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We Make the Plane, Week 7

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And We’re Back!

Welcome back, everyone! Last time, we voted on the official backstory for our Planeswalker and what caused it to create this wonderful dream world we are designing together. The votes have been tallied, so allow me to present to you all the final result:

Our Planeswalker has ancient and powerful information stored within its mind. A dangerous enemy has been pursuing the Planeswalker through the Blind Eternities in order to steal this information—and the Planeswalker’s life. Fearing that the knowledge will fall into the enemy’s hands, the Planeswalker has induced a powerful sleep spell upon itself. Taking up asylum in its own mind, the ’Walker constructs an entire plane of existence within dreams to hide in from its enemies. As the nightmares begin to invade the world, the Planeswalker knows that its ancient enemy has finally found its hiding place. However, the Planeswalker is not afraid, for it has been preparing for this inevitability for what has seemed like millennia. Now the Planeswalker readies itself for a final showdown on a plane created from its own mind.

This information has been added to the living Google doc outlining all of the decisions we have made so far for our plane.

Before we continue, there is one final detail I would like to iron out with you all:

[poll id="399"]

Name Willy

Last time, I also asked you all to submit name ideas for our race of flying Whales. After reading through all the submitted Ideas, I picked the submissions that I felt truly captured these majestic creatures. Below are the six different names we will be considering for our hefty but nimble flying friends today:

Lundars

This name was inspired by the word lunar, adding in the D to create a more unique name that also sounds like it has weight to it.

Cieleine

This word is inspired by the two words ciel and baleine, which in French can be translated to mean “sky whale.” I also like that the word cieleine has similar sound to ceiling, which is a large object that constantly “floats” above your head.

Tohor?

Tohor? is the Maori word for a whale. The name definitely has a mysterious-and-mystical vibe to it, and also sounds like something that has a lot of weight.

Leviathan

Quite a few of you suggested that we forgo any proper name and just refer to the mystical creatures as “The Leviathans.” I think this simple and mysterious approach definitely has some merit.

Cetavol

Cetavol comes from a combination of cetacean, the Latin word for whale, and volo, which is Latin for “to fly.” This combination creates a nice term for “a whale that flies.”

Mysticeti

This word is also Latin; however, it is the Latin name for a baleen whale. The name sounds similar to mystical and would give the creatures an air of mystery about them.

[poll id="400"]

Your Worst Nightmare

Over on the We Make the Plane subreddit, we have been discussing ideas for the origins of the Nightmares that are plaguing the dream. If you have not gone over to the subreddit, I urge you to check it out. We have been having some great discussions about the plane’s flavor and some overall Vorthosian conversations. After a few weeks of discussion and debate, we were able to flesh out a couple of unique ideas for the source of Nightmares on our plane, which are presented below. First is the setup:

Long ago, our Planeswalker was locked in a fierce war with an ancient villain. The evildoer was after powerful information that only our Planeswalker knew. In an attempt to preserve this information, our Planeswalker induced a powerful sleep upon itself, allowing its unconscious body to drift through the Blind Eternities. Within its own dreams, the Planeswalker built a fortress to protect the information from its enemy. Millennia have passed, and the nature of the sleeping Planeswalker’s spark has changed. The dream world is unstable, and nightmares are invading the world. The sleeping Planeswalker thinks this is the moment it has been preparing for, the moment its ancient enemy finds its body and attempts to infiltrate its mind . . .

Option 1: Ashiok as the Main Villain

Little does the sleeping Planeswalker know, its ancient enemy has long since passed away. The sleeping ’Walker has spent eternities locked away in its own mind and has begun to slip into a state of delusional paranoia. Ashiok, by chance or fate, has stumbled upon the sleeping Planeswalker. Seeing the dream world as the perfect breeding ground for Ashiok’s nightmares, Ashiok has infiltrated the plane not to steal the sleeper’s information, but to steal the plane itself, turning it into the perfect place to create all sorts of nightmares.

