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Dominaria’s suffering during the Phyrexian Invasion was planned to the very last detail. The Phyrexian race poured all their effort and spent thousands of years perfecting the invasion plans. Though they suffered numerous setbacks, the first phase of the Invasion was flawlessly executed. However, the years that led up to the invasion had been far from smooth and hundreds of Phyrexians paid the ultimate price to ensure that their cause was continued. Phyrexian praetor and Inner Circle member Gix was slain shortly after completing his Sleeper Agent program. Kerrick the sleeper agent was annihilated by the hated Urza Planeswalker. Hundreds more were lost in the hangers under Mercadia City. These losses only convinced the Phyrexians to increase their ferocity for the upcoming invasion. One of the greatest examples of this kind of Phyrexian fanaticism during the war was General Tsabo Tavoc.
"Whatever Yawgmoth marks, dies. There is no escape."
Like most great evils of Phyrexia, Tsabo’s past is shrouded in mystery. Even to this day, scholars and historians debate on her origins. Some claim that she was once human who succumbed to corrupting powers of Phyrexia, while others argue that she was a product of Yawgmoth’s whim-engineered and modified specifically to lead the first stage of the Invasion. Nevertheless, it was her fearsome spider-like body and calculating sadism that struck terror into the hearts of Coalition soldiers and Phyrexians alike.
Tsabo was appointed the task of commanding the initial stages of the Invasion. For her, it was a great honor to lead the greatest Phyrexian armada ever seen on Dominaria for aeons against the human nation of Benalia. Three portals opened over the skies of the proud nation and hundreds of thousands of Phyrexian ships and cruisers streamed out to attack the unwary land.
"Breathe deep, Dominaria. Breathe deep and die."
Mere moments had passed and the invasion was well underway. Though a few ships had been destroyed by a strange flying vessel in the opening salvos of the invasion, Benalia was near destruction and nothing could stop Tsabo as she strode through the flaming ruins to survey the handiwork of her crack troops. Though her minions were met with slight resistance from the Benalish army, they were quickly overwhelmed by the mighty Phyrexian claws. Those that were still alive were slain. Tsabo felt no remorse. As she stepped on the bodies of the innocents, she could only wonder at what sufferings were abound in a small dungeon cell.
"Death is such an exquisite sensation."
The Phyrexian general entered the building, only to find her kindred gaining the upper hand against a group of sturdy adventurers headed by Gerrard Capashen, the result of over a thousand years worth of genetic meddling and experimentation on behalf of Urza Planeswalker. As Tsabo entered the room, the Phyrexian warriors bowed in reverence for the general. Tsabo smiled as she saw the stunned expression on Gerrard’s face.
Tsabo was well-informed about Gerrard’s origins. She cruelly mocked him for his failure to save his ancestral homeland. Her sadism did not end there. Tsabo intended to murder Gerrard and his crew, knowing that she would be well rewarded by the great Yawgmoth should she deliver unto him the body of the Urza's greatest champion. Just after issuing the order for the group to be killed, the ceiling of the prison collapsed and the proud Phyrexian general was buried under a pile of broken rubble and dirt.
The crushing weight of the rubble should have killed Tsabo, but her great willpower and strength refused to relent before the rock. Eventually she emerged from the rubble. Broken in body and spirit, Tsabo was infuriated to find that Gerrard and his company had escaped the destruction and they were making good their escape on their flying vessel Weatherlight. Tsabo boarded the vessel by leaping onto her deck, combating Gerrard before being stunned by well-aimed blow from the Benalish. She didn’t know what hit her as she was knocked from the deck by a beam of searing energy.
Intent on her revenge for the humiliation that she had suffered, Tsabo waited for another opportunity to board Weatherlight Her opportunity arrived when the ship stopped at a Benalish penal colony to pick up convicts in an effort to recruit hands to stop the Phyrexians. Still, little mattered. Benalia was already in shambles and the black mana stronghold of Urborg was in Phyrexian hands. Soon, the weak nations of Dominaria would bow before the glorious vision of the Ineffable and Tsabo would return to Phyrexia as a war hero.
"Your life was meaningless, but your death will glorify Yawgmoth."
