As described in The Soulforge, Raistlin Majere and his twin brother Caramon were born in the town of Solace, Abanasinia, to a woodcutter named Gilon Majere and his wife, Rosamun. They were preceded by an older half-sister, Kitiara uth Matar, the product of Rosamun’s first marriage to a purported ex-Solamnic Knight, Gregor uth Matar. Raistlin was born in poor health and nearly died at birth. Raistlin was always a sickly child, but possessed a fierce intellect, in stark contrast to his slow-thinking, but not unintelligent, physically stronger twin. Kitiara persuaded an archmage of the White Robes named Antimodes to talk to Raistlin. Antimodes saw to Raistlin’s enrollment in a school for magic. Raistlin was taunted and isolated by his schoolmates, but enjoyed the fact they feared him enough to try to destroy him. After a desperate prayer and promise to worship the gods of magic, he passed his first magical test.
His father, Gilon, was mortally injured in a terrible logging accident, and was brought back to Solace just in time to say a few last words to his sons. When Gilon died, Widow Judith argued that it had been Rosamun's lack of faith, her daughter Kitiara's unsavory lifestyle, and Raistlin's study of magic which caused the god to forsake Gilon in his time of need. The people of Solace ran Widow Judith out of town. Gilon's wife Rosamun died three days later. At her funeral, driven nearly senseless and hallucinating with his grief, Raistlin showed great disregard for the inclement weather that oversaw it, and fell into a deep fever. He only survived due to the unexpected return of Kitiara, who fought death over her brother once more and, like before, defeated it. It was after Raistlin’s recovery, when Caramon was overcome by terrible dreams, that Raistlin finally learned what it took to use the magic and cast a sleeping spell over his brother.
Raistlin and his brother formed a friendship with other citizens of Solace who would one day become their fellow Heroes of the Lance. These friendships and the mentorship of Flint Fireforge and Tanis Half-Elven helped fill the gap that the sudden loss of their parents had created. Raistlin’s skills continued to grow even as he developed a love for herbalism and played an instrumental role in saving Solace from a plague.
In the twins’ early twenties, they accompanied Flint, Tanis, and the kender, Tasslehoff Burrfoot, to Haven for a market fair. It was there that Raistlin encountered the cult of the false god Belzor, and where he again met the Renegade Wizard, Judith, who was using magic to bamboozle the townspeople into believing in her. By revealing she was using magic and not the powers of a god (by casting a spell of his own), Raistlin proved that she was a charlatan, destroying her cult and at the same time invoking the wrath of the townspeople against himself, coming dangerously close to being burned at the stake.
However, the spell Raistlin had used was illegal for him to cast, as an untested mage, by the law of the Conclave of Wizards. Rather than discipline him, less than one year later, the Conclave decided to summon Raistlin to the Tower of High Sorcery at Waywreth Forest to take the Test. This in itself was astonishing for no one so young had ever taken the grueling test, which touted death as the price of failure. Raistlin and his brother left Solace, being unable by Conclave law to tell anyone where they were going, and made their way to the Tower.
The Soulforge, which is the true account of Raistlin's Test according to Astinus of Palanthus, finds Raistlin in the Inn Between on the outskirts of the town of Haven. After being invited to drink with three elves, named Liam, Micah and Renet, they offer Raistlin a job. They need a mage to go into the house of the town's mageware shop, owned by Lemuel, a friend of Raistlin's, in order to rob it of the treasures said to be there. Raistlin, initially planning to warn Lemuel, agrees to go in after the elves tell him that they know of secret spellbooks hidden in the shop. After entering the house and going into the basement alone, Raistlin encounters the evil Fistandantilus. Realizing that he is taking the Test, and that the elves (in actuality powerful dark-elf mages themselves) will kill him for even speaking with Fistandantilus, the evil lich offers him a bargain: Raistlin's life force in exchange for the power to pass the Test and defeat the elves.
