23 Skidoo
Brief Introduction
23 Skidoo was my second Live Game.  I'd have to say that it was my best one.  
This despite (or perhaps because) 80% of the participants died during its 
course.  The fact that dead people came back as spirits of other people, some 
with very strange abilities, contributed to the shenanigans.

Here is most of the background information for the game, presented as a news 
article from the 7/17/1923 Los Angeles Times.  The game was set at the auction 
of Curwen's possessions on 9/13/1929 = 9/13/1992.  The date also commemorated 
my own 23rd birthday on the fourteenth, which had a tiny amount to do with the 
time travel aspects of the game.

Noted English Occultist Jacob Ezekiel Curwen Dead at 92

Late Tuesday evening, the body of Jacob Ezekiel Curwen was discovered by his 
maid, Flora Jackson.  Miss Jackson told reporters that Curwen had taken his 
own life, but police have not confirmed her statement.  According to Miss 
Jackson, Curwen was at his desk in the study.  “He was all hunched over,” she 
said, “with his hands clutching at the knife.  Why did he do it?  He was such 
a vigorous old man, full of life.”
  
Curwen was a world-renowned occultist and self-proclaimed “practitioner of the 
magical arts.”  Born in England in 1831, Curwen read Classical Literature at 
Cambridge.  After an undistinguished college career, Curwen first made his 
mark as a shopkeeper in Coventry, but soon became mesmerized by philosophy 
through his involvement in the Freemasons.  In 1863, he became a Scotch Rite 
Mason, rising rapidly within the order.  In 1877, he became the Temple Master 
at Scotch Rite Temple 115 in Birmingham.  Further accolades followed and the 
Masons awarded him the highest degree of their order, the 32nd degree, in 
1885. 
At this time, Curwen left his shopkeeping duties to his sons, and concentrated 
all of his powers on uncovering “the secret knowledge that binds the world 
together.”  According to biographers, Curwen joined a plethora of occult 
fraternities: the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Hermetic Order of the 
Silver Twilight, the Accepted Fellowship of the Rosy Cross and numerous 
others.  Throughout the Nineties, Curwen wrote scholarly tomes on Greek and 
Hellenistic philosophy and magic.  In particular, his treatise on the mystery 
cults of Asia Minor is considered the most authoritative work on the subject.  
Most of his work was published in house by the several organizations to which 
he belonged and is not generally available. 

Just after the turn of the century, Curwen suddenly stopped issuing the flood 
of pamphlets and booklets.  Pleading retirement, he ensconced himself in his 
mansion at Brighton.  Kenneth MacKenzie, a Masonic acquaintance of Curwen’s, 
asserts that this time was spent in earnest experimentation in the magical 
arts.  MacKenzie wrote in a letter to the Times that Curwen was able to 
transport himself anywhere in the world at will at a moment’s notice.  
MacKenzie had once jestingly asked Curwen to produce an American paper.  
Curwen walked into his bedroom, shut the door and allegedly produced the issue 
of the Boston Globe for that very day.  This was before the widespread use of 
heavier-than-air flying machines; if true, the story is indeed mysterious. 

Curwen surfaced once again in 1914, when he helped found a British section of 
yet another mystical brotherhood, the Ordo Templi Orientis.  The British 
O.T.O. was under his direction for just under a year when he abdicated in 
favor of Aleister Crowley, another English occultist of note.  Curwen, in his 
letter of resignation, stated failing health as his reason for leaving the 
directorship.  Again he disappeared into seclusion. 

At the end of the recent war, Curwen, now a spry nonagenarian, left his native 
England for America, settling in Los Angeles.  Here he installed himself as 
the head of yet another order, the Order of the Rubiate Cross.  Its membership 
was worldwide, very exclusive and secret.  Nothing is known of the inner 
workings of the Rubiate Cross, but it has been inferred that Curwen had 
finally chosen to reveal the secrets that he had learned in his near century 
of experimentation.  Several prominent occultists, including Crowley and 
MacKenzie, have claimed to be members, but otherwise the membership of the 
Order is unknown.  Presumably it is limited to those Curwen found worthy.  
Interestingly, MacKenzie asserts that the members are known only by codenames, 
and since there are no gatherings of this worldwide organization, even the 
members don’t know who belongs to it.  Now, just three years after the 
founding of the Order, Curwen is dead and the fate of the Rubiate Cross is 
unsure.