There was a tremendous ruckus coming from the log home of one Azadarin Domaray, the village Wizard who was trying with all of his investigative abilities to find a book that he so desperately needed to make things right in his world. He was turning everything over and throwing all sorts of things around his home like pots and pans, glasses and cutlery, plates and food making a terrible noise to anyone who was close by listening. The only things listening were the wild life that inhabited The Scarlant Forest and with every expulsion of something being broken they all lifted their ears, noses, snouts and heads to figure out what was going on and if they should all duck for cover. Wizards in times previous were highly unstable and now most of the wild life ran for cover...just in case.
“Nibbles...have you seen my notebook on Wizard Spells for beginners in your travels...I really need to find it? ” asked Azadarin to his pet house Bat.
Now Nibbles was usually pretty helpful with things that went missing but this time she could care less about a silly little notebook and just watched as the mess inside her favourite home started to accumulate at a rapid rate beneath her from her position in the rafters in the roof.
“NIBBLES ....HAVE YOU SEEN MY NOTEBOOK !!?” yelled Azadarin now becoming quite frantic is his explorations.
“Nope...can’t say I have Aza” replied Nibbles trying desperately not to laugh at how much damage Azadarin had already caused in trying to find this one tiny missing notebook.
“NIBBLES...you are as helpful as gloves for a snake and as useful as a chocolate teapot...you know that don’t you?” said Azadarin sternly at his friend of many years as she just hung there, upside down, now she closed her wings around her body so she seemed as though she was invisible and started to chuckle as quietly as she possibly could without making eye contact with her friend.
“....I mean to say Nibbles...I really need this book and you are doing nothing to help me find it...did you know that there is a tree in the forest that is making oxygen just for you....did you?...I think you owe that tree an apology” and even more things were hurled around the home and broken against the floor.
Nibbles just giggled from inside her winged cocoon hanging upside down from the rafters in the roof while her beloved friend tore his home apart. She knew where it was and it was staring at him plain as daylight. She also knew that once he found it he could change everything that was broken and thrown around back to exactly how it was before he started rummaging around to find this notebook so the whole exercise was to her, seeing how far he would go before Azadarin lost his mind totally.
She didn’t have to wait long.
“FIZZLE AND NISH... I only had the dang book 12 years ago now it has just up and vanished on me” blurted Azadarin slumping back into his favourite chair looking at the carnage he had done to his home all around him and just for a second he heard a small amount of muffled laughter coming from the direction of the roof.
He looked up and toward the direction from where the sounds were coming from and took out his wand and aimed it at Nibbles. Instantly a small cumulonimbus cloud engulfed Nibbles and she was now completely in the middle of a thunder storm that encircled her body with unrelenting rain, thunder and the occasional flash of lightning. Then he heard her voice and it didn’t sound happy.
“That my friend is completely unfair of you to do that...” said Nibbles now thoroughly soaked to the bone but still giggling away while the mini storm raged around her.
“Well...if you are not going to help...and you are going to laugh at me you can suffer right along side of me as well ok?” panted Azadarin now just a little bit happier that he had made Nibbles miserable with his thunderstorm that now engulfed her. Nibbles decided to give him a hint of where this ‘lets wreck the house notebook’ was.
“Aza...when was the last time you cooked Basted Basil & Mint Vegetables then followed it with Banana Steamed Pudding?”
“Last Saturday...why do you ask?“... just as a lightning bolt flashed out of the thunderstorm now really raging on and around Nibbles in the roof rafters.
“You used a recipe book for that didn’t you?”
“Yes I did instead of making it appear with my wand”
"...and where is this recipe book now?", more thunder and rain pelted Nibbles up in the roof rafters.
“It’s near the stove Nibbles but...WHAT HAS THAT GOT TO DO WITH ANYTHING I DON’T WANT FOOD NOW... I WANT MY OLD NOTEBOOK” stormed Azadarin now ready to really do damage. The air inside the log home crackled and shook with how angry he was getting and outside all the wild life vanished from sight in the wink of a blink.
They knew what was coming.
“Check the stove” said Nibbles now shivering inside the cocoon her wings made around her.
“Look Nibbles I’d like to agree with you on the whereabouts of my book but then we would both be wrong...but if it makes you feel any better I will check the stove...again.” and he stormed off thumping his feet angrily on the log cabin floor and wading through the mess he made over to the stove.
