Design a Villain Competition, Round 2. Bigger, Badder... Villain-ier. (Results Posted)

Following the positive response and cries of 'encore' that my first design a villain competition evoked, here's the sequel. The rules are pretty much the same, but with a single, important twist.

You need to create a villain, furnishing me with a little bit of backstory either as a written segment (It doesn't have to be super long) or in the flavour text of the card you design. The villain can be any colour and can be a legendary creature or planeswalker. Only one villain per person, but feel free to design accompanying cards representing allies, nemeses and signature abilities.

The twist this time is that I want not one card representing your villain, but three. Each must represent the villain at a different stage of their ascension to villain-hood. Each card can be different colours, but the villain has to have one constant colour which appears in all of their cards.

Here's an example:

Following Bolas' ravaging of Amonkhet, the city of Naktamun was left in ruins. The returned walked the streets, the whole place was filled with death and decay. Then a sinister power took control of the city, pulling the undead into its service and beginning a new rule over the city.

This figure was Nerikare, known now as the chill pharaoh. Previously he had been a vizier of Bontu and had been utterly devoted to his god and her power. Following her death, Nerikare became wracked with terrible grief and, in the ruins of the city, gave himself up to the Immortals and was slain.

Unfortunately, the curse of wandering raised Nerikare from the dead. What's more he was raised to full sentience, rather than becoming a mindless corpse. Filled with wrath and sorrow that he had been dragged back into the world of the living, Nerikare rampaged through the city, commanding the dead around him to acts of destruction using his newfound necromantic powers.

https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/nerikare-consumed-by-wrath-1

Eventually, Nerikare's rage cooled. Observing the ruins of the city, he realised that if he was to go on living, then he must make life worthwhile. The returned obeyed his commands without question, so Nerikare began to rule them, setting himself up a godlike figure.

https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/nerikare-chill-pharaoh

After a long time ruling the city, Nerikare figured out how he could raise the dead with intelligence like his own, creating his loyal vizier Sobekhotep. Not only this, but Nerikare discovered that he could, thanks to his undead nature, travel the blind eternities without a spark provided he expended sufficient amounts of magic. Now Nerikare roams the planes, slaying all he meets with his army of the undead and reanimating them, sharing his 'blessing' of immortality and forcing them into his service. This way, Nerikare thinks, he can protect the multiverse from the anguish he suffered at the death of his god.

https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/nerikare-steeped-in-glory

Don't feel your explanation needs to be as long winded as mine. Also don't worry if you can't find three pieces of art that represent the same kind of character, I'm not really too bothered about the art, just the story and how well it links with the design of the card. The mechanics and their connection to the story are really important.

https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/sobekhotep-vizier-of-nerikare

1st Place: 7 favourites of your choice and a follow.
2nd Place: 5 favourites of your choice.
3rd Place: 3 favourites of your choice.

Competition closes July 14th. Good luck!

Comments

  • YES I HAS RETU-- -AHEM- Sorry but that, I'm exited! I must make another villain!
  • edited July 9
    Love this competition! Here's my submission.

    In the faroff plane of Grimmsveil, a wolf gives birth to her new litter. One of which has the gift of sentience practically unseen among common wolfs. The self-named Rafe was frustrated with his enhanced intelligence and self-awareness, but lack of communication or physical skills beyond a normal wolf, causing him to hunt much larger prey without the rest of his pack with him. Little did he know one of those prey would be the legendary mage Rumple. After making quick work of Rafe, the mage saw great potential uses for the sentient dog and placed a magic collar on him which allowed him to make Rafe obey him.

    https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/rafe-mages-captive?list=user

    Years later, Rumple has done countless experiments on him making him larger, faster, capable of bipedal movement, hands, and the ability to speak. He sends Rafe on a mission to kill a mage that has constantly interfered with him before, and her granddaughter Red using some of his power as the enchantment protecting their domain is weakened. Rafe manages to delay Red by transforming into a charming man and lies to her about the healing abilities of blue roses in the forest, then makes his way to the cottage and swallows the grandmother whole, and wait's for Red to appear. As Red arrives the grandmother screams from within Rafe's stomach. Red looks up to see the monster that swallowed her grandmother alive.

