Weaving magical tales at the Adventurers' Guild House

Mages, perchance you wonder at this show;
But wonder on, till truth make all things plain.
This man is Cortex, if you would know;

No sorcerous ways are driven by vain

This man, with maelstrom, troll, and bush of thorn,
Presenteth moonshine; for, if you will know,
By moonshine did these mages think no scorn
To meet at Drammen's tomb, there, there to woo

/Mg out

My fellow companion The Brewmaster and I set off to the Guild House which lies in the outskirts of a little hamlet by a smooth running river to the west. We traveled by coach, and on board he handed me two different bottles of his brew. In return I offered a deck of cards which told the story of giant Djinns and animated constructs; ravaging trough the landscape in a berserker's rage during a thunderstorm, laying waste to anything in their path. He smirked as he studied the cards and felt the potent magic that resided within. This was going to be his first Taleweaving harnessing such arcane magic. I gave him some pointers on how to control the forces before I produced the deck I was going to use for my tale. It was a tale of earthen maelstroms and dwellers of the underground coming forth to claim the torn and fire swept landscape. A tale which I learned in an exchange with the True Master, Elof the Mighty.
Upon arrival in the hamlet we distributed our burdens to ready for the walk southward to The Guild House. We were let in through the heavy gates, and after ascending the long spiraling stairs we were greeted by Nossy, the host himself.

Firm handshakes and nods of acknowledgement were traded before we eyed the rest of crowd and exchanged pleasantries. The place oozed with magic, and I counted more than four fists of eager Taleweavers shuffling cards and sipping brew.

The host called me over the the counter, slid an item wrapped in cloth over its battered surface and said "I heard you were looking for this..." Unwrapping the piece of cloth I exposed a horned demonic figurine made of the blackest stone. The carvings were classical and the maker's runes were embossed on the base. "May I", I asked eagerly. "Yes, but If you spill any of that vile stuff on the food I'll have your head". Nossy drove his cleaver into to a slab of meat to make his point, then adding the pieces to the stew. I went to the far end of the counter, placed the figurine inside my Duster and put it on top of a pristine card. One drop of blood, archaic words and mystic gestures made the item dissolve, rendering it's appearance and potency onto the surface beneath. I slid the card into a spot in my binder completing a quad. Along with his brethren he made a row of perfect harmony despite the grave taint they bore.
In the first seating of five I met my travel mate. His weaving was a bit stuttering due to inexperience, and my tale was the better one. The Sailor from the outlands recorded the event and his rendition can be found here.

Second seating, The Bard.
We started off with some light banter and cheers, but as the story evolved we needed to concentrate on the weaving. The Bard seemed a little puzzled when his world suddenly was consumed in torrents of fire and his monstrous constructs melted into the ground. He paused for a bit, and it all dawned on him when the earth dwellers poured out from the very same spots to seal the tale.
Third seating, The Doomsayer.
His prophecy was that all beings with a beating heart would be swallowed by a pitch black whirlpool of agony, and the only thing resembling life was the ever shifting swarm of metal overseers. His storytelling was of a strict and corrective manner, trying to twist and turn the ways I told my tale. I cannot blame him, as I made his lines tame and invalid to a point where he could only watch with fascination as my fire and lightning engulfed everything.
The stew was ready and it was time for a break. I looked at some of The Sailor's maps. One map was very old and it showed a barren region of flatlands. The condition was great and held the initials of the cartographer. Succumbing to the affliction I caught in the black borderlands I handed him a pouch of rare gems and traded for the map. One might only wonder what treasures can be found by studying it...
Fourth seating, The Wildmage.
My friend voiced with defeatism that his story was not as good as mine. So true, I could easily make his best points hollow with the maelstroms and my ability to riposte his lines. He was telling a wild story about the Cultists of Tawnos at candlelit altars during the season of high mana, and their prayers for all consuming fires and rays of disintegration. I told a story with gruesome earth dwellers and rioting assembly workers taking over the world and slaughtering the cultists on the way.
Fifth seating, The Purist.
A former power monger who lost his way and turned to ascetism sat across the table. Still needing to feel the mana surges he told of purity and the knowledge found in books and libraries. He blabbered on and on about angels of righteousness soaring high above the vistas. The description of these angels finally got to me and made my jaw drop. I could only applaud his story.
I was voted the best Weaver before the final eight, and my hopes for spoils were growing. The crowd had become quite intoxicated and the spirits were high even though some travelers from afar had to depart early.

A storm was building outside when we sat down. The crowd huddled closer and The Bard started to tune his strings as corks popped and more beer foamed in the tankards. The Joker told a long tale of chivalry and purity. His angels and gargoyles were slowly but surely defiled by trolls and assembly workers.
The Bard was up for revenge in the next seating. He was leading with a surge of mana and crushing constructs, but his story stumbled in a slur of words and told me he'd rather play the lute than do any further Taleweaving this night.

For the last weaving The Doomsayer put together a brutal story of endless hoards of living metal raining from the skies, accompanied by the downpour hammering on the windows and The Bard riffing his lute like there was no tomorrow... It was a wild ambience and a great tale. Honors to the Doomsayer, Honors to The Innkeeper and to everyone who visited The Adventurers' Guild House.

People were ready for a jamboree, but I had to bid my farewells.
I entered the rain and faded into the darkness.



  1. Surprisingly, this is one of the very best tournament reports I have ever read! Very nice!

  2. Nice to see shots of decks (like the last one) that aren't packing power. While power makes for the most impressive and awe-inspiring photos, not everyone has it and it's not the end-all of what the format is about. Play with what you have and what you have the means to acquire. 93/94 is a marathon.

  3. Great stuff, a lot of fun reading this. :)

    // Twiedel

  4. I love the idea of Taleweaving. When I was little I used to think of the cards as little bits of story, and each time you played you wrote a different story depending on what cards you drew. Thanks for the writeup!

  5. Love the Midsummer reference at the top, Mg -- once upon a time I played Peter Quince in a performance as a student, I'd recognize those lines anywhere!

    And I agree with the praise above for the notion of the game as storytelling -- "you are a planeswalker" is a rather modern and uniform construct, and I think our 93/94 is a much more unbridled, free-flowing, uncharted thing, steeped in living lore.

    Dave Firth Bard

    1. Very well spotted Dave! :D

      And I really enjoy the old school storytelling as an alternative tournament report; if Skaff Elias or Richard Garfield would have written a tournament report in the summer of '93, I bet this would have been the way to go than a simple play by play analysis :)


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