9780786968282That is going to be a sidebar to the general dialogue about Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen. I had some ideas on tips on how to taste a few of the encounters and marketing campaign components to be extra particularly Dragonlance feeling, however this time round, I wished to the touch on the place “canon” diverges within the journey, and the place it “sort of” diverges.

Heavy Spoilers for Shadow of the Dragon Queen

Canon Cuts Each Methods

To be clear, “canon” is at all times a dodgy time period. Even throughout the Dragonlance fiction, there are some novels or brief tales which were known as “Kender Tales,” primarily to indicate that the story could also be advised by folks in some locations, however the story isn’t really true or binding to different components of the story.

Even limiting “canon” to what was written by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis might be difficult. Even earlier than the present trilogy of books which are in manufacturing, there have been quite a few in-universe modifications to the timeline, and a number of situations the place we have now seen one usually idyllic future that has been always diverted into different darker futures.

On prime of all of that some Hickman and Weis books have referred to different authors’ Dragonlance books, Hickman and Weis resisted the “canon” standing of Lord Soth being pulled into Ravenloft, and infrequently, they’ve contradicted their very own tales (for instance, who was at Tanis and Laurana’s wedding ceremony and what occurred there).

I additionally wished to level out that on the subject of RPG merchandise, there have been a whole lot of points with conflicting timelines and occasions. None of that is to level fingers, it’s to say that “canon” could be a slippery slope.

Fuzzy Canon

So, what are the potential “canon” points in Shadow of the Dragon Queen? I’m going to divide these into borderline points and conflicts. Let’s begin with these borderline points:

  • Potential divine magic seems earlier than Goldmoon’s restoration of the Disks of Mishakal
  • Dragons appeared in Krynn’s historical past after they had been banished and earlier than the Conflict of the Lance
  • Recovering a Dragonlance earlier than the Dragonlance and their creation technique was rediscovered

One of many causes I’m going to name all of those “borderline” points is that loads of recreation materials, brief tales, novels, and comics have carried out the above lengthy earlier than this journey. I believe it’s value what story functions all of these occasions serve, each within the authentic story and on this journey, earlier than getting too upset about them.

Goldmoon’s discovery of the Disks a Mishakal serves because the occasion the place the Gods of Good had been able to reveal their presence to the world, and the data within the Disks is what helped Elistan proselytize the Gods of Mild to win new followers. The PCs on this journey aren’t actually put able of proselytizing and making new clerics or divine casters.

There have undoubtedly been situations the place dragons had been talked about after the banishment. The chromatic dragons had been banished, however the metallic dragons agreed to withdraw from the world, which has been proven in lots of instances to imply “go someplace on the earth the place they gained’t be affecting the course of historical past.” It really helps to cement how momentous an occasion the confrontation on the Metropolis of Misplaced names was to underscore {that a} gold dragon might have probably upset the settlement between the gods relating to the withdrawal of the metallic dragons.

The Dragonlance in query is a single Dragonlance, and turns into a singular object for fixing the issues offered within the journey. No person learns the place a cache of them exists, and no person learns tips on how to make them. Additionally, there’s a priority for remoted people discovering single lances in different types of fiction over time.

If all of these items are actually large issues to your enjoyment of the journey, think about the next:

  • Characters to whom the gods have revealed themselves can simply be advised that they’ve been given powers to perform a process, and that spreading the phrase isn’t a part of their mission
  • As I discussed above, taking part in up how harmful it was {that a} dragon was keen to interrupt the pact 300+ years in the past really helps underscore the drama of the state of affairs portrayed within the journey
  • It’s really very easy for somebody, probably Fizban, to come back alongside on the finish of the journey to gather the Dragonlance till the remainder of the world is “prepared” for it to be revealed

All of that stated, I’d additionally level out that Krynn isn’t a world the place information travels quick. Magic isn’t as ubiquitous as it’s in Eberron, and even the Forgotten Realms. Some folks would possibly inform tales concerning the heroes that fought a Dragon Highmaster with a Dragonlance, however by the point that story actually picks up pace, there are more likely to be new Dragonlances being solid by Theros Ironfield.

