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Gerrard Capashen is regarded as the greatest hero of Dominaria and the savior of an entire world. Bards speak of his graceful deeds. Dominarians reflect on his actions with reverent pride. Everyone on Dominaria counts himself or herself honored to be born on the same plane as this great hero. Only one person felt regret at Gerrard’s quests: Gerrard himself. To accomplish a fate which no other person could accomplish Gerrard had to give up his friends, his home, and ultimately himself. His great sacrifice was the culmination of years of tragedy and sorrow, both at the hands of his brother Vuel, the Phyrexians, and a mysterious figure who shaped the young man’s destiny regardless of Gerrard’s own will.
Gerrard Capashen was born in the poverty of the Benalish plains, but his earliest memories were of a small tribe living in Jamuraa. Gerrard’s family had been slain by mysterious demons serving the will of the Lord of the Wastes, a figure in ancient Benalish mythology. Gerrard was taken to the war clan by his guardian, the silver golem Karn, in an effort to save Gerrard from the horrors his family had to endure. Gerrard grew up under the care of Sidar Kondo, leader and chieftain of the war clan, and was soon taken into Kondo’s own family. Kondo’s son Vuel became Gerrard’s step-brother and closest friend. Together they enjoyed a pleasant, if sometimes troublesome, childhood among the natives of Jamuraa. As Gerrard grew older, he began to here tales from his guardian Karn. Karn told Gerrard that the lad would one day serve as a savior for all of Dominaria. Karn also told him of a collection of artifacts known as the Legacy, many of which were held within the silver golem’s frame. In time, Gerrard would grow to understand his role in the world and how to use the Legacy to destroy the Lord of the Wastes.
"Just think of me as the storm before the calm."
In time, Gerrard and Vuel became increasingly quarrelsome. Ultimately, this culminated in the birth of a lifelong hatred between the pair, starting on the day of Vuel’s rite of passage. In order to secede his father as chieftain of the war clan, Vuel had to climb a tall precipice without any aid. Vuel accepted the challenge with a passion, but ultimately proved unable to reach the precipice’s top. As Vuel hung on for dear life, Gerrard rushed to his brother’s rescue, rendering the rite null in the process. For this Vuel swore that Gerrard’s life would soon end at his hands. Exiled from the war clan, Vuel left in bitter defeat, swearing vengeance against Gerrard and his own father.
Gerrard did not have to wait long for Vuel’s vengeance to arrive. Somehow, Vuel had appropriated a small army of mercenaries. Counseled by the mysterious Starke, Vuel stole the pieces of Gerrard’s Legacy and soon was in a position to destroy the entire clan. Distraught over Vuel’s actions, Gerrard asked Karn to journey to Vuel’s camp and regain the Legacy. Karn never returned. In time, Sidar Kondo began to fear for Gerrard’s life and sent him to hide in a nearby forest. Gerrard later learned that Vuel’s army had destroyed the clan and the Sidar had been killed by his own son.
Mourning the loss of his step-father and guardian, Gerrard was greeted by a most unusual being. Multani, a maro-sorcerer from distant Yavimaya, had long anticipated Vuel’s treachery and offered to instruct Gerrard in the art of magic. Alongside Gerrard were Rofellos, an elf of Llanowar and Multani’s longtime friend, and Mirri, a cat warrior. Gerrard soon became the best of friends with Rofellos and Mirri and stayed under Multani’s care for years to come.
One day, Gerrard and Mirri were instructed to journey to the lands of the cat warrior tribe of Chitr’in. During this time, Mirri was placed in a state of extreme unease by the presence of other cat warriors. Mirri had been abandoned as a child because of her eyes being two different colors, a sign of bad omen from Mirri’s own tribe. Mirri was openly accepted to join the Chitr’in, but declined in favor of staying in the company of Multani. Upon further inquiry, it was revealed that Mirri had feelings for Gerrard, but he was unwilling to return her affections. Gerrard and Mirri returned home to Multani.
Many years later, Gerrard, Mirri, and Rofellos returned home from another journey to find Multani’s refuge completely destroyed and the maro-sorcerer missing. The three were left abandoned and homeless, and soon took to wandering the lands as mercenaries for hire. In one Jamuraan town, Gerrard and company were confronted by Sisay, captain of the flying ship Weatherlight. Sisay had earned small celebrity status for aiding the nations of Zhalfir, Suq’Ata, and Femeref in the war against the invading Kaervek. Gerrard and Sisay began to quarrel over who was the best warrior, and a contest was soon to follow. Gerrard lost this contest, and as a result Gerrard was forced to join the crew of Weatherlight. Not knowing what other action to take, Rofellos and Mirri soon joined as well.
On board Weatherlight, Gerrard and company found the home they had long searched for. Weatherlight’s crew was a brave group, always seeking adventure. Sisay’s first mate, the Talruum minotaur Tahngarth, was fierce in battle but made no effort to hide his distrust of Gerrard. Also among the group was Crovax, a noble of Urborg with a quiet, almost morbid demeanor. Sisay was aided by Squee, a goblin cabin boy who possessed unnatural intelligence for a goblin and a knack for getting himself into difficult situations. The ship’s healer was Orim, a Samite who had long practiced healing at the Argivian University. But one crewmember in particular caught Gerrard’s eye, the Tolarian artificer Hanna.
