On one end of the field stands the Master of Past and Present. He leans casually on a staff of dark polished wood with a gold dragon’s claw clutching a glittering stone. Robes of the blackest night drape off his thin frame sweeping the floor of the arena. His gold skin glistens in the days failing light and his piercing hourglass eyes stare unblinking across the field at his opponent.
On the opposite end of the field standing slightly bent is Gandalf the Grey. The elderly wizard puffs on a long thin pipe. Figments of smoke swirl and dance above his bent and battered grey pointed hat. He leans on a worn and gnarled wooden staff. In a thick belt fastened around his grey robes is Glamdring, an ancient sword that glows with a soft light. His bushy eyebrows squeeze together in concentration as he peers inquisitively at his opponent.
The seats around the arena are filled with thousands of spectators from two different worlds. The crowds murmur in anticipation as the adversaries size each other up.
Let’s get some reactions and predictions from the crowd.
Tasslehoff Burrfoot: "Isn’t this exciting! Raistlin is sure to win! Once I saw him use his magic to stop a red dragon once. Well it wasn’t really a red dragon is was a lizard, but it was a big lizard. He told me that the lizard was the last kender that touched his spell books. You know I thought I saw a spark of curiosity in that lizard’s eye. I did touch his books, once, but don’t tell him. I was disappointed to find out that they didn’t feel any different than regular books. I bet he’ll woosh that other guy…. Hey wait a minute! It’s Fizban! Raist is fighting Fizban! You Whoo Fizban!"
Frodo Baggins: "Well sir, I don’t know much about Mr. Raistlin, sir, but I have spent a good deal of time with Mr. Gandalf, sir, and he is once of the mightiest wizards in Middle Earth, sir. The other gentleman in the black, is wicked looking I must admit. He reminds me of the Ring Wraiths. *shudders* But I’ve seen Mr. Gandalf battle terrible monsters and come out alive. I have every faith Mr. Gandalf will come out the winner, sir."
Aragorn: "Gandalf the Grey is unstoppable. A greater wizard has never lived. This should be a relatively short battle. At least I hope so Arwen is waiting back at the castle for me.”
Tanis Half-elven: "I have seen Raistlin evolve from a sickly child to one of most powerful mages in the history of Krynn. But do I want him to win? Well on the one hand he always wins it would be nice to knock him down a peg. On the other hand he is representing the world of Krynn. Yet on the other hand he has done some terrible things in his time, but everyone needs a chance at redemption. Oh this is so confusing… I just can’t choose."
Flint: "Never have liked Raistlin. The boy has never treated his brother right. He needs a good poundin’ and I’m looking forward to him gettin’ one!"
Gimli: "Aye! That dark mage’ll be getting’ a whopper of a beatin’ taday. Ya can be assured a that!"
Lord Soth: "Raistlin is the most powerful mage that ever lived. I’ve got 200 steel riding on him. If the bastard dies he’ll have to speak to me."
Ring Wraith: "SKreeeeeeeeeeech! Skreeeeeeeeeeeeeech! Waiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiillllllll! Moooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaan! Skreeeeeeeeech!"
Legolas: "In all my life I have yet to find a mage as powerful as Gandalf. He is as long lived and wise as any elf, and more wise in the ways of magic than any wizard. Why I think it is safe to say that 'he is to magic as I am to archery', if you will."
Gilthanas: "For my life I searched for that one true love. But I knew it was doomed to fail. She was a dragon, I was an elf. What could we possibly ever have in common. Huh? What? What fight? I’m pouring out my soul here man!"
Bupu: "Oh my precious Raistlin! My pretty friend. I hope he do good. I help him. I give him rat magic. Nothing better than rat magic for my precious thing."
Golem: "Golem, Golem. My preeeeecious! Where is my precious! I will find it, hmmm yes I will. Nothing will stop me from finding my precious ring."
Ok, there you have it. Looks like its a toss up. Now it’s time for you to decide.