Secrets of the W.A.N.D.

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From the Journal of Agabus Duchaine, Senior Warlock for the Department of Magical Enforcement:

‘I was there fifteen years ago, when he arrived. They called him the Mythmage, because they couldn’t believe he was real, though no one could deny he was a mage.

I called him dickwad. Because he was a dickwad.

Had it been only him that we had to deal with, our hands would’ve been full; he knows magic we poor saps have never heard of. He’s done things that make the Mirrorman look like a novice trying to enter the Dreaming.

But it wasn’t just the Mythmage we had to deal with. He created portals–like the one that let in the Old One all those years ago. Only his portals summoned more than one being. Dozens of species of fantastic beasts entered our world when that alien dickwad opened his doorways.

So suddenly we had thousands of creatures terrorizing wizardkind.

The best defense against a shaga is to run the other way

We set the mages (and hundreds of Mesmerized buffers) to work building a wall around the entire Adirondack Preserve. Buffers built it two feet thick, ten feet high, and the mages placed wards on it.

This at least managed to keep the monsters inside our territory, away from the world of buffers.

Meanwhile, we (warlocks) spent day and night hunting and slaughtering beasts. I swear to Montfort, blood seeped into my skin in those long foul days.

Some of these ‘Mythics’ were easy enough to kill. A few, like the gnomes, were harmless–good even. Gnomes are the best gardeners. But others were hard kills.

Shaga’s, big burly beasts with iron-hard shells and a furnace for a heart, don’t go down easy. Even if you manage to stab them with a talismanic stang, their innards might just melt your weapon!

The trolls . . . I’ve impaled my share of these hideous buggers, but they reproduce quickly (don’t ask me how, I try not to think about it). And though they are, on the whole, pretty thick, they’re led by a king, who is larger, stronger, and far smarter than regular soldier trolls. Once we realized they turn to stone (and turn back once the sun goes down), I saw a way to exploit their weakness, and struck a deal with their king, Aggerwan.

But that was the easy part, compared to dealing with wraiths. These things terrify even me. I once watched one attack a fellow warlock.

I still have nightmares of that black night. And the worst part is, I never know if the next wraith I see will be the transformed shade of my old partner, changed into a shadowy, soulless afterimage of the poor twisted warlock.

Wraiths don’t kill you; they change you into one of them

A few years into the Mythic War, those of us who survived gathered inside the DME to discuss our endgame.

There were a lot of empty chairs that day.

We knew this couldn’t go on; the mythic population was increasing faster than we could kill them. Our arsenal–magical and tempered steel alike–was just not cutting it.

So one of us, no one can remember who it was (I suspect it was me), suggested we needed an ultimate weapon, something no one had ever seen: A wand. A Wizarding-Anti-Nemesis-Device. A device which could harness the chi of its user and instantly focus it into a stream of pure lethal energy.

After an initial bout of nervous laughter, we all agreed it was our only hope.

Thus was born, out of desperation, the W.A.N.D. Project. We spent years trying to create a functioning wand–to no avail. There are just too many variables.

This is why I suggested to the Grand Vizier that we bring in fresh help, in the form of the young wizard crafted by buffer scientists: Nick Hammond.

They scoffed at my suggestion, but young Nick is the first of his kind. We need the first wand. And with the Mirrorman having recently escaped, the mythics growing more dangerous every day, and the Mythmage dickwad still on the loose somewhere, times have grown desperate indeed.

I believe Nick Hammond is the answer, even if he is as troubled and dangerous as they say . . .

Nick holds the future of wizardkind in his hands. Let us hope he makes the right choice