Dragonlance: Lost Chronicles of Twins Majere

(((Ello all! This is fanfic based on dragonlance . . . would you ever have guessed? I started it because friends asked me to and I can stand it because Dragonlance is a guilt pleasure. Doesn’t require the best writing to make it compelling. Don’t mind the typos, I write this by hand . . . or at least did after the first couple of posts, and its basically a first draft of the story. Some said that in this story I really used Weis and Hickmans’ style of writing, and that they enjoyed it because it was like reading them again. I took it as a compliment, though I would have liked to be able to incorporate my OWN style. I did so to a certain degree, but I agree that I seemed to have mimed the original style a bit. Oh well, enjoy! Constructive criticism much loved :wink: )))


The golden hourglass eyes watched with a hint of amusement, as the man wiped the sweat from his brow before turning back to face his opponent. The timeless eyes narrowed in thought, should I be worried? Should I be stricken with fear at the thought of my own flesh and blood being rent open by axe and blade? The hobgoblin let out a wretched cry and slashed at the man who sidestepped quickly, his light-brown curls flying symmetrically from the sudden move. The man calmly swung his broadsword with one hand, the dull metal glinting softly in the afternoon sun. With a screech the hobgoblin fell to the ground as the blade cut open its pale green skin; tearing through sinew and bone. The hourglass eyes closed for a moment, he won . . . this feeling, is it of happiness, for it seems too bitter to be so, yet too sweet to be regret. No, this feeling was a fusion of both, a relief of worry, and reminder that he would once again be forced to submit himself into the “glorious” presence of his brother.

The man, amidst cries of joy and merriness looked into those hourglass eyes, a grin spread upon his sweaty face. The golden eyes stared back . . . unrevealing, unspeaking, emotionless to the naked eye. The spectators of the arena suddenly rose to their feet, clouds of dust rising in the air at the sudden massive commotion. Many scrambled into the arena pit to simply touch their hero, this warrior who seemed to have no faults; courageous, chivalrous, honorable, and infallibly strong. The figure with the golden eyes sat bitterly, none would come to meet him with unconditional love. The hourglass eyes saw only looks of hate and fear on the eyes of those who he did happen to meet. Long work for the cause of good, toil and misery to make happy those who deserved nothing was not enough to gain the respect of impudent commoners! The eyes closed, would he forever remain in the shadow of one of such limited ability? One whose gullibility and ignorance were limitless?

The warrior, that grin still smote upon his face, looked up again to those golden hourglass eyes; they were narrowed, angry and tired. He must be in another fit, or so though the warrior, he needs my help . . . he needs my understanding, my love. I have not faltered in my thoughtful care of my flesh and blood, he shall not be alone, and I shall never overshadow him in foolish delusions of grandeur.

The hourglass eyes understood the sweaty man’s intentions; he would once again flaunt his admiration, his ‘power’ in front of me. In front of people who despise me, to further their hatred against me, he will overshadow me in foolish delusions of grandeur . . .


“Quite a show you put on, Caramon,” Raistlin said softly, staring thoughtfully down at the desolate dry earth below them, “you made sure that you were paid?” The big warrior next to Raistlin scratched his head and nodded slowly, “of course, Raist, how could I for. . .” “I thought you might be too immersed in your glorious atmosphere, after having slain the hobgoblin. It wouldn’t be the first time you messed up on such important matters,” Raistlin said, smoothly cutting of the big man with a snarl, “I still feel it necessary to make sure that you have done more than have fun.”

Caramon fell silent, his face downcast. This hadn’t been something for fun, however exciting it may have been at the moment, the big man knew of the necessity to make money for the both of them. The warrior sighed, he had evaded death, conquered it once again, and all he felt was relief and joy at having saved his life. What would Raistlin do without him? But then the mage had not made any mention of the fact that Caramon might have died.

At that, Raistlin whipped out a handkerchief and began coughing furiously. As quickly as lightning, Caramon came to the mage’s aid, putting his arm around Raistlin to support him. With a wave of his hand and a wheeze being all that Raistlin could manage, the mage dismissed Caramon, wiping his mouth . . . staining the pure white cloth with deeply contrasting deep red blood. “Are you okay, Raist?” Caramon asked tentatively, the reaction was as expected, “how many times will you ask me if I am okay, will your bothersome questions make me okay? Make yourself useful . . . stand away from me and allow me to breath. Your presence is stifling . . .”

Caramon sighed, shaking his head. Raistlin was ill, the warrior understood, and had to be forgiven for such harsh words under these terrible circumstances. Raistlin appreciated him . . . Caramon had no doubt of this, whether the mage showed it or not. The warrior smiled suddenly, he was the only one that understood Raistlin . . . he would always be there for his twin, whether it be in life or death, or any realm in between.

Chapter 1.

