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Tahngarth of the Talruum Mountains
During the infamous Phyrexian Invasion, the fanatic servants and minions of the Machine god, Yawgmoth invaded the plane of Dominaria and each front became a heated battle for survival. Billions of Dominarians fought and died for their homelands. In the frozen wasteland of Keld, the Keldons fought against the combined might of the Phyrexians and their own undead warriors. In Benalia, hundreds valiant warriors died defending their ancestral home rather than fleeing. The Talruum minotaur, Tahngarth had his homeland phased out of existence, yet he still devoted all of his might and courage to save the Dominaria so that others may get a chance of survival. It was this defiant and headstrong attitude that inspired many Dominarians to fight on, no matter the cost.
"Is it wrong to go for what you want? Sneaking is for the cats and goblins."
Tahngarth grew up in the Talruum Mountains on the Dominarian continent of Jamurra. It was doubtless that his early life was filled with many harsh trials of living in the mountains and it was those trails that would eventually shape him to become the stubborn yet valiant warrior he is known by.
Tahngarth’s life changed when he joined with the crew of the Weatherlight. The captain of the Weatherlight was Sisay, who had already earned something of a celebrity status when she helped Jamurra in Kaeverk’s invasion attempt. Tahngarth managed to prove his loyalty to Sisay and he quickly rose to the position of first mate. He was familiarized with the other members of crew, which included the ship’s navigator Hanna, her friend Orim, the nobleman Crovax and the goblin cabin boy Squee, who he found to be very annoying.
"Faugh! Why would it make a meal of something like you? No, you’d make a much better toothpick."
A few years later, there came three new additions to the crew. Gerrard Capashen, the heir to the legacy, had lost a duel with Captain Sisay and as a result, he was forced to join. His two friends, Mirri and Rofellos, also joined for they had no other place to go. Unfortunately for Gerrard, Tahngarth highly distrusted him and he didn’t make it any easier for the Benalish by making no effort to hide his feelings.
With Gerrard as a member of the crew, Sisay turned her attentions to recovering the pieces of Gerrard’s legacy, which were stolen when Gerrard was a young boy. The crew traveled around the different locales of Dominaria in search of the legacy and often, they encountered danger.
After some time, Crovax wished to return home to Urborg because he had a growing fear of extraplanar beings attacking his estates. With some reluctance, Sisay flew the ship over to Urborg to investigate. Upon arrival, the crew found out that two Rathi demons, Morinfen and Gallowbraid, had slain Crovax’s family and were wrecking havoc on Crovax’s estates. T he crew engaged the creatures in combat, but they were too powerful. Rofellos was mortally wounded by Gallowbraid and Gerrard’s attempts to avenge his death proved futile. The tide of battle shifted when Crovax used a magical artifact to summon his guardian angel Selenia. With the help of Selenia, the crew managed to slay the two demons. However, when it was apparent that Sisay valued the legacy over the crewmembers, Gerrard had a heated row and he stormed out along with Mirri. A while later, Crovax also left the crew, as he wanted to stay in his ruined estates.
A few months later, Sisay recovered the immobilized Karn, the silver golem who housed the legacy artifacts. Unfortunately, attempts to reanimate the golem were unsuccessful and it was stowed safely in the hull of the ship. It was also during that time when Tahngarth discovered the ship’s planeshifting capabilities.
However, without Gerrard, tragedy soon struck the crew of the Weatherlight. A few months after Gerrard’s departure, Captain Sisay was abducted by Volrath, the Evincar of Rath. Unable to save her, Tahngarth decided that Gerrard was the best man for the job of rescuing her and he resolved to make him rejoin the crew.
Tahngarth journeyed to Benalia City, where Gerrard was last rumored to be. After making a few inquiries with the locals, he found Gerrard serving as a master of arms in the Benalish army. Tahngarth informed Gerrard about Sisay’s abduction and asked him to rejoin the crew. To the minotaur’s disappointment, Gerrard declined the offer, preferring to stay in the Benalish army. However, Tahngarth’s stubborn nature persisted and he continued to stay with Gerrard until the Benalish changed his mind. Along the way, the two unearthed a plot devised by the commander of Gerrard’s army and the head of a local assassin guild to defame Gerrard. Furious, Gerrard confronted the scandalous duo and with Tahngarth’s help they were quickly dispatched.
"You want to know your enemy? Look at your feet while you trample him."
With Gerrard back in the crew, morale reached an all time high. Even though the Benalish was unable to activate the Thran Crystal, which was the device that controlled plane travelling, he managed to restore Karn with the Thran tome and convinced Mirri to rejoin the crew.
