A Hairless Thoctar fiction: A Day at the Circus

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I've been doing a series of contests on YMTC based on an letter from MaRo's most recent mailbag where he gave a list of what mechanics the guilds would have if they had returning mechanics instead of new ones.

Long story short, Rakdos got wither, I thought of a card, and then wrote a story about that card.

This is the story:
Show

                                                                                                       A Day at the Circus

                Zlato was a well-to-do man, doing well. A prominent banker within the Orzhov Syndicate, he had managed to pull himself high enough in the organization to have actual power, to be more than a pawn. He was now a mid-level investment agent; tasked with appropriating funds and determining where money was to be made in the organization. He was feeling good about himself; he had received an invitation from a Rakdos entertainment troupe, one of the troupes about legitimate entertainment not some subversive snuff performances, framed as a thanks for his continued investment and well-being between their two guilds. Things were going well for him.


                The invitation was for the Rowdy Rioteers, one of the more renowned circus troupes within the Rakdos Cult. While on the dangerous side (this is the Rakdos, after all) their shows were said to be some of the most entertaining around, and getting admissions was a chore in and of itself. Zlato had been a go-between for this particular troupe going on three years now. They would pay him for whatever goods, equipment, training or any other necessities the troupe requested for their maintenance, and he would provide. They hadn’t even seem to noticed or cared when he started skimming off the top sixth months back. They should be fortunate to even find a financier that would dare to do business with the Cult openly; he was too valuable for them to let go.


                This would surely be a night to remember. He had spent hours going over a wardrobe that would be appropriate. Nothing too ostentatious, he didn’t want to get robbed on the way there; but nice enough to let everyone else there know that he was better than them, that he was a guest of honor. He had chosen a suit of the finest pelts of beasts hunted in the forgotten wilds those stupid Gruul troglodytes called home; embroidered with silver and pearls in the shape of the Orzhov sun. Nothing too fancy.


                The night’s entertainment took place in the outskirts of the district, just far enough from prying eyes that the Rakdos need not fear regular scrutiny from the Azorius inspectors or the Boros patrolsmen. They liked it better when the entertainment was on their terms and not according to some prudish standards of safety or decency. Entertainment was supposed to be shocking and subversive after all! The show would be performed in an old Simic holding facility for some of their nastier beasties, abandoned with the Vigean ways when the Guildpact fell. The Rakdos had appropriated the facilities and made good use of the wide open space that had formerly accommodated monsters. Small and subtle were not things Rakdos entertainment specialized in. He made his way to the theatre, guard thrull in tow, can’t be too careful with these street urchins.


                It was never a trouble finding the Rioteers; this wasn’t one of those depraved debauchery clubs, they had nothing to hide. The place was always well marked. Lots of signs and arrows painted into the wall with what looked like blood but what Zlato always figured was just paint playing into the edgy dangerous look the Rakdos liked to cultivate. They weren’t all cannibals and rapists, Ravnica wouldn’t tolerate them if they were. It was a calculated image to increase their interest and prestige. He made It to the show; bold black and red colors and decorations halfway between a circus and a slaughterhouse. “All part of the act” Zlato told himself as he sauntered in.”


                The building was quite a bit bigger on the inside than one would have thought. Surprisingly careful consideration had been given towards converting the facility to a performing arena. The center of the building had been dug into to provide more room for some of the larger performers and high wire acts. The back half of the complex was hidden behind makeshift walls and curtains, likely where they stored the props and dressing rooms. All manner of strange spectacle covered every inch of the warehouse. Rakdos grunts performing simple parlor tricks; juggling, breathing fire, artsy magic spells to impress the manaless commoners. Several cooks had kiosks selling meat, and only meat, of various flavors. Several of the signs boasted that they were people who had slighted the Rakdos, but Zlato kept telling himself, that only happened in the slummier districts; these were well-to-do honest performers.


                Zlato found his seat, near the center of the ring in the third row. Close enough to vividly make out all of the spectacle, but far enough to avoid being lit on fire or splashed with ‘blood’. He found himself people watching until the show began. Though proud he may have been, there was still something oddly inspiring about seeing so many people from different guilds and even the guildless together in one place in spite of their differences. He might have to try to do some business after the show. Several of the lanterns strewn about the facility began to dim, and everyone rushed to take their seats.


