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Magic the Gathering: Sezax of Utvara

Září 22, 2009

Deed in an ancient forest appeared a girl. Actually…it wasn’t a typical forest. And the visitor just looked as a girl. Under branches of giant trees waited dark water prepared to swallow not enough careful visitors from above so this place was something between salt marsh and flooded jungle.

The she-creature was standing on floating rotting remains of a dead tree when two strange creatures appeared. They looked like female elves, except for a fact that they possessed strange kind of wings.

“Liliana Vess?” asked the creatures. Their voices were melodic and beautiful. The female planeswalker also sensed some amount of blue mana in them despite their obvious elven origin. They reminded her of now all but extinct elven biomancers of Simic Combine back on Ravnica.

“That’s me,” nodded planeswalker. “Where is your master?”

“He is waiting for you in his palace, mighty one. We are supposed to escort you to the Pit of Shadow from where you shall be teleported.” answered the flying creatures.

Liliana found this whole place incredibly disturbing. It wasn’t just those slimy predators in the water, the giant serpents among branches of rotting trees or omnipresent ruins. No. She could deal with these wretched creatures easily and the sight of destruction always pleased her wicked heart.

It was the very nature of this place. Local ecosystem was both in perverted balance and amusing disharmony at the same time. As a powerful mage she could sense only huge amount of black, blue and green mana here, which was something very unusual when it came to “natural” environments.

“What is this place?” asked Liana. All she knew was that she is on some small island on Dominara.

“This island has no name. It is all what remains of once lush forests of Argoth, which were destroyed during the Brothers` War.”

“Urza and Mishra?!,” gasped Liliana. The Brothers of old were one of the few creatures for which she had some respect.

“Legends of our people claim they visited Argoth personally,” replied elven creature.

“So your people are native to this land?”

“Not exactly…,” hesitated the one with dark blue wings.”In the time of Urza there were just ordinary elves on Argoth. But the Brothers` War caused an event called Ice Age. The remaining elves fought hard to survive.”

“And then came the Phyrexians,” continued the second one. “Vast amount of Aether energy hit many regions on Dominaria including this island. Thus our elven ancestors mutated into something more. We are called Gaea`s Skyfolk.”

 Liliana Vess just nodded. Sezax of Utvara was always obsessed with Aether and its effects on life. No wonder he found these creatures so exciting. Their presence could be the sole reason for living on this island.

“Tell me, minions, how does your master keep red and white mana away from this island?”

“We do not know, mighty one. We have no knowledge of arcane arts,”

Suddenly a huge complex of ruins appeared among dying trees. The stones were overgrown with vile plants typical for local swamp-like area. Both skymaidens flew away and much darker creatures approached the planeswalker.

They were beautiful white-haired women clothed in heavy black robes. Black mana and vile magic of flowstones surrounded these spellhapers as they surrounded her.

“We are the Brides of Sezax, the mistresses of death. We shall escort you to the teleport, holy one,” said the oldest.

These vile women were obviously obsessed with raw dark power seeping from this wicked planeswalker. Liliana realized she could easily convert these mean creatures. Their necromancy could be very useful…

They led her to a cleft in the middle of overgrown ruins and deep down to the underworld.

Lilliana was obsessed with this place. Local flooded ruins reminded her of underground dungeons of the former House Dimir. Everywhere around moved shifting shadows. Most mortals would not even notice these events, but Liliana, mistress of Dark Arts, immediately recognized them as legendary Shadowmage infiltrators. Just a fact that Sezax could call upon these fearsome mages amused her. He could indeed help her…

 There had to be at least dozen of them and they carefully were carefully watching passing priestesses. Some of them whispered from time to time:”Undertakers.”

Lilian supposed that “undertakers” was a pejorative name for her companions. Shadowmages and Undertakers were probably rivals, which was natural of course.

“How does Sezax get rid of white and red mana?” asked she again.

“He doesn`t. He lives in a center of this island, where all five colors of mana can be found. His City of Brass is surrounded by desert, where he through special magic accumulates all white and red mana creating thus unpenetrable barricade around his home,”

“Unpenetrable?”

