Disclaimer: Dragonlance belongs to… Jesus Christ, I don't know. It's hard to keep track of. But it's not me, to be certain. Raistlin, however, I believe is more strictly the property of Margaret Weis and/or Tracy Hickman. The other characters and the general world in this basically belong to me. This thing will almost definitely contain cursing and, considering my way of things, probably violence at some point in time.
"I see my appearance startles you." --Raistlin, Chronicles 1: Dragons of Autumn Twilight
The city was bustling full with people, which was pretty common during the day, but it didn't make the noise of the dozens of people chattering any more tolerable. To make it worse, the midday sun was bothering my eyes, me being someone who would be holed up in a classroom at this hour. I was likely going to have a wonderfully sized headache by the end of this buying trip.
I dreaded leaving the academy or my dormitory cubicle in these hours, but the fact of the matter was that I needed more than food and spell components this time around. The various, particular things that I needed all have long names and are of none of your concern; just know that they are handcrafted by particular people who do not normally keep their shops open after the 17th hour.
As it is, one of them was out of the city, likely on business peddling his wares elsewhere. This was only of minor annoyance to me, as I knew him to be a bit much of a talker, and I really just wanted to return to my room and proceed to shut the door to everyone else as I go to work on my next class project. But I still had to buy essentials… some food, I needed cheese… some milk to compliment my alcohols for the weekend… god I was really going to need that alcohol this weekend after my project… I've been running low on bat guano, so might as well pick that up… What else…?
"IVES!" I heard a shout behind me. In less than a second, a flurry of red hair came up to my right, and a large, male bulk flanked my left.
"Hello," I said, regarding the two of them coolly. In truth, I was a bit happy that they were there; Mabon's half-orc appearance not only pulled down the chatter dynamic a few levels, but his huge girth thankfully blotted the sun off of me, leaving me in welcome shade.
"What're you up to?" Buzz said from atop Quitha's shoulder.
Mabon nodded. "Right, we rarely see you out at this time of day."
Behold, two of my oldest friends that I still have associations with at the academy—and the bird. Mabon is the only half-orc in Liberurbis Academy, if not the only half-orc in the city. In contrast to his orcish inheritance, he's quite hygienic and well groomed. He has a neatly trimmed black beard and his teeth are whiter and straighter than mine. But his jaw and huge size always gives him away. Also unlike his brethren, he's quite intelligent, and not particularly violent in any way. Oh, he is frightening when drunk, but that's because he's one of those touchy-feely, cuddly drunks. I'm just happy that he has too high a tolerance to get that way before the liquor runs out.
Quitha, on the other hand, is a half-elf (I associate only with halves, it seems) that inherited quite a few of her qualities from her elven father. Her last name, Naikiir, means "Gemwind", an obvious allusion to the family's crimson-red hair, which is the main way I'm able to pick her out of a crowd. She's a strange girl, to say the least. Her raven, which she so eloquently named "Buzz", speaks Common like the rest of us, albeit with a strange accent, and basically acts as one of us. Even though Quitha is incredibly intelligent as well, I find that more intellectual conversations spawn from her bird.
"I'm shopping, like most people do in the marketplace," I answered.
"Oh?" Quitha's brow rose. "What for? Maybe Buzz can help you in the price."
Buzz knew more about appraising goods than a pigeon from Venice. I told that joke to her before, but she never took that branch of history so she didn't get it. "I think I'll be fine. The rest that I have to get, I can get at the general store."
"We have to go and get some components for your final project anyway," Buzz reminded her.
"Oh, that's right. Damn." She sighed and looked at me. "Well, I'll see you later, okay?"
"Yeah, see ya," I said, and she was off.
Mabon, however, decided to stick by me as I walked through the market place and continued to talk to me. The usual stuff… mostly about our final projects, since that's what everyone has been up in arms about recently. The final projects mark the end of the semester and were almost always more brain stressing than the final tests in the non-magical classes and magical classes that dealt only with testable knowledge.
But his mind wandered about halfway through the conversation (nobody really enjoys talking about final projects anyway, unless they just feel like a good rant) and looked to the side. "Hey, that pet shop's open."
"Uh huh," I said, not really caring, but I should have known that my arm would be grabbed and that I would in the next second be dragged in. Mabon was such a sucker for animals—particularly cats, which I don't blame him. Truth is, I love cats; I grew up with them. But I knew that I didn't have the money to support much more than myself at this point. And I knew just as well that it was going to be difficult to walk out of there without sternly telling myself not to buy one.
But Mabon had even less choice; his dormitory didn't allow pets, even if they were familiars. That, of course, didn't stop him from loving animals. When I said he wasn't violent, I meant that he was a complete softie. Makes it all the creepier when he's drunk.
We were greeted immediately as we entered by a somewhat obese shopkeeper who, seeing from our robes that we were wizards, proceeded to show us all the "magical" creatures in attempt to have us buy something. I kept my face stern and quickly said "No, thanks," as I looked over the many animals.
Fish, snakes, lizards, ferrets (never did like ferrets), dogs (by the gods, even these things are loud), birds (perhaps louder than the dogs), and many other things… I must say, it is interesting to see all these living creatures squirming around, basically reminding me that there are breathing things outside of the people I deal with daily. A bit refreshing to the mind.
