The Beauty of Choice in The Kansas Collection – The Speakeasy Society

This article discusses the choices, the characters, and the factions from Chapters 1 & 2 of The Kansas Collection by The Speakeasy Society. Therefore, expect full spoilers of all possible paths for both The Key and The Axe. 

 

The Kansas Collection

 

“Keep making choices!”

 

Lyman, wearing a conductor’s hat, yells after me as I am ushered into the experience. These words stick with me far after the experience. The concept of choice is a cornerstone of immersive theater; it can have lasting effects in an experience or a momentary ripple that is later consumed by a larger wave. As we are introduced to the second chapter in The Kansas Connection, our choices appear to determine which road through Oz we travel. With each chapter, more fractions are introduced, loyalties are challenged, and the storm grows ever closer.

This article will explore various choices and paths that were available in the first two Chapters of The Speakeasy Society’s The Kansas Collection.

 

The Key The Axe Kansas Collection The Speakeasy Society Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 

The Choices

Chapter 1: The Key

During Chapter 1 of The Kansas Collection, The Key, Jo Files sent you either left to Phil Daring or sent you right to Phoebe. While two paths existed, the choice was usually made for you. But when a more nuanced choice was offered to you by one of the Daring Twins. They each asked you a series of questions and recorded your answers. These questions ranged from head vs heart, land vs sky, home is where? If you answer in alignment with your brain, with progress, with logic–then you were sworn into the Scarecrow King’s Armed Militia. But if you answer with heart, with freedom, with emotion, then there’s a possibility that you may see a different side of the Daring Twins. Phil could reveal himself as the Commander of The Patchwork Resistance, a rebel faction opposing the Armed Militia, and Phoebe could reveal that she is Ozma, the daughter of the original King of Oz.

As the twins send you on your way, they will either tell you to visit a man in a top hat–or to avoid him at all costs. Listening to them is your choice. Avoiding him has not unlocked any further content yet, but visiting him reveals that he is the deposed Wizard of Oz. He offers you an insight into the land of Oz, and a small card with coordinates. Follow this card, and you find a link to a video from The Scarecrow King, revealing how broken the throne really is.

What information you receive will shape the lens in which you view this experience through, and ultimately the choices you will make throughout.

 

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Interim

Weeks after The Key, an email is sent out containing a link to a top secret message with a link to a private video with a password. Three variants of this video have been sent, depending on the choices you made at The Key (they recorded your answers, remember?). The different variants are as follows: Jo Files of the Armed Militia, Phil of the Patchwork Resistance, or Phoebe who becomes Ozma part way through.

Jo is stern in his message, warning people that if they betray the promise they made during The Key, they will be punished by death. Those who swore loyalty to Phil are given a specific phrase and response that will help identify others loyal to The Patchwork Resistance. Phoebe warns you to stay away from Mr. Diggs, The Wizard—before reverting into Ozma. Ozma then tells you that she is only half of Ozma, split into the two twins, and she must kill Phil to become whole once again and reclaim the throne.

With this information, your path is more solidified: you are aligned with either The Armed Militia, with The Patchwork Resistance, or with Ozma. But you don’t have to stay aligned with them. You can betray the Scarecrow King, and join another side when given the opportunity. It’s up to you how loyal you want to be. But there are always consequences to betraying those you were once loyal to.

 

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Chapter 2: The Axe

In Chapter 2 of The Kansas Collection, The Axe, The Patchwork Resistance is rumored to be recruiting. Thus, no matter who are aligned with, The Scarecrow King sends you a message to infiltrate them as a double agent. However, the lobby appears to be a only a facade–little clues, puzzles, and hints can be found scattered around the waiting room. An intercepted recruitment list of those recruited into the Armed Militia can be found. Also, five separate letters spanning May 1906 to May 1953 all repeat the same message from Jo Files to Miss Dorothea Gale. Finally, a poem that has clear instructions to memorize it by May can be found.

When we are finally led by the recruitment officer–General Jinjur–we learn that this is not The Patchwork Resistance at all, but rather, Revolt. This faction was formed when Glinda, the good witch, lost her magic (as all magic was banned by The Scarecrow King). Using violence, threats, and intimidation, Revolt lured you there to find information on Dorothy and your allegiances. Jinjur will ask you to betray your faction–and tell her who sent you. You can be honest or remain loyal, but it’s unclear how this choice will play out.

Later, using a clever ruse that the Tinman is part of the Patchwork Resistance and is being tortured for information, they attempt to appeal to those with Patchwork loyalties and those who empathize with the broken man. The Tinman will even ask you the phrase Phil tells you in your first video, “My Mother was a Quilt-Maker.” Say the response correctly and he will be overjoyed, and use this newfound trust to try to extract information on Dorothy from you. But we don’t have information on her yet, even if we wanted to tell him.