                “Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadies and gentlemen!” a magically enchanced high pitched voice boomed throughout the room. “I bid you a welcome to the Rowdy Rioteers pyrotechnic, acrobatic, trip fantastic, dynamite show extraordinaire!” An explosion of indescribable color occurred in the center of the ring and when the smoke cleared, Zlato clearly recognized the form of Zikki, the Rowdy Rioteers’ ringleader. Zikki was a goblin of average frame but above average ambition. Most goblins that Zlato had ever known were little more that petulant, short-sighted children, but Zikki was special, with an ambition and forethought that made him stand out amongst his species. He wore a clearly fake set of devil horns and forked tail to make him resemble a devil (an even more brainless lot than the average goblin). He had a patchwork red and black-checkered pants, a rather slick black leather vest and a comically oversized tophat. “It is an honor to have you all as our guests! I hope you’ve all up to date with your insurance, you’re gonna need it!” Zikki made note of Zlato and gave him a wink. Zlato couldn’t help but chuckle given the amount of insurance the Church dealt with.


                The show went off largely without a hitch; with a Rakdos show its hard to tell when something is scheduled, if they’re faking an accident for shock value, or someone legitimately got hurt. Also for shock value. There was a duel of flame-throwing elementals, fed all manner of strange minerals to make their flames unusual colors. There was a bit where they launched several explosive thrulls out of cannons as makeshift fireworks, there was a zombie clown that kept “accidentally” cutting his own head off. All spectacular and visceral. Say what you will, but the Rakdos were excellent showmen. Then came the finale.


                “Folks, you’ve all been a most wonderful audience, but I’m afraid too many of our performers have been mutilated to continue” laughter rolled through the audience, “but we do have one final trick up our sleeve; Mungo the Magnificient! Let’s give him a hand folks!” Roaring applause rose from the audience, Zlato included, he had heard the reputation of this particular act. THOOM. The ground shook. THOOM. Again, it was getting closer. THOOM. It sounded like a thundercloud had become trapped in the earth. Suddenly the largest curtains, easily several stories tall, parted as a giant made his way towards the center of the ring. This was Mungo. A well-built giant that must have stood at least fourty feet tall stood in the middle of the ring. He wore simple tattered rags as a loincloth and was adorned with a variety of strange armaments that appeared to have been out of use Izzet piping and machinery, even a helmet with a visor. He brought his arms above his head as if to say ‘ta-da!’ “AYM MAGNIFISHENT!” he slurred. The cheering intensified.


                This act was legendary in this district. Mungo would pick up various performers, and sometimes reportedly, audience members; and would juggle them through the air. In and out of flaming rings of razor wire or other hazards. Three rather menacing looking thrulls covered in blades walked towards Mungo’s feet, and he reached down and picked them up, and with a delicate touch unexpected of such a creature, began juggling them in elegant sweeping arcs. Sometimes they would pass near each other midair, and clash their blades against one another, creating a shower of sparks. The audience vocalized their awe.


                “Now folks, I think we can do better than this, doncha?” Zikki queried. “Mungo, lets find out who our lucky ‘volunteers’ are tonight shall we?” “YEPYEPYEP” Several spotlights were lit up from near the ceiling, tracing arcs through the audience unti they came to rest on a well-dressed Azorius woman on the far left side of the stands. She clearly didn’t expect to become part of the show and began to protest. “Oh no, ma’am, we insist.” Mungo shifted all of the thrull to one hand, and with his spare, picked her up and included her in the act. Screams of fear eventually subsided into joy “It’s like I’m flying!” she could be heard screaming.


                “Next victim!” More spotlights. This time, they came to rest upon an extravagantly dressed Izzet mage. He was more accepting of his role in the performance. It was most impressive how Mungo managed to go from three things in the air to five with seemingly little effort. “Not bad, Mungo, not bad. But I think you can do better.” Another spotlight, this one eventually came to rest on Zlato. Shock to turned to smugness, “Of course they would pick me” he mused. He was plucked like a fruit and soon he too was flying through the air like a drunken griffin. Zlato had once ridden with a Wojek roc-knight to clench a business deal, and this was so much more exhilarating than even that.


                This continued for about a minute before Zikki chimed in “Folks lets give a round of applause to our volunteers!” More applause. A spotlight shone on the Azorius woman “Sveta here is an Azorius permit taker person thing, I don’t know the terminology. Anywho, she processes our various request forms for merchandise to be transferred from one place or another.” Still more applause “Cept last month when she denied a request for’a new cannon cuz  we had reached the permitted limit of artillery for’a organization despite us not actually using dem as artillery.” Mungo’s hand suddenly jerked on the downswing and rather than being caught, Sveta rolled of the back of his hand and fell to the floor with a sickening thud. The audience gasped.  Zlato’s eyes grew wide in horror. “Oh no, Mungo look whatchu did!” “HURRRR?” Mungo glanced down and shifted his weight, stepping on Sveta in the process. KERRUNCH. A scream from the audience. “Bad, Mungo, bad!”


