Lore Ipsum: The Proto-Olympics

Hello! Today’s card follows one of the origin myths of the Olympic Games.

As always, this myth was recently recounted in vlog form by Dael Kingsmill, which i highly recommend you watch before you proceed to the card. I won’t be covering the whole myth in detail, only the aspects my cards drew from, and she tells it far better than i ever could.

Pelops, son of Tantalus, decided one day to get himself a princess and become king of somewhere. He set his sights on Hippodameia, daughter of King Oenomaus of Pisa. The king didn’t want just anyone marrying his daughter, though, and had every would-be-suitor participate in a chariot race against him. Given that he was known to have a pair of magical, immortal horses pulling his chariot, and that he skewered the losers with a spear, this was enough to detract most folk. Pelops, however, had chariot training from Poseidon himself, and thought he had some decent chances. To even the odds a little, he pleaded to Poseidon to help him and was granted a chariot pulled by a pair of winged horses. Still unsure of himself, however, he had the king’s charioteer sabotage his chariot, replacing its wooden beams with wax ones. During the race, the wax beams caught fire from the friction and engulfed the chariot and the king himself. Pelops became the winner by default, killed the king’s traitorous charioteer, and claimed the throne and the hand of Hippodameia.

Later, Pelops would host yearly chariot races to honor the deceased king, in what became the origins of the Olympic Games.

Chariot Races

The Races are a very straightforward top-down design where you have your creatures compete for a prize of up to five cards. As host, the player who casts the enchantment has the advantage, as they can time it to attack the same turn it enters the battlefield, in addition to having the foreknowledge to disrupt the opponent’s creatures. I chose five time counters for a variety of reasons: firstly and most importantly, i wanted there to be enough time for disruption to happen between the players and not have the winner set in stone from the beginning; secondly, it felt the most correct from a development point of view, as the card’s cost would have to be too low or too high with less or more cards; finally, it’s a reference to the five rings of the Olympics.

Until next time!