boggart the explorer

Goblins of the Multiverse: Lorwyn

One of the biggest complaints I’ve always had about Magic: the Gathering was its human-centric stories. The Weatherlight was primarily human. Kamahl and Jeska were human. Konda, Umezawa, Agrus Kos, Teferi, Venser, Elspeth, Jace, Chandra, Gideon, Liliana, and let’s face it, Sorin might not be human now, but he was born one. This is a fantasy setting. If there’s going to be a new story for every set, there should at least be a few that don’t star humans. This, thankfully, is why we have Lorwyn.

Boggart Brute by Igor Kieryluk

Lorwyn is a beautiful, natural world where plants grow abundantly, spring reigns eternal, the sun never sets, and the multiple sentient races live idyllic lives without any human interference. There is feuding, certainly, and there is still evil, but there’s still no nicer place in the multiverse. Lorwyn’s goblins, called boggarts, are much more playful and less malicious than goblins of other worlds. They are defined by curiosity, a desire for fun, and a complete disregard for the concept of death. Boggarts have the following characteristics:

Boggart Morphology, from the Lorwyn Style guide, artist unknown

Extreme Polymorphism: Boggarts physically vary more widely than any other species of goblins in the multiverse. Skin colors among boggarts range the whole spectrum of red to violet and everything in between. Boggart noses are sometimes long and pointed, but are sometimes wide, flat snouts. Some boggarts have hair. Some boggarts have horns. All boggarts have feet, but these range from human-like to canine to reptilian to the point where the only way to properly identify boggart tracks is to find multiple tracks together that don’t match.

Boggart Birth Rite by Ralph Horsley

Death and Rebirth: Boggarts breed and die even more frequently than most goblins, in part because boggarts have no fear of death. Boggarts have a firm belief in reincarnation, and there is evidence to support that they’re right. This fearlessness causes issues for others, though, as while boggarts are rarely malicious, they don’t perceive harm in killing others, assuming that their victim will just be back later.

Sensation Gorger by Matt Cavotta

Sensation Gorging: Boggarts are ultimately fueled by a desire for new and interesting sensations. Any boggart given free time will venture out into the world to explore and return with stories and detailed descriptions of what he did. If they can bring back a souvenir, they will. This means a boggart will attempt to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste literally anything or anyone it can. In addition to finding strange things, boggarts are prone to inventing sensations via pranks. These pranks are designed to make a creature to take a course of action it normally wouldn’t and are occasionally fatal.

Wort, Boggart Auntie by Larry MacDougall

Theiarchy: Boggarts tribes are led by matrons, primarily referred to as Aunties. A tribe’s Auntie is usually the oldest member of the tribe, and is usually female. An Auntie’s job is to share her wisdom and experience with the tribe and to act as an arbiter for any problems that arise within. While boggarts don’t fear death, it is still considered an inconvenience, and so Aunties make sure every member of their tribe knows what aspects of Lorwyn lead to certain doom- primarily poisonous foods, particularly dangerous creatures, and elves. Aunties primarily teach through fables and stories. Informing a boggart of something’s danger is not nearly as effective as telling a story of it, and a proper story of how a sensation was already discovered makes a boggart less eager to discover it himself. Aunties are usually learned shamans, acting as healers and midwives in addition to their leadership duties.

Auntie’s Hovel by Wayne Reynolds

Bog-garts: Unlike most goblins, boggarts don’t live in mountainous regions. Instead, they live in wetland areas. Lorwyn’s wetlands are teeming with life for boggarts to explore, and nearby trees are crafted into homes. These homes range from ‘a hole in a stump’ to ‘large huts built among the branches.’

War-Spike Changeling by Mark Poole

Changelings: Some boggarts are actually shapeshifters taking the form of blue, gelatinous goblins. Though nobody is actually fooled by these disguises, the boggarts by and large don’t care, and let anyone who wants to be a boggart be a boggart.

Frogtosser Banneret by Ralph Horsley

Overall, Lorwyn is a wonderful place full of happy, friendly, silly goblins, who only kill you because they figure you’ll be fine later.