The Story of a Magic Booster
- Jelle-Thijs Zoetmulder
A great part of Magic: The Gathering is its stories and the surrounding lore, and a lot of new schemes and storylines are put in motion when a new set is released. But how awesome would it be to start your own adventure with just one booster? Read on.
First, let me tell you a bit of background about this silly way of using one or two booster packs. After the Friday Night Magic evenings or after a pre-release, a few stragglers always remain in the shop to play Pack Wars. This is a casual format where players play with one or two boosters for the fun of it – add some lands, shuffle, and play! This way, you get to use these prized boosters instead of just ripping them open.
However, not everyone wants to play this way every time. But they also don't want to just rip open a pack. This is where the Story Booster comes in. It starts with you and a friend (or friends) opening a pack without looking at the cards, holding them face down, and only revealing one card at a time from the bottom of the stack. This is the beginning of your adventure, starting with the common cards to create your own narrative. With every card revealed, a piece of the story comes to life.
The best way to play this is to take turns telling the next part of the story and progress it in a (sort of) logical way. Don't be too critical, it's meant to be funny. Add some drinks and you'll be having a laugh in no time!
You're Going on an Adventure!
You can play with as many people as you want, though I prefer a maximum of three players else, the whole concept loses its effectiveness and the story can drag along for too long. The game is meant to be quick and humorous. You can use anything from the art, flavor text, or abilities to the card's name to build your story and drive it in a certain direction. It doesn't matter if instants become characters due to their art for example. Just be creative, anything is permitted. Most of the time, the next bit of the story will be just as weird and far-fetched, but that's not the point. Just try to make the most out of it.
Here's a story that I came up with using a single booster pack to show you how I create my stories and my inspirations. To increase the excitement, I'm using a sealed Onslaught booster, so let's hope this story takes place on an Polluted Delta!
A few notes though: In real-time, the best story outcomes will come together with two boosters and without any preparation. Playing with your friends will certainly be a lot more hilarious than reading one. I dare you to type a small summary of your imagination, a quick summary of your story when you've tried this out. I hope you'll have fun!
The Tale of the Prophet
This well-known story begins with Crag, the Goat. It was on a moderately hot day on Skirk Ridge. Crag lost his shepherd and with that, the flock he was with. Wandering around for too long, looking for some juicy grass to chomp on, he lost them. Now Crag didn't know where he was. And the sun was almost setting…
Luckily, as the moon became the ruler of the sky instead of the sun, someone flapped down towards Crag – Randy the Sage Aven on his way home. He didn't easily recognize Crag in the solitude of Skirk Ridge. Not many people (nor beasts) come here, especially at night. And Randy was always the friendly neighborhood bird. The goat might be in need of help.
Good timing too! Because before Randy could even say hello to Crag, an elvish savage jumped out of her cover behind a big rock in front of Crag. "Well, well, well, what do we have here?" she said, as she looked at the lost goat. Crag quickly looked around him. There was nowhere to go! Randy stayed in the air, observing from a safe distance. It can be very dangerous out here with all kinds of elementals, weird-looking spiders, and goblins rampaging all over the place. He could swoop in and keep them apart if things turned south.
"Uh… well… I'm… I'm not supposed to be here. I'm sorry if I'm trespassing!" Crag snorted humbly. He started slowly walking backwards, attempting to get out of the situation. He wasn't that much of a fighter and this could very well become a brawl. "Too late now, little goat! I'm drawing!" She drew her sword. It was very clear she meant business and had no time for reason. Crag couldn't move. It all happened so fast. The savage was about to move when the shepherd of Crag's flock appeared around the corner. "Hold up you!" he screamed.
The shepherd and the savage made eye contact. Both looked at each other with much intensity. "That's my goat! Crag move aside." Crag didn't hesitate for a second. Now, in the middle of the stand-down, a beautiful white flower was growing, sprouting out of a cracked rock. On one side of it was the determined shepherd, the other side a furious savage. It was the perfect moment. Randy, still watching, thought to himself, "This is getting good." He found a comfortable rock formation above the spectacle to experience it more closely.
