Did I make a weapon for the sole sake of a prequel meme? Maybe. Do I regret it? Never.

Jokes aside, I actually had a lot of fun making this card. One of my goals for 2021 is to make the cards I share more cohesive, and to break them up into semi-logical decks that share a theme. This card is the start of an Artifacts deck, and I have plans for three others (Munitions, Guild Gear, and Artificer Inventions) that should all be pretty fun.

My overarching plan with this is to set things up such that these four decks work together to describe what I like to call a 'soft setting' — a series of people, places, and things that all fit together, that can be mapped into an existing world without much fuss. Sorta like a framework for narrative kitbashing, using tools and weapons as a lens for storytelling. It's going to be fun. It's going to be weird. It's going to involve a surprising number of hot air balloons. I'm excited.

For this card I really wanted to make something that felt old, where the magic that powers it and the way it functions has a sort of primitive-but-inexorable vibe to it. And so, naturally, that led to strange crystals made out magnetic purple sand that that the weapon somehow manages to attract to itself even in the cleanest of clean rooms.

Once I grabbed that initial thread — sand that isn't just ferrous, but truly magnetic with positive and negative ends — and I started picturing what that might look like at-scale, with an entire desert of sand that's shifting and moving and acting like a ferrofluid in one moment and then clumping and repulsing and shifting like water in the next, I found that the pieces fit together to make a great self-contained piece of worldbuilding. That snowballed in a few thousand words of background material and a bunch of forward-looking plans for new cards, and we eventually ended up here.


Jan 18th: Updated card layout to match the refinements made in the current template.

May 18th: Template Update