                The giant lifted his foot away revealing the sickening mess on the circus floor. As Zlato bobbed up and down, still part of the act, he caught a first-hand glimpse of the scene as it darted in and out of his twisting vision. “D’oh well, the show must go on, right folks?” The audience was mostly silent. Some people murmured to their neighbors, and Zlato was sure he heard at least one child sobbing. The spotlight shifted from the smear on the floor to the Izzet man being juggled, whom Zlato was sure was wearing an expression similar to his own. “Plamen here is a chemister for the Izzet where he comes up wit new neato explosives and stuff. Couple month back he provided us wit’a experimental new propellant ta use for one’o our cannon tricks. I say experimental, cuz dere’s no way dat stuff was tested. Killed 20 o’our crew on our first test run.” Plamen rose in the air, and all three of the juggled thrulls intercepted him in midair and promptly eviscerated him. He let out a guttwrenching scream, and then the tangled mass of blade and man and thrull landed with a wet crunch  on the floor. “Oh whatever will we do wit dose thrull. Dey’re so hard ta train!” More screams from the audience and a lump was beginning to form in Zlato’s throat.


                “Finally! We come ta Zlato here.” Zlato was blinded for a moment as the spotlight began to trace his arcs through the air. We was more scared than he had ever been, but could think of nothing to say, nothing to do. This whole experience was too surreal to process. He was going over the whole evening in his head. Had it all been a trick? A ruse to trick him and others that had slighted this troupe into a public spectacle? Every horrid little thing he had ever heard about the Rakdos seem magnified a hundred fold in his mind. “Zlato izza investment banker. Wat dis means iz dat we gives him money, and he gets us stuffs we asks for. After he pockets somes first, right Zlato?”


                Zlato stammered, tried to think of something to say, an excuse, an apology, anything, but the words died in his mouth. “No hard feelings, iz just business right?” Zlato was thrown higher than usual as Mungo stretched his arms out to the side. “And iz been a pleasure doin business witcha.” As Zlato fell, Mungo slammed his hands together with the sound of thunder. THWOOM. “Thank you all for coming folks! We hope you’ll all consider what exactly it iz you want when you do business with the Rakdos in da future!”



And this is that card:
Show
Big Tent Juggler Creature-Giant Rogue Wither 1RR, sacrifice a creature: Big Tent Juggler deals damage equal to the sacrificed creature's power to target creature or player. Those who survive the experience say it's the best show on all of Ravnica. 6/6     
  
I can't say I like the unusual formatting with multiple speakers per paragraph, and I think it pushes too far in the "every single Rakdos is a psycho" direction for "one of the troupes about legitimate entertainment not some subversive snuff performances" to act like this.

But looking beyond those annoyances, I think it's a good story, and an interesting creature.

@Grumman
I personally don't like how rarely we see the not bananas side of Rakdos because it makes them completely unrelatable and it makes it daaaaaang hard to accept that the rest of Ravnica hasn't risen up as one and snuffed them out without the Guildpact to protect their villainy, but I needed to push the crazy violence for the purposes of the narrative.

What I was going for is that this is one of the good Rakdos troupes, but at the end of the day, they're still Rakdos, and they don't like being taken advantage of.

I was actually kind of worried that I had not given Zlato enough characterization as a greedy mizer, but I think it kind of works if you don't know if he really deserved it or not because it really drives the "do not mess with the Rakdos" angle.   

  The contest is in my signature for anyone who wants to participate
V  V  V  V  V  V  V 

I was actually kind of worried that I had not given Zlato enough characterization as a greedy mizer, but I think it kind of works if you don't know if he really deserved it or not because it really drives the "do not mess with the Rakdos" angle.


No, that part was fine. Both Plamen and Zlato say "do not mess with the Rakdos", but I felt Sveta's circumstances were more "do not deal with the Rakdos".
Originally I was going to have her be a Boros officer that arrested a bunch of the troupe members in a raid, but I couldn't imagine someone like that attending a Rakdos circus.

Pretty nice. I really liked how you build up sympathy for both the Rakdos circus and Zlato only to have a horrible mood-whiplash.  


