10/10/2012 UR: "In Praise of the Worldsoul, Part 3"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Uncharted Realms, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Kuma is such a bad name for a wolf. Still, I've enjoyed this. Based on the action I'm going to assume next week will be the last part of the story, so I'm looking forward to what should be a show stopping climax.
Kuma is such a bad name for a wolf. Still, I've enjoyed this. Based on the action I'm going to assume next week will be the last part of the story, so I'm looking forward to what should be a show stopping climax.



I think this is the last part, or at least there's no "Next Week: Part 4" note at the end as there was after the previous two parts. Unless that was just an oversight, this is what we have.

Which is a shame if it's true. I was enjoying this story, and I really hope this isn't the last we see of it. I hope we'll at least see more of Ruzi after Gatecrash or Sinker, when we have more of the plot of RtR block to go off of.
Rules Nut Advisor

Which is a shame if it's true. I was enjoying this story, and I really hope this isn't the last we see of it. I hope we'll at least see more of Ruzi after Gatecrash or Sinker, when we have more of the plot of RtR block to go off of.



I hope you are right that they will finish it later. I think she might be waiting until she has some gruul cards to showcase before she completes this storyline. At least that's what I hope.

I'm actually curious how the dryad in the first part of the story knew what was going to happen to Ruzi's sister. Could Selesnya themselves have sent the assasin after their own in order to get rid of Ruzi, who couldn't be killed while within Vitu-Ghazi, and possibly to cause conflict between Rakdos and the Gruul?
My my, who would've thought Green/White was capable of such chaos?

The Gruul are the only sympathetic people, just as it should be.
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What powerful writing.
The mention of (at least some of) the Gruul hearkening to the old gods, and the possibility that the dryads manipulated Ruzi into his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, made me wonder. Could Mat'Selesnya herself be one of the old gods? For more fun, note that the beings associated with primordial Ravnica seem to be associated with Mesopotamian and Hebrew myth (nephilim, lamassu, etc.). And one major character in Mesopotamian lore? Tiamat. Even more fun: The WORLD ITSELF was thought to be formed from Tiamat's body. While it could be a false cognate, since modern Ravnican terms are derived from Slavic, the gears are turning in my head.

Here's my suspicion. At some point in Ravnica's far past, the being who would ultimately become known as Mat'Selesnya decided that she needed to quell her more ferocious brethren, either for the sake of Ravnica's mortal denizens (by quashing anything akin to chaos or discord) or her own glory. Taking advantage of the sylex explosion's result of sealing Ravnica from the rest of Dominia, she helped inculcate the spread of the Ravnican city, steadily trapping the rest of the old gods and thwarting their influence. No idea whether it was her own idea, or she succored the already-commencing spread for her own wishes. But...that's not the end of the plan. As Sundering Growth's flavor text suggests, she expects the sealing city to be steadily (or not-so-steadily) transfigured into forest of varying degrees of wildness, along the lines of recent irruptions like Axebane. Ravnica WILL again be entirely wilds. But only Mat'Selesnya's favored subset of wilds. There will be no place for the kinds of wilds favored by the other old gods, and certainly not anything that could progress or diverge from the wilds. There will be but one god and one way, Mat'Selesnya herself. As she planned long before even Szadek came on the scene.
Excellent story. I was worried Ruzi would kill the child out of anger and use it to enrage the Gruul but if the lies are enough, even better. I feel a little bad for the Gruul being tricked but obviously Masscare Girl needs to be delt with and if the Azorius aren't going to then let it be them.
Great story! It's good to see the Selesnya aren't all peace, love and happiness. Oh, and I hate to be that guy, but...

"But it was not the returning Rakdos. Or Gruul scouts, although he'd been expecting them."
Gruul Scouts? XD Were they selling Gruul Scout cookies? I laughed audibly at work and got a few weird looks...
YESSS!!!!

this is what the gruul are: willing to burn down the whole city to avenge one wronged child.

on a side note, Tiamat is a vast serpent who is slain by Marduk at the beginning of time, thus establishing the preeminance of babylon, who imported marduk as their god. sry. (also, the nature prechy is just a way to bring the wilds into their fold)
Good conclusion. I like the rather ambiguous morality of Ruzi starting a guild war for personal vengeance.

That theory about Mat'Selesnya being one of the Old Gods is... Actually really good. One of the best theories I've heard on these forums.

My my, who would've thought Green/White was capable of such chaos?

