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Apr 30, 2019She had never even known what hit her.Posted in: Magic General
One minute, she was walking down a road, headed towards a caravan she had signed on to protect. The next, she was dead. Dead at the hands of a capricous dragon. An ancient dragon, who had just learned a terrible, terrible spell to rip the sparks and souls from Planeswalkers, and in his gleeful triumph had sought out someone- anyone- to test this new found power on.
He hadn't harvested her. He wasn't ready for that part yet. It wasn't too much a waste- what was one spark compared to the thousands that would be his when the trap was sprung?
So she floated across the multiverse aimlessly. Her own name forgotten to the sands of time, replaced by another name in her mind- a name that could never escape the taint on her soul.
Bolas. The one who had slew her.
The one who HAD to be stopped.
So she sought out the others. Many of them were neophytes, freshly sparked, and barely able to comprehend what had happened. She taught them everything she knew- precious little in the grand scheme of things, but maybe, just maybe just enough to save their life.
Her kindness was not repaid. Her advice was often ignored. Her wisdom answered with a gruff "shut up". Her offers to be their test subject was often abused, as what was supposed to be a simple spell or ability became dozens of creatures, tearing away at her incorporeal form. The pain shouldn't have affected her, but for some reason it did. But still, she persisted, offering her aid where she could.
They gave her new names, to replace the one she had forgotten. Many were less than complimentary, and some were just downright obscene. But one... one would stick. It worked for her, even if it was slightly condescending.
And so she worked tirelessly, seeking out those she could advise and aid, a tireless, thankless afterlife.
Until the day finally arrived.
She had come to Ravnica, searching out a newly sparked desert shield mage, when IT happened. She sensed the dragon's arrival before anyone, and watched in horror as he destroyed a whole neighborhood to build a vain monument to himself. She watched as the heart of Ravnica was ripped in two by a portal, and the army of undead marched through. She watched as the exact same spell that had felled her was put into play again- for real this time. Her incorporeal form couldn't cry, but the pain was nothing less as she watched all those sparks harvested.
Many had been Walkers she had reached out to. Had suffered their abuses, but in turn allowed them to become stronger because of it. But she watched even more survive. Survive using the skills they had tested on her, to keep the Eternals- and their own damnation at bay.
And when the fates twisted, and the Dragon-God had been brought to his knees, many more had survived thanks to her than anyone would know.
And so she blinked away. The shieldmage she had sought out was going to be alright. She knew it. There were others, though. Countless others who she could help. Her job was not over.
Most only knew her as Sparky.
None would ever know that she was the true unsung hero of the War.
Apr 25, 2019So here's the quick breakdown of the number of times each planeswalker's name appears in War of the spark, and how many chapters they appear in. Please note that while I searched for some characters being referred to only by their surname (22 times, in Jace's case), if the surname was going to get a lot of interference (ie, Rai), I didn't. Just picking out the number of Ral's was a pain in the butt enough.Posted in: Magic Storyline
1. Bolas- 375 (57 chapters) [also in epilogue, not mentioned by name]
2. Jace- 375 (38 chapters)
3. Gideon- 339 (35 chapters) [4 posthumous]
4. Ral- 307 (25 chapters)
5. Teyo- 275 (18 Chapters)
6. Kaya- 269 (27 chapters)
7. Chandra- 169 (21 Chapters)
8. Liliana- 159 (28 chapters + mentioned in epilogue)
9. Dack- 156 (11 chapters [2 posthumous]
10. Vraska- 118 (20 chapters)
11. Nissa- 97 (18 chapters)
12. Karn- 77 (19 chapters)
13. Ajani- 63 (16 Chapters)
14. Dovin- 55 (9 chapters) [Only physical appearance is chapter 44]
15. Domri- 55 (8 Chapters [4 posthumous])
16. Samut- 51 (12 Chapters)
17. Jaya- 50 (16 chapters)
18. Teferi- 40 (15 chapters)
19. Saheeli- 34 (11 Chapters)
20. Tezzeret- 33 (8 chapters)
21. Nixilis- 32 (8 chapters)
22. Angrath- 28 (7 chapters)
23. Huatli- 19 (5 chapters)
24. Vivien- 17 (5 chapters)
25. Sarkhan- 12 (4 chapters + mentioned in prologue)
26. The Wanderer- 9 (3 chapters)
27. Kiora- 7 (6 chapters)
28. Ugin- 7 (4 chapters) [also in prologue and epilogue, not mentioned by name]
29. Arlinn- 6 (3 chapters)
30. Jiang- 6 (3 chapters)
31. Tamiyo- 5 (5 chapters)
32. Nahiri- 4 (3 chapters)
33. Narset- 3 (3 chapters)
34. Sorin- 3 (2 chapters)
35. Davriel- 3 (1 chapter)
36. Mu- 3 (1 chapter)
37. Tibalt- 1 (1 chapter)
38. Ashiok- 1 (1 chapter) [mentioned in one of Dack's memories]
39. Kasmina- NOPE!
Apr 25, 2019Posted in: Magic StorylineQuote from Caranthir »Okay, I have finished the book this morning on my way to work.