The cottage was exactly that – a cottage. A small home not meant for large people or creatures. Currently, however, the cottage seemed to be breaking its forewarned rules by allowing two large strangers inside it. The owner of this cottage was a small – creature – named Choal Steelanvil. This creature was in fact a dwarf; a short broad creature that tended to keep to himself, hammering weapons and armor into shape to be sold in his shop. The dwarf’s shop was “connected” in a manner to the cottage, but was not stone and brick, but an open gazebo like structure that Choal had proudly built himself. Before the newcomers had started to arrive in haven from solace, the dwarf had been perfectly happy with no interruptions to his business of any kind. Two of the newcomers had been particularly destructive to business, or so said Choal. They were young men – men he would loudly repeat if he were telling the story, men that were not of proper size to his nice homely dwarven cottage. The dwarf had been out, selling his wares when the two stopped by; one huge young man with curly brown hair and an honest open smile, and another smaller, frail young man with a bitter face, golden complexion, and all the stranger – golden hourglass eyes. At the moment, Choal was not to proud to admit that he was a bit phased by the strange sight of the newcomers, but the dwarf quickly regained his composure and took up what he thought was a charming smile.

“Well well, what’ll it be, lads?” Choal said, his deep voice cheery and booming. The smithy’s eyes darted from the big man’s buckler, to his broadsword. “Not bad metal,” Choal said, nodding superiorly, “but the sword looks like it could use a tweak, what with that nasty crack by the hilt! Why, that sword wouldn’t last another battle, one parry and you’ll be holding nothing but your handle!” The big man simply goggled at the dwarf for a moment, his mouth hanging open. The frail man rolled his eyes and leaned on his staff, obviously sensing the marketing ploy, and knowing that the big man would give in and pay the dwarf some amount of their money. The warrior shook his head, and unstrapped his sword, eyeing the hilt suspiciously. After a few minutes of Choal impatiently pointing something out, the big man seemed to notice a tiny chip where the blade met the hilt, “Oh!” He said with surprise, “You sure have good eyesight, to have noticed that from afar.” Choal chuckled, mostly to himself, but it had a good effect on the warrior as well, “indeed it is so!” The dwarf said with a sigh, “Though I don’t mean to boast. I’ve been a smithy for a fair amount of years; ‘tisn’t the first of its kind that I’ve seen. It’s a simple procedure really, one night with me and she’ll be good as new. For a humble charge of ten silver pieces, I shall have it done with a polish!” Choal finished this by bowing dramatically, as though the offer were too good to pass up.

By the end of their first encounter, Choal had managed to convince the warrior to let the dwarf “fix” his sword. The Dwarf had also learned that the two men were brothers, twins in fact, and that their names were Caramon and Raistlin. The slender Raistlin hadn’t spoken a word the whole time, leaving the warrior, Caramon, to converse readily with Choal. The dwarf was woeful to admit that he had grown a bit fond of the two, or Caramon to be more precise, and when the next morning came, had a long conversation with the pair.

At first, Raistlin simply examined Caramon and Choal as they spoke, but as matters moved toward a more immediate topic – the matter of where Caramon and Raistlin were staying in haven – Raistlin felt the need to speak up. “We came from Pax Tharkas, in southern Abanasinia,” the frail one said, “and now we plan on staying somewhere for a while, so that we can get on our feet and hopefully gather some money.” Choal thought for a moment, scratching his chin. The lads were seemingly honorable, smart, strong, and friendly. The Dwarf definitely need needed help in his shop . . . perhaps these two could be of use for the smithy. “I’ll tell you what lads, why don’t you stay in my cottage, free of charge, if you help me with chores and any jobs I might have for you.” Choal said with a curt nod, “Yes, I think that’s a fair deal, stay with and simply help me with a few things around. You can look for jobs in the city, I here there looking for warriors to fight in the Arena, Caramon. And all kinds of inns need chefs that cook good food, Raistlin,” the dwarf finished, acknowledging Raistlin’s cooking skills after the young man brought him a stew along with the ten silver pieces.

The twins looked at each other and nodded . . . “Yes . . . a fair deal indeed,” the twins said at the same time.

Chapter 2.

A smile played on Lady Sorcia’s lips, her black robes flowing about her as she moved to sit in her throne. “The mage and his brother have reached Haven, my lady,” A hulking man clad in silver plate armor, “they stay at a dwarf’s home. A metalsmith named Choal.” The lady squirmed in her throne, positioning herself more comfortably on top of the plush red pillows that layered the cheery-wood chair. Holding out her hand, the woman stared at her fingers before responding, “Oh Lerehn, finally caught up with the two?” Lady Sorcia chuckled to herself, her laugh like musical trills resounding off glass walls. The huge man named Lerehn bowed his head humbly, but said nothing. Silence reigned eminent for a few moments before the Lady spoke up again, “am I to understand that hunting for one novice mage is a task that should be taken on by the greatest of trackers and warriors?” Lerehn looked up at his lady, wondering whether or not Lady Sorcia meant for him to answer. The woman raised her eyebrow expectantly, and Lerehn quickly cleared his throat, “Yes – um, well, the two are very crafty. They have escaped footsoldiers and hired hobgoblin mercenaries countless times . . .” “Then you track them down yourself and stop relying on impudent weaklings!” Lady Sorcia cut off, her voice loud and cold.

