The Dragonslayer is the fourth volume of the Bone series. It has a darker tone then the previous three volumes. The book refers to Phoney Bone, who has made himself a "dragonslayer," and is the manipulating the villagers to supply him riches and take over the town. The book holds issues 20-27. It takes a much darker tone than the previous books, with the start of the war between the Rat Creatures and the Valley, as well as the brutal confrontation between Thorn, Gran'ma Ben, and Kingdok.
Ever since Phoney Bone claimed he was a dragon slayer, he was the town's people's favorite and he was on his way for winning the bet. A hooded figure rests in the Barrelhaven tavern who the villagers call a Stick-Eater. When Smiley comes to get receive payment from the stranger, Lucius advises him not to and gives the pilgrim his share on his behalf. Wendell didn't believe it was wise to provide the stick-eater a meal claiming they were in cahoots with the dragons, when Lucius asked if he had any problem with it, Wendell answered no, but he would receive his beers from Smiley from now on.
Fone Bone, Thorn, and Gran'ma Ben continue their trek to Barrelhaven. Upon reaching an overlook of the village, Fone Bone remarks that the Barrelhaven looks peaceful, to which Gran'ma Ben warns that "looks can be decieving."
At the tavern, dragons are on the villagers' minds. When approached by Lucius with an offer of another round, Wendell and Euclid refuse, but immediately accept an offer from Smiley, as do other patrons. Lucius becomes infuriated at the town's obsession, and Phoney and Smiley muse over their plans, with Phoney admitting he has no plans to slay a dragon, as they aren't really dangerous. When Jonathan Oaks orders from their end of the bar, Lucius confronts Phoney in the pantry. To Phoney's protests, he plans to call off the bet, as he doesn't find it worth riling up a mob, and because Phoney is disrespecting the Dragons' wishes to remain hidden. Phoney challenges Lucius to tell the villagers the truth, but leaves him fuming when he makes no action to do so.
In the woods, Gran'ma suffers an attack of the Gitchy Feeling. The trio is ambushed by one of the Two Stupid Rat creatures.
Earth and Sky
The Two Stupid Rat Creatures bicker over whether to bake Fone Bone, Thorn, and Gran'ma Ben in a quiche, or make stew from their bones. They are interrupted by Gran'ma Ben, attacking them with her sword. They retreat, and Gran'ma gives Thorn her sword, which agitates the rat creatures. Gran'ma suggests that Thorn may be close to The Turning. She interrogates one of the Two Stupid Rat Creatures, who confesses that they have been ordered to evacuate the valley, but is interrupted by Kingdok, who knocks out Thorn and Fone Bone, and attacks Gran'ma Ben. Fone Bone comes to, and calls for the Dragon's help.
Smiley hears Fone Bone's faint calling, but Phoney has another problem - the customers are nursing their beers. The pair suggest various possibilities, and Smiley mentions the Midsummer's Day Picnic, which Lucius kept secret from Phoney. Smiley and Wendell both hear Fone Bone calling, and a search party goes out to find them in the woods. Wendell and Euclid find blood all over the ground and trees.
Kingdok continues to throw Gran'ma Ben through the woods, hitting her against a tree and discussing how much he hates the Flat-Landers. As he is about to kill her, Thorn ambushes Kingdok and slices off his arm with Gran'ma's sword. He suffers an attack of the Gitchy Feeling, and hallucinates Gran'ma and thorn as queen and princess respectively. He cries out, and the Two Stupid Rat Creatures escort him off into the night. Fone Bone finds Gran'ma Ben and Thorn, and dress Gran'ma's wounds as she warns Thorn that the Lord of the Locusts is seeking her.
Council in the Dark
In the woods, Kingdok has collapsed and the Two Stupid Rat Creatures are in a panic. they try to stop the bleeding and one blames the other for attacking the trio. They realize what the Hooded One will do to them if Kingdok dies, but soon realize that he is the only one who knows they disobeyed the evacuation order, and if he dies the Hooded One will blame Thorn and Gran'ma Ben. They agree to flee and go into hiding, and they abandon Kingdok in the forest.
Thorn bandages Gran'ma Ben, who explains that Thorn is a Veni-Yan-Cari who can walk between the Realms of the Awaken and Dreaming. Fone Bone volunteers to defend Thorn, and Gran'ma Ben suggests that the Hooded One may be a rogue Disciple of Venu - an ancient religion that studies the dreams. She is afraid that the Hooded One will sacrifice either Thorn or Phoney to free the Lord of the Locusts, and decides to take Thorn to Atheia. Thorn refuses and lashes out at Gran'ma. Despite Gran'ma's protests, Thorn storms off into the woods. Gran'ma gives Fone Bone her sword, and an amulet, and tells him to find Thorn and warn Lucius about the Lord of the Locusts. Fone Bone races after Thorn, and Gran'ma Ben runs into the forest.
Fone Bone gives Thorn the sword, and they reach Barrelhaven - which has been walled off. Jonathan Oaks explains that Lucius never came back from his search. Jon refuses to let Fone Bone and Thorn in, under orders from the new boss - Phoney Bone.
Once again, The Hooded One comes before the Locust. She reports that the men of Pawa have allied themselves with the Locust and the Rat creatures, that Thorn, the Red Dragon, the Bones, and Gran'ma Ben are all in Barrelhaven, and that Kingdok was badly wounded, which may mean Thorn is turning. The Hooded One questions the Locust's plans, but the Locust assures her that it is her above all else who the Locust loves. If she frees him, she will never lose him again.
