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Memnarch of Mirrodin
If there was one artifact that would be branded cursed, it would be the Mirari. Wars were fought simply for its possession and every one of its owners was met with a grisly fate. It was responsible for the deaths of thousands on Dominaria when it was inanimate and it caused millions more when it was granted a new life.
When Karn transformed a component of the Mirari into the construct named Memnarch, he thought that he could right a wrong. He thought that by infusing the cursed orb with a new life, he would create a creature that could feel remorse for its own actions and eventually, an heir who could evolve and learn. He was wrong. Instead of creating an heir, he created an abomination. He created a being with no sense of right or wrong, a twisted monster that would dominate the fears of his people for untold centuries to come.
“Now I’m the warden. Let’s see what this world has to offer.” Memnarch was appointed the Guardian of Argentum just before Karn departed the plane with his newest ward Jeska. For decades, he wandered the plane, admiring the artificial beauty that his creator had created. He was fascinated by the blinkmoths. Unlike the other features on Argentum, the blinkmoths did not follow a predictable pattern and once every cycle, they simply disappeared. Memnarch often pondered the perplexing question but he was unable to find an answer. However, Memnarch’s age of innocence would soon be brought to an end.
“It is time I put my mark on Argentum.”
In Galdroon palace, Karn’s home, Memnarch found a spot of black oil on the floor. The Guardian promptly cleaned it up, but somehow, the oil found its way into his systems. As the oil entered his power matrix, Memnarch suddenly experienced a series of thoughts, which proved wrong everything he held dear. Then he knew that Karn was wrong in naming the world Argentum. He knew that Karn was wrong in creating the world as a sterile and metallic place. Memnarch would bring life to the world. The people would be his people. He would rename Argentum as Mirrodin and be its god.
“Argentum is a terrible name for this land.”
The Guardian set to work transforming Argentum into Mirrodin. He added features, such as the Tangle, the Glimmervoid, the Quicksilver Sea, the Mephidross and the Oxidda Mountains for the future inhabitants of his plane. Before he could populate his world, problems arose. In the time that he had spent creating those features, a plague called Mycosynth had arrived on his world, transforming metal into flesh and flesh into metal. Memnarch attempted to deal with the threat by creating a race of powerful golems to combat the plague. It was without success. In time, dozens of golems were destroyed and a few more were lost in the inhospitable terrain of his plane.
To breathe life onto his lifeless plane, Memnarch built soul traps, ingenious devices that trapped the souls and bodies of living creatures. The Guardian sent those devices across the planes, bringing a variety of creatures to his world. It was in this fashion that the Auriok, Neurok, Moriok, Vulshok and Sylvok humans were brought to his world, as well as strange creatures such as the vedalken, loxodon, elves, leonin, trolls, ogres, wolves and goblins. As his people populated his plane, the Mycosynth spores also changed their forms to suit their new environments. At first, Memnarch took great interest in their lifestyles, carefully recording their rituals, habits and behavior. However, his favourite race was the vedalken.
If history had taught us anything, it was that perfection did not last. The tragedies of Serra’s Realm and Phyrexia were bound to be repeated. Mirrodin was no exception. Memnarch soon learnt that Mirrodin would eventually collapse, like all artificial planes. One day, when Mirrodin’s energy is exhausted, the plane and all of its inhabitants would cease to be. A plan was needed to save its inhabitants and to preserve the plane.
After several hundred years of cataloging, Memnarch was driven insane by Karn’s absence. He developed a strange liquid, which was harvested from the blinkmoths called serum, and divulged the secrets of its creation with the vedalken. For that, the vedalken cherished him as a god. Still, Memnarch did not care. He wished to ascend into planeswalkerhood, like his creator, Karn. With the power of the serum in his hands, Memnarch was transformed from a compulsive onlooker into a raving lunatic. He created thousands of artifact creatures, which he released into the surface world to act as his minions and spies.
Still, Mirrodin changed. The mana core, which was long the source of Mirrodin’s energy, erupted four times, each time sending a new moon into orbit. It was in this fashion that the red, black, blue and white moons were created. Memnarch was unable to explain the strange phenomena and neither were his people. As the years progressed and new generations were raised, legends started to be built around Mirrodin’s satellites. Only Memnarch and a few others knew that the legends mere falsehoods.
Centuries soon passed and the races on Mirrodin started to evolve. The vedalken grew two extra arms and the serum transformed them into hardened monsters and cruel overlords. As did Memnarch. In the years, Memnarch had modified himself, growing two extra legs and six more eyes. Though the Mycosynth spores had marred his body with weak flesh, it had not affected the sharpness of his mind. Memnarch then started to consume serum at a tremendous rate, each consumption furthering his addiction for the liquid.
