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Dragons of Autumn Twilight is a fantasy novel by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. It is the beginning of the Dragonlance Chronicles, that is, along with the Dragonlance Legends trilogy, generally respected as the core of the Dragonlance books.

The book details the meeting of the Companions and the early days of The War of The Lance

Plot summary[]

The Companions had separated five years earlier to seek proof of the existence of the True Gods of Krynn. It is the eve of their reunion and Solace is much changed from the peaceful village they left five years before. Solace is now under the control of the Highseekers of Haven, an agnostic order of truth-seekers that sprang up after the Cataclysm when the True Gods supposedly abandoned Krynn. The Seekers, however, are no longer benign and fanatical elements have gained control of their order. Even worse they are collaborating with the evil Dragon Highlords who are preparing for the conquest of the continent of Ansalon. Solace is now an armed camp and goblin soldiers patrol the once peaceful village. Tanis, Flint and Tasslehoff meet outside of Solace. After a brief confrontation, they continue to the Inn of the Last Home and meet up with their friends, and, as circumstance would have it, two barbarians, Riverwind and Goldmoon. Kitiara Uth Matar is absent, having left a letter saying that "her new lord is keeping her busy". Flint remarks that Kitiara has broken a sacred oath, bearing bad tidings upon the group. Goldmoon bears the Blue Crystal Staff, a holy artifact of the goddess Mishakal which possesses healing powers and sparks the revival of the faith of the True Gods. The Companions are forced to flee Solace after Goldmoon uses the staff to heal a Seeker, which results in a bar fight.

This pulls the Companions, unwittingly, into a great struggle against the goddess Takhisis, the Queen of Darkness and leader of the enemy forces.

The Companions cross a nearby lake by boat in their escape, and Raistlin notices that the constellations known as “The Valiant Warrior” and “The Queen of Darkness” (representations of the True Gods Paladine and Takhisis) are absent from the sky, which he claims means that the two gods, the heads of good and evil, respectively, have come to Krynn. The next day, the group is attacked by Draconians. These creatures are numerous among the Dark Queen's armies, and often serve as footsoldiers into the woods, the Companions soon find themselves in a place known as Darken Wood, where the Companions are attacked but are rescued by centaurs, who take them to the Forestmaster, a unicorn. The Forestmaster charges the group to go the Xak Tsaroth to retrieve the Disks of Mishakal, contain the teaching of the True Gods and are instrumental for the restoration of the faith in the True Gods.

After a lengthy trip and several encounters with the forces of darkness, the companions enter Xak Tsaroth and eventually meet some gully dwarves. One of the dwarves, Bupu, leads them to the dragon Khisanth, who is killed by the holy power of the blue crystal staff. When this happens, Goldmoon is consumed by its holy flame and presumed dead. However, they find her later resting at the foot of a statue of Mishakal, which now bears the Blue Crystal Staff, having blessed Goldmoon with true clerical powers. The Companions leave with the Disks of Mishakal and Bupu also gives an ancient spellbook (formerly belonging to the archmage, Fistandantilus, who has a dark pact with Raistlin and sometimes lends his power to him) to Raistlin and then returns home to her fellow gully dwarves.

The Companions then return to Solace (their collective hometown), only to find it occupied by the armies of the Dragon Highlords. Their friend, the barmaid Tika Waylan saves the life of an elven man, who turns out to be Gilthanas Kanan, a prince of the Qualinesti, the elven nation where Tanis Half-Elven was born, but then the Companions, Tika, and Gilthanas are all captured and placed in a slave caravan that will take them to the fortress at Pax Tharkas. While en route to Pax Tharkas, the Companions meet an elderly and seemingly senile wizard named Fizban, and Tasslehoff befriends the gully dwarf Sestun. A force of elves led by Porthios Kanan, Gilthanas's brother, then attack the caravan to free Gilthanas, and the Companions are able to escape with the help of Fizban and Sestun. They return to Qualinesti and decide to lead an attack on Pax Tharkas to free the slaves and break the Dragon Highlord Verminaard's hold there. While in Qualinesti the Companions also meet Tanis's fiance, the Qualinesti princess Laurana Kanan, and all are dazzled by her beauty. Tanis breaks Laurana's heart though by terminating their engagement and telling her that he is in love with the human woman Kitiara Uth Matar.

The Companions (now including Tika, Gilthanas, and Fizban) depart for Pax Tharkas and while en route they encounter a human warrior named Eben Shatterstone who joins the group. The Companions enters Pax Tharkas through a secret route known as the Sla-Mori. They then find that Laurana has followed them. Tanis is angry with Laurana but realizes it is too late to send her back, so she is allowed to join the group. The Companions then travel further into the Sla-Mori where they are attacked by a banshee. Raistlin, drawing on some strange power, is able to protect them from the banshee, but in the confusion Tasslehoff and Fizban are separated from the group.

The Companions make contact with the slaves, and Goldmoon heals Elistan, a dying Seeker, converting him to the faith of the true gods. He becomes the first cleric of Paladine, and eventually the leader of Paladine's church on Krynn, becoming a very influential spiritual leader. He also is believed by Goldmoon to be the recipient of the Disks of Mishakal, which she turns over to him. Tasslehoff and Fizban meanwhile have discovered that one of the group is a traitor and found that Sestun is being held prisoner. They rescue Sestun though in doing so they are attacked by the red dragon Ember (Pyros), and Fizban is lost. Ember's fire breath also breaks the Great Chain of Pax Tharkas which sets the fortress's defense mechanism into action.

