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Authors: Margaret Weis,Tracy Hickman

Dragonlance 10 - The Second Generation

BOOK: Dragonlance 10 - The Second Generation
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The Second Generation
Margaret Weis


Tracy Hickman
Poetry by Michael Williams
Illustrations by Ned Dameron
Table of Contents

It is always the map of believing,
the white landscape
and the shrouded farms.
It is always the land of remembrance,
of sunlight fractured
in old, immovable ice,

And always the heart,
cloistered and southerly,
misgives the ice, the drifting
for something perplexed and eternal.

It will end like this,
the heart will tell you,
it will end with mammoth and glacier,
with ten thousand years
of effacing night,
and someday the scientists
rifling lakes and moraines,
will find us in evidence,
our relics the outside of history,
but your story, whole and hollowed, will end
at the vanishing edge of your hand.
So says the heart
in its intricate cell,
charting with mirrors
the unchartable land
of remembrance and rivers and ice.

This time it was different:
the town had surrendered
to the hooded snow,
the houses and taverns
were awash in the fragmented light,
and the lake was marbled
with unstable ice,
as I walked through drifts
through lulling spirits,
content with the slate of the sky
and the prospect of calendared spring.
It will end like this,
the winter proclaimed,
sooner or later
in dark, inaccessible ice,
and you are the next one
to hear this story,
winter and winter
occluding the heart,
and there in Wisconsin,
mired by the snow
and by vanishing faith,
it did not seem bad
that the winter was taking
all light away,
that the darkness seemed welcome
and the last, effacing snow.

He stood in the midst
of frozen automobiles,
cars lined like cenotaphs.
In a bundle of coats
and wool hats and mufflers
he rummaged the trunk
for God knows what,
and I knew his name
by the misted spectacles,
the caved, ridiculous
hat he was wearing,

And whether the courage
was spring in its memory,
was sunlight in promise
or whiskeyed shade,
or something aligned
beyond snow and searching,
it was with me that moment
as I spoke to him there;
in my days I am thankful
it stood me that moment
as I spoke to the bundled
weaver of accidents,
the everyday wizard
in search of impossible spring.

I told him,
poetry lies
in the seams of the story,
in old recollections and prospect
of what might always and never be
(And those were the words
I did not say, but poetry lies
in the prospect of what should have been:
you must believe that I said these words
past denial, past history),
and there in the winter
the first song began,
the moons twined and beckoned
on the borders of Krynn,
the country of snow
resolved to the grasslands
more brilliant and plausible.
And the first song continued
through prospects of summer,
where the promise returns
from the vanished seed,
where the staff returns
from forgetful deserts,
and even the northern lands
cry out to the spirit,
this is the map
of believing fulfilled;
this is the map of belief.

Where's my hat? You took it! I saw you.
Don't tell me it's on my head! I know better! I…
Oh, there it is. Decided to bring it back, did you?
No, I don't believe you. Not for a minute. You've
     always had your eye on my hat, Hickman. I—
What? You want me to write what?
Now? This minute?
Can't do it. Don't have the time.
Trying to recall the words to a spell.
Fire sale. Fire engine. Great balls of fire…
That's close…
Oh, very well. I'll write your blasted foreword.
     But just this once, mind you.
Here goes.


A long time ago, a couple of doorknobs named Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman decided to leave their homes on Krynn and go out adventuring. I'm afraid there's some kender blood in those two. They just couldn't resist traipsing off to visit other new and exciting worlds.

But Weis and Hickman are like kender and bad pennies—they keep turning up. And so here they are again, all set to tell us about the wonderful things that are happening in Krynn.

Some of these stories we've heard before, but they have a couple of new ones, too, all about the children of that small band of adventurers who are now known as the Heroes of the Lance.

Many years have passed since the war. The Heroes' children are growing up, going off on adventures of their own, heading out into a world that, I'm sorry to say, still has plenty of danger and trouble left to go around.

Now, as you read these stories, you will notice that sometimes Weis and Hickman contradict certain other stories you may have heard. Some of you might find yourselves more vu than a little perplexed over their accounts of the Heroes' past lives—accounts that differ from other accounts.

There is a perfectly simple explanation.

Following the War of the Lance, Tanis and Caramon and Raistlin and all the rest of the Companions stopped being ordinary people and became Legends. We liked hearing about the Heroes' adventures so much, we didn't want the stories to end. We wanted to hear more. To fill the demand, bards and legendspinners came from all over Krynn to tell the wondrous tales. Some of these knew the Heroes well. Others simply repeated stories they'd heard told by a dwarf who had it from a kender who borrowed it from a knight who had an aunt who knew the Heroes…

You get the picture.

