The New Legends of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt

Posted in Feature on September 16, 2021

By Ari Zirulnik and Grace Fong

Harvesttide is wild this year! Tons of new faces showed up to the party—let's do some introductions.

Adeline, Resplendent Cathar

Adeline, Resplendent CatharAdeline, Resplendent Cathar

Adeline is an excellent tactician and an unyielding force on the battlefield. It came as no surprise when she was selected to lead a force of cathars during The Travails. However, to take up arms against Emrakul, she had to leave her family behind. A family of vampires took advantage of the chaos and abducted several townsfolk—including Adeline's younger brother.

As soon as Emrakul was sealed away, Adeline started a personal crusade against the vampires. She desperately hopes to learn news of her brother but finds some comfort in destroying every vampire she encounters.

Lier, Disciple of the Drowned

Lier, Disciple of the DrownedLier, Disciple of the Drowned

Beneath the waves, lost gods stir in their slumber.

Lier is the sinister and powerful high priest of a cult that worships an ancient god of sea and storms. The cult, covertly founded by the vampire Runo Stromkirk many decades ago, has never had a more fervent priest than Lier. He preaches that the surface is covered in horrors, a sure sign that humanity was not meant to tread upon it. When their god returns, he claims, the oceans will overtake the surface and the worthy will be escorted to a paradise beneath the waves. These claims are currently uncited.

Gorex, the Tombshell

Gorex, the TombshellGorex, the Tombshell

Jadar, Nephalia's foremost ghoulcaller, had a problem. There were so many corpses to dredge from the Morkrut marsh that his wheelbarrow was insufficient. Jadar had never met a problem that necromancy couldn't solve, so he scoured the marsh until he found the corpse of a massive turtle. A little magic made it even larger, and then a lot of magic reanimated it as the perfect beast of burden—both cart and horse. Calling the creature "Gorex," it now serves as Jadar's primary means of transport.

Saryth, the Viper's Fang

Saryth, the Viper's FangSaryth, the Viper's Fang

When the Dawnhart Coven first reformed, the leader Katilda was at odds with the young acolyte Saryth. Saryth, a powerful hedgewitch, believed that Ghrin-danu's power was not enough to restore Innistrad. She expressed a desire to worship additional gods, but the other witches were unflinching in their loyalty. Whether she was expelled from the coven or left on her own depends on who you ask.

Saryth decided to found her own coven, one dedicated to a forgotten snake god of venom and vengeance. Whether she intends to interfere with the Dawnhart's Harvesttide rituals or continue to scheme quietly remains to be seen.

Kurbis, Harvest Celebrant

Kurbis, Harvest CelebrantKurbis, Harvest Celebrant

The treefolk of Innistrad are essentially geist-possessed greenery. In the process of bringing back Harvesttide, the Dawnhart Coven felt it was important to consult an expert. They called upon a forgotten spirit, said to be one of the very first Harvesttide Sovereigns, and fused it with an ancient tree. Unfortunately, Kurbis's desires are torn between its mortal desire to assist with Harvesttide and its treefolk instinct to seek out and absorb lifeforce.

Florian, Voldaren Scion

Florian, Voldaren ScionFlorian, Voldaren Scion

Florian Voldaren was a vampire with a vision. Tired of attacking humans for their blood, Florian realized things would be much simpler if the humans freely gave it away. A master of charm magic, Florian put his theory to the test by enchanting a small township still recovering from The Travails. He then politely requested each citizen make a weekly offering of blood—not enough to kill them, but more than enough to feed Florian and his companions. Always seeking to impress, Florian is eager to share this breakthrough with his progenitor Olivia.

Katilda, Dawnhart Prime

Katilda, Dawnhart PrimeKatilda, Dawnhart Prime

The current leader of the Dawnhart Coven is Katilda, a strong-willed witch dedicated to restoring the day-night balance on Innistrad. Katilda was a healer and teacher in the Kessig town of Avabruck, but when the town was destroyed years ago (the ruins of the town are now called Hollowhenge), she retreated into the Ulvenwald Forest. In an area of rocky caves called the Natterknolls, she met hermits and witches who practiced ancient hedge magic.

