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, 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!


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

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.

Dominarian Annotations, episode 12 & review

The Dominaria story has wrapped up (in fact, the entire Battlebond preview season has already come and gone!) but I still have to cover episode 12 and do the review, so let's quickly jump into it!
"I am Radha"
Radha was a half-elf half-Keldon warlord who we first saw in Time Spiral. She was the great-granddaughter of Astor, the warlord whose exploits we saw in The Myths of Magic, The Dragons of Magic and Planeshift. When Rath merged with Dominaria the Skyshroud Forest was plopped right in the middle of Keld, and clearly some mingling between the Keldons and the newcomers happened. She was the first person we saw with the new kind of spark, and she joined Jhoira and Teferi on their quest to save Dominaria from its temporal instability. Unfortunately her spark burned out when Jeska used it to close several time rifts on Dominaria. Thus it was not her but Venser who became the first of the new crop of non-godlike planeswalkers.

...and that is it! As could be expected the last chapters of the story are all referenced out. So let's move on to the review.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Dominarian Annotations, episode 9, 10 & 11

Sorry this installment of Dominarian Annotations is a little late. Real life things came up. I haven't been able to write about the Magic Story Podcasts either, so that's still coming up in a future article, but I did cover the references in today's article, so these annotations will cover episode 9, episode 10 and episode 11 of Return to Dominaria.

Episode 9 was a bit of a controversial one, as it contained a bunch of continuity errors. With all the continuity references in Dominaria one or two of those were bound to happen at some point, but to see a whole bunch of them pile up on top of each other at once is a bit surprising. Let's run through them and see if we can't come up with some explanations for them. And let's not forget about the regular references!

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Chainer's Torment

Writer - Scott McGough
Cover art - Mark Zug & Greg Stapels (back art is Laquatus's Champion)
Interior Art - Brian "Chippy" Dugan, Dana Knutson, Todd Lockwood, Anson Maddocks, r.k. Post, Mark Tedin and Anthony Waters
First released in January 2002

Our story begins before Kamahl leaves his mountain home and ends a while after Braids makes off with the Mirari, thus the entirety of Odyssey fits inside it, Russian nesting doll style.  

We open on a young cabalist named Chainer finding the Mirari in an abandoned villa outside of Cabal City. He feels its immense power, but as his greatest desire is to serve the Cabal, he returns home and hands it over to the organization. Before he can though, he is accosted by some Order soldiers led by Major Teroh, who want to confiscate the artifact. With the help of his mentor Skellum he gets past them and hands the Mirari to The First, the leader of the Cabal, who from then on takes a personal interest in Chainer's development.