Still desperate to rescue the captain, Tahngarth followed Hanna’s suggestion of travelling to Tolaria to enlist the help of her wizard father, Barrin. Hanna was unsure about how Barrin would react to her because she ran away when she was young to study artifice at Argive. To the crew’s surprise, Barrin welcomed the crew but was unable to join them. Instead, he sent a promising, yet arrogant young wizard named Ertai, in his stead.
Though Ertai was able to activate the Thran Crystal, Gerrard wanted to be more certain about the dangers the crew would encounter in Rath. In order to do so, he re-enlisted the help of Crovax and that of Starke il-Vec, a notorious Rathi assassin who once served the Evincar.
Ertai activated the Thran Crystal and within moments, the twisted landscape of Rath met Tahngarth’s eyes. What he saw challenged his wildest imaginations. Lightning constantly spewed from the purplish skies and the very soil of Rath was a thick, churning mass of flowstone, which could be shaped to the whims of the Evincar. In the distance, was the Rathi Stronghold, a symbol of oppression and darkness for the Rathi inhabitants, a centre of power for Volrath.
"From where I came from, stone stays on the ground."
Tahngarth had little time for sightseeing, as the massive Phyrexian cruiser Predator started to approach the Weatherlight. The Predator was nearly twice the size of the Weatherlight and was manned by a company of moggs, large goblinoid creatures with massive muscles and great strength, but not much brain. As soon as Predator was in striking distance of the Weatherlight, it unleashed a flurry of harpoons and grappling hooks. Within moments, moggs started to scramble on to the Weatherlight like ants. Leading them, was a man of great size and brutality; Commander Greven il-Vec.
"Hold your position! Leave doubt for the dying!"
The crew of the Weatherlight tried to put up a stout resistance, but there were far too many moggs on the ship. They broke into the engine room and shattered the Thran Crystal, leaving the Weatherlight stranded on Rath. They carried Karn and the pieces of the legacy to the Predator and just as they were about to pillage the rest of the ship, a blast rocked the ship in midair. In the ensuing chaos, Tahngarth managed to sneak on board the Predator. It wasn’t long before Tahngarth found Karn in the hull of the Predator. Knowing they eventually be found out, Tahngarth urged Karn to fight their way out of the ship. However, as Karn was racked by conscience, he refused to even lift a finger.
"Torahn's horns! They've seen us. Now, statue, you must fight to save yourself!"
As he turned around, Tahngarth realized that Greven il-Vec had discovered him on board. Tahngarth’s exalted ego made him believe that Greven was a close opponent, but that was not the case. Greven’s Phyrexian spinal graft greatly enhanced his strength and speed. Greven almost effortlessly countered every move Tahngarth made. It did not take long before Tahngarth was subdued and taken to the Stronghold.
Once he set foot in the stronghold, Tahngarth was taken into the depths of Volrath’s laboratories where he was slowly mutated into a monstrosity. His appearance, of which he was so proud of, was completely destroyed and was replaced by a debased parody of its former self. The mutations caused him great suffering and on that day, the hatred of Volrath and Phyrexians was burned into his memory.
"Volrath has killed me! All that remains of me is the scar!"
Eventually, Tahngarth was freed by Gerrard and the minotaur resolved to take vengeance on Volrath. Accompanied by Starke, Crovax, Karn, and Mirri, the five moved towards Volrath’s personal room, the Dream Halls. Along the way, the group was forced to pass a narrow bridge that was guarded by what could have only once been Crovax’s guardian angel, Selenia. Crovax rushed off to confront Selenia and slay her for her treachery. Selenia was a powerful warrior, having once served in Serra’s realm, and she often gained the upper hand. After several rounds of combat, Selenia would have killed Crovax, had Mirri not intervened.
In the vital moments after Mirri’s intervention, Crovax regained his balance and he destroyed Selenia with a stab to the heart. Selenia burst into thousands of blood-soaked shards, which sprayed all over Crovax. After Selenia’s death, Crovax seemed to lose all of his sanity and he would have fallen to his death had not Tahngarth pulled him out of harm’s way.
With two members of the party injured, Gerrard ordered Tahngarth and Karn to carry Mirri and Crovax back to the Weatherlight and tell Hanna to wait for them at Volrath’s Garden, while he and Starke continued on to the Dream Halls.
With little time to lose, Tahngarth and Karn made their way back to the Weatherlight, where they left Mirri and Crovax under the trusty care of the ship’s healer, Orim. Before the ship left for Volrath’s gardens, Karn wandered off into the depths of the Stronghold to reclaim the stolen pieces of the legacy.
A few hours later, Karn returned with the legacy and the Weatherlight soon landed in Volrath’s gardens. In the distance, he saw the forms of Gerrard, Sisay, a blinded Starke and an unidentified young woman running towards the ship. Before they could reach Weatherlight, the terrifying presence of Greven il-Vec and the Predator started to descend from the skies.
