Title: Bright Shining Dark
Disclaimer: None of the Characters belong to me accept for Ziada, so don't sue. All characters are the
property of Margaret Weiss, Tracy Hickman ,TOR, and whoever else owns them.

Follow-up to Sometimes at Night. Because you guys wanted more. ^_~

It was the slight burn of liquid upon his hand that let Raistlin know that he was shaking. Slowly,
he cupped his hand around his wrist before setting the full cup down on his desk and reading the parchment
again. Almost absently he blotted the small drops of willowroot tea before they ruined the paper. The
message it contained was simple and to the point, leaving no room for negotiation.

Raistlin Majere,
Your presence has been demanded at the next meeting of the Conclave, at the vernal equinox. The
presence of you apprentice has also been requested by Ladona. Rooms have been prepared for you stay.

Raistlin barely acknowledged the softly spoken word, or the soothing cool that replaced the
throbbing heat of his burn. Instead, he reached under the parchment he had just read and pulled out a
smaller one, filled with childish drawings of trees and rivers. Underneath this was his brothers scrawling
I guess this means you're an uncle again! Tika delivered a healthy boy last night. We hope that
you can make it to the christening. We're putting it off until we know everyone is coming.

Dalamar quickly read over the paper, noticing the slight smile that lifted his teacher's features. It
was not the brittle, mocking smile that he had come to know in his years living with Raistlin. It was softer,
gentler, as was the man himself. Since returning from the abyss he was a ghost of his former self. Still self-
contained, but at the same time more open, more caring. Dalamar had been shocked when his master
hovered over him when he caught the Red Fever, soothing his cough and spreading balm on the burning
patches that covered his chest and neck.
This was not to say that his ability to teach Dalamar had diminished. While usually quiet and
absent-minded, his mind was still sharp when it came to magic. They were the times when he seemed to
revert back to the old Raistlin, the one full of impatience, demanding perfection. Once there had been a fire
in him that Dalamar both feared and envied. Now it was banked, burned down to little more than fluttering
embers. The magic was still there, but he no longer wielded it with the same relish that he had before. The
ambition that once drove him seemed to have been exercised. Now Dalamar saw that, instead of searching
for dominion, more often than not he reached for a book and a comfortable position in a chair.
"We have been ordered to the Tower for the next meeting of the Conclave," Raistlin said, finally
turning his blue eyes to his student, "I suggest you begin packing, as we leave tomorrow."
Dalamar nodded his head before leaving the study, his eyes searching out the dark corners of the
staircase, finding the bodiless eyes there, staring at him without passion before they disappeared. Wryly he
remembered the first night he had spent in the tower so many years ago. He had been too frightened to
sleep, though he would never admit that to anyone. The next morning when he arrived for his lessons with
bags under his eyes Raistlin had simply smiled coldly before starting in. It took time, but he was able to
finally sleep restfully.
Taking the winding staircase allowed him time to think, and not for the first time he thought about
the change that had occurred in his shalafi. He had been ordered to kill Raistlin if he succeeded in
challenging the Dark Queen, thereby preventing a battle between them that would destroy their world. Too
many things had gone wrong that night, from Kitaria's betrayal and his wounding to the attack on
Palanthas. He'd watched as the Dark Queen brought Raistlin to his knees while he was trying to get
Caramon to leave him behind. Heard the screams of the dragons that surrounded the portal, felt the
scorching heat that poured from the abyss. Then it ended, so abruptly that the silence replacing it seemed
just as loud, only broken by the ragged breathing of Chrysania, and the silent dripping of the water clock.
He was about the release the breath he was holding when the portal seemed to shimmer, and a
figure came out of it, a woman with hair and clothes flowing around her as if she were floating. A dark
bundle was set at their feet, and then she was gone. That bundle contained his shalafi, though he was not
the one he had known before. Whatever trials he had endured in that endless moment in the abyss had left
their mark on him. The golden skin that had plagued him for years was gone, revealing the healthy pink of
a newborn. He features were no longer gaunt, only tired, though his hair was still white.
Caramon had carried his brother to his room, and both had watched over him. After the fifth day
he wondered if his master would awake at all, though he continued to care for the man, with Caramon's
help. By the tenth day, Raistlin was conscious, though extremely weak. It was then that they noticed that
his eyes, once yellow hourglasses, were clear, blue orbs.
It took weeks for him to be able to leave his bed, and even then he had to walk with the help of his
staff. The cough that he had endured was gone, and as time went by it seemed as if whatever malady he had
suffered had left him, along with the curse of his eyes and skin. When Caramon asked him to return to
Solace, he'd declined, opting instead to remain in the Tower with its shadows and demons, much like the
man himself.

