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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Time Spiral - Chapter 19

It's time for a battle of wills against an unknown force.

Time Spiral - Chapter 19

"Please excuse my colleagues," Jhoira said. "We are a quasi-military unit and they are accustomed to letting me answer for them." Radha harrumphed, and Jhoira was grateful she at least kept her mouth shut.

So they stand and talk with the unseen presence who has an air of courtesy and threat about him. It's clear that he skims their minds as he asks his questions, and they stand their ground trying to reveal as little as possible while simultaneously answering in ways that won't offend him. Jhoira tells him their names and their homelands. He introduces his title, not his name, as Sensei Ryu. She tells him they arrived here by accident and they await the return of their captain, then he tells them he is trapped here and has been ever since he died.

Jhoira says how they exactly got to Madara is a private matter, and Sensei Ryu reveals that he knows they bounced around through time. He tells him that it was he that directed them to safely land here. They caught his interest. Trapped here in his location has been rather bother with only the rift as the only thing at all intriguing.

When asked if he knows what the rift is he says:

I know it is... troubling. I have been dead here for a long time and lived for longer before that. This schism is older than the oldest histories of Madara, but it is not older than me. A great upheaval caused it, one of the first things to ever happen on this world. No wonder Dominaria's history is so full of conflict - this initial defining event itself was violent in the extreme.

He goes on to say that a millenia before Karona's war, someone named Ravi rang her terrible bell and the Garden ceased to exist. The event opened a rift connecting this world to one where flesh and spirit lived in balance and it created a link between the two which has caused all sorts of trouble throughout the years.

But that's enough about that. It's their turn. He focuses his new questions on Radha and Venser... with that interest leaning more towards the Venser side. He knowingly asks that he hadn't intended to come with the rest of the group right? His machines and tools are back home, all vulnerable to the gladehunters. Every moment here is  another moment where he could be building and tinkering to his heart's delight. Doesn't he want to go home? Sensei Ryu says he can return him home, all Venser needs to do is ask. He just needs to say out loud that he wants him to return him home.

Vernser's companions all look at him in horror, and he himself knows that something is wrong, but he is compelled to speak the words.

(Watch out! He's going to possess you!)

At last.

Both Radha and Venser are lifted into the air, and from an elaborate display of fog, color, and blinding light, a one-hundred foot long dragon appears. Nicol Bolas .

Jhoira's mind raced, driven by fear and duty. Nicol Bolas. The oldest and most dangerous planeswalker ever known. One of the original dragons, one of the great elder legends, the source from whom all other dragons flowed. Bolas had been godlike even before he ascended to become a planeswalker, and ever since he treated the entire multiverse as his personal preserve, preying upon it longer than the oldest historical texts could record. Now he was here, on Dominaria once more, and Jhoira had only seconds to find a way to survive the cruel titan's gratitude.

Then Teferi appears.

With a polite insistence, he greets the dragon, but apologizes that he and his friends must depart. There is too much to do, and he will have to forgive their rudeness.

Nicol Bolas will not. If they attempt to leave, not all of them will survive, and the ones that do will be maimed until he can finish off what he started.

So what now? Teferi asks if it must come to a duel, although it would be a pitiful duel considering the state of this plane's mana. It's his work that will prevent its total destruction. Nicol Bolas pauses to confirm Teferi's words, but still decides that a duel is most acceptable. It's time to flex some muscles that he hasn't been able to flex in so long.

Radha screams into Teferi's mind, telling him to not be foolish. Even a Keldon knows not to attack a dragon, and this one had claimed it was going to give them a reward. Why not find out what that reward is?

(More on this later.)

Teferi responds that the duel must happen. She retorts that he's acting like a true wizard and doesn't even have the sense of a warrior.

Nicol Bolas interrupts their little back and forth and asks if Teferi is going to need to confer with each of his underlings. Teferi says he does not. He's ready.

* * *

I Was Right!

In both cases. It was both Nicol Bolas and related to Kamigawa. That's pretty good that with just a few sentences it was already clear that the being was Nicol Bolas. That's quite a character Wizard's has created that his presence is so noticeable.

I'm still confused as to where they are exactly and what time period, it appears that Madara is on Dominaria.

Dragon Fighting

What's this nonsense about even Keldons knowing to not attack a dragon? Radha was thrilled at the chance to attack the shadow dragon back on Urborg. Either scene would have worked, but when they're both in the same book, only a few chapters apart, it really doesn't make too much sense. Without the first scene, I'm sure this would have felt like Teferi was crazy to attempt to face Nicol Bolas (although without the scene I think it still would have worked with Jhoira's thoughts when she realized who he was), but with that scene, all it did was take me out of the story in confusion. That's too bad that the excitement of such a monumental moment was diverted like that.

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