Disappearance

Lady Crysania of Tarinius was brushing her thick black hair, her favourite thing to do as she got ready for bed. It had been only a few days since what people were beginning to call the "Chaos War" had ended, and life was already calming down. Everything was returning to normal.

Well, almost everything, Crysania thought, pausing in her actions. Her God, Paladine, was gone. Ever since Chaos, Father of All and Nothing, had been defeated she had no sense of her God. Her prayers were no longer answered. Her medallion, with the symbol for Paladine engraved by loving hands upon it, felt cold and lifeless around her neck, and in her hand.

According to those around her, those who could see, the known constellations were gone. New stars hung in the sky. A pale moon, as light as Solinari, shed its light on the people of Krynn. But this was a cold moon, the feeling of magic gone. Lunitari, and her brother Nuitari had disappeared from the sky. Solinari was gone, replaced by this pale moon. Magic was dead.

Clerics and mages alike, of all alignments, were banding together, all distraught due to this calamity. It had been their livelihood, those magical and clerical powers. Without it, they were lost.

A thought suddenly struck Crysania. What would he do? The magic had not only been Raistlin Majere's livelihood, but his life as well. It was his only claim to power, for he would never be strong of body. He could never use a sword, could barely even lift one in fact.

Frustrated with herself, she slammed down the brush that she was still holding. Although she had vowed to banish the archmage from her mind, not a day went by that she didn't find herself thinking of him at least once.

Yes, Crysania couldn't forget him. No matter what she did, images of him floated through the darkness. Two images of him conflicted with each other. One, a young man with dark brown hair and eyes, and a slender, wiry body. The other was of the archmage as she had seen him last, in the Abyss: white hair, distorted eyes golden, with pupils the shape hourglasses. She remembered the triumphant look in his eyes as he survived wave after wave of the Dark Queen's minions. That image, the last she had seen, was etched into her unseeing eyes.

Suddenly, Crysania's head shot up. She had heard a slight rustle, something that didn't belong in her quarters. "Who's there?" she asked. She knew that they hadn't entered by normal means, and instinctively she assumed that it was a mage. "Dalamar?' she asked, assuming that it was the dark elf who had once been Raistlin Majere's apprentice.

"No, Revered Daughter," came the whispering voice. "Dalamar could not have done that. His magic is gone." Crysania turned her unseeing eyes to the voice. "Who are you?" She didn't want to admit the shiver of fear that ran up her spine at the sound of a familiar voice that had haunted her darkest nightmares, and her fondest dreams. It cannot be him, she thought.

"You know, Revered Daughter. You recognize me."

A quiver in her voice, she spoke again. "You cannot be him. He has been dead many years."

The answer was silence. And that was when she knew. Only one person would not defend himself. Only one person was mysterious enough to remain silent. "Raistlin," she whispered almost to herself.

"It is I, Crysania." The voice that spoke was not the voice she remembered. It sounded like Raistlin, but the words that he said, the manner of speaking them differed greatly. He had never uttered her name so warmly, so fervently.

"Raistlin! How have you come back from the dead? What has happened?" She reached out a hand to find his, to clasp his flesh in hers. She had truly missed him all this time.

Amazingly, as he spoke, Raistlin took her hand in his. "It does not matter. I am here."

"To stay?" she asked. For a moment, silence greeted her again.

"No. I cannot stay. I have been sent to this world for a specific purpose, and when it is fulfilled, I must leave."

Crysania's shoulders slumped. He would leave her again. But at least this brief meeting would give her the chance to tell him the one thing that she had never been able to say before. "I love you, Raistlin. I always have."

The hand gripping hers tightened slightly. "I know." There was a catch in the archmage's voice, one that had never been there before.

"I wanted you to know that," Crysania continued, "before you leave me again. Your brother had said that no one but him had ever loved you. I wanted you to know that isn't true."

The hand tightened again. "I have not told you my purpose in being here yet. Do not think you will get rid me that easily." The teasing sound in his voice surprised her.

What is this miraculous change that has come over him? Crysania wondered. He was different from the Raistlin that she remembered, the one that had always pushed her away.

"So what is your purpose?"

"Twofold. One of my doing, and the other from someone who you are very close to."

Crysania wondered who that other person was. Ever since she had left the Abyss, she had never been close to anyone.

"Here is my purpose." He spoke another word, one in the language of a magic that was dead. She tried to warn him that magic was no more, when suddenly she was looking at the archmage. "Your time walking in shadow has lasted long enough."

She gasped. Yes, she was looking at Raistlin. How he had accomplished this, she didn't know, but she could see!

"Raistlin!" she exclaimed, jumping up to embrace the archmage. Another strange thing happened then. Instead of shoving her away, as he had so often done before, he pulled her closer to him and enveloped her in his velvety, black robes.

Then he pulled slightly away from her. Now Crysania expected the biting sarcasm that she was accustomed to, and she braced herself for the pain. But that wasn't what Raistlin did. Instead, he bent down and kissed her lightly on the lips. Then he began to speak.