An ornithopter was launched from Predator and it started to strafe the Weatherlight. While Sisay, Starke and the young woman climbed onto the ship, Tahngarth devised a cunning plan to take out the ornithopter. In what seemed like a daring stunt, Tahngarth climbed onto a nearby tree and he leapt onto the ornithopter. The sudden weight caused by Tahngarth’s jump sent the doomed ornithopter and its mogg pilot crashing to the ground in a trail of flames, while the minotaur jumped back onto the Weatherlight in an amazing display of strength and reflexes.
"Taste my horns!"
Tahngarth looked down into the gardens and he saw Gerrard battle the fearsome Greven il-Vec. A few metres away from Gerrard, Tahngarth witnessed a maddened Crovax tearing away at Mirri. After a while, Gerrard climbed the rope, back onto the Weatherlight and the crew desperately sought for a way out of Rath. Closely pursuing them, was the Predator.
As the Weatherlight started to pick up speed, Tahngarth noticed that the ship was travelling much faster, thanks to a new legacy artifact, which Karn called the Skyshaper. The Weatherlight hurtled towards a site of an ancient stone portal and there, on the nearby rocky escarpments, he saw the form of Ertai. Tahngarth heard Gerrard’s frantic cries for the ship to slow down so they could pick up the stranded wizard adept, but it was no good. With the ship hurtling at terrific speeds towards the solid stone portal, it seemed that the end was nigh. However, at the last moment, the portal opened and several hundred ghost-like creatures streamed into the gaping hole of temporal energy along with the Weatherlight. The crew couldn’t do anything for the stranded Ertai.
Once again, the ship was planeshifted onto a different plane and the nightmarish landscape of Rath gave way to the much more placid surroundings of Mercadia. However, the peaceful façade of the plane hid many dark and terrible secrets.
The incidents on Rath had put great stress on the Weatherlight’s engines and it gave way, forcing the ship to make a crash landing near a small farm. As some of the crew disembarked to investigate, they were confronted by Tavoot, the owner of the farm and his son, Atalla. The crew had little time to explain their presence before a band of forest dwelling natives attacked the crew, leaving many dead. In the heat of battle, they used their powerful water magic to carry the ship into the depths of their forest. Still on the ship, was Orim.
The crew was just calculating their losses when a group of Mercadian soldiers, riding on jhovalls, six legged cat-like creatures, surrounded them and accused them of conspiracy. With few options, the crew tried to attack the soldiers with little success and in the end, they were forced to ride to Mercadia City to stand trial. Along the way, Tahngarth noticed that Takara, the young woman they rescued in Rath, was paying extra attention to Gerrard and that each day, he seemed to slip further under her yoke.
The long expanse of desert was quickly crossed due to Mercadian magic and eventually, the company arrived in Mercadia City. There, they were presented to the Mercadian Magistrate, the man who ruled Mercadia with an iron fist. Beside him, were several Kyren gobin advisors, who inundated him with their "helpful advice". When a Kyren advisor proposed that the crew should be thrown into jail, Takara lashed out and she grabbed the Kyren and ordered it to fulfil any of Gerrard’s commands. Eventually, they struck a deal. Gerrard would train a group of Mercadian soldiers and lead them to attack the rebels in Rushwood and reclaim the Weatherlight. Meanwhile, a cash reward would be offered to Atalla’s family for their help.
Tahngarth could only watch as Gerrard turned the poorly trained Mercadian army into a well-rounded fighting machine. Days later, Tahngarth was surprised to learn that a group of newly trained soldiers had been sent by the magistrate to attack the rebels. Though repulsed, they had wrecked havoc on the Cho-Arrim rebels and their close defeat inspired the Magistrate to send Gerrard’s squadron. Almost immediately, Tahngarth set off for Rushwood, accompanied by Gerrard, Sisay, Takara, a squadron of soldiers and a group of Caterans, fearsome mercenaries who killed for a price.
Once they set foot in Rushwood, the company found themselves under assault from beasts and nature spirits. Though outnumbered, the company managed to repulse the attack and they continued on towards the heart of the forest. Eventually, the group reached the Cho-Arrim and a full-scale battle broke out between the two factions. The Cho-Arrim were valiant but that did not save many of them from Mercadian swords. Even though they tried to defend the Weatherlight, they defenses were broken when Gerrard ordered the Cateran mercenaries to kill the Cho-Arrim soldiers.
"You lot go on ahead. I'll keep killing them until it sticks."
Moments later, Tahngarth heard Gerrard ordering the soldiers to attack the bloodthirsty Caterans. However, the order fell on deaf ears and the Cateran lord Xcric, charged Gerrard of treason. The crew was clapped in chains and looking back, Tahngarth saw Orim. Behind the crew, was the Weatherlight in tow.
