SPINED HOUND

JONATHAN FLIKE

Card Origins

Boy do I love elementals. I was always fascinated with them growing up, and I wanted to include them in Kingdoms of Immacus. However, the traditional elementals have been done extensively, and I wanted to put a fresh twist on them. The Forge Elemental is one of the six elementals in Kingdoms of Immacus. Each elemental in the game is a little different than you'd expect; forge, sludge, Lyonaster, salt, arcane, and aether make up the set. Though I love traditional elementals, I needed Kingdoms of Immacus to stray away from generic fantasy as often as I had the opportunity to do so. The Forge Elemental was the last one do be done and it took the longest to create. Since this card finished off the elementals, there was this sense of finality, which made it a card I wanted to highlight.

 

Card Background

The Forge Elemental was born from the mighty Kravix forges. Though the first one was born by mistake, the Kravix have now harnessed the right balance materials needed to create them as necessary. A mixture of metal, slag, ore, and soot, these elementals can harness the materials they were born from to aid in the mining and refining process.

Once used strictly for its utilitarian purpose, the Kravix have begun using the Forge Elementals for defense against the Astracites after the Great Interloper War. Lacking the typical organic material required by the Astracites to parasitize, the Forge Elementals have been the stalwart guardians of the Kravix Kingdom.

Art Background

When working on the art direction for the Forge Elemental, I wanted him to have a massive sense of scale. It also needed to be seen working alongside the Kravix in the refinery process. With this in mind, Leonardo set off to work and was consistently updating me with progress along the way. With this image in particular, I wanted to stay out of his way, and let him create something he would be proud of. 

The perspective Leonardo was able to capture was great. I love the hints of the Kravix presence, and I am really happy with the juxtaposition of the human-esque elemental and the wolf-like Kravix. It really brings home this idea that there are these ancient elements of Immacus below the surface so to speak. As I reveal more of the lore, it will become obvious why this is, but for now, we'll just leave that for a future entry 😉.

 

Card Abilities

This was pretty straight forward to work on since anything fire-themed means burning haha. I wanted to ensure that if you got close to the Forge Elemental, you're going to get burned. I also wanted to keep with the lore intact and make the Forge Elemental immune to Parasitism from the Astracites. For the Lore Text, I wanted to quote an Ironbrand character to solidify the relationship between the Kravix and the Ironbrand people. The text also confirms the purpose of the Forge Elemental as a source of weapon forging.

 

Final Thoughts

The Kravix are such a fun twist on fire-themed races, and paired with the Forge Elemental, I feel it creates something fresh. As work has continued on Kingdoms of Immacus, I really like how the Forge Elemental fits in the current art as well as the lore. Like other cards in the game, I am glad I took the opportunity to ensure the art, theme, and lore are all cohesive. It's important to me to take advantage of world-building opportunities, and the Forge Elemental does that well. 

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