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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dissension - Chapter 9



Sometimes a first hand account isn't enough. It's time to tell the story of the angels and the Parhelion through flashback.


Dissension - Chapter 9

Look, I don't have any idea where they went. I don't know what they did with the vampire, either. Yes, I know the wolf. I'm sure he's going to do fine. On second thought, why don't you make all of that 'No comment.'
-Lieutenant Agrus Kos, quoted in the Ravnican 
Guildpact-Journal, 2 Seleszni 10000 Z.C.

22 SELESZNI 10002 Z.C.

Feather crosses over into the city of ghosts, and it is apparent from the start that the rules do not apply here. As she flies, it isn't the wind that provides lift under her wings, she just thinks and she moves. Agyrem is like nothing she has ever seen.

Feather floated low over a haphazard, patchwork town that might have been contrived by mad gods with a terrible sense of humor and a worse sense of aesthetics. Something like an inverted Rakdos warren sat atop a bulbous, deformed Selesnyan outpost tree. Roads left the surface and curved along impossible arcs with no respect for logic or gravity. Translucent denizens were everywhere, moving to and fro, a ghostly population that made the world shimmer and change as they passed.

But there is no time to look around. There in the sky is the Parhelion. It's been two years since she began her search and there it is. And not just the Parhelion, but the angels as well. They capture so much of her attention that she doesn't notice the swarm of glowing shapes taking off from the patchwork city and heading straight toward them.

When those shapes enter her direct line of sight and attack the angelic host, they quickly became her main concern and she joins the battle. Some descend upon her and call out her name, but with every slash of her sword they vanish in what she assumes is a permanent death. At first it's bad enough that she recognizes the initial ghosts as the spirits of fallen quietmen, but soon it's clear it's not just them. The war is against every spirit.

Soon one of the angels, Anezka, and says she'll take her to the Parhelion, Razia will explain.


...Inside the Parhelion...

It has been decades since Feather was cast down to serve with the mortals, and once again standing in Razia's presence she feels shame. The first words that her Parun speaks has nothing to do with the spirit war, but rather is an accusation that Feather has forsaken her name Pierakor and accepted a name given to her by a human.

Razia continues with her holy fury and questions why a fallen host should stand amongst true angels, and questions how the world at large will view the Legion when they learn that she has broken a direct order from her Guildmaster. The confusion whirls about her and Feather tries to explain that he did what she has to because the Guildpact itself is in danger. Razia's anger rises and she counters that it is Agrus Kos and Feather who are responsible for breaking the Guildpact.

(Huh?)

Before a full explanation can be made, a blur of motion beyond the invisomizzium windscreen catches their eyes. A flood of ghosts speed towards them, led by a horrifically familiar shape. It's made shasow more than anything else and has a pale face with black eyes. Szadek is coming for them.


...Moments later...

Angels are always prepared for battle. What they are not prepared for is the sight of ghosts penetrating the walls of the supposedly impregnable Parhelion with ease. The ghosts flood in and angels rise to meet them.

However it is Szadek that is the true threat. He has a power over the spirits. He is controlling them. Anezka rises to meet him but two ghosts wrap themselves around her sword and they snap it in two. The vampire uses the opening to grab her by the throat, and crack her head against the wall strong enough to spill the contents inside. Angels are supposed to be immortal, but it appears that here in Agyrem the rules don't always apply.

Razia demands answers. What could he possibly be doing? The Guildpact-

He doesn't allow her to finish the sentence and claims he doing exactly what the Guildpact dictates.

Feather can't believe him. Deception is his weapon. Feather and Razia both attack but he handles them with ease. Feather tries to step in and defend her wounded Parun, but his skill at the sword far outmatches herself and there is no choice but to run. She swoops in and picks up Razia and Szadek follows.


...Through Parhelion's halls...

There's no hope. Razia knows she's to die here with her angels. Feather flies the two of them down every twist and turn while Razia convinces her of what must be. She understands that this is none of Feather's doing. Szadek led them here where there is no Boros Legion and there is no Guildpact to stop him. Razia must stand and fight and die, while Feather must run and warn all the Guildleaders of the coming threat.

Feather does as she's commanded, at least providing Razia with her own sword. It does little good. Feather manages to watch as her Parun is beheaded before she opens up a hatch and escapes.


...On the run...

Over the next ten years Feather alternates between two choices: run or hide. The most she can be thankful for is that despite everything being turned upside down, she still does not require any sleep. Eventually she finds her way to the Schism, which appears to be a connection between true Ravnica and the city of ghosts, and she hears Kos call her name.

Angels can hear any mortal call out their name regardless of the distance, and her heart soars that it's her friend that leads her home. That hope is crushed when she realizes he's calling out to her with his dying breath. She takes a couple days to mourn him, and flies back into the Schism to see if she's been followed.

That decision nearly costs her everything as the ghosts, and even the bodies of the fallen angels themselves, were waiting for her on the other side. Feather returns to Ravnica and concludes that the ghosts must be afraid of the Schism itself, and it's the Schism that prevents them from invading. She turns herself in and embellishes her crimes to the full extent that an angel can without truly lying as a way to ensure her words will be listened to and the final order of Razia completed.

* * *

That Answers That

Szadek has control over ghosts... I don't believe that fact was ever told to us but know we know, and he's the reason behind everything. No doubt he's ready to betray even those working with him.

The ending of Epilogue of Guildpact even makes a little bit more sense. The Schism was preventing from Zomaj Hauc from getting to Agyrem and left him stuck in limbo. The ghosts must fear the same thing. We also know that the Schism is shrinking so there's now a window of time before the invasion begins. But if it disappears won't the passage way from Argyem and Ravnica be closed? Why would they wait there?


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