M. weis, t. hickman – dragonlance: 1. dragons of autumn twilight

DragonLance Chronicles Volume 1
Dragons of Autumn Twilight
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Hear the sage as his song descends like heaven’s rain or tears,
And washes the years, the dust of the
Many stories
From the High Tale of the Dragonlance.
For in ages deep, past memory and word,
In the first blush of the world
When the three moons rose from the
Lap of the forest,
Dragons, terrible and great,
Made war on this world of Krynn.

Yet out of the darkness of dragons,
Out of our cries for light
In the blank face of the black moon soaring,
A banked light flared in Solamnia,
A knight of truth and of power,
Who called down the gods themselves
And forged the mighty Dragonlance,
Piercing the soul
Of dragonkind, driving the shade of
Their wings
From the brightening shores of Krynn.

Thus Huma, Knight of Solamnia,
Lightbringer, First Lancer,
Followed his light to the foot of the
Khalkist Mountains,
To the stone feet of the gods,
To the crouched silence of their temple.
He called down the Lancemakers, he took on
Their unspeakable power to crush the
Unspeakable evil,
To thrust the coiling darkness
Back down the tunnel of the
Dragon’s throat.

Paladine, the Great God of Good,
Shone at the side of Huma,
Strengthening the lance of his strong right arm,
And Huma, ablaze in a thousand moons,
Banished the Queen of Darkness,
Banished the swarm of her shrieking hosts
Back to the senseless kingdom of
Death, where their curses
Swooped upon nothing and nothing
Deep below the brightening land.

Thus ended in thunder the Age of Dreams
And began the Age of Might,
When Istar, kingdom of light and
Truth, arose in the east,
Where minarets of white and gold

/> Spired to the sun and to the sun’s glory,
Announcing the passing of evil,
And Istar, who mothered and cradled
The long summers of good,
Shone like a meteor
In the white skies of the just.

Yet in the fullness of sunlight
The Kingpriest of Istar saw shadows:
At night he saw the trees as things
With daggers, the streams
Blackened and thickened under the
Silent moon.
He searched books for the paths of Huma,
For scrolls, signs, and spells
So that he, too, might summon the
Gods, might find
Their aid in his holy aims,
Might purge the world of sin.

Then came the time of dark and death
As the gods turned from the world.
A mountain of fire crashed like a
Comet through Istar,
The city split like a skull in the flames,
Mountains burst from once-fertile valleys,
Seas poured into the graves of mountains,
The deserts sighed on abandoned
Floors of the seas,
The highways of Krynn erupted
And became the paths of the dead.

Thus began the Age of Despair.
The roads were tangled.
The winds and the sandstorms dwelt
In the husks of cities,
The plains and mountains became our home.
As the old gods lost their power,
We called to the blank sky
Into the cold, dividing gray to the ears
Of new gods.
The sky is calm, silent, unmoving.
We have yet to hear their answer.

The Old Man
Tika Waylan straightened her back with a sigh. flexing her shoulders to ease her cramped muscles. She tossed the soapy bar rag into the water pail and glanced around the empty room.
It was getting harder to keep up the old inn. There was a lot of love rubbed into the warm finish of the wood, but even love and tallow couldn’t hide the cracks and splits in the well-used tables or prevent a customer from sitting on an occasional splinter. The Inn of the Last Home was not fancy, not like some she’d heard about in Haven.

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