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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 17



It's war! But with who?


Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 17

Theft of guild property is prohibited.
                                     -City Ordinances of Ravnica

27 ZUUN 9999 Z.C., NEAR MIDNIGHT

A few minutes more, they land safely on the landing pad of the Tenth Leaguehall, but things are amiss. Where there should have been at least a dozen rocs and skyjeks ready to take off, instead there were only wojeks with bows and arrows. Phaskin and Stanslov come out to meet them, they cut Kos off before he can give any kind of report and instead address Fonn:

"Guardian, we need you down in Necro. Foolwo me, please."

Phaskin turns and runs. Saint Bayul is alive, but maybe not for long.


...Across the city, at Centerfort...

Centerfort had sent word to all districts, the League's headquarters was under attack. All available wojeks were to come to its defense. Air Commander Wenslauv didn't want to believe it, but there it was before her. The Golgari Swarm had declared war.

Despite their internal rivaly, hundreds of teratogens and Devkarin hunters alike attacked as one, and they had legions of undead besides. With the gorgon Ludmilla leading the attack, this was a Guildwar of the like that has never been seen since the Guildpact was signed.

The reports had proved accurate in one other regard. Selesnya quietmen were crowding the airways flying all about, and within their sphere of influence all Ravnican citizens, dressed in colors of all nine guilds (Dimir? What's a Dimir?) seem to be within a trance and all were all calmly walking by the thousands in the great tree Vitu-Ghazi .

With her falcon Neb, she leaves instructions:

"Get to the C-G. Message: Air Commander Wenslauv reporting. We've arrived and will take targets of opportunity until we receive further orders. End message."

The falcon launches itself to Centerfort, and with her skyjeks following her lead, she dives into the fray.


..In The Applied Necromancy and Alchemy Laboratory...

Phaskin informs the group of the attack on Centerfort, that Kos' suspension has been lifted, and despite the Guildpact requiring that all Guilds were required to come to their aid should one Guild attack another, all potential allies were being hypnotized by the quietmen. To make things worse, as of yet, the Boros angels have yet to answer their prayers.

Slightly off topic, but who knows if it's important, the remains of Borca and the goblin were finally separated and there was something odd about them.

Then after half an hour of silence from the kneeling ledev, her spine stiffens, and her head turns towards Vitu-Ghazi. With glowing green eyes, a pure chorus of sounds speak from her mouth.

"They do not know. They can no longer see it," the Fonn-chorus continued. Still the quietman did nothing. "She must not become the ambassador. Stop the priestess. Protect the stone."

(Let's ignore what has to be a misplaced word in "quietman" and focus on what really matters. What is he talking about!)

When the final word escapes her lips, Fonn collapses, and Saint Bayul is finally and truly dead.

Fonn comes to and lashes out in grief that Helligan should have known better. He's loxodon and was just in hibernation. He could have lived if he'd acted sooner. And she should have been here sooner as well.

Grief is understandable, but there was still the message he had been clinging onto that he had to deliver. Fonn explains.

The Conclave was selecting a new member of to join their ranks. And they had chosen Savra. All she needed to gain full acceptance was the stone that had been placed in Bayul's forehead, that Fonn now had in her hands.

Phaskin repeats what she's told them, just to make sure he's got is all down right, then transforms into a mass of writhing worms and devours Stanslov.


...Immediately following this unnecessary break...

Helligan and all the others scream. It was the same creature that had tracked them in the undercity. Kos has no idea what the thing could possibly be, but Feather knows. The creature recreates the body of the ogre Nayusz, which just creates a larger target as Feather sets her sword ablaze with a glance, and plunges it into the ogre. A light burns so bright everyone has to turn away.

When he turned back around, he saw Feather standing before a pile of blackened ashes, soot, and smoldering carbon.

Carbon that Helligan quickly takes a sample of and stores in a stoppered glass vial.

(Seriously? He couldn't just use "remains"? It has to specifically be "carbon"? How much do you want to bet that the specifics of the stored sample being carbon never pops up?)

Feather tells them the creature's name was Lupul. It was part of a last colony of shapeshifters that were supposed to be dead, and their master was supposed to be safely imprisoned. It's not just the Golgari they're facing.

(Dun dun dunnnn!)

Before Feather can elaborate more

But it wasn't enough.

There are a lot of them, but they're in hospital room, and the creature is fast and strong. They all do their part but can't manage to take it down. And then alarms sound. The League hall was under attack.

One quietman crashes into the room, and despite their numbers, the creature is fast and strong, and they're confined to the room. Eventually it's a recovered Pivlic firing one of his bam-sticks from behind a air-vent grate that saves the day.

But what a crazy day it is. Kos takes a good look at the burnt face of the quietman. It's a face he recognizes. Wenvel Kolkin. Before there's really anytime to consider what that means, two more quietmen sweep into the room from the hallway and swoop on out just as quickly after grabbing hold of Fonn (and the Selesnyan talisman she has with her).


...Back at Centerfort...

Ludmilla smiles. The great stone guardian of the Boros Legion was not invulnerable. It hadn't had to come to the defense of the League in too long. There were too many buildings that had risen up around it since then. She commanded three hunters to gather a phalanx of burrow-pedes, and get it under the titan. They agreed that it would be easy prey.

* * *


Savra, of the Selesnya Conclave

That's the plan? That's ambitious. I don't know that it quite makes sense. I guess we just have to chalk it up to the Guildpact, as to why the quietmen are able to hypnotize all of Ravnica, except for the wojeks. At first I thought it was all but the Boros Legion because it was written that members from all nine Guilds made up the crowd, but then I realized it's important to remember that Air Commander Wenslauv likely doesn't believe in the existence of the Dimir.

How exactly will Savra becoming just one of the entire Conclave change things? I'm sure there must be a good reason that has yet to be revealed. Fonn was specifically asked how Savra can control the quietmen since she's not part of the Conclave yet, and Fonn didn't know.

I do like the escalation of changing the story from a simple CSI, who killed my partner case, to an all out war on the eve of the anniversary of the Guildpact, and our heroes finally know that the tenth Guild is not just a myth... or at least they will once Feather reveals what she knows.


Wenslauv and Ludmilla

This did feel rather odd having two new POVs introduced to us this late in the game. I know it's more exciting to see what's happening, rather than fake-Phaskin report all the details, but it did feel like it came out of nowhere.


Wenvel Kolkin

So that's his full story? He was given two POVs and one additional appearance early on in the book just to give this final payoff? That seems a bit much to me. It seems like the revelation that the quietmen were recently killed people could very easily have been revealed in any number of methods without the need for creating near pointless POV sections. This wasn't a very elegant solution.


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