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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn - Chapter 10

Just when I say that at least the pacing of the book is good, we hit a chapter where essentially nothing happens.

(And in case you missed it, a new webcomic was posted at magicthegathering.com. Webcomic - Dark Discoveries, Part I. I have no idea if the story is a part of this book or Test of Metal or completely independent, as I obviously have not yet finished this book, nor have I read Test of Metal, but it's at the very least related to what's happening here on Mirrodin.)

Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn - Chapter 10

Our planeswalkers continue to travel, and as they tend to do with they're not mid-battle, they bicker back and forth.

(Conflict makes things interesting to the reader. Obviously.)

Koth wants to return to the surface, he should be there. Venser says that no, they should find Karn, he's most important. Koth says that he's never met an artificer with a sense of duty and that he should just admit that he's there for personal gain, and Venser shoots back that how is that possible if he didn't come here of his free will. The two also argue about who is the leader of this trio, while Elspeth walks silently, probably thinking that boys are stupid.

Once again, they find themselves in a large, dark room. This room was chosen because they found a bunch of Phyrexian bodies just outside the door, making it seem as if those Phyrexians had been guarding whatever was inside. It was something worth checking out.

(What could it be?)

They walk a bit, if you can call it walking when you're stepping through all kinds of crap and your feet sink in to the mess so your legs are calf deep, and they eventually see a door, with a table in front of it that has bowls of increasing size with the largest bowl made of darksteel. This is the first appearance of the indestructible material in the book and the planeswalkers are appropriately impressed.

They pause and watch as an essentially blind Phyrexian appears and performs some strange ritual where it goes from bowl to bowl with a heart in its hands, soaking in fluids in one bowl, bleeding it in another, and eventually leaving the heart in the darksteel bowl, only to leave and look for another heart and start all over again.

(Hmmmm... intriguing!)

When the creature leaves, now is Venser's chance to get a good look a the large bowl made of an exceedingly rare material where an odd creature performs some strange ritual!

Or Venser can just look for the button to get through the door beyond.

(Same thing.)

Venser chooses the door, and he can't seem to figure out how to open it. He then realizes the little guy who likes to slice open hearts is behind him. Very inconveniently, Venser also realizes he doesn't have the mana to teleport, and his heart races faster and faster. The Phyrexian cocks his head, ears pointing straight at Venser, and it begins tapping the rhythm of Venser's heart on this thigh. Pain seizes his chest as the creature uses some kind of spell, and Venser pulls out his telepathic powers to create a feedback loop back on the Phyrexian just in the nick of time. The creature thrashes and dies, but not before crying out loud enough to signal the presence of the intruders to the rest of the Phyrexians in this chamber.

Elspeth just cuts the door open and in they go, into another living passageway. Out the other side is the most interesting thing of all. Rocks.

"Are these rocks?" Venser said.

Koth nodded. "These are rocks. I was a Planeswalker before I saw my first rock. "They are not known on Mirrodin."

"How are they here, in this deep place?" Elspeth said.

Koth shook his head.

Myesterious. Told you so. Who cares about darksteel bowls and strange rituals that have an unknown purpose. We have rocks. And those rocks have dust on them. A dust layer that is years old.

(Note: I think there may have been some words missing from my book. The missing quotation mark is an accurate portrayal of what's on my Kindle, and is not a typo on my part. The second paragraph may not even be all Koth, it could be that a back and forth between Koth and Venser is missing.)

(Surprisingly that's the only typo or error I've seen throughout this book. I use my Kindle a lot, and every book has typos. But enough about the Kindle.)

With his mind blown, Koth decides to think on other things, so to distract himself he wonders why the Phyrexians haven't followed them down the living tube they went through. Venser suggests that maybe there were many splits in the tubing, and maybe the Phyrexians didn't know which one to follow. (He has to suggest it because he, nor the other two actually saw any splits.) Koth then responds as if that made sense and asks why they took the one they did. Venser replies back that he was hoping Koth knew the answer to that. (Because Koth was the one that went through first.) Koth replies back with the closing line of the chapter:

"These openings and tubes are no Mirrodin technology."

P.S. Melira is still with them, but I guess she's so quiet that she still hasn't told them her name (nor have they asked it), and in fact, the only time she is referenced (Still as the "fleshling") is when Venser thinks back on the when he teleported with her in the blinkmoth cave and how exhausted it made him, and not about anything actually in the moment of the chapter.

(I guess the rocks weren't as interesting to her as it was to the trio. Crazy I know.)

* * *

The Mystery of all Mysteries

What a twist! Such a great build up of mystery, then BAM! Make it all irrelevant and instead have our heroes be amazed at dust covered rocks and Koth admitting that living tubes aren't Mirrodin technology as if that was ever in doubt. I never, ever, saw that coming. What will the next chapter bring I wonder. Stay tuned!

Sarcasm: +100 points

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