Final thoughts: I am giving this 7,5/10.
First of all, it was a titanic effort to describe such a conflict believably. With the chosen method of different POVs and not an omniscient narrator, some things were just hinted and not explored deeper, like Sorin-Nahiri fight. But that is okay, because otherwise it would be a damned mess. Choosing a rookie walker like Teyo to be basically the main spectator was a good move. Yes, someone would complain that it means we got several pages of Teyo and the company underground, and just like two paragraphs of some emotional reunion..but that is how it is meant to be.
Second, I liked the writing. Simply liked. It is no worse than Martha Wells' Dominaria. What I find disruptive was the seemingly random capitalization of some words. Okay, I grudgingly accepted seeing Planeswalker again with capital (P), like in the ancient comics. But Hazoret's Spear?
Third - for everyone complaining about predictability - I actually liked how all the stratagems supposed to lead to Bolas's downfall played (at least to some extent) to his hand.
- the thing with the Beacon: devised to call planeswalkers to fight Bolas, in fact planted to the Firemind by Bolas and devised to call walkers for Bolas to harvest, really in fact known by Mizzet and Ugin to make things happen (with expected high casualties for having just a shot to stop Bolas). Leaves Zarek with guilt about being partially responsible for all walkers that died - possible character growth?
- to certain extension, this is also valid for Jace
- the whole Blackblade thing.
- the fact that the newly resurrected Mizzet managed only to take out Kefnet and then fainted. Of course, not exactly Apocalypse levels of hope lost, but it was there.
- And I must admit that I liked the twist with Vraska. Because everybody expected the climax to be different, Jace restoring her memory in crucial moment, her petrifying Bolas or something, everybody rejoices and dances, Ewoks bang on stormtrooper helmets... instead, a kraul telepath restores her mind in the prequels and she kills Isperia and plunges the whole world deeper into crisis just because she failed to control herself about the old injustices, and, like Ral, is partially responsible for what comes next.
- I liked the solution of elimination of the Living Guildpact power by disrupting the leyline nexus. Makes sense.
- And I liked the many hinted future stories to be explored - what happened between Karn and Sarkhan to just coldly acknowledge each other, what is the story of The Wanderer and Sarkhan, it would also be interesting to go back to Davriel after all this, because he went on full badass mode in one moment - but I loved the fact, that despite his card does not reflect that, the book makes use of his spellstealing exactly as in the Children.
- Dack's chapters were immensely satisfying here. Good way of saying farewell.
- I have already spoken about the walker cameos. I am disappointed that the Story Circle walkers in particular did not get a greater role (with the exception of Ajani, of course). Tamiyo, Narset, newly Kiora. Ashiok and Kasmina are not mentioned once at all. Tibalt is in one sentence about leading devils into battle, but not before and not after. I hoped to learn more about The Wanderer, besides three really cool action scenes. At least Yanggu & Yanling were funny.
- overall - the book is different than those in the past. But also of the piles of mess from Wintermute, and the enthusiastic, but amateurish attempts of Doug Beyer (Alara Unbroken, The Secretist). And after all those years, I am not disappointed.
The only two 'Walkers that had absolutely no mention were Kasmina and Ashiok (which is a shame, because Kasmina totally intrigues me as a character and I want information). Tamiyo is mentioned fighting several times (kind of annoying since she originally wasn't there to fight until Kefnet went after her. Narset and Kiora were both mentioned to be recruited by Ajani, and Narset is mentioned a couple more times.
