The Book of Vlox
Summoner of the Cloaks - Expansion 2: Cloaks
The old man coughed and wiped the sputum from his lips with a rag. "The poison is moving rapidly," he gasped in the flickering torchlight. "Quickly now or it will be too late." He waved his hand in the direction of the chest that sat at the foot of his bed. "Yes. Too late." The old man´s companion sat upon a crate on the opposite side of the tent, his cloak pulled tight for warmth around his torso, his eyes glittering in the darkness.
"You must rest old friend," the companion said. "Your exertions only lend strength to the poison." But the old man would have none of it.
"Bah!" he spat. "Damn you Vlox, I feel him in my mind. The Bender who poisoned me. He is rooting through my brain, and once his poison runs its course, he will have control of me. The stone, my boy. Bring it now." His companion stood with a reluctant sigh. The chest opened with a slight creak, and as it did so, multiple trays and shelves opened within it, extending on small metal arms powered by clockwork gears. The contents of the chest were wondrous to behold, yet most was useless to all save the dying genius on the bed. Pushing aside blueprints and tools, Vlox bent down, and picked up the heavy orb wrapped in cloth at the bottom of the chest. He handed it to his friend, but was waved away. "No, no lad. The stone is yours now. It´s what they want of course. Why they poisoned me. They want to steal the stone from us." The old man sat up, coughs racking his brittle frame, the stained rag covering his mouth.
"Leonardo", said Vlox, but the old man made a gesture saying he was okay.
"My daughter," he gasped. "She will not like this. But it must be you for now. She is too young. Too impetuous. Right now the Cloaks need a seasoned leader. Someone who will help them flee from the Benders and join the Vanguards in the west. We must add our might to theirs if there is to be any salvation from Ret-Talus."
"Flee?" Vlox spat. "We have done that already. What are the Cloaks but a collection of those who have fled from the Bender Empire? They push west and we flee, they push further west and we flee again." Vlox unwrapped the stone, and stared into its murky, indigo depths. He saw the fires of war that consumed Far Esta, saw the three eyes that stood as the symbol for the Benders. And suddenly the sounds of the tent all drained away; Leonardo´s coughing, the crackling of the torch, the sounds of the growing crowd outside, all gurgled into silence, and Vlox felt his eyes drawn into the glassy dark blue depths. And in those depths he saw himself clasping hands with Kalon Lightbringer, the champion of the Vanguards. He saw himself kneel before Sera Eldwyn as a multitude of onlookers cheered with abandon. But so too did he see the grasslands of Esta aflame as the Bender armies pushed west. He saw trains of refugees, innocent herders and shepherds all, fleeing from the chaos of the east only to be set upon by the forces of the dead. He saw men fall and heard oxen bellow, saw mothers cut down, only to rise again as ghastly members of an accursed host. And always his visions would shift, and there would be the sign of the three eyes. Vlox shuddered as his mind was pulled back from the swirling mists within the stone, his wrist locked in one of Leonardo´s withered hands.
"Do not let your mind wander, boy," said Leonardo sadly. "In impossible times a person must push aside sentiment and emotion. It is for life itself we fight for now. We must reject pettiness and the desire for personal revenge. Promise me you will do this." But Vlox shook his head.
"My disgust for the Benders is not irrational or selfish, my friend. Even now, they are taking the life of one I love dearly. Here sits the most brilliant mind in all of Itharia, and they are killing it for petty, selfish want. I hate them Leonardo. If I had the means I would put every one of them to death, man, woman, and child. I would do it gladly, without hesitation." Leonardo´s eyes softened and he looked at his apprentice, his adopted son, and Vlox found himself unable to return the gaze. "Do not hate them Vlox. They are just people. Why do they push west? It is only because the Rotten King attacks them from the eastern shores. It is Ret-Talus who drives the Benders towards us, and he is doing it deliberately. He fears alliances between the living people, so he forces us to clash with each other. Do not revile the Benders. What they do is human, not evil. When you mistake humanity for evil lad, only trouble will find you. And never mistake a government for the people who live under its rule. Those same people you would slay so willingly, are just like us. Simple, small folk caught up in events beyond their control. Please boy. Please promise me you will do what I ask of you."
Outside the tent, a mournful crowd had gathered. Their faces were weathered from unending travel, their eyes encircled by lines of pain caused by the losses they had suffered. But no loss would be as great as the one that awaited them. Old Leonardo was at his end. He was their Summoner. He was their mad genius, the man who had invented blackpowder weapons. He was their father.
A terrible scream flew from the tent, then suddenly gave way to a hideous wet gurgle. The crowd gasped as one, and the sounds of sobbing rose from the mob. The entrance to the tent parted, and Vlox stepped out of it, tears lining his face, the stone in one hand, the other slick with blood. A silence settled over the encampment, and Vlox cleared his throat.
"It is done," he shouted. "The poison took hold of him, and I slew him as he had instructed. We are safe for the time being."
"But what will we do?" someone shouted from the crowd.
"Where will we go now?" called another, and Vlox held up his bloody hand for silence.
"Before he died, Leonardo had but one wish. His orders were simple, and we shall honor him by obeying. Brothers and sisters! Stow your belongings and arm yourselves, for the Cloaks shall flee no longer!" Vlox held the stone above his head for all to see. "The stone is a great knife, and the Cloaks are the hand that wield it. Before this week is out we shall begin carving our way into the heart of the Bender Empire! Revenge will be ours!"
The crowd erupted in a triumphant swell of applause and shouts of approval.
"Revenge!" came the cry, and it echoed throughout the camp.
Spend two Magic Points to destroy any one Common Unit.Cloak of Shadows
Choose a Common Unit that you control or spend 2 Magic Points to choose a Summoner or Champion Unit you control. Until the beginning of your next turn, when an opponent rolls to attack the chosen unit, that Unit only receives wounds from die results of 6 or higher during that attack.Magic Drain
Choose an opponent. if you have fewer units on the battlefield than that opponent does, remove up to 2 cards from the top of that opponent's magic pile and place them on the top of your magic pile.Rulings and ClarificationsSpy
Choose an opponent and look at up to 5 cards from the top of that opponents draw pile. Put 2 of those cards at the bottom of the chosen opponent's draw pile, then put 2 of those cards on the top of that opponent's draw pile, and then put 1 of those cards on top of the chosen opponent's discard pile.
When Vlox uses Master of the Art he gains the name and special ability of the card, but not the attack value.
Q. When playing the Tundra Orcs, if Grognack uses his Walls of Ice Shard special ability, is a unit that is protected by Cloak of Shadows affected?
A. Yes, they would receive a wound from Walls of Ice Shard.