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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn - Chapter 18

Better than last chapter I suppose? At least we know we're coming up on the end.

Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn - Chapter 18

Our heroes (Disappointing as they have been, they're still the heroes of this story.) are safe for the moment, with the Phyrexians trapped on the other side of a door they can't open. (But who knows for how long?) So despite their exhaustion they press on. Surprisingly, they are not in a massive chamber. They walls and ceiling have a more grown in feeling despite still being made of metal, there wasn't a straight line anywhere. The guide tells them that this is one of many passages and rooms that have been growing. Melira adds that the green strands that are hanging from the walls are called lamina, a substance that is revered by the folks of the Tangle.

There's no time to discuss things further however as a loud crash signals that the Phyrexians have broken through. They ran. The entire place was a maze of tunnels branching off of tunnels branching off of rooms, with many blocked by cave ins. They knew that wasn't stopping the Phyrexians however, as sounds of their pursuers destroying whatever was in their way could be heard by our little group.

Venser was beyond exhausted, and the knowledge that his vial was empty didn't help matters. The group had to take occasional breaks for him to recover, until he finally hit a point where he said he couldn't run anymore. He's out of energy, and out of mana. (I was right!) Luckily the passages they've been running through had been showing deposits of all kinds of materials. One such element was explosive. (Different than the material in Chapter 3 of course. It wouldn't be a brilliant Venser plan if the other two could recognize the material too). And there was a lot of it. Enough to make a pile that was knee high. Still, they didn't have all the time in the world to set the trap. Venser made sure the others were as covered as best they could in depressions in the walls and then the Phyrexians appeared. Koth lit a make-shift fuse made of cloth and ran. The Phyrexians chased after. Then BOOM.

As expected, the force of the explosion was too strong to leave anyone unscathed. Our heroes were flung down the corridor, and the Phyrexians... well... they died horrible deaths with body parts somehow ricocheting off the walls so perfectly (I must assume) that they landed in a massive pile exactly where the pile of explosives used to be. (Rather than being flung away from the center of the explosion.)

(Don't look at me like that! It could happen! You don't know!)

Not all the Phyrexians were killed, but the pile of parts was so high that our heroes could hear them struggling to climb the mound that reached nearly to the ceiling, so they had some time to tend to wounds. And there was wounded. A piece of shrapnel impaled Koth through the abdomen. Through the liver in fact, as assessed by Elspeth. She pulls out a vial and pours some of the elixer into Koth's mouth. She says it'll speed up his recovery, but he has to remain still for a few minutes because moving him would still be fatal. (Sorry, I'm studying Anatomy right now, but I'm not studying to be a doctor, can't say how fatal puncturing the liver is.)

A Phyrexian makes it to the top of the pile, evaluates the situation, and goes back down the side he came from. There isn't much time left. Koth is still wounded and Venser is ready to leave him behind because of his attempt to take Melira from them. (Venser doesn't mean it. He must just be angry at himself and is lashing out in his thoughts. Melira was given a choice as to where she wanted to go right? She's not his property and there has been no indication that Koth was forcing her to follow. He's just beating himself up for his plan going wrong... yeah.) They need to leave as soon as they can, so the guide scouts ahead. (I've been so focused on Melira that I never stopped to talk about how they never asked the poor guys name.) While he's away, they take the time to contemplate how the Phyrexians had been able to find them so quickly even through this maze. (Is Wintermute capable of a red herring? Or is he really just this obvious. I'm going with option 2.)

The guide reappears and tells them that there aren't many Phyrexians left, but they can hear the muffled sounds of someone who is certainly in command. Oh wait, the guide was mistaken because now reinforcements have arrived and it sounds like there are more than five-hundred of them on the other side.

A female Phyrexian crests the pile of body parts with a scythe for a hand. She demands they turn over Melira, and Venser agrees. Then he pretty much verbally sticks his tongue out at Elspeth in jest when she glares at him. Elspeth asks what they want with the girl, and the woman declares that she is their property.

"Springheads have property?" Koth said.

The woman frowns, goes back down the pile and returns with more Phyrexians by her side and challenges him to say that again.

They ask who she is. She names herself as Glissa, the bringer of their deaths, and advances.

* * *

Glissa, Scythe Hand

Yeah, yeah, she has a scythe hand and she declares herself the bringer of death. I get the imagery. At least when we saw her back in Chapter 6 she didn't have that awkward hand, so it must be something she attaches when going into battle. That idea makes it more tolerable.

What's to Come?

We have four chapters after this one, and not many pages per chapter (as seen on the progress bar in my Kindle). Fight with Glissa, make it to the final chambers, fight Geth with last minute save and/or be handed the key to victory from Tezzert, then closing? Is the final chapter going to be while they're still in the core? Is there going to be some kind of revelation as Koth is freed? Are they going to have to flee the plane as a recovered Glissa comes back with more forces and declares herself Mother of Machines? (It better not be Geth that ends up taking the vacant seat.) Or are we going to be left with Karn saying something that will make us think he has the ability to push back the entire Phyrexian invasion. Some secret booby trap he built into the planet and he pushes the button. Some reason that validates Venser's belief that they only way to save Mirrodin is to find Koth.

We know the set is called New Phyrexia, and supposedly the Phyrexians win... but is this book even canon? I surely hope the personalities of the planeswalkers aren't.

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