Artist Diary #4 - Ian Moss and Jon Gilmour play Tidal Blades - Axl's Love of Heights
Hello fellow Navirians! We are so excited to welcome our 6000th backer! More and more people are joining this Tidal Blades adventure, and we need your help to continue pushing through this final week of campaign. Let's make it count!
Concerning our current Stretch Goals, we just unlocked the Spot UV on the Deluxe and we are well on our way to getting that sweet inside lining for the box. These two upgrades combined will really help make the Deluxe Edition feel extra special. Now, before posting today's journal, we want to take a moment for two quick announcements.
First of all, Lina and David have just released their last Artist Diary. They talk about the creation process of Axl, Caiman and Sagashi and go over their backstory. Give a thumb and let us know who's your favorite character! You can click the image below to access the diary on BGG.
Secondly, you might like to know that Ian Moss and Jonathan Gilmour are playing a game of Tidal Blades right now! These two fine gentlemen are the game designers for Part 2, and of course you are welcome to join in the fun as they compete against each other, live on InfectiousPlay.
Axl awoke to the gentle lapping of waves in the bay. A cool breeze was blowing across the deck of the yacht, cool and refreshing. He bounded out of bed, energized. “It’s time to get back to doing what I’m best at,” he thought, “a challenge on Lamara.” He dug around in his bag--there were a whole array of challenges there. “Droska, Chronosseum, Droska, Droska, Droska...c’mon...” He dug deeper, and pulled another challenge out of the bag’s recesses. “C’mon, Lamara…” He glanced at the card. The blue symbol of the Chronosseum was printed clearly on the card. He sighed. At least it was an easy challenge. But then, an instant later a swell caught the boat, and the challenge slipped out of Axl’s hand and clattered on the deck. As it did, the graphic rippled and changed, replaced with Lamara. “That’s odd!” thought Axl. He picked up the Challenge and shook it. The image of the Chronosseum faded in. He shook it again. “That’s more like it,” he thought as the familiar Spires of Lamara appeared. Sure, the challenge at Lamara was harder, much harder, but that’s what he was looking for today anyway.
He admired the card for a second more--he was sure he hadn’t picked it up--it must have been a gift from one of Babs’ guests. Maybe it was another one of those Entangled cards, or maybe the Citadel was getting more clever, trying to discourage the counterfeiters. Well, that didn’t concern him.
He reached the stadium just as another Challenge was ending. Other contestants were stretching and warming up, some clutching their Challenge cards nervously, all trying to psych themselves up for their big moment. Axl shared none of their hesitation. Striding to the front, he noticed Miskie approaching from another direction.
“Playing catch-up, Axl? Must be a new sensation to be in someone else’s wake.” Axl grinned. “Catch up?” he asked innocently. “I’m not sure what you’re talking about.” Miskie gave a condescending smile, “Uh-huh, you didn’t hear. That’s a stretch. You just decided to race over here the morning after the announcement for flips. Give it a rest, Axl.”
“You seem like you’ve got the resting and stretching covered. I, on the other hand, am here to do a little Challenge.” He flashed his card, and Miskie and some of the other contestants laughed out loud. “You flounder, that’s a Chronosseum Challenge!” Axl feigned surprise and disappointment as he looked down at the card. “Oh, I...uh...I was sure that it…” the laughter grew as he continued, “hold on….” he shook the card vigorously and now everyone in the warm-up area was laughing at him. “There!” he said, holding up the card, and immediately the laughter died. “How did you…” “The Spire Challenge!”
He relished their surprise, especially Miskie. She was annoying, but awfully cute for a fish-folk, especially when she was frustrated. He basked in their astonishment a second longer, and then strode to the table and presented his card. The registrar blinked, but set the controls as Axl strapped a hook to his back and began climbing the one of the tall Spires that rose from the waters of the Arena. The crowd was on their feet already, the Crocs chanting, the Fish-folk clapping, and most of the Nag’i covering their eyes--the Nag’i feared heights almost universally.
But not Axl--he loved the thrill. As he pulled himself on to the apex of the Spire, he braced himself. What had been a refreshing breeze below was a fearsome wind up here, threatening to send him flying off the Spire if he took one wrong step. Step by step, he made his way to the center of the Spire, where a thick rope was tied. He sighted down it to where it connected to the next lower Spire. Flags floated in the air near the rope--connected by a small line.
He’d overheard some of the other contestants, burning the midnight oil in bars and restaurants, trying to plot the best route--figure out the best way to touch all the flags, but that wasn’t for him. Almost casually, he whipped his hook off his back and threw it over the rope, and leaped. He shot down the rope like a rocket, swinging from side to side as he went, timing it perfectly to touch each flag in his free hand.
He hit the second pillar and used the direction change to propel him upside down and completely around the rope, grabbing a hard-to-reach flag above him. His speed kept increasing as he went down. Some contestants stopped at the top of each Spire, but not him. The faster he went, the better he was.
He hit the final Spire at a near impossible speed, holding his hook with both hands, banking around the turn and plummeting towards the final flag. At just the right time, he swung himself up, and let go of the hook, somersaulting through the air, hands closing on the flag as he pulled it from it’s line, and then turned his somersault into a dive. He went deep into the water, and made a beeline for the jury.
When he finally popped up in front of their table, the crowd exploded. He could feel the vibrations from the crowd stomping and jumping up and down. He pulled himself up, and made his way to the exit amid high fives and hugs from the other contestants. He looked around for Miskie, but she was nowhere to be seen. He kept searching, and his eyes fell on a too-familiar face. He tried to look away, but it was too late. Axl tried to keep smiling as the distance between him and the man closed, but he could feel his shoulders slumping. The bearded human man put a warm hand on Axl’s shoulder, and spoke: “Hello, son.”
These Multi-Arena Challenges let you choose between two options before you decide to compete, giving you much-needed flexibility when your hand of Challenges is getting scarce. Will you attempt an easier Challenge in the Chronosseum, or a difficult one in Lamara Stadium? When complete, slide the card underneath your player board and gain the corresponding Fighting Style. Both Challenge options are worth 2 VP.