Friday, 11 September 2015

Planeswalkers War

Finally, we have reached the climax of the Armada line, the Planeswalkers War of Corondor! Are you ready to find out who lives, who dies, who faces who and in what state they leave the continent? I've had to keep you in suspense for a few days longer than I had planned, so let's quickly get going!

We open with Daria, still stuck in the Amber Prison on the Null Moon. Projecting her mind, Daria sees various scenes playing out on Corondor while searching for Taysir. First she sees Jared and Sandruu dueling in the ruins of Castle Melmereth, the old Carthalion estate that was blown up in the climax of Shadow Mage. The Elder Druid send Jared there, since as it turns out the vault of the Carthalions contained the spellbook of Geyadrone Dihada, and summoning Dakkon Blackblade would be a tremendous aide to the cause of Corondor. Unfortunately he was intercepted by the raging minotaur. Still, Jared manages to escape with the book.

Next Daria, and we with her, sees Ravidel conquering a city in Shikar, in eastern Corondor. Upon completing this task Ravidel pulls out a device, which includes the piece of obsidian he took from Urborg in Prelude to War (and four other color-appropriate stones) and uses it to hinder the casting abilities of the other summoned planeswalkers. A sound stratagem, or an excuse for having every player starts with a crappy deck in the Battlemage game? You decide!

Third, we see Grenfell Mor in Telemar. Tevesh Szat has already taken over his city. Szat feels his powers suddenly reduced and takes it out on Grenfell. Rummaging through his mind, Szat discovers that the five houses of Corondor (Severin, Verdenth, Carthalion, Khone Keep and Kadesha, which we saw protecting Arathoxia in Shadow Mage) each kept a bit of an artifact called the Grey Chime. That thing doesn't have a name similar to the Apocalypse Chime for nothing; it is another Golgothian Sylex-style artifact of ultimate destruction. Ideal for the would-be harbinger of the apocalypse. Szat heads of to collect the pieces.

We shift to Leshrac. Like in his opening in the Battlemage game, he is chatting with Teferi. Leshrac tries to recruit Teferi against Taysir. Teferi refuses, but Leshrac steals some artifacts and spells from his Isle, so his visit wasn't a complete waste of time. Teferi secretly follows Leshrac to the Sulgh Swamps on Corondor, and summons Caliphaer. He sends the Nightmare to Freyalise, to tell her that she can't focus just on Tevesh Szat and stay neutral in the conflict between Ravidel and Jared.

Finally Daria finds Taysir. He's followed the Mox Beacon to Corondor and immediately sought out Kristina. Clearly the reunion was not a happy one, as the two are now locked in a duel. Then Jared arrives, with Sandruu in hot pursuit. Taysir flees, hurt and confused. Sandruu is now willing to talk. Perhaps seeing Taysir, the man who once exiled him because of his obsession with Kristina, made him reflect on his own obsessive love. He and Kristina decide to follow Taysir and speak with him. Jared is left on his own. Which is unfortunate, as he is then assaulted by Tevesh Szat, who quickly defeats him and steals his Red Mana Battery. We saw the battery already in Shadow Mage, but now we learn it's actually the energy source for the Grey Chime! Szat also nicks a marble dial, the piece of the Chime House Kadesha was keeping, and leaves. Jared wonders why Szat only attacked him for the Battery, but is interrupted again when Ravidel turns up in the nursery of his daughter! (First your lover goes of with one ex to chase another, then you get beat up and mugged and then your nemesis is threatening your kid. Worst. Day. Ever.) Ravidel tries to recruit Jared for his crusade to eliminate all the other planeswalkers, which he frames as seeking out justice in the name of Taysir. Jared isn't convinced. Ravidel apparently still has some decency in him, as he just leaves, not harming Justina.

Soon part of Ravidel's army attacks Hamath, Jared's headquarters since Prelude to War, but the city is well defended. Jared is still there, the Elder Druid has just summoned an eager-for-battle Dakkon Blackblade, and during the fighting Freyalise and Caliphear turn up. Freyalise has chosen to side with Jared to repay her debt to the Carthalions of old, Jason and Jauehl. The initial attack om Hamath is repulsed.

