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Aia del Mana

Of Forest Fae - a quest of the Anniversary

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(Excerpt of Aia's diary)

Some time hence I had been aside Raven's Peace, aside Luna's full gaze. There I took time to paint, as one does in her time, of water-lilies, and the koi that doth swim beneath.

Aside the reflection of the Moon in her glory upon the still water, I sat and admired her glow, and the beauty of the lilies that doth line the water's edge. Amidst the serenity, I noted but a flicker-beat of wings, and a single ripple upon the water's surface. With breath held and curiosity to sate, I did follow the sound, which although distant, led me to a grove deeper within the forest.

There I did see a single Water-Being, covered in frost-bite, lifeless and pale, and floating above, a flitter of small winged-beings. Without hesitation they darted away, and in their wake, a fine mist did glow, and settled upon the Water-Being.

Taking memory of the winged-beings, I tended to the Water-Being, who did slowly awaken. She began to heal herself, and her wounds did fade, enough for her to return to the pond.

With but a memory of passing glance, and little else, of the winged-beings, I returned to my easel, and drew from memory that which I had seen.

For now, I should like to think they are present to keep the balance of life within the Lorerootian forest. Yet, their purpose were unclear, and I shall await opportunity to find them again.



Thy quest, this anniversary, were one of simplicity - and I affirm that simplicity and elegance were key.

Give form to the above winged-being, with guidance proceeding:

Of its lore, one paragraph. This should be consistent with the above story, although thou'rt encouraged to elaborate further, with artistic licence. Points shall be awarded for well-written lore, consistent with the aforementioned tale and of its character in combat.

Of its character in combat, one sentence. The statistic, nor the vitality of such a creature were of little consequence - this sentence should merely explain of a single unique ability. Points shall be awarded for elegance and simplicity, as well as how it may usher a change in the present strength of rituals.

Of how it doth change combat, within the realm - one paragraph. I do note quite the preponderance of rituals that do use the Freeze-Aura, and I encourage those that enter to think of how one may counter a multitude of Freeze-Auras, that may restore balance to combat thereof. I do note that presently, the Anti-Freeze-Aura were in fact nullified by the Freeze Aura, if one doth freeze the holder of that aura, and thus it were presently an inadequate counter-ritual.
Points shall be given for the following:
- How it may counter rituals with multiple Freeze-Auras (especially if one canst counter it without making those rituals stronger, if one doth add this new creature to it)
A small bonus shall be awarded if there are interesting interactions with currently existing abilities of the realm.

I should like to offer a Lorerootian Root Warrior to the best entry, although I would that those who do give rewards of the Anniversary of the realm should appropriate a prize in its stead.

Entries to this competition shall be open to the end of the Anniversary. One may enter multiple times, of which the best scoring entry shall be used.

Edited by Aia del Mana

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A translation, of the common-tongue, as were requested by MRF:
 

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Create a creature that would fit the lore of the story above.

Write one paragraph about the creature's lore, which is consistent with the above story. You can (and are encouraged to) expand on the lore.

Write one sentence that describes the creature's ability in combat. Points will be awarded for elegant, simple abilities that change the current meta of rituals.

Write one paragraph explaining the ability, and how it changes the current state of combat - especially in the context of rituals with multiple Freeze Auras, and how this creature, while countering multiple Freeze Auras, doesn't make them stronger if you use it in a ritual with Freeze Auras on your side.

A few extra marks may be given if there are interesting interactions with other abilities that already exist.

Aia is donating a Root Warrior to the winner of this competition, but she would like there to be rewards from the Anniversary as well.

You can enter as many times as you like, and the best scoring entry will be used.

 

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@Ungod, that is indeed what I had hoped should occur, however, this were not within mine jurisdiction.

If one were to provide an entry that were exceptional, I should think that those who do donate prizes would consider an Anniversary creature.

Edited by Aia del Mana

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In order of submission, here are the entries, and following them, that which I have judged of them.

Of note, if thou didst mention of statistic of the creature in thy submission, I have removed it for brevity, as it will not contribute toward the final score. I have also made minor changes to the entries that do retain the meaning, but improve the ease of comprehending. In doing so I have attempted to make as few changes as possible, that the meaning were conserved - yet, for some submissions, as they did not follow the format of entry, I have had to reword them significantly so that they do.

In attempting to be as fair as possible, I have taken what I believe to be the strongest scoring function of each ability that were suggested, and scored accordingly.

MRF's entry (of note, I have had to reword this significantly).
 

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Lore: Shy flittery creatures that are curious but nonviolent. They fly around the edges of the lake investigating anything out of the ordinary, but you'd be lucky to see one.

