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Glissa Sunseeker of the Tangle
Mirrodin, an artificial plane shrouded in secrets and mystery. Information is available to a select few and every move, every action by its inhabitants is monitored and tagged by a tyrannical being of extraordinary power. Every few years, giant monsters known as levelers rip through the land, decimating populations before disappearing as quickly as they had appeared. In this harsh world of censorship, a resourceful and independent elf girl sought to unravel the web of silence and reveal the secrets of Mirrodin. That elf was Glissa Sunseeker.
“This world reeks of another's hand. Someone or something is defying the power of the gods and shaping this planet. I intend for it to stop.”
Glissa lived a rather unsettled childhood in the confines of the village of Viridia, in the Tangle, a forest, which, like the rest of Mirrodin, consists entirely out of metal. Her father was an important member of the Viridian council and as a result, she was able to live in considerable luxury. However, her peers often kept their distance because of her ancestry and she had only a few friends. In addition, Glissa was frequently plagued by strange visions called flares, which showed her strange worlds where animals were made of flesh and trees were made of wood.
As she grew older, the flares intensified. Glissa tried to dissuade her friends from going to their rebuking ceremony, but furious over the loss of their rebuking, her friends shunned herall except for Kane. Glissa was forced to undergo the rebuking ceremony, which was held once every one hundred moon cycles under the convergence of Mirrodin’s four moons. Perhaps her only sources of comfort she found during those hard times came from the loyal Kane, and her family, including her brash younger sister Lyese. It was somewhere around this time when another elf named Banryk started making advances at her. Glissa was quick to reject his uncouth attempts at courtship. Little did Glissa know that her quiet lifestyle would soon be turned upside down by a shocking discovery.
In the days leading up to her second rebuking ceremony, Glissa and Kane were on a hunting trip when she experienced a flare in which she found herself being a creature of pure flesh in a strange forest of wood. Despite nearly falling to her doom in the moments after the flare, Glissa was distracted by Kane’s awkward questions and afterwards, she invited him to dine with her family that evening.
Glissa and Kane had a moment alone together before the dinner and she expressed her concern over the trolls keeping secrets from them. She questioned Kane about the necessity of the rebuking ceremonies and asked him for his assistance in investigating the troll’s secrets. However, as he was a member of the Tel-Jilad chosen, he refused to betray the trolls. Nevertheless, he promised Glissa to keep her question a secret. Just then, the ever-flirtatious Lyese entered the room and tried to attract Kane’s attention.
“I want you to understand, I’ve read the Treeall of it. The Tree of Tales only goes back a few hundred cycles. The earliest runes have been removed. I know there is more to our history than we are being told. The only way to find out what the trolls are keeping from us is to not go through the ceremony. I have to do this, Kane, and I’d like you to do it with me. I need your support. I . . . need you.”
That night, Glissa slept uneasily, with her mind filled with thoughts of the previous day. As she struggled to find some rest, she resolved to tell Kane about the flare the first thing in the morning. Finally, she nodded off into sleep. The next thing she knew was that she was awake, having sensed intruders in the house. Though Glissa tried to fight them off, they had the advantage in the darkness and after a brief struggle, she was overpowered and stuffed into a large bag.
Some time later, Glissa was released from the bag, only to discover that her captors were trolls of the Tel-Jilad, who brought her to their leader, Elder Chunth. Chunth explained to a bewildered Glissa that she had been brought to the Tree of Tales for her own protection. He explained that once every one hundred moon cycles, terrifying beasts called levelers enter the Tangle, killing the forest’s most skilled warrior before disappearing again. Chunth also revealed to Glissa that no matter how much she denied it, she was undoubtedly the Tangle’s best warrior, thus making her the most likely target of the leveler attack. Upon further questioning, Chunth made it clear to Glissa that the levelers were indiscriminate in their victimsturning up at their target’s homes and killing anybody there. Horrified, Glissa ran off to protect her family.
Having stolen an ancient sword from Chunth’s bedside, Glissa rushed down the Tree of Tales, knocking aside sentinel trolls in the process. As she approached her house, the warning bell rang throughout Viridia, alerting its inhabitants of the imminent attack. Unfortunately for Glissa, she arrived home too late. Glissa arrived at her house, only to find blood on the walls and severed strands of Lyese’s hair on the floor. The blood and hair told her all she needed to know. She heard the levelers munching up the furniture in another room of her ruined home.
Spurred on by rage and grief, Glissa lashed out at the levelers, destroying a few of them with a powerful green flame that seemed to disintegrate metal. However, their numbers were as high as ever and Glissa was kept busy by the repeated onslaughts of metal jaws and blades. After investigating the wreckage of one of the levelers, Glissa was amazed to find that they were all metal, meaning that they must have been controlled and programmed by somebody.
“This is it, you’ll pay dearly for my family’s deaths before I die!”
Suddenly, the levelers turned to flee and Glissa decided to destroy them for what they did to her family. Using her sword as a javelin, Glissa tried to pin one of the levelers, but instead, the blade was trapped in the leveler’s metal carapace. The young Viridian elf then tried to take on the leveler unarmed, but somehow, she got her foot trapped in the leveler’s intricate inner workings. The levelers tunneled underground and somewhere along the way, Glissa was rendered unconscious.
Glissa regained her consciousness much later in the pitch-black leveler lair. In her efforts to free her wounded foot, she attracted the attention of Slobad, a goblin artificer who found refuge in the leveler lair. Slobad managed to free Glissa foot in a matter of minutes but during the time it was trapped, it had developed an infection. Though Glissa’s healing magic was able to heal the wound, it was unable to rid the wound of infection and each day, the infection worsened. Eventually, the two decided to travel to Taj-Nar, the city of the leonin people for healing.
Glissa’s injured leg slowed progress and journeying that should have taken mere days took entire moon rotations. Along the grueling path to Taj Nar, Glissa learnt of Slobad’s own tragic past. The goblin artificer had been born under the blue moon, commonly known as the Eye of Doom by his people. All goblins born under the blue moon were to be tossed into the Great Furnace. However, Slobad had survived by chance and he was taken into the Krark Clan, a group of goblin outcasts who believed in the journey of Krark, the goblin cultist who journeyed into the heart of Mirrodin. Slobad eventually left the clan and journeyed across Mirrodin in search of odd jobs. By the time the pair arrived at Taj Nar, two entire rotations had passed and her infection was worse than ever.
Unfortunately for them, they arrived at Taj Nar during a very inconvenient time. The city was under attack by legions of metal zombies called nim that seemed to originate from the wretched depths of the Mephidross. Though the nim were slow, they attacked with powerful strokes and they seemed to be highly resistant to injury. Glissa managed to cut down a few of them with Chunth’s sword, but their numbers proved to be too high. Soon, Glissa and Slobad were forced to run through a field of sharp razor grass in order to reach Taj Nar.
“Good thing they’re slow.”
Glissa and Slobad managed to sneak into the city through a secret tunnel Slobad had built during his time as the builder of the city’s defenses. Though they slipped through the city, they were soon discovered and mistaken for invaders. Moments later, they were clapped in chains, had their weapons confiscated and were thrown into the dungeons for further interrogation.
Several hours later, the guards brought Glissa before Ushanti, the old seer for interrogation. Though leonin healers healed her wounds, they were unable to deal with the infection immediately and Ushanti insisted that only Raksha, the leonin Kha had the authority to heal the wound. She sent for him immediately. The young Kha soon arrived and despite Ushanti’s protests that Glissa was a danger to them all, Raksha welcomed Glissa into his abode and ordered that her leg be healed. Ushanti did so with great reluctance.
“I don’t understand. What just happened here? I attacked you, and now I am your guest?”
In the days following the confrontation with Ushanti, Glissa found out about the woes of the leonin people. Raksha had told her that nim attacks had intensified during the past few moon cycles and exactly four cycles ago, levelers also attacked Taj Nar. Glissa hypothesized that the levelers had been programmed to destroy the greatest warriors of each race. Before she could further ponder the leveler behavior, Raksha requested that she bring the nim master, who resided in the Vault of Whispers, to justice. To aid her in her quest, Raksha supplied Glissa and Slobad with an escort of his elite troops and pterons, strange birds that were used as mounts by the leonin.
The pterons carried Glissa and Slobad into the Mephidross and hours later, they caught their first glimpse of the forsaken landscape. Thick black Dross covered the ground and immense towers that spewed necrogen mists punctuated the horizon. Nim patrols shambled across the swamps, killing any intruders of their realm. In this blasted land, the pterons allowed Glissa and Slobad to disembark and Raksha’s troops refused to go any further.
“No time. The welcoming party is right behind me.”
The two had barely disembarked before several nim patrols started to attack. Glissa tried to fend them off, but in order to reach the Vault, they had to flee before more nim surrounded them. With Slobad on her shoulders, Glissa tried to run across the muck and she managed to lose the nim patrols for a while. However, the nim eventually managed to track her and Slobad concluded that they must have been controlled and guided by someone. Sure enough, they ran into the controller soon after. He reassured Glissa that his death would have no impact on the nim. In fury, Glissa destroyed him.
