The Fairy Diary Day 292 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

On Merlin’s advice we rapidly visited the lower offshoots. All of them showed signs of goblin habitation – but not recently. 

In the last and deepest branch we found what we sought. The goblin king. He was much larger than the others (and Dunfallon said much uglier). Unlike them he was not shackled. All that secured him was a rope similar to the one that Hawk carried and had been used to tie down the ship’s rudder. 

The goblin king was unconscious. A fact that I attributed to the power in the rope. This left us with a dilemma. Release him first and chance being eaten. Or somehow waken him, declare our intentions to help and exact a promise from him to aid us in payment for his release. 

Noralei applied some of the red ashes to his nostrils and that brought him out of his trance. 

He was very grateful that we were willing to rescue him and his people. 

With a bit of apprehension Rumble released him from his bonds. 

Then we set about freeing his people from their shackles.

The Fairy Diary Day 248 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Ragonil’s other five friends helped in the search for the owner of the vessel. A friend of a friend of an acquaintance of one of them landed us on the doorstep of the owner this morning. 

The rather gruff elf listened to our pleas with little patience. Especially when we mentioned we wanted to sail to the land to the north. No one he knows wants to go there. 

At that point I brought out Nililitil’s passport and exercised the option within it to purchase the vessel at the king’s expense. 

The owner was none to happy but we negotiated a price with him with Ragonil’s help. 

I wrote to the High Fairy and reported our progress. Then joined the others down at the quay to prepare the ship. 

The Fairy Diary Day 240 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Many hamlets and farms dot the valley we are traveling through. It is very lush (so much so, a fairy could not enchant better growth). 

The elves were so hard at work they barely looked our way as we passed by. 

Rumble did engage one to check the conclusions we base on his reading of his map. The map indicates that the road we are following is splitting off from the river it has paralleled since the capital, continuing toward the coastal mountains. 

(My pendant is not favoring one over the other). 

The elf was glad to stop what he was doing and talk to Rumble. He said he would definitely not follow the river if our destination is the port on the far side of the mountains. He warned that the river enters some very wild lands of deep canyons that are extremely difficult to traverse. 

Each of us thanked him for his kindness. When it came Dunfallon’s turn, the surprise on the elf’s face at the sight of a pixie brought a smile to each of us.

The Fairy Diary Day 233 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

It is hard waiting, when every spark of your being longs to be off on your appointed path. 

Such was my unease while pacing the rampart and scanning the skies towards the dark crystalline tower (for we see now more clearly its form). 

My attention was arrested by the sight of a troll emerging from the woodlands to the east. His presence was about to be challenged by a troop led by Navril in that quarter. 

Recognizing the troll, I swooped down to interpose myself between the two. Thus I kept the Laguayilians from assaulting our great friend Geog. 

The High Fairy had informed him about our whereabouts. He has sought us out to come to the aid of his brother Grimace. His twin had disappeared with other trolls from their valley, and Geog fears that the enemy may be conjuring up another army of undead trolls. 

When we brought him into the city Rumble and Noralei were by turns elated to see him and distressed to learn of his plight. 

The complications surrounding our departure have worsened. 

What to do?

The Fairy Diary Day 195 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We had finally passed all those red spots on the map when I received a message from the High Fairy that we must return to look for dragon eggs. 

None of us were happy at the prospect of doubling back through that area – and for something as dangerous as dragon eggs. 

We are to summon Merlin who will risk a transport in this instance. That thought went a long way to calm our apprehensions. 

Rumble surveyed his map and concentrated on the biggest spot and we set our course accordingly. 

It looks to be a day away. None of us are looking forward to another night here.

The Fairy Diary Day 178 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

It seems that Merlin has been distracted since he brought us here. Usually he has time to walk in the garden or up on the ramparts with me. And we have long and rambling discussions before he gets to the point. But I’ve only seen him in passing. 

He called for Noralei this morning and set her on a task in his workshop. All hush hush – behind locked doors. (I tried). 

Neither Rumble nor Dunfallon have heard any rumors despite many attempts. The pixie did hold a long audience with his mentor the owl. And he was as tight beaked as the others. 

(Dunfallon was pleased to announce that he has enlisted his wisdom to come up with a plan for reparations ).

I do believe he will come up with something yet. 

The Fairy Diary Day 132 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I checked the scroll this morning. There at the bottom a message from the High Fairy awaited. I was not expecting it as it has been several days since I sent one to him. It was short and to the point – just to notify us of the name and description of the human whom we must contact at Azhnastria. 

We will know him by his one eye and his name – Nimrood. 

I shared this knowledge with Noralei and the boys. Rumble noted from his studies that Nimrood is a family name, passed on from father to son. 

Still I wish we knew more. More fodder for thought on the empty road. 

