Anyone remember watching The Empire Strikes Back for the first time? Well, when I saw it, the only other part of the story available was A New Hope (YES, it was the 80s) which was all a part of the middle of the story. The point is that with Han frozen in carbonite, Luke one hand short and Vader looking damn near invincible, it sure looked like the end was near. They call in The Second Act or Second Act Breakup. It’s that point in a relationship or a story that it looks like it’s over.
That’s where we are with the Phyrexia story right now. The heroes struggle without hope. Most of their number have either fallen or switched sides. Everything they tried to do to stop the Phyrexians failed. All is lost.
Or is it?
OVERRUN AT THE SEEDCORE
The main set of planeswalkers ended up in the Seedcore, the roots of the Phyrexian’s new ‘world tree’ called Realm Breaker.
MTG art by Kasia ‘Kafis’ Zielinska
JACE , being infected by Vraska in a well laid trap, attempted to set off the Silex even though, with Realm Breaker reaching out through the blind eternities, it may well end all of existence. But Jace didn’t care. He was disillusioned after seeing his love, Vraska, succumb to the corruption of Phyrexia. He wanted to die. And, if he could serve the greater good and MAYBE save the few planes left that weren’t touched by New Phyrexia, so be it.
It was obvious to all that Vraska was used to trap Jace. It was stated during the story that the Phyrexians used Ajani’s knowledge of the Gate watch against them and this was case and point. Which solidifies what I suspected: Some of the Planeswalkers were sought after by the Phyrexians. I believe they went after Tamiyo because she knew all of the stories. They wanted Nissa to talk to and control Realm Breaker. What could they have wanted with Jace? Illusion? Mind Control? It is yet to be seen.
Unlike these three, planeswalkers like Nahiri and Lukka were casualties of war.
LET’S TALK ABOUT ELSPETH
“She didn’t hesitate. In a single convulsive motion, she drove her blade through Jace and shoved him aside, letting his body take the sword with him as he fell and grabbing the sylex in her own hands“
As Jace attempted to ignite the Silex, Elspeth, who had just knocked out Ajani, run him though with her sword, Luxior. She left the weapon that Elesh Norn feared and took the Silex and planeswalked before it could explode into action. Later, when Norn called for Jace to join her (which he did), the sword fell out of him to the ground.
“The sylex went with her (Elspeth), bound for some unknown destination, some point beyond the Blind Eternities“
It didn’t stay there long.
“Welcome, weary travelers, to Phyrexia,” said Elesh Norn. She turned her smile to Jace’s corpse, which shuddered and stood, Elspeth’s sword slipping from his body as he moved to join his new master. Kaito grabbed the blade as soon as it was unprotected, settling it into his free hand.
So, just to recap, Elspeth has taken the Silex to ‘some point BEYOND the Blind Eternities’, She left Luxior, her sword, IN Jace and Kaito picked it up readying for the fight to come.
Elspeth’s destination intrigues me. The Blind Eternities refers to that space between planes. It is filled with a chaotic blend of AEther, Mana and Temporal Energy (TIME). Mark Rosewater relates them to more of a door than open space.
But BEYOND the Blind Eternities? What lies that far out? Are we finally going to learn more of the depth of such a realm?
And the fact that Elspeth is carrying the bomb to end all bombs is not lost on me. If she does end up in the Blind Eternities or somewhere like a core place, setting off the silex may change all of time and history! Are they finally going for a reimagining of all of Magic Vorthos (lore)? Probably not. That’s a daunting task; even on their 50th anniversary.
Dropping a bomb in the Blind Eternities could have serious repercussions; all the same. It could possibly reset the cosmos and reignite the godlike power of the planeswalkers. Them becoming immortal again, the upping power levels, could throw the balance…IF IT WEREN’T for the planeswalkers under the control of the Phyrexians. Or will such an ‘unmending’ event actually break the Phyrexian hold on them and turn the tables?
It also makes one of our far reaching speculations more and more a possibility. Our man, STEPS, a long Nicol Bolas fan, has said, from the beginning, that this could be a precursor to the return of the dark Dragon God. Either through destroying the Meditation/Prison Realm (which happens to be its own plane) with the Silex or returning the god-like power to the planeswalkers would bring, not only Bolas, but Ugin, back to action!
DOUBLE SLEEPER AGENTS?
We asked in our first big speculation on All Will Be One if Jace being completed was part of the plan and he was just the Gate Watch’s inside man. Well, it looks like he wasn’t planning for this at all, but we could still see Jace wrestle control of his own mind and put a monkey wrench into what New Phyrexia is planning.
If Jace can’t muster this feat, it doesn’t mean one or more of our planeswalkers might not wrestle control away from the Phyrexians. I mean, to be honest about it, One of the distractions was a civil war breaking out led by Urabrask and some renegade Steel Thanes; all of which are Phyrexians. On top of that, Jin-Gitaxias and Sheoldred, both Praetors of the Phyrexians, are known to be conspiring against Elesh Norn. So why not Jace? Once he settles in to the new digs, he could totally pull a ‘off with the bloody big head’ coup.
