Kevin Stein: Brothers Majere

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Kevin Stein Brothers Majere
  • Название:
    Brothers Majere
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  • Жанр:
    Фэнтези / на английском языке
  • Язык:
    Английский
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Kevin Stein


Brothers Majere

To Bertram, Library of Palanthas

From Dalamar, Tower of High Sorcery, Palanthas

Greetings,

First, sir, allow me to offer my apologies for startling you and the young scribe when we encountered each other in the great library. I am so accustomed to traveling the paths of sorcery that I forget others are not used to my sudden appearances. I trust that the young scribe is, by now, fully recovered from his unfortunate tumble down the stairs.

My messenger (I hope you are not too put off by its rather ghastly appearance) holds in its "hand" the manuscript which you requested. The material of which I spoke – i.e., a collection of notations written by Raistlin Majere himself concerning his early life – cannot, I am afraid, be delivered to the library. In accordance with his secretive nature, the Shalafi had cast spells of confusion over his books. These spells would not only make it difficult for you to read the books, Bertram, but might actually cause you serious harm.

I have taken it upon myself, therefore, to rewrite the account. All information is complete and accurate to detail as far as I was able to determine from Raistlin's notes and Caramon Majere's memory. I searched for the ken-der,.Earwig Lockpicker, who was also a companion during several adventures, but I was unable to find him. (Needless to say, I did not look very hard!)

The material is divided into two parts. The first and shorter of the pieces is titled "Raistlin and the Knight of Solamnia." This piece is important in that it provides us with information on the kender. Earwig, and how he came to join up with the twins. The story concerns the Shalafi's encounter with a stiff-necked knight, whose pride very nearly gets them all killed. (Considering our current good relations with the knights, you might think twice before publishing this story in Solamnia.)

The second story, which I have titled "Brothers Ma-, jere," is interesting for a number of reasons, particularly for the account of the mysterious and fascinating personage met by the twins. As you know, there has been considerable discussion among the scholars of the land concerning this "demi-god." Is he real, or is he merely a creature of legend and myth? I remember discussing the subject with Raistlin, and I wondered at the time at the Shalifi's knowing smile. True to form, he never told me that he knew, firsthand, the truth about "Bast."

That Raistlin was interested in Bast himself is best indicated by the fact that he went out of his way to collect other tales concerning the dark-skinned "thief." These can be forwarded to you when I have time to break the spells guarding them.

Next, about your request for information regarding the chronological order of the stories in your collection, I offer you the following for your records. (The information is based both on my notes and on discussions with Caramon Majere.)

After the separation of the Companions at the Inn of the Last Home, Raistlin and Caramon left immediately on their journey to the Tower of High Sorcery. Raistlin took the test, with results that have now become legend/

The twins then wandered in the magical Wayreth Forest for perhaps as long as a month before being allowed to leave. It is during this period of time that popular myth would have us believe Raistlin encountered the strange woman who would, unbeknowst to the Shalafi, bear him a child.3 (By the way, in regard to this rumor, I can give you no information. The stories about this liaison did not begin to circulate until several years after Raistlin's death. I find nothing in his notes pertaining to such a liaison.)

Upon escaping Wayreth Forest, the twins returned to Solace, where Raistlin spent several months seeking a cure for his malady. He studied and became expert in the sciences of alchemy and herbal lore and gained greatly in knowledge that would serve him all of his life. Unfortunately, his efforts failed to improve his health. Funds running low, the brothers were forced to leave Solace to seek their fortunes.

Caramon recalls that they intended to cross New Sea, but he is unclear as to why they were traveling to such wild and dangerous lands. Perhaps he himself did not know. Marginal notes in one of the Shalafi's alchemy texts indicate that Raistlin may have been continuing his search for some magical life-giving elixir.

During this time, Raistlin was also hunting for a true cleric. I venture to speculate that he was not seeking one out of a high-minded search for truth, but – again – in hopes that he would find someone to heal him. (It is, however, interesting to note that, four years later, when he meets Goldmoon, he tells her that her healing powers will not help him. What happened to him in that intervening time period to teach him this harsh lesson? Perhaps, in further explorations through his texts, we will discover the answer.)

Undoubtedly it is due to his bitter disappointment in being unable to find a true cleric that he continues to ferret out and expose charlatans. One of these is the infamous fraud of Larnish {mentioned briefly in this volume). It is shortly after this encounter that Raistlin and Caramon met the Knight of Solamnia and rid Death's Keep of its curse. Continuing on their way to New Sea, they enter Mereklar.

This adventure is not the end of the brothers' journey-ings. They would travel another four years before the outbreak of the War of the Lance. My teaching, as well as the work involved in being Head of the Order of Black Robes, leaves me little time to pursue my research but, hopefully, at some later date, I will be able to decipher the remainder of the Shalafi's notes. Like you, Bertram, I must admit that I find the subject fascinating.

My Shalafi was undoubtedly the most skilled and powerful wizard who has ever lived. I am pleased that you are setting down the true facts concerning his life. It is my profound hope that future generations will remember and honor the tragedy and ultimate triumph of Raistlin Majere.

I hope that this is helpful to you. I trust the messenger will deliver it to you safely. (If he leaves any slime on the parchment, you may remove it with a solution of lemon water and vinegar.)

Please extend my greetings and respect to Aslinus.


* * *


The boy looked up from his play to see two strangers, standing at the crossroads, reading the sign. Keeping his eyes on them, the boy continued what he was doing – sailing a makeshift boat in a puddle. But when the larger and stronger of the two men – a warrior, by the number of weapons he carried – ripped the parchment off the post, the boy left the boat to sink slowly into the muddy water. Hidden by a scraggly shrub, the boy crept close to listen.

"Hey, Raist, look at this!" yelled the big man to the other, who stood only a few feet away.

The boy stared at this second man with intense interest. The child had never seen a mage before, he'd only heard about them in tales. He had no trouble recognizing a wizard, however, by his outlandish robes – their color red as blood – the mysterious pouches and feathered amulets that hung from the mage's simple rope belt, and a black wooden staff on which he leaned when he walked.

"Stop bellowing! I'm not deaf. What have you found?" the mage spoke irritably.

"It says… here, you read it." The warrior handecT over the notice. He watched as the mage studied it. "Well, what do you think? Unless, of course, it's outdated."

"This posting is recent. The parchment's not even weatherworn yet."

"Oh, yeah. So maybe this is what we're looking for, huh?"

"Fee negotiable." The mage frowned. "Still, that's better than nothing. The reward we earned for ending the curse of Death's Keep is nearly gone. We'll never be able to cross New Sea unless we have the means to hire a boat." He rolled up the parchment and thrust it in the sleeves of his robes.

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