"I'm too proud to give this goat up, shepherd! My name is Elisa and I want this goat!" She looked at them with a smile and flipped her sword in hand for intimidation. "That is not going to happen, Elisa. Crag is my trustworthy goat. He's definitely not for eating nor for anything else." said the shepherd, standing in front of Crag in a protective stance.
Randy remembered an expression his mother bird had frequently told him: When tempers run high, it's easy to lose your head. And it seemed that what he was watching was going in that direction at anytime now. Randy regretted not bringing his bag of popcorn seeds today.
"We need to Demystify this whole encounter Elisa. I haven't even introduced myself. I'm Geralt." Elisa raised her eyebrow, but the elven savage became a bit calmer. Geralt continued. "I don't want to quarrel with you. Is there anything I can do for you instead?" Geralt knew that this could have been nothing more than a misunderstanding. Ah, that nice Geralt. Always the one to solve problems with reasoning and diplomatic conversations. Randy above thought something else though. "Oh no! They can't be making up already! I want to see some action!"
"Well…" Elisa started. She had finally come to her senses. Why was she even so angry? Was it because of Crag? Geralt? The fact that she had broken her favorite vase at home? No. "Well, okay. You could, in fact, help me, yes…" She sheathed her sword and walked closer to the two. Crag was still scared, but Geralt petted him quickly before turning back to Elisa. He was getting somewhere! "I'm lost, you see." Elisa told Geralt, looking down miserably. "I'm longing for home. I live at Tranquil Thicket 34, Wirewood. And I have no idea where I am now."
Geralt smirked. "It seems you are not the only one, Elisa." He looked at Crag. "Isn't Tranquil Thicket close to Barren Moor over at Aphetto?" He wasn't sure though. He wasn't a big fan of the pit fights in the Cabal stadiums. He barely ventured towards that region anymore.
"Well, I don't think so. It's closer to the Daru plains. Do you know that place? It's where they train all those soldiers and steeds." Elisa sighed and sat down on the ground. "I want to be a soldier like that too. And I want to ride a pig!" Geralt walked closer and sat down next to her. "Well, I can't arrange that. But I can bring you closer to home, I think. Goats are not the best mounts for practice anyway." He assumed that was her reason for wanting Crag. The elf didn't really respond, so he knew he was right. Geralt grabbed his bag where he kept all his maps on Otaria. "Here take this map." He handed it over to Elisa who was still a bit confused about this gift, especially when she was just threatening his goat Crag earlier.
Elisa took it and felt reinvigorated. "Yes! I don't have to Run Wild anymore!" She stood up and danced, trampling the little weeds underneath her feet. Geralt looked at her and laughed. Crag came close to them as well no longer scared. However, Randy was bored. What kind of bad soap was this? It reminded him of that terrible show The Cabal and the Beautiful. Awful.
Elisa stopped and turned to Geralt. "Thank you, Geralt the shepherd. As a reward for your kindness and understanding, I would like to invite you to eat with me and my family at home. It's a Feeding Frenzy tomorrow at my place! I would like for you to come!" She had always liked big banquets with a lot of eating.
The shepherd didn't need long to think about Elisa's proposal. "Well, I'll gladly accept! As long as the food isn't infested haha!" He looked at Crag. "You can manage with the flock tomorrow evening, right?" Crag nodded. He'd already had his fair share of excitement today. Elisa and Geralt exchanged mobile numbers, shook hands and hooves, and parted ways.
So goes the tale of Crag the goat and Geralt the shepherd, who later became a Prophet of Otaria. His friendly ways and helpfulness made him a legend. Crag lived a happy live together with his goat brothers and sisters without too much action. Randy, in the end, just flew home and rewatched seasons one to six of Cabal and the Beautiful. Elisa pursued her dream of becoming a great soldier. We might even hear more of her in another tale… but who knows? That story has yet to be created.
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