It started out like any other Senior Joust, the strongest competitors clearing out the competition with little delay. It was evident quite early on that Michael Absterdeen of Rillian Magicker’s College, Phillipe von Weast of Yoorton Academy and Nigel Lambeth of Grace Royal Academy were the stand outs of the day.
As you are probably well aware, the Joust rules state explicitly that competitors may only manipulate their innate magic in competition, and are not allowed to use spells or developed skill learned in their Magicker’s Programs, excepting that which focuses on maximizing use of such innate skill. This forces the boys to be creative and clever in battle, and tends to quickly separate the best from the less experienced.
After a fierce round that lasted at least an hour, young von Weast was eliminated by Lambeth, a Spark (common term for Fire Magicker) who conjured an enormous, fiery dragon that picked up von Weast and flung him clear out of the arena and into Rowan Bay. While the healers were able to retrieve Master von Weast from the bay and restore him, he was not able to return to the arena for competition and was forced to forfeit the match.
The battle between Lambeth and Michael Absterdeen, whose innate skill is utilizing air elements to his advantage, went on for hours. Every time Lambeth attempted an attack utilizing his fire abilities, Absterbeed would manipulate the air around him to starve the fire and put it out. In return, Lambeth took advantage of elements such as the wind whips that Absterdeen conjured by inserting his fire into them and creating fire storms around his apponent.
The battle went on long into the night – much longer than any other Magicker’s Joust in known history. Other events, such as the Annual Reenactment of the Crossing of Fiaryn’s Gate, performances by the Stone Circle Mage’s - who are known to put on breathtaking programs of fire and light dancing, music and song - and any such other diversions were delayed until after the Joust. But it seems the competitors were too well-matched, and they fought to a stalemate, neither giving way to the other.
Just before dawn – most of the crowd had gone away by now – the battle ended quite suddenly. The opponents were locked in yet another brutal stalemate when the beautiful weather we had enjoyed all day changed violently. A fierce storm blew up out of nowhere. Dense sheets of rain poured down, vicious wind tore around us and thunder shook the ground while lightning tore through the sky! I was considerably alarmed, let me tell you.
The competitors were pummeled to the ground and when it stopped a few moments later, His Grace, King Nathan rose from his seat and strode to the pedestal where the King’s Cup stood wearing a garment which can only be described as his… ahem… underpants. He snatched up the Cup and growled at the contestants, “I’ll take that, and it serves you right for being such wishy-washy pansies!” Then he glared over his shoulder at Queen Catherine, said, “Ha!” at her and strode away.
Queen Catherine looked considerably put out and shouted after him, “Well, at least you’re still wearing your crown!” King Nathan stopped and turned quite purple, the crown shot up off his head and burst into shiny dust and he walked away. Queen Catherine stamped her foot and threw her own crown at him, hitting him squarely in the back. His Grace continued on, with Her Highness following behind, scolding him fiercely with very high pitched tone.
I’ve never seen the like in all my days. I’m not even sure I didn’t imagine it all, what with being so exhausted after witnessing such an epic battle. I’m sure I must have been dreaming. It’s simply not possible that our Beloved Royals would behave in such a manner. No, I’m certain I must have nodded off and dreamed it.
But what a curious dream! It was a dream, wasn’t it?