And I entered the contest, since I was posting in the thread anyway. 

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

I like Zikki's style; he's taking out his enemies in a sadistic, bloody yet calculated fashion (with great showsmanship!). I too enjoyed the mood whiplash you worked in. My only critique is a lack of description at the beginning; I would like to see the trappings and decor that call to mind a circus and slaughterhouse.


Do you think you could possibly tackle a Rakdos snuff piece that transcends the Rakdos stereotypes?  

I love mood whiplash. 
Do you think you could possibly tackle a Rakdos snuff piece that transcends the Rakdos stereotypes?  



Care to elaborate?

I love mood whiplash. 
Do you think you could possibly tackle a Rakdos snuff piece that transcends the Rakdos stereotypes?  



Care to elaborate?



Certainly.


I came across "snuff" when I discovered creepypasta. The stories were morbid, and grotesque. There wasn't any elaboration on why someone would participate in the "snuff show." If you tackled a Rakdos snuff piece, you could introduce as to the Rakdos Snuff Ringleader, plus 1 or 2 of his/her/its victims: Why does the Ringleader conduct the snuff shows. What does the Ringleader hope to gain? Who are the victims? How did they become victims? Was it voluntary? Were they forced into the snuff show? Who's the audience? Why are they there? What is it about the show that gets them off?


I believe that the above would add depth to what would otherwise appear to be a simple massacre (the stereotypical Rakdos activity: kill stuff with extreme prejudice and an apparent lack of coherence on behalf of the Cultists involved).        
ಠ_ಠ

Okay, sure.
 
Entromancer, if you have that idea, why don't you try writing the story?


Comment Time!

    A Day at the Circus

                Zlato was a well-to-do man, doing well. A prominent banker within the Orzhov Syndicate, he had managed to pull himself high enough in the organization to have actual power, to be more than a pawn. He was now a mid-level investment agent;, tasked with appropriating funds and determining where money was to be made in the organization. He was feeling good about himself; he had received an invitation from a Rakdos entertainment troupe, one of the troupes about legitimate entertainment not some subversive snuff performances, framed as a thanks for his continued investment and well-being between their two guilds. Things were going well for him. This is a nice setup already, but some of the sentence structure is a bit clunky. A lot of the sentences are quite a bit longer than they need to be even though they aren't strictly "run-on sentences"--they work grammatically but they sorta wander around. Like the penultimate sentence there: "He was feeling good about himself; he had received an invitation from a Rakdos entertainment troupe, one of the troupes about legitimate entertainment not some subversive snuff performances, framed as a thanks for his continued investment and well-being between their two guilds." You're telling us four different things in this one sentence, and some of the pieces of information at the end connect to information waaaay back at the beginning. What if, instead, it ran:

"He was feeling good about himself. He had just received an invitation from a Rakdos entertainment troupe framed as a thanks both for his continued investment and the well-being between their two guilds. Even better, it was one of the troupes that performed legitimate entertainment, not some subversive snuff performance. Yes, things were going well for him."
See how that breaks the information up a bit more into easier chunks? There's probably some more you can do to pare these sentences down, but this might be a good thing to look at. 


                The invitation was for the Rowdy Rioteers, one of the more renowned circus troupes within the Rakdos Cult. While on the dangerous side (this is the Rakdos, after all) their shows were said to be some of the most entertaining around, and getting admissions was a chore in and of itself. Zlato had been a go-between for this particular troupe going on three years now. They would pay him for whatever goods, equipment, training or any other necessities the troupe requested for their maintenance, and he would provide. They hadn’t even seem to noticed or cared when he started skimming off the top sixth months back. Uh oh. They should be fortunate to even find a financier that would dare to do business with the Cult openly; he was too valuable for them to let go. I think I see where this is going.


                This would surely be a night to remember. He had spent hours going over a wardrobe that would be appropriate. Nothing too ostentatious, he didn’t want to get robbed on the way there; but nice enough to let everyone else there know that he was better than them, that he was a guest of honor. I love the character building you're doing here. Zlato is striding the borderline between likeability and loathsomeness, and it's great. He had chosen a suit of the finest pelts of beasts hunted in the forgotten wilds those stupid Gruul troglodytes called home; embroidered with silver and pearls in the shape of the Orzhov sun. Nothing too fancy. This is great.


