Astinus of Palanthas (? PC - ? AC) was the master historian of Ansalon, who many likened to the god Gilean himself. Astinus was at least in some regards immortal, since he never aged a day from when he first appeared in Palanthas. The historian was considered by many to be cool and emotionless, although on rare occasions this mask did slip. He worked for the preservation of history and treated everything with as little emotion or bias as possible. Astinus was careful to almost never intervene in any situation, so as not to disturb the flow of history by his actions. As the epitome of neutrality, he constantly worked night and day in his study, rarely saw visitors and also rarely allowed any of his books to be taken out of the Great Library of Palanthas. He himself almost never left the Great Library either and his privacy was maintained by his aesthetics. He was described as appearing as a Human male in his fifties, lean and pale with grey receded hair, wearing grey robes and with startling intense eyes.
Origins of Astinus
The origins of Astinus are steeped in mystery and unclear to all, except the gods themselves. Due to the fact that he had lived for many centuries on Krynn and did not age at all during his time, there were a number of different myths and legends as to what he was and where he came from. One legend presumed that he was an immortal Astral Dragon and had chosen to appear in human form to watch the world pass by. Another, which was spread by the immortal Bard Sebastius, was that he was one of the sons of Gilean (along with Sebastius himself). Others mused that he had been summoned from Beyond by the god Gilean or that he was simply a long-lived mortal who was a servant of Gilean.
Many also speculated that Astinus was Gilean himself, who had chosen to make himself manifest on the world to watch and record all events that transpired. The popular belief is that Astinus is a human scribe whose soul was fostered by Gilean, since Astinus was destined to one day become the god, therefore presuming that Astinus himself is an aspect of Gilean.
In 1772 PC, shortly after the Great Library of Palanthas had been built, Astinus appeared one day in the city. He entered the Great Library and immediately took over as Master of the Library and then recruited a number of Sages and Aesthetics to work for him and continue to record and monitor historical events all over the continent. These sages and aesthetics became the first members of the Order of Aesthetics, which Astinus founded for the maintainers of the library and his aides. The library became a central focus point for the Church of Gilean at this point.
Astinus took a great interest in the Third Dragon War, penning the tale of Huma himself, and noting at one point that he had dwelled far longer on this subject than any other at the time.
During the Age of Might, Astinus continued to record history as he had for the last few centuries. In 19 PC, he left the Great Library to attend the handover of the keys to the Tower of Palanthas from the mages to the people of Palanthas. He witnessed the curse that was placed on the Tower of High Sorcery by the black-robed mage Rannoch and watched stunned, recording events as they unfolded.
In the opening stages of the post-Cataclysmic age, Astinus was visited by the mage Raistlin Majere in 39 AC, who had traveled through time to alter events during the Dwarfgate War with the mage Fistandantilus. The historian mistook Raistlin for Fistandantilus, and would later amend his volume in which he noted that the cleric Denubis and Fistandantilus would try to learn about the portal, instead replacing the two names with Raistlin and the cleric Crysania.
As the War of the Lance raged across Ansalon, Astinus continued writing about the events and would not become directly involved until 352 AC when Raistlin Majere would appear dying on the steps of the Great Library. Raistlin was granted an audience with Astinus, who seemed to recognize him, even though the pair had not met before. Astinus granted Raistlin the right to study in his library, and after a short period and several discussions, Raistlin drove Astinus into a rare rage. The historian ranted about how dedicated he was to the world, revealed how he had foreseen the end of the world and how it would occur, and that it was the mage Fistandantilus who he saw in Raistlin, and that the ancient archmage had created the Sphere of Time that Astinus used in aiding him to chronicle the world. Astinus also served as counsel and advisor to Lord Amothus Palanthus and the Golden General during the war, aiding where possible.