Another part of Ravidel's army is still assaulting Shikar, which is protected by Eskil and the Ash Warlord Embereck, who clearly stuck together despite not really getting along. Leshrac then pops up and convinces Embereck to take on Ravidel directly, leaving Eskil to defend the city on his own. Eventually the Elder Druid and Teferi arrive to help out, but it's to late. By that time there is only one city standing, and the three can do little more that help people escape alive. Ravidel himself then turns up (Embereck, you idiot, Ravidel was coming towards you anyway!), spots the Druid and blows him to bits.

Jared feels the death of Dominaria's Elder Druid immediately. Kristina teleports to his side and they talk about Jared's fear of being left alone. She promises not to leave him anymore. (It's not really clear from the summary I read where Sandruu is at this point. He and Kristina left together to find Taysir, which they clearly didn't succeed in doing, but did he come back to Jared with her? The next time he pops up he is with them, so I guess he did.)

Now Embereck and Leshrac pop up again and confront Ravidel, but with their powers hampered they do not fair well. Embereck is destroyed and Leshrac flees. Ravidel gives a rallying speech, only to be then confronted with Taysir. Initially ecstatic to see his mentor again, Ravidel is horrified when Taysir tells him he doesn't approve of the war orchestrated in his name. Ravidel sees this as the umpteenth betrayal against him, analogous of the betrayal of his previous mentor, Faralyn. He decides Taysir is just "one more planeswalker who needs to be slain!" Taysir nearly falls to his former apprentice, but is saved by Teferi.

Leshrac has fled to Telemar, where he learns that Szat has collected four of the five pieces of the Grey Chime. Grenfell Mor has gone completely insane at this point and presents him with the final part. On the Null Moon Daria is freaking out, as she is the only one who seems aware of the danger of the Chime! She casts her consciousness out again and luckily the blind Eskil turns out to be able to sense her. Eskil heads of to Hamath to tell Jared's camp of Szat's plans, but not before pointing Daria to Taysir's location. Daria finds her mentor somewhere in the space between planes, just in time to see Teferi giving him a pep-talk. Seeing Kristina with Jared and being confronted with an enraged Sandruu, Ravidel having gone insane and Daria being missing has burned the old man out. The always lively Teferi manages to get him out of his funk, and the two join the other good guys.

As Ravidel's forces start amassing for their attack on Hamath, a council of war is held. In the end it is decided that Taysir and Caliphaer will go to destroy the Mox Beacon (Taysir doesn't want to face Ravidel, fearing he couldn't deliver a killing blow out of pity), Kristina, Sandruu and Freyalise will take on Szat and his Chime. Jared and Dakkon will join the mortal defenders of Corondor (represented at the council by Yorgo, Visionary Kadesha and exarchs Amadis and Finovar) will confront Ravidel on the battlefield. Kristina has a bad feeling about breaking her promise to Jared about always staying with him, but he tells her to go.

Eskil and Teferi apparently don't directly get involved. Teferi does help set up a trap for Ravidel by telling Jared to summon the Force of Nature from Wayfarer and then phasing it out, but doesn't do anything else. I guess he can be forgiven considering that this is most likely happening simultaneously with the Mirage Wars, meaning he is rather stretched at the moment. Eskil though? I guess he just does rescuing and healing, not fighting.

Taysir and Caliphear discover they can't disenchant or shatter the Beacon, and have to deal with some kind of monster Ravidel put in place to defend it. After they defeated it they inspect the Moxen and discover that these are Thran powerstones, similar to the Might- and Weakstone! Taysir also realizes there are powered by entire worlds that are contained within them. From his studies Taysir knows the link between Phyrexia and the Thran and opens a doorway to the Hell of Artifice. Gremlins rush out, grab the Beacom and haul it over to Phyrexia to destroy it.

