Setting: Solace, Inn of the Last Home at dusk, several days before the five-year reunion is scheduled.
Characters involved*: Raistlin
*I'll update that as more characters join the scene, but Tika and possibly Sturm could certainly be involved.
The long stairs wound in a lazy spiral up the great trunk of the gargantuan vallenwood, and the figure upon them walked slowly, his progress frequently interrupted by pauses to rest and catch his breath. The sun was setting, sending the autumn colors of the leaves up in flame, making Solace burn warmly - a wondrous display of color and vibrancy that had enthralled many travellers over the years. But the figure on the stairs paid it no heed. He continued, his attention focused inwards as he sought the strength for one more step, leaning heavily on a staff topped by a golden dragon's claw and a crystal orb.
Solace was not the town that it had been in days past. Although seemingly tranquil, the stairway to the Inn of the Last Home would be crowded by nightfall - people felt safer when they were together, and a mug of ale and a plate of Otik's famous spiced potatoes always helped them forget that Solace was hosting some rather unsavory people these days... Men in the employ of the Seekers.
The dying light caught the robes of the man on the stairs, and the red cloth stood out like a bloodstain against the vallenwood's healthy brown trunk. Red robes - a mage's robes - branded this man a follower of Lunitari and the path of neutrality.
Reaching the door of the inn at last, the red-robed man stepped inside and stood still for a moment, catching his breath. The long climb had never been particularly easy for him, with his poor health, but it was much worse now - the rattle of his breath in his lungs and the pallor in his sunken cheeks could attest to that. The establishment's proprietor, Otik, saw the man and smiled - that smile was an odd mix of recognition, welcome, and visible discomfort.
Raistlin smirked in the shadow of his hood. One day, he thought, you'll be the first of many fat inkeepers to bow to me, Otik.
"Wine," he ordered, finding himself a place by the fire - although the evening was pleasant, Raistlin was shivering. Settling into his chair wearily and leaning his staff against the wall within easy reach, the young mage - he was only in his mid-twenties, amazingly - sighed, coughed dryly, pushed a few strands of white hair behind one ear, and shut his eyes. Caramon would likely turn up sooner or later, he supposed. For now, he would enjoy the quiet.