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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 6

Enter the Golgari.

Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 6

The Devkarin male kills. The Devkarin female makes death less than permanent. These are the gifts of our kind, and in that, we achieve balance.
-Matka Velika (8403-8674), from the Matka Scrolls


An old centaur of three-hundred plus years runs through the dark paths below the city. The big clue that he's being hunted are the arrows that have pierced him, but that's a risk you take when you wander in Golgari territory. Blood loss and exhaustion slow him down enough that the Devkarin elf hunting him finally feels comfortable enough to drop down on his back, and end his life.

But huntmaster Jarad isn't done with him yet. Two huntresses, Dainya and Elga, were on standby and move in as soon his spirit begins to separate from his body. Through Devkarin necromancy, that energy is shaped and transformed and redirected to animate the corpse, and there we have a good ol' traditional zombify.

These three, along with the twins Trasz and Zurno have much bigger prey. The Golgari were divided into two factions: The Devkarin elves, and the less humanoid races collectively known as the teratogens. It wasn't until the disappearance of several teratogens that Sisters of the Stone Death called forth creature to be hunted down. As it turned out, that problem was a tentacled leviathan of a slug.

They use the freshly killed centaur as bait with Jarad close at hand cloaked in master level invisibility spell that few know he has within his arsenal. The centaur isn't used just as bait, since it's zombified as well, even just freshly zombified, it works as a poison as well. Most other creatures would have known to stay away from zombie flesh, but this thing killed on pure instinct.  As it slows, Jarad movs in to strike, while the others fire poisoned tipped arrows to pin and paralyze tentacles as they can. As soon as the threat is over, Jarad commands all to pack up and leave the rest for the butchers, but the Dainya and Elga begin to squabble over his commands. They had to be sure they said. The Golgari high priestess, their matka Savra , the one who is second in command only to the Sisters would want it that way.

Before their insubordination can go much further, it turns out that Savra herself has in fact followed them to the kill. She tries to banter with the huntmaster, who it turns out is also her brother, but there is bad blood between them and he'll have none of it. So she cuts to the chase. She has a job for him that she knows he'll like.

When the matka explained what she had in mind, he had to admit she was right.

 * * *

The Golgari

We have our first look at the Golgari, and that look has shown many sides. The Golgari are divided into elves and non-elves, and there is a brother and sister pair who aren't the closest of siblings that are huntmaster and matka respectively. The arrogance of Savra and obvious power lust scream of importance, and of course Savra's card itself shows that she'll be more than just matka soon enough.

I love a good power struggle.

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