On Telemar, Kristina duels Leshrac. Grenfell nearly kills her with a spell, but is disintegrated himself by Sandruu. Freyalise faces Szat and manages to separate him from the Chime. Unfortunately the first person to stumble upon it is Leshrac. Mad as a hatter and now free to leave Dominaria since the Mox Beacon is down, he decides to activate the Chime.

Meanwhile, Ravidel's army attacks Hamath. Jared challenges the Battlemage, while Dakkon leads the defenders' troop. On the opposing side he sees a familiar face: Sol'kanar, having been freed from Freyalise's bindings and now working for Ravidel. The swamp king being taken from Freyalise's service must have been cut for space, or maybe it was just missing from the summary I read.

Kristina finds Leshrac with the Chime and makes a grab for it. She yells at Sandruu and Freyalise to leave, which they do, just in time. Telemar goes up in a mushroom cloud. Kristina, Leshrac and Szat are lost in the darkness.

Jared, like with the death of the Elder Druid, immediately feels Kristina's absence. He launches into a suicidal charge against Ravidel, but then realizes his opponent is standing right in his trap. Just as the sky starts changing colors thanks to the destruction wrought by the Grey Chime, the Force of Nature phases back in and grabs Ravidel. The battlemage tries to summon a Personal Incarnation to fight the force, but the chaotic effects of the Chime thwart his spell and cause another explosion. The earth around Ravidel collapses. Jared is ready to let himself be swallowed by the ground as well, but the thought of his daughter rouses him out of his suicidal thoughts. He still nearly dies, but Taysir and Caliphear turn up and rescue him. Ravidel isn't seen again and Dakkon routs his forces.

As the good guys gather and Sandruu and Freyalise talk of how they saw Kristina die, Jared flies into a rage against planeswalkerhood. "If this is the price of planeswalking, I reject it!". Then a hand appears on his shoulder. It's Kristina who says she "wouldn't mind spending some time away from planeswalkers as well." It turns out she planeswalked away just as the Chime exploded, resulting in it partially exploding on Dominaria and partially in the space between worlds. She survived, though she is badly burned and stripped of her planeswalkerhood. (I'm sure the full script would have explained how she ended up back in Hamath!)

In the wrap up, Taysir admits to his errors and is forgiven by Sandruu. Freyalise offers to aid Eskil in helping rebuild the White Woods and Shikar. Teferi retrieves the Amber Prison from the Null Moon and Eskil releases Daria. Jared becomes the next Elder Druid and willingly gives up his planeswalkerhood. He and Kristina start a mortal life with their daughter in Kristina's Woods, with Dakkon watching over them. The sky over Corondor however, even years later, is still strangely colored, the legacy of the Grey Chime.

Let's get the obvious out of the way first, this is a thousand times more satisfying conclusion to the Armada line than the Battlemage game! Even in overview form this has a real plot, features all the characters who need closure to their arcs and provides us with that rarest of beasts in ongoing universes: a proper ending.

Of course, the story was never developed past the "plot overview" stage and it's still hard to do a real review without an actual comic or script. Especially since some of the story beats that I was most exited for don't involve big battles or epic spells, but tense dialogues. It's good to know that Kristina, Taysir and Sandruu met, fought and talked, and it's good to know Ravidel was confronted with Taysir, but we'd really need to know just what they said to one another to know if the resolution was satisfying. So in a way we are still left wanting. In a strange way though, this may be a blessing in disguise. Think about it: how many stories have held up after almost twenty years of anticipation? Even if the Sandruu/Kristina discussion would've turned out to be the most fantastically poignant dialogue in all of the canon, wouldn't part of us still have felt disappointed that it didn't turn out quite like we had imagined it in our heads all this time? Having only the outline allows us to have know the "canonical" ending to the saga, but to retain our own visions of the specifics!

...yeah, okay, I'm grasping at straws. Seeing this story published in an actual comic is still my number 1 wish when it comes to Magic continuity (tied with seeing the full Dominarian globe.)


