Hairless Thoctar's Wedge World

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Committing myself to this because I've been sitting on it for months.

Shards was cool right? In theory at least. So I thought to myself (like a blazillion other people) someone should make a wedge setting.
So I did.

The idea for the fluff behind it is that a looooong time ago, five Planeswalkers were fighting over... something. Millenia pass and the Planeswalkers have all died or moved onto other things, but their armies have not. They don't even remember why they're fighting other than its what they've always done.
They've organized into five kingdoms, each based off of a wedge (a color and its two enemy colors) and continue to wage war to this very day.

I'm hoping to post some of the details and mechanics I've come up with and bounce some ideas off y'all for more (for example, im crap at coming up with names).

The five kingdoms, with placeholder names until I come up with something better are

THE KINGDOM OF THE WARLORD. A war society with warriors who fight war. Waaaaaar. They are, population wise, the largest kingdom and use military might and strategy to fight. They are all about the unsubtle, the linear. They are the hammer, and everything else is a nail. They have honed their skills over the years as fighters and strategists. They believe that they will win because they are the only kingdom that treats this conflict for what it is, a war to be one.

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Ravage

Sorcery
Rare
Destroy all creatures, they can't be regenerated.


Their mechanic is CONQUEST. It is an example of their proud military might. 
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Twinblade Paladin

Creature-Human Knight
Double strike
Conquest-If a permanent an opponent controls was put into the graveyard from the battlefield this turn, Twinblade Paladin enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it.
2/2



The is the KINGDOM OF THE DREAMER. To them, the war is but a game. They enter into battles and skirmishes the other groups and try to explain sets of rules. They will often leave the battle when they have 'won' their objective, whatever esoteric thing that might have been, and often accuse the other sides of cheating when they don't follow the 'rules'. They excel at imagination; their is very little that their magic cannot accomplish.

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Waking Dreamer

Creature-Elemental Shaman
When Waking Dreamer enters the battlefield, reveal your hand. For each card revealed this way, you may search your library for a card with the same name, reveal them, and exile them.
When Waking Dreamer dies, return all cards exiled by it to their owner's hands.
2/2


Their mechanic is IMAGINE. It is their capacity to turn the abstract into reality. It's also Living Weapon for Auras, but who's counting.
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Aetherial Carapace

Enchantment-Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creatures you control get +3/+3
Imagine - (Rather than cast this, you may pay its imagine cost. If you do, put it onto the battlefield attached to a 0/0 blue Illusion creature token.)
 


The is the KINGDOM OF THE IMMORTAL. They understand the nature of the war they are in, and they understand that the victor will be the last one standing. To that end, they simply plan to outlast the other kingdoms until they've all killed one another. They have a powerful mastery over the forces of life and death. Healing, necromancy, reincarnation. They use many tools to extend their lives well beyond that which is natural. To them the war is just a matter of time, and they have more time than anyone else.

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Gha-Di, Walker of life's Wheel

Legendary Creature-Elf Shaman
When Gha-Di, Walker of Life's Wheel enters the battlefield, you may return a creature from your graveyard to the battlefield.
3/3


Their mechanic is REINCARNATE. It is a representation of their master over life and death. When they die, it is of no consequence to them because they know they can simply come back.
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The Unforgotten

Creature-Elephant Spirit
Trample
Reincarnate - (Whenever a creature you control dies, you may exile it and pay . If you do, return this creature from your graveyard to the battlefield.)
5/5



The is the KINGDOM OF THE SCHEMER. The smallest and most ill-equipped kingdom. They know that they have no chance to win the war outright, so they do what anyone else would do. They cheat. They use strategy and politics and deceit to trick the other factions into fighting their fights for them. Intercepting and re-writting messages, planting agents in positions of power in the other kingdoms, directing blame elsewhere.  They are liars and political masterminds.

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Kirala, the Silver-Tongued

Legendary Creature-Cat Advisor
Vigilance
Creatures can't attack you or Planeswalkers you control if there are other players or Planeswalkers they could attack.
3/5


Their mechanic is SABOTAGE. It is them using their wits to screw with their opponents plans.
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Land mine

Instant
Land Mine deals 4 damage to target creature or player.
Sabotage Creature - (If an opponent cast a creature spell this turn, you may cast this spell for it's Sabotage cost).
 


The are the KINGDOM OF THE SCHOLAR. They are a nation of scholars and scientists and philosophers. They use their master of the arcane and technology to fight their fights for them. But they don't want to fight. They prefer research. They have the greatest depth of knowledge regarding the war and its origins, and most of their conflicts with the other Kingdoms amount to stealing scrolls or uncovering long-forgotten ruins within their territory. They have no desire to right, but rather they want to cut through the middle man. They plant to uncover the nature of what is was that their kindgom's founders fought over, and where it is hidden. And they are closer than anyone.

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Dirrk, He Who Knows All

Legendary Creature-Shapeshifter
When Dirk, He Who Knows All enters the battlefield, each player exiles the top five cards of their library face down.
You may look at and play exiled cards as long as they are face down.
4/4


Their mechanic is RESEARCH. It is them using their foresight, logic, and reasoning to find unexpected solutions to problems. Thinking through their problems, rather than acting.
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Thought Process

Instant
Counter target spell.
Research - (Whenever you reveal this card from your library, you may cast it for its research cost.)
HOT DIGGITY DAFFODIL, it feels good to finally put this out there.

GIVE ME FEEDBACK, IT'S LIKE VITAMINS TO ME.

Edit: Working on the Guide.

The Kingdom of Asyr. 

The Carnival of Illys. 

The Orm Empire. 

The Republic of Kyrr.
I rather like Imagine.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Points of reference.

The four legends here are four of the faction leaders. Haven't cemented the fifth one yet.

Kirala is lying to everyone. She knows exactly what the war is being fought over and doesn't want anyone to claim it.

The kingdom is going to be heavily Hindu influenced. Because, ya know, reincarnation.
Yes, because Hinduism is totally the only religion with reincarnation[/sarcasm].

