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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn - Chapter 15

Melira's still with the group, I swear! I've now triple checked and the last time she's mentioned is when when the Phyrexians attacked the Mirran camp and the guide showed up saying he'd lead them.

They walked along the wall until the last sounds of the battle dimmed behind them. Koth said nothing. The fleshling was able to walk by herself with the aid of a staff. Elspeth led. Suddenly she drew her sword and held it forward. A shape stepped out of the pipes along the shadowy wall - a humanoid with a hood over his head and face.

"I will guide you," the shape said. "You said you wanted a guide."

Before the trio agree to allow the guide to lead them, they even double check with him to see if he knows their plan and he says:

"If I were you I would take Melira to Karn and try to heal him, if he is infected."

She is with them, I promise!

Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn - Chapter 15

So we open up with our heroes in the same state as when we left them. They're falling down a tube with some kind of field that causes them to fall slower than expected. In fact, they've been falling for so long that our heroes have actually fallen asleep and woken back up again. Multiple times. (Seriously.)

Eventually their guide points out an exit from this tube that he suggests they should take. We're told how much of a struggle is for Elspeth to successfully take the exit, and how much harder it was for Koth. Venser makes it out, and the effort (or lack thereof) of the guide and Melira aren't important enough for us to know.

That passage slopes and soon the group is sliding down a tube that exits... (You guessed it!) ...into a massive room. A door opens on the far wall, and ten Phyrexians appear all in identical porecelin looking plates. They spread they spread barbed wings, take flight, and attack. Venser clones copies of himself, Koth, and Elspeth, and even with four copies of himself, its Koth and Elspeth that do all the work. Venser contributes a minimal amount like usual, and in fact he ends up daydreaming to the point that Koth basically snaps his fingers in Venser's face to bring him back to reality.

What was he daydreaming about you ask? You remember how Venser sympathized with Elspeth's plight early in the book, and then later pulled a 180 and decided he couldn't understand how anyone could hate anything with the level of hate Elspeth exhibits? Well he's changed his mind again. He's gone back to excusing her bloodthirstiness because of the traumatic childhood she had.

While Venser looks for stress in his companions, let's pretend his constantly fluctuating opinion is his sign of stress. In fact, we know Venser actually isn't at 100% (ignoring the drug problem of course).

The sudden stillness of the room was beginning to unnerve him. The huge space and many others on Mirrodin, he realized suddenly, reminded him of when he was a child running in the streets and he found the set of a theatrical play. He and the other children he was with could never afford to attend such a play, but they found the set. The set builders had just left the premises and the back door was open. He and his friends wandered in and stood in the hush of the room with its small castle with an open side. There was also a tree built of wood planks. It was for appearance of course, and nobody was around. That's how the rooms felt to Venser there in the bowels of Mirrodin.

(Theaters. That is terrifying. One that he couldn't hope to afford. No child should be subject to that. And he saw it as a child while there was a prop tree! Forget Elspeth's emotional scars, Venser's trauma must run deep.)

They enter the door where the Phyrexians came through and are presented with two more doors. Through one door they see three fleshy openings in the floor. Through the other room there are hundreds of large tanks filled with some liquid. Attached to each tank is a fleshy arm (connected to a spinal cord), and when the head of a elf breaks the surface of one of these tanks, the arm pushes the elf back down under. Our heroes decides this may either be some kind of breeding room, or a method to speed up phyresis. Either way there is no helping those inside. (You know... except from Melira who probably can't swim so she's afraid to speak up.)

Elspeth suggests destroying them all. Koth thinks that's insane because that could take countless hours. What he suggests instead is leaving back to the surface and getting more people to come back down with them.

(Let that soak in.)

I suppose if it really does take countless hours, the fact that they fell asleep while slow falling down a shaft at least twice, on top of all the traveling to get where they are... well... going back to the surface and returns is less time than infinite time.

(Or Koth just isn't very good at counting.)

Venser says both options would take too long and they should just take one of the fleshy passages in the other room and leave these people behind.

* * *

Elesh Norn and the Machine Orthodoxy

Porcelin Phyrexians? I know what that means! ... supposedly. At this point I don't think the presence of Phyrexians that follow the white path, as signaled by their design cues, means much of anything. I do not think that Elesh Norn will make an appearance. It was just something that looked cool in the notes they sent Wintermute and we're just going to be sticking with the four villains from Chapter 6: Karn, Geth, Glissa, and Tezzeret. (Although "villain" is in quotes for Karn because he's obviously going to be saved.

New level, new color swapped enemy. That's all the "porcelain" means.

Melira, the Missing

Come on! Where is she! She's obviously a key to this book, and potentially one of the most important figures in the entire Multiverse! Was she just thrown into the story at the last second? Was there some kind of memo:

"Wintermute. I know you only have a day and a half before the book is due, but we created a new character that you have to incorporate into the story. Oh, and you'll have to change your ending. Thanks. You're the best! - Wizards of the Coast."

If that was case, I'm so sorry Wintermute, you had some tough writing conditions.

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