                The night’s entertainment took place in the outskirts of the district, just far enough from prying eyes that the Rakdos need not fear regular scrutiny from the Azorius inspectors or the Boros patrolsmen. They liked it better when the entertainment was on their terms and not according to some prudish standards of safety or decency. Entertainment was supposed to be shocking and subversive after all! The show would be performed in an old Simic holding facility for some of their nastier beasties, abandoned with the Vigean ways when the Guildpact fell. Nice touch there. The Rakdos had appropriated the facilities and made good use of the wide open space that had formerly accommodated monsters. Small and subtle were not things Rakdos entertainment specialized in. He made his way to the theatre, guard thrull in tow, can’t be too careful with these street urchins.


                It was never a trouble finding the Rioteers; this wasn’t one of those depraved debauchery clubs, they had nothing to hide. I'm trying to decide whether or not I like this repetition. On the one hand it helps set up the horror that I can already guess is coming, but on the other hand I feel like it comes off as a bit redundant here... The place was always well marked. Lots of signs and arrows painted into the wall with what looked like blood but what Zlato always figured was just paint playing into the edgy dangerous look the Rakdos liked to cultivate. They weren’t all cannibals and rapists, Ravnica wouldn’t tolerate them if they were. It was a calculated image to increase their interest and prestige. He made It to the show; bold black and red colors and decorations halfway between a circus and a slaughterhouse. “All part of the act” Zlato told himself as he sauntered in.


                The building was quite a bit bigger on the inside than one would have thought. Surprisingly careful consideration had been given towards converting the facility to a performing arena. The center of the building had been dug into to provide more room for some of the larger performers and high wire acts. The back half of the complex was hidden behind makeshift walls and curtains, likely where they stored the props and dressing rooms. All manner of strange spectacle covered every inch of the warehouse. Rakdos grunts performing simple parlor tricks; juggling, breathing fire, artsy magic spells to impress the manaless commoners I love that particular description... "manaless." Wonderful.. Several cooks had kiosks selling meat, and only meat, of various flavors. Several of the signs boasted that they were people who had slighted the Rakdos, but Zlato kept telling himself, that only happened in the slummier districts; these were well-to-do honest performers.


                Zlato found his seat, near the center of the ring in the third row. Close enough to vividly make out all of the spectacle, but far enough to avoid being lit on fire or splashed with ‘blood’. He found himself people watching until the show began. Though proud he may have been, there was still something oddly inspiring about seeing so many people from different guilds and even the guildless together in one place in spite of their differences. He might have to try to do some business after the show. Several of the lanterns strewn about the facility began to dim, and everyone rushed to take their seats.


                “Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadies and gentlemen!” a magically enchanced high pitched voice boomed throughout the room. “I bid you a welcome to the Rowdy Rioteers pyrotechnic, acrobatic, trip fantastic, dynamite show extraordinaire!” An explosion of indescribable color occurred in the center of the ring and when the smoke cleared, Zlato clearly recognized the form of Zikki, the Rowdy Rioteers’ ringleader. Zikki was a goblin of average frame but above average ambition. Most goblins that Zlato had ever known were little more that petulant, short-sighted children, but Zikki was special, with an ambition and forethought that made him stand out amongst his species. He wore a clearly fake set of devil horns and forked tail to make him resemble a devil (an even more brainless lot than the average goblin). He had a patchwork red and black-checkered pants, a rather slick black leather vest and a comically oversized tophat. “It is an honor to have you all as our guests! I hope you’ve all up to date with your insurance, you’re gonna need it!” Zikki made note of Zlato and gave him a wink. Zlato couldn’t help but chuckle given the amount of insurance the Church dealt with. Really interesting dynamics you've got going here.


                The show went off largely without a hitch; with a Rakdos show its hard to tell when something is scheduled, if they’re faking an accident for shock value, or someone legitimately got hurt. Also for shock value. I like this but the phrasing is awkward... There was a duel of flame-throwing elementals, fed all manner of strange minerals to make their flames unusual colors. There was a bit where they launched several explosive thrulls out of cannons as makeshift fireworks, there was a zombie clown that kept “accidentally” cutting his own head off. These ideas are great. They really capture the fantastic nature of Ravnican entertainment. All spectacular and visceral. Say what you will, but the Rakdos were excellent showmen. Then came the finale.


