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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Agents of Artifice - Chapter 29

Jace vs Tezzeret - Round 2. FIGHT!

Agents of Artifice - Chapter 29

The woman that he loved has betrayed him. Jace isn't in much of a mood for talk. He just wants to deal some death and Tezzeret happens to be close by. Jace's drake is once again summoned and manages to catch Tezzeret off guard. (Even angry, Jace wasn't going to punch Tezzeret or anything. He's not a caveman.) But despite being knocked flat on his back, a simple drake isn't enough to take out the great Tezzeret, and he handles him with ease.

But the drake has done its work. It kept Tezzeret distracted, and left Jace an opening to enter his mind. The drake wasn't a true threat, but Tezzeret knew the power of Jace's abilities and for just a second, he was afraid. But no, he was the leader of the Infiinte Consortium, and he wouldn't let Jace Beleren beat him. He unleashed a surge of raw mana and severed the connection Jace had on his mind.

Now it was Tezzeret's turn to instill fear into his opponent. This fortress...  refined? (stored?)... mana, and Tezzeret tapped into it. His mistake was that he took his time to gather it as a means of intimidating Jace. It seems that Jace couldn't tap into it himself, but if it was one of Tezzeret's sources of power, then he would take it from him. While not as strong telekinetically as he was telepathically, Jace unleashed his power and pipes throughout the structure began to burst.

Every second of damage would create day after additional day for repairs to get the facility up and running again. There was no time to for Tezzeret to wait for Baltrice or other guards to show up, so he ran towards Jace, blocking shards of metal flung at him with his etherium arm, until he was within arm's reach. He then let fly a handful of enchanted sand that expanded and swirled about them, and then all of a sudden they were out in the desert heat.

Being prepared for the teleportation, Tezzeret summons a wall of molten glass between them, and a sand elemental behind the mind reader. Stuck between a figurative rock and a hard place, Jace sends his telekinetic energy downward to blast a hole in the sand to dodge the initial attack then immediately bursts forth and takes to the sky. A safe distance away Jace summons two more drakes and a sphinx, but as the battle drags on, he sees he cannot win.

Jace casts a cloak of illusion around him, and channels his energy to walk away from this plane. He steps through into the Blind Eternities already running through his mind how recover and strike back. But then the impossible happened. Tezzeret appears and shoves him back to desert which he had just fled. His head strikes something and the world goes black.

* * *


For a chapter was solely one large fight scene, it was pretty decent. The shift in who had the upper hand, and demonstrating the importance of Tezzeret's fortress was a nice way to add some kind of meaning to the battle rather than just have action solely for the sake of action. I'm at a point where when I read a fight scene, I prefer to read one where there's a little something more to it than just action. If it's a person that is completely outclassed by another, and the fight scene reads more like a puzzle the hero needs to solve, that's great. In this case there isn't too much of a power disparity so adding concern for what he's created gave the chapter slightly gave me something more to appreciate.

Of course the action itself was very nice and varied... unlike another book which I've mentioned too much already. I also mentioned how I didn't want to see the planeswalkers easily teleporting all over the place with their planeswalking ability, that I liked knowing that it was difficult so suspense could be created, and I liked how that was addressed in two ways here. For one thing, they did an instantaneous teleportation, but it was through an enchanted resource that implies that couldn't just constantly jump around, and then Jace finally did manage to planeswalk, we were in for a big surprise. It took me by surprise as much as Jace.

And he's unconscious now! Now what happens? Tezzeret keeps him alive to torture him? Has Liliana fled or will she reappear to try and save him? Let's find out.

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