The crewmembers were given execution charges for their crimes, but fortunately, they managed to escape with Atalla’s help. Along the way, Xcric attempted to stop the crew but he was slain in the process. Once again, they landed in front of the Mercadian magistrate to negotiate their release. The Magistrate allowed Sisay, Orim and Hanna to travel to the distant land of Saprazzo to collect the Power Matrix, another piece of the legacy. Meanwhile, Gerrard, Tahngarth and Karn would be incarcerated in a dungeon cell to prevent the three women from escaping after acquiring the Power Matrix from the Saprazzan merfolk. However, Takara, Starke and Squee were allowed to wander the city.
During their incarceration, Tahngarth and Gerrard were often visited by Takara, who brought them wine. It was during that time when he noticed that Gerrard and Takara were getting closer each day as they compared their hatred of Volrath. Unknown to him, Karn started to take note of the innumerable flaws in Takara’s stories. Nevertheless, Gerrard still took to Takara as a growing source of comfort.
However, rage and tension in the small cell soon reached extreme levels and it was only a matter of time before Tahngarth started to get into brawls with Gerrard. A brawl was starting to get out of hand when Karn managed to calm the two, claiming that Takara’s wine was the reason behind their rising anger. Soon, Karn had convinced them to distrust Takara and turn to Squee as a more reliable source of information for the outside world. During that time, the simpleminded goblin had been embraced as one of the Kyren kindred and he was appointed as general. As a result, he had free access to the many locales of Mercadia City.
"General?! General nuisance, maybe."
Eventually, Tahngarth and his friends broke out of prison during a thunderstorm and they were reunited with the other crew of the Weatherlight. The crew also met with the two great leaders of the Mercadian resistance, Cho Manno, leader of the Cho-Arrim rebels, and Lahaime, leader of the Ramosians. After a brief discussion, the crew decided to split up again with Gerrard, Tahngarth and Sisay venturing into Deepwood forest to recover the bones of Ramos, five legacy artifacts rumored to be guarded by dryads. Meanwhile, Hanna, Squee and Karn would stay in the city while Orim, Cho-Manno and Lahaime would prepare for a mass rebellion that would take place under the cover of a thunderstorm.
Tahngarth and company managed to sneak out of Mercadia City via means of Cho-Arrim magic. Just as they were about to set off for Deepwood, the ever-eager Takara joined them, claiming that her father, Starke was slain by assassins. With great reluctance, they took her along. Once the group reached the outskirts of Deepwood, they were assailed by the zombie guardians of the forest. However, the zombies were no match for the superior strength and Benalish combat tactics of Gerrard and they were easily destroyed.
The crew eventually arrived at the Tomb of Ramos and they were once again under attack from forest spirits. This time, it was the Dryads who guarded Ramos, a magical dragon that formed the figurehead of the three Mercadian race’s religions. After a while Gerrard formed a truce with the dryads and he was allowed to speak with the spirit Ramos. When Gerrard reemerged from the ancient tomb, he held in his hands, the five pieces of the legacy that formed the Bones of Ramos. Tahngarth’s mind was filled with ecstatic thoughts, knowing that the next day, they would return to Mercadia City in success and reclaim the Weatherlight.
However, disaster struck during the night and Tahngarth was awakened the next morning to be told that the bones of Ramos were gone, along with Takara. Furious, Tahngarth and the crew embarked on a fierce pursuit for the thief, which lead them deep into the Mercadian mountain ranges. Along the way, they discovered Squee’s ring on the ground, and upon further inspection, they uncovered a large Phyrexian armada in a massive underground hanger. To the crew’s despair, even the smallest of the Phyrexian ships was towered over the Weatherlight.
Tahngarth and Gerrard fought their way though swarms of Phyrexians and in front of them, was the Weatherlight, filled to the brim with Phyrexians. Among was a dark figure. It was then that Tahngarth realized the truth; Takara did not escape the stronghold. Instead, it was a much darker figure that joined them. The figure who had brought decades of oppression and darkness onto Rath. A figure who stole the legacy twice, a figure who was the subject of countless nightmares, and what’s more, the figure who twisted him into the monstrosity he is now; Volrath.
Tahngarth watched as Gerrard engaged the hated evincar in mortal combat. The two looked as though they were evenly matched, but in the end, Gerrard emerged as the victor. However, Volrath’s apparent death did nothing to deter the dozens of Phyrexians aboard the ship, who hurled themselves at the remainder of the Weatherlight crew. For a moment, it seemed that all was lost and the crew would perish at the hands of the Phyrexians, but destiny had strange ways. Squee, who miraculously survived the Phyrexian claws, jumped onto one of Weatherlight’s new Phyrexian ray cannon stations and he obliterated the Phyrexians with a well-aimed shot.