But I like it overall. I love the KINGDOM OF THE SCHEMER.  being associated with Sabotage is wonderfully ironic.
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Fine, you want the truth?
I have curry fever.
Ladies in Saris do it for me.
ARE YOU HAPPY NOW.
#sortOfKiddingButNotReallyOhGodWhyAmITellingYouThis

They're certainly not, but they're among the most obvious to incorporate it into their mythos and Magic has, especially in more recent years strived towards the recognizable.

Remember Kamigawa?
All that cool aesthetic?
The weird names, and looks, and creature types that really took shinto mythology and RAN with it?
And how most people didn't "get it"?

I don't want to do that again.
You have to pick your battles.
You can still do a lot of work mixing the familiar with the esoteric.

It is my understanding that Ravnica is full of puns and play on words in with various Slavic words and easter eggs with obscure slavic creatures of Myth.
Stuff like that.
Conquest - Need to see more, but sure

Imagine - What really tickled me about Living Weapon is that the Great Card Project totally already came up with that idea only it was for both auras and equipment. It was a steampunk world too, I'm really sad it never quite made it to the end. Which really doesn't apply to this but whatever.

Reincarnate isn't worded right, because you exile it then return it to the battlefield from the graveyard. Also giving lots of creatures regenerate+ probably isn't good for limited.

What is the difference between Sabatoge and Trap cards?

Research - Tread carefully, it is really easy to screw up messing with the library.
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57817638 wrote:
58060728 wrote:
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58060728 wrote:
Moriok Rigger does absolutely nothing to boost other riggers. You are incorrect.
Moriok Rigger is not a Rigger in print. Only in Errata WHAT NOW! (yes, I did put that phrase in for that exact reason)
Congratulations, they have activated your trap card!
I like your wedges. C'est ça
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ConQuest--Love the name. I'd need to play with it to have an opinion.

Imagine--has a few problems. It feels like in belongs in white and not in R and U. You'll need to fight to make people want to use the actual aura in limited. It's in with Hexproof which helps. I'm also not clear on how imagine makes an aura into a creature. Incarnate?

Reincarnate-- Compare to soulshift in the same colors. This one looks good by that standard, but I'd price it closer to scavenge. Also, creatures with Reincarnate should be aggressively minded or it'll create stalls.

Sabotage--name issue. Sabatoge is used informally to refer to "When this creature deals combat damage to an opponent..." effects. Otherwise, it just feels kinda dull.

Research--Dangerous and Confusing to new players. Also, it needs enablers to work right. Shouldn't casting from your library cost more?

Flavour is great.
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oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
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Occassionally when catering, I've been put the task of arranging Fruit and Cheese or Grilled Vegetable platters. More than once a high class buffet has started with the mark of Phyrexia upon it. Since i've got a good eye for color so it looks great to people who don't get the "joke" (it's a niceley divided circle after all: the outline gives you 4-6 "regions" to work with), this has actually got me put on platter design more often, resulting in Phyrexia's presence at more private and industry events.
I have 6917 Planeswalker points, that's probably more than you. [c=Hero's Resolve]"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune, mana screw; they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures." Gerrard of the Weatherlight[/c]
Love both the flavor and the mechanic, particularly Conquest and Sabotage. I also made a mechanic named Research for a custom set I made on the Set Editor, but it was completely diferent. Looking foward  seeing more.
Flavor:
Solid and coherant, fairly easy to do in the Shards style 3 act story. First set-Setting. Second set-They find the THING. It must be powerful enough for 5 Oldwalkers to bother going to war over, so it'll probably warrent it's own new mechanic/s. War cranks up to 11 as everyone becomes desperate to control it. Set 3-Resolution. Honestly I got nothing, as any real resolution would likly negate your ability to return to the plane (Ravnica one did this and returned anyway. Ravnica's awesome so everyone seems to let it go, but it's so easy to avoid there's no excuse) and the other option is Alara's ending (which satisfied a grand total of no one).

Mechanics: My thoughts, for whatever it's worth.

Conquest: I like it. In those colors destroying something as needed is a reasonable certainty, and it encourages an appropriate-feeling aggro/control style. I vote yay.

Auras confuse and frighten me, so I can't make any sort of objective statement on the quality of Imagine except to say I do like the idea of quality mid-range aura support.

Reincarnate...BAH-ROKEN! The prices to use this on anything that granted card advantage or had an ETB trigger would be just absurd. Not worrying about anything other than Standard, you'd have to make sure you had no overwhelming fatties who could be discarded/milled and summoned up with an easy sacrifice over-soon. Best case scenario, you get Scavenge, which is good but looks downright revolting to most players. This is the only one I really doubt the workability of.

Sabotage is sort of iffy, because being triggered off of creatures means it's going to happen a lot. Like, nearly always. It's sort of like Miracle for awesome price-to-power ratios, but you might want to make it Sabatage-Creature or Sabatoge-Artifact or whatever. But that's just first impression, without actually playing it there's no way to know.

Research took a few minutes to understand, but now that I do I really like it. Is it for when you tutor something? Are you bringing back scry or some version thereof? If so, awesome. It's semi-random (less so the more you do it) and adds exiting "Dude I was about to eat a fireball to the face but I scryed and got Thought Process for one! It was awesome!" Waking Dreamer feels like it belongs here, or something like "Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land. Add that card to your hand and put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order." It massages the combo-center of my brain, and even though I think it'll be difficult to make work, I love it.

Other:
Three alternate cost mechanics seems like a lot (I'm counting reincarnate).

Kirala, the Silver-Tongued is cool but as a faction leader having a power that only works in multiplayer is to narrow.

For set two, to represent the increase power level and intensity of the war you could bring back a few old mechanics. White wedge gets Ahniahlator in small doses, Blue contenues to trouble me, Black gets Unearth (possibly oversimilar to Reincarnate but I advocate cutting that anyway), Red gets Cipher (not out yet but this wedge as you've described is likly to favor evasive creatures which works well with this mechanic), Green obviously gets Banding. Just kidding Green gets Scry if it can make it through the first set without it.

I wrote this whole thing for that Banding joke.

Reincarnate isn't worded right, because you exile it then return it to the battlefield from the graveyard.

