War of Worldcraft - Episode IV: We're Supposed To Be Building a World, Right?
The next time you hear from me I'll be back from a fun-filled weekend that will feature at least several drafts of Azathu. It occurred to me that every single time I wrote one of these pieces that since we are building a world here the story needs to be a central part of the cards. So while next time I'll have some solid valuable testing (with stone cold ringers like Justin Parnell Kenny Mayer and Matt Scott. Jonas Sinacola will be there too but…you know) this time I want to focus on the story. I'm going to introduce the gang lord of the Bloodbrothers today. The Vicious Viashino Queen Murask.
Murask is the fiercest viashino in a world where savagery is rewarded with power and where viashinos are at the top of the food chain. And even knowing this people are still shocked by her actions.
The goblin trembled in the great hall. Half open-air half carved columns The Hall of Fersk was painstakingly scraped chip-by-chip into the side of the largest Mountain in Kir. To live in this savagery was risk enough but to be a goblin – it meant the only thing lower on the food chain than you were bugs and vegetables (and half of either could kill you anyway).
Smells of grilling flesh made the goblin's mouth water profusely. A feast was being prepared and all the hands in Fersk were busily working to make sure everything was perfect. Girls from the kitchen (smelly humans and the stupid flower oils in their hair) bustled back and forth with bowls and platters filled with savory soups and gravies. And oh the meats! Charred sides of some beast carved rare flesh piled high and sausages sweaty with their own juices. He hungered in spite of his nervousness – goblins always did.
His arms were gripped in the powerful hands of two viashino the powerful hulking lizard-men clad in armor made from the scales of dragons. The viashino were fierce warriors and the goblin was being dragged to see the fiercest. His shoeless feet were scraped by the jagged rippling stone "waves" of the hall floor. Knicks will be nothing if you do not deliver your message he thought and as he approached the throne he was dropped onto his face without the slightest bit of pomp or circumstance. His two captors knelt for a beat before the stone siege and sauntered back to their duties outside of the hall.
"Why do you darken my hall on the eve of my mating feast cave-boy?" It was a slur of the highest magnitude. Everyone in Kir lived in a cave. Probably half of them were men. But to call someone a cave-boy was like spitting in their face. The goblin had half a mind not to tell her his news but the other half of his mind wanted to live so he pressed forward.
"I c-c-c-c-come with a vision my queen" he said noting that she was not truly his queen; goblins were seen as wild animals on Kir. "Six storms approach and their thunder means to remove you from your throne."
Visions? Visions were taken very seriously here. The viashino were superstitious and perhaps it had served them well. They sat comfortably atop Kir as the apex predators sharing only with the dragons and even then only rarely.
The viashino queen's tongue flicked in and out of her mouth. She tasted the air for pheromones; something chemical to suggest the goblin was lying. She rose from the seat and walked down from on high to face the goblin the pads of her feet flattening on each stone step. Her claws clicked against the floor with each ominous pace forward.
"What do you call yourself cave-boy?" The queen's snout was so close to his face that the goblin occasionally felt her scales touch his lime-colored skin. Viashino didn't care about goblins' names.
"I am c-c-c-called Skitch my queen" he whispered with the stuttered breath of someone who just finished weeping.
The queen stepped back onto the stone-hewn floor and outstretched her arms as if to show arrogant dominion over the hall.
"Well I am Murask queen of all Kir. And as we speak an entire bask of kings ride to give me their blessings an army of the fiercest soldiers in history. By the joining of our blood my nest will overflow tonight with the soft eggs of hardened warriors. Even gods will bow to our might. These storms won't break water over my lands without my leave." Murask's fearsome voice echoed throughout the hall servants and soldiers alike stopped what they were doing if only for a brief moment to smile and look upon their terrifying queen.
Skitch lowered his head resigned to the fact that tonight may be his last. Murask sneered at the goblin again and started the retreat to her throne. She stopped in her tracks and began to turn around.
"You're luck is thick today cave-boy" Murask's sneer tore into her face and became a grizzly smile. "I am in need of a shaman."
"I am no shaman my queen" said Skitch in a small voice just wishing to be dismissed.
"Then perhaps if you will not join my court you will join the feast?" Skitch knew what she meant.
"M-m-maybe I could be your shaman my queen." He conceded that this would be a life of constant fear but this was an honor that had not ever been bestowed on a goblin. Better to die later than tonight anyway. And at least he'd be fed.
The queen looked past Skitch and he heard the low bass of bellowing viashino men. Six wizened viashino appeared in the mouth of Fersk. Her head cocked toward the goblin.
"Shaman" she laughed as she said it "are these the six storms?" Skitch shook his head though he noted the coincidence. "What business do you have at this mating feast elders?"
The first of the elders raised his head and tapped his staff three quick times against the floor.
"My queen we have heard rumors of a feast. A bask of kings approaching to mate is this true?"
"There is a bask of true kings coming to offer me their blessings and the gift of a new generation of warriors!" Skitch was missing something his ears perked up to take in as much information as he could understand. "Why would you and the elders insult my hall on this joyous occasion Shek?"
Shek which must have been the name of the elder who had spoken before looked at his brethren and nodded before addressing Murask again.
"My queen" he started clearing his throat "it's just that tradition holds that a queen cannot mate. Only a princess. You have a hundred children and yet where are they? Why are they not at court?"
Murask furrowed her brow and scuffled up to her throne her powerful tail lazily dragging up the steps. She sat down and her sneer reappeared.
"I have no true children" she said with a shade of malice. "This is my mating feast. A queen with no children is a princess and by our laws I shall mate." She drew in a deep breath and then stared at the elders unblinking unbreathing.
"What have you done?" asked Shek fearing the answer and the cruelty it meant.
"This is a feast Shek" Murask's smile shredded her face again. "We must eat."
The elders looked upon the banquet tables and then to their queen in horror. One of them wretched as if he would vomit and yet another fainted.
Skitch was just hungry.
This is her in her current form although I am concerned that maybe it should require a "token" sacrifice and not just any creature (because with intimidate this seems pretty swingy) but I'm not sure so I'll test it the other way too if necessary.
Next time we'll talk about the way we decided to resolve "clout" and get a little deeper into the story of Azathu.
How would you represent Murask? I don't know that sacrifice effects are out of flavor for red but I could see where you could make a case. I'd love to see how you would make Murask into a creature.
Thanks for reading everybody I hope your summer's kicking off well.
Please go check out my band! There's a bunch of new stuff going up this week!