Apr 25, 2019What I would have done (and this is to the point that I want to fanfiction it) is do one POV chapter per Planeswalker, that tells their own story, and intertwines it all. So that's 39 chapters (36 in the set + Tezzeret, Yanling, and Dack). Then maybe a POV chapter for the other major non-PW characters- Rat, Lavinia, Niv-Mizzet, and then possibly Boborygmos, Vorel, Emmara/Trostani, Rat's Dad (Shan, if I recall?), Ral's sig-o. So ultimately maybe about 50 chapters, but focusing a bit more on the interaction between the planeswalkers as they all struggle for their lives.Posted in: Magic Storyline
Also, I'd have not deprived us of one of the most poignant parts of the book we were looking forward to- Jace calling Vraska captain, and restoring her memories. I get why they wanted to have Vraska be more of a "I can't go back" role, and redeem herself, but damn that felt hollow.
Apr 23, 2019I think the biggest downer of the book is there's really no "darkest hour" moment. The closest was the Elderspell being cast, and suddenly dozens of planeswalkers get massacred in about fifteen minutes (feel like the scene would resonate a LOT more in a movie than it did in the book) I suppose the Blackblade shattering might count if we hadn't already knew the ending.Posted in: Magic Storyline
But the Invasion cycle (the last great MTG war) we seriously had a few moments where it got bleak. The assault on Benalia, the scene in Llanowar where they're running into the dream caves with plague bombs raining overhead and bodies flying past, the Keldon Twilight, Urza and Gerrard's defection, Yawgmoth's death cloud, the moon gambit's failure. There were some serious moments where all hope was pretty much lost. That never really happened in WAR
Apr 23, 2019Posted in: Magic StorylineQuote from AUTUMNTWILIGHT »Haven't read the book but presumably Teferi did nothing correct? So he is on the gatewatch has a connection to Bolas and he is just on the team for what diversity brownie points? I don't have a problem with diversity in magic for the record I do have a problem though with faux diversity where we had diversity to the team and then have those characters do nothing of note. Made even worse when said characters is more powerful and has more experience then all the rest put together.
Oh goodie, you're on this bent again.
If you actually read the book, you'll see that Teferi, while not a focal point character, basically saves half the Planeswalkers butts at times thanks to his time manipulation. So no, he doesn't have any incredibly huge moments, but he certainly plays a factor in helping other Planeswalkers stay alive.
He also WAS set to be one of the lynchpins of Plan A, until the portal opening completely screwed everything up.
Apr 23, 2019Posted in: Magic StorylineQuote from Maritrakul - Swallower of Lore »Wasn't Jeska on Dominaria when she expired? While Gideon is not on the right plane with the right afterlife... Is it explicitly wrote down that it is an allucination of the last sparks of elettricity in Gid's brain?
So... Ral was NOT working directly for Bolas... Then the end of the Amonkhet story is proclaimed retconned?
The book very clearly states Ral WAS working for Bolas, had been for a while, but defected when he realized what Bolas' ends were.
Apr 23, 2019So coming out of WARPosted in: Magic Storyline
- Interesting that the "reformed" Bolas walkers are going after the Bolas Loyalists. Vraska going after the guy who just had his eyes gouged out is an interesting hook. Really looking forward to Kaya vs Liliana
- I love how Bolas undoes himself with his finest bit of magnificent bastardy. Sure, he red-herringed the hell out of the Blackblade and the Gatewatch bought it hoook, line, and sinker. But that also causes the one thing that Bolas, in his arrogance, never properly prepared for- Liliana deciding that death was preferable to eternal servitude.
- The last chapter, where Ugin explains to Bolas just how badly HE ended up screwing himself in his own arrogance, and the corresponding realization that he was pretty much SCREWED (and mortal!) was immensely satisfying.
Apr 23, 2019First of all, you go through the trouble of creating three new Planeswalkers, one you use extensively (Teyo), one gets a couple cameos (Wanderer), and the third doesn't even appear (Kasmina). Very disappointing on that front.Posted in: Magic Storyline
Overall, I thought the book was... alright. Three planeswalker deaths was... surprising. They couldn't even bring themselves to kill off freakin' Jaya.
Apr 19, 2019Posted in: Magic StorylineQuote from Onering »
His arrogance didn't dissipate after that either. It takes a fair amount of arrogance for him to believe he could shoe string together an effective resistance to the Eldrazi and win. Ditto vs Emrakul. Ditto vs Bolas on Amonkhet. Only recently has he shifted from always believing that he'll just succeed against all odds as long as he tries real hard because he's invincible and has moxie.
Except he didnt.believe he could shoestring a win over the Eldrazi. He stayed with Zendikar because he felt obligated, not out of any sense of "I got this". He was desperate for help- ANY help that he ran himself to the bone looking for it. His strategy was literally keep as many people alive as possible and pray an actual solution emerges.