They soon decided to reform the Dawnhart Coven around an ancient forest deity, Ghrin-Danu, and two years later, Katilda has emerged as their leader.

Vadrik, Astral Archmage

Vadrik, Astral ArchmageVadrik, Astral Archmage

Vadrik of Nephalia is a widely respected astronomancer. His research into the movements of the moon has proven to be a great boon for the people of Innistrad. Greater knowledge of the moon means greater protection against werewolves. While his expertise lies in the stars, he is also an amateur artist. His hand-drawn star charts are commonly found in the packs of travelers across the plane. Although he prefers to draw his maps from the comfort of his home, a favor for his old friend Jenrik, calls him into the field.

Old Stickfingers

Old StickfingersOld Stickfingers

Old Stickfingers
Terror-bringer
Knows when children disobey

If you're slacking
He's attacking
Did you do your chores today?

Old Stickfingers's
Presence lingers
Inside every hollow tree

Don't sneak out
Or you'll shout
And no one will remember thee

— Children's rhyme

An interesting fact about Old Stickfingers is that he is right behind you.

Slogurk, the Overslime

Slogurk, the OverslimeSlogurk, the Overslime

A monster lurks deep within the swamps of Morkrut. Well, several monsters do, but only one is terrible enough to earn the name of Overslime. Slogurk spreads its essence throughout the waters of the swamp, imperceptible to the casual observer. When a brave ship (usually a smuggler's) sails over just the right spot, Slogurk strikes. It condenses its essence under the boat and rises from the water, smashing it to pieces. Sailors who jump overboard to "safety" find themselves met by Slogurk's countless maws.

Dennick, Pious Apprentice // Dennick, Pious Apparition

Dennick, Pious Apprentice
Dennick, Pious Apparition
Dennick, Pious Apprentice
Dennick, Pious Apparition

The Betzold household was once one of the most influential families in Gavony. The most recent patriarch, Worrin Betzold had a secret: an illegitimate son named Dennick.

While Dennick grew up sequestered from his family, he was able to have a relationship with his father. From a young age, Dennick was obsessed with becoming a cathar that protects the people. Listening, Worrin presented him with an elaborate shield on his birthday. The next day, The Travails began, and every trace of the Betzold name was wiped out.

Dennick's desire to protect lingered even in death, and he remains in this world as a spirit. He haunts the streets of Gavony, shield raised, ready to protect the innocent.

Olag, Ludevic's Hubris

Olag, Ludevic's Hubris
Ludevic, Necrogenius
Olag, Ludevic's Hubris
Ludevic, Necrogenius

The necro-alchemist Ludevic had grown ill. Obsessed with making his "final creation," Ludevic returned to the lab. He combined flesh, metal, and pieces from four different brains into a body unlike any Innistrad had ever seen (which is impressive considering the Eldrazi were just here). Calling his creation "Olag," Ludevic activated his machines and breathed life into the creature.

Cackling madly, Ludevic ordered Olag to go out into the world and maim, kill, and destroy. "But why?" asked Olag, their voice mellifluous and innocent. Ludevic was disgusted. He did not create this creature to be kind. Olag remains locked away beneath the laboratory until Ludevic figures out how to fix them. Although locked away, Olag is not alone. They have been receiving visits from a mysterious figure who has promised them their freedom very, very soon.

Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver

Wilhelt, the RotcleaverWilhelt, the Rotcleaver

In life, Wilhelt was an average lumberjack, known for his above-average looks. His looks were matched only by his vanity, and Wilhelt declared he would only pledge himself to a suitor as impressive as he. No one reached this standard until he first laid eyes on the ghoulcaller Gisa.

