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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Planar Chaos - Chapter 17



Time for the villains to play.


Planar Chaos - Chapter 17

The Weaver King has never followers like the slivers . Usually he had to nudge, push, and maneuver people to do his will, but there is something about these creatures that make them susceptible to his every command. Not only that, but there are thousands of them yet they all respond as one. It's more like controlling his own body than anything else. Commanding them to fly is as simple as lifting his arm, igniting them on fire is as easy as brushing hair out of his eyes. They would be an army like none he had ever had before.

The planeswalker in these parts is a problem though. He doesn't like unknowns so he's just going to bide his mind so he decides it's best to the muscles of this new body of his and gain tighter control over his force. Then he'll overwhelm Freyalise with the sliver swarm or watch as her heart breaks as she kills creatures she considers to be under her protection. Either way he wins.

In the distance he notices a band of twelve Phyrexians and he decides that maybe it's time to discover what these strange machines that are plaguing Lord Windgrace can do. His slivers want to attack but he holds them at bay and dives into their minds and is shown that these machines are similar to the slivers in many respects. Their thoughts are practically just as simple. All they want is a leader to command them. The Weaver King works his way in and convinces them that he's their machine god. Just like he convinced Venser that he was the silver planeswalker . Then just like that, the Phyrexians come under his control.

(Oh?)

But why stop there? The he tugs on the mental string that connects him to his servant Dinne and commands him to find the largest concentration of Phyrexians he can find on Urborg and then wait for his signal.


...Underneath the Stronghold...

While still sitting cross-legged, although no longer performing his meditation, Teferi watches the silent warrior. He's encountered shadow creatures before, but this one is different and is a bit unnerving. Every time the warrior notices that he's been spotted he vanishes and resumes watching from another vantage point. It's been hours of this and yet he just continues to watch.

But maybe if that's all he does it isn't too bad. It would still allow time for Teferi to continue studying the rift as well as allow him time to relearn how to summon mana from the land like a common wizard. It isn't easy. It's been so long since he's had to do it the hard way.

Eventually Teferi gathers enough mana that he stores into his staff that he feels it's time to discover if he's truly as helpless as he fears.

Teferi concentrates does it! He manages to levitate a few inches off the ground. It is only a first year spell, but now he knows with some work it's still possible.

The shadow warrior takes special notice of this event and pulls a throwing spike from his belt. Teferi  has no idea how he managed deal with Corus , and so he quickly runs through what defensive spells he has at his disposal settles on a shield of protection that will phase out anything that touches it. He's the inventor of that entire branch of magic so the spell should come to him easily enough.

The spike flies towards his face and Teferi doesn't even flinch as he confidently watches it fade out of existence before it ever touches him. The warrior's interest in piqued and he begins to flicker in and out of sight from all angles and continues to prod Teferi's defenses for any sign of weakness. When his belt is empty the warrior looks surprised, but then he confidently holds out his hand as if expecting it to be filled. When the first spike that was phased out returns to reality, it does

A disembodied voice calls out to what he refers to as the dart tosser.

Stop wasting time with that afterthought, the voice said, and Teferi stifled a harrumph when he realized that meant him. Go out and find me the largest concentration of Phyrexians in Urborg. Keep hem in sight and wait for my signal. The mad voice paused, then added, I'll be back soon. don't tell Windgrace, though, as I want him to be surprised.

Teferi isn't too pleased with being dismissed, but if that means the constant attacks are going to cease, he can resume his studies.

* * *


Forces Acquired!

The Weaver King has now become a massive threat. Forget subtle manipulation, he's switched gears and is just going to beat down on our heroes. I like this turn of events. Sure, watching friends turn on each other through the expert mind manipulation of a villain can be lots of fun to watch, but this book isn't as long as plenty of the fantasy epics, so speeding things up to good ol' beatdown is something that I can appreciate as well.

What was especially interesting, however, is that he admits that he was the one that posed as Karn! How did that happen? How did he even know what Karn looks like, he couldn't have taken that from Venser's mind because Venser doesn't know him.  How did he know to make Karn approach him from the metal world? Who are his sources? I expect this to be answered, but for now consider my interest piqued.


Reintroducing: Dinne

This was a fine introduction to Dinne's powers, and much more engaging than when he stalked and killed the warchief. That first time we saw it from his perspective, but in this chapter we're shown that from Teferi's analytical perspective, one that's seen people and creatures in the shadow state before, he's perfectly capable of explaining to us what's going on. We didn't need to go into Dinne's thoughts to see that he was completely loyal to the Weaver King, as that's the default assumption of a master/lacky relationship, and the Weaver King had similar thoughts several times from his own point of view.

It feels like that first encounter was added at a later stage in the writing process just so his presence would be spread out through the book more, so he could be introduced sooner so this chapter wouldn't feel like it came out of nowhere, which is a fine goal if it wasn't so repetitive and didn't take away from this reintroduction. Without knowing how this whole thing plays out and having a chance to take a step back look at the work as a whole I can't really say for certain, but that's how it feels at this point.


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