This is going to be a short one, since there really isn't much lore in these issues. A few paragraphs on the story of Alliances, plus the regular From the Library of Leng feature. No story this time. It seems The Duelist is still saving most of the lore for the comics, but as we know the Alliances comic was never published. Shame that.
So... here is the short overview of the Alliances story given in issue 11. It's worth noting that it tells of Yavimaya gaining a kind of intelligence and maliciousness. This was the threat Kaysa and Jaeuhl would have faced in the cancelled comic.
The From the Library of Leng entry in issue 12 is on Verduran Enchantresses. Issue 11 featured the Lord of Tresserhorn, whose article was reposted on Magicthegathering.com.
The Verdurans don't sound particularly interesting to be honest, just your standard female-led fantasy culture. The Lord of Tresserhorn's story is more interesting. I like the idea of a melancholic undead warrior keeping Tresserhorn together while reminiscing about the times when Lim-Dûl was still around. We will see this story getting expended upon when we get to The Shattered Alliance.
I had to laugh about one line in the strategy part of the Lord's article though:
"Lord of Tresserhorn is a little like Marlon Brando: impressive, but sometimes unwieldy."
- There is an article in issue 11 focusing on the dreaded Necropotence deck, showing a full-body shot of the skeleton in that card's art. I must say, I always imagined it being bulkier.
- An article on variant play formats features something that looks like the prototype EDH/Commander, only it is infinitely more complex.
- And Phil and Dixie feature a new character: Krosp the Cat, who would later go on to have a successful career in the Foglio's comic Girl Genius. And his first appearance is even relevant for my project, since it tells the story behind the card Cooperation! (Haha, no, there is no way I'm including Phil and Dixie in my timeline. Nice try though!)
- There's also a new feature called Single Card Strategies, which talks about, well, single card strategies. These include little lore blurbs, but I'm not counting those as canon. They are all only one or two sentences long, and while they do feature recurring some recurring names and even reference the Institute of Arcane Studies at one point, they are basically just pieces of random flavor text.
- Finally, here is MaRo giving, for what I think is the first time ever, cryptic hints about a future Magic set!