The destruction of Kruphix’s sanctum echoed across Nyx. When the twin world-trees fell into the abyss, Thassa took note from the depths of the ocean, Nylea raised her head from her hidden glade, and even Erebos felt the tremors deep in the underworld. In the fiery caverns deep underneath Mt. Velus, Purphoros faltered, his hammer held over his head.

He’d been forging an automaton when the black forgetfulness overwhelmed him, rising up like a tide that sapped his will to continue. In a rage he’d taken his hammer Akmon to the anvil and battered it for hours, reducing the thrice-hardened iron to a dented and paper-thin sheet. His great chest heaved, and he blinked stinging rivulets of copper out of his eyes.

Purphoros didn’t know what made him pause. Something felt different, but the certainty vanished like a fresh breeze in the sweltering forge. Whatever it was, it wasn’t his concern. With a deep grunt he tossed Akmon aside. The star-infused hammer clanged off the anvil and tumbled to a stop on the forge’s rocky floor. He slumped against the wall and glowered at the celestial sledge. It was a master’s tool he no longer deserved, merely the weapon of a feral brute in his hands.

The hammer taunted him with its very existence, yet even at the peak of his rage Purphoros could not bear to cast it into the fires. It was his one reminder of the days before Kruphix sealed his memories, made with secret techniques that he no longer . . .

Purphoros’s eyes widened.

For the first time in an age, he remembered the secrets of the forge.

In the swirling lights that lit the hammer’s underside he saw its creation, how he’d pierced the mountain’s heart and drawn forth its fiery blood, how he’d drawn the essence of Nyx down to the mountainpeak on a moonless night and mixed it with the molten ore, tempered with his own blood and hardened in the fury of a thunderstorm. He saw it all, countless projects across the ages, wonders unimagined until he’d drawn them from the blood of the world and made them real. And for the first time since he’d drawn the Sword of Chaos against Heliod, he remembered not just the wonders he’d made, but how he’d made them.

Purphoros plunged his hands into the fires of his forge and drew out the molten remains of a chariot he’d scrapped that morning. The molten bronze pooled in his cupped hands, slowly crystallizing into a lump of metal the size of a small boulder. When it was cherry-red he placed the metal on the remains of his anvil and took up his hammer, channeling the essence of Nyx into it with every blow of Akmon.

The metal came alive as he worked it, suggesting forms and functions to fulfill its potential. He seized upon one and set to work. First he built a small but thick cage around a core of the Nyxian stars. Next came the skeleton, a series of thin struts articulated with delightfully complex joints and countless recessed pockmarks and eyeholes for bronze feathers and iron springs to attach to. Muscling and feathering the automaton went by in a blur of frenzied work with his smallest tools. He lost himself in the work, until finally its wickedly hooked beak snapped into place and he breathed life into it.

The hawk opened its beak and let out a piercing cry. It turned its beady eyes back to look at its creator. Then it leapt from Purphoros’s hands, wings pumping furiously as it sped towards the cave’s mouth.

Purphoros threw his mighty head back and let out a cry that shook the mountain, bellowing his victory to gods and mortals alike. He could forge, and he would embrace oblivion before he let anyone take that from him again.

That sparked a thought, a loathsome thought that soured his unbridled joy. Again. Heliod had stolen the Sword of Chaos and warped it. He’d even defiled its name, branding it the Godsend. Rage boiled in Purphoros’s gut, and he stalked back to the forge. His brother’s spear was the most dangerous weapon in all of Theros. But Purphoros had been the one who made it. And now, he could make another.


The pull vanished, taking Elspeth by surprise. One moment the invisible force was there. The next it was simply gone.

Pavios noticed her shock first and clicked his tongue against his teeth to attract the attention of the two planeswalkers. “Something’s wrong.”

Gideon jogged over from the small campfire. He was careful to keep the sunspear pointed away from Elspeth. Whether he did so out of courtesy for her or to keep the point from flaring and giving them away she couldn’t say. “What is it?”

Elspeth waited until the pyromancer ambled over, pear juice dripping from her chin. “When Erebos blessed me he made sure I’d be able to find my quarry. Ever since I returned to the world of the living, I’ve felt . . . a pull, tugging my heart towards the demon.”

“You know where Ob Nixilis is?” Gideon blinked. “Why didn’t you bring this up before?”

“Knew,” she corrected with a grimace. “It went haywire the morning before we met, flickering and changing directions at random. I was hoping it would even out over the past two days, but now it’s just gone.”

