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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Alara Unbroken - Section 10

PART TWO is over.

Alara Unbroken - Section 10


Ajani's victory over the thicket elemental is quite satisfying. He has real power now. He's always had magic, but it's always strengthened others' resolve, strengthening their bodies, or cured others' wounds.

With no more obstacles in the way, there's nothing left between him and the Chimamatl's lair. He confronts the old woman but she uses the same sleezy logic as her son, and says he has no proof, but she is quite surprised he's gotten past her elemental.

"You destroyed it? But it's been months since I've had a visitor other than Tenoch. It should have been hungry enough to swallow you in a single bite."

"Ajani's eyes narrowed. "Someone visited you? Who?"

(More on this later.)

She says the visitor was an old friend, and a hero.


So far being a Telemin hasn't been all that bad. All they're doing is taking a walk towards the cliffs. The Seekers supposedly cast the spell but as far as the lighthouse keeper can tell he feels exactly the same as before. Maybe it didn't work?

Then they get close to the cliff's edge. Much closer than he's ever felt comfortable being. He tries to move away, he body doesn't respond. He tries to regain control but his body won't respond. What's this? He finds his body putting on a weighted vest. This spell is so effective that without putting in effort to really understand what's going on, it actually feels like he's the one commanding his body to perform every action. Instead he's actually more like an observer.

The female vedalken speaks directly into his head and tells him not to worry. His task is quite important and this telepathic link will allow her to monitor his progress throughout the process. He tells her that he quits, they can have his lighthouse if they want it. She just thanks him for being a willing participant. His body takes a deep breath and dives off the cliff.


Another day, another sin, thought Marisi. It was shameful work for a nacatl warrior-hero, a living legend of Naya, to do the errands of an otherwordly dragon. But what choice did he have?

He walks down into the territory of the elves into the valley of Sacellum. Even with his extended life, he's too old for these tasks. But life is better than death by dragon. And what a pathetic death it would be. It wouldn't be a death a warrior deserves. The dragon would just need to gaze at him and kill him with a thought. The power of his mind would kill him rather than facing a warrior's death fighting against tooth and claw. His powers are too great. The first part of his life he was lured by chaos and power, and the in the latter half he's been motivated by threat of death. But what is there to be afraid of when his whole life's has never been his own? Yet Marisi continues on, following his orders. In his hands is the dragonscale sphere he's been commanded to place by the Relic of Progenitus .


The lighthouse keeper's body swims deeper and deeper into sea, and he wonders why they would go to such strange lengths just to kill him. The pressure increases all around him and his lungs begin to burn, but no matter how much he wants to open his mouth it remains tightly shut and he just keeps on swimming.

His weighted vest begins to glow and he can see movement of some giant creature coming to get him. He wonders if his body will continue to swim if he loses consciousness, and that's when the voice of the female vedalken tells him to stay alert. He reaches some coral covered spire atop an underwater mountain when the creature's jaws close down on him and spire both. The serpent swims away and the coral falls away from the obelisk .

The vedalken tells her human companion that the mission is a success. Sarkhan Vol tells her that he'll inform Master Bolas.


Dawn breaks as Marisi finishes the ritual and plants the dragonscale sphere behind the monument. It cracks open and a purple mist swirls its way around and into the relic. On his way back up the mountain he runs into a white-furred nacatl that calls out to him by name. He of course denies that he is indeed Marisi, and that he is not the one that killed his brother. He sees that Ajani won't be deterred and just like that switches from denying his own identity to begging for Ajani to kill him. However, Ajani won't do it until he knows for certain that he's his brother's murderer.

Marisi tells him his brother's death was his own fault. He shouldn't have tried to make peace with the Cloud Nacatl, it would have ruined the master's plans. Ajani asks him what master he's referring to when the ground shakes. Marisi panics and insists Ajani kill him now and Ajani demands to know why.

Marisi's eyes flashed with fire. The strings inside his mind were snapping. "It doesn't matter - even if you don't kill me, we'll all be dead soon," he snarled. "You'll perish, just like the rest of them. You can't stop him. The dragon is much too big for you, for me, for this world, for all the worlds. Nicol Bolas will consume us all!"

The earth shakes again throwing the two of them off their feet. Marisi hits a tree but Ajani is tossed down the hill. Marisi doesn't wait for Ajani to come back and runs.


Ajani's tumble ends at the feet of a gargantuan, one that happens to be a mount for a small band of elves. They question who he is and tell him that he can't be here. No nactl is allowed near the relic and this holy place. Ajani notices the dragonscale object and points it out to the elves and neither he nor the Anima Mayel know what it is, but she insists he must depart. They hand him the bowl which for all they know belonged to him all along and return his axe now that they know he is not a threat and tell him to leave. They just want him gone.

At this point Ajani can go and hunt down the so-called hero Marisi but he already has gotten a lead on bigger prey. He needs to track down this mysterious master, Nicol Bolas.


Mayael kneels in front of the Relic of Progenitus and sings the mantra to Progenitus . The giant red eye in the center always makes her self-concious, but she is the leader of the elves and they need guidance. She stares at the eye as she says her prayers and a state of mind called the Whitecover Gaze falls over her. The image in the relic begins to move and the three heads of the hydra speak.

It asks why is it blind and she replies that the first Anima Cylia blinded him centuries ago. She asks for guidance and it says it cannot help her until it is healed. She asks how.

The hydra's voices deformed strangely. "Seek out the white..."

Then the heads begin to change color. Something is wrong.

...Up the mountain...

Ajani prepares himself for planeswalking and tries to imagine the world of Jund. The horrible world full of choking fumes, furry goblins, and all kinds of dragons. Ajani panics for a moment wondering if he's doing the right thing, but the 'walk was already beginning. Ajani finds himself in the Blind Eternities and it's all too clear that his earlier assumptions were right. The five worlds are converging. They're already beginning to overlap. Before he can decide to finish the trip he finds himself falling towards the earth of Jund while witnessing a stone pyramid of Naya thrusting its way up through the ground.

...At the Relic of Progenitus...

The heads of the Progenitus vision twine about each other and change to a creature of death.


The vision ends and Mayael tells all with her that they much gather up every warrior. The elves are going to war.

* * *

The Conflux Begins!

There we have it. The obelisks are freed (except for Naya, and I just assume that Grixis is freed since Nicol Bolas already rules that shard) and the Conflux has begun.

Double Meanings

"You destroyed it? But it's been months since I've had a visitor other than Tenoch. It should have been hungry enough to swallow you in a single bite."

"Ajani's eyes narrowed. "Someone visited you? Who?"

I read Chimamatl's words in a completely different way than Ajani.

"You destroyed it? But it's been months since I've had a visitor other than Tenoch. It should have been hungry enough to swallow you in a single bite."

"I pray he was good company. Because of your role in my brother's death you'll never see another visitor again!"

I do this kind of stuff all the time, write something that can unintentionally be read another way. That's why it's always good to have a second set of eyes, or even more if possible. Having to do a double take and re-reading a paragraph to understand where things went wrong is a simple thing that can pull a reader from the moment.

PART TWO complete!

  • Nicol Bolas wants war, and there's still half a book to go.
  • Elspeth is introduced and she's come in contact with Ajani and he's brought a warning
  • Rakka has introduced Sarkhan to the Nicol Bolas
  • The Esper obelisk has been activated
  • Ajani's unleashed the red mana within him, acquired his axe, and come across the name Nicol Bolas when discovering Marisi of legend is alive.
  • We still have yet to see Tezzeret the Seeker , it was Sarkhan with the Seekers of Carmot instead.
  • Rafiq of the Many and Grixis have had no new developments.

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