We played Wizard’s Querulous Dram by Jason Morningstar this week, seven wizards meeting to negotiate the merging of the kingdoms of Smallwood and Black Mountain. Early on, Ingrid the Agreeable of the Wizard Council proposes the Princesses—Aster and Tiffany—be paired, so most of our discussion focuses on that possibility. Hegedus the Fair from Smallwood thinks that a brilliant idea, and Belobor from Black Mountain (the Wizard of No) agrees that pairing has possibilities. Gyongi the Proud from Smallwood argues that Aster must be regent and Tiffany the consort: throwing parties is more the consort role, Tiffany’s strength, whereas Aster is the better decision-maker.
If a Smallwood heir is to be regent, Belobor suggests, why not a pairing with Prince Chadwick as regent, to which Volkon, the Thaumaturge of Darkness from the Wizard Council, assents provided Tiffany remains the consort. Hegedus and Ingrid and Zoltin the Serious from Black Mountain all agree that is not a good idea. Even Belobor was thinking Prince Winthrop would make a better pairing with Chadwick than Tiffany. Kostrin the Knowledgable from the Wizard’s Council pipes up for the first time insisting the capital must be in Black Mountain, so if as we all seemed to agree, the regent’s home should be the new capital, he backs the Black Mountain heir as regent.
Moving on to the remaining questions, we find very little disagreement. All agree that Chadwick would be a capable leader of the new unified army, or at least some Smallwood general. And Gyongi and Kostrin suggest that both kingdom’s delicacies can be served at the wedding; why not taste all the flavors! And no one objects to following the Black Mountain practice of burning swamp witches; in fact, everyone is enthusiastic about it.
When it comes time to vote, the choice of pairing is all but unanimous: 6 to 1 in favor of Aster and Tiffany. But the question of who is regent comes down to a single vote, and Tiffany wins the honor. Black Mountain shall be the new capital with a Smallwood general to lead the army. We agree by acclamation to the final two questions just as the last few grains of sand tumble to the bottom of the five-minute glass. We all, then, may keep our lairs, towers, or laboratories, and the unification of the great kingdoms of Smallwood and Black Mountain is finalized.
We played The Wizard’s Querulous Dram by Jason Morningstar and Lizzie Stark another time this week, this time with my modified descriptions of the princes and princesses who are to be married. My changes made it more difficult to determine the best pairing, since each person had serious flaws as well as virtues. So, unlike our previous times, we didn’t pair the two princesses. Instead, Gyongi representing Smallwood, Zoltin representing Black Mountain, and Volkon representing the Wizard’s Guild agree to make Prince Chadwick the monarch with Prince Winthrop as his consort. In exchange for Winthrop taking the consort role, we place the capital in Black Mountain but give Smallwood command of the combined army.
We quickly eliminate the pairing of Prince Winthrop and Princess Aster because, while they are both imminently qualified, the two together could be a little unbending, both being so certain of their own superiority. We also ruled out putting the two princesses together because Aster and Tiffany seem likely to become competitive with each other, despite being concerned with different domains.
That leaves Prince Chadwick as the royal from Smallwood, and the only question is whether he is best with Princess Tiffany or Prince Winthrop. We almost choose Tiffany, thinking that they complement each other in terms of their connection and concern for the people, but Zoltin balks at putting the two least serious people on the thrones. So, it goes to Winthrop, who can provide the brains to Chadwick’s brawn, and so they will rule together, we hope, to keep the peace and help our new united kingdom to prosper.
This week we played The Wizard’s Querulous Dram by Lizzie Stark and Jason Morningstar a second time, playing wizards who meet via scrying devices to choose which of the heirs from two neighboring kingdoms will marry to form one larger kingdom. Once again the choice was too easy and obvious for us, so before we play again, we need to change the descriptions of the four possible heirs to create more controversy. This time our negotiations between the small kingdoms of Black Mountain and Smallwood is presided over by Dobra the Mysterious, a swamp witch who’s being blackmailed by Prince Winthrop and is most concerned with plentiful issue from the royal pairing (you can’t eat royal babies if their aren’t any royal babies). Representing Smallwood are Hegedus the Fair, their Secretary of Magic, who’s learning the dark arts from Prince Winthrop and who believes victory for Black Mountain’s democratic rebels is inevitable and must be prepared for; and Gyongi the Proud, their Court Wizard and secret father of the rebel leader who wants the Smallwood heir appointed monarch and not consort. The representatives from Black Mountain are Zoltin the Serious, their Secretary of Magic, who truly wants whatever is best for both lands but whose work is complicated by the adoration of Princess Tiffany; and Belobor the Wizard of No and Court Wizard, who seeks to destroy the rebels above all but wants to keep Prince Chadwick as their lover at the same time.
We settle fairly quickly on the pairing of the two Princesses, Tiffany of Black Mountain, the most beautiful and lover of celebrations, marrying Aster of Smallwood, who over-plans and overachieves at everything but has not-so-secret sympathies for the democracy rebels. This satisfies the Smallwood sympathies for the rebels, but Gyongi must accept Aster being relegated to consort, for Belobor insists Tiffany be monarch to protect royal prerogative. To further mollify Gyongi, the new capital shall be in Smallwood, although the combined army shall be led by a Black Mountain general, so perhaps there is still danger. Dobra is concerned about the question of children, but the others promise to use their magics to ensure the line continues, so she has no objections. The wedding is held in Black Mountain serving Smallwood delicacies, to symbolize the unity of the new kingdom before the new rulers head off to Smallwood to begin their reign.
Tonight we played The Wizard’s Querulous Dram by Jason Morningstar & Lizzie Stark as wizard’s arranging a royal marriage between the Black Mountain and Smallwood kingdoms, both beset by the rebels led by Wyoh. The future of both kingdoms rests on the success of this union. We must pick one of the two royal children from each kingdom to marry: Prince Chadwick or Princess Aster of Smallwood to marry either Prince Winthrop or Princess Tiffany of Black Mountain.
After debating the merits of each of the four possible pairings, we easily settle upon the combination of Princess Aster of Smallwood as regent and Princess Tiffany of Black Mountain as consort. We believe that Tiffany’s pageantry and popularity combined with Aster’s foresight and planning will guide the kingdom well.
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