You're misreading it. The creature that dies becomes exiled. I didn't want nasty chains of two really good reincarnaters endlessly circle jerking each other.
  Also giving lots of creatures regenerate+ probably isn't good for limited.

Like scavenge, I plan to have the ones at lower rarities be less aggressively costed.
What is the difference between Sabatoge and Trap cards?

I plan to have sabotage show up on things other than instants or sorceries.

Imagine--has a few problems. It feels like in belongs in white and not in R and U.



Red yes, blue no. Blue is tertiary for caring about enchantments.
   You'll need to fight to make people want to use the actual aura in limited.

I doubt it. Auras are better in limited because there's less removal.
I'm also not clear on how imagine makes an aura into a creature. Incarnate?


You know how Lorwyn's elementals are incarnations of dreams and ideas? Basically that. 

Research--Dangerous and Confusing to new players. Also, it needs enablers to work right. Shouldn't casting from your library cost more?

No idea til I test it.
I'd reason not because the timing is so much more finicky. You need things like another tutor or effects like Grisly Salvage to get it to work. 

This is very cool. I'm always on edge when someone makes a wedge world because the Expanded Multiverse has one, but while we kept the wedges deliberately separate and tried to develop them as cultures without access to mana, you've pushed the five close together and pitted them ideologically. That's a really cool decision and one that really changes the whole feel of the setting.

Interestingly, we arrived at the same aesthetic touchstones for the WGB plane through totally separate means--you through reincarnation, us through a rigid caste system.

So, what does this plane look like now? I'm imagining it's probably somewhat similar to Terisiare toward the end of the Brother's War--the entire economy, and the landscape itself, is structured around the war effort. What kind of cultures do the factions have? What kind of architecture, weapons, races, and so on?

Yeah, I'm really, really into what you've got going here :D 
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So, what does this plane look like now? I'm imagining it's probably somewhat similar to Terisiare toward the end of the Brother's War--the entire economy, and the landscape itself, is structured around the war effort.

pretty much
 What kind of cultures do the factions have?


In order to give the factions a strong visual distinction from one another, I've been considering basing each one of them off of some fantasy counterpart culture.
I've said the BUG wedge is Indian, but that's about as far as I've gotten.
   
   What kind of architecture, weapons,


WBR-Lots of showy offy kind of stuff. They're better than you and want you to know it. Their economy is heavily influenced by swag stolen from their military victories. They have orcs. They don't treat them well. They're treated like cannon fodder and there's been talk of a bloody revolt for some time now.

URG-They live in weird almost hippy communes. They don't really have an economy or culture in as cemented kind of way as the other factions because they're heavily transient. At the beginning of any of their 'games' they make bets with the other side as to what they get if they win. That's how they get a lot of their stuff. They are the most eclectic group. Lots of elementals. Their IMAGINATION magic has left many of them nutty as a fruit cake. Their society is akin to Alice in Wonderland; institutionalized insanity.

  BGW-They have a very strict caste system. Amusingly I decided this long before the Indian theme took root. It's based largely on how long you've lived. At the center of their capital is an enormous lake that feeds into much of the rest of their territory. If you've done well, when you die, your body is given a funeral pyre in the lake by which your soul becomes one with everyone else funeraled this way. Then that soul can be reincarnated somewhere down the line. A coming of age ceremony involves re-awakening past lives, and their is a stigma that the more lives you've lived the better you are. There is something of a grass roots movement within the facion that rejects this lifestyle believing that it prevents any sort of meaningful advancement in learning or philosophy. I have an idea that their founder is going to come back during the block. He's a suuuuuuuuuuuuuper old Troll Planeswalker who has amnesia. Basically, he got his head tore off, and while it regenerated the memories did not, so he's trying to backtrack his life.

RWU-Many of them suffer from a manner of identity crisis. They're small and they spend much of their time hiding. Most of the other factions believe that they have 'lost' the war and leave them alone, not perceiving them as a thread. I haven't really developed them as much as the others save for Kirala knowing what the prize is and working towards keeping the war going as long as possible. She's deathly afraid of anyone winning.
They have cat people. 

GBU-Again, haven't developed them as much. I have in mind that they're going to be the least outgoing. They keep to themselves more than the others, because they're the least interested in the war. They see it as an obstacle or a puzzel more than anything, and they're more dedicated to finding out the why of the war than actually winning it.
The Putrid Warrior thread made me connect my psudo-obsession with good zombies with Kingdom of the Immortal. If we make it to a style guide and it's feasable I'd like to throw in some ideas for them.
In unrelated news, Immortal's archetecture needs to be massive, sturdy stone remenecent of the ruins of Indian temples where the massive trees that are nurtured there are part of the design (something that is only possible because they're perfectly willing to wait 400 years for a tree to grow before they begin construction). Statues so large you can't tell what they are from less than 100 yards away. Things you can only build with an endless supply of tireless undead labor.

Warlord's could be a mix of Feudal Europe and Ghengus Khan. Lots of grey stone, open flames, and animal-skin tents. Possibly the least advanced faction, weilding bronze or iron weapons and wearing leather armor (makes a good case for high-power low-toughness creatures that feel appropriate here). An overall rough-and-ready mentality of things being built by ingenuitive soldiers who want to get out of the rain (cleverness is blue but improvisation is red).

Dreamer's closest analog for buildings I can think of is Esper, with whisper-thin metal columbs and delicately balanced upper stories many times the size of the lower. A mix of M.C. Escher, Esper and Dr. Seuss, held up more with magic than engeneering. Beautiful, unsettling and absurd.
Scholar buildings are simple, multi-story modular wooden buildings constantly being rebuilt, reorganized or outright moved to increase efficiency. The constant reitaration is the result of an insular culture that doesn't concern itself with other nations and their massive armies.

All I can think of for Schemer is Hobit-holes on a grand scale. Since their standing army is small and not-very-good they hold very little visible above-ground territory, but their tunnels conncect them to places across the plane where they can come up to use their great inteligence gathering or counter-inteligence measures, rarely leaving their targets the wiser to their presence. Almost like the drow if Menzoberanzan had a sense of sportsmanship and fair play. 
Perhaps there could be a central guide in the first post with spoilers for culture, archetecture, mechanics, clothing, races, noteworthy induviduals, ect.
The Warlord faction could be based off Madagascar, with a Ranavalona-esque insane leader.

