Author's Note: This story, though it does involve characters from the DragonLance chronicles, is meant to stand on its own. The only thing that I have borrowed are the setting and the characters from DL. Hope you like it!
It is always the first snow, as it falls, that is the most beautiful. It holds no clue and no hint to the chill and misery that is to come.
It was now that Seline stood at the window of the dark and dusty, old Snake's Eye Inn. She stood staring with her deep amber almond shaped eyes out toward the children who were frolicking in the softly falling first snow that already covered the ground in a thin layer that stuck to their boots, and revealed the brown, dead plant life below it. The window was cracked, letting a soft, chilly breeze into the pub. A pipe was wedged between the half-elf's teeth, and, as she tassled her dark red hair, she blew out a lungful of smoke into the air, only to have it float its way back into the dark room.
When the door opened and closed softly, Seline only glanced behind her at the cloaked figure coming through the door. Behind him was a large warrior, whose face was also obscured by a hood. "Sit anywhere." she called, and watched as they chose a table in the back. Seline pushed her pipe into the opening of the window balancing it carefully on the sill, before turning around to approach the strangers. One of the cloaked figures was standing behind her, and when she turned around (with a skip of heart and jump of body at being surprised) she recognized the face immediately.
"Raistlin!" she exclaimed in surprise.
The man that stood before her was tall in stature, and wise in eye. He wore a long, blood-red cloak that fell to the floor, and a spellbook was tucked under his arm, where it was always kept. Instinctively, Seline threw her arms around the man, and he responded with a little snarl, but a fond pat of the back. "Seline," he said in his quiet voice as she took a step back. "Even after a year you still wait here."
"Where else was I going to go?" Seline asked, a slight tone of chill creeping into her voice. She was still happy to see him, though, and remained cheerful. "He, I assume, is Caramon?" she directed her gaze to the large man sitting by the fire. His body shook a few times with a cough, and Seline's eyes wrinkled in concern. "Is he all right?"
"An infected wound." Raistlin said casually. "We ran into some trouble on the way in."
Seline, immediately worried, turned her body and strode over to the big warrior. She set her hand on his shoulder, before he noticed that she was there. With a friendly cry of, "Seline!" he stood up on his feet and wrapped his huge arms around her, lifting her up into the air. Seline was momentarily out of breath, and patted him as much as she could given her position.
"Caramon," she choked out, "I can't breathe."
The big man put her down, and Seline smiled fondly up at the man. Raistlin, his twin brother, came to stand beside him. "Sit down." he said coolly, "exerting yourself isn't going to make that wound any better." His amber eyes , much like her own, made their way to Seline. "Tanis and the others are on their way." he said softly, and Seline's heart skipped again.
"I'll go get some ale," she said, smiling wide, and disappeared into the back room. When she came back out, with mugs aplenty full of ale, she saw that the brothers had been joined. She set down the mugs, her face half hidden, and waited until the first person noticed her.
Of course it was her brother that did first. With a soft cry and a leap to his feet, Tanis jumped up onto his feet and wrapped his arms around her. His smooth face pressed against her forehead, and she returned his hug without a word. Nothing either of them could say would change anything, though they had a thousand words for each other. Seline's old anger that she had kept quiet for almost a year bubbled to the surface again, but she kept her hold firm on her brother before letting him go and turning to the others.
The rest rose to greet her. Kitiara smiled widely, and gave her a violent hug, and a small shake. The woman was as beautiful as her father had been handsome, and had inherited many of the warrior's qualities. Older half sister to Raistlin and Caramon, she was fiery, loud mouthed, and had taught Seline every human swear word she knew. Seline returned her embrace with just as much vigor.
Then next to embrace her was Flint, the dwarf. Seline crouched low to wrap her arms around his shoulders warmly. Flint's eyes were soft as he looked upon her, and his beard tickled her shoulder. "Good to see you, lass." he said quietly, and gave a significant look to Tanis, who was standing by the fire, guilt streaking his face. Seline did not have much time to reply, however, before little Tasslehoff Burrfoot leapt up into her arms, and hugged her tightly.
"Seline!" he cried, hugging her tightly. The kender was loud, and his voice shrill. Seline's ear rung a bit at the high frequency before she hugged the little kender back. Much like a child, though almost as old as Raistlin, he grabbed onto her. As she set him down, Seline checked the clasp of her necklace, and the little pouch hung to her long skirt. Though trustworthy and loyal, kender-folk had a tendency to have sticky fingers, though with complete honesty they would all swear that things just fell into their hands.
Finally, came Sturm, the knight of Solamnia. He pried Tas off of her, and gave her a wordless kiss on the cheek, as well as a warm embrace that covered her with his musky scent. His whiskers quivered with pleasure, and he hugged her tightly. "Welcome back," Seline whispered quietly, and returned his kiss on the cheek before finally letting go of him.
Seline turned her head to the group, who was standing by the fire and sipping their ale. Each of them was full to the brim with questions and stories, and Seline yearned to hear all of them. But there was someone missing. Seline glanced around the bar, as if waiting for the person to come forward and greet her by surprise.
"Wheres Kauthan?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. The company awkwardly looked at each other, before all eyes turned back to her. It was Tanis who spoke.
Thanks for reading! The next one will be longer! Promise!.