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<   No. 4000   2019-05-24   >

Comic #4000

1 Lambert: We're coming up to the year 4000 in the Shire Reckoning.
1 Mordekai: Why is it always just before a big round number of years??
2 Lambert: My Uncle Bilbert told me stories that ominous things happenwhen the calendar rolls over, every thousand years.
3 Lambert: The tortured souls of insane people who were driven to suicide rise up and torment the living. Winter is coming. The dead will walk the land.
4 Mordekai: Wow, really?
4 Lambert: Yep. It's the Epoch-allips.

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It looks like this is the 4000th strip! So I thought I'd tie that number into the comic somehow.

I thought for sure there'd be a TV Trope about how so many different works of fiction are set in worlds where the calendar is just before some significant millennium event in the local calendar, and the turning of the big round number of years marks some major event/upheaval/prophecy happening. But I couldn't find one.

This was on my mind because I've recently caught up on the lore of the Ravnica setting for Magic: The Gathering, thanks to the recent(-ish) release of the Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook: Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica. Having been enamoured with the Ravnica world setting since the original Ravnica set was released for Magic in 2005, I'd long thought that it would make an ideal setting for a D&D campaign. I kept promising my players that we'd do a Ravnica adventure soon... and then eventually Wizards of the Coast announced that they would be releasing an official D&D sourcebook for the setting!

Anyway, having read it recently, I became aware of the story behind the Return to Ravnica block sets released in 2012-13. Although I played many games with those card sets, I never really bothered with the story lore that Wizards of the Coast have been producing to go along with the game. But reading the D&D sourcebook revealed a lot of the story to me, including the fact that the Return to Ravnica block was set at the turn of the Decamillennium, marking the 10,000th year since the signing of the Guildpact. And - naturally - this 10,000th year resulted in an immense upheaval in the power structure and governance of Ravnica. So the writers of this lore definitely used this millennial trope. And I'm sure it's appeared in many other works too.

I'm now in the process of writing the first adventure for my players in what is to be the next D&D campaign that I run. It's set in Ravnica. And it's set well before the Decamillennium, at the time of the backstory for the original 2005 Ravnica set - because that's the part of the story with which I'm most familiar. Currently, in 2019, Wizards of the Coast is in the middle of releasing the third block of card sets based on Ravnica (actually, the last set of the three-set "block" - War of the Spark - will be out by the time this comic is published), which is based on events in the story that occur well after the Decamillennium.

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