Under the influence of the serum, Memnarch thought that his creator had finally returned. He found that after excessive use of the serum, he could experience visions of Karn, who guided him on his long journey towards planeswalkerhood. Memnarch learnt the story of Karn’s ascension. It seemed hundreds of years ago, a race of mechanical horrors invaded Dominaria, Karn’s homeland, bringing with them the Phyrexian plague. The plague grew rampant and in a final act of desperation, both Karn and his creator, another planeswalker named Urza sacrificed themselves. They built a weapon and by sacrificing themselves to power it, a blinding light swept through Dominaria, cleansing the world of plague. Urza perished, but his planeswalker spark lived on. In the heat of the explosion, Karn ascended. Memnarch had neither the knowledge nor the resources to build such a weapon, but he knew that the mana core would be sufficient in his ascension. He believed by sacrificing himself and a being possessing a planeswalker spark, he would rise to power as well as destroying the Mycosynth spores. To aid him in his goal, he built Panopticon, almighty fortress in the interior of his plane on the very spot where the next moon, the green moon would rise. All he needed now was a planeswalker spark.
Memnarch soon discovered one of the strongest metals in the multiversedarksteel. He found that once blinkmoth powder was imbued with magic, it would result in the creation of a dark metal impervious to damage and heat. He used this knowledge to construct a grand scrying device called the Darksteel Eye, which allowed him to see the surface world of Mirrodin through the eyes of his spies. He also created the metal man Malil, which was based on his original design as a tribute to Karn, to act as his servant.
Several moon cycles later, Memnarch was made aware of a being that could fulfil his desires of ascension. That being was an elf, by the name of Glissa Sunseeker. Memnarch watched Glissa’s movements from the Darksteel Eye, waiting in a mixture of awe and anticipation as the elf destroyed his leveler ranks. He watched as Glissa traversed his plane, making new allies and dangerous enemies. He also watched as Glissa came closer in search of answers and the true identity of her parent’s murderer. Glissa caused untold damage to both his artifact armies, and the Vedalken Empire. During a skirmish in the Neurok settlement of Medev, dozens of aerophin were lost below the waves of the Quicksilver Sea. More damage was caused when Glissa broke into Lumengrid, the fortress capital of the Vedalken. Just hours after her break-in, Janus, the leader of the Vedalken Synod was dead and the Neurok humans were on the brink of open rebellion.
“She is here. The one. The elf girl. Bring her to us. Memnarch had not expected you so soon.”
Eventually, Memnarch sent Malil to help Pontifex, the newest leader of his vedalken puppet regime, track down the elusive elf girl. Dozens of times, Malil managed to hunt down the elf girl and her companions, only to have his leveler forces decimated by the elf’s destructive magic. In the depths of the blue lacuna, Malil had the entire leveler army destroyed and was forced to return to Panopticon for more troops. As an experiment to observe the effects of serum on a construct, Memnarch fed the liquid to Malil, effectively increasing the metal man’s cruelty and guile. Malil returned to Panopticon many times afterwards, each time leaving with more serum and levelers.
Memnarch soon saw that Malil was without success. In the Mephidross, Malil and Pontifex had captured the elf, but lost her in a dispute to determine who would deliver her to the Guardian. However, the Guardian waited patiently, knowing that soon, the elf would come of her own accord. He was right. Moments after winning the battle in the Dross, Glissa was on her way to the interior. Memnarch recalled Malil to Panopticon and eagerly awaited his prize.
Sure enough, Glissa camewith reinforcements. A filthy goblin, a rusted golem and a giant seemingly made out of blue plasma were at her side, ready to defend her in case of danger. They would stand no chance against Memnarch’s killing machines. After a brief confrontation, Memnarch had his foe cornered. It would only be a matter of time before Mirrodin’s fifth moon erupts out of the Mana Core and Memnarch ascends into planeswalkerhood. However, Memnarch had made one mistake. In his eagerness to capture Glissa, Memnarch had ignored her allies. Soon, Memnarch had the plasma giant charging him at full speed. But Memnarch was the Guardian of Mirrodin. He had brought life to a lifeless plane. He had constructed artifacts that other artificers wouldn’t even dream about. It was obvious that the Guardian had a backup plan to trap Glissa’s foolhardy ally.
“You claim there is no god here, Glissa. Perhaps this will change your mind. Seize her!”
With a wave of his hands, Memnarch turned the plasma titan against its former ally. In just one move, the Guardian took out Glissa’s most powerful resource. He had the elf cornered. There was no place left for her to run. Somehow, Glissa managed to escape. While the elf and goblin made their escape, the iron golem sacrificed itself to hold the plasma titan back. Furious, Memnarch ordered the titan after Glissa while he and Malil watched the events unfold from the safety of the Darksteel Eye.
