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Throughout the ages, The Summoners were a prominent family of mages (but technology is magic here), who possess the ability to call forth creatures from cards. Of course they can only summon creatures from special cards.

Now, without getting into details on how the cards work, I'd like to state the "strongest" these card-creatures get.


Belram, The Giant Golden Eagle (Tier: Jack)

Description: Belram resembles a golden eagle, albeit with some different proportions (wing-to-body length, for instance). He's slightly larger in size than the Argentavis Magnificens. Belram is one of the oldest cards and is quite knowledgeable, serving as a tutorial NPC (ya know, the one that teaches you how the game works) for the Summoners.

For the record, he never associated with Peter Jackson in any shape or form.

Belram's special ability is that he can fly while carrying an adult, average human, with minimal gear, on his back. He's primarily a soarer and sports some impressive German dogfight maneuvers, he learned in WW2 when he was still a chick (at least according to the records).

  • Time To Live: Belram's staying time is six hours under normal condition. After that, he reverts into his card form, and has to be charged for 12 hours, before he becomes summonable again.
  • Attack: Belram's talons are basically worthless, though it's usually his rider who's dangerous.
  • Defense: Belram is sort of tough, but even a few bullets from a usual SAW (squad automatic weapon) are enough to revert him into card form.

Just like every other card, Belram needs some time to be summoned. Also, he isn't the most destructive card, but his body has to withstand the greatest stresses of all.

Now, Belram's problem is that you have something that seems to form out of thin air within minutes and is able to generate enough lift to carry a human while flying and can also withstand the forces that occur during his diving moves.

But how could this creature be able to do all of that?

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    $\begingroup$ Is the question asking to describe how a user would use their thin mobile communication device to summon an autonomous electric airplane from Uber Air? $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jan 27 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP Well, when you summon him, it's supposed to look something like this, but less extreme. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Jan 27 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles The context is not something I possess any inherent knowledge of, my cultural background knows nothing of this - that's why we need questions to be self-contained, ie contain descriptions of what's being asked, not so-much references to cultural artifacts which may not be universal or lasting. $\endgroup$ – A new normal. Jan 27 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ I spent some time searching for definitions of your acronyms - should that be necessary on this site? Still don't know what NPC means even after your edit. Games are not my thing, nor is military jargon, I get the Gwaithir reference, albeit obtuse. Descriptions would be more helpful than acronyms. $\endgroup$ – A new normal. Jan 27 at 22:50
  • $\begingroup$ Could you clarify what 'revert to card form' means? $\endgroup$ – Halfthawed Jan 27 at 23:08
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Utility Fog

The atmosphere is saturated with a thin fog of microscopic nanobots, capable of linking together to create larger machines. The card is simply a program and a transmitter that sends a signal to all nearby "foglets", calling them together to form the creature. Summoning takes time because it takes a while for the foglets to migrate to the required space. As their density increases, they will appear as a cloud that increases in opacity until the creature is actually formed.

There is no "real" limit on how long a summoned creature can exist and its power/energy is limited only by the amount of foglets in the environment and how much energy they have collected, but since foglets are a limited public resource there are numerous laws surrounding their use. A summoned creature is essentially "rented" from whatever organization created or owns the fog, so they can set whatever limits and restrictions they want to.

This also allows there to be areas where summoning is impossible (because the utility fog is not present) or where it is faster (because the fog is denser to begin with). "High magic" areas can even be recognized by the presence of seemingly intelligent, moving mist.

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  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking something of the same lines where you have the card as a "blueprint"/program and something running that card. Utility fog didn't occur to me, but I was still thinking either nanites or 3D printing an actual living creature. I think Utility Fog is actually a way better approach, since you have instant access to the nanites. And 3D printing a living creature is doable but would be slow + the limited life is hard to pin down. If you just have nanites, this is easier - the program only runs for X minutes and then they disassemble. All limitations are just how the program works. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Jan 28 at 12:55
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    $\begingroup$ The people who run the utility fog have a terrifying weapon available to them... $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Jan 28 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ Utility Fog needs hard-coded limitations, especially if it will be executing random programs on cards, because otherwise you're only one typo away from Gray Goo. Different cards just spend their limited budget in different ways. $\endgroup$ – StephenS Jan 30 at 4:11
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenS This could only happen if it was designed to be self-replicating "in the wild", not if it is being manufactured in a particular location (and if a company wants control over it, they aren't going to want it replicating). Making a machine that is physically capable of replicating itself is hard - you're not going to do that by accident. $\endgroup$ – IndigoFenix Jan 30 at 7:56
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Wormholes and entanglement