I came up to the cats, and, like many cats would do during this hour in these circumstances, they seemed to be all sleeping. I looked over them, seeing the jellicos and the calicos and the tabbies… all breathing softly, looking contented, as cats tend to do.
Then one shot its attention up in the back and stared straight at me.
The sudden motion almost startled me, and I looked up to see two bright, yellow eyes staring at me. It was a jet-black cat with a swatch of white on his chest shaped like an hourglass. His long whiskers jutting from his face were also white, contrasting against his black fur. It walked forward towards me, still arresting my eyes with its.
"That's the first time I've seen him do that," a voice said behind me. I nearly jumped when I turned to see the shopkeeper, wondering briefly how he snuck up on me before I realized I must not have been paying attention. "He usually hates customers and stays in the back. A lady even tried to buy him once, and he scratched the daylights out of her to get away. He doesn't even like me. Surly character on him."
I looked back at the cat, and he gave a slight, asking meow, but his eyes were still quite dominating. I looked back over to the shopkeeper, who now seemed a bit amazed.
"It's an omen!" Mabon gasped. "You should buy it, Ives."
I sneered at him. "Since when do you believe in omens? You just want me to get a cat so you can play with it."
"I'd appreciate it if you did buy him," the shopkeeper said, "but there's nothing magical about him, so he wouldn't be a very good familiar for you. Now, if you come this way—"
The cat made another meow, this time more assertive. The shopkeeper stopped dead in his words, and I knelt down to look at him at eye level. His stare was still oppressive and strangely cynical, but I could see a request. Let me out of here!
"I'll take him," I finally announced.
"Very well," the shopkeeper shrugged and opened the cage. The cat immediately jumped out and into my arms, quickly taking position on top of a shoulder. As soon as we came in contact, I was hit with the force of a ton of bricks with the power in that cat. Nothing magical about him, my ass! He had enough in him to blow up the damned shop!
I quickly paid the silver for him, to which he slashed the price to since the shopkeeper was glad to be rid of him.
"Thank you, ma'am. Have a nice day," he said, bowing his head slightly.
I blinked for a moment before turning to leave. I tended to forget my gender, and usually hung out with males (Quitha was a special case), so when I'm referred to as "ma'am", I always feel a little awkward. I still hesitate a bit when professors call me "Ms. Tarrosage". I got over it and nodded back to him.
As soon as we stepped foot out of the shop, Mabon seemed to want nothing more than to pet and play with the new cat. This cat, however, was about as anti-social as the shopkeeper described him, and skillfully avoided the half-orc's large hands, putting a nice new arrangement of holes in my skin, not to mention my robe.
I pulled the cat off my shoulders (and believe me, "pulled" is used quite literally in this instance) and proceeded to glare down my large friend. "Don't you have your own shopping to do? I've got to go buy food and spell components, and I don't need you lumbering over me, stirring up this thing while he's already bound to be quite estranged as it is."
My tone of voice hit its mark, and Mabon frowned, his large shoulders slumping. It wasn't hard to depress him, and I usually avoided it because he wasn't pleasant to be around when he was mopey, but I'd prefer having to swim in half-orc tears at this point than be in need of a new robe by the end of the day.
"I guess you're right," he mumbled, "Well, have a good day, I guess."
"You too." I waved as he left, and looked over at my new companion as I walked towards the general store. "Might as well get you some food. You wouldn't happen to be able to tell me what you prefer to eat, would you?"
"As a matter of fact, I can," he answered in a hissing voice, and my eyes shot wide.
"By the 9th level of the eternal tortures, you spoke!" I nearly yelled in my surprise. "I know that you have more magic in you than the average academy mage, but still! The only talking familiars I've ever seen were ravens!"
"Well, you already knew that I was quite different," he responded arrogantly.
I composed myself quickly and looked away towards the street. "Fine. Then I suppose you already have a name for me to call you?"
"You will call me Raistlin." His hissing speech made an emphasis on his name.
"Fine, Raistlin," I mimicked his own hiss as I spoke his name, now not looking on him. "What would you prefer to eat, or would you rather we get to the store before you decide? I do hope your tastes aren't expensive, as I am but a poor academy student."
"No worries. I eat little," he answered quickly, "And most provisions you would have for cats, I am not in need of. For instance, I do not need one of those damned litter boxes…"
"Oh?" I dared to look at him again, and found that I was growing used to his stare (which was particularly imperious, even for a cat). "So you can use a commode?"
The white whiskers perched over his eyes shot up, and he seemed in confusion. "Commode? Is that the thing in those bathrooms that make the 'fsshhh'ing noise when you pull a lever?"
I sighed. "Yes, that's a commode. How are you sure that you know how to use it if you don't know what it is?"
"I know!" He snapped back. "Don't assume that I don't! You get rid of waste by pulling the lever, right? That's all that I need to know!"
I nodded. "As long as I don't have to clean up after you, I'm not going to complain."
He made a catty "huff" and looked away. "You'd better not."
My first Dragonlance...ish... fic. So you are required to review. More chapters later, and possibly another story later that has to do with someone not Raistlin (which this section is in dire need of).