Vikings: Althing

One of those things I find interesting in Viking society, was the Althing. This is probably a romanticized version of what actually happened. It was (actually still existing in a different form) a meeting of all the men in the land, who would come together to a large field and settle all the things that needed to be settled. This would include all sorts of legal disputes and define the law more or less democratically, but it was also the biggest social happening around. Everyone would come. Whole families were camped out there to have fun while the men debated issues (and probably got drunk).

Several interesting concepts here, like Lawrock, which will obviously receive its own card at some point, but right now I’m just thinking of the Althing itself. What should that be like as a card? I want it to be a land, since this is supposed to be a land set. I’m thinking, a land that can produce any color of mana.

In any case, the card should produce one colorless mana. It just makes lands that much more useful and takes away some of the variance of the land, especially since I’m going to limit its use otherwise, like lands of this sort should be limited. Here, I have two ideas. One which would work gameplay-wise, one which is more flavorful.

The gameplay version would require you to tap a creature as part of the activation cost to produce the mana. This is sometimes better than Shimmering Grotto, but generally probably worse. Actually, it might be very good in the early game, if you take this into account in your deck. I’d probably gladly use my Judge’s Familiar to produce mana this way in the early game.

The more flavorful version would return to your hand after you tap it for any color of mana. This is more flavorful, because the assembly would disperse after its business was done. It would only exist part of the time. From a gameplay point of view, this would mean the land is pretty bad in the early game, as it eats the land drops you need so desperately, but later on in the game, when you probably don’t hit your land drops with the same frequency, you might be happy with it.

On the other hand, it could even save players who miss land drops in the early game. Just return the card to your hand and play it again. This isn’t true ramp, but it can save you.

Probably I’ll include both in the set, but the latter gets to be the Althing or at least the site of the Althing. Maybe the other card can be a common and the place where the local Thing is held.

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