Lore of the Folk: Curses and Chaos
Hello! Today’s cards are both based on stories where people are cursed out of spite.
As always, both of these fairytales are the most recently recounted in vlog form by Dael Kingsmill, which i highly recommend you watch before you proceed to the cards (links to the specific vlogs will follow). I won’t be covering the whole tales in detail, only the aspects my cards drew from, and she tells them far better than i ever could. Let’s get started!
Once upon a time, in a small Irish town, there lived a man named Jamie Freel. Jamie had a habit of visiting an abandoned castle a little ways out of town, which would mysteriously light up every Halloween night, and learned that it was a place of revelry for faeries. On one such night, Jamie decided to join in on the festivities and made his way into the castle. Upon entering the castle, every faerie inside turned to him and welcomed him with open arms and grinning faces. Jamie danced the night away with the faeries, until one of them came up to him and asked him if he would like to join them on their yearly kidnapping of a young lady of Dublin. Jamie somehow thought this was a great idea and agreed, mounting a horse that flew away into the night, surrounded by a cloud of faeries.
The party stopped by the window of a fine mansion, wherein a young woman was sleeping. A group of faeries flew into the window, grabbing the girl and leaving behind an enchanted log that took her form. While returning to the castle, Jamie asked the faeries if he could have a go at carrying the lady. The faeries agreed; taking that chance, Jamie rode off back to his house, sheltering the girl from the cloud of faeries, but not before they cursed her to be mute and deaf. Jamie would go on to find a cure for her curse thanks to the faeries’ extraordinary daftness, and the pair eventually got married and lived happily ever after in her Dublin mansion.
This is a traditional polymorph removal spell, where blue replaces a creature with a smaller creature. Polymorph spells are designed to not be fool-proof and to have situations where they’re not useful, often against small creatures. This version is relatively cheap but is only useful against creatures who you don’t want to attack you; blockers or creatures with activated abilities won’t suffer much from it.
Once upon a time, a girl named Marie received an ugly nutcracker for Christmas. Through a series of bizarre events, she came to learn that the nutcracker was in fact a boy who had been cursed by the Mouse Queen on her dying breath, and who was subsequently banished for being ugly despite having just saved the kingdom’s princess. The Mouse King, seeking revenge for his queen, came to Marie each night, and each night threatened to kill the nutcracker unless she gave him sweets and dolls. Eventually she went to the nutcracker for guidance; he asked her to stop giving in to the Mouse King’s demands and instead find him a sword, that he could defend himself. She did so, and that night the nutcracker successfully fended off and killed the Mouse King.
One day, as Marie sits in front of her toy cabinet, looking at the nutcracker, she sighs and swears to him that she would have loved him regardless of how ugly he had become. This breaks the curse on the nutcracker, who becomes a boy once again. Then he turns out to be king of the doll kingdom and makes Marie his queen? I didn’t get that part.
It took me ages to find a more or less succinct way to make these two synergize. The idea is that the Mouse King and the Nuctracker kill each other in direct combat, but the Mouse King successfully lands some damage on the player; however, if the Nutcracker is given a sword, he both survives the attack and kills all the heads in one fell swoop.
The Mouse King was hell to template, and i’m still not 100% sure how the rules feel about it, regarding that “attacking that opponent or blocking that creature” bit. Ordinarily i think two blocks of text would have to be written, one for attacking and one for blocking, but that wouldn’t fit.
The Nutcracker’s second ability is just a cutesy flavorful reference to his actual nutcracking.
Until next time!