Slobad appeared moments later, covered from head to foot in Dross. He had made a remarkable discovery in the fetid Dross. Buried in the foul and murky waters was a deactivated golem. Glissa was reluctant about keeping it, believing it to be an ancient nim construct but Slobad insisted on fixing it. For a whole night, he worked tirelessly on the metal construct and throughout the night, Glissa heard the clang of his tools as he chipped away the dross from the golem’s iron body.
The next day, the golem finally proved its worth as it effortlessly destroyed a giant undead monster, a reaper that was pursuing the group. The golem also picked up the reaper’s owner – a pathetic Moriok human named Yert, who claimed that without his reaper, he would be the laughing stock of the Mephidross. Glissa took pity on Yert and she promised him a new reaper if he led them into the Vault of Whispers.
“Look, take us to this Geth, and we’ll help you. We’ll force him to give you another . . . reaper. Okay? Just tell us why Geth wants us.”
Yert led Glissa right into the Vault, where his master, Geth was rumored to reside. Yert informed her that Geth had an extremely powerful vampire as a servant. Unshaken at the information, Glissa entered Geth’s throne room and confronted the cruel overlord. Geth was more than happy that Glissa fell right into his hands and he intended to kill her with the vampire. Moments after setting his vampire on her, the master of the Mephidross was astonished and terrified that Glissa managed to incapacitate his vampire.
Using the vampire’s life as a bargaining tool, Glissa learnt what she wanted from Geth. Apparently, Geth was not as he seemed. Glissa learnt that Geth was paid vials of a liquid serum to attack Taj Nar and capture her. Geth was supposed to use her as a bargaining device in order to gain more serum, but after the destruction of so many of his servants, the inpatient lord wanted to kill her. Eventually, Glissa forced Geth to stop his attacks on Taj Nar and recall his nim back to his borders. After rendering Geth unconscious, Glissa relieved him of his last remaining vial of serum and she set off to Taj Nar with her two companions. Upon seeing the vial of serum, the golem uttered the word “Memnarch.”
“You caused a lot of trouble for so little a price. I think I’ll take this, if you don’t mind. I could have killed you, but I believe you didn’t kill my family. I have healed your vampire, so you may maintain control of the Mephidross, but I suggest you remember who saved your life, Geth. Choose your allies more carefully in the future. Do we understand one another? Come here, Yert. Yert here has lost his reaper. Either you agree to keep your nim inside the border, or I’ll leave you tied up and Yert in charge when I leave.”
Glissa arrived at Taj Nar within a day and upon her arrival, she secured an audience with Raksha. Raksha knew nothing about the serum and he advised Glissa to consult Ushanti about these matters. Soon after, Glissa and her companions were invited to a feast to celebrate their victory over Geth and his minions. During the feast, Raksha asked about the origins of their new golem friend and Slobad launched into an epic account of how his mechanical expertise saved the day.
After the feast, Glissa consulted Ushanti about the serum. The old leonin seer had never seen the strange liquid before, but after tasting it, she fell into a deep trance and predicted that Glissa would bring ruin and destruction onto the world. Before she could proceed any further, her mind finally gave away to the strain of knowledge and she collapsed.
Later that evening, messengers entered Taj Nar, proclaiming the death of nearly an entire pteron rider squadron. The sole survivor reported a skirmish with strange silver raptors that skimmed the skies. Within moments, they arrived at Taj Nar, bringing chaos to the orderly city. Taj Nar was under attack!
In the first moments of the assault, leonin defenders attempted to shoot down the flying creatures but their spears were unable to pierce the thick metallic hides of the creatures. Seeing their weapons were of no use against those strange creatures, Raksha ordered a retreat. Glissa entered the battle and on the back of a pteron and she managed to strike down one of the flying creatures. After destroying it, Glissa noticed that like the levelers, they were not creatures of flesh and blood, but instead artifice. Glissa destroyed a few more of the artifact raptors. Despite their losses, the artifact raptors continued to attack and they shot several bolts of energy into Taj Nar. In the ensuing confusion, Glissa tumbled from her pteron and from the ground, she saw that the artifact raptors were retreating, but not before leaving their legacy of sorrow in the ruined city. Dozens of defenders were killed in the attack and dozens more lost loved ones. One of those mourners was Ushanti, whose daughter Rishan was killed in the attack.
Ushanti blamed Glissa for her part in Rishan’s death. In fury, the old leonin seer ordered her never to return to Taj Nar. Despite Raksha’s assurances that she wasn’t held responsible for the attack, Glissa left with Slobad and the golem. Seeing no other alternative, they turned to the Tangle to seek further advice from the trolls.
“Tel-Jilad, the tree of Tales. It’s impregnable. No leveler has ever enteredand many have tried. There are only two entrances. One is heavily guarded and the other is a secret known only by the trollsand me. Besides, its time Chunth told me everything he knows about the destiny he’s thrust on me.”
Along the way to Tel-Jilad, Slobad expressed a need to repair the golem and Glissa proceeded to Chunth’s chambers alone. Once there, Glissa learnt from the old troll that her family died to give Glissa a chance at life. By kidnapping her, the trolls ensured that her destiny was carried out, but at the same time condemned her family to death. Chunth told her more about her destiny, revealing that her flares showed her ancestral memories from another world and that Mirrodin was not their natural plane. Chunth also revealed the mysterious origins of the serum, telling Glissa that it was produced from the blinkmoths by a race called the Vedalken. Throughout the ages, the Vedalken had continually harvested the blinkmoths for the serum and after centuries of consuming the precious liquid, they evolved into the cruel race that they are. To protect the elves from the delusions of power, Chunth wiped out the most ancient records from the Tree of Tales.
“That sounds wonderful, why not use the serum to help us lead better lives? We could control the levelers, make it rain more often, begin to master this planet . . . Oh! I see.”
Glissa made inquiries about the being named Memnarch and Chunth confirmed her worst fears. Memnarch would be her greatest obstacle in unlocking her destiny. Before he could proceed any further, a renegade troll entered the room and aimed a blast of energy at Glissa. Chunth managed to save Glissa, but was mortally wounded in the process. The renegade then stole Glissa’s vial of serum before fleeing the scene. With his last breath, Chunth revealed that Mirrodin was hollow.
Glissa pursued Chunth’s murder and along the way, she ran into Kane. Glissa told Kane of the murder and the Tel-Jilad warrior remembered passing a high priest by the name of Strang. Kane was appalled that a high priest could commit such a deed but he was resolute in helping his childhood friend. Together, they found Strang in the middle of the Radix.
“Power. It all comes down to power. Chunth had it and Strang wanted it.”
Using a carefully planned ruse, Glissa and Kane subdued Strang and forced him to divulge information about his schemes. Like Geth, he was paid by the Vedalken to kill Glissa. He had felt that Chunth was too old and feeble-minded to rule over the Tree of Tales. Glissa lead Strang back to the Tree of Tales, but along the way, the Vedalken flying raptors appeared and killed Strang before he had a chance to tell the others about his corrupt dealings.
Hunted by the Vedalken vessels, Glissa and Kane rushed to the Tree of Tales. Several of the strange constructs closed in on the pair but were destroyed when they crashed into the harsh Tangle terrain. However, once Glissa and Kane reached the Tree, they figured that something was wrong. Instead of being in a state of pandemonium when a Tel-Jilad chosen abandoned his post, the atmosphere around the Tree of Tales was deathly quiet. Soon, Glissa knew why.
Glissa had emerged from the cover to investigate when more Vedalken vessels came out of hiding and started to fire onto the unsuspecting elf. She ordered Kane to return to the Tree for cover while she fought off the winged constructs. Moments after repulsing the attack, Glissa and Kane ran into a Vedalken mage. The Vedalken mage managed to hit Kane with a spell that dissolved the metal parts of body. Within moments, all that remained of Kane was his unmoving torso.
Kane’s death triggered something in Glissa and she lashed out at the Vedalken mage, severing several of his fingers and breaking his accursed staff. The remnants of the staff then exploded, knocking both combatants back. In the midst of the confusion, the Vedalken escaped, but not before assuring Glissa that no matter where she was, their aerophins would hunt her down. Moments after the mage’s escape, Glissa encountered a skirmish with the aerophins but the winged constructs were easily destroyed by the enraged elf.
Glissa was distraught. She never had many friends in the Tangle. With Kane dead and her family murdered, it seemed that there was no end to her legacy of sorrow. For three entire moon rotations, she unknowingly mourned for Kane. She only stopped when Slobad told her that the golem had started talking and was starting to remember fragments of his mysterious past. Slobad also informed her that the golem had called itself Bosh. After comparing the similarities between Bosh’s memories and the journey of Krark the ancient goblin cultist, which Slobad told her about, Glissa decided to head to the Oxidda mountains, Slobad’s old home, to jog Bosh’s memory.
“I need to speak to the leader of the cult. Something Chunth said before he died. He said he’d been keeping a secret. He said the world is hollow. The cultists believe Krark went down a hole into a world with a single moon . . . sun. We need to jog Bosh’s memory. Maybe the cultists can tell us something of Krark’s journey that helps Bosh remember.”