    https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/rafe-monstrous-deciever?list=user

    Rafe attempts to kill Red, but is intercepted by the hero of the realm, Gerald. Gerald defeats him, and cuts open his belly to free the grandmother. But as Rumple's power leaves and feels close to death, his planeswalker spark ignites and he planeswalks away. He wakes up on the plane Jund with his collar broken. With his newfound power and freedom, he promised he'd take vengeance on all that wronged him. He stays on Jund for 10 years, slaying dragon's and honing his physical and magical prowess. He returns to Grimmsveil to test his newfound power on a small town, he is pleased with the results. He is confronted again by the hunter Gerald. And while Gerald has gotten stronger, Rafe is simply stronger. He kills Gerald and lets out a mighty roar that can shakes the very plane itself, and proclaims himself The Terror of Grimmsveil, and promises to hunt Rumple next.

    https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/rafe-grimmsveil-terror?list=user

    Rumple - https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/rumple-grimm-boggyman

    Gerald - https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/gerald-monster-hunter
  • Well, I ran into a problem. I made the cards, I started writing the story, and ... it's too long. I had worried it would be longer than polite to post, but it's literally too long to post as one message - I could post it in multiple messages, but I don't want to be rude. What should I do, @Undead ?
  • @CastorCrozz. Go ahead and post in multiple messages. I like a long story.
  • Multiple posts it is!
  • And @worldslayer15, awesome twist on the fairy tale! I meant to say this sooner, but it escaped me until now. Most fairy tales have been rehashed a few times (and they usually end up alright), but I really like the more unique direction you took this one!
  • well, guess if I'm going to return, I can just as well use some oldies that have had a story all along.

    Credius pre-Aether corruption - https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/credius-hero-of-xeras-1?list=set&set=24319

    Aether-Corrupted Credius - https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/credius-aether-touched?list=set&set=24319

    In the far flung future, Nicol Bolas' grandest scheme to obtain more power and more control over the multiverse has resulted in such a massive backlash that even the elder dragon himself could not comprehend it, nor defend against it. In his maniacal lust for power, the mightiest of all the planeswalkers created a rift in the fabric of space and time yet again, but unlike before...it did not connect to the multitudes of manasources of the bountiful past, but it opened a gateway to another universe long consumed by that which was held within: The Aether.

    This mysterious entity or rather, this conglomoration of corrupting, oozing, dark and foul mana had but one instinct and but one goal, to feed on negativity and destruction, consuming everything and all in it's path. The spread was rapid and merciless. Another few hundred years in the future, one of the last remaining planes in the multiverse has somehow managed to live in relative peace, protected by their gods, the people of Xeras prayed that one day they'd see the evil corruption which had started to plague their world after a mysterious comet had fallen onto the plains of Egubarroth, to be beaten back and destroyed with the help of their gods.

    In Emphyron; the capital of the southern kingdom of Lugast'or a hero has risen to stop this infernal plague upon the plane of Xeras. Crown Prince Credius of the House Narethis has amassed followers under his banner to enter the Forests of Esborghis, where years earlier the king and queen had vanished when the plague had spread through it while they resided in the summer fortress. In the hopes of saving his parents and sibling, the crown prince pushed through the darkness of the forests to find his father, yet only to find that the blood of his kin had been spilled at the hands of his own father, who had been corrupted by the Aether and sought to spread the foul darkness all over Xeras on the order of the One Above, the god Narethis whose name the royal bloodline bore had turned the former king into an avatar of the unyielding and unbending corruption of the Aether. Just like the god Narethis, king Rhazok had become but another dark vessel of the corruption.

    After a heavy fight with the corrupted creatures and monsters dwelling in the dark halls of the old fortress, Credius faced off against his father and as the king fell at the hand of the crownprince, the great hero's light began to dim and the grasp of the aether clenched around his heart, forever turning the once praised hero to a hollow shell of his former self, yet as the last light started to fade, in a desperate attempt, Credius' planeswalker spark ignited with such ferocity and unyielding defiance that the Last spark of the dying multiverse got thrust through the same tear in fabric of space and time once created by Nicol Bolas to end up at the very beginning of the Multiverse as we know it.