Certainly more unique than mongol-inspired.
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WBR-Lots of showy offy kind of stuff. They're better than you and want you to know it. Their economy is heavily influenced by swag stolen from their military victories. They have orcs. They don't treat them well. They're treated like cannon fodder and there's been talk of a bloody revolt for some time now.



I'm reminded of 19th Century Japan, actually. There's an interesting sudden shift in their art after their borders get forced open and the pendulum swings from the permissiveness dreaming world of the Edo period toward a rigid conservativism, where suddenly they start imitating European architecture and art. In the prints coming from this period they consistently depict themselves as like the Westerners in advancement, whereas the Chinese and Koreans and so on are depicted in traditional garb, incapable of moving with the times. The not very subtle suggestion, of course, is that every other country in that region deserves to be conquered. They're practically asking for it. It's pretty gross, but also very fascinating, I think.

I'm not even sure that's useful. Whatever, though, gave me an excuse to give a mini art history lecture.

The landscape here is probably pretty mined out. I imagine that the landscape is probably pretty destroyed, which in turn has allowed them to simply dig in and create landscapes that can withstand some serious sieges.

URG-They live in weird almost hippy communes. They don't really have an economy or culture in as cemented kind of way as the other factions because they're heavily transient. At the beginning of any of their 'games' they make bets with the other side as to what they get if they win. That's how they get a lot of their stuff. They are the most eclectic group. Lots of elementals. Their IMAGINATION magic has left many of them nutty as a fruit cake. Their society is akin to Alice in Wonderland; institutionalized insanity.



I imagine that whatever the equivalent to nuclear weapons are being used in this fight, this faction was the first to use them. Possibly not through any real impulse to cause widespread destruction but because they're simply toying with forces that are probably beyond mortal control. I suspect reconquered territory from this faction retains a certain amount of distortion, like a lingering radioactivity or a chemical poison that seeps into the soil.

Maybe a Victorian hallucinogenic aesthetic is what would work best here? You already mentioned Alice in Wonderland, what about Art Nouveau? Aubrey Beardsley? Odilon Redon?

 BGW-They have a very strict caste system. Amusingly I decided this long before the Indian theme took root. It's based largely on how long you've lived. At the center of their capital is an enormous lake that feeds into much of the rest of their territory. If you've done well, when you die, your body is given a funeral pyre in the lake by which your soul becomes one with everyone else funeraled this way. Then that soul can be reincarnated somewhere down the line. A coming of age ceremony involves re-awakening past lives, and their is a stigma that the more lives you've lived the better you are. There is something of a grass roots movement within the facion that rejects this lifestyle believing that it prevents any sort of meaningful advancement in learning or philosophy. I have an idea that their founder is going to come back during the block. He's a suuuuuuuuuuuuuper old Troll Planeswalker who has amnesia. Basically, he got his head tore off, and while it regenerated the memories did not, so he's trying to backtrack his life.



This is very cool. I also really like Deckhopper's suggestions for this faction.

It would be interesting if some of those collosal monuments were, themselves, living fortresses and siege weapons...

RWU-Many of them suffer from a manner of identity crisis. They're small and they spend much of their time hiding. Most of the other factions believe that they have 'lost' the war and leave them alone, not perceiving them as a thread. I haven't really developed them as much as the others save for Kirala knowing what the prize is and working towards keeping the war going as long as possible. She's deathly afraid of anyone winning.
They have cat people.



Are they putting out fire with gasoline?

I... yeah, I got nothing here. 

GBU-Again, haven't developed them as much. I have in mind that they're going to be the least outgoing. They keep to themselves more than the others, because they're the least interested in the war. They see it as an obstacle or a puzzel more than anything, and they're more dedicated to finding out the why of the war than actually winning it.



This is a hard wedge to design for. I really have no idea. :/

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I like it, the ideas are solid, a plot twist would not be to hard, and the mechanics are good. But i need to see the cards for my final decision on its awesomeness.
I think I would like the shapeshifter more if he actually....shapshifted. Maybe if he could become any of the creatures he exiled or had their abilities or something?
Some more details.

are largely people hiding in plain sight. Agents and spies living among the other kingdoms. The rest are transient bandits and nomads. They have an ancestral home, but it was wiped off the map hundreds of year before. The exact details are remembered by few anymore, but it was enough to leave the capitol incapable of sustaining life. The RWU are a somewhat superstitious lot, so most tend to avoid the place, believing it to be cursed.
This tragedy is still something of a sore spot, even generations later. It is often used as a motivator for agents deep undercover, lest they come to empathise with their adopted homes. 

The  capital is part city and part university. It is a massive depository of all the information they have gathered. Scrolls, books, memory sieves, and tomes and artifacts retrived from field study and excavations. They are stronger than they give themselves credit for for one very precise reason; demons. They are prone to making deals with pit fiends who dwell in the most wretched, remote corners of the plane. Many of these beings are old and remember details from many previous iterations of the kingdom, and they crave this knowledge. The demons in turn enjoy the attention and tribute provided to them, and find amusement in the antics of the would-be scholars.

And yes, Sabotage is going to show up with different targets. Sabotage artifacts, sabotage red, sabotage planeswalkers, that sort of thing.
Here's two possibilities for the GUB and WUR guilds:

GUB could take something of its style from medieval Irish monasteries, with a touch of later, weirder alchemical traditions. You can potentially get an interesting blend there of the secretiveness of the cloisters, the ornate, almost magical power of the illuminated manuscripts, and a whole external supporting civilization that were some of history's greatest badasses.

Adding in some of that later alchemical stuff nets you creatures like basilisks, cockatrices, wurms, and suchlike, alongide the beginnings of chemistry and physics with alchemists like Newton plumbing the dark depths of universal knowledge. It's a bit of an anachronism stew, but I think taking those broad ideas, plopping them down in this setting, and developing them so they make sense for the world could result in some interesting material.

