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The World Gamesby Gordon McCormick
The World Games had come to Selenica and turned the city into a riot of colour, sounds and smells. Athletes from across the Known World were to be seen in any of the free spaces set aside for training, merchants were selling memorabilia, clerics were declaring the games sinful, book makers were taking bets and the city of Selenica was getting wealthy on taxing everyone that had come to this most amazing of events.
For Mirz Vorten this wasn't a holiday. He had come with Glantrian team, but not to participate in any of the sports. In any case it wasn't expected that Glantri would do particularly well since the rules of the competition required that no magical aids be used by any of the athletes. Mirz Vorten was here as one of the magic committee - tasked with investigating any allegations of cheating. So far he had done well - in the first few practice heats it was easy enough to remove the blatant cheaters with a well placed detect magic spell. After that his knowledge of potions had helped to find an elf who thought a potion of levitation would give her the edge in the high jump. Alas for the elf it also turned her tongue blue, the tell tale sign that allowed the officials to disqualify her.
But now his abilities were being tested to the limits. A hin runner by the name of Nobby Noseyboots had just won the 400 yard dash and allegations of cheating were immediately thrown about. "Look at his legs! There's no way he could outrun me naturally!" complained Sir Valdic of Karameikos. "Nonsense, " replied Nobby, "you're just jealous! Anyway, it's my innate connection to the land that makes me fast, and there's nothing in the rules against that!"
The controversy raged and Mirz was brought into the scene. He thought hard about it, then watched the various runners as they ran around the training area. The hin was certainly fast, but too fast? A thought occurred. Mirz called all the athletes together and had them all drink several pints of water. Then they waited. And waited. Before long Imran Ben Radan rushed to the toilets to relieve himself. Shortly afterwards Leanadon of Alfheim followed. One by one the athletes left to pass water, all except Nobby Noseyboots. Mirz smiled. "I'm afraid you've been caught out young halfling."
"Explain yourself!" said Doctor Wodseen, the head of the Games committee, "What does this prove?"
"Well", replied Mirz, "It's part of potion theory. You see it's obvious that Nobby wasn't using any obvious magic - a haste spell for instance would have been too easy to spot. But by using some extra ingredients it is possible to create a 'micro-haste' potion. It's very dangerous and by some strange homoeopathic nonsense law actually requires more haste spells than a normal potion. And that's where the side effects come in. You see a single haste spell will ever so slightly reduce your need to urinate, and that's how I knew he had taken an intense micro-haste potion. It's one of the rules you learn in first year alchemical labs. "
"More haste, less peed."