Tonight we divided into two tables, each of which played a pair of games Descended from the Queen at FortheDrama.com. At one table, we played a session of The Lost Island by Steffen Jörg in which our plane crashing on a deserted island led us through fevered sickness with hallucinated voices and visions, burying the dead, arguments over whether to stay on shore or move inland, memories of our past lives, and eventually a rescue just as we’ve secured enough food to sustain us. As we leave the island, we take with us an appreciation of how precious time is, the importance of withholding judgment, the necessity of working together, and newfound confidence in our abilities in the face of hard times. The relationships we’ve formed may carry forward into our new lives.
Next we played a round of For the Crown by Monsieur Alceste in the kingdom of Shangrila, a land where your place is determined by the strength of your magic and where the elderly King Fangor lies ill after a long and prosperous reign. We are Faisal, the king’s brother and leader of his armies; Leona, a teenage wizard’s apprentice who has vast stores of untapped magical potential; Taro, advisor to the king these past five years who came from the lowest rungs of society; and Nogard, the king’s youngest son but also the only one with any aptitude for magic. Which of us will inherit the crown and become the new ruler of Shangrila?
We start with Leona attempting to form an alliance of the underclass against the aristocrats close to the king by meeting with Taro, who agrees that the next king should not be related to the current one. Of particular concern is Prince Nogard, who has long been rumored to be corrupted by dark magic and who even the king kept away from court for years. Taro believes she is the best choice because of her experience of all walks of life, but Prince Faisal has been loyal to the king for decades and has the most experience of any claimant. His failure at the Battle of Bone Bridge that led to the death of Taro’s uncle, however, has turned the adviser against him forever. Leona calls both Faisal and Taro together in a conclave to conspire against Nogard and his claim, but Faisal will do no more than to talk to his nephew about standing down from the contest while the other two agree to reveal to the people how twisted magic has made him.
When the neighboring kingdom turns militaristic and decides to test the strength of the ailing kingdom by invading, Nogard tasks Faisal with securing the capital and rides off to lead the army himself. While Nogard returns after successfully repelling the invaders, Taro secures a holy writ against him for practicing dark magic for which he must atone by performing light magic rituals. Nogard sees a chance to change his image and agrees to perform the rituals. But now it is time to choose the new ruler as King Fangor finally passes away at this dramatic moment. With Faisal, worried about his nephew’s ambition and corruption, refusing to back him and promising to serve the crown no matter who wears it and Taro throwing her support behind the upstart Leona, Nogard is thwarted and Leona is proclaimed the new ruler of Shangrila due to her vast magical powers.