A description of Crysania's last moments on Kryn, and her thoughts are, of course, of Raistlin.
"Now let us lie,
Sad we lived, sad we die
Even in your pride
I never blamed you...
One light for each undeserved tear...
Beneath the candle bed,
Two souls, with everything yet to be said... "
Solinari shed his silver tears across the land that night. Ansalon seemed to be bathed in the crystal remnants of his holy light; silver shadows concealing an immortal grief for one of his loyal followers. Lunitari set the land awash with bloodied light, silently stating her acknowledgement - and perhaps even respect - for the mortal who would pass beyond the world of Krynn this night. Somewhere, also, amidst the shroud of starless darkness, another being witnessed the events that captivated his siblings. Nuitari watched with indifference, however, unconcerned for the insignificant loss of one Revered Daughter. Yet nevertheless, it seemed that he was all the more withdrawn from the mortal plane of Krynn this night - as even his followers found themselves unable to detect their patron.
The three gods of magic maintained their own views on the matter; watching to see what views the mortals would take up...
Almost everyone she had known was gone or dead. Only three people had come to her in her final days whom she had once called friend, or at least acquaintance. These three stood nearby now. Perhaps they know too, she thought mildly. Yes, that would make sense. They sense the end - my end - and have come to bid me a final farewell. Outside, the dull chanting of prayers reached her ears. They're praying for me, she realised. Those people I do not and have never known, all praying for me...
Two of the three, she was not at all surprised to see - so to speak. Of course, she could not see them at all, but that wasn't the point.
Pallin and his wife, Usha, were old friends. They remained respectfully vigil at her side, and she was thankful to them. It was difficult, even for one of total faith, to be alone at the end. With that thought, she squeezed Usha's hand in her own, grateful for the comforting presence.
"Revered Daughter?" the half-Urder whispered, glancing at her husband in concern.
She shook her head gently, fluttering her sightless eyes to look heavenward for a moment. "No. No... you must not use titles now. Not you. Not now..." She knew she sounded ever so slightly delirious, but in truth, her mind seemed clearer than ever before. As the shadowed end drew nearer, she was perfectly aware that she had reached her peak of wisdom. How ironic, she reflected, that I should find enlightenment upon my deathbed.
Pallin's soft voice spoke up near her. "Very well... Crysania. Is something wrong? Is it... is it time?"
A serene expression passed over her face as she contemplated for a moment. In answer to the first question, she could think of nothing that was wrong with this moment. This, she realised, was how she had wanted to die. Of peaceful old age, knowing she had made a difference, and rewarded by a painless death.
But she answered merely, "Yes. It is my time..." Her voice was calm and steady, and stronger than it had been in recent times.
She heard Pallin sigh. He sounded weary, she thought to herself. He sounded old. She could hear it in his voice, and in his actions. She could trace his tiredness in his very step. A trace of sadness marred her face for a moment; not for herself, but for the couple at her bedside. Usha, she knew, would outlive her husband by years. She was half-Urder, after all. She would live perhaps into the centuries. It was a case not dissimilar to that of Tanis Half-Elvin and Laurana. But it was not just this which caused her pain; she knew that Usha had her children to take comfort in, and would come to heal from Pallin's death, whenever that may be. No, it was not just this.
There was something different about Pallin in recent times. As if he had lost something important to him. Indeed, she thought sadly, that man had been born to become a mage.
Just like his uncle.
In both cases, it had not ended well. For Pallin had given up the magic of his own choice, in favour of a normal life with his family. She wondered did he regret it. She hoped not, but there was something which rang a wrong note in his voice. Perhaps, she told herself, he is merely ageing - as is natural.
As for the other mage in the family, well...
"Is there anything we could do for you?" Usha inquired softly, a worried undercurrent easily detectable in her voice.
It seemed that Crysania actually set her gaze firmly on the half-Urder for a moment. She felt Usha shiver under her stare, and looked away from the girl quickly. In truth, she had never known what to make of Usha. There was such a naÃ¯ve quality to her that the term 'girl' always came to mind rather than 'woman' when in context with Pallin's wife. She was kind-hearted and honest, certainly, but Crysania had heard reports of her skill with magic. Of course, this could easily be explained away by her Urder heritage - but there was another explanation of which Crysania was not so fond of. By all descriptions, she had heard that Usha looked remarkably similar to him - but could it really be? Silver hair, golden skin, and golden eyes were very rare to come by, yes - especially in the same person, who had such a coincidental connection to another - but surely...
Similar in appearance - and perhaps even skill - but nothing more. She had not the same drive, or innate intelligence, or even the commanding, forceful presence about her... How could she be Raistlin's daughter? Was it even possible?
Crysania had never held the possibility against her, but had remained curious as to her legacy. Even more so after she and Pallin had found love.
But for the sake of the two, she silenced her curiosity. She was aware that it was a comfortable subject for neither.
She gave a weak smile. "I am fine. I am going to Palladine after so long... I shall look into the purity of his light, and I will know that I served well on this world."
Usha and Pallin were silent, as she had expected. But, quite suddenly, the third presence in the room spoke up, startling the tranquil cleric.
She heard robes rustle softly as the presence stepped closer, before a soft masculine voice rang out over the droning of a thousand clerics praying:
"But, Revered Daughter, please do be honest before you leave us..." the voice said, with only a trace of the usual sarcasm. "That is not the only 'being' you wish to look upon after you ascend this plane... is it?"
She let out a quiet laugh and smiled. "You know me better than I had anticipated, Dalamar Nightson. Or perhaps it is just that I am not alone in my... curiosity, shall we say?"
