Eskil waited patiently near the window of the grand hall. It had been almost a decade since he had last been in this keep. He clutched his cold cheeks. Thick, luminous, blue runes covered him, clearly visible despite layers of thick scar tissue. Being back in this keep, the memories of the people he trusted maiming him were violently resurfacing. This should have been his rightful place, heir to his father’s lands. Instead, it was nothing but a monument to wretched remembrance.
He heard a door open out of view, and footsteps approached, old and hobbled.
“It’s been a long time, elder Dornsson,” Eskil said as he turned to face the ancient man who had just entered. He raised his arm towards the elder and focused his power. The window behind him exploded inwards, and snow filled the room, a gale extinguishing the roaring fire. Eskil focused his powers on the man’s hands, and the supernatural gale blew over the elder, turning his digits blue, then black, and then, with a final flick of Eskil’s wrist, they shattered like thin ice.
The man gasped and stumbled back into the wall. Eskil moved towards him and raised his other hand, clenching his fist tightly. He compacted the loose snow into solid tendrils and they coiled around the elder, one wrapping itself around his mouth. It wouldn’t do to have him alert the others.
“Did you think you could throw someone like me to the Winter and move on, elder?” Eskil asked, his eyes glowing as brightly as his runes now. “You maimed me and left me for dead, you and everyone else in this cursed village!”
He squeezed his fist tighter and heard bones crack inside the tendrils of snow. He leaned close to the elder’s face and whispered through clenched teeth. “How could you? I was a child! I was kin of the hold!”
(Snowclutch by Mario Vazquez)
The tendril unwound itself from the elder’s mouth. The snow was crushing him, he wouldn’t be able to scream, but Eskil had to know how the elder could justify his actions.
“Your kind…fuel the Winter. We thought you a monster,” the elder coughed and stained the snow red. “We were right.”
“You think I’m the monster?” Eskil let all his power pour into the snow around him and the coils began to squeeze tighter and tighter. The elder’s breath escaped him in a choking hiss. “You’re the one who took a blade to a child! No, I know what I am, and it’s not a monster.”
Something popped, and the coils exploded into a flurry of crimson flakes. Eskil let it cover him. The elder was the first, but this night had just begun.
“I am Winterborn.”
Winterborn are masters at keeping their enemies at bay. Winterborn use control, primarily Slow and Disarm, to stop foes in their tracks. Once their enemy is disabled, they finish the job with powerful attacks. In addition to control, Winterborn utilize Difficult Terrain to direct the flow of battle, as they cover the battlefield in flurries of snow and ice.
With one of the lowest maximum life totals in the game, the Winterborn game-plan generally requires a proactive defense against the enemy’s assault. By blanketing the ground in Difficult Terrain and their foe in Disarm, they can compensate for this fragility.
A frozen-solid defense can grind a foe to a halt, but something more is needed to shatter them in a flurry of arcane might. Some Winterborn build up control as high as they can, then end their enemy.
Many cards in the Winterborn’s repertoire synergise with specific strategies, which can require significant setup. However, when played at the right time, these cards have the potential to end games outright. On top of those, Winterborn have access to powerful lasting effects, which can take over a battle if left around long enough. Once Blizzard is played, the Winterborn must only hide in the snow and ice and wait out their opponents.
Winterborn can choose to focus on either control or terrain, or mix both to potent effect. Both have their merits, and most Winterborn cards work directly towards furthering both of these goals.
Arcane mythos and fabled power over frost and wind await those daring enough to seek it. Tread lightly, lest the Winter consume you.
Free yourself from superstition and reach your true potential as the Winterborn!
Grab a copy of Winterstorm to play this Specialization!