Friday, September 22, 2017

The End of Eternal Winter

Coldsnap was a throwback expansion, claimed to be a file "found" many years as a 3rd set in the Ice Age block.  To that end, Wizards developed the set, and had the author of the Ice Age story block, Jeff Grubb, write about it.  He wrote this story, about the goals of Heider, a winter mage hoping the eternal ice would remain eternal.  The story is set after the events in the Ice Age Trilogy, after the conclusion in "The Shattered Alliance".  Heider is a new winter mage hoping to stop the warming world climate, and keep the eternal ice age going. 

This story was originally published in the Coldsnap player's manual, and here it is again for all to read. 


Clicking on the images will bring up a larger image, so the text is more readable. 












And here is the Storyline synopsis.



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ixalan World Guide Images


At the worldbuilding panel at PAX West this year, the Magic team showed off some of their images from the Ixalan world building guide.

Here are these images, for you to peruse and learn more about the Sun Empire, the River Heralds, and the Legion of Dusk.  You can see larger versions of the images by clicking on them

The Legion of dusk are vampires following a strict church from the continent of Torazon, coming to Ixalan by ship to find the Immortal Sun artifact that was lost to them hundreds of years ago. 




The River heralds concept art.



The Sun Empire's concept art, as well as that of Huatli. 

 


You can find more on the plane of Ixalan on the main world guide article. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Discover the Plane of Ixalan

With a major treasure hunt beginning, our world of Ixalan arrives with mechanics and flavor.  Dinosaurs and Pirates, undiscovered lands, and danger beneath the rivers and seas!  (A plane that 'walker can never leave, yarr)



Introduction article to the world and rules of Ixalan. 
http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/ixalan-mechanics

The planes is introduced by Alison Luhrs, in the Magic Story podcast.

The Interactive Map will help out find your way on the journey!



Geocaching is a fun activity, and Wizard of the Coast has released numerous trackable tags to move around our own world, to discover the world of Ixalan as well! 

World guide images from PAX West.

Ixalan's trailer, welcome to a world of Dinosaurs!


The Magic Worldbuilding panel from PAX West revealed some new things about the world. 

Story:

We come to Ixalan following Jace, now a castaway on a deserted island, arriving here fresh from his defeat by Nicol Bolas on Amonkhet.  Jace' mind and memory were crushed, and so, we will journey the seas with him to find himself, and see what this new world has to offer.  Ixalan is a plane of two continents,  Ixalan, a continent of dinosaurs and tropical lands ruled by the Sun Empire and the
merfolk River Heralds (similar to Aztec and Incan cultures of our world), and a far off continent of Torrezon, with the vampire conquistadors of the Legion of Dusk and the traveling pirates known collectively as the Brazen Coalition.  Ral Zarek on Ravnica was tracking Vraska's planeswalking, but was unable to determine where she traveled to- which we now learn is Ixalan.  She's seeking something, and has guidance from a compass, given by Nicol Bolas to find Orazca, the City of Gold.  She is taking on new roles as a captain of a ship, and we as readers will see how she adapts to freedom and the ability to lead a crew with her powers and abilities. 

The Vampires are seeking a relic stolen from them centuries ago, known as the Immortal Sun.  Their goals to reclaim it would reduce their need to drink the blood of the wicked, to allow them to live eternally without blood needs. 

The pirates too are seeking the power of the Immortal Sun. They are seeking it and raiding the Sun Empire in goals to find the ultimate treasure for immeasurable power.  Their refugees were from Torrezon, who escaped to the sea to form their pirate coalition. 

The Sun empire is in a time of prosperity, from powers given by sun priests and riding dinosaurs.  They believe in the threefold suns, championed by dinosaur avatars of three colors.  The empire is hoping to defend their land and maintain power on the continent, and seeks the Immortal Sun to fight off these new invaders of the Legion of Dusk (Their first conquistadors arrived around 2 years ago). 

The merfolk of the River Heralds are people of the river waters, protecting the natural world with natural magic.  Their strength is waning, and are no longer able to drive the Sun Empire out of the center of the continent.  They protect the Golden City of Orazca which hides the Immortal Sun, yet no one knows the actual location of the city- but they will defend it and it's secret location with all their remaining power.

Side Stories:

The Conqueror's Galleon lands in Ixalan. 

Official storyline:
Jace finds himself, alone, on Useless Island. 


Hualti strives to become the Warrior Poet, and finds a new foe in Angrath.

Having found her way to Ixalan from the guidance of an ancient being, she begins to lead a company of the Brazen Coalition, in the quest to find the Golden City.  Instead, Vraska finds a castaway.  

