What kind of man orders the death of the King?
20. Princess of Albatrosses
Also known as the lady of bad luck, this princess breaks mirrors, spills salt, crosses the paths of black cats and every other superstition known to man. She remains perfectly safe, but the bad luck falls around her like rain. Few are willing to be around her for too long, afraid that her bad luck will rub off on them.
The Nomin gypsies have a fiddling competition every year, known as the Danse de Velose. Beaters hit out the rhythm on taut drums and the competitors start to play, slowly at first. Youngsters can compete, but are soon pulled away by worried mothers, before the competition becomes too dangerous. After two hours the haunting tune has become dazzlingly fast. You can resign at any time, but the moment you make a mistake you receive an arrow through the neck. Strings may snap, but the players must play on. The whole affair never lasts much longer than three hours, and the last fiddler playing is crowned king of the gypsies.