The town meeting came to an abrupt end.
As the townsfolk filed out Drat wondered what it was he had just agreed to.
Once agreement had been reached it was a full on exodus from the meeting hall less he have any opportunity to change his mind.
It was true that last week on his eighteenth birthday he had been ‘blessed’ with his magical power. It was also true that of all the people in the town he was the one best equipped to deal with the looming disaster about to overtake them.
His immediate issue was not knowing the full extent of his power. Much of his upcoming quest would be trial and error.
That night he went home and told his parents of the mission that had been bestowed upon him. His father Drot had been a powerful magician in his day and like so many in the land of Da&at his power waned as he aged until at the age of sixty his power had all but gone. He was pleased to see his son inherit his power and had taught Drat over the years the responsibility he would have on his eighteenth birthday.
His mother Drut had looked on sorrowfully at the news that her son would be going away on such a dangerous mission but she knew that this was to be his destiny.
The following morning Drat proceeded through the streets of Da&at nervous but strengthened by the support of the townsfolk who lined the street to wish him well.
Drat’s foe was the evil and powerful wizard Arswype.
Arswype was once a wizard but was now a wizard gone bad.
He had gathered around him a band of like-minded evil sorcerers who ravaged the countryside to achieve their evil goals, which amounted to one thing, domination of the Da&at.
The evil wizards had the power Drat knew to subjugate the entire community. Slowly and subtly they infiltrated the outlaying communities bring each one under their maleficent spell.
If they were not stopped all life, as Drat knew it would cease and the community would become one of mindless drones doing the bidding of the wizards.
As part of his eighteenth birthday Drat had been presented with his wizard’s wand, a small pencil sized stick, which he was told, would grow a centimetre for each year in which he lived and worked successfully as a wizard. The wand would only grow from good magic.
This was something Drat had over Arswype and his evil cronies; their wands had shrunk with their practice of more and more evil to the point where they relied on spells and potions to carry out their magic.
He had had a crash course in wand manoeuvres in the days before setting out and as he walked along he waved it about practicing his waves and thrusts on the hapless forest creatures. He wasn’t sure how to change back the purple rabbits he created nor what to do about the bewildered princes he left sitting at the edge of the pond.
A little after midday Drat came across the first of many obstacles he was to encounter. A small hut sat in the middle of his path. His path led to a door on which was a silver knocker. He rapped the knocker and the door opened revealing a cavernous room.
Opposite him sat the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. As their eyes met he felt an incredible attraction and was immediately drawn to her.
As he drew closer she stood and dropped here clothing displaying her alluring body. She beckoned him closer and he could feel all sense of where and who he was slipping away.
As he stepped nearer he could feel himself floating his eyes totally focused on the woman. He was within a metre of her when he crashed to the ground. Looking up to where once the beautiful woman had sat was an old crone. She looked at him and told him he would have to rise above such temptations if he was to engage with the bad wizards. She told him they would tempt him in ways he had never considered and would have to keep his wits about him.
She gave him a potion, one to make him impervious to temptation. A focusing potion she called it. But above all she said for him to be true to himself.
Leaving the hut he continued on his journey. Looking back he noticed the hut had vanished.
On the fourth day of his journey he encountered the place he was looking for, the wizards Wand.
The Wand was where he knew he would find them gathered together in their seemingly infinite evil. Drat was an educated man and did always smile at the irony in the use of the word Wand to describe a bunch of wandless wizards.
Arswype he knew would be expecting him, as Drat was well aware the wizards had listening posts spread throughout the forest.
The wizards were of course very hospitable in welcoming Drat, they too being aware of the power he was capable of.
They had prepared a welcoming dinner and were happy to lull Drat into a sense of complacency before enacting their own terrible plan to take his wand and use it to their own advantage before it shrunk away from them.
What they didn’t know was the potion the crone had given him.
All pretence at cordiality was met with Drat’s scepticism and by the evening’s end the wizards were afraid for their own safety as they saw Drat slowly gathering in confidence.
Arswype made a demand. Drat’s wand for his safe return to Da&at. Drat merely smiled at the proposal.
Raising his wand he wiped out the bunch of leering wizards to his right.
Arswype sat back in horror; this new wizard truly did have great power. It was time he thought to enact plan B. Escape.
He threw up a cloud of dust blinding all around him but not before Drat hit him with thunderbolt from his wand.
The blot send him spinning into the air before he crashed to the ground.
Standing over the defeated Arswype he gave him one last word of advice, that he would never again threaten nor terrorise the land because Drat had the power to strip him completely of all power, to leave him penniless and a pauper to wander the land as a beggar.
A terrible flash a searing pain hit Arswype as all his magic, acquired over time was extracted from him, his mind emptied of all spells and potions, his clothing reduced to that of a tramp.
Drat cast out the now humbled wizard and turned to the remaining wizards who sat trembling in fear.
Casting his wand over them all he removed them of all and any magic they once possessed. But he spared them a life of wandering penury.
Looking down on their cowering selves he told them they would become his servants, never again to perform any magic but grateful to be alive and serve not only Drat but the people of Da&at.
On his return to Da&at Drat promised the townspeople a new period of peace and prosperity, introducing his now de-frocked wizards as a new servant class within the community. They were immediately put to work cleaning out the town’s cesspools.