“I sent you on your mission long ago; to rid this land of any mages so that I can rule eminent as the only sorceress in north-western Abanasinia. You really are some kind of dilly! I imagine your life is very hard, what with the huge piles of gold you loot on a daily basis! I must be overworking you by asking you to root out a few unwanted mages!” The sorceress said, her voice quavering with anger. Lerehn looked down respectfully again and waited for the full extent of his mistress’ wrath. “Why I tolerate your insolence, I do not know. I would weed out the mages myself if I knew you were so incapable. Now the last mage in the area has managed to get himself in Haven, a heavily guarded city! How are you going to kill him there?” Lady Sorcia asked with vehemence, her teeth gritted. It had indeed been a long hardship to get mages to leave areas near Haven. Dragon Highlords had even begun to take notice of Lady Sorcia, but the clever sorceress had managed to stave them off for now. As soon as she held enough power, she would be able to challenge the new order of Dragon Highlords and take them down, taking their place in their conquest for rule over all of Ansalon. Lady Sorcia could not have any mages interfering with her . . . she needed to be the lone power. A single presence of power would be more daunting, more intimidating to the common person, she knew. She would display her power and make sure that all would join her in a new order. The sorceress could not afford to wait much longer, and this latest list of failures had finally swayed her to take action into her own hands. She could not trust Lerehn to rid her of the young mage in time . . . Lady Sorcia smelled that the Highlords were beginning to get impatient, and so was she.

Kitiara leaned back, as he kissed her neck and fondled her breasts. The dragon-army commander knew not to mix business with pleasure . . . and she made a point of not doing so. Therefore, she enjoyed herself immensely with pleasure happened to cross paths with her under circumstances in which business was not involved. Kitiara gasped and closed her eyes as he his fingers raked her inner-thigh. While he began to fondle and caress her gently, he moved in for a long kiss, their lips pressed together in a blissful passionate kiss. The lively Kitiara bit down on his lip, tasting blood. At the feeling of such pain mixed with such pleasure, her sped up the pace and their passion deepened into intense pleasure . . .

She woke up lying on his chest, her black curls spread across her breasts. Pleasure had been stated . . . it was now time for business, Ariakas had a job for her to do, or so he had told her the day before. Kitiara rose from the bed and slipped on a light leather tunic and leather breeches, strapping her longsword to her belt around her waist. She slipped on some long travelling boots and deftly slipped a dagger inside her right boot before zipping it up.

Kitiara agilely avoided stepping into any potholes along the worn road of Sanction. Dragon Highlord Ariakas had commanded her to come to his tent this very day for instructions to a new mission. The warrior-woman knew better than to dismiss the urgency in his voice and take the mission to be a fool’s journey. The last time Kitiara had doubted General Ariakas; she had come face to face with a red dragon and nearly died in the process. Kitiara thought it to be highly unlikely that this mission would be much different as far as danger was concerned. The Highlord new that Kitiara had abilities unlike any abilities his other commanders possessed, and he fully intended to take advantage of them. Kitiara knew that General Ariakas sought to take advantage of her abilities, and took advantage of that situation in itself; if he wanted her, she would make him make it very much worth her while. Looking up, Kitiara saw the two red flags of the five-headed dragon, the evil goddess Takhisis, which marked General Ariakas’ tent.

The warrior stood in front of the guard stationed at the entrance to General Ariakas’ royal tent. Kitiara gave him a crooked smile as she stood, “General Ariakas was expecting me, as I know you understand.” In an undertone, she hissed, “move aside or you may find yourself lacking certain parts required to do certain bodily functions!” The guard moved aside, his eyes and lips narrowed at the unnecessary threat.

Kitiara entered the huge tent and instantly bowed low in front of a large man who was wearing naught but leather breeches and boots, sitting at a table eating a breakfast of fruits and sweetmeats.

“You called me, my lord,” the warrior woman said, sliding her lithe body into a seat across from the Dragonarmy General. It had taken her months before she felt her presence worthy enough to seat herself before the General without being commanded to do so. The General was a large and well-built man who favored strong and determined women to be his mates. Kitiara had proven that she was more than capable of fitting this man’s criteria and had since given over to his desire for her. It had not been until that the Dragon Commander had undergone great toil to prove herself to him that she laid down with Ariakas. Kitiara had earned both Ariakas’ respect and fierce desire by working so hard to become a commander.

The Dragonarmy General looked up from his food, wiped his face, and nodded at the servants standing at the entrance – dismissing them from the tent. Ariakas’ eyes were cold, fierce, and determined; he gazed at Kitiara with those penetrating eyes, saying nothing for several moments. The warrior sat staring right back at him, her eyes showing no emotion . . . no fear. After several more moments, Ariakas’ face broke into a grin and he laughed heartily. “Kitiara! You’ve come . . . excellent response time, managed to get the next useless bag of flesh, bones, and blood out of your way in short order, I see,” the General said. “Darian isn’t so useless,” Kitiara responded, flicking a stray curl over her shoulder, “more gentle a lover than some!” The warrior woman said this with mock severity, giving the General and accusing glare. Ariakas’ grin vanished as quickly as it had appeared, he did not take well to people insulting his lovemaking skills, “Is that so,” he said, his voice lethal, his arms folded across his chest. “Well, perhaps he’s been slacking off a bit too much, maybe I’ll have to have him whipped back into shape!” The General responded with a growl. Kitiara chuckled inwardly; Ariakas was still in the palm of her hand . . . she was not done moving up in the ranks.

