10/20/2011 FtL: "Ready, Set, Shamble"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's From the Lab, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.

@ The necrotic ooze,/Grimgrin/Mikaeus/Persist combo...

Wait, what? Removing a +1/+1 counter from a creature to remove a -1/-1 counter is legal? Like, they actually cancel each other out? I mean, I know in terms of P/T a +1/+1 counter and a -1/-1 counter would have the same effect as no counters, but it's actually legal to remove them because of it?
I'm pretty sure you're right on that.  It would cancel out the P/T drawback, but I can't see how adding one counter removes a different counter.
I am fairly sure that that has been a rule for a long time.  +1/+1 counters and -1/-1 counters remove each other as a state based effect, last I recall. 

On that zombie deck, why not run Death Baron over Cemetery reaper?  They cost the same, both give +1/+1, but death baron also gives deathtouch and does not require creature cards to be in the graveyard to work.  With undead alchemist out, very few creatures of the opponents will be sent to the graveyard, as they are exiled to create zombies already.  Not only that, but exiling your own zombies weakens your deck, as zombies in the graveyard matter for quite a few of the cards the deck runs.  At least, that is how I run mine. 
@ The necrotic ooze,/Grimgrin/Mikaeus/Persist combo...

Wait, what? Removing a +1/+1 counter from a creature to remove a -1/-1 counter is legal? Like, they actually cancel each other out? I mean, I know in terms of P/T a +1/+1 counter and a -1/-1 counter would have the same effect as no counters, but it's actually legal to remove them because of it?


Yeah, that is how it works. I have like 10 information cards stating just that, it became common knowledge with Shadowmore.


Nice work Vektor^^ 
How to Autocard
card: [c]cardname[/c]-> [c]Vampire Nighthawk[/c] -> Vampire Nighthawk
@ The necrotic ooze,/Grimgrin/Mikaeus/Persist combo...

Wait, what? Removing a +1/+1 counter from a creature to remove a -1/-1 counter is legal? Like, they actually cancel each other out? I mean, I know in terms of P/T a +1/+1 counter and a -1/-1 counter would have the same effect as no counters, but it's actually legal to remove them because of it?

121.3. If a permanent has both a +1/+1 counter and a -1/-1 counter on it, N +1/+1 and N -1/-1 counters are removed from it as a state-based action, where N is the smaller of the number of +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters on it. See rule 704.

This rule was added with Time Spiral in 2006.  www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...

I could see that Necrotic Ooze deck easily making room for a couple of Bloodline Keepers and Intruder Alarms for extra fun. ;)

Nice work Vektor^^ 


Thank you!

I can't think of anything more rewarding for me as a Magic player and member of the community than showing up in an article in the official website. Thanks for putting me there again, Noel! (also, very nice deck name, I approve of it!)
OMG click HERE! OMG! How to autocard and use decklist format
--->
For autocarding, write [c][/c] with the name of the card inside it. [c]Island[/c] = Island For linking a card to Gatherer without writting the name of said card for readers, use the autocard brackets together with and equal sign and right the name of the real card. Then put the message you want inside the tags, like you would do with autocarding. Like this: [c=Curse of the Cabal]Captain Never-resolves[/c] = Captain Never-resolves For using the decklist format, follow this: [deck] 4* Terramorphic Expanse 4* Evolving Wilds ... [/deck] It equals:
Real signature, Sblocked for space:
57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
Listen to my SoundCloud while you read my signature. The Island, Come And See, The Landlord's Daughter, You'll Not Feel The Drowning - The Decemberists by vimschy IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/rkvR.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/L3es.gif) IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/m71H.gif)
Quotes
56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!
Nice work Vektor^^ 


Thank you!

I can't think of anything more rewarding for me as a Magic player and member of the community than showing up in an article in the official website. Thanks for putting me there again, Noel! (also, very nice deck name, I approve of it!)

 well Vek...dammit man!! lol well done and really wish i was made more aware of this when i had a couple of these"counter" decks rolling cuz i am sure it came up a few times and there were markers all over the place lol...i applaud yer "technique" and am proportionately envious as well lol will keep an eye out fer more of yer stuff man
Nice work Vektor^^ 


Thank you!

I can't think of anything more rewarding for me as a Magic player and member of the community than showing up in an article in the official website. Thanks for putting me there again, Noel! (also, very nice deck name, I approve of it!)

 well Vek...dammit man!! lol well done and really wish i was made more aware of this when i had a couple of these"counter" decks rolling cuz i am sure it came up a few times and there were markers all over the place lol...i applaud yer "technique" and am proportionately envious as well lol will keep an eye out fer more of yer stuff man

Thanks man!
OMG click HERE! OMG! How to autocard and use decklist format
--->
For autocarding, write [c][/c] with the name of the card inside it. [c]Island[/c] = Island For linking a card to Gatherer without writting the name of said card for readers, use the autocard brackets together with and equal sign and right the name of the real card. Then put the message you want inside the tags, like you would do with autocarding. Like this: [c=Curse of the Cabal]Captain Never-resolves[/c] = Captain Never-resolves For using the decklist format, follow this: [deck] 4* Terramorphic Expanse 4* Evolving Wilds ... [/deck] It equals:
Real signature, Sblocked for space:
57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
Listen to my SoundCloud while you read my signature. The Island, Come And See, The Landlord's Daughter, You'll Not Feel The Drowning - The Decemberists by vimschy IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/rkvR.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/L3es.gif) IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/m71H.gif)
Quotes
56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!