Probably one of the least liked planeswalkers by fans and fellow planeswalkers alike is Lukka. He just never got any traction. It could be that his story was rushed and he just comes across like an asshole.
Well, he proved this to be true in the All Will Be One story. He was headstrong and arrogant; bonding with a Phyrexian beast by choice! BUT, this leaves the possibility that Lukka could be a surprise in the next story. If he gains control of his Phyrexian meld with the creature, he could grab control back and turn on Elesh Norn. I mean, he is a bit bull headed and hard to control.
As far as that goes, having the Gate Watch on the inside may not been as brilliant a stroke as Norn thinks. Any of them, Jace, Nissa, Tamiyo? Considered the most powerful planeswalkers anywhere, they should have a glimmer of a chance of turning the tide.
And, then, there’s Nahiri. Probably one of the most hard headed of any planeswalker anywhere. She fights against control. She’s a weapon that must be used. And, although Norn is allowing her to become just that, Nahiri being dominated probably won’t work out so well in the end. I’d put good money on her breaking free, maybe, before Jace and the elders of the Gate Watch.
“I think our time is up,” Urza said, pointing into a void above Teferi’s head. “I can see something out there.”
The Destroyer of Dominaria talking with the Destroyer of Zhalfir—always in that goat’s shadow, old man. Wonder what he saw out there. (What indeed?)
REMEMBER, Teferi went back to the Brother’s War. He spoke to Urza, but Urza would not remember it. It was all about learning to use the Silex. In the end, Teferi is hurled though time. He awakes in his homeland. Why is this strange? His homeland disappeared long ago thanks to his tampering with time magic. They do not welcome him. Somehow, the Wanderer ended up there too.
His last words excite me.
“It’s not too late,” Teferi said, a fierce grin spreading across his face. The Phyrexians’ probing through the Multiverse had awoken something that their machine minds would learn to fear: Teferi, who would show them that the sun rises in Zhalfir.
It’s not too late. I mean, I would have prefered, “There’s still time.”, right? But it all comes off the same. What does Teferi mean? What is it about his lost land of Zhalfir that spells disaster for those ‘machine minds’? Is Teferi about to pull some Timey Wimey bullshit? Or does he mean something altogether different? Only time and more stories will tell!
NOTE ON TEZZERET: He’s a selfish asshole who’s decided to sit this one out and see who wins and how it profits him.
ONCE AGAIN: THE ELDRAZI IN THE ROOM
‘Emrakul is Emrakul is Emrakul forever.‘ from The Promised End MTG Story
One of the major points we as a group ran upon (as well as many of you on the internet) was the fact that those planeswalkers the Phyrexians ‘went after’ could not have been coincident. I mean, the first completed planeswalker was Tamiyo who ‘sealed’ Emrakul into the moon of Innistrad. Also Jace was sought after. But wasn’t he the one who actually had a discussion with the Edrazi?
NOTE: This picture cause a bit of an uproar this week. Do you see Emrakul? Eh, neither do I. But so many did!
On top of that, the two planeswalkers from Zendikar (where the Eldrazi orginally made their stand) have been completed. I’m talking about Nahiri and Nissa, of course. It could mean nothing, but it could be everything. Could Elesh Norn be arrogant enough to think she can complete a god-like being like the Eldrazi so easily? She has all the information she needs to attempt it.
HOLD UP! Let’s go back to Emrakul’s very words.
“This is all wrong. I am incomplete, unfulfilled, inchoate. There should be blossoms, not barren resentment. The soil was not receptive. It is not my time. Not yet.” The way she said, yet, sent a shiver through Jace’s neck. She resumed her writing, blotting out a large section of dried ink. (Source Referenced above)
How could the time EVER be right for the people of Innistrad or anywhere to accept the Eldrazi with flowers? For the soil to be ‘receptive’? Only when there’s a worst option laid before you.
Here’s my speculation: The Phyrexians invade Innistrad. Overrun it. It their moment of despair and hopelessness, they call out. Not to their dead angel, but to the undying, unstoppable being in their moon. The people would call this power back; welcome it. If it meant freeing them from being absorbed into the Phyrexian onslaught, it would be worth it. Accept Emrakul as their protector.
Maybe not. If it does happen, it will be a part of the aftermath. They will be part of the repercussions of the actions taken in the Phyrexia story. Shadows of future sets and vorthos.
The voice continued, light and airy as a breeze. “It is coming, Jace. I am coming. Keep moving. Find your answers. But quickly. Time points one way, and it does so with hunger.”
Time does hunger. And it may or may not be Emrakul’s time. But it’s always out there waiting patiently for the tides to turn.