300 years after the Cataclysm, Takhisis, Queen of Darkness and goddess of evil, brought the destroyed Temple of the Kingpriest to the Abyss, her realm. Using her powers she corrupted it, converting it into a gateway that connected with Krynn through a Foundation Stone in Neraka.
The War of the Lance is considered the Fourth Dragon War by the authors of the trilogy.
The Foundation Stone was discovered by Jasla and her brother Berem, who decided to take one of the emeralds decorating it, accidentally killing his sister when she tried to stop him. The emerald fuses in Berem's chest, empowering/cursing him with immortality. Without the emerald, the Foundation Stone is useless, and Takhisis is prevented from entering Krynn. She commands her forces to search for Berem, who is known to them as the Everman.
To prevent the good dragons from entering the next war, Takhisis commands her forces to steal the eggs from them, hidden in the mountains, and forces them to accept The Oath, in which she will return them as soon as the war is over if they stay away from it.
The group itself was formed by Flint Fireforge, a hill dwarf, Tanis Half-Elven, Sturm Brightblade, Caramon, a mercenary warrior and his twin brother Raistlin Majere, a red-robed (later black-robed) wizard, Tasslehoff Burrfoot, a kender, Goldmoon, the first Cleric of Mishakal and her lover Riverwind, a ranger.
Although Kitiara Uth Matar, mercenary and half-sister to the Majere twins, was member of the companions in previous adventures, she joined - and eventually came to lead - the Blue Dragonarmy of Ansalon, fighting for Takhisis.
Lord Ariakas, son of a dark cleric, agreed to serve Takhisis. He became the first Dragon Highlord, Commander of the five wings of the Dragonarmy of Ansalon. The races in the Dragonarmies were the ogres, the chromatic dragons, the goblins and hobgoblins, draconians, and humans.
Meeting on Sancrist, the remaining free nations formed a temporary alliance in order to fight back against the Dragonarmies. The nations that were part of the alliance were the Knights of Solamnia, the gnomes, the Neidar (hill dwarves), and the people of Southern Ergoth. Although not members, the mountain dwarves, the Qualinesti and Silvanesti elves, and the kender joined to assist the Alliance.
The War of the Lance began in 348 AC when the Dragonarmies invaded Nordmaar. The Dragonarmies quickly overrun Nordmaar, capturing the capital of North Keep and razing its largest port, Valkinord. The Dragonarmies then allied with Salah-Khan, a champion of the Khur tribe, to secure Khur as an ally and then quickly conquered the human nation of Balifor and the kender nation of Goodlund. The Dragonarmies then surrounded Silvanesti, and the Speaker of the Stars Lorac Caladon made a treaty to forestall an invasion.
On the following year, though, the Dragonarmies broke the pact, and the Red, Blue, and Green Dragonarmies began the invasion of Silvanesti. Highlord Phair Caron, Commander of the Red Dragonarmy, led this invasion, assisted by the black-robed wizard Tramd of Thorbardin, also known as Tramd o' the Dark. The Elves resisted fiercely and both sides suffered heavy casualties as the Dragonarmies slowly advanced on the Elven capital of Silvanost. Lorac Caladon realized his people could not hope to stop the Dragonarmy invasion by force of arms, so he ordered his people to evacuate Silvanesti, fleeing by ship to the distant land of Southern Ergoth, where they founded the city of Silvamori. Lorac stayed behind and once all of his people had been safely evacuated, attempted to use a Dragon Orb, a device created by mages to control dragons. He fails, and Silvanesti is destroyed by its magic, becoming a twisted nightmare. The magic of the dragon orb also caused great devastation to the invading Dragonarmy forces and led to Highlord Phair Caron being murdered by her own fear crazed troops. The Dragonarmies pulled all of their troops out of the wasteland that Silvanesti had become. However, the green dragon Cyan Bloodbane stayed, taking control of Silvanesti, and using its magic to control a weakened Lorac Caladon.
The Dragonarmies spent the next year recovering from the Silvanesti campaign. The dark cleric, Verminaard of Nidus, was given command of the Red Wing. The Red and Blue Wings both prepared for the invasion of Solamnia, while the Green, Black, and White Wings took responsibility for garrisoning the already conquered lands.