Please pardon the fanfic. I already wrote the stories down, so I figured I might as well share them in case someone might find them entertaining. As always, thanks for the flavorful decks, Noel.

BRAINS!

Long ago, this planeswalker discovered clues to the location of a lost relic of great power. He followed the clues to a modest coastal city, the much shrunken shell of the capital of a decayed elven empire. He is sure that the elves are in possession of the artifact and equally sure that they are unaware of what they possess. However, he was rebuffed in his every attempt to gain access to their treasuries by the haughty elven oligarchs and, soon, was barred from the city and the remnant of the entire elven empire, just a slim stretch of coastline in these latter days. Although having fallen far from who they once were, the elves still have the power to deny the planeswalker the ability to simply steal the artifact on his own. Thus, he has devised a long-term plan to bring the elves to ruin and open himself a path to the treasure.


Over the course of decades, through sly words, dark works of darker sorcery and unspeakable acts of treachery, he slowly ingratiated himself with the human lord of a small nation on the opposite side of the continent from the elves' lands, lost amid drowned bogs and silt-choked rivers. At first glance, an unlikely candidate for the planeswalker's schemes, the human lord has proven himself surprisingly pliable under the planeswalker's fork-tongued counsel. Eventually, he even submitted himself and many of his vassals to the rite of undeath, becoming liches at the planeswalker's hand, as the king believed it the key to his immortality and the eternal preservation of his benevolent rule. At the same time, the planeswalker began a campaign of disinformation and fearmongering, both in the dead lord's realm and in its increasingly uneasy neighbors. When the time was right and his most poisonous whispers echoed menacingly in the ears of the lord of the undead, war was declared for the safety of the kingdom, and the lich and his undead vassals, empowered by the strength and the hideous teachings of the planeswalker, poured over their borders in wave after wave of marching bodies and shambling corpses.


Most of the continent has now fallen beneath the rising tide of the dead. The planeswalker stands beside his "lord," looking out upon the first of the elven harbor towns to suffer the wrath of his unbreathing hordes and eagerly awaits the night that the last elven resisters become the last elven converts and his well-deserved prize finally rests in his covetous hands.


Grimgond
Not all elves stick to small villages in the deep woods. This planeswalker has lived within a seaside elven nation for many years, traveling by boat between its isolated harbor towns scattered among thickly wooded bays and rocky inlets all along the coast.


However, the days of quiet living are gone. The elves are beset on all sides by the forces of an undead warlord and, as town after town is crushed between the rotting waves of the dead and the crimson tide of the sea, they have slowly come to the grim conclusion, fervently urged by this planeswalker, that a martial balance can only be achieved by evening the scales. Heavy-lidded death stares out at them from between the trees and tips the scales of life in its favor, so it must be death that rights the balance again.


For this purpose, the planeswalker has begun a crash program in the drowned catacombs of the elven capital to create a weapon that can deliver the elves in their time of need. However, even in this dire hour, the flesh golem she is creating and the mutagenic ooze which shall accompany it onto the battlefield are both such abominations that nothing save the blessing of the elves' most revered culture hero himself keeps the planeswalker in the good graces of the desperate elven oligarchs.


The dead march closer with every passing hour and, with them, the elves' fate. Few see more than two choices set before them: Be called to the grave by the endless ranks of the enemy or let themselves be consumed in the rite of war, that some among them might live to see another dawn. Meanwhile, the planeswalker works feverishly in her lab, her flesh burning from caustic fumes, her hands bleeding from the vicious bites of her stitcher's needle and her manic grin growing grimmer by the minute.


Ooze in Boots
This planeswalker spends much time in his private sanctum, studying the mysteries of the arcane. But he also travels the multiverse in search of mysteries worthy of study. His most recent trip has taken him to a destroyed coastal city, once the site of a terrible battle, now little more than a fetid marsh, occasionally looted by savage clans of merfolk barbarians that lurk in the fens around the partially submerged ruin.


A strange symbiosis has emerged between the small redcap and fink tribes which live among the rubble and hunt one another in an endless game of twilight cat and mouse, and also between the vast network of necrotic ooze which creeps throughout the canals of the lost city and devours the remains of the dead. Both mortal mages and necromantic horrors of great power were lost in the fall of the old city and the ooze has somehow gained access to significant amounts of the power of those dead. This makes the ooze a great mystery, deepened by the bizarre relationship forged between it, the redcaps and the finks. Now if only the planeswalker could find a way to harness the ooze for his own purposes, he could claim the greatest treasure which the site has to offer.


Or so the planeswalker had thought, before he discovered among the wreckage a strange sphere. It's dented and dull to look at in the light but, to his trained eyes, also lit from deep within by magics long forgotten, like the memory of the fierce summer sun glowing in the mind's eye of a freezing, midwinter's traveler. The amazing sphere makes the planeswalker question with wonder what judgment of a wrathful god could have befallen the old city that such a relic could remain undisturbed for so many centuries after the fall. Just one more mystery that the forsaken elves took with them to the grave.


