2003

Two Things You Can't Avoid: Dearth & Taxes

A year has passed since citizens of Dearth settled into the nearby and prosperous Kingdom of Mearth. King Bertram announced that he would be raising taxes as the need for dragons has increased. Davius, King of the former Dearth, protested that his people moved to Mearth to seek better opportunities and not to be further taxed. Sandokk the Wizard (Darmokk's triplet) stated that magical creatures should not be taxed as they are beneficial to the kingdom. The King dismissed both arguments as he unveiled the heirloom that would serve as the prize for this year's tournament. The almost-traditional first battle saw Sir Sean retaining his honor over arch-rival Sir Liam while Sir Godric was victorious over Sir Morgan.

Before the next round of competition, Sandokk announced that he had organized the magical creatures to go on strike, during which time they would not perform any magic, until they were exempt from the taxation. The Queen urged her husband to listen to Sandokk's demands but the King in turn accused his wife of siding against him. Myla the Genie interjected by claiming that Sandokk had no real magical power but relied on slight of hand and intimidation.

Instead of the 'stunning' heirloom, Davius proposed an alternate prize. He suggested that his former Dearth knights (Morgan, Wallace, Lara) compete against the knights from Mearth (Liam, Sean, Tobias, Godric), with the losing side paying the taxes for the winner. King Bertram agreed to the condition fully confident with the ability of his knights. In the next round, Sir Lara defeated Sir Tobias while Sir Liam got the win over Sir Wallace.

The King was late getting to the arena, only to find that the Queen had started the tournament without him. Bertram was upset with his wife for taking over his job but apologized for his temper due to a sudden illness. Sandokk stepped forward and announced that he put a spell on the King, who would continue to get sick, unless he exempted all magical creatures from taxation. The Genie dismissed the idea of a spell and stated that the King likely had FANS (Frequent, Abundant, Nasty, Sneezes), a mysterious syndrome plaguing the area. Before the battle, Davius ordered his knights to apply lotion made from the waters of the river Avon, as per Sandokk's advice. Sir Tobias almost fell to Sir Wallace and Sir Morgan won over a sneezing Sir Sean.

The King was carted to the tournament area as his health had deteriorated. It even appeared that his knights were feeling ill. Sandokk took this opportunity to state that he has also put a spell on the Mearth knights and asked the King to reconsider his position. The Genie became aware that the Dearth knights were using lotion and asked that it be removed in the interest of fairness. The knights complied and soon after were being bitten by flies. The tournament continued as Sir Liam claimed victory over Sir Lara while Sir Wallace defeated Sir Godric.

Queen Charlotte took over the tournament, as the King was too sick to continue. The sickness had spread to the Dearth knights leaving no one fit enough to fight in the tournament. King Bertam reluctantly agreed to lift the tax for magical creatures if Sandokk would lift the spell. The wizard, now on the spot, would not (or could not) come up with an antidote. The Genie was not surprised, suspicious of Sandokk all along. Myla informed the court that FANS was spread by the Mitzy fly, which like to migrate near standing water. She concluded that the outbreak occurred because there were not enough dragons to consume the standing water. The Genie then proceeded to cure those who were ill.

The knights regained their strength and a large brawl ensued in the tournament ring. Sandokk raised his staff, which caused the knights to fall to the ground. The wizard reminded King Bertam that he held up his end of the bargain by delivering the antidote. Davius stood behind the wizard insisting that the King live up to the agreement. Queen Charlotte reminded everyone that it was the Genie and not Sandokk that cured the people. Finally realizing that they were betrayed, the Dearth knights ran Davius and Sandokk out of the arena. King Bertram recognized the valuable service provided by the magical creatures and excluded them from taxation. With that, another Faire drew to a close as everyone headed down to the Ceili.