Raistlin accepts, and when Fistandantilus unlocks the basement door after teaching Raistlin a spell, the elves attack, casting a magical fireball too quickly for Raistlin to react. In desperation and out of instinct, Raistlin throws up his hands to stop the fireball that is hurtling towards him. However, instead of obliterating him, it "burst on him, over him, around him. It burst harmlessly, its effects dissipated, showering him with sparks and globs of flame that struck his hands and astonished face and then vanished in a sizzle, as if they were falling into standing water." Raistlin casts the spell learned from Fistandantilus, and kills the three dark elves.
After the battle, Raistlin notices that his skin has turned a gold color, forming a magical armor that had protected him from the fireball. Fistandantilus denies that he created the armor for Raistlin, telling Raistlin that it is an armor of his own making. Realizing that this armor will protect him from Fistandantilus taking his life force, Raistlin reneges on his bargain. As he leaves the cellar, an enraged Fistandantilus threatens Raistlin, telling him that his Test is not yet over, and that if even a crack should appear in the armor, Fistandantilus will take the life promised him.
Finding himself magically transported back to the Tower of Wayreth, Raistlin believes his Test is over. Feeling a breath of air hitting his neck, Raistlin manages to turn his body, changing what would have been an instantly killing knife thrust into one that does severe damage but leaves him alive. Liam, one of the dark elves, had survived the spell in the basement. In pain and failing strength, Raistlin overcomes the deeply wounded dark elf, and kills Liam with his own blade. Raistlin realizes that the blade Liam wielded had been covered with poison, and passes out, expecting to die.
Raistlin regains consciousness to find his brother, Caramon, walking towards him. Caramon picks Raistlin up, intending to bring his brother out of the Tower and away from the Test, which inflames Raistlin's feelings of weakness. As Caramon carries his brother out, the floating head of Fistandantilus appears, intent on taking what little life force Raistlin has left. As Raistlin prepares to cast a final spell that he knows will kill him in his weakened state, Caramon suddenly conjures lightning that strikes the floating head. After another blast of Caramon's magic lightning, the head of Fistandantilus disappears, leaving Raistlin to wonder what just happened. Caramon tells Raistlin that the spell was something he could always do, but since he preferred sword and shield, he had never told Raistlin. Raistlin snaps:
"It wasn't the physical pain that clouded his mind. It was the old inner pain clawing at him, tearing at him with poisoned talons. Caramon, strong and cheerful, good and kind, open and honest. Caramon, everyone's friend. Not like Raistlin-the runt, the Sly One. 'All I ever had was my magic,' Raistlin said, speaking clearly, thinking clearly for the first time in his life. 'And now you have that, too.' Using the wall for support, Raistlin raised both his hands, put his thumbs together. He began speaking the words, the words that would summon the magic...Beneath the layer of cold, hard rock, jealously bubbled and seethed. Tremors split the rock. Jealousy, red and molten, coursed through Raistlin's body and flamed out of his hands. The fire flared, billowed, and engulfed Caramon."
After killing his brother, Fistandantilus comes to claim Raistlin's life, reaching into Raistlin's chest and grabbing his heart. Raistlin grabs at the mage's wrist, telling Fistandantilus that while he may take his life, he would serve Raistlin in return.