“So, My Lord,” she said, proper respect creeping back into her voice, “your message sounded urgent.” Ariakas rose from his seat and placed his arms behind his back; he paced the room looking at his feet as he did so, “We have a problem in Abanasinia. There is a sorceress who seems to think that she is going to take control of the area, regardless of our power.”
Kitiara shook her head, “A sorceress?” The warrior woman did not take kindly to Magi, and she did not take kindly to women, a double negative in her eyes. The vixen crossed her legs and a crooked grin came to her face; on the plus side, this woman would be easy prey . . . there wasn’t a female in Krynn that could surpass Kitiara in ability. “And what would you have me do, my lord?” Kitiara asked, her eyes hardened, gazing into Ariakas’.

The Dragonarmy General leaned forward on the oak table, his presence causing the candle at its center to flicker uncertainly. “You will break this woman and her servants, and you will make sure that she does not interfere with any of my plans,” Ariakas said, his voice clear and lethal, “Do not underestimate her, however. She is more than a dabbling old witch, she holds great power and if you should slacken for one moment, if you should let down your guard for just an instant, you will find yourself in grave trouble. And I do not want you in grave trouble, Kitiara, I would have to find a new commander, and that – with the dunderheads around her – is not an easy task in itself.
Kitiara nodded, the grin returning to her face, “I would never dream to make you go through such trouble, my lord. I will find this woman, and I will destroy her and bring a token . . . or maybe more than just one token, to prove it to you.” The Commander rose from the table, uncoiling her legs and rising like a mesmerizing snake, ready to strike, “when would you have me leave, my lord?” She asked in a breathy voice.

Why the warrior woman chose such . . . in opportune moments to seduce him, Ariakas did not know. The General swallowed hard, “I would have you leave now . . . if not for the ache that grows-” “No my lord, I will leave now, and I will return victorious to you! Then, we shall be together; then we shall celebrate in warm . . . companionship,” Kitiara said, cutting her lord off. Ariakas stared a penetrating stare at Kitiara, why he allowed such cheek from this one he did not know, it was only her that he allowed it from. And even with this beautiful vixen, he felt as though he should punish her for doing what no woman could do. With a wave of his hand, the Dragon Highlord dismissed the Dragonarmy Commander from his tent . . . sending her on the perilous mission.

Chapter 3

Raistlin twisted his head around, his long white hair whipping around his face with the speed of the movement. The eyes were gone in an instant. With a sigh, the mage leaned on the Staff of Magius and continues towards the Red Raven, the local tavern in town and second home to the outgoing “giant” Caramon Majere. The warrior had made it a tradition to frequent the Red Raven every Friday evening after work. After charming all of the barmaids – who swore that they would soon marry him – and buying all the regulars a round of ale, Caramon was the most well liked patron at the homely tavern. Much to his brother, Raistlin’s intense displeasure, Caramon made it a goal to bring the mage with him, creating a family tradition. Thus far, Raistlin had joined the warrior on every visit; however, he had not always been this eager.

The twins’ first family outing had taken much persuading on Caramon’s part, and Raistlin agreed to it simply to humor his brother this “one time.” Raistlin had expected to be greeted by a foul stench and its cause; men in drunken stupors, laughing and talking barbarically and acting in an overall obnoxious manner. The slight young mage was incorrect in his assumptions and was actually greeted by a warm and quiet area whose patrons mostly kept to themselves, whether as individuals or groups. Raistlin had met nearly all of the Patrons, who stared at the mage’s abnormal visage at first, but who were polite enough not to ask questions. Raistlin, who had always been taunted about his appearance ever since the fateful day of the Test at the Tower of High Sorcery, found this polite stature of the patrons more than welcome. Raistlin had met scholars, historians, alchemists, herbalists, and city officials to name a few of his most favorite acquaintances. These people had fed Raistlin more information than the mage had ever dreamed of acquiring at a city alehouse. Due to this unexpected gathering of information, Raistlin had grown to enjoy frequenting the tavern as much as Caramon – although for very different reasons – and did so as often as well.

Every Friday, Raistlin traveled to the tavern on his own as Caramon finished his work at the smithy with Choal Steelanvil. Caramon had repeatedly pleaded with Raistlin for the young mage to wait until his smithy work was finished before traveling to the tavern alone at the “dead of night.” Raistlin had repeatedly brushed off his brother’s irrational fears, continually ignoring the big man.

As Raistlin walked along, he tried to push away the thought of his brother; the mage had enough on his mind to have to worry about that great oaf and his chilling ignorance. While the golden-skinned man continued trudging down the loose gravel road, his mind drifted back to the pair of eyes. They were big and red . . . and they seemed to glow in the night. Raistlin knew the eye color and shape only because he had seen the eyes repeatedly every Friday night on his way to the Red Raven. Each of these occurrences, the eyes vanished right as Raistlin turned to get a glimpse of them, making the mage wonder if he had actually seen them. Each time he turned toward the eyes, he would gather a little more detail.

Suddenly, as the mage contemplated solemnly, he heard a rustle in the brush toward his left-hand side. Raistlin turned rapidly to face the thick brush, swinging the lit Staff of Magius around towards the dense brush to reveal what hid within its leafy shelter. The frail man peered into the brush, finding nothing but darkness. Raistlin sighed and began to turn away from the troublesome plant, giving up hope of ever catching the glowing eyes, when he heard a cackle. Raistlin spun around to face the thing, again swinging his staff in front of himself protectively. Before the mage hovered a wrinkled brown creature with long sharp ears, a pointy-toothed grin on its face, and bat-like wings – the cause of its hovering.

