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Monday, October 17, 2011

Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum - Chapter 14

Naturally our heroes aren't captured for long. Time to escape!

Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum - Chapter 14

Nissa, Sorin, Smara, and her goblin aree thrown into a cell uncomfortable enough that Nissa can't seem to get any sleep. They can hear Anowon's moans from coming from some other room nearby.

(I guess they can't tell that Sorin is a vampire either. Why! I don't understand!)

Nissa says they need to save him, but Sorin doesn't really care much. She tries to insist that he's a good person, not like other vampires she's known, and on top of that he's the one that knows the way to the Teeth of Akoum. She, herself, is no use as a guide now that they're so far from her home.

The goblin interrupts and speaks up for the first time since they first met him, and he says that he knows the way, and Sorin feels validated that they don't need Anowon.

(What's with this sudden lack of interest in Anowon?. Why was he brought along at all if Sorin feels this way about him.)

Nissa remains pretty positive that they can escape, but Sorin tells her that's she's being naive. There's a reason why most blooms disappear within a day and why this tower of Ora Ondar has lasted over a hundred years. And it's not because this tower is especially blessed. They're never going to be freed. The Nourishers are going to feed them to the tower.

With that unpleasant thought in her mind, Nissa hears a horn sound from outside the tower. The tower is under attack by the brood lineage.

But is that a bad thing?

Six elves with scimitars come barging in to their cells, perhaps because the approaching brood lineage has confirmed their suspicions that the strangers they captured are Eldrazi spies. Too bad for them that even without his sword, Sorin still has his magic, and they all soon collapse into piles of rotten flesh.

Our heroes escape and free Anowon. Sorin tells him to thank the elf because he would have been left behind if not for her intervention. They recover their gear as the attack by the brood lineage commences and attempt to make their way down the tower. At first the elves are mostly too busy shooting out every window to notice the escaped prisoners, but that's not likely to last all the way down to the bottom. When the Eldrazi spawn break into the tower, Anowon manages to turn one into a null, and they all climb on top of it, exit out a window, and float all the way down to the ground.

Nissa doesn't know which way they should head of course, but it looks like Anowon doesn't either.

Anowon was in a similar quandary, Nissa could tell. The vampire was looking at the stars, trying to gain his direction. His blood tears had dried on his cheeks and flecked off. But the curl to his lip had not disappeared. He jerked his hand up and pointed. "That way is west," he said. "It is somewhere there."

"Ghet?" Sorin said. "You told me you were at the Eye of Ugin. How can you be unsure how to travel to the Teeth of Akoum, Ghet?"

(Because he doesn't know which way is west, while in an unfamiliar land, during the night, while running from a prison tower... that means he doesn't know the way? That doesn't quite add up.)

Anowon tells him that just because he's been somewhere, it doesn't mean he knows the exact way to get back.

(That's a good point.)

The goblin speaks up again and says he knows the way. He was sent there before by his mistress. Sent through the Cypher of Flames to find a path to the Eye of Ugin. They were headed that way when they ran into our heroes, and he thinks it's no coincidence. The ancient ones made sure their paths would cross.

Sorin asks for clarification that by Ancient Ones, he means the Eldrazi, and then Smara repeats the phrase, "The gift is in the loam." But Anowon doesn't care much about what Smara is saying and wants to back up a bit.

"Wait," Anowon said. The vampire had advanced on the goblin and was not less than an arm's length away. "I did not see you. I did not smell you," he said.

"But I saw you, vampire," the goblin said. "I saw you held outside the doors as the magic wielders fought. And the dragon. And I saw you..."

"That is enough," Anowon said, holding up his hand.

A sly smile spread across the goblin's dry, cracked lips. "The vampire does not want me to speak of what I saw?"

"You will remain quiet, or you will sleep with your friends."

The goblin bows and leads the way to the Teeth of Akoum.

...Away from the tower...

They travel by night, and Sorin sleeps next to Smara and the goblin just in case Anowon can't control his bloodlust. And Nissa gets to know the goblin better during their travels. She learns that his name is Mudheel, and when asked why he hasn't fled as he watched his fellow goblins disappear one by one, he tells her that he can't. He can't leave Smara's side.

"She is like a wife to me," Mudheel said.

(More on this later)

A kor and a goblin? she thought. Nissa understood then why they traveled. Either of their people would strike them down for being together. Suddenly Nissa felt pity for Mudheel, but also shuddered at the though of their unnatural coupling. Goblins! she thought.

(And this.)

In the distance is a giant caravan. Mudheel tells them it's the Goma Fada Caravan, also known as the City That Walks. At this point the group is in desperate need of food an water, so to Goma Fada they go. A merfolk comes riding up to meet them. He tells them that the vampire is not welcome, but if they have coin they are welcome to enter the city. Nissa tells him they don't have any coin, but the vampire does have some magic teeth. The merfolk says that maybe the vampire can enter if he's bound properly, but he needs to see the teeth first. Anowon is hesitant to show them, but when the merfolk makes it clear that it's not a request, Anowon tries a different approach.

"They are merfolk teeth," Anowon said, and seized the emissary.

* * *

Man and Wife

Sooo... Mudheel hasn't abandoned Smara because she's like a wife to him. I wasn't expecting that, but assuming that's true, why didn't the other goblins leave as they saw their brethren disappear one by one. Why didn't they ever try to defend themselves? Actually, all the goblins reacted to her in the same way that Mudheel did. Was she like a wife to all of them? Or is this a matter of translation. He says "like" a wife, not Smara "is" his wife. Perhaps he's only referring to certain aspects of marriage and not the complete package, and the word "wife" is as close as he can get to making her understand without going into too much detail. Nissa definitely thinks it means they're getting it on and is weirded out by it, but we all know that Nissa's an idiot so we can't really trust her reactions one-hundred percent.

Merfolk Guard

What will happen with that merfolk guard? I'm not sure sure I mentioned it before when the Anowon's spell teeth were introduced, that Nissa shuddered when she learned they were merfolk teeth. It didn't seem important at the time, but it turns out it was one of the few details that's actually been relevant.

Bloodied One and Guide - Answers

It turnsout that the bloodied one is probably referring to Anowon, and the Guide is their human guide. So it looked like Again there are more people that don't know that Sorin is a vampire and for no reason at all, the human happened to be the one to be killed first. A possibility is that he may have been recognized a guide by what he was wearing, but why they would kill him first when they're planning on killing them all might have just been random dumb luck.

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