Books

Dragons of Deceit – Exclusive Preview of the New Dragonlance Book Trilogy

The Dragonlance series is still going strong nearly 40 years after the original novel and Dungeons & Dragons module hit stores. Now authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are kicking off a new trilogy of Dragonlance novels, and IGN has an exclusive preview of the first book in the series.

Dragonlance: Dragons of Deceit is the first book in the Destinies trilogy, which returns to some of the iconic characters and events from the original Dragonlance trilogy. This book revolves around Destina Rosetorhn, who loses her father and control of his lands following the bloody end of the War of the Lance. In order to set things right, Destina embarks on a quest to travel back in time and prevent his death.

The following excerpt is set early in the book and has been lightly modified from what will appear in the final version.

Wolfstone studied the tall. He knew enough about humans to realize they would find her attractive, with her black hair and large, dark eyes, and burnished brown skin. She wore fine clothes and a fur cloak of Solamnic make. But as she stepped into a pool of light, he saw that her luxurious cloak was worn and the hem of her tunic was frayed, as they were the cuffs on the sleeves. Her boots were scuffed and slightly run down at the heel. She wore no jewelry except a single ring on her little finger, and it was not a wedding ring, for Solamnics wore those on their “heart” fingers.

Having observed her, Wolfstone left the main part of the Great Hall by a staircase that led down several levels to the dungeons. He could hear the sound of drunken singing coming from the cells. Apparently one prisoner had imbibed too heavily in dwarf spirits.

He headed for the King’s Wall: the fortification that surrounded this level. Wolfstone took a lantern from an iron sconce and walked along the wall until he came to the door of a storage room.

Drawing out a key he wore on a chain on his belt, Wolfstone unlocked the door and entered the room. He then locked the door behind him and hung the lantern from a hook on the wall. The room contained nothing but two chairs. Wolfstone sat down in one of the chairs, crossed his legs at the ankles, clasped his hands over his midriff, and settled in to wait.

He did not wait long before he heard a key rattle in the lock. The door opened, and Hornfel entered. The king locked the door behind him again so their meeting would be private. He and Wolfstone were the only two people in the world who had keys to this room.

Wolfstone rose, took off his hat, and bowed. Hornfel smiled at him and advanced to heartily embrace him.

“I am glad you were able to come so swiftly,” said Hornfel.

“I happened to be in Hybardin on a job when I got your message,” said Wolfstone.

Hornfel nodded and lowered himself into the chair. He looked tired and haggard, as though he had not slept, and his expression was unusually dark and stern. He waved Wolfstone to a seat.

“I have received troubling information that I need you to investigate. You saw the human woman in company with the chief cleric?”

“I did,” said Wolfstone. “Solamnic, noble family, not married. She once had money, but lost it and is now living in reduced circumstances. She is far from home, and her reason for traveling all this distance must be important enough and troubling enough for you to invite her to the Life Tree.”

Hornfel regards him in admiration. “You are a marvel, Wolfstone. You are right on all counts. You remember that Solamnic wizard the Theiwar caught spying on them, the one they tortured? The one you hauled back to Palanthas?”

“I remember. He kept babbling about a ‘Graygem,’” said Wolfstone.

“This Solamnic woman has come here looking for that same Graygem, claiming it is in the kingdom of the Theiwar.”

“Obviously, the wizard sent her,” said Wolfstone.

“Of course he did,” Hornfel said. “She admitted as much. The woman said the wizard read about it in a book from the library of Palanthas.”

“Interesting. . .” Wolfstone scratched his cheek. “What does this woman want with the Graygem?”

“She spun some kender tale about needing it to save her father. A pack of lies.”

Wolfstone nodded. “But you fear she is not lying about the Graygem’s location. It is in Thorbardin.”

Hornfel sighed and scowled. “According to the woman, the wizard told her that the Graygem was embedded in a wall in a ruined temple. The Graygem radiates a faint gray light that shines down on the altar.” Hornfel eyed his friend. “You and I saw that light when we were hiding in that ruined temple, my friend!”

“Reorx save us,” Wolfstone murmured. “So that’s what it was.”

“You realize what this means,” said Hornfel. “If the Graygem is in the Temple of the Dark Queen and the Theiwar realize they have it, they could use it to wage war on us. All of Thorbardin could be in danger.”

“Our gravest danger is not from the Theiwar, it is from the Graygem trapped,” said “Chaos is inside, and it has the power to bring down the mountain.”

“Then what in the name of Reorx should I do?”

“Consider this, sire: if the Graygem is hiding among the Theiwar, it has probably been hiding there for centuries unseen, undetected. And now, within a space of a few weeks, this wizard reads about it in a book, you and I stumble across it, and a human female comes seeking it. Chaos has awakened and the gem wants to be found—though not by the wizard, seemingly. It betrayed him.”

“Then you find it,” Hornfel said grimly. “And get rid of it.”

Wolfstone was silent a moment, not wanting to have refused his king’s command. But in this instance, he had no choice.

“Two forces existed at the beginning of time: the High God and Chaos. Reorx trapped Chaos in the gem, and now that gem is in our mountain. Forgive me, sire, but I won’t touch the accursed thing any more than I would spit at the High God.” Wolfstone fixed Hornfel with a grim look. “Would you, sir?”

Hornfel scowled, and Wolfstone feared he had angered him. But the king was reasonable, and he considered the argument. “No, I wouldn’t,” he admitted at last. “Not for all the treasure in a dragon’s horde. So what do we do? We can’t leave it there.”

“We must find a way to get it to Himself,” said Wolfstone. “Reorx created the damn thing. He can deal with it. What are your plans for the tall, sire? Why did you bring her to the Life Tree?”

“To keep an eye on her,” Hornfel growled. “I can’t have her going around telling everyone she meets that the Graygem is hiding in Thorbardin.”

“I doubt she’ll do that, sire,” said Wolfstone. “It’s in her interest to keep it secret.”

“She’s a tall, isn’t she?” Hornfel said. “You can’t trust them. What are you thinking?”

“That I could use her to get the Graygem,” said Wolfstone. “From what you say, it brought her here. We will let her find it and carry it to Reorx. There’s a risk, though. I could be putting her in danger.”

“She claims to be the daughter of a Solamnic knight,” Hornfel grunted. “Those fools live for the opportunity to die heroes! Do you whatever you must, Wolfstone. Just get rid of the damn thing.”

Wolfstone nodded and rose to his feet. Hornfel faced him and rested both hands on his shoulders.

“Take care of yourself, my friend. I’d send you off with the old blessing, ‘Reorx be with you,’ but, bless his beard, the god’s help is the last thing you need.”

Dragonlance: Dragons of Deceit is published by Penguin Random Hosue and will release on August 2, 2022.

This isn’t the only major Dragonlance project for 2022. Wizards of the Coast is returning to the Dragonlance setting via a new tablet sourcebook.

Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.