The lines around his mouth deepened. “You think he left the plane?”

“Not sure,” she said. “I’m worried that something is interfering with Erebos’s blessing.”

“That does make sense.” Gideon grimaced. “He’s clearly working on something important here, I don’t think he’d just leave.”

“That has to be it though, right?” Pavios said. “Erebos is a god. There’s no way a demon could trick his magic. Is there?”

“Another god might be able to interfere.” Gideon favored the young mage with a faint smile. “One of my favorite legends growing up was the tale of Achelois, who struck a deal with Thassa to pass unseen across the waves. The blessing worked so well that it hid her from pirates, kraken, tritons, and finally from death itself when her ship sank and she was lost at sea. Unable to pass on, she cursed Thassa for betraying her and was transformed into the first siren.” He clapped Pavios on the shoulder.  “But no, I don’t think he could hoodwink Erebos on his own.”

The pyromancer swallowed noisily. Chandra, Elspeth reminded herself. Her name is Chandra. “Maybe he ran. He got the heck outta Zendikar when I toasted him.”

Elspeth stepped back and watched the other planeswalkers work in wonder. At first, they had seemed like an odd and haphazard team. Chandra often acted like a capricious child, while Gideon was hopelessly idealistic. Elspeth had openly scoffed when he told her about the Gatewatch, their ragtag alliance holding back the tide of planar catastrophe.

But as they rattled ideas back and forth she realized that they knew what they were doing. Neither was confident enough in their abilities to try tracking the demon’s Aether trail without getting ambushed—You can do that?—but found other options more hopeful. Most of it went so far over her head that they might as well have been speaking another language. She gave up on following the details when Chandra brought up using a binding glyph to trap the next planeswalker that entered Theros.

Ajani always said you could do better. She shook her head sadly. I never realized how badly I was neglecting my abilities. What can I even do without Erebos’s blessing? Am I so worthless that my best hope is to sit and wait for Ob Nixilis’s return?

A small hand on her shoulder interrupted her thoughts. Pavios stood before her, concern showing in his deep brown eyes. Gideon and Chandra were talking quietly by the edge of the campsite. Someone had packed everything up and extinguished the fire. When did they do that?

“I’m fine.” She nodded her thanks to the young man and signaled the two planeswalkers that she was ready to go. Until the pull returned, following them was the same as any other path.

They set off through the forest. Pavios and Chandra lagged behind Elspeth, brief flashes of heat at her back marking the pyromancer’s attempts to teach Pavios her craft. Elspeth trailed just behind Gideon, his broad shoulders dipping periodically to avoid branches that she walked under without bending.

The sun was high in the sky when the dense trees began to thin out. The forest gave way to rocky and broken scrubland, the few trees that remained little more than stunted saplings.

“This Gatewatch.” Her voice wheezed as she scrabbled up a rocky outcrop. “Tell me about it.”

Gideon glanced back before returning his gaze to the treacherous ground. “We keep tabs on extraplanar threats. Mostly that means other planeswalkers, but there’s a few exceptions. If it gets to the point where they’re putting the safety of a plane in jeopardy, we step in.”

He made it sound so simple. “You can’t win,” Elspeth snapped. “There’s too much evil out there to stop it all.”

“Well, yes.” She couldn’t see his face, but he sounded more confused than anything else. “I’m not trying to say we fix everything, far from it. I think of us more as a last line of defense against the threats most people can’t fight.”

“You’ll fail.”

“Yes.” The weight of acceptance in his voice took her breath away. “Sometimes, yes. We fail. Worlds die, cities burn, my friends are killed, and at the very end we’re left in the wreckage wondering what we could’ve done better. But we also succeed. There are planes out there right now that wouldn’t be if we hadn’t acted. That’s worth any amount of pain.”

“Where were you when Bant fell?” Elspeth was surprised by the venom in her voice. “Did Mirrodin not deserve your mercy?”

Gideon stopped abruptly and turned to face her. “What do you know about Phyrexia?”

“Too much.” Her hand drifted over to the old scars on her stomach, the last gift from an Obliterator. “Why do you care?”

“Three of my friends are there now, trying to fight the infection. If there’s anything you can tell me, it might save their lives. And countless others besides them.”

She sucked in a breath. “I’m sorry, but they’re already gone. Phyrexia hollows people out and leaves nothing but hate in its wake. Everyone who fights the infection becomes the infection, sooner or later. Your friends might come back, but they won’t be the same.”

