Jack O' Cot and Hovel
“… even rick and tree pass to rot
And decay births Hovel of Cot…”
- Trad. Children's rhyme.
None of the Jacks are people, or even single entities as most human minds can understand them. As such they are all collections of contradictions and paradoxes but even among them none is more containing of their own destruction, their own anathema, than the Jack O’ Cot and Hovel. It is the nature of all living things to seek shelter and the Jack O’ Cot seeks all that is pure in rick, cot and tree, trying to build something permanent for succour and protection. The nature of Moonflight though is such that nothing lasts and the comforts of hearth are denied its fay folk. The Jack O’ Cot struggles against the inevitable entropy of the moonset, battles the decay of that which it has wrought. None though can stop the turning of the tide, not even the mighty Jacks of Moonflight and when the rot sets in Cot becomes Hovel and embraces the squalor that remains. All things need shelter, and when no shelter of quality exists, they must crowd into places foul and ill regarded, the Jack O’ Hovel is lord of those places, of all ghettoes and back alleys. They may not remain once the moon has set, but payment will be made for their use for every second until that time.
During play Cot and Hovel focuses on building a “tableaux”, a collection of cards that remain in play, generating useful abilities turn after turn rather than just when the right cards come into a player’s hand. They do this by using a series of cards with stability values that have card drawing and resource generating abilities, handing up the chance to generate powerful combos in return for the certainty of planning ahead and being able to generate exactly the effects they desire when they wish. After the turn, Set cards are effectively removed from a player’s hand temporarily for the purpose of triggering the end so rather than tableaux cards generating useful effects they all offer the chance to hide away non-scoring cards in return for spending resources. Glorious Penthouses become depressing Tower Blocks and bustling Banks cold Vaults. For the Jack O’ Hovel the game becomes about shoring up crumbing ghettos just long enough to win the game, choosing which buildings to patch up and which to allow to succumb to entropy, sliding into the discard stack.