The crew once again boarded the Weatherlight, where they discovered Hanna and Karn, who had incorporated the Power Matrix and the Bones of Ramos into the Weatherlight’s system. Before leaving the hanger, the crew ensured the Phyrexian ships were all destroyed with the ray cannons so they could no longer be used in the upcoming invasion of Dominaria.
The Weatherlight soared into the sky, but its woes on Mercadia were, by no means, over yet. From the flaming ruins of the hanger, Volrath’s personal vessel, The Recreant, took to the skies. Volrath wasn’t dead and he would not give up without a final fight. The Recreant was much larger and better armed than the Weatherlight, and it was only through the accuracy of Squee’s aim with the ray cannons did the Weatherlight destroy the larger ship. The Recreant dropped from the skies in flames and Tahngarth thought Volrath was finally dead.
Then the majestic mechanical form of Ramos, the great dragon engine, appeared from the forests of Deepwood, and, it was the ultimate symbol of faith for the Cho-Arrim people. Ramos promised to guard Mercadia against future threats. With a final farewell, the crew embarked the Weatherlight and they began their journey back to Dominaria. With Mercadia cleansed of Phyrexian taint, Tahngarth wondered how hi native homeland of Talruum would fare against the upcoming invasion.
The Weatherlight appeared over the skies of Benalia, the first front for the Phyrexian Invasion, moments before the Phyrexian Invasion commenced. The crew had mere seconds to rest before the first Phyrexian portals started to open and dozens of plague ships spewed forth like an unstoppable tide of corruption. The invasion had truly begun and each front would be a heated battle for survival. The Weatherlight skimmed around the much larger ships and with its ray cannons, destroyed the first few ships that emerged from the portals. However, the destruction of a few ships were of no significance to the Phyrexian fleet and for each ship destroyed, more came out of the portal.
Like the moggs of Rath, the ships continued to come and with great reluctance, Sisay had to fly the Weatherlight into one of the portals to shut down its generators. Once again, the lightning skies and nightmarish landscape of Rath met Tahngarth’s eyes but another sight caused him great distress. In the distant skies, hundreds and thousands of Phyrexian cruisers and plague ships filled the skies, ready to be transported to Dominaria, where they would form phase one of Yawgmoth’s grand invasion plans.
Evading the plasma cannon shots, the Weatherlight had little choice but to return to Dominaria, where it would hopefully delay the first wave before it was too late. Thanks to Squee’s ray cannon, the Weatherlight managed to destroy two of the three portals before being forced to land for quick repairs.
The Weatherlight landed in Benalia City, where it was apparent that the inhabitants had no clue about the upcoming invasion. As soon as they disembarked, most of the crew were arrested for disturbing the peace and landing a warship in the town square during a time of peace. Despite the crew’s desperate pleas about the Invasion, they were treated a little better than a common thief and it wasn’t long before they were under lock and key.
In the dungeons, there was also a blind seer, who was mistakenly arrested because the Benalish guards thought he was a member of the Weatherlight crew. The seer revealed that he knew about the Phyrexian Invasion and he was eager to help the crew in their struggle against the Phyrexians.
Before long, the Phyrexians arrived and the whole of Benalia was thrown into chaos. Several thousand Phyrexians landed in the city and destroyed the population. Buildings and monuments were burnt and toppled. Hundreds of valiant warriors and knights fell to the Phyrexian claws. Meanwhile, the crew of the Weatherlight could do little but wait for their doom.
To Tahngarth’s annoyance, Squee came up with one of his usually stupid ideas and he attempted to open the door with one of the minotaur’s great horns. Though unsuccessful, Squee managed to squeeze outside and he grabbed the keys so that the door could be opened. Free from idle incarceration, the crew tried to run outside so they could help the war effort. However, by the time they escaped their prison cell, a horde of Phyrexians had already swarmed the building.
Once again, the crew tried to fight past the Phyrexians, but there were too many of them. Severely outnumbered, the prospects of the crew escaping the Phyrexians were grim. Suddenly, the Phyrexians seemed to stop and they stood back to revere the leader of the incursion. Tsabo Tavoc, Phyrexian General, Leader of the Benalish Incursion, had come to personally meet the crew.
Tsabo’s spider-like form was the strangest the crew had seen to date and it seemed as though she had come to personally mock Gerrard for his failure to save Benalia. In the presence of their general, the Phyrexians seemed to fight harder. Just as the crew were about to be overwhelmed by the Phyrexians, the ceiling of the prison collapsed, burying the Phyrexians under piles of dirt and rubble. In the skies, was Karn, aboard the Weatherlight.
