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The Eye of Osiris (Kingdom)

Ed Turner
AproposPenguin
Seattle, WA
Post #: 4
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I don't know where your heart is, but I know where it isn't.

The game was Kingdom. The kingdom was the Eye of Osiris, a sacred order of mysticism, Egyptian god-worship, and dark magic, hiding in the shadows of 1920s New York.

Well, I SAY a sacred mystical order, but what I MEAN is a collection of idle rich, playing at magic and spending most of their time sipping brandy in the lodge, occasionally making use of such ancient spells as still function and which keep unnamable horrors at bay, but mainly treating the whole “gods” thing as window dressing on their prestigious private club.

The players:

Thomas Ashwell (me), owner of Ashwell’s Used Books. You need a valuable text, Ashwell has it, maybe chained to a pedestal somewhere. His personal library is what makes him a valuable member of the order, despite being well behind in club dues, what with the creditors nipping at his heels.

Grace Mayfield (Ben), heiress and potential initiate into the Eye of Osiris, if she’d listen for thirty seconds the tutoring Ashwell is attempting to provide her. She’s young, and like all young people, knows everything about how the world works and expects success to just come to her without effort. She’s also only in it for the prestige… magic, gods, whatever, let her know when she gets her discreet Eye of Osiris pin. Oh, and she’d quite infatuated with…

David Harrison Winthrop III (JC), who is quite wealthy and powerful and actually fairly good at magic. In fact, though few know this, he has rendered himself immortal by having his heart, lungs, and liver removed and kept in canopic jars. He's kind of a mummy, but with a good suit and season passes to the opera. He fears that the magic is draining from the world and is, perhaps understandably, concerned about what might happen when magic grows weak or disappears altogether.

The Crossroad: Well, it’s like this. There is an artifact, the Eye of Osiris itself, which allows folks to gaze across time and space and whatnot. It’s keen and all, but rather than being kept in our private lodge or, even better, in the replica Tomb of Ra hidden below the lodge, it is kept where it was discovered: in the Bronx. In the back of a shop. A donut shop. Should we move it?

What I enjoyed was that, obviously since this was a Crossroad it was important, but the the way it quickly spiraled out of control was beautiful. We start with Ashwell wanting to keep the Eye safe from outsiders, Winthrop unwilling to risk damaging it or losing its power, and Mayfield, well, she’s only interested in looking good during her initiation.

We end up with Mayfield having a vision that she and Winthrop with bring the Eye to the Tomb of Ra, for Winthrop is the embodiment of Osiris and she will become the avatar of Isis. Winthrop and Ashwell, equally terrified by this girl’s religious zeal, make plans to barricade the Eye up so she can’t get to it. Mayfield seizes power, forcing the ritual to occur, and in so doing, releasing all the gods of Egypt onto the modern world.

Cut to Ashwell, looking out the window, and seeing the sun being gently nudged across the sky by a great scarab.

So, things got a bit out of control, and in the end we lost not just the Kingdom itself, but Grace Mayfield (humanity lost as she becomes an avatar for power) and David Harrison Winthrop III (dragged to the afterlife by Horus, quite vexed about the whole “defying death with ancient magic” issue). Oh, and the gods are walking the world now, so if you drop by Ashwell’s shop you’ll see Anubis just… sitting there. Watching. Making sure he doesn’t try to leave. That, at least, keeps his creditors at bay.

There was so much to love here, but what really got me was the weird attitudes the folks in the order had about magic in general. As Mayfield started to Believe in the Gods with a passion, Ashwell and Winthrop (who are a dealer in magical texts and a man who defied death by sealing his heart in a jar, respectively) get really, really uncomfortable. They don’t want to know how the hot dogs are made.

Props to Ben for Mayfield’s transformation from ingenue to god-queen, it was a wonderfully terrifying moment that flipped everything around. And double props to JC for deciding that all of Winthrop’s organs are in clay pots, which was the sort of detail that just never stopped being hilarious.
J.C.
QueueToo
Seattle, WA
Post #: 2
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And treble props to Ed for the defining image of the Crisis (at least for me), the sun-pushing giant scarab.
Ben R
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 458
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And treble props to Ed for the defining image of the Crisis (at least for me), the sun-pushing giant scarab.
Me too, absolutely. That was a beautiful moment. The undeniable sign that the wheels had come off the wagon.

J.C. I also loved when you brought in the idea of Winthrop having a wife and child long ago and being far more human than you'd expect for a guy who took out his own heart. That was perfect. Again, everything totally the opposite of what I expected, which is genius.

They don’t want to know how the hot dogs are made.
BAM! Yeah, that was a surprising and wonderful turnaround. Totally not what I expected.

The funny thing was that I never intended for Grace to demonstrate that her visions were authentic and get into actual magic. After she had her dream of being Isis to Wintrop's Osiris (because TRUE LOVE 4EVAR!) she thought of herself as Winthrop's partner and soulmate. She never saw herself as undermining his Power, even though that's literally what she did when her ascension overshadowed him.

But what really sent everything over the cliff (I think) was J.C. responding to my Overthrow with the "yes if" that to win she she had to get power from the unnameable ones and demonstrate actual magic. I thought a _long_ time about whether to take the deal (well, long in table terms: two minutes solid) because I smelled the trouble it would unleash. Without that wrinkle, she's just a girl with delusions of grandeur (and wedding bells) that everyone in the Order is caught up in. But with it, suddenly she's the tool of the unnameable ones from our original Threats and we are in serious, serious trouble. Cue the Egyptian ragnarok…
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