Exalted by those perverted thoughts, Tsabo once again confronted the crew, coming into direct combat with Gerrard-whom she now considered as her archenemy. The two fought for some time before Gerrard gained the upper hand and drove her off with his superior reflexes and combat training. Crushed and defeated for the second time, Tsabo gave up her pursuit of Weatherlight and turned her attentions to the arid wasteland of Koilos, where a permanent portal to Phyrexia allowed her fellow minions to stream out in their millions. Victory was crucial. If Koilos was taken, the Phyrexians would be able to use it as a launching pad for their future strikes across the rest of Dominaria.
Tsabo arrived in Koilos to find it in a state of chaos. Instead of conquering the arid land in a few days, the Phyrexians were ultimately being beaten back by a race of blue skinned men, undoubtedly the products of the meddling Urza’s genetic experiments. Headed by their two commanders, Agnate and Thaddeus, the metathran proved to be formidable warriors. Despite the fact that the Phyrexians managed to destroy many of them, they refused to relent before their claws and machinery.
"Rise, metathran. You shall serve a nobler cause in death. Every last one of you will become my servant. It's a shame you won't live to see the irony."
Eventually, Tsabo devised a cunning plan to trap one or both of the metathran commanders, causing their troops to lose morale and become easy targets for the relentless Phyrexian killing machines. Within days, she had ensnared Thaddeus into her trap and conducted a variety of gruesome experiments with his body. One of those experiments included grafting onto his body a range of Phyrexian implants that barely kept him alive.
"It is Yawgmoth's will incarnate: an efficient machine that replaces inefficient flesh."
Without their commander, the metathran lost their will to fight. Each day, they lost more ground to the Phyrexians. The Phyrexians were also ruthless with their prisoners, sometimes transforming them into mindless slaves or dragging them back to Phyrexia in order to conduct more twisted experiments. Soon, days passed and Tsabo’s spirits lifted as her twisted dreams took one step closer to reality.
However, the tide of battle turned with the arrival of Gerrard and his accursed Weatherlight. Behind the ship followed a strong reinforcement of human and elvish warriors. In addition, the wretched Urza had joined the fray with eight fellow Planeswalkers inside their near-indestructible Titan Engines. Within several hours, the Phyrexians were beaten back to the Caves of Kolios and the Coalition soldiers were reveling in their victory. But Tsabo Tavoc was not beaten yet and she had one last trick up her sleeves before she would concede defeat . . . .
As expected, Gerrard and his minotaur friend charged into the caves, managing to kill hundreds of Phyrexians in their effort to reach the Phyrexian portal. That was not to be tolerated. The devious Phyrexian general used an ingenious device to separate Gerrard from the hulking minotaur. With his companion out of the way, Gerrard became an easy target for Tsabo, who was exalted over his impending doom. As a ruse, she challenged him to battle. In the first moments of the face off, Tsabo used her barbed stinger to infect Gerrard with a potent drug that made him praise Yawgmoth in a delirious state.
"Do you think you can stop me? There's nothing I wouldn't give to achieve victory. Can you say the same?"
Tsabo was about to drag the raving Gerrard into the portal and receive the ultimate gift when the Coalition forces and the crew of Weatherlight broke into the room. She was just about to step into the portal when a large silver golem lashed out at her and tore a few legs off her body. In addition, the Coalition managed to reclaim Gerrard. Tsabo was forced to return to Phyrexia in defeat.
On entering Phyrexia, Tsabo realized that her dreams were gone. Koilos was lost and the first phase of the invasion ended in disaster. Millions of Phyrexians were destroyed and Tsabo failed to bring Gerrard to Yawgmoth. In the eyes of the vat priests, she was little more than a scrap of leftover junk and they treated her accordingly, replacing her once formidable parts with sub-par scrap they scavenged from the Fourth Sphere. With her honour and pride dashed, she was told to report her failings to Crovax, the evincar of Rath.
Tsabo was determined to regain even a scrap of her former dignity. She sought to prove herself to Crovax, Yawgmoth's chief lieutenant. Along the long and arduous journey to the Stronghold, Tsabo witnessed the great planeshift and was reminded of her own failings during the first stage of the invasion. Still intent on her path back to glory, she reported to Crovax, who claimed the true Tsabo Tavoc perished at Kolios. Crovax rebuked her for her failure to save the first invasion force with her own life and the intolerant evincar broke her legs and then started to consume her on order to satiate his unnatural appetite. Like Volrath before her, Tsabo died as another victim to the harsh paragon of Phyrexian order . . . .
"Those who can't survive are of no consequence."