                “Folks, you’ve all been a most wonderful audience, but I’m afraid too many of our performers have been mutilated to continue” laughter rolled through the audience, “but we do have one final trick up our sleeve; Mungo the Magnificient! Let’s give him a hand folks!” Roaring applause rose from the audience, Zlato included, he had heard the reputation of this particular act. THOOM. The ground shook. THOOM. Again, it was getting closer. THOOM. It sounded like a thundercloud had become trapped in the earth. Suddenly the largest curtains, easily several stories tall, parted as a giant made his way towards the center of the ring. This was Mungo. A well-built giant that must have stood at least fourty feet tall stood in the middle of the ring. He wore simple tattered rags as a loincloth and was adorned with a variety of strange armaments that appeared to have been out of use Izzet piping and machinery, even a helmet with a visor. He brought his arms above his head as if to say ‘ta-da!’ “AYM MAGNIFISHENT!” he slurred. The cheering intensified. MONGO ONLY PAWN IN GAME OF LIFE


                This act was legendary in this district. Mungo would pick up various performers, and sometimes reportedly, audience members; and would juggle them through the air. In and out of flaming rings of razor wire or other hazards. Three rather menacing looking thrulls covered in blades walked towards Mungo’s feet, and he reached down and picked them up, and with a delicate touch unexpected of such a creature, began juggling them in elegant sweeping arcs. Sometimes they would pass near each other midair, and clash their blades against one another, creating a shower of sparks. The audience vocalized their awe.


                “Now folks, I think we can do better than this, doncha?” Zikki queried. “Mungo, lets find out who our lucky ‘volunteers’ are tonight shall we?” “YEPYEPYEP” Several spotlights were lit up from near the ceiling, tracing arcs through the audience unti they came to rest on a well-dressed Azorius woman on the far left side of the stands. She clearly didn’t expect to become part of the show and began to protest. “Oh no, ma’am, we insist.” Mungo shifted all of the thrull to one hand, and with his spare, picked her up and included her in the act. Screams of fear eventually subsided into joy “It’s like I’m flying!” she could be heard screaming.


                “Next victim!” More spotlights. This time, they came to rest upon an extravagantly dressed Izzet mage. He was more accepting of his role in the performance. It was most impressive how Mungo managed to go from three things in the air to five with seemingly little effort. “Not bad, Mungo, not bad. But I think you can do better.” Another spotlight, this one eventually came to rest on Zlato. Shock to turned to smugness, “Of course they would pick me” he mused. He was plucked like a fruit and soon he too was flying through the air like a drunken griffin. Zlato had once ridden with a Wojek roc-knight to clench a business deal, and this was so much more exhilarating than even that.


                This continued for about a minute before Zikki chimed in “Folks lets give a round of applause to our volunteers!” More applause. A spotlight shone on the Azorius woman “Sveta here is an Azorius permit taker person thing, I don’t know the terminology. Anywho, she processes our various request forms for merchandise to be transferred from one place or another.” Still more applause “Cept last month when she denied a request for’a new cannon cuz  we had reached the permitted limit of artillery for’a organization despite us not actually using dem as artillery.” Mungo’s hand suddenly jerked on the downswing and rather than being caught, Sveta rolled of the back of his hand and fell to the floor with a sickening thud. The audience gasped.  Zlato’s eyes grew wide in horror. “Oh no, Mungo look whatchu did!” “HURRRR?” Mungo glanced down and shifted his weight, stepping on Sveta in the process. KERRUNCH. A scream from the audience. “Bad, Mungo, bad!”


                The giant lifted his foot away revealing the sickening mess on the circus floor. As Zlato bobbed up and down, still part of the act, he caught a first-hand glimpse of the scene as it darted in and out of his twisting vision. “D’oh well, the show must go on, right folks?” The audience was mostly silent. Some people murmured to their neighbors, and Zlato was sure he heard at least one child sobbing. The spotlight shifted from the smear on the floor to the Izzet man being juggled, whom Zlato was sure was wearing an expression similar to his own. “Plamen here is a chemister for the Izzet where he comes up wit new neato explosives and stuff. Couple month back he provided us wit’a experimental new propellant ta use for one’o our cannon tricks. I say experimental, cuz dere’s no way dat stuff was tested. Killed 20 o’our crew on our first test run.” Plamen rose in the air, and all three of the juggled thrulls intercepted him in midair and promptly eviscerated him. He let out a guttwrenching scream, and then the tangled mass of blade and man and thrull landed with a wet crunch  on the floor. “Oh whatever will we do wit dose thrull. Dey’re so hard ta train!” More screams from the audience and a lump was beginning to form in Zlato’s throat.