What awaited Glissa, Slobad and Bosh at the Oxidda Mountains was a massacre. Glissa and her friends arrived at the hideout of the Krark cultists only to discover that Vedalken aerophin were destroying the cultists with blasts of magical energy. Determined to prevent a repeat of the tragedy at Taj Nar, Glissa sought to defend the Krark cultists and she ran into the thick of battle. In fury, she destroyed a few of the aerophin but they proved to be too resilient. Soon, they overwhelmed her and she was forced to flee with Slobad.
Once they escaped the bloodbath in the lair, Glissa realized that Bosh had been left behind to cover her escape. She accused Slobad of abandoning Bosh to his fate in the tunnels. After a while, she finally came to her senses and she concluded that it was her fate to watch those close to her die. Nevertheless, Slobad comforted her, telling her that it was not her fate that caused the deaths, but rather that she was the target of an assassination attempt. Strengthened by his words, Glissa vowed to bring an end to whoever was behind the assassination scheme and she hurried into the caves to rescue Bosh.
“The Vedalken can wait. Our friends cannot. First, we save Bosh and Dwugget. Then we make Memnarch pay.”
In the ruined lair of the Krark cult was empty by the time Glissa and Slobad arrived. It seemed that somebody had already cleared out the bodies of the dead. Etched on the walls of the tunnel, Slobad found a picture of the blue moon, the Eye of Doom, a symbol meaning that the cult had been “cleansed” by the fanatical goblin worshippers of the Steel Mother. Further down the tunnel, Glissa found the imprisoned Dwugget, the leader of the Krark cult. Dwugget had survived the purge and he regrettably informed Glissa that the remnants of the Krark Cult and Bosh had been taken to the Great Furnace to be melted as a sacrifice to the Steel Mother.
Slobad lead Glissa into the Great Furnace and there, Glissa encountered more skirmishes with the fanatical goblins that worshipped the Steel Mother. After freeing a few imprisoned Krark cultists, she fought her way into the depths of the Furnace, only to discover that she was too lateBosh had already been taken apart and his components were waiting to be “returned” to the Steel mother.
In an effort to reach Bosh before he was reduced into a pile of molten slag, Glissa was forced to clash against a goblin shaman. Glissa attempted to draw attention away from Slobad while he was reassembling Bosh and in no time, she was up against dozens of fanatical goblin warriors. Though the goblins were quickly dispatched, Glissa could do little against the shaman. In a few quick moments, the shaman had disarmed Glissa.
“Oh, flare! They know where I am now.”
From the corner of her eyes, she saw the reconstructed Bosh flinging goblins aside with his metallic arm. Taking advantage of the situation and using her superior reflexes, Glissa knocked the goblin shaman into the burning depths of the Great Furnace. With their leader gone, the remnants of the Steel Mother worshippers fled into the depths of the Oxidda chain. The Krark cult was saved.
In the days after the rescue of the Krark Cult, Dwugget presented Glissa with a copy of the Book of Krark, which was a journal that the legendary Krark made when he entered the core of Mirrodin. Glissa was intrigued that the pictures and descriptions of the core that Krark made fitted exactly with the visions her flares had shown her. Bosh had also recognized the pictures, reminiscing that Memnarch had created all the features on Mirrodin, save the blinkmoths. He recalled that the path that Krark took into the centre of the world was not the only one. He had also remembered being built for a war against the Mycosynth spores which arrived after Memnarch’s rise to power. At that point, Bosh’s memories suddenly failed and Glissa decided to journey to the Quicksilver Sea, home of the Vedalken, to seek revenge for her family and Kane.
She knew that reaching the Vedalken would be no easy task and she learnt from Slobad that a race of human wizards lived near the Vedalken. Perhaps they could be persuaded to take them to the Vedalken. First of all, Glissa required a disguise and Slobad managed to attain one by “borrowing” it from its previous owner.
“Wizards? The robed figure was a wizard, but he was Vedalken. At least we assume he is. At the very least, he definitely was not human – not with four arms. If those humans live near the sea, though, they may know something about the Vedalken. It’s as good a place to start as any. We’ll find ourselves a wizard and ask some questions.”
The next day, Glissa entered the human village in disguise and was lead to its leader, a beautiful young woman by the name of Bruenna. Glissa pretended to be a messenger from the Vedalken Synod and told Bruenna that she was called before the Synod to discuss schedules. However, Bruenna quickly saw through Glissa’s flimsy disguise and demanded to know her true identity. A fight soon broke out between the two women.
The fight was stopped when several aerophins fired into the room. Bruenna gave orders for the villagers to seek safety inside their homes. Glissa quickly accused Bruenna of calling the aerophin, but the human leader professed that their race were treated like slaves by the cruel Vedalken. Glissa realized that they both had a common goal and together, they worked to obliterate the silver constructs. After the destruction of the offending aerophin, Bruenna agreed to take Glissa and her friends away from her village.
Bruenna took them into an ancient Vedalken serum plant, which was abandoned due to its close proximity to the corrupting mists of the Mephidross. Once there, Glissa caught bits of information about Bruenna’s father, a well-known researcher for the Vedalken. He had made numerous improvements to the designs of Vedalken machinery and tools used in the processing of serum. Though Bruenna was reluctant about taking the company into Lumengrid, the fortress of the Vedalken, she was convinced when Glissa showed her the vial of serum she obtained from Geth.
“Vengeance is a great motivator. If there’s anything I’ve learnt over the past week or two, though, it’s that you have to be tempered by reason or it will consume you.”
Bruenna uncovered her partial replica of the Vedalken diver, which had its designs enhanced by her father. Though the diver was partially functional, it required a stable energy source to keep working – a source that was found inside Bosh. But Glissa rejected the idea of disassembling her friend and she insisted that the design could work by having Bosh pull it through the Quicksilver Sea.
“Out of the question, I won’t kill my friend to get revenge on the Vedalken.”
The opaque quicksilver was difficult to navigate and the trip to Lumengrid took several hours. Though Bruenna used an invisibility spell to escape detection by the Vedalken, it only seemed to affect objects that were made of pure metal. Glissa and her companions became easy targets for the horrifying creatures that lurked in the sea. Along the way, Bosh came under attack from a Quicksilver beast and Glissa was forced to use up her vial of serum to save him.
The diver emerged right under the great fortress of Lumengrid and the company decided to split up. Bruenna and Glissa would gain access to the Pool of Knowledge while Slobad and Bosh would cover their escape. Under heavy disguise, Glissa and Bruenna entered the centre of Lumengrid, a buzzing market for the Neurok people. However, it was not what it had seemed. According to Bruenna, the stalls were owned by the Vedalken, as are the wares. All profits went to the Vedalken Empire and the humans had to be content to serve their Vedalken masters.
The two soon attracted the attention of Pontifex, the most respected and important researcher for the Vedalken. He was also the murderer of Bruenna’s father. Pontifex lead the two through the numerous corridors and hallways of Lumengrid, telling Bruenna along the way how much he admired her for picking up the pieces after her father’s death. Glissa was only able to play along and take trivial guesses at what Pontifex had really meant before he ordered them to wait for him at a doorway. He had returned with guards and he ordered them to capture Glissa.
Pontifex led the captured Glissa along numerous stairs to the Synod, letting slip that he was a loyal servant to Memnarch and he did not order her death. That could only have meant that a member of the Synod did. They had not reached the Synod, before an explosion rocked the lower levels of Lumengrid. While Pontifex and his guards were steadying themselves, Glissa retrieved her sword and she killed the Vedalken guards while weakening Pontifex. She then coerced the helpless Vedalken researcher into granting them access to the Pool of Knowledge.
“Pontifex could get us into the pool chamber. He can probably get us the serum we need. We can enter the pool together. Use the man who betrayed your father to realize your father’s dream.”
Glissa and Bruenna forced Pontifex to open the door to the Pool of Knowledge, but somehow, it wouldn't open. The nervous Pontifex then explained to open the door, one must be a member of the Vedalken Synod. Luckily, Glissa had kept the severed fingers of Kane’s murderer and she handed them to Pontifex, who opened the door immediately. Glissa tried to make Pontifex search for two vials of serum but at that moment, several harpoons flew towards Bruenna, wounding the human mage. Glissa rushed to help, but she was interrupted by a strangely familiar voice. The same voice that she had heard in the Tangle – the voice of Kane’s murderer.
Terrified, Pontifex told her that it that was Lord Janus, the head speaker of the Synod and he ran into the corners of the room to hide. Janus ordered his guards to capture Glissa, but that proved to be a fatal mistake. Glissa used her sword to reduce dozens of feeble Vedalken guard into piles of flesh and metal. However, Janus had other methods to subdue her and he turned his attentions to the wounded Bruenna. Desperate to save her friend, Glissa surrendered, but Janus had no intentions of keeping his words and he ordered his crack troops to execute the Neurok mage.
Enraged over Janus’s treachery, Glissa gathered her mana and she unleashed her green fire onto the Vedalken artifact guards, turning them into heaps of silvery powder in minutes. Exhausted by her effort, she was about to become Janus’s next victim until Pontifex emerged from the Pool of Knowledge and grappled Janus. Glissa watched as the head of the Synod struggled with the researcher. Apparently, the Pool of Knowledge had shown Pontifex the truth about Janus’s twisted schemes of rising to replace Memnarch. He had originally intended to wipe out the champions of each race as to prevent any possible intervention when he ascended to godhood.
