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Margaret Weis,Tracy Hickman, Michael Williams, Barbara Siegel, Scott Siegel, Roger E. Moore, Warren B. Smith, Nick O'Donohoe, Richard A. Knaak, Nancy Varian Berberick

The Magic of Krynn

FOREWORD

'No! No! Please don't leave!' cried Tasslehoff Burrfoot and, before we could stop him, the kender grabbed hold of our magical device that would have transported us out of Krynn and ran off with it down the road!

So here we are, back again, ready for more adventures. If you are one of our long-time fellow travelers, we welcome you along. If you have never journeyed with us through the DRAGONLANCE worlds, we hope this anthology will serve as an interesting and exciting introduction.

A favorite fantasy theme is magic and those who practice it. In these pages, you will find tales of the magic of Krynn. Some were written by us, some written by old friends, and some written by new friends we've met along the way.

Riverwind and the Crystal Staff is a narrative poem that describes a haunting search for a magical artifact. A Stone's Throw Away is the story of that irrepressible kender, Tassle- hoff Burrfoot, and his comic, perilous adventure of the tele- porting ring.

The Blood Sea Monster tells about 'the one that got away.' Dreams of Darkness, Dreams of Light recounts the tale of Pig-Face William and the magical coin.

Otik the innkeeper has unusual problems in Love and Ale. The young mage, Raistlin, faces danger in the Tower of High Sorcery in The Test of the Twins. Draconians stumble into a mysterious village of elves in Wayward Children.

Finding the Faith is a high-adventure tale of the elf maid, Laurana, and her search for the famed dragon orb in Icewall Castle. A young Tanis and his friend, Flint the dwarf, learn about love that redeems and love that kills in Harvests.

Finally, in the novella, The Legacy, a young mage must face the fact that his evil uncle-the powerful wizard, Raistlin — may be trying to escape eternal torment by stealing his nephew's soul!

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Riverwind and the Crystal Staff

Michael Williams

I

Here on the plains where the wind embraces light and the absence of light, where the wind is the voice of the Gods come down, the rumor of song before singing begins, here the people under the winds are wandering ever towards home, forever in movement an old man is singing the song of an absent country, beautiful, heartless as sunlight, cold as imagined winds behind the eye of the rain, and wide before us, my sons and fathers, the song of the country centers and swoops like a hawk in a sleeping land, borne upon hunger and thermals, singing forever, singing: It was not always after the wars, it was a time once when fire did not rise on its own out of the dead grass, a time of waters and of vanishing light, when we did not imagine new country arising out of the long mirage of countries remembered from mother to daughter in a ruinous dream that would not have let this happen, nor did the dance of the moons, the opened hearts of hawks, nor did the wind itself foresee the fires hot as shrew's blood in the veins of the land consuming our dream while we slept in our journeys, while these things came to pass.

The outrunners found the child among waves of grass and darkness, on the night when the moon and the moon wed one another and canceled their light and the sky was black except for a wedge of silver turned like a blade in the heart of the heavens. And the night they found him was his naming night, and the years unnamed were the years behind him, the time among leopards who must have raised him in the waves of grass and darkness, though he did not remember this, did not recount the graves upon graves to which he gave infancy, where he buried the first words of childhood, And the night they found him was his naming night.

Riverwind the name he borrowed, borrowed for him out of the grass and the darkness moving, out of their fear of the sky and the blade of the swallowed moon. And honored he was among families, as the source of the blood was lost in the people, as the path of the eland, the high call of the hawk buried themselves in words and the long wind died at the back of his head as he moved and he moved, as the Que-Shu contained him, becoming his country, as the dream of the Que-Shu wed to his dreaming like dark to the moon, until he remembered the plains and the wind and the wandering only.

II

Riverwind, borrowed from night, grew as the eyes of the People, reading the air, the descending wind, the back of his mind a prophet, a jackal, while the cry of the leopard, unheard by the People except at the place where the world falls over, choired at the back of his head. And his hand, with the grace of the falconer's hand or the falcon herself, unjessed in the diving air, was the hand of the People, the left hand, the off-hand, the hand that steadies the bow. And so it would be, my sons and fathers, until the night of the dancing moons when the sky to the east was silver and black, red the sky in the westland falling, the night when we bring forth the daughters.

Robed in the friends of the people, robed in eland, robed in the fox, in the falcon's high feathers ten winters counting, came forth the daughter of chieftains, the daughter unwed to man or to sorrow, unwed to the things she could not be.

Grace of the fathers dove through her veins like a wind that the world obeyed. Heart of the hunter she was at the heart of the wandering, gold of the eyes imagining gold of the moon descended her naming night, and Riverwind knew that the journey, the truce with horizons, was ending in light and the promise of light. And holy the days he drew near her, holy the air that carried his songs of endearment, the country behind him a song like a choir of bees at the edge of hearing, telling him here is great sweetness here is pain and you will have to learn about this. And seven the summers in which she eluded him, winters in which the cold and the country collapsed on the words Chieftain's Daughter .

The halved heart of the eland steamed from the spinning ground below him and Old Man, Grandfather, Wanderer, reader of skies, reading the face of the boy arising out of the face of the man, as the binding of moons on his naming night, repeating the words like a charm, like a warding, Chieftain's Daughter , the old enduring story of love and of distance, of the borders at which the heart bows down. But the eyes of Wanderer never the lone eyes watching as these things came to pass, in the eyes of the daughter the leopard's eye reflected upon reflection, until it mirrors itself into forever like the thoughts of a long hall never the lone eyes watching, and the eyes of Goldmoon for the Chieftain looked on at the dance of the eyes and whispers, looked on from the place of judgment deciding this could not be, and he set for River-wind three tasks unapproachable, saying Pay court to my daughter only when you can return to my hearthside bearing the moon in your hands, the stars on a dying blanket, and when you can come from the east, bearing the crystal staff, the arm of the gods in forgotten country, the source of the magics. And Wanderer hearing this heard the NO and again the NO at the heart of the words, and knew that the magic was fractured light, the light at the heart of a crystal, bending and bending upon itself, forever becoming

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