Lore Ipsum: In Love and War

Hello! Today’s cards represent the complex tribulations of love and war.

As usual, both of these myths were recently recounted in vlog form by Dael Kingsmill of Geek & Sundry, which i highly recommend you watch before you proceed to the cards (links to the specific vlogs will follow). I won’t necessarily be covering the whole myths, only the aspects my cards drew from, and she tells them far better than me anyway. Let’s get started!

 

Prelude of War

Thetis was a sea nymph, so highly regarded for her beauty that both Zeus and Poseidon took an interest in her. So, business as usual. There was a prophecy surrounding Thetis, however, that stated that her son would rise to be greater than his father. This led the Gods to try and pair Thetis with a mortal, to ensure that her offspring wouldn’t threaten their rule, and she was eventually married to the mortal Peleus.

Thetis’ wedding ceremony was so popular that even the Olympians were in attendance. One divine being didn’t manage to get an invitation, though: Eris, Goddess of Discord. She was pretty annoyed with this, and decided to concoct her revenge by placing a simple golden apple among the wedding gifts, with the words “For the fairest” carved into it. Three goddesses ended up stumbling upon the apple, Aphrodite, Athena and Hera, and immediately began to argue over who was entitled to the gift. Zeus wanted no part in this squabble so he sent for Paris, a Trojan mortal who had proven his honesty in judgment in previous occasions. Paris recognized the catch-22 he had been thrown into and refused to exalt one goddess over another, but was eventually convinced by Aphrodite’s bribe, who promised him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This turned out to be Helen of Greece and ended up being the catalyst for the Trojan war. Eris is pretty good at her job.

Apple of Discord

This was a tricky card. I wanted to make a card so desirable that every player would want to claim it of their own volition, so the activated ability was obvious. What could possibly claim so much interest, though? Not losing the game sounded like a pretty good choice.

 

Epilogue of Love

Everyone knows the tale of Oedipus, so i’ll try to keep this short. King Laius of Thebes received a prophecy that, should he have a son, the child would grow up to kill his father and marry his mother. Eventually Oedipus was born, and was promptly abandoned and left to die. This, of course, never works, and Oedipus grew up under the care of a foster family, only to receive the same prophecy and leave for their protection. On his journey he encountered a group of people in a crossway, got into a petty argument with an old man over who should pass first, and ended up killing them all. The traffic code is serious business, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Oedipus found his way to Thebes, which was being tormented by a sphinx that killed anyone who didn’t correctly answer its riddle. Managing to outsmart the creature, he received kingship and the hand of Jacasta, queen of Thebes, in marriage. Fast-forward to many years later, when Oedipus learns that the old man he killed in the crossway was his father, Jacasta his mother – who promptly hanged herself upon learning this – and all of their children technically his siblings. Oedipus ripped out his own eyes in anguish and walked out of the city in self-imposed exile until the end of his days.

Oedipus Rex

“How do you represent incest in card mechanics?” was the question that instantly came to my mind when i saw the vlog’s title. It’s obviously red, the color of passion, and i had toyed with the idea of Soulbond representing love before. I ended up using the card’s color to represent their kinship, which is obviously a flawed concept because nothing says that a parent’s color (personality) should match their children’s, but using a creature type would feel much too narrow. Devotion was added to highlight the pair’s relationship, and to try to make the card any good.

The other mechanics were just added to be silly and cram as much of the myth as i could into it. Sacrificing a red creature represents Oedipus killing his father, and the death trigger represents his self-imposed exile and self-inflicted blindness. Of course, a card this complex would never see print. Something like this would be more viable:

Oedipus Rex 2

 

Until next time!

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