Remember the Weatherlight, Part 2: Darkness Within
By Daniel Rezendes on August 10th, 2005 · Filed in General Magic · Comments not available just now
Weatherlight’s journey across Dominaria in the set bearing its name saw the ship in several small skirmishes, more or less of the sidequest variety. Though there was rarely a time during that set that any of the crew seemed in real danger, there was a sense of general foreboding as they planeshifted to Rath after Sisay. We knew this had to be building up to something, but had no idea what. This feeling of unease was reinforced when Pete Venters revealed in the “Dominia FAQ” of that issue that the sets had been occurring in roughly chronological order—not only that, but it was a manner of phrasing. He didn’t
Originally Posted by The Duelist #20, December 1997
There is a place where the land and sky have murderous intentions and the shadows hide in fear. It is a world conceived by evil and designed as the ultimate lie…
It is Rath.
Mysterious Selenia was always a fan say that Antiquities took place roughly around 0 AR (you know something is important when the calendar is based on it)—he said Antiquities took place roughly 4200 years ago. This may not seem important, until you realize what that tensing choice does—it places The Weatherlight Saga in the now, creating a sense of immediacy—this wasn’t history, not even recent history. This was taking place in the present—and we had no reason to truly expect things to all work out well. And, considering the tone of the art and flavor text in Tempest, which portrayed the darkest Magic setting since, well, The Dark, it seemed doubtful the crew would escape Rath unscathed. Rath was a world where living was barely possible; for some species, like the Armodons, it wasn’t.
favorite, but never was fully developed.
The December 1997 issue of The Duelist cited above also included a Tempest storyboard usuing bits of art from the set—similar to (but much nicer than) the ones on phyrexia.com. The ability to do this was intentional—WotC wanted players to be able to piece together the story through the cards. When the sets were new and the story was actively developing, this worked rather well; now the effect is different, but positive, in its own way. Whenever new players happen upon cards from these olds sets depicting some moment in the story, it piques their curiosity—making interest in The Weatherlight Saga perhaps more enduring than WotC expected when it concluded.
Now, when I said the story was "actively developing," I don’t mean like the stories do these days. Modern storylines are there only for the players who want to read the books—you can’t even figure them out from the flavor text anymore. Looking at the flavor for Mirrodin block, for example, you would be hard pressed to say there even WAS a story—that is how WotC apparently wants things now. I’ve accepted it, and Kamigawa block has been very well done, flavorwise—perhaps the best setting-style flavor since Fallen Empires. But still, part of me is saddened—there is no longer any buildup between sets. During The Weatherlight Saga, especially during The Rath Cycle, people were just as interested as what was happening in the story as they were in the new cards (generally, generally—don’t any of you old-timer spikes complain. Of course, they probably wouldn’t be reading this article). Back then, even the Magic humorists got in on the action—Phil Foglio’s “What’s New?” comic in The Duelist took several jabs at The Weatherlight Saga, from "additional crewmembers" to the "villains of Rath"—the latter was especially amusing, including “The Happy Crew of the Weatherbright” who considered the Weatherlight’s crew to be their evil twins, and “Muskatel the Doom Oyster,” the single most evil creature in existence. Later, spoofing Stronghold, Foglio had Gerrard and Co. sneak in to the villain’s fortress by "pretending to be 'Mox cleaners.'" WotC even went so far at the time to create a gaming supplement, Vanguard, made up of oversized cards meant to allow you to play AS the characters (though some of the abilities for the first series weren’t very well linked to the characters they appeared on, but I digress).
Back then, the storyline was a big deal. These days, we don’t even know what some of the characters look like.
So it goes. [/LAMENT]
The Weatherlight appears in the skies over Rath as Tempest begins—and what they see is the stuff of nightmares. The sickly-colored ground below is shaped into tormented claws that actually seem to move, while the sky writhes angrily as unknown energies battle above them. Weatherlight drifts for a time, its crew distressed by the world it has found itself in and with no idea where to go next besides.
