Tanis by Nick Barfuss.
|Birth||March 9, 249 AC|
|Death||Summer, 383 AC|
|Occupation||Hero of the Lance|
Tanthalas "Tanis" Half-Elven (TAN-tha-las "TAN-is") (March 9, 249 AC – Summer, 383 AC) was born the son of a Qualinesti Elf named Elansa Sungold and a human brigand named Brand. Eld Ailea named him "tanthalas" which could mean "everstrong" in the human tongue, but could also mean "deserving to rule" in elven. The Qualinesti firmly believe that Tanis was the result of a rape committed by Brand upon Elansa, who was married to Kethrenan Kanan, brother to Speaker of the Sun Solostaran Kanan. However, there are conflicting accounts regarding Elansa and Brand. According to one such account, Elansa claimed that her time with Brand was not rape, and that she chose to live instead of killing herself from the shame of being with a human. In this telling, Kethrenan killed Brand but was in turn slain by the dark elf Leyerlain Starwing.
He is generally indecisive, but when confronted with a task or danger, will take command. Even though he doesn't believe in the old gods, he has been searching for them, hoping to find some since of “him-self” along the way. He also has trouble coming to terms, and finding a balance, with both his "human" and "elven" sides.
Tanis was roughly six feet tall, wide-set, with tan skin, green eyes, and shoulder-length brownish-red hair that was streaked with silver in his later years. He wore a beard for most of his life, which matched his hair color. He had high, chiseled cheekbones, a lean and muscled torso, and brooding eyes that he got from his mother. Tanis was known for his calm and steady-going nature as well as his honesty, rarely telling a lie. He was the wisest man that Caramon Majere ever met (according to Caramon), though he was never allowed to take his elven rite of passage into adulthood. He could speak Camptalk, Qualinesti Elven, Silvanesti Elven, and a little Goblin. He had some skill with needle and thread, and learned his excellent archery skills from Tyresian. He preferred beaded moccasins to elven boots, knew how to play the gittern and psaltery, and liked to collect rare and finely crafted bows. His seal was that of an aspen leaf.
Tanis first met Flint Fireforge in 288 AC, when Flint was asked to come to Qualinost and make some of his masterpieces for Speaker Solostaran. Tanis was still getting to know Flint in 308 AC when his childhood playmate Lauralanthalasa Kanan (Laurana) asked Tanis to marry her. Tanis said yes just to spite the other elves, many of whom disliked him for his heritage. Laurana gave him a ring that was fashioned of seven tiny, interlocking gold ivy leaves. Flint taught Tanis some basic blacksmithing skills, and Tanis forged his first knife. At this time he had a horse named Belthar. Tanis was accused of murdering Eld Ailea, and the evidence was sufficient to cause his imprisonment while Flint searched for evidence that would free Tanis. Flint found some evidence, and Tanis escaped from imprisonment, narrowly saving Gilthanas from being assassinated. Tanis then returned to the Tower of the Sun and stopped assassination attempts on the rest of the royal family by killing Arelas Kanan. Tanis then moved on to Solace with Flint, though he returned to Qualinost once a year. Tanis took on the business end of Flint's blacksmithing, organized his affairs and got people to pay off their accounts.
In the Autumn, 329 AC Flint and Tanis enter a forest and run into a female human named Riana. Her traveling companions, Karel and Daryn from Winding Vale, had been taken by an evil mage named Gadar. Tanis and Flint agreed to journey with her to rescue them. They were attacked by four phantoms controlled by Gadar. After a short fight, they were able to defeat the phantoms by using fire. Gadar wanted Tanis to come to him so the mage could use his life essence to sustain him. So Gadar had another phantom take Tanis to Gadar's Castle. Tanis would be rescued by Flint when the dwarf burst in while the mage was casting the spell for Tanis's life essence. Tanis tackled Gadar, and soon discovered Gadar's young son who looked to be between 12-13 years old, but was much, much older. The boy asks Tanis for permission to die, and Tanis grants it holding the boy until he passed away.
