DL13: Dragons of Truth (1986)

I’ve long been vexed by this cover painting by Jeff Easley (annoyingly, it is credited to Caldwell inside). It appears in the Art of Dragonlance and I could never parse it because it doesn’t line up with anything in the books, really. It lines up slightly with some stuff in here, and in the next adventure, but it still ultimately remains enigmatic for me. Perhaps entirely because I think the constellation watcher is supposed to be Paladine, but I can’t parse it as anything but “glowing tree man.” I dunno man, Dragonlance does weird things to my brain.

Anyway. DL13: Dragons of Truth (1986). Hickman’s last writing gig in the series. It amounts to exactly what it is, the thirteenth episode of a fourteen episode series. It’s all set-up. It tries hard to be clever, and often succeeds! But it is, nevertheless, set-up.

Basically, the players go to Paladine’s house to be tested. If they pass the test, they get the answer to some very big questions and an idea of how to defeat the dragon queen in the next module. The module uses the tarot cards to randomize the three potential tests and six different plot outcomes. Is Fizban actually Paladine? What’s the deal with the weirdo with the gem in his chest? And where is Huma? Pull a card and find out! Part of me feels like I should complain about this not being weighty or something, but I rather like it, honestly. Its a good way to randomize the end game of the modules (only one outcome exactly matches the novel, but I feel like at least three kinda sorta match the novel?).

I dunno. Sometimes the set-up is the best part? This is maybe my favorite of the DL-series? It’s all anticipation, it hangs together well and you don’t have to worry about resolutions, which almost always disappoint. It’s a module about possibilities. That’s cool, especially in a series that has been so choreographed to this point.

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