    Weakened and forever marked by the darkness of the Aether, the Last Spark became the First Spark and at the sight of this newborn emptiness, the Aether-touched Credius swore to destroy and corrupt the multiverse to his own image, having lost all his compassion and all his light in exchange for the overwhelming power of the Aether's corruption. dwelling through time, the First Spark slowly gained full control over the Aether within him and started his plans to corrupt all of the multiverse in a better way, in His way.

    https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/oath-of-credius?list=set&set=24320

    https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/scions-of-credius?list=set&set=24320

    Credius, First Spark [new version]- https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/credius-first-spark?list=set&set=24320

  • edited July 15
    (Here's a story instead.)

    EDIT: CARD FIXED.

    Dark Tidings

    The Warp, or the Aether was an infinite realm of chaotic mana. Its denizens, chaotic aberrations made of extraplanar energies were known by their horrific and terrible natures and looks.

    But even in chaos, there was order. A hierarchy among the beings of the Aether. Those who were nigh-omnipotents were known and worshipped by the common folks of the real worlds.

    And among those known as the Outer Gods, Nyarlathotep was one of them for he was known with many, terrible names, the Crawling Chaos, the Faceless God, the Dark One, and many more. The one who sowed countless dark schemes since the beginning of the creation of the multiverse from the Tree of Knowledge, unlike the others who were just mostly passive in their eternal slumber or just mindlessly devouring everything.

    Nyarlathotep observed multiversal civilizations rose and fall, schemed for lesser beings to be ascended as lesser gods, orchestrated countless wars between the lesser gods of the Warp and the ascended gods, and yet he also observed an upstart dragon-planeswalker tore away the fabric of spacetime among the multiverse to gain power, causing the chaotic Aether to flow freely into the real space, annihilating all lesser living beings in that region of multiverse except for the draconic perpetrator himself who just escaped at the last second and an ascended human soul named Credius whose soul was also unluckily tainted by the chaotic Aether.

    'Well well well, what have you done this time, Bolas. It seems like you have a fierce challenger now.' He smirked in his male human form while was leading a cult gathering in a world designated as Earth number 616 among the countless Earths of the multiverse.

    Just after he felt a region of multiverse was lost, he decided to tore the fabric of spacetime itself towards the Tree of Knowledge to meet a certain individual named All-Death the First Death. The one among the three Death Brothers, the entities whose existence preceded the Creation of All itself.

    "Greetings, worm." Said the figure with a combined voice of insurmountable despair and mockery who stood under the celestial Tree of Knowledge in an unnamed, permanently night world.

    Looming as tall as the shapeshifter-god, the said figure was also currently being under the shroud of dark mist that even the light could not be able to pierce as it was also gazing towards the vast expanse of starry night sky with its nonexistent eyes.

    "All-Death." Spoke Nyarlathotep with a hint of insecurity as he stood besides the shrouded figure. He himself never laid his gaze towards the dark figure for reasons unknown.

    "You already know why I'm here, right?" Inquired the shapeshifter-god.

    "Indeed. You better keep your puppets in leash if you still want to squirm around the All-Verses."

    "Well, I..."

    "Your time is still long, worm. And I actually like you. You keep me and my brothers entertained, unlike that certain simple-minded insect."

    "Harak was only a hateful fool anyway. No wonder he got himself imprisoned, although he could almost break free from his chains. Just almost." The god in-disguise smugly stated.

    And he sighed.

    "Well, I believe it's also the highest time for me to depart too. Goodbye, All-Death."

    The said person just tilted its shrouded 'head'.

    And Nyarlathotep turned to the right and walked towards a rift of the spacetime he just created with his thought, then he vanished.

    "We'll meet again, spawn of Azathoth."

    Time had little to no meaning for the abstract entities after all.

