Article written by Kranar Drogin, Gerrin, Uziel, PsychaDurmont
Fistandantilus (? PC - 39 AC), also known as the "Dark One", was a tall, slender man with a long, iron-grey pointed beard, thin bony hands, broad shoulders, well-built body, and was tall. He always wore his plain, midnight black robes in plain sight, and was the most powerful Black Robe of his time. He always radiated cold, and when he would stand in one place for too long would actually kill the grass and other plants in the immediate area.
Fistandantilus owned a castle, but would stay at his personal apartments in the Tower of Wayreth. He never claimed a friend other than his magic, but was a very good player at khas. At the height of his power in Istar, he knew every language, custom, and lore of all known races on Krynn. He thought it beneath him to own a staff or even to have a familiar. The archmage was able to travel anywhere on Krynn in the blink of an eye, and was used as a bogeyman by parents to scare their children. However unlike most bogeyman tales, his powers were all very much real. He even wrote a book Observations on the Structure of Reality .
The early part of Fistandantilus' life is mostly unknown. One thing that is known is that he discovered magic, and through its use was able to keep himself alive when he was young. It is also known that when he took his Test, he chose to become a Red Robe wizard. He stayed a follower of neutrality, until he realized that he would not live forever. He approached Gilean about extending his life, but the god responded that the mage should accept his humanity. This did not please Fistandantilus, and he decided to forsake neutrality. He took the Black Robes, and approached Takhisis in the Abyss about allowing him to live forever. She readily accepted him, and gave him what would later be known as the Bloodstone of Fistandantilus.
In the reign of Highmage Gadrella, Fistandantilus had become a trusted agent of the ruler of the Conclave, and aided Gadrella in convincing the local lords around Ansalon to sanction the construction of four more Towers of High Sorcery. The young black-robed mage continued to grow in power and it is around this time that it is suspected that he constructed Ulgaard, a hidden lair in the Garnet Mountains, where he developed over half of his spells.
Centuries later, in 2018 PC, he assisted his colleagues within the Conclave in destroying the renegade mage Malock and then convinced the archmages to not destroy Malock's fortress of Zhaman, as it held a wealth of knowledge on war magic, which could only help the Wizards of High Sorcery. The wizards agreed and allowed Fistandantilus to become the new master of Zhaman.
For reasons unknown, Fistandantilus was known to have joined a company of adventurers briefly in 1804 PC, who were led by the Ergothian warrior Vinas Solamnus, and were commissioned to free the sister of Emann Quisling, Emperor of Ergoth from some crazed priests. The black-robed mage aided Vinas in rescuing the noble from Raekel's Pit and returning her to Daltigoth.
The archmage continued to dwell in his fortress of Zhaman, until the close of the Third Dragon War in 1018 PC, when he migrated to another lair.
When Fistandantilus would take an apprentice, he would choose one from those who had already passed their Test of High Sorcery. He would see whom among his apprentices were the strongest, and he would use his Bloodstone in order to take the younger wizard's soul to keep himself strong. For a time, he was the head of the Tower of Palanthas.
Time of Istar
Fistandantilus arrived in Istar sometime around 100 PC, and would continue his dark works as a mage, while at the same time kept an eye on the Kingpriest while a member on the Istaran court. When he saw his chance to assist Kurnos in his rise to power, he gave Kurnos a magical ring that contained the means to kill Symeon IV.
At first Fistandantilus worked to keep Kurnos in power, meeting with the Kingpriest and advising him. Fistandantilus used this time to learn about the Lightbringer. Learning about the prophecy, he then charmed Denubis into allowing him into the chancery where he was able to read the prophecy.
As Fistandantilus helped Kurnos's mind slip further into confusion, he began to hear rumors of the coming of Beldyn. Believing that Beldyn would be the cleric he needed to open the portal, Fistandantilus tested the young man. Even though Beldyn overcame all of Fistandantilus's tests, he still proved to be too impure to be of any use to Fistandantilus's overall goal of obtaining godhood. Fistandantilus understood that with Kurnos in power that his chance of finding a pure cleric of light and corrupting him would be difficult. At the end of his brief reign, Kurnos had slipped into madness and suspicion of all others believing them to be threats to his rule. Rather then leaving this mad tyrant in control, Fistandantilus instead allowed Beldyn to defeat Kurnos.
Kurnos would be imprisoned below the temple and before he had a chance to indicate Fistandantilus's guilt, he was killed by the mage. Following the death of Kurnos, Fistandantilus would become a loyal subject to the new Kingpriest Beldinas. While disliked by much of the Kingpriest's court, the mage was allowed to practice his magic in secret below the temple. He would eventually create his own laboratory under the Temple of Istar. This laboratory would remain a secret to all but a select few chosen apprentices, most of who did not live to tell of the place.
Years later, he would give Beldinas the means to defeat the groves around the Towers of High Sorcery prior to the Lost Battles. For this though, Fistandantilus asked a price for the seeds that he would be the personal advisor to the Kingpriest. This action accomplished two goals for Fistandantilus, one that he could now direct the Kingpriest, and secondly he would be allowed to study a Portal to the Abyss secretly.
