Old coasted through a dark void of mist. Frosty tendrils of fog grasped and prodded at him with slimy indifference. Old tried to sense for signs of life. Standing tall with his head held high, he poised the Wand of Time in front of him, as if ready to strike or block. The Wand of Time glowed in tune with his every thought. Pivoting on the balls of his three-toed feet, Old strained to see through the gloom. The mist offered no sound.
With hardly visible shifts, the mists began to change. Grimacing, Old sniffed the air then wrenched his eye-patch down so he could see with both eyes. A breeze flickered. He tensed. Soon the breeze became brisk slaps of wind that struck at his body and face. The currents became faster and faster, until a whirlwind spun around him.
Old waited, unmoving, with the Wand of Time held ready.
The first attack came from behind, of course, but he countered it with one swift, skilful block. Honey-coloured and white wand met. The boom of their contact cracked the silence as the whirlwind raged in fury. Old stood, right foot forward and left foot back, patience written on the blank slate of his face.
The whirlwind spent itself and died. Silence flooded the greasy mists and then the fog parted, like dull grey blankets.
Taller, much taller and almost majestic, except for his obvious corruption, the Sorcerer of Great Contempt faced Old, holding the white wand high. The First Ones cautiously circled each other in a perfect balance of opposites.
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