In the spring of 351 AC, the Red and Blue Dragonarmies finally began the invasion of Solamnia. The Blue Wing captured the key port city of Kalaman and then drove deep into Solamnia, overuning the Solamnic provinces of Hinterlund and Nightlund. The Blue Wing then advanced into the Plains of Solamnia, capturing Vingaard Keep, and advancing on the High Clerist Tower, which guarded the land route to the Solamnic capital of Palanthas. Meanwhile the Red Wing, assisted by the human nation of Lemish, and the hobgoblins of Throtl, attacked through the Throtl Gap, overuning the Solamnic provinces of Gaarlund and Heartlund, and capturing the key cities of Solanthus and Thelgaard. However, the Dwarven nation of Kayolin stood firm against the invaders and slowly the weakened Knights of Solamnia began to organize a defense.
In the summer of 351 AC, the Red Wing split in two, with a large force, under the command of Highlord Verminaard, begin sent south across the New Sea. This force was to conquer first the human nation of Abanasinnia, then the Elven nation of Qualinesti, and finally the Dwarven nation of Thorbardin. Verminaard quickly secured the ruins of Xak Tsaroth and the Dwarven fortress of Pax Tharkas, and formed a secret alliance with the dark dwarf Realgar, Thane of the Theiwar.
An incident occurs in which the true nature of the Crystal Staff arises: the staff is the Healing Staff of Mishakal, recovered by Riverwind from the ruins of Xak Tsaroth while searching for proof of the existence of the old gods his family worshiped. The companions are forced to flee.
Although they tried to reach the city of Haven, they are forced to hide in Darken Wood, a cursed forest. Eventually they meet the Forestmaster, the unicorn protector of the woods, who tells them to go to the ruins of Xak Tsaroth to recover the Disks of Mishakal.
Once in the ruins, Raistlin befriends Bupu, a gully dwarf, who helps them find the Disks of Mishakal and a lost spellbook of Fistandantilus, protected by the black dragon Khisanth. Goldmoon is blessed by Mishakal, becoming her priest, and with her help the companions defeat the dragon, recover the items and escape to Solace, where the Red Dragonarmy captures and sends them to Pax Tharkas as slaves, along with Tika Waylan and Fizban, a wizard.
On the way, Qualinesti elves freed them, and took them to Qualinost, where Goldmoon was accepted as a true cleric of Mishakal by Solostaran Kanan, Speaker of the Sun. Afraid of an invasion, the elves were preparing an exodus to Southern Ergoth. However, the Companions and Gilthanas, younger son of the Speaker of the Sun, decided to travel to Pax Tharkas through a Sla-Mori, hidden entrance, to rescue the prisoners and delay the invasion. They were joined by Laurana Kanan, sister of Gilthanas and Eben, a mercenary. At Pax Tharkas, however, Eben betrayed the Companions.
The group split, and Fizban and Tasslehoff Burrfoot learn about Highlord Verminaard's plans about the Everman, who is being held captive in the mines. They were discovered, and Ember, Verminaard's dragon mount, hunts them. Fizban sacrifices himself in order to save Tasslehoff.
Verminaard decides to launch the invasion, but the Companions manage to free the slaves, and he is forced to delay it in order to control the riot. Verminaard is finally defeated by Sturm, Caramon, Raistlin, Tanis, Riverwind and Goldmoon, while Matafleur, the old red dragon in charge of the slaves, sacrificies herself to protect them from being hurt, killing Ember at the same time.
The Companions fled Pax Tharkas into the mountains, where Goldmoon and Riverwind are married.
The Companions and slaves hide in a defensible valley. It is agreed that they ask the dwarves in Thorbardin to provide refuge for the slaves. Flint, Tanis, Raistlin, Caramon, Sturm, Tas, and Tika head to Skullcap to find the key to Thorbardin. Meanwhile, an aurak draconian Dray-yan magically assumes the identity of the dead Verminaard while bozak draconian commander Grag assists him in his plot. The Theiwar and Daergar dwarves have secretly allied with the fake Verminaard. The dwarves will receive the slaves on the condition the Hammer of Kharas is retrieved, which could unite the dwarven clans. Flint recovers the Hammer of Kharas for them. The draconians, Theiwar, and Daergar attempt to kill him and retrieve the hammer but fail. Dray-yan is killed in the process, and the Theiwar and Daergar retreat. The rest of the dwarven clans agree to shelter the slaves temporarily.
