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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 7

Here's the real A Day in the Life of a Wojek that I was looking for.

Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 7

The worst-kept secret in Ravnica? Since the Rakdos rebellion, there aren't enough wojeks to police the entire city. They've already abandoned Old Rav. How long before the so-called 'Watchful Eye' has only enough eyes to patrol the center? If the League does not engage in a spectacular recruitment drive, we fear Ravnica may not survive her own Decamillennial celebration.
-Editorial, the Ravnican Guildpact-Journal
(9 Prahz 9995 Z.C.)

24 ZUUN 9999 Z.C., NOON

A drunk and hopeless Wenvel is lost in the alleys of Ravnica. He curses himself for bringing his wife to see the city, and curses the city itself. Well the cursing didn't last long because his thrown was soon torn out.


It was training time, and Borca was screwing up already. He didn't have the sense in him to not scare a five-year old orphaned girl, even if she did steal some fruit. So Kos orders him to stand aside and watch and learn. This is going to be his territory soon enough. He carefully probes asking where she got it, and tells her that she might be sad right now, but she's not the only one.

"Mr. Tupine's sad, too," Kos said. "Mr. Tupine has a big family." He grinned and added, with a wink, "Not a tall family, you understand. But a big one."
The girl continued to stare into Kos' eyes, her green irises sparkling. Finally, in a small, high voice that wavered on the edge of a full-blown simper, she spoke. "Toopine's short!" she said, and her pout finally cracked into a tiny grin.

Kos smiled bigger, "That's right!"

"You're funny, Kozz," she said. She didn't laugh, but continued to grin.

Kos has gotten her to open up, but then the jerk Borca has to ask in a stern voice about where her parents are before a glare for Kos reminds him that she has none, she's an orphan. That shuts her up again.

Just as careful as before, Kos gets her to come out of her shell. Tells her there are ways to get good, like at the Golgari version of soup kitchens set up for the guildless. She could have all the food she wants for free if she went there. Or if she made friends, maybe they could help her out a bit, and she could go back and pay for the fruit she has with her.

The girl Luda just stands and pouts, clutching to her fruit with dear life, as Kos gives her a little talk. She says that the garglies aren't her friends, but does come to the conclusion that she wants to become a 'jek. Well then, if she's gonna be a 'jek, her first mission is to go back to Mr. Tupine and pay for the fruit, so she can't be brought up on charges.

"That's stupid, Kozz," Luda said. "I'm not a 'jek now."

(Oh man she's cute, just wanna hug her to pieces.)

Oh yeah, well Kos declares that she may as well start now, and declares her as his deputy. Kos sticks his hand out to Borca for some money, and Luda snatches it and puts each coin in a different pocket, except for one that she clutches in her fist. The one she needs to buy the fruit.

Together they all walk back to the fruit stand before taking her back to Ms. Molliya and her orphanage.


A follow up with Tupine, just to make sure things were all good. He was fine, and said for their sake he'd make sure to always have fruit for the little kid. Just then, two robbers break in, one with a hammer, the other with a crossbow. Borca takes out Hammer easily. Then Kos inches his way to a sack of flour, throws it at Crossbow, and the bag takes the bolt while Kos takes down the intruder.

Job well done.

...At the old quarry...

Well.. not so much a quarry, but an ancient gladiator arena that was disputed over by the Golgari and Rakdos. Sometime in the 7100s, one of the sides purchased a mana bomb from the Izzet, and it vaporized the entire arena and all the nearby buildings. The rubble reminded the ogres too much of the days of old, and they declared the area a holy place and moved in. It was now the largest orgre habitation on the entire plane.

Well... there are a couple ogres bodies at the bottom of a cliff, and they have one suspect: Nyausz the ogre.

Questioning ogres can be tricky. Gotta tread carefully, while at the same time maneuver around their dim-witted nature. The solution? Trick Nyausz into thinking our buddy Borca is an ogre that got stuck in human form thanks to a transmogrification spell. Ogre talking to 'jek. Nuh-uh. Ogre talking to ogre on the other hand...

