Your heroes find themselves on a demi-planar island in the Ethereal void, where a mysterious god enlists their help in his scheme to stop Erestem (Takhisis). The heroes must journey through space and time to recover the powerful cindergemsand forge a weapon to destroy Erestem. If your heroes fail, Erestem's evil minions will invade Taladas and destroy the Orthlox (Uninvolved) dragons, which is just the star of her plans for Taladas!
Your PCs must venture into eras and places hitherto unknown to them. The cindergemsare strewn throughout the multiverse; ancient dragon burial grounds, magical ice palaces, crypts of restless dead, and much more await the heroes. And just who is that mysterious god who asks so much of them?
This AD&D game adventure, set in the vast world of the Dragonlance saga, is the conclusion to an epic adventure that began with Dragon Dawn and continued with Dragon Knight. On the previously unknown continent of Taladas, the heroes must strive to thwart the extraplanar invasion plans of Erestem, Queen of Evil, also known as Takhisis. Failure means doom for all of Krynn!
You need the Time of the Dragon set in order to play this adventure. You need not have played either of the previous modules in this series; alternate beginnings are provided for player who have not done so.
DLA3: "Dragon's Rest" (1990), by Rick Swan, is the third adventure in the Taladas trilogy for Dragonlance. It was published in December 1990.
Origins: Ending the Taladas Trilogy. Each of the previous adventures in the Taladas trilogy said that it was part of "a fantastic series of adventures set in Krynn's lost continent of Taladas". DLA3: "Dragon's Rest" (1990) instead says that it's the "earth-shaking conclusion to the epic adventure begun" in the two previous adventures.
If Taladas seems to be missing from that description, there's a good reason: the adventure takes place on other planes, not in the world of Krynn itself. This type of gonzo, extra-planar adventure seemed to be a favorite of author Rick Swan, who'd previously taken players to the moon in DLE3: "Dragon Keep" (1989).
However, the Dragonlance line was not yet done with Taladas. It would return in the line's next new publication, DLS1: "New Beginnings " (1991).
Adventure Tropes. As in DLA2: "Dragon Knight" (1990), Swan does his best in "Dragon's Rest" to focus on story without railroading the players. In fact, "Dragon's Rest" details a big sandbox of the realm of Eborium as the background for a MacGuffin hunt for the cindergems. Some interludes and scheduled events keep the story ticking, eventually leading to "The Final Battle". A somewhat bewildering flow chart doesn't quite explain all of this. Nonetheless, this is a nice integration of story-based play with player agency.
Exploring Krynn. "Dragon's Rest" takes place almost entirely in a demi-plane called Eborium, or the Isle of Fire.
Blowing Up Canon. From early on, it was obvious that the cosmology of Krynn was somewhat different from that of the Great Wheel. The Abyss that Takhisis was imprisoned in didn't seem to be the same as the Abyss of the Great Wheel … but in 1990 there were still no real details on what the cosmology of Krynn was like and how it might differ from D&D's better-known worlds.
That may be one of the reasons that Rick Swan's extra-planar adventures were somewhat uncomfortable to fans: they went to planes that might be part of Dragonlance's cosmology but which weren't part of its traditional storytelling tropes — excluding the short-lived (and understated) journey through the Glitterpalace in DL13: "Dragons of Truth" (1986). Thus the story here of cindergems being created by magic-using entities in the Nine Hells feels awkward, as does the idea of getting extra-planar entities to invade Krynn.
In fact, the 3e Dragonlance Campaign Setting (2003) would offer the first detailed look at Krynn's cosmology, and it would verify what players had long suspected: though the inner planes were largely the same as TSR's traditional Great Wheel cosmology, its outer planes were much more sparse, containing only the Dome of Creation, the Hidden Vale, the Abyss, the Gate of Souls, and the River of Souls.
So retroactively, some elements of this adventure have become non-canon, but even at the time of its publication its basic nature was somewhat in question. With that said, since it's a demi-plane, Eborium could certainly exist somewhere within Krynn's cosmology. It's just Hellish smiths and similar references that are troublesome.
Artifacts of Note. The cindergems are the big MacGuffin of the adventure. These colored gems, created under the direction of Sargonnas, are quite reminiscent of the better-known ioun stones. This was their only major appearance.
NPCs of Note Manipulating much of this adventure is Sargonnas, Takhisis' consort and the god of vengeance, making a rare appearance.
About the Creators. Swan was one of the main authors for Dragonlance in the years immediately following the departure of Weis and Hickman. That started with contributions to DL15: "Mists of Krynn" (1988) and continued through the "DLE" series (1989) and now the "DLA" series (1990). However, DLA3: "Dragon's Rest" (1990) would be hie last work for the setting.
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.