The dark wizard had ruled too long from his tower. Now that Astrid had the staff, the counterpoint to the wizard's own, and the training from her white witch mistress, she was determined to take on the wizard herself. Astrid's mistress did not know she had taken the staff and gone out on her own. The old worrier would only have tried to stop her anyway.
Astrid's white cloak with silver trim, the outfit of a water acolyte, whipped about her legs in the growing wind. She held the clasp closer to her chest and muttered a short incantation to try and stave off the chill. The wizard was powerful and the wind was constant. The moat around his tower, diverted from Kedron Brook and magically enhanced, was impassable.
That's where the staff came in. At the edge of the moat, Astrid planted the staff in the soft earth with both hands. A faint shimmering ripple spread out across the ground and the water of the moat stood up on both sides, wobbling slightly like jelly.
Astrid forded the moat on the spongy creek bed, careful not to step on the fish in her path. The wind pulled harder at her cloak and fanned her hair out behind her like fury. She climbed the opposite bank with one hand clutching the staff tight in her near-frozen fingers. She saw the skin under her nails turning blue from the cold wind and knew she had to hurry.
The door to the tower burst outwards as Astrid reached it and the wizard stood there, bold and defiant, clutching his staff. His beard and cloak were still, the only things not caught up in the raging wind. Astrid levelled the staff at him and he sneered in response. A flick of his wrist sent a strong gust of wind at Astrid and her staff, but she stood firm. After a moment of confusion, the wizard finally saw that Astrid held the fording staff, Stafford, the water elemental weapon whose power matched his own. His eyes grew suddenly wide.
Astrid gave her staff a twist and the wizard froze in place. With a mighty effort he tried to bring his own staff around to counter her power, but by then it was far too late. The battle was decided already. Astrid gave the staff another twist and swept it low. The wind died abruptly and the old wizard crumbled to dust.
Mokalus of Borg
PS - Next week: Stafford Heights.
PPS - I'm having some fun with these.