The Myntion Manor, a beautiful, sprawling, loosely-Victorian mansion rising out of untamed fields and forests of the country foothills, has a legend. A legend, some hundred-fifty years ago, that a wizard owned the estate, shaping and arranging it from the beginning with his own hands and words, and filling the house of his name with the magic that built it. The story continues that, after defeating a mysterious and dangerous rival, the wizard moved into the manor with his wife and four daughters, and that every descendant since has added to it, creating the vast, strange building, with its odd assemble of mixed and matched rooms and corridors, that stands today.
At least, this is the legend engraved on the large brass plaque on the reception desk.
The Manor, whatever its history may be, now serves as a classy, five-star hotel capable of accommodating over a thousand guests, modernized for the comforts of the present. It features over five hundred rooms, a gym, indoor pool and spa, outdoor pool, courtyard and gardens, three-star restaurant dining and room-service by the Michelin Red Guide, extensive library, two convention halls, a grand ballroom, small auditorium, and various outdoors activities for guests, though it specializes in massive, publicly accessible festivities.
And it was Miss Lydia, Manor receptionist and manager, sitting behind the reception desk with the plaque on it, looking dully out into the lobby of this large and elegant hotel, who came up with the idea.
The Manor has its best months in spring, when holidays, vacations, and high school graduation ceremonies and celebrations consistently book solid, and fall, when it opens its grounds and doors to harvest parties, Oktoberfest, and a massive, week-long Halloween event. It even does well in the winter, when it hosts its own Christmas Ball and New Yearís Eve festivities. But summer has always been slow for the Myntion Manor. Potential guests prefer to take a beach or foreign vacation, and with the passing of the last Harry Potter book, it canít even use its legendary origins to hold its usual debut spectacular. It was looking like an easy, lazy summer stay for the Manor staff. Monotonous, even. And Miss Lydia hates monotony.
So she decided she would come up with an attraction, an event so exciting it would draw crowds from near and far. She set the particulars, found her prize, rallied her staff (only the chefís kitchen crew took a temporary absence), and put the following letter out to the world:
In this summer of 2009, the Myntion Manor will host, on our grounds and within our establishment, a competitive tournament of epic kinds and proportions, for our grand prize- the key to your heartís desire.
All are welcome- man or beast, magician or mortal- and anything goes! But space is limited to eight competing slots, so arrive by Friday, July 3rd, for preliminaries.
Those interested in viewing this amazing event may find more information on our website.
From all of us here at the Manor, it is our sincerest wish that you will join us.
Thank you, and good luck,
P.S. Be prepared.