Disclaimer: In no way do I own Dragonlance or Final Fantasy 8-Bit Theater.
Caramon Majere and Raistlin Majere, Fighter McWarrior and Black Mage Evilwizardington. Two fantasy "swordsman and sorcerer" pairs that are as alike as they are different, and the start of some very odd friendship... but not really.
The Solace Theater
Solace is the crossroads for travelers, and all walks of life can be found on the many roads leading to and from the well-renowned treetop town, yet it comes as a surprise still when a set of burly arms pull Raistlin into a bone crushing bear hug from behind. The red robed wizard struggles against the sudden assault, activating the mechanic that drops the hidden dagger into his hand, as the much-needed air being nonchalantly squeezed out of his fragile lungs.
Caramon is beside him at once, readying himself into a defense stance with his sword drawn, though from his expression, Raistlin can tell his twin brother does not know what to make of the event either.
"Red Mage! Red Mage! Red Mage! It's been so long!"
The man is around their age with spiky flaming hair, ironclad in a scarlet and silver armor with flowing white cape, heavily armed with four large swords, giving him the looks of a young exotic knight.
"Let go of me," Raistlin narrows his hourglass eyes, his grip on the dagger tightens.
The young man complies immediately, but does not shut up, "It's so good to see you again, RM! It's been forever and ever!" he then turns to the puzzled older twin, eyes focuses on the polished winged dragon helm for a moment before lighting up again, "and Dragoon! I didn't know you two have been traveling together!"
"I think you're mistaking us for someone else," Caramon keeps his tone polite as he sheaths his sword, judging the young knight as no threat. "We don't think we've ever seen you before."
"Phooey, that's just silly, Dragoon" the armored man chuckles, waving his long arms around excitedly. "I'm Fighter McWarrior, don't you remember?"
"Er... no," Caramon is unsure at the very odd name, "I'm Caramon, not this Dragoon person you've mistaken me as."
"You're not?" Fighter's face falls slightly, automatically turning to the wizard as if for confirmation. "Red Mage?"
"No," Raistlin wheezes, coughing lightly before continuing, "My name is Raistlin."
"Wait. Wait. Wait." Fighter screws his eyes shut as he tries to process the information.
Raistlin and Caramon look at each other.
"Wait," Fighter says again, thinking at himself, before holding his hands up in sudden surrender, "No, this is too confusing and I don't get it."
"What's so confusing about us not being the ones you mistaken us as?" Caramon asks, befuddled by the strange turn of events.
"Exactly!" Fighter says.
Raistlin places a hand on his twin's shoulder, stopping him from actually participating in a round of childish verbal game. "What?" Caramon now directs his question at his identical brother, be he doesn't get a reply.
"It's okay though," Fighter nods to no one in particular as he continues, "Black Mage will sort everything out, he's really smart, you see."
"Then, where is this... Black mage... you speak of?" Raistlin asks, keeping his voice carefully neutral as he feels Caramon tense besides him. How odd it is that a possible follower of Nuitari is so close to their original home, and especially so when it seems that the wizard has a knight for companion.
"Oh, he's back there in the woods," Fighter says, gesturing into the trees just off the treaded road. "He told me to occupy myself with counting the rocks on the road as he procures us some coins for the night and he told me not to return before he disposes of the bodies, whatever that means."
"What!" Caramon exclaims, just in time to choke when he sees smoke billowing over the treetop.
"I've counted 9826 stones already when..."
Raistlin doesn't know why he is roped into another of other people's problems, but he finds himself following the two dumb muscles through the shadows of trees before being confronted by a scorching pile of a dozen goblin and human corpses. Caramon's mouth is agape, shocked into silence at the sight, but Raistlin is more wary of the tiny figure before the scene.
The wizard is not wearing the black robes that indicate evilness, but dark blue robes that have been dotted by splatters of blood and a very large hat. Curious, as that is not a dressing code under the Wizards of High Sorcery, yet Raistlin can almost feel power drifting off the smaller man in spades.
"Die, pathetic pieces of life," the blue robed wizard speaks in the dwindling light, his voice harsh with a raspy undertone.
