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Shadows over Innistrad O-T-T

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The Shadows over Innistrad visual spoiler has been posted in all its glory, and with it, all of the newest cards to be created for our return to Innistrad have been revealed. That means it’s time for me to serve you another healthy portion of Okra-Twinkie-Tofu. Why? Don’t ask questions, just eat your dinner.

For those of us who don’t know, what is O-T-T?

As explained by both the original Vorthos Matt and Creative Team member Doug before me, Okra-Twinkie-Tofu takes a look at some of the not-so-well known words found gracing the faces of Magic cards, and the series attempts to place them into one of three food types:

Original image found here.

Kitchen Finks by Kev Walker

Shadows over Innistrad has a rich setting filled with glorious morsels of delicious Magic flavor, so it's time to take a bite out of our newest plane and enjoy some flavorful snacks:

Castigator

Let’s kick things off with some real-word flavor. Castigate is defined as “to reprimand someone severely.” As we now know, the angels of Innistrad have started to act rather harshly toward their human followers. The angels of Innistrad are being painted as righteous, purging Innistrad of all sinners.

I love the use of castigator here because it helps to further burn that designation into our brains. The angels of Innistrad believe what they are doing is right. It’s the humans who have erred; the angels are just destroying yet another evil of the world.

Hanweir

Totally and completely fake, Hanweir is the name of a location on Innistrad, and it’s home of everyone's favorite chronicle. If you have not been following the chronicle, I highly suggest you do so. The chronicle is written in the voice of Oliver Hayfield, and it is still going strong. The latest update came in the form of a jar of preserved pears and a pair of handwritten letters.

Innistrad’s immersive marketing campaign has been a thing of beauty, with multiple wooden boxes being sent out across the world filled with letters, clues, and objects that are linked to Innistrad’s mysterious story. I am a huge supporter of this kind of immersive marketing, as it serves as an “oracle Vorthos,” lifting the veil that separates our world from the world of angels, vampires, and werewolves.

Lunarch

Lunarch is a fake word that is composed of real parts. The lunarchs are clerics of Avacyn’s church, and the word can be broken down into two pieces: lunar and the suffix -arch.

Lunar is rather obvious, being tied to the moon, and in this case in particular, it’s tied to Innistrad’s silver moon. The suffix -arch means “leading or leader”.

The former priest of Avacyn used to hold the name and epithet of Mikaeus, the Lunarch before dying and being raised by Liliana into something . . . unhallowed.

Silburlind

A very fake word, Silburlind is the name of a river in Nephalia. The largest of Nephalia’s three cities, Havengul, is located at the mouth of this river.

I am assuming the river is rather large, as it is able to serve as a home to this massive turtle. From the looks of the art, the river winds its way through a wilderness of sorts—either that or this old snapper has wandered far away from home.

Aberrant

A very real science word, and fitting for a blue researcher, the word aberrant means “departing from an accepted standard.”

This card is a callback to the OG Innistrad beater Delver of Secrets, and more so to its transformation into Insectile Aberration. The two cards tell a neat little story. The Delver performs an experiment on himself, becoming a human insect hybrid. That transformation proved to not be enough for the scientist, as he further experimented on himself before transforming into the ultimate insect horror.

Ashmouth

A fake name made up of the real words ash and mouth, Ashmouth is a gaping magmatic chasm found in the Stensia mountains. The chasm is deep enough to leak magma out of its ash-spewing mouth (hence the name).

Ashmouth is arguably the most important of Innistrad’s demonic gateways, as it is from Ashmouth that the demon lord Shilgengar emerged, and we all know how his little visit turned out.

Gossipmonger

This is another fake word, this one made from the real parts gossip and monger. Gossip is any casual conversation about other people, and a monger is a dealer or trader. The combination makes this insidious old lady a dealer in casual conversations about other people.

All I know is she had better be careful, as it only takes one spark to start a fire . . . 

Neonate

This very real word has an interesting connotation when used regarding Innistrad’s vampires. Neonate is defined as “a newborn child or mammal.” Among Innistrad’s vampire elite, neonate is a term that is used to define a newly sired vampire.

Young vampires are known for their indulgences as well as their inability to properly control their urges, much like children. It is only with age and experience that a neonate can learn to fully control its powers.

Amalgam

This one is interesting, as amalgam is a real word that takes on its own definition on Innistrad (and thus why I am giving it a tofu designation).

On earth, an amalgam> is “a mixture or blend,” usually pertaining to chemicals or metals.

On Innistrad, an amalgam describes a skaab that is definitely a mixture or blend, but more a mixture of different limbs or a blend of multiple corpses’ flesh.

Maurer

Fake. Fake. Fake. Maurer is the name of an abandoned estate in the mountains of Stensia. I took a shot in the dark in my last article and correctly guessed that vampires inhabit the house. What is still left to be answered is if this estate does in fact house the fifth major bloodline featured during the #SOIKickoff events—or if it is only home to a pair of terrifying twins . . . 

Poor Reig—he only wanted to help.

Invocation

This real word is defined as “the action of invoking something or someone for assistance or as an authority,” and it can also be defined as “the summoning of a deity or the supernatural.”

In this case, the word means both. Invocation of Saint Traft is both invoking the assistance of the Saint himself, but also summoning the supernatural because, well, the Saint be dead, mon.

Niblis

This fake word is used to define a type of spirit found skulking around Innistrad. As we can learn from an old Ask Wizards article, niblis is a term that describes Innistrad’s frost geists.

Knowing that adds to this this card's already interesting flavor text.

It fuels its lanterns by leaching the warmth from its surroundings.

Somehow, this frost geist has gained the ability to not only steal warmth from an area, but convert it into a ghastly form of light-giving energy.

Triskaidekaphobia

This is a real word that means “extreme superstition regarding the number thirteen.” In America, the number thirteen is believed by some to be unlucky, and this card plays up that idea beautifully by making both players fear the number. The original Innistrad had a number of cards that contained the number thirteen, and I was happy to see the tradition continued in this flavor gem.

Taking the card over the top with flavor, the image contains multiple instances of “thirteen things,” from thirteen blood drippings along the wall to thirteen items hung above the blood. See if you can find all the instances of thirteen, and let me know what you find in the comments!

Inexorable

Another real word, inexorable means “impossible to stop or prevent.” This is only the second card in Magic’s history to feature the word, the first belonging to everyone's favorite oil-filled supervillains, the Phyrexians.

Inexorable is a fantastic choice for this card, as having delirium active will create an overwhelming army of delicious Ooze ready to devour your opposition.

Cryptolith

That’s a fake word that combines the prefix crypto- and the suffix -lith.

Crypto- means “hidden or secret,” and -lith means “stone.”

Combined, the word means secret, or hidden, stones. On Innistrad, the cryptoliths are creations of the rogue Planeswalker Nahiri, and as of yet, their purposes are unknown.

Paramnesia

Let's end on a real one. Paramnesia is defined as “a condition or phenomenon involving distorted memory or confusions of fact and fantasy.” A very common form of paramesia is experiencing deja vu.

So I guess when you sacrifice this vessel, you cause yourself to suffer a magical form of deja vu. If you are playing a lot of four-ofs, I can see that actually being the case (for both you and your opponent).


And that will do it for another installation of Okra-Twinkie-Tofu! Until next time may all your experiences be filled with that good, ol‘-fashioned Magic taste.


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