Taladas: Time of the Dragon Lords
Taladas in the Dragonlance® comics
Synopsis by Weldon Chen, edited by James O'Rance.
The Dragonlance® comic published by DC Comics featured a few stories that were set in Taladas. Although copies of these issues may be a little difficult to find, they should be inexpensive if you do manage to locate them. The following synopsis is provided for the benefit of those who would like to know more about these stories.
Issue 22 - 23 - "Landfall!"
Riva was ordered the Knightly Council to undertake a journey to distant lands, where she was to undertake a mission for Fizban. Her goal was to introduce the worship of Paladine to Taladas, where neutrality and evil ruled. She was to act as his agent and become an example of goodness to the people there.
In Taladas, Riva encountered the human Griff and the gnome Skrum, who were on the run from the army of the Minotaur League. Their commander, Axantheas, had possessed a ring of dragon control that he planned to use in order to gain control of the League. Griffin and Skrum had stolen the ring (along with the hand that wore it) and were hoping warn the Emperor. Riva joined their fight and slew a blue dragon, but lost her dragonlance in the process. She, Griff, and Skrum were captured and taken to Kristophan.
Once there, Skrum used the ring to control a red dragon to aid their escape. They met two elves from the northern Ulan elf clans; one, a shaman, had received a vision by the tribe's Tiger quoyai (a totem spirit or god). The tribe blinded him and exiled him with his sister, Sulai. They had searched for Riva to join her in spreading the message of goodness, and combating evil.
Issue 24 - 25 - "The Dragonring Saga"
The group decided to contact the Emperor as he travelled, although doing so meant battling through his legions of bodyguards to approach him. Outnumbered, they nonetheless managed to reach the Emperor, who quickly informed them of his knowledge concerning Axantheas' ambitions. The Emperor was unimpressed with the goals of the goddess Esterem, for he could not see how the goddess' agents could fight his numerous and powerful Legions. The Emperor then prepared to order the death of the heroes. Skrum used the dragonring to bring five dragons into the fight, thus escaping with their lives; however, Skrum had been turned to evil, and now acted in the name of Esterem.
With his control of the dragons, Skrum brought the unwilling group to the edge of the Great Burning Sea. There, Erestem/Takhisis manifested as living flame, and gloated over her plans to make Taladas a foothold for her conquest of Ansalon. The female elf Sulai called down an ice storm that struck the flaming manifestation, actually intended to produce a lot of steam and fog to cover their escape. With the power of the ring, Skrum eventually cornered the heroes, but was knocked out by Griff. Axantheas chose that moment to arrive upon a red dragon, intending to recover his ring.
Fortunately, Riva's dragon Ktarrh had been looking all over Taladas for her, and arrived to do battle. Taking the dragonring, Griffen summoned a blue dragon and barely managed to ride it. As Griffen was more of a distraction than any help for Riva, she tried to convince Griffin to get rid of the ring and its mind controlling/perverting effects. Griffin fell off his dragon, with Axantheas plunging after him. At the last moment, Griffen tossed the ring away from him, into the lava sea; Riva and Ktarrh manage to catch Griff just in time. Axantheas, obsessed with recovering the ring, pursued it to his death.
Issue 26 - 27 - "The Gathering"
Awaking from a nightmare, Riva witnesed her dragon Ktarrh being summoned away. Deciding to follow after the dragon, Riva and her group chartered a ride to the glass deserts of the Shining Land. Their ride was commanded by Antara. However, the heroes were followed by a minotaur named Karranus, who commandeered a glass skimmer to pursue the wanted band. Antara's ship escaped from Karranus and fled into a mysterious cave. Upon reaching the other side, however, they discovered that the minotaur was still in pursuit, even as a storm of razor-sharp sand was rising.
Riva awakened to find that the ship, crew and heroes were safely hidden from the storm in a place protected by the good dragons. Ktarrh was nearby, and he explained that the place was a gathering place for silver dragon eggs in Taladas. The keeper of the eggs was an elf named Eron, who wished to keep the eggs in one safe location; on the other hand, many dragons of several colours were trying to convince him that this posed too great a risk. Unbeknownst to the dragons, Hith was about to conduct a secret attack to steal the eggs in order to breed armies of draconians to fight Esterem.
