The Highbulp’s map.
A spellbook of Fistandantilus
As we continue the adventure at Xak Tsaroth we discover that Caramon does not trust the Gully Dwarves at all. But as Tanis points out they really don’t have a choice.
We learn a bit about Raistlin’s enthusiasm is due to the rumors that a spellbook of the nightly Fistandantilus to be kept there. He assumes the dragon will have it. This is a point of contention with Sturm, but they go along anyway.
They plot a way to fight the dragon, the party is going to split up, Raistlin will distract the dragon (could that be a suicide mission?) but then the rest of the companions will be able to raid the dragon’s lair for the Disks of Mishakal and the spellbook without fear of being killed.
Is it a suicide mission for all of them? Or can they get through this intact? They are, after all, about to invade a Dragon’s lair! Is that really the smartest thing to do?
The twice dead city.
As normal Tanis has a plan. As they all get in position he suffers from a moment of self doubt. Has he planned it properly? Is he about to get all of his friends killed?
They crept into the lair assuming the dragon had gone off the deal with Raistlin only to find out the dragon was prepared for them and had Raistlin as it’s prisoner.
The dragon appears to believe the Blue Crystal Staff was stolen from it, and orders Goldmoon forward to return it!
Sturm spots the disks there in the lair amongst a giant treasure!
Goldmoon goes forward, and strikes the dragon with the staff! The staff explodes with a giant blue flash mortally wounding the dragon and making Goldmoon disappear, probably turned to ash!
The result of this explosion caused the entire underground lair to start to fall apart. The ceiling began to collapse in on the companions and it began to flood! They grabbed what they could, the disks and themselves and ran!
Bupu’s gift. An ominous sight.
They all had to run out of the ruined city as it was being consumed again and filled with water. It was difficult, but they made it out alive and back to the surface.
Riverwind on the verge of ending his own life enters the temple and discovers Goldmoon! Her staff was gone but she had become a true cleric! Capable of healing through prayer and didn’t need the staff any longer.
As they evacuated the area they could hear the horns of the Draconian army on the move! Now where would they go? Off to Solace for supplies and information of course.
Of course they were exhausted and needed to rest for the night. Raistlin most of all. The mage woke before dawn to find Bupu crying, and in a very tender moment especially for the mage he tries to comfort her. Something you would never have thought from him.
He urges her to go back to her people, but before she departs she decides to give him a gift, a spellbook she had grabbed from inside the dragon’s lair. The very spellbook he had sought!
These chapters mark the end of the first of two books inside this novel. To me, this is the best setup for an epic adventure I have ever come across in the fantasy genre. It ranks up there with Tolkien in scale. Certainly it will not get the same critical acclaim or attention as Tolkien, but is that right? I think it should.
Weis and Hickman are an amazing writing team. Everything of theirs I have ever come across I have been sucked into and enjoy thoroughly. They really make me strive in my own writing to be better. Their pacing is just amazing. They make you feel what each character feels.