Goldmoon gives the Disks of Mishakal to Elistan, former Seeker, who becomes the first known priest of Paladine since the Cataclysm, and the Companions travel south to Tarsis, where Sturm, Flint, Tanis and Gilthanas are arrested, along with Alhana Starbreeze, daughter of Lorac, Speaker of the Stars, who is hiring warriors to try to free Silvanesti.
They are rescued by three knights, Derek Crownguard, Knight of the Rose, and Brian Donner and Aran Tallbow, Knights of the Crown, who were trying to find ancient records of Dragons in a library in the city. With Tasslehoff's glasses of true seeing, they discover something known as Dragon Orbs who can be used to control dragons.
Spies in Tarsis inform a Dragon Highlord of the Companions' whereabouts, and Tarsis is attacked by the armies, including red and blue dragons. The inn where the Companions were located collapses, but Alhana Starbreeze manages to rescue Tanis, Caramon, Raistlin, Riverwind and Goldmoon. Although they refused her offer to accompany her to Silvanesti at first, wanting to find their other friends, her confirmation that a Dragon Orb is located in her country changes their opinion. Meanwhile, the Dragon Highlord, Kitiara, has tracked down the remaining Companions who are still in Tarsis. Obsessed with confronting the elfmaid Laurana, her rival for the heart of Tanis Half-Elven, Kitiara has her forces attack this group while she personally attacks Laurana. With the help of the sivak draconian Slith, Kitiara manages to subdue Laurana and carry her off into an alley; however, the rest of her forces are defeated by the Companions, and the sudden appearance of the three Solamnic Knights forces Kitiara to flee before she has a chance to kill Laurana. Kitiara warns the elfmaid, though, that they will meet again. The Knights join up with the Companions and their group escapes from Tarsis.
In Silvanost, the Companions battle the twisted world of Silvanesti and see future visions in the form of a dream. Raistlin manages to reach the castle, where he confronts Cyan Bloodbane and defeats him, ending the nightmare. King Lorac Caladon is freed, but dies shortly after. The Companions take the Dragon Orb and leave, but Alhana, new Queen of the Silvanesti, decides to stay to cleanse the country.
Laurana, Sturm, Flint, Taslehoff, Gilthanas, and the knights travel to Icereach to retrieve a different Dragon Orb. With the help of the natives of the region, they break into Feal-Thas' castle, where Laurana kills him with a frostreaver. They locate the Dragon Orb and a broken artifact that may have once been a dragonlance.
Knight of the Sword Brian Donner, and Knight of the Crown Aran Tallbow, die from an onslaught of Feal-Thas' wolves. Knight of the Rose Derek Crownguard decides to take everyone to Sancrist Isle, to bring the Dragon Orb to the Whitestone Council to decide how to use it.
While travelling by boat, they are attacked by Feal-Thas' white dragon, Sleet, and crash-land on Southern Ergoth, where they are taken prisoner by the Silvanesti elves. Upon learning about Laurana's identity, they assign them a Kagonesti healer, Silvara, to treat their wounds, and take them to Qualimori, where the Qualinesti elves were evacuated. They learn that the two elven governments are feuding.
The Qualinesti learn about the Dragon Orb, and lay claim to it. However, the Companions decide to continue with their original goal, and escape from Qualimori taking it with them. Silvara and Theros Ironfeld, known now as Theros Silver Arm because of his artificial arm, joined them.
To prevent capture by the elves, the party splits. Derek Crownguard and Sturm Brightblade take the Dragon Orb with them and travel to Sancrist, while Silvara leads the rest to the Silver Dragon Mountain, where it is revealed that Fizban is still alive, and that Silvara is a silver dragon, sister to Gwyneth, the dragon Huma Dragonbane rode during the last Dragon War. This revelation comes as a shock to Gilthanas, who had fallen in love with Silvara. With Fizban's permission, Silvara teaches Theros Ironfeld how to forge dragonlances.
