Campaign of the Month: January 2015
Skies of Glass
Blue is one of the five colors of mana in the universe. It is drawn from islands and embodies the concepts of logic and technology. The mana symbol for blue is represented by a drop of water. Blue mana is generally allied with White and Black and is the enemy of Red and Green. Exceptions to this rule are not unusual.
To detail emotions and beliefs typically associated with those who use blue mana, I’ll simply refer to a blue mana users in general as Blue. The same will be true for all other capitalized colors.
Blue’s philosophy, like that of each color, is determined by its world view. To Blue, the world is opportunity. Within it hide wonders and possibilities most fantastic: The stuff of dreams. Blue is characterized by the desire to know the world’s secrets and to make those possibilities real. The belief that dream can be reality — to which Blue holds fast — is belief in tabula rasa, the blank slate.
Blue believes that all things begin existence blank, without destiny or purpose — contrasted with the belief that one’s life is predetermined, say, by natural ability. Rather, Blue believes the essence of a thing is given to it, that it is shaped by the storms and eddies of its existence. Those with the knowledge and willpower are masters of this: Shaping and changing things at will. To them, essence is as malleable as clay.
Mastery of possibility, mastery of essence, is exactly what Blue pursues. Thus, Blue comes to prize knowledge. It is with knowledge that Blue will unlock great possibilities, and changes itself for the better. With all knowledge — omniscience — Blue can make itself perfect.
Recurring themes in Blue are illusion over reality (nurture over nature), thought over action (reason over passion), and the future over the past or present.
Blue is the enemy color of Green and of Red. Green disagrees with the viewpoint that Blue is obligated to shape the universe. Green sees that as an affront to Nature and highly presumptuous. Blue looks on Green’s resistance and sees someone stuck in the past. This appears mechanically in the game where Blue tends to construct complicated board positions and uses interesting effects from nonliving sources, while Green tries to destroy those complications and substitute more basic, primal, living creatures. Blue is opposed to Red, because blue is about thinking, and red is about freedom of action. Blue wants the world to be full of thought and controlled by logic. Blue wants a world without emotions. Red is all about personal freedom. Blue sees this as a hazard to the controlled world it wants. Blue plans to destroy Red before it causes more permanent damage.
Interactions with other Colors
Blue and White: In White, Blue sees a color with discipline, forethought, and a genuine desire to make the world better. Each color respects authority (though they define it differently), and are alike in their regard for continuity and stability in approaching their ends. The colors share a disregard of the experience of life, seeing it as a distraction, and commonly an obstacle, to the more important objective of “acting appropriately” (with respect to logic or ethics). White and Blue can cooperate in a world of peaceful studiousness.
Blue and Black: In Black, Blue sees rationality and straightforwardness. Black doesn’t imagine the world as being different than it is. It accepts the disgusting truths without wasting (too many) resources denying them, or angrily breaking stuff in accepting them. Rather, Black gets right on determining what to make of the situation. Blue also shares with Black the view of self-determination. Both colors affirm, as a matter beyond all dissuasion, that one forges one’s own life. An alliance of Blue and Black comes from a mutual usefulness, where the lack of trust bothers neither color the slightest.
Blue and Red: In Red, Blue sees a color that wants to explore. Red explores life, taking in experiences, passionately seeking out new ones. Blue is also an explorer; it explores the realm of theory, seeking out knowledge with its experiments. Red enjoys change, and Blue is always changing (itself or others). The two colors are common in their regard for what is new, and alike in their distaste for those barriers that keep them from investigating it. Blue and Red can form a partnership of exploration, colluding in their discoveries and assisting each other in destroying barriers to their wanderlust.
Blue and Green: In Green, Blue sees a color that has a deep sense of global good and an encouraging stance toward growth. Green wants a world where all things are free from restraint, to grow into their roles in life. Blue shares Green’s distaste of those who pursue personal good with a disregard for outward destructiveness (or inward destructiveness). Both colors desire to make more of what is, while being careful in the sense that, it is not really good to make one thing “better” if it results in the breakdown of the entire system in which it exists. When Green and Blue collaborate in their efforts to rid the world of its ailments and promote the betterment of the big picture, they shall both content with the knowledge that all things have fulfilled their most perfect roles, and that no better world is than this. The two also value the search for knowledge. Learning is part of the process of growth, and it improves the group and self simultaneously. While Red’s relationship with knowledge is more of a search for easy answers, Green can appreciate the act of learning as a joy in and of itself.
Blue and White: In White, Blue sees a color of fatal rigidity. White is far too stringent on its policy of right and wrong. Blue doesn’t see anything wrong with its deceptions in principle. And some things just have to be done for research. White wants for uniformity so much, it will persecute ideas simply for being unpopular. That kind of rigidity is discomforting for Blue, the innovator and philosopher. When White finds something it doesn’t want in its world, it, and the society under it, will turn full force against the likes of Blue.
Blue and Black: In Black, Blue sees a color of vicious decay. Black is so distrusting it would do anything just to add a little insurance to its own survival. This goes too far for Blue as soon as Black considers things like genocide — things that destroy whole swaths of potential and possibility just for the sake of putting teeth behind a threat. Black reckons with great forces beyond its control, hungry for power and disregarding the risk for great loss. While the two share a thirst for forbidden knowledge, Black is just too pragmatic. Blue is upset by the fact that Black will disregard a piece of knowledge just because it is not immediately helpful to its own goals. There is no love for the act of discovery. Blue must be wary of Black accessing great power, just as anyone should be wary when Armageddon becomes a distinctly possible future.
Blue and Red: In Red, Blue sees a very foolish, dangerous color. Red cares nothing for Blue’s patient thought and slow progress. Red wants to act on its emotions ‘now, now, and now’. This short-sighted behavior is very dangerous, as exemplified in the flavor text of the Mirrodin printing of Shatter: “Days of planning, weeks of building, months of perfecting, seconds of smashing.” Red doesn’t give Blue the time of day to reason out their differences, and so to protect itself from Red, Blue must stop Red.
Blue and Green: In Green, Blue sees a color of stubborn ignorance. Blue wants to change the world, but Green would do anything to keep it the same. No amount of technical papers or empirical findings will sway Green from this incomprehensible dogma. Further, Green insults Blue by saying the world is perfect as it is, and nothing can escape its inherent nature. Everything Blue makes, Green unmakes, brutal and unthinking, wielding the untamed wilds with no regard for what is trampled underneath. Green is a malignant growth on the world, and Blue intends to prune it.