The Companions meanwhile go to free the children of the slaves and encounter the senile red dragon, Flamestrike (Matafleur), who believes the children of the slaves are her own children. The Companions then discover they have been betrayed by Eben. Highlord Verminaard appears on Ember and proclaims that he will kill all the men, women, and children but his threat against the children causes Flamestrike to go berserk and attack Ember. This triggers the slave uprising. Eben, acting at the behest of Ember, takes advantage of the chaos to try and sneak a mysterious figure known as "The Everman” out of Pax Tharkas only for both Eben and the Everman to be crushed by the falling rocks that were set into motion when Ember destroyed the Great Chain. The battle is won with Laurana proving her worth during the fighting; Tanis, Sturm, Caramon, Raistlin, Goldmoon and Riverwind killing Verminaard; and Flamestrike sacrificing herself to kill Ember.

Afterwards Goldmoon and Riverwind get married. The Everman appears at the celebration but flees after bring spotted. Raistlin warns Tanis that they have only won a battle not the war.

According to Tracy Hickman, "The restoration of truth and faith are... to a great extent, the theme of this first book in the series."[1]


Heroes of the Lance[]


  • Gilthanas Kanan, brother of Laurana.
  • Porthios Kanan, brother of Laurana and Gilthanas.
  • Solostaran Kanan, Speaker of the Suns and father to Laurana, Gilthanas, and Porthios. Foster father of Tanis
  • Fizban, The human form of the God Paladine, he appears as a muddled old wizard.
  • Forestmaster, a talking unicorn.
  • Verminaard, a Dragon Highlord and one of the main antagonists.
  • Ember (Pyros), a red dragon who serves Verminaard.
  • Flamestrike (Matafleur), a senile old red dragon.
  • Eben Shatterstone, a man in Pax Tharkas who betrays the Companions.
  • The Everman, an enigmatic figure seen in Pax Tharkas and shortly afterward.


Animated Film: Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight (film)

Graphic Novel: Dragonlance Graphic Novles



Margaret Weis includes allusions to A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, one of her favorites stories. References include But there was something disquieting about him—secret, silent, self-contained, and solitary as an oyster[2]and The fate of mankind is my business, turning the quote from meaning good to meaning harm.[3]

In the dedication to this novel, Tracy Hickman dedicates it to his wife, Laura, who he claims is the true Laurana.[4]

Chemosh, god of the undead and of sloth, bears the same name as Chemosh, Biblical god of the Moabites. The name means destroyer, subduer, or fish-god.[5]

Sirrion, god of flame and natural power, bears the same name as the River Sirion, a fictional river in the Lord of the Rings world.

Chislev, goddess of nature, has the same name as a Jewish month. The month generally saw much sowing of wheat and barley and plowing.[6]

Takhisis is strikingly similar to Tiamat. Both are five-headed dragon goddesses. One of Takhisis' other names is Mai-tat, which is an anagram of Tiamat.

Zeboim has the same name as a city of the plains, as well as a ravine somewhere north of Jericho. It also can mean gazelles or roes.[7]

Release details[]

Importance to Dragonlance[]

Dragons of Autumn Twilight is important to the Dragonlance World because it is the start of the entire series. It was based upon a Dungeons & Dragons session played by the authors, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, as well as some of their friends, some of whom became Dragonlance writers themselves. In the next book, the series began to break away from the game session, following the path of the storyline set up by the novels. It sets up many of the most important characters, The Heroes of the Lance. According to the Dragonlance Nexus, the Chronicles Trilogy is essential to setting up the foundation for the rest of the novels[8] It was once stated in a Wizards of The Coast interview that Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis make a good team because Hickman is better at writing about good characters, and that Weis is better at writing about dark characters, evident by her love of Raistlin.[9] Dragons of Autumn Twilight is the debut novel for both Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

Also Known As[]

  • Hungarian - Az őszi alkony sárkányai
  • German - Drachenzwielicht
  • Czech - Draci Podzimního Soumraku


  1. Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman [November 1999]. “Book 1, chapter 16, A bitter choice. The greatest gift.”, The Annotated Chronicles, 1st edition, Wizards of the Coast, 197. ISBN 0-7869-1870-5. Retrieved on 2006-07-01.
  2. Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman [November 1999]. “Book 2, volume 1, chapter 5, The riot. Tas disappears. Alhana Starbreeze.”, The Annotated Chronicles, 1st edition, Wizards of the Coast, 529. ISBN 0-7869-1870-5. Retrieved on 2006-07-01.
  3. Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman [November 1999]. “Book 2, volume 1, chapter 8, Escape from Tarsis. The story of the Dragon Orbs.”, The Annotated Chronicles, 1st edition, Wizards of the Coast, 572. ISBN 0-7869-1870-5. Retrieved on 2006-07-01.
  4. Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman [April 1984]. Dragons of Autumn Twilight, 3rd edition, Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1574-9. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.
  5. Chemosh. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.
  6. The Month Chislev. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.
  7. Zeboim. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.
  8. Recommended Dragonlance Reading List. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.
  9. Dragons of the Dwarven Depths Chat Transcript. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.