Within moments, it was over. Janus had cracked his own serum-filled headpiece and he was losing strength at an extraordinary rate. Pontifex had his staff aimed at the disabled traitor but Glissa insisted on having the honor of killing Kane’s murderer. Glissa performed the same spell Janus had used on Kane, watching him as his limbs were dissolved into nothingness. Soon, Janus was dead and Kane was finally avenged.
But Pontifex had no intentions of letting Glissa escape and after Janus’s death, his position on the Synod was guaranteed. Pontifex had Bruenna’s life on the bargaining table and Glissa was forced to surrender to him. Pontifex allowed Glissa to perform a healing spell to save Bruenna. The spell closed the wound, but it could not heal the broken bones in the Neurok’s body. Nevertheless, the Neurok was safe for now.
Just then, Bosh and Slobad rose from the Pool of Knowledge and grabbed Pontifex while urging Glissa to escape. Bosh was about to squeeze Pontifex with his great fists but Glissa was against taking the life of one who saved her friend’s life. Instead, Bosh knocked Pontifex unconscious and dragged Glissa and the unmoving form of Bruenna into his large metal frame. They plunged into the Pool of Knowledge.
“No. No more killing. No more death today. He saved my life . . . and Bruenna’s. Let him live.”
Without the effects of serum, the waters of the Pool showed her visions of what appeared to be an early version of Mirrodin. Instead of having random landscapes, its features seemed to follow a pattern of perfection, like a perfectly solved equation. She also saw a strange metal man, a man who progressively grew fleshier with each vision.
Glissa regained consciousness in the Pool. Bosh had discovered a tunnel deep under the Pool, similar to the tunnel that Krark had once entered. The Pool of Knowledge had allowed Bosh to regain all of his memories and he remembered the tunnel as one of the four lacunas, which lead into the core of Mirrodin. This certain lacuna seemed to be saturated with blue mana and upon closer inspection, Glissa discovered the walls were covered with a strange blue moss that seemed to glow with the essence of mana.
After taking time to rest and to allow Bruenna to recover, they realized that they were out of options. Back at the Pool of Knowledge, Pontifex had assured Glissa that though Memnarch didn’t want her dead, he still required something from her and the Vedalken Empire would obey Memnarch’s every command. With her keen hearing, she could hear the march of the Vedalken in the distance. They were being pursued.
Glissa and her companions fled through the blue lacuna towards the centre of the plane. Once there, she saw for herself that Chunth’s revelation was trueMirrodin was indeed hollow. Near the blinding mana core, were several tall chromatic structures, which spiraled towards the heat of the core. Bosh referred to these as the Mycosynth, the very plague that he was designed to fight. In the distance, was an immense blue tower that shone with the glow of mana. It was Panopticon, Memnarch’s personal stronghold.
Suddenly, Slobad noticed a large army of levelers that advanced towards the group. Heading back up to the blue lacuna to encounter the wrath of the Vedalken army was suicidal but Bosh knew another path to the surface. Glissa ran with the others to the path, but turning back, the leveler horde seemed to advance faster. On top of one of the accursed constructs, was a strange silver man wearing billowing robes. Soon, the levelers overtook the party and another skirmish broke out.
The group had barely escaped the onslaught, having been only saved through Glissa’s destructive green flames. They decided to take advantage of the situation caused by the sudden destruction of so many levelers and Bosh proposed that they head back to an alternate route through the blue lacuna. With luck, they could avoid the Vedalken army . . . .
Unfortunately, it was not so. Trapped between the levelers and the Vedalken, Glissa and her companions had no choice but to head in either direction. Bosh suggested that they crawl inside his metallic frame while he bowled down the opposing army and Glissa had no alternative but to agree. Bosh cleared a path through the Vedalken, allowing Glissa, Bruenna and Slobad to pass in safety. They swam up the Pool of Knowledge into the chamber where they would make their escape.
Somehow, something went horribly wrong. Glissa surfaced from the Pool to discover that the chamber was filled with Vedalken guard. They were quickly placed under arrest. Just as their Vedalken captors were about to deliver them to Memnarch, Glissa saw Neurok insurgents break into the room. Using their superior numbers and magic to overpower the Vedalken, the Neurok freed the group and they were transported to Bruenna’s village of Medev for immediate medical attention.
In Medev, Glissa was disturbed to discover that Bosh was slowly reverting into a creature of blood and flesh. Patches of skin were appearing on his iron body and neither of them could explain the strange phenomenon. With no other alternative, Glissa and her friends sought to return to the trolls in search of more answers. Bruenna was unable to accompany them as she saw a need to lead her village against the Vedalken oppression.
Things had changed in the Tangle since Glissa’s last visit. With Chunth dead, the trolls had elected a new leader by the name of Drooge. The troll traitors that had conspired with the late Janus had been purged and Glissa was cleared of Chunth’s murder. Elder Drooge proclaimed that Glissa was the world’s salvation and her first journey across Mirrodin was nothing more than to make her accept her true fate. To aid her in her quest, Drooge presented her with the Helm of Kaldra, a legendary artifact that when co-aligned with her blade, the Sword of Kaldra and the Shield of Kaldra would form the Kaldra Champion, a magical being of extraordinary power. However, there was one problemthe Shield of Kaldra would only be found in the Mephidross and to retrieve that, they had to find an old enemy.
There was little choice. Memnarch’s levelers had hunted Glissa across Mirrodin and they had located her in the Tangle. Glissa, Slobad and Bosh fled down a tunnel in the centre of the Tree of Tales while Drooge and his trolls covered their escape. They found themselves emerging from a cave located on the other side of the Tree. Fortunately, the levelers had their assault focused on the Tree and the group managed to sneak past unnoticed.
“There’s lots of danger everywhere. This isn’t the time for argument. The battle will be over soon, and we will lose our chance. Follow me.”
Upon reaching the edges of the Tangle, Glissa was horrified that Slobad had gone missing. They had been ambushed by three stray levelers and she feared the worst had befallen their goblin friend. In her search for the missing goblin, Glissa met the most unusual creature, a talking wolf by the name of Al-Hayat.
Wolves were extremely rare in Mirrodin and they were the stuff of legends and bedtime stories, but the creature standing before Glissa was very real indeed. Al-Hayat had long been opposed to the levelers and it was through the intervention of his diminished race that the myr and Memnarch’s other servants did not enter the Tangle. With Al-Hayat’s help, Glissa located Slobad who had been buried alive by an oversized beetle. After Slobad’s rescue, Al-Hayat vowed to help Glissa rid Mirrodin of Memnarch’s reign of tyranny. Accompanied by the giant wolf, the group set off for the Mephidross.
The group journeyed through the Glimmervoid, the shortest path to the Mephidross and they found themselves hunted by mounted Vedalken guards. Leading them, was Pontifex, who had become the head of the Synod after Glissa’s fateful escape. Glissa fled into the razor grass, believing it would offer them some protection from the aerial assault. However, she was wrong. The Vedalken guards dismounted and they tracked her down on foot. Within moments, they clashed in the deadly battlefield.
Glissa killed dozens of the frail Vedalken. Though they were powerful mages, the Vedalken were not as good in melee and the tips of the razor grass were stained with their blue blood. But there were too many of them. Everywhere Glissa looked, more Vedalken arrived to enforce their fellows. Soon, Glissa was pinned down by two lasso wielding Vedalken soldiers.
“Rather unsporting of you, killing an unarmed elf held to the ground by a pair of your henchmen.”
A heavily armed Vedalken warrior tried to hew the helpless Glissa but moments before his axe came into contact with her skin, it was parried by a Neurok longsword. Wielding it, was the familiar form of Bruenna. Within seconds of Bruenna’s arrival, the tide of battle had turned. Bruenna’s wizards forced the Vedalken to make a hasty retreat and Glissa’s captured friends were soon released. However, Pontifex was nowhere to be seen and Glissa suspected that he escaped with the remains of his crack troops. Though the human mage was reluctant about accompanying Glissa into the Mephidross, she was determined to topple Memnarch and together, they continued their journey into the forsaken land.
“You have chosen to take your stand. Now the question is are you going to accept the consequence, or are you going to continue to fight for what you believe in. You can’t go back to being a slave. We can finish this now. For all time. For all of us.”
For untold days, the group trekked across Mirrodin to reach the Mephidross. The cancerous landscape had changed little since Glissa’s last visit. Toxic necrogen mists still covered the land and nim regiments shambled across the blasted landscape. It was there that Glissa and Bruenna set up camp. To protect themselves against sudden nim raids, Bruenna’s wizards surrounded the campsite with detection spells and protection wards.
The very thing happened one night when legions of nim broke through the magical barriers and shambled towards the group. Hundreds of nim were destroyed but for each nim killed, more rose to replace it. The nim supply seemed to be endless. Within moments, the situation turned ugly. Glissa and her companions were forced on top of an elevation where they prepared to make their last stand.
“Now that we’ve decided to stick it out, that just leaves us with just one problem.”
But suddenly, the nim stopped in their tracks. Glissa looked over to the horizon and in the distance, were what appeared to be hundreds of levelers. Leading them was the metal man Malil, Memnarch’s chief lieutenant. Then the tide turned. Instead of focusing their assault on the group, the nim started to turn their attention to the levelers. Soon, each leveler was surrounded by hundreds of nim and their weapons were rendered useless by the tide of animate corpses.
