Badaim joins us once again with some more real life lore, and some fan made lore! Stick around until the end to try our companion deck as well.
Twin Junah and Twin Blanque are based on the hero twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque from Mayan mythology. In many mesoamerican mythologies twins are often used to represent concepts of duality, like the sun and the moon, life and death, male and female, etc. The twins are derived from the popol Vuh, a codex written around the mid 1500's by an anonymous member of the Quiche royal family from the Guatemalan highlands. While written relatively recently, it is based on oral traditions that can be traced back to around 600 BC.
The most prominent Myth from the Popol Vuh involves the hero twins and their battle with the lords of the underworld. Before they were born, The Twins' father and uncle (twins themselves) were summoned to the underworld by the Lords of Xibalba to play the sacred ballgame. In the ballgame, players try to hit a ball with their hips into their opponent's goal. Players wore rubber girdles to hit a heavy ball made of solid rubber. The Lords coveted the twins' girdles for the magical powers they imbued.
Before they could even play a game, the twins' father and uncle fail the pre-game trials set by the lords of Xibalba and were sacrificed. The lords put their father's severed head in a tree that then magically began to bear fruit. Losing the severed head among the fruit, the lords forbade anyone from eating the fruit.
One of the demon lords' daughters, Blood Maiden, was tempted to try the fruit. When she reached out her hand, the skull spat into her hand and made her pregnant with the hero twins. After escaping Xibalba and the wrath of the demon lords, she gave birth to Hunahpu and Xabalanque. Like their father and uncle before them, they too caught the eye of the lords of death through their heroic endeavours and were invited to Xibalba to face the lords.
The lords of Xibalba enjoyed tricking and humiliating their guests in various ways, so when the twins arrive they are greeted by dummies instead. When they don't fall for the trick they are given seats of burning stone to sit on, but again do not fall for the trick. Then the twins are sent into six different houses that held their own set of trials meant to kill or humiliate them.
After surviving all the trials and defeating the lords in the ball game, the lords still set out to kill the twins. In a bold move, the twins sacrifice themselves and then bring themselves back to life. Amazed by this power, the lords ask them to do the same to them, but when the twins sacrifice the demon lords they do not bring them back to life, thus outwitting the demon lords at their own game.
In popular culture, the Popol Vuh has been used as inspiration for a series of paintings by Diego Rivera, as well the 1971 Werner Herzog Film Fata Morgana. The most contemporary example is in the anime Onyx Equinox, where the twins join other meso american heroes to close the 5 gates to the underworld.
In game the twins are a powerful duo that benefit strongly from recursion and boneyard retrieval strategies. Their regen and overrun abilities when both are on the board make them a difficult to deal with without hard removal. Their major drawback is thier gem cost, which makes it difficult to splash or play in tricolor unless they are accompanied by ramp or control tools.
The Last RE:Spawn part 3: The Death Lord’s Court
'Welcome! Welcome to our Kingdom exalted guests! We are honored to have such high level players grace our court with their presence!' ]:<1sT_dE4Th>:[ spread his arms wide from atop his throne of n00b skulls. A jade puma napped at the lord's side, flicking its tail in mild annoyance at the courts visitors. 'I do hope the river was not too much of a challenge for the legendary twins! I wish I could say the same for your father and uncle when they made their own journey! How are they now? Still on life support?' ]:<1sT_dE4Th>:[ cackled with the other lords that sat along both sides of his throne. Their glowing red eyes hung above their skeletal grins like eternal embers shrouded by a sickening black miasma. 'Now: prostrate yourselves! Give honor to Arcadion's top-ranked clan!' ]:<1sT_dE4Th>:[ raised his arm and beckoned them forward. The other lords gave little effort to stifle their chuckles amongst themselves.
'Wait!' Before Junah and Blanque could bend a knee Avanyu pulled them up by their collars and swept his tail across the stone floor. The cloud of shadows that filled the court billowed away to reveal rows of poisonous spines growing before them. The prickly floor burst open, gnashing with sharp teeth and lolling tongues. The elaborate stonework revealed itself to be a sea of ravenous mimics. xXtH4_d34tH_l0rDzXx roared with laughter, exchanging sardonic shrugs between themselves with wicked amusement.