    --||--

    image

  • Halea was a cathar in the church of Avacyn, and none were more devoted to their duty. Above all, she held the ideals of Avacyn sacred. Protecting both the weak and the wicked, she embodied all that was the godlike Angel.

    image

    But when madness overtook Innistrad and the Angel of Hope began to preach purifying sin instead of protection and absolution, Halea was met with a crisis of faith. The angel-god whom she worshipped and idolized no longer stood for the ideals of the church. Who should she follow? The order she had tirelessly worked for all her life, or the eternal angel who surely knew good from evil?

    image

    In the end, her blind devotion to Avacyn overtook her sense of right and wrong. Halea chose to follow Avacyn, the Purifier, forsaking the church and the 'impure' it once protected. She followed Avacyn through the countryside, purifying Thraben, Gavony, and Stensia alike. Yes, the twisted, fiery blade she wielded burned their flesh, but it also cleansed them of sin. If they were truly pure, no harm would come to them. Of that, Avacyn had preached. And for Avacyn, she would do anything.

    image
  • edited July 12
    Cyna was always amazed by the flow of time and that the smallest changes in the past could change the entire future. As a child, she noticed how she was able to alter time, even if it was just for a few seconds. Years later, Cyna tried to control it and started researching her ability, which resulted in her travelling all kinds of countries to find others with similar abilities who could teach her. She eventually grew better and better in controlling her own time travels, to a point where she looked for students herself. Due to her relentless studies and training sessions, Cyna achieved true mastery in her magic, a title that lured many young magicians coming to her in hopes of becoming her apprentice.

    image

    At first, Cyna used her ability only to change the future for the better or to stop people from destroying entire civilizations, whether intended or not. As she grew more powerful however, she started to have doubts about her current standing. With an ability like hers, she would be able to change the entire world to a better place, as soon as she had enough power and knowledge that is.
    With that thought in mind, she sent away her students to focus solely on her travels through different times and timelines. Although she heard what happened to those that delved too deep into the flows of time,

    image

    she intensified her struggles to gain more knowledge of the past and future and thus more power. The continued stress of her body being forced to different timelines resulted in an alteration of her appearance and the growing spark of madness in her mind.

    image

    Due to Cyna's madness growing, all knowledge and power she achieved wasn't enough for her. She always sought more and more. The times of rest between her journeys through time got less, while the duration of those journeys got longer and more stressful, which soon showed by her body aging faster and her energy being drained. Still, it wasn't enough. So she went even farther back and forth in time, until one time, she went too far. Her body couldn't handle it anymore and she lost consciousness for just a split second. This loss of focus however, led to the collapse of her portal back to the present and she was trapped between different times, not able to find back to her own timeline. It didn't take long until the time flow turned her into a deformed creature, which erased her personality and replaced it with pure madness.

    image

    image

    From then on, legends spread of a nameless evil appearing at any location in all times with an invincible army of monsters, since they somehow always attacked at the exact right time and location. Only one thing was known about this evil: It destroyed everything in its path with its increasing number of monsters. Only the evil being itself that was once known as Cyna, the Time Mistress, would know the reason of this slaughter. The only goal was to gain control over all timelines and then defeat even the Goddess of Time herself to claim her status and create a world to its own will.

    I'm not sure if this is valid, since i just noticed that there had to be one signature color, so if it is invalid, feel free to still just read the story.
  • @Vardus Shouldn't her last incarnation be a blue-black-red instead? The first ability screams for blue and the ultimate seems to be red and black?
  • edited July 11
    @Fallen_Lord_Vulganus Thanks for pointing that out, I wasn't quite sure about the last one
  • Alright, I believe I've finished one very, very long story. A summary would have made much more sense, but I was in too deep before I realized how incredibly long this was shaping up to be. Here it is, parceled and shipped over from Google Docs!

    (And sorry in advance for taking up so much space)
  • edited July 12
    {Plane: Ravnica}

    "Take care of your brother, Joseph. He needs someone to look after him in this chaotic world. Remember me, but remember your brother first."

    Joseph would never forget his mother's last words to him, for as long as he lived. She was whisked away by Orzhov debt collectors when he was thirteen years old. Spenskar was only seven. That day would always leave a terrible impression on his mind, but the echoing words of his mother would resound the most of all, whispered quietly in an alley, as she left to hide them from her debts.

    Many faces passed in and out of Joseph's life after that point, some benevolent, some malicious, but his one constant was caring for Spenskar. If there was food, Spenskar got to eat. Joseph could wait until after. If there was only one bed, Joseph decided to sleep on the floor. Joseph moved towards a graverobber's life, dealing with deranged experimenters and occasionally the Golgari Swarm. But never the Orzhov.