Fizban and Tasslehoff travel to Sancrist Isle, where the Whitestone Council was being held. Discussion over the ownership of the Dragon Orb nearly leads to open warfare between the elves and the humans. To prevent warfare from breaking out, Tasslehoff shatters the Dragon Orb against the ground. After Fizban saves Tasslehoff from the repercussions of his actions, Theros Ironfeld arrives shortly after carrying newly forged dragonlances, one of which was able to cut the Whitestone in half.
The companions in Silvanesti travel to the Bay of Balifor, and then to Flotsam to find a ship. They then find the Perechon, whose helmsman is Berem, the Everman. On the way back, Tanis, disguised as a Dragonarmy official is attacked by an elf, but is saved by Kitiara Uth Matar, now Highlord of the Blue Dragonarmy, who thinks Tanis has joined her army, and invites him to where she is staying.
Kitiara explains to Tanis about Takhisis' plans for the Everman and after four days she departs to Solamnia, to lead the siege against the High Clerist's Tower and capture Palanthas.
Laurana, Flint, Tasslehoff and Sturm, recently knighted with Gunthar Uth Wistan' sponsorship, travel to the High Clerist's Tower to help in its defense. Derek Crownguard, fallen into madness from despair and his own hubris, leads a suicide charge against the dragonarmy in his delusion that such a victory will make him Grandmaster of the Solamnic Order. Bakaris, the Blue Dragonarmy officer in charge of the besieging force, approaches the tower after the battle with the headless body of Lord Alfred Markenin and the dying Derek. Bakaris begins to taunt the knights, demanding their surrender, but is then suddenly shot in the arm by Laurana.
The Dragonarmy attacks the tower the next day. Half of the defenders are killed, but the Knights hold the tower. Still, the defenders know that now the Blue Dragonarmy will bring up its dragons.
Tasslehoff finds a hidden dragon orb, and Laurana designs a plan to use it. Sturm volunteers to distract the Blue Dragonarmy while the plan is set, and is killed facing off the Blue Dragon Highlord, Kitiara. However, Sturm's sacrifice buys Laurana enough time to use the dragon orb to lure the dragons into the tower. Two of the three attacking dragons fly into the dragontraps, where the knights easily kill them with dragonlances. The dragon orb also affects the draconians in the army, and the Blue Dragonarmy splits apart.
Greatly weakened by her use of the dragon orb, Laurana still rushes up to the tower wall to protect Sturm's body. There, she is confronted by Kitiara. The two women recognize each other and exchange words, with Kitiara taunting Laurana that Tanis is now with her. Kitiara then departs, telling Laurana it will take her three days to get her army back together and giving Laurana that time to give Sturm a proper knight's funeral.
In Flotsam, Tanis joins his friends; they board the Perechon and set sail. However, Gakhan, a draconian spy, informs Kitiara, and she flies with her blue dragon Skie to stop them. A powerful storm breaks, and Kitiara is forced to retreat, but not before her half brothers recognize her.
The ship loses control in the storm, and is trapped by the Maelstrom in the Blood Sea of Istar. Raistlin teleports himself out of the ship to Palanthas, leaving the Companions. The rest are sucked into the whirlpool, ending in the ruins of the ancient city of Istar. A group of Dargonesti, the race of sea elves, rescue them and eventually bring the Companions to the surface.
Laurana travels to Palanthas, where she is given the General rank by Gunthar Uth Wistan, becoming the Golden General. While preparing the defenses of the city, Gilthanas and Silvara arrive with the good dragons, having traveled to Sanction and discovered the fate of the good dragons' eggs. Upon learning about the eggs, the good dragons end The Oath and join the war. Caught up in the excitement of the good dragon's return and Laurana's appointment, Palanthas also agrees to enter the war. That night Gilthanas tells Laurana how while he was escaping from Sanction he heard Kitiara bragging to Ariakas about how Tanis was serving her as both an officer and lover. This confirms for Laurana what Kitiara told her about Tanis at the High Clerist Tower. Heartbroken, Laurana can do nothing but throw herself into her role as the Golden General.
