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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Guildpact - Chapter 10

We've found it. An end goal that our heroes are going to have to stop.

Guildpact - Chapter 10

Deception does not come easily to an Izzet. from the most powerful magelord to the lowliest goblin devotee, their need to boast is too great. In dealings with their kind, make sure you keep your own secrets, for they will not.
-Patriarch Fautomni, On the Lesser Guilds (4211 Z.C.)

2 CIZARM 10012 Z.C.

Oh my. Kos and Pivlic sure can run. Somehow they catch up to Crix and Golozar while Aun Yom still chases them. Golozar recognizes and yells out Kos' name as the ex-wojek tackles the goblin to the ground just as a bam-shot fires overhead.

There is only time enough for introductions when all of a sudden the ground between our heroes and the not quite right pursuers, and out comes a nephilim. One very different from the last.

It was more like a tapered tube of raw, exposed muscle and tendons with a gaping, toothy mouth on one end that opened to the sky and emitted a keening roar.

Golozar explains that each one is unique, and Kos tosses him a bam-stick. Yet Golozar hardly needs to use it. With a ferocity that Golozar cannot explain (but I can make guesses), Aun Yom's group, which is also larger than it should be, attack the nephilim with a ferocity he's never seen. As the nephilim takes on injuries from these so-called Gruul, they begin to tear out its flesh and feed.

Kos picks up Crix and tells her to hold on tight, tells Golozar to guard the rear, and for Pivlic to yell out if he sees any hidden cracks in the ground. Golozar makes a comment that he isn't' Kos' deputy, but concedes that Kos' suggestions make sense, and being this close to the Cauldron, Crix believes she can guide the way.

...At the Cauldron...

Zomaj Hauc feels a bit impatient. Izzet magelords weren't known for holding back when it comes to the greatness if their works, but he's had to hold in his plans for so long. Plans not just for the Izzet League, but all of Ravnica. So keeping it in was quite a feat indeed. But his great project would be complete soon. Hauc summons his chief observer, who now also doubles up as foreman, to come meet him on Hauc's personal observation platform high above the Cauldron.

When he arrives, he first reinforces his greatness to the simple goblin by asking him if he can see the distortions in the sky by the schism, and then insists that of course he can't see them because he doesn't have the gift of the great Niv-Mizzet. But the summons wasn't just so he could put down one of his workers. Hauc wanted to make sure the extra power out put from coming from the Schism was properly being diverted into the secret project. (Which it turns out is all the ghosts of Utvara. Ghosts don't just disappear. They get sucked into the Schism and get converted into energy. The mana bomb from forty-seven years ago, mana compression bomb actually, is doing its job, but only at a slower rate than anticipated.) He assigns more duties to his hydropyric weirds , the pyrohydric weirds, the drake, and the djinn. They need to help with the labor to speeds things up, and do hold extra guard shifts to make sure nothing goes wrong. The time for completion was soon.

As is the time for Vazozav's usefulness. Hauc is proud how he has yet to kill his chief observer but he can't wait all these useless goblins are dead. The only goblin he could actually have a conversation with, and the only goblin that has successfully undergone his goblin augmentation program, was his still missing courier.

Hauc dismisses Vazozav, and calls up his Orzhav partner in crime. The unnamed masked figure who must be Melisk tells him that he's losing control of the girl, and that it's becoming harder and harder to control her thoughts. Hauc doesn't care. He just wants his courier. Melisk then let's him know that according to his reports, the courier may be back at the Cauldron soon, even without his help.

...Out on the Husk...

Crix insists she knows where she's going thanks to a homing spell that all couriers have, and the band runs on. Golozar claims he doesn't understand how Pivlic was able to keep one of the pursing Aun Yom Gruul from getting back up again, when his blasts seem to just shoot right through.

Kos has to make a comment that there probably aren't many zombies in the Husk, and then tells Golozar to shoot them in the legs or in the head if he thinks he can get a good shot.

(More on this later.)

(And oh yeah, at some point Elbeph was killed by the Aun Yom? I must have missed it somewhere.)

As they start to worry about how many shots they have left, Crix points to the sky, and they all see Hauc's drake come swooping down from the sky. They have to hit the dirt to not get fried, but after a couple passes the drake has the so-called Gruul on the run. They get ever closer, and finally make it to the gate. A djinn steps aside after Crix announces herself and they all follow after ready to complete their task.

...In Hauc's flight sphere...

Hauc didn't need to see his courier to feel her her presence as she crosses within the bounds of Cauldron. What had he been so worried about? Of course she'd make it safely, with or without the Orzhov's help. She was his creation.

But the others with her shouldn't have dared to come in with her. They won't understand. Time for them to die.

The world didn't deserve it, but Hauc was doing it all for them. His reign would be glorious. Those who needed wiping out - like the Gruul and perhaps even the Selesnyans - would be eliminated. Those who needed his wisdom, his strength, his magnificence to lead them would sing his praises. The Guildpact itself would crumble, no longer necessary, when Zomaj Hauc set Ravnica ablaze beneath his fiery banner.

Hauc gazed out through the transparent sphere and smiled at his charges. With them at his side, no one could stop him.

* * *


Okay. This isn't quite making sense. Herndon just loves to make me pause in disbelief when it comes to how he informs us about the nature of zombies.

So we have Golozar, right. I didn't write it above, but Kos mentions that he knows the man from before, from the city. Are you telling me this man that can speak decent Ravi (and not just Gruul) and has traveled to Ravnica proper, and was likely a wojek trainee if not a full on wojek for a time, doesn't know what a zombie is? They even have zombies as labor in the Utvara town!

We're at least reminded that there is a strange glow in the holes left by the bam-sticks, and told straight out that these aren't normal zombies. That makes them different. But that still doesn't excuse Golozar's lack of knowledge of how to take down a zombie.

Destroy the Guildpact, Part 2

Hauc wants to destroy the Guildpact. I've talked about how this book has an identity separate from Ravnica, but I haven't talked about how these books are supposed to be part of one whole trilogy much. Sure we have Kos as a connecting factor, a connecting character... but as plotlines go, the books seem to have pretty much no overarching story. There is the mystery of the missing angels, but that might be it.

While I still can't put together anything plotwise, we now have a connecting theme across both books, which will likely carry into the third. The destruction of the Guildpact.

How is he going to do it exactly? There's a mysterious "they". Would this "they" be the nephilim? They seem more like a force of nature, but perhaps he's created some way of controlling them and/or enhancing them. But why would Niv-Mizzet possibly approve of this plan yet also might possibly be completely against it? We don't really have any information either way on his views of the nephilim. The Izzet do treat him essentially as a god, including making prayers to him, so maybe the resurrection/return to power of these ancient gods is something he could appreciate and/or resent.

Reactive Heroes

So far Kos' sections (and Crix's) have been the least interesting parts of the book. Everything he's been doing has been completely reactive. He's just doing his thing and traversing environmental dangers while all the plotting, scheming, and maneuvering is being done by Teysa, Hauc, and Melisk. At least once Hauc attacks, he'll realize he's back in the game, and hopefully he'll start making some real moves of his own.

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