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Magic: The Traveling

A Magic: the Gathering travel blog
Finding MtG in the most unlikely places

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences vs. Mantis Engine

NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Raleigh, NC, USA

35.782414
-78.639514

 

We like to think about why things are where they are. Charleston and New York boast natural deep-water harbors perfect for getting merchant vessels in close to port. London and Paris sit astride waterways that link the interior to the sea. Oxford was a good place to get your cattle to cross the Thames. Turpan and Kashgar were built around desert watering oases.

Raleigh NC was built around a watering hole too, though not the kind you might think. Raleigh was elected to be the capital for the wandering NC legislature in 1788, the nomadic legislators having previously tried out Queen Anne’s Creek, Edenton, Wilmington, Bath, New Bern, Kinston, Halifax, Smithfield, Hillsboro, Salem, Fayetteville, and Tarboro. Rather than choosing a city with natural defenses or transportation arteries that could tie the state together, they elected a site that was just a few miles away from Isaac Hunter’s Tavern.

Fitting then that we spent the majority of our time sampling the yeasty treats available in a city that continues to carry on a well-watered tradition of luxurious libations. The food at Remedy Diner (“Good for What Ales You”) was good enough to warrant two trips -as was the selection of draughts from NC’s own Aviator Brewing Company.

The real find though was the Raleigh Times Bar whose beer menu was easily long enough to fill the Jayemdae Tome and featured tons of hard to find Belgian and American craft brews.

After dinner treats (and weird comments about my t-shirt) were supplied by the FanTazTic convenience empire. Between their giant selection of Mexican soda and discount wine we were able to keep the chill of our refrigeration unit hotel room at bay long enough to play a few rounds of fangs-Vs-fish standard (vampires 5, merfolk 1).

It wasn’t beer that got us to Raleigh though; it was our thirst for knowledge and what better to slake that thirst than museums? Raleigh sports a bunch of first-rate museums, of which the crowning jewel was the uber-excellent North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Four floors of brilliantly cultivated exhibits detailing the richness of NC’s flora, fauna, rocks, biomes, giant sloths, weird bugs, things in jars, and stuffed alligators, stand as silent testament to the art of the life-size diorama.

Atop this fertile soil of information-rich loam was the fourth floor Arthropod Zoo (disturbingly and inappropriately brought to you by Terminix) where we captured our Mantis Engine buddy about to, aha, prey on squishy human bits. Now out there somewhere right now is a Vorthos who really wants to write us and point out that this we actually found a Giant Mantis not a Mantis Engine.

Let me just nip that in the clockwork thorax by stating that 1.) This was clearly a synthetic construct and 2). The closest things we could find to pegasusi (pegasuses?) to feed it were living butterflies from the nearby atrium -and that just seemed cruel.

Actually, go ahead and write us anyway, we appreciate your thoughts.

Oh p.s. Magic question: 4 level counters on a Coralhelm Commander. It’s a 4/4. Now opponent adds a bird token from an Aven Mimeomancer. it becomes a 3/1 with flying and the bonus to fish. Now what happens if I add one more level counter? Does it revert to 4/4?

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