In the confusion, the group made their escape into the Mephidross. After narrowly escaping from a giant metallic centipede, Glissa and her companions entered the Vault of Whispers and confronted Geth.
Geth gleefully informed Glissa that Yert had perished a few weeks ago, shortly after receiving his new reaper. Glissa knew that Geth was playing on her emotions and demanded to be given the Shield of Kaldra. Geth readily agreed. In fact, too readily. Like a piece of cheese in a mousetrap, Geth led the group into a trap and then sprung it. The walls around the vault collapsed, uncovering the forms of hundreds of Vedalken warriors and levelers lurking in the smog. As the warriors marched forward, Glissa knew that this time, there would be no escape.
In the first moments of battle, Glissa was wounded and captured by Marek, the head of the Vedalken forces and the same Vedalken who had tried to execute her in the Glimmervoid earlier. Moments after laying his greedy hands on Glissa, Pontifex was confronted by Malil who demanded the custody of the elf girl on behalf of Memnarch. The headstrong leader of the Synod refused and there was a clash of arms. But that was all it needed. In the heat of battle, Glissa escaped and with Slobad, she slipped into a hole under Geth’s throne.
Glissa had arrived in Geth’s treasury and amidst the piles of gold, they found the Kaldra Shield. Dozens of interlocking plates formed the wondrous artifact and Slobad was excited over the prospect of attaining a new toy for him to tinker with. Time was running out for their friends on the surface and with Slobad’s help, Glissa was finally able to put together the three pieces of the Kaldra equipment. As the last piece of metal was put into place, blue energy seeped through the plates and formed the mighty Kaldra Champion.
The Champion broke through the Vault, raining destruction on the Vedalken and levelers alike. The presence of the Champion brought much inspiration and hope into Glissa’s allies and soon, the day was won. Victory was won, but at a high price. Though the Vedalken had been driven back and the leveler forces decimated, dozens of Glissa’s companions would never see the light of day again. One of those was Al-Hayat.
The great wolf had been mortally wounded by the onslaught of leveler blades and Vedalken halberds. Though he could have healed minor injuries with his forest magic, the injuries he sustained were too great to heal. Several minutes after the victory, Al-Hayat was taking his last breaths. With the last of his energy, the ancient wolf bade Glissa to liberate Mirrodin from Memnarch.
Al-Hayat was dead and Glissa was deprived of one more friend who could have aided her against Memnarch. Looking over the battlefield, all her enemies were gone. Except for Geth. The master of the Mephidross had been undone again and Glissa decided to show him mercy in exchange for the location of the black lacuna. With the remains of the group, Glissa headed down into the centre of the Mirrodin to finally confront her family’s and now Al-Hayat’s murderer.
Journeying down the centre of Mirrodin, Glissa discovered that Bosh was almost consumed by flesh. Bruenna concluded that his bizarre transformations were the result of the Mycosynth spores. Lying in one of the Mycosynth towers, were the aged remains of a Grendle, one of Memnarch’s many artifact creations. Apparently, the Grendle had been aged to death, one of the results of being a creature of pure flesh. Horrified, Glissa urged the group to hurry, lest Bosh died from old age.
Halfway down the lacuna, the group came under attack from Memnarch’s thresher engines, a smaller and more agile variant of a leveler, which used spinning blades instead of the standard scythe design. Glissa found that her green flames did not affect the threshers, which are no longer creatures of artifice, but of flesh and metal. The Kaldra Champion and Bosh were both unable to deal with the threshers effectively and before long, they overwhelmed the group.
Glissa’s skill with her blade enabled her to slay a few Threshers, but without the Sword of Kaldra, she was unable to bring destruction onto the Thresher pack as she had done before with the leveler. Soon, she had lost her blade and was forced to fight the Threshers unarmed. It did little good. Within moments, the Threshers swarmed the elvish heroine swallowed her whole . . . .
Glissa was still alive. The Thresher effectively acted as a living storage unit. Though it had not killed her, Glissa was trapped in a near impregnable fortress that obeyed the sadistic whims of Memnarch. The tough skin and insides of the Threshers were nearly indestructible and after tiring herself by trying to break out, the elvish heroine gave up. For hours, Glissa waited hopelessly while the Thresher brought her closer to Memnarch.
Soon, the elf’s confinement was over as two Vedalken blades ripped apart the fleshy carapace of the Thresher. Looking up, Glissa saw the frantic, if not maddened Pontifex. Pontifex had renounced life of fealty to Memnarch and he tried to take the law into his own hands by trying to kill Glissa. Glissa was only too glad to be freed from her prison and together, the elf and the Vedalken played a deadly game of cat and mice in the forest of Mycosynth.
“I will crush you like a bug.”
Pontifex’s ascension into the head of the Vedalken Synod had altered him considerably. Instead of the feeble and calculating researcher he was a few weeks ago, the Vedalken was now a crazed zealot. He fought with zeal that Glissa had never seen before and using a powerful combination of melee, magic and guile, he managed to overpower the startled elf. Weak from a blow to her head, the elf girl was unable to retaliate. She was at Pontifex’s mercy.
Slobad roused Glissa from her state of unconsciousness. Looking around her, Glissa saw the bodies of Pontifex and Marek with their own weapons sticking out of each other. It seemed that in his desperation to kill the elf girl, Pontifex had aroused the anger of his own empire and was killed in the process. Relieved to have finally gotten rid of her foe, Glissa, Bosh, Slobad and the Kaldra Champion proceeded on towards the Panopticon in the last lap of their journey . . .
. . . And Memnarch, the Guardian of Mirrodin had waited for her every step of the way. Alongside his faithful servant Malil, Memnarch had clearly anticipated the elf’s arrival and he strode out to personally meet the group. Glissa was infuriated over Memnarch’s part in her family and Al-Hayat’s deaths and she lashed out at the Guardian, severing one of his four legs. But Memnarch remained unfazed. Though he had destroyed Glissa’s family, friends and future, he took special care in preserving one thing in Glissa’s life – her Planeswalker spark. He revealed that the spark was the sole reason why she was able to bring such destruction onto the leveler ranks, the sole reason why she had such an important destiny. Most of all, the spark would eventually grant her the ability to walk the planes . . . and Memnarch wanted that spark for himself.
“You took everything I had when you killed my family.”
Glissa tried to attack Memnarch but it was futile. With a fluid stroke of his arms, the ancient golem knocked her aside. That was when Slobad unleashed the might of the Kaldra Champion. The Champion advanced towards Memnarch, knocking aside Malil in its efforts to reach the Guardian. It was a mistake and as Glissa soon found out, nothing, not even the Kaldra Champion would work against Memnarch.
Memnarch was able to snatch control of the Kaldra Champion from Slobad’s grasp and he turned the magical being against Glissa. It was then that Glissa realized the ironyin her efforts to create a being that could destroy Memnarch, she merely gave Memnarch another weapon to use against her. She had underestimated Memnarch’s powers and now she was paying the price of defeat. As the Champion lumbered towards Glissa, Bosh sacrificed himself buy Glissa and Slobad time to escape from the interior.
Fleeing up the lacuna aboard the late Pontifex’s hoverer, Glissa and Slobad soon rendezvoused with Bruenna, who agreed to hold back the Kaldra Champion with one of her spells before returning to Medev. Unfortunately, the spell did little to help their escape. The Kaldra Champion was frozen for only a few seconds until Bruenna’s powers ran out. Nevertheless, Glissa and Slobad thanked the human mage for her efforts while they continued their desperate escape towards the Tangle.
Closely pursued by the Kaldra Champion, Glissa and Slobad finally arrived on the borders of the Tangle where Drooge and the rest of the trolls waited for her. Drooge urged her to head for the Radix for protection while the remnants of his race bartered their lives for more time. Glissa was moved by their noble sacrifice and vowed that their lives would not go to waste.
In the Radix, Glissa prepared for her final confrontation with the Kaldra Champion. From a distance, she could see the glowing helm of Kaldra and she knew that the trolls had failed. Gathering up what was left of her mana, Glissa focused it onto the Kaldra Champion in the form of her spark energy. That ultimately proved to be unsuccessful. It was almost as though the Kaldra Champion was indestructible by magic. Just then, Slobad clambered onto the Champion and tried to deconstruct it piece by piece. He had barely made a dent before the Champion flicked the goblin aside with one of his giant fingers.
Suddenly, Glissa felt mana flow through as despair and hatred overwhelmed her. The ancient runes around the Radix glowed with arcane energy as Glissa unleashed her rage onto the Champion. As she did so, the runes glowed brighter until the Radix exploded. Glissa was thrown back while a stream of green mana surged up from the mana core, incinerating the Kaldra Champion and creating Mirrodin’s fifth moon in the process. The Tangle was flattened. Glissa was exhausted. The Kaldra Champion was gone.
