Akin'vahr [Story Spotlight 5/5 | Set File Released! (ver. 1.0)]

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Sun, 2017-05-21 00:09
Vunik's picture

Hey, you know what's not over? The fight for Akin'vahr!

War wrote:
Three succinct notes blared throughout the camp.

Vunik stopped, looking up at the guarded walls of New City. Besides him, Anabel stiffened, anticipating something. A few moments later, three more notes sounded, higher than the previous three. Anabel cursed, turning back towards the building they had just left.

Around him, the camp sprung to life, men and women running towards barracks, children towards the back of New City, where it would be safe.

If any place on this forsaken plane can be considered safe.

He jogged up to Anabel, matching her pace. “Phyrexians spotted,” she said, answering the question on his lips. “An assault force, probably trying to weaken our numbers again. Happens on occasion.”

She seemed completely unfazed by the thought that in a few minutes, the entire camp would be fighting for the survival of the entire plane. Just how often did this happen?

The woman who had found Vunik, Terane, ran up to them, displaying the same calm that Anabel had. She gave a nod to them both, and fell into step on the other side of Anabel.

Only a few days had passed since the Lady of Crows sent him here, but already the people of New City seemed to trust him as a commander, alongside Terane and Anabel. He wasn't sure what he thought about that yet. It was foolish to trust someone, especially an outsider, so quickly.

Then again, he thought, watching knights donning chain mail as he passed, it's not like they have much choice. Terane already knows about planeswalkers, and she took care of any possible problems. They're so desperate that they'll take a risk on someone like me.

He shook his head, and at that moment, four more notes sounded, even higher than the ones previous. Both Anabel and Terane instantly stopped. They shared a look of fear, and instantly started to run towards the Tower. Confused, he ran after them, catching up shortly.

The camp instantly moved faster; people who had been heading towards attack bunkers turned around to head to the barracks. Only the young and the very old continued on their path. An air of urgency filled the camp, underlined with the fearful whispers of those ready to fight.

They arrived at the tower, and Anabel pressed her hand against a portion of the wall. Blue light flared below their feet, and a translucent platform began to rise from the ground, taking them up the tower. Vunik looked towards the two generals concerned, panting.

“It's not an assault force,” Terane explained, not even winded from the run. “The group is at least four thousand strong, if the scouts estimated right.”

“The Phyrexians have only sent an army that large three times before,” Anabel added. “They don't want to thin out numbers. They intend on wiping out New City itself.”

Silently, the platform stopped at the top of the Tower, and the two women stepped off, heading to the command room. Vunik lingered, looking down.

His vantage was high enough that he could see past the walls, and he thought he could see a writhing mass moving its way towards New City. He looked past the army, towards the horizon, where the Obelisks, giant pillars of black stone, circled the Center, where the Phyrexians had first invaded the plane.

Why? Why am I here, on a plane with a red sun, loosing a siege against one of the greatest evils in the Multiverse? What did you want to happen to me, Lady of Crows?

Vunik shook his head, walked onto the balcony, and headed towards the command room. He could find out the reasons later. Right now, he needed to see if he could save the world.


Vunik stood on the wall and smelled death.

It wasn't a single smell, however. Two equally horrible stenches fought for his attention, one damp and moldy, the other one sharp and metallic. Phyrexians and blood.

Soldiers stood to either side of him, shooting arrows out into the battlefield. Screams and shouts echoed among the abandoned buildings, along with the horrible sound of things that should not exist, mandibles and claws, hissing and steam. Swords clanged on shields or carapace, and spells flew in the air. Vunik had seen battles like this before.

And he was on the loosing side.

The Old Guard fought well, better than he had expected from a group beaten down and terrified, but it wasn't enough. Bodies littered the battlefield, and those fighting were slowly loosing ground. The Phyrexians showed no sign that almost a third of their starting force was dead; they fought on without a care.