Some of these stories are absolutely, positively true. Others are probably almost absolutely, positively true, but not quite. Still others are what we refer to in polite society as "kender tales" stories that aren't true, but sure are a hoot to hear!

And so you ask: Fizban, Great and Powerful Wizard, which stories are which?

And I, Fizban, Great and Powerful Wizard, answer: As long as you enjoyed the stories, you doorknob, what does it matter?

Well, well. Glad we got that settled.

Now, go pack your pouches. Pocket your hankies. Grab your hoopak. We have a lot of adventuring to do. Come along! Forget your cares! Travel with Weis and Hickman through Krynn once again, if only for a little while. They won't be here long, but they do plan to come back.

(Maybe next time, they'll return my hat!)

What was my name again?

Oh, yes.

I remain, yours sincerely,

Fizban the Fabulous


At the edge of the world
the juggler wanders,
sightless and pathless,
trusting the venerable
breadth of his juggler's hands.
He wanders the edge
of a long-ago story,
juggling moons,
parading the fixed
anonymous stars in his passage.
Something like instinct
and something like agate
hard and transparent
in the depths of his reflexes
channels the objects
to life in the air:
stilettos and bottles,
wooden pins and ornaments
the seen and the unseen—all reassemble
translated to light and dexterity.

It is this version of light we steer by:
constellations of memory
and a chemistry born
in the blood's alembic,
where motive and metaphor
and the impulse of night
are annealed by the morning
into our countenance,
into the whorls of our
surfacing fingers.

Something in each of us
yearns for this balance,
for the vanished chemistries
that temper the steel.
The best of all jugglery
lies in the truces
that shape our intention
out of knives, out of filament
out of half-empty bottles
and mirrors and chemistries,
and from the forgotten
ore of the night.

Kitiara's Son
Chapter One
The Strange Request Of A Blue Dragon Rider

It was autumn on Ansalon, autumn in Solace. The leaves of the vallenwood trees were the most beautiful they'd ever been, so Caramon said—the reds blazing brighter than fire, the golds sparkling more brilliantly than the newly minted coins that were coming out of Palanthas. Tika, Caramon's wife, agreed with him.

Never had such colors been seen before in Solace.

And' when he stepped out of the inn, went to haul in another barrel of brown ale, Tika shook her head and laughed.

"Caramon says the same thing every year. The leaves are more colorful, more beautiful than the year before. It never fails."

The customers laughed with her, and a few teased the big man, when he came back into the inn, carrying the heavy barrel of brown ale on his back.

"The leaves seem a tad brown this year," commented one sadly.

"Drying up," said another.

"Aye, they're falling too early, before they'll have a chance to completely turn," another remarked. Caramon looked amazed. He swore stoutly that this wasn't so and even dragged the disbelievers out onto the porch and shoved their faces in a leafy branch to prove his point. The customers—longtime residents of Solace—admitted he was right. The leaves had never before looked so lovely. At which Caramon, as gratified as if he'd painted the leaves personally, escorted the customers back inside and treated them to free ale. This, too, happened every year.

The Inn of the Last Home was especially busy this autumn. Caramon would have liked to ascribe the increase in trade to the leaves; there were many who made the pilgrimage to Solace, in these days of relative peace, to see the wondrous vallenwood trees, which grew here and nowhere else on Krynn (despite various claims to the contrary, made by certain jealous towns, whose names will not be mentioned). But even Caramon was forced to agree with the practical-minded Tika. The upcoming Wizards'

Conclave was having more to do with the increased number of guests than the leaves—beautiful as they were.

A Wizards' Conclave was held infrequently on Krynn, occurring only when the top-ranking magic-users in each of the three orders—White, Red, and Black—deemed it necessary that all those of all levels of magic, from the newest apprentice to the most skilled sorcerer, gather to discuss arcane affairs. Mages from all over Ansalon traveled to the Tower of Wayreth to attend the conclave. Also invited were certain individuals of those known as the Graystone Gem races, whose people did not use magic, but who were involved in the crafting of various magical items and artifacts. Several members of the dwarven race were honored guests. A group of gnomes arrived, encumbered with blueprints, hoping to persuade the wizards to admit them. Numerous kender appeared, of course, but they were gently, albeit firmly, turned away at the borders.

The Inn of the Last Home was the last comfortable inn before a traveler reached the magical Forest of Wayreth, where stood one of the Towers of High Sorcery, ancient headquarters of magic on the continent. Many mages and their guests stopped at the inn on their way to the tower.

BOOK: Dragonlance 10 - The Second Generation
8.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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