One more path can be unlocked during The Axe. For those sitting closest to the door during the scene with the Tinman, the Lion will take you from the room. She reveals that she is an independent agent, ready to align herself with anyone for the right price. She offers you a trade: she wants guns from Jo Files’ gun tree; if you are willing to deliver a message to him, she will put you in contact with someone close to Dorothy. Accept the deal, and you are given a card with a phone number. After calling the number, you are introduced to Margaret, Dorothy’s sister. She gave up everything to find Dorothy, and she will do anything to keep her, keep Dorothy safe. She also warns: if you come looking, she will kill you.

 

Interim

Weeks after The Axe, another email was sent containing a top secret message from General Jinjur. She sets up a camera for Glinda, and urges her to tell her side of the story. With both hatred and heartbreak in her voice, she recounts the invasion of her Kingdom by the Scarecrow King and his Ozoplane Fleet (half balloon-half plane warships). Hundreds of them covered her land, with one was strategically placed over her castle. Because he needed Glinda, he wouldn’t directly attach her castle; so Glinda would sneak her people into the castle to keep them from harm. But one night, someone betrayed her: as she snuck out to smuggle more people in, the Scarecrow King dropped bombs onto the castle, killing her loyal subjects. She doesn’t ask for you loyalty, but she wants you to know that the scarecrow will burn, and she will be the one to light the fire.

Further, for those astute enough to notice, a puzzle exists in this video. Solve it and you may find path that will lead to a secret phrase to say to Lyman next time you see him.

One more video is sent before the next chapter: The Scarecrow’s response to Glinda’s video. Prompted by Phoebe, he explains a series of setbacks and security breaches and accuses Glinda of distorting the truth. He informs us that his attack on Glinda’s castle was a pre-emptive strike meant to safeguard the citizenry of the Emerald City, which Glinda’s forces threatened.  Both sides now have shown that they are willing to resort to threats, violence, fear to achieve their goals–and the horror of total war looms on the horizon. Will this information change your loyalties? 

The Characters

So now that the characters have been introduced in The Kansas Collection, let’s recap.

Phoebe Daring / Ozma
Phoebe Daring / Ozma
Independent Agent / Armed Militia Recruiter
A loyal agent of the Scarecrow King, she is also unwittingly the bodily host of half of Ozma, rightful heir to the throne. Ozma occasionally takes control of Phoebe's body in order to speak to her loyal operatives. Phoebe and the Scarecrow King are making preparations to marry, bringing Ozma one step closer to the throne. Phoebe's brother Phil Daring is also host to half of Ozma's spirit, and he must die at Phoebe's hands for the two halves to rejoin. However, for the time being Phoebe's subconscious appears to be preventing this.
Phil Daring
Phil Daring
Commander of the Patchwork Resistance / Armed Militia Recruiter
Phil is the commander of the Patchwork Resistance, but is undercover in the Armed Militia of the Scarecrow King. He is also an unwitting host to the split spirit of Ozma along with his twin sister Phoebe Daring. One of them must be killed by the other for Ozma to be whole again. He suffers from mysterious headaches, especially when near his sister, and takes a medication to stop them.
The Wizard / Mr. Diggs
The Wizard / Mr. Diggs
Independent Agent / No Sides
The Wizard was stripped of his title, and no longer has a side, a drunken shell of his former self. He seems to know a lot about the folds of time. Recently a pawn in the capture of Dorothea Gale.
Jo Files
Jo Files
Armed Militia
Loyal to the Scarecrow King, he performs an array of tasks for the Militia, including prepping new recruits and, most recently, serving as a guard for the prisoner Dorothea Gale. He is intimidated by the Cowardly Lion, who has been hounding him for information related to a Gun Tree, there whereabouts of which Jo claims not to know.
Scarecrow King
Scarecrow King
King of the E.C. (Emerald City) / Armed Militia Leader
He was once the most logical and wise, but is rumored to be going mad. He banned all magic from Oz and ascended a broken throne. Fearing a revolution, he rules Oz with an iron fist, ordering the mass executions of countless prisoners and holding his one-time friend Dorothea Gale in the dungeon of his castle. Currently making preparations to marry his loyal follower Phoebe Daring.
General Jinjur
General Jinjur
General of Revolt
General of Revolt, a group of rebels who'll use violence and ruthlessness to get what they want. She is loyal to Glinda and is good at getting information.
Glinda the Good Witch
Glinda the Good Witch
Leader of Revolt
Leader of Revolt, an rebellious force seeking to end the reign of the Scarecrow King. She lost her magic with the rise of the Scarecrow King and wants a change.
Tin Man / Nick Chopper
Tin Man / Nick Chopper
Working with Revolt to Find Dorothy
While his loyalties are unclear, he is currently working with Glinda to find information on Dorothy. He is in love with Dorothy, and thus, would rather rescue her than turn her over to any one side.
Not So Cowardly Lion
Not So Cowardly Lion
Independent Agent / Hired Hand
She is a hired hand playing all sides, the best in Oz and maybe even the world. Revolt hired her to find Dorothea Gale, and although she found her—she withheld the information and eventually Dorothea was captured by the Armed Militia instead. When all is said and done, she only truly works for herself. Determined to find the location of a certain Gun Tree, and believes Jo Files has the information she needs.
Lyman
Lyman
Your Guide in this Journey
Your conductor in this story, always urging you to make choices.
Dorothea Gale
Dorothea Gale
The Lost Princess
Currently under guard at the Scarecrow King's castle after being captured by Phil and Phoebe Daring. At the time of capture she seemed emotionally fragile and confused about her own past. Known for causing the deaths of many of the Witches of Oz. Believed by the Patchwork Resistance to be the Lost Princess; others believe chaos follows her wherever she goes. She has the ability to cross the desert to Oz. A prophecy says she will dethrone the Scarecrow King. Previous friend to the Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow King.
Margaret Gale
Margaret Gale
Independent Agent / Dorothea's sister
Sister and would-be protector of Dorothea Gale, it was Margaret's house she was taken from when Phil and Phoebe captured her.
Tick Tock
Tick Tock
Prisoner of the Scarecrow King
Anxious, excitable, logical, he is one of the few remaining prisoners after the Scarecrow King's purge. Claims to be aware of an anomaly in time where he possesses more than one distinct set of memories for the same moment. Deeply concerned about Dorothea Gale, who he claims as his only friend, and harbors deep resentment towards Jack for his role in accidentally sabotaging a past attempt to free her.
Jack
Jack
Prisoner of the Scarecrow King
Sweet, gentle, and friendly, he is one of the few remaining prisoners left alive after the Scarecrow King's purge. He is a longtime companion of Tick Tock and is concerned about his friend's recent perception of time distortions. Attempting to repress his guilt from a mistake he made that prevented Dorothea from being rescued.

