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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Planar Chaos - Chapter 24

Time is running out. Lord Windgrace must make his decision.

Planar Chaos - Chapter 24

Lord Windgrace descends like a comet upon the very center of the Phyrexian horde. The ones in his immediate vicinity liquefy and those a bit further shatter. Windgrace summons a bladed staff to his hand and loses himself in their destruction.

During a lull in the battle, the metal planeswalker appears. He repeats the sentiment that the rift must be dealt with, but Windgrace doesn't feel like listening. Karn tries a different approach and offers to demonstrate one of his original purposes. It's time to destroy some Phyrexians. Windgrace puts up a shield and watches as Karn extends his arms and powers up until he glows white hot. Karn spins faster and faster and unleashes beams of light that disintegrates every Phyrexian in sight. Windgrace is sufficiently impressed. The nearest Phyrexian was at least ten minutes away at a dead run.

Karn suggests that now might be a good time to talk. But what he says is merely the same words said differently and Lord Windgrace has a hard time believing any of it to be true. The last time he worked with other planeswalkers, it all went wrong and so many of them died.

"The last time, when everyone died, was the outcome worth the cost? Was stopping the Phyrexian Invasion and killing Yawgmoth once and for all a noble cause worth dying for? Urza thought so. And so did countless others. Many of them died here, in Urborg, under the shadow of that cursed mountain.

"I put it to you, Windgrace. This is still the same threat you agreed to meet all those years. ago. The Invasion helped cause this current strife, created your hole in the sky. That battle is not yet complete and never will be as long as remnants of it continue to spoil Dominaria. It's time to finish it once and for all.

But what guarantees does he have that Urborg will be safe if they're gone. Karn promises him that it will be so, but that isn't enough for him. Windgrace slams his claws into the ground, a visible ripple runs through the land. He tells Karn that he may die, but a part of his spirit will always look over Urborg. What power he has left better be enough to close the rift.

Karn thanks him.

Windgrace leaps to the sky growing large enough to swallow the rift. Teferi was right. He can feel the rift trying to absorb him, but the panther warrior will not be beaten. The rift senses him and fights back, and while the pain is terrible he refuses to be beaten. The panther-god vanishes, taking the Stronghold rift into oblivion like a trophy between his teeth.

* * *

Karn, the Convincing

Everyone's favorite golem just gets right down to business. It's great. When a character appears this late in a book and becomes this important sometimes it can feel like a cheat on behalf of the author, a deus ex machina. But with Karn it feels right. He had the perfect true introduction when he arrived and Jhoira was thinking to herself how great it was that he's there, and that he was ready to skip the small talk and get right down to business. It's just a part of his personality. Of course, the fact that he actually has a lot of weight behind his presence, his history with Dominaria, and the fact that he's essentially a robot so it seems nature for him to be quite practical about everything doesn't hurt.

That aspect of his personality is also what makes this chapter feel right. While his argument is quite convincing, if Teferi had said the same thing it wouldn't have worked. Or at least it wouldn't have worked without Lord Windgrace protesting more vocally. (It seemed like he was ready to give in, and was just looking for an excuse at this point. A reason to honorably give up his life and follow Freyalise's example. If not that far, he at least partially believed there might be some merit to Teferi's cause.) Karn was an equal, and straightforward, and was there during the Invasion. Everyone approached Lord Windgrace with a sense of urgency, desperation, or spoke to him like they had a hidden agenda... but with Karn it just makes sense.

Weaver King

The rifts are gone! Book over right? Nope! We still have the Weaver King to contend with, and potentially whoever is pulling his strings. (Although this character came in so late without any set up at all that it seems like he's being saved for the third book.)

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