The Shapers of Ixalan seek to repel all invaders, even those of the Trifold Sun. 

Jace and Vraska make landfall at High and Dry, and find common ground on their quest to Orzaca. 

The Race is on to the golden city!


More story and updates as they are release.  Please comment if there is anything missing or inaccurate. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sailing and Geocaching for the Brazen Coalition


So we received a geocache trackable in the mail!



Figured this was a good opportunity to make it as pirate themed as possible.  For those that don't know, the world of Ixalan has a organization of pirates, known as the Brazen Coalition, who seek out treasure and riches across the seas.  

So, we'll make this trackable, tag #TB8K9A3, go on a journey.  Its goal?  Reach a geocache in Japan!  

To get it started, we launched it where some have found it best to rest.  

Walking to the cache, we stopped at a group of old ones, marking the path.  Felt we were on the right track!  But the old ones stayed silent.  Hiding whatever more they would upon their guarded hill. 



Further on, we realized, there be muggles around.  Muggles in geocaching is apparently anyone in the area who's not geocaching, or an 'uninitiated' person in the game.  We waited until it was only us and the dead.  Dead tell no tales, maytee!





So thar it be!!!  The treasure is logged, soon to appear on the main #mtggeocachers website.  You can follow Sailing for the Brazen Coalition here, and hopefully help it journey across the seas.  We'll be posting more lore about the Pirates of Ixalan as it appears, and help everyone find some gold for themselves!






Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Exploring Ixalan through Geocaching

Ahoy!

Ixilan appears to be a world of pirates, and merfolk, dinosaurs and vampiric inquisitors!  Now it is another AR game for us, the players, to search for hidden treasure, right in our own world!

We found one, yarr!  Only took us 3 tries!


Wizards of the Coast is sending out these trackables for the players of both Magic and Geocaching to find!  The more they move, the more may come of it!  Pirates being in Ixilan, we know there must be good treasure to be found.

What is geocaching?  Geocaching is a treasure hunt game in our world using GPS (a map for you landlubbers!) to find little hidden boxes in the middle of plain sight!  You can check out the website here:  https://www.geocaching.com/play  An account is free, but to search and hide things, there's a subscription fee.


These trackables move from box to box, by players moving them around!  Wizards may release spoilers once the trackables move far enough (is the rumor)!

And Wizards has opened it to players the world over!  #mtgxln will be the tag for you to follow these trackables!

https://www.geocaching.com/promotions/promo/magic/



I'm going to hide the one we found again tomorrow, and X marks the spot! 
Code blocked out to hide its identity! 

So this blog will update where other geocachers are placing them, and track videos, articles, and comments as we search for the treasures in this new world, Ixilan!

Geocaching with Dinosaurs! 

Lauren Orsini hid one and wrote about it with Forbes Magazine.

Brave the Unknown

More coming soon as they're posted!


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lore Dragons of Commander

With the early spoilers from Commander 2017, we found there were several legendary dragons revealed!  What many do not realize is that all of them are dragons of lore past- Wasitora, Ramos, O-Kagachi have all had their part in the Magic storyline.

Here we give you a brief history of each, with the links to learn more!

Wasitora:

Wasitora was a cat dragon of Jamuraa, on the plane of Dominaria, during the time of the Legends cycle.  She was sent into the jungle at an early age by her mother, and possessed green mana healing abilities.  Isolated from other Nekoru (cat dragon) culture, she grew up wild.  One day, she encountered a group of them gathering one day for their mating ritual, at which she defeated all the other female nekoru, and was thereby crowed the Nekoru queen.  After mating with the king Nekoru, she left Jamuraa, heading to the continent of Madara to raise her litter. 

Details of these events are in the "Monsters of Magic Anthology" novel, edited by J. Robert King.

Later, she is demanding tribute from a fishing village who call on the Imperial Champion of Madara to aid them.  Tetsuo Umezawa, the Imperial Champion, instead appoints her as deputy of the Imperial Champion and guardian of Sekana village port.   She also aids Tetsuo in his campaign against the dragon emperor Nicol Bolas, protecting Umezawa manor against the Kentsu army with her dragon kittens. 

Details of these events can be found in the Legends II novels: Assassin's Blade, Emperor's Fist, Champion's Trial, by Scott McGough. 

Further summary can be found at the mtg wiki: 
http://mtg.gamepedia.com/Wasitora


Ramos:

Ramos was a reprogrammed dragon engine of Phyrexian design originally under the control of Mishra, but upon reprogramming, sent by Urza to protect the people of Terisiare (a continent on Dominaria).

