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Forget not that I am a derp.

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Friendship is Card Games: d20 Pony, Ch. 8, Pt. 2 · 11:12am May 22nd

We return to the ongoing adventures of Trailblazer, deep in the thick of things on the distant island of Midgard.

It really says something when an earth pony and a bat pony need to help a unicorn directly observe magic. In this case, something about the oppressive nature of the reigning regime.

The tyrannical King Empyrius’s true intentions are made clear, casting himself as performing grim necessity before leading his people into the light of plenty… by seizing control of the sun. And in case his moral status wasn’t clear, he’s somewhere between Sombra and pony Dracula.

Sadly, the climax is told rather than shown because Smoke, the party’s dragon, failed a Will save and stabbed Trailblazer in the gut just before the final showdown. But this has always been a more socially oriented game than pure hack-and-slash. That’s what summoning Solaire freeing Solar Flare was for. And the two former brothers in arms seemed to have destroyed one another in their final confrontation. It’s almost poetic.

It turns out the seed of Yggdrasil the party was questing for was the friends they made along the way the Philosopher’s Stone, purified of dark magic. (iIt’s also not a seed in the agricultural sense, but a magic-imbued crystal with enough power to, say, revive a world-tree if it were ever burned down. Hypothetically speaking.) Indeed, it seems to be a powerstone, a Magic: the Gathering artifact that contains the power of an entire (small) universe within its facets.
We also get an explanation for the enigmatic term “Odin’s curse;” it refers to an undeath-like state binding the souls of the inhabitants of Svartalfheim to the World Between Worlds, granting limitless power and life… for a given value of “life.” It was what Empyrius used to reign as long as he had, and why Yggdrasil was shrouded in mist as long as he was on the throne. The seed acted as something of a phylactery/focus for the curse.

Look, I eat up this sort of lore/world building with a spoon.

Beyond that, it’s the group making its way back to Equestria, with a brief stop among the harpies and Smoke leaving to make amends on Midgard. They do some odd jobs in the coastal town of Amblerta, then head to Canterlot to report on a job well done. And while there is still some of this chapter left, I have enough to work with as it is, and I like the idea of ending this instance on the page that first greeted me when I started going through d20 Pony.

So, let’s see how I can translate this climax:

Apple Basket, Exotic Trader 1W
Legendary Creature — Pony Citizen
Whenever a player casts their second spell each turn, each other player creates a Treasure token. (It’s a colorless artifact with “T, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.”)
Choose a Background (You can have a Background as a second commander.)

Hunter of Heretics 1WW
Creature — Unicorn Knight
Hexproof from white (This creature can’t be the target of white spells or abilities your opponents control.)
When Hunter of Heretics enters the battlefield, choose target creature an opponent controls. If it’s white, exile it. Otherwise, exile it until Hunter of Heretics leaves the battlefield.

Valiant Sunhorn 2WW
Creature — Unicorn Knight
Disturb 6WW (You may cast this card from your graveyard transformed for its disturb cost.)
Celestia does not expect or even want ponies’ devotion, yet they offer it freely.
Sunbright Vestige
(W) Creature — Unicorn Spirit Avatar
Sunbright Vestige’s power and toughness are each equal to your life total.
If Sunbright Vestige would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead.
Sometimes that faith transcends all expectations.

Jolly Cooperation 3W
Support X, where X is your devotion to white as you cast this spell. (Put a +1/+1 counter on each of up to X target creatures. Each W in the mana costs of permanents you control counts toward your devotion to white.)
Each creature you control with a +1/+1 counter on it gains first strike until end of turn.

Denouncing Herald 4W
Creature — Unicorn Soldier
When Denouncing Herald enters the battlefield, choose one —
• Detain up to one target creature. You become the monarch. (Until your next turn, that creature can’t attack or block and its activated abilities can’t be activated.)
• If you’re the monarch, detain all creatures target player controls.

Inspiring Gull 1U
Creature — Bird
Inspiring Gull can block only creatures with flying.
3U, Exile Inspiring Gull from your graveyard: Create two colorless 1/1 Thopter artifact creature tokens with flying. Activate only as a sorcery.

Lazuberry Harvest 1UU
Roll a d20. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal X nonland cards, then put all cards revealed this way into your hand.
1-9 | X is one.
10-19 | X is two.
20 | X is three.

Profitable Proposal 5U
Assist (Another player can pay up to 5 of this spell’s cost.)
Each player who spent mana to cast this spell draws three cards, then discards a card.
“Economics. Noun. Friendship for wallets.”
—Discord’s Dictionary

Champion of the Crown 3B
Creature — Unicorn Knight
Champion of the Crown has indestructible as long as you’re the monarch.
Empyrius’s elite guards are granted a taste of his power in exchange for minor trifles like morals and free will.

