It would have been easy to mistake them for three old men standing in a field of snow. In some ways you would have been right. Between the three of them they had lived over one thousand years and though they had never counted their ages it was often accepted that the Wise was the oldest.
Each of them stood a staff’s distance away from one another. Their banners planted at the edges of the field bore their totems. The banner of the Wise showed an owl in flight, the White’s bore an eagle, the Headmaster’s held a phoenix. Why were they all birds in flight? If you asked any of them they would tell you some version of, “the mind must take flight to achieve its greatest purpose.” In reality, they just liked the birds and it could have easily been an eye, a pentagram, or some luggage as it was with other wizards.
“The rules are set,” said the Headmaster.
“As they have always been,” said the Wise.
“Since we were boys,” said the White.
“Then I suppose,” said the Headmaster, “we should begin.”
The other two flew backwards as a geyser of snow burst from the ground. The Wise reached out and with a quick motion moved a mound of snow to break his fall. The White waved his hand in a circle and the falling flakes of snow whirled around him, slowing his descent and righting him before setting him on the ground.
“Good shot,” said the White. “Let me try.” He stepped forward and pushed his hands towards the Headmaster. The snow between them began to flow and move like water. It pushed towards the Headmaster forming small ripples then waves. Then the snow rose up in a tidal wave shape and smashed towards the Headmaster.
The Headmaster reached out towards his banner and with a physical effort pulled himself to the flag and out of the crashing snow wave.
A large boulder of snow whipped past the White barely missing him. The White turned and saw the Wise standing next to a huge catapult. The Wise waved one hand and a new boulder rolled up to the catapult and loaded itself into the basket. With his other hand he was directing the snow to build itself into more war machines.
“I thought we agreed no weapons,” called the White.
“We said we could only use snow,” said the Wise. “The catapults are made of snow.”
As another boulder was about to fire a horde of snowmen armed with clubs and swords made of ice rolled into the two arguing wizards.
The Wise stepped back and motioned his hands towards the ground. Icicle spikes launched from the snow and impaled the marching snowmen.
With a twist of his wrist the Headmaster’s snow man army formed ranks and raised their shields blocking many of the icicles. Waving his other hand he made the soldiers in the back draw back on bow strings and fire a hail of frozen arrows over the soldiers in front ant the Wise.
The White slammed his hands on the ground and sent a ripple out across the field of snow. As the ripple grew from a tremor to a full earthquake the other wizards launched themselves into the air. The Wise riding an eddy of air and the Headmaster having formed platform from the snow around him and flying it upwards.
The ground below exploded into a giant ice golem. The beast stood sixty feet high. It roared so loud it shook snow and ice off nearby trees. The creature turned towards the Wise and lurched forward. The White moved with the beast; each step one took so did the other.
Wise dropped to the ground and raised his hands as if pulling up on a garage door. The ground exploded and a giant wall of snow rose to the sky. “You shall not pass,” called the Wise.
“Very funny,” yelled the White.
The great beast raised its hands and brought them down on the wall. It held, but only just.
The Headmaster held out his hand and his wand, left to the side at the beginning of the battle, rose to him. Holding it like a conductor’s wand he pulled the moisture from the air and whipped it into a mass of shapes. At first it was a small and flighty like a swarm of bees. As the spell went on the shapes grew to the size of hail, then golf balls, and finally snowballs. The giant swarm of snowballs hurtled towards the other two wizards.
The giant golem waved its arm to knock back the vicious assault and tore a swath through the giant mass. The Wise whistled and caused the wall shift around to block the assault.
As the three mighty spells slammed into one another the mountains shook, the sky brightened, and the clouds parted. The golems arm shattered, the snowballs exploded into fluff, and the wall detonated. The three wizards were cast to the ground. Each using some measure of their abilities to cushion their falls.
They lay there.
After a long moment a voice was heard. “That was an excellent snow fight,” said the Wise.
“I agree,” said the Headmaster.
“Shall we go for coco and a bit of pipe weed,” asked the White.
“Yes,” said the Headmaster.
“That would be nice,” said the Wise.
All three men stood and with waves of their hands their banners packed themselves in small bundles and floated to the owning wizard.
Their afternoon of play finished, the three wizards went to have a nice rest before a blazing fire.
Wizards in Winter