“No watchers tonight, my little lizard! Tonight it’s just you and I, no little messes to stumble over, no not this time!” The creature said, cackling to itself as it danced madly about.

Raistlin blinked; this thing before him . . . and imp! The mage thought back to his stay at the Tower of High Sorcery. He had read through so many journeyman books that he was sure he and Caramon would be ready for anything on their travels to become great warrior mercenaries. Sure enough the reading had paid its due . . . Raistlin immediately recognized the imp; a Magus companion. The demons possessed minor offensive magic and their own tricky illusion spells. Normally, such a creature would not pose a threat to a well traveled Magus, but Raistlin had to remind himself that he was a mere novice. The young mage’s mouth curled into a bitter snarl at this last thought.

“What business do you have, servant, following a Magus who had had a long and troublesome day,” Raistlin said in a commanding voice, ignoring the Imp’s comment about his skin.

The imp only laughed harder yet, “yes, little mageling has a troublesome day, but where does that lead him? Shall it lead him to strength through anger, or weakness from the abuse of the tiresome day?”

The mage swallowed down a bitter retort. The imp had not answered his question, but used slippery words to try to confuse him.

“Why have you not shown yourself before this time, you spy on me every Friday yet none of those days proved eventful as today,” Raistlin inquired, keeping the Staff of Magius ready in case of an attack on the imp’s part.

The imp fell slightly in the air for laughing. The creature simply couldn’t catch a breath . . . apparently Raistlin’s torment only amused the servant. “I told you, foolish dungbrain,” the imp said between chuckles, “no watchers tonight! Before yes, the old man of fish, the spinning woman, the wretched child, the posh business man! Remember, my pet?” The imp seemed to recover from its laughing and rose back into the air and sighed, wiping a great big tear from its eye.

“Watchers . . .” Raistlin whispered curiously to himself. What could the creature possibly mean by watchers? And then he knew. Every Friday since he had started his ritual of coming to the Red Raven, there had been someone along the path to the tavern. Raistlin hadn’t every TRULY walked alone, he had simply walked in the cover of night . . . while there was always at least one person witnessing his trip. Yes! Raistlin remembered it well, the first time Raistlin had gone the tavern, and an old fisherman had been present. The little old man floated in a little old wooden boat, holding a crudely made fishing pole in his hands, glancing at the Mage whenever he thought Raistlin wasn’t looking. Indeed, the mage had thought it odd that the man seemed to be rowing in the same direction as him as he journeyed toward the Red Raven. Then there was the spinster. She was a rather suspicious looking old lady who simply happened to be present during one of Raistlin’s journeys toward the tavern. Of course Raistlin should have known that the woman could have sooner flown than spin at that time of night and darkness with no light. But who would send people to watch Raistlin? No one in town knew the mage that well, but then who? Unless . . . “my brother,” the mage whispered in sudden realization, of course! Caramon would do such a thing! And of course the people of the city would do anything for the charming young man . . . he had become the most well liked patron of the tavern, and everyone in the city frequented the tavern as an ideal town center.

“So you waited for me to be alone before you made your move,” Raistlin said calmly. His brother would pay for treating him like a foolish child! “Unfortunately,” the mage said in a lethal whisper, “I do not intend to play a piece of meat for you! Tell me who your master is and give me the message that they send.”

The imp only chuckled. It had become irritating. “You shall never know my mistress, for her message is death!” The imp said, rising from its awkward hovering position, drawing up to its full height. With a quick gesture of its hand, the imp sent a flight of flaming darts toward the young mage! Raistlin held up his staff and braced himself for the feel of the magic, bringing up a novice barrier around him. He knew that imps were weak minions, but were they weak enough? The darts flew closer to the mage and finally . . . struck a shimmering force shield. It was as though the darts struck a vortex of moving and swirling air and were sucked into it quite soundly.

“Of course,” the mage said with a triumphant grin, after recovering from the aftershock of casting the defensive spell, “I passed the test! A weak creature such as an imp stands no match!” The mage thought back to his time at the army of the Mad Baron and his training with the wizard, Master Horkin. “Cast the spell without the fur, Red!” the man had said. And after Raistlin had done it faster than he would have thought possible, the master congratulated him, “Well done Red, that’s faster than I’ve ever seen it done!” And so the mage quickly cast his spell, “Ast kiranann kair gadunrm soth-arn suh kali jalaran!” The mage closed his eyes with the pure ecstasy of casting the spell, feeling the magic in his blood simmer joyously. And a bolt of energy shot from his hand onto the imp.

The imp staggered as the magic hit it, but did not give up in its fight, it raised its hand to throw a spell at Raistlin, but as soon as it began to trace symbols in the air, a dark shadowed figure flashed behind it and swiftly and cleanly sliced the imp’s head off. The figure paused for a moment, looking at Raistlin, and was gone before Raistlin could get a good look at it. However the mage supposed it wouldn’t have mattered since the figure had been wearing black and the dark sky was not giving. Before Raistlin could regain his bearings, the imp exploded into a light blue blinding light, leaving a swirling blue marble in its place.

