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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 18



Fonn's in danger and it's time for Savra's moment of glory.


Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 18

Impersonating a wojek officer is strictly prohibited.
                                                -City Ordinances of Ravnica

28 ZUUN 9999 Z.C., BEFORE DAWN

Wojeks and quietmen fight as Kos and crew chase after Fonn and her captors. But rescue wasn't in the stars this time. The quietmen fly off towards Vitu-Ghazi. One look at the zepplid lets them know it would be futile for rescue.

Pretty much before Kos can make the request, Feather agrees to his plan. She'll deal with any consequences sent her way. Kos is instructed to lay a hand on the bindings on her wings and just wish them open.


...At centerfort...

Ludmilla's plan executes beautifully. A sinkhole opens up beneath the stone titan, dropping it deep enough and at the right angle that it's own weight was too much, and the toes snapped off. It slowly crashes to ground, toppling buildings in its path, and as it tries to rise and defend the Legion against the Golgari Swarm, cracks appear even it its arms and the titan is a threat no more.

Savra would regret giving her an army when this was done. She had been their leader for a millenia. They would return to her once this was over, once she leads them to victory. But this attack would first have to succeed. And there was one looming question. Where were the angels? Her and Savra both had expected the floating fortress of Sunhome to appear as soon as the battle began.


...At Vhitu-Ghazi...

Savra was ready. The end of her decades long plan was at hand was at hand. At least a phase of it. She had slowly corrupted the roots the great tree, Vitu-Ghazi itself. The Conclave had come to her for help in curing the disease that she herself was creating. They told her they wanted her and all the Devkarin elves to return to their true home.

Savra agreed. Not only did she agree to help with the tree, but she presented to them a greater threat to Ravnica as a whole. The Boros legion was full of corruption. She rooted out one of Szadek's shapeshifters as her proof, and as a result she was given command of hundreds of quietmen (many of which were already hers, as she had also be slowly replacing them with her own agents) to stop a threat to Guildpact.

In a few moments, it would be time. Savra waits within a cacoon ready to be presented as a member of the Conclave. Outside she can hear the chorus of all ready to witness her hour of triumph, a chorus that every Ravnican is compelled to join as they enter Vitu-Ghazi. The song peaks and the cacoon opens. It was time. She was queen of the Golgari, and soon enough she would declare herself Guildmaster of the Selesnya. Then one by one all ten Guilds would fall under her rule.

Right on time she can see two quietmen fly in with that troublesome elf and the Selesnya talisman she holds. And she holds on tight. Why bother with even demanding she let go, this little elf girl wasn't going to ruin her moment, and so with the fallen Golgari god, Savra rips off Fonn's hand.


...Outside...

The zepplid had been wounded and lost its speed pods, but it could still float, and that's how Kos and crew speed towards Vitu-Ghazi. It carries them while Feather provides the speed. They catch sight of Fonn just as the quietmen take her within.


...Back to our handless elf...

Fonn screams in pain, and is pushed to the ground. After some awkward exposition, she uses her ledev healing magic training to stop the bleeding. As she rolls over, she sees Feather with Pilvic's zepplid in tow come crashing through the quietmen ranks. Together her and Feather watch Savra over the distance toss away the elf's severed hand and holds the green stone before her.

"My love, she said, "it is time."


...Right after...

Kos, Jarad, and Biracazir catch up to Fonn and Feather (with Pivlic doing what he can for the zepplid). Jarad announces that he's got to stop her, and for some reason Kos asks him if he thinks they have a chance. (Isn't that why he decided to ask Feather to break her bonds, and why they chased after Fonn? So they could stop everything that's going on?)

"I've got to try, Jarad said. "I never did when I had the chance. But she's my sister, and I had no idea..."

(What chance was that, since when did he ever show that he cared for his sister, and wasn't he supposed to be angry that she tried to kill him? When did this all chance?)

Kos sends Feather away. She has to find the angels. When he turns to look towards their enemy, a swirling cloud of blackness forms in the sky, as she mouths some words that are being drowned out by voices of all around them.

The wojek is too distracted by what's going on to listen to Borca's voice before it's too late. (Maybe if he wasn't usually saying nonsense it would have been different. Boy Who Cried Wolf and all that.) Commander-General Gharti restrains him from behind, and Fonn and Jarad seem to have fallen into the same trance as everyone else. With no chance of breaking free on his own, Kos sends Borca to get Pivlic, but Szadek appears with the black vortex and:

Before Kos's startled eyes, the descending figure raised a hand and the ghost of Borca was pulled away as if by an invisible rope. The howling specter managed to fit in an impressive string of invectives in before disappearing into the smooth bark of Vitu Ghazi, then he was gone.

(He disappeared into the tree because of a command by Szadek? So Szadek has command over the tree too?)

Savra dotes on Szadek, and the Dimir Guildleader tells her it's time for her to fulfill her destiny. She places the Selesnya stone into her forehead, and when she confirms that she can hear the chorus of the conclave, Szadek places his hands on her head and snaps her neck.

* * *


Sunhome

Oh, well that answered my question about why the headquarters was called Centerfort and not Sunhome. Although the card doesn't look like it's a floating fortress. With only three chapters left, the angels appearance to save the day at the last second is looming.


Jarad

Yeah okay, that was weird. I really haven't made much of a connection with Jarad's character at all. The motivations of his character seem to be all over the place. He just doesn't make sense to me.


Borca

Wait, wait, wait... Borca's gone? Just when it looks like they're finally going to put the unique situation where Pivlic can hear him as well as Kos to use, for the first time in the book since mentioning it, and then Borca gets sucked into the tree. There has to be a good reason for that. We have a few chapters left, so there won't be much time to wait and find out what that is.


Savra the Multi-Planner

First of all. Let's talk about her quietmen. I get that she's had this long thought out plan to get into the good graces of the Selesnya. That seems like a great plan. But what was the point of supplanting quietmen with her own servants when the Conclave granted her control over hundreds of them anyway. How did she even grant dead people the same inhuman strength, speed, and flight abilities of the real quietmen? It seems like there was no need for that, and as a result, it seems like there was absolutely no need for Wenvel to be in the story at all. That's rather annoying.

It makes sense to have multiple plans of success. Maybe it makes sense for Savra to both get her own quietmen into their ranks and attempt to get the Conclave to just grant her command over them, but storywise it doesn't make sense. That plot should have been taken our or been elaborated more. If the book was centered around Savra I could see that have a more compelling reason to be in the story.


Savra the Dethroned

And speaking of annoying. That's it? We have the great chapters of Savra taking over the Golgari, we have thoughts of vengeance against her from Ludmilla's point of view, then Szadek appears and just snaps her neck? All that time investment in Savra as a villain, and it feels like we don't have any kind of payoff with her character. She did kill Svogthir the same way, and that was great, but that was both much earlier in the book and I we were looking through her eyes and cheering for her throughout. Now that we're at the end, I feels like such a cheap death.


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