Already having lured Weatherlight to his realm, Volrath is one step ahead. Selenia—the angel Crovax loves, and is bonded to—leads Volrath’s flagship straight for Weatherlight. The revelation that his beloved angel serves Volrath renders Crovax useless,
Volrath's flagship, about to even as the Rathi warship approaches. The aptly-named Predator is a monstrous ship nearly twice the size of Weatherlight—not as maneuverable, but certainly better armed. Weatherlight is best described as a pleasure-craft, while Predator is, in all ways, a warship, as jagged and cruel as the landscape of Rath itself. Its commander, Greven il-Vec, launches an immediate assault on Weatherlight, firing guns to disable the ship, then boarding with a large crew of Moggs, a particularly nasty breed of goblin. Squee, the Weatherlight’s own goblin, runs quickly to one of his hiding places, huddled around a piece of the Legacy he considers his own.
unload a salvo of whoopass.
While Squee hides below, a battle rages above. Greven and his Moggs storm the ship. The goblins, bred with an amazing scent of smell, are ordered to sniff out every bit of the Legacy—including Karn. The golem, unwilling to take a life even to defend himself, is easily captured. One bit of the Legacy they do not capture, however, is the warm little ball Squee is huddled around—apparently, his own stench overpowers that of the artifact (and that isn’t even a joke). Greven and Gerrard, meanwhile, seek each other out. While Gerrard may have bravado, he must have left his wisdom back on Dominaria, because Greven has about two feet on him. The commander of the Predator easily scores first blood, and is about to kill Gerrard when Weatherlight takes a heavy hit. Gerrard, in all his heroic splendor, falls off the ship, Hanna reaching vainly after him. She cannot stop his fall—but Selenia can. She catches Gerrard on his way down, but he struggles from her grasp, and falls the rest of the way into the forest below.
His quarry lost, and the Moggs having completely ransacked the disabled ship, Greven orders a withdrawal. Tahngarth, still in his Klingon… I mean, minotaur battle rage, leaps after Predator. Greven, however, is dispensing with justice--Vhati il-Dal, his second in command, had ordered the cannon barrage on Weatherlight while Greven was aboard, in an attempt to kill the commander and claim Predator as his own ship. Vhati apologizes, and in true Darth Vader fashion, Greven accepts. Tahngarth, bashing his way through Predator’s goblin crew, has found Karn and tries to escape, but Greven comes and shows Tahngarth what’s what.
Having successfully fallen off his own ship, Gerrard somehow manages to survive his landing. Though he escaped death at Greven’s and Selenia’s hands on the way down, the surface of Rath is no friendly place either—Gerrard is quickly attacked by some ugly-ass merfolk that live in the lake the forest floats on. He runs like a pansy-man, and while they give chase, Gerrard is again miraculously saved by compound dangers. He runs blindly into some members of the human Vec tribe, on a pilgrimage with their spiritual leader, the Oracle enVec, who believes this bloodied, cowering man is the Korvecdal,
Another popular character, Eladamrithe person prophesized to unite the three human tribes (Kor, Vec, and Dal… who’d have thought?) and overthrow the Evincar. Gerrard decides to go with the Vec to their meeting with the Skyshroud elves.
continued WotC's tradition of anagram
names: In this case, "Irma Dale."
(Cultural aside—Kor, Vec, and Dal are all enemies of the Evincar, Volrath, by default, but a good number have betrayed their own kind and joined him. Those traitors are the il, while those who remain loyal are en.)
The Weatherlight itself is having its own problems. Though now clear of enemies, the ship was too heavily damaged to stay aloft, and soon crashed into the Skyshroud—naturally gaining the attention of the elves.