In 331 AC, Tanis met Tasslehoff Burrfoot (Tas) for the first time after Tas stole a magical bracelet from Flint that was meant for Selana Sonluanaau. Together they journeyed to Castle Tantallon and were captured by Balcombe, but eventually got free and retrieved Selana's bracelet.
Tanis met Kitiara Uth Matar in 344 AC when he thought he heard a woman in distress. He rushed to her aid only to discover that Kit was toying with her hobgoblin attackers. His mount during this time was named Dauntless. Tanis journeyed to Icereach to save Kitiara when he found out that she might have been pregnant with his child. Tanis was always able to tease Kitiara out of a bad mood. He met Sturm Brightblade for the first time at Derimius's shop in Solace, and soon met the twins Caramon and Raistlin Majere.
In Autumn, 344 AC, Sturm, Tanis, Flint, and tas were caught in a snow storm in the mountains between Esker and Haven. They found shelter, but the shelter had no wood to burn to keep them warm. Sturm and Tanis left to find firewood, and soon find themselves lost. They begin floundering around until they hear music, which led them back to their shelter. Tas had played his pipe which brought in a rabbit, deer, and ram along with Sturm and Tanis. They had enough wood to rest in the shelter for two days, before heading home after the storm had passed.
In Late Winter, 345 AC a bird by the name of Wren came to the Companions seeking their help. She had been changed into a bird, her love Pytr was turned into a cat, and Tasslehoff had been turned into a squirrel. Caramon, Raistlin, Tanis, Flint, and Sturm came to rescue them, and Raistlin turned Tanis into a red-pelted fox. They were able to infiltrate the mage Rieve's place, and rescue Tas, Pytr, and Wren from the mage.
When the Companions split up in 346 AC, he broke off his relationship with Kitiara. Tanis then left on his own adventure to seek the lost gods.
War of the Lance
In 351 AC, Tanis reunited with the Companions and met the Plainsfolk Goldmoon and Riverwind. Tanis led the group from the Inn of the Last Home to avoid being captured. They journeyed first to Que-Shu, then to Xak Tsaroth where he saw a black dragon for the first time. After escaping from there, the Companions returned to Solace, where they were captured by Lord Toede's men. They were sent to Pax Tharkas in a slave caravan that was freed by Qualinesti elves. They journeyed to Qualinesti and were given a mission to break into Pax Tharkas and free the prisoners. While in the Sla-Mori at Pax Tharkas, Tanis was given Wyrmslayer by the dead elf Speaker Kith-Kanan. The Companions freed eight hundred refugees from Pax Tharkas, and just before they left, Tanis formed work parties for the people to gather supplies from the fortress before they fled.
Following Goldmoon and Riverwind's wedding, Tanis and Flint went ahead of the refugees to Thorbardin, leaving clues behind for Riverwind to follow with the refugees. Tanis and Flint met up with Tas, Caramon, Sturm, and Raistlin at a destroyed Aghar village at the foot of Cloudseeker. Upon arriving in Thorbardin, Tanis and his group had a run in with the Theiwar that did not end well. They were instead captured by Arman Kharas, and taken before the Council of Thanes, where Grallen delivered his message about the Hammer of Kharas, before his spirit departed and Flint regained control of his body.
While Flint and Tas recovered the true Hammer of Kharas with Arman Kharas, and Tanis and the Companions were attacked by Dray-yan and his forces. Tanis and his comrades entered the Battle of the Temple of the Stars, engaging and driving off the forces, which culminated in the death of Arman, and then the death of Dray-yan at Flint's hands. Tanis feels panic when he is in dark and closed up places, like the walls are closing in on him. This phobia afflicts him most in the underground realm of Thorbardin, where he feels sealed up in a tomb.