They are hard to catch as they have an ability to dodge attacks. When they grow they have a chance to thaw an already frozen creature.

Ability: Two have been submitted for this creature:
Dodge Aura - Gives a chance for random targeted attacks to land on a different creature.
Thaw Aura - Gives a chance to unfreeze an already frozen creature, each round of combat.

How it may change combat:
The addition of the Dodge Aura adds longevity to the ritual, so that your ritual has a chance to last longer.
The Thaw Aura means that if your ritual lasts long enough, your creatures will unfreeze after several rounds of combat.


Lore: Simple, but fitting to the story, although I would have appreciated a further explanation of why these creatures do have this ability. I do believe that in good design of a creature, one should give the lore further depth, which were a bit lacking.

Abilit(ies):
Of the Dodge Aura - I was quite unclear as to how the Dodge Aura did work in combat. As it were described, the attack would instead land on another creature - doth this include a creature of the opposing combatant? Could an attacker who doth attack into this aura instead attack itself?
If it were not so, and merely that the attack would land on another creature of the defending ritual, I would think that this would merely have the effect of making the Fae last longer in the ritual than the other creatures. If it were so, I cannot see how this has any efficacy against the Freeze ritual, except to last longer against it.

Of the Thaw Aura - I must assume that the Thaw Aura must work even if the Fae were frozen. It doth seem that as the majority of strong rituals do employ six or more Freeze Auras, and the Freeze Aura will cancel the aura of any creature that were frozen, this were not a suitable counter-ritual.

The assumption of your explanation of these abilities is that you do not assume that they will freeze your entire ritual - when in fact this appears to be the dominant offensive ritual of the realm.

Furthermore, if one doth add this to a ritual which prominently features multiple Freeze Auras, its effect would be to strengthen it, making the dominant ritual merely more dominant - a rather undesirable change to the combat of the realm.

Of the Lore, I will give two out of five points.
Of the Abilities, I will give two out of five points.
Of the Explanation of how it may change combat, I will give one out of five points.

For this, a total of five points of fifteen.

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Pipstickz's entry (I have changed little of this, although I have needed to add paragraphing, for readability.)
 

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Lore:

One day, long ago, Udgard was walking through the forest. He was deep in a moving meditation, thinking on how he could finally fulfill his ultimate wish - to create a golem. As if waking from a dream, he looked around and realized that he'd misplaced himself. He inspected his surroundings; the path had disappeared from under his feet long ago, being replaced with grass and small foliage, not uncommon in Loreroot. What was uncommon was the large, ornate gate in front of him (think MB gates but bigger and shinier!). Excited at the prospect of exploring a new place, Udgard happily rushed inside, losing his train of thought completely!

Once past the gates, he saw beautiful gardens, with creatures of every type frolicking happily, including many he didn't recognize. After wandering for a while, gazing in amazement at all the new sights he beheld, he found a small shack quite far from the gate.
From inside, he heard mad laughter that he recognized as coming from Braiton, The Drachorn Experimentalist. He crept up to the shack and listened from outside a window to the strange noises coming from inside, along with the rantings of Braiton. "Yes, it has to work this time! Hehehe! They'll never beat me again, I just have to sew this on and..."  A long pause ensued.
Udgard was frozen with fear, thinking he might become the next experiment if he were found out. Suddenly, Braiton stormed out of the shack, apparently so intent to be somewhere that he completely failed to notice the eavesdropper sitting underneath a window. Udgard, once recovering from the fright of his life, could not contain his curiosity, he stepped inside the shack and...realized he was in the abandoned home of Eden!
Notes covered the interior walls, information on all the creatures he'd seen outside. On a table in front of him, however, was a creature he'd never seen before. A small thing with a slopshod sewing job to hold on a set of terribly mismatched wings.

Udgard felt a deep remorse. "If only nobody had ever found this place...I'll do what I can for you." He began casting spells to ease the suffering of the poor creature, but as he did he started to feel pieces of himself flowing into the small creature. Earth to heal its broken body, wind to mend its disfigured wings, water to refresh its tortured mind, and fire to ignite its eternal soul. When Udgard was finished, the creature flitted up and thanked him with a kiss, or what seemed like it to him, before fleeing at an amazing speed out the window. Udgard smiled, feeling fulfilled somehow, but then...started to feel a strange itch on his nose. He went to scratch, but found that where he'd been touched was ice cold! "Ou-ou-ouchoo!" He sneezed and winced in pain at the same time, causing a puff of sparkley dust to fly from his hands and nose.

