She is the youngest child of the elf king Solostaran, the Speaker of the Sun who rules of the elves of the kingdom called Qualinesti. She has two older brothers: Porthios Kanan, heir to the throne, and Gilthanas Kanan.
When Laurana was a child (by elf reckoning), she fell in love with Tanis Half-Elven. Tanis was the adopted child of her father, who took care of the boy when his mother died. The two youngsters began a youthful romance which was always frowned upon by the king and Laurana's brothers, who did not think it fit that a royal princess should be so infatuated with a half-breed. The romance ended when Tanis made up his mind to leave Qualinesti.
In the weeks that followed, the old flame between Laurana and Tanis began to burn once again, until the two were separated during the sacking of Tarsis. While in Tarsis, Laurana was also attacked from behind by a masked assailant. Unknown to Laurana, her attacker was actually Kitiara Uth Matar who had decided to kill Laurana but first wanted to talk to the elfwoman. Kitiara, aided by the sivak draconian Slith, managed to drag Laurana off into an alley, but before Kitiara could murder Laurana, she was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Derek Crownguard's group of knights and the cleric of Paladine, Elistan. Kitiara was forced to flee, promising Laurana that they would meet again.
Laurana, now the de facto leader of the Heroes of the Lance who had fled the city with her, decided that they should travel to Icewall in search of the fabled Dragon Orb. Along the way, she shared in the nightmare of the Speaker of the Stars that all the companions endured. In that nightmare, she saw Tanis with Kitiara, saw Sturm Brightblade be killed and his corpse defiled and then saw her own death.
Laurana's group continued on their way to Icewall and soon encountered the Icefolk. Laurana devised the plan for that attack on the Dragon Highlord Feal'Thas' stronghold, Icewall Castle, which convinced the Icefolk to help her and her companions. She was then given a magical Frostreaver battle axe by the Icefolk. Laurana participated in the successful attack on Icewall Castle and personally killed Dragon Highlord named Feal-Thas with the Frostreaver. The lost Dragon Orb was recovered, as well as a broken dragonlance.
The group was travelling to the island of Sancrist to being the Dragon Orb to the Knights of Solamnia when their ship was attacked by the white dragon, Sleet. Sleet managed to cripple their ship off the coast of Ergoth, but then Laurana drove off the attacking dragon by shooting it in the wing with her bow. The shipwrecked group was then captured by the Silvanesti elves who were now living on Southern Ergoth. However, once Laurana informed the Silvanesti that she was the daughter of the Qualinesti Speaker of the Sun, they released her and she was reunited with her family and her people. It would be a chilly reunion.
Laurana was deliberately snubbed by her people. She had lost all standing with them for running away from home to chase after a half-human and was now seen as little better than a whore. She quarreled with her father and older brother, Porthios, about what should be done with the dragon orb and was harshly criticized by both. Laurana realized that her people would not use the Dragon Orb for anyone but themselves so she helped smuggle the Dragon Orb out of Qualimori. She was present when the silver dragon Silvara gave Theros Ironfeld the ability to forge the dragonlance in the tomb of Huma Dragonbane.
Laurana traveled with Theros Ironfeld to take the completed dragonlances to the Council of Whitestone on Sancrist. She then was called to testify on Sturm Brightblade's behalf at a Knight's Council. Her impassioned speech convinced the Knights to grant Sturm his full knighthood and so impressed Lord Gunthar that he asked Laurana to travel to the High Clerist Tower to teach the knights there how to use the dragonlance and to give Sturm the news that he had been fully vindicated. Laurana reluctantly agreed to do this.
Laurana reached the High Clerist Tower only to find the knights there badly divided. The news that Sturm had been vindicated caused the knight Derek Crownguard to lead his faction of knights in a hopeless attack against the besieging Dragonarmy forces. After Derek's knights had been wiped out, the Blue Dragonarmy officer Bakaris, brought the dead body of Lord Alfred Markenin and the dying Derek up to the tower to taunt the knights. Laurana quickly silenced Bakaris by shooting him in the arm, permanently crippling him.
The minions of Takhisis, led by Kitiara, attacked the High Clerist's Tower the next day. Laurana partcipated in the battle that day, impressing Sturm with her courage and skill with a bow. The defenders managed to hold off the Dragonarmy but they knew the Dragonarmies would attack again with dragons. Laurana devised a plan to use a Dragon Orb discovered inside the tower by Tasslehoff Burrfoot to create a trap for the evil dragons. She successfully used the power of the Orb to summon the dragons so that they could be easily dispatched by dragonlances in the tunnels under the Tower, but the price for this victory was high. To buy Laurana enough time to execute her plan, Sturm Brightblade sacrificed his own life, an act that left a mark on Laurana's soul. Following the death of Sturm, Laurana spoke to Kitiara on the battlements, who revealed to the elf princess that she had been sharing a bed with Tanis in the city of Flotsam. Although relieved that Tanis was alive, Laurana was decimated by this revelation.
After the victory at the High Clerist's Tower, Laurana became a hero to the people of Solamnia. The Grand Marshall of the Knights of Solamnia, a man named Gunthar Uth Wistan made Laurana the commander of the knights guarding Palanthas, more as a political move than anything else. But Laurana proved an extremely capable leader and led the armies of good, now aided by good dragons, to victory, defeating the Dragonarmies in a series of battles known as the Vingaard Campaign and freeing the city of Kalaman. She was nicknamed the "Golden General" during this campaign because of her golden hair and was highly respected and highly feared.
