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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Alara Unbroken - Section 12



These are desperate times for humanity on Grixis, things aren't going well for Bant, but Sarkhan Vol is to be commended.


Alara Unbroken - Section 12

Grixis

Morsath Levac runs through the stronghold asking everyone in sight if they've seen his son. Eventually he spots his son Levi calling out to him from the top of a nearby tower.

Levac swept past the soldiers and went straight for the statue that stood out in the front room of the stronghold, the so-called Lady of the Scythe. He stood up on its base and grabbed its scythe with both hands, and yanked. It pulled free easily - as he had always suspected it would. Her hands had always been outstretched in a geustruer oof forgiveness, not force. Her outstretched wings and gentle eyes expressed a kindness that had never befitted Grixis, as if she were a relic from a gentler time long past.

(More on this later.)

Levac runs for the tower and discovers that even a clumsy strike with the scythe slices right through any zombie it touches. Fired up with this finding he charges into the horde, hoping the disappearance of his son from the top of the tower isn't a bad sign. Levac attacks the base of the tower toppling it over...

(Huh? Why was that a good idea?)

...which creates a giant pile of undead. Then he sees Levi rises from the dogpile pale of skin and eyes rolled up in his head. He was too late. Levac dumps the scythe...

(What!? Why!!)

...and runs back to his wife and tells her the bad news. She slaps him for failing their son and then they head down the tunnels.


Jund

Kresh watches as his warriors burn effigies of the betrayers Rakka and Sarkhan . There is much hate in his heart for Rakka and use of his warriors are mere distractions. However there is only confusion when it comes to Sarkhan. He stood by them against the dragon Malactoth but now he's been spotted riding dragons and razing the lowlands where dragons didn't use to tread. Eleven more warriors have died since then and it is only a matter of time before they will all perish. They cannot rebuild the clan, all that's left is to die in a worthy battle. As he finishes these thoughts, one of Kresh's warriors comes running and tells him a white cat has appeared out of nowhere. Kresh grins. They have a sign.


Bant Esper Frontier

Elspeth tells the knights under her command to ignore the rules of war. They need to cut down the enemy any way they can. They need to take advantage of every opportunity. She hopes they'll understand that this isn't going to be like any war Bant has ever seen.

Up above, the avens clash with drakes and gargoyles and some kind of metallic thopters. Elspeth wills strength and resilience into the brave avens, and while they use their new found strength to fight admirably, there is a limit to how much she can do. The introduction of death magic to her perfect paradise horrifies her.

Gargoyles drop down amongst the ranks and the stormfront that follow right after blows soldiers off their feet while the heavier gargoyles deliver death. To make matters worse, the storm also nullifies every archer they have at their disposal. The vedalken mage that's causing all this has to be dealt with. The knight Mardis is a bit nervous when Elspeth commands him to take out the mage, but an order is an order and he charges on Elspeth's signal. The knight finds himself catapulted into the air by an eruption of light coming from Elspeth , and surprise quickly transitions into determination to carry out his orders. Elspeth doesn't have the opportunity to witness if her plan succeeded or not because the rhox Mubin charges through their ranks with strangely glowing eyes and strikes her with his mace.


Grixis

Nicol Bolas asks for a report and Sarkhan tells him gives him a breakdown of Bant's tactics and magic. As for the obelisks, they're channeling mana, but only at a small trickle. Something is preventing their full potential from being unleashed and delaying the full effect. Sarkhan asks if he's to return to Bant to try and goad a greater use of magic out of their mages but Bloas has a different mission for him. He's to go to Naya. When Sarkhan tells him he can longer planeswalk there thanks to the Conflux Nicol Bolas says he has a special gift for his devoted follower.


Bant Esper Frontier

Rafiq watches Mubin clutch his head and turn on his fellow soldiers. He's never heard of any kind of compulsory mind magic but that must be what's going on. There's no talking him down or reasoning with him if he's under a spell, but he has to be stopped. Rafiq chases after his friend, but it's not until the rhox fells a female knight in a single blow that Rafiq finally strikes at his friend's unarmored back.