In the smoking ruins of the Tangle, Glissa was awakened by a very charred and battered Slobad. Miraculously, the goblin had escaped serious injury by bouncing away from the sharp ends of the Tangle plants. While they took a well-earned rest, Glissa thought about Memnarch. Though the blast of green mana had completely obliterated Panopticon, something told Glissa that Memnarch was not dead. The rising of the fifth moon had merely foiled the Guardian’s plans, but it would only be a matter of time before he would come up with a new one. Meanwhile, Glissa noticed the sudden and abnormal growth of the flora and fauna after the rising of the green moon.
After escaping from a hive of mutated bees, Glissa and Slobad ran into a patrol of three Tel-Jilad Chosen who demanded her arrest. Among them, was the thuggish Banryk, her unsuccessful wooer who seemed to take great delight at her capture. The Chosen escorted Glissa and Slobad back to Viridia, where they were presented before Yulyn, formerly Viridia’s greatest hunter, who donned the slagwurm plates of Tel-Jilad Chosen. Behind Yulyn, was a figure from Glissa’s pastLyese.
Lyese was not killed in the leveler attack but she had lost an eye to the metal constructs. Instead of wearing the pretty dresses that she used to wear, Glissa’s sister also wore the Chosen armour and she bluntly accused Glissa of the murder of their parents. Overcome by her feelings, Glissa fainted.
The two captives were locked inside the Prison Tree until their trial. Glissa was terrified. It had been more than one hundred cycles since the last trial and a trial now meant that the situation in Viridia must have been very urgent. Only criminals awaiting capital punishment were herded into the Prison Tree. While they awaited their trial, Glissa and Slobad reminisced about Bosh’s ultimate sacrifice.
“It feels less and less like home all the time.”
Finally, the day of judgement arrived. Glissa and Slobad were lead to Tel-Jilad, the Tree of Tales for their trial. Before them, were the judges; Yulyn, Lendano, one of the most ancient elves in the Tangle, and a Sylvok human. The trials began with Lyese recounting the night Kane came to dinner and the fateful night when Glissa thought she lost all her family. Lyese had returned from a walk about the same time Glissa escaped from Tel-Jilad when she saw Glissa leading the levelers away from their home. Furthermore, Lyese witnessed Glissa wearing their mother’s ring, a grisly piece of memorabilia Glissa had found in the leveler den.
Despite the older girl’s protests, Lyese was adamant about her accusations. Glissa then recounted her own version of events, from the night of the leveler attack to her disastrous confrontation with the Guardian of Mirrodin. She told of Chunth’s sacrifice, of how he tried to protect the elves from the dangers of the serum, as well as the wonders she had glimpsed. She described the sweeping plains of the Glimmervoid, the cancerous Mephidross, the fickle Quicksilver Sea as well as the rugged Oxidda Mountains. She told the judges of Memnarch’s soul traps as well as the Mycosynth forests, things that many have and will never set eyes on.
Yulyn was unimpressed, dismissing Glissa’s recount of events as nothing more lies and tales formed by an unstable and guilty mind. However, Lendano believed Glissa’s story and after a questioning her on the origins of her information, he declared her innocent of her parent’s murder. In addition, he informed Glissa that since the arrival of the green moon, elves had been disappearing from Viridia. To protect themselves, the rest of the elves had to form a pact with the Sylvok humans. Glissa and Slobad were amazed. Lyese was less so and a display in fury and grief, the younger elf pushed her sister off the terrace. Both elves crashed onto the undergrowth.
Lyese was knocked out cold and fortunately, Glissa’s fall was broken by tangle bush. They took a moment to recover from a fall, but already, trouble was brewing on the horizon. Hundreds of aerophin appeared from the distance and they homed in on Glissa. Memnarch was still alive and the aerophin were direct evidence of his retribution.
“Great. No weapon, no goblin. No problem.”
Glissa ordered Slobad to carry the unconscious Lyese to safety while she held off the aerophin assault. Concentrating her spark energy, Glissa focused it onto the front of the aerophin ranks and within moments, they were nothing more than flaming wreckage – flaming wreckage that was headed for Glissa. The elf stood petrified on the spot until somebody grabbed her and pulled her out of harm’s way. Looking back, Glissa saw her savior.
Lyese dragged Glissa to a clearing where they were greeted by Slobad and Bruenna. The Neurok mage told Glissa of the complete eradication of Medev by Memnarch’s constructs and Vedalken crack troops. She had been the sole survivor only by chance and even now, hundreds of levelers were headed for the Tangle. Glissa was aghast. If the levelers reached Viridia, it could be a repeat of the large-scale massacre of the Neurok at Medev and Lumengrid. Glissa urged Slobad to take Lyese and Bruenna to Taj Nar for protection.
“I’ve got to do this myself. You three need to get to someplace safe. Some place where there might be an army big enough to take on Memnarch. Slobad, you’ve got to lead them to Taj Nar. Raksha might be able to help. At the very least, he deserves to know what’s happening and I can’t think of any safer place on Mirrodin right now.”
With Bruenna’s flight magic, Glissa was able to locate the leveler horde and she was shocked to discover that it was over a thousand strong. Glissa tried to use her spark energy, but it seemed to been drained, leaving the elf defenseless. Just then, an idea struck her. If she could lure the levelers away from Viridia, perhaps the village could stand a chance of survival after all. To test her theory, Glissa flew away from Viridia and to her amazement, the levelers followed.
The resourceful elf girl then led the levelers on a wild goose chase around the Tangle. She headed for what used to be the Radix, now the green lacuna, which was swarming with creatures mutated by the sudden abundance of green mana. However, it wasn’t any of those creatures that she was looking for. Aided by Slobad, who had insisted on accompanying her to the centre of the plane, Glissa had finally located her prizea giant Slagwurm that was able to hold off the levelers with its thick hide and even thicker skull.
Having delayed the leveler’s advance, Glissa and Slobad then drifted into the green lacuna, which would lead them to a weakened Memnarch. Glissa hypothesized that by attacking Memnarch while he was weak, they would stand a better chance of victory. They had not gone very far before they were confronted by Malil, who challenged Glissa to a duel.
“What do you want Malil? You’re in my way, and you don’t want to be, trust me. I’m here for Memnarch.”
Malil was in every way a tough opponent. He could never tire and was able to mould weapons out of his silvery body. He regenerated every wound effortlessly and his reflexes were as fast as his blade. Glissa was hard-pressed to find a weakness in her nigh indestructible foe. Each time she attempted to release her spark energy, Malil would break her concentration and force her to parry his blows. However Malil had one weakness. Like the Guardian and Bosh, Malil was also affected by the Mycosynth spores. Flesh was starting to ravage parts of his metal body, rendering them weak and unable to regenerate. Glissa used this to great advantage and soon, she had severed his flesh-consumed hand.
“What do you know? Like father, like son.”
Glissa turned to depart but at that moment, the wounded Malil brought her to her senses and made her realize that Slobad was missing. Apparently, the Guardian also had plans for her goblin companion. In the time she spent searching for Slobad, Malil healed himself and he waited for an opportune moment to send a stream of molten metal through the elf girl.
Glissa Sunseeker, the champion of the Tangle was finally defeated. After learning her destiny, surviving through untold dangers and escaping from an insidious enemy, she was bested by vile trickery. Malil roughly patched her up with some sort of bandage and then placed her in the hands of the Vedalken for her delivery to Memnarch. Glissa did not expect what she saw.
The Vedalken were mutated beyond recognition by Memnarch and the effects of the serum. They were now twice their original size and metal armour replaced their robes. Their once spindly arms now bulged with muscles and where their bowl-like headpieces used to be there was now a fierce metal carapace. Most shocking of all, the Vedalken no longer spoke but used mental brainwaves for communication. After some time, Glissa caught sight of Slobad dangling in one of the Vedalken’s outstretched hands.
The Vedalken brought Glissa and Slobad closer to Panopticon and Glissa knew that she had failed. Should Memnarch ascend into Planeswalkerhood, he would only condemn the rest of Mirrodin to slavery at the hands of his Vedalken henchmen. Glissa was determined that would not happen. In a final act of defiance, she slipped from the Vedalken’s hands and plunged into the darkness that led to the mana core.
“Tell Memnarch… he can get his spark somewhere else. Sorry Slobad.”
Somehow, Glissa did not die and instead she woke up under the care of healers in a leonin outpost. Beside her, were Bruenna, Lyese and Raksha. Of Slobad, there was no sign. Bruenna explained that she used a form of magic which relied on family bonds to whisk her away just in time. Not only did the magic rescue her, it also had an effect on Lyese, who no longer held Glissa responsible for the murder of their parents. Unfortunately, Bruenna was unable to do anything for Slobad and they feared the worst for their goblin friend.
After a touching reunion, Glissa recounted the recent events to Raksha, who carefully digested every word she said. The leonin Kha was most interested by the description of Mirrodin’s interior and the lacunas. The coming of the fifth moon was long held as a sign of doom by leonin seers but Glissa’s tale just proved thousands of years of prophecies to be nothing more than a farce. Furthermore, Glissa informed Raksha of what would be the greatest foe to the free people of MirrodinMemnarch.
Raksha readily accepted Glissa’s fears but he had his own woes to deal with. The nim raids from the Mephidross had intensified during the past weeks and it was apparent that Geth was no longer true to his words. The cancerous Mephidross had also tainted the Glimmervoid, growing at an alarming pace each passing day. In addition, the nim fought with frenzy never seen before and for once, they seemed to use strategy rather than strength in numbers. The young leonin Kha was wounded in action a few days ago and he decided to have his cousin Yshkar take over command of his forces while he recuperated.
