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The Scrimmage is an event that occurred on November 1, 2059 in the Scion Citadel of London. The scrimmage is the process by which the members of the syndicate choose a new leader.


Those who wish to participate in the scrimmage in the hopes of being the next Underlord or Underqueen must fight one another in a kind of arena called the Rose Ring, melee-style. The last clairvoyant standing gets the crown.

The scrimmage is based on the medieval art of mêlée. Mime-lords, mime-queens, and their mollishers fight in close combat in a "Rose Ring," which is an enduring symbol of the plague of unnaturalness. Each of the combatants fights for his- or herself, but a mollisher may work with his or her mime-lord or mime-queen at any time during the battle. The last candidate standing is declared victor and is presented with the ceremonial crown.

When there are only two combatants left in the Rose Ring, and they are not a mime-lord or mime-queen and mollisher duo, they must do battle to the death in order for a final victor to be declared. Only by using the a specific invocation can a combatant end the last fight without bloodshed. They must say, "In the name of the æther, I [name or alias], yield." Once this is spoken, the other party is automatically declared the victor.

Each participant in the scrimmage chooses three flowers to send to Grub Street with their application. They use the language of flowers as a tribute to the first Underlord's mollisher.

The first scrimmage occurred in 1976. The Golden Baroness won and became the first Underqueen.

The Mime Order[]

After the death of Haymarket Hector, twenty-four combatants battled for control of the London syndicate. One of those combatants is Paige Mahoney. There were many people conspiring against her, all under the leadership of the Rag and Bone Man and the Abbess.

Paige ends up facing off against her mentor and mime-lord Jaxon Hall. In order to beat him, she throws herself into his dreamscape and fights her way through his specters to get to his sunlit zone. She manages to take possession of his body and make it speak the words of surrender, with his spirit fighting her for every inch, furiously howling about how ungrateful she is for betraying him and how she would be nothing without him. Paige suffers multiple injuries during the scrimmage, but manages to hold on long enough to win.

After beating Jaxon, Paige is crowned as the youngest Underqueen in the history of London. Her coronation is even more sensational when she follows this by exposing the Rag and Bone Man's conspiracy, introducing the Ranthen to the syndicate, and declaring war on Scion.