Meanwhile, Karranus and a legion of minotaurs who had survived the storm attacked the heroes and Antara's crew. This proved to be the distraction that Hith's ogres needed to attack the eggs, forcing Eron to transform into a silver dragon to defend the eggs. Karranus and the ogres were killed, but not without shattering the silver dragon eggs. The heroes left the silver dragons in mourning.
Issue 28 - "The Path to Power/The Perilous Power of Feh"
This issue contained two brief stories. The first concerned the brother of Axantheas, who pridefully attempted to follow his brother's path to power. He underwent a test by the goddess Esterem, but failed when he accused Esterem's draconic statue of hugging him too tightly. In response, the statue exhaled fire to burn the fool alive.
The second story involved a goblin who gained great power through an artifact that allowed him to defeat anything that he faced. Full of promise, he travelled forth to defeat everything before him. However, he was killed by a monster's sneak attack from behind.
Issue 29 - "A Sort of Homecoming"
Blasted by a sandstorm, Antara's ship tried to reach the safe haven of the Glass Sailors. Suffering damage from the blown glass shards, they were surprised to see that the cave entrance refused to open. Using magic, the elves magically opened the doors just in time. Entering the Glass Sailor's refuge, the heroes were greeted begrusgingly, especially by a young tribal mage named Krey, who dismissed Riva and his troup as unclean outsiders. The squabble ended when a tribeman raised the alarm of horax attacking the crops again. Riva, Antara, and their groups rushed to help fend of the horax, with the elves casting light magic to avoid injuring their comrades. In his pride Krey unleashed a spell of fire, killing the horax but setting the crops alight.
For his crime the Glass Sailors banished Krey into the wilderness of the Shining Land, where he was bound to die. Riva called Ktarrh and went after Krey, hoping to rescue him and convince the Glass Sailors to show mercy. The pair were forced to fight their way through the entrance as they returned with the mage, who was frought with guilt and turmoil. Krey begged to be released from his torment, and the Glass Sailors executed him with an arrow to the back. Riva, saddened by the pointless death and the Glass Sailors' now icy reception (due to her interference in their ways), left them, troubled that she was not making any headway in bringing forth Paladine's name in Taladas.
Issue 33 - 34 - "On Death of Pain"
Somewhere in Southern Hosk, between the League and Thenol, the group tried to find help for Griffin's injuries. In an abandoned village, Riva encountered a mysterious healer of Mislaxa named Tykel. While Griffen rested and healed, Tykel related the story of the founding of her cult. It was the story of Miisia Genyei.
Miisia was the daughter of an Uigan sheep herder, who was given to sudden pain and suffering caused by empathically feeling the injuries of others. Without any understanding of her abilities, she unconsciously healed a dying warrior, Marsval Sollarzz. Fearing her new unwanted power, the girl fled, with Marsval chasing after her, hoping to convince her that the ability was a gift, not a curse. While away from her home, an enemy of Marsval named Lord Bylarr had his followers attack and kill Miisia's family whilst searching for Marsval.
As the story continues, Lord Bylarr moved to take a magical black gem to the Summit of Light and Dark, which would bring him the power to rule all Taladas. Meanwhile, Miisia felt the pain of an elderly diseased Uigan clan elf. She healed him, and gained the trust of his elven tribe. Together they travelled to confront Bylarr. Bylarr used the black gem to summon an elemental force of nature, which he used to mind control his men.
Amidst the fighting, Miisia was drawn to the elemental as if it were diseased. Using the same powers of healing, she cleansed the evil in the elemental and restored balance to it. Thus, Miisia accepted her destiny and inspired the cult of Mislaxa. The healer Tykel made a point of suggesting that Riva has a destiny she had yet to fulfill—almost reading Riva's mind about her uncertainties regarding Paladine's quest.
Copyright ©1996-2001 James O'Rance.