Murmuring Mystic: A Guildless Encounter for Ravnica
The Murmuring Mystic is a rather niche card released in the Guilds of Ravnica set. Useful in instant and sorcery speed filled decks, the card generates cheap flying token, making it useful in Mono Blue or Izzet focused decks. But in Ravnica, this card can be a whole lot more. The Mystic is guildless, but unique in their abilities. The illusionary birds, are they created or just visible to the Mystic?. If the birds are truly made of rumours, are they somehow connected to the Thought Strands of House Dimir? More questions than answers exist with the Murmuring Mystic, leaving plenty for Ravnica DM's to use in their games.
Murmuring Mystic by Mark Winters
The guilds of Ravnica would likely consider using the Mystic to various ends. While the card itself is blue, meaning it would fit better into Azorius, Dimir, Izzet, and Simic, its possible the other guilds may have machinations against or involving the Mystic. Player characters may, as a party, encounter or be tasked in locating the Mystic, with their own guilds having different intentions for the target. A few of the more guilds likely to be interested are:
Azorius - The Lyev Column of the Azorius Senate could use the Mystic in their information gathering, or they could want the Mystic serving as a variant Precognitive/Lawmage mage.
Dimir - The Mystic would likely be a high priority target for recruitment for the Dimir. The birds in some aspects resemble the Thought Strands used by the guild. If they could turn their strands into birds, they would become even more useful in the future. If nothing else, the Mystics powers shouldn't fall into another guilds hands as it may provide insights on how the Thought Strands work.
Izzet - Likely would want to capture the Mystic for study, try and determine how their magic works in hopes of replicating or improving it. How cool would it be if we could make the birds explode!?
Orzhov - Rumours are just as useful as facts in the right hands, and that makes the Mystic worth something to the Orzhov. They would likely want to capture the Mystic and use the rumours they collect for the Orzhov's own ends.
Simic - While illusions and human spellcasting might not be the Simic's bread-and-butter, they might want to use the Mystics instinctive spellcasting as a potential tool for future projects. If nothing else, the Crypsis Project could use the Mystic for intelligence gathering.
Benefits of Recruitment
These considerations are important because if the Murmuring Mystic were to be recruited into a guild, their power, Crows of an Arcane Feather may appear again in the future in a more powerful or controlled form, such as:
Azorius - Expertise in Bird Law: Lawmages and Precognitive mages can potentially have the Murmuring Mystics power, the Swarm of Illusionary Birds created by Azorius spellcasters using the Crows of an Arcane Feather power now gain the ability:
Jailbird Rock. A spellcaster which creates a Swarm of Illusionary Birds can cast Enchantment spells with a range of Touch through any swarm they create, so long as the swarm occupies the same space as the target creature.
Dimir - Rumours Fly Fast: Thought Strands can now take the shape of birds, and can now be easily moved through the city.
Izzet - Firebirds: More Izzet spellcasters will appear with the Murmuring Mystics power. The Swarm of Illusionary Birds (now a slight red colour) created by Izzet spellcasters using the Crows of an Arcane Feather powernow gain the ability:
Death Burst. When the swarm dies, it explodes in a burst of illusionary fire. Each creature within 5 ft. of it must make a DC 11 Dexterity saving throw, taking 7 (2d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Orzhov - Birds and the Bats: Orzhov spellcasters would likely have a harder time with transferring the magic over, but they could probably make something work. The Swarm of Illusionary Birds (now resembling bats instead) created by Orzhov spellcasters using the Crows of an Arcane Feather power now gain the ability:
Incorporeal Movement. The spirit can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.
Simic - Spellbreaking 101: A major adaptation for spellcasters/Krassis could be created from the Murmuring Mystics Crows of an Arcane Feather power, replacing the power with:
Reflexive Spellbreaking: Once per day as a reaction, the Simic spellcaster/Krassis may counter a spell and create a Swarm of Illusionary Birds equal to the countered spells level.
In the likely scenario the party needs to fight the Murmuring Mystic, you can use the following stat blocks. For planning an encounter using the Murmuring Mystic, the encounter may start with a number of Swarms of Illusionary Birds equal to the number of characters in the party.
Tactics The Murmuring Mystic will likely try to run, hide and evade the party, using the Swarms of illusionary Birds to distract the party. The Mystic is also likely to surrender or yield once they have less than half their total health left.
Consider using locations related to party members not relevant to wanting to recruit the Murmuring Mystic, in order to make their guild choice relevant to the encounter, such as:
Golgari - The Mystic is hiding out in the sewer systems, trying to catch a breather. They've stepped into wild Gorgon territory and are at risk of being turned into a statue for their birds to take illusionary shits on.
Gruul - The Mystic is hiding out in the Rubblebelt, in an old watchtower. The Slizt clan want the highground for themselves, and are looking to take the tower.
Rakdos - The Mystic is living among the Rakdos in a circus, and they find them oddly entertaining, like a muse with all the random rumours they say. Perhaps they've become an unwilling exhibit for a Pain artist.
Selesnya - The Selesnya have taken the Mystic in, hoping to nurture and save the Mystics mind. A voda has taken them in, and are refusing to let them leave until they deem they are better.
Boros - The Mystic has been arrested for disturbing the peace. They are in holding and undergoing questioning, the local garrisson leader is adamant they are a Dimir agent. Soon the Mystic will be transferred to prison, and likely never seen again.
Medium humanoid (human), neutral
- Armor Class 15 (studded leather)
- Hit Points 195 (30d8 + 60)
- Speed 30 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA 10 (+0) 16 (+3) 14 (+2) 18 (+4) 10 (+0) 8 (-1)
- Saving Throws Con +5, Int +7
- Skills Insight +3, Perception +3
- Damage Resistances psychic
- Senses passive Perception 13
- Languages Common, Vedalken
- Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)
Spellcasting The Murmuring Mystic is an 8th-level Guildless spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 15, +7 to hit with spell attacks). The Murmuring Mystic has the following wizard spells prepared:
Cantrips (at will): friends, mage hand, minor illusion, ray of frost
1st level (4 slots): color spray, expeditious retreat, shield
2nd level (3 slots): blur, detect thoughts, mirror image
3rd level (3 slots): blink, major image, nondetection
4th level (2 slots): greater invisibility, hallucinatory terrain
Quarterstaff Melee Weapon Attack +3 to hit, reach 5 ft. one target. Hit: 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage, or 4 (1d8) bludgeoning damage if used with two hands.
Crows of an Arcane Feather When a spell is cast by a creature the Murmuring Mystic can see, it can summon a number of swarms of illusory birds (use Swarm of Ravens stat block) equal to the spell's level. The swarms appear in unoccupied spaces within 60 feet of the Murmuring Mystic and acts as its allies. A swarm disappears if the Murmuring Mystic dies.