The Factions

  • The Armed Militia: Led by the Scarecrow King, the armed militia has brought order, logic, and progress to the land. The trains run on time and things appear to be good. But the throne is broken, the Scarecrow fears an overthrow, and he is trying to find Dorothy, the Lost Princess, at all costs to prevent this outcome.
  • The Patchwork Resistance: Led by Commander Phil Daring, The Patchwork Resistance believes that Dorothy Gale is the true ruler of Oz. They fight against the Scarecrow King and want to place Dorothy on the throne.
  • Revolt: Led by Glinda, Revolt is a group of extremists that resort to violence, torture, and manipulation to gain the upper hand. They want the Scarecrow King deposed. They also seek Dorothy because they believe she is the only one who can do it. This group does not seem to be recruiting actively.
  • Ozma: The rightful heir of Oz is currently residing in the body of Phoebe, but is split in half. The other half is in Phil—and one twin must die for Ozma to become whole again. She is following the Armed Militia until she can overthrow the Scarecrow King.
  • Independent Agents: Dorothy Gale, The Wizard, and The Lion are working outside the confines of any of these sides. We have yet to see exactly how they play into the story and if they will lend their allegiances to one.

 

The Axe Speakeasy Society Kansas Collection Haunting Haunting.net 

Final Thoughts

So tying this back to the beginning—what does this mean for choice in The Kansas Collection? Well, it means that choices matter! Making choices so far has unlocked The Wizard, secret videos, hidden artifacts in Revolt’s lobby—there are some truly spectacular discoveries to be made. Further, the more information we have, the more informed our decisions are and the stronger our loyalties become. The Speakeasy Society is paying attention, so keep making choices!

 

A storm is on the horizon.

Where will you stand?

 

 

 

For more information on The Kansas Collection, follow The Speakeasy Society’s website and facebook.

About The Author

Taylor Winters
Taylor has loved immersive theater since his first experience at ALONE in 2013. Since then, he has written, produced, & directed immersive theater, consulted for numerous immersive companies, acted in others, and attended even more. He has his PhD in Bioengineering, an MBA in Organization Leadership, and currently works at Medtronic fixing broken hearts.

3 Comments

  • Kirk on April 6, 2017

    I keep watching through Glinda’s video, but I’m not able to spot a puzzle, let alone solve one. Does it have to do with the uppercase/lowercase letters, or is it something else?

  • Why on April 6, 2017

    Why make a list of things people aren’t supposed to know?

    • Taylor Winters on April 6, 2017

      I made sure to get approval from The Speakeasy Society before I wrote this article. I didn’t want to jeopardize anyone’s experience by giving them information that they were not suppose to know. But people talk, people theorize, and people want to know information. A lot of people have asked what happened if they made the opposite choice. They wanted all the information possible to make the most informed decision. So this article is for them.

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