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Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Brothers' War - INTRODUCTION

Now we begin the Read Through for the very first Magic novel that kicked off the Magic storyline, The Brothers' War. There were twelve novels published prior to this one, where the authors were essentially given free reign, but this is the one were Wizards took control and began the multi block spanning story of Urza and Weatherlight sagas. It's been over ten years since I've read this book but I can tell you already that this book is worth picking up. If you're looking to pick it up for yourself, it has quite conveniently been re-released together with The Thran by J. Robert King in the Artifacts Cycle I Magic Omnibus.

[Note: I should I have just put this up weeks ago. I have first drafts of enough of the Brothers' War chapters to help give me some time as I adjust to my work schedule. I was just being stubborn and trying to push off putting this up until after I finished Test of Metal. Test of Metal impressions are still coming, but from now on, you can be sure there will at least be some kind of update every day.]

The Brothers' War - INTRODUCTION

A word about sources and accuracy

The story of Mishra and Urza is the best-known tale in Terisaire and has been carried to all corner of Dominaria. That is not to say that it is a complete or entirely coherent narrative, as there have been several versions of the tale over the years, each reflecting the tenor of its age. During the time known as The Dark, Urza and Mishra were presented as blackhearted villains, responsible for the fallen state of the world they left in their passing. During the long Ice Age, they were reinvented as potential saviors, patron saints of a long-dead technology that could yet save the world. In the present age they have been alternately presented as heroes and villains, savants and fools, exulted to the heavens or condemned to the flaming pits of Phyrexia. This version attempts to portray them as they were, people of their times, both affecting and affected by the world around them.

The version you hold in your hands, like almost all recognized versions, takes as its primary source The Antiquity Wars, an epic poem-cycle by Kayla bin-Kroog. It is one of the few complete records to survive from the age of the Brothers' War. In addition, the author has been scrupulous in tracking down what few primary sources exist from that period, and has painstakingly pored through later editions of the tale, removing those parts that were either patently untrue or shaped by the desires and wishes of later scribes.

The result is the most complete and modern account of Urza and Mishra and the conflict that swallowed them and their world. It is a rendition of the classic tale set for the present age. The reader should trust this version and no other.

A word about time

Dates, when provided in the text, are given in Argivian Reckoning (AR), recognized throughout Dominaria as standard calendric system. The calendar dates from the birth year of Urza and his brother, most complete dating record of the time was used by the Argivians, who dated their years from the founding of Penregon, their capital. At the time of Urza's and Mishra's birth the year was 912 PF.

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Yes, I quoted the whole page, but I don't think there's any way to properly summarize this.

Right off the bat we're starting off with quite a interesting setup. It's not an actual chapter, but an introduction to the book, portrayed as if this book is a historical document, and meant to be read by someone actually within the Magic multiverse. It certainly is setting a mood to prepare the reader for what's to come.


It's also not exactly lying when it says there are other "translations" of this story. The story of Urza and Mishra has been told in comic form, twice. Once in the four-issue mini-series called Antiquities War, and once more in the two-issue mini-series called Urza-Mishra War. (This is all assumed from the titles of the comics. While I do own these, I have yet to read them. That's for some time in the future.)

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