There is more that happens in this episode but it is mostly background setup that is reasonably difficult to make an exciting story of. In essence this episode is the one where the other Kingdoms of Lodoss have their "Oh crap" moment offstage and start rallying to Valis in an attempt to keep their kingdoms and their heads. The rest is brief cuts to the ongoing Marmo invasion.
So you have stirring scenes of King Kashue of Flaim thundering through the desert on his way to Valis, and Prince Jester of Moss flying past on his wyverns to do some reconnaissance before also heading to Valis.
Naturally Karla meddles a bit by offering Lodoss to Kashue. Kashue is unimpressed.
But the main part of the episode is the Royal Ball thrown in our heroes honour (saving the Princess will do that for you) and used as an opportunity for some fun with the characters.
Kashue, naturally enough, arrives during the ball and promptly steals the show, much to Parn's delight and Deedlit's displeasure. Meanwhile Ghim is brooding on the balcony, Princess Fianna is flirting with a very uncomfortable Etoh, Slayn is amused by the whole affair, and Woodchuck is off gambling.
Woodchuck's "gambling" was quite successful until one of the dice crumbled on the table. The close up where his pupils track from the table up to the soldiers he's been playing with is just priceless to watch and his subsequent ejection from the room puts him in place to watch another of Karla's schemes at work.
Which, this time, is an attempted assassination of Kashue to demonstrate her powers before repeating the offer. Kashue is still unimpressed but later arranges Parn's assignment to the job of finding out more about Karla.
In essence this episode is a spoonful of comedy makes the infodump go down.
The Desert King isn't the best episode of this type (that would be Episode 12 of Planetes), but it is a fun episode to watch, and one that advances the overall story mostly when you aren't looking.
Day 1 - Prologue to the Legend
Day 2 - Blazing Departure
Day 3 - The Gender of Lodoss War
Day 4 - The Black Knight
Day 5 - The Grey Witch
Day 6 - Dub vs Sub?
Day 7 - The Desert King
Day 8 - The Sword of the Dark Emperor
Day 9 -
Day 10 - The War of Heroes
Day 11 - Requiem for Warriors
Day 12 -
Day 13 - The Scepter of Domination
Day 14 - The Demon Dragon of Fire Dragon Mountain
Day 15 -
Day 16 - The Wizard's Ambition
Day 17 - Final Battle! Marmo, the Dark Island
Day 18 -
Day 19 - Lodoss, The Burning Continent
Day 20 -