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Upcoming DragonLance Worst Case Scenarios

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By Nelson Schneider - 09/11/22 at 05:50 PM CT

As I made clear in my review of the latest volume in the long-running and much-abused DragonLance series of Dungeons & Dragons-based novels, the setting hasn’t been in such a tenuous state since 1996, with the release of the novel, “Dragons of Summer Flame,” and the accompanying DragonLance 5th Age Boxed Set, which introduced the much-maligned SAGA System. While it is still unclear if Wizards of the Coast and their new commitment to Wokeness is behind the tonal shift in “Dragons of Deceit” or if Weis and Hickman have simply decided to shove real-world politics into their iconic Fantasy series for their own reasons (which could get even more bizarre, since Tracy Hickman is a lifelong Mormon), the time-traveling plot and the overall glorification of a boring character who is an overwhelming Mary-Sue and Strong Woman of Color leaves the door open for all sorts of terrible things to happen to the series at a foundational level.

Based on my impressions of the first volume in the latest trilogy, there are quite a few fringy political ideas that I can see sneaking into DragonLance and destroying it from the inside out. There will be spoilers, and *offensive* thoughts, so read on at your own peril.

Huma X Magius: Star-Crossed Lovers
During the scene in which Tasslehoff takes the action back to the fateful meeting of the Heroes of the Lance (before they actually earn that group moniker) at the Inn of the Last Home in Solace, extra focus is placed on the relationship dynamic between Sturm Brightblade and Raistlin Majere, in which Sturm loudly asks the rhetorical question, “How in the world could a Knight of Solamnia and a Wizard of High Sorcery ever be friends?” The topic at hand, is, of course, the unorthodox bond between Huma, the legendary Knight who used a DragonLance to drive the draconic incarnation of the Dark Queen back into the Abyss at the end of the Third Dragonwar, and Magius, a Red Robed Wizard of High Sorcery who was Huma’s inseparable companion. With “Dragons of Deceit” pushing the envelope regarding forced ethnic diversity with its half-Solamnic, half-Ergothian heroine, it would not surprise me in the least if the next volume introduces the forced diversity of a same-sex couple. And, of course, we would have the answer to Sturm’s question: They were more than friends, and that’s how they were able to overcome the hostility between their social groups.

Sturm X Raistlin: Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
Sturm’s rhetorical question regarding the impossibility of friendship between a Knight and a Wizard stems largely from his absolute hatred of Raistlin. While Sturm is honorable and altruistic, Raistlin typically sees the worst in people and is acerbic and sarcastic as a result. However, thanks to Tasslehoff and Destina mucking everything up with the Device of Time Journeying and the Graygem of Gargath, these two men have been displaced in time, yet for “Doctor Who” levels of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey-ness have been given the memories of their entire ill-fated timelines leading up to both of their deaths. Perhaps these two characters will develop in entirely different ways, knowing where they both went wrong in their original timelines. And, perhaps, they will both turn over a new leaf… and find a burning desire for The Dick underneath. Neither Sturm nor Raistlin ever had a strong relationship with the ladies. Sturm notoriously boned Raistlin’s evil half-sister, Kitiara, during a night of drunkenness, leading to the birth Steele Brightblade, founder of the Legion of Steele (a.k.a., the Neutral Knights). Raistlin, on the other hand, had a legendary – and possibly fabricated – sexual encounter with a female Irda (read: sexy ogre) while on a military campaign with his brother, Caramon. He also famously seduced a Priestess of Paladine in order to get her to help him operate the Portal to the Abyss in the Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas… but he never really loved her. That little bit of ambiguity leaves plenty of room to force these two men into a love affair for the sake of pandering.

Black Kender Matter
Due to Kender being Kender and their disorganized cultural norms, Tasslehoff and Destina end up married. With Tas going Full Retard with his refusal to understand that the she-Kender he married is actually Destina wearing a magical disguise, it is not outside the realm of possibility that Tas and ‘Meri’ will end up consummating their marriage – in the most pedo-normative sort of way possible. And with the Graygem of Gargath – which originally created Kender by mutating excessively-curious Gnomes – in play, it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that a Negroid-phenotype half-Kender (or full Kender, even) will be born to the unhappy couple. And with their new temporal location at 1000 years before the ‘present,’ that gives our theoretical Blacklehoff plenty of time to spawn generations of descendants, who will, as Kender do, wander the continent, spreading far and wide.

Mary-Sue vs. The Dragon Queen
In a bit of not-so-subtle foreshadowing, Weis and Hickman give Destina a burning desire to become a heroic dragon-riding Knight, on par with the legendary Huma ‘Dragonbane’ himself. With Destina conveniently plopped into exactly the right place and time, it’s entirely possible that the intention is to allow her to ‘fulfil her destiny’ and ‘live up to her potential’ by flat-out replacing Huma as the legendary hero of the Third Dragonwar. This would change a LOT of Krynn’s historical social norms as well as the relationships between the various cultures of Ansalon. We’d have precedent for women being inducted into the Knights of Solamnia a millennium before the Knighthood was supposed to reform itself in that way. Furthermore, we’d have a visibly dark-skinned, curly-haired Ergothian Sea-Barbarian saving the world from draconic enslavement and domination, quite possibly pushing Ergoth to the front of continental politics and transforming Solamnia into a backwater. Heck, we might even see the Knights of Solamnia replaced with the Knights of Ergoth and a new Ergothian Empire ruled by an Empress!

Mary-Sue Saves the World
Lastly, if Destina is allowed to replace Huma as the dragon-riding hero of legend, and Ergoth rises in power instead of Solamnia, the remainder of that millennium of established Krynnish history is up in smoke. Perhaps, to show that People of Color are inherently more virtuous than evil, colonial, imperial Europeans Solamnics, Ergothian Sea Barbarians will replace all of the major players in the timeline. Perhaps the Black Kingpriest of Istar won’t be so hubristic as to attempt to summon a god to do his bidding in the world. Or perhaps Black Lord Soth will be virtuous enough to overcome his crippling lust and jealousy to prevent the Cataclysm, unlike his original counterpart. How far can this go? Maybe we should stop demonizing Black Robed Wizards who worship the Black Moon, Nuitari? They aren’t ‘evil,’ Necromancy’s just part of their culture… right?

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