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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guildpact - Chapter 14



Teysa arrives at the doorstep of the Cauldron. Chaos ensues.


Guildpat - Chapter 14

The Guildpact Statutes shall only extend to those zones designated "civilized" (see Corollary 0.315) by at least seven of the document signatories or their duly appointed representatives.
-Guidpact Statutes, Corollary 19.72
(the "Reclamation Clause")

3 CIZARM 10012 Z.C.

Some unexplained why, Teysa knows that her cure has pretty much gotten to everyone in the valley except to some of the Gruul and the people in the Cauldron. Somehow once the cure is distributed, the pollen of Vitar Yescu will have a reduced workload which means it should be able to take care of the virus that's still airborne and has yet to find a host.... because it's kuga-seeking pollen?

(Or let's just say it's magic.)

But back to business. Teysa now has twenty-four taj to add to her army, minus a couple that were sent to administer the cure to whatever Gruul they could track down, and they had permission to use any means necessary.

And now they have their plan. Teysa had decided to take the bam-stick and the drake sniping responsibility that went with it away from the maybe too obedient Nayine Shonn, and had instead had shifted that duty to one of the near invisible shadewalkers. And since they didn't fully exist in two of three dimensions, the other two were light enough for Barkfeather to fly each of them atop the two water reservoirs with some make shift explosives.

She was going to try one last attempt and solving things without the need to attack. If things went well it would just be her going up to the gate and her army would be a show of force and no more. But if battle was necessary, the virusoids and the minotaurs would move in to come to her rescue and to be her hammer. The slower Golgari zombies would follow, with the less resilient Haazda humans positioning themselves to relay orders. Nayine would stay by her side and give order when necessary, and the taj would be held in reserve.

And now the moment has come. Teysa rides up alone (actually with Barkfeather on her shoulder) to the djinn and a four-armed pyrohydric elemental, displaying confidence she does not feel. At least the shining Orzhov armor that Pivlic had stashed away help bolster her bravado.

(Fun Fact: most djinn's on Ravnica were actually diluted human-djinn hybrids, and only the size of a very large human. Pure djinns, of the size and power that could rival that of dragons, were supposedly extinct. However those in the know knew that the few that still lived were enslaved at the polar water stations.)

At the gate, the djinn stops her, and tells her to turn around before she gets killed. She says she can't do that.

"I am Teysa Karlov, baroness of Utvara and the leaseholder for this business," Teysa said formally. "Your landlord. This tenant has violated at least seventeen sections of the Guildpact Statutes and stands in violation of pending laws to be enacted in the coming months. If he wishes to avoid costly and extensive legal action, he must show himself immediately to accept this subpoena." She snapped her fingers, and a small scroll appeared in her hand.

It soon becomes apparent that the legal battle won't be waged. Time to try to physical one.

Teysa signals. Barkfeather launches from her shoulder and in quick succession he transforms from hawk to elf to rampaging elephant. He both bellows on his trunk signaling the attack and rams the gate down with ease.

In an instant the drake is sleeping one moment, then brains are blasted out the backside of its skull the next, and the two water reservoirs floating above the Cauldron are blown, instantly putting out the elemental... and somehow the djinn "melted like a wax candle in the downpour." (Are djinns vulnerable to water?) Due to the open topped nature of the structure the water that fall into the building shoots back out again through the top and the entrance in the form of steam.

Teysa side-steps the steam, then signals to Nayine for the army to charge, while she continues towards the Cauldron. Just a few steps into the entrance, a panicked imp flies into the baroness and knocks her off her dromad. The preceeding interrogation doesn't reveal much but confirmation that the dragons were soon to be hatched and the additional insight that Hauc believes he has a way to control them.

Pivlic was no fighter, and Teysa could put his wings to better use. She hands him one of her three last vials of the plague cure and tells him to administer it to anyone in town or on the flats that hasn't gotten it yet. The imp leaves pretty happy with that task.

(When faced with life-threatening battle, who wouldn't be? But I also doubt he's thought about how he's supposed to actually track these people down... I think we have to pull out the "magic" card again.)


...Inside...

Kos has seen plenty of miracle rescues in his one-hundred and twenty years of life, and he was hoping for another. Pivlic hadn't left but moments earlier so the commotion he was hearing couldn't be because of the imp. When the body of a dead drake comes crashing down, tearing apart pipes and wires on the way down, and giving their platform a solid hit, collapsing a part of it. Bad news is that both Kos and Golozar seem to still be securely tied down.

Then the water pours in and the whole place fills with steam.


...Below...

Crix wasn't dead. That was unexpected from her point of view. But now what to do. She has been loyal to her magelord her entire life, but what he is doing is too much. The dragons had to be stopped. They were going to destroy the plane.

(Right?)

Seems like Crix thinks exactly like I do and starts to consider the fact that Niv-Mizzet exists, and yet the plane still does too. (More on this later.) So maybe it was okay for more dragons to exist. As they as they alone wield the power they're born with. Putting that kind of power in Hauc's hands would be disastrous.

Crix knows she has the power to stop it. The message on her arm, if she destroys it, the dragons will be free from his control. Crix raises up her arm, ready do what she feels is right, ready to plunge it into the lava, but by this time the one end of the upper platform has already crashed down to the bottom floor, and Hauc sees exactly what she intends. He orders her to stop but she defies him, however that defiance doesn't change the fact that she's much smaller than him, and he simply grabs her and tosses across the room.

Most of her. The message arm, which apparently can detach with a twist, remains in his hands. He doesn't need her anymore and Hauc casts a spell and flies up towards his flight sphere.

Crix is not yet finished with defying her magelord. It is time to unleash all her abilities. Hauc wasn't going to authorize it, but that didn't matter when she knew the activation code. She speaks the nine digit number then sends the mental launch command to her mizzium legs.

Crix wasn't half the goblin she used to be, but it would be the nongoblin half that saved her today. If anything could.

* * *


Time to Fill in Those Gaps

It seems like Herndon is running out pages and is just glossing over some facts that he doesn't have the time to explain. Specifically I'm talking about everything that deals with distributing the cure. A possibility is that she is considering that the Cauldron may get destroyed, and if the Cauldron is gone, so is the running water and energy it supplies to the valley as well as to Vitar Yescu. If they tree can't be kept alive, then there goes it's healing pollen. But if these thoughts have gone through her head, it wasn't written on the page.


Robo-Crix?

I'm not too thrilled that this is the revealed hidden power of Crix. Jet boots? Or actually, jet legs? It was supposed to come off as shocking, but it just doesn't work for me. It's a bit odd, and I don't really see how it's going to help the situation. So she flies after a powerful wizard that created her. What can she expect to really do against him? We've only been given hints about her supposed abilities and still don't know what they are. We have no way to actually gauge the outcome. At the very least I feel it shouldn't have been used a climax to an end of a chapter. If the chapter kept on going we could really see what the rest of her powers are. Plus that closing pun is pretty bad. As a general rule, puns should stay out of a novel like this.


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