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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn - Chapter 19

Surprise, surprise! An actual good chapter. I feel like I'm being teased that the ending might actually be tolerable just so my disappointment can be just that much more thorough.

Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn - Chapter 19

Glissa is here.

Koth is still injured, Elspeth is exhausted, and Venser is out of mana. (And Melira and the guide are irrelevant of course.) Phyrexians of all shapes descend the pile of parts and cautiously advance on the group. Venser all of a sudden remembers being hunted by wild dogs when he was a child, and this story would have been more compelling had there never been his story about being scared of an empty theater with a prop tree. There isn't anywhere to run, and just before its all over, Tezzeret appears.

His voice projects from the shadows from an offshoot of the corridor with his own Phyrexians and tells Glissa that this wasn't part of the plan. She's confused and he openly admits that it was he that led the group to Melira in the first place. She glances at a nearby portal and he speaks aloud her thoughts that she must know that he's deactivated her escape route.

"What do you want?" Glissa said.

"Only your death," Tezzeret said. "Geth is already mine. With you gone I control every Phyrexian in this place."

"The Father of Machines controls his children," Glissa corrected.

"Can't you see that he will never be Phyrexian? It is an impossibility."

"How wrong you are," Glissa said. "And without me, you will not be able to control him."

(Simple words, but still one of the most tense moments in the book. I wish there could have been more moments like this for me to highlight. Actually, I wish I didn't feel a need to highlight the good moments at all, because in an ideal world, the whole thing would have been fantastic.)

Tezzeret had hoped that Glissa would have died in the explosion, but since she's still alive, she gives him two options. She can help him, or she can let him kill her. Either way will end with the same outcome. He will be the Father of Machines. He figures he might as well make the most of being sent to this plane by his master.

The two verbally spar back and forth, essentially forgetting about our heroes, so they do the smart thing and signal to each other to slowly back away, taking Koth with them. There seems to be only one way this will end.

Of course Glissa does not cave in, and despite not being a planeswalker, all she does is snap her fingers and the pile of parts they're standing on moves. She's assembled and animated one giant Phyrexian made of spare parts and it swallows her enemy. Tezzeret isn't stopped that easily of course, and his arms simple press through from within and effortlessly opens up an exit. Glissa swings with her arm scythe, but rather than it slicing through Tezzeret, it's her scythe that breaks as it comes in contact with his etherium arm.

Our heroes run as soon as they're out of sight. Their guide leads them as best he can (or does he?) but he tells them that they're now past anything he's familiar with. Eventually he leads them to a doorway that reveals another chute for them to jump into.

Koth moans. (Obviously because he's still injured, and not because he hates chutes. That wouldn't make sense. They've been traveling through tons of chutes with no prior complaints from him.)

* * *

Glissa vs Tezzeret

These villains are a hundred times more interesting than our heroes. It's too bad the book wasn't all about them. The struggle to convert, influence, or supplant Karn would have been a vastly more interesting book. The book should have been Scars of Mirrodin: The Father of Machines if not about the actual war. My predictions from yesterday were slightly off, but this is still possibly leading the story to where I want it to end given what we have so far. The crew runs into Geth, who we now know is under Tezzeret's control (willingly or just easily manipulated, it doesn't really matter), kill him, then rescue and and heal Karn. Tezzeret shows up wounded but is glad to see they're taking away his obstacle to ruling Phyrexia and then Glissa returns. She and her forces attack, wanting to save their god and leader, while Tezzeret intercedes.

Three Chapters Left!

The big question is when will the "surprise" twist of their guide betraying them happen. Or what that betrayal will be like. Will he just lead them into a trap and disappear forever? Or will he end up being killed by one of the heroes or villains. (Or Karn.)

Will the plane be saved? The existance of New Phyrexia and the views expressed in magicthegthering.com articles say no.

So what will the end end be like? We'll just find out.

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