Saturday, 10 March 2018


Writer - Clayton Emery
Cover art - R.K. Post
Cartography - Rob Lazzaretti
First released in April 2001

Hazezon Tamar, the ruler of the city-state Bryce, goes into the desert to meditate. There saves a starving tiger-man called Jaeger Ojanen from jackals and vultures. On his way back he runs into a druid who gives a very cryptic prophecy:
"When none meets one, only two shall remain."
The druid then also tells him Bryce is under attack by the forces of Tirras, a city-state ruled by Johan. Hazezon mounts a counteroffensive, during which Jaeger reveals himself to be immensely quick and strong. Afterwards the two go to Palmyra, the city-state in between Bryce and Tirras, which is ruled by Hazezon's estranged wife Adira Strongheart, leader of the Robaran Mercenaries. The city initially refuses to take a side in the war, but then Johan sends assassins after both Hazezon and Adira, Those are easily defeated, and Palmyra accepts the alliance with Bryce. Adira goes on a pirating trip with her elite troops, the Circle of Seven, to pay for the war effort. (She and Hazezon were both pirates before becoming rulers.) Jaeger joins the Seven to "experience humanity".

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The Dragons of Magic

The Dragons of Magic
Editor - J. Robert King
Cover Art - Eric Patterson
Cartography - Dennis Kauth
Released August 2001

This anthology revolves around the most popular creature type in Magic (and the most popular fantasy creature in general). An obvious choice perhaps, but you might be surprised how little the dragons in this book actually have to do with the card game. But before I get to the stories themselves, some notes on the format of the book.

The book is divided into four parts, with three stories each. These are "Lord Dragons", "Slave Dragons", "Wild Dragons" and "Warrior Dragons". The division doesn't matter much though, and the placement of the stories sometimes seems a little random. What is interesting for us is that each part starts with a small introduction that gives some hints about where the stories fit on the timeline. Future anthologies will develop this further and outright divide their stories into sections labeled "Ancient" or "Pre-Invasion".

Oh and yes, this book gives credit to its cartographer in its colophon! But don't get too excited, it's just the map from Aerona we've already seen in Invasion. Only this time it is just labeled "Dominaria Before the Invasion". A bit odd to include this very minimalist map when many stories in the book happen on locations not on the map (and none of them happen in Hurloon or Shanodin). Still, it's nice to see the creator of the map credited!

Sunday, 10 September 2017


Hi there everyone

If you look at the right side of this page, you'll see I've not been very good at regularly updating this blog, and that there was a steep drop in content from oktober 2015 onward. Which just happens to be when I started a normal day job again. Prior to that I was doing part-time night shifts, which was pretty ideal for a blogger.

This lack of regular updates has been a thorn in my side for a while now. It just feels like I'm constantly late for deadlines, and the last thing I want is for this blog to start feeling like a chore. Having finally wrapped up the Weatherlight Saga, this felt like the right moment to take stock and figure things out. Thus Multiverse in Review is going on hiatus for a little while, to give me time to work ahead and figure out a good regular schedule for myself.

Don't worry, this project is far from over and I intend to see it through to the end. In fact, I'm quite looking forward to the reviews coming up, especially the nonsense in Onslaught block! I've already finished reading Dragons of Magic and am currently working my way through Johan. I think that when I'm done with the Legends I cycle I should have a pretty solid idea of the new schedule.

If you want to keep in touch in the meantime, I will be commenting on the replies on the blog itself, and you can also follow me on Twitter and Tumblr.

I hope you're all not too mad at me for the lack of reviews in the upcoming weeks, and that I'll see you all again when I return with my regularly scheduled programming!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Upcoming Reviews

Now that we are done with the Weatherlight Saga, I thought I'd give you all a little heads up on what I'm going to cover next. Because at this point the release schedule of the books get's a bit cluttered. First a list of all the books released, in chronological order, from Invasion block to Mirrodin block. I've color-coded the various cycles for your convenience.
  • Invasion (oct 2000)
  • Planeshift (feb 2001)
  • Johan (april 2001)
  • Apocalypse (jun 2001)
  • The Dragons of Magic (aug 2001)
  • Odyssey (sept 2001)
  • Jedit (dec 2001)
  • Chainer's Torment (jan 2002)
  • Judgment (may 2002)
  • The Secrets of Magic (may 2002)
  • Hazezon (aug 2002)
  • Onslaught (sept 2002)
  • Assassin's Blade (dec 2002)
  • Legions (jan 2003)
  • Emperor's Fist (mar 2003)
  • Scourge (may 2003)
  • The Monsters of Magic (aug 2003)
  • The Moons of Mirrodin (sept 2003)
  • Champion's Trial (nov 2003)
  • The Darksteel Eye (dec 2003)
  • The Fifth Dawn (may 2004)
So yeah... at least the anthology titles fit neatly in between the regular cycles, but the Legends I and II cycles get everywhere, each being released simultaneously with two regular cycles. To make it easier for myself to do the continuity and timeline overviews, I'll move them around a bit in my schedule, so we only cover one cycle at a time. Furthermore, since Odyssey block runs straight into Onslaught block I want to keep as few novels as possible in between those. Thus Legends I will be moved forward and covered before we get to Odyssey, while Legends II will have to wait until Onslaught is wrapped up. Don't worry, Legends I and II have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Secrets of Magic can stay put, as it actually has some interesting backstory on minor Odyssey/Onslaught characters like Balthor. Finally there's a handful of other stuff I still need to cover, which makes the review schedule for the coming months as follows:
  • The Mirage Document
  • The Dragons of Magic
  • Johan
  • Jedit
  • Hazezon
  • Odyssey
  • Chainer's Torment
  • Judgment
  • Odyssey online (, Magic book archive,
  • The Secrets of Magic
  • Onslaught
  • Legions
  • Scourge
  • Onslaught online
  • Assassin's Blade
  • Emperor's Fist
  • Champion's Trial
  • An article on the Legends I, Legends II & Greensleeves timeline issues
  • The Monsters of Magic
  • The Moons of Mirrodin
  • The Darksteel Eye
  • The Fifth Dawn
  • Mirrodin online
Somewhere in between all this I will also do a review of the Portal: Second Age story, but when that will be depends on when my copy of The Official Guide to Portal: Second Age arrives.