WUR could draw on New Orleans, Mardi Gras, Santeria, and that sort of mishmash of traditions you get in Louisiana. It seems like one of the recurring themes of this group is one of identity. You describe them as having an identity crisis, and they're shut out from the main conflict as a major player. On top of that, their whole schtick is misinformation and spying, which is another kind of identity fluidity.

If there's one simple, iconic way to represent performative identity it's the Mask, and build a culture around a mask and you get a Masquerade. I suggest New Orleans rather than, say, Venice, because that particular culture is underrepresented in fantasy. And because I think it really speaks to the situation these guys are in--they're probably being driven to the very edge of habitable lands at this point, their cities and strongholds are under constant threat of destruction both from mortal and natural forces. And yet, they remain tricksters, jesters, jokers despite the rising tides that threaten to engulf them. I feel like that has quite a bit of potential.

And there's something about cat people that just fits the aesthetic to me. Dunno, it just works. 
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That's some esoteric crap I wouldn't have thought of.

I'm learning so much :D

The capital is a big damn fortress on top of a massive plateau. Colloquially known as The Anvil due to its shape and its center as the center of the kingdom's military. From their they are led by the Warblood Counsel, a group of the kingdom's highest ranking generals of all manner of regions and races. No one individual leads the counsel, they function as a democracy with individual members being called upon based their personal expertise, though special reverence is given to a knight named Argos, the eldest human on the counsel. The eldest son of one the kingdom's founding families, Argos is a man in his 60s who has dedicated his entire life to the military and has been greatly rewarded for it. Though most members of the Counsel are effectively 'retired', Argos still leads his men on the front line even now. This has earned him great respect from soliders the kingdom over, many of whom hold little fondness for the Counsel believing them to be antiques who have long since forgotten what war tastes like.
A rules note: Research has problems out the wazoo. I'm not sure it's entirely workable within the rules--it certainly isn't as you initially worded it here.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Fiddlesticks.

It was originally worded that you could cast it while searching you library, a la Panglacial Wurm but to enable that for draft, you would need lots of search effects at common and I know that the NWO has been trying to diminish the amount of shuffling, especially at lower rarities.

Also, thanks much for the input.
I'll probably do another big textdump on Sunday about culture, aesthetic, locales, prominent persons and visiting Planeswalkers.

eeeeeeee this is so much fun <3    
Nifty. Look forward to it.
BUG could be a meritocracy. Black is "I'm better than you." Green is "I'm stronger than you." And blue is "I'm smarter than you." The three colors really favor personal growth in some form or another.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
BUG could be a meritocracy. Black is "I'm better than you." Green is "I'm stronger than you." And blue is "I'm smarter than you." The three colors really favor personal growth in some form or another.



I was actually kind of heading in that direction, actually.
BUG could be a meritocracy. Black is "I'm better than you." Green is "I'm stronger than you." And blue is "I'm smarter than you." The three colors really favor personal growth in some form or another.



I was actually kind of heading in that direction, actually.



Hey, as long as it's actual. ;)

I've been mulling over Research and I do see the problems - I'm going to shoot you my take on a mechanic and we'll see what you think. You can still call it research, I really don't care.

So, this research mechanic can go on any card type (except maybe Planeswalker) and it will basically say "Research X - (Insert mana cost here), where X is some generic and balanced number. The rules text would read something like this:

Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay this card's Research cost and discard it. If you do, draw X cards. (X of course being whatever the number after research is.)

So, for instance:

Forbidden Lore - BUG (lol how do you even pay a bug in a game of magic?)

Sorcery - Rare

Search your library for a land card, a creature card, and a non-land, non-creature card and reveal them. Put one into your hand, one into the graveyard, and one into exile. Shuffle your library.

Research 3 - BUG


So with this card you can either CAST it and get the, fairly powerful, effect, but not net any cards, or you can tack it on to another spell for the price of a color-intensive divinate and draw three cards, you just don't get to pick. Seem ok, hm?

"But that's a rare!" HairlessThoctar points out with a stylish flip of his rainbow mane. (Headcanon is you're actually Rainbow Dash btw.) "It needs to work at common!"

I understand, Thoctar. I'm here for you. How about this:

Bumbling Homunculus - 1BU

Common

Creature - Homunculus

Tap, Sacrifice Bumbling Homunculus: Draw a card.

Research 1 - 1BU

2/2

Oh, look at this beauty though. Need a creature? Just three mana. Look, you can even turn him into a new card later. (But not if you attack with him, because come on, he's busy.) Draw him late? Pay his cost, get the card now! It's a bargain, and not an agressive one.

I think this mechanic can do its job as long as we keep the Research costs reasonable. The only issue I see is that it is very MANA consuming. But, since this falls into the colors of one of the Wedges that have green, well, I think we can work around that.

Alchemical Genesis - 1GU

Sorcery - Uncommon 

Search your library for two basic land. If they share a name, put them both into play. If not, put one into play and the other into your hand.

Research 1 - G

See, this is an extraordinarily agressively costed card (Um, maybe too agressive. I have problems with costing sometimes.) in that it's good ol' Kodama's Reach with upside if you aren't into fixing your mana. The best part is, though, that if you just don't need the land, it basically cylces.

One more thing: This version of research sucks in top deck mode. Of course, if you're playing this version of research...
...
...
Why are you in top deck mode? 

There's my sales pitch. Let me know what you think.

Edit: (Also Thoctar if you have a Tumblr I want to follow you okthxbai.) 
Isn't that basically just cycling?

I don't have a tumblr, but I do have a blogspot.
Link in my sig.  
Alright, Thoctar, I'll give you that.

It just has more of a potential than Cycling. Althought now that I mull it over, all the cards with Research 1 and a cost more than 2 would be a tad irritating to look at...

Of course, then there is always the opprtunity to makes something that says "Research 15", or some ridiculous number and that makes me giggle.

Hmm...

If you're not completely set on making up new mechanics, could Delve work here? Seems thematic and resonant with the wedge, so maybe that could work?

