Monday, 27 August 2018

Legions


Writer - J. Robert King
Cover art - Ron Spears
First released in January 2003

SUMMARY
We open on the deathwurms still rampaging. Braids is riding one, but then they all get absorbed into Phage as we saw at the end of Onslaught. Braids plummets to the ground. With broken legs she crawls into a hole in the ground to hide.

Everybody goes home after the war. Akroma rebuilds Ixidor's forces in Topos. Phage heads back to the Grand Coliseum, and Kamahl goes to Krosa, where he retreats into the Gorgon Mound to meditate. Zagorka, Stonebrow and a bunch of other refugees of the war discover a city in the middle of the desert. They start new lives there, calling it Sanctum. As they start attracting more people, ancient glyphs start appearing on the ruins which talk about the rebirth of mysterious "numena".

There aren't any Magic cards dealing with the numena, so have something numen-y from another card game.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Onslaught


Writer - J. Robert King
Cover art - Ken Walker (Actually Kev Walker, but the colofon calls him Ken...)
First released in September 2002

SUMMARY
At the end of Judgment Jeska was left with Seton to heal, but she isn't getting better. Then Braids comes in, kills Seton, and offers Jeska life through the Cabal. Later she turns up in the Cabal Pits as Phage, a remorseless killer whose mere touch causes every organic thing to rot. Later we discover Braids presented the dying Jeska to the First, who tried to kill her with his own deathtouch only for her to be mysteriously transformed. In the pits Phage fights against the lovers Ixidor and Nivea, killing the latter. Ixidor, who was counterfitting Cabal money, is then exiled into a desert.

Meanwhile Kamahl finds his friend dead and his sister gone. With his new green magic he gets himself a staff made of a century plant and heads to Aphetto to retrieve his sister. There he is forced to battle her in the arena, during which she gives him an unhealing belly wound that mirrors the one he gave her while under the influence of the Mirari. He returns to Krosa. The First follows him, intent on killing him, but then decides to corrupt Krosa instead. The forest has already been growing like mad due to the Mirari, with a huge mountain of growth called the Gorgon Mount appearing around the spot where the Mirari sword is pinning Laquatus' corpse to the ground. Kamahl is able to stop the forest's corruption by talking to it.


Tuesday, 7 August 2018

The Art of Magic the Gathering: Dominaria


Writer - James Wyatt
Release date - July 2018

REVIEW
Wizards has been putting out these Art books for a couple of years now, but as this blog tends to live in the past this installment is the first one I'm covering since The Art of Magic the Gathering: The Rath Cycle, the first book in the series, and the only one released before an 18 year hiatus. Or should I say the only installment in the Art of Magic volume 1, with Zendikar being the start of volume 2? More important question: am I the only person who cares about that stuff? Yes? Okay. Let's move on.

The Art of Magic books are really amazing. For years I had been saying that Wizards should be putting out something like this, as it always surprised me that they did so much world building that didn't make it into the cards. All that lore that was almost never used, only occasionally spilling out to the public in a Savor the Flavor article. It just seemed a waste of time and resources. And of course people have been asking for larger versions of card arts since forever as well, so doing an art book to get some money out of all this stuff they've made anyway seemed like a logical idea. Either that, or use it for a roleplaying game. Just let James Wyatt do whatever he wants, is basically what I'm saying.

Doing a blog is nice and all, but now I get to use all this Magic trivia in a D&D campaign!

Thursday, 12 July 2018

The Secrets of Magic



The Secrets of Magic
Editor - Jess Lebow
Cover Art - Kev Walker
Released May 2002

Like The Dragons of Magic this anthology divvies up its stories in 4 parts. This time this is especially interesting for my project, as the the four parts are "Ancient History", "Pre-Invasion", "Invasion Era" and "Post Invasion". (Yes, with a hyphen after Pre and a space after Post.) We don't get introductions from the editor with additional information this time, but the headers are pretty self explanatory. The only vague one is "Pre-Invasion", but it seems clear those stories are supposed to go in the "original present" between 4000 and 4200 AR. We'll see in the discussion of the individual stories if these placements can be made any more specific. Lets dive in!

Monday, 25 June 2018

Odyssey block Online

A long, long time ago I reviewed the last issues of The Duelist, in which it was promised that the publication would be replaced by a website. Well, it took 3 years, but in early 2002, around the time Torment was released, MagicTheGathering.com was finally changed to its now famous magazine format, becoming a true successor to The Duelist. Don't get too excited though, as there was little for us lore fans on it yet. Only with Kamigawa block would we start getting actual stories and weekly flavor articles on the website.

No, we are still in the era when the book department seemed fairly vestigial to WotC as a whole. Which meant there wasn't much lore on the main website, but also that interesting bits ended up on hidden nooks and crannies of the Wizards' site, away from the daily magazine page. Today we'll look at all the stuff I've been able to unearth from webarchives for the Odyssey block period.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Legends of Dominaria & Magic Story Podcasts


The story may have ended, but I'm going to do two more posts on Dominaria. In this first one I will cover two sources released in the past few weeks: the descriptions of the new legendary creatures released on Twitter and the five Magic Story Podcasts about Dominaria. The next post will come out at least a month from now, by which time a) The Art of Magic the Gathering: Dominaria will be out, and b) I will have celebrated my birthday, so hopefully someone will have gifted me the book. Oh, and I assumed that by then my copy of the Dominaria Player's Guide will have come in the mail AND that the Dominaria D&D supplement will be out. So if you're still not sick off Dominaria (I know I'm not!) you still have that review to look forward to. For now, let's look at some legends and listed to some podcasts!

Judgment


Writer - Will McDermott
Front cover art - r.k. Post.
Back cover art - Matthew D. Wilson (Uncredited. The art is Silver Seraph)
Internal art - Brian "Chippy" Dugan, Dana Knutson, Todd Lockwood, Anson Maddocks, r.k. Post, Mark Tedin & Anthony Waters
First released in May 2002

SUMMARY
We open on Kamahl burning Chainer's body at the end of Torment. In this version things play out slightly different though. Most significantly our hero initially tosses the Mirari away, but when he digs his sword out of the rubble the orb has mysteriously merged with the pommel. He wont leave his sword, a family heirloom, so takes the Mirari anyway. After fighting the people who challenge him over the sword in Cabal City he decides to go back to his home, Auror village in the Pardic mountains.