Option 2: Nicol Bolas as the Main Villain

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After millennia of searching, Nicol Bolas has finally found the Planeswalker he has so desperately been searching for in the one place he never thought to look: the Blind Eternities themselves. The powerful sleep enchantment on the Planeswalker is also keeping its body from taking any physical harm, making Bolas’s only option to infiltrate its mind and attempt to steal the desired information. However, Bolas is no fool, and he knows a trap when he sees one. So the elder dragon did what he does best and has convinced the mysterious Planeswalker Ashiok to invade the sleeping Planeswalker’s dreams. While Ashiok is creating discord with Ashiok’s nightmare creations, Nicol will work behind the scenes, sneaking in to infiltrate the sleeper’s mind and gain the information he seeks.

Option 3: Ashiok’s Origin Story

? and → images found here and here.

Little does the sleeping Planeswalker know, its ancient enemy has long since passed away. The sleeping ’Walker has spent eternities locked away in its own mind and has begun to slip into a state of delusional paranoia. The Planeswalker’s spark has changed due to the Mending, and it is no longer able to maintain the dream plane. As the world becomes more unstable, dark nightmares begin to rise up from the bowels of the plane, controlled by a mysterious figure. In the end, it is revealed that not only is Ashiok the source of the nightmares, but that Ashiok is the sleeping Planeswalker—or at least part of it. As the sleeping Planeswalker spent more and more time locked away in its own mind that its personal fears started to rise up and come to life, giving birth to Ashiok, a “split personality” of the sleeping Planeswalker who is a dark mirror of the sleeper. Ashiok wants to use the ancient knowledge for Ashiok’s own good, and there is an epic battle within the dream plane between the sleeping Planeswalker and its dark twin Ashiok. Spoiler alert: The Ashiok personality wins, and the sleeping Planeswalker wakes up transformed into the being we know today as Ashiok.

Option 4: Leshrac as the Main Villain

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Leshrac image found here.

(This final version would require a slight change to our currently established timeline for the sleeping Planeswalker, but it is an interesting idea, so I wanted to present it as well.)

When the Mandaran rift was closed by Nicol Bolas, the Walker of the Night could feel his spark being drained from his very essence. Using the last of his strength, he bound a small piece of himself to the surrounding area and waited. Leshrac desperately seeks knowledge on how to regain a Planeswalker’s spark—knowledge that our sleeping Planeswalker has. Feeling the Walker of the Night probing for knowledge, the sleeping Planeswalker moved its body to the Blind Eternities and induced the sleep, creating the dream world and preparing for a battle with an ancient foe. Little does the Planeswalker know that the being probing its brain was not its ancient enemy, but Leshrac, and the sleeper took Leshrac with it. Waiting within the recesses of the sleeping ’Walker’s mind, Leshrac is waiting for the perfect opportunity to steal the information he seeks and become a Planeswalker once again. When Ashiok stumbles upon the dream world and begins creating nightmares, Leshrac sees this as exactly the kind of diversion he has been waiting for, and he begins his plans to take this ancient knowledge and regain his spark.

[poll id="401"]

Remaining Inhabitants of the World

So far, we have populated our world with Nightmares, Incarnations, and five iconic creatures. You all have submitted your ideas for humanoid creatures found on the plane (which we will be voting on soon). Now it is time to decide what the wildlife on our dream plane is like. While every plane has its iconic creatures and humanoid races populating the world, each plane is also populated with an assortment of creatures. From 1/1 flyers to 8/8 monstrosities, each world has a unique population that helps to define the individuality of the plane. The prompt for this week is: What creatures do you think can be found populating our dream world?

Keep in mind when submitting your ideas that these creatures should not be intelligent humanoids or iconic creatures. These submissions should be the lizards, birds, creepy critters, and the like that can be found scurrying throughout the dream.

As always, a big thank you to everyone who has been involved in this project so far. The content we are generating is more than I could have hoped for, and I am looking forward to seeing the results of these polls as we create this world together.

-Ant


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