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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 1

Ok. Here is a second go at completing my chapter by chapter impressions of Ravnica: City of Guilds. A lot has happened since I completed the first four chapters for my site, including complete Read Throughs of both Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn and Agents of Artifice . That includes a change in style to how I do things. That means redoing the work I've already done. (Here's the original ). Skipping to Chapter 5 is up to you.

[Note: Each chapter begins with a small excerpt. I'll be quoting those directly from the book.]

Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 1

       INCIDENT REPORT: 10/13MZ/430221
FILED: 17 Griev 9943 z.c.
PRIMARY: Cons. Kos, Agrus
SECONDARY: Lt. Zunich, Myczil

Agrus The-Not-Yet-Veteran Kos and his partner Myczil Zunich are essentially police officers (also known as wojeks to the native Ravnicans) complete with batons, albeit the magical kind that can shoot bursts of energy. We open up at the end of the day's shift when a messenger falcon arrives, with news a crime scene that needs investigation. The question is: Do they call it a day, and let someone else have the honor or shall they not be lazy and do their jobs. Well their White-aligned halfs tell them to do their duty. Bad news is we're told straight out that had they chosen to pull rank, they both would have survived this case. One of them is going to die. (I bet it's not Agrus.)

They head on over to the Parha industrial quarter which is scheduled to be demolished but has recently seen the presence of thrill-killers (Rakdos) mysteriously moving about an Orzhov establishment.  Upon pounding on the door and commanding "Wojek! Open up!" in I'm sure was an authoritative tone, an enraged ram headed demon busts open the door and is killed on the spot, as wokjek policy concerning enraged Rakdos members dictates.

(What lovely policies they have.)

Inside the find the body parts for twenty-two victims with plenty of ghosts available for questioning, so that means Kos has to pull out a grounder. It's a standard device which will secure one spirit to a fixed location, but unfortunately drives away the rest. That means you get shot and questioning, so you better do it right. But we know this a day of bad news, and the questioning reveals little. All they get from it is its name and "He is all. He is near. He calls. Release me. Garmakh must follow." Except in long drawn out ghost speak. (Heeeee iiiiissss aaaallll, etc.)

They lose their witness, and so it's CSI time. And that good ol' police work reveals that the recent string of missing persons weren't being kidnapped as slaves like they suspected, but instead were all murdered, possibly for food.

In this day of bad news, they notice that Palla, the leader of this particular slain Rakdos group, is not among the bodies. Follow that up with a sneeze in the second floor of this warehouse, and there is now no choice but to check it out. Up above, they find a goblin too terrified to answer many questions. It sees something behind them, they turn and look, and see an invisible outline on the move. An invisible outline with an invisible bag, likely holding an invisible prisoner. A small prisoner. Possibly woman sized, possibly Palla-sized.

The figure escapes out the window and give chase.

* * *

Good Start

Getting back into reading Magic novels, and this was a pretty good start.  I enjoyed seeing that it won't be another Hero's Journey type of story.  Instead of the young, innocent villager who finds out he/she has a destiny to save the world, we get a very down to earth police investigation. I love the concept of Ravnica and the guilds and it looks like returning to the Magic multiverse with this trilogy may have been a good choice.

Starting off by letting me know Agrus Kos' partner was going to die sure did build up a lot of suspense, but I do object to the way they went about their investigation. They had just seen one cult member that they had to put down themselves. It seems to me they should have made sure the scene was free from danger before questioning any ghosts and creating a log of the evidence (aka dead bodies and body parts). I was surprised when our invisible man only left the window and didn't kill them outright for being so careless.

I Know Something They Don't

What the wojeks don't know, that I do, is that this novel is based off the set, which is centered around only four of the ten guilds: Boros, Selesnya, Golgari, and Dimir. Invisible Assassin? Sounds like a Dimir agent to me.

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