The story began about five years before Empath's final return from Psychelia, when the evil wizard known as Gargamel first settled in the Smurf Forest. On the day that he moved into the rundown hovel that was left by his father with the promise that it had a very special book that could help him whenever he needed it, he saw a flock of cranes flying over him that made him wonder where they could all be going. He then just dismissed the thought altogether, telling his cat Azrael that they have more important matters to deal with. Primarily, Gargamel wanted to be the first wizard who could assemble the legendary Philosopher's Stone, which would grant him the power to change base metals into gold, something that would make him rich as well as the envy of every wizard that ever thought that Gargamel would never amount to much in his profession. No sooner did Gargamel get settled in did he start reading from one of his spellbooks.
"Here it is...the Philosopher's Stone," he read aloud to his cat. "Hmmm...when the Sun is in Aries and the Moon in Taurus, you must grind mandrake roots and soak them in a solution of serpent venom. Salt, sulfur...not the vulgar type, but the philosophic...will be added, as well as mercury, which is purified as it is indicated here. When the first rays of the sun heats this liquid, we will take it to a boil over a fire of oak coals. At that time, there will dissolve a little Smurf..." He pondered at the last three words he read. "A Smurf? What in the devil's name is a Smurf?"
His cat Azrael meowed a response that sounded like "I don't know".
"Maybe this book about mythical creatures can help me with this problem," Gargamel said, looking through his bookshelf and pulling out the book in question to read from. "Smurf...Smurf...ah, here it is! 'Intelligent small beings, living in the land of Smurf, but sometimes found in our regions...they speak in a special language called Smurf. They are said to be very fond of a plant called sarsaparilla...Aha!" He came across an inscription that he felt he had to show to Azrael. "This engraving here shows us what a Smurf looks like." Azrael saw the picture and tried to swat at it, but Gargamel suddenly closed the book, making Azrael retract his paw. "Good! Then I, the sorcerer Gargamel, will finally achieve the creation of the Philosopher's Stone. All I need to do now is to capture one single Smurf...and if sarsaparilla is what will draw one to me, then so much the better."
Azrael watched as his master gathered some things he intended to use to capture a Smurf.
"Come along, Azrael," Gargamel said. "It's time for us to set up a trap."
Azrael reluctantly followed along as his master stepped out into the surrounding forest at night with his plan.
By morning, two Smurfs were walking in the forest. One of them was Brainy, the Smurf wearing glasses who felt it was his moral duty to share his words of wisdom to his fellow Smurfs, and the other was Nabby, a Smurf who loved eating more than he did listening to Brainy, and who also loved stealing food from his brother Greedy's kitchen when he wasn't looking.
"We're not smurfing back on this, Nabby," Brainy said as he and Nabby passed through a patch of tall grass. "If Papa Smurf wants us to smurf after nuts, then we are going to smurf that, because Papa Smurf says..."
"Papa Smurf this, Papa Smurf that...smurf, you're so annoying," Nabby said. "If Papa Smurf wanted nuts so badly, he should be smurfing them himself."
"That's the problem with you, Nabby...you have no respect for authority, most of all Papa Smurf's authority," Brainy said. "It's because of your antics with Greedy that you smurf into trouble all the time and Papa Smurf has to remind you that the food we smurf is for all Smurfs and that every Smurf must have his fair smurf and furthermore..."
"He should be scolding Greedy, because he smurfs more food than me when he smurfs in the kitchen," Nabby said, interrupting Brainy's thoughts. "I'd rather be smurfing in trouble back in the village than smurfing it out here. We only have to tell Papa Smurf that we didn't smurf any nuts ."
"No!" Brainy scolded. "We are not going to lie to Papa Smurf! We're going to smurf nuts for him and that's final!" He then turned his face away from Nabby, who then stuck out his tongue at Brainy. "And I will tell Papa Smurf about that!"
Then something along their path caught Nabby's attention. "Oh, Brainy, smurf at that sign," he said, which said SARSAPARILLA FIELD. "There must be lots and lots of sarsaparilla that we can smurf our hands on." He raced off in the direction that the sign was pointing in. "Last Smurf there is a rotten Smurf!"
