Pony Express

Hirati wakes up, gets dressed, and walks down to the post office. Like everyday, she grabs hold of the reins of two large workhorses, each loaded down with heavy packs. She concentrates on the stables of the Post Office in Absalom. There’s a brief flash and she’s gone. A second later she arrives in Absalom, exchanges her horses for two fresh ones likewise loaded down with heavy packs, and returns to Katapesh. On her way out, she collects her day’s pay: 5000 crowns, and heads to the Satin Kiss to make her favorite harlot very happy, and very rich.

A level 14 wizard can cast Greater Teleport twice per day, taking two horses each loaded down with up to 2100 pounds of gear. That means that she can move 4200 pounds of gear back and forth between any two cities on the planet before breakfast, spend the rest of her day as she pleases and sleep in her own bed that night. Now she’s going to want about 5,000gp to do it, which works out to about 0.65gp/lb, or 4cp for a letter.

... now that’s not the kind of price you’re going to use to move potatoes or grain, but there are things for which it’s worthwhile. For quality manufactured goods, exotic substances, magic items, and information the timeliness and availability may more than make up for the cost:

  • Postal service: Letters are collected locally, transported to a hub city where they are routed to the closest post office, and then delivered by horse. Letters might cost as little as 1sp to send, and deliveries between major centers could happen as often as daily. While an unskilled labourer may balk at spending a day’s wages on sending a letter, such a cost would be easily within reach of any skilled craftsman, and not even worth thinking about for a merchant or aristocrat.
  • Mail order magic items: Wouldn’t the member’s of the Arcanist’s Circle love to have access to the markets in Absalom or Katapesh? Wouldn’t your average adventurer love to be able to procure exactly the item they need, for a fair price, in a reasonable amount of time without having to trek half-way across the continent?
  • Auctions: Selling something rare, and expensive? Hema’s Auction House will list it for you in Art and Oddities Monthly (delivered to thousands of discerning buyers around the world) as well as handle the bidding by post for a reasonable fee. Looking to buy, a subscription costs a mere 10gp per month, and gives you the opportunity to bid on some of the most beautiful, powerful, and rare objects in existence.

Impractically Large Weapons

A variety of enchantments that allow your characters to wield impractically large weapons:


A light weapon is treated as one size category smaller than it actually is for purposes of determining whether or not a given character can wield it effectively.

Moderate transmutation; CL 3th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Reduce Person; Price +1 bonus.


A heavy weapon deals damage as if it was one size category larger than it actually is.

Moderate transmutation; CL 3th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Enlarge Person; Price +1 bonus.


A massive weapon both deals damage as if it were one size category larger that it actually is and is treated as one size category larger than it actually is for purposes of determining whether or not a given character can wield it effectively.

Strong transmutation; CL 9th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Enlarge Person, Reduce Person; Price +2 bonus.

A Soliloquy for Ophelia

"Did you hear what he called me?"

"Try not to think about it. You know that people can get carried away when they're soliloquizing. They say things they don't really mean because it sounds good. Besides... everybody knows the prince hasn't been himself lately."

"You don't know what it's like... He wasn't talking about you!"

"Look, that's just the way things are. Sometimes people monologue, and sometimes in those monologues people are going to say things that you aren't going to like, but you just have to ignore it and move on. It's just the way things are..."

"Lady Diana..."

"Oh, don't do that while I'm driving! Besides, sitting in traffic on the 401 lacks a certain dramatic framing, don't you think?"

She started sobbing softly.

"Ophelia, please try and keep it together... We're almost home. You're exit is literally, right around the corner."

"I'm trying..." she sniffed, "I just can't believe I had to sit there and listen to him. It was humiliating."

"I know it feels that way now, but it will be alright. No one is going to bring it up. You just have to forget about it."

"That doesn't really make me feel any better."

"Ugh, I hate The Allen. Why do you have to live down here? The traffic is always horrible... and there's ads for the Subway mocking me."

"It's really convenient. Besides, I love the neighbourhood."

