Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds
- Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds
- Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds Lore
- Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds Cards
- Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds Strategy
A slowly growing wall - expanding can sometimes be difficult, but the Invaders will have an equally difficult time penetrating wherever the Keeper plants itself.
In larger games, it may be useful to spread to one of the two far-distant lands early on, to have multiple points from which to slowly grow.
PUNISH THOSE WHO TRESPASS
SUMMARY OF POWERS
Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds is a guardian-spirit, charged with maintaining the sanctity of the deepest wilds of Spirit Island. It serves spirits of deep root and ancient branch which foresaw the need for a more energetic guardian, being immensely slow in their age and great power. It takes its charge with unnerving seriousness, and the Dahan have learned that no matter how carefully they respect the land, raising their roof-poles too close to its domains will result in retribution: its charge is to prevent trespass, even if well-intentioned or scrupulously polite.
From the Playmat
Spread throughout Spirit Island are pockets of deep wilderness, untouched by human hands. A few have a spirit of sanctity about them. The leaves there whisper words of forbiddance, of warnings, of wrath for those who trespass. The Dahan know how to listen, and stay well away.
A few spirit-seekers claim that these wild-spirits (powerful as they are) are merely custodians and wardens for other more powerful, spirits of ancient trees and deep roots who wake neither frequently nor easily. Nobody much cares to test the truth of the matter.
IF you target another Spirit, they also gain 1 Energy.
What do we see?
- Growth: Like Sharp Fangs, Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds can mix-and-match with two different Growth choices. Keeper has two ways to add Presence, but one of them costs 3 Energy to make use of, and both are restricted: it grows most readily where there are Wilds or its own Presence, but in a pinch can expand anywhere there isn't Blight.
- Presence Tracks: It has very good Energy, starting at 2 and rising all the way up to 9 - a higher top-out than even Vital Strength of the Earth, though it takes several more placements to get there. Its Plays are more or less average: no strong help for play-heavy strategies, but it can get up to 3-4 card plays with some work. (Though that same effort could also get it a lot more Energy.)
- Special Rule - Forbidden Ground: The Dahan will evacuate anyplace where Keeper sets up a Sacred Site, and not return unless a Spirit explicitly gives them the OK to do so. This can be inconvenient, as it deprives Keeper of some forms of Dahan assistance, but also lets it get the Dahan out of the way of some of its Powers - which will be important, as we'll see in a moment.
- Innate Power - Punish Those Who Trespass: Here we go: at base, this destroys a Town, but also a Dahan. With more wrath (Fire), Keeper brings extra damage commensurate to its core elements (Plant + Sun), wiping out Cities and more.
- Innate Power - Spreading Wilds: We'd expect to see some easy way for Keeper to add Wilds, given that it relies on them to spread. Spreading Wilds can't affect lands with Blight, so we see that Keeper has a hard time spreading to blighted lands - as one might expect, for a guardian of untainted wild places.
How about its Unique Powers?
A few broad trends:
- It's very strong in Sun and (especially) Plant. But it only has one Fire, so the higher level of Punish Those Who Trespass will require drafting more Fire, and has no Air, so the Air-based Range boost to Spreading Wilds isn't an option at first.
- Everything costs 1 Energy or more. Fortunately, Keeper has the Energy income to support that.
- Towering Wrath is a hammer that starts medium-sized and gets bigger the more Sacred Sites Keeper has in an area. It's also Keeper's only +Fire to start with, so Towering Wrath will pair with Punish Those Who Trespass - Keeper's going to have some big stompy turns when it gets mad. Towering Wrath wipes out Dahan, though, so needs to be used carefully to avoid friendly fire casualties.
- Sacrosanct Wilderness is another way for Keeper to add Wilds - but perhaps more importantly, it lets Keeper do damage based on Wilds! Normally the hazards of Wilds tokens are only large enough to prevent a single Explore; this magic amplifies their peril to the point where they can wipe out Towns - or, with multiple Wilds, Cities - and still remain to prevent the next Explore into that land. Potent! Sacrosanct Wilderness also lets Keeper tell the Dahan to get out of the way at Fast speed, which can be good for hasty evacuations or reinforcement of nearby lands. Like most of Keeper's Wilds-based powers, it can't affect Blighted lands...
- ...but Regrow From Roots offers Blight removal! Only in Jungle and Wetlands, the areas of densest vegetation, but still way better than nothing, particularly since Keeper depends on Blight-free lands for Wilds and expansion.
- Finally, Boon of Growing Power lets a Spirit draw upon the power of the ancients that Keeper serves, gaining Energy and a Power Card. Keeper has fairly plentiful access to both of these things (as it already serves those ancients), so it will likely use this on other Spirits more often than itself.
Overall: Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds is very mobility-limited at first, as it has a hard time adding Wilds at further than Range 1. However, it's exceptionally good at defending its turf: Wilds prevents Exploring, and its damaging powers can hammer those Invaders that sneak past (or are Pushed in). Keeper's choices about where to plant itself very much shape the strategic flow of the game: will it stake out its home board, form a wall to isolate one part of the island, occupy the center, or split into two main enclaves for more versatility? Later on, it can spread more readily (as it becomes able to range-boost Spreading Wilds), and if given the time to reach the higher reaches of its Energy track can shower down multiple Major Powers per turn without missing a beat.