On the flipside, there are a number of things here that seem very strange, but which clearly would've been developed much better in the actual plot. Sandruu heads of with Kristina to look for Taysir, but when she returns he seems to have disappeared from the story until the council of good guys. Grenfell Mor follows up his out-of-nowhere alliance with Ravidel from Prelude to War with an out-of-nowhere turn to insanity. And speaking of Prelude to War, Freyalise's summoning of Sol'kanar seems entirely pointless, even counterproductive, when Ravidel takes control of him off-panel. In these cases it seems entirely clear that a full plot would've expanded upon these events.

Is there anything we can praise or criticize then? Oh, there sure is! Some nice characterization shines through. I like Tevesh Szat not even bothering with the whole war and getting back to blowing up Dominaria. I like Sandruu, after his initial scuffle with Jared, quickly coming to his senses. The Ash Warlord continues to be an impulsive idiot, which I may have decried in the Prelude to War review, but once it's canon you have to stick to the established characterization! The prominent use of Teferi is surprising (well, not entirely considering he was one of the main characters in the then-current Mirage story), but he's used well. In a way that fits well with the characterization he'll have in later stories even! Bringing the Elder Druid mark to the fore in Jared's arc is also a good idea, bringing the comics full circle by invoking Kaysa's plot from Feast of Kjeld and Ice Age, giving Jared a more personal conundrum to worry about during the massive war going on around him and giving me some more continuity-porn to fawn over.

My main problem I have with the story is the use of Ravidel. It's rather disappointing to see him spend most of his time conquering Corondor and fighting Jared. Shouldn't the top of his to-do-list be a) Kill Leshrac for killing me, b) Kill Tevesh Szat for killing my Elder Draconic buddy, c) Kill Kristina for resurrecting me, d) Use their life energies to (as foreshadowed in Wayfarer) resurrect Chromium Rhuell? I was all set for Ravidel continuing his role as intriguer from Prelude to War, setting the various planeswalkers up against each other. It could have been interesting to see Freyalise wonder whether to ally with Jared against Ravidel, or with Ravidel against Tevesh Szat. And I would've put money on a scene of Ravidel succeeding in bringing Rhuell back, only for the dragon to be appalled by what his former friend has become. If he was just going to ignore most of the 'walkers he summoned, hoping they'd kill each other while he himself busied himself with conquering Corondor... why didn't he conquer the entire continent before setting of the Mox Beacon? Obviously Ravidel is completely of his rocker at this point, so that could explain his actions, but "he's insane" is never a great motivation for a character.

Still though, in the end I can only love this script. Obviously I'm biased as I've been granted the honor of sharing it with you all after all these years, but even putting that aside I think this is a good wrap-up of the Armada saga,  Pretty much all the dangling plotlines and unfinished character arcs reach their conclusion (Geyadrone Dihada was scrapped from the book because of space issues, so her conflict with Dakkon is still up in the air, but more on that below.), we get a proper story and a proper war (not just one big battle, like the Dihada-Blackblade war seemed to be) and I think it's a good thing Jeff Gomez dared to go out with a bang, wrecking the set for the series finale. Even in just the plot overview this story feels epic and a worthy ending to the comics line.

I've said it a few times now, no matter how much I want these stories to be canon, and no matter how quickly I put them in my head-canon, they simply have to be outside of continuity. These sources were never published and can only be told from second or third hand, which in my eyes is a deal breaking in the quest for canonicity. Heck, I don't even know if the people at Wizards who are currently working on the story have access to the overview I just discussed!

Still, now we know what would've happened... is it possible for us Vorthosi to put this in our head-canon? Well, for the most part that can actually be done fairly easily! If we accept that everything beyond the first dialogue in the Battlemage game is suspect canon anyway, since every progress in the game depends on your actions and those of the AI, and those first few dialogues match up pretty well with what we see in this comic (Tevesh threatening Grenfell, Leshrac meeting Teferi) it seems easy to slot this in as a replacement, saying its simply a more detailed and definite version of the events shown in the game.