The Gruul are the only sympathetic people, just as it should be.

Ruzi's sister ain't sympathetic? Cecilee was the one who saved the infant in the first place, and she showed a remarkable amount of tolerance and compassion as a missionary.
Am I the only one who's really hoping for a wallpaper of Guild Feud's artwork?

Ruzi's sister ain't sympathetic? Cecilee was the one who saved the infant in the first place, and she showed a remarkable amount of tolerance and compassion as a missionary.



Glad sombody else saw it. The Gruul looked after their own (after abandoning it in the first place...)  it's true. The Selesnyans looked after all.

I'm a little confused by the Azorius's actions described here.  I mean they are so focused on legal things that they supposedly make you fill out paperwork to sit by their fountain, but you murder people including their people and they look the other way? Confusing...
@Knight of Serra: I wouldn't say the Azorius are about law for its own sake as about law for the sake of predictability. Hence why a number of them are vulnerable to bribery; they'll take the devil that just revealed its plans over the devil they can't see (e.g. the Orzhov having a plan B if the bribe doesn't go through), if there's no reason to believe there's any third choice. Even beyond bribery and its ilk, the concern for predictability means they're determined to take it (ridiculously) slow and steady; maybe a rapid investigation appals them with the possibility of sloppiness, and resultant chaos, even in quantities of drams? (Next time? Bring murder concerns to the Boros. Preferably the Wojek division.)

@Gruulsmash: While the Babylonian version of the story is the most widely known, it's suspected that each major Mesopotamian place that had the legend used their city's primary god as the one who slew Tiamat and Qingu; the original was probably Enlil or Anu. And yes, after killing her, Marduk/Enlil/whomever used the parts of her body to create the surface world and the skies (i.e. she's the world, or at least her corpse is. Now remember that Mat'Selesnya is called the Worldsoul...). I forget whether Apsu's body was used to create the heavens or the underworld. I do remember that Qingu was used to create humanity, though. I have no idea what, if anything, Mummu's body was used for.

Given that green and white both have a low opinion of black's self-centered tendencies, I'm thinking that my Tiamat'Selesnya hypothesis works best if she's a Well-Intentioned Extremist/Knight Templar, rather than a powerlust-addled character like Oona. Remember that even Bougrat, of the anti-civilization Cult of Yore, thought Ravnica was better off without the (other, at least) Old Gods--they were TOO savage, sadistic, etc. (Sanguine Praetor and possibly Excruciator, anyone?). Mat'Selesnya taking advantage of the city spread to quell the more violent Old Gods, then turning the whole city into the most tranquil wilds possible while still keeping her brethren and their Nephil servants sealed up...best of both worlds. Even if it results in the kind of stagnation Bant, and arguably Naya, suffered. But then, once you achieve (alleged) perfection, change can only be degradation...All for the sake of preserving mortalkind from becoming casualties in Old God squabble-wars.

I don't know whether WotC INTENDED Mat'Selesnya to be a reference to Tiamat, though. As I said, things relating to modern Ravnica are usually derived from Slavic. In other words, I don't know if "mat" has any meaning relevant to Selesnya precepts in any of the Slavic tongues. One might think of "maternal", but that's Latin. I don't know how much linguistic drift there might be between Romantic and Slavic languages.
@Knight of Serra: I wouldn't say the Azorius are about law for its own sake as about law for the sake of predictability. Hence why a number of them are vulnerable to bribery; they'll take the devil that just revealed its plans over the devil they can't see (e.g. the Orzhov having a plan B if the bribe doesn't go through), if there's no reason to believe there's any third choice. Even beyond bribery and its ilk, the concern for predictability means they're determined to take it (ridiculously) slow and steady; maybe a rapid investigation appals them with the possibility of sloppiness, and resultant chaos, even in quantities of drams? (Next time? Bring murder concerns to the Boros. Preferably the Wojek division.)



Assuming the Wojek even still exist. Which I think may be somewhat questionable given the increase in military focus the Boros would seem to have undergone.

Slow and steady? Flash in a Hussar patrol They'll sort things out. 
I'm a little confused by the Azorius's actions described here.  I mean they are so focused on legal things that they supposedly make you fill out paperwork to sit by their fountain, but you murder people including their people and they look the other way? Confusing...



For the most part, there seems to be a schism between depicting them as pragmatic or as obsessed.

It's not the first time they shrugged off problems they couldn't solve.
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