“Maybe not.” He squared his huge shoulders. “Karn warned us of the horrors that waited there. I can barely imagine some of the things he described. But I trust them. They’ve earned that much.”

Elspeth stiffened, rooted in place while Gideon turned and walked on ahead. Why would Karn help them? Even he admitted Mirrodin was beyond saving. If he changed his mind . . . She shook the thoughts from her head and hurried to catch up. “Where are we going? You’ve already said you don’t have a way to track the demon.”

“Tethmos,” Gideon replied. “I’ve never been to the leonin capital before, but it should be about a day’s walk from here. Ajani said he had friends there.”

For the second time in as many minutes Elspeth was struck dumb. Why would Ajani? No, of course he joined the interplanar vigilantes. He probably pounced on the opportunity before they had the chance to ask him. “Is Ajani . . .” Elspeth’s voice cracked and she had to try again. “Is he here?”

Gideon looked back, and in that one glance she saw his stern features soften with understanding. “No. Ajani went with the others to confront Phyrexia. He said that a good friend of his had fought to save Mirrodin, had given everything to turn the tide of corruption. I think he wanted to finish what . . .” He paused, searching her face for something. “What they started.”

A dark pit of numbness formed in Elspeth’s gut. Ajani, you idiot. How many gods must you fight in my name? How many times will you be beaten down before you find peace? I made my choice. Why do you blame yourself? An image welled up in her mind, her friend alone in the darkness, surrounded by Ragers and Revokers that tormented him, their scalpels and claws stabbing and slicing at his paws as he cut them down. As he slowly weakened and collapsed, surrounded by unimaginable horrors. Only memory could be that cruel.

Instinctively, she reached for the spark inside her. She needed to be there, to be by his side. To die by his side, if nothing else. But there was nothing there, just as there had been nothing when she’d tried to follow the demon flight from Theros. Planeswalking was for the living, and she was dead. For the first time her death stirred a flicker of regret in her heart.

“Hey.” Gideon’s huge hand enveloped her shoulder. “I trust Ajani. He wouldn’t have gone if he didn’t think they could prevail. He’s got more sense than the rest of the Gatewatch combined.”

Elspeth shook her head sadly. How naïve.

“Look!” Chandra shouldered past Elspeth. “There’s smoke up ahead.”

She was right. A thin trail of smoke was just visible against the painfully blue sky, rising behind a nearby ridge.

Gideon frowned. “We should be hours from Tethmos.”

“That’s too small for the pride’s fire,” Elspeth muttered.

“Maybe it’s a scout?” Pavios asked. “Or a lone hunter?”

Elspeth shook her head sharply. “Leonin don’t set fires when they’re out hunting. It’s too great a risk.”

“So who is it?” Pavios shaded his eyes

Gideon shrugged.  Elspeth could only do the same.

Chandra snorted and began to trudge up the ridge. “Let’s find out.”

Gideon was the first to get a glimpse over the ridge. Elspeth had to climb another foot past him to overcome the man’s height.

A ruined polis nestled in the hollow below them. It had been a small city, barely a town compared to the majestic sprawl of Meletis. That had been long ago. Now the white stone buildings lay broken and scattered, and the few doors she could see had rotted away in the elements. The thin trail of smoke rose from the center of the ruined city, an eerie sign of life where she knew there should be none.

They descended the hill towards the city as if entranced. As they drew closer, the signs of ruin became even more apparent. Dry, scraggly grasses grew from cracks in the stonework, broken arrows lay on ground, and flecks of long-dried blood still clung to the white stone where the elements had yet to wash them away. As they approached, Elspeth caught her first glimpse of the polisis’ inhabitants. Sunlight glinted off gold jewelry as they shuffled out of the ruined buildings, and her lips pulled back in a silent snarl.

“Returned.” Gideon must have seen them too. He hadn’t reached for his weapon yet, but the sunspear was smoldering as if it yearned to leap from his back and plunge into undead flesh. For once, she agreed with it.

“Zombies?” Chandra’s hands ignited with a low whoosh.

“Not quite,” Pavios said. “Elspeth told me that zombies are just corpses, controlled by a mage like puppets. The Returned are different. They keep the personalities they had in life. But they have no memories, no ability to form connections. It often leads to irrational behavior, but as long as they stay away from civilized lands they’re harmless. I wonder which of the necropolises we’re in?”