The main meeting room of the Tower at Wayrith was large, its ceiling and walls fading into
shadows that seemed to echo eternity. The floor was black, reflecting anything that stood on it. More than
once Raistlin wondered at the reason for that. To unnerve, surely, for it gave the sense of falling into
nothing, of standing on nothing but ones own reflection. A stray thought entered his mind, a name that
teased at his memory, that of the man who had designed the Tower, but he pushed it aside. They were
another man's memories, not his own, and he wanted no part in them.
It was the first time since he had taken the test that he saw the Tower as it was. Before, his eyes
had been able to pierce through the illusion, to see the crumbling stone, to watch the obsidian beneath his
feet tremble and crack, and he enjoyed the sight. Instead of making him uneasy, it comforted.
"It is good to see you well, Justarius." He said, looking at the red-robed man who sat before him,
and meant it. In all his dealings with other mages, Justarius was perhaps the only one who hadn't feared
Justarius nodded, " The same to you Raistlin Majere, though in truth, we believed that you would
ignore our summons, as you had so many times before."
Raistlin said nothing, merely let his gaze move to Ladona, who sat stiffly in her chair, watching
him as if he were a hungry tiger. There was a time when that warning pose would have pleased him, but
now it only served to tire him. Whoever he had been was gone, and he wondered what it would take for
them to see that.
"I see that you have recovered your strength," Ladona said, her tone careful, controlled. There had
been a time in which her greatest fear laid in the life of this man, and she wasn't sure if that time had
passed. " We had been told that the curses that you endured since your test were broken, but many of us
remained skeptical."
"I have paid by debts in full," Raistlin answered, locking his eyes with hers. Even without his eyes
and skin, she shivered, though the move was concealed by her robes. "The gods saw fit to allow me to
redeem myself."
Ladona raised an eyebrow, " Did they?"
Raistlin refused to answer, instead, he turned his gaze back to Justarius, "I was called before the
Conclave, and here I stand. What is it you desire of me?"
The look that passed between Justarius and Ladona was swift, so much so that unless someone had
been anticipating it, it would have gone unnoticed, but Raistlin saw it. The better part of his life had been
spent searching for such small signs for the power it would give you over an enemy, or temporary ally.
Unimpressed with their conspiratorial looks, Raistlin turned his attention to the white robe that had
taken Par Salian's place as head of the order. Instead of wearing robes, he wore a white sash around his
waist, which seemed to serve as a kind of belt for the white trousers he wore. A white vest barely covered
his large chest, which was heavily muscled and tattooed. One of the northern sailors, he thought, judging
from the earrings and beads that were attached to his sash. The name teased at his mind, but he couldn't pin
point it. The black man returned his gaze with one of his own, assessing him just as thoroughly.
Raistlin returned his attention to Justarius, who was absently rubbing his leg, a reminder of his
own Test. "I will ask again, what is it that the Conclave wishes of me?"
Ladona answered, "I have held my position for the better part of thirty years, Majere. The time has
come for me to step down for another."
It was Justarius who dispelled any doubt that statement might have held. "Raistlin Majere, as the
Heads of our Orders, we invite you to take Ladona's place when she steps down five days hence."
The word was spoken softly, and was almost lost in the large room, but the three before him heard.
Ladona visibly relaxed, the ramrod straightness of her back bending slightly. Justarius simply watched, a
puzzled expression on his face while the white robe sat, seemingly unconcerned with the proceedings.
"You refuse the mantle offered?" Justarius asked.
Raistlin met his eyes, still mirrors for all their blue color. " I decline to take the mantle, though not
out of disrespect."
Justarius nodded, then turned his eyes to Dalamar. "As the apprentice of the Chosen, we ask that
you, Dalamar, take the place of you Shalafi as the Chosen for your order."
The dark elf turned his gaze to Raistlin, searching for something. The smallest smile was all it
took. " As apprentice of the Chosen, I accept the mantle as Head of the Order of Black Robes."

Two hours later Raistlin sat in his room, which resembled many in which he stayed, though of
better quality than the majority. A fire burned in the hearth, though it gave more light than warmth. With
his new eyes light was something of a burden. He had discovered, much by accident, that his vision was
much improved in darkness, almost like that of a cat. At the moment they were fixed on Dalamar, who sat
next to him, eyes trained on the fire with unnatural care.
Dalamar opened his mouth to speak, but Raistlin answered his question before he could ask. "I
turned down the mantle because I did not want it. The responsibility should fall on one who feels they are
right for it."
"And you did not?" The question, for all its directness, was spoken carefully.
Raistlin sighed, "No, I did not. After all that you have seen, you should understand that. Besides,
there is only so much that I can teach you, the rest you must learn on your own. In salur mylas shila."
The apprentice has become master, Dalamar said to himself. He cast an almost rueful glance at the
man next to him, wondering when he would see him again. There were several rituals he would have to
endure before becoming head of his order, rituals that, like the Test, could be fatal to one unprepared.
Almost unconsciously he moved a hand to his chest, to where Raistlin had made the mark of his hand as a
sign of his treachery. The bleeding wounds that had plagued him for months after his shalafi's descent into
time were gone, leaving only five dark marks, roughly the size of fingerprints, on his chest. It had been the
first thing Raistlin had done when his strength returned.
"What will you do?"
Raistlin turned his eyes to the fire, absently brushing at a strand of snowy hair that fell before his
eyes, "For years now my brother has asked something of me, and I have refused. I believe it is time I
accept. I am going home, if only for a time."

Okay, in defense of this story for those who write flames but do not include their email addresses
so I can answer. One, I have read the dragonlance books, several times actually. I feel that yes, he is
capable of feelings other than greed and hatred, though he hid them. I mean, come on, he didn't have the
best of lives, and that would make anyone bitter. Look at him this way, what would you do if you were
given a second chance? How would you feel, knowing what your greed had almost caused? And for those
who've told me that he never loved anyone except for his mother, in the SoulForge, the first book of the
Raistlin Chronicles, he falls in love with a girl, is even willing to give up his magic for her, to become a
store clerk for her father, but he finds her with Caramon. Don't believe me, look for yourself, so there.

Now, if you've survived that rant, thank you for reading my ramblings. Please leave feedback, I crave the
stuff, feed the artist if you will, and don't worry, I don't bite unless asked. I can even stand flames, but if
you flame me, all I ask if for you to leave your email address so that I can answer, and Im not rude, swear.
Leave your email address anyway, because I like to thank people and answer any questions you might

Love and stuff,
Writegirl ^_~