Maybe a creature could get +1/+1 for every card you have in exile or something. Delve + Stuff that cares about what's in exile? Food for thought. I'll keep mulling it over and pop in every now and then. 
Delve is weird.

They tested it in early stages of Innistrad design and they found that it doesn't play well with itself.
Like, each Delve card made each other Delve card in your deck exponentially worse because they all ate the same resource.

If that's the case, I would hope that when (not if) they decide to use Delve it would be in all five colors as to minimize how much the cards would compete with themselves.    
The Plane of Pentova is a realm of contrast. Ruined cities, vast wastelands, fertile swamps, storm-ravaged seas. It is, and has been, in a near constant state of war for several thousand years between five kingdoms that have carved the world out into pieces. Each kingdom was founded by a Planeswalker long ago. They founded these kingdoms to have an army to compete in some sort of contest. The exact nature of that contest has been lost to the ages, and the kindgom's founders have faded into myth, now typicaly revered as Gods more than historical rulers, but the nations they founded continue to wage their war even to this very day.

Of those kingdoms, there is...




The Kindgom of Asyr


(ah-seer)

History
The Kingdom of Asyr was founded by a ancient Planeswalker colloquially known as "The Warlord". Revered in modern times as a Godlike entity, the Warlod was responsible for uniting various nomadic warrior cultures under his leadership. In the millenia since then, they have gone on to become Pentova's mightiest military force. They have the largest territory under their control, and most of it has been properly 'tamed'. Plains crafted into farmland, swamps into sluiceways, mountains carved into mines and citadels and glorious monuments to their superiorty.  Nothing of their kingdom has been untouched, everything must serve the purpose towards furthering their glorious war campaign. Their capital lies in the center of their territory; a massive citadel atop an equally massive plateau known as Forge. While Forge is the historical name of the plateau, due to its uncanny resemblance to an anvil, it has become equally synonymous with the capital itself.

Culture
Asyr is a warrior society. From birth until death, the idea that they are in a war with the other kingdoms is driven into them, and all citizens are expected to contribute to that effect. One does not 'retire' in Asyr, you might leave the front line, but you are still expected to contribute it some way until the day you die. Many retired soldiers offer their years of expertise as advisors, mapmakers, blacksmiths, and so forth. Enlisting in the military is mandatory, and refusing to enlist is considered treason, and punished with public execution. You are not required to enlist on the front lines, though those who volunteer for less dangerous activities such as being a medic or courier are often thought less of. The military claims to be equal opportunity among races and genders, though some grudges from antiquity still hold over.

While official enistment does not begin until 'adulthood' (generally, whatever the age of sexual maturity is for a given race in Asyr) many families are expected to begin grooming their children for a career in the military from as soon as they can walk. The mandatory enlistment is a minimum of 10 years, at which point a citizen may opt to enter the private sector as a banker, butcher, smith, et cetera, but all citizens are officially enlisted in Asyr's militia, and may be called to arms at a moment's notice. This creates an unusual paradox in that many of the non-military occupations of the kingdom are never housed by juvenilles, so many in these careers have difficulty finding new blood. It is a surprisingly common practice for a child to attempt to permanently cripple themself in order to aid in their parent's non-military work, or to escape enlistment, but if they are caught doing so, they will be tried for treason.

Their is an offical currency, the drachma, but most in the kingdom are far more interested in 'the spoils'. The spoils is the most common colloquialism for goods stolen from the other kingdoms in military raids and they often fetch an entirely ludicrous price on the second-hand market. Young soldiers returning from war often boast of their most impressive spoils more than any military accomplishment or battle scar, and it is not uncommon for a particularly spectacular spoil to be passed down from one generation to the next. Something of an heirloom, and something of a dare for each passing generation to bring something more spectacular back home with them. The popularity of spoils are two-fold. One, it is the embodiment of Asyr's military superiority. 'Someone else had it, but not the strength to keep it.' Two, Asyr's arts are heavily censored and mandated by the state. Almost all manner of art is akin to military propaganda, and so things untouched by the warmind are virtually unheard of within the kingdom. As such, things that promote 'dangerous thinking' such as foreign literature, are often considered contraband by the state, and the trafficking of such goods is considered treason.

Art within the kingdom must be inspected before it may be shown to the public or mass produced, and anything that does not meet the standards is confiscated. Asyr's art must in some way promote the war effort. Paintings typically depict Asyr's great military victories, statues are crafted in the likeness of Asyr's greatest military heroes, plays are written about the founding of the kingdom or the folly of the neighboring kingdoms. Anything that presents Asyr as anything other than the strongest kindgom, or the kingdom in the right is considered treason.

Conformity and Censorship
Asyr is a strict society with many laws governing the way of things and harsh punishments to those that break them. Many of these laws exist primarily to promote the image that Asyr has built up for itself over the ages; powerful and righteous. The most dramatic failures in its military campaigns are covered up lest they damage that image or lower morale. To that end, the culture of Asyr heavily encourages conformity. New ideas are seen as strange and dangerous. The current way of live has been 'proven' to work and thus many are of the opinion that any sort of significant change is unecessary. Anyone who has such an idea that would alter the status quo are often seen as eccentric at best, and heretical at worse, and are often shunned by their neighbors. Should they manage to prove their idea in some way, said idea is often celebrated. Failure, however, is often seen as a form of treason.

The Nobodies
Asyr's strict moral codes and standards are uphelp by its governing bodies. But on a more private level, they are enforced by thought police. The Nobodies, often thought of as boogiemen that parents tell their children about to make them behave, the Nobodies are the secret police within Asyr. They investigate potential terrorist activity, those suspected of treason, those whose ideas are seen as heretical, etc. While they do indeed do a service to Asyr by catching people who actually are trying to subvert its order, they just as often, if not more so, come down on people who spread the unpopular truth that Asyr isn't actually perfect and has failed in its military conquests in the past.