After recovering the Hammer of Kharas from the depths of Thorbardin, the Companions and the Human Refugees of Pax Tharkas are allowed to stay in the dwarven realm under the mountain for the winter. The companions set out to the, to travel to the city of Tarsis to see if they can commission ships to transport the refugees back to Abanasinia. However, upon reaching the city, the companions discover it to be landlocked, and under the tacit control of the dragonarmy. The companions were forced to split up, and here Tanis lost Wyrmslayer.
Tanis, Raistlin, Caramon, Tika Waylan, Goldmoon, and Riverwind were forced to follow Alhana Starbreeze back to Silvanesti, where they got caught in Lorac Caladon's dream. Tanis's love was able to free him from the dream. The group then traveled to Port Balifor and went on tour to Flotsam with a traveling group. Tanis was discovered by Kitiara, who had become the Dragon Highlord of the Blue Dragonarmy. He briefly rekindled his relationship with Kit before returned to the others. They fled Flotsam on the Perechon, but the ship sank in the Maelstrom. He awoke in sunken Istar, where he met Apoletta & Zebulah. The group was released and woke up near Kalaman, but didn't remember much of what occurred under the sea. Tanis journeyed to Kalaman and reunited with the rest of the Companions.
Tanis, Flint, Tas, Caramon, Tika, and Berem journeyed to Neraka, though Flint died en route. Once in Neraka, he met Kitiara again and offered to trade himself for the captured Laurana. Kit brought him before the Queen of Darkness during a meeting of the Highlords, and Tanis killed Lord Ariakas with Raistlin's help. Tanis escaped from Neraka with Laurana, having finally chosen Laurana over Kitiara as his love.
Post War of the Lance
Tanis gained celebrity status after the War of the Lance and was made an honorary Knight of the Rose. He was given a breastplate from the Knights of Solamnia, a green silk sash from the Wildrunners, and the Medallion of Kharas from the dwarves of Thorbardin. Tanis married Laurana in 353 AC, and on the wedding day, Tas nearly traded the wedding rings to a street urchin for a jar of tadpoles. During the toast, Caramon forgot Tanis's name.
Together, they had a son, Gilthas Pathfinder, his brothers-in-law were Porthios Solostaran and Gilthanas Solostaran, and his father-in-law was Solostaran himself, the Speaker of the Sun. Laurana and Tanis had a castle in the countryside near Solanthus.
In the spring of 356 AC, Tanis was summoned to Palanthas and informed that Raistlin was trying to defeat Takhisis, and that Kitiara was going to attack Palanthas. Tasslehoff saw Tanis's death at Lord Soth's hands in an alternate future, and was able to stop Tanis from fighting Lord Soth. Instead, Tanis entered the Tower of High Sorcery with Caramon and saved Dalamar's life from a mortally wounded Kitiara. Before dying, Kit claimed to have always loved Tanis and to "keep him away". Lord Soth appeared to claim Kitiara's body shortly thereafter. Tanis finally released Kit from his heart and Lord Soth took her body away.
Tanis and Laurana became liaisons between the Knights of Solamnia, Silvanesti, and Qualinesti, and strove to unite them into a strong alliance for many years. In the Spring of 363 AC, Gunthar uth Wistan invited Tanis, Theros Ironfeld, Caramon, Crysania, and Laurana to the Silver Dragon Mountain. All of the Heroes of the Lance were invited but Tasslehoff (who was invited by Fizban), and Tika could not make it since she was taking care of the kids.
This event was to honor Owen Glendower for being the first person to use the dragonlance in battle during the War of the Lance. Owen though, couldn't take it and collapsed into a fit. Tasslehoff agreed to tell his tale that he promised he would never tell. In it, Tanis and the others find out that the dragonlances will not work unless someone has faith in the dragonlance. Owen didn't have faith the first time he used one of the lances, and it shattered. When he did have faith, he was able to slay a White Dragon.
