The Trial by Tale is a competition for the best students only. Once a year, the highest-ranking Evers and Nevers are sent into the Blue Forest for a night, to see who can last until morning. They will face attacks from other students and the School Masters' traps.
- The top 10 Evers and top 10 Nevers are required to compete in the Trial by Tale. The competitors will be determined by the school rankings no more than 2 weeks before the Trial is to begin.
- Starting this year, each Dean will be permitted to enter one Wild Card into the competition: namely, a student who did not make the ranking cutoff for the Trial but who the Dean still believes will make a worthy combatant.
- Entrances into the Trial will be staggered. At sundown, the Ever and Never with the lowest pre-Trial rankings will enter the Blue Forest. Every 15 minutes, the next-lowest pair will enter until the highest-ranked Ever and Never enter the competition last.
- Inside the Forest, Nevers can attack Evers with their special talents and any spell learned in class. Evers can defend themselves with approved weapons and counterspells. Both sides will be subject to obstacles laid by the faculty.
- Each challenger will be given an enchanted handkerchief of surrender. It is the challenger's duty to recognize mortal danger and drop his or her enchanted handkerchief when the time comes. The moment this handkerchief touches the ground, the student will be safely removed from the Trial.
- Upon the first glint of sunrise, the Deans will call an end to the Trial and the student(s) who returns through the gate alive will be named the winner(s).
- The winner will receive 5 extra first-place ranks in the race for Class Captain. In the case of mutiple winners, each student will receive 2 extra first-place ranks.
Note from Dean Sophie
If the winner or winners are from Evil, they will also receive an autographed copy of The Tale of Sophie and Agatha, a portrait taken with Sophie to send home to their parents, and a private field trip with Sophie to anywhere in the Woods.
Note from Dean Dovey
If the winner or winners are from Good, they will also receive the satisfaction of depriving the School for Evil winner of vainglorious bribery. That is surely reward enough.
Days Leading Up to the Trial
For a week, all classes for the challengers are dedicated to preparing for the Trial. Their rank in class will determine when they will enter the Trial, the lower your rank, the sooner you go in. The later a student enters, "the more chance you come out alive."
In the history of the Trial By Tale, there has only been one mentioned casualty - Garrick of Woods Beyond. The author was originally going to give Dot some backstory, where she was in the trial, and explaining Garrick`s death. She accidentally turned him to chocolate and then a strange version of sugar-loving bees finished him off. This scene was cut from the book.