No matter how hard they tried, Benalia was a lost front. The once proud walls of the city had been reduced to rubble and the Lord and Lady Capashen had been cruelly impaled on the tall spires of the Capashen Manor. Everywhere, there were only Phyrexians, rubble and the bodies of the slain. Furious at the mass destruction, Tahngarth and Gerrard attempted to take down as many Phyrexians as they could, but to no avail. It was during one of the confrontations that Tsabo leapt on board the flying ship. Eventually, the blind seer knocked her down with one of the ray cannons, but it was obvious to see that without an army, the crew could only watch the devastating scenes unfold. The first of the army was collected from the Atrivak Penal Colony, where the most hardened and fierce of the Benalish criminals were kept. In fear of overloading the ship, several hundreds were left behind, only to be claimed by Phyrexian claws.
Along the way, disaster once again struck the crew, this time the victim was the ship’s navigator Hanna. On the journey from Rath, Hanna was struck by shrapnel from one of the Phyrexian plague bombs. Each day, her condition rapidly deteriorated and there was no cure for the disease. As her condition worsened, Tahngarth noticed Gerrard’s morale fell with her spreading contagion.
The blind seer informed the crew that the next front was the forest of Llanowar, where hundreds of plague bombs were decimating the elvish population. The Weatherlight flew to the elfhame of Staperion, to find the elven king dead. Upon further inspection, the crew found a pathway that lead to the Dreaming Caves. There, among the terrified elves who found had escaped the plague, the crew found Eladarmi, an elf lord Gerrard had befriended on Rath and Multani the Yamivayan Maro-Sorceror, who was once Gerrard’s mentor.
Meanwhile, Orim had noticed the Phyrexians were unaffected by their own plague and she suspected that within their metallic corpses, there was a secret cure for the disease. Almost immediately, she set to work and in a matter of hours, she had developed a cure for the plague. The cure saved thousands of elves, but for Hanna, it was too late. Her condition fell despite all the crew’s efforts, and within a few days, she was dead. Her body was later buried in Kolios, where the crew paid tribute in a quiet funeral.
In the sandy wastes of Kolios, the Phyrexians gathered in their greatest numbers yet seen on Dominaria. Millions of minions streamed from an ancient portal, deep in the caves of Kolios, but they were not unopposed. A strange race of tall, blue-skinned warriors called the Metathran had already engaged the Phyrexians in combat and hundreds of minions had already been destroyed. The Metathran rallied around their two commanders, Agnate and his brother Tahddeous. However, during a recent skirmish, the second Metathran commander, Thaddeus had been captured by the Phyrexians and he was presumed dead. Without two commanders, the Metathran army could not fight, but in the darkest hour, Eladrami proved himself worthy of taking up the second half of the Metathran army.
The Battle of Kolios had truly begun and within the first few hours of combat, the scores were already grim for the coalition. Two Metathran lives were lost for each Phyrexian death and the exchange greatly favored the Phyrexians, whose strength relied on numbers. Enraged at the Phyrexians, Tahngarth and Gerrard fought their way into the caves of Kolios, where they only encountered more Phyrexians.
"Remember me? Now I’ll repay you for my stay on Rath!" Hot with the memories of his torture on Rath, Tahngarth’s rage boiled over the top and he inflicted hundreds of Phyrexian casualties. Eventually, they fought their way down into the depths of Kolios, where Gerrard found the form of Thaddeus, strapped to a metal table with dozens of Phyrexian implants grafted onto his bare flesh. Tahngarth was shocked at the sight of the once proud commander, but he was even more horrified that Gerrard slew the commander to end his misery.
As the two proceeded deeper into the caves, Tahngarth found himself separated from Gerrard by a trapped wall. Despite his best efforts to reach his friend, the wall still remained. Eventually, the rest of the Weatherlight’s crew fought their way down to the room and they managed to break down the wall. Inside, they were horrified to see Tsabo Tavoc dragging the helpless form of Gerrard towards a large portal. All would have been lost had Karn not lashed out at the Phyrexian General, pulling off her legs in the process. The crippled Tsabo was forced to escape through the portal without Gerrard, and closing it in the process. Without their general, the Phyrexians were easily defeated by the Coalition forces. The Coalition had achieved their first great victory!
However, just as the celebrations began, the blind seer silenced the crowd and he cast aside his disguise to reveal the four thousand-year-old planeswalker, Urza. The crowd’s reaction was instantaneous and soon, nearly everybody dropped to their knees in reverence. Through the eyes of Tahngarth, only Gerrard stood as the he defied the planeswalker. Once Gerrard realized that Urza was the source of his pains and sorrows, he threw a tantrum at the planeswalker, branding him as an enemy.
Soon, the celebrations began and the Coalition troops participated in a three-day celebration feast that included drink and some of the worst excesses known to mortals. Standing on guard, were nine massive titan engines designed by Urza. It was during those days that Tahngarth discovered that Volrath, sixth Evincar of Rath was dead and instead, the bloodthirsty Crovax, who managed to survive the harsh trials of Rath, replaced him.