There was a moment's pause. "Perhaps. But is it true?"
She distantly registered an intake of breath from Pallin as he realised who it was they discussed, but her attention was now focused on the Dark Elf, Dalamar. "Is what true? That I wish to look upon he who stole my sight and very nearly my soul, too? He who taught me more than any other I have known? Look into the eyes of the man whose thoughts I could never comprehend, whose motives I could never fathom, whose feelings I could never understand...? The man I cannot trust, cannot forgive, cannot forget, can never be rid of...?" She paused to take a deep breath, trying to reorder her thoughts - which, in a single moment, had been shattered. Then, finally:
"If so, then yes, it is true."
She sensed the bodies in the room shift, as Pallin and Usha took a step backwards as the dark mage approached her. She again turned her glazed eyes upon him, but there was no sign of revulsion or discomfort from him, as there had been from Usha.
"Do you truly expect to see him, Revered Daughter? What makes you believe he is not in the abyss? After all that has happened, do we really have proof of him being at peace?"
She could hear the almost desperate need for assurance in his voice. "Do you really think that he would be left in purgatory? You, of all people, as his apprentice, should know that he would never settle for such a fate..."
"He is only mortal, Revered Daughter," answered the Elf coolly.
She maintained her blank stare, almost daring him to look away. "Perhaps," she mimicked Dalamar's earlier elusive statement.
She sensed the Elf stiffen, then relax slowly as he considered her words. Her voice held such surety and conviction that Dalamar found himself believing her. "Did you love him?" he asked, unexpectedly.
Crysania hid her surprise well. She blinked, her feathered brows creasing slowly as she lay there musing over the question. "Didn't you?" she finally countered.
Immediately, she felt the mage's confusion and offence radiating from him - and, surprisingly, very mild alarm. Before he could protest or deny, she continued:
"Do not mistake me, Dalamar. I mean only that Raistlin had a certain 'charm' about him. Certainly, not charisma, but something akin to it. Haven't you ever wondered how he got so far? Haven't you ever thought about the numerous people he has beguiled, somehow, into aiding him? Think of it now, if not. There is you and I, his brother, Pallin, the kender, Tasslehoff, Lemuel, Antimodes... I have even heard rumours of a gully dwarf, of all creatures! Do not ask me to explain it to you, for I cannot. But it seems that Raistlin had a skill, whether conscious or not, of drawing people to him." Her expression changed subtly, as she went on. Her gaze drifted, her voice quietened, as she spoke almost to herself. "I think... He made them love him, almost... almost out of cruelty sometimes. I believe that there was a certain degree of mutual care, but... I wonder if he ever loved even one of us..."
She shook her head sharply, cutting short her reminiscing. She gave a short, awkward laugh, which dissolved into a cough. When she had recovered, she again shook her head. "I am being foolish. Do not listen to an old lady's regrets."
"However true they may be," Dalamar finished for her. She heard the soft velvety robes shimmer as he faded into the background once again.
She wondered if he was about to leave, and could not help one last call to the retreating mage: "It is almost my time, Dalamar Nightson. I shall give your regards to your Shalafi for you... when we meet again."
There was a quiet smirk from the Elf. "You do that, Revered Daughter." There was a gentle humming in the air as magic accumulated, and she knew that Dalamar was gone from the room and from the temple in which she lay dying.
She smiled gently as she finally allowed herself to be overcome by the shadows, as sleep called out to her with the voice of sweet oblivion.
She did not wake again.
Her final breath was drawn and released in the moment that the sun pierced the darkness of night with its first feeble rays, just before it showed itself to the world. In the shadowed mystery that was the moment between true light and darkness, Crysania, Revered Daughter of Palladine, passed from the world of Krynn.
In that same moment - in the enigma-like moment that was not day, and was not night - it seemed to Dalamar, who watched the veil-shrouded sky from his Tower, that something shifted strangely in the atmosphere. Sensitive to magic of almost all kind, he was sure that no spell was being cast upon him. Puzzled, he returned his gaze to the dawning sun. As he witnessed the vast crimson orb shattering into rays of crimson light as it breached the horizon, he suddenly felt a chill run across his skin. She's gone, he knew quite suddenly.
Her voice echoed hauntingly in his head; the last thing she had spoken: "...when we meet again..."
Was it possible? he wondered, before scolding himself for letting his imagination run away with him. Even if it was, what did it matter? They had meant little to each other in life, less in death. His Shalafi had used her. It was a vague possibility he cared for her, perhaps, but such a feeling was hardly lasting beyond the boundaries of death. They were strangers to each other now... So why, he wondered, did she still love him?
She is innocent and naÃ¯ve, even now, he answered himself quickly. She loves him because she cannot have him. She loves him because he denied her. She loves him because he was everything she wasn't...
A strange and unwelcome thought suddenly invaded his mind, as he watched strange shadows flutter across the sky. The shadows were almost shapes, and seemed to swirl and dance among the early morning clouds. Two of them, like figures...
The thought returned, stronger this time:
Or perhaps it was because they were soulmates...
But how likely was that...?
"...when we meet again..."
Sakuri: Another random one-shot... Hope you enjoyed. I'll try actually writing Raistlin soon (I didn't think I could do him justice yet, so I figured I'd just mention him in passing...... ). Oh, btw, I would just like to say that Raistlin Majere is the world's greatest fictional character EVER! ...ahem.
Please review! Is there any storyline I could write between Raistlin and Dalamar? (I think they're a great yaoi couple) ......Maybe I'll do something about Dalamar's past...Tell me if you like the idea.