Dragon engines were some of the Phyrexian machines given to Mishra in order to conquer Terisiare (the largest continent on Dominaria), against his brother Urza.  At some point in the Brother's War, Urza captured Ramos and reprogrammed it. 

 Ramos gathered humans and merfolk to protect during the Sylex blast in the Brother's War, and managed to planeshift through Phyrexia and ending up in Mercadia by using a planar portal.  The people he brought to Mercadia ended up being the Cho-Arrim and the Merfolk of Rishada.  Parts of him, the "Bones of Ramos" were five power stones and part of the legacy, which the Weatherlight crew eventually re-acquired during the events of Mercadian Masques, towards their goal of completing the legacy weapon.  Ramos aided the Weatherlight by attacking and destroying Volrath's ship, the Recreant while they battled on Mercadia. 

All of this information can be found in the Mercadian Masques novel, by Francis Lebaron.  

Further summary can be found at the mtg wiki: http://mtg.gamepedia.com/Ramos


O-Kagachi

The spirit world and the physical world are two separate planes of existence in Kamigawa, and spirits protect and guard everything in their world, as well as the physical manifestations. 
O-Kagachi was the great serpent, the spirit of the barrier between the two worlds.   When Konda managed to steal "That which was taken" from the spirit world, it began the Kami war, as "That which was taken" is the daughter of O-Kagachi, though she herself is not a dragon.  O-Kagachi eventually manifested in the physical plane of Kamigawa, in the 20th year of the Kami war three times, finally being defeated by Michiko and "That which was taken" (manifesting herself to a woman, and giving herself the name "Kyodai").  The two women took up the mantle of guardians of the veil between worlds, and ended the Kami war. 

Further summary can be found at the mtg wiki: http://mtg.gamepedia.com/O-Kagachi


So, I'm really excited to see these three classic legendary dragons in Commander 2017!  Who else are we hoping for in the other 3 decks?  And will there be any story about the Ur-Dragon?

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Multiverse of Magic the Gathering

The Multiverse, once known as Dominia (not to be confused with Dominaria), is comprised of infinite worlds.  is considered the Nexus of the multiverse.

Richard Garfield, in the 1994 Pocket Player's handbook, described Dominia:

Imagine a vast beach. The sand shifts constantly, moved mostly by the tide and the wind, but also by the creatures that scurry across it or burrow beneath. Subtler effects, like compression or changes in temperature, also make their mark. Sometimes the grains cling together, weathering as a single stone until they are broken apart by some other force.

Now, imagine that each of these grains of sand is its own world, and you begin to get a picture of how Dominia works. Dominia is a multiverse, a collection of universes. Usually, the inhabitants of a particular world have no interaction with the other universes; the live out their lives believing that their home is the “One World.” Even when some cataclysm on a nearby plane affects the surrounding worlds, the occupants of those worlds can blame the gods, or perhaps invent nonexistent natural laws to explain the changes in their plane.


Dominaria is the center of the multiverse. 
It is connected to 11 other worlds, once known as the shard of the 12 planes, and is one of the largest worlds of the entire multiverse.  Imagine it as a large boulder in the center of the beach, with the sands and stones of other worlds shifting around it. 

These worlds, and the infinite others in the multiverse, are where our stories begin, to show what planeswalkers can do, and we follow them on their exploration and journeys!

The Known multiverse (2008) 



The Planechase sets, both 2009 and 2012 introduced many worlds not seen in various block sets.  They are described here for 2009.

Planeswalkers once were some of the most powerful beings in the multiverse- they were able to create and destroy planes.  Some examples of fabricated worlds were Serra's Realm, Mirrodin, and Phyrexia.  Planes have also been revealed to have a sort of spirit, a soul, of senses, which can form into a elemental, or speak with animists.


Recent worlds visited:

Ixilan- A lush jungle continent on a plane with the same name, this world is inhabited by Pirates and Dinosaurs, and planeswalkers here have found the inability to leave. 

Amonkhet- A world with similarities to ancient Egypt, it is a world ruled by Gods and their trials to greatness for the return of the God-Pharaoh.

Kaladesh- A world of wonder and artifice, where Aether fuels the energy of the inventions created by genius designers.  An inventor's fair is held, overseen by the mysterious Tezzeret. 

Innistrad- Two blocks have shown the gothic gloomy world of Innistrad, and while the humans of the plane already face werewolves, vampires, and zombies, they now have to contend with the cosmic horror of the Eldrazi.

Zendikar- A world of intense mana and floating peaks, full of quests and adventures, with danger and temples to explore.  It was invaded by the Eldrazi over 5000 years ago, and they have recently escaped!

Tarkir- A world ruled by 5 dragon lords which was once the battlegrounds of Khans. A time shift has changed it from a world where dragons were once extinct. 