Crystal Vision
            The cyclops are among the largest races on Pentova, and most of them reside in Asyr making up the heavy artillery of its military. It is no secret that a cyclops greatest weakness is its single eye, which in the case of Pentova cyclopses, is quite large. Needless to say, the other kingdoms quickly caught onto this, and would often aim to cripple any cyclopses in battle first, oft rendering them useless in battle, and on occasion a detriment to Asyr as their violent blind thrashings were more likely to kill their own that their opponents. This would not stand. No one outside of Asyr is quite sure how it came about, but they quickly developed a solution to this problem.
          Known as "crystal vision" to most, it was a protocal that all Cyclops engaged in active service were to have their eyes extracted and replaced by a crystal ball. These crystals are impervious to traditional weapons and highly resistant to all but the most powerful magics. The cyclops quickly regained their status as the backbone of Asyr's military, and then some! The crystals allow the cyclopses to have sight beyond sight in ways that are not particularly clear to anyone but themselves, and often described by others as being more akin to clairvoyance or scrying than actual sight. As an added bonus, they glow in a surreal and otherworldly way that most fight incredibly unsettling. What's more, the lack of a pupil makes it effectively impossible to tell where a cyclops is actually looking.

Show

Battlesight Cyclops

Creature-Cyclops Soldier
Rare
Battlesight Cyclops doesn't untap during your untap step.
Whenever a creature attacks, untap Battlesight Cyclops.
: Battlesight Cyclops deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
3/3
        
           No one is quite sure how this process came about, as Asyr's magical and technological advancements almost never have make any strides in fields that aren't directly related with maiming their opponents. The only one who knows for sure is the eldest cyclops; an elderly, blind soothsayer named Tuflos. The project is helmed from her home, a lair deep within a drowned canyon known as the Empty Socket located in the furthest reaches of the Asyr badlands.
Show
Tuflos, the All-Seeing

Legendary Creature-Cyclops Wizard
Mythic rare 
Intimidate
Whenever an opponent would draw a card, instead that player draws two cards and reveals his or her hand. You may exile a card revealed this way.
4/2
        

The Highblood Counsil
The leader of the kingdom is a counsil of 13 generals known as the highblood counsil. They are represented by the many races of Asyr and guide the military in their actions. All of them are incredibly glorified and storied warriors, and no one has yet served on the counsil without having spent at least 30 years on the front lines. Despite this, they are often thought very little of by soldiers on the front line. Most of the counsil have been 'retired' for quite some time, and active soldiers think they have gone soft and forgotten what war tastes like. There are only two members of the counsil that are almost unanimously spoken highly of, owing to them both still being 'active'. General Argos, the sole human on the counsil; and Archangel Xaphel, the sole angel on the counsil.

The War Choir
All of the angels on the plane of Pentavos hail from the Kingdom of Asyr, but very little is known about them. Though they still fight for Asyr, they operate almost entirely independantly from its military. They take no orders from its generals, and usually ignore all those not of their number. They enter battle, do what they do best, and then leave; without a word to anyone. They are represented on the Highblood Counsil by an aloof woman named Xaphel, who is generally considered their leader, though none truly know if that is the case. In fact, she is the only angel whose name is known among the general populace of Asyr. She is rather punctual about attending meetings, but rarely says anything, and only speaks when she deems fit, ignoring all others even when spoken to. 

Though they superficially resemble winged woman clad head to toe in armor, underneath they have been described as though they were crafted from sunfire. They are often spoken of in hushed whipsers as many, even among the battle-hardened folk of Asyr, find them intimidating and alien.

Uniform
        The uniform of the Asyr military is highly standardized throughout the entire kingdom. While there are small differences according to rank, role, commanding officer, etc. most of these are too subtle to be noticable to those not looking for them. The color is primarly red, with accents of gold and black; heavily patterned off of skeletons and fire. The helmet obscures most of the defining features of the face. The entire outfit glows softly and is said to be modeled after an unarmored angel, so as to be intimidating and foreign. The reasoning behind red being the primary color is that it is said to obscure any wounds an Asyr soldier may have received. All the better to make them seem less like men and women in uniform, that a divine fighting force that can not be defeated.

Argos (ar-gos)
Argos is the only human serving on the Highblood Counsil, and is the highest ranking active member of its military. He is the only child of one of the kingdom's oldest, wealthiest families. Such a background could have easily avoided him serving in the military, as some of Asyr's wealthy elite are prone to do, offering considerable monetary 'donations' instead. He would not bring himself to do this, and divorced himself from his family early on in his life. From that day, he worked his way up through the ranks with many impressive military accomplishments to boast of. He has been rewarded for his service, he has personally gained even more wealth than her forsook in his childhood and has a large family, many of his children boasting impressive military conquests themself. Though he is elderly, approaching his 70th birthday, he has never even thought of retiring. It is something of a gag among new recruits that they are less fit for military service than a 68 year old man. Those who have served with him described him as stern but fair, and a father to his men, and the dedication he has for Asyr's cause has him often spoken of in the same breaths as the historical Warlord himself.
Show
General Argos

Legendary Creature-Human Soldier
Double strike
Conquest - At the beginning of each end step, if a permanent an opponent controls was put into a graveyard from the battlefield, put a 1/1 white Soldier creature token onto the battlefield and put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.
2/2
      


Vigdis the Thunderwitch (vihg-dihs)
Among the more significant individuals fighting for the Kingdom of Asyr is a woman named Vigdis. Not a native of Pentova, she is a warrior-mage hailing from the plane of Valla. Her tribe believes that the greatest glory a warrior can strive for is an honorable death on the battlefield. Though she was defeated by a foe, the ignition of her spark saved her from his deathblow.  She believes that she was denied her death by her gods, whom she feels she has angered in some way. Thus she wanders the planes, searching for an opponent powerful enough to take her life. She comes to Pentova with her partner, an alchemist named Neziri. The two of them act as bounty hunters and mercenaries, tracking down criminals and dangerous animals and dealing with them. She has found the warrior people of Asyr to be fondly reminiscent of her home, and has gladly put herself to work with them in battle. Though she is not officially enlisted in the Asyr military, they wouldn't dare turn down an ally as powerful as Vigdis. 
               She is a little over 6 and a half feet tall, which is downright average among her native people, but tends to stick out in most places. Her skin is fair, her hair blonde and fashioned into braids, and her eyes are a dull gray. She is freckled. She wears hides mostly taken from monsters (and people) that she has personally slain in combat. She wears a buckler on both wrists, though the one on her right is larger, and carries a one handed axe in her left.

