A Is For Ashiok! A Magic: The Gathering Storybook

As Donny Caltrider prepares to welcome his firstborn son, he offers an alphabet storybook themed around Wilds of Eldraine.

Ashiok, Wicked Manipulator (detail)
Ashiok, Wicked Manipulator (detail), illustrated by Serena Malyon

When this article is published, it will be ten days from the arrival of my firstborn son, Theo. For the last few weeks, I’ve been reading him stories while he’s still in the womb, from classics like Dr. Seuss‘s The Foot Book and Shel Silverstein‘s The Giving Tree to my most recent favorite, I Want My Hat Back. Whether it’s a Little Golden Book or the latest and greatest board book from the bestseller shelf, children’s stories seek to capture something different; they have to snare attention and inspire imagination, be long enough to be interesting but not so long as to cause distraction. Thankfully right now I have a captive audience, and my wife and I plan to work through his little library right up until his arrival. 

These stories and their melodic, rhyming meters and fantastic characters, coupled with some of the recent fairy-tale Eldraine articles I wrote on my home site over on Hipsters of the Coast, have led to a bit of unusual inspiration. Before I wrote about Magic, I tried my hand at children’s books; I have a deep love of Dr. Seuss, and enjoyed exploring subjects from history to science fiction, all written in the different rhythms and rhyming schemes used by one of history’s most famous children’s authors. Seuss used a meter or rhythm called anapestic tetrameter, and while I’m more than a little rusty and far from adept, I took a spin to see if I could shake off the cobwebs, Wilds of Eldraine-style.

Up the Beanstalk

Sit back and relax.

It’s story time, folks.

We’ll see if I can

remember the ropes!

A is for Ashiok

Hello and thanks for joining friend, I’m happy to explain

About the folks and creatures you can find within Eldraine!

Storyteller Pixie

A is for Ashiok, who haunts the dreams they see 

B is for Beluna, for her you bend the knee

Ashiok, Wicked Manipulator Beluna Grandsquall

C is for the Candy Trail, that leads into the wood

And D it stands for Decadent, that Dragon sure looks good

Candy Trail Decadent Dragon

E is for the Edgewall Inn, the tallest you can find

F brings Fae Lord Talion, most powerful and kind

Edgewall Inn Talion, the Kindly Lord

G it stands for Greta, the scourge of all that’s sweet

H is a Horned Loch-Whale, a griffin it might eat!

Greta, Sweettooth Scourge Horned Loch-Whale

I is for The Irencrag, the home of Embercleave

And J can be for Johann, a sorcerer naive

The Irencrag Johann, Apprentice Sorcerer

K will be for Kellan, a boy who is half Fae,

L is for Lord Skitter, king under the pathway 

Kellan, the Fae-Blooded Lord Skitter, Sewer King

M is for Mintstrosity, who’s dripping with delight

And N it stands for Neva, asleep and full of fright

Mintstrosity Neva, Stalked by Nightmares

O is for Old Flitterfang, so hungry, getting fat

P is Piper Totentanz, a friend to every rat

Old Flitterfang Totentanz, Swarm Piper

Q is for Queen Sisters, the three that now reside

And R will stand for Rowan, her anger won’t subside

Eriette of the Charmed Apple Rowan, Scion of War

S brings on Syr Ginger with her fork raised in the air

T is The Goose Mother, unusual and rare

Syr Ginger, the Meal Ender The Goose Mother

U goes Up the Beanstalk, where this story all began

V is for the Virtues, the realms of all the land

Up the Beanstalk Virtue of Strength

W is Will Kenrith, the King who has been crowned

And X the count of trinkets that a certain Ouphe has found

Will, Scion of Peace Knickknack Ouphe

Y can be for Yenna, not a Werefox is in sight

And Zzzzz, the Wicked Slumber, wishing all of you goodnight

Yenna, Redtooth Regent Wicked Visitor

The End

I very much appreciate you all indulging this quirk and letting me speak to my Seussical muses. I know that was far from perfect, but for some fun on a deadline, it scratched an itch I hadn’t explored in more than half a decade, and in a world that’s one of my favorites in the Multiverse. Wilds of Eldraine with its fairy-tale goodness has firmly written its place into Magic, and I hope it continues to inspire players for years and years to come.