The Grand Finale
In this planeswalker's youth, before her spark ignited, she studied with a wizard who once told her the ancient legend of a necromancer who had lived for many years in an old swamp on the southern coast. The legend said that armies of dead elves and goblins, covered in black slime, marched in formation through the swamp for his amusement and terrorized the prosperous merchant merfolk clans that ply their trades in their coral-canaled cities to the east of the swamp. The legend also said that, one day, a black sun rose up from the heart of the swamp and the necromancer lost control of all his minions. The elven and goblin zombies broke into horrible combat and the swamp was doubly damned by the dead. To escape the chaos, the necromancer flew up into the black sun was never seen again.


The young planeswalker's curiosity was so piqued that she took a sabbatical from her academy and went to live in the swamp to study its secrets and learn all that she could so as to decipher the legend of the ancient necromancer. On her way, she stopped in the merfolk city and listened to their lore of the swamp. There was little to hear, however, as the merfolk hadn't entered it for generations. It was too terrible a place, inhabited, they said, by a living muck which ate the flesh off your bones but never let you die, rather forcing you into servitude, in death becoming a slave to the swamp for all eternity.


She was undeterred by the merfolk's warnings, however, and, after speaking with a merfolk scholar who was decrypting some ancient tribal petroglyphs that had been discovered at the borders of the swamp, her curiosity was stoked even further. She continued on, beneath the dark boughs and into the foul waters of the black swamp.


The swamp proved more horrible than she could have imagined. Cliques of malicious faeries stalked her from among the rancid, mold-covered branches and the shrieks of the swampbirds reverberated in her head like chisels through her skull. Ghostly horrors lurked always just out of sight, never letting her sleep, even with her magical protections in place, and the walking dead fell upon her by the light of the sun and the shadow of the moon alike. And yet, the riddle of the place urged her on, ever further, day after day and, eventually, night after night.


She slowly learned to live and defend herself from the predations of both living and dead, even in this most vile of places, and discovered the ruins of a lost civilization, possibly elven, she thought, never mentioned in any of the old tales. She learned magical commands to which the dead respond, both before and after reanimation, and even began to, cautiously, study the oily, black slime which seemed to seep up through the muck of the swamp itself and creep, ominously, everywhere over the surface of the stagnant waters.


She could even be considered to have begun to thrive in the swamp, completely immersed in her studies, given up for dead by her distant academy, when, one day, she encountered a tall, stern-looking woman, dark-haired and olive-skinned, cloaked all in violet and cloth-of-gold, wading waist-deep in a pool of oily slime to investigate more closely a slab of stone, some of the rubble from the forgotten elven city. The young mage watched the woman from the shadows for some time as she examined the stone from every angle, periodically probing it with small caresses of mana.


Finally, the young mage straightened herself up, took a step into the swamp and quietly called a greeting to the other woman. For a moment, she didn't respond. Casually, she looked over her shoulder at the younger woman, then turned her attention back to the stone. The woman in violet raised her hand over her shoulder and said something indistinct.


For the briefest of instants, everything disappeared save the woman in violet. She became the most horrifying vision the young mage had ever seen, more horrifying than her mind could begin to comprehend. She felt her consciousness breaking within her and her body crumpling without. Her entire existence froze, inside and out, and then, she was no longer there.


When she awoke, she was not in the swamp, nor in the merfolk city, nor back in her old academy, nor any longer even on her homeplane. The terror of the violet woman's spell had ignited the young planeswalker's spark and sent her careening through the blind eternities to a new and very unfamiliar world.


The planeswalker survived the experience, just barely. As she grew stronger again, she slowly began to discover what had happened to her, what she had become. It wasn't until much later, however, that she started to record all that she had learned about the dead and the ruins in the swamp in a thick spellbook. She gradually added to it everything else that she continued to learn in her many years of travel. Finally, after several lifetimes of effort, she had compiled a vast magical tome, her grimoire of the dead, a repository of necromantic information of remarkable power.


And then she met the woman in violet again.


Another planeswalker, it's pure coincidence that they've discovered one another again; both are tracking down the same mage for questioning purposes. The woman in violet doesn't recognize the younger planeswalker; her murder took place centuries before and much has changed about her since then. They each have certain information about the whereabouts of their shared target that they're leveraging against the other. Unable to pry any secrets out of each other, though, and unwilling to get into a duel over it, they've both agreed to journey together, until they find the mage. Then all accords are off.


But the planeswalker knows full well who the woman in violet is. She could never forget that face, nor what it became for the briefest fraction of a second in the swamp; it still haunts many of her sleepless nights. She also has a plan. This meeting was a very long time in coming and much went into its composition but the planeswalker has a work of art planned for the woman in violet, her greatest masterpiece, to make even the grimoire of the dead seem a novice's étude in comparison. And when all is ready, she shall share with the violet woman all that she remembers of her last moment in the swamp so long ago and play for her her own life's finale.