"Yeah, convenient... except when you want to go anywhere that's more than a block and a half-from the University line."

"It's not my fault the TTC doesn't service Muskoka." She crossed her arms. "... and you're changing the subject."

"Sorry, I just think you're getting too worked up about it."

"Too worked up about it? Did you hear what he said?"

"Yes." He sighed "I heard what he said, but we weren't supposed to hear it."

"Weren't supposed to hear it. He stood up at the dinner table and started ranting. How exactly were we not supposed to hear it?"

"It's a convention. When someone starts soliloquizing, sure, you might hear it, but you don't hear it."

"That's just stupid."

"Yeah, but that's the way things are. Look you don't read people's journals, you don't listen in on their soliloquies, and you just get on with your life."

"... but the things he said, and I just had to sit there and take it. It's unfair."

He pulled the car up to the curb. "I still can't believe you live here. Your house is pink, and it doesn't even have a drive way."

"Yeah, but it's close to everything." She shrugged and then opened the passenger door. "... and you're changing the subject again."

He sighed. "Try not to think about it too much, okay? We've got to go back up there next weekend... something about a play, and you don't want to spend the entire day fuming." He undid his seatbelt, leaned over and hugged her. "I'll call you tomorrow."

"Good night." She said, got out of the car, closed the door, and was gone.

Steely Myr

After I played in the New Phyrexia Pre-Release and saw how good Tempered Steel could be, I decided it would be completely irresponsible of me to not build a deck with the copies I own. I put my Tempered Steels together with the Myr Battlespheres and Steel Overseers I've had languishing without a deck for way too long. I still haven't played it against a human, but I'm looking forward to it:

Going Infinite

As I said in my last post, this deck has an infinite mana combo that's there completely by accident. If you can get two Myr Galvanizers and a Palladium Myr on the table and you can tap the Palladium Myr for two mana, use one of the Galvanizer's to untap it, tap it again for two mana and use the second Galvanizer to untap the first and the Palladium Myr netting you two mana and setting you up to repeat the process ad infinitum.

You know what's better than infinite mana? Infinite damage! Thanks to the Myr Galvanizer, the loop not only produces and infinite amount of mana, but also an infinite number of untapped Myr which when you've got a Myr Battlesphere on the table, you can turn into infinite damage.

As I said, this combo is purely incidental. The Galvanizers are in there because they have great synergy with the Battlespheres and good synergy with Myr in general. The Palladium Myr are in there because they accelerate the Battlespheres, Sunblast Angels and Argentum Armors in addition to being something of a threat when Tempered Steel is on the table. There aren't any cards in the deck to assemble the combo and nothing to protect it if it happens into being. All that being said, if I ever happen to put it together in a game, I'm totally going to generate a million mana just to say that I did ;-)

New Phyrexia Pre-Release

I went to the New Phyrexia Pre-Release at Jim Hanley's Universe yesterday. It was crowded and kind of janky (very NYC), but I got a promo copy of Sheoldred, Whispering One, some New Phyrexia boosters and to play Magic all afternoon. I went 2-2, which I'm pretty happy with considering it was the first time I've played in a Limited event and the games included such crowning moments of awesome as multiple perfectly timed Sunblast Angels and copying my opponent's Platinum Empirion with one of my Phyrexian Metamorphs while I was sitting at 1 life1.

Here's my final fourty:

I was really impressed by the way the Sunblast Angels cleared the board (and in my favour more often than not), how Tempered Steel turned my Myr into threats and how Slash Panther was this awesome threat out of no where (especially when Tempered Steel is on the table). While the Phyrexian Metamorphs saved my bacon a couple of times, they're a little problematic in that they don't really work unless there's something bomby on the table. All in all, I had a blast and it prompted me to dust off my Tempered Steels and Sunblast Angels and build a deck2.

[1]It only ended up prolonging the inevitable, but I was four turns away from milling my opponent when he drew the last destroy-target-artifact card in his deck.
[2]... a deck that happens to have an incidental infinate mana combo, but that's a story for another time.