From Mirrodin onward the storyline starts following an easy to follow schedule again, with each set getting their own novel and the extra cycles and anthology series being cancelled. At that point we really only have to worry about a few online anthologies and the occasional tidbit from a player's guide. But by the time I'm covering those we should be well into next year, so let's not get ahead of ourselves!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Weatherlight Saga overview

Was the Weatherlight Saga a succes? Was it even any good? Well, let's first figure out what we actually mean by "the Weatherlight Saga", because there are a number of different things rolled into that one name. First and foremost it is of course a story. The story of the Weatherlight Crew, whose adventures are revealed to be just a part of Urza's ongoing war against Phyrexia. But it can also mean a format, in which the story is told through WotC publications, rather than the preceding third party stuff, and is tied much closer to the game itself, compared to what came after. It is also used as a way of looking at continuity: when we talk about the Weatherlight Saga we place it in opposition to the supposedly chaotic and self-contradicting pre-revisionist stories and the less integrated planeshopping blocks. And finally there is the Weatherlight Saga as an attitude of Wizards of the Coast, one in which the storyline had an unprecedented importance. Perhaps the greatest importance up to the current Gatewatch era.

In short, the Weatherlight Saga is not just a story, it is an era in the history of the game, with distinctive traits in almost every aspect of the storyline. So let's go through these aspects one by one.

Monday, 24 July 2017

InQuest Gamer #74 (june 2001)

A bit beat up, as 13 year old me wasn't that careful with his magazines. It's a wonder I still have it at all!
On this blog we've looked at all issues of The Duelist, and at all the (somewhat) relevant parts of Top Deck, but those were just two publications in a once thriving market of cardgame magazines. So far I've completely ignored the rest. Partially this is because I don't own many of those issues, and I don't really feel like collecting 131 issues of Scrye, 150 issues of InQuest and whatever else is out there without knowing which issues include lore stuff. But mostly it is because these are all third party publications. Often when they talk storyline it is just parroting things from the novels, and when they go beyond that the canonicity is often in doubt.

I wanted to highlight this problem by looking at this specific issue of InQuest. It contains a hype article for the then-imminent release of Apocalypse that became quite famous in storyline circles for containing the only clear picture of Yawgmoth and (for a long time) the only picture of Karn as a planeswalker. The article was written after consulting with a WotC employee, uses concept art that we also saw in the Apocalypse novel, and the description of cards not yet released at the time is spot on. So far, so canon, you'd say. But when we delve into the storyline tidbits we'll find a number of inconsistenties, making things difficult. But let's first just look at this article, so we know what we are talking about.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

In the final issues of The Duelist we were told that Wizards was moving its magazine fully online. The medium then got a little reprieve in the form of TopDeck, but the move really was inevitable, and with Invasion block we've finally reached the point where there is no longer an official Magic magazine in print. Third party publications like Scrye and Inquest held out a few more years, and over in France Lotus Noir is somehow still going, but for official Wizards of the Coast content we have to go online from this point on.

For us storyline folk this exciting new digital era actually had very little to offer. was at the time little more than a list of product releases. In addition to that there was SideBoard, which catered to tournament players, but if you wanted storyline stuff, or behind the scenes R&D info, you were out of luck. In 2002, around the release of Torment, their website adopted its now-famous daily articles format, with the occasional Arcana or feature article on the storyline. Not until the tail end of Kamigawa block did we get a regular article on flavor stuff.

But that is not to say there was nothing for us at all during that time. We already seen that product pages sometimes contained little stories, like with Nemesis and Prophecy. And for Invasion block Wizards created a whole sub-site! It's very early 2000's, complete with flash animations, looping background music and downloadable wallpapers. But there actually is some interesting Vorthos stuff hidden in here. For starters the Kev Walkers comics we have been look at for Masques, Nemesis, Prophecy and Invasion continue here. More importantly, in addition to that this site also gives us the most complete maps of Dominaria we've ever been given!