-destruction.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: In the timeline where he won, he ended up killing everything, leaving him trapped alone for eternity in a world that will never know the touch of life again. In the main timeline, he has to make a Heroic Sacrifice and trap himself in the Abyss, where Takhisis will torture him for all eternity... but Paladine saved him.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Crysania's description talks quite fondly about her pale skin and dark black tresses.
  • Redemption Equals Death: He has to be trapped in the Abyss for an eternity of torture to make amends for his plans to unleash the chief God of Evil on the world. Paladine saves him from it.
  • Spanner in the Works: Par Salian has the genius idea to Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing due to the fact Raistlin doesn't know that You Already Changed the Past and You Can't Fight Fate is strictly enforced on time travel magic. He plans to let Raistlin go back in time, die in Fistandantilus' place and settle the issue. The only thing that could mess things up would be if a kender were to be sent back in time and alter the flow of reality. Cue Tasslehoff getting caught up in the spell.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Crysania grew up the daughter of a wealthy family in Palanthas that made sure she wanted for nothing. Elistan attracted her to the cause of Paladine.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Dalamar. He's a Silvanesti elf with dark hair, so naturally he's tall, lean and very good looking. His dry wit and propensity for sarcasm makes him Tall, Dark, and Snarky as well.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Subverted by Crysania. She knows exactly what Raistlin is planning, but doesn't believe him because she thinks she can change him. She's wrong. After being subjected to brutal torture in the Abyss while trying to protect him, he abandons her once his goal is in sight.
  • Villain Protagonist: Raistlin Majere is one of the protagonists and the primary driver of the plot. He wishes to become a god and destroy the Queen of Darkness but it is only for his own ambition and his success would result in the world being even worse than under Takhasis.
  • Virgin Power: In the Annotated Legends it is said that Raistlin must resist sleeping with Crysania to "preserve his power". Given the way magic works in the setting, it is unlikely that Raistlin would have actually lost his powers if he had slept with Crysania, and there is some doubt over whether he was a virgin or not. So the meaning of that statement is a little ambiguous. In the story itself Raistlin scoffs at the idea and explains to Caramon in plain words that sleeping with Crysania wouldn't affect him in any way, but it might destroy her faith if she discovered that she carnally seduced a man who doesn't love her. Privately he may be concerned of developing distracting attraction to Crysania, even if it's only physical in nature, but that's a different matter altogether.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Raistlin inflicted one of these on his apprentice, Dalamar, in retribution for the latter spying on him for the Towers of High Sorcery. He did it by pressing his fingertips against Dalamar's chest.
  • You Already Changed the Past: How time travel normally works in Dragonlance with the Device of Time Journeying only allowing you to make minor meaningless changes before events rebound. This is changed whenever a Graygem race (like kender) enter the past.