Magic the Gathering Short Story
The Epic of Planeswalker Voy Ashvar
Chapter 1 - A Tale For All To Hear
A humble village nestled between the mountain bluffs and relentless plains sleeps quietly during the darkest hours of night. Almost all have ventured to slumber, except for a young ten year old boy who eagerly finds himself immersed within the fantasy world of his own creation. His mind moves like that of a raging sea, idea after idea raging in a chaotic spin of dizzying insight, worlds beyond reality itself manifest in untold stories of might. So lost in thought is he, that he loses touch with his own reality, and his caretaker brings him back down to earth when she enters in Voy's room.
"Voy, it is the earliest depths of the morning, for what possible reason do you have for venturing into random thought at this hour?", asked the caretaker.
"I have this great idea for a story! This dragon wizard rules over a world of lava only the lava is actually a living being of enchanted magic oh and the dragon uses metal humans to spy on the lava world and then the lava world creates a spell that lets them travel the multiverse and then the evil dragon uses his magic to - "
"Voy, please - "
"send copies of himself through the multiverse and the people of the lava world they live in huge castles of iron and gold and - "
"Voy please quiet - "
"farms are made on top of flying platforms which are really living creatures - "
"Voy! please be silent for the moment, I assure you that you're tale sounds full of intrigue and marvel, and I would appreciate to listen to it in full content, but not at this hour. Now it is time that you rest and venture at will in your dreams young one." said the caretaker.
A reluctant Voy placed himself in bed, yet still eager to immerse in fantasy he requests a tale before he ventures to sleep. The caretaker gladly agrees. She stands over the edge of Voy's bed, almost as tall as the ceiling, she was a being of myth, her body looked as though crafted of tree branches tied together, her center body was a cavity with a glowing orb of energy in its place. Purple and green robes cover over most of her, hiding her face and lower portion of her body. From the top of her head two symmetrical branches of her body grew outward, on them rested mysterious grey owls. She speaks in a calm and soft voice, like that of a spring rain gently falling to the earth, her presence brings an indescribable harmony, as if though one were sheltered by an angel itself.
She asks Voy of what tale he wanted to hear tonight, with which he replied, the Creation of Ushbaur, the Plane of Legends. "Very well then" said the caretaker, and she began to speak softly, reiterating that ancient tale of creation . . .
There once existed a god among men, a being of almost limitless power and ability who owned the very essence of existence itself. His name was Hestrophziad, the creator of reality. The multiverse was like that of empty canvas to Hestrophziad, just waiting for an artist to paint it with hues of blue, gold, green, yellow, and red. Hestrophziad wandered for many millennia watching as the natural mechanics of the multiverse grew into living works of art and beauty. Over time, almost all the canvas of the multiverse had been painted, and Hestrophziad felt like a spectator in a museum, viewing every painting with unbound curiosity. But for this spectator that wasn't enough, for he desired to be an artist all his own. So Hestrophziad searched for an empty canvas with which he could paint his own creation. He discovered a world completely devoid of life and order, and he crafted it into a world of lush forests, raging ravines, and radiant heaths. His world, his painting, needed only one finishing touch, characters who could inhabit the land and interact with each other. But just normal beings wouldn't do, so Hestrophziad gathered the multiverse's greatest legends and beings and brought them forth to his world. Thus Ushbaur, the plane of legends was born.
In Ushbaur, warriors and knights traversed the lands in search of adventure and everlasting fame, acquiring new allies and conquering vicious enemies and monsters. Villages and kingdoms dotted the gorgeous landscape, where unique individuals were born and one day hoped of becoming grand heroes. For every person on Ushbaur life was a significant journey of self discovery and growth, almost all people at some point in their lives would venture into the great terrain of the world. When those who became too old to venture across Ushbaur they resided within villages or cities either telling tales of the adventures or sharing wisdom of their past experiences to novice explorers.
