Our first game of the evening was not the typical starter, make-sure-it's-short-in-case-someone-else-shows-up sort of game. Heather joined us for the game, and we let her choose. Her choice was Aladdin's Dragons.
In spite of being the one who chose the game, Heather had a rough go of it at the outset, failing to get an artifact in three of the first four rounds. In the first round, Sterling had a shot for a second one, but didn't have the treasures to buy it, and as a result, the last room had a leftover artifact. In the second round Dave used the artifact he won in the previous round to good effect, playing his doubler to tie Heather in one of the palace rooms, which won him the room because he was closer to the camel signifying "first player". This enabled Dave to buy two artifacts in the round, and take an early lead.
The third round proved quite even, as everyone earned one artifact. But in round four Heather again ran into trouble and wasn't able to gain an artifact, while Jim this time was the one to get two. That pulled him into the lead with Dave, with two rounds to go (only one of which had a full set of artifacts).
As this was going on Rich arrived, and watched us play for a bit. He hadn't played before, and was picking up the rules and some of the tactics. At this point Heather had to step away from the game, to carry on toddler patrol, so Rich stepped in for the remainder.
In round five Jim made a tactical error with his artifacts, and wound up leaving himself no entry into the palace. As a result, he was unable to get an artifact this round. Sterling took advantage of that, and earned himself one. Dave managed to use his flying carpet to swoop into a room that everyone else had to drop out of due to inability to pay. He had the three treasures, and was able to get his artifact for the round. This set us up for the final round, with only one artifact remaining for bid.
Jim had the camel for the final round, and he played his strategy early: he placed a bid token on the palace room, and immediately cast the "Taboo" spell. This meant that no more bidding tokens could be placed in that room, guaranteeing that his would be the only one there! Well, one of us had to use the counterspell artifact to stop that, right? Right? Apparently not. No one did. And we continued. After all the bidding, Jim won some treasure in the first two rooms. While resolving the next room, Dave cast two spells: everyone had to lose five treasures (Dave had none at the time), and then the treasure in the current room changed so that only the first two bidders got any treasure (Jim was third in that room). Jim earned no further treasure, but he did get a spell. Everything else played out normally, until we got to the palace room. Rich cast a Sultan's Tax to make Jim pay an extra treasure for that one token in the palace room, but Jim just had enough to pay the tax and pay for the token. So he won the last artifact and ended the game.
So we added it all up. And as it turned out, Dave, Sterling, and Jim all finished with seven artifacts! So we went to the tiebreaker: most scrolls. All five of us earned one scroll apiece! There is no further tiebreaker listed in the rules, so we let it stand as a three-way tie for first between Dave, Jim and Sterling.