Before long he found his nose was back to normal, and decided to be on his way. Once he approached the gate, a thought struck him. After exiting the beautiful garden, he summoned all his strength to bend the metal bars of the gate together, interlacing them so the gates could never again be opened. With renewed zeal and a happy heart, Udgard once again began walking through the forest, thinking of how he might one day infuse his soul into a golem.

Ability:
She would consume resources as Molima do (I'm thinking resin), and eventually spit out an ointment that can be applied to your creatures to increase their tolerance to freeze through adapting to steadily increasing doses. (that means hopefully your ability to produce it is eventually outpaced by your creature's need for more and more ointment, therefore no complete immunity).

How it changes combat:
This could be an effective and fair counter to freeze depending on the cost vs benefit of producing the ointment, duration of effect, strength of the effect. Ideally (in my mind) you could only apply the ointment to one creature at a time for full effect (maybe a 40% freeze resist chance? Maybe that's too high...), while spreading your doses thin over more creatures would reduce its effectiveness by that many times. It's been quite a while since I actually had to deal with opposing freeze, most of the time I'm just fighting Priest defences rits.

 


Of the Lore: I enjoyed the tale that thou didst tell, of Udgard, and Braiton. It doth seem that it were a flavour of Lorerootian and Golemian creature that didst arise of Udgard's healing; one where a creature of the forest did take on the elements of the realm. The only negative point of note, which were significant, but which I may overlook, were that the infusion of these elements could have had some relation to the ability of this creature. If it should grant one a partial immunity to the Freeze Aura, then I cannot see why it would have frozen the nose of Udgard, rather than to bring it warmth.

Of the Ability: This doth appear to circumvent the Freeze Aura's ability in a unique way, that the other contestants did not think of. Presently, the Freeze Aura doth cancel all abilities of the frozen creature. However, as this creature doth create the antidote outside of combat, freezing this creature will make no difference to the efficacy of the antidote. As thou didst state, one canst balance the efficacy of this antidote, so that the Freeze Aura doth not lose relevance within the realm.

Of how it doth change combat - I agree that it may change it significantly, although it were, in hypothesis, a creature that could turn Freeze from the strongest present ability into one of irrelevance. As I did state afore - I am interested in the lore and the concept; the numbers for this may be balanced as necessary.

Of the Lore: Five points, and easily the strongest submission of Lore in this competition.
Of the Ability: Four points, of which the single point were deducted for a single reason, that it doth not correspond to the lore that thou hadst written (although it certainly doth do so for that within mine own diary).
Of how it may change combat: This would result in resin becoming a more scarce resource of the realm, but as it doth stand, in assumption that it should be accessible, this can be made into a fair counter to a Freeze Aura ritual, unless the Freeze Aura ritual also doth use this antidote.
In that sense - the strongest ritual will merely remain the same, except that it will also have the antidote applied to its creatures. It doth seem as this merely adds to what one I have heard stated as "Power Creep" - that the addition of new abilities should also make the overall strength of creatures meeker. It does little to change the strength of Drachorns and Snow-men.

For this, I will give this two points, of five.

This will total eleven points.
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Ungod's entry:
 

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Lore:

I shall name my creatures faeries, because I want to dispel the image of tiny winged women. How much of it is Greek influence, I don't know, but I presume very much. Greeks loved personifying rivers, mountains, trees as maidens. In our psychology - obsessed century, i guess some would explain it as a clear evidence to the fact that greek mythology (and other) were simply playgrounds for male fantasy. 'Clearly', these patriarchal societies imagined fair maidens instead of bitter nagging fat housewives. However, the explanation lies within the fact that what they were supposed to represent were forces of nature, pure and immortal. Even if a naiad would have an affair with a titan and produce offsprings, it wouldnt mingle with humans afterwards. It would still be a naiad. It would still be the immortal river, and it just cant become a housewife. So it cant be imagined otherwise than a fair pure untainted one. Same with virgin Mary - and the story starts making sense only when you look at it as personifying natural elements. The question remains, then - why pure girls and not youths? My guess is there were youths as well, but the sexually repressed (by christian ethics) generations that came later preferred the female imagery...there are plenty guys in the myths, plenty male deities, although most were greater ones. You get the lesser ones with a female counterpart more often because...well, misogyny. Even if women work more (and so did especially in the past, in agricultural communities), they're still the smaller frailer creatures. 

My point is, we have this Greek heritage ( that may have been not Greek in origin) that still shapes many of our thoughts today. So why fairies are not just dryads? If i look at the word Faern (fairin), it simply means adler (birch). Looking at its 'fruits', you might start getting an idea. The dryad was a representation of the whole plant, a fairy, only a part. Having taken care of dispelling the traditional look, let's try to come up with a different story...

