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DLS4 Wild Elves (2e)
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DLS4 Wild Elves (2e)

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At long last, the Kagonesti elves are rising against their Silvanesti and Qualinesti masters. A prophet has come to deliver them from bondage; all of Southern Ergoth rings with the sounds of battle!

The Kagonesti flee their arrogant cousins, heading toward a land of legend: The Valley of Perfect Silences. Here only Kagonesti are allowed; no longer will they suffer servitude and wrong. The Gate has been found and the way is open. Kagonesti pass through the gate and into the promised land.

Or do they?

All is not as it seems in the Valley of Perfect Silences. Beneath the idyllic land of the valley lurks an ancient secret. You must journey to the valley and explore its darkest recesses. Unless you uncover the mystery of the valley, the Kagonesti may find that they have entered a new, vastly more horrible servitude.

Wild Elves contains much new information on Kagonesti elves and their society,. Take your Dragonlancegame campaign to a new dimension with this fourth module in the DLS series. Free the Kagonesti elves from their shackles and lead them to safety in the Valley of Perfect Silences. It is not necessary to have played the three previous DLS adventures in order to play this stand-alone module.

For 5-8 characters level 4-7.

Product History

DLS4: "Wild Elves" (1991), by Scott Bennie, is the third of a trilogy of elven adventures for Dragonlance. It was published in November 1991.

About the Cover. A reversed image of the cover for "Wild Elves" also appears on the Dark Sun novel, The Broken Blade (1995). It was generally a popular piece, appearing one more time as the first full-color artwork in PHBR: The Complete Book of Elves (1992), on page 4.

Origins (I): The Last Elves. DLS4: "Wild Elves" (1991) completes a trilogy of standalone adventures focused on Dragonlance's elves. The previous two adventures focused on the Silvanesti and the Qualinesti, while this one covers the Kagonesti.

Sadly, the two sea elf races of Krynn, the Dargonesti and the Dimernesti, didn't receive the same attention nor did the Taladan Armachnesti or Tamirnesti elves.

Origins (II): A History of Kagonesti Elves. Traditionally, D&D elves seem most derived from J.R.R. Tolkien's elves: they're haughty and civilized. Some supplements such as O2: "Blade of Vengeance" (1985) further emphasize this characterization with Tolkien-like runes and genealogies.

In Dragon #67 (November 1982), Gary Gygax decided to move in another direction, returning elves to the wilderness with two new elf variants: the grugach (who are wild elves) and the valley elves (who are gray elves from the Valley of the Mage in Greyhawk). The grugach reappeared in Monster Manual II (1983), then appeared as a player race in Unearthed Arcana (1985), under the "wild elf" name.

In the early Dragonlance adventures, it seemed like the elves of Krynn were the traditional Tolkien types, with the Silvanesti and the Qualinesti having epic histories of their own. But then DL7: "Dragons of Light" (1987) introduced a third type, the Kagonesti. These are the wild grugach of Krynn, as indicated by the references to the Monster Manual II. Full rules for Kagonesti characters appeared in Dragonlance Adventures (1987), though they varied slightly from the Unearthed Arcana rules for grugach.

Confusingly, PHBR8: The Complete Book of Elves (1992) would later give the Kagonesti yet another alternate classification: sylvan elves.

Adventure Tropes. "Wild Elves" admits that it contains an "episodic or linear plot" — something that was very common in the D&D adventures of the '90s. It says this is so that the adventure can be used by "novice or inexperienced GMs". However, it's not all linear episodes: there are also a number of crawls, including towers, dungeons, and caverns.

Exploring Krynn. The Qualinesti and the Silvanesti had their homelands assaulted by the forces of darkness during the War of the Lance; the Kagonesti instead had their homeland invaded by the Qualinesti and the Silvanesti. So, just like their more civilized kin, the Kagonesti needed to reclaim a homeland after the War. This is that story.

It's set in Southern Ergoth, which was previously detailed in DL7: "Dragons of Light". It also introduces the Valley of Perfect Silences, the Kagonesti's promised land and home to Kagonost. There's even a small Underdark equivalent: the Deathdark.

Blowing up the Canon. Like DLS3: "Oak Lords" (1991) before it, "Wild Elves" is generally considered to be decanonized. That's largely because of the presence of drows and driders, who are not officially found on Krynn. Fans also didn't love the presence of spelljamming ships in Krynn. However, you won't find references to the Valley of Perfect Silences, Kagonost, or this whole exodus in other Dragonlance products, so the canonicity of the whole module is in question.

Monsters of Note. A number of D&D monsters are considered verboten in the world of Krynn, but the drow are a somewhat odd case. The confusion started when Raistlin faced a "dark elf" in "The Test of the Twins", a short story in Dragon #83 (March 1984). The Soulforge (1985), an AD&D adventure gamebook, then verifies that it's a dark-skinned drow of the sort common to other D&D worlds. Things got even more muddled with the publication of DL16: "World of Krynn" (1988), which also included drow — albeit in another adventure of questionable canonicity.

Weis and Hickman soon clarified that the dark elves of Krynn were actually exiles, not a race unto themselves. The word "drow" is now understood as an incorrect name for Krynn's dark elves.

To support the drow of Krynn, "Wild Elves" also introduces spider dragons, because Dragonlance modules of the time loved to introduce new dragons. They've never been heard from again.

About the Creators. Bennie freelanced for Hero Games and TSR in the late '80s and early '90s. He'd previously contributed to numerous multi-author works including Dragonlance's DL15: "Mists of Krynn" (1988) and DLR1: "Otherlands" (1990). This was one of his few solo TSR works, after FR10: "Old Empires" (1990).

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 shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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