Thursday, 18 August 2016

Scars of the Legacy

- Will McDermott
Original appeared in The Official Urza's Legacy Game Guide
Released online on Will McDermott's website

Like Time for Remembrance, this story is mostly a summary, though here the framing sequence is more extended. It features Jhoira's last mission as captain of the Weatherlight, in which she goes to Zhalfir to drop off some of the refugees from Serra's Realm. She and Karn meet with Teferi and they reminisce about their adventures together. Then at the end of the evening, Teferi proposes to Jhoira! But she wants to live her own life after years of following Urza, and so decides to turn him down and return to Shiv.

Here we have the same problem as Time for Remembrance. Sure, it's only a summary of Time Streams, probably just created purely to drum up some interest in that book. It even has Jhoira, Karn and Teferi saying stuff like "How did Multani pop up on Tolaria during the battle against K'rrick". At which point you can almost hear a voice going "Read Time Streams to find out!" But you can't just skip this story, as it has Teferi proposing to Jhoira! That, and her turning him down, is a huge point of character development!

Time Streams ended with Barrin saying he really thought Teferi and Jhoira would end up together, before remarking there is alway time. So when Teferi and Jhoira returned as main character in Time Spiral I remember quite a few people asking "So... are they just friends now? Did they have a relationship and split up at some point?" Nobody brought up this story, even though it should be the first piece of evidence! This story is especially important for Jhoira, since it bookends her story arc from Time Streams. That book begins with her taking in a horrible man because she's pining for love, while here she rejects a good man because she wants to stand on her own.

So... when do you read this story? The framing sequence really works as an epilogue to Time Streams, revealing what happens to Jhoira and Teferi. So you get the most out of the framing sequence if you read it directly after Time Stream... but directly after you've finished a book is probably the last moment you'd want to read a summary of it! That makes the placement a bit awkward, although I guess you could always skim through the summary bits. And its been a while since you've read Time Stream and never knew this story existed... I would suggest clicking the link to mister McDermott's website and starting to read it right away!

  • Here's a very nice easter egg: Teferi likes being planeswalked by Urza. No other mortal can stand it, so this is heavily foreshadowing that he will one day become a planeswalker himself (in the continuity at the time)/already is a planeswalker without knowing it (in post-Time Spiral continuity).

  • There are some continuity errors here. For example, it is said Urza went to Serra's Realm after he discovered he needed to collapse a world into a powerstone, only to discover Serra had gone. In Time Streams he knew Serra was gone from the beginning. I guess we could chalk this up to Jhoira not being told everything by Urza.
  • Another error: Teferi was imprisoned in the slow time bubble for 30 years here. It was only "almost 25" in the novel, and 20 in The Duelist. With both stories coming out pretty much around the same time it is hard to call either a retcon. It was clearly just a result of messy comunication. Plus, we need the shorter chronology though to match the novel and the official timeline though, so the easier fix here is to say that Jhoira is again making a mistake.
  • The other temporal references fit pretty well, although that isn't that difficult considering Team Streams gets pretty vague about its timeline after Teferi's release.
  • As for this story itself, placing it is very simple. It picks up exactly where Time Streams ended: with Jhoira's last mission as captain and her meeting Teferi again, so straight to "~3360" it goes!

A short review this time, which is fitting for a short story. Next time I'll be back with something a bit more substantial: Bloodlines, the final Urza's block novel!

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