Lore of the Folk: Creepy Creeps
Hello! Today’s segment has cards from the new Folklore section of my personal Multiverse, and is essentially Lore Ipsum but based on folk tales instead of mythology. This particular pair of cards is based on a couple of creepy tales.
This segment came about because Dael Kingsmill of Geek & Sundry started a new fairytale vlog series, and i get all my best ideas from her videos. As usual i highly recommend you watch her vlogs before you proceed to the cards (links to the specific vlogs will follow). I won’t necessarily be covering the whole tales, only the aspects my cards drew from, and she tells them far better than me anyway. Let’s get started!
There are several variations on the tale of Bluebeard, so i’ll just focus on the common parts. In one way or another, creepy man Bluebeard would summon/kidnap a woman to his home, promising to make a happy wife out of her as soon as he returned from an errand he had to run. He would leave a set of keys behind, instructing the woman that she was free to go wherever she wanted in the house, except for the door opened by the smallest key. Of course the prospect of being married to this creepy dude was never favored by the women, who invariably ended up trying to escape through the forbidden door, only to find it filled with the bloody remains of previous would-be wives. Upon his return, Bluebeard would know of the transgression because of the unwashable blood stains on the key. Another woman would be slain and the cycle would continue, until he finally met his demise when his final would-be bride outwitted him, in one way or another.
This is another of those tell-a-story designs that i quite enjoy: Bluebeard hands over a key, destroys its wielder if they wander too much, then does it all over again. Black self-bounce tends to have a life cost associated, but i made it extra conditional because it’s quite a powerful ability.
Stingy Jack was a thief who loved to play pranks on people. His latest scheme involved carving out a pumpkin into a grimace and placing a candle inside, leaving it by the side of the road where it was sure to spook passersby and send them fleeing. One night, as he returned home, he came across a corpse and decided to take their wallet. The corpse came to life and revealed itself to be Satan, who had come to claim Jack’s wicked soul for himself. Jack managed to outwit the devil and had him trapped by a ring of crucifixes, forcing him to promise never to return for Jack’s soul in exchange for his freedom.
Jack eventually died, as humans tend to do. His wicked soul was prevented from gaining entrance to Heaven, so he found himself at the gates of Hell, looking directly at Satan. The devil reminded him of his promise and refused him entrance as well, but not without mockingly casting an ember at him, fueled by the souls of the damned, that it might light Jack’s path in the darkness of the netherworld. Jack wandered aimlessly through countless planes of existence, the ember continually burning his hands, until he somehow found himself back on the mortal plane. There he saw a curious pumpkin, carved into a grimace, and placed the ember into it to create a makeshift lantern. Henceforth, once a year, he would find his way back to our realm and hunt for souls to rekindle his lantern, eventually becoming known as Jack-O’-Lantern.
It took me a while to figure out how to put aspects of both Stingy Jack and Jack-O’-Lantern into a card, since they are very much their own distinct creatures. Eventually i realized the concept was begging to be a double-faced card. Stingy Jack’s ability comes from his pranks and was inspired by Tragic Slip, which was the closest thing i could think of as a prank in a black card. Upon his death Stingy Jack returns as Jack-O’-Lantern, who must harvest the souls of fallen creatures to maintain his presence on the battlefield.
I got the fancy custom template from here and sloppily edited the transformed version myself. It felt fairytaleish for some reason, as did the centered text. So that’s how it is. Until next time!