In the beginning, there were only the ogres. These ogres only later became the monstrosities that they are now. One group, the Irda, was one of the more powerful and more natural ogres. The elves (calling themselves "firstborn,") were next. The humans followed, and then the others. Dwarves were once humans!
Once civilizations formed, so did war. The dragons and the elves battled numerous wars, and the Dark Queen (Takhisis) fuled the greatest war that the world had ever seen; the war of the lance.
The AD&D world of Dragonlance ("fourth age") is played in the late part of the aftermath of this giant war.
The Dragonlance: Fith Age game is seperate from the AD&D world. Magic: The Gathering fans know about Wizards of the Coast's-stand alone game policy; Ice-Age and Mirage are stand-alone sects of Magic:TG, but they are also playable in the normal Magic environment. Dragonlance: Fith Age is NOT like this. It is a seperate game, a combination of Spellfire (the TSR AD&D collectable card game) and the Dragonlance world in AD&D. Although I have not played it myself, I have heard that it is a very good game.
I cannot reccommend any novels of this series because I haven't read any, and those of my friends like far too many of them. I will instead tell you to read the Chronicles series, some vast amount of books that tells the rich history that is Dragonlance. Margret Weiss and Tracy Hickman team up to write the majority of the Dragonlance books, novels and sourcebooks, as they are the creators of this wonderful world.
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