Daslin is a fire mage living in a school on the Mountain, where he tries to stay out of trouble, not an easy task as Daslin not only is accident prone, but can’t always control the fires he creates. The masters despair of him ever getting total control, and he has been forbidden to leave the draughty hallways and labs of the school.
His new roommate, Avan, is unlike anyone Daslin has ever met. Avan comes from the plains where he can go naked and commune with the elements without impediment. He doesn’t like the Mountain, where he’s been sent to learn to use his powers more efficiently; at least that’s the excuse the elders give him. Avan suspects they just want him out of the way.
Avan is as delighted with his new roommate as Daslin is bemused by him. Can they get up to more than just mischief?
Daslin bounced restlessly on the end of his bed, watching the sun move behind the clouds. His hands moved, flowed in random patterns, slowly gathering energy from the air.
A new roommate.
Another new roommate.
Daslin sighed. He'd had these rooms for almost nine years. He loved them, cared for them. Before, he’d been in the dormitory for ten years. Here he had a window. His own bed. Twenty-seven roommates. Some of them were still his friends. Some of them had walked out on their own feet. Some of them had been coherent.
Some of them were still here in the Mountain.
The air between his palms flared onto blazing globes which he slowly began to juggle. He almost laughed, delighted, as he played.
The sound of footsteps approaching made him drop his hands, the globes disappearing before they hit the ground.
A cursory knock sounded before the door opened to admit Proctor Balins.
"Ah... Daslin, good. I was hoping you'd be here to greet Avan." The old man turned to the youth behind him. "Come on in, this is your room."
The boy was slender but sturdy, wearing plain breeches and tunic, feet bare. His hair was bound in a single braid, running the length of his back, and he carried a simple, small traveling pack, which he flung toward the second bed.
He grinned easily at Daslin as the Proctor made the introductions. "Daslin, this is Avan. Avan, your roommate Daslin." The old man scuttled out of the room quickly as soon as the introductions were made.
Daslin stood, holding out his hand. "Traveling light, eh? I'm Das. Nice to meet you. They told me you're new. You need anything, just let me know."
Avan shook his hand. "Avan. Good to meet you."
Avan dropped Daslin's hand and took off his tunic with a fluid movement, tossing the shirt onto his pack with careless accuracy. His hands dropped to his breeches when he caught Daslin's eye again. "Clothes aren't my thing. Hope that's not going to be a problem for you." Before Daslin could say anything, Avan had pushed the material off his hips and was stepping out of the pants.
"Oh." Das backed up, moving toward the window, hand moving to rub his head. The hair was beginning to come in, the almost white stubble just becoming long enough to catch the light. "To each his own. They won't let you wander the halls that way, but it's your room, right?" Naked. His new roommate was naked. He'd been here for less than twenty breaths, and he was naked.