The Dragonlance Nexus

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http://www.dlnexus.com/news/newsletter/13975.aspx

Dragonlance Nexus News Issue #50: 12/24/2005

WELCOME TO THE INN

Greetings, friends and fellow companions, and welcome back to the Inn of the Last Home! It's Yule here in Solace, and everybody is coming to visit. Laura Majere even made some Yule cookies for Gerard to take to the kender he has locked up in jail. Don't worry, Gerard says that he's going to release the kender soon.

My friends, this is the 50th issue of the Dragonlance News. It's amazing that we've come this far, and I'm excited about the next 50 to come.

So grab your hoopaks, my friends, and grab your Santa hats. The portal to adventure awaits!

DRAGONLANCE NEWS ITEMS

For those anticipating the Dark Chronicles series, we have recently learned that Dragons of the Dwarven Depths will be supported by a launch party in New York, as well as a multi-city author tour. No news yet on what cities will be involved.

On the gaming front, we have several interesting items. First, check out Dragon magazine #339 for "The Ecology of the Draconian", by Cam Banks. Sovereign Press has updated their product schedule with Legends of the Twins coming out in February, Tasslehoff's Map Pouch: The War of the Lance in March, Price of Courage in April, Knightly Orders of Ansalon in May, Bestiary of Krynn: Revised in June, Races of Ansalon in June, and Dragons of Autumn: War of the Lance Chronicles, Volume I in July.

And on the comic book front, Chronicles #5 was just released. Legend of Huma just finished up last month with issue #6.

THE YEAR IN REVIEW

I thought I'd go over some of the highlights from 2005. On the novel front, we've had several exciting novels, and some that didn't quite live up to expectations. Perhaps one of the greatest strides this year with novels was with Blades of the Tiger, which begins the Taladas Chronicles trilogy of books. Fans have been asking for a series of books on Krynn's other continent for years, and who better than Chris Pierson to write it? We were also in for a treat with Empire of Blood, the stunning conclusion to the Minotaur Wars trilogy by Richard Knaak. Sanctuary is the other big hit of the year, being the continuing story of the elves of Ansalon. I've also heard quite a number of good things about the young adult novels, so check them out.

The key thing I've heard from fans in regards to disappointments is that there have been a number of reprints, but not so many new novels. This, of course, depends upon one's point of view. For new fans, this is a great way to get classic novels. For long-time fans, there aren't as many new Dragonlance novels to pick up. The other key disappointment this year has been Lord of the Rose. I'll admit up front that I'm biased on this issue and that fan response has varied. Many fans enjoyed the novel. The key disappointment in it was the lack of continuity between it and previous materials on the Knights of Solamnia.

On the gaming front, we've had some amazing products by Sovereign Press. Tasslehoff's Map Pouch: Age of Mortals has cemented Sean Macdonald as a top-class cartographer. His work is showing up more and more in Sovereign Press' work. Even Green Ronin and Wizards of the Coast have approached Sean about maps. We've also seen Spectre of Sorrows, which is Cam Banks' first adventure (and what an adventure!). As good as Key of Destiny was, Spectre is even better. For yours truly, the big gaming book of the year was Holy Orders of the Stars. This was my first gaming cover credit, and a book that I'm particularly proud of.

All in all, Sovereign Press did a great job this year. Releasing products in a timely fashion remains an issue, though there is some evidence that this may be changing for the better. Likewise, I hope to see more products from Sovereign Press in 2006.

On the comic book front, we saw the release of Legend of Huma #6. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a trade any time soon. Chronicles was launched in comic book format as well. It's a beautiful series, though Tasslehoff's "Jay Leno chin" isn't so hot.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment this year was the news that several Wizards of the Coast employees, including our friend Peter Archer, were let go. The good news is that Peter is going to be writing a Dragonlance novel sometime in the future!

The Nexus has had a fantastic year as well. The site moved to a new server, and we are no longer experiencing the down time we were encountering. Likewise, we started an ambitious project – the Lexicon! We're trying to catalog the people, places, and things of Dragonlance. With 20 years of products to go through, that's quite a task! We've also had a big hit with the Palanthas Herald, which is not only bringing the city of Palanthas alive, it's providing tons of adventure hooks for Dungeon Masters.

The big news this year has been the announcement of the Dark Chronicles trilogy, beginning with Dragons of the Dwarven Depths. Weis and Hickman are revisiting the War of the Lance, filling in the gaps from Chronicles. It should be interesting!

2006 – THE YEAR AHEAD

The year ahead should be an exciting one. It will see the release of Dragons of the Dwarven Depths. Several series will continue, including the Rise of Solamnia series, Taladas Trilogy, and Elven Exiles series. Amber and Iron will be continuing the Dark Disciple series. Originally, this was going to be released in paperback. Due to fan feedback, it was announced that book two will be released first as a hardback! We haven't seen the full product schedule for the year yet, but you can also expect to see Saving Solace in January.

The gaming products for this year, which I mentioned above, look fabulous. While all the products look great, two are exciting me in particular. First is Price of Courage, which concludes the Age of Mortals trilogy of adventures. While I can't give any particulars, I can say that the tidbits I've heard sound exciting! From a personal standpoint, I can say that I'm most excited about Knightly Orders of Ansalon. I'm working on the Dark Knights for this sourcebook. There are several exciting things that you guys are going to love.

On the Nexus front, we've got several projects in mind for the year. First is our Adventure Portal project. While we love the adventures Sovereign Press puts out, we realize that DM's could use some smaller adventures as well. Our Adventure Portal design team has just begun work. I've also begun work on the Archive Project as well. Basically, there's a lot of "lost gems" out on the web, and we're working to find them and post them on the Nexus. You might have noticed that we recently posted several of the Herald's Reports, written by Steve Miller and Miranda Horner (amongst others). We've also got some articles by John Grubber. There's more to come as well.

We're also going to start a project in January that we like to call "Unsung Heroes and Beyond: From Drool to Cool". The idea is that there are a lot of pregenerated characters from prior editions that we want to update to 3.5. More on this as we head into 2006.

And hey! Did you know that the Nexus is turning five years old next month? What started as a dream became a reality, and a large part of our success has been thanks to all of you.

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

I must bid you adieu for now, but I'll be seeing all of you next year. Mrs. Dragonhelm is calling, and the munchkins are getting excited about Santa Claus.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Trampas Whiteman
"Dragonhelm"
Dragonlance Nexus