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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Planar Chaos - Chapter 18

Whatever will happen now that Venser's brought the Weaver King to Skyshroud.

Planar Chaos - Chapter 18

Guilt nearly overwhelms Venser at the realization of what he's done. All he can say to Freyalise is that he's sorry, all the while knowing that's not enough. Freyalise says the same and wonders how one of Windgrace's servants could be so inept. But he isn't one of Windgrace's anymore is he? What had happened to his gladehunter's mark?

Venser tells them all about the silver man he met in the Blind Eternities, and Jhoira takes quite an interest in his description. If Karn is seeking her out, that could be the answer to all their problems. There is no doubt that he will be willing to help aid Freyalise in her goals. She asks Freyalise to be released from her promise so she can contact him and bring him here. It's the best plan.

Freyalise counters her points and says that the best news is that this machine that Venser has invented can take them to Radha . There is no time to waste. Her point is well illustrated as she pauses, as if distracted, and then she informs them that the Weaver King has gained control of the Phyrexians. If Venser is going to help, he should use his machine to take Jhoira and Jodah to retrieve Radha. That is what she needs.

Jhoira presses that Karn is the path to their success, and Freyalise gives up. She tells them they can do whatever they want. Everyone has failed her. Everyone had abandoned her. Radha. Wingrace. And now Jhoira. She'll solve this on her own. That has always been the way, and will be once again.

After Freyalise leaves, Venser confronts Jhoira about her tampering with his machine and demands to know what else she added. She tells him the truth. It's true that the machine is a beacon for Karn, and while it does gather data about each trip to make future calculations easier, she also altered it to take data on Venser himself.

He may not know it, but he is a planeswalker. His trip to the Blind Eternities is proof. That isn't a simple teleportation. The plan now is to let Jhoira take the machine for the spin and go get Karn like she suggested earlier. It should only take a few seconds so he might as well stay behind... with... Jodah?

Hey, where'd he go?

...Further into the forest...

Freyalise was too stubborn. That is a weakness amongst planeswalkers. Their near omnipotence allows for their bad habbits to shine through. Teferi and his childish ways, Windgrace and his tenacity that borders on tyranny, his old friend Jaya was too careless. As for Freyalise...  her maternal nature blinds her to caring for only about the well being of her chosen family.

She is doing it all wrong and Jodah just can't stand by and let that happen. At least she has the mirror he gave her. It would at least give her a measure of control over the spells she's aiming to cast.

Jodah catches sight of her and is awed by her glory. A wave of slivers and Phyrexians try to crash down upon her like an unstoppable wave, yet they instead crash into her invisible wall and she just pushes them back. She gathers them into a seeming mountain of bodies an ends her attack in a large explosion that kills most of them and sends the rest flying through the air to land on the far side of the forest.

He runs to her when she staggers and falls, but is too far to make a difference. Jodah approaches her slowly and asks if they can talk.

"I do not know," she said. "Can we? So far all you've offered is a steady stream of infantile needling."

He says he wants to help, and now that they're alone there's no one for them to put on a show for, and no one else to shift blame to. Just the two of them.

He knows she wants to save her people. He wants that as well, and wants to make sure the damage beyond her forest is minimized. Just like before. He wants to live, he wants Skyshroud to live, and he wants her to live as well.

What she plans will not work. She counters that he can't know for sure. He doesn't know everything. No one does. He responds that neither does she. She says that he might be right, and she admits that while he frustrates her, she would prefer it if he wasn't nearby when she casts the spell.

The planeswalker twists off her metal eye patch and removes it. She looks him in the eye, thanks him for the mirror, and flings him away. It's too late to stop her and he tries to fix the image of her face in his mind.

He had failed. All his words and best efforts had been for nothing. He had the numb, disquieting feeling that this would be the last time he ever saw Freyalise. As such, he wanted to remember her as she was now, her beautiful face wholly visible for the first time in centuries. She was as he remembered her, as he always wanted to remember her: confident, focused, and relentless.

"Good-bye," he whispered, but he was already planning to resume his pursuit and find her again as soon as his feet touched the ground.

* * *

Jodah, Redeemed

What was all that nonsense of Jodah being interested in Jhoira? Maybe that was what Venser was afraid of and the Weaver King sensed that. This conversation between Jodah and Freyalise makes it so clear that Freyalise is the most important person to him. There was such a strong sense of history and depth to their relationship. Both in terms of longing and regret. This was such a powerful scene and just when it looks like this is where he really belongs, that maybe Freyalise did finally find someone she can rely upon, that's all taken away from us.

(Maybe she'll still live, but the sense of loss is so strong at the very end of the chapter that I can't believe it.)

Forget Radha. She'd Keldon through and through. Jodah should be the one to step in as guardian of Skyshroud. He's the immortal one, and he's the one that understands Freyalise. Maybe that's where this story is taking him.


Will Jhoira really find Karn? When she does will he make no mention that he ever met Venser because it was actually the Weaver King that he saw earlier? I still can't accept that the Weaver King made that convincing of an illusion for not knowing who Karn is. Hopefully things will be made clear when their meeting occurs.

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