“That small desert is literally soaked in white and red mana, thus creating a field of incredible heat. He changed island this way as soon as he arrived. We believe he is afraid that someone might follow him here…someone powerful and angry…,” continued the oldest Undertaker with a quick glance at Liliana.

“Don’t look at me. Sezax is my old ally. I have no idea who could he be afraid of.”

Finally arriving to the teleporting device, Liliana stepped towards the portal. Magic gripped her firmly and she felt herself being cast across half of the island. As an experienced planeswalker she felt completely fine and confident while she stepped out of the energy into Sezax`s City of Brass.

Above her head flied dozen birds of paradise and she had to admit she was quite impressed by Sezax`s brass mansion.  This place was not only filled with mana. It was luxurious and safe.

Sezax of Utvara, one of few mortals she could call an ally, stepped into her view. He had changed a lot. His magic had changed him a lot. More than even she dared to guess.

She met him as a mere human boy, who was born into quite rich family from Utvara on Ravnica. He soon became an excellent biomancer of Simic Combine. They had lot in common.

They both possessed planeswalker spark and they were both afraid of aging and death. They both believed only black mana can provide absolute immortality.

While she turned to demonical sorcery, necromancy and dealings with demons, he tried to create new kind of magic which would fulfill his desires.

Secretly, behind backs of other biomancers, he contacted Savra. Savra had a title of Matka, which meant she was a queen of Devkarin dark elves and possessed mighty shamanistic powers. These specific abilities resembled both druidism and necromancy at the same time.

She told him about her allegiance to Szadek, guildmaster of the House Dimir. Together these two villains hoped to take control of all guilds of Ravnica.

Sezax cared little about these things for he all he wanted was to master magical lore of three guilds: Simic, Dimir and Golgari.

He almost completed creation of this new unique magic when plans of both Savra and Szadek failed. Hunted by new government of Ravnica Sezax had to use his planeswalker spark in order to escape.

That was the last time she heard of him. Until recently…

“Nice to see you, lady Liliana. You look more beautiful and young than ever.”

He had really changed a lot. His voice was a voice of wraith. He barely resembled human now. His skin was even paler than before, he possessed vampire fangs, his hair was white as snow, but most terrifying were his eyes.

When you looked into burning eyes of Liliana Vess, you were just scared, but gaze of this creature made you feel confused, uncertain and fascinated. At first sight they seemed utterly black, but if you looked deeper you suddenly saw emerald spark filled with…

Taking control over herself she finally answered:”So do you, Sezax. I like your palace. It looks safe, useful and comfortable,”

Offering her his arm he led her to his library. She was fascinated. There were tomes of ancient liches from Urbog, spellbooks from Tolaria, scrolls about Fae Queen Oona of Lorwyn and much more.

There was also a huge table covered with books and mysterious artifacts. In the center Liana saw a little box with a symbol of green mana.

“What is this?”
“These are remains of Titania. She was a Maro-Sorceress just like legendary Multani. She was killed during Brothers` War, but her corpse was preserved thanks to local elven druids,”

“Hm. So you hope to obtain immortality by studying her?”asked Lilian while carefully eying the box.

“Well there are many ways to prolong life. I hope to find a way how through biomancery  become a hybrid between Maro-Sorcerer and Fae King. Until then I experiment with necromancery and vampiric blood,”

Liliana Vess seemed little tense. Perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to come here. Technically he had no reason to help her. And despite having the same boyish face as before, there was old and sharp mind behind those disturbing eyes.

In the end she just said:”I have an offer,”

BGU CONTROL

….

Undertakers were summoning black mana, demonic carrions were feasting upon bloody bones and both planeswalkers were nervously watching them. Liliana looked at her fair-weather-ally again and then whispered: ,,You remind me of Sorin Markov,“

„Who?“ answered the pale boy-looking creature.

,,Never mind,“ sighed Vess and looked around.

They were in dark ruined temple, surrounded by bones older then some worlds. Huge deep pit filled with purple fire was whispering to them, trying to lure them closer. They know what fate would await them if they would be seduced and so they decided to stay away sending there their fellow spellshapers instead.