Ushbaur was divided up into different regions of the continent, each of which had their own unique geological features, kingdoms, and temples. The largest region of Ushbaur is the country Ouphaur which in its center was the city nation known as Knightrian, a city that expanded over a region of more than thousands of miles. Knightrian was a city built with massive spires more radiant than gold, a metropolis of divine structure with draconic laws and rituals. It's political structure was built like that of a pyramid, with the god-angel Aurol-Desmaa it's king, below him are the Order of the Structured Flame, a collection of elite soldiers who specialize in fire magic as well as advanced military ability. Underneath them is the Hierarchy of Knowledge Bearers, a group responsible for maintaining the status quo and creating the laws of the city, the Hierarchy of Administrative Processes, a group responsible for keeping current data of citizens of Knightrian, and the Hierarchy of Judges Commune, a group responsible for settling disputes among the citizens. The next level of government was the proud and noble military, highly trained and disciplined soldiers filled role of maintaining peace and conquering those who acted or spoke against the government. Below them were the common moderators and arbiters, their duty was to organize specific matters within the city. The lowest class in Knightrian were the peasants and normal citizens, who made up a large part of the workforce and economy. The remainder of Ouphaur consisted of scattered villages that belonged to the Knightrian kingdom, wide plains that reflected the suns glorious light, and small mountainous areas with nearby woodlands.
To the southwest of Ouphaur is the wild land known as Shechzlan, an uncontrolled and unconquered territory inhibited by rouge wizards, monks, druids, shamans, and elemental behemoths. The whole environment of Shechzlan consisted of lush jungles that spread for hundreds of miles, mountains as high as the clouds that housed entire lakes on its plateaus, hurricanes that could last as long as months, and earthquakes that reshaped the land constantly. The natives of Shechzlan all shared a cultural passion for the pursuit of knowledge through any means they desired. Young would be explores would first study at shrines and temples, learning ancient magical spells from thousands of years before their own time and studying survival skills such as how to communicate with the land or martial arts. Explorers would traverse the land in search of more knowledge, often engaging in duels with fellow rivals over hidden secrets of lost scriptures. The duels could, and often would, be drastically different in how they were initiated and won. Sometimes two explorers would sit an meditate while they project themselves into an astral plane of reality, fighting each other there with mind control magic. Other times two explorers would summon the mightiest creatures and spells possible to determine the victor. And other times the two explorers would set up an array of puzzles and traps for the other to solve. Explorers also would often hide cryptic clues within the very landscape itself; secret messages that foretold of some future premonition or powerful magic. Deciphering these abundance of puzzles though could take years and would drive any non-native of Shechzlan insane.
West of Ouphaur is the wooded bog known as Hrollorth, a land of decay of rot. Despite its small size the country of Hrollorth is teeming with potential warriors and rulers. These warriors and rulers however are also ruthless and vicious, preying on the weak and the helpless without any mercy. The wooded areas are thick with mold, fog, and putrefaction, it's skies are consistently full of clouds, as though the sun itself refuse to bless the land with its light. The land is overrun with beasts thought only to exist in nightmares, thieves, gangs, warriors, and trolls. The trolls dominate that land, their ruler Kriviger the un-killable killer terrorizes all those foolish enough to venture into the bog, often by means of nailing individuals to trees and leaving them to either starve to death or be eaten alive by wild animals.
North of Hrollorth is the mountainous pine tree region known as Vrarbrith Ridge, home to one of the greatest legends within all of Ushbaur, the mighty knight Adun Oakenshield. He rides through the lower hills of Vrarbrith near the northern woods of Hrollorth, challenging any worthy warrior he finds to battle. So great is his power in battle that those who have died are resurrected in his all mighty presence. Vrarbrith is also home to the half human half boar race called the boartaur, the fiercest warriors in all of Ushbaur. Most of the boartaur are broken into many different clans and tribes that inhabit all areas of the pines, from as far north as the snowy region of Yolim to as far south as the swamps of Hrollorth. They are infamous for their quick temper and vicious attacks on others, which is largely responsible for deterring all but the most brave and foolhardy from venturing into Vrarbrith Ridge.
To the far north of Ouphaur is the snow covered land known as Yolim, a frozen hellscape were constant blizzards prevent almost any sort of civilization from developing. The only beings that are known to live these areas are the snow boartaurs, yeti, giants and mammoths. The titan Greashlew, god of the giants who stands hundreds of stories tall lives somewhere within the depths of Yolim; what he does or who he rules over is completely unknown. There isn't too much more that is known about Yolim, it's temples and ice caverns have only been explored by the unruly boartaurs and giants that reside there, and spirits of fallen travelers haunt the land. It is also unknown just what lies north of Yolim itself, as no individual except for Greashlew has ever wandered beyond the blizzard ridden horizon.