    {Joseph, Determined represents Joseph's earlier years working for various employers moving bodies, hating the job but needing to care for Spenskar, and thus continuing.}

    Joseph continued to work, changing jobs occasionally, but always working, staying hidden and guildless.
  • {Seven years have passed. The Decamillenial occurred, and Szadek's actions led to the fall of the original Guildpact. The new, non-magical Guildpact struggles to keep order, and the various Guilds clash often, causing chaos. Joseph is now twenty, and Spenskar fourteen.}

    Joseph and Spenskar ran through the nighttime streets, breathing heavily. Spenskar slows, resting a rag-covered arm on a building.

    "Quickly, Spens! The guards aren't far behind!"
    He simply nodded and began running again.

    For a moment, the only sounds in the street were the heavy breathing two fearful boys and the heavy slapping of four shoes on stone. But fires lit up ahead, and Joseph saw figures dancing into the street.

    Rakdos, he thought. Anything the guards might do pales in comparison to crazed rioters' abominations. But then again, they were Orzhov guards, so perhaps not. There! He sees a small off-shoot from the street, safe from the riot and the guards.

    "Come on, let's just make it to the alley!" He pointed it out to Spenskar, his voice slightly more hopeful than he was.

    They dashed for it, as fast as they can, darting around the corner, and ... stop. Their last few steps echoed mockingly off the large wall in front of them.

    "I'm so sorry," whispered a teary-eyed Spenskar. "I shouldn't have tried to steal money. I just - I just wanted to help, like you always do. And now," He continued with a whimper, "They're going to - to get us."

    "Look at me," Joseph stared into his younger brother's eyes seriously. "It's okay. You may have messed up, but that's because I haven't shown you how not to. Now, I'm going to boost you up that wall, we'll get away, and then, when this is all over, I'll show you how to do it right." In truth, Joseph was much more worried. The Orzhov were quite ... relentless when it came to money.

    "Okay," Spenskar nodded, wiped the tears from his eyes, and they got into position.

    But it was too late. Shouts followed the boys down the alleyway.

    "They're over here!" Joseph, already gripping Spenskar's grimy soles, tried desperately to launch him over the lip of the wall.

    "Ha. Got 'em pinned for ya." one guard said, watching Spenskar come tumbling back down on Joseph.

    "Very well then." The sibilant voice came from a man in regal clothing. "You, young one, are hereby arrested for attempted theft of Orzhov property, and are thus subject to become Orzhov property." He smirked, then turned from Spenskar to Joseph. "You on the other hand, have been witnessed deliberately assisting and ..."

    The man continued, babbling crimes, punishments, and technicalities, each phrase pounding into Joseph's thumping heart. He'd always 'known' they could be caught, but he'd never really known. Never been forced to accept that it could happen to him. And it hurt, it hurt to know that he had escaped for so long, only to fail, in a foreign alley on the wrong side of town. He'd failed Spenskar, and himself, and his mother's dying wish.

    No. No. He couldn't. The wild flurry of fear, rage, and resolve whirled in his chest, pushing him to his feet, with no plan or idea at all.

    "Tsk, tsk. Can't have that," the official paused in his discourse. "Restrain them."

    "NO!" The fear seized his mind. His resolve, however, overpowered his tongue.

    And he Ignited.

    A pit swelled within his chest, gasping, pulling, stretching out of control. It reached out, siphoning everything within reach - and Joseph felt it all.

    The mortifying fear of three guards as their life was whisked away into an unseen abyss.
    The final, shocked thoughts of one Orzhov official as the mere boy swallowed his life.
    The brief but agonizing pain of five rats hiding in the alley.
    The slow weakening of even the stones in the alley, barely affected but still touched.
    And the excruciating seizures of one fourteen-year old boy as his body withered to a lifeless husk.

    Joseph spun around, but the pit had done its job. Joseph, fell to his knees, grasping at the husk as it dissolved into ashes. Soon even the ashes were gone. And along with the others, Spenskar was consumed.

