Jealousy and treachery had blighted the Yoxley Art Prize ever since it’s inception, there were even some who said it was cursed.
The prize had been set up by the Lord of Yoxley in the late Eighteenth Century in an effort to improve his reputation as a cultural connoisseur. From its outset the event had been dogged by dishonesty, mainly due to the substantial financial reward that accompanied the winning place. Some dark rumors about how the Lord met his death had created sufficient romance to ensure that the competition endured through the years.
One summer the group of hopeful artists and four judges gathered together for the competition with a certain sense of foreboding, as though some misadventure was at hand. Robert Yoxley, the modern day possessor of the title and estate, attempted to soothe his guests with a surprise buffet at afternoon tea.