Apr 19, 2019This is what I gotPosted in: Magic Storyline
The interplanar beacon is lit, luring planeswalkers to Ravnica. Ravnica prepares for war, although some welcome the coming conflict, seeking advantages. Meanwhile, on Amonkhet, the Eternal Dreadhorde prepares to enter Tezzeret's planar bridge.
The Planar Portal opens- right at the Chamber of the Guilpact in the heart of the tenth district. The resulting tumult wipes out much of the critical architecture of Ravnica. The Dreadhorde, led by Liliana, invades the city, immediately besetting upon the terrorized populace.
Jace and Ajani call more planeswalkers to aid them in the coming fight, only once all are there, the lid on the plane slams shut with the Immortal Sun being installed at New Prahv.
The Planeswalker allies, many of whom have their own personal grudges against Bolas, join the fight against the dreadhorde. Some, however, side with Bolas.
The Dreadhorde attack intensifies behind a resurrected Neheb, as more elite units enter the batle.
Through it all, Nahiri and Sorin wage their own personal battle, oblivious to the War or the greater scope. Friggin oldwalkers.
The denizens of Ravnica push back against the Dreadhorde, with the Izzet and Selesnya leading the fray.
As the chaos worsens and the Izzet push their inventions to the front, the citizenry of Ravnica bands together, realizing their own survival is at stake. Some, however, are not quite as willing to buy into the lovefest.
As the Eternal's Air Force commands the skies, the Parhelion II, led by the long-lost Feather, emerges, and flocks of Boros Angels swarm against the Dreadhorde.
A team of planeswalkers, Chandra chief among them, launch an assault against New Prahv, and Bolas loyalist Dovin Baan.
Nissa, now prepared to accept her role as "The Hand that Moves" returns to Ravnica and animates nothing less than Vitu-Ghazi. The massive elemental promptly destroys Bolas' statue, offering a morale boost to the plane.
With Ravnica's defenses surging in defiance, Bolas brings in his Dreadhorde reserves- led by none other than the Eternalized gods themselves.
As Bolas prepares for the endgame, Niv-Mizzet is struck down. Ajani and Gideon unite the desperate Ravnician population into a single fighting force, while Jace, Vraska, and Ral struggle to come up with a way to put Niv-Mizzet's plan into action.
Bolas casts the Elderspell, a terrible magic used to increase his own power- at the expense of other Planeswalkers sparks and lives. His first victim is one of his most loyal followers- Domri Rade, although other Planeswalkers quickly begin to fall as well.
Kaya, now seeing Bolas' true intentions, recants both her loyalty and place in the Orzhov, and joins the Gatewatch. The Gatewatch spurs the populace into action against Bolas Citadel, knowing there's no option for failure. Even as the attack commences, however, Bolas' forces deal massive blows against the Resistance.
Gideon, realizing there's nothing left to lose, beseeches a Pegasus to carry him to Bolas. The plan nearly fails, however, as Oketra shoots the Pegasus from the sky. Gideon's fall is stopped by none other than Rakdos, who swallows his pride so that the invader might be destroyed. Gideon leaps, Blackblade in hand, to end the war- and promptly fails, as Bolas brushes him away and shatters the Blackblade. All is lost, and Bolas orders Liliana to bring forth the Dreadhorde to wipe out the Ravnican resistance. Liliana, however, refuses, turning against Bolas, severing her contract and forfeiting her life. Gideon, however, takes the price of her betrayal on himself, sacrificing himself so that Liliana's control of the Dreadhorde may continue.
Gideon's sacrifice does not go unrewarded, as the fallen planeswalker finds himself in the Therosian afterlife- surrounded by his long dead Irregulars. All guilt that Gide-no, Kytheon had felt from their deaths is washed away in forgiveness. Back on Ravnica, the Dreadhorde's betrayal proves Bolas' undoing, with Liliana reaching out to Bontu and Oketra to deal the final blow, ripping Bolas' spark from him just as Bolas had done to so many others. Bolas survives, but is weakened, and banished to his meditation plane for all eternity. Having won the war against an Elder Dragon with the power of a god, Ravnica celebrates around the statue. Much of the plane is devastated by the war, but already signs of regrowth are starting to show.
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Nov 30, 2017Pollaski posted a message on If You Can't Take Criticism of Jeremy Hambly, You're Part of the ProblemGreat quote.Posted in: Articles
Edgelords can be funny sometimes, but I tend to feel like I need a shower if I listen to them too much. Ultimately, I believe that going the Shapiro route is better and more productive than going the Milo route.