Around forty Undertakers, beautiful human girls, cried vile praises while channeling their dark spell. Finally a cloud of void-like energy rose up from the cleft and  huge tome appeared on the ancient pedestal before the pit. Liliana gasped in enjoyment and raised the book towards the buring sky.

,,Its it! Its it!“ cried the mad witch and began with searching for the page which would save her beauty and soul.

,,I am happy for you, but I have still no idea where we are and how are we gonna get back on Argoth,“ noted Sezax of Utvara.

,,We are on Ashtok, the homeworld of demons. Where else could the Tales of the Forgotten Ones be?“said Liliana Vess while caressing the book.

Then a terrible roar echoed across whole Valley of Shadows. Countless cultists, demons and undead ran into the temple and started to slaughter the Undertakes. Then a leader of this assault appeared next to Liliana and trided to cut her head off. She was Lyzolda, the new Blood Witch of Rakdos Cult. Liliana wanted to punish this puny creature for her insolence, when a powerful red lightning hit her.

Sezax spotted a tall creature in a red hood casting another spell. Such powerful individual had to be a planeswalker. Rakdos was obviously not as weak as Teysa Karlov of Ravnica thought. And Lyzolda had to pay a terrible price to ally herself with this creature.

Vampire-looking planeswalker decided to help his Undertakers, who were being torn apart by furious Rakdos, when he realised that Rakdos planeswalker was channeling to much mana. Then it happenned. Huge amount of crimson and ebony energy materialized into Rakdos the Defiler, the demon-god.

Sezax was lucky to have his specific magic art, which allowed him to cast very different spells at the same time. While summoning shadowmages as a support for his dying spellshapers, he simply waved his hand in order to quickly unsummon the demon-god

Rakdos summoner hissed in fury, cause all his great effort was ruined just by the simpliest blue spell ever discovered by Tolarian Academy. Meanwhile Liliana and Lyzolda still fought like cats over the book. Lyzolda knew she was no planeswalker like her rival so she decided to dont give any chance to Vess to cast any of her spells. But she was still no match for Liliana, without planeswalker-spark she was no true danger.

Liliana finally casted bolt of purple light into a face of the Blood Witch when the Rakdos planeswalker managed to summon his demon-god for a second time. Sezax did not wait and raised his long pale bony finger towards wounded Lyzolda. Blood Witch cried in terror as her flesh began to rot away. It was a spell of Matkas, necromantic matriarchs of Devkarin dark elves and Liliana had to admitt she was impressed by its power.

Sezax then used all his remaining mana to cummulate a huge quantity of black and green energy in order to summon his favourite pet. Vess has mistaken it for a demon at first. It was huge, brown skinned, with big black curled horns and giant fists. Impressive organ in a middle of its chest was leaking of spririts, but demons were rarely associated with green mana.

No. It was the legendary Spiritmonger, one of the most terrible creations of Phyreaxian invasion. It was not technically a demon, but it was powerful enough to chalenge Rakdos the Defiler. Both titans clashed in a middle of the temple, crushing surviving warriors under them.

Rakdos planeswalker seemed exhausted after summoning his triumph for a second time, but Liliana gave him no time to rest. She casted awful curse upon him and began listing in her book in oder to find the right spell how to get out of here.

Sezax was coughing blood, it was an unwanted effect of using black, green and blue mana at the same time. His magical lore was not perfect. Despite being so powerful and versatile it hurted his own body.

She listed through biographies of demons like Kuro the Pitlord, Malfegor and Gix when she finally found what she sought. Liliana Vess grabbed Sezax and casted her spell just as Rakdos teh Defiler crushed a skull of the Spiritmonger.

Gorgon_Recluse_640

Sezax finally stopped caughing blood, when Liliana decided to leave. With book in her hands she had no reason to stay here. With a sigh she gave Sezax silver box wrapped in iron.

„There: the cells of Momir Vig, Savra and Szadek. And here is a copy of the book, but I removed two pages, which would allow you to follow me,“

„Since when are you so honest and straight?“ laughed Sezax. He took the box with the remains of his former allies from her hands and then started to bleed again.