From The Duelist #15

There are two big hurdles in this process: the first is Geyadrone Dihada's presence. She's prominently featured in the game, so canonically she was present at the war, but only her spellbook would've been featured in the comic. The second is Kristina. This version of the war leaves her powerless, ready to start a mortal life with Jared and Justina. Yet she'll reappear in Invasion as a planeswalker, with no man or kid in sight. How to solve these inconsistencies? Well, part of the answer may lie in yet another unpublished source, Rise of the Mana Wraith.

Intended as a PC RPG sequel to the Planeswalkers War, Mana Wraith was even less developed than this comic when the plug was pulled, but Jeff Gomez was able to share some ideas from that plot with me. Taking place 7 years after the Planeswalkers War, it would've shown that Corondor was still in terrible shape thanks to the explosion of the Grey Chime ("strange weather conditions and blood red skies have prevented crops from growing.") Cults and barbarian raiders have risen in this post-apocalyptic setting. The chieftain of the Darkling Plains has a very interesting demand though: he wants Jared to give up on being Elder Druid and become a planeswalker again, so he can use his godlike powers to heal the land. Other ideas that were thrown around were to put the conflict between Geyadrone Dihada and Dakkon Blackblade, which didn't fit in the Planeswalkers War, in this game, Kristina becoming a planeswalker again (perhaps due to something to do with Geyadrone) in order to defeat whatever the Mana Wraith was and Jared growing in his role as Elder Druid, ending up with a new quest to bring planetary unity!

Some interesting ideas there, and certainly some that would help square Planeswalkers War with Battlemage and Invasion. Geyadrone might have been summoned by the Mox Beacon but decided to just hang around on the outskirts of the war and only to act after the other 'walkers were gone. Kristina would've returned to 'walkerhood to appear in Invasion. Heck, even the 7 years timeframe fits! Just barely, with the Planeswalkers War happening in 4196, Mana Wraith in 4203 and the Invasion in 4205, but hey, a fit is a fit! There are still some minor inconsistencies to smooth over, like the way Taysir and Kristina speak when they meet in Invasion, which suggests they haven't seen each other in centuries, or the fact that Kristina is willing to work with Tevesh Szat against the Phyrexians when the last time they saw each other would've been while they were grappling the Grey Chime (But Szat's inclusion in the Invasion story is problematic anyway. I'll deal with that when we get to that novel.) Yet on the whole, Mana Wraith sounds like it would solve the biggest issues.

Before we get to crazy though, it should be noted that including Mana Wraith in your head-canon is pretty much impossible without extensive fanficcing. What I said above is the genuine extend of how far the game was developed: "Kristina would've gotten her powers back to fight the baddy. Maybe it had something to do with Geyadrone." The best example of this is probably that it hadn't even been decided who the titular Mana Wraith was going to be! The game designers proposed it would be an undead Ravidel, though Jeff Gomez wasn't wild on that idea. (I agree with Jeff here. Killing of your main villain in the season finale only to immediately bring him back in episode 1 of the next season is the epitome of shark jumping!)
This guy was most definitely not involved.

So... fitting Prelude to War and Planeswalkers War into the current continuity will require some work on the part of the fans, but it could be done. I'm all for including it. As I've stated in the Armada continuity overview, these stories are still being referenced, so they deserve a proper wrap-up. Plus there is just a lot of cool stuff here! I want Ravidel to have had a chat with Lord Windgrace, and Windgrace to have ties to Efrava. I want Dakkon to be featured in more than one story. I want Leshrac calling himself the Cosmic Ferret of Death! So this all goes straight into my head-canon. If I have to make up some fan ficcy theories to make it fit properly, so be it! (Quick note for those wondering: my timeline is based on the actual canon, not my head-canon, so you wont find these stories on there.)

