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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Alara Unbroken - Section 5

Dragons, blame, and planeswalking.

Alara Unbroken - Section 5


Kresh is injured but alive. He's not sure but he may have hit his head and blacked out for a bit, but as it stands, the whole cavern is cracking and there's a strange column... made entirely of sangrite? That can't be. Sangrite is too rare for that to be possible. But whatever, there's a battle going on. Where are the elementals, where is Rakka? Despite his feelings on the shaman, he can't do anything about her now. What matters in that in front of him are two dragons going at it. Kresh picks up a spear launches it at the pair.

...Sarkhan Vol...

Encased in a dragon of flame, Sarkhan Vol fights toe to toe with the dragon. He's quite safe from taking any damage as long as Malactoth doesn't hit his physical body in the center. But as for Kresh's spear, he catches sight of it and twists about just enough to grab hold as it passes where he used to be. The act releases the hellkite from his fire dragon's fiery grasp. Malactoth surges forward and Sarkhan drives the spear into its chest. Malactoth falls and Sarkhan thinks he hears someone yell out his name. Tthen the ceiling collapses.


Sarkhan wakes to find himself being carried by one of Rakka's obsidian elementals. An obelisk of sangrite emanates pure red mana that seems to have attracted all the dragons circling up above. Why is Rakka saving him? And why did she go to the trouble of freeing that obelisk if not to take that power for herself?


Ajani rocks back and forth hugging his dead brother to his chest, when he hears his brother speak. The voice says that everything is okay, everything's fine. All he has to do it go outside and tell everyone that their chief is find and everything will go back to normal. That's all he has to do and he'll be back.

Ajani doesn't want to open his eyes and confirm that his brother really is dead. He wants the voice to be right, but he knows it's not true. Ajani opens his eyes and takes Jazal's body to his bed. This can't be happening. No one would want to kill Jazal. This isn't real. Ajani begins obsessively cleaning up and tidying the room clutching on to the irrational idea that if he can put things in order, everything will settle into place.

Then the dark feeling that has been trying to bubble up inside of him grows stronger. He becomes dizzy and can't breathe and the smell of blood is overwhelming. Jazal's voice tries to speak but he tells it to shut up.

The world spiraled in on him, forcing him down inside himself. The weight of it crushed his mind. Everything went dark and warm, and he felt as though his consciousness had ruptured, his  mind being exiled to some realm of insanity. Shapes swam in the darkness - the blood-hallucinations he always saw under his eyelids.

The Blind Eternities

Ajani felt a void around him like suction. it dragged at his fur and skin, and sucked at his eyeballs. He blinked repeatedly and moved his head from side to side, but his vision was reduced to watery impressions. He saw a dark green shape, its hills and valleys roiling uncomfortably, and momentary inklings of creatures moving across the world at speeds to fast to be natural. He could sense that place in a way he didn't understand, a feeling like the memory of a taste, an imprint once removed from reality. It was Naya; somehow he was certain of it. That green, undulating shape was my home world, he thought.

There are other worlds and they seems to be rushing towards each other. It's too much for his mind to grasp and Ajani feels himself hurtling towards one of the other worlds. One that gives off a feeling of red heat and smoke.


Gwafa Hazid gets drunk while his page sets up camp. He loses himself in his manic thoughts about what had happened. It was a good thing. It was. He's made a lot of money from it and the castle was going to fall anyway. Some people may have died, but they shouldn't have been inside the castle, it's their fault. He didn't do anything wrong.

The page gets his attention and says someone's approaching camp. They need to run. Hazid's too slow to react and two Knights of the Reliquary ask if he's Gwafa Hazid. His denials fall on deaf ears and Hazid finds himself arrested by the champion of Asha herself. Rafiq of the Many .


Ajani is far from home. He's not sure how he knows, but he does. Is this even real? Maybe his brother is still alive... but maybe he shouldn't get his hopes up until he gets back home. Perhaps he should be more worried about the pack of ferocious furry creatures with beady eyes and sharp claws that are eyeing him.

With a shear cliff face on one side and a steep drop off on his other, there's no where to run except along the mountain path. Ajani runs, but not fast enough. The creatures close the gap... then as they reach him they continue on past. They were never chasing him, they're running away from something. A dragon.

* * *

Ajani, the Lost and Confused

Ajani isn't at all like what he seems in his art, but unlike Sarkhan Vol isn't not in a good way. He mostly comes off as a injured boy and not any time like a leonin or a warrior. He doesn't have anything in him to root for. And it's not as if he's ten-years old and nothing much should be expected of him. He's fully grown and yet he doesn't ever have any sense of direction of sense of self. He's too trusting of Zaliki and just pathetic when it comes to Tenoch. The gargantuan kill was a complete accident and while he did successfully fight his way to his brother's lair the night of the attack, it was over and done with just like that. There was no true threat or obstacle presented that he had to seriously overcome. He just went up the pathway and killed some guys no sweat.

Rafiq of the Many is quite innocent and ignorant of what's going on, but there's still much to admire in what's happening to him and how he's reacting. Not so much with Ajani. I'm waiting to see a hero of some kind, but he's not there yet.

Gwafa Hazid, Bolas' Dupe

Here's an opposite reaction. There's plenty to enjoy about Gwafa despite how much I'd never want to know someone like this in real life. I love at how shocked he is about what happened, and his denial is a joy to read, unlike the denial in Ajani.


He was saved by Rakka? At first when he realized someone was carrying him from the battle scene I was sure it was going to be Kresh that saved him. Rakka left and there were no elementals around. I guess she just doubled back and/or needed to confirm her spell was successfully cast.

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