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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Agents of Artifice - Chapter 26

Whoops... At the end of Chapter 25, I initially thought Jace and Liliana sank "in" the ground rather than "to" the ground. The misread has been corrected in the previous chapter, although considering the bizarre nature of Grixis, I doubt I'm the only one that made that mistake.

Anyway... on to Nicol Bolas.

Agents of Artifice - Chapter 26

Nicol Bolas compliments the two for how they've handled their stay so far, but of course all they ran into were zombies. Had they come in contact with one of the many demons on the plane, things might have turned out differently. But Nicol Bolas isn't there for chit-chat. His time is not to be wasted. His impending anger dissipates once they inform the great dragon that they are looking to destroy Tezzeret and the Consortium, and he is happy to give them what information he can.

That unfortunately doesn't include Tezzeret's exact location, but he can point the way. The meeting where Jace first met the dragon was in regards to mining issues. That was the key. The material in question was an exceedingly rare substance that Tezzeret believed was a key to creating etherium (and of course had many other valuable uses). The substance was important enough that there was a very special protocol when it came to its handling. And only Baltrice or Tezzeret himself ever made the pick ups to take it back to Tezzeret's special sanctum.

Walking in to the mining offices wouldn't be easy. Getting around the guards and all the alarms wouldn't be easy. And interrogating Tezzeret's minions would provide no insight, considering that none of them ever actually saw the refined ore get picked up. It was simply set down in an empty room and the ore was picked up with no other witnesses in sight.

"Piece of cake," he said.

...At the mining facility...

Maybe not so piece of cake. Jace and Liliana watch the facility from a safe distance hoping the other will come up with an idea. Jace had sent in scouts to inspect the area (faeries I assume) and they had failed to even find the arrival room where this special ore was left for pick-up. What they did find however was a giant maze of a facility with many more guards and workers than they expected.

It's during this frustrating standstill that Jace's thoughts wander, and he once again considers how he got into this situation. How had Semner found him. How had Tezzeret discovered his friends. Something was wrong... unless... but no. He read her mind. Just the once, but it had happened. Yet it seemed to fit so perfectly. He was right where she had wanted him to be. And while he was thinking about her, why had she been uncharacteristically frightened when Nicol Bolas mentioned demons?

Eventually while Jace thinks himself in circles, Liliana finally speaks up and asks what can they possibly do that even Nicol Bolas can't do. Then the idea hits him and he tells Liliana the plan.

...Within Tezzeret's sanctum...

A curtain of flame parts and Baltrice walks through with the pick-up. She's not particularly fond of being used for duties that would have been relegated to a servant had planeswalking not been required, but it was required, and so she did it. She sets down the package and walks away stewing in her thoughts.

Then within the crate, and from within the ore, a specter emerges. It had successfully survived the Blind Eternities thanks to the safety provided by the material and now all it had to do was play the waiting game. Its master would summon it back, and it would once again posses Jace like it had once before. Then Jace would share its mind and memories, and while navigating the Blind Eternities would be impossible for the specter, the information would be enough to show Jace Beleren the way.

* * *

Nice plan

That makes perfect sense to me, assuming that a planeswalker wouldn't be able to sense a hitchhiking specter during the planeswalking process. Although I was hoping the meeting with Nicol Bolas would have been more epic than it was. It was actually quite pleasant rather than the tension filled standoff during his first appearance.


It seems like that phrase "piece of cake" should have set off my 4th wall alarms, but somehow it didn't. It is because cake seems like fits perfectly fine within Magic multiverse? Maybe. But I doubt it's that simple. There are plenty of other real world phrases that would logically work fine in this fictional place yet wouldn't feel right... like... "Killing two birds with one stone." If I ever figure it out I'll get back to you, but as it is, I can only report my impressions.

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