Shambler Sighting 3B
Enchantment Creature — Zombie Pony
Whenever a player sacrifices another creature or enchantment, return Shambler Sighting from your graveyard to your hand.
The dead rise not out of vengeance, but because the living expect them to.

Odin, Lord of Darkness 4BB
Legendary Creature — Unicorn Warlock
Other black creatures you control get +1/+1 and have “B: This creature gains indestructible until end of turn. Tap it.”
When Odin, Lord of Darkness dies, turn any number of nontoken permanents you control face down. They’re 3/3 black Horror creatures.

Shadow of Empyrius 5BB
Creature — Elemental Horror
When Shadow of Empyrius dies, create a 3/3 black Horror creature token for each creature that died this turn.
Evoke 3BB (You may cast this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it’s sacrificed when it enters the battlefield.)

Hospitable Harpy 2R
Creature — Harpy Citizen
When Hospitable Harpy enters the battlefield, target creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn for each mana from a Treasure that was spent to cast this spell.
The steppes of Aviania are as hospitable as your pockets are deep.

Woolly Boar 3R
Snow Creature — Boar
Whenever Woolly Boar and at least one other snow creature attack, Woolly Boar gains menace until end of turn.
“That’s either an avalanche or boars. I’m hoping for the avalanche.”
—Glitter Drops, alpine ranger

Empyrius’s Guidance 4RR
Untap target creature an opponent controls. Gain control of that creature until end of turn. It gains haste until end of turn. You may have it deal damage equal to its power to another target creature that player controls.
A strong body and weak will all but beg for royal command.

Apple Family Member 1G
Legendary Enchantment — Background
Commander creatures you control have vigilance, “T: Add G,” and “Whenever you cast a spell, if mana from this creature was spent to cast it, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.”
Your family taught you the virtues of hard work, self-reliance, and sheer stubbornness.

Fangs of Fenris 1G
Target creature you control fights target creature an opponent controls. If the creature an opponent controls would die this turn, exile it instead.
Odin’s attempted conquest of the realm of Light ended as brutally as it began.

Ratatosk’s Insight 5G
Choose X times, where X is the greatest power among creatures you control as you cast this spell. You may choose the same mode more than once.
• Draw a card.
• Create two 1/1 green Squirrel creature tokens.

Antimagic Toggle Bracelet 1
Artifact — Equipment
As long as Antimagic Toggle Bracelet is untapped, equipped creature has shroud. (It can’t be the target of spells or abilities.)
2: You may tap or untap Antimagic Toggle Bracelet.
Equip 1

Amblerta Gossip (gu)W
Creature — Pony Citizen
When Amblerta Gossip enters the battlefield, draw a card.
“Most places are the same. Town hall will tell you the official story, but you need to ask the pony on the street to get the juicy stuff.”
—Pinkie Pie, Bearer of Laughter

On the Mend WB
Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield with three wound counters on it. As long as it has a wound counter on it, it can’t attack or block and it has “At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a wound counter from this creature.”

Pegasus Wayfarer 1GW
Creature — Pegasus Scout
Alliance — Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, Pegasus Wayfarer explores. (Reveal the top card of your library. Put that card into your hand if it’s a land. Otherwise, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature, then put the card back or put it into your graveyard.)

The War of Fates 2WB
Enchantment — Saga
(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
I — Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.
II — Creatures your opponents control get -2/-2 until end of turn.
III — Exile target nonland permanent you don’t control.

Empyrius, Grim Sovereign 2RWB
Legendary Creature — Unicorn Noble
Menace, deathtouch, lifelink
When Empyrius enters the battlefield, you become the monarch. Then each player who controls more artifacts than you sacrifices artifacts equal to the difference. Players sacrifice enchantments and planeswalkers the same way.

Lazuberry Bog
Lazuberry Bog enters the battlefield tapped.
T: Add C.
2, T, Sacrifice Lazuberry Bog: Search your library for an Island card and a Swamp card, put them onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

Comments ( 3 )

At this rate, it will be a while before d20 Pony has enough content for more cards! Still, it's always a pleasure reading these summaries — I sometimes wonder if what I write makes sense at all.


As a writer of unusual prompts myself, I think you're doing a fantastic job of it. Then on top of that there's your art, which brings it even more life. :pinkiesmile:

Glad to hear it! It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so it saves me that much trouble.

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