Art by Sina Kasra
This might be a rather strange way to introduce you to a story that I’ve been working on for years. Rather than a simple explanation, or a series of drawings, I decided to show you this little project of mine. Over the last few months, I’ve been adapting my fictional world into a large sum of cards for Magic: the Gathering, which is my favorite card game. This proved to have many advantages. Just having a complete blank canvas in front of me proved a bit overwhelming to develop the smaller aspects of this fantasy world. By focusing on literally one aspect (one card) at a time, it let me stretch my creative fingers across the finer details that initially seemed impossible to get to with relative ease. On top of that, it was incredibly addicting. By scouring artwork of the many fantastic artists out there, I was able to find a decent representation of the world I’m aiming to create. Obviously, I wish I could have the time and talent to make all the artwork myself, but just using the artwork I found as inspiration, and piecing them together to fit my lore has already been an amazing way to explore this world. Allow me to introduce the world of Corsia to you, or more accurately, Corsia and Kuo together.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Prologue (YOU ARE HERE)
Part 3: The 10 tri=colored civilizations of Kuo (Coming Soon)
Part 4: The 15 mono-colored and dual-colored civilizations of Corsia (Coming Soon)
Part 1: Kuo Legends and Locales
Part 2: Corsian Legends and Locales
Part 3: The Quest Lands – Lotus’ Journey
Part 5: Planeswalkers, Part 2
Mechanics and Abilities:
Part 2: All Color Keywords and other abilities (Coming Soon)
Full Spoiler (Coming Later)
MTG Variant – Walking the Planes (Coming Last)
Kuo is a fantasy world. A world dominated primarily by two continents with two major oceans between them. On Kuo, magic runs rampant within the emotions of it’s denizens. Their magic comes from the heart, and the spirit that it governs. The Kuo tribes range from shamans living one with the wild to massive civilizations full of breathtaking architecture and advanced armies. Their way of living comes as a form of new found peace. The people currently live in a state of harmony and because of this, magic has advanced at an incredible rate. Powerful mages are being born in this generation with power that rivals that of planeswalkers. While a normal Kuo lives their entire life from birth to death in the civilization they are born in, at most seeing only their neighboring cities, these new mages travel Kuo and bring their findings back to their home to futher their knowledge. They are the information gatherers with the power to survive the monstrous creatures and vile enemies that linger between each haven.
Corsia is the world beneath that. Deep below Kuo’s surface, built into the very infrastructure of the planet is an enormous and powerful empire called Corsia. Using the core of the planet as a power source and tunneling outward in a singular direction toward the surface of the planet, Corsia is a much more unified, and utilitarian society. They focus on scientific superiority and military might. While the gaping tunnel that leads to the surface is underground, the pseudo-surface that wraps around the core is the heart of the Corsian empire, complete with a synthetic atmosphere and their own type of exotic and dangerous wildlife. Corsian’s cannot live on the surface of this world. The oxygen oxidizes them abruptly to the point of death. Corsian magic differs from Kuo magic. Corsian magic is more comparable to psychic powers fueled by the strength of one’s mind and body. Emotions have nothing to do with Corsian magic. Corsians also sacrifice their own body and use magic to enhance themselves rather than use the magic as an attack force itself. They are considered demons and atrocities by the very few Kuo who have glimpsed these beings. They are a mere myth, however, to the larger world above.
What once lived separately, shall no longer. Lotus is a Corsian guard overseeing a highly important research plan put into motion by Ovien, the current Corsian ruler. This research is in the stage of rather brutal experimentation on synthetic Kuo from the surface. Ovien is obsessed with all forms of new power. His pursuit of knowledge and power drives him to replicate any new form of magic he finds, and this time he is highly interested in the new planeswalker mages being born on Kuo, which eventually leads him to discover the planeswalker spark. (This is where the story bends to fit the Magic universe as well as my own. In the original story, the planeswalker term isn’t used, but just consider them a higher level of magic user.) Lotus is a curiously different Corsian who seems to harbor a harsher sense of right and wrong than the average Corsian. Unlike everyone else who is successfully drawn into the wild charge for might and intelligence, Lotus seems to care about things a bit more humane and personal. When he witnesses just what these synthetic Kuo have to go through, it causes him to finally answer the question he has been debating for years. Does he belong here? He disagrees with the ideals of his own people, and harbors sympathy for specimen deemed lower than scum by his peers.
(Text Update – “Copy target INSTANT OR SORCERY spell…”
He decides to abandon his logic and follow his heart which leads him to releasing all of the synthetic Kuo. He attempts to guide them out of the empire, hopefully making it all the way to the surface, when Ovien manages to cut him off before they could even leave the laboratory. Ovien has all the synthetic Kuo rounded up, executing all who resist as he tells Lotus that all of their death and crushed hope was because of him. For some reason, Lotus has a harrowing vision of him standing over a massive pile of bodies, quite seperate from the ones he was surrounded by now. Before he could even register it, Ovien stabs Lotus in the gut and tells his elite guard to take him to the execution chamber. Amidst the loss of blood, Lotus’ vision becomes blurry, as he notices an unknown figure take him by his hand from the shadows and lead him away unnoticed by the elite guard before he passes out.
When Lotus awakes, he sees a sky. A brilliant sky larger than the fake one he’s seen his whole life. As he comes to, he realizes he must be on the surface of the world, in Kuo. He’s on the edge of a cliff overlooking a lake. Far on the other side stands what looks like a monstrous turtle with it’s mouth open, but as he gets closer, he realizes it’s the mountain itself. As he spends hours wandering aimlessly, he anticipates his death, and harbors his regrets while reliving the atrocity he caused in the laboratory. Before his final strand of strength leaves his body, a figure begins emerging, seemingly from the edge of the horizon. Lotus tries to focus and finds himself face to face with the largest being he’s ever seen. (Whose card will be kept secret until a later reveal)
Waux is the personification of Kuo’s power and has chosen to descend upon Lotus in his time of desperation. As they begin a conversation, Waux learns of Lotus’ good-natured ideals and caring personality. It also learns the Lotus is a Corsian, and deity or not, Waux is impressed with Corsian magic. Waux decides to give Lotus a chance to begin a “journey.” This journey would be to travel the world and learn of the Kuo magic. Journey to the ten citadels hidden deep across the scarcest-traveled of lands. As Lotus expresses disinterest and simply points out his desire to die, Waux mentions what the journey’s destination ultimately is. And that is to use the newfound power of the Kuo, combined with your power of being a Corsian, and journey back through Corsia and defeat Ovien who threatens to disturb the entire balance of the world with his research. As Lotus’ mind bursts with thoughts and regret about his actions mixed with his hate for everything related to Ovien, he agrees, half out of furious vengeance, and half out of refusal to let the synthetic Kuo deaths be in vain. Lotus accepts, and upon doing so, Waux releases an incredible flash of magic. Waux tells Lotus that he has granted him a Kuo spirit, one with which he can learn all of Kuo’s greatest powers. He is the first ever being to possess a Corsian body with a Kuo spirit and with this newfound strength, he sets out to find the the closest city that will guide him to his first Citadel.
And that’s the prologue to a story that will sweep you through the entire fantasy world of Kuo, as well as the underworld empire of Corsia. Through the next series of posts I will be covering everything from the locales, heroes, villains, and creatures while also introducing this set from a card design stand point. Please refer to the table of contents to see what posts are live and make sure you see everything!