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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Planar Chaos - Chapter 21

The fate of Skyshroud is nigh.

Planar Chaos - Chapter 21

Venser wakes to find himself free of the Weaver King's influence, but also stuck way up in a tree. High enough that jumping down is out of the question and even climbing isn't going to work. Can he actually teleport? The Weaver King had shown him that he can. He had proven it was possible. He just has to try.

Venser closes his eyes, and visualizes himself on the ground.


He tries again with his eyes open.

Still nothing.

Maybe just trying isn't enough.

It's in him though. He just has to figure out how to do it. He feels silly even considering trying his next idea, but he's not going to get out of this tree anytime soon if he doesn't try something.

Venser leans back against the tree and imagines himself sitting in the ambulator. He closes his eyes, imagines his destination, and moves his fingers in the air as if he's pushing all the right buttons and switches. A strange sensation runs through him, and he feels solid ground beneath his feet.

He did it!

But what had he done? Was he now a mage? Did he have oceans of mana at his disposal? He would have to find a mentor and learn some sort of spellcraft. Venser the Wizard, he thought. amusing himself to the point of laughter.

Then, unbidden, a small, selfish, and stupid thought occurred. He no longer needed the ambulator. He had wasted his life, spent twenty years on high-level design, dangerous scavenge hunts through the swamp, and painstaking trial and error for a result that he could have achieved by closing his eyes and playacting. He was not a wizard, nor a planesawalker, but an idiot. Venser the Fool.

No that was dumb. It wasn't a waste. His extensive study of teleportation is what made him such an expert.

Now he has to get back to his friends. If they are still there. Venser closes his eyes and tries to imagine the place that he left. In a dramatic coincidence lightning strikes, he teleports, and when he reappears the thunder sounds in the distance.

Jhoira's gone, but Jodah's still here. After the mage confirms that he's not under the Weaver King's sway, he tells Venser that he insisted that Jhoira leave for Urborg. Things aree going to get bad here. He tells him that the plan was for himself to go into the forest and save him from the Weaver King, but it looks like he doesn't have to do that now.

The question now is, does he want to go and help stop Freyalise? Or actually, his traveling tunnel is still connected to Urborg. He could go home before Jodah reroutes it.

Going home and getting safely away sounds good to the artificer. Having all of them get to saftey sounds good. Venser pushes the archmage into the tunnel, and cuts away the roots in the ground that the spell is anchored too and fills the entrance with rocks. He looks up at the sky and the wild lightning above and thinks to himself that the place feels just like when Shiv began phasing back into reality. He needs to leave so he closes his eyes and hopes distance isn't a limitation to his ability as he tries to imagine himself back home at his workshop.

He teleports.


This rift. This rift is as much her fault as it is the Phyrexians. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time to divert the forest to Keld. The barbarians has no interest in forest life, and the elves didn't want to wander beyond the forest edge. They lived in perfect harmony and her elves thrived.

But maybe if she had allowed it to return to its original destination the rift wouldn't have appeared at all. But it's too late now. It was all too late. The forest is dying, and her elves had been forced to flee, and now they would never return. More than half of them will die during the Keldon winter and she wishes them luck but she can protect them no more.

The Phyrexians and slivers are coming for her and it is time to stop them. Freyalise removes her gloves and touches the earth below. All the mana she had poured into her forest to maintain it flows back into her and the forest instantly withers and dies until all that remains are black husks where living trees used to flourish.

She cups a small mound of dirt and watches as two vines sprout and weave themselves around each other. More and more vines spring forth growing wider, taller, and stronger. It will be the last Skyshroud tree. Freyalise steps on top of it with it becomes large enough and as it raises her up towards the rift.

Eventually she lets the barrier down that had been holding the Phyrexians and slivers at bay and they climb up after her. She pulls out the mirror that Jodah had given her. It is beautifully crafted and much more powerful than the one he had smashed so long ago, but he's right. The other path is the right path so she won't be needing it, and so she tosses it away.

As the creatures get ever closer, Lord Windgrace's voice enters her mind, and she tells him that if she fails she will need him to take up her cause.

Freyalise crossed her arms, gathered her strength from the tower of vines beneath her, and waited for the end.

* * *

That's it!?

Where'd the Weaver King go? He just teleports Venser away so he can learn a valuable lesson that if he just believes in himself he can do anything and then he releases Venser and disappears!? That's just strange and doesn't seem like him. He better be still be hiding in there.

P. S. The scene was actually written really well. I'm just summarizing it in a cheesy way because I'm rather shocked that it ended just like that. I suppose if the Weaver King is controlling two armies that may he doesn't have the time to hold on to Venser as well.

Freyalise, the Martyr

That's it. It's over. Skyshroud is gone. Again... Finally?

The staggered way the chapters are arranged in terms of where we are in the the timeline is quite odd. It's not exactly easy to tell when in the story I'm at until we reach these overlapping lines of dialogue or action points which so far never seem to be happening in the beginnings of the chapters. It's not horrible, but it does come as a small shock every time I have to adjust where I think I am in the story to match where I actually am.

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