But Kitiara knew Laurana's one weakness: Tanis. She lied, luring Laurana into a trap by telling Laurana that Tanis was dying and wanted to see her and offering an exchange, Tanis for Bakaris, who had been captured during the Vingaard Campaign. Despite the advice of her friends, Flint Fireforge and Tasslehoff Burrfoot, Laurana accepted Kitiara's offer.
Laurana, accompanied by Flint and Tasslehoff, took Bakaris to the exchange site where she was informed that if she wanted to see Tanis she would have to travel to Dargaard Keep. Realizing that she had fallen into a trap but fearing for her friend's safety if she resisted, Laurana surrendered herself. She was transported by wyvern to just outside of Dargaard Keep, where Bakaris then attempted to rape her. Laurana fought back but was overpowered and dragged by Bakaris into a cave. However, before he could force himself on the elfwoman, Tasslehoff came to her defense, stabbing Bakaris, and then Laurana managed to kill him. But before Laurana could escape, she was then attacked by the death knight Lord Soth. Laurana was captured and made a prisoner of the Queen of Darkness and Kitiara told the people of Kalaman that she would kill Laurana unless the Knights surrendered.
Tanis, arriving in Kalaman, learned of what had happened and set out with the reunited companions to free Laurana from her prison in Neraka. Upon arriving in Neraka, he made a deal with Kitiara that he would serve in her army if she released Laurana. Kitiara promised to consider this offer but then betrayed Tanis by secretly agreeing to give Laurana to Lord Soth.
At the Council of Highlords that night in the Temple of Takhisis, Kitiara had the captured Laurana put on display as her gift to Takhisis. Laurana was roughly handled by Kitiara and was devastated at seeing Tanis apparently willingly serving Kitiara. Kitiara then asked Takhisis to allow Tanis to join the Dragonarmies and to grant Laurana's soul to Lord Soth. Tanis was then ordered to present his sword to the Emperor Ariakas as a sign of fidelity to the Dragonarmies. Tanis approached Ariakas but instead of laying his sword at the Emperor's feet, he saw the opportunity to kill Ariakas. A secret ally, Raistlin Majere, dispelled the magical shield Ariakas was using to protect himself and then Tanis ran the Emperor through. Tanis then grabbed the Crown of Power, intending to ransom the Crown for Laurana's life.
Kitiara agreed to exchange Laurana for the Crown but before anything else could happen, Laurana broke free, attacking Kitiara and stealing the Highlord's sword away from her. Tanis tried to stop Laurana from running off, but she shoved him off the platform causing him to drop the Crown of Power. All of the Dragonarmy factions then started fighting each other over the crown. Laurana fought her way out of the Council chambers with Tanis chasing after her. Tanis finally caught up to her but before he could explain himself the two were confronted by Kitiara, who offered Tanis the chance to rule at her side and warned Tanis that Lord Soth was coming to collect Laurana. Tanis rejected Kitiara's offer, telling her that he would die to protect Laurana. Surprisingly, Kitiara then allowed Tanis and Laurana to escape.
The battle which was taking place in Neraka led to the downfall of Takhisis and the end of the War of the Lance. Laurana was freed and Tanis now realized his mistake in neglecting her. The two were married following the end of the war and moved to the city of Solanthus.
Unfortunately, although Laurana was such a pivotal character in the Chronicles trilogy, she faded into the background following the end of that series, only being occasionally mentioned until the War of Souls.
During that time, however, Laurana and Tanis had a son named Gilthas, a sickly and weak child who was doted upon by his overprotective mother. When a rebellion drove the rightful king of the Qualinesti elves, Porthios, from power, the senators who controlled the government needed a new puppet king whom they could manipulate to run the kingdom as they saw fit. Gilthas had a royal connection to the rulership of Qualinesti, so they chose him. Eventually, Laurana and Tanis agreed. Although Laurana would be allowed to visit, and still held great popular sway as the Queen Mother, Tanis was forbidden to see his son ever again. Not long after, he was killed during the Chaos War.
Laurana remained in Qualinost following Tanis's death to aid her son in gaining real power in the kingdom. She was there when the great green dragon, Beryllinthranox conquered the forest and made the people her subjects. She was even present for the secret wedding of her son to a Kagonesti elf with whom he had fallen in love.
During the War of Souls, Laurana at last returned to some prominence in the series. While living in Qualinost, she helped the people to survive under the oppressive yoke of their Dragon Overlord. She was loved, secretly, by Marshal Alexius Medan, the leader of the Knights of Neraka who were stationed there, but they were never able to develop their relationship. Medan was assassinated by an Elven servant of Laurana's,(to avenge the death of the servant's brother) immediately prior to the ultimate battle with the dragon. During the final battle against Beryllinthranox, Laurana defeated the monstrous dragon, but at the expense of her own life. She did manage to buy enough time for the Qualinesti elves to escape the city via underground tunnels and, in doing so, paid back the debt that she owed to the fallen Sturm Brightblade.