Times Weatherlight has crashed: 1
Orim and Crovax tend to the survivors, while Hanna and Mirri go off in search of Gerrard, though the Cat Warrior (that’s the name of the species, what can I tell ya?) is skeptical of Hanna’s usefulness. The elves give chase, and Mirri is so intent on escaping them that she doesn’t notice the weird monster thing until it is too late. The shapeshifter knocks Mirri back, but Hanna saves her life, earning her respect. The encounter wit the shapeshifter makes them drop their guard, however, and the elves catch up, not too happy to have intruders so deep in their domain. They are captured, and taken to the elven lord, Eladamri (a character who was unexpectedly popular, due to his card’s apparent status as the long-awaited elven lord; his part in what was to come may have been increased because of it, as he is really more of a plot device here). Luckily for the two women, the Vec and Gerrard had just arrived in Eladamri’s court, and Gerrard explains the situation. Eladamri calls off his warriors from the Weatherlight, and helps Gerrard plan his next move. Starke is wary of the Oracle, but the arrival of her bodyguard keeps her safe (and that is why you must suffer to open them in packs of 8th and 9th. Starke is truly the cause of all bad things). Eladamri and the Oracle agree to lead an attack on the Stronghold’s main entrance, while Weatherlight sneaks in the rear entrance—somewhat cliché for evil castles to have a back door, but as you’ll see, this one is not exactly unguarded.
In the Stronghold itself, Volrath awaits the reunion with his long-lost blood brother. Despite the defeat of the Weatherlight and capture of nearly all the Legacy artifacts, Volrath is incensed, and uses Greven’s spinal implant to make him suffer for his failure. Volrath is certain Gerrard survived, however, and now has two more prisoners to act as bait… and to amuse himself with.
While Gerrard and the others plan the raid on the Stronghold, Hanna tells Gerrard some bad news: the Thran powerstone that allowed Weatherlight to planeshift is cracked, either from the battle or the crash. Either way, she cannot repair it. Eladamri reveals the existence of a interplanar portal, not far from the Stronghold. Orim studies it, and concludes that the large magical device requires a magic user to use. (Cut her some slack, she’s a Samite Healer trying to cast a blue spell.) Only one crewmember fits the bill in this case: Ertai. He volunteers to stay behind and figure out how the Stargate… I mean, planar portal works. They don’t actually know where the portal leads, but the only important fact is that it goes somewhere else. The crew agrees, as he’d proven pretty useless in battle. The Weatherlight sails away to the Stronghold.
Ertai immediately realizes he isn’t alone. Lyna, emissary of the shadowy Soltari and one of the few that can enter the material realm, offers to help him with the portal if he’ll help her people. The
Lyna, Soltari supermodelSoltari, along with the Thalakos and the Dauthi, originally came from Dominaria—in fact, all life on Rath did. She reveals that random interactions between the two planes have drawn random bits of Dominaria into Rath. Anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in one of these overlays is usually either quickly killed by the living flowstone that makes up the ground of the entire plane, or forced to adapt to the harsh environment. And that’s ‘forced’ in more way than one—many of the races of Rath had been subject to experimentation in by Volrath and previous Evincars, who were always trying to find ways to improve on living flesh.
The Soltari, Thalakos, and Dauthi were transposed onto Rath like many other unfortunate races, but in their case, the transfer was incomplete, and they were stuck between worlds, able to interact neither with Rath nor Dominaria. The overlay that had caught them happened during a pitched battle between the Soltari and Dauthi with the Thalakos caught by chance in between—now, only the Dauthi still exist on Dominaria. Those races trapped between worlds found themselves unable even to die—the Dauthi and Thalakos have gone mad from this eternal purgatorial existence. Ertai agrees to help—if the portal is open, the Soltari should be able to go through and, hopefully, come out normal on the other side.
While Ertai and Lyna have their long talk, Weatherlight makes its way through the Cinder Marsh, where exhaust from the Stronghold spews out. Protected from the fumes by Weatherlight’s weak environment shield, they quickly meet more dangerous opposition. The slivers swarm around the ship—in fact, just about all of Tempest’s slivers gang up to attack Weatherlight at once—go ahead, look at their flavor texts. Hanna proves her mettle in this battle—first, she notices that some of the slivers are artificial, and guesses that they are the vehicle for Volrath’s control of the creatures. She destroys them the way only a white mage can (or could, at the time), but they keep coming. Then, she notices that they share abilities only with nearby slivers, and tells the crew to separate them. (I have no idea how this picture demonstrates that realization, but that’s what we got.).
