I was going through some old Dragonlance material that used to be on Wizards of the Coast’s site recently, and I came across this description of Dragonlance:
Dragonlance is actually two worlds now, separated into the War of the Lance (the Dragonlance Chronicles by Maragret Weis & Tracy Hickman) and the Fifth Age (as told in the Dragons of Summer Flame and the upcoming War of Souls trilogy, also by Weis & Hickman).
That was from somewhere around 2001, prior to Dragons of a Fallen Sun’s release. It was the culture at the time, where Dragonlance was envisioned as multiple settings. Our friend Talinthas (Shivam Bhatt) once said that he got to tour WotC around the time. They asked him which Dragonlance he liked, and his response, if I recall correctly, was that he just loved Dragonlance!
When I entered online fandom in the fall of 2000, that split was painfully obvious. When the Nexus came about, I wanted to heal that schism. So it was that I mandated that the site would support all of Dragonlance.
However, this isn’t the only schism in Dragonlance. In December 1989, TSR introduced us to the second continent of Krynn, Taladas, in the Time of the Dragon boxed set. Expanding a world is great, so long as it is an expansion. What this product did was effectively create a separate setting that had the same logo, but little else in common with the Dragonlance we all knew and love. Gone were the Orders of High Sorcery, the Knights of Solamnia, and the Dragonarmies. While some races were familiar, many were changed to not be as recognizable. Eventually, elements of Taladas were incorporated into mainstream Ansalon (i.e. afflicted kender and thinker gnomes).
What we effectively have is a “setting of settings.” While there are some cool elements to this, we land up not having a cohesive whole setting.
Many great strides have been made in terms of the timeline during the Margaret Weis Productions era. Is it enough? Could there be more improvements? Should there be a reboot to set a new starting point in the timeline without regards to the prior timeline, save for Chronicles and Legends?
At this stage in time, as we look at the future of Dragonlance, I believe that it’s high time we look at having Dragonlance as a unified, whole world. One of the biggest criticisms of Dragonlance is that there’s nothing left to explore on Ansalon. Perhaps, then, it’s time we ventured forth to the lands of Taladas, adding Dragonlance elements to this new land. What if a Tower of High Sorcery was set on Taladas as a beachhead? Should Taladas have its own knighthood, such as the Dragon Knights?
Travel between these two continents should become more accessible, though not without dangers. Swashbuckling adventures should definitely be a part of that process. Imagine coming face-to-face with a minotaur privateer vessel, or Ergothian pirates!
The time has come. Dragonlance needs to grow as a single, unified world. We need to expand our horizons, and take advantage of every resource available.
Dragonlance is not limited…it is limitless.