Grixis

Sarkhan has done well. There is all out war on all the planes and he's to be rewarded with something he's always wanted. Nicol bolas leads him through gigantic doors and into some chamber beyond to present him five dragons that are in a daze.

"Aren't they beautiful? I had them prepared and polished just for you. They're yours now, Sarkhan. Today you're getting a lesson in dragon control and summoning."

Sarkhan is both appalled at the state of such glorious beasts and thrilled at the power that's now his to command. He even recognizes one of the dragons as the great hellkite Karrthus . Nicol Bolas congratulates him, and says that when he's done, he's to meet up at the Maelstrom.


Bant

Elspeth wakes in a bed with Rafiq of the Many by her side. He tells her of the attack by Mubin and says that she's to heal up first before and is forbidden to return to the battle until she does. She tries to warn him that he doesn't understand everything that's going on but he silences her. He's the general and his loyal warriors must be taken care of to fulfill their roles. He mentions that there are even some natives of Bant, like the man Hazid who has betrayed them, and any who do so shall be imprisoned.


...Another room...

Mubin wakes in his own bed. The cleric in the room confirms his fears that his legs no longer work and are unlikely to heal. Mubin knows the cleric probably despises him for killing who knows how many of their own soldiers, despite understanding that he was being controlled, and so he tells the him to leave. The cleric says some polite denials that both know aren't convincing and soon gets up to leave. Before he does so, Mubin asks for one last request. He asks if the cleric would leave the book of prayers with him.

* * *


Planeswalker Powers, Activate!

If you didn't notice, the second ability of Elspeth, Knight Errant was put to use and Sarkhan Vol was just given the gift of his ultimate. It's always greate to see a card's powers translated nicely.


Timing

I wonder why it was decided to place the Kresh section before the dragon gift section. Nothing is gained by hearing reports of Sarkhan riding dragons before we witness them being gifted to him, and I would go as far to say as that something was lost by reversing the order. If there is a good reason for the decision, I can't see it.


Rafiq, General of Bant

Will Rafiq grow into his role? Or will Elspeth become the true leader? He really doesn't have much time to adapt before his world gets overrun, and Elspeth already has tons more life experience when it comes to something like this. While she doesn't want to lead, she's probably the better leader, if the soldiers and knights of Bant will follow someone with barely any sigils. (If any at all, I can't remember if that's been mentioned.)


Lady of the Scythe

What was that all about? That little section about the Lady of the Scythe seemed to come out of nowhere, and then was abandoned so quickly. It feels like that's a good example of how hard it is to compress three sets worth of story (about five separate planes) is quite a challenge, and the whole thing felt rushed. I would love to hear more about that statue that Levac has wondered about through the years, how it got there, how Torchlight itself was founded and became the last human civilization. I'd love to hear about the mages who set up the magical protections, and read about what happened to them because it doesn't seem like they're there now. But I doubt we're going to get any of that.

Instead we get one small paragraph, we get to see him use the scythe, and then through reasons that are beyond me, he decides it's a good idea to just toss the super zombie-slayer of a weapon on the ground before retreating to the tunnels. Are the tunnels to narrow to take the weapon with them? That's the only reason I can think of why that's anything but a bad idea. It's like King Arthur just drew Excalibur, felt the power of and majesty of the moment, and then decided he didn't really need it. He wants to do things the hard way.

If we were going to get such a mystical introduction to a strange weapon that may be humanity's last hope for survival... it feels like that weapon should have had a larger role, or not be inserted into the story at all. You don't go halfsies on something like this.


1 comment:

  1. Incredible, Nicolas spoke of Serra and his angels there's nothing. I'ma big fan of Sierra and its history.

    Incredible, as well as a Karrthus was nothing I expected more from him.

    ReplyDelete