As soon as demonical sorceresses left, two dark creatures emerged from the shadows of his brass library. Ludmilla of the Sisters of teh Stone Death and Visara the Dreadful came to their wounded master just as he rose up. Ludmilla took the box and left without a word. She knew what she was suppossed to do. On Argoth resided countless elven refugees exiled from all planes of the Multiuniverse including the shamanistic guildmages of Golgari Swarm. These Devkarin elves will easily bring these three wicked guildmasters back to life. Gorgon had no idea why would her new master want to have these treachearous creatures back and she did not care.

Visara did not like her medusae comrade. When it came to watching over plans of her master she was very jealous. His unique magic, strange combination of different arcane arts, was obviously damaging his body with its unnatural structure. The planeswalker took of his dreadful hood reaveling thus his boyish face. For whole Argoth he was scary ancient warlock, for his loyal gorgon he was but a weak boy who needed protection.

„We need to go, master. Ana wants to see you,“

Ana was waiting for him in the middle of one of many swamps on Argoth. She too looked like mere girl, but this creature was incredibly old. When Sezax escaped from Ravnica, he was desperately trying to fuse magic of necrosages, biomancers and matkas. Then he met her. Ana was incredibly ancient witch. Sezax admired her so much. She taught him so much. If only Liliana knew how easy it was to be eternaly young, she would not have to make those mad deals with demons.

Without a word Ana grabbed his arm and planeswalked instantly. They appeared on a strange place full of Karys, energy very rare across the Multiuniverse, which could be prepared in laboratory by mixing black, green and blue mana. They were in strange flooded rainforest, which was full of life and death at the same time. She led him to a great cavern before them.

„I was once an archdruid of Dominaria you know,“ said Ana.“Perhaps you read about me. I was called Greensleeves, I had brothers Keldon and Gal. When Phyrexians attacked I was desperate. Then I planeswalked here. Here, where it all began. Here the life first appeared, here it first evolved, from here it expanded to rest of the universe,“

Then they suddenly stood before the cave. There were two huge stubs, two huge corpses of two titanic decaying corpses of ancient trees. These two living fungal shamblers moved aside and Ana caressed cheek od apprentice.

„HereI learned that, what we call the Sad Truth. Now you are about to learn it too. Make your choice, boy. If you go inside you learn about this sad secret. You will become one of us, one of the the Keepers of the Misunderstood. You will gain magic you sought so hard, the immortality you have done so much for. I made my choice once. As an archdruid with shamanistic, arcane and necromantic powers I became a powerful enemy of the Phyrexians. On Urbog they all feared me. Lichlord Dralnu called me Ana. I saw the fall of Yawgmoth. I saw much, I experienced a lot. But it hurts to learn the truth. Choose your destiny, Sezax of Utvara.“

And he chose. He entered. Inside was one of the oldest beings, the Elder Dragon- Vorosh the Hunter. Under him was a pool of black liquid. Sezax took of his clothes and came into the freezing pool. Obsidian water surronded him. Thus he learned. There was no fire, no light. Only Karys. There was a balance of five colors when it came to the universe, but not when it came to life and truth. Truth was sad, meaningless, scary. White and red mana gave things purpouse, but a false one, the only one.

Life and all his history was iniciated by incredibly stupid coincidence and nothing more. Now he understood. Now he knew. Now he was immortal, one of the few planeswalkers who learned the Sad Truth. Now he was Sezax of Utvara, the Keeper of the Misuderstood…

vorosh

BGU Control: ( MTG Extended Deck )

Lands>

4x Overgrown tomb

4x Watery Grave

4x City of Brass

4X Yavimaya Coast

4X Gilt-Leaf Palace

Creatures>

4x Birds of Paradise

4x Llanowar Elves

4x Mystic Snake

4x Shadowmage infiltrator

4x Gaes’s Skyfolk

1x Vorosh, the Hunter

1x Fungal Shambler

1x Spiritmonger

1x Visara the dreadful

Instants>

4x Mana leak

4x Putrefy

4x Giant growth

4x Unsummon

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