To the far west of Ouphaur, south of Yolim, is the country known as Terashire, a collection of numerous independent cities and towns scattered in between dense woodlands. Similar to Knightrian, Terashire does possess mass civilization, but lacks the advanced organization and technology to truly be a united nation. Many would be travelers often begin their journeys from this land, inspired by myths they hear from outsiders and a desire to escape the drudgery of daily life. West of Terashire are a collection of islands, where naval vessels and wizardry schools are built. The knowledge gained here is often sold and shared with associates within the Knightrian kingdom.
To the close north of Ouphaur is the country known as Ikininiar, a cold wasteland of frigid plains and petrified forests. Most of its territory is largely uninhabited, unless you count the wolfs, bears, and gigantic monsters that roam the place. Although there exists little in the way of civilization there are rouge castles home to fierce warriors; the most famous of all being the hall of Sir Ulaadmigrith Yesterwiesher, a loxodon, which is a man who is half human and half elephant. He leads with an unnerving resolve as he send his fellow soldiers, other loxodon and rhox, half human and rhino hybrids, through the heaths and woods to conquer all those he deems unworthy to live.
South east of Ouphaur is the country called Maurvoor, a land of chaos and destruction, where endless deserts and volcanoes echo the will of its savage inhabitants who live there. Mountain ranges that extend from Vrarbrith Ridge cross into and encircle the northern territories, creating deserts that expand for miles. Other regions of Maurvoor closer to the coats are much more tropical, consisting of rainforests and active volcanoes. The only law or order that exists within Maurvoor is the will of the sand temple kings who reside in the desert; arbiters who torture their servants and minions while engaging in warfare and political battles with fellow rivals. The volcanic and jungle regions have nothing in the way of law or order, it is a full out war of every being who exists within that land.
Beyond the coast of Maurvoor are another collection of islands, known as Lightmire, The Federation of Socialist City States. Lightmire is a political ally of Knightrian, sharing values of technological progress and law, Lightmire is responsible for the creation of war machines and factories that aid Knightrian in strengthening its defenses. The leader of Lightmire is the enigma called Jorphnil, a strange and haunting mechanistic humanoid behemoth that quietly rests within the halls of her labyrinth/light house fortress, what she plots of think remains unknown even to her closest advisors.
One common similarity of all of Ushbaur are its mysterious statues. Each one is an identical stone man, a lone and imaginative figure gazing with azure crystal eyes into the vast horizon. It is unknown who built these statues, or what purpose they serve; all that is known of them is that those who star into them are said to feel a strange sense of déjà vu. It is speculated that the statues were built by Hestrophziad himself, but no one can be entire sure.
It is from all these vast different regions, these varied cultures, these multitude of legends, that the world of Ushbaur functions in all its greatest might. Everyday a child hears the ancient tale of creation and every day a young man journeys off into the wilderness in search of adventure. Through many experiences, battles, and trials one can ascend to a grand recognition of heroism. These heroes become the greatest of all legends, remembered through-out all of history after their death. Death however is never the end, as many legends are said to be reborn through means of reincarnation; the hopes, fears, dreams, and spirit of those once famous from thousands of years ago return in new forms, ready to explore and triumph all those who stand in their way. That is the eternal will of Ushbaur.
- 10 years later -
Traversing through the thick forested bushed and trees the warrior called Tela Tellnil searched for the lone figure who had walked through earlier. This lone figure is a god among men, a warrior of limitless power and courage, one of the greatest beings in all of Ushbaur. His might is legendary among almost every person from as far north of Yolim, to as south as the Lightmire islands, and it is Tela who wishes to reunite with this lone figure, his childhood friend, the god among men, Voy Ashvar. Emerging from the forest clearing he spots the lone figure Voy on top of a hill, gazing at the horizon with a conquered and fiery look in his eyes. "Voy!" calls out Tela getting his friends attention. Voy slowing looks back and sees his friend, the very presence of the air shudders with might, and Voy's dynamic voice speaks a great wisdom to Tela and says, "I have this great idea for a story!".