“Charm runs in the family, I see.”
Glissa suggested that the leonin seek allies in the humans or the goblins. The next day, Bruenna, Lyese and Glissa left the leonin settlement as leonin ambassadors. Bruenna was to negotiate another peace treaty with Geth while Glissa and Lyese were to seek the Krark Clan for an alliance with the leonin. The sisters ran into trouble shortly after parting ways with Bruenna.
Glissa and Lyese had just entered the Oxidda Chains when they were waylaid by a gang of goblins led by the Vulshok human priest Alderok Vektro. Vektro revealed himself to be a devout follower of the Prophet Dwugget but Glissa doubted his claims. The last time she met with the wise goblin, he had been like a father towards her and it seemed highly unlikely that he would have sent thugs such as Vektro to meet them. However, Vektro seemed to know details about Glissa’s personal life and it was only a matter of time before Glissa and Lyese were captured.
After a long forced march, they encountered Raksha and his skyhunters. The leonin Kha managed to free the two elves while his troops captured the Vulshok priest. It seemed that Vektro’s strength originated from his two gargantuan gauntlets and without them, he was just as weak as any other human, if not weaker. Glissa did not ponder this any further as Raksha presented her with a grisly gift that had arrived at the leonin outpost shortly after her departure. In the tattered bag, was the still talking head of Geth, the former master of the Mephidross. Though Geth’s head had been long separated from his body, he was still able to talk. From Geth’s version of events, it seemed that the Yert had risen from the dead and had taken over control of the Dross in a coup. Surprisingly, Geth’s head also contained a message from the new leader of the Mephidross and soon, the former leader’s whining voice was overridden by a cold and cruel tone that had no resemblance to that of the young Moriok Glissa had seen nearly a month ago.
“Get to the point, Yert. That is you right? Nice way to repay a kindness. I won’t make the same mistake twice.”
Like Pontifex, Yert had also been changed by his ascension to power. The new leader of the Mephidross had Bruenna in his sinister clutches and he bargained relentlessly for her life. Glissa was forced to give in. She knew that she had condemned Slobad to a long and slow torture, and she had no intentions of sending another friend to his fate. However by saving Bruenna’s life, she was required to journey into the land of death again. Glissa was reluctant about trusting Geth, but she knew that having his head as a guide was better than nothing.
“All right, Yert. You win. Release Bruenna, and stop fighting the leonin, and I’ll . . . ugh . . . come to you.”
Raksha insisted on continuing the diplomatic duties with Lyese alone and as a result, he was able to send Glissa to the Mephidross with an escort of his skyhunters. Under the command of the heroic lieutenant Ellasha, the skyhunters were possibly Raksha’s most war-hardened troops and they were ideal for the rescue mission. With Geth’s head in tow, Glissa and the skyhunters entered the Mephidross and into the Vault of Whispers.
The group entered the Vault with little effort and there, Geth revealed that Yert’s agreement to end his attacks on the leonin was nothing more than an empty promise. Most of the nim forces were already on the move and it was only a matter of months before they overwhelmed the Glimmervoid and moved on to Taj Nar. What’s more, the disgraced head wanted a body of his own after they disposed of Yert. Glissa reluctantly agreed to find him a body once their task was complete.
Things went terribly wrong as the group progressed deeper into the Vault. Nim suddenly appeared out of nowhere and started attacking the group. Although Glissa and Ellasha managed to destroy the zombies, nearly all the skyhunters were slain in the sudden attack. However, the deaths of the skyhunters were the least of Glissa’s problems. Further down the Vault, they ran into Yert and his personal retinue of vampires.
“Well, is this how you invited guests Yert? I have to say, I like Geth’s approach better. At least he didn’t play games!”
Geth had lied the last time he said that Yert perished from his inability to control his new reaper. The reality was much worse. Shortly after Glissa’s first departure from the Mephidross, Geth fed Yert to his healed vampire. Though the vampire was healed by Glissa’s spell, it had lost much of its power and instead of killing Yert outright, it had doomed him into becoming another undead bloodsucker. Yert was much crueler in undeath than in life. After allowing his henchmen to hold Glissa down, he started to feed on Glissa’s life force, draining her of much-needed energy and strength. Mere seconds after Yert plunged his stinger into Glissa’s body, the vampire was forced to stop his frenzied feasting by a burning headache. It seemed that Yert was merely a puppet to a greater power. Glissa took the opportunity to escape with Ellasha.
Under Geth’s guidance, Glissa and Ellasha ran right into the centre of Vault, where Al-Hayat died so many weeks ago. Instead of solid ground, there was a deep crevice in the ground and Glissa suspected that it was formed when the Kaldra Champion broke through the vault. But there was no time. Yert’s nim brigades had caught up with Glissa and it was now or never to rescue Bruenna. Ellasha gave Glissa a flying cloak to cross the crevice and urged the elf girl to hurry while she held off the nim.
Glissa, with Geth’s head in hand, flew towards what used to be Geth’s torture chamber where Bruenna was being held. The atmosphere was eerily quiet and Glissa suspected that she was being led into a trap. Bound on a table in the centre of the room, was Bruenna. The human mage had dozens of cables wrapped around her body, drawing blue mana from her. The Neurok was essentially turned into a living mana battery. Determined to free her friend, Glissa severed the cables wrapping Bruenna. As she did so, the cables unwrapped themselves around the Neurok mage. A flash blinded the elf girl.
Glissa awoke on the Glimmervoid. Strangely, Bruenna was standing before her, apparently healthy and free of injuries. One of the mage’s hands was replaced by an artifact gauntlet, which fitted the specifications of a Vedalken. Bruenna explained to a bewildered Glissa that five years had elapsed since her last expedition to the Mephidross. Apparently, by freeing Bruenna, Glissa activated a temporal trap, which stopped the flow of time for her and Geth. During that period of time, the Mephidross had grown like a stain on Mirrodin, now covering half the plane with its vile presence.
Suddenly, Vedalken aerophin attacked. Unlike the weaker versions Glissa faced five years ago, the aerophin were now heavily armoured as well as armed. Glissa managed to destroy them with her spark energy, but not before they blasted apart Glissa and Bruenna’s mounts. Without their mounts the two friends were forced to fly to Krark- Home, the last remaining stronghold for the free people of Mirrodin. Along the way, Glissa passed the ruins of Taj Nar. Bruenna remained strangely silent about the details of its fall. Flying also allowed Glissa to see how much Mirrodin had changed during the past five years. Hundreds of needle-like spires penetrated the ground. Bruenna had guessed they were some mutated strain of razor grass. It seemed that they served no purpose other than obstructing flying objects.
Eventually, the two friends arrived at Krark-Home, a hollowed out mountain that served as a refuge to all those who opposed Memnarch. It was there that Glissa was shown to the three great leaders of the free people. To her great amazement, Raksha was not present and instead, Yshkar was the leader of the leonin. Stranger still, Lyese was also present as one of the leaders. It seemed that during the five years that Glissa was in stasis, the younger elf had been smitten by Yshkar and married him, essentially becoming the Khanha, or the leonin Tall-Queen in the process. Dwugget was there as the third leader.
Bruenna then explained the events of the past five years. Apparently, the ascension of the green moon had destroyed the goblin theology in the Oxidda Chain. The teachings of the Steel Mother worshippers were finally proved false and hundreds of factions fought for the control of the mountains. The strongest faction proved to be the Krark Clan and Dwugget managed to grab the reins of power without much struggle. However, to maintain his powers during the first few years, Dwugget was forced to turn to thugs and Vulshok mercenaries such as Alderok Vektro.
Glissa listened carefully as the subject of the conversation was shifted to Raksha and the destruction of Taj Nar. Lyese explained that shortly after losing the Glimmervoid to the nim, Raksha descended into insanity and he sought to destroy Taj Nar in a final bid for honour. Using a Vedalken mana bomb, Raksha would have succeeded if wasn’t for the intervention of Yshkar. The former Kha was dishonoured and he was exiled to the Tangle.
“Sounds to me like there’s plenty of blame to go around. All right, I accept that Raksha’s out of the picture. I even accept that you’re the queenKhanha, and I accept Taj Nar’s gone. But how did you find me? Whatwell, what have I been doing all this time?”
Bruenna told Glissa that she broke into Lumengrid. It was there, in the archives that she found the records of an artifact called the Miracore. According to the records, the artifact seemed to predate the pieces of the Kaldra equipment and even the Guardian himself. Not only that, but the Miracore was also capable of controlling constructs and the nim. In the hands of the Krark-Home defenders, it would truly be a powerful weapon. However, to obtain it, they would have to get past the artifact’s guardianYert.
Bruenna had one last revelation to make. Memnarch had been in hibernation for the past five years, just like Glissa. The serum-induced sleep was designed to rid him of flesh just in time for ascension into planeswalkerhood. Glissa had been retrieved from her stasis a few days earlier so she could prepare for her final showdown. In five days time, Memnarch would finally awaken as the five moons rise together. On the day of the fifth dawn, Memnarch would be vulnerable to Glissa’s spark energy. If Glissa succeeds, Mirrodin would finally be free of his tyranny.