Theros- Greek mythology influences Theros, and the gods of the subplane Nyx are the thing of enchantments.  Gods here can be invoked, and magical creatures are formed of the living sky.  One planeswalker attempted to become a Theros god himself- to what ends, however?

Ravnica- A city world controlled by ten guilds plotting against each other.  They are held to law by the living Guildpact, Jace Beleren.  However, their world is often visited by planeswalkers, and it is an very unstable peace at the moment. The past events. The Recent Events

New Phyrexia- The artificial world of Mirrodin is no more; the world is now ruled by Phyrexia.  This metal world is still forming itself to the new hub of the Phrexian homeworld, to eventually spread further to the multiverse. 

Alara- Alara was once broken into five subplanes, each with their own 3 color shards.  Bant, Jund, Grixis, Naya, and Esper are now areas within this single plane, but their isolation has caused them to clash. 

Fiora- A world of a classical kingdom, Paliano is the hub of intrigue, culture, and royalty

Lorwyn/Shadowmoor- A world alternating between light and shadow, Lorwyn magically changes to Shadowmoor at night through a Aurora, but with inhabitants being able to be in control. 

Kamigawa- The Japanese inspired world of Kamigawa is home to a variety of different races, and has connections to their spirit subplane.  A war between the Spirit and Physical world brought choas to the usually peaceful world. 

Shandalar- A wandering plane, Shandalar is a world ripe with mana, and very traditional fantasy elements. 

Dominaria- The center plane of the multiverse, it is one of the largest worlds.  Spanning multiple continents and cultures, Dominaria has a wide variety of races and history- from an Ice Age to multiple world ending events, including time-related catastrophes.  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Scars of Mirrodin, Reflections of Phyrexia

Here are all the flavor and storyline guides for the backstory for the Scars of Mirrodin, Mirrodin Besieged, and New Phyrexia sets.  These were released in 2010-2011, so there may be gaps and things missing at this point.  Please comment if anything else can be added.

Welcome to Mirrodin!  World of Metal, created by Karn, planeswalker of Dominaria.  Mirrodin has been infected by the Phyrexian oil, spread by Karn himself, likely from the corruption still present in the phyrexian heartstone within him, given by Urza Planeswalker, once owned by Xantcha. 




Three planeswalkers gather- Here are the three sets of webcomics!

Gathering Forces

Scarred

Dark Discoveries


Scars of Mirrodin:
Convincing Elspeth and Venser to aid him, Koth, a native of Mirrodin, returns to his home plane to join the battle against newly forming Phyrexian forces.  Elspeth had faced Phyrexians as a child on her homeworld, which was invaded as well.  Venser, a native of Dominaria, had lived in their ruins and aided in the Mending with Teferi.  He was still working on interplanar portal and teleportation devices. 

Trailer (We will endure), Trailer (All will be one)

Phyrexia and the Vaultlord 

Mirrodin's Human cultures.

A tale of two clone shells.

Non-human cultures of Mirrodin.


Mirrodin Besieged:

Corruption

Phyrexians...

Public Aggression.

War!

Why the Mirrans will endure










New Phyrexia:

Mirrodin falls, and the phyrexians have won. 

Underling Ethu's 263rd report read simply "Yes, my lord. Overwhelmingly, my lord." This marked the end of the Mirran-Phyrexian War.  -War Report, Card 26/174, New Phyrexia.

Trailer

Planeswalker's guides: Part 1Part 2: The Swarm, Part 3: Machine Orthodoxy, Part 4: The Quiet Furnace, Part 5: The Progress Engine, Part 6: The Steel Thanes.

The Praetors



Aftermath:

Elspeth escapes with her life, and describes what happened after the Quest for Karn novel in a letter to Ajani. 

There is an Ezuri, card, with him Phyrexianized in Commander 2015.  He has been compleated. 



Other stories from New Phyrexia:



Individual Character descriptions. 

Farris of the Anvil

Unctus of the Synod

Roxith, Thane of Rot

Kessla, of Temple Might

Ria of Bladehold




Basic information on the plane: Wiki

The terms of Mirrodin.

Not much lore is told of the world otherwise, though the novel, Quest for Karn exists.  It cannot be recommended by this blog.  



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Hours of Devastation Arrive

Magic is about to show us the defeat of the Gatewatch, and so the Hour of Devastation comes nigh!

If you haven't seen the stories, you can find them all in the Amonkhet world article, found here.

The prophesies of Amonkhet tell of 4 hours, and each is winding up to be a Magic card of large power and explosive strength! Each week we've seen a story progressing through them as we approach prerelease. Want to be the expert on what they were said to be, and what they brought?  Here's a basic summary for you to quote the prophesy.