Fairies are mystical creatures of the forest, healers of the land, of minuscule size and of great combined power. They bring to life the very barren soil and they can aid living creatures, humans included.

(This lore is consistent with the fact that birch has a good relationship with nytrogen-fixing bacteria, which helps plants grow).

Ability: Their ability is a complex one, being able to heal, unfreeze, and steal life. More exactly, each faerie has three abilities: anti-freeze, regenerate and lifesteal. It uses them in random order, but never the same ability in consecutive turns. That makes a three fairy-ritual have a guaranteed anti freeze every turn.

Explanation of how it may change combat:
Certainly, having only one fairy only has 1/3 chance to help your frozen creatures fight, but with multiple fairies the situation betters. The anti freeze ability unfreezes all frozen crits in your ritual for that round, except those frozen due to level. It may look too powerful, but it's balanced by the requirements. It is effective against rituals with many freezes, rituals with low overall attack value, but also against stronger creatures like drachorn and angien (though you'd probably need strong ones on your side too, as faeries are mostly helpers). 

I used as a representation for fairies the early crux ansata, although i'll admit it's not quite what it needs to be. I just liked it when i saw it somewhere.

(Ungod hath also provided a sketch, of how he did believe the Fae may appear:)

20180313-164018.png.ee1321b561ea9e76331f

 

 

 


Lore: Where Pipstickz has provided lore of the realm, Ungod has provided lore of the other-realm. Although it doth not tell a story, it doth provide of depth, and were fitting to the story. This I shall award four points, of five.

Ability: An interesting one. It doth seem that the unique one of the three were that to unfreeze all frozen creatures for a single round, when it may happen. To heal or to steal life were already present within the realm; so it doth seem as the change in order of the three were merely to balance out the strength of the unfreeze ability. As it were, I shall take the merits of the ability, which were, at essence, "Unfreeze", targeting "All".
This were an elegant ability, for which I shall give it five stars.

How it may change combat:
A reasonable explanation. Thou didst only explain in the final paragraph that the unfrozen creatures would merely be those of one's own ritual - not those of the opposing ritual. If it were frozen, then it may not perform this ability - so it doth seem that to use this creature against a ritual with many Freeze Auras should be ineffective.

Yet, I will add here that this ability, with a small change that were implied in thy initial description (that it should unfreeze all creatures, in both rituals rather than just within its own), would indeed counter the Freeze-Aura ritual without adding strength to it - to add this to that ritual would result in unfreezing the opponent's creatures that thou hadst frozen - so that it that doth not make the dominant ritual more so. I do think it were possible to make the strength of this creature balanced, while making Drachorns weaker in comparison.

I shall give this, also, four points of five, for its elegance and result that the dominant ritual would not be strengthened by its addition - although its efficacy doth seem rather dependent on its ability to avoid being frozen, which were oft not the case against a ritual with six Freeze Auras.

Thirteen points shall be the total.

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Ignuus's entry (with paragraphing):
 

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"The Flaming Santa".

Lore: Before those fancy forges were popular, King Turtelian commissioned those little robotic wasps that carry Kelletha Fire to gift Loreroot's ruler for a ceremony. They have little intelligence except spit fire like febreeze to encased ice shells. (It's not actually febreeze cause that wouldn't work so the king just made his experts create a shell strong enough to not melt. And encase and conserve heat as much as possible.) Most of those broke down since they were manufactured as a small gift - not war machines that are of any importance, except to act as a nice gesture.

Most of the current freeze rituals are nothing but surrounding with ice not actual freezing, which means one can get out of the ice block relatively intact given enough time. Because if they were actually froze the opposing enemy completely with blood and bones and so forth.. it would be first and amazing feat since it's not easy to achieve instantly one could say it's even impossible unless the aforementioned creature monster is a tomato, secondly it would be most horrific death to any living creature who are de-frozed to a state of half functioning body, with no blood vessels left, eye sockets are collapsed and with shattered or fractured limbs not the mention individual cells are unable to restart, granted the creature would be dead before it froze and depending on the duration before the aura does it's work, if the creature can maintain conscience, i'm not sure would it be more funny or tragic to think it would be more honest to simply burn to ash 1000 times. So with that out of the way it would be simple for a simple drop plasma heated to certain temperature then preserved in a shell can burn through any block of ice that is smaller than a mountain yet vice versa is not true!!

No matter how much you freeze water or how long, it's realistically impossible for it to extinguish even a relatively small forest fire, the reason for this is that most matter exist at a temperature very close to negative maximum freezing threshold so everything is already frozen a lot, ice cannot do much more it just freezes a bit better than most. Freezing is not the counter for burning...in fact there is no un-non-natural counter to fire at all...

