Drum Billet was a wizard at Unseen University and like all wizards knew his end was coming. Hearing of the prophesy of an eigth son of an eighth son being born in the village of Bad Ass in the Ramtops, he journeys there to pass on his powers and his staff, leaving his staff for the new baby being born at Gordo Smith's smithy to his wife. Smiths are a particularly magic profession, working with fire and iron so he is not surprised that a powerful wizard would be born to Gordo. What he doesn't realize is that Gordo's newborn baby is not an eighth son, but an eighth child - a daughter. He thus unwittingly makes Eskarina Smith the first wizard woman (which caused problems in the sexist wizarding community). After Billet dies, he speaks to Death, learning of the amount of time it takes to be able to reincarnate into a human. He is reincarnated as an apple tree in the Smith's backyard, where he can watch over Eskarina as she grows. The tree produces Green Billets, apples famed for being almost impossible to eat, but ideal for making scumble. After his life as a tree, he is reincarnated as an ant, coincidentally, in Unseen University, slowly making his way back to human and perhaps wizard form..