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Literature / The Elven Nations Trilogy

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The Dragonlance Elven Nations Trilogy tells the backstory of Silvanesti in the aftermath of the Second Dragon War, the Kinslayer Wars and the founding of Qualinesti by Kith-Kanan.

In Firstborn, the Speaker of the Stars, Sithel, only son of Silvanos, the founder of Silvanesti, has twin sons born to him, a rarity among elves. Kith-Kanan leaves Silvanesti in a rage when he learns that his brother Sithas, older by several minutes and thus heir to the throne, has been promised by his father in marriage to his love, Hermathaya. He leaves for the Greenwood, a primeval forest far beyond Silvanesti's borders and falls in love with the forest guardian, a Kagonesti named Anaya. He also becomes attached to her adopted brother, Mackelli. Following an Ergoth attack, Anaya suffers a mortal wound and becomes a tree, telling Kith that their child that she is pregnant with will be born a long time from the present day. Kith returns to Silvanesti, where war is threatening to break out due to Silvanesti, Ergoth and Thorbardin all debating who should control the plains between them. Matured by his experiences, Kith vows to found the Wildrunners, a defense force consisting of people of all races and nations, to protect the disputed region. As he departs, his camp is attacked by Kagonesti brigands that were hired (unbeknownst to him) by Hermathya that kill Mackelli. Sithas is killed by an Ergoth hunting party and the nations declare war on each other.


Kinslayer Wars pits Kith-Kanan against the human general Giarna and the army of Ergoth. After suffering several defeats due to the vastly greater human numbers, Kith and Sithas go deep into the mountains and use a scroll with a spell given to them by a priest of Gilean to take control of a large group of Griffons. They also battle Hill Giants, befriending one named One-Tooth. The newly-christened Windriders devastate Ergoth's army but the war drags on for decades afterwards due to the enormous reserves that the humans can continue to send and the incredibly hostile weather on the plains. Kith and Giarna's lover Suzine come to care for each other and she bears him two children, Ulvian and Verhanna. The war finally ends when Giarna is slain in battle by One-Tooth. Sithas and Kith-Kanan part ways, with Kith-Kanan founding a new nation because Sithas and the rest of the "pure" Silvanesti do not want their homeland "tainted" by the humans, half-elves and Kagonesti that Kith has come to respect which inhabit the western parts of the realm.


The final novel Qualinesti is the history of the new nation, with Kith-Kanan struggling with a sucession crisis due to his corrupt son and the machinations of a dark wizard.

The trilogy contains the following tropes:

  • Anachronism Stew: Quite possibly the most glaring example of this in any Dragonlance work. Huma is mentioned several times in Firstborn as an example of a great warrior and dragonslayer. In Qualinesti, the Dark Amulet's power can only be contained by a silver cloth created from Gwyneth/Heart's skin. Seeing as the trilogy takes place 1000 years before the Third Dragon War and centuries before Solamnia was even founded, we can only assume that elves had access to time travel.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Anaya
  • Eldritch Abomination: The First Chaos.
  • The Empire: Ergoth, except for Suzine, is not portrayed sympathetically.
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  • Green-Eyed Monster: Kith-Kanan is immensely jealous of his brother getting to marry Hermathya.
  • Green Thumb: Anaya's connection to the forest allows her to leap effortlessly through the trees, move through a pile of leaves without disturbing the surface and command giant hordes of insects. Her son Silvian inherits the same abilities.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Giarna
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: The elves are terrified of the humans' numbers and adaptability.
  • Humans Are Special: One elf in Firstborn bemoans the fact that, 100 years ago, there was not a human alive who knew how to polish stones. Now there are human jewel merchants in every corner of Krynn. Their goods aren't the same quality as those of elves and dwarves, but they're selling much better due to their much lower prices.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Ulvian, Kith's son, becomes a slave trader, prompting the Speaker to send his son to be a hard laborer at the construction of Pax Tharkas. Unfortunately, he meets an evil sorcerer also being held there and it goes downhill from there.
  • Karma Houdini Hermathya never gets any commueppance for causing Mackelli's death by Kagonesti thugs in an attempt to assassinate Kith-Kanan.
  • Made a Slave: Officially, there aren't any "slaves" in Silvanesti, only convicts put to work. But the reality is that oppressively high taxes and prejudice against the Kagonesti makes it more along the lines of chattel slavery. Later on, fugitive slavers become a problem in Qualinesti territory.
  • Magical Kagonesti: Anaya
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Kith-Kanan's first two marriages are to a Kagonesti, Anaya, and a human, Suzine. His mother and stepfather are kind towards Suzine but his brother and the rest of the nation pretend as though she doesn't exist. His family would not have been happy about Anaya, either, but they never got to meet her.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Morgion turns out to have been Giarna's patron and the driving force behind the Kinslayer Wars.
  • Moral Dissonance: Anaya abducted Mackelli from an outlying Silvanesti farm when he was a baby. She isn't planning to make him the next Guardian because the rules apparently dictate that the mantle must be accepted by a female (she didn't notice his gender when she ran off with him). There's nothing to indicate that his parents were abusive or neglectful. You'd think someone would have brought it up at some point that, you know, they should at least let them know he's not dead.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: One-Tooth is a hill giant who isn't Always Chaotic Evil.
  • No Man of Woman Born: Giarna is immune to harm from humans, elves and even Griffons because he has consumed their flesh with the powers granted to him by Morgion. Hill giants, on the other hand...
  • Only Sane Man: Kith-Kanan, his mother, the priestess of Quenesti Pah (Mishakal) and very few others are the only Silvanesti who believe that Kagonesti, half-elves and humans should not be treated like dirt.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Giarna violently forces himself on Suzine when they are together.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Kith-Kanan, Verhanna and Sithel (mostly). Sithas even has shades of this at times, but he's very much bigoted towards non-Silvanesti.
  • Romantic False Lead: Hermathya
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Kith-Kanan is a rugged warrior and outdoorsman who believes in equality for everyone. Sithas is a City Mouse (though he does develop some impressive survival skills in The Kinslayer Wars) who abhors the thought of Silvanesti becoming "polluted" by other races.
  • Time Abyss: The Forestmaster, the unicorn protecting the Wildwood, has been doing its job for the past 5000 winters.
  • Unicorn: The Forestmaster. They're said to be even rarer than the gods.
  • We Have Reserves: It doesn't matter how many soldiers the superior and more magically adept Silvanesti kill, Giarna can always get more.

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