Can we get in to see him?

Will he be friend or foe?

The Fairy Diary Day 129 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The return of Noralei today did much to dispel the depression we have been under since the battlefield. Merlin brought her to us himself. We all thought she looked marvelous. (Especially Dunfallon). But she demurred and would say only that the time she spent in Merlin’s castle was responsible for any changes in her humble appearance. At that point she turned and thanked her host for all the new things that she had learned from him. 

This prompted Rumble to ask Merlin just what had the project been that required her skills as a smith. 

Noralei immediately begged the favor of Merlin to be the one to answer him.

Merlin assented with a smile and a nod. 

And she unfolded a great bolt of cloth which stood tall on its own and soon surrounded the entire party. And she stated simply that it will keep all fairies within its confines safe from the effects of any iron weapons. 

I was stunned by the timeliness of this remedy.

How did our wizard friend know?

The Fairy Diary Day 93 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

As ordered, I returned to the High Fairy’s chamber this morning with Rumble and Dunfallon in tow. The pixie was wide-eyed at the sights within. It was a task just to keep him focused on the meeting at hand. Even so he was the first to notice that an envoy from Merlin was present in the chamber. 

The High Fairy told us to pay him no heed as he would share his message later. Still it was difficult not to glance at the owl waiting atop its perch on the far side of the room. 

His excellency recounted to my friends all that we have learned from Willie and ended with a plea for all of us to undertake a new mission. To the lands of the humans. 

To this the owl added the intelligence about the enemy running rampant in the human territories. Thus our suspicions were confirmed from our experience with the refugees on our way back to Nonin-gal-dith. 

Though the High Fairy proposed that we take time to consider our answer before committing to the mission, each of us volunteered on the spot.

Columbia Strikes Back

Columbia Strikes Back

The Close Encounters story continues (and another brief hiatus for #1939TheMiracleYear)

When “Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind” was set by bid for Tom Moyer’s Westgate theater in Beaverton it was months before it was to open in December of 1977. They offered their largest theater in that complex, and there should have been no problem with opening the film in the normal course of business.

But that exact same house was the exclusive venue for a film that opened in Portland in May – Star Wars (aka Star Wars IV – A New Hope). Most films exhaust the available audience within a month or six weeks. Not so with this juggernaut. Yet there would not have been any problem if Star Wars could have been moved into a smaller house at the same complex. The contract, however, that Tom Moyer Theaters had with Fox for this film precluded such an arrangement. It possessed a provision that almost never kicks in – a ”hold over” clause. According to this provision, if the three day (Fri-Sat-Sun) gross exceeded a set amount, then it automatically held over for another week. When it became apparent that Star Wars was not losing steam, but actually picking up force six months after its opening, they contacted Columbia (the distributor of CE3K) to ask to move the opening of their film onto another (smaller) screen in the same complex.

That was not acceptable to Columbia – either CE3K went into the contracted theater on schedule or they would sue TMT for breach of contract. In any event TMT was going to be sued for breach of contract, for Fox would insist on suing if Star Wars was taken off while still doing holdover business.

Columbia took CE3K away from TMT and gave it to their competitor Larry Moyer (Tom’s estranged brother) and brought a breach of contract suit against TMT. When Tom brought a restraining order against Columbia, the distributor went another step further, by removing TMT from the bid list in Portland, effectively giving all of their upcoming films to Larry. This led Tom to claim that Columbia’s actions were in essence a group boycott and hence a breach of antitrust law.

The District Court ruling went against Columbia on their breach of contract claim, but against Tom on his antitrust claims. As these things go, appeals dragged the suits on well after the life of the films in the theaters. In fact, Star Wars V – The Empire Strikes Back came out in Tom’s theaters before the decision from the appellate court came down.

When it did come, the 9th District Appellate Court upheld the District Court’s judgement against TMT’s antitrust claims.

Per the Entertainment Law Reporter 4:19:5
“Columbia had sound justification for its refusal to deal with Tom Moyer on the basis of the ‘Close Encounters’ episode. In Columbia’s view, Larry Moyer had the next best available facilities in the area. And, even assuming that there was some type of ‘conspiracy’ between Columbia and Larry Moyer, there was no showing of any anticompetitive purpose or effect.”
(Evidently the records I dug up for the lawyers to analyse were the basis for the following section of the report):
“Tom Moyer was the only party likely to suffer from any conspiracy, and his system-wide grosses and profits had increased each year; the profits from the Portland market declined only four per cent from July 1979 to February 1980.”

I would like to close this out with a comment as to what happened afterwards, but I don’t recall how long Columbia locked TMT out of their product.  (A project for another day, when I can access some newspapers from the time period to check the ads).  I can’t help but think that Columbia got the worst of the bargain.