Here’s a little something for Dragonlance fans interested in the War of Souls and beyond. The War of Souls trilogy takes place in the year 421 AC (38 SC) but when did the key events take place? How long did the War of Souls last? Let’s dig into this after a couple quick notes!
Holiday! Celebrate! The trilogy mentions Midyear’s Day and the Festival of the Eye. According to The History of Dragonlance (and reprinted in Bertrem’s Guide to the Age of Mortals), Midyear’s Day falls on June 21st and the Festival of the Eye falls on October 15th.
Dragons of a Fallen Sun
Mina emerges from the Great Storm and gets her first followers the night before Midyear’s Day (June 20th). They march for Sanction that night, reaching Zhakar Valley a day and a half later (June 22nd) to join in the Battle of Beckard’s Cut. Mina’s Knights spend five days (June 23-27) at the Dark Knight camp before they receive Targonne’s orders to march to Silvanesti.
It takes thirteen days (June 28-July 10) for Mina’s Knights to reach the Silvanesti Shield. They sleep outside the Shield, wake up inside it the next day, and most likely engage the Silvanesti elves on the following day (July 12th, though this is a necessary assumption). Mina is captured in that fight, and the Shield falls the next day (July 13th, or “Shieldfall” to keep it simple). The epilogue strongly implies—and Dragons of a Lost Star confirms—that Shieldfall happens the same day that Beryl attacks the Citadel of Light and her army invades Qualinesti. Finally, General Dogah’s knights enter Silvanesti the day after Shieldfall (July 14th).
Dragons of a Lost Star
The morning after Shieldfall, Marshal Medan estimates it will take Beryl’s army ten days to reach Qualinost (July 23rd); the Lioness upholds this estimate six days after Medan. Beryl’s army reaches the outskirts of Qualinost, finds no signs of resistance, and waits outside the city for Beryl to arrive the next morning (July 24th, eleven days after Shieldfall).
In Chapter 29, Mina tells Odila & Gerard that Beryl will attack Qualinost tomorrow at dawn. Odila & Gerard escape to Solanthus, Beryl attacks Qualinost the next morning (which we know is July 24th), and Mina’s Knights take over Solanthus that same evening (or in the pre-dawn hours of July 25th). The fall of Solanthus heralds the start of the War of Souls, as is apparent by the title of Chapter 30. Mina’s conversation with Goldmoon in the Tower of Nightlund most likely happens on July 25th or 26th since Mina and her knights needed time to reach the tower after taking Solanthus.
Dragons of a Vanished Moon
Early in Vanished Moon (Book 1 Chapter 2), Mina informs Galdar that she has been ordered to take Sanction by the Festival of the Eye so the One God can hold her own festival. It seems apparent that the One God intends to replace the older holiday in grand fashion by assembling her own skull totem, killing Malys, and physically entering Krynn in Goldmoon’s body.
Vanished Moon is otherwise nonspecific when detailing the events that occur in its two parts (Book 1 and Book 2). Book 1, Chapter 6 states that it took several weeks for Qualinesti refugees to gather for their journey across the Plains of Dust. In Book 1, Chapter 10, Gerard returns to Solanthus several weeks after its fall. In Book 1, Chapter 14, Mina’s army needs weeks or even months to reach Sanction. Book 2 is similarly ambiguous—I cannot confirm when the Qualinesti refugees reach Silvanesti, when Mina speaks to Lord Soth, or when her army conquers Sanction. She probably enters Sanction within a day of its capture, but this isn’t stated.
Mina enters Sanction on the same day that her army of souls delivers Malys’s skull totem to the Temple of Huerzyd. Vanished Moon doesn’t outright state when Malys attacks, but it fits the narrative to say that the One God wanted Malys to attack on the Festival of the Eye, so she could kill Malys and complete her ceremony. Palin & Mirror thwart the One God’s plans by destroying her skull totem, but Mina is still able to kill Malys; both events occur on the Festival of the Eye.
The final battle for Sanction happens 2-3 weeks after Sanction falls to Mina, mostly because it takes time for the elves to show up. Consider the following: after Sanction falls, Samar must return to Silvanesti to tell the elves about Takhisis and Silvanoshei, the elven army spends at least two days preparing to march, and the army marches for at least a week before hearing about the minotaur invasion of Silvanesti. Finally, the good dragons carry the elves to Sanction (it’s not clear how long this takes).
Dragons of a Fallen Sun begins the night before Midyear’s Day (June 20th) with the Great Storm and ends on July 14th with General Dogah sending his troops into an unshielded Silvanesti.
Dragons of a Lost Star begins on July 14th and ends on July 25th or 26th with Mina revealing the One God’s identity to Goldmoon. The actual War of Souls begins on July 24th with the first appearance of the army of souls.
Dragons of a Vanished Moon begins on July 25th or 26th with a new angle on Mina and Goldmoon’s conversation and ends in late October or early November with the reclamation of Sanction, the return of the gods, and the fates of Paladine and Takhisis.
Wait, this is Dragonlance. Where are the timeline inconsistencies?
You’re right! There are a few incongruities (Silvanoshei’s perspective in Fallen Sun, Targonne’s plan to kill Mina in Lost Star, and a couple short stories in the Bertrem’s Guide to the War of Souls novels), but I believe the above timeline makes the most sense, accounts for all major events, and requires the fewest compromises to the War of Souls trilogy.