So the king simply wanted to teach those annoying drachhorns and snowmen with big swag the ingenius of Golemus bulwark to teach them to be wary and secondly himself to woo the Loreroot ruler who barely wore any clothes on any good day. Me personally thinks they are little automata made by Golemus. It seems to me a bit too easy to say: Nah..they are fenth based creatures of a universe made of fenths so it's possible...

Ability: Withering Superiority Aura: Disables one Freeze Aura at random.

(Ignuus hath also written, following this:)

The king engraved these words to the various wasp like creatures' shells that he got browsing the good ol' library:
Mur
i'm who
was here
before you
who is here
and will
be here i'm
your
magicduels'
santa

Notes:

- for the history of febreeze in magicduel that would not have logic to explain here
- yes the above sentence doesn't make sense i'm not a natural speaker so it can be a real pain to write anything in English.

-if u are offended, disturbed, itched, excited, sad, happy or whatever else by any of the above i beg you please don't kill me.

that's all.


(In explanation of how it may change combat, Ignuus hath written:)

It disables 1 freezing aura per creature deployed and does nothing else. In one word - it unfreezes everything one freeze aura froze. To be honest i didn't go in depth to create worlds just wrote what came to mind about freeze/unfreeze mechanics so I can't say if it would really work or how it would fit with all other antifreeze features.

Still it seems fair 1 slot out of 6 is occupied and basically useless except countering freeze aura. Creature itself is indeed not freezeable (by 1 aura if it's 2 go ahead, first one is canceled but second one must be canceled by a different aura, so it is different from if you are lucky you can survive being frozen in the system we currently have. At least last I've checked it was.

So if the other player has 3 freeze capable creatures and one would want immunity to freeze completely, one would need 3 flaming santas to be sure other 3 or themselves are not frozen. So if it was 2v3 instead of 3v3  1 freezing aura still possibly freeze creatures and do it's work including flaming santas and 2 would be wasted/canceled. Do not forget the name is just to be cool doesn't really use a withering mechanic. If this is too unique u can cut/fix i'm not sure about current system it's just fun to think something different.

 


Of the entries, I should say that this did bring the most mirth to read, although I cannot state that to create mirth had been in the criteria for allocation of points, in scoring.

Of Lore: I suspect much of the lore was also present in the explanation, so I shall include that within the points allocated also.

If one dost distil the lore down to its essence, I should think it were thus:
These creatures are automata which were commissioned by King Turtelius, as a gift for the Lorerootian monarch. They carry Kelletha Fire, which may uniquely unfreeze those creatures that should be encased in ice. As many of them broke down, and few were created, these are exceedingly rare to come by within the realm.

For this, I will grant three points.

Of the ability: As far as I may tell, this were a variation of the Anti-Freeze Aura - instead of choosing a random creature and unfreezing it, this ability is, in most cases, stronger, as it doth cancel one freeze aura, whoever it may target. I were then quite confused that this creature could then be frozen by a second Freeze Aura, although, if I did understand correctly, in essence, this aura is functional even if this creature is frozen, although the creature itself may then become frozen by another Freeze Aura that had not been nullified by this ability.

Although the explanation doth appear convoluted, in essence, this were a very elegant ability - "Nullify one Freeze Aura" cannot be any more elegant, and for this, I shall grant four points.
I do note that this would require a change in the rules of combat the realm - that a creature may have its aura function even though the creature itself were frozen - which were the reason that a single point were lost here.

If one were to add this to a ritual with multiple Freeze Auras, again, this doth arguably make it stronger, if this counter-aura doth target one of the opposing ritual. However, I should also note that, as implied, the creature may cancel a random Freeze Aura of an allied creature. In doing so, this may indeed be its own balance, in the way that Ungod's was also, and I shall score this version of the ability, which I deem superior in balance and concept. As this creature merely nullifies a Freeze Aura - and if there were none, there should be little effect - there were much scope to give this creature strength, so that it should be useful in combat.

For this, I will give five points, as I do believe this indeed doth counter an opposing Freeze-Aura ritual very well.

This should result in a total of twelve points.



I do declare Ungod the winner of this competition, although I should state also that I think that the ability of Ignuus were my favourite solution, and the Lore of Pipstickz were my favourite lore.

I shall send thee the Code of Transfer for the Root Warrior, Ungod, and hope it serves thee well, although afore that, I shall petition the Treasure Keepers for other rewards for this quest, that they may also be given if deserved.

Edited by Aia del Mana

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