HIGHLANDER Card of The Week #5
                           Week of 04 December 1995
             Copyright 1995, Jeff Barnes (barnejd@wkuvx1.wku.edu)

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SCORN

Event

"Target is rejected by a loved one because of his immortality.  Target
 loses 2 from Ability for 2 of his turns."

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Seattle, 1985

	The horror in her eyes is sharper than any blade I have ever faced,
cutting through all defenses and plunging into my heart.  And I know at
last what Hassan meant.

	"Cumber not yourself with mortals, boy," he would say with his
usual disdain.  "Best for all involved.  An immortal's heart must withstand
the pain of hundreds of mortal lifetimes, and mortals are too fragile for
the likes of us.  Stick with your own.  It may cost you your head, but at
least it will not cost you your sanity."

	This is what he spoke of, I now see.  I will never be like her, and
now that Katrina knows that, it will be the end.

	"What are you?" she almost screams at me.

	I reach for her to comfort her, but she pulls away, scrambling to
put distance between us.  "Dearest," I begin.  The blood on my hands -- my
own, for once -- drips to the carpet unnoticed.

	But she wants no part of me.  "Stay away!"  She backs away toward the 
door.  Fumbling with the handle, she opens it and flees my life forever.

	I stand there for several moments, hand still extended in entreaty.
How could I have been so wrong about her, I wonder.  Finally, my hand falls
as I realize she is gone and not coming back.  And, yet again, Hassan's 
words spring unbidden to my mind.  Will I never be free of the man?

	I slump into the couch, weak as a kitten.  If Taylor were to appear
in this moment, I might well beg him to take my head -- for another has
already taken my heart.  My radio continues its playing; I recognize the 
song's ironic title: "I Don't Want To Live Without Your Love."

	In that instant, I wonder: Has an immortal ever taken his own life?

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	SCORN is among the nastiest tricks one immortal can pull on
another.  However, while it may seem like an underpowered Alliance or a
mutated form of Street Punk to most, Scorn has more than a few uses all its 
own.

	First and foremost of the advantages Scorn has over similar cards
(Alliance, Street Punk, etc.) is that a player may have up to six in his
deck.  Of course, this is balanced by the disadvantage that only one or at
most two will actually be in effect at at time due to Scorn's time limit.
So while drawing a Scorn may be more likely than drawing a Street Punk or
Alliance, it will not be as powerful as either in the long run.

	Thus, a player logically can get the maximum use out of Scorn if
the duel ends before the card's limit expires.  There are two primary ways
to do this.  

	First, you can employ Scorn when your foe is low enough on
ability (one or two) that it will reduce him to zero.  His turn will end
with him at zero, and the Scorn will not have expired by the time of his
next turn.  However, if you use the official errata from Thunder Castle
Games, you will note that Scorn has been changed so that it no longer will
take ability below 1.  I personally recommend ignoring this change (as the
above example illustrates, scorn from a loved one can make even an immortal
suicidal), but you should be aware that you will most likely not have this
option in tournament play.  Because of this, we are left with only the
second option.

	Second (and perhaps most often used), you can employ Scorn in 
conjunction with a Pedestrian: 5 Turns.  Right before his fourth or fifth 
turn under the Pedestrian, play Scorn on him, thus effectively negating 
Scorn's temporary nature.  Of course, should your opponent find a way to 
dispose of the Pedestrian, the Scorn will be effectively wasted, but such 
are the risks of the combination.

	There are, of course, other uses for Scorn.  It tends to work 
moderately well in a discard deck, where it effectively serves to lower
the other player's maximum number of cards for two turns (unless that 
player is also Nefertiri, in which case your discard deck is almost 
certainly dead on arrival anyway).  It can, as has already been mentioned,
be used as a poor man's Alliance in non-Xavier decks.  Or it can simply
be employed as a closer card in any attack deck -- if you feel like being
patient.

	To sum up what has been said, Scorn is an easily underestimated
card, most useful in a deck built around Pedestrian: 5 Turns but dangerous
in any deck.  Ignore it at your own peril.

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Highlander is a protected trademark of Gaumont Television, used under license
by Thunder Castle Games.  The card text is copyright 1995 by Thunder Castle
Games.  All rights reserved.
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