8/1/12 UR: "Talrand, Sky Summoner"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Uncharted Realms, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Talrand keeping the pimp hand strong, ladies and gentlemen.

The articles about random critters or spells are cute, but I really love these articles that build upon settings we're familiar with. Great stuff.
I enjoyed this story so much. Mainly because it was blue mage besting big dumb creature, maybe because I hate Thundermaw Hellkite's "Mythic Rare" design, or maybe because it was well written.

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192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
Feels like every one of these articles come to an end with someone dying. Tis a little sad. 

Side from that, great as always.
Absoluely loved this story. Even though I feel a bit sympathetic towards the dragon, I love seeing such an overated creature die so painfully >8D
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just that this dragon wasn't the Thundermaw
Where are you Jenna?  I didn't read all of this story, because it was the first Uncharted Realms which did not nigh-instantly prove its quality to me.  The writing of the first eight or twelve paragraphs was dull and stilted, and my patience disappeared in short order.

What we could have used for this article (assuming I didn't just miss it) was some decent information about Shandalar, preferably something that proves that anyone on the M13 design and creative teams even knew that it was a pre-established plane.  I still have seen not a single callback to the Microprose game, just a bunch of random stuff from M10 and forward that all of a sudden we're told was Shandalar all along.  Pft.

Also, do you think this article contained the word Talrand often enough?  Pfft.  So obviously Marketing demanded this piece.

Oh well, one more week and hopefully the awesome will return.
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As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
"Perhaps it was good for the occasional dumband arrogant contender to have pretensions. It had perhaps been too long since Kalyntri had had an opportunity to fully show his power.

Lost in this thought, Kalyntri almost missed the lone dark storm cloud up ahead. A single small cloud of blackness amid an otherwise endless blue sky. The air had the tangy scent of a fresh storm, recently passed. As Kalyntri flew lower, he could see a small ring of islands dotting the water beneath cloud. And there, in the middle of the islands, in the water, was a man. No, he was on the water. And not a man, but a merfolk.


Good gods, was Talrand suicidal? Or perhaps simply that dumb and delusional..."


I guess dragons don't own a thesauruses (thesauri?)...

DRAKES ARE SENTIENT!? I always thought drakes were to dragons like chimps are to people.
Nice article, although I don't see how Talrand really survived.  Even if the dragon was dying, why did it simply not finish off Talrand before turning to the drakes.  It tried to deal with the drakes first when it would have only taken the dragon a couple of seconds to stomp on Talrand.

DRAKES ARE SENTIENT!? I always thought drakes were to dragons like chimps are to people.



If you have ever read the older flavor text of Snapping Drake you can somewhat tell that some drakes are sentient.  Not all are however.  It depends on the world.
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I missed Jenna this week, too, but the story was good enough as a replacement ;)

"No curse we can't reverse; no spell we can't break; no demon we can't exterminate; no plane we can't reach" - Motto of the Magnificent Order of the Planeswalkers, as said by the first time by Veritatis, its founder and the Grimmchester Brothers mentor

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I will say that, even though I miss Jenna this week, this story was better than the chronomaton story, simply because the lack of confusion helped.  Well done Ken.

Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.

I've seen angels fall from blinding heights. But you yourself are nothing so divine. Just next in line.

191752181 wrote:
All I'm saying is, I don't really see how she goes around petrifying swords and boots and especially mirrors. How the heck does she beat a Panoptic Mirror? It makes no sense for artifacts either. Or enchantments, for that matter. "Well, you see, Jimmy cast this spell to flood the mountain, but then the gorgon just looked at the water really hard and it went away."
Very good story, Ken.  I must like your writing style as this is my favorite one so far.  Good job.
The dragon's eyes dimmed.
Then he woke up immediately to find that another big dragon crunched the drake's neck, and a whole crapload of dragons were helping him live, and Talrand escaped.

Despite Talrand's arrogance, I was so inspired by this story I actually went out and bought his deck.  But I still like dragons more. 
still, excellent story.  whoever it was who wrote this should be writing books for extra money. and alot at that. $$ 
True that a thesaurus would have helped the story, but it was still decent.  I don't much care about callbacks to Microprose, if the world building they do now is well-done, and this was.  I'll admit to liking dragons way better than Talrand, and being disappointed in the outcome, but it makes sense, story-wise.  Usually when someone loses because they make terrible decisions (like Kalyntri relishing Talrand's impending defeat, rather than just ending it, over and over) I tend to get pissed off at the author for making one side too stupid to live just so the side he wants to win will win.  But in this case I think it's more justified, just because it's very clear that Talrand's whole plan revolved around the dragon being too stupid to live.

I also like the setup here of basing Talrand's strength off of an alliance against dragons - it seems like he's put himself on rails running to a conflict with Bolas, a far more apt enemy than Thundermaw, and I'm looking forward to the rude awakening.

I also like the setup here of basing Talrand's strength off of an alliance against dragons - it seems like he's put himself on rails running to a conflict with Bolas, a far more apt enemy than Thundermaw, and I'm looking forward to the rude awakening.

An opposing mage limited to a single plane is hardly more than an annoyance to Nicol Bolas anyway, unless Bolas has important plans for that plane.

He gave the Phyrexians attention because they have the capability to spread to and conquer other planes, despite a lack of direct planeswalking magic.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
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Yeah, exactly my point.  Talrand bases his power off of a commitment to "end the tyranny of dragons" and displays an aptitude for abusing their arrogance to beat them.  That by itself isn't a hugely interesting story; it's more of a backstory.  But if he then discovers that he's grossly underestimated the commitment that he's made, and that the tyranny of dragons is as insurmountable for him as Kalyntri believed, then the possibilities for interesting character development start to expand - even if he's just killed outright after making the realization.  THAT'S a story.