                “Finally! We come ta Zlato here.” Zlato was blinded for a moment as the spotlight began to trace his arcs through the air. We was more scared than he had ever been, but could think of nothing to say, nothing to do. This whole experience was too surreal to process. He was going over the whole evening in his head. Had it all been a trick? A ruse to trick him and others that had slighted this troupe into a public spectacle? Every horrid little thing he had ever heard about the Rakdos seem magnified a hundred fold in his mind. “Zlato izza investment banker. Wat dis means iz dat we gives him money, and he gets us stuffs we asks for. After he pockets somes first, right Zlato?”


                Zlato stammered, tried to think of something to say, an excuse, an apology, anything, but the words died in his mouth. “No hard feelings, iz just business right?” Zlato was thrown higher than usual as Mungo stretched his arms out to the side. “And iz been a pleasure doin business witcha.” As Zlato fell, Mungo slammed his hands together with the sound of thunder. THWOOM. “Thank you all for coming folks! We hope you’ll all consider what exactly it iz you want when you do business with the Rakdos in da future!” Oh wow.

Nice work. Good horror. I think, though, that you want to draw out Zlato's death a bit more maybe. Really savor it. Ugh, I feel gross saying that but given the horror aesthetic you're working with I think you want to give Zikki a chance to really gloat. You may also want to just add a line or two that heightens the awareness of the contempt Zlato has for his ostensible business partners, just to really hammer home the point that he think's he safe not just because he's deluded himself into thinking the Rakdos aren't that dangerous, but also because he doesn't think very highly of their intelligence.

Otherwise, besides the kind of sentence structure edits I suggested at the beginning, I think this is a strong piece, and will be even stronger once you refine the language a bit.

How would you feel about submitting this to the Expanded Multiverse? 




Big Tent Juggler Creature-Giant Rogue Wither 1RR, sacrifice a creature: Big Tent Juggler deals damage equal to the sacrificed creature's power to target creature or player. Those who survive the experience say it's the best show on all of Ravnica. 6/6      Nice card, too :D

Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
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You're telling us four different things in this one sentence, and some of the pieces of information at the end connect to information waaaay back at the beginning.

Re-reading this, I'm cringing.

Uh oh.
:D 

I think I see where this is going.

;D
I love the character building you're doing here. Zlato is striding the borderline between likeability and loathsomeness, and it's great.

Really? I was worried I hadn't made him out to be enough of a tosser. Horror should be about punishing hubris and all.
  This is great.
I'm always looking for excuses to use the word 'troglodyte'. 

  
I'm trying to decide whether or not I like this repetition. On the one hand it helps set up the horror that I can already guess is coming, but on the other hand I feel like it comes off as a bit redundant here... 
In my mind, this was half setting up that Zlato really has no clue what he's getting into, and partly that even the most well-intended Rakdos are still Rakdos.

 I like this but the phrasing is awkward... 

I'm noticing that I'm weaving in and out of having Zlato narrate and having myself narrate. *headdesk*
 MONGO ONLY PAWN IN GAME OF LIFE

           


MONGO GO TO HOLLYWOOD TO MAKE IT BIG. NOT MAKE IT; NOW MONGO DO TRICKS FOR ANGRY CLOWNS. THEY SO MEAN, AND HAVE BAD PERSONAL HYGENE.
Nice work. Good horror. I think, though, that you want to draw out Zlato's death a bit more maybe. Really savor it.


I see where you were coming from, but I wanted to save the most dramatic thing for last, and I don't think you'd survive that...
   Ugh, I feel gross saying that
Then I have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. 
but given the horror aesthetic you're working with I think you want to give Zikki a chance to really gloat. You may also want to just add a line or two that heightens the awareness of the contempt Zlato has for his ostensible business partners, just to really hammer home the point that he think's he safe not just because he's deluded himself into thinking the Rakdos aren't that dangerous, but also because he doesn't think very highly of their intelligence.
Okay sure. Also, I'm only just now aware that the two central characters both start with Z, and it bothers me for some reason.
 

Otherwise, besides the kind of sentence structure edits I suggested at the beginning, I think this is a strong piece, and will be even stronger once you refine the language a bit.
Wow, praise from Caesar!


How would you feel about submitting this to the Expanded Multiverse? 
Go for it :D

Incedentally, I hate the quote button >:I
I hate the quote button too :/ Along with much of the other functionality of these boards. Obvious Beta Is Obvious.