Raistlin later learns that he did not in fact kill his brother. The Caramon in the tower had been an illusion created by Par-Salian, formed to show Raistlin the depths of his own hatred and arrogance. The real Caramon had been a witness to his brother's fratricide, in the hopes of severing the connection between the two brothers. This plan backfired however, as Caramon forgives Raistlin, believing him to not be in his right mind because of the Test, and with Raistlin's health severely crippled, Raistlin is even more dependent on his brother than ever. Any memory of Fistandantilus is gone (Par-Salian believing that this was Fistandantilus's own doing, so Raistlin would not fight him), and Raistlin believes his health has been destroyed due to the battle with Liam. Par-Salian, in order to teach Raistlin compassion and patience, curses him with the eyes of the sorceress Raelana, turning his pupils into an hourglass shape that shows him the effect of time on everything: "Youth withers before those eyes, beauty fades, mountains crumble to dust". As compensation for what he deems a necessary cruelty, Par-Salian gives Raistlin the Staff of Magius, one of the most powerful magical artifacts in existence, as well as a recipe for herbal tea that will help relieve Raistlin's now constant and wracking cough. Told to never tell anyone the story of what had happened in the Tower, the two brothers leave, with Raistlin now wearing the Red Robes of Neutrality. The Staff grants Raistlin numerous magical powers. The change in Raistlin between when he lacks and possesses the Staff has been compared to the difference between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Not long after Raistlin left the Tower of High Sorcery, he and his brother found themselves in financial straits. It was also at this time that they heard of an army of mercenaries (led by the Mad Baron of Langtree) - information given to them by the white-robed wizard Antimodes, a close friend of Par-Salian. During this period Raistlin and Caramon encountered two new friends: a brown-robed mage (brown robes given to those who never take the test) named Horkin, and a half-kender named Scrounger.
During this same period, Kitiara had traveled to Sanction and met Ariakas: the man who was currently favored by Takhisis. Ariakas did not yet trust Kitiara, and he gave her a mission to lure Immolatus, a red dragon, to his command. The dragon, embittered by the loss of his treasure, had declined orders to join forces with Ariakas. Kitiara's guile and quick-thinking led to her triumphant return to Ariakas with dragon in tow.
It was when Raistlin first encountered Immolatus that a new ability of Raistlin's cursed eyes was revealed. Upon encountering a dragon garbed in mortal guise, he could see partially through its transformation. In the book Brothers in Arms, the first encounter with Immolatus is described as such:
What Raistlin saw was a blurred portrait, two faces instead of one, two faces in a botched painting, as if the artist had allowed all the colors to run together. One face was the face of a human wizard. The other face was more difficult to see, but Raistlin had a fleeting impression of red, vibrant red, glittering red. There was something reptilian about the man, something reptilian about his second face. (298)
Immolatus mistakenly thought that Raistlin was a descendant of Magius, for he possessed the Staff of Magius. After Raistlin was intimidated by the disguised red dragon, he escaped the tent and returned to his own army's camp. It was Immolatus' mission to locate for Takhisis the eggs of the gold and silver dragons that lay in the mountains where the nearby city of Hope's End was besieged. Raistlin and Caramon, taking their wounded to a temple that had once belonged to Paladine, Leader of the gods of Light, found themselves exploring it, along with Scrounger. It was there that the twins ran into Immolatus again. At of the end of Brothers in Arms, Raistlin and Caramon remain with the army.
Involvement in the War of the Lance
After Raistlin passed his Test in Brothers Majere, Ansalon was engulfed in the conflict that would be known as the War of the Lance. During this time, Raistlin helped to fight the darkness threatening to consume all of Krynn. He and his companions played a critical role, and would collectively become known as the Heroes of the Lance. Raistlin's magic powers increased at a dramatic rate as the war progressed. He gained control of a potent artifact known as the Dragon Orb of Silvanesti which he took from the dying elven King Lorac Caladon.
While caught in Lorac's Dragon Orb-induced dream he makes his first appearance donning black robes. To that point he had not yet converted to the side of evil. However his presence in the dream donning black served as foreshadowing. A common device in the early parts of the Chronicles series is Raistlin's hearing of an unknown voice in his mind. During this dream Raistlin hears this mysterious voice telling him that in order to save his life and the life of his comrades he must be willing to accept the black robes. Later while dying in the Library of Palanthas he pledges his loyalty to the God of Evil Magic, Nuitari, and accepts the black robes.