The danger didn’t end with the slivers—in fact, they weren’t so much guards, as just nesting somewhere warm. Weatherlight moves on past the hive, into the Furnace of Rath, which should be fairly self-explanatory. The ship started to smolder, people began bursting into flame… it was worse than Phoenix. Orim saves the day this time, with a lightning rod and… well long story short, she’s a White Mage.
The ship sails on toward the Stronghold, leaving the Furnace to the even more forebodingly-named Death Pits of Rath. Though the crew doesn’t know what the hell the black goo on the walls is, articles explained that it was either something akin to ‘cancer for flowstone’ or simply a byproduct of flowstone production—either way, it’s not able to imitate the solid rock its meant to, but it displays some of the other properties of the stuff. Apparently, as this was already where they dump the waste flowstone, the Evincars have also dumped some of their enemies into the Death Pits as well—human skeletons are scattered everywhere. These skeletons become animate through the pit-goo’s influence, and attack the ship from tendrils of the stuff. Most of the crew is still smoldering from the Furnace, so Gerrard and Orim hold the deck while everyone else escapes below. Squee doesn’t make it down with the others, but it ends up being for the best, as he manages to accidentally activate his toy—just in time for it to save Gerrard from an attacking Carrionette. Gerrard and the rest of the crew escape below decks, and the ship continues on, finally sailing out of the Death Pits, and into the Stronghold itself—and this is where Tempest ends.
For several months, we had nothing else to go on. Rath was a really nasty place, that much was obvious. The name of the next set, Stronghold, only confirmed the setting, which really was pretty obvious. We were no closer to knowing who was really behind all of this though—who gave Volrath his power, who built the Stronghold? There was one detail of interest, however, that some of us caught on to—the use of the word “Phyrexian,” a proper adjective that we had first seen way back in Antiquities Now, this wasn’t as big a tip-off as you might think—there had been “Phyrexian” cards in Mirage block as well, before this huge arc had even started, and there was little information on what “Phyrexia” was. Some older information described it as a sort of “artifact hell,” where bad artifact creatures went after being shattered (and you thought the Tin Man was a nice guy). Rumor had it that Mishra, the brother that lost the Brothers’ War, had ended up there as punishment, but details were extraordinarily sketchy.
There wasn’t as much hype going into Stronghold as there had been for Tempest, much less Weatherlight, but then WotC had players into the swing of this new storyline. Issues of The Duelist from this period included some prequel stories about Sisay and Tahngarth, both to illustrate how they met and to give her some screen time so we knew who was getting rescued. One of these stories recounted the fight that won Sisay the Juju Bubble, which is not only part of the Legacy, but fits into Weatherlight’s engine somehow. This is but the beginning of a pattern… in fact, let’s keep track of it.
Random bits of junk attached to Weatherlight’s engine: 1
The story continued with Stronghold, and we got our first look inside the massive structure. Outside, it is a tall volcano constantly extruding flowstone, which pushes the rest of the world away from it and slowly, but surely, enlarges Rath toward some unknown end. The peak reaches into the furious sky, and indeed seems to draw energy from it. Inside the volcano, Volrath’s Stronghold is a vast fortress, built around the flowstone generator and suspended high in the air. As quietly and discreetly as a flying boat can, Weatherlight approaches the gigantic structure, and docks. Gerrard, Mirri, Crovax, and Starke form an Away Team… that is, a rescue mission, while Orim and Hanna repair the crew and the ship, respectively, while Squee, well, hides.
Gerrard and the others slink through the Stronghold, with Starke leading the way. They happen upon a shapeshifter, and Crovax goes amok on it, chasing it into a darkened room and tearing it to bits. His mind reels once his opponent is dead—his curse is starting to take its toll.