“That's why they're terrifying,” Vunik muttered to himself. “Only one of them has to survive, and it would be a victory for Phyrexia.” He frowned, staring at the battle. Anabel fought with a small group of soldiers near the East Point of New City, protecting them as they retreated closer to the wall. Terane wasn't much better.

They'll have to retreat soon, he thought, raising his hand as a Phyrexian spawn attempted to climb the wall. Bright light surrounded it, and it disappeared as if it had never existed at all. Any more losses, and we won't be able to hold against...

He stood up straighter, staring out into the Phyrexian forces. For a brief moment, he thought he had seen something, a figure that wasn't mutated and compleated. Straining his eyes, Vunik searched for any sign of something normal within the mass of impossibility.

Unfortunately, he found something. Standing directly in front of him, probably over 500 yards away, was an unmistakable figure. “No,” Vunik breathed, the word escaping his lips.

Without a second thought, he jumped off the wall, eliciting shouts of surprise from those surrounding him. He weaved mana around himself into a protective shell and hit the ground with a hard thud. The shell cracked, and he dismissed the magic, running towards the Phyrexian, towards the figure.

It was harder than he had expected, and several times he almost tripped over dead bodies, Phyrexian and not. He couldn't stop though, not while that...thing might be on the plane. As he drew closer, he did slow, looking through the ragged line of battle...

...And caught the eyes of none other than Singularity.

“Ah,” it said, its quite voice carrying over the sounds of battle. “So our resident meddler did make it here.” Even though Vunik was still at least 25 yards away, he could hear the smile in its voice.

“Singularity!” Vunik roared over the sounds of battle, feeling the familiar anger beginning to boil in his chest. “This is your doing, isn't it?! I should have known the Project would have its sticky fingers in this disaster as well!” He summoned more mana around himself, sending a ball of death into the front line, dissolving flesh, even Phyrexian flesh, wherever it touched.

It tsked at the spell as it dissipated, leaving a hole that more Phyrexians quickly filled. “Now really, Vunik, was that necessary? We just reunite, and already you're trying to kill me?”

“Answer my question,” Vunik replied, summoning and throwing another ball of death. “You caused this, didn't you?”

By now, he was close enough to see Singularity smile, an eerie expression on a face with dead, chromatic eyes. Yes, he had caused this. No, he wouldn't tell Vunik that directly. It had that annoying habit. Instead, it turned and began to walk away, the Phyrexians paying no attention to it.

“Come back here!” He abandoned using the balls of death, instead using magic to just push the Phyrexians out of the way. “Erg...COME BACK HERE!”

Singularity didn't so much as hesitate. “Ah, still as blind as ever. Don't you think that, perhaps, you should focus on your own battle right now? I'd hate to see the Old Guard obliterated so easily.” With that, it disappeared, lost in the sprawling ruins of the Old City.

Vunik growled, clenching his fists. He could feel the mana flowing into him, and he made no move to stop it. If he needed to destroy half of the Old City to find Singularity, he would do it. He raised a hand up, the magic crackling to life in his palm, slowly growing into a mass of lightning.


Instantly, the battlefield fell silent. Phyrexians ceased to kill, and the Old Guard looked around, the strange voice echoing on the abandoned buildings. Vunik hesitated, the mass shrinking slightly. The battlefield seemed to grow darker, and he swore he could feel whatever it was approaching.

“NO MORE.” The voice didn't sound human, goblin, or any of the other races present the Old Guard. “YOU WILL NOT FIGHT ANY LONGER.”

To Vunik's surprise, the Phyrexians began to shuffle, opening a clearing through the entire army. A single man walked down the clearing, his force of will alone keeping the army in check. He stepped out into the neutral ground, and looked at Vunik directly.

“I am tired of these games, other-worlder,” he said, voice unnatural, and Vunik could see that he was only a “man” in the loosest application. “You will cease to fight, and accept your compleation by my hand.”

Vunik took an uncertain step back. “Who are you to command me? If you know I'm not of this world, then you also know I can kill you with the snap of my fingers!”