Well it turns out that the dead ogres are his brothers. They had the idea to open up a fighting pit, and they could be rich! If they were going to be the main attractions, well they better practice. And practice they did. Nyausz won both times. But now they're no more attraction. (And importantly to Kos and Borca, no actual crime committed.)

No... uhh...harm?... no foul. To cheer him up, they remind him that he now inherits all his brothers' possessions, including their wives, and they go about their way.

...At shift's end...

With a hard days' work done, it's time to stop at good ol' Tizzie's. Ogre restaurants are the best restaurants. At least for wojeks. Ogres tend to never bother them for help when they just want to sit back and relax.

And yet something just has to happen so Kos can't sit back and relax. He happens to look down an alley. (Why don't people just stop making alleys! No good ever comes of'em.) There's a ghost there. A bald ghost with a handlebar mustache. His vision of his long dead partner the night before wasn't just his imagination.

Kos tells Borca to go on ahead, he sees an ex of his and wants to go have a chat. He follows Myczil Zunich's ghost, and it appears the ghost has a destination in mind for him. Zunich points the way, and he hears a scream.


(Oh no.)

Kos runs.

Around a pillar Kos sees a Rakdos goblin above the girl. He yells for him to stop in the name of the law, but the goblin has been modified. It has no ears and instead relies on magical spells to hear commands. He sees the wojek and runs, but not before Luda's scream was silenced by gash in her chest.

Borca comes running, having ignored his lieutenant's insistence he go on ahead, and together they do their best, they pull out all their healing teardrops, more than regulation even allows for, but the wound is too big and it's not enough.

Luda is dead.

Kos commands Borca to send a nearby falcon to summon someone named Helligan and stay with the body. The goblin couldn't be far, he's going after it.

He spots the goblin, chases it through crowds, goes up and over walls, fires from his baton, and just as he nearly gets the vile creature he sees some orange orbs strapped to its back. Something he hasn't seen in ten years since the last Rakdos revolt. Those bombs were fickle things, they could maybe take out just the goblin, or take out the entire block.

Kos puts the baton away and chases the goblin into a restaurant. He doesn't want to panic the crowd, and pulls an Obi-Wan in Star Wars Episode 2. In the room he sees a loxodon, the loxdon, Saint Bayul of the Selesnya Conclave talking to... Borca? How'd he get there so fast? Bayul's ledev guardian seemed to be tracking something else in the room, and in a moment, Kos saw it too. Someone cloaked with invisibility. It moves in and engages with the ledev guard, then the goblin appears, then BOOM!

* * *

A Day in the Life

This was a long chapter, but I loved it! It feels like the book was worth it just for this chapter. Herndon is certainly trying to cram as much Ravnica history and culture he can in between all the goings on. And there was a lot going on.


That's it? That can't be. A nice old man given three appearances so far in seven chapters, including two POVs. My gut tells me we'll be seeing more of him. Just not in living form. It's not like ghosts of all shape and size aren't intermingled in daily life here on Ravnica.


Oh noooooo. She had such a cute story. Using a five-year old orphan girl, who's struggling to do the right thing, admires our hero, sees the world in a straight forward manner, and talks with a word shortcuts in the ways that innocent kids do. Such a classic way to tug on heart-strings and it worked. I did not expect her to die, and I did not expect her to die in this very same chapter.


The dim-witted ogre... another great light-hearted section. Two excellent sections in a row, that should have tipped me off that something bad was going to happen, but even if I had, I wouldn't have expected it to be as bad as it turned out to be.

The Goblin

Talk about the unexpected. Not only did I not expect him to kill Luda, I didn't expect to be set up terrorist bomber style, and I didn't expect that bomb to go off with Bayul, Fonn, and Borca in the room! (And let's not forget the cloaked figure that is likely Jarad.)

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