“Halfway There” Challenge Review

This month’s challenge review takes on Partner With commanders. We’ve got a whole bunch of great submissions from Kithkin to Moby Dick! Lots of crazy flavor, technology, and even some mystery.

Redbay’s Submission

CryptRat’s Submission

The Kithkin of Lorwyn are uniquely gifted in sharing knowledge that cannot be communicated via words. An Omenpath to Kamigawa has them unraveling an ancient mystery, one with knowledge too vast for a single mind to hold.

Justnigel’s Submission

Ira and Gracia’s souls have been twixed – so his evil has unforeseen good consequences and her holiness has unforeseen bad consequences.

Khord22’s Submission

As the ancient kingdom of Guemhill fell its two kings were seperated by an infinite distance. Pfel’s spark ignited at the despair of losing his lover and kingdom. He was thrust into the multiverse, leaving his path home to the will of the planeswalkers he finds in the world beyond. Vota was left behind in the ruins of Guemhill, alone, hated by the people, and seemingly deserted by his love. What could possibly bring these lovers together, seperated by Infinty…

Pat’s Submission

In our Multiverse, to be a Planeswalker is to be gifted with unparalleled power and control. This is why the situation of the Wanderer, who could not control her planeswalking, was so strange. In another Multiverse, the opposite is true. Planeswalking is an unpredictable burden for all except one — one single planeswalker gifted with control over her spark. She goes by many names, but to most, she is known as The Ponderer. Unfortunately, when her childhood friend Kaito Markov sparked, he wasn’t so lucky. The Ponderer uses her scrying powers to keep Kaito safe, all the while trying to find a way for him, and all other planeswalkers, to control their sparks.

Sagebeez’s Submission

Born from the dawn times of Innistrad there were the four leaders of flight. Bonded close enough to be sisters. One such sister Sigarda led the Flight of Herons. Their magic is said to ward humans against harm in life. However one of the higher ranking members Frisma didn’t always see eye to eye on the way it was conducted. Frisma believed that divine intervention wasn’t as moral as letting humans give an input. Betraying her leader she went out and made a pact with the stronger power, Wyntra. By cursing her own soul, Frisma was mentored by Wyntra on the art of witchcraft. Frisma and Wyntra bonded overtime forming their own sisterly relationship in secret. What once was a transactional teaching formed into a tie between their souls. Woven together by their connection they became bounded one in the same.

Wobbles’ Submission

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time tozz get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.

Juliet’s Submission

Cloistered in a hermitage, Yiala dreams of being connected to the outside world, but is doomed to her lot in life by the confines and rules of the clergy. However – the clergy’s rules can be supplanted by one whose holiness is without question; and it is hard to be holier than an angel. Prua exploits this loophole to begin teaching secluded nuns like Yiala that are isolated from both the outside world and from their judgmental fellow sisters of the abbey. Who knows what heretofore suppressed or dormant talents can be fostered by an angelic sage?

Xena’s Submission

Yuntai drifts in the blind eternities until it’s attracted by planes bustling with life to infect. It can’t invade a plane without an initial host, so it sends out psychic energy that especially attracts the hateful. On Ikoria, nobody was more ready to be inhabited by a deadly pathogen than Kelsien, whose previous alias proved truly prophetic.

Qirn’s Submission

Tehanie is the Blue Jay spirit. It is known for mimicry and trickery, though its unthinking carelessness has led to its own death and resurrection many times.

Iktome is the Spider spirit. It is a shapeshifter and a trickster and is sometimes a villain or a helper, though, like Tehanie, his foolishness often gets himself and others into trouble.

These two cards depict figures inspired from stories and traditions which are significant to many different Native American tribes. The issue of appropriation of Native stories and traditions is significant, as there are different systems of cultural ownership that are unfamiliar to many people who do not belong to those communities. It’s especially important with Native art to be transparent about the origins of the cultural traditions being depicted and the identities of significance of the artist(s).

“Tehanie” is the Chinook Jargon word for the Stellar’s Jay. The Blue Jay is an important cultural figure in stories to many Northwest Pacific coastal peoples, and is often depicted as a trickster spirit.

“Iktomi” is a Lakota spider trickster spirit figure (although many other tribes have similar figures with similar names).

I am a Clatsop person (one of the Chinookan tribes) who was raised in a community of Lakota people who were largely steeped in Lakota culture and traditions. The systems of cultural ownership and permission are complicated to navigate even for Native people. I have decided to slightly alter the name of “Iktomi” to “Iktome” to point more toward the many different forms that the spider spirit can take without attaching it to the specific tradition of the Lakota or any other tribe. Because my family is not Lakota by heritage and I am unfamiliar with the systems of permission surrounding storytelling about this figure, I do not feel it would be appropriate to depict that figure directly. The “Tehanie” figure depicted here is inspired both by traditional Northwest coastal stories and by stories about Blue Jay my brother wrote when he was 12.

Patrick Hunter, the artist for this painting, is an Ojibwe painter from Red Lake, Ontario.

Bradley Rose’s Submission

In the aftermath of Eldritch Moon, continuing even beyond Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow, there remains much trauma among Innistrad’s denizens. …and much hunger.

One town’s church’s priest has been Emrakul-warped, losing some of the personality we once knew them to ahve. However, they retain their sense of duty of serving their community and has opened their doors for food and shelter.

At dinner time every day, a chef from a local restaurant, who befell a similar degree of fate as the priest, devotes their time making food to serve at the church. The priest happily helps clean up after the cooking is done.

They both feel drawn toward one another. Is it affection? Or the whispers of the Blind Eternities? Does it matter?