This can be your guide to discussing the prophesied hours!

The Accounting of Hours:
"When the Second Sun rests between the horns on the horizon, so begins the Hour of Revelation. Then the Hour of Glory, the Hour of Promise, and finally the Hour of Eternity."
—The Accounting of Hours (Throne of the God-Pharaoh)

"And thus the sun reached its zenith behind the horns of the God-Pharaoh, and the promised Hours began. And the last of the people of Amonkhet fell to their knees, and there was much gnashing of teeth for fear of what was coming in the world, and wailing from babes and children, and the gods did mark the moment with solemnity, all as foretold."

The Hour of Revelation
"All questions will be answered during the Hour of Revelation." (Naga Oracle, blue)


"And so the Hour of Revelation broke upon the land, and the promised time arrived when all questions would be answered. And lo, the Gate to the Afterlife opened, and from behind its gleaming walls, the true visage of the coming tide poured forth."
-From the story, Feast.


What actually happened:  The people and gods gather at the Luxa river, where the Gate to the Afterlife opens.  Only Razaketh the demon arrives, and he casts a spell that turns the Luxa to blood and begins to dry.  The Gatewatch gang up on him, and with Liliana's animated animals, tear him apart.

Analysis: So this prediction was a flat out lie.  No questions were answered, other than the Razaketh revealing himself.  The "coming tide" is definitely shown, though- devastation. 



The Hour of Glory
"In the Hour of Glory, the gods and the untested will prove their worth before the God-Pharaoh."

—The Accounting of Hours (Nimble-Blade Khenra, Red)

Beginning of the article:
"And as the Luxa, the lifeblood of Naktamun, turned to the foul blood of the great shadow Razaketh, the Hours turned to that of Glory—the promised time when the gods themselves would prove their worth before the God-Pharaoh."

What actually happened: The three missing gods appear, as the Scorpion God, the Locust God, and the Scarab God.  The Scorpion God approaches and attacks Rhonas.  He defeats it several times, but it surprises and overwhelms him, killing him with its sting. 

Analysis:  The gods were tested, or at least, Rhonas was, their strongest and best fighter.  He lost, and an immortal was killed on the plane- meaning, perhaps, that the world's leylines can reform gods.  Amonkhet's leylines and heart is damaged and killed, as we learned from Nissa, however, so there may be no returning gods after this set. 



Hour of Promise

"When the Hour of Promise arrives, the God-Pharaoh will tear down the Hekma, for its protection will be needed no longer." —The Accounting of Hours (Winged Shepherd, White)

Beginning of the article:
"And lo, the three dark divinities returned, and as they felled the gods, the Hour of Promise arrived. And so the great locust god fulfilled the great promise, and thus the Hekma was torn asunder, its protections cast aside before the return of the God-Pharaoh."

What actually happened:  Kefnet and Oketra fall to the might of the recurring Scorpion God.  Hapatra and others physically feel the death of their gods.  The Locust God released his locust summoning spell, and the locusts tore and ate the magical barrier protecting Naktamun apart, allowing zombies and horrors into the city.

Analysis:  Two other gods fought the Scorpion god, and died.  Their goal was the prevent the Hekma from being destroyed at this point by the Locust god, but failed.  The prophesy was correct, and the gods failed to stop it. 





The Hour of Eternity
"When all doubts have melted away, the worthy will meet the Hour of Eternity and earn a place at the God-Pharaoh's side." —The Accounting of Hours  (Dissenter's Deliverance, Green)

What will the Hour of Eternity bring?  That comes next week on July 2nd, 2017, and this blog will update thereafter.

What we expect:  The Scarab god will create or bring forth the eternals, zombified and lazotep covered minions to be controlled by Bolas.   Bontu and Hazoret are the two remaining Naktamun gods, and they will either fight each other (as some spoilers suggest) or stand against the Insect Gods.  Bolas may finally appear, and we may see a battle with the Gatewatch.  The hour is called eternity, so we definitely should see the Eternals (zombies) arrive at very least. 



Some fun speculation at this point- there are only 4 hours listed in the "Accounting of the Hours", and the set's name is Hour of Devastation.  There have also been 4 cards revealed with the hours' names, so I would now fully expect an "Hour of Devastation" card in Red (the color missing). 

Also interesting, each of these quotes of the Hours (listing what actually happens instead of the prophesy) are written in past tense.  So someone must survive these hours, and live on Amonkhet beyond this story.  Perhaps we'll see a survival of desert-folk in the future.

Update:  As expected.  There is an Hour of Devastation.  And Bolas meets the Gatewatch!