Raistlin blinked, gathering his senses, what had just happened? A mysterious figure had come to the mage’s rescue and killed the imp without a word or second thought. The mage had not time to ponder about that, however, and figured that the marble was an item of far more interest. He bent to the ground to examine it and as mesmerized by its beauty; it was the size of a child’s playing marble, but inside the clear crystal shell was swirling blue color . . . magic . . . a life force. Raistlin then remembered; when imps were killed, they left behind their souls. Imps were wicked demons by nature because they had been manipulated long ago by an evil sorcerer. The sorcerer locked away the once happy tricksters’ souls and spread the curse among the entire race. The imps were turned demon, their consciences thrashed and demolished. With their souls trapped inside of indestructible crucibles, the imps were twisted into evil creatures meant only to do the bidding of their masters. Each marble was slightly different, representing the soul color of the mage linked to the imp. Obviously this imp’s master was drawn to light blue.

Raistlin hesitated by then picked up the marble. He had been disgusted ever since he had heard the story of the imps and swore that he would do something to help the creatures, even if it only meant never summoning his own. But now was a chance to do something more! To study this arcane object and break it open, releasing the trapped soul, giving it a chance to purify itself.

The young mage swiftly bent down and picked up the marble, stowing it carefully away in his pouch. Raistlin left the spot after pausing for a few moments and headed toward the tavern, forgetting about the stealthy figure . . . for now.

Dragonlance Part 4

Caramon left work with Choal Steelanvil later than usual this night. Because the Dwarf was a caring fellow, he decided to sit down with Caramon and give the young man a talking to.

Choal bowed his final customers of the day out of his shop, closing and bolting the door behind them. The smithy heaved a huge sigh and hung a neatly written “closed” sign on the front window next to the door. With a great groan, Choal lowered himself into an old armchair the Dwarf himself, who was capable of woodcraft as well as metalcraft, as most dwarves were, had fashioned. Caramon stood waiting, his open honest face carrying an ever innocent smile. He was waiting for Choal to dismiss him to the tavern.

“Caramon,” the Dwarf said, his searching eyes roving aver the warrior’s face, “You should stop treating your brother as though her were a helpless dame.”

The big man had not expected this comment, and it sent him reeling into an armchair opposite Choal. Dwarves were extremely blunt at times, and this was a perfect example of the . . . “no play” views that they held. Caramon was the Dwarf’s friend and Choal left that open honesty was the best path to take on guiding the warrior.

“I don’t know what your t-talking about,” Caramon said with a stutter although he was regaining his senses. But when the warrior said it, he looked down at his feet and scratched the back of his head. The friendly giant had always been a terrible liar and wasn’t looking much better this time.

Choal thanked Reorx that his long beard hid his smile. “I know this city and its people better than you can imagine,” the Dwarf replied, “and I know that you’ve been having townspeople, patrons of the Red Raven oddly enough, watch your brother every Friday night as he makes his way to the tavern.

Caramon twitched, clearly disturbed by the Dwarf’s accusations, “H-how did -”

“I know?” the dwarf said, finishing Caramon’s sentence with a grim chuckle. “As I said, I know the townspeople nearly as well as the ever-popular Caramon Majere, I’d dare say, and they were quick to tell me of your “strange” request.” Choal sighed as he shook his head, “your brother may not be strong physically, but I can tell he’s strong and other ways, greater ways perhaps! I know you two are gran mercenaries and are looking to become grander yet, and I reckon that one of those days, when your out in the field, strength and body won’t be enough to save you, and that’s when your brother will come in and save the day.”

“I know he’s good at magic, and the smartest person that’s out there . . . but I don’t wanna see him get hurt,” the gentle giant responded with a said sigh.

“I know, lad, and I reckon he feels the same, but he’d never limit you! So let him be, let him prove himself to you, lad,” Choal finished in a soft voice.

The dwarf had broken through and the warrior gave in, a single tear falling from his eyelash, rolling down his cheek, and splashing to the ground in its own freeing finality. “Your right, Choal,” Caramon

breathed, “I’ll tell him tonight and apologize at that. Thank you for talking to me and making me see clearly, my friend,” Caramon finished, a small smile appearing on his face.

“Aye, lad,” Choal replied gently, “and I’m glad to be able to talk to someone.” The dwarf rose with a grown, ending the conversation. He stomped to his heavy oaken door and threw it open, grabbing a cloak from the convenient stand in the foyer. “Coming?” he called in mock impatience to the befuddled Caramon, “We’ll miss the freshest batches of ale, you lout.”

“You’re coming to the Red Raven with me?” asked the dumbstruck giant. Caramon knew well that the dwarf often frequented the tavern, but had never seen Choal do so on a Friday, the smithy’s most tiring, full day of work.

“Well of course, lad, after all, I have to keep an eye on you,” the steelsmith said with a mischievous glint in his eye, “What if something happened to you along the way?” And with that, the Dwarf was out the door, Caramon following closely, closing the door behind them.