Dragons of the Hourglass Mage details Raistlin's adventures in Neraka after becoming a wizard of the Black Robe and chronicles the significant maturation of the character between his introduction in Dragons of Spring Dawning and later appearances, addressing many previously-unanswered questions. In this lord city of the Dark Queen, Raistlin discovers that Takhisis means to take control of all magic, and must stop her from doing so.
His acceptance of the black robes, however, was not approved by the Conclave, effectively making Raistlin a renegade wizard. It wasn't until later, when Raistlin has manipulated events to put himself in a position of power over the Conclave, that he demanded they make no effort to hunt him, or to interfere with him in any way. The Conclave agreed, and Raistlin's intervention prevented the death knight Lord Soth from destroying the Tower of Wayreth and the wizards within.
Fistandantilus was able to petition the Dark Queen for a mysterious item known as the Key of Knowledge, which Raistlin was able to use to unlock a number of ancient tomes and gain vast power in the process. His ambition, however, was such that he betrayed the Dark Queen, ultimately bringing the War of the Lance to an end and leaving him as the most powerful force on Krynn.
He then took up residence in the Tower of High Sorcery of Palanthas, fulfilling an ancient prophecy that had foreseen his appearance as the Master of Past and Present. He spent two years inside the Tower, learning its secrets, studying spells and experimenting.
Such was his power then that two years later, the historian Astinus, in Time of the Twins, described Raistlin's entry into the Tower as this:
Two years ago, he entered the Tower of High Sorcery. He entered in the dead of night in darkness, the only moon in the sky was the moon that sheds no light. He walked through the Shoikan Grove - a stand of accursed oak trees that no mortal, not even those of the Kender race, dare approach. He made his way to the gates upon which hung still the body of the evil mage who, with his dying breath, cast the curse upon the Tower and leapt from the upper windows, impaling himself upon its gates - a fearsome watchman. But when he came there, the watchman bowed before him, the gates opened at his touch, then they shut behind him. And they have not opened again these past two years. He has not left, and if any had been admitted, none have seen them. (11 & 12)
Raistlin's attempt at godhood was chronicled in the Dragonlance Legends Trilogy. The trilogy also explored the relationship between Raistlin and his twin Caramon.
Although the Conclave had previously believed that Raistlin harboured plans to conquer the world, they later learned through Raistlin's apprentice (and Conclave spy), Dalamar, that Raistlin's ambition stretched much further than this. Raistlin studied Fistandantilus' voluminous works on crossing the threshold between god and man, and decided to embark on an attempt to kill Takhisis, the Queen of Darkness, and take her place among the gods. He became arrogant after the final victory over the dragons, and to attain godly power he sought the help of dark forces. To recover knowledge lost during the Cataclysm Raistlin travelled backwards through time to just before the Cataclysm, during the reign of the Kingpriest. Challenging the still-living Fistandantilus, Raistlin wins the duel and steals the archmage's identity, memories, and life force. The white wizard Par-Salian sent Caramon, cleric of Paladine Crysania and by accident the kender, Tasslehoff Burrfoot to the same time period in a desperate attempt to stop him. The presence of Tasslehoff horrifies Par-Salian, as unlike humans, elves, ogres and dragons, kender are capable of changing time. Crysania's presence is an effort to waken her from a coma brought on by confrontation the Death Knight Lord Soth, which can only be accomplished by the Kingpriest of Istar. However, this plays into Raistlin's plans as access to the Abyss, the realm in which Takhisis resides, is through a gateway that can only be opened through the combined actions of a black-robed wizard of purest evil and priest of Paladine of purest good.