Days later, the Tahngarth’s nightmares finally came true as the very plane of Rath started to overlay Dominaria, bringing millions of Phyrexian reinforcements. The second phase of Yawgmoth’s Invasion was in motion. Churning flowstone covered soil and the very skies took on the purplish hue of Rath. Sleepy soldiers hastily donned their armor and picked up their weapons as they prepared for a desperate last stand.
"Arrggh!!! You called?"
However, Urza always had a different sort of plan and moments before the first wave of Phyrexians clashed against the Coalition ranks, he planeshifted the entire army to the Urborgian front, where the Rathi Stronghold was overlaid. The millions of Phyrexians in Kolios were soon replaced by the hundreds of thousands of minions that appeared in Urborg. Weatherlight and the eight titan engines destroyed thousands of Phyrexians so that the Coalition forces could gain a foothold on the twisted shores of the island. Eventually, the Phyrexian horde was pushed back into Crovax’s ruined estates.
Within the next few days, the Phyrexians began an aerial assault on Coalition forces, using massive dragon engines and cruisers. Weatherlight managed to defend the Coalition forces, using its superior speed and firepower. On one occasion, Tahngarth and Multani were forced to intervene to stop Gerrard from being killed by a massive dragon engine. It was soon after that Tahngarth pieced the puzzle together and he realized that Gerrard’s rash behavior was due to Hanna’s unfortunate death.
Coalition losses were beginning to rise and Tahngarth suggested they fly to his native homeland of Talruum to gather combatants. To his dismay, Tahngarth found out that nearly the whole of Jamurra and parts of Shiv had disappeared, leaving wide expanses of open water where they used to be. Apparently, Jamurra’s longtime planeswalker guardian, Teferi, had phased out the entire continent than allow the inhabitants to perish from Phyrexian monstrosities. Disheartened, the crew landed in the nearby area of Hurloon, only to discover the nation fared little better. Over three-quarters of the minotaur population had been butchered by the Phyrexians and those that survived were in a drugged state, waiting to be compleated in a Phyrexian lab.
Infuriated, the crew of the Weatherlight destroyed the labs and freed the minotaurs. Thanks to Orim’s remedies, the minotaurs quickly regained their consciousness. Spurred on by their leader, Commander Gizzlegom, the minotaurs vowed to avenge their slain kindred by fighting at Urborg.
The Weatherlight and its load of new recruits arrived at Urborg to see that the Coalition forces had withstood the numerous Phyrexian attacks and they were making easy work of the Phyrexians. However, things were not as they seemed and upon further inspection, the crew discovered the Coalition forces had only coped so well because metathran commander Agnate had allied himself to Lord Dralnu, a local necromancer. Gizzlegom was horrified and he demanded that ties to the necromancer should be cut immediately. Agnate refused, claiming the battle would not be won without Dralnu’s help. Meanwhile, Multani had used a great proportion of his energy to transfer a part of Yamivaya into Urborg. Soon, the Phyrexians had to stand against both the Coalition forces, and the forest denizens of Yamivaya.
"Nothing ruins your day like a blazing zombie."
Once again, the Weatherlight took to the skies of Urborg and its presence bolstered the morale of the Coalition troops. For weeks, the Coalition forces battled Phyrexians in the fetid swamplands of Urborg. On one occasion, the Weatherlight launched a stalwart offensive on the Stronghold, taking down numerous Phyrexian battleships. The crew had barely rested before the dark presence of the Predator once again, loomed into view. Though Weatherlight had received a considerable boost since its last time on Rath, the Predator managed to send a large group of Rathi soldiers and Moggs on board. Tahngarth fought off numerous Rathi soldiers, but Squee’s screams brought him to the goblin’s rear gunning station, only to be confronted by his hated nemesis, Commander Greven il-Vec.
Once again, Tahngarth took the opportunity to combat the commander and this time, Tahngarth noticed that Greven was slightly slower since their last confrontation on Rath. Tahngarth fought with all his might against the hated foe and in the end, Tahngarth’s blade landed on Greven’s Phyrexian spinal graft, ending the life of the Rathi commander. In anger, Tahngarth hurled the corpse of Greven from the gunning station. Gerrard rushed over a while later and the two discovered that Squee sustained no injury from Greven’s assault. Just as Gerrard opened his mouth to say something, a pair of clammy hands grabbed the Benalish from behind and within a few moments, Gerrard, Squee and the mysterious stranger disappeared.
As usual, Tahngarth refused to give up and he had no doubt that the mysterious stranger who snatched Gerrard and Squee had worked for the Phyrexians. Before he had an opportunity to report to Sisay, the Weatherlight was under attack from dive massive Dragons. Apparently, Rhammidarigaaz, the leader of the Coalition’s dragons, had fallen into evil and he released his four siblings from their eternal prisons to form the near indestructible chain of Primevals.