But Crovax had stumbled upon something important—in the center of the room, a large machine projects a blue globe, which the aerial mariners recognize as Dominaria. Looking closely, they can make out the signs of troop movements and battle plans—even of the Predator destroying targets. They came to rescue their comrade, and now they—and we—realize that the entire world is in danger. As if they hadn’t wanted to kill Volrath enough already.
Outside, Eladamri and the Oracle rally the troops and begin their assault (Make sure to look at the flavor text of those two cards). As the attack begins, Volrath puts the Stronghold on alert, which gets Gerrard and the others moving again to avoid detection—not realizing that they have become Rath’s highest-rated reality show. Volrath toys with them as they try to navigate through the Stronghold—the entire structure is made of flowstone, and the substance is programmed to obey the Evincar’s command, making things considerably more time-consuming.
They finally do reach the cells, finding Karn and Tahngarth, but not Sisay or Starke’s daughter, Takara. Both of the freed prisoners are in anguish—Karn had been put into a cell with a shifting floor and a constant supply of moggs, so any move he tried to make would topple him onto some of the goblins, crushing them and violating his vow not to hurt another. Tahngarth’s torture has been far more sinister—he has been mutated and deformed, destroying his hansome minotaur façade—and fashioning him into a new first mate for Greven, to replace Vhati. But for Tahngarth, the mutilation is shame enough.
Now six people strong, the group finds Volrath’s laboratory (not to be confused with Dexter’s), where Sisay is trapped in a glass tube. They free their captain, only to find that she, too, was one of Volrath’s shapeshifters. They continue.
Suddenly, they meet with resistance—Selenia leaps from nowhere to attack Crovax. Mirri leaps in the way, and is cut down by the first-ever Legendary Artifact. Crovax duels with Selenia, but she puts up little resistance—indeed, she wants to die. The moment she is slain, she shatters, and her broken bits swirl around and fly into a screaming Crovax. He collapses next to the wounded Mirri.
The team splits up—Karn and Tahngarth carry the wounded back to Weatherlight (though it begs to wonder, how they know how to get to it), while Gerrard and Starke press on. They make it to Volrath’s gardens, pausing as the Predator passes overhead. The attempt to avoid Greven only gives other dangers a chance to attack—as far as evil citadel goes, Volrath’s Stronghold has to be up there as one of the most annoying. Once free of the plants, Gerrard and Starke continue their dungeon crawl.
Karn, at least, has a stroke of luck. On the way back to the Weatherlight, he and Tahngarth come across the Sliver Queen, who had been entrusted with protecting the Legacy artifacts. Tahngarth goes on with Mirri and Crovax, while Karn reasons with the giant bug… lizard… thing. He somehow communicates to her that, like the slivers are part of her that she needs to be complete, so, too, are the Legacy artifacts part of him. The Sliver Queen relents, and Karn returns to the Weatherlight with the Legacy restored.
Gerrard and Starke, meanwhile, took a shortcut to Volrath’s inner sanctum, and found themselves in his Dream Halls, where the Evincar is waiting. The large chamber—hell when you have a building this big, even bathrooms and closets are ‘large chambers’—houses scores of large, spidery devices, that show Volrath’s thoughts—his dreams, his hopes, his memories. Volrath usually uses them to plan, but now, he uses them to show Gerrard a private screening of “Why I’m going to eat your spleen.” Gerrard finally realizes that Volrath is, in fact, his blood brother Vuel, and is quite deservedly pissed off. His mood doesn’t improve when Sisay and Takara show up, under Volrath’s control.
Starke does the rogue thing and backstabs Volrath, but the Evincar ignores the knife and bats Starke away. Takara attacks Starke, blinding her father as he pleads to be recognized. Gerrard knocks Sisay out, and pursues Volrath, joined
Takara, Starke's reason forunexpectedly by a slightly miffed minotaur. Gerrard has to settle the score himself, however, and does so.
betraying everybody all the
time, never saw much airtime.
Or so he thinks. The Volrath he killed was but a shapeshifter, the real Evincar is nowhere to be found, and they’ve long overstayed their welcome. With the shapeshifter’s death, Takara snapped out of her thrall and tends to her father. At last, Gerrard has rescued Sisay—assuming he can get them all back out of the Stronghold alive, that is.
