A Walkthrough the Card - PoP Thanedd Coup: Introduction & Neutrals
♪A walk in the park, a step in the dark~♫
Oh…hello there lovelies! After reading the headline I just head the song of the Nick Straker Band stuck in my head. And as it is summer, A Walk in the Park seems like a good idea. It’s August again which does not only mark our second blogging anniversary, but more importantly means that there is another Blaugust! We already participated two years ago when we wrote our very first post for it and even managed to achieve the event’s silver award with our 15 posts during Blaupril 2020. For this year’s event and with the new part of the Price of Power expansion – Thanedd Coup – on the horizon, we are going to experiment with a new format where we want to analyse the art and flavour texts of the new cards and sprinkle some lore on top of it, like I would sprinkle some colourful sugar pearls on my muffins. I should totally let you in on my special recipe: You start by—
Poppy. You digress.
Whatever may be written in your recipe, we are going to start with the lore behind the expansion’s name. Please mind that this is a mere overview and not all details are being mentioned here as it just serves to get into the right mindset and understand the lore the expansion’s cards.
Please also mind, that the cards are still very new, so not all premium animations might be available for us to link just yet.
You can click the card names to see their premium versions.
All card art and premiums were taken from The Voice of Gwent.
The name originates from a coup happening on the island of this name in July 1267. The Brotherhood of Sorcerers (an organisation of mages of the Northern Realms) would come together for a regular meeting to discuss magic matters at hand. However, after the military debacle at the Battle of Sodden Hill during the First Northern War about five years earlier where Nilfgaard suffered a defeat under Emperor Emhyr var Emreis because of the kingdoms’ mages, he devised a plan to negate their influence on his preparations for a second invasion. Swaying the hearts of some of the present mages turned out to be not that difficult, as the rulers of the Northern Realms became increasingly suspicious of the political influence of their magically gifted advisors and thus were not exactly on greatest terms with them either. In fact, Vilgefortz, de facto leader of the Chapter (the Brotherhood’s higher chamber) worked directly under Emhyr and used the tension between the rulers and their mages to call for the meeting at Thanedd.
When the mages met, they already were secretly divided into two factions supporting the Northern Realms and the Empire of Nilfgaard respectively and while no open hostilities arose during the traditional banquet before the meeting, it certainly foreshadowed the escalation soon to come: During the night after the banquet, the supporters of the North acted first and detained the Nilfgaardian faction and sentenced them to hang for their treason. In the ensuing discussion, Aretuza academy’s arch-mistress Tissaia de Vries demanded proof, Yennefer brought in Ciri who revealed in a trance that both sides had sinister plots which ultimately led Tissaia to free the Nilfgaardian supporters among them Francesca Findabair who now ordered a squadron of Scoia’tael to intervene which she secretly smuggled in by boat under the hollowed island to aid her taking down the Northern Supporters.
In the ensuing chaos mages of both sides found their demise, among them Gerhart of Aelle who has been introduced with Once upon a Pyre.
Ultimately the coup at Thanedd let to the Second Northern War just as planned by Emhyr. The rulers of the Northern Realms distrusted their own mages even more and many were ousted from their positions as court mages. In its weakened state, the Brotherhood of Sorcerers was disbanded and later replaced by the newly-established Lodge or Sorceresses which now also included Nilfgaardian sorceresses.
One of its members, Francesca Findabair, was proclaimed Queen of the free elven state Dol Blathanna by Emhyr for her role in the coup.
Quite the dramatic event, but we thought some background lore knowledge would be helpful before we move on to the actual cards. To not leave this post entirely without them, let’s have a look at the neutral ones we got with Price of Power – Thanedd Coup
Are you sitting in a nice comfy chair while reading this? Yes? Have you made sure you are not accidentally sitting on a bear? Because apparently it is possible a Bearification of inanimate objects might occur – it is good example how card effect and art go hand in hand. The card does transform artefacts into the Elder Bear card after all.
The flavour text Please bear with me. is a great pun Which reminds me… maybe the person depicted in the artwork was not really sobear, considering the tobear that he is and only imagines his chair turning into a bear? He should have probearly examined his chair just to make sure. Now there is bearly anything for him to do but run as he faces the wrath of his chair. Okay, okay. I stop. But I do wonder who smuggled that chair into his house. Or maybe someone cursed his furniture like that?
Say… have you really checked whatever you are sitting on right now?
To get this straight first: This is not her name, but her profession. After graduating from a school of magic a sorceress has three options to proceed:
She can remain at her school to assist her former teachers ultimately becoming teacher herself. A tad boring if you ask me, but definitely the safest option.
She can also try to find an external mentor and continue her studies under their guidance, but I would assume those are hard to find and probably very specific in their demands for taking in the ones who just graduated recently. I can imagine such an external teacher can probably turn out to be rather eccentric at times.
This leaves us with the third option of becoming a Dwimveandra, which one can probably compare to an extended internship of sorts.
A Dwimveandra travels the lands for a few years, putting her magic to action under various circumstances and for multiple different employers. This is why you can see the one depicted on the Gwent card use magic for the rather mundane task of shearing sheep. I would not consider this a waste of talent – the opportunity to use what I have learned, adapting it and casting outside the box seems very appealing to me. Did she make the hair roots disappear? Or did she actually form a thin blade with her magic and cut it… well… not exactly the normal way, but you surely know what I want to write here. Whatever she opted for, the sheep does not seem to mind and looks quite relaxed as the Dwimveandra works on it with quite some skill. There is barely any wool left on the parts she already tended to, and only very small parts floating on their own while most of the wool came down in one piece which is a clear indicator of said skill.
Unlike other travelling folks who may need to go to bed on an empty stomach if they do not find any work, she has a safety net in form of an abundant scholarship fund. That does not mean she can just laze around and wait for her travel time to be over: once she returns to the academy after a few years her acquired skills are tested and the former Dwimveandra may be promoted accordingly.
This concludes the introduction and neutral cards. In the next blog post we will see more of Aretuza’s students when we are going to have a look at the cards of the Northern Realms.
You can read about the other cards of the new Price of Power – Thanedd Coup expansion here: