Vox Maxima Gallery 3: The Iacon Colleges

The Iacon Colleges represent the coalition of the finest magewrights, researchers and technician in the Kraivh Empire. The Empire is a place of faith and trust, but it is to the colleges they turn when they want to make their vaulted cathedrals and also sick sky skimmers. The Iacon Colleges represent a drive to understand the world that the Emperor is keeping safe, and the Iacon Colleges do so through rigorous study, abandonment of the unnecessary, and a kind of focus that could drive a mushroom through a solid concrete slab.

It is the Iacon College who first spoke of the coming disaster, it is the Iacon College that can find murky shards of lost history, it is the Iacon College whose great towering spires, near to the heart of the Empire, most closely align with the needs of the empire. Where a billion are lost, many of them are lost in the Colleges, and all they have left behind are parts and notes. The Iacon Colleges seek to remake their history, even if they have to time travel to do it.

Vox Maxima is a custom magic set created by Talen Lee. It’s composed of 187 cards, with 71 commons, 60 uncommons, 41 rares, and 15 mythic rares. Vox Decima is a custom Magic: The Gathering set, with at least one card spoiled a day, on Cohost, Kind.Social, and the r/custommagic subreddit.

WOTC Employees: This post in full presents unsolicited custom Magic: The Gathering card designs, which I understand current employee practices forbid you from looking at unsolicited. You shouldn’t be here!

Integrated into the Kraivh Empire we have the Iacon colleges. The colleges are a transhumanist force, and at this point we have some of the information filtering through about what that means. Like, they all came to from the lost decade and found, like, all this machinery they built and all this recordkeeping they did and in some cases, whole new bodies they made for themselves that they now had to evaluate what that meant. The colleges also have a strange holding pattern going on – because the colleges haven’t been able to have a meeting with the Iacon Council – which includes Iacon himself! – for some reason.

But don’t worry, Kraivh has told them – he can consult with the Council for the Iacon. What questions did they have about the ongoing process of the colleges? Hm? You could write them down and the Emperor will consult with the Council for you. Is there a problem with that?

This card also shows, on Survivor’s Pain an interesting and very deliberate mismatch. First, this card introduces the idea of the Necrocalypse, the idea of a coming immense mass death scenario that people knew was coming before the lost decade. This is important because that’s what prompted the major changes in the world, as far as people know; this is why the Iacon pushed towards transhumanism, and their ability to make themselves into modal robot people. But they also are the people with access to Magical Robots that can do things like preserve memories –

And yet, also, uh, hey, you notice how Survivor’s Pain has an Iacon symbol and a Kraivh reference in the flavour text? This was because when this was first started, the Iacon were Kraivh, and this guilt is meant to echo of that past.

If I had to define the Iacon college’s biggest problem it’s that they’re cold. They’re solving a complicated problem and in that solving they’re willing to take parts of themselves and repurpose them. What we’re left with here is a group of geeks who have been preparing for an environmental catastrophe and have gotten heavily underway in addressing it! So why are they still working on it? Shouldn’t they have the sign they were done and move on? More of the mysteries!

Some card by card notes:

  • Inx is this month’s Learner. They’re a scrappy geek from the Iacon colleges, working to rebuild things out of the junk, trying to find something out about the past. What Inx learns in this process is that at some point in the past, before the Kraivh Empire, the origins of the Iacon College were involved in the creation of some kind of superweapon that was so powerful and so vast it ended time not once but twice.
  • We also learn this month about the Great Distribution – a process where the Iacon College can take all the materiel they have to work with and, you know, rearrange it, since it’s repairable and fungible. Again, they’re cold. The parts that make them up, their drones and their investigators, these are things that can be made as simple choices.
  • Ravite, Dragoncrafted is just Weight Advantage for non-conspiracy commander.
  • There are a few cards here that are artifacts to fit with the Iacon that are much more like instants or sorceries. My favourite of these is the Illicit Mechanist, which is a counterspell… of a sort. The Mechanist transforms a spell someone casts into the spell Juggernaut, which isn’t a wording we actually have in the game already. I like it a lot because it strikes me as a very funny kind of hyperfocus, you know, okay, I don’t like that spell, it should be Juggernaut. But also because Juggernaut is just big enough that it’s actually a problem to be handing it to your opponents but also being big enough you might want to be able to hand it to someone to make them cause a bit of a fuss.
  • I also like the fabricate cards that wildly vary their function depending on how they’re used. The Training Kettle (Gato reference, with his metal joints), is a basic hill giant or three 1/1s and neither are super exciting but four pieces of artifact material is still valuable to blue decks sometime. See also the Autoproctor that can pivot between three 1/1s and a 0/1, or a 3/4 lifelinker, and neither of those are great deals for 5 mana but neither are these going to be bad deals when you want one or the other.
  • Iacon Welcome is just an existing card on Arena, that uses Alchemy and ‘perpetually gains’ technology that strikes me as a bit weedy.
  • A clavichord is an instrument? It’s the thing the person in the shot is playing. That card represents a literal magical, sentient, cyborg instrument and I know full well there are musicians I know who would love to be able to put their instruments into their bodies like some kind of Tim Curry style pipe organ supervillain.