"Nabby, where are you smurfing?" Brainy shouted, following after his fellow Smurfs. "Papa Smurf wants us to smurf..."
"Oh, enough about Papa Smurf!" Nabby said. "Let's smurf this place out for oursmurfs! Think of all the sarsaparilla we will smurf, just you and me."
Nabby saw another sign, saying THIS WAY, which pointed in a new direction. "You're going to smurf yourself into trouble, and you'll be sorry," Brainy said as he continued to follow along.
"Not as sorry as you'll be once we smurf there," Nabby shot back, not turning away.
Then another sign appeared in his path, saying NO, NOT THIS WAY. Nabby stopped and looked around until he saw a sign near a hole under a bush that said THIS WAY. Nabby raced toward the hole.
"Papa Smurf specifically asked us to smurf nuts, Nabby, and not..." Brainy said as he caught up with his fellow Smurf.
Then suddenly a cage door snapped shut behind Nabby as soon as he entered into the hole. "HELP! I AM SMURFED!" he shouted.
In the meantime, Gargamel was preparing some of the ingredients for the preparation of the Philosopher's Stone when a bell that was set up near his window started to ring.
"Ah, my trap worked!" he said excitedly. "I must have caught one of those Smurfs. Come, Azrael, and let's see for ourselves."
Back where the trap was set up, Brainy wagged his finger at Nabby, lecturing to his friend in his usual I-told-you-so tone. "You see, Nabby, Papa Smurf has smurfed you time and again that gluttony is a bad thing that will always be punished, and this time it has smurfed you into a trap that..."
"Oh, stop smurfing on about Papa Smurf and just help smurf me out of here!" Nabby shouted.
"Why, certainly," Brainy said a bit sheepishly. He tried to pull on the bars of the cage, but they were beyond his own strength level to break.
"I should have smurfed out here with Hefty instead of you, Brainy," Nabby said. "At least he will be able to smurf me out of..." He stopped talking as soon as he heard sounds of footsteps. "Quick, Brainy, hide yourself!"
Brainy hid himself behind the bushes as he also heard somebody approaching. He watched as what appeared to be a balding human in a ragged wizard's robe came closer to the trap.
"There's our prize," the human said, rubbing his hands together at what he saw caught in the trap. As he kneeled down to see what was in the trap, he said, "Well, what do you know? It is one of those legendary Smurfs from the book."
Azrael sniffed the Smurf that was in the trap, and found his scent to be very delicious. He was licking his chops in anticipation as Gargamel reached in and pulled the Smurf out of the trap.
"Hey, smurf go of me, you ugly smurf," Nabby shouted. "I have nothing to smurf with you!"
The human chuckled. "My, my, such cries of mercy coming from a small creature. You are indeed such an interesting prey that will make me, the great sorcerer Gargamel, a name to be revered in these parts." He then felt his cat Azrael rubbing against his leg, licking his chops as if hoping for his master to feed him the Smurf that was captured. "No, Azrael, this Smurf isn't for you. It's time for us to return home with our guest of honor, where I have a special place for him."
Brainy watched the whole thing from the safety of the bushes, keeping himself out of sight as much as possible. "Great Smurfness," he said to himself. "This was an ambush, and Nabby fell for it. I better smurf after this wizard to see what he wants to smurf with him."
He watched as Gargamel and Azrael walked off with Nabby still in the evil wizard's clutches, and then followed safely behind them until he saw the hovel that the human lived in. He hopped up to one of the windows facing the front of the house and watched what went on inside, keeping himself well hidden.
Gargamel placed Nabby inside a cage that was suspended from the ceiling with a rope and sealed with a padlock. "There! At dawn you will come out of your cage, only to dissolve into a solution made with serpent venom," he explained with an evil laugh. "You will help me to make the legendary Philosopher's Stone that will turn base metals into gold, and I will become rich...incredibly, absolutely filthy rich!"
Brainy gulped, as did Nabby, when they both heard what was going to happen. "This is terrible," Brainy said to himself. He then hopped down from the window and raced back to the village as fast as he could. "I must smurf home and tell Papa Smurf! He's going to be so mad when he finds out, but I won't let this human smurf Nabby into the Philosopher's Stone."
