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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Brothers' War - Chapter 30

The beginning of the end.

PART IV - Critical Mass (57-63 AR)
Chapter 30 - War Drums

The demon Gix drinks in the knowledge of two of his followers, one head in each hand. One follower was from Mishra's camp and Gix sees what great progress they've done there. Mishra is coming more under their sway every moment. On the other hand, the spy from within Urza's camp has some distressing news. They've come across an island of resources that will end the war. The war cannot be ended until the two brothers confront each other and unite the stone. They've held each other at bay with their machines, kept their distance from each other, too long.

Gix inserts commands into his servants mind, commands that will inform Mishra of this new island his brother has discovered. Into the other, he inserts commands to let himself get captured by Urza's forces, allows himself to be tortured, and only then is he to reveal that Mishra knows of Urza's discovery and will stop at nothing to acquire it.


Titania knew the invaders would come back. They always back. And Gwenna was the first to spot the return. The invasion.

Ships as large as any settlement were coming and the sky is filled with more of the flying machines. Gwenna tells the young Doril to send warning to Titania's court, but with a threat so large there is no doubt she's already been warned by Gaea itself. Gweena spots the same man from before leading the invasion, and she goes off to assemble the elven defenders. There's no time to wait for official orders, the spider machines with saw blades are already cutting down the trees.


Ashnod originally planned to take and rule Almaaz and offer it up to Mishra as an offering to allow her to return to his side, but the lessons she's learned from Loran have been far more impressive. There is a whole new source of energy they can harness. It doesn't matter that Loran had escaped somehow. Ashnod already has the knowledge, and she has the slyex .

It is hard to learn and accept, but once you believed in magic, it existed.

A soldier knocks on the door with a message. Mishra and his brother are racing towards an island rich with resources. Mishra's shipyards are bustling with activity. Messages travel slowly, and in the three months it took the message to reach her, Ashnod figures that the ships were already likely near completion. She tells her second in command that she'll be leaving.

It's time for her to return home.


Junior Artificer Sanwell looks upon Urza's latest invention. It's a strange glowing sphere that floats above the floor. The Lord Protector tells him it's a rakalite and works under the same principles as the healing amulets of Kroog. Sanwell then reports that the spy has been broken. Mishra, the Artifice Qadir, knows about the island and is preparing to sail there himself.

Urza can't have Tawnos and Harbin deal with Mishra on their own.

"I'm going, I said," Urza grunted, looking up at Sanwell. His face was exhausted, and all the spirit that had been there moments before had been drained from it. "I'm going to that island. To meet my brother one last time."

* * *


I like that Gix is involved in forcing the brother's together. It helps to demonstrate that the two brothers are so equal in power and ability that they will never come face to face unless an outside party forces them together. And who else can do that besides the only person that really knows what's going on? The story could have been written that it was just a coincidence that each side just coincidentally came across the information about the island, but even if that was executed well... that would leave GIx out in the cold. This is his purpose in the story. The brothers are almost two forces of nature at this point and his interference helps to bring the story back down to consequences and results of individual choices.

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