In the years to follow, Fistandantilus became whispered about in the shadows of the temple. People in the city referred to Fistandantilus as 'Fistandantilus the Dark' and wondered why the Kingpriest would keep an evil mage so close. Fistandantilus during this time came to the understanding that the Kingpriest would never be the cleric he needed to open the portal.
Also during the years prior to the Cataclysm, Fistandantilus selected a black robe mage named Andras to be his new apprentice. Using Andras as his puppet, he attacked the Knights of the Divine Hammer to rid himself of their annoying leader Cathan MarServin and to divide their leadership. Andras was nearly captured in an assassination attempt on the leadership of the Divine Hammer. Fearful that Andras would give away his part in the attacks, Fistandantilus locked his apprentice in his laboratory.
Following the Lost Battles, Fistandantilus sent Andras to the Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas. Using Andras, he had his apprentice jump to his death to seal the gates until the Master of Past and Present opened them. With this Fistandantilus believed he would prevent the wizards from moving the Portal to the Abyss. Unknown to Fistandantilus, the portal was already moved to the fortress of Zhaman. Somewhere around this time, the archmage took a new apprentice in the form of the mage Akar.
In 963 IA (1 PC), Fistandantilus realized that the Cataclysm was near and prepared to time travel to the future. Knowing that the Cataclysm was going to create great political upheaval, Fistandantilus purchased a gladiator, Pheragas, who would be able to protect him.
In the days prior to the Cataclysm, Fistandantilus reached out to the one true cleric left in the world. Denubis nearly finishing his copying of the Disks of Mishakal decided to accompany Fistandantilus. Fistandantilus in the moments prior to the Cataclysm time traveled to the future with Denubis and Pheragas.
A Magical Meeting
The mage Raistlin Majere who had been possessed by Fistandantilus in the future in 346 AC, journeyed back in time to face the Dark One directly in his laboratory. Raistlin slew Fistandantilus in 1 PC, and took his place, even pretending to be the "Dark One". Raistlin found that he could not alter the events in River of Time, and was locked into the same footsteps that Fistandantilus himself would tread below.
In 39 AC Fistandantilus, with his allies Denubis and Pheragas led their army into Abanasinia. When they arrive they discover two groups, the Plainsmen, led by Darknight, and the Neidar Dwarves, led by Reghar Fireforge. Both groups wanted to join Fistandantilus army for different reasons. The Plainsmen were driven by greed while the Neidar wish to avenge their honor. Also both groups needed food for the upcoming winter and believed that the mountain dwarves were hoarding it.
That same year the combined army of Fistandantilus marched towards Thorbardin. Fistandantilus used the emotions of both the Plainsmen and the Neidar, and planned on abandoning the army to journey to Zhaman. Before he abandoned them though, he cast four major elemental spells. The first was fire and the second ice, which trapped hundreds of fighters in battle. There was another water, or storm-based spell that would get trapped by Spellbinder. This spell would not trigger until after Chestal Thicketsway took the spell, which was in the form of a glass ball named Zap away from Spellbinder. The fourth spell was never known.
There he would find the portal, and with the assistance of Denubis they would enter the Abyss. This was not to be though. A Gnome named Gnimsh was present, and he triggered a device the interfered with the spell Fistandantilus' was casting. This caused a huge magical backlash that detonated Zhaman. The two dwarven armies that were battling outside were caught in the explosion and killed. Zhaman would be renamed to Skullcap.
For years Fistandantilus was thought to have been dead, but he wasn't. His spirit was taken away from his body, and he waited until he found someone that would suit his purposes.
During his Test in 346 AC, Raistlin Majere faced many challenges, but perhaps none as great as the dark elf that he was faced with as the final challenge of his test. At this time, the young mage was confronted by the archmage, Fistandantilus, and given a choice—either he could pay the archmage with a portion of his life force in exchange for helping him pass the test, or he could be destroyed by the dark elf. Although he could have passed the Test without aid from the archmage, Raistlin accepted the Dark One's bargain. With the power of Fistandantilus to aid him, Raistlin managed to defeat the dark elf and successfully passed his Test.
Over the years, the archmage assisted the Red Robe in many wonderful feats. During the War of the Lance, he assisted him in using the Dragon Orb, gave him the key to opening the Spellbooks of Fistandantilus, and would later help him in driving off Takhisis. This was all part of the plot to eventually take over the body of the young mage, gather all Chromatic Dragons and Dragon Highlords under his banner to take over Krynn.
Over the years, there would be all sorts of stories about Fistandantilus coming and going on Krynn. One though that has some credibility. In 386 AC, Alantine, a Red Robe, and Eltam traveled to Tarsis to restore the old Tarsis Library. While there, Alantine finds a spellbook on plane travel. Soon as he took the book, Fistandantilus' spirit inhabited his body, causing him to leave his friend on the third sub-level of the library, where undead came out of the ground and killed him. He left the library, and it is unknown where he has gone now.
The Annotated Dragonlance Legends it says that in the corner was a staff that belonged to Fistandantilus. He would not have owned a staff since it was beneath him to own one.
This article has been viewed 17,160 times. It was added on October 30, 2007, and was last modified on April 19, 2009.
Information presented in the Dragonlance Lexicon has been independently researched by a team of volunteers, and original sources have been cited for each article. This and any other Lexicon articles are intended for personal use only and may NOT be posted on any other web site or otherwise distributed.