"Black Mage, Black Mage, Black Mage!" Fighter's cheerful baritone serves a jarring contrast to everything before the two brothers' eyes, and he waves his hands in an innocent delight, seemingly to be completely oblivious to his acquaintance's horrifying deeds. "Look at who I found!"
Caramon is still too shock to utter a single word, but the other mage is already turning around. Raistlin holds the Staff of Magius at the ready, prepared to magically counter any possible threat.
"What is it, Fighter? More ignorant travelers for me to murder indiscriminately?" the younger wizard asks with a suffering strain, turning around, before sharply changing his sentence into, "I mean... did you make some friends?"
And now that they are properly face-to-face, Raistlin can understand the epithet for the other man, for there is only darkness where a man's face should be, and from the depth of the abyss is a pair of pupil-less glowing golden eyes. In reality, he has not expected to find another cursed by magic as himself, and Raistlin is not sure what to think about that.
"BM, I found our friends Red Mage and Dragoon!"
Black Mage looks at them now, glowing eyes narrowed, but before he can even take a step forward, Caramon has already drawn his sword to dissuade that idea. Black Mage stops on his tracks. "Fighter," he rasps, "those are not Red Mage and Dragoon."
"Really?" Fighter asks, the only one of the four completely blind to the hostility in the air. "But if he isn't Red Mage, I don't know who is!" the young knight gestures wildly at the red-clad wizard standing beside him, "I mean! He wears red, has long white hair, and dresses like a girl!"
"It's/That's a robe," Raistlin and Black Mage hisses at the same time, before shooting each other a similarly surprised look.
"I don't get it, how can he not be RM?"
Black Mage cleans his blood drenched knife on his tan gloves, before hiding it back into the folded layers on his person, "Red Mage also wears a dopey hat."
Fighter looks to his friend, then looks at his mistaken-for-friend. It takes him around thirty seconds to understand the new information. "Oh!" he exclaims as things finally start to make sense in his simple brain, and he is already prancing back to the younger wizard's side.
"What is going on here," Caramon asks his twin brother under his breath, "Should I be killing anybody?"
"No, Caramon, it would be quite foolish to engage a wizard in a swordfight," Raistlin explains, "Especially one that we know nothing about."
"But that little man is a murderer."
"Another perfectly valid reason why we should cautiously treat the situation," Raistlin counters, "So do everyone a favor and put your sword away."
Caramon does so reluctantly, but he still keeps a wary hand on the hilt as his younger brother actively approaches those two men to reintroduce themselves. And Raistlin secretly wonders if he made a mistake when he promises Black Mage to take them to the Inn of the Last Home in Solace.
"So... Do you like swords?"
"Seriously, Fighter, I got bored with this topic the first twenty times you say it. And I am very tempted to cut out your vocal cords by now, and set it on fire, and then make you swallow it."
"What about claymores?"
"You've asked about that, too!"
"I like claymores."
"Don't indulge the moron, Carla."
"... My name is Caramon."
"Carla, Caramon, equally weird to me."
"You think my name is weird? What kind of name is Black Mage anyway?"
"What about the flamberges, BM? Do you like those?"
"When they are in your ribcage, yes."
"I like them, too, bestest buddy!"
"You seem to be an amiable person, so why do you choose to hang around that guy?"
"You mean Black Mage? We've been best friends since forever!"
"Er... So why are you two friends? It seems kind of... odd."
"Not sure if you've noticed, but he kills people for amusement! Not to mention I don't really think he likes you very much."
"Don't be silly, he's just misunderstood."
"Yup, I know he stabs me in my sleep every once in a while, and often drops his knife on my brain or through my throat without meaning to. But in truth he won't hurt me, because we're friends!"
"I'm worried that you actually believe what you are saying- watch out!"
"Ouch, I think I might have accidentally walked into BM's knife that is flying through the air for completely unrelated reasons."
"... Fighter, the handle is sticking out of your skull."
"Sorry, can't hear you clearly over the bleeding."
"What's with your hourglass eyes anyway?"
"What's with your glowing ones?"
"Truth is... I can see time as it affects all things, the signs of life rapidly decaying and dying around me."
"Hmm... Interesting. Does that mean when you look at that idiot Fighter over there, you see him dying over and over again?"
"Why are you giving me that look?"
"I'm so envious of you right now I think I've got an aneurysm."