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Friday, September 23, 2011

Alara Unbroken - Section 11



PART THREE begins and worlds collide.


Alara Unbroken - Section 11

The Maelstrom

The boundaries between the planes are collapsing, and planes are becoming one unified Alara.

In the heart of Alara, the five planes touched forming a region composed of all five of the former shards. The interior boundaries had gone, and the terrain crushed in on itself, compressing the landmasses into ta dense spiral of matter. The spiral formed a depression that widened and deepened as the planes continued their inchwise inward march.

At the very center where the mana of every world converges, one time mote of energy flares. Within his lair on Grixis, Nicol Bolas stirs.


The Blind Eternities

Nicol Bolas takes pleasure in watching the violence of intersection of each plane onto each other and watching as thousands die in the upheaval. He's had no hand in the convergence, he just knew that was in was going to arrive and planned to take advantage of the occurrence. He can feel the mana mixing across the shards, but it's only a trickle as of yet. The denizens of Alara need to consume massive amounts of mana for the obelisks to do their jobs and focus all that mana for his needs. Until then he must leave Blind Eternities prepare his servants for what's to come.


Bant

With his task of capturing Gwafa Hazid complete, Rafiq attends the court of Aarsil the Blessed and she has dire news. The world tremors are only a sign of the terrors to come. There are already reports of strange metal towers rising up through fields near the coast killing many of the Mortar caste and reports of scaled flying creatures terrorizing workers and livestock alike.

Aarsil asks the baliff...

(Wait. It's a trial court and not a royal court? Who's on trial?)

...to summon Iama of the Order of the Skyward Eye . Iama claims to understand Asha's Prophecy in a way that the Blessed caste do not. Aarsil explains she's always understood that it ends with the return of the demons and the war that ends the world. Iama corrects her and says that it ends with the war that will determine the fate of the world. There's still hope.

Rafiq interrupts and insists that his words belittle the angels that are their protectors. He councils that the angels will appear and defend them. All they have to do is wait. Iama counters that the word for angels, bantuthroi, which literally translates to "flesh of our volition." They are meant to enact the will of the people. If they sit and wait, so will the angels. If they fight, then the angels will do the same.


Grixis

After Kederkt fell to the armies of Malfegor , Torchlight became the final human stronghold of Grixis. And from within Torchlight, Morsath Levac uses an enchanted lens to look out for the scouts that are three hours late. Captain Haim tells him that if Tomlain and Welly don't show up in ten minutes, they'll do a round and lock up so he can go home to his wife and kid.

Captain Haim goes down to guard the door, but soon yells for Levac. Levac runs to find out what's wrong and sees a couple zombies in doorway. The lens should have given him warning, how did they get through? The wards along the door shoot out blue lightning that zaps the zombies and Levac finishes them off with a sledgehammer.

The pair of them look to the door and their hearts are filled with dread. Malfegor has come for them with a sea of zombies, dreg reavers , skeletons, kathari and spellcasters. They both know that Torchlight is lost. Captain Haim gives Levec a push and tells him to run. He hears the captain's screams as he makes his way to his wife Salay and his unborn child. He tells her it's time to pack and make for the tunnels. When he asks where their son Vali is, she turns pale. Vali is supposed to be with him.


Bant

Considering the grim news of everything as their world merges with the unknown, Rafiq is surprised to see wonder on Mubin's face.

"It all fits," said Mubin, but he didn't elaborate.

Aarsil the Blessed asks Iama what his suggestion is. The suggestion is simple. They go to war, and they go to war now, against the world known as Esper. Iama sits down and Aarsil addresses everyone in attendance. These are dark times but there is no ignoring the words of her advisers and the dreams sent by the angels themselves. It's time for the nations of Bant to unite as one and declare war on the foreign world of Esper. As for who should lead this united army of Bant, the perfect general has already been found, Rafiq of the Many .


Bant Esper Frontier

Knight-General Rafiq sends aven scouts ahead of his army to get a closer look at hundreds of flying... mounts?... and warriors of the oncoming Esper army which marches in front on a huge storm, while he and Mubin advance. Rafiq figures the best way to prevent a lot of unnecessary death is for him to challenge their champion immediately and get it all over and done with. They watch as two of the avens spasm and fall. How can that be? There's no such thing as magic that just kills... right? ...it has to be archers. Already two have fallen when none needed to and Rafiq raises his banners higher to make it even more clear that he's there to challenge their champion. Mubin is quicker to realize that this war will be like no other war fought on Bant.

The surviving aven turns around and actually shoots his crossbow at Rafiq and Mubin. The Esper army made of flying bird lizards , gargoyles , and strange flying machines fly past the two and head straight for the front lines of the Bant army. Within the storm they can see a mage atop a gargoyle mount. She raises her strange metal arms and the storm bulges outward. Finally Rafiq decides maybe it's be best to form up with the rest of the army. They turn around and Mubin groans and clutches his head in pain.

* * *


The Plan

Okay, that makes more sense. Nicol Bolas isn't just feeling mortal, he's actually extremely low on power, and this Alara plan of his is going to gather up quite a healthy chunk of mana that will help return him to his former glory.


Humanity Falls

Poor, poor humans of Grixis. Hopefully some of them can find some refuge in one of the other communities, if they can escape Malfegor. What kind or role can Mr. Levac play in the overall story? Provide some essential intel on the Malfegor and Nicol Bolas to a certain white-furred nacatl perhaps? He doesn't to be anything special because one of the last surviving humans.


Rafiq, Innocent No More

I still enjoy Rafiq's naivete but it's clear he's going to have to learn a new way of war. Ceremony and spectacle won't cut it in New Alara. No more of this:

"Come on! Raise that banner higher!! They must have accidentally violated the rules of war, we have to make sure they don't embarrass themselves even more. You foolish, foolish, Esperites."


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