Dungeons & Dragons & Novels: Revisiting Weasel’s Luck

A mustachioed knight an dagger-wielding boy creep through a knee-high swamp.

Inset of Larry Elmore’s unique cowl for Weasel’s Luck.
Picture: Wizards of the Coast

For the primary guide within the Dragonlance Heroes collection, The Legend of Huma, the story of the best knight in Krynn was advised, and the way he banished the Dragon-goddess Takhisis and saved the world. Now, within the third installment of the collection, Michael Williams’ Weasel’s Luck, we’ve the story of… some child who’s primarily involved with not being murdered.

Weasel, actual identify Galen Pathwarden, is just not a hero, regardless of the identify of the collection. Additionally, there aren’t any Dragonlances within the guide. Hell, there aren’t even any dragons. (There are just a few lances.) As an alternative, Galen is conscripted by an evil wizard known as the Scorpion to mess with a Solamnic knight named Bayard Brightblade, who additionally conscripts Galen to be his squire. The guide is principally about Galen being very unhealthy at each jobs and complaining so much.

Weasel’s Luck is a really unusual guide. It’s not a nasty guide… I don’t assume. It’s steadily humorous, with droll one-liners that wouldn’t really feel misplaced in a Terry Pratchitt novel. However there’s no urgency to any a part of the guide, regardless that the overarching plot for many of it’s that Bayard must get to Fort di Caela to struggle in a event, win the hand of Enid di Caela in marriage, and finish the curse of the di Caelas based on a prophecy that Bayard discovered scrawled within the margins of some random tome.

Cover of 2012 reprint.

Cowl of 2012 reprint.
Picture: Wizards of the Coast

You’d assume the ticking clock of the event would give the plot some momentum, however Weasel’s Luck cares far lower than Bayard does. My favourite instance is a chapter the place Bayard and Galen run into an ogre guarding a slender move who refuses to allow them to by means of. Bayard makes an attempt to struggle the ogre solely to get smashed with a single blow. When Bayard tries once more, he’s knocked unconscious for days. The ogre leaves for some time, however Bayard’s too wounded to be moved. When Bayard awakens, he decides that the ogre most likely solely seems at night time because it’s weakened by daylight. So Bayard has a 10-hour struggle with this ogre, ready for the solar to rise, which finally ends up doing completely nothing. It will definitely seems the ogre was managed by the Scorpion, who’s been making an attempt to stop Bayard from arriving on the tourney on time. The villain is wildly profitable on this.

What does Galen do throughout this epic, dumb battle? Nothing. A lot of the guide consists of Galen hiding when Bayard is in hassle, or cowering when the Scorpion tries to get him to waylay the knight briefly. It’s baffling that both Bayard or the Scorpion needs him round. Galen is a horrible squire (I feel he helps Bayard placed on his armor as soon as in all the guide and is unhealthy at it) and I additionally don’t know why the Scorpion has enlisted his assist, as a result of the Scorpion is an immensely highly effective sorcerer who can possess ogres, flip goats into satyrs, and rework into completely different individuals and animals. Galen is nothing however an enormous legal responsibility, however finally, the wizard doesn’t even ask something of him—he simply pops by to threaten the boy and reveal his evil plan.

Talking of threatening the boy, the guide has a working subplot—nicely, it’s not a plot, if it had been a plot, it might advance someplace—about Galen’s older, dumber brother Alfric, who legitimately needs to homicide Galen and will get very, very shut at some factors. Alfric retains displaying up out of nowhere for no narrative function, simply to have one more one who dislikes the primary character and bodily abuses him. It’s random and pointless, however at a sure level, there’s a darkish humor within the repetition and relentlessness. I don’t know that that is supposed, nevertheless.

By the top, nevertheless, Galen does handle to amass a tiny little bit of chivalric scruples and bravado—it helps that the Scorpion kidnaps Enid, so a damsel turns into distressed—for a remaining struggle that feels easy, just like the guide has been softly straining in opposition to the rails of a typical zero-to-hero YA journey, solely to confess it’s locked into the experience for the ultimate few chapters and provides up. However, inexplicably, Alfric is taken to the ultimate struggle, for no different cause than there’s nonetheless at the least one unbelievably craven, cowardly character round so as to add… levity? I assume? It, like a lot of this novel, is more unusual than something.

The extra I write this, the extra causes I discover to dislike Weasel’s Luck, and but, in some way it saved me extra than among the different Dungeons & Dragons novels I’ve reread. That mentioned, I’m not notably enthused to take a look at the sequel, titled Galen Beknighted. I imagine I’ve gotten my fill of Weasel, who rolls a ten. It’s not a very fortunate quantity, however guess what? Together with no Heroes or Dragonlances, Weasel doesn’t actually have any luck, both.

Image for article titled Dungeons & Dragons & Novels: Revisiting Weasel’s Luck

Picture: Wizards of the Coast

Assorted Musings:

  • As you’d count on of a wizard named the Scorpion, he most steadily takes the type of… a raven.
  • There’s a joke(?) early within the guide that Galen and Alfric do share one factor in frequent, and that’s that they each like to set their doddering tutor on hearth. I don’t know what’s happening there.
  • Galen’s dad additionally needs to homicide Galen and Alfric on a number of events. So unusual.
  • Subsequent up: After I learn Dragonlance Heroes: The Legend of Huma lo these many moons in the past, I adopted it up with the enjoyably goofy sequel to Azure Bonds, The Wyvern’s Spur. So it appears proper that I swap Weasels for Dragonbaits by concluding the trilogy with Track of the Saurials.

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