Friday, 6 March 2020

Ur-Golem's Eye (and a whole bunch of other stuff)

Once upon a time on MTGSalvation, someone brought up the fact that Mirrodin took place millennia after all other stories. In response the then head of the Creative Team Brady Dommermuth pointed out that the flavor text of Ur-Golem's Eye was an error, and that only a few centuries were supposed to have passed.

This is emblematic of what happened to the debate about the Mirrodin timeline. While there were loads of temporal references in the books and in online articles (as we've seen in the last four reviews), as time passed those became harder and harder to find, and thus the debate became focused on the most visible pieces of evidence: flavor text. Which is kinda convenient, as a single piece of those is much easier to declare an error than a whole pile of different sources.

This wouldn't be Multiverse in Review though if I just left it at that. I've dug up all those other references, so now it is time to put it all together, showcase the inconsistencies and trace the development of the Mirrodin timeline over the years. But we're also going to do something else. While trawling through forum threads for my research I kept finding interactions between Brady Dommermuth and... eh... myself. Which got me thinking about the relationship between the Creative Team and the storyline fans, and how it often wasn't great at the time. So for those interested in that sort of thing, stick around after all the timeline talk for some introspection on, well... myself around age 18.

Yeah, this was a weird one to write.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Mirrodin block online

Back when we looked at Odyssey block’s online content we had to go through quite a few sites, but over time most of those get dropped. Mirrodin didn’t have its own website like Invasion and Odyssey, and the last update on the Magic Multiverse page was just link to a description of the Mirrodin novel, nothing more. But the Magic Book Archive is still going, and has a few feature articles and arcana posts that deal with the story or flavor.

Let’s start with the feature articles on, as I assume those would be the most widely read source from back in the day. There is one for each of the three sets and the serve mostly as a quick introduction to the setting and to plug the books. Unfortunately for the continuity obsessives there are a few inconsistencies between these articles and the books they are trying to sell.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

The Fifth Dawn

Writer - Cory J. Herndon
Cover art - Jim Murray
First release - May 2004

We start in an unexpected place: with Yert, the controller of a Reaper (=Harvester) that Glissa met in The Moons of Mirrodin and who was said to have been killed in The Darksteel Eye. He’s having visions of worlds without metal and a Mirrodin without life, while someone is telling him to wake up.

We then cut to Glissa and Slobad, who are still on the edge of the new lacuna created by the birth of the green sun. They discover the magic has caused loads of mutations to the wildlife. There is some random fighting with giant wasps and rats, and then the two are captured by the Viridian elves. Turns out that since Glissa left a whole bunch of elves disappeared, most of them vanishing around the creation of the new sun. Also, Glissa’s sister Lyese is still alive, but thinks Glissa is responsible for their parents deaths. So Glissa is put on trial. She tells the assembled people about her adventures and most seem to believe her. Lyese doesn’t though and attacks her. In the scuffle the two of them and Slobad are separated from the assembly. Then aerophins attack.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

The Darksteel Eye

Writer - Jess Lebow
Cover artist - Carl Critchlow
First printing - December 2003

We again start with Memnarch, who has clearly gone insane since the last timewe met him. He thinks Karn is speaking to him, is completely addicted to serum, and for some reason he is turning into flesh. He sends his metal minion Malil after Glissa. Throughout the book we get chapters from Memnarch’s point of view in which he is ranting against an imaginary Karn. Through these rants we learn about the history of Mirrodin and most importantly about Memnarch’s plan: since Karn ascended when he and Urza were destroyed in the Legacy blast (back in Apocalypse), Memnarch reckons that if he and Glissa (who has an unflared spark) are destroyed by the creation of Mirrodin’s 5th sun he will turn into a planeswalker as well… sounds like a foolproof plan to me! Anyway, he has built his fortress Panopticon in the path the final sun will take when it is born, so now all he needs is to make sure Glissa is with him at the right time.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

The Moons of Mirrodin

Writer - Will McDermott
Cover artist - Brom
First printing - September 2003

In the prologue Memnarch wanders around Argentum after Karn left him there as the new warden of the plane. He decides the whole thing is too mathematically perfect. Fascinated by the blinkmoths, which are the one thing Karn didn't create but imported from another plane, he decides to bring more lifeforms over. Before he can get to that he notices a weird black smudge which he wipes away, unknowingly infecting himself with a mysterious oil. He immediately decides to rename the world Mirrodin, after himself.

Chapter one starts an unknown amount of time later. We meet Glissa, an elf warrior who doesn't trust the rebuking ceremony in which the trolls of the Tangle let the elves forget painful memories. Elves get "flares" of these suppressed memories, but Glissa's are special: she gets flares in which she remembers a different world, one where all life isn't infused with metal.