Nov 30, 2017Pollaski posted a message on If You Can't Take Criticism of Jeremy Hambly, You're Part of the ProblemBeing a fellow conservative, I agree with a lot of what you said... and disagree with a bit.Posted in: Articles
1. There are American (neo-)Nazi's, and they're reprehensible. But you're dead on in that too many people are subjectively defining anyone they disagree with as a Nazi. So when there's talk of punching Nazis in the face... and they pretty much call anyone who voted for Trump a Nazi... well... yeah, that is reason to be concerned.
3. The fact that this article advocates violence against other human beings (up to shooting them!) is concerning. I've been in plenty of discussions with left-leaning individuals who seem to think they have the right to be violent towards what they perceive as hate speech. The first amendment (which is the FIRST amendment for a reason), protects all forms of speech, even reprehensible ones.
4. Sorry, gotta side with saprolings here. There's nothing provocative about with Sprankle does. In fact, I think she should be praised for the attention to detail she seems to put into faithfully representing the characters.
5. I agree that censorship is wrong, but being a jerk is still being a jerk. Its okay To call people out for being a jerk. In fact, I wish more people would be willing to just say to someone "you're a jerk" instead of trying to shut them down.
6. If Jeremy was actively encouraging his supporters to harass Christine, that's not okay. It's no different than those DJ's in Kentucky who had their listeners attack the referee in Nebraska because they didn't like his calls in an NCAA tournament game. The problem is, we (intentionally) blur the lines on what actually is harassment and isn't. The big difference is whether the medium used is public or private. If its public... its not harassment. That's why I'm VERY skeptical on people claiming harassment on Twitter or Facebook over general tweets and posts. Now, if you're going into DM's, that's a different story. And if you're resorting to more personal means, like texting, emails, and phone calls, then that is definitely harassment.
7. Agreed completely with this. I appreciate that MTGS is at least honest and upfront that they are not interested in free speech and allowing for open debate, but it is still concerning that they are unwilling to open up the debate.
8. The only issue I have with here is that you immediately glomp "conservative' and
"white male" in together. There's plenty of non-white, non-male conservative voices out there, and there's plenty of white males who aren't conservatives. Identity politics is a terrible thing, no matter what side you're on. Don't fall into the trap.
9. 100% in agreement. Especially because Magic is a commercially purchased game that literally anyone can enjoy. What right does anyone have to tell me I can or can't play?
Ultimately, I don't think there's much debate that Jeremy is a jerk. Whether he's an abusive harasser- part of me is leaning yes, but at the same time, the complete inability of anyone covering this story to provide anything resembling evidence and facts (not to mention the entirely terrible claim in the OP that demanding evidence "makes you part of the problem") is concerning.
Nov 30, 2017Pollaski posted a message on If You Can't Take Criticism of Jeremy Hambly, You're Part of the ProblemFor as involved an issue as its become, and its certainly been a firestorm over the past week, I have to say, the reporting on the matter has been nothing short of abysmal. Generally when a story like this breaks, you get a detailed look at the evidence- what was said, who was saying it, how was it being driven. Screenshots. Videos. Nobody has gone through the effort of doing that.Posted in: Articles
This isn't me saying she's been harassed. This isn't me saying she hasn't been. This is me simply asking that the so-called gaming journalists out there lay out the facts, and let us decide for ourselves.
Nov 22, 2017God I can't wait for Dominaria, and I can only dream that Wizards actually was this careful and concise with the lore that you're hypothesizing.Posted in: Articles
If Luti = Jaya, it makes sense that this is the perfect time for her to get back involved. Chandra got her butt whipped badly by Bolas, and is pretty much on the verge of death when she flees Amonkhet. There's four possibilities of where Chandra ran to after the Hour of Devastation- Khaladesh (home), Regatha (home #2), Dominaria (rendezvous), and Ravnica (Gatewatch HQ). Going by eliminations
- No way she goes to Dominaria, a plane she's not familiar with, in her condition
- Doubtful she goes to Ravnica, without Jace, she's really got no connection there, and I doubt she'd be cool with hanging out with Lavinia
- She probably doesn't want her Mom to see her in the condition she's in, so Kaladesh is out.
Regatha it is. Chandra probably crash lands there, gets nursed back to health by the monastery, realizes Luti's true identity, and convinces Jaya (maybe with Gideon and Nissa's help, if they go looking for her) that she could be a valuable ally against Bolas (and Marisil, if the entire Raven Man thing pans out- does Chandra even know about him?)
Its a great thoery.
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