And so Stronghold drew to a close, and things were getting complex. Crovax had fulfilled his curse, but what that fully meant was unknown. He had become a vampire, the Magic antithesis of angels, but did that make him evil? Would we have a black (I refer to the card color, not ethnicity, even if that’s true too) hero character? And what of the Stronghold itself? Who built such an insane place?
Well, we didn’t know the architect’s name, but Stronghold Taskmaster offered us this interesting tidbit:
“With the completion of each joyous task, we are closer to Yawgmoth’s divine vision.”
– Stronghold architect, journal
Yawgmoth! Not only was this a name we hadn’t heard since Antiquities (well, Chronicles), the flavor text said it all: whoever Yawgmoth was the guy—or god—behind the Stronghold, behind Rath… and Yawgmoth had some sort of ‘divine vision’. Whether the plan to invade Dominaria was Yawgmoth’s and Volrath was a pawn, or Volrath was attacking Dominaria on his own initiative, was unknown—heck, lots of things were. But the fact that the roots of Rath led so far into Dominaria’s past—Antiquities took place 4200 years ago, remember—meant that something major wasn’t just starting to build up, but had been doing so for millennia.
The next few issues of The Duelist (now monthly) provided very little in regards to what was next for the Weatherlight crew, but did offer a few tidbits. One, in the joke section called “Extra Pulled,” was a card called “Squee Triumphant,” with a badly photoshopped image of Squee killing Volrath instead of Gerrard on the card Smite, that let you tap a goblin to destroy all black Legends in play. Card courtesy of the Unofficial Squee Fanclub. A far more RELEVANT bit of information came in the form of an advertisement—for The Brothers’ War novel by Jeff Grubb. Finally, a book officially tied to the storyline! Plus, maybe we would get to find out a little about Yawgmoth and Phyrexia, since it was about Antiquities.
What we didn’t know at the time, not right away at least, was that this definitive telling of the Brothers’ War storyline would involve overwriting some of the previous continuity, from the comics and even, occasionally, from the cards themselves. Wizards realized this, and declared that novel, and those that followed it, would be canon to the storyline. Anything from beforehand was still going to be true, unless it was directly contradicted in the novels. This event has been called the great ‘revision’—everything beforehand was ‘prerevisionist.’ Some older sets have almost NO postrevisionist material associated with them, so anything said about, say, Homelands or Fallen Empires is based on technically questionable information. But that problem was a minor concern—The Weatherlight Saga was going strong, and now the earliest, most influential part of Dominaria’s history was going to be recounted in detail.
Then, the July 1998 issue (The Duelist #27), dropped a few major hints—for one, they were still messing with the number of pieces of art in a set depicting plot events, and would probably tone that element down a little, though they also said that Rath’s bleak landscape made sightseeing a little unenjoyable. But the real news was this:
I’m sure all of you can guess who THAT ended up being, and speculation came to the same conclusion—the only names that were that old (and powerful) were Urza, Mishra, and Nevinyrral, and nobody really saw how a Lich could get in on things. So, it was supposedly down to two… and by then, The Brothers’ War had come out and surpassed everyone’s expectations. Wonderful book, truly, and with the unexpected twist of one of the brothers, Urza, becoming a planeswalker at the end—not to mention that we learned that Yawgmoth was the ruler of the dread mechanical plane, Phyrexia. But what could Urza possibly have to do with the Rath cycle? We would have to wait and see… and the Weatherlight still had some escaping to do.
Originally Posted by Michael G. Ryan, The Genesis of Exodus
…and a certain powerful figure whose name has been around since the beginning of Magic: the Gathering makes a brief appearance in blue, setting the stage for future stories.