In the Autumn of 378 AC, Caramon asked Tanis to help him try to bring Sturm's son Steel Brightblade back to the side of good. They took Steel from Storm's Keep and brought him to the High Clerist's Tower, but were unable to convince Steel to leave the Knights of Takhisis. Tanis tried to spread word of the Knights of Takhisis but no one took him seriously. In 382 AC, his son Gilthas was coerced into going to Qualinesti, where he was forced to become the next Speaker of the Sun. Tanis journeyed to Qualinesti and was unable to save his son, but was able to get Porthios out of the nation. Tanis was branded an outlaw and told never to return to Qualinesti.
Tanis was still trying to unite the different nations when the Chaos War erupted. He helped defend the High Clerist's Tower against Knights of Takhisis and Tarmaks. He saved Steel from a Knight of Solamnia despite the fact that they were on opposing sides, but was stabbed in the back by a Tarmak and died from the wound. The name of his killer was unknown. Tanis was later buried at the Tomb of the Last Heroes in Solace.
Titles and Nicknames
Caelthalas Elbernarian has claimed that Tanis had a relationship with a Sea Elf and is Cael's true father. The truth of this is unknown, but Cael did grow a curly red beard during a coma in 38 SC. One falsehood about Tanis was the rumor that he had golden eyes. Toede spun a tale about him drinking like a fish, but it is unknown if there is any truth to this.
- The Annotated Dragonlance Chronicles, Autumn Twilight, p. 22, 185, 330, 362, 391
- The Annotated Dragonlance Chronicles, Winter Night, p. 563, 568, 609, 611
- The Annotated Dragonlance Chronicles, Spring Dawning, p. 1083, 1124, 1164, 1202, 1252, 1286
- The Annotated Dragonlance Legends, Time of the Twins, p. 28
- The Annotated Dragonlance Legends, Test of the Twins, p. 1019, 1026, 1046, 922 – 923
- Brothers Majere, p. 195
- Brothers in Arms, p. 386
- The Companions (Novel), p. 162
- Darkness and Light, p. 6, 9, 12, 14, 41, 100
- DL3: Dragons of Hope, p. 4
- Dragons of the Highlord Skies (HC), p. 2, 21
- Dragons of Summer Flame (HC), p. 110, 118, 302
- Dragons of a Fallen Sun (HC), p. 57
- Dragons of a Lost Star, p. 229, 299
- Dragons of a Vanished Moon (HC), p. 110, 177
- Dragons of the Dwarven Depths (HC), p. 17-18, 34, 53, 58, 91, 190, 192, 215, 222, 227, 252, 310, 351, 358, 422
- Dragons of the Dwarven Depths (PB) p. 22, 28-30, 63-69, 252-255, 333-334, 354-370, 395, 470, 483, 503
- The Inheritance, p. 1, 277-278
- Kender, Gully Dwarves, and Gnomes, "Snowsong", p. 12, 17, 25, 40
- Kender, Gully Dwarves, and Gnomes, "Hearth Cat and Winter Wren", p. 181, 190, 196
- Kendermore (Novel), p. 14
- Kindred Spirits, p. 5, 26, 56, 70, 72, 156, 169, 244, 247, 264, 274, 304, 306
- Knight of the Black Rose (Novel) pgs 10-11, 12, 20
- Leaves from the Inn of the Last Home, p. 163
- Lord Toede, p. 181
- The Magic of Krynn, "Harvests", p. 177, 183, 193, 204, 208, 213
- The Odyssey of Gilthanas, p. 40
- The Puppet King, p. 119
- The Rose and the Skull, p. 35
- The Second Generation, p. 31, 33
- Steel and Stone, p. 27-28, 31-32, 35-36, 67
- Stormblade, p. 26
- Wanderlust, p. 31, 53, 101, 190, 250
- The War of the Lance (Novel), "The Story that Tasslehoff Promised he would Never, ever, ever Tell", p. 285