The sky boomed and crackled with electricity as storm clouds rolled unnaturally in from the north and south, converging in the skies above the ancient battle grounds that had not been used in more than a century. Not since the last of the old wars had been fought.
Johann, the butcher's apprentice looked up from the carcass of the meanderbeast he was carving up to see the streaks of lightning shoot up from over the horizon; up from the grounds below, not down from the clouds above.
He wiped his bloodied hands upon his apron and ventured into the village's main street where his master's shop was prominently located.
From behind he heard the stomping of feet fast approaching as he looked toward the old battle grounds.
Turning just in time to jump back out of the way of the rushing crowds of villagers, running like mad toward the east end of the village; towards the commotions erupting there.
Johann caught sight of his friend Verner and yelled to him through the throng of people stampeding passed.
"Verner! What is all this about!?" He shouted as his friend approached.
Not slowing, Verner only waved for Johann to join them, shouting as he pointed east excitedly, "It's a battle!"
Not needing any more of an explanation, Johann threw off his apron and dashed to catch up with his friend as the growing crowd sped toward where columns of fire and smoke gushed up from behind the hills that hid the old wizard battle arena.
Clambering up the west slope of the grassy mound, the crowd spread out and came to a halt to stand in a line at the top of the hill, watching in awe at what was happening below.
Two cloaked figures stood at either end of the large field that was surrounded by the oval shape of the hill that been build up around it to create the natural arena in days long ago.
Smouldering craters and charred blast marks marred the field between the two long-bearded wizards as they both breathed heavily from the exertion of the many attacks they had already reined upon one another.
As the crowd gathered all along the top of the border hill, the wizards never took their eyes off one another, each lanky man of middling years squinting warily at their opponent, strategizing their next spell.
The wizard in his grey cloak, covered in dirt and soot, wiggled his fingers in readiness as the black cloaked wizard flex his fingers open and close, neither one blinking or making any other move to indicate what they might do next.
Suddenly, the wizard in black flung his arms forward as his hands glowed orange and shot forth a giant ball of flame that sped toward the wizard in grey. At the same moment, the grey shot a hand to the sky and bolts of lightning sparked from his finger tips, not towards his opponent, but to the clouds above.
Moving in a blink of an eye, the lightning bounced off the dark clouds and rebounded down to where the wizard in black stood. Before the man could react, hitting him directly in the chest.
Meanwhile, the grey cloaked wizard was able to safely jump out of the way of the ball of flame that flew passed him and exploded into the side of the far hill wall, knocking the spectators that stood watching flying in every direction.
As the smoke cleared from each of the explosions, the grey wizard could be seen hovering above the scorched field over to where his fallen rival lay prone, struggling to breath.
Glowing green orbs appeared in the approaching wizard's hands as he came to a landing a few paces from the black-clad wizard, who lifted a shaky arm in an effort to shield himself ineffectually.
Raising his hands to deal the final blow, the grey wizard looked down upon his fallen foe with contempt as the crowd watched with bated breath.
With his arm still weakly outstretched, the black wizard muttered an incantation barely above a whisper, but with a subtle circular motion of his badly burnt hand, a magical gate way opened in the space directly behind the grey and from out of it pour forth a horde of bearded wizards; all of them wearing the same long black robes as the one laying beaten on the battle field.
Hundreds of them streamed out of the portal and soon the grey wizard was surrounded by identical black cloaked wizards; hurriedly he created a domed shielding around himself.
Once the green glowing shield was in place, he quickly did a similar motion with his hand as his opponent, only directed at the air above where the black wizard lay.
From out of his portal, fell an army of his own duplicates, landing and spreading out to surround the wild-eyed black wizards.
For a moment both sides stood ready to attack at the slightest moment of the others.
Finally making it back up to his feet, the injured stood, his shoulders heaving as he seemed to be building his strength up by sheer will. Then, with a wild, unhinged scream, he cried, "Wizard Fight!"
Both the wizards and the crowd yelled and howled, and the real battle began.