Laurana's forces, known as the Whitestone Army, now consist of the Palanthas Army, the Knights of Solamnia that survived the Battle of the High Clerist's Tower, a force of Qualinesti pegasi riders, and the metallic dragons. Laurana decides to take this force into battle, hoping to catch the Dragonarmies offguard before they can recover from the defeat they suffered at the High Clerist's Tower. With this in mind, Laurana orders an immediate attack, personally leading her good dragons and the pegasi force in a surprise air attack on the Dragonarmy forces occupying Vingaard Keep. The attacking Whitestone forces quickly defeat the Blue Dragons stationed at Vingaard and then liberate the fortress. This is the first battle it what will be known as the Vingaard Campaign.
Once the land forces of the Whitestone Army arrive, Laurana decides to take her army across the Vingaard River. The Vingaard is swollen from the spring thaw, and the Whitestone Forces lack the boats needed to get the army across the river, so the Golden General decides to have her dragons ferry her men across. A force of green dragons attempt to disrupt the crossing but are defeated by the Qualinesti Pegasi force. After three days the entire Whitestone Army has been successfully brought across the river and Laurana is prepared to resume the campaign.
The Golden General then orders another air attack, this time targeting the forces of the Green Wing, stationed at Throtl. The Whitestone aerial forces are again successful, driving the green dragons from the sky, shattering the Green Wing's ground forces and capturing the Green Wing Highmaster Kadagh.
With the threat to her right flank removed, Laurana now orders her army to advance northward, towards the city of Kalaman. However, a new threat soon appears with the White Wing advancing from the south, so Laurana then turns her army to meet this threat at a spot on the Vingaard River known as the Narrows. Here the Whitestone Army engages the White Wing in both the air and on land. This is the first major ground battle of the Vingaard Campaign and casualties are heavy for both sides. Finally a charge of the heavy cavalry of the Knights of Solamnia breaks the White Wing's ground forces and the good dragons defeat the white dragons in the air as the White Wing is destroyed.
The Whitestone Army continues its advance, drawing near Kalaman. However, a massive Dragonarmy force, consisting of the Red Wing, the surviving elements of the Blue Wing, and the Sanction Reserve Army, is rapidly approaching, determined to destroy the Whitestone Army once and for all. Realizing she lacks the forces needed to defeat this enemy force in a straight fight, Laurana takes her army to Margaard Ford along the Vingaard River. She then leads her silver dragons upstream, where they used their frost breath to create an ice dam, blocking the river. The Whitestone Army then crosses the now dry riverbed. The next day when the Dragonarmy forces attempt to cross the river, Laurana has her gold dragons melt the ice dam, unleashing a massive deluge that sweeps across the Dragonarmy forces, utterly destroying them. The metallic dragons then engage the chromatic dragons in a massive aerial battle, where Tasslehoff Burrfoot and Flint Fireforge capture Dragon Highmaster Bakaris as the good dragons defeat the evil dragons. This is the final battle of the Vingaard Campaign, which lasted just three weeks and saw the Whitestone Forces clear all Northern Solamnia of Dragonarmy forces.
The Whitestone Army then advances on to Kalaman and frees the city, which honors Laurana with a day long celebration.
In Dargaard Keep, Kitiara agrees with Lord Ariakas on a new plan, and sends a message to the Golden General, telling her that Tanis has been mortally wounded and wishes to see her before he dies which Kitiara will only allow in exchange for Laurana freeing Bakaris. Laurana receives this message late at night at a time when she is physically and emotionally exhausted and has had too much to drink. In this weakened, highly suggestible condition, and with her already believing Tanis is with Kitiara, hearing that Tanis is dying causes Laurana to begin to act irrationally. She falls for Kitiara's trick, believing the Dragon Highlord is telling her the truth about Tanis and, ignoring the objections of Flint and Tasslehoff who fear it is a trap, agrees to make the exchange. Flint and Tasslehoff then reluctantly agree to help Laurana and the three of them sneak Bakaris outside of the city to meet Kitiara. While travelling Laurana is attacked by Bakaris who attempts to rape her. Tasslehoff comes to her defense, stabbing Bakaris, and then Laurana manages to kill Bakaris. However, before she can escape she is then attacked by Lord Soth, the undead knight working for Kitiara, who captures the Golden General. Lord Soth allows Tasslehoff and Flint to return to Kalaman to inform the city that Laurana has been taken prisoner.
