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Monday, August 15, 2011

Guildpact - Chapter 11

Here it is, the big Cauldron project reveal!

Guildpact - Chapter 11

The Book of Orzhov - The Book of Deals - is nothing more than a web of rules, regulations, and complications that can be interpreted by anyone to mean anything that individual wishes. We've made an excellent start indeed, but there is much room for improvement, fellow patriarchs. We have work yet to do. The Book is a living document.
-Patriarch Enezesku, acceptance address to the Obzedat (25 Paujal 9103 Z.C.)

2 CIZARM 10012 Z.C.

So she's been used this whole time. Certainly in ways she hadn't expected. Uncle was murdered, but not by the Gruul. By herself. Or at least, she wielded the blade that sliced him up while under Melisk's control. In fact, all of her narcolepsy spells had happened because of Melisk, since the very first one, and had nothing to do with her Orzhov blood. Melisk would have to die for that, something Uncle wasn't particularly against.

Uncle warns her to keep quite about the actual events, otherwise a good advokist could argue it as a case for suicide.

(More on this later.)

As long as she plays her part, she was well on her way to becoming a full matriarch and could rise to the Obzedat herself. That would be a feat above and beyond being just a baroness. Teysa doesn't believe it to be possible, considering that there has never been a matriarch during the whole existence of the Orzhov, but Uncle assures her that's it's happened several times before, revealed in the true Book of Orzhov, and not the version that most members have access to.

Well Teysa doesn't didn't very much like being told what to do, and she doesn't very much like being used, and she especially doesnt' like that their plan was likely going to lead to the end of the world.

In fact, their verbal deal that she obey them was null and void. She had crossed her fingers. (*facepalm*), and she never made any deal with Niv-Mizzet. They did.

"I've been your tool, but no longer. The deal you made will destroy everything here. Everything, including billions, trillions of zinos in treasure. I'm doing this for myself and for the Orzhov. If this deal comes to fruition, it won't just be Utvara that ends up inflames. 'The Guild of Deals cannot thrive without a world to deal in.' Consider that my first matriarchal proverb."

Teysa tosses up her cane in the air, grabs the bottom end, then shatters the mirror. This meeting is over.

(You tell him!)

...At the Cauldron...

Crix steps into the Cauldron for the first time. It was readily apparent that the layout of all the pipes and energy-filled tubes were following Niv-Mizzet's Seven-Dimensional Geometromancy Proof although there were some design choices she can't quite figure out.

Then the group comes across something they can hardly believe exists. The true purpose of Cauldron. Three huge dragon eggs. The changes all of a sudden make sense. Golozar says my thoughts exactly when he exclaims that this can't be possible. Niv-Mizzet is a he. Right?

No real answer is given to that question when Hauc appears. Their intrusion is not appreciated, and they'll have to be killed. Crix too. He's glad she survived and made it back, but her constant questioning of these new developments have made him decide that she's becoming too independent for his tastes.

...At the site of Teysa's eventual mansion...

If she was going to do this, she'd need to take the time to assemble a proper fighting force. But the matter was also urgent enough she needed to do something right now. Teysa uses one of her Orzhov powers and from the essence of Phleeb she creates two more thrulls, dubbing them Lepheb and Heblep. She grants Phleeb the power of speech, and orders him to acquire the missing goblin, and should she resist, to kill her. Should anyone try to stop his mission, kill them. And if he can find his missing brothers, all the better.

The trio of thrulls run off, and now it's time to have a talking to with her wageboss, the half-demon Aradoz. He appears all too happy and obedient considering the demands she's made of him, which leads her to the conclusion that he must have hit a good find breaking ground for her mansion. She'll get her cut later, but there are more important things at the moment. She tells him that she needs him to give her his four best fighters. If they accept her deal to fight for her for this mission, they can choose to be free or accept a deal to become full dues paying members of the Guild. Of course she can't buy slaves like that from a non-Guild member, and so she makes Aradoz a full member on the spot, and thus secures his obedience.

After a few minutes he comes back with a minotaur sibling pair, Sraunj and Enka, a unusually tall goblin that likely has some troll ancestry, Dreka-Tooth, and a sassy Devkarin elf, Nayine Shonn.

With her troops agreeing to her terms, Teysa pulls out a vial of the plague cure, and injects the four of them and Aradoz despite their reservations. She then tells them its the cure to the plague, and that he's to administer it to the entire labor force by the end of the day, and forcefully let's him know he's not to take payment of any kind.

* * *

Keeping My Fingers Crossed...

...and hoping the ending isn't solved by something so trivial. The best that can be said is that this is the middle of the book and it still has a chance to end great. She's an advokist. Does she really think crossing her fingers would hold up in court? In book one, saying that murder isn't illegal in Ravnica in many circumstances was a unique spin on things that made sense in this context where murder is a major business of certain Guilds. Crossing fingers is just dumb.

Orzhov Blood

Ok, well, we got to see some of what this Orzhov blood actually does for her. She has the power to make thrulls. That's kind of cool. But... if Orzhov power is proportional to how bad a person's deformities are, I suppose Teysa is an outlier and is actually more powerful than she should be. Her narcolepsy deal isn't real. Melisk has been the cause this whole time. That means Teysa should have been wondering all her life why she doesn't have more power than she does if her narcolepsy is a condition of the blood, or that she's unusually strong and that's the only reason creating a fake condition is able to fool her.

Dragons!... or... Dragons?

Teysa correctly wonders what the Obzedat is going to get out of this deal with Niv-Mizzet. How does this benefit them? I'm hoping that'll be revealed soon enough. I'm also hoping that it'll be explained why Hauc is so nervous about Niv-Mizzet finding out what he's doing, when it appears Niv-Mizzet made the deal in the first place. Is Hauc somehow going to steal the eggs for himself? He's not just making a dragon egg omelet. And how exactly is this going to end the plane and Guildpact? Niv-Mizzet seems to work fine by the rules.

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