The Scabbard
When an average person breaks the law in Asyr, they are punished, often harshly. But Asyr is full of people with far greater than average skills in regards to combat and military strategy. They see it as a waste to put people with so much potential to death. As such, many of its AWOL soldiers and the like are sent to a facility known as the Scabbard instead of being executed. Part training facility, part arena; the Scabbard is where these criminals are put to work in some way. They are allowed to continue living by putting their skills to the test training new recruits in very real combat scenarios, or put to use in entertainment fighting in hellish conditions in the arena.

The Scabbard is a rather large facility built into one of Asyr's larger wetlands. Partially sunken into the swamp, the Scabbard is a ring of interconnected buildings that serve as home and infrastructure to those that live and work there.  Within this ring are numerous arenas of varying qualities that are used to train or entertain. The facility is largely submerge from the outside and various damns and sluiceways can be opened to partially flood the various arenas to provide greater variety in combat, or merely to allow the monsters that dwell within the swamp access to the people inside.

The Scabbard    
until the day you day



Till the day you become an abstract unit of measuring time?
IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/global/images/mtgcom_daily_mc52_picMain_en.jpg)IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/73821e61e013eadf56a8e4e2226d89a3.jpg?v=90000)
until the day you day



Till the day you become an abstract unit of measuring time?



Yes. Truly the greatest thing a soldier of Asyr could aspire to.
Must be great to ascend like that.
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I'm definitely digging the first entry. The art bits to me bring to mind David and the Neoclassical movement, since they (or, you know, maybe just David) were really into Napoleon. The image of the land--even swamps--transformed into strictly utilitarian forms is intriguing as well. 
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Yeah, Asyr is kind of jerkish about that.
Its a pretty nice place to live if you enjoy and are good at fighting, but pretty gosh-danged miserable for everyone else.



 The Carnival of Illys



(christ, I hate adding these fonts)

History
The Carnival of Illys are the followers of their progenitor, known as "The Dreamer". The Dreamer was a whimsical, and possibly insane, dream mage that treated the conflict as a game, and taught her followers likewise. In the time since then, her followers have organized themselves into roving bands of mages that insist on staging battles as though they were sporting events. As such, most of the other nations regard the people of Illys to be entirely insane. The Dreamer was a great and powerful mage and was sure to teach her followers all of her tricks. Their magic is powered by imagination, so it is extremly powerful, but predictable and tends to be limited by an individual's quirks.

Their use of magic leaves a lasting effect on their environment; the whole of Illys has been left a surreal dreamscape with terrain that defies logic in colors not typically found in nature. The landscape of Illys has been shaped thusly by their magic. Winding canyons and towering mountains carved into bizarre unatural shapes that look more akin to statuary than landmass, jungles with plants many times larger or smaller than normal, rivers that flow uphill and islands that float in the sky; and all in vibrant, colorful forms. Weather and the very laws of nature tend to work radically different in Illys than elsewhere and also tend to change at a moment's notice. The beasts that live there are similarly mutated into strange fantatical shapes, often representing the repressed fears of the people of Illys.
  
Culture
The people of Illys tend to organize themselves into groups known internally as "troupes". These troupes are lead by a leader called a "game master". The game master is in charge of deciding how that troupe plays their games.  They lead their troupe into 'battle' at their whims, but these battles are treated as games, with rules and goals that are set forward by the game master. Different masters have different preferences; relay races, scavenger hunts, actual battles. Unfortunately, most game masters don't bother to tell the people they're fighting these rules ahead of time, so this leads to unusual scenarios where a troupe will show up, perform some unusual task, and suddenly leave; often accusing the other side of cheating.
  
The Dreamer's Choice Awards
The Kingdom of Illys has an annual ceremony where they all gather, under the orders of their leader, the enigmatic Shishana. It is a three day festival where they gather together to celebrate the accomplishments of the previous year. On the eve of the third day, awards are given to the troupes with the most spectacular performances. The most celebrated troupe is given the coveted Stardrop, a staff said to have been used by the Dreamer herself.

Shishana
Shishana is the leader, of sorts, of the people of Illys. A powerful flamekin that burns in all the colors of the rainbow. She is a strange, unpredictable creature; prone to odd, spontaneous behavior and prone to sudden and often violent changes in personality. She is hard to get a hold of, but enjoys showing up during troupe's performances to enjoy the fruits of their labor, sometimes joining in with them or even against them according to her whims. She is an exceptionally powerful being, possible the most powerful of any living thing on Pentova, but her lack of interest in anything other than playing the game keeps her from ever making any serious progress in the war effort.

Bloodsport
Of all the troupes of Illys, there is one in particular which inspires not amusement but fear in the hearts of the neighboring nations. The Black-Eyes, lead by a vicious cyclops warrior who calls himself tusk. They are famed for treating their games as bloodsport, not stopping until every one of their opponents has been killed, often in gruesome ways.

Kayza
On her homeworld, the dragon Planeswalker Kayza is worshipped as a God. A life where everything is provided for her and people dedicate themselves to solving her problems for her bores her, so whenever she has the chance, she leaves. She has wandered from plane to plane, but holds a special fondness for the people of Illys. She considers them kindred spirits, those likewise dedicated to finding joy and fulfillment in an otherwise droll existence, and her occasional appearances are often the cause of celebration within Illys.  
         She is quite massive; approximately 40 feet long with a wingspan to match. She is a brilliant turquois color with accents that shimmer in almost every other color you can think (and some you can't). Instead of scales, she has feathers across most of her body, and she is adorned with the finest jewelry her native homeland has to offer.

Interesting circus motiff. I usually invision circuses as more , long before the Rakdos got their make-over.
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Please please please make a Jabberwocky card. Please?

Also, I feel like alternate win conditions would fit well into Illys's side of things.

You mentioned changing fonts. Are uh... the fonts supposed to look different beyond just being bolded? 
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