'What insolence! Perhaps the long journey has made these ungrateful monkeys and their lowly pet forget their manners?' ]:<1sT_dE4Th>:[ turned to the other lords sarcastically, succulently basking in their own bitter tuts and head shakes.
'Forgive us, my lords' Avanyu lowered his head reverently. 'My associates have brought you some gifts that are long overdue.' Avanyu gave Junah and Blanque a nod. 'I am told that their stacking effects increase relative to the smugness and overconfidence of their recipients. May their offerings satiate your demands.'
On his cue, Junah and Blanque leapt onto Avanyu's back. Avanyu's whipped his snakely coil, launching the twins high above xXtH4_d34tH_l0rDzXx in a dazzling acrobatic display. Blanque and Junah drew their enchanted auto-pistols and rained fire down upon the lords. The twins' shots struck each lord squarely between the eyes with deadly precision. The magical ammunition destroyed their targets in a grisly spectacle, compelling the agile pet puma to flee the commotion and lurk in a dark corner to nurse its bushy tail. xXtH4_d34tH_l0rDzXx slumped dead on their thrones before the pair of heroes touched back down, sticking their landing with feline grace. As the last casing rang against the stone floor, a foreboding silence echoed through the royal chamber. A fresh chorus of laughter rose from the darkness. The dead lords' glowing eyes rose from their corpses and receded into the shadows. A slow clap clattering from a pair of bony hands cut through the chuckles.
'Well done! That was indeed a pleasant surprise!' ]:<1sT_dE4Th>:[ and his fellow lords emerged unscathed from behind their thrones. A "lives" counter maxed at 999,999 flickered over their heads. The slain figures toppled over harmlessly, transforming back into clay effigies and wooden decoys. 'Perhaps these mortal playthings are not as insipid as they appear! Come, take a seat at our court: you deserve it!' ]:<1sT_dE4Th>:[ grinned menacingly. A trio of stone blocks rose from the courts stonework to form seats for their guests. Junah and Blanque both noticed Avanyu cautiously settling his coils around the seat, careful not to actually touch its surface.
'I am pleased to see that gods still manage to maintain some semblance decorum, but it would appear these mortal whelps are far too modest to consider themselves worthy of our company!'
Junah looked down her nose defiantly at the lords as she unstrapped her body armor from beneath her crisp jacket and laid it upon the slab. While the thick material hissed steam when it touched the glowing seat, the armor glowed with divine vigot, repelling the stone's infernal heat. 'Magpyre may be a soulless corporation, but their latest line of Aymaran Kevlar is imbued with the souls of at least four hundred Capacocha.' Junah took her seat before crossing her legs. 'The damage resistance modifier on these things is quite remarkable.'
'Looks like mortal ingenuity has earned us a certain degree of insolence, eh holmes?' Blanque plopped his own armor down. 'Now, if I remember things right, we're supposed to beat your high score at the Ollama mini-game. Right ese?' Blanque sat forward in his seat and locked gaze with ]:<1sT_dE4Th>:[. The Death Lord's eyes narrowed as his bony digits drummed against his cranial armrest with growing vexation.
'Alas, all this pomp and ceremony has left us drained of our benevolent patience and eternal endurance. Will you indulge an old god with but a brief respite so we may provide an adequate challenge to our dear guests?' ]:<1sT_dE4Th>:[ raised his hand toward a hallway flooded with cutting lasers. Ominous numbing smoke seeped from the guest room doors at the other end. Masked figures brandishing menacing weapons peered from behind the vaporous veil.
'I'm sure your accommodations will be just as welcoming as your reception. You certainly seem to enjoy delaying the inevitable for an immortal, perhaps you're not as sure of your d-pad skills as you would like us to believe?'' Junah folded her arms, stroking her chin mockingly.
'Doubt carries such a human stench to it. As a show of good faith, why don't I show you to your chambers...personally?' ]:<1sT_dE4Th>:[ twisted a inconspicuous bony lever jutting from his throne's armrest. The floor beneath the heroes fell away and plunged the trio into the nothingness of a bottomless pit.
Want to play the story? Try this week’s companion deck!