Cardgame/Boardgame Backstory

Been creating some backstory, character descriptions, etc, for two different games projects recently. One of them for a cardgame Northumbria University’s Game Development Society is working on, and one for a boardgame a friend and I have been brainstorming, based on Baltic folklore. Its been pretty fun, so I thought I’d drop some excerpts here:


The Bard/Jide Yado/Yado the Bard
“You see that bard?” asked Sven, taking a swig from his tankard.
“The one dancing on the table?” answered Jarl.
“That’s the one. I heard he’s leader of the revolution.”
“What?” Watching the little man sing and caper, he couldn’t help but laugh.
“I heard the Prince’s Black Hand wiped out his entire village by poisoning the well, and now he’s out for revenge.”
“Nonsense! That drunken fool?”
“He’s no fool, he’s cursed!” Chimed in Grog from across the table, “I heard stole the devil’s magic lute, but the devil drove him mad!”
“You’re all wrong.” Remarked the waitress, bitterly. “He’s a heartbreaker and a good-for-nothing rogue, plain and simple.”
And with that, the three men shrugged, and went back to their drinking.

Yado is a wandering bard, out for justice, freedom for the common folk and all that he can steal. He can embolden his allies with a rousing tune, but don’t underestimate his own prowess! With his magic lute he can set up strong and unpredictable plays, catching his opponents off guard.

Card flavour text: “Sex and drugs and second breakfasts” – Yado’s tour slogan
Lute flavour text: “Let me sing you the song of my people.”

The Valkyrie/The Furie/Fjola the Valkyrie
“Ah,” sighed Grog, watching from his chair as a young woman in armour passed along the street outside. “Would you look at that?”
“Beautiful,” agreed his companion, wistfully, “but she’s nothing compared to the Valkyries. Have you seen them?”
“Aye, I would do anything for a kiss from one of them.”
“Are you mad, Grog? They’re warriors. Angels of war. Got no eye for men or women.”
“He’s right,” added Jarl, “They fight day and night in that colosseum of theirs until one of them is ready to take on the Prince and his cronies.”
“Maybe we could sneak in and watch them?”
“Good luck with that! It’s on a floating island in the sky. The last time someone did make it up there, they threw him into a volcano.” Grog sighed.
“Maybe not then.”
“Aye, Grog, maybe not.”

Fjola is the champion of the Valkyries, sent to strike down the Fat Prince in the name of the Sun God. Strong and versatile, she can bring the fight to the Floating Colosseum for a homefield advantage and charge up a powerful sun strikes to bring her opponent to their knees

Card flavour text: If she starts to sing, that’s when you know it’s all over.
Colosseum flavour text: Common audience shouts include “Praise the sun!” and “Get good!”

The Trickster/The Black Hand/Zeb/Zeb the Trickster/Zeb the Spymaster
“You filthy cheat!” Cried Sven, throwing his cards onto the table in disgust as Jarl unveiled his perfect hand. “You’re no better than that filthy trickster Zeb.”
“Be quiet!” Hissed Grog, fearfully, “If you say his name, he can hear you!”
“Don’t be a fool. He’s a spy, not a sorcerer.” At this, Jarl leaned in with a conspiratorial whisper.
“That’s not what I heard. Some say it was him what turned the Prince bad, poisoned his heart with manticore venom so he could be the power behind the throne.”
“You’ve had too much to drink. The Fat Prince has always been bad.” Jarl shrugged.
“Maybe, but he’s gotten worse since Zeb became his Black Hand. That man hears everything. Some say he can even read minds.” Sven sighed in disbelief.
“Jarl Magnusson, that’s paranoid codswallop and you know it. Now take that bucket off your head and go get us another round.”
Zeb stalks the shadows of the Fat Prince’s kingdom, sowing fear and distrust in his wake. He’s a wily combatant, spying on his foes with a network of informants and using misdirection to create the perfect opening. If his poison arrow strikes you, it may already be too late.

Card flavour text: You’d be surprised how often ‘look behind you!’ actually works.~
Poison flavour text: The poison Zeb made. The poison used specifically by Zeb. Zeb’s poison.


Tribe: Telivar (Builders/the Diligent)
Hero: Shara, the Dawnsmith (Worker unit, anything she builds costs 1 less)
Bio: Claiming ancestry from the giant who forged the very sun, the Teliavar are second to none when it comes to building and blacksmithing. Now that the Warlord threatens their ancestral mines, they have also become skilled in fortification, and are ready to face their enemies with an onslaught of finely wrought iron and catapult fire.
Starting Bonus: You start the game with an additional ‘Construction’ and ‘Sabotage’ card in your hand.
Passive Power: Siege-Ready – Structures built by the Telivar have +1 health.
Active Power: Rain of Fire – Once per game at the start of a turn, you may declare ‘Rain of Fire’. All friendly catapults deal +1 damage this turn.
Traitor Bonus:
While you are a revealed traitor, all ‘Sabotage’ cards do +1 damage to structures.

Tribe: Zvora (Hunters/the Brave)
Hero: Medeinar, the Bearkiller (Archer unit with +1 damage and range)
Bio: Once peaceful hunters who ruled the forests close to the Mountain, when the Warlord appeared the Zvora were forced to become fierce fighters to defend their home. Lead by the wildest and strongest warrior in the land, and trusting in the spirits of the forest to uphold their birthright, the Zvora are expert archers and will not give up without a fight.
Starting Bonus: You start the game with an additional ‘Reinforce’ and ‘Ambush’ card in your hand.
Passive Power: Hit and Run Tactics – Archers built by the Zvora have +1 range.
Active Power: Tactical Retreat – Once per game at the end of a turn where 1 or more friendly units were destroyed in the same square, you may declare ‘Tactical Retreat’ and relocate them somewhere else with only 1 health remaining each, instead of taking them off the board.
Traitor Bonus: While you are a revealed traitor, all ‘Ambush’ cards spawn 1 additional enemy unit.

Tribe: Bezul (Scholars/the Wise)
Hero: Fabius, the Counter (Builder unit, whenever he builds a)
Bio: A tribe once torn apart by decadence and excess, the Bezul have since recovered and are now led by a family descended from the quartermasters of their original lords. Reserved and level-headed in all things, they have dedicated themselves to the accumulation of knowledge. They have built great libraries, and are willing to leverage every secret and every ounce of their cunning to prevent their books from going up in flames.
Starting Bonus: You start the game with an additional ‘Research’ and ‘Miscalculation’ card in your hand.
Passive Power:
Pragmatism – When you successfully research something, draw 2 ‘Results’ cards and pick one.
Active Power: Great Tribe Meeting – Once per game at the start of a turn you may declare ‘Great Tribe Meeting’, and draw 2 cards for each allied player, then choose and give 1 of those cards to each ally. Discard the rest.
Traitor Bonus: While you are a revealed traitor, all ‘Miscalculation’ cards count +1 against research attempts.

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