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke

Eyeing that tag, I'm awfully skeptical that there's a scientific way to summon an eagle. But if we assume the eagle is real, and his attacks are real, all we need to do is figure out a plausible way to get him there.

First, you could try making the card something like a Pokeball, in which Belram is either safely compressed or stored within a "fold" of spacetime / some kind of pocket dimension engineered by your "mages." Although the exact mechanism has to be handwaved, it sounds familiar enough to readers to be a viable solution.

But Belram doesn't want to be confined in such a tight space - and he doesn't have to be. I think your summoning should be modeled after the magic system of Bartimaeus Sequence, in which knowing a demon's true name allows a magician to rip it from the demonic realm and into the real world.

This can be justified "scientifically" using some techno-jargon. Each card is entangled with its respective demon - the equivalent of knowing a "true name." When the card is activated, it creates a wormhole bridging our reality with the demon realm. When summoned, Belram and the card both collapse into the wormhole and switch places during the metastable duration of the worldbridge. After six hours, the card runs out of energy and reactivates in one final pulse, switching the card and the demon back to their respective realms.

In this way, Belram is real, and all your card has to do is get him here.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you imagine day-to-day life in the demon realm?? “That’s a skinny mocha for Belram. Skinny mocha for...” - barista looks down at card lying on the counter - “Oh” $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Jan 28 at 8:23
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    $\begingroup$ @JoeBloggs I think it would be even more fun if we take that the transfer is instantaneous but the setup for it takes time. So, once you "exchange" a card and a demon the opposite side would immediately start trying to bring it back...but it takes the time you've "summoned" the creature for. So, it's not that you summon it for 6 hours, it just takes 6 hours for the opposite side to prepare and then re-swap the demon. So, the barista will probably go "Damn it! Hey, we need another reverse summoning here! Customer hasn't paid!" $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Jan 28 at 13:02
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    $\begingroup$ @VLAZ: “City of Brass PD, What is your emergency?” - “Yeah, my customer just got summoned, I don’t know where to.” - “OK, the transreality corrections team have already got a ping from your location and they’re already on their way. Have you got the summoning card?” - “Yeah” - “Just hang on tight to that. My colleagues will be with you in three blortzmits” $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Jan 28 at 13:18
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    $\begingroup$ @JoeBloggs and at some point in the real world some demon gets summonned, it does its thing thinking it will be brought back any moment not... a-a-any mo-o-oment now. But it doesn't get back. The summoner is also puzzled and thinks their summoning power must be very high...but just nobody likes Chadzuul the demon enough to return it. And silently Chadzuul sheds a tear... $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Jan 28 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ ... and swears revenge on the System, the Man and the Establishment, in that exact order? $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Jan 28 at 14:21
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Your creature is a hologram and the card is a projector with a self recharging battery (solar, nuclear, soul sucking, up to you).

When Belram is attacked, the projector needs to simulate the damage and interaction with the Belram which consumes more power causing the hologram to fail and return to its "Card form" after receiving a few blows.

This is also why its attacks have very little power, because it is the physiological implications which hurt the person being attacked rather than a physical attack.

This projector, hologram kit can be combined with more advanced drone technology (Like in Spider-Man: Far from Home) to simulate damage to the environment, deflect and block projectiles and attack the enemy (e.g. the Rider has a special suit on that lets them fly similar to Mysterio and switches their place and the holograms seamlessly). Of course, only more "rare" cards contain the ability to interact with additional hardware and deal more damage. they also have more processing power, better batteries and so on.

I would recommend you watch Spider-Man: Far from Home for a more realistic representation of what I am trying to explain.

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