Fone Bone, Smiley Bone, and Thorn's search party find no trace of Gran'ma Ben or Lucius, and Phoney invites Fone Bone to dinner. Thorn goes to sleep in the tower room, watched by the Hooded One. Fone Bone finds the big room of the bar converted to an extravagant dining hall. Phoney and Smiley admit their scheme to get out of their debt and back to Boneville in style, which Fone Bone refuses. He tries to explain to Phoney the issue with Thorn, but all his attempts are dismissed. He storms out, leaving Phoney and Smiley to revise their plan. Fone Bone encounters a baby rat creature, who leans on him, pinnign him against a tree.
Thorn dreams she is on a cliff with her grandmother, who enters a sinister cave. A hooded figure in the image of a young Gran'ma Ben beckons to her, and attempts to take her hand. She is interrupted by Fone Bone, who wakes Thorn up. He presents the cub to Thorn, who threatens to kill it if he doesn't kick it out.
Deliver us these Laws
Jon sees Lucius approach the gate, and rouses Phoney and Smiley. The villagers clear the logs, and ask for word on Gran'ma Ben. Lucius admits he couldn't find her. Fone Bone pulls Smiley away from the crowd, and takes him to the stables. Phoney greets Lucius, who is enraged at the new "security measures." He realizes, however, that the village supports Phoney, and decides to sleep in the barn instead of Phoney's offer of the kitchen.
Fone Bone shows Smiley the cub, whom he takes to immediately, feeding it a sandwich. Lucius enters the barn and Fone Bone gives him the amulet. Lucius realizes it's the Nights of Lightning all over again, and Fone Bone explains why he was yelling the other night. Smiley wonders if Thorn will allow him to wear the crown.
Wendell notes that there never was a dragon in Barrelhaven, and that they shouldn't be the ones trapped behind walls. The villagers agree that it's time for Phoney to earn his keep.
Lucius, Fone Bone, and Smiley visit thorn, who breaks down in Lucius's arms.
The Lord of the Locusts speaks through The Hooded one to the Rat Creatures and Pawans, and rallies them to take up arms against the Flat-Landers.
The Midsummer's Day Plan
Phoney accuses Wendell of holding out on him, and travels the town taking taxes from the villagers.
Fone Bone argues that rat cub must go to the mountains, to be with the other rat creatures. Smiley suggest that they do it themselves. Thorn comes in to apologize for her behavior, and announces that she is returning to the farmhouse. Despite Fone Bone's protests, she leaves the sword behind and leaves the barn. Fone Bone and Smiley follow her, but Smiley is distracted by Phoney making a speech about the morals of the village, and orders the townspeople to bring their valuables to him. Lucius admits that dragons exist, and Phoney accuses him of allying himself with them. Phoney announces that all the valuables will be used as bait to catch and kill a dragon. Lucius explains to Smiley that the only way to discover dragons for oneself is to be taught that they are make-believe. Fone Bone returns from the tavern without Thorn, and wonders to the whereabouts of Gran'ma Ben.
The Lord of the Locusts sends the Pawans and rat creatures to destroy their respective enemies, and sends Kingdok to capture Thorn and the Bones.
Thorn leaves a letter for Fone Bone on her dresser and wanders off in search of the farmhouse. Fone Bone and Smiley jump the wall, and Smiley runs off with the cub, pursued by Fone Bone. Phoney orders Jon to get the wagons ready to go to the Dragon's Stair and to search for Fone Bone and Smiley. He is confronted by Ted, who he tells about his plan to scam the village. Ted warns Phoney that his thieving days will catch up to him. He finds the barn empty, with nothing but Gran'ma's sword. When he leaves, a mysterious hand takes the sword.
Thorn falls asleep in the forest, and four hooded figures place the sword in front of her and trigger a dream in which she is approached by the Great Red Dragon. She looks into a light and sees rat creatures. Then her grandmother, and then Fone Bone, but will not say if they are alright. Fed up, Thorn decides to go to her friends, to which the Dragon notes that she is already awake. She wakes up, and races back to the village.
Phoney prepares the cows to move out all the treasure, to the cheers of the villagers.
On the Dragon's Stair
The group reaches the Dragon's Stair, and Phoney orders the terrified villagers to set up a crude snare while he makes a trail with the treasure. He is confronted by Ted once more, who admits he wants Phone out of the valley as much as anybody. The snare triggers, and Phoney approaches the Great Red Dragon, caught in the trap. The Dragon admits to seeing the trap, thinking Phoney needed a dragon to fool the townspeople. The villagers tie the Dragon's head down, and force a knife into Phoney's hand, threatening to kill him if he doesn't kill the Dragon. He is interrupted by Thorn, who demands to know what is happening. She orders Wendell to free the dragon and get the villagers ready to face the rat creatures. As they are arguing, one spots fire coming from their town, and mistakes it for the dragons. A group of rat creatures approach the crowd and Thorn faces them, accompanied by the four hooded figures who returned her sword. They push the rat creatures back, and Phoney frees the dragon who chases them off. Thorn orders the villagers to get their supplies, and takes off with Phoney to find Lucius back in the burning village. The shocked villagers prepare for war.
The book holds Issues 20-27.
- The Solstice Trilogy begins in this book.