    Joseph fell forward on the paving stones, heaving with sobs, but another pit opened in front of him. Rather than falling on stone, he tumbled into a vast, swirling emptiness that encompassed everything he had ever known, and he spiraled away, into the unknown.

    As he tumbled, his thoughts reeled. He had just killed his brother, the one thing in his life he vowed to protect from any harm. But he hadn't wanted to, it was an accident, it couldn't be his fault!

    The pit hidden deep inside of him yawned open once more, opening up to a new world. Joseph plunged through, onto an alien forest floor.

    His manic, desperate mind reeled, leaping to ideas, conclusions, and morbid thoughts.

    No. No, it hadn't really been him. It was the pit. A word came to his mind, one that sounded wrong but felt right.

    His Spark.

    And there were others like him, he could feel it. He would stop the Sparks. End them all, and stop this evil.

    And when that was finished, he would end himself.

    {Joseph, Despairing represents Joseph's years of crazed, hopeless depression before The Mending, which he spends tracking and killing other planeswalkers in outer worlds.}
  • edited July 16
    Joseph spent years after that point traveling from world to world, tracking other planeswalkers and exterminating them. Everywhere he wandered, he found constant stories of 'beings from other worlds' descending to wreak havoc and ruin, reshaping whole worlds at a whim, and destroying entire populations in petty acts of revenge, all of which only reinforced his belief that he truly is cleansing this vast Multiverse. And for the occasional story of a truly benevolent 'walker, there were plenty more where their actions have massive, unintended consequences or where the planeswalker turned evil, just like the others. It would indeed be best if there were simply none at all.

    Able to reshape his body at will, Joseph never slept, for the dreams were far too terrible. Even still, he is haunted by his brother's demise, stoking his hatred for the Spark that started it all. He could never bring himself to return to Ravnica.

    He learned to control the pit that yawns within him, focusing and channeling its hunger at single individuals, forming a vortex of such power very few can fight. And he still felt the pain of each one devoured, and was glad for it. It reminded him of why he does this, it kept him from being able to enjoy it. Yes, the pain was good for him.



    But one restless day after many blurred years of crazed but methodical tracking, Joseph thought he heard a voice, calling out his name. He turned rapidly, but he is alone.

    Joseph, the young voice called. You have to stop. You have to remember.

    Joseph paused, reviewing his mind, and the years of memories that had just passed. He felt strangely lucid, able to pick apart his experiences - his twisted logic and ideas. He realized how futile simply killing planeswalkers was - it couldn’t really solve the problem, although Joseph had become quite proficient at it.

    Joseph, come.

    Curious at this clarity and the voice he knew, he felt around with his mind and found that there were ... ripples, signs of some great meddling, in the mana. And, though this hedron-filled plane’s mana was already strange, this came from somewhere else. Deeper into the Multiverse. Towards the center.

    His mind slowly growing in curiosity, he followed this trail of ripples, falling from one world to the next, as they constantly grew in strength - never enough to truly affect the plane nor its denizens, but enough that a source was clearly coming closer. A strong source. Pausing on one plane to feel out the ripples from a meadow, they waned subtly, and his mind slid back towards madness.

    Joseph, keep going, it’s not far. It was Spenskar’s voice. His clearing head had not placed it until now, focusing on the words, not the source, but he suddenly remembered why his mind had twisted for years.

    Anguished, Joseph fell to his knees. The weights he had placed on his own mind for more than a decade hung low over him, as though they resented being forgotten. He clutched his temples, even though he had long ago moved his mind from his head. But the ripples outside flattened - violently. The fabric of everything snapped straight, like a sheet held at each corner, and Joseph’s gut lurched in a new direction. The hollow pit inside of him, still swirling with the essence of everything it had consumed, thrashed, wailed, and shrank. Joseph could feel something being whisked away into the blind space between worlds, ceasing to exist. He had just lost something enormous. He could feel his body aging again, locked down to this form. He had been a vessel for nigh-endless power, but now, he was trapped again, only the vessel for himself.

    And it was glorious.

    He was a person again, but, more importantly, they were all people again. That rippling had been echoing through the whole Multiverse! His fears and grief pushed aside at the ominous nature of the moment, he combed his mind for what could have just happened. A massive duel between ‘walkers? An individual on the same path as Joseph, perhaps?