Wilhelt was smitten. He pledged his heart to her on the spot, which she promptly broke by yawning and walking away. Shocked by his first-ever rejection, a distracted Wilhelt met his end in an unfortunate tree-chopping accident. When the moon rose that evening, Wilhelt rose with it—reanimated as a ghoul by the strength of his desire.

Increasingly single-minded in death, Wilhelt sought out Gisa to earn her affection. He found her in the ruins of Thraben, where she ignored him in favor of her new undead army. If Gisa desires an army, Wilhelt thought, I shall give her one! He now terrorizes the townships of Innistrad, raising an undead army in his wake to be his future wedding present. Surely, causing enough carnage will impress Gisa. Gisa believes that his name is Wilham and that he's kind of clingy.

Eloise, Nephalia Sleuth

Eloise, Nephalia SleuthEloise, Nephalia Sleuth

Eloise is a detective, and a damn fine detective at that. She was hired to investigate a roving geist attacking people in a local township—if only it was that easy. Years of experience have left her able to connect the dots better than most folks, but in this case, the dots didn't line up. She quickly discovered the geist had her own information about Eloise's employer. Eloise knows that to solve this case, she'll have to go down the rabbit hole—a rabbit hole filled with cults, ghosts, and forgotten secrets, where she will have to decide whether she trusts in the living or the dead.

Leinore, Autumn Sovereign

Leinore, Autumn SovereignLeinore, Autumn Sovereign

She keeps the festival's revels from faltering, infusing the witches' rituals with hope.

Among the many ancient Harvesttide traditions is the appointment of a "Harvesttide Sovereign." The witches of the Dawnhart Coven elect an outsider to serve as marshal of the festivities. The Sovereign's role is to establish a connection between the witches and the common folk of Innistrad. Most importantly, a truly excellent Sovereign infuses the witches' rituals with additional power, greatly contributing to their success.

When it came time to select this season's Sovereign, Leinore was the obvious choice. Known for her love of all things festive and communal, one can easily identify a Leinore-hosted event by the abundance of food, drink, and somewhat excessive decorations. While she fully understands the festival's significance in restoring the balance between night and day, she refuses to let that dampen the mood. Her hard work instills both the witches and townsfolk with hope, and that hope inspires them all through the darkest night.

Kyler, Sigardian Emissary

Kyler, Sigardian EmissaryKyler, Sigardian Emissary

"Even when the angels succumbed to madness, Sigarda stood strong. She is hope."

When Emrakul descended during The Travails, Sigarda was the only archangel to resist her thrall and became the only archangel to survive. With Avacyn gone, the people began to look to Sigarda for hope and protection. Kyler, an Avacynian priest, was one of the first to bring word of Sigarda to the greater populace. He knew that she would protect them, just like Avacyn did. It is in no small part due to his hard work that Sigarda's blessing protects the people of Innistrad.

Lynde, Cheerful Tormentor

Lynde, Cheerful TormentorLynde, Cheerful Tormentor

Born hundreds of years ago, Lynde is a powerful witch with a knack for curses. In a moment of youthful overconfidence, she attempted to curse a traveling mage who had accidentally bumped into her on a crowded street. The mage, actually a powerful planeswalker passing through town, deflected the curse and sent over a curse of their own.

As time went on, Lynde discovered that she no longer aged. She also discovered that she had developed a host of other problems—bad luck, random flashes of pain, the occasional coughing up of spiders, you name it. It was a curse of curses. After a few years of suffering, Lynde realized that she could use her own magic to temporarily pass her various ailments onto other people. While Lynde is no longer quite as reckless as she was in her youth, she still takes great glee in inflicting her curses on other people. Recently, she has been targeting a particular man that she describes as "the single most annoying person I have ever met in my exceptionally long life."

CONCLUSION

We met a lot of folks! I gotta run, though. That Old Stickfingers . . . thing . . . has just been staring at me from next to the punchbowl for like the past ten minutes, so I'm gonna go before I get axe murdered or whatever. If you want to read about some more familiar faces, you can check out the returning legends article tomorrow. Enjoy the party!

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