If the Silvanesti are experiencing rebirth, the Kirath are the midwives.
The time has come for the elves to reclaim their homelands, the lands warped and ruined by Lorac and the Orb of DragonkindThe Kirath, the elite scouts of the Silvanesti, are in the vanguard of the returning tribes. What they find is familiar, yet unfamiliar—landscapes twisted by magic, once-verdant lands now gray and barren. It is the duty of the Kirath to assess the damages done, and report their findings to the rest of the Silvanesti. Only then can the tribes return to their woods and fields.
In Tree Lords, you will find not only an adventure about and for elves, but also information on a new character class: the Kirath (Silvanesti Scout). Bring a new dimension to your Dragonlance campaign with this, the second module in the DLS series. Take part as players in the reclamation of the Silvanesti homelands! It is not necessary to have played New Beginnings in order to play this stand-alone module.
DLS2: "Tree Lords" (1991), by John Terra, is the first of a trilogy of elven adventures for Dragonlance. It was published in April 1991.
About the Cover. That's an awful scary looking elven forest! There's a good reason for that. It's the Silvanesti realms that were famously twisted and warped in DL10: "Dragons of Dreams" (1985).
Origins (I): A New Trilogy. DLS2: "Tree Lords" (1991) was the second adventure in the "DLS" series, which might refer to Dragonlance saga, supplements, or even Silvanesti. The first book, DLS1: "New Beginnings" (1991) was definitely a supplement: it was an introduction to playing AD&D on the continent of Taladas. DLS2: "Tree Lords" is a rather abrupt change. It's more of an adventure (though there's still considerable source material) and it moves the actions from Taladas to Ansalon. The abandonment of Taladas was a pretty big reversal, as it had dominated Dragonlance publication for the last 18 months. Now, TSR was suddenly returning Dragonlance to its old stomping grounds.
"Tree Lords" was the first of a trilogy of elven Dragonlance adventures. Each of these standalone adventures focuses on a specific sort of elf. "Tree Lords" starts by looking at the Silvanesti.
Origins (II): A History of the Silvanesti Elves. The elves of OD&D (1974) and the AD&D Players Handbook (1978) were relatively generic, but the Monster Manual (1977) offered a little more variety, detailing a number of subraces, including the rare and noble gray elves. Unearthed Arcana (1985) then give players the opportunity to play those gray elves.
When Dragonlance appeared, it abandoned the more generic sounding appellations of the AD&D game and instead linked races of elves to real places in Krynn. One of these elven peoples were the Silvanesti, who are the most similar to D&D's traditional gray elves. The Silvanesti were first mentioned in DL2: "Dragons of Flame" (1984), but even after some of their history was laid out in DL5: "Dragons of Mystery" (1984) and DL7: "Dragons of Light" (1985), they remained a hidden and mysterious people.
Dragonlance players discovered the elven lands of exile in DL7: "Dragons of Light" (1985), which was the first major spotlight on the elven races in the Dragonlance line. However, DL10: "Dragons of Dreams" (1985) was more important because it revealed the fallen Silvanesti homeland itself. It then took until Dragonlance Adventures (1987) for the Silvanesti to become a fully playable PC race.
In Dragonlance Adventures, the Silvanesti are called "high elves". However, their role as exotic elves and their stats are closer to the traditional gray elves of the D&D game, a fact that was verified by PHBR8: The Complete Book of Elves (1992).
Media Tie-In. TSR began their very explicit media crossovers with the Avatar trilogy (1989) for the Forgotten Realms. Their elven Dragonlance publications of 1991 represent a more subtle connection. Alongside this trilogy of elven "DLS" adventures, TSR also published the "Elven Nations" trilogy of novels (1991). The first two of those, Firstborn (1991) and The Kingslayer Wars, detail the history of the Silvanesti.
Adventure Tropes: Racial Adventures. "Tree Lords" contains a set of five short elf-focused scenarios. The idea of concentrating an adventure on a single D&D race was still almost unknown at the time, with O2: "Blade of Vengeance", CM5: "Mystery of the Snow Peals" (1985), and CM7: "The Tree of Life" (1986) being rare exceptions — and all focused on elves! However, "Tree Lords was the first such release for the AD&D game.
"Tree Lords" maintains its elf focus by having elven characters take on a very elven quest: retaking the lost Silvanesti forest. Beyond that, it's a pure encounter-based episodic adventure. The military focus of these encounters, complete with debriefings, is somewhat surprising, but matches with the use of the elven kirath.
Expanding D&D. About half of "Tree Lords" details the kirath, a Silvanesti elf scout. They're laid out as a kit and supplemented with plenty of unique equipment.
Exploring Krynn. "Tree Lords" focuses on the Silvanesti elves and introduces their kirath scouts. The short adventure also nicely details the Silvanesti realms after the events of DL10: "Dragons of Dreams". The time is 353 AC, just a year later.
About the Creators. Terra had been freelancing for TSR since 1988. Though he'd previously contributed to DL15: "Mists of Krynn" (1988) and DLR1: "Otherlands" (1990), this was his first solo book for the line.
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 email@example.com. Thanks to the Acaeum for careful research on Monster Manual printings.