As Brainy ran as quickly as he could to the village, Gargamel continued to talk to his captive. "All the gold that I will make with you will increase my power, for I am indeed a very powerful wizard." He then showed the bottles that were lined upon his shelf. "Behold...these bottles contain evil potions for my wicked purposes." He pulled the bottles one by one off the shelf to explain their purpose. "This bottle, for example, contains a potion that can render things invisible...and this one right here can turn a living being into a giant. This one, however, can shrink a man to the size of a thumb. And this one contains a virulent poison. Just think of it...one drop from this and I can..."
Gargamel's rambling was interrupted when he noticed Azrael had climbed his way onto the cage and was pawing at the Smurf inside it while his back was turned.
"AZRAEL!" he shouted, swatting at the cat to get him down from the cage. "You stupid feline furball, I have already told you that this Smurf isn't for you. I need this Smurf to complete my formula, and if I see you coming at my captive again like that, I swear that I will turn your miserable hide into a..."
Suddenly Gargamel felt the Smurf biting the tip of his forefinger as he was using it to point at his captive while he was scolding at Azrael.
"OUCH!" Gargamel cried out. He then looked at his captive, who just made himself look like he did nothing of the sort. "Try to play innocent with me? That will only seal your doom at dawn when my formula is ready."
In the Smurf Village, Tapper watched as his friend Duncan McSmurf stepped out of Barber's shop with his sideburns nice and trimmed. "Ahhhh...now this is the proud look of a true Smurfsman, is it not, my fellow Tapper?" Duncan said as he stroked his chin and felt the smoothness of it.
"Great Smurfiny Crickets, my dear Duncan, you're surely going to be the envy of your fellow Smurfs," Tapper said. "Papa Smurf said that Smurfs won't normally smurf their own beards until they're at least 300 years old."
"Well, that's part of the blessing Mother Nature has smurfed on the McSmurf clan there, laddie," Duncan said. "It's just too bad that there's only us male Smurfs around that I can impress with my whiskers."
"That is indeed unfortunate, Duncan," Tapper said. "Well, perhaps the Almighty can help rectify that situation in some fashion."
Just then, they saw Brainy passing right by them. "Michty me, what has gotten into Brainy that he has to smurf in such a hurry?" Duncan asked.
"He seems to be terribly worried, Duncan," Tapper said. "We might as well go and see what's making him smurf that way."
They joined the other Smurfs that gathered around Brainy as he was busy telling Papa Smurf what had transpired when he and Nabby were sent into the woods to run the village leader's errand.
"And you say that Nabby is smurfed in a cage by this human?" Papa Smurf asked, sounding worried.
"Yes, Papa Smurf," Brainy answered. "And by dawn, he's going to be smurfed into a solution made with serpent smurf."
"Great Smurfiny Crickets, Papa Smurf, this human sounds more dangerous than the one that we had to smurf the magic flute from," Tapper said, overhearing the conversation.
"It would appear so, Tapper," Papa Smurf said. "If there's a human that's settling in our forest, who knows what kind of trouble we could be smurfing in. Nevertheless, we must rescue that unfortunate Smurf from the sorcerer before it's too late."
"Anything you want us to do, Papa Smurf?" Hefty asked.
"Quick, have Crazy sound the alarm to smurf us all together," Papa Smurf said. "We're going to pay this sorcerer a visit inside his own house and rescue Nabby from him."
"Right away, Papa Smurf," Hefty said as he raced off.
Papa Smurf then turned to Brainy. "I will deal with Nabby's problem later, Brainy. For now, his safety is what matters to me the most. You smurfed the right thing in smurfing this matter to me."
"Somehow I doubt that smurfing Nabby out of that sorcerer's smurf is going to be that easy, Papa Smurf," Tapper commented.
"We have dealt with bigger threats than ourselves before as a family, Tapper," Papa Smurf said. "You just have to have faith in your fellow Smurfs to smurf their jobs while you smurf yours."
"Aye, Papa Smurf," Tapper said. "May the luck of the Smurfish be with us all."