“Weird.” Chandra tossed her fireball from hand to hand. “Can ‘ya talk to them for us? You’re working for the death god, and they’re—”

“Abominations,” Elspeth snarled. “The Returned are cursed, forsaken by the living and forsakers of the dead. Only the selfish and the stupid undertake the journey to Return.”

“That’d be a no, then.” Chandra squinted into the shadows. “Should we turn back?”

“No.” Gideon strode forward slowly, locking eyes with the golden masks of the Returned as he went. Those who met his gaze flinched back and scurried away, clearing a path for him. “They’re no threat to us. We go through and leave this place behind us.”

They followed him, Elspeth taking the rear. The Returned emerged from the shadows after they passed, forming an amorphous crowd behind the four trespassers. They came in all shapes and sizes, of every species on Theros and some she hadn’t known called this plane home. Some masks told the tales of heroic deeds, others of rulership, and countless more were simply people, faces forever frozen in masks of joy or agony. An entire life, captured in a single face. They all had the same empty, staring eyes. The forces behind her were too disorganized and dispersed to call them a wall, yet Elspeth couldn’t help but feel that the ranks of undead were forming a barrier, keeping them from turning back.

Tense minutes passed as they scrambled over the ruined skeletons of indistinguishable buildings. The Returned didn’t follow them for long, but for every one that fell away behind them, another emerged from the ruins ahead. They were nearing the center of the necropolis when Gideon held up his hand to stop them. “There’s voices.”

“The Returned don’t speak,” Elspeth replied. “They can’t.”

“Tell that to the voices.” Chandra tilted her head to the side. “We’re going towards them, I think.”

Elspeth shook her head, but she closed her eyes and tried to listen past the clink of Chandra’s mail and the shuffle of undead feet. There was something, a faint murmur on the wind. Just barely enough to hear.

Then the breeze shifted, and the voice rang forth with startling clarity. “Meletis will withstand the tide. I will not allow chaos to take root in my polis.”

Chandra and Gideon exchanged confused glances, but Elspeth rushed past them both and broke into a sprint, her arms pumping. The voice changed suddenly as she ran, taking on a sinister edge as it bellowed. “Blood and Fire! Feast, my minions!”

She emerged into a small courtyard, probably a training ground before saplings had take root. Between the young trees knelt a single Returned, tending a small fire with the same routine detachment as the undead wandering listlessly about the polis. In life he had been a wiry man, muscles hardened from hours on the training grounds. Now he wore a dark tunic instead of armor, his golden mask carved in an expression of frozen agony. Words spilled from the dark slit of his mouth, switching randomly between different voices and inflections.

It took several stunned seconds for her to recognize the voices of the gods, crashing over each other without rhyme or reason.

“No.” Hurried footsteps sounded in her ears as she sank to her knees before the Returned. “Daxos. Why?”

“Sword won’t work, just be—will come again, my children. The storm can’t—For Akros!—a single drop, no more—” And on and on. The man she loved looked through her without seeing, the endless, terrible flood of words still poured from the mouth slit of his mask.

“He promised.” She choked on the words. We had a deal Erebos. My life for his. “He promised me.” Not like this. Anything but this. I was trying to make things better. It can’t. This can’t.

“Elspeth,” Gideon’s voice was cautious. “Who is this?”

“I . . . He’s . . .” There was no way to explain. She’d known him for such a short time, and for her whole life. Friend, teacher, brother, confidant, mentor, lover. Such a small part of her life, and yet so important. “We . . .”

“TRAITOR!” Heliod’s voice boomed through the courtyard, and Daxos leapt upon Gideon. He got his hands around the bigger man’s throat and squeezed. Bands of golden light sprang up underneath the grasping hands, but Daxos clung to him like a limpet and Gideon’s face quickly turned purple. “Cursed is the man who betrays his word. You dare to stand before me as the abomination’s ally?”

“Get him off!” Chandra grabbed Daxos’s hands and, when she wasn’t able to rip him from her friend, resorted to shoving a blazing hand straight into his mask. Gold bubbled and liquefied around her fingers, running in molten rivulets down his torso. He didn’t react at all, and the whole time Gideon’s struggles grew weaker.

“Daxos,” Elspeth whispered, “Listen to me. Daxos please.”

“You will suffer—HELIOD!”

Daxos fell away, unconcerned by the searing brand on his mask or the roaring, fiery voice that had just broken the Sun God’s tirade.