"My time in the Abyss was long. I was not tormented as has been believed. I slept, a peace granted to me by Paladine for my so-called 'sacrifice to the world'. During this sleep, I dreamed. There were many things that I dreamed of, some that actually happened. I saw my nephews and nieces grow up, my brother and his wife grow old. Some though, were not real. There were many times that I dreamed of you Crysania. The dreams were always peaceful, for I knew that I was loved. And I knew that this was not the smothering love of someone who had to love me, but rather that it was the love of someone who had chosen to love me. For me. Sometime during that long sleep, I realized all of this. And I also realized why I dreamt of you. Oh yes, Crysania, there was a reason. One that will probably surprise you to no end." The sarcasm had returned, but this time it was turned inward, a mocking of himself. "Yes, there is something that I never thought myself capable of. An emotion that I never thought I could feel. And that is love. You look at me, surprised at this. I am sure that you will be more surprised when I come out and say the one thing that I have had the hardest time getting up the courage to say..." Here he paused, gathered his courage, and blurted out the words that Crysania had always longed to hear. "I love you, Crysania. I did when we were back in Istar. I did when we were on the plains. I even did that time when you came through the Shoiken Grove to see me at my tower. The courage that you showed there..." He smiled at the memory. "It must've been an awful ordeal. To be honest, I was very impressed with you." He reached out and pulled her to him again, feeling her body mold to his. This had been the most difficult thing that he had ever done, even more difficult than facing Takhisis, the Dark Queen, herself.

Crysania looked at Raistlin, tears forming in her eyes. This had been the most phenomenal night of her life. In just a short while, she had her sight and the man she loved brought back to her. She didn't know what to say. Agitated, she moved across the room, pausing to look in the mirror, wondering what she looked like now. She was astonished to see that she looked no older than she did the last time the had looked in a mirror, over twenty years ago. Turning, she looked at Raistlin, a question lurking in her eyes.

Raistlin shrugged. "I was given the power to change you and myself to whatever I wished. I wanted you to be able to see. And I wanted you to be young again. Vanity on my own part I expect," he mused. "I am changing myself to look different also. Shut you eyes," he said with a rueful grin.

Crysania did. A moment later, he commanded her to open them. This was the third time she was astonished. "Raistlin?" she asked. If he had looked like he did when they were back in Istar, she wouldn't have questioned him. But this time, his hair was a darker shade of brown, his eyes a pale blue. His skin was pale, not the glistening golden colour it had been before. And she could tell that, although not sickly anymore, he was not as strong as he had been back then.

"This is what I looked like before the Test. I am me again." He, too, walked over to the mirror. Together, they looked at their reflections. Raistlin smiled at his. Although he still looked like himself, he knew that what he looked like now would not frighten anyone. Sighing, he looked at Crysania.

"This brings me to the other reason that I am here. An old friend of yours..."

Crysania cut him off. "I have no 'old friends'."

Raistlin smiled mysteriously. "I believe his name is Fizban."

Crysania started. "Paladine? You've spoken with Paladine?"

"Fizban and I are also old friends," he responded. "He has to leave this world, as do the rest of the Gods. I, who have been resting in the Abyss for so long, have been commanded to leave with them. Fizban...Paladine... requested that I bring you, his most devoted follower, with me. He knows how I feel about you, and how you feel about me. He believes that we will be happiest together." He paused for a moment. "Will you leave with me?"

"You're serious," she said, both a statement and a question at the same time.

Raistlin nodded. "There is nothing here for you now. Nothing but pain and sorrow. We have been asked to join the realms of the Gods..."

"What you have always dreamed of," Crysania said, more sharply than she intended.

Raistlin smiled ruefully. "Not exactly," he said. "But, nonetheless, I must go, no matter what I wish. My only hope is that you will join me." The words, although apparently a statement of his feelings, was phrased more as a question.

Crysania didn't need to think long on this. Being with Raistlin was what she had always wanted. "As usual, you are correct Raistlin Majere. There is nothing for me here. Krynn will get along fine without my presence. I will leave with you."

Raistlin smiled and pulled her into his arms. "There is an eternity awaiting us." He touched his lips once more to hers. Together they vanished from Crysania's quarters in the Temple of Paladine, vanished from the world of Krynn, and left the world to itself, content in their eternity together. Content to create another world that they could help rule over.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

For years after Crysania's disappearance, rumours floated about. The followers of Paladine believed that she was either out in the world helping others, or that she would return one day with Paladine.

Of course, neither were correct. But it comforted them, nonetheless.

No one would ever admit of the visions that they sometimes saw. The vision of a young woman in white robes, her long black hair flowing down over her shoulders, laughing together with a young man dressed in black robes, his hair dark brown and his eyes blue. No one would ever admit that sometimes the image of the young man would transform into that of someone who was familiar to all of Ansalon, a man with white hair and golden eyes with hourglass-shaped pupils.

People were content to believe what they wanted to believe. But one thing that everyone knew was that, wherever Lady Crysania, Revered Daughter of Paladine, was, she was happy.