Furry Canon

Now, let’s have a look at the larger points, which I’d posit might not be fairly as large as they appear at first, both:

  • The historical past of the Metropolis of Misplaced names doesn’t line up with the way it has appeared in different merchandise
  • The historical past of how the Flying Citadels got here into being doesn’t match what’s offered within the journey
  • The town of Kalaman was underneath Blue Dragonarmy management in the direction of the tip of the Conflict of the Lance, and was liberated by Laurana’s push into this area of Solamnia

WotL CoverI don’t know when the Metropolis of Misplaced Names was first detailed. I do know after I was working campaigns in Dragonlance within the AD&D 2e days, I couldn’t discover any data on it apart from it being a destroy with a snazzy title. For what it’s value, for anybody that could be a large fan of the novels, not one of the large collection reference the destroy or it’s historical past, and I imagine most of it’s historical past exists as a framing gadget for a collection of brief tales.

The Metropolis of Misplaced Names, because it seems within the 3.5 Conflict of the Lance sourcebook, was a metropolis constructed within the Age of Desires by folks harnessing the magic of the Graygem, which incorporates the essence of Chaos. The Gods of Magic thought this was sort of cool, till the folks within the metropolis made the Anvil of Time, and the Gods determined that point journey is a ache within the ass. Enter divine curse, temple containing the Anvil of Time buried underneath the sand, metropolis turns into a destroy, components of it float. None of this interacts with the way more latest historical past of Istar.

I’m going to argue all of this really works fairly nicely with what’s offered, in the event you layer what’s offered within the journey on prime of what was already stated concerning the metropolis. Attempting to revive a metropolis that was cursed by the Gods of Magic is certainly a Kingpriest factor to do, and dragons lairing in a destroy that was cursed by the gods for having forbidden magic is sort of logical for creatures withdrawn from the world. Even the Spawning Shard and the presence of Slaad within the ruins make sense for the historical past with the Graygem and Chaos.

Within the journey, it sounds just like the Bastion of Takhisis was a maintained temple on the time of the Cataclysm, however there is no such thing as a method that the Kingpriest would have left that stand, Stability be damned, in a metropolis being restored to point out the glory of Istar. Nevertheless, if the Bastion of Takhisis is a relic of an historic previous, it nonetheless works, it simply means the construction is sufficiently old to this point again to the Age of Desires.

It’s additionally unusual to have Wizards of Excessive Sorcery working with the Kingpriest on something, particularly a Pink Gown, nonetheless, in the event you body this as Fistandantalus convincing the Kingpriest that the arcanists are wanted to assist take away the curse positioned by the Gods of Magic on the positioning, this works. One of many oddities of the Kingpriest was that the one wizard he tended to hearken to was Fistandantalus, and Fistandantalus would completely have his fellow wizards on the lookout for artifacts to take away from the town whereas “eradicating the curse.”

The creation of the flying citadels is fairly simple to reconcile as nicely. Within the established lore, they had been within the starting stage for 2 years, and it took a Black Gown wizard and a cleric of Takhisis six months to work the rituals to lastly get them off the bottom. We see the cleric of Takhisis and the Black-Robed wizard on this journey, and I believe it’s fairly simple to imagine that the “breakthrough” that allowed them to maneuver from the starting stage to manufacturing was having the ability to use components of the town because the foundations of the citadels.

Lastly, there’s the matter of the Blue Dragonarmy’s occupation of Kalaman. I don’t actually assume it is a canon challenge a lot because it’s a little bit of a bummer to understand that after preserving Kalaman out of the arms of the Pink Dragonarmy, Kitiara comes alongside and takes the town just a few months later. However that’s foreshadowed with the feedback by the Dragonhighmaster and the letter on the finish of the journey.

What Did We Accomplish?

The efforts of the PCs aren’t futile, as a result of it retains any of the Dragonarmies from having a agency maintain on this a part of Solamnia, it pushes again using the flying fortresses by months, and possibly most of all, prevents the Dragonarmies from having a prepared supply of undead dragons to help their efforts. It additionally implies that Kitiara has to divert her efforts to recruit Soth again to the trigger after his defeat.

Additionally, absolutes are a ache within the rear finish, and in the event you ever learn a person character stating an absolute within the story, keep in mind that could be a character, in a narrative, stating an absolute that they imagine to be true from their viewpoint.

In the end, I believe it’s extra essential that the journey works as an journey, and that it holds up when measured towards the texture of the setting as offered within the media the place it’s most certainly to be encountered. For those who learn the Dragonlance Chronicles, the journey slots into the assumptions of these books rather well. It’s solely the prolonged backstory the place issues begin to get sticky.

The essential a part of the journey is for the PCs to be heroes, to perform clearly essential objectives, and for the setting to really feel just like the established really feel of the setting, and on the subject of all of these benchmarks, I believe it succeeds.


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