Raistlin nodded as the scholar from Palanthas, who roamed all of Ansalon, settling down at different points for a few weeks and moving on to some other place, spoke. The young mage had arrived at the tavern, determined to find out more information about imps. Raistlin had come to the scholar, hoping that somewhere along the journeyman’s travels; he had crossed paths with an imp – had had, or at least close enough to it.

“. . . and so the imp’s ‘soul’ marble is a revealed after death! I believe that during the course of my research on the imp, I came across a passage written by a mage experimenting with the demonic creatures. It was a journal of sorts, really,” the scholar named Henry said, speaking rapidly and sagely. Henry lowered his mug of ale and stood up, beginning to pace around the table and a bemused Raistlin. “Well, the magus said that the marble’s color was linked to the preferred color of the master himself! The Magus noted that his couch as dark forest green, along with his curtains, shoes, suit, and quite suitably, his trees! This was after of course, that the mage realized that his imp’s soul marble was the very same color. Really quite fascinating, isn’t it?”

Raistlin, dazed by the eccentric man’s enthusiasm, nodded. The young mage processed the information before shaking his head to clear the daze, “So the imp is definitely linked to its master. But does this link reach as far as the soul? Are their souls connected?” The golden-skinned man inquired thoughtfully.

“One might infer such a suggestion from this information, but one with my intelligence could go as far as saying that master and servant’s souls are linked with certainty!” Henry stated, his voice carrying a proud conviction. The middle aged scholar stopped his pacing, looking a bit peaky, “Ah! Who needs spirits to feel happy when such a pleasing euphoria can be achieved through the infallible currents of knowledge, without the unpleasant side effects, of course!”

“I don’t know,” said Raistlin with a superior sniff, “knowledge has ever only been my spirit . . . my soul in fact. And with that knowledge comes the power which my soul ever-craves. Power which I am sure our magus felt when making these discoveries of demons from beyond, answering questions that none had answered before,” Raistlin continued, his voice unusually strong and eager. “Power that you felt learning of this from your own studious efforts, whether it be on past literature or not. Power I ask you to deliver to me!”

Raistlin had indeed devoted his life to learning, and as the young man reasoned, one goes with the other, to magic. Ever since he and his brother were children, Raistlin had been very solitary, staying indoors and studying while his strong brother played war with the other kids like Sturm Brightblade, ‘knight’ of Solamnia. They all despised the mage, regarded him with disdain for his secretive nature, his snide sarcastic remarks, his cool calculated control of language used against them. However, while the children have have wished to “teach the sly one a lesson,” none dared to follow through lest they find themselves meeting the mighty fist of Caramon Majere – head on.

Raistlin had always considered his brother’s defense a fitting gesture – though he was sure it was for selfish and demeaning reasons on the part of his buffoon brother. Caramon had always overshadowed the weak Raistlin, and what better way to prove his “loyalty,” his “bravery,” and his “strength,” than by fighting the weak and helpless Raistlin’s battle’s for him.

But thinking back to Joe Farnish and the stinging nettle, the mage had gotten back his foes soundly, with the use of his brain. Yes, knowledge was power; brawn was simply an “appealing,” attribute that could grant brute force.

The mage shook himself from his reverie, his lips curled into a sneer. “So, tell me, what did this magus discover?” Raistlin asked the scholar, straightening his face, giving himself a more “pleasing mien.

“Well,” Henry said, keeping the incredulity out of his voice, “the magi had his assistant kill the imp and bring to him the marble.” The scholar had rose from his seat again, pacing back and forth in front of the impatient mage, “he was able to reach out with his soul and ‘revive’ the imp . . . or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he restored or recreated the creation.”

“Could he call it to him, the magus I mean, if the marble were far away?” Raistlin asked, licking his lips steadily.

The scholar though back to his studies, stroking his chin thoughtfully, “the magus found he could summon the imp itself to him, but not the marble. Nor could he restore the imps unless it was with the magus, physically.” Henry sat down once again, crossing his legs, his white robes with green trimming shifting casually with the movement.

Raistlin had not reached his most important questions, “Could the master locate the marble using the link?” For if he could, Raistlin realized that he and Caramon might have an adventure of their own . . . finally, yes they had adventures in the Mad Baron’s army, but never by themselves. This was the young mage’s chance to make himself a figure within the Tower of High Sorcery. He had overthrown one

renegade wizardess, but she had locked power, this new magus would be far more worthy of attention from the council.

“The magus noted that he could indeed located both the imp and the marble through that connection. Indeed, the magus could find his servant’s murderer wherever the perpetrator hid!” Henry answered, sipping his ale, regarding the mage with a curious stare.

“Therefore an opposing magus could locate the master of the marble by creating a connection of his own with it?” Raistlin inquired, eagerness blatantly revealed. Were that possible, Raistlin could strike first, if not meet this adversary midway. Either way, the young mage would not be struck preeminently.

Raistlin coughed violently and quickly grabbed his handkerchief and wiped his blood tinged lips.

Henry leaned forward, alarmed, “Raistlin!” he said, his excited voice saturated with worry as Raistlin’s coughing attack continued, “is their anything I can get you?”

The mage shook his head violently, glancing about in rage as the other patrons of the Red Raven took interest in the situation. “Continue! I am fine!” Raistlin managed to hiss vehemently.