Gideon let out a hacking cough and backed away as if he’d been burned. Daxos made no move to pursue, his rage from a moment ago gone in an instant. The fiery voice spoke again, fury blazing from every word.

“I challenge you, brother. Face me between the pillars.”


When Purphoros rose from his mountaintop home on a column of ash and fire, the land trembled for miles. Deer bounded away from the mountain in droves, while the smaller creatures burrowed into the dirt. Far below, the people of Akros looked up at his ascendant might with open wonder. Some cursed the rebel god, some fell prone and begged forgiveness for their desertion. Still others turned and fled, hoping to escape in case the volcano erupted in earnest.  Purphoros spared them not even a passing glance.

“HELIOD!” he thundered. “I challenge you, brother. Face me between the pillars.”

A blare of unseen trumpets split the heavens, and Heliod appeared. The God of the Sun wore the form of a titanic mortal, as he had ever since claiming Godsend. He clutched it now, the radiant spear held before him like a shield.

“You forget your place, brother.” Pride twisted Heliod’s handsome face into a snarl.  “I am the King of the Gods!”

Seeing his greatest creation reduced to Heliod’s plaything made the rage that festered in his heart boil over.  He hefted Akmon and held his newly crafted shield up.
“Shut up and fight.”

Heliod lunged with murder in his eyes. The blade of Godsend left a jagged tear in the sky between them. Despite himself, Purphoros felt a small glow of pride in his ages-old work. Heliod might have warped it, but his incompetence hadn’t been able to dull that peerless blade. Even the strings of fate were helpless before it. It was a blade forged to end gods, and it hungered for divinity.

The sky shrieked as the spear rent it, and it rang like a gong when Purphoros’s wide shield caught the blade and stopped Heliod’s thrust. The Sun God’s eyes widened. “How?”

“Did you forget who made that blade, brother!?” Purphoros drove forward, forcing the spear up and harmlessly to the side as he drove his iron shoulder into Heliod’s gut. Molten copper flew from his lips as he bellowed. “Or did you think so little of me that I would never better my own creation?”

Purphoros pummeled his sibling, raining down blows with fists and hammer. Heliod could escape at any time, he knew. Instead of transforming into a shower of light his brother clung to the spear and tried to fend Purphoros off one-handed, as if he feared what would happen if he released the Godsend for even an instant.

“Is that the best you can do?” The tip of the spear whistled through Purphoros’s field of view, leaving a jagged arc in the sky and knocking Akmon aside. A large chunk of the hammer’s head flew free and plummeted to the ground far below. Heliod twisted beneath him, throwing Purphoros to the side and rising to his feet. His handsome face was bruised and bloodied, though a second later a shimmer of divinity erased the damage. “You dare challenge me, when the best you can conjure is a shield to hide behind. You’re weak, brother!”

Purphoros snorted. “The last time we fought in earnest, Kruphix stole my power and sealed my memories. Who do you think he’ll pass judgment upon this time, brother?”

“Kruphix is not as strong as he once was.” Heliod’s eyes turned pure, radiant white. “You will bow before me.”

“Make me.” Purphoros hefted his battered hammer.

They fought viciously now, wordless grunts of exertion the only sound as they swung and stabbed, blocked and wrestled. Spear clanged against shield, hammer against spear. Neither god gave ground, all too aware that a single mistake could mean oblivion.

Heliod scored the first blow, as he skipped a slash of Godsend off the edge of Purphoros’s shield and up into the god’s arm. Iron skin parted like paper, and divine stars spewed from the wound. The wide shield fell from nerveless fingers, and Heliod stamped down on it before Purphoros could retrieve it with his other hand.

“You leave me no choice,” Heliod boomed as he raised the spear over his head. “This is Justice.”

He drove Godsend down towards Purphoros’s heart, but the Forge God brought Akmon up in a desperate block. The blade split the head of the hammer in half, and there it caught, its shaft wedged in the massive bronze sledge.

The two gods locked eyes for a moment, then Purphoros seized the spear’s shaft with his injured hand and kicked Heliod away with all the strength in his iron legs.

“Brother, no!” Heliod backed away with wide eyes. “You can’t do this!”

“You stole this from me.” Purphoros inspected the intertwined weapons. Akmon was beyond repair, even for his considerable skills. Godsend was undamaged by the battle, but its blade glittered malevolently. “Twisted it, harassed me with it. Terrorized our family with it. Murdered your own champion with it. No mightier weapon has this world seen.” Purphoros hurled the weapons through one of tears the spear had left in the fabric of Nyx. “Only a monster would use a weapon this cursed.”