With Laurana in her power, Kitiara sends a flying citadel to Kalaman, and demands the Whitestone Forces surrender or she will kill Laurana.
At Kalaman, Tanis, Tika, Caramon, Riverwind, Goldmoon and Berem meet with Tasslehoff and Flint, and learn about Sturm's and Laurana's fates. All agree to rescue Laurana, although Goldmoon and Riverwind stay in the city due to her being pregnant. Berem goes with the party, as he wants to understand why the Queen of Darkness needs him. While travelling they meet Fizban, who decides to guide them (after he almost gets them killed, again).
Once near Neraka, Berem tries to escape, and Flint pursues him, suffering a heart attack. In his rage, Tanis attacks and kills Berem, believing he had attacked Flint and killed him. Raistlin Majere, involuntarily transported to Godshome, awakens as the Companions arrive. Invisible, he watches as Flint passes away, easing his pain (though he had vowed not to get involved with the Companions). The Companions were in a place called Godshome, a, "sacred place to the gods", according to Fizban. There is a large stone dias in the center of the surrounding bowl valley. In the middle of this is a glassy, mirrorlike object set into the dias where all the constellations can be seen. Berem comes back to life and soon all of them see Fizban pick up Flint's body and walk onto the object, where both of them disappear. When the companions look into the object, they see that the constellation of Paladine has returned to the night sky. Berem then relates his story to the companions, describing to them his knowledge of how he came to be 'The Everman'.
A war council is taking place, and Tanis and Caramon disguise themselves as Dragonarmy officers, pretending to have captured the others in order to reach the prison. Kitiara discovers Tanis, and sends the others to the dungeons. When Gakhan, Kitiara's right hand, realizes the Everman has been captured as well and tries to retrieve him, a battle issues and the Companions run away, although they are separated. Tika and Tasslehoff try to escape, but a door trap leaves Tasslehoff dying and Tika badly wounded after fighting the pursuers.
In the war council chamber, Kitiara receives Takhisis' praise for having captured Laurana, who is to be sacrificied so that her soul could be given to Lord Soth. She also declares that Tanis is willing to join the army, and asks him to lay his sword at Ariakas' feet. When he is going to do so, Tanis attacks Ariakas. Although his first attack is nullified by Ariakas' magical shield, he is encouraged by a voice to try again. The second blow is successful, and Ariakas dies. Tanis recovers the Crown of Power and asks Kitiara to release Laurana in order to get it. Laurana, once freed, attacks Kitiara, stealing her sword away from her and knocking the Highlord to the ground. Laurana then attempts to flee the chamber. Tanis tries to stop the elfwoman from running off, but she knocks him down causing him to drop the Crown of Power. The Dragonarmies then begin fighting each other with all attempting to seize the Crown. Laurana escapes the chamber in the confusion, with Tanis chasing after her.
Meanwhile, Berem and Caramon find the Foundation Stone, which is being protected by Raistlin, now wearing black robes. However, Raistlin allows Berem to finish his task, to further his own schemes as he did when he helped Tanis to kill Ariakas. Berem dies, freeing both his sister's and his own soul. The gateway is closed, and Takhisis is sealed in the Abyss again. The temple, no longer supported by her evil, begins to crumble.
Tanis finally catches up to Laurana but before he can explain himself to her, Kitiara shows up. Kitiara offers Tanis the chance to rule along side her and warns him that Lord Soth is coming. Tanis rejects Kitiara's offer and vows to sacrifice himself to protect Laurana from the death knight. Surprisingly, Kitiara then allows Tanis and Laurana to escape the temple. Lord Soth delivers the Crown of Power to Kitiara, who becomes the supreme commander of the Dragonarmies. She retreats to Sanction with her Blue Dragonarmy.
Caramon and Raistlin find Tika and Tasslehoff, and Raistlin, who owed Caramon for all the times he helped him, heals them. They meet with Tanis and Laurana outside as the Temple of Neraka is destroyed.
Fizban reveals he is in fact Paladine, and that the gods never left Krynn, but instead it was the people who abandoned the gods. The War of the Lance officially ended in the year 353 AC.