At the behest of the Lady Crysania of Tarinius, Astinus was asked to host a meeting involving her and the mage Raistlin Majere in 356 AC. Astinus witnessed that Crysania believed she could redeem Raistlin from the path of evil, whilst Raistlin found the notion of corrupting Crysania a challenge. He remains an impartial party, allowing Crysania and Raistlin to continue on their own ways. The events surrounding the Blue Lady's War and the Majere twins journey into the past would cause an alternate timeline to be formed, in which certain events played out. In the alternate timeline, Caramon Majere and Tasslehoff Burrfoot witnessed the end of the world in 358 AC, where they saw Astinus being tortured and closing the Tobril, whilst Raistlin ruled over a dead world. However with the aid of Astinus, Caramon and Tas escaped the alternate timeline, and armed with knowledge of the future, could prevent Raistlin from ascending to godhood.
In 383 AC, Astinus was visited in the Great Library by Palin Majere, Usha Majere and Tasslehoff Burrfoot. He revealed the future to Palin, advising the young mage that due to his actions, Steel Brightblade was to be executed by the Knights of Takhisis. By revealing this information, he enabled Palin to journey to the High Clerist's Tower in time to prevent the execution. Shortly following this, Raistlin Majere who had recently emerged from the Abyss, met with Astinus and thanked him for aiding his nephew. Astinus and Raistlin spoke for a short while, at which time the historian revealed that the volume he was penning would be his last on Krynn.
Directly following the Chaos War, Astinus vanished from the Great Library and was not seen again. Every volume of work that he had ever written or even made notations in also vanished from the library and was not seen since. The great historian was gone from Krynn, leaving his aesthetics to continue his legacy in recording the history of the world.
Other Names & Titles
Over time, Astinus has been called many different names and titles. Amongst these are: Astinus Lorekeeper, Master of the Library, Lorekeeper, Historian of Krynn, Ageless One, Deathless One, Astinus the Undying, and Astinus the Chronicler.
An older source said in the early Age of Might Astinus journeyed to Istar and spent three decades copying the plates of Karthay Pah, but a later source said it was a scribe from the Great Library of Palanthas.
- The Annotated Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of Winter Night, p.778
- The Annotated Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of Spring Dawning, p.969-971, 974, 979-980, 990-991, 1001-1002, 1011
- The Annotated Dragonlance Legends: Time of the Twins, p.2-4, 10, 355
- The Annotated Dragonlance Legends: War of the Twins, p.499-504
- The Annotated Dragonlance Legends: Test of the Twins, p.847, 899, 901, 903, 1130, 1132, 1134
- The Second Generation, p.58, 253
- Brothers Majere, p.12
- Chosen of the Gods, p.34
- Divine Hammer, p.338-340
- Dragonlance Adventures, p.83, p.89
- Dragonlance Campaign Setting, p.199, 202
- The Dragons, p.242
- The Dragons at War, p.62, 160
- DL1: Dragons of Despair, p.1
- DL2: Dragons of Flame, p.2
- DL3: Dragons of Hope, p.2
- Dragons of Summer Flame, p.164, 415-420, 427-429
- Dragons of the Highlord Skies (PB) p. 95-100, 272
- Emperor of Ansalon (Novel), p.155
- Dragonlance: Fifth Age, 'Book 2' p. 15
- Fistandantilus Reborn, p.1-3
- Hederick the Theocrat, p.1-5, 198-199
- Holy Orders of the Stars, p.92
- The Kinslayer Wars, p.21, 271
- Knights of the Rose, p.266
- The Legend of Huma, p.7-8
- Lord Soth, p.1
- Lord Toede, p.182
- Night of the Eye (Novel), p.145
- Palanthas, p.22-25
- The Players of Gilean, p.21, 48-49, 192
- The Puppet King, p.105
- Rebels and Tyrants, p.324
- Tales of Uncle Trapspringer, p.1, 264
- The Thieves' Guild (Novel), p.87, 237-238
- Tales of the Lance: World Book of Ansalon, p.12
- War of the Lance (Sourcebook), p.240