Some other quick continuity notes:
  • The question of whether planeswalkers could have children comes up every once in a while. Wizards has danced around the issue for a long time, until Doug Beyer said on his Tumblr that they definitely could. He might be just talking about post-Mending 'walkers though. For pre-mending 'walkers only Grenfell Mor and Kristina are proof positive of planeswalker fertility, but being pre-revisionist some people discount them.
  • Making the Moxen Thran powerstones is really cool, as it finally gives flavor to some of Magic's most iconic cards! The idea that they hold entire worlds inside them is later re-used in The Thran, where Glacian theorizes that powerstones could fit entire worlds in them, and Time Streams, in which Urza collapses Serra's Realm into a powerstone.
  • It seems obvious that the detonation of the Grey Chime would've created another Rift, like the Golgothina Sylex or Karona's rise were revealed to have done in Time Spiral. But Corondor wasn't featured in the Time Spiral story. Maybe the fact that the Chime was planeswalked away as it exploded prevented the creation of a Rift... or maybe the Rift is still there! I like that second option, as it would allow for a return to Dominaria in which the other regions of the plane are shown as recovering, while Corondor could be used to maintain the (in my eyes quite cool) post-apocalyptic aesthetic of Time Spiral block. I think it even makes sense to keep Corondor in that state, as it was post-apocalyptic even before the Invasion started!
Sorry Mangara. Your home is still wrecked as far as I'm concerned...

With this review I've finally reached the end of my look at the Armada comics, so for one last time I would like to sing it's praises. They may not have been perfect (I think I've said the words "this comic needed more pages" more often than I thought humanly possible during these reviews, and of course the big finale is simply missing), but I'd be lying if I said they weren't one of my favorite parts of the Magic canon.

First, let's take a moment to realize how important they were to the development of Magic's story. Since the earliest issues of The Duelist put its lore in articles and Harper Prism was off making up their own stories, these comics were the first place where we got actual stories about the expansion sets. Similarly, with the earliest expansions either focusing on Dominarian history or not having a story at all, and with Harper Prism making rather a hash of the representation of planeswalkers at first, before removing them from their plots altogether, Armada was the first to put the planeswalkers where they should be: front and center, as the main characters and driving forces behind the plot. While the mechanics behind planeswalkers hadn't been fully hammered out at this point, terminology still in use today, like "spark", "ascension" and "piercing the veil" are introduced or become common place here. The huge temporal scope of the stories still, despite a few ret-cons, form the backbone of Magic's timeline. And let's not forget the obvious: this is Magic's first big saga. The smaller stories in various times and planes culminating in first the Summit of the Null Moon and then the Planeswalkers War are essentially a blueprint for the way the Weatherlight Saga, the Time Spiral "saga" and even the stories of today are being told.

In addition to being historically significant, these comics are also just plain fun. I like the huge scope, the separate stories and all the little continuity references between them. Nowadays it might seem quaint how strictly the stories stick to the card game, but there is a kind of fun in recognizing all the references and combo's used in the story. Most of all, I just love the characters. Dakkon Blackblade, Jaeuhl Carthalions, Feroz, the Armada incarnations of Taysir, Freyalise, Tevesh Szat, Leshrac and Serra... they are all just great to read about and I still wish we would've gotten more stories featuring them.

With all that said, let me just thank Jeff Gomez one more time, for all his help with answering my continuity and behind-the-scenes questions and for providing me with overviews of the unpublished comics, let me also thank Zazdor once more for his role in getting those stories to a wider public, and finally let me thank all of you for following my blog and reading this reviews! I hope you all enjoyed them, and I hope you will all join me again on Sunday when I resume my look at The Duelist!


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  2. Cool. Few comments for now:

    "For pre-mending 'walkers only Grenfell Mor and Kristina are proof positive of planeswalker fertility, but being pre-revisionist some people discount them."
    Yeah, but there is Teferi, established revisionist planeswalker who remained quite material, human, not noticing his new nature. He even caught a cold IIRC, so that's all confirmation I need that it is possible for planeswalkers (at least in some circumstances) to have children - to remain the biological entities they were before at least for some time in some cases.

    "Making the Moxen Thran powerstones is really cool" - Yep. This is great. :) The Phyrexian Gremlins were interesting too - reference to the portrait of Phyrexia showed earlier in Greensleeves trilogy. Although it was kinda surprising - some creatures being able to take the artifact the planeswalkers couldn't deal with.