Tasslehoff, at Raistlin's prompting, remained in Istar in an effort to stop the Cataclysm by activating a time-travel device in the Temple of Istar. Instead he is forced into the Abyss where he manages to escape with the assistance of an also-trapped gnome. Raistlin, Caramon and the now-awakened Crysania escape the Cataclysm and travel forward in time to Dwarfgate Wars, which are initiated by Raistlin in order to access the portal to the Abyss in Zhaman. In the guise of Fistandantilus, Raistlin attempts to open the portal. His actions are interrupted through Caramon's simultaneous use of his own time travel device, which results in a titanic explosion. Unlike the actual Fistandantilus, Raistlin is able to control the magical fluctuations and enter the Abyss with Crysania. Caramon and Tasslehoff are pushed into the future, where it is revealed that Raistlin was successful in defeating Takhisis and going on to destroy the other gods and all life on Krynn. Unable to create new life, Raistlin becomes the sole living creature in the universe, a snake devouring its own tail.
Caramon and Tasselhoff attempt to stop Raistlin by returning to the time of his initial entry to the Abyss and confrontation with the Dark Queen. Caramon confronts Raistlin with his experience of the future and Raistlin's solitary, meaningless existence. Convinced of the truth of Caramon's statements, Raistlin tells his twin to take Crysania back to Krynn and gives up his life preventing Takhisis from passing through the portal. Though grieved at Raistlin's fate, Caramon has a vision of Paladine rescuing Raistlin's spirit and the story is retold throughout Krynn which leads to Raistlin becoming a popular hero.
In the later short story, The Legacy, Caramon's son Palin is summoned for his Test, winding up at the Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas. Dalamar attempted to bring an illusion of Raistlin there for Palin's Test; however, Raistlin summoned himself there. In his monologue, he states: "I didn't do it for you, mages! I didn't do it for the conclave! I didn't do it for my brother! I had one more debt to pay in my lifetime. Now I have discharged it." It has been revealed by Margaret Weis that this "last debt" was to magic itself.
Raistlin's spirit also assisted the gods to find Krynn at the conclusion of the War of Souls, after Takhisis who was claiming to be the "One God" stole Krynn and transported it to another part of the galaxy. His soul is still lingering because he refuses to go on unless it is with his brother Caramon. He was able to locate Krynn because he could sense Tasslehoff Burrfoot using the device of time journeying. Then, with his brother Caramon and the Heroes of the Lance, Raistlin finally joined the River of Souls, and disappeared for the final time.
A legend of Raistlin that sprung up after the events in Test of the Twins was the story of "Raistlin's Daughter", which tells of Raistlin having a daughter with an Irda. Caramon himself denied the story, though if the story was true, he would have no memory of the event. During the Chaos War, Usha Majere, a human girl reared by the Irda was introduced, and she suspected that she was Raistlin's daughter. However, when Raistlin encountered her, he denied it, stating that Usha was born of two human parents and was certainly no daughter of his. He also asserted that no magic in the world could steal the knowledge of having been loved.
- The Soulforge, paperback edition, 2000, page 388
- The Soulforge, paperback edition, 2000, page 396
- Dragons of Spring Dawning, paperback (2000), page 45 (as Raistlin is getting ready to leave the group to their deaths and escapes, he orders Caramon to tell Tanis what had happened) "Caramon blanched. 'The Towers of High Sorcery...' he faltered. 'But we are forbidden to speak of it! Par-Salian said-"
- Cogburn, Jon; Silcox, Mark (2012). Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy: Raiding the Temple of Wisdom. p. 169. ISBN 978-0812697964. Text " publisher-Open Court Publishing " ignored (help)
- Cite error: The named reference
LZWwas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
- "Brilliance Audio". February 1, 2010. Retrieved September 21, 2012. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
- Bhatt, Shivam (2009-07-18). "Table Talk- Blowing away the dust with a book review". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "NY Times - Test of the Twins Query". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
- Wolf 2010, p. 28.
- Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2000). Time of the Twins: Legends vol. I. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1804-7.
- Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2000). War of the Twins: Legends vol. II. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1805-5.
- Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2000). Test of the Twins: Legends vol. III. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1806-3.
- Weis, Margaret (2007) . The Legacy. Tracy Hickman (1st ed.). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2694-5.
- "Short Story, "The Legacy"". Retrieved 2006-10-30.