Somehow, Darigaaz regained his senses for a moment and the crew saw him plunging into the Stronghold volcano. With Darigaaz gone, the other dragons were weakened and one by one, they were defeated. However, the black Primeval Crosis, did not die without a final struggle and he severely damaged the Weatherlight before dropping to his lair.
The ruined Weatherlight crashed onto a small hill, where it was quickly rushed by Phyrexians. Nearby Coalition forces succeeded in delaying them so that Karn could have time to fix the battered vessel. Meanwhile, Tahngarth, Sisay and a few others managed to infiltrate the Stronghold, where he suspected that Gerrard was being held prisoner. Tahngarth and the crew continued along the familiar pathways of the Stronghold towards the Evincar’s throne room. To his surprise, Gerrard and Squee were safe and well. In Gerrard’s hand, was the severed head of Urza. Nearby, was the corpse of Crovax, his spine detached by Gerrard’s blade.
Several minutes later, Coalition forces broke into the throne room and the group started a last-ditch attempt to escape the Stronghold. Along the way, they were hindered by large contingents of moggs and Rathi soldiers, which blocked their path. The group managed to kill many of the soldiers, but there were still too many of them, but by then, Squee had made another discovery that may threaten all their lives.
"They’re ugly and they’re in my way!"
In a nearby room, a portal had opened and a black mist started to stream from it. All that came in contact with the black mist were instantly slain, only to have their bodies raised as grotesque undead, which moaned profane praises for the dark god of Phyrexia. Soon, the cloud would spread all over Urborg and spill over onto the rest of Dominaria. Tahngarth then realized that was the third and final phase of the Invasion. Yawgmoth himself would break the planar barriers and all of Dominaria would suffer. Frantically, the group started a last minute sprint to the Weatherlight.
It was only when the Weatherlight rose above the Stronghold, did Tahngarth see the devastation over Urborg. Millions of Coalition soldiers had been slain and their corpses would soon be turned into new soldiers for Yawgmoth. As the cloud descended onto Urborg, millions of dead rose from the soil, uttering praises for Yawgmoth. Soon, Dominaria shall be no more, its inhabitants all turned into slaves for the god of screaming metal. Eladamri and Gizzlegom saw the helpless situation and they decided to give up their lives defying Yawgmoth through combat.
That was when the dying Urza revealed his last plan. The Thran crystal aboard the Weatherlight contained the very essences of Serra’s realm. Should the crystal be broken, the souls of millions of angels would stream forth and destroy Yawgmoth. However, the resulting burst of white mana could probably take down half of Dominaria along with Yawgmoth. That was when Karn came up with his suggestion. The Null moon was a powerful artifact that had over nine thousand years of accumulated white mana stored inside its metallic shell. When destroyed, the mana would be instantly released, wiping Yawgmoth from the face of Dominia forever.
The majority of the crew agreed on Karn’s plan and the Weatherlight dragged the Null Moon into black cloud. Though the burst of white mana greatly weakened Yawgmoth, but it took mere seconds for the god to regain his form. Now, instead of raising the dead, the cloud merely disintegrated everything it touched. It seemed to be the end for Dominaria. Nine thousand years worth of white mana did almost nothing to Yawgmoth. It was then that Urza informed the crew that in order to defeat Yawgmoth, the legacy had to be completed.
Tahngarth could only wonder as Gerrard came up to every single one of the crew and told them how they much meant to him. The minotaur watched in curiosity as Gerrard gouged out the two power stone eyes in Urza’s head and implanted them inside Karn. A blinding explosion then consumed everything. In the resulting explosion, Gerrard and the Weatherlight were completely assimilated and Karn’s planeswalker spark flared. The entire island of Urborg was leveled and all Phyrexians on the island were slain. Yawgmoth, god of screaming metal, the ineffable of Phyrexia, the lord of the wastes, was destroyed.
The force of the explosion tossed Tahngarth, Squee, Sisay and Orim clear of the burning ship. Miraculously, they escaped the destruction with little injuries. As they gazed up into the sky, they could see the last of Gerrard’s sacrifice chasing down the last wisps of Yawgmoth’s cloud. The Phyrexian Invasion was finally over.
The next year, the remnants of the crew and the Coalition held a memorial service for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Invasion. The location was later the site of a massive memorial built in honor to those who fought in the Invasion.
Tahngarth’s war efforts won him the hearts of Dominarians, worldwide. History books and historians would later name him as one of the great defenders of Dominaria during times of darkness and strife. Throughout the Invasion, his headstrong attitudes and courage earned him the respect of Dominarians before the war was even over. After the apocalypse, we could only assume that he lived out the rest of his days in fame and glory, a fitting fate for one of the greatest heroes in Dominarian history.
Honor the brave who fought