But they were out of time. Just as Bruenna finished her explanation, an alarm went off throughout Krark-Home. The nim had breached the southeastern perimeter and accompanying them, were vampires. Yert was coming and Glissa knew it. To aid her in her quest, Bruenna presented Glissa with a chain of gems, each having its own magical property. It would grant Glissa with the ability to teleport anywhere on the plane once and back to Krark-Home. In addition, it allowed Glissa to duplicate the effects of Bruenna’s flight spells as many times as she wanted.
Armed with the amulet, her blade and wits, Glissa set off to confront Yert. She found the vampire in the nursery, having just fed on two unfortunate nursemaids. Yert cruelly taunted Glissa and tried his trick of placing innocent lives on the bargaining table in order to get Glissa to come to him, but the elf girl had other ideas. Using Bruenna’s amulet, Glissa teleported right into Yert, destroying the vampire and ending his threat for all time. She then picked up her prize, the Miracore.
“Bruenna, I didn’t see it coming, but it worked.”
Bruenna was able to quickly activate the Miracore and in no time, the nim filed out of Krark-Home. Geth’s head remarked on the beauty of the animate corpses but Glissa knew that it would only be a matter of time before Krark-Home was under attack again. She was right. Within seconds of Yert’s defeat, the second wave of attackers had arrived. Hundreds of constructs and mutated Vedalken emerged from the plane’s interior, each one of them being twice as large as a leveler. Glissa lent what strength she could muster to the Krark-Home defenders but there were far too many constructs. It seemed that Krark-Home would soon be overwhelmed.
Suddenly, Glissa felt the Miracore being yanked from her neck and looking up, she saw Malil escaping on a Vedalken hoverer with the prized artifact. Glissa relentlessly gave pursuit and she eventually tracked Malil down to the green lacuna. The metal man would have made it into the plane’s interior had not a mysterious figure tackled him from the hoverer. As she got closer, Glissa saw that her mysterious ally was in fact, Raksha.
Raksha pinned Malil down while Glissa brought her blade down onto Malil’s exposed neck. It seemed that during the five years, Malil had almost completely reverted to a creature of flesh. His body, marred by weak flesh, could no longer regenerate. As soon as Glissa’s blade penetrated his neck, Malil died.
Raksha seemed perfectly sane to Glissa. Though his once proud clothes and armour lay in tatters, the many years of exile had neither broken his mind nor clouded his reason. Raksha dismissed Yshkar’s recount of his madness as a story generated by a poisoned mind, but he did not blame his cousin. Instead, his anger was directed at one person in particular – Lyese, who was the latest in Vektro’s long line of hosts.
Raksha led Glissa back to a cave, which had been his hideout for the past few years and there, he recounted his own version of the day when Taj Nar was destroyed. Raksha revealed that Vektro was not really a creature of flesh and bone, but rather a body snatcher. To physically manipulate objects, Vektro had to inhabit a living host who he retains control of. It was really Vektro, controlling Lyese who destroyed Taj Nar with the mana bomb. To free Lyese from Vektro’s clutches, Glissa would be forced to abandon her confrontation with Memnarch and by doing so, she would put the whole world at stake. They had to abandon Lyese. The real Lyese, in Raksha’s opinion was as good as dead.
“None of this is remotely like the story I got at Krark-Home.”
On the fourth day, Glissa and Raksha left the caves and entered the green lacuna to finally fulfil her destiny. With Bruenna’s amulet and the Miracore in hand, Glissa made fast progress and in no time, they were on the interior of Mirrodin. The inside was crawling with Memnarch’s artifact creations. Everywhere Glissa looked, thousands of artifact creatures crawled towards the surface world to reinforce their fellow constructs. The Mycosynth spires were also gone, and in their place were dozens of disks and heavy support struts that held up the rebuilt Panopticon.
Glissa and Raksha managed to sneak past the artifact creatures but they suddenly found themselves attacked by three identical copies of Malil on hoverer. Like the original Malil, the copies were also affected by flesh. Geth’s head was able to warn Glissa of the incoming metal men and it primarily thanks to him that she was not snagged by them. However, Raksha was not so lucky and several minutes into the assault, he was picked up by one of the Malils and carried off to Panopticon.
“Geth, keep that up and I’ll get you a body personally!”
Glissa found Panopticon to be filled with hundreds and thousands of tiny artifact creatures, each bearing a striking resemblance to Memnarch. The Guardian himself was nowhere to be seen. However, it was the discovery of Slobad that horrified Glissa. For five years, Glissa’s friend was strapped to a rack on the walls of the Panopticon. The goblin artificer’s jaws and eyes were mutilated beyond healing and his limbs were replaced with those of a myr. Serum was regularly pumped into the goblin’s body by artifice and his only sign of life was his shallow breathing. Glissa was appalled by the treatment of her friend, but she was even more shocked that Slobad now controlled the mini Memnarchs via machine. It appeared that in the five years, Slobad’s sentience was transferred into the tiny builder constructs, which he used to transform Mirrodin into a giant machine.
“You’re saying Memnarch made some kind of . . . giant artifact . . . out of the world?”
Malil’s voice interrupted Glissa’s train of thoughts. Turning back, Glissa saw that it was not really the metal man, but rather Vektro who was in control of the body. Vektro quickly overpowered Glissa and tossed Geth’s head aside. Glissa watched helplessly as Vektro pulled the Miracore from her neck and held it to his master. The fifth dawn had finally come but Mirrodin’s savior was helplessly strapped down to a rack.
“Watch yourself, Vektro. Daddy doesn’t like sharing his toys.”
After five years of deep hibernation, Memnarch finally woke. The Guardian’s body was rid of flesh and he was as mad as ever. Memnarch instantly recognized Vektro in Malil’s body and his reaction was violent and sudden. After harshly reprimanding his servant for disobeying his orders to remain on the surface world, Memnarch ripped the Miracore from Vektro’s hands and sliced his servant’s body in two. Unable to take over a new host, Vektro ceased to be.
Moments later, the disks around the Panopticon shifted and Glissa found herself bound to one just metres away from the mana core. With only a few inches of metal separating her from the darkness that led to the blazing centre of the mana core, Memnarch’s insane plan became apparent to Glissa. The crazed Guardian would destroy her and by doing so, he would activate the whole of Mirrodin to begin his ascension into planeswalkerhood. The souls of Mirrodin’s inhabitants would be channeled into his metal body, fuelling his growing power while destroying the whole of Mirrodin. Mirrodin was doomed.
Glissa then heard Slobad’s voice telling her about his final plan. Even after five years of mental imprisonment, the goblin was still willing to help his friend defeat Memnarch. To put the plan into effect however, he would need time. That was when Geth’s head came in. Suddenly, dozens of nim surged from the black lacuna and launched themselves at the Guardian. While Memnarch tried to deal with the nim, Slobad freed Glissa from the rack with his constructs.
The final confrontation had begun. Though Memnarch had destroyed the nim with an anti-necrotic spell, Glissa was prepared to destroy her parent’s murderer and she lashed out at Memnarch. The two duelists had a long and desperate struggle, but eventually, Glissa prevailed. Grabbing the Miracore, Glissa focused her spark energy through the ancient artifact and onto the Guardian. With his pure metal body, Memnarch couldn’t do anything against the destructive green flames and he was forced to the edge of the disk. Glissa lost her footing and soon, both combatants fell into the fiery depths of the mana core. As Memnarch perished, Glissa’s spark activated, destroying all the soul traps on Mirrodin. Within seconds, everything on Mirrodin died. Bosh, Chunth, Drooge, Rishan, Kane, Al-Hayat, Glissa’s parents and all the other victims of Memnarch’s tyranny were finally avenged . . .
“You want the spark? Then you can have it!”
Yet, when Glissa opened her eyes, she found herself still in Mirrodin’s interior. Panopticon was completely gone, as were the support struts and disks. The only remaining constructs were hundreds and thousands of Slobad’s builder constructs. Standing next to her, was a completely restored Slobad. Glissa listened with interest as Slobad explained what had happened after Memnarch plunged into the mana core. Apparently, Glissa had only hit her head after she lost her footing and she remained on the disk while Memnarch was incinerated in the core.
However, everyone, save Glissa and Slobad had gone. When the soul traps that Memnarch had used to bring life to Mirrodin were destroyed, they had returned to their original planes. Everyone, that is, except Geth. The talking head revealed that he had inhabited a dead body for years. He simply had no soul to trap. He had a message from a mysterious silver golem. In exchange, he demanded a body.
Slobad provided him with a builder construct and it was not long before Geth started talking. Sitting in a chest next to the severed head, was a strange silver orb about the size of a fist. According to Geth, the silver golem requested Glissa and Slobad to keep hold of it until his return. Alongside the silver orb, were their soul traps, ready to be broken should they feel the need to return to their home plane.
With their soul traps and the orb, Glissa and Slobad left the plane’s interior to explore the far reaches of Mirrodin. As the only two beings on the now empty plane, Glissa and Slobad finally started to uncover the secrets of Mirrodin in earnest.
“You know, we never came up with a name for that new moon, I think I like ‘Lyese’”