Lotrace is a Fourteen year old girl whose whole village is slaughtered by strange soldiers. Unbeknownst to anyone they were sent by the evil Duke to wipe out the coastal villages in that area. She finds herself in the forest lost alone and frightened. She spends a night with an old mage who is dying and while Lotrace is asleep the old woman transfers her powers to her. They are too strong and Lotrace wakes up ill. She worsens and goes into a coma and is found by five orphan boys, led by Flip who take her to their cave and care for her. And more importantly they hide her.
When she doesn’t wake up they send for Loanni an old medicine woman. As soon as the old crone sees her she realises she is under the influence of glamour. Evil is amassing outside the cave and Loanni knows they are there either to help the girl or harm her.
When Lotrace wakens she remembers that she has an uncle so accompanied by flip, and dressed as a boy she calls herself Tom and works her passage on a ship. When they find Lotrace’s uncle he takes her to Marldorf who instructs her. She finds the mages staff in her coat pocket which increases her powers. She becomes Theressa of the Lake Endeann, Mage
They find out that the evil is coming from a very evil wizard Prince called Rudall. They must go to the east and drive this evil ruler back and destroy him. The crooked Duke has been dealing with Rudall and that is why he has returned. Lotrace has learned that the duke was responsible for the deaths in her village and that he has found out about her and wants her dead.
Theressa embarks on a journey which will prove to be a test of her courage and her powers and her love.
Gorben to was troubled by the presence of evil which seemed to be gathering in the dusk. He hoped the girl would get better soon and maybe she’d be on her way and take it with her. Oh this won’t do he chided himself on his lack of compassion. Whole families, hell whole villages had been wiped out round about lately. There was every chance this girl was all alone in the world.
He looked up and saw Flip standing just inside the doorway looking out as if he was not game to go out there. Gorben stood up and walked over to him ‘do you feel it to?’
Flip turned slowly to look at his longtime friend ‘yes’ his voice no more than a whisper. He looked back toward the door ‘there is something evil afoot here. I wish she’d wake up, maybe she can help. I am glad that we have the old mage on our side though. Did you notice how nervy she was?’
Gorben nodded his head and went back to the fire to make it burn a little brighter. As bright as he could for it was a cold night anyway.
Later that night after the boys had eaten and got as much of the medicine down the girls throat as they could they settled down around the fire as they always did to talk.
Spider got hooter ready for bed, they always put three vests on him for bed followed by fleecy pyjamas and they rubbed a concoction on his chest that they’d got from the old crone. Hooter never seemed to get better much but he got no worse and for that the boys were grateful.
They sat silently looking into the fire listening to the crackle and the gentle hiss of the kettle each boy deep in his own thoughts. When the ear splitting scream suddenly shattered the silence each of them jumped to his feet. It seemed to come from the girl but she was still asleep and hadn’t moved it seemed. Flip signalled the others to stay put while he went and checked the girl after which he straightened up and shrugged his shoulders. The boys trembled in fear as the evil seemed to seep into the cave with a suffocating effect.
Hooter began to cry a low mournful cry. Basher strode over to the door of the cave and looked out, the boys all watched him go as if they were in a trance. Daniel snapped out of it first and said ‘I think we should stand watch tonight. I will take the first watch and maybe Gorben the next and then spider and Basher. You should get some sleep Flip, you may be busy tomorrow.’
‘That is an excellent idea not that there’s anything to be afraid……..’
Another ear slitting scream and this time when they turned around the girl was sitting up her eyes wide as if in terror. Hooter put his hand over his mouth; he’d screamed to and was trying to make himself stop.
They all rushed to the bed, all speaking at once. ‘Where am I’ the girl asked.
‘It’s quite alright you are safe now with us. You have been asleep for days.’ Said Flip
‘Would you like some broth? Here drink this, you must drink you have a fever,’ Gorben put a mug to the girls mouth and she gulped the liquid noisily until it was all gone.
She looked around at them all in turn and then around the room. ‘Is this a cave?’
‘Yes’ Flip said with a smile. She smiled weakly back at him and surveyed each of the boys in turn. Gorben came back with some broth and she drank that to. Then she sank back down and was fast asleep but this time she was just sleeping. The boys forgot their fears but they still decided to keep watch.
The fire burned brightly in the doorway and they knew that no wild animals would come in though they were quite sure it wasn’t wild animals they were worried about. However they were much eased by the girl waking up like that and they each realized how tired he was. Relieved but tired.
The boys went to get into their beds Flip on the floor with some rugs under him and coats on top.
A storm had blown up out of nowhere and thunder rumbled up and down the mountains at the back of them. Lightning bolts lit up the cave and the wind blew noisily passed.
The boys slept fitfully in their beds. They could hear voices on the wind, voices moaning, keening and building to a wail. Screaming terrible screams and then awful maniacal laughter. Hooter pulled his rugs up over his head.
The Power of the Mage’s Staff is the story of a young orphaned girl as she struggles to survive after she has been left alone, homeless and very afraid. She is also wanted by a very powerful and evil duke who thinks she may have witnessed his soldiers as they massacred a whole village, her village.
Five boys, also orphans, find her unconscious and very ill. Guessing where she may be from they take her to their cave and hide her. Lotrace lingers in a deep sleep for some time so the boys enlist the aid of an old medicine woman to help her.
Eventually Lotrace wakens and begins an epic journey to find her uncle and save the land from the clutches of an evil prince. Along the way she must deal with her new powers as a very powerful Mage as she becomes Theressa of the Lake Endeann, Mage.
About the Author
Rosanna Mary Hoppo 2011
Born Rosanna Mary Seaton in Pemberton WA. The daughter of a rabbit trapper (returned war hero) she grew up travelling all over Australia. She was educated to high school standard doing correspondence (school of the air). Along with her sister Judith Seaton was taught by their mother Maida.
At age fourteen she was sent to boarding school in Broken Hill and left school at end of year twelve. Growing up in the great Australian outback her parents’ based themselves out of Tibooburra and this she adopted as her home town. She married in South Australia and all her children were born in that state. Rosanna went on to become a tdriver until she could no longer do it and thebecame a security guard and worked up on the Olympic Dam mine. She started writing in her late forties.