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Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Brothers' War - Chapter 24

Words of doom.

Chapter 24 - The Third Path

It's been three years since Loran first arrived in Terisia. Drafna and Hurkyl were able to glean all sorts of useful information from Tocasia's notes, and together along with Feldon and the archimandrite herself, they became the central figures of a growing union of the brightest minds of the continent. Some people who came to them were from Zegon, Tomakul and other Mishra held lands, others from Yotia and Korlis. Dwarves from the Sardian Mountains, some fanatical people known as the Brotherhood of Gix, and people from far north. Often those who came brought books or devices that would add to their knowledge base. The only real disappointment was that the song mages of Sumifa refused to join, and instead sought out Mishra.

Drafna didn't think it a big deal. All they did was a bunch of gibberish anyway. As usual it was Feldon who often presented the counter argument to Drafna and said that nothing should be dismissed out of hand. It is their frequent polar opposite reactions to each other that makes Loran wonder why Feldon had summoned her to his study in private, rather than speak to the whole group.

She enters and asks Feldon if he's heard the news that Urza has pushed on and reclaimed much of Yotia. Feldon doesn't care much. News travels so slowly that Mishra could have claimed it all back already and they couldn't possibly know. There are other things they should be spending their time on.

"What do you make of this?" the lame man asked, motioning Loran forward. "Yumok fishermen brought it up with their nets; the same group that delivered that coral helmet a year ago."

It was a cross between a bowl mounted on a thick pedestal and a squat, wide-rimmed goblet. The bowl was bout a foot across, with a pair of heavy handles mounted on each side. The bowl appeared copperish, but it was unlike any copper Loran had seen before. The device reminded Loran of a sacrificial bowl used by the old religions of Argive.

He tells her it's called a sylex , from Golgoth. Although he isn't sure if Golgoth is a place or a person or something else. All along the interior of the bowl is an inscription, repeated several times in various languages from Thran to an archaic version of Fallaji to the language of the Sumifans to languages Feldon has never come across. What the inscriptions say is very ominous.

"But listen to the translation of the archaic Fallaji: 'Wipe the land clear. Bring the ending. Topple the empires to bring a fresh start.' And this: 'Call the end, fill with memories of the land.' Sounds pretty dense."

"Fill with memories," said Loran. "Sounds like something out of a charlatan's patter. Old magics that require the whisper of a dying sun and the smile of a cat. And wasn't there an old Fallaji legend of a city in a bottle, which survived when the rest of the world was to be destroyed?"

Feldon suggests that maybe she'd be a little less skeptical if she touches it. When Loran extends her hand the whole world seems to dim and a feeling of disquiet envelops her. As soon as she releases the bowl her sense of the world returns to normal.

As for filling it with memories of the land... what can that mean? There have been rumors of strange things happening to Hurkyl's quarters when she meditates as a means to relieve her homesickness. Her room seems to organize itself despite no one laying claim to touching anything. It could be possible it's related. At any rate it's the best lead they have.

Drafna would most certainly think this is all a waste of time, so Loran can see why Feldon only brought this information to her. On the brighter side, if this thing is a weapon that can cause as much destruction as it implies, at least its complete lack of machinery would prevent them from being able to use it if this "fill it with memories" technique is the key. As for wiping the world clean... things haven't gotten so bad between the brothers that they'd want that to happen. At least not yet.

* * *


So they've discovered the Golgathian Sylex. Clearly if you took a look at the cards of the Antiquities set and saw that card, that would be the clear ending for the book.

Trivia: Apocalypse Chime and City in a Bottle both also destroy expansion specific cards.


This isn't something I've talked about yet, but it's quite interesting that this first Magic book and the set where Wizards of the Coast decided to take a stab and writing their own fiction rather than borrowing from existing sources like Arabian Nights, isn't centered around Magic. Instead it is focused on Magic's version of the scientist - the artificer.

This story has been so great that it is easy to forget that the biggest word on the cover is "Magic."

Well... it looks like this book isn't going to be completely devoid of magic. Of course there's the power of Gaea and the elves, but now even a small segment of humans is about to tap into a power that seems to have been absent for so long that no one even has a concept of magic anymore.

We all know what "fill it with memories of the land means." Magic is about to be discovered... or actually rediscovered within the human nations of Terisaire.

(Clearly magic was known before this time period or there wouldn't be a reference to it written on the sylex itself.)

How and why was it forgotten? Is that something that was explained in the prequel The Thran? I don't remember but I look forward to re-reading that book as well.

1 comment:

  1. Just comment on mana and The Thran. Magic is known, but not properly understood. There's a line from one of Yawgmoth's apprentices that says (roughly) "no one really believes magic has colours. It's jut a wild theory." Exactly how much they used mana is up for debate.