Source: Wikipedia, "Dragonlance", available under the CC-BY-SA License.
Dragonlance is a shared universe created by Laura and Tracy Hickman, and expanded by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis under the direction of TSR, Inc. into a series of popular fantasy novels. The Hickmans devised the concept that became Dragonlance while driving in their car on the way to TSR for a job application. At TSR, Tracy met his future writing partner Margaret Weis, and they gathered a group of associates to play the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. The adventures during that game inspired a series of gaming modules, and a series of novels, as well as licensed products such as board games, and lead miniature figures.
In 1984, TSR published the first Dragonlance novel, Dragons of Autumn Twilight. It began the Chronicles Trilogy, a core element of Dragonlance. While the authoring team of Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis wrote the setting's central books, numerous other authors contributed novels and short stories to the setting. Over 190 novels have used the Dragonlance setting, and have been accompanied by a supplemental campaign setting in the Dungeons & Dragons style for over a decade. In 1997, Wizards of the Coast LLC purchased TSR, and licensed Dragonlance to Sovereign Press, Inc in 2001 to produce game materials; this licensing agreement expired in 2007.
The fictional Dragonlance world of Krynn contains numerous characters, an extensive timeline, and a detailed geography. The history of Krynn consists of five ages. The novels and related game products are primarily set in the fourth age, The Age of Despair. Since February 2009, the fifth age, the Age of Mortals, has been used. The Heroes of the Lance, created by Weis and Hickman, are the popular protagonists of the Chronicles trilogy, the first books set in the Dragonlance universe. Along with D&D's world of the Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance is one of the most popular shared worlds in fiction.