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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum - Chapter 13

More adventures, more problems.

Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum - Chapter 13

Each canyon was almost a league wide and many more deep, and composed of dark gray rocks covered with crags. The canyons were not empty, however. The tops of vast pillars formed a patchwork level with the top of the canyon. Branches from vines and trees climbing up and around the pillars filled the spaces between them with dense growth. The top of each pillar was covered with grass or rock, and raw crystals protruded through some.

Is the distance is a lone tower atop a raised hill. Tal Terig. The Puzzle Tower. Even this far away, the grinding sound is unmistakable as pieces of the tower itself poke out of it, shift around, and then settle back into place. Anowon says the tower is where the Eldrazi buried their dead, as well as a store of all manner of treasure and powerful weapons, guarded by all manner of traps. What's also clear from this distance is Eldrazi spawn gathered around the tower, likely trying to find a way in.

Still atop their floating hedron stone, Nissa feels a rush of air and she can't dodge in time as tentacles wrap around her and lift her off the stone. She finds herself being flown towards the tower. Just as suddenly she was taken, as she struggles to free herself from its grasp she feels the tentacles go slack, and both she and the Eldrazi spawn that had taken her plummet down atop one of the pillars of the canyon. She takes a look at what happened and sees that the creature that had taken her is riddled with arrows. All around her she sees the same of the Eldrazi spawn that had taken each of her companions.

They all gather together, trying to stay hidden from both the brood lineage massed at the Puzzle Tower, and whatever shot them down. Smara is out of it and it's the goblin that takes care of her, but she does say one thing.

"The titans stir," she said quite clearly.

Nissa catches movement in the corner of her eye, and soon the group finds themselves surrounded by a force of elves who take them prisoner. They're forced by arrow point to jump the gaps and cross the canyon pillars until they reach one pillar that has a secret trap door. What's revealed is a ladder that heads all the down the hollow pillar to the canyon floor.A trap door reveals a ladder and a hollowed out center of one of the pillars and they descend to the canyon floor.

They exit the pillar and caught in Roil. The ground cracks open and magma shoot up out of the ground, but the magma instantly cools before it can even hit the ground, and right before Nissa's eyes plant life sprouts all over. One of the elves tells Nissa that it will likely last only a day or two, but soon she'll see a bloom that's lasted over one-hundred years. They're being taken to Ora Ondar, the Impossible Garden.

Nissa knew the stories, as did every elf and most humans. Examples of every plant that grew on Akoum grew on a basalt tower that shot up out of the wastes. The tower was shaped similarly to the pillar that had formed after the lava Roil she’d seen, except Ora Ondar was larger.

Within the tower, they're taken up higher and higher, and Nissa looks up the variety of plant life within, with each floor dedicated to a different variety of plant, with everything meticulously taken care of by elves known as Nourishers.

They're taken to an elf named Ser Amaran. He takes a bite out of an especially juicy fruit and then tells them he heard a voice speak to him and say that Ora Ondar will soon fall and the sacred kolya fruit will be lost as the Eldrazi lay waste to Zendikar. When he asks them who they are, none of them say a word.

Or are you minions of the tentacled creatures with the beautiful hearts?”

(That's an odd way to refer to the Eldrazi spawn.)

When told that if they remain silent, he can only assume they're spies, and still they keep quiet.

“Lock them away, all of them. At dawn throw the bloodied one from the grove, and feed his crushed body to the slaughter shrubs. Throw the guide to the salt flats.”

* * *


Soooo... Nissa feels confused that she's seeing weapons made of wood she's never seen before, hears an elven accent that she can't place, and is surprised to see elves that are shorter than her and have darker skin. Of course this is all new! It's because she's on a new continent! 

The Two Towers

How big is this Puzzle Tower that it's both a tomb for the Eldrazi and a store for weapons and treasure? And why didn't they speak up! Just say that they're there to destroy the Eldrazi! It doesn't make any sense for them to keep quiet.

The Two Prisoners

First of all, why was the guide singled out to be thrown to the salt flats... and how did they even know the human was their guide? How was he singled out like that? And who is the bloodied one exactly? I might have missed it, but I don't recall anyone being particularly bloodied from their capture and "rescue," and frankly, I'm not particularly interested in going back and trying to figure it out. We'll find out who was separated from the group by reading the next chapter... and the "bloodied one" could just be also the guide and the whole thing might just be referring to one person.

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