The thing smiled. “I am Radek, Praetor of the Great Work,” he paused, staring Vunik down, “Lord of Akin'vahr, the world you now intervene in. And you, other-worlder, are nothing to me.”

It just occurred to me that Shimmersteel Armor is narrow, parasitic, and over costed. I'll figure something out to replace it with.

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Sun, 2017-05-21 01:33
marioware2's picture

"Whenever a counter would be placed on equipped creature, you may choose to put that many plus one or that many minus one counters on it instead."

How's that? Does the same thing except cooler and less parasitic.

Sun, 2017-05-21 15:19
Simonbarsinister's picture

I feel like emergency stock is too strong. Play it in a deck with no other artifacts than Elbrus the binding blade and you get a turn five Withengar.

Sun, 2017-05-21 16:07
Vunik's picture

@marioware I like that, so I'll probably use that.

@Simonbarsinister While that's only one card, I do see what you mean. I'll probably change it to "you may cast it. If you don't, put it into your hand, then shuffle all other cards revealed this way into your library."

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Tue, 2017-08-08 02:45
Vunik's picture

So, I've been stuck on the story of this set for a while yet, and I've finally realized why: When I started the story, I approached it similar to an epic war fantasy, when it's not. One, the original intent of the story was to end with a dramatic reveal of the past of Akin'vahr - a mystery that I've hardly touched in the chapters I've given.

If I had written out the story beforehand, I would be able to change the previous chapters, putting more emphasis on the mystery, and less on the war. Unfortunately, I can't change the story I've given, and I don't want to take a sharp left as I do so.

What does this mean for Akin'vahr? First, I won't be making anymore story chapters for the spoilers, instead letting the cards I choose imply the story. Second, the set should be released soon. Like, within the month soon.

And with that, here's your next spoiler!

Face Off

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Tue, 2017-08-08 19:30
fluffyDeathbringer's picture

I'm glad you got back into the swing of things -- recalibrating one's entire approach can be difficult. I hope this works out for you in future set design.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Thu, 2017-08-17 19:51
Vunik's picture

Alright, time for another spoiler! First, story spotlight 4/5:

Fight Back

And next, a cycle inspired by Fate Reforged!


Next spoiler will be the last for Ahkin'vhar, and I'll release the set file!

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Fri, 2017-08-18 05:44
fluffyDeathbringer's picture

Conclave Duel's Old Guard mode makes it kill itself on an empty board, is that intentional?

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

Avatar by rickenfe13. goats are gay

Fri, 2017-08-18 12:45
Head Administrator
Guitarweeps's picture

Pit Duel granting double strike to all attackers? That is pretty nuts. I can't remember the set but there was an enchantment that cost 4 that gave DS to an attacker and it was pretty bonkers. Adding 1 mana and giving it to all is also pretty crazy.

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Fri, 2017-08-18 17:32
Vunik's picture

@fluffy - That wasn't intentional, and I'm debating about whether or not to change it. If I leave it, Conclave won't be able to (essentially) become "Opponents can't play artifacts or enchantments".

@Guitarweeps - I was concerned about the power, but I feel that it's somewhat fine. There was Blood Mist in Eldritch Moon, which is the card you referenced, but it's also uncommon while Pit Duel is rare. According to Concerted Effort (which may be too powerful in its own right) this effect can fit at rare (although that works on each turn, and requires another creature first).

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Fri, 2017-08-18 19:30
Community Award
Yoshi's picture

Pit Duel, meet cleaver riot. It's also kind of funny how much worse the white Old Guard mode is vs the red one; maybe if the white one also granted lifelink?

Working on an alt-color pie at the moment. Check me out in forum games!
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I stand with the specimen.

Sat, 2017-09-02 01:19
Vunik's picture

Alright, what do you say we finally put this beast to rest? I present to you Story Spotlight 5 of 5:

And that brings Akin'vahr to a close! You can find the set file here.


The End is Back

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