Dragons of Winter Night is a fantasy novel by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, based on the Dungeons & Dragons gaming modules. It is the second book in the Chronicles Trilogy, along with Dragons of Autumn Twilight and Dragons of Spring Dawning. It was the second Dragonlance novel, being released in 1985. It is the second novel in the Chronicles Trilogy, which along with the Legends Trilogy introduces the Dragonlance world. Specifically, it details the darker days of the War of the Lance.
Dragons of Winter Night follows a pattern in its title with the other novels in its series, Dragons of Autumn Twilight and Dragons of Spring Dawning, in that they all start with Dragons, followed by the series of Autumn, Winter, and Spring, as well as a passing of time series, Twilight, Night, and Dawning.
The novel begins with the Companions assembled in the major dwarven city of Thorbardin, where the refugees of Pax Tharkas are presenting the dwarves with the Hammer of Kharas, a legendary warhammer wielded by the dwarven hero Kharas, in return for refuge in the city.
The refugees of Pax Tharkas, freed from the Dragon Highlord Verminaard, are on an intermittent stay before finding a new home in Thorbardin, ruled by the dwarves, who have agreed to house them temporarily. The Companions are sent to Tarsis, a supposed city by the sea, in order to find a home for the refugees. When they reach it, they are dismayed to discover that their map, provided by the kender Tasslehoff Burrfoot is outdated and the city is landlocked. Whilst in Tarsis, the city is attacked by dragons and completely destroyed. To describe this scene, Margaret Weis studied World War II films of the bombing of London. Tanis Half-Elven, Riverwind, Goldmoon, Caramon, Raistlin and Tika are rescued by Alhana Starbreeze, an elven princess, while Sturm Brightblade, Flint, Tasslehoff Burrfoot, Gilthanas, Laurana and Elistan escape with a small group of Knights.
Tanis's group goes with Alhana to Silvanesti, the ancient elven homeland. They find it has been ravaged by a nightmare manifested into reality. This nightmare was brought upon the land accidentally by King Lorac when he attempted to use the Dragon Orbs, an artifact capable of controlling dragons, in order to save his homeland. The heroes experience a "death" that will come into play later in the story. During this scene, Margaret Weis references Othello by William Shakespeare, with the phrase "No, you're wrong, Tanis. I sent him away.", which is spoken by Caramon. The only two members of the party to survive are Tanis, who lives because of his love, and Raistlin, who lives because of his ambition. Eventually, Raistlin defeats the green dragon Cyan Bloodbane, who has been manipulating the dream onto the land, and the party escapes the dream. The Companions are still alive, of course, the dream having no physical effect on them, but scaring them greatly. They manage to retrieve the Dragon Orb held in Silvanesti. After they do so, Lorac dies, physically wasted from his experience.
The focus shifts to Sturm's group afterwards. It is revealed that they had gone to Icewall Glacier, located in the far south. There they killed the Dragon Highlord in charge of the white dragons, and took his Dragon Orb. Two of the Knights traveling with them had been killed during the battle. As they escape, a white dragon pursues them and sinks their ship. The dragon is driven off after this. The heroes are stranded on Southern Ergoth, a western island inhabited by native wild elves and refugees from both the Qualinesti and Silvanesti elven groups. They meet a Kagonesti Elf, Silvara, whom Gilthanas is infatuated with. They are met by Qualinesti elves who take them to Qualinmori, the city where the Qualinesti elves have gathered in the wilds. The heroes flee to escape the ensuing feud over the Dragon Orb; they travel to the tomb of the legendary hero Huma Dragonbane, where they meet the enigmatic, bumbling wizard Fizban (who was presumed dead). Silvara reveals the great secret that she is a silver dragon, and agrees to aid the party in forging dragonlances, which will be necessary in turning the tide against the Dragonarmies.
The focus goes back to Tanis's group in the city of Port Balifor. They put together an act to raise money, revolving around Raistlin (the "Red Wizard and his Wonderful Illusions"). Once they gather enough money, they leave for Flotsam. En route, Raistlin masters the power of the Dragon Orb. Afterwards, Sturm's group makes their way to Sancrist Isle, northwest of their old position, to give the Dragon Orb to the Knights of Solamnia. There, a council is held and charges of dishonor are brought against Sturm. They are later cleared and he is made a full Knight of Solamnia in the Order of the Crown. He is also made commander of the Crown Knights at the High Clerist's Tower, and departs to prepare. After events play out, another council is held. During it, Tas gets fed up with the squabbling and shatters the Dragon Orb. The smith Theros Ironfeld intervenes and cleaves the Whitestone, a giant holy stone, in two, using the dragonlance he has forged. Laurana goes to Palanthas and the High Clerist's Tower, bearing news that Sturm has been fully cleared. She trains the Knights there in the use of dragonlances.
Tanis and company are staying in an inn in the disreputable city of Flotsam. Tanis and Caramon, in an effort to blend in, steal two Dragonarmy officer's armor. As Tanis wanders the streets in it, he is attacked by an elf. However, Kitiara, a fiery human woman whom Tanis loves, saves him at the last minute. She reveals that she has become one of the Dragon Highlords, leading the blue dragons.
Meanwhile, the Knights of Solamnia (along with Laurana, Flint, and Tas) are fortifying the High Clerist's Tower. Derek, in command of the Rose Knights, leads a suicidal assault with the combined Knights of the Rose and the Knights of the Sword. Sturm and his Knights of the Crown stay behind in defiance. This proves a smart move, as the other Knights are completely destroyed. Laurana makes a plan to utilize the dragontraps, intricate facilities designed to slay dragons, inside the tower. To buy them time, Sturm stays behind to fend off the dragons for as long as possible. The dragons attack, and Sturm manages to stall them for a short time. Kitiara, leading the assault, defeats and runs him through with her spear after a brief battle. Laurana activates the dragontraps, accessing a third Dragon Orb found within the Tower, which drives the attacking draconians insane and lures two blue dragons inside the traps. Once inside, the dragons find themselves trapped and the Knights slay them using their dragonlances. Afterwards, Laurana goes out and views the body of Sturm. She and Kitiara, both love interests of Tanis Half-Elven, meet briefly, and then Kitiara departs. Sturm is buried in the chambers below the Tower, honored by all the survivors. The novel ends with Alhana Starbreeze burying her father and departing back to the refugees.
It was once stated in a Wizards of The Coast interview that Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis make a good team because Hickman is better at writing about good characters, and that Weis is better at writing about dark characters, evident by her love of Raistlin.
Dragons of Winter Night is the second novel written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.
The Annotated Chronicles incorporates all three books in the Chronicles Trilogy, along with annotations and an prologue by Tracy Hickman in which he discusses the origin of the works. The annotations explore a wide range of issue, including the background to the formulation of many story ideas, character development and the etymology of names.
Pay-for-play: "five million in connect fees." (Stormfront Studios uses metering-based marketing via America Online for its Never Winter Night) (Product Information)
Feb 29, 1996; There's been a good deal of debate lately about the merits of software metering--a pricing model based on selling usage rather...