Henry looked a bit affronted, but seeing his friend’s attack subsiding, continued and answered Raistlin’s question, “well that idea – that someone could located another through their imp – is preposterous!” The scholar settled down his mug of ale and rose once more, “Think young mage!” He said much to Raistlin’s disdain, “were that possible, imps would be more of a hindrance than its value is worth. Imps are an easy prey for anything above a novice mage; however they take a high lever Magus to summon, making them the perfect surveillance as once caught, they are useless to the captor, a harm even! Why would a high order magus summon a weak creature that would provide his enemy with an insolvable way to identify the magus? For this reason and many other reasons, no, you may not locate a mage through his imp or its marble. In fact, most mages have very few material items that indicate their favorite color for this reason.”

Raistlin’s head drooped as he listened to the now perspiring scholar. He had been so close! How foolish of him to not recognize that this could never be so simple. The magus who had attacked Raistlin was powerful and clever. But it so clever, why send so weak a creature to slay him? Before Raistlin could ponder this, Henry turned inquisitive eyes toward the young mage.

“Why, Raistlin, did you need to know all of this information . . . besides the need to saturate yourself with all powerful knowledge?” The scholar added with a wry smile. Henry had taken back his seat and was now sitting, legs crossed, staring sagely at the young man.

Raistlin stared back at the sagacious scholar, before responding, “I am a mage . . . knowledge satiates my hunger enough, but if it is knowledge of magic, I must admit, I adhere to greediness.”

Henry stared at the mage for a few more moments, and with a sigh, nodded his head, “very well,” the scholar said, his tone only slightly disbelieving, “but remember, my hungry young friend, danger is not

pleasant. It is dangerous! Go looking for an adventure and chances are you’ll be looking for danger. Keep this in mind: honor, courage, and wealth in our society are nearly always accompanied by peril.”

Henry was fond of the young mage and any thought of Raistlin placing himself in danger worried the scholar. The robed man had always found himself a lover of books and artifacts and other means of learning, but not a lover of people. His wife, Dara, had accepted his love and became the only person whom tolerated it. However, in time, Henry’s love became something more – he grew passionately obsessive. It was not enough to study the night and morning away, or to travel across town for a few days every so often. The scholar felt the need to travel; across all of Ansalon, all of Krynn!

Dara left Henry to his ‘fantasies’ as she called his passions, and told him, “find yourself, my love, during these adventures! Find yourself and life’s true meaning and then come back to me with your priorities in order. And, Henry, if you are unable to do so . . . do not return.”

And so Henry was free to adventure and “inherit” more information than any man could claim.” The scholar traveled, far and wide for years on end, never hearing from or sending word to Dara – she had truly meant her words. At first . . . or for a few years, Henry was perfectly content, only a small feeling of guilt and sadness invaded his mind, and he managed to stomp them down to the bottom of his mind, and pile lots of knowledge on top. After some time, the scholar began to feel less passionate about his travels . . . his guilt and sadness began to uproot and invade his mind. It was a winning battle for those feelings.

Sitting there with Raistlin, Henry was feeling more and more dethatched from reality, from life. The closer he grew to Raistlin, the more that the scholar realized his loneliness, his resentment towards his decisions – towards what he had made his reality. Knowledge was power, when used the right ways. Henry had made Knowledge a two-pronged bridge – one way leading to wealth, love, and possibly glower, and another way leading to aloneness, cold, desperation in learning, and fruitless perseverance into the unknown. The tired man had taken the latter route, and it was now coming back to haunt him that he had done so.

“I’m sorry,” the mage breathed, pity in his eyes. Would have the sarcastic man said this to someone closer to him, they might have been astonished at such a display of pitiful emotion, however Henry, not quite knowing better simply stared at Raistlin, and for quite a different reason.

“You’re sorry?” The scholar said confusedly, brushing his hair back with his hand.

“You were murmuring a bit of your life to me,” Raistlin responded softly, “perhaps not intentionally, sometimes when people are in deep thought, their thoughts become spoken unconsciously. However, I understand your pain, and acknowledge it.”

“Th-thank you,” Henry breathed, still astonished that so much of his private affairs had managed to slip from him, such lack of control! However, not that the frustrated man released his thoughts and feelings, he found that it felt good to have them out in the open, to someone who he considered more than trustworthy. “I’m actually happy to have told you,” Henry said, chuckling nervously, “knowledge is power indeed! It corrupted me and lead me down the wrong path, Raistlin, and of course I love knowledge and

the act of acquiring knowledge, yet if I could change what I’d done, I would do so in an instant. I would be content learning through more local channels.”

Raistlin, who seemed to be in deep thought was about to answer when the door was pounded open. The mage rolled his eyes, pulling his hood over his face. It was Caramon, Raistlin need not look to know it, the way the big man had thrust open the door with his overbearing stature.

And suddenly it came back to Raistlin; his brother had set the mage up, having random patrons of the Red Raven watch Raistlin’s every step! The fire flashed in Raistlin’s eyes as he sat waiting for Caramon to make his way over to his and Henry’s table . . .

Can’t comment here; plodding through the first trilogy met (and surpassed) my DL quota for life :wink:

Aw :frowning: Thats too bad hehe. I suppose thats why I called it my guilty pleasure . . . “sighs”