    The time rifts, on Dominaria. A stray thought, a memory, drifted up from the pit, different from before, a new voice. Joseph paused. Unsure, he reached down with his thoughts, into the pit, and found a wealth of memories he’d never lived. More than just the essence of every person it had ever swallowed was kept in the pit. He felt around, finding dozens of lives filled with sensations, emotions, and, most importantly, knowledge. He began to search, finding that one planeswalker (a weak-willed one, if Joseph was honest) had been to the Nexus, ‘Dominaria’, and witnessed some of the tragedies first-hand. It seemed to Joseph that they must have cleaned up over there - perhaps one of the few responsible things he’d heard of other planeswalkers doing. It would also appear, however,that they had done much more than that.

    Joseph looked once more at his surroundings, seeing what a ruckus he caused among the stout, round-faced locals. They seemed friendly enough, but a couple were obviously prepared with spears, mostly the ones near goats. Joseph merely stood up, feeling a dozen sets of eyes on him, and begins warping a hole to planeswalk. It was appreciably harder, and took much more energy. The pain of traveling, as well, was magnified, as Joseph hurtled towards the Nexus.

    But no matter. Secure with a new wealth of wisdom in his mind, Joseph determined to find just how this phenomenon occurred, even if it took decades - centuries! The pit would sustain him, and he would finish the job that had been started mere moments ago.

    He finally had a path to right the wrong done to his brother.
    For the first time in more than a decade, Joseph felt like sleep might come peacefully.

    {Joseph, Seeker represents Joseph after the Mending and the new hope it brings to his misguided plans. It also includes his newfound ability to siphon the mind along with the body and the spirit, and his focus more on methodical discovery than killing.}



    EDIT

    Joseph, Determined had a different first version, which I also really like, but his ideals didn't fit the color at all. It can be found here.

    Joseph, Seeker also had a first version, Joseph, Seeking, although these two are practically the same. I didn't realize how similar his name was to Tezzeret the Seeker’s until I had finished both versions.

    I also have a sort of 'extended notes' on the story, possible errors in it, and the card designs, if anyone was interested.
  • edited July 13
    Dorian Weaver was a genius among his peers and even his elders. The Tolarian Academy felt his magical presence from birth, knowing that something miraculous had been born into Dominaria. A mind like his only came into the world once every few generations, if that. The Weaver family was offered a tremendous sum for their son to attend, and they accepted, making Dorian the youngest to be accepted into the Academy at two years old. And from that young age, he studied magic and all its intricacies.

    But Dorian was not studious. He was restless in lectures, found the work tedious and his professors stuffy. To one who felt the ebb and flow of mana all around him as naturally as breathing air, Dorian could not understand why all these so-called wizards simply stood still and observed minute details when they could follow the leylines and experience magic firsthand. So, he would skip classes, fake sickness, and take every chance he could to escape the trappings of academia. In the wild and secret places of Dominaria, Dorian played with elementals, danced with faeries, and spent nights staring at faraway stars, longing for something more.

    image

    One day during a sweltering summer heat which not even Dorian's unbridled youth could overcome, a guest lecturer came to visit. His professor introduced him as the planeswalker Jace Beleren. He came to speak to the aspiring wizards of planes. He told tales of things Dorian could not believe: horrors from the Blind Eternities, the Conflux of Alara, the mechanical wonders of Kaladesh, and so much more. That night, Dorian looked at the stars with an enthusiasm he could barely contain. Planes! Creatures beyond imagining! He vowed to one day tour the multiverse.