“No!” Heliod dove, as if he intended to follow the weapons into the mortal sky.

Purphoros seized his brother and dragged him back from the wound in the sky. Together they watched the weapons streak through the sky and impact inside the crater of Mount Velus far below them. As soon as Godsend touched the flames the volcano erupted, spewing smoke, ash, and lava into the air. The rage in Purphoros’s heart dimmed as he watched the fires consume his forge.

“What have you done?” the boastful arrogance was gone from Heliod’s voice. “You’re nothing without your forge. A god with no domain.”

“I can make another.” Purphoros gripped his shield in both hands and raised it to smite Heliod. “I do not fear change.”

Heliod vanished with a flash of golden light and a wail of despair before the mighty shield could crash down upon him.

Purphoros snorted and cast his shield into the fires after the weapons. Already he could feel the other gods stirring. Even those that hadn’t been watching would hear of what had happened. There would be a reckoning soon, as they all bickered about who would claim Heliod’s throne. He had little enough interest in such matters, but his erstwhile brother was sure to be there in a vain attempt to retain his title.

Without Godsend to cling to, it would go badly. Heliod had been too quick to punish and too harsh with his judgments to have many allies left. No matter what the outcome was, tonight would change Theros for eons to come.


“Treachery!” The sudden exclamation from Daxos startled the stunned foursome. “The Kolophon burns. Akros is under siege.”

The words echoed hollowly in the still courtyard. Elspeth knew she should care about what Daxos—no, what the Gods were saying. He was just a mouthpiece, stripped of everything that had made him special. Everything but the magic he’d hated. Daxos was gone.

She had a vague sense of motion and sound around her, but she couldn’t bring herself to pay attention.

Had she done this? Had her cursed wish done this to him, ripping Daxos from the peace of the underworld while she basked in tranquility? How selfish had she been?


She hadn’t wished for this. She had traded her life for her dearest friend’s, not wished this torment on him. This was a god’s work, and a god’s cruelty. For once in my miserable life, I didn’t cause this.

The thought kindled rage in her heart. She’d trusted Erebos with her wish, the most precious choice she’d ever made. And he’d made it turn to ash without her knowledge. Why?

She laughed, a hoarse cackle that sounded demented even to her ears as it rose and fell, until finally her voice broke and she started coughing furiously, tears streaming down her face.

A firm hand squeezed her shoulder. “Elspeth.”

Gideon. She tried to pull his hand away, only to find that Pavios had been holding her other arm without her realizing it. “Leave me alone.”

“There’s no time.” Something in his voice broke through to her.

She shook her head, trying to claw her way out of the numbness that shackled her heart. It didn’t help, but whatever had the planeswalkers worked up might distract her. “What is it?”

“Ob Nixilis.” For the first time since she’d met the man, he sounded resigned. “He made his move. The demon army just descended on Akros. The city is in flames. And we’re halfway across the plane.”

The wheels of her mind turned slowly. Akros had been Gideon’s home. His Bant. If it fell he would be no different from her, broken and bitter. The gods wouldn’t help, she realized as Daxos rattled off challenge after challenge between the deities. Even Iroas’s voice was drowned out as Mogis ripped his brother away from the city of warriors. Their eyes were elsewhere. They didn’t care.

All except for one.

The God of the Dead was silent, and that meant he might hear their plight. Their only hope was the same monster that had done this to her friend. Could she trust Erebos?

For her own sake? No. She had no trust left. Nothing to fight for. But this wasn’t about her. Her story was over. To protect these idealistic idiots? That was something worth fighting for.

“Erebos,” she choked out. “Your word means nothing to you, I see that now. But you need me. Ob Nixilis is making his move. If anything you said was ever true, then please. Take us to Akros.”

The shadows of the courtyard darkened, swelling until even the midday sun seemed faint and pale. The darkness chilled her, and for the first time that empty void made her breath catch in her throat. Then the blackness swallowed her, and there was only emptiness.

Levi Byrne has been with the game since Worldwake and has a rabid love for fantasy writing that goes back decades. Despite some forays into Legacy he plays Commander almost exclusively, and has a love for the crazy plays and huge games that make Magic what it is. He was the go-to advisor of his playgroup on deck construction for more than five years before joining Dear Azami.

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