“THERE...SEE...JUST A COOK BOOK LEANING AGAINST THE WINDOW EXACTLY WHERE I LEFT IT!!” and he pointed to the book out of frustration.
“Anything behind it?” enquired Nibbles now just a bit cold and sick of the rain, thunder and lightning going on around her.
Azadarin reached for the cookbook and looked at it then back towards the window and what did he see...his notebook! Instantly the storm around Nibbles vanished as was replaced with a warm wind as if from a tropical island and the log cabin was bought back to normal before you could say...Sludge Fudger!
He took the book back to his favourite chair which was a huge, very old, leather bat winged chair that had been in his family for the centuries. It was old and smelled funny but was ever so comfortable to sit in, fall asleep in, play chess or backgammon in or simply talk to Nibbles and share a meal with her when he was ready to eat.
“Now to get to work on setting the test” he said to Nibbles who had now spread her wings and flown down to her usual spot on the chair looking at Azadarin with questions written all over her furry little face.
“What test?” she enquired as Azardin procured some Cardamom and Cherry Fruitcake for her as his way of saying sorry for putting a thunderstorm around her and she started to eat her way through it while waiting for an answer.
“Some one needs to take over when I go Nibbles and while I am 725 years of age now I’m guessing I will have about 200 years left and that isn’t very long and my quality of life wont be as good as it now so I need to find some one to take up my position here and with you so that The Magic Guardians can live on and keep the village and people who need magic happy...do you understand old friend....and I am so sorry about the thunderstorm?”
“So what are you going to do Aza make a game up to test the villagers and make it really hard to find out if there is anyone worthy of replacing you because between you and me, I think you are irreplaceable” said Nibbles finishing the last of her Cardamom and Cherry Fruitcake and smiling at her friend with an incredible display of fangs covered with fruitcake.
“You are very kind and always have been Nibbles, and yes...I will make it a test of skill, patience and keen powers of deduction.... Nibb’s you’ve got something in your teeth” said Azadarin pointing to his mouth to make Nibbles close hers and rush to drink something to flush the residue on her fangs away. She noticed his gesture then quickly flew to her water bowl and gargled a few times then flew back to Azadarins side.
“Better now?” she smiled, fangs all clear of unwanted remains.
“Much better” said Azadarin flicking through his notebook and making new notes on a piece of paper floating in front of him with a pen he didn’t have to hold.
Magic was good that way and for all intensive purposes Azadarin hadn’t used his dark arts at all for centuries because there wasn’t any need for it. All the dragons were gone, the nasty Wizards had died or were put to death by surrounding villagers so there had been a really peaceful existence in his area of the world for ages...and that was just how he wanted to keep it. So it was a task now to find a replacement to keep the peace, train them up in his magical skills and be a friend to Nibbles because she was sure to out live him.
Many years ago a wizard in The Magic Guardians found Nibbles half dead in the forest and put a spell of eternal life on her to save her from immanent death. She never aged, she was always pleasant and good company, PLUS, the spell she was given to save her also gave her the gift to talk as well as any human could but still retain her wild bat like capabilities at the same time.
Azadarin was deeply fond of her and they had shared many adventures in the past together travelling to different ares of the forest and meeting a variety of delightful creatures and humans along the way. Now Nibbles just watched as her friend made up a test to rank the skills of the villagers and marvelled at his precise details matched with intelligent thought provoking tasks that were sure to help him locate a successor to The Magic Guardians legacy.
Nibbles rested up against Azadarin and being warm against his body after such a rude and cold thunderstorm being wrapped around her...she fell asleep tucked up near his arm. When she awoke from her slumber several pages of notes were hovering around both of them in the chair in the air with ostrich feather pen’s writing down more notes while Azadarin slept as well.
This was going to be a good test of skill and courage and not for the faint of heart by any stretch of the imagination. Nibbles closed her eyes again and fell back to sleep, cozy and warm next to her friend. The pens kept writing all night and both Nibbles and Azadarin dreamed peacefully on until morning the next day. The test to find the next Wizard was about to start in earnest but who was going to be good enough to fill Azadarin’s shoes...all was about to be revealed...as soon as they had breakfast and their morning walk?.
You just cannot rush things that are important.