    During his prime, Dorian wandered the multiverse. He delved into ruins and roamed the wild countries looking for magical secrets and ancient artifacts. In this he found purpose and being. This was what he wanted to do all along. Leave academia to those too sated by mediocrity; true magic happened out in the multiverse. He visited many planes, both natural and artificial, studying their properties and proclivities. He met other planeswalkers, friendly and not-so-friendly, and came close to death several times. But despite that, Dorian continued on his travels and accumulated a trove of knowledge that any Academy would be envious of.

    image

    However, a trip to Zendikar would forever change his life. He wandered into the mountains that once held the Eldrazi titans to search for anything that could have been left behind as a clue to their secrets and perhaps some new magic. In its depths, he found an artifact that would later be known as the Eye of Iskalar. Upon touching it, Dorian was transported into an ancient and forgotten temple. A slight glow came from everywhere; he could see no source, and always only around the corners of his eyes. However, he felt a pull on his soul and he knew at once that he was in the Blind Eternities. He knows it well from continuously planeswalking. Dropping the Eye, he clutched his chest to steady his breathing and calm down. Dorian was in a place no living being had seen in probably millenia.

    image

    Dorian looked around and found himself in a massive library containing an unimaginable amount of shelves and books, dotted every so often by a pure white pillar extending a couple dozen feet to the stone ceiling. He looked in all directions and found that he could not see any of the library's walls in the distance. As Dorian perused the shelves, eyes wide in childlike wonder, he found a lone tome sitting on top of an altar. It was already opened to a page, like it was beckoning him to come read. Every so often the words pulsed a dim red light. If Dorian had any glaring weakness, it was his insatiable curiosity. So, it was no surprise that he approached the ominous book.

    And it was no surprise that the book nearly broke him. Upon glancing at its words, the book grabbed hold of Dorian's mind. It did not feed, but give. It showed Dorian the answers to the mysteries he long sought to answer. It gave him knowledge beyond human comprehension. It stretched his psyche to its mental and physical limit. The things Dorian saw would have broken a normal man long ago.

    image

    Dorian woke up shivering and cold. He remembered nothing. He remembered everything. His mind was a jumble of information that refused to resolve itself into coherence. But through all the noise one thought stood out clear to him as day: magic is not for mortals. It was more than a feeling, it was a directive, as if imprinted on his very soul. Dorian felt both rage and sorrow as he felt magic becoming corrupted in faraway distant lands.

    The library changed Dorian. He wandered the multiverse again, traversing the Blind Eternities like it was his native homeland, but this time with a purpose. He learned several truths from the library. The foremost was that mortals are abusing mana and twisting it into an unnatural state, and have been for far too long. The library's contents was proof enough of that. Dorian vowed to himself then, "I will stop these abominations calling themselves planeswalkers and their twisted machinations. I will preserve the mana."

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  • Wow! Loving all the entries, they're great.
    I'm going to extend the competition a little bit, just to ensure everyone who wants to enter can (Especially since there were some disappointed latecomers last time.) It now ends on Wednesday the 18th.
  • We are now closed for judging!
  • Alright! Here goes judging:

    3rd place - @worldslayer15 with:
    https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/rafe-mages-captive?list=user and the other Rafe cards!

    I really like the twisted fairy-tale story behind this character, it's really neat. The colour progression makes thematic sense as well and the whole thing comes together very nicely.

    2nd place - @CastorCrozz with:
    https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/joseph-determined-1 and the other Joseph cards!

    The tale of ultimate tragedy and strange redemption is really good, cohesively explaining our villain's motivations and desires. My favorite card is the first one, 'Joseph, Determined,' because it practically oozes flavor.

    1st place - @fiskerton with:
    https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/dorian-weaver and the other Dorian cards.

    What really draws me to these cards is that the thematic ties between the cards' abilities and their flavor is so close, particularly with the last one. You can really see how Dorian's motives and means change over time. The supporting cards are also great and really mechanically unique.

  • edited July 18
    Thanks to everyone for taking part! Winners, please name the cards you'd like me to favorite.
  • Wonderful challenge! Thank you for choosing me as your third place winner. As for which cards to favorite, just choose whatever 3 you’d like.
  • Thanks for the contest and the follow! You faved the five contest cards right? I'll just put up two to fave then. If you want to fave anymore than that, you can choose whichever you like.

    https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/basil-with-the-best-nose
    https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/juriks-end-1
  • edited July 19
    You can just favorite what you want from my cards, but here are a few that I like:
    Impassable Guardian
    Enrapturing Storyteller
    Disa the Restless
    Ella and Zane, Wanderers
    Covenant of Vengeance

    Also, great contest! I missed the first one by a day, and I've had this brewing the whole time!
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