    "It seems obvious that the detonation of the Grey Chime would've created another Rift,"

    "Maybe the fact that the Chime was planeswalked away as it exploded prevented the creation of a Rift..."
    Small rifts were supposed to appear even when planeswalkers walked between the planes, so surely this event had to create one. It's possible though, it wasn't as major as those others, featured in TS block.

    "or maybe the Rift is still there! I like that second option,"
    I have to stop you there. When the Karona-rift was closed, the Mending spread not only through Dominaria but through the whole of the Multiverse and if I recall correctly, it actually healed all previously unhealed rifts (like the one created on Ulgrotha). Either that, or I'm forgetting my stuff, which after all those years is entirely possible... that's not to say I would mind a return to Corondor. Repercussions of the Chime, possibly Mana Wraith, then Phyrexian Invasion, Karona appearance and the chaos brought by the rifts could still leave Corondor in a pretty post-apo, awful state. Since it's an isolated landmass it wouldn't even have to follow the pace of recovery of other locations (if there is any significant recovery elsewhere at all ;) ). The climate could be worse, some magical phenomena unrelated to rifts could still ravage the land, etc.

    As for this missing period of Corondor's history, obviously, I would like these comics to be finished and published (which we know is not gonna happen). It's almost as unlikely, yet a bit more likely, that this whole conflict would be put into a novel (or a trilogy - setup, the war, and Mana Wraith). As much as I hate retcons, some of the inconsistencies and poor choices could be fixed, nuanced or viewed in the new light. Maybe even Geyadrone could be reintroduced to the War.

    1. The Mending was stated to heal all the rifts, but the flavor text of Armored Cancrix (from M11) suggests that it wasn't instantaneous. So I reckon the Corondor rift could be the biggest of the remaining ones.

    2. Well, that's one interpretation of that flavor text.
      I took it to say that still new, alien creatures are being found, which are not of this time, since they were placed on Dominaria during the temporal crisis.

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    4. [I had to rephrase the last post a little]
      Oh and two more thoughts. Maybe an animated series would be a good medium for Corondor storyline? Many legendary characters and planeswalkers playing the main roles would fit such a medium, and esthetically it would fit the comics too...
      Also, if it wasn't decided who was Mana Wraith supposed to be - I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to make him a Phyrexia related character, to tie the story of Corondor to the upcoming Invasion. The Mox Beacon/Moxen could play a part too.

  3. Cool! It's a little sad that the events aren't canon, though.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't recall reading the expression "piercing the veil" in previous blog entries: what does that mean? Trespassing planar boundaries?

    (Yesterday I found a little typo, but right now I can't see it!)

    1. Piercing the veil - I think it was present even in Arena (although not necessarily in its review) - either this term, or something phrased very closely. I think that after beating up Kuthuman, someone said that the veil is closed again or something. I might have to look that up...

      And yeah, it has to do with getting into a plane or out of a plane. Which can be sometimes hard, depending on the plane and depending if the boundaries were strengthened by other effects (like Feroz's Ban, which may make it impossible or near impossible) and depending on who tries. My impression is that in these early sources it was also used very often in the context of becoming a planeswalker, sometimes like if the accumulation of power was enough to pierce that veil and like if the first time was harder - once you did it, you could repeat it without that much of an effort (well, if a person has an unflared spark, then flaring it may be hard indeed, but that's an interpretation in light of later information about planeswalkers. It seems mostly compatible though).

    2. Thank you very much, Mort. A comprehensive explanation! :)

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  5. Thank You so much for this. I greatly enjoy MTG Lore more than the card game. I obsessed with the planeswalker war wanting to know happened. This is awesome post, Thanks again for creating this post and blog. Hopefully Wizards will go back and reuse some these characters and tie up some loose ends.

  6. Wow. Another awesome job on the blog, my friend. I can't wait to see what you post next! Cheers