By Draw Out His Death I just meant it might be good to have him hovering in the air a bit more while Zikki gloats and lists his crimes. The actual final moment should, of course, be a sickeningly final snap just like you have it here. :D 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
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A 'life flashing before his eyes' kind of thing? 
I love the Rakdos and so, by extent, love this story.
But no, really, it was written really well. I especially like that it showed a less purposeless side of Rakdos. Sure, they are still awful and murderous, but just because they're doing it for fun here doesn't mean they dont also have a reason besides for fun.
Heya everyone, here are my homebrew threads: (yes there is only one right now, but there are more to come!) And Let There Be Fish-Men: KUO-TOA
I hate that so many non-Vorthos don't seem to get that there are not completely horrible people in any given guild.

Except the Rakdos, who are Always Chaotic Stupid Always and Forever Stupid Always.




biasbiasbiasbiasbiasbiasbiasbiasbiasbiasbias
WHO AM I?
HARDER THAN DIAMONDS STRONGER THAN STEEL AND BURSTING WITH VIGOR. THAT'S THE WAY THE BEAST ENGINE PLAYS.
PROUD BEARER OF THE MOST INCORRECT THING JIVANMUKTA'S READ ON THESE FORUMS YET AWARD. SO BRING IT ON. ALL OF YOU. I have taken the top of the mountain and I will accept all challenges. Attack me, all at once if you must! I will never falter! THE ONLY GLORY IS IN DEATH. AND DON'T FORGET TO COWER BEFORE THE METALLIC MIGHT OF JUSTICE.
Well, to be fair, this story doesn't really fight that.
But yeah, I do agree. Im sure there are some people in Rakdos who really do just wanna have fun and go to some parties. I mean, it is one of the guilds with the lowest point of entry so I can see a lot of guildless going to Rakdos just so that they can have a guild to be able to rely on somewhat. 
Heya everyone, here are my homebrew threads: (yes there is only one right now, but there are more to come!) And Let There Be Fish-Men: KUO-TOA
I'm into it. My thought after the first paragraph was: Eyes Wide Rakdos? But yeah, I don't know if I've read anything you've written before. It was really good - I mean Keeper pointed out a few flaws, but compared to most other fanfiction I've read, this was quite wet.

139359831 wrote:
That is a lovely painting of Richard Garfield. It really brings out his feminine side.
+50 CONFIDENCE

Rank up: RIGHT HANDED PRUNING SHEARS OF DIONYSUS  
I rather liked it, although the buildup of security seemed to hammer into bit too much that something bad would happen. However, there's one thing that bothers me a bit.


“Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadies and gentlemen!”
“I bid you a welcome to the Rowdy Rioteers pyrotechnic, acrobatic, trip fantastic, dynamite show extraordinaire!”
“It is an honor to have you all as our guests! I hope you’ve all up to date with your insurance, you’re gonna need it!”
“Folks, you’ve all been a most wonderful audience, but I’m afraid too many of our performers have been mutilated to continue”
“but we do have one final trick up our sleeve; Mungo the Magnificient! Let’s give him a hand folks!”
“Mungo, lets find out who our lucky ‘volunteers’ are tonight shall we?”
“Not bad, Mungo, not bad. But I think you can do better.”


I am right in assuming this is all Zikki? Because towards the ends, it suddenly becomes:

“Plamen here is a chemister for the Izzet where he comes up wit new neato explosives and stuff. Couple month back he provided us wit’a experimental new propellant ta use for one’o our cannon tricks. I say experimental, cuz dere’s no way dat stuff was tested. Killed 20 o’our crew on our first test run.”
“Oh whatever will we do wit dose thrull. Dey’re so hard ta train!”
“Zlato izza investment banker. Wat dis means iz dat we gives him money, and he gets us stuffs we asks for. After he pockets somes first, right Zlato?”
“No hard feelings, iz just business right?”
“And iz been a pleasure doin business witcha.”
“Thank you all for coming folks! We hope you’ll all consider what exactly it iz you want when you do business with the Rakdos in da future!”



Why does he suddenly become partially terrible at English?

Yxoque wrote:
This forum can't even ****ing self-destruct properly.

IMAGE(http://img.pokemondb.net/sprites/black-white/anim/normal/plusle.gif)

I wrote this over the course of a week with a three day break in between; I forgot that he didn't start out with a terrible accent. :P
You can definitely handwave it - as an entertainer it's not hard to imagine that he'd reherse and practice his stage voice. Falling back into his normal voice when he goes off script isn't that absurd.
...I like it.

And then at the end, he regains his composure.
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