Quote from Yatsufusa »I really hope the Raven Man is a separate entity (whether Lim-Dul or not) and not just Doctor Jest 2.0. As I said before, I feel Liliana's story (and character) rather cliche and while it was initially fun to speculate, Bolas himself and his plans (being behind almost everything) is also starting to feel cliche and if the Raven Man is both of those combined I think the Raven Man will become the most boring thing I've actually read in hindsight. I'd rather the Raven Man be an impediment to Bolas's control over Liliana, but not to the Gatewatch's benefit either. Also, the Chain Veil is probably irrelevant "demon #5" at this point, Bolas has demonstrated it is effectively worthless against him and it has been proven both the Veil and the Raven Man were terrified (and most likely outmatched) of Emrakul. So basically Liliana is being "controlled" by a power-level of Veil < Raven Man < Bolas, but in three different directions at once... unless Emrakul did hijack into Liliana as well.
It's a bit sad to say, but I think Jodah got the oldwalker treatment due to his immortality (yes I know he wasn't one and in fact hated them, but it just makes it even more ironic), except he's less arrogant and more of complacent instead (at least he went "Oh no" and was listening to solutions rather then "It's not my fault it's theirs" like some Sphinx did...), but it still seems all out-of-place.
The whole artifact debacle is also rather confusing, because we don't have the timeline for Blackblade's arrival and there's a lot of dementia magic involved. Was Thom sent in after Blackblade arrived and he had the knowledge of Blackblade, or did he successfully sneak Blackblade out (to New Argive) and got abandoned, or did he sneak something else out (or failed to sneak something out) and had Blackblade overwritten as a disguise, or was he sent in before Blackblade, was mentally transmitted of Belzenlok acquiring the Blade and since he didn't sneak the artifact out, Blackblade was the only memory they could see? I feel like blaming Jodah for just saying "it's missing" without specifying what it is, because the wand could also just be anything...
The story is well structured, but I can feel the missing-information-rifts when it comes to trying to associate old characters with new plotlines (Karn's refusal to speak to Jhoira, Jodah's relative carelessness, the artifact confusion), but even with that I really like Gideon & Liliana feel like they're two kids when placed beside these ageless characters. In a way it almost feels like they're saying "even complacent confused older characters are somewhat more mature than the young Gatewatch". Only Raff felt even younger, but hey the new Weatherlight crew are the actual kids of the story to start with...
Occam's Razor would suggest that simply taking the stories in chronological order (with the timelines of Jhoira's recruitment mission and Tiana/Arvad's story overlapping) puts the delivery of the Blackblade to Belzenlok 2-3months ago, which is a good amount of time for Thom to know about it before infiltrating Tolaria West (particularly given that Belzenlok definitely doesn't seem the type to hide that he has it in his possession).
The artifact Thom was stealing reasonably was the thus-far-unnamed wand. Because again, if Thom has succeeded in his mission of stealing Blackblade from Tolaria West why would he come back?