Featured Articles

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn - Chapter 16

Oh ye of little faith! Told you so! Melira returns!... to the text of the book. (And not physically returns to rejoin the group considering she's been there this whole time.)

Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn - Chapter 16

Venser contemplates the odd accent of their guide as they enter a large cavernlike room where a pack of Phyrexians squabble over something unseen. The guide motions them to be still. They wait long enough that Koth falls asleep, and Venser nearly does the same. The guide wakes him up and the very next paragraph starts with:

The room was of medium size. They entered it by cutting into a Phyrexian's intestine tube and forcing open the eye at the bottom.

(If anyone can understand how waiting by the door of a vast cavern changes into a medium sized room that they had to enter by cutting through a Phyrexian intestine with an eye in it because a pack of Phyrexians leave... I don't think you're reading it right.)

Somehow they're in a room with a horselike Phyrexian in it along with piles of Mirran parts lining the walls. Elspeth sees a Phyrexian so of course she wants to kill it. While she advances Melira understands the significance of what is apparently an analog clock (with a red clock hand for the Mirrodin touch) that has nearly completed counting down and she runs forward and tackles Elspeth to the ground right before there is a rush of air and the horse falls to pieces.

Venser considers many questions about the Phyrexians and what they're doing exactly. He comes to no conclusions, and frankly, I can't trust that he's contemplating anything of importance.

The group moves on through room after room moving ever forward and down. Eventually they make their way to a room that's nearly pitch black, and this time Venser doesn't summon a wisp of light (like he's done in the past) and the link hands instead as they slowly advance through the room. Their eyes adjust enough for them to make out the forms of more of those porcelain Phyrexian angels, with these playing catch with a Mirran head. The Phyrexians spot them, they fight, they die and one of our heroes actually gets hurt.

Venser was caught by a blow that sent him cartwheeling through the room and was powerful enough to dent his helmet. Koth complains that they're all going to die down here and they're wasting their time by not simply returning to the surface and curing as many people as they can with Melira, and Elspeth does her best to heal the unconscious Venser.

Venser wakes and panics to find his bottle. Elspeth asks him what's in it exactly, and he says that it's medicine that no longer works. He tells her that he's going to die soon, the sickness that he has is incurable, and that he loses a part of himself every time he teleports.

After the talk they notice Koth is gone, and so is Melira.

* * *

Something Different!

Look at that! We were actually in a medium sized room!

No wait... that's not what I wanted to talk about.

Look at that! Our heroes fall asleep and don't find their guide missing only to have the guide appear in a paragraph or two, thus making the disappearance appear to have no significance to the plot or pacing of the story. Wait... no... that's not it.

Look at that! Our group has actually split up! (There we go. That's what I was trying to say.) Koth finally did something rather than just keep on complaining and letting Venser bully him around despite Venser being the one that was kidnapped and brought to this plane. Although I don't actually expect much to come of it.

Now would be the perfect time for Koth and Melira to get caught and placed in terrible danger. Koth would then realize how foolish he'd been for leaving the protection of the group and possibly placing the cure to the Multiverse in peril. Koth would then have to sacrifice himself to make sure Melira escapes where she would run into the others who were looking for her, only to find that rather than finding safety, they're now all in danger.

I doubt that's going to happen.


So Venser believes his condition cannot be cured and it sounds like Melira's power is of no use, considering that pieces of himself are disappearing every time he teleports. (At least I assume he means that literally.) Will Venser die? But he's a planeswalker. He has a card. On the other hand characters have been killed before. On the other other hand, they are on a plane where plenty of creatures are part metallic and part organic. All they need to do is graft some pieces onto Venser and he'll be fine. Look at Melira, she's still missing some organs and she can still run around and even tackle a knight in armor. Organs, hmph! Who needs'em.


If any of you have ever seen the movie The Cell, there is a scene in it that has quite a similar feel. (Thanks the anonymous commenter for pointing this out!) Of course if you look hard enough there are probably plenty of books, TV shows, and movies that all have similar scenes. In this case however this scene in the book felt rather out of place both for a Phyrexian horse and the presence of an analog clock. This scene is The Cell is pretty unique and was one of the most memorable scenes of the movie.

Is this an homage to a favorite movie? A coincidence? Or a rip off? We'll never know.


  1. Ch16 of Quest for Karn...

  2. Oh wow. I saw that movie in theaters but I completely forgot about that clock. That is quite interesting, especially considering that analog are so completely out of place in this story. Good find.