Outside the Stronghold, the elves and Vec are joined by the Kor and Dal, but the mogg armies are still numerically superior. The battle rages on. On the Weatherlight, Orim cares for Mirri and Crovax—the cat warrior will heal, but Crovax is beyond even Orim’s power to treat. Hanna and Karn, meanwhile, survey the Legacy. They notice the Skyshaper fits perfectly on the Thran engine—
Random bits of junk attached to Weatherlight’s engine: 2
—only to be discovered by Greven in the Predator. He again attacks Weatherlight, harpooning the smaller ship, but with the added power of the Skyshaper, Weatherlight is able to turn this against Greven. Greven cuts the lines attaching the two ships, but sends some moggs in thopters after them. Tahngarth manages to destroy one of them by killing its pilot, but the thing plows into the Weatherlight, dealing severe damage. Smooth move, cow man. The ship makes it to Volrath’s gardens and waits for Gerrard and company to come out of the dream halls. As it circles, Crovax awakens, and stalks dubiously toward the Weatherlight’s engine. Mirri, though wounded, follows him, and rushes to stop him when he tries to sabotage the ship. The two begin a fight, that takes them off the ship and into Volrath’s gardens.
Back in Volrath’s dream halls, Sisay wakes up, but isn’t happy about it. Starke, blind now, is guided out by Takara as the group makes their way toward Weatherlight. Everything is coming to a head now—Predator has arrived, and Greven is on the ground, eager to face Gerrard. Gerrard, leading his friends to the safety of the Weatherlight, notices Mirri and Crovax fighting to the death as well. He must choose: somehow deal with Greven long enough to get to the ship, or help Mirri against Crovax. Moreover, Lyna has arrived on Weatherlight—citing Barrin’s name so Hanna will believe her message from Ertai, she reveals that ‘the portal is open—but not for long.’
Gerrard is not happy about having to take responsibility, but finally realizes that he must do so. He chooses to abandon Mirri and get his ship to safety. He engages Greven long enough to get to the ship, and orders a high-speed retreat as soon as everyone—but Mirri—is aboard. Mirri accepts her fate, glad to have saved the ship and Gerrard from Crovax’s sabotage before she dies. (And yes, if you didn’t catch it, curiosity killed the cat. It’s awful.)
Weatherlight races away—Hanna activates the Skyshaper and the ship rockets off so fast, even Sisay is barely able to control her. Predator follows right in her wake. Ertai waits at the open portal, dangling precariously from a rope, so Weatherlight can pause oh-so briefly to pick him up. Below him, the Soltari make their exodus from Rath, filing through quickly for the short period the gate is open.
Weatherlight arrives, but because of the Skyshaper, it can’t stop for Ertai—instead, it just plows right through the portal, leaving Ertai behind. Predator is following right behind Weatherlight though, and is about to go through the portal as well before it is suddenly shut—causing Greven’s ship to crash and sustain massive damage. Lyna asks Urza, who shut the portal, what they will do now. Urza’s answer is simple: Wait.
Audience response was tremendous. URZA? He is still alive? Why is he involved? How did he get there? The appearance of this character—his first on a card, actually—opened far more questions than it closed. And for tournament players, Urza’s first appearance on such an abusable card foreshadowed dark times ahead (The Duelist foreshadowed this card in another way, saying it’s cost became when it was found to be ‘too broken’ at . How little they knew… how little we all knew.)
By the time Exodus came out, we all knew what the next set was going to be: Unglued. But besides that, we knew the next REAL set was going to be called “Urza’s Saga,” and we quickly found out the entire block was going to be a prequel.
All our questions would be answered. All the answers would be questioned. And as Combo Winter dawned, the interest in storylines was about to become overshadowed by what is still the most powerful Type 2 environment in the history of the game.
As we were to discover, when it comes to anything related to Urza, all bets are off.
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VestDan is an aspiring author who is not above shameless self promotion: you can view the half-finished draft of his ridiculously long scifi/fantasy saga, here.
Edited by Goblinboy
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By Daniel Rezendes on August 10th, 2005 · Filed in General Magic · Comments not available just now
About Daniel Rezendes
Journeyman Wordsmith and Magic player for over a decade. In recent years, I've stopped sucking at writing, which is always a plus. Would certainly not say no to a job offer from WotC's continuity department.