Only minutes remained until the green moon’s ascent into Mirrodin’s skies and Memnarch was still unable to capture the elusive elf girl. But for the Guardian, time ran out. The ball of pure green mana catapulted out of the Mana Core, completely consuming Panopticon in searing heat. The Darksteel Eye protected both the Guardian and his servant, but within those decisive seconds, Memnarch’s plan had been ruined. However, the rising of the green moon had only foiled one of Memnarch’s many plans. He had many more. Before he could continue, some business must be carried out.
“Come, Malil. We have much to do, much work to do indeed.”
While the Guardian focused his attention to the capture of Glissa during the past few weeks, a new crisis was taking place near the vedalken fortress of Lumengrid. The Neurok humans, enraged over the centuries of persecution and slavery they suffered under vedalken rule, had revolted. The Neurok rebellion was a threat to Memnarch’s plans. Thus, he placed forward his solution to the Neurok problem. They were to be eradicated.
Under Memnarch’s orders, levelers and vedalken soldiers entered the Neurok village of Medev and slaughtered its inhabitants. The Neurok workers in Lumengrid suffered a far worse fate. Within minutes, the Neurok rebellion was crushed and their race erased. Now, Memnarch’s plans could finally be put into place without intervention. The first part of Memnarch’s plan involved keeping Glissa alive. After the elf’s escape from the interior, she was captured by her fellow elves, which claimed that she was responsible for the murder of her parents. Memnarch sent a body snatcher, by the name of Vektro to intervene. With that job out of the way, Memnarch started to change the vedalken with his magic, transforming them into his mindless killing machines.
Hours after sending Vektro to the surface world, Memnarch had Slobad, Glissa’s goblin companion in his clutches. It seemed that his vedalken minions had captured Glissa as well, but lost her during her delivery to the rebuilt Panopticon. It mattered little to Memnarch, just like everything else. Slobad would build the instrument that would allow the Guardian to ascend into planeswalkerhood. The goblin would also lead Glissa to him.
“It thinks it can resist us, my Creator. It has much to learn. Malil will show it the error of resistance to the inevitable.”
Thus, Memnarch hatched his newest plan. Geth, the leader of the Mephidross, would be toppled and replaced by a puppet ruler, loyal to the Guardian. The puppet would be entrusted with the Miracore, an artifact that could control constructs and mindless undead alike. The puppet would ensnare Glissa and preserve her spark. Meanwhile, the vedalken would continue the production of serum and Vektro would continue to remain on the surface world. Memnarch himself would go into hibernation, to rid himself of the flesh, which he believed would hinder his ascension into planeswalkerhood. In the fifth year of hibernation, the five moons would converge above Mirrodin and the Guardian would be awakened. The plan was brilliant but Memnarch did not want to take any risks. He created legions of constructs and several copies of Malil to keep the inhabitants of the surface world busy.
The plan worked. For five years, Memnarch hibernated while the sedated Slobad worked on constructing Memnarch’s ascension web, a powerful artifact that could transfer planeswalker sparks through the destruction of souls. The source of the souls would be soul traps. Finally, the day arrived. As the five moons rose above Mirrodin in an event known as the Fifth Dawn, Memnarch ascended from his cocoon, refreshed and fleshless. Vektro bowed before him, prostate and useless, just like any other construct on Mirrodin. Memnarch destroyed Vektro for his failure to obey orders and then seized the Miracore that hung from the dead body snatcher’s neck.
“It was useful, Karn, but ultimately a failed idea. The creation of a tainted mind.”
With the Miracore in one hand and a trapped Glissa in the other, Memnarch thought that he had won. With the last inhabitants of the surface world fighting a losing battle against his artifact hordes, there would be no resistance against Memnarch the planeswalker. Memnarch would shape his new world after his designs, the perfect designs of a perfect planeswalker. Soon, Mirrodin would be a thing of the past.
“It thinks Memnarch a fool. Thinks I cannot hear. I shall have the spark, the power and a new, pure world to shape! Before, I was a child, playing with his father’s sword but grasping the wrong end through sheer ignorance. Karn, I allowed the flesh on this world out of hubris, thinking I could change it. Now we start over, you and I as equals.”
Only two things stood in Memnarch’s way of complete victorythe filthy rotting head of Geth and thousands of builder constructs that Slobad’s mind now inhabited. Together, they stalled time so that Glissa could free herself. It was not meant to happen. Memnarch watched helplessly as his perfect plan was ruined right in front of him. Memnarch and Glissa fought a final battle on top of the discs that hung just meters above the searing heat of the Mana Core. However, Glissa managed to prevail and Memnarch toppled into the blazing furnace that was Mirrodin’s Mana Core, only to be reverted to his original formthe Mirari.
“He was many things. An explorer, a scholar, a visionary, and at one time, a friend.”
“He was no planeswalker, nor was he meant to be, despite his ambition. But his faith was stronger than what I could have ever imagined. In my desire to create one like me, I gave him far too much power. A great… mistake. One of many.” Karn, planeswalker