Time passed and Gerrard had many adventures among the crew of Weatherlight. Sisay expressed an intense interest in collecting the pieces of Gerrard’s Legacy, which had been sold by Vuel in an effort to raise a more powerful army. For the moment, Vuel’s armies had been completely silent in Jamuraa, and Sisay felt it was the right time to recollect the Legacy. Weatherlight flew to various places in Jamuraa and the rest of Dominaria, eventually recovering the parts of the Legacy that Vuel had stolen and even a few more. Unfortunately, Karn was still nowhere to be seen.
After a time, Crovax expressed a growing need to return to his homeland of Urborg. The young noble had become increasingly fearful of beings from other planes attacking his home estate. Sisay dismissed these feelings as mere paranoia, but eventually agreed to investigate the matter. Weatherlight flew to the fetid swamps of Urborg to find Crovax’s estate under siege by terrible beings from a plane known as Rath. These creatures, Gallowbraid and Morinfen, were slaughtering Crovax’s immediate family. The crew of Weatherlight immediately attacked these creatures, but soon found themselves unable to stop them. In the heat of battle, the Llanowar elf Rofellos was slain by the creature Gallowbraid. Driven mad by Rofellos’s death, Gerrard attacked the creatures with newfound hatred. However, even Gerrard’s wrath couldn’t stop the pair. It was at this time that Crovax activated an ancient artifact and summoned the angel Selenia, Crovax’s own personal guardian. Selenia, together with Weatherlight’s surviving crew, managed to slay the two Rathi horrors.
Gerrard has at last come to terms with an idea he had long suspected. Sisay was willing to put her devotion to the Legacy above the crew’s own safety. Old rivalries emerged as Gerrard and Sisay engaged in a heated argument. Eventually, Gerrard and Mirri left the ship rather than stay and wait for their turn to die. Gerrard’s only regret was in leaving behind Hanna, with whom he had begun to fall in love. Still, Gerrard’s anger prevented him from staying and he and Mirri soon departed. The pair split days later, with Mirri expressing the need to journey to Llanowar to inform Rofellos’s family about his death. Not knowing where else to go, Gerrard returned to his homeland of Benalia.
Gerrard joined the Benalish military, eventually climbing through their ranks to earn a high position of master-at-arms. During this time, Gerrard began to rediscover links to his homeland that he did not even know existed. After a time, Gerrard gave up his love of adventure and settled into the role of teaching young soldiers the art of war.
Years passed and Gerrard was put in a very bad position. The local assassin’s guild, led by Lord Kastan, had begun to seek its recruits in Gerrard’s own ranks. Gerrard confronted his superior, Commander Alaric, about possible ways to stop this incursion. Alaric had his own revelation for Gerrard. Apparently, a minotaur had been spotted wandering around Benalia City asking for Gerrard’s whereabouts. Gerrard found and confronted Tahngarth about his reasons for seeking him out. Tahngarth revealed to Gerrard that years after his departure, Sisay had been taken captive by Volrath, ruler of the plane of Rath. With Weatherlight’s crew weakened after Gerrard’s and Mirri’s departure, Tahngarth told Gerrard that only he could help them save Sisay. Gerrard declined, saying that his days of adventure were over and the Benalish military needed him more than ever before. Eventually, Gerrard uncovered Kastan’s plotthe head assassin was collaborating with Benalia’s own Commander Alaric in an effort to ruin Gerrard’s reputation with the military. Together, Gerrard and Tahngarth put a stop to this incursion by slaying both Kastan and Alaric. With his faith in the Benalish military strained to the breaking point, Gerrard agreed to rejoin Weatherlight.
Gerrard was immediately promoted to ranking captain in Sisay’s absence. Tahngarth informed Gerrard that Sisay had discovered that Weatherlight possessed the ability to teleport to other planes of existence via its Thran Crystal, but only a powerful wizard could help them find out how. Gerrard knew that Mirri had a greater understanding of magic than he had ever had and set out at once for Llanowar. Along the way, Gerrard began to familiarize himself with the crew, especially his old friends Tahngarth, Orim, Squee, and Hanna. In his absence, Hanna had taken hold of the idea that Gerrard had left Weatherlight because of something she had done, and their relationship was uneasy to say the least. Missing from the crew was Crovax, and Gerrard later discovered that he had opted to remain in Urborg with the last of his family rather than accompany Weatherlight.
Weatherlight at last arrived in Llanowar, to find the elves in a state of panic. Aboroths, giant forest elementals, had begun growing at an alarming rate and would soon destroy a prosperous elven village. Gerrard sought out Mirri, who immediately agreed to rejoin Weatherlight’s crew if they would first help destroy an aboroth who posed a serious threat to the village.
"This will work, but it if doesn’t, we won’t survive to care."
Gerrard reluctantly agreed, using his knowledge of the Legacy to first transform the giant into an artificial creature, then used another piece of the Legacy to shut it down. Overjoyed over Gerrard’s victory, Mirri readily joined the crew, but was unable to activate the Thran Crystal.
At Hanna’s suggestion, Weatherlight left Llanowar for the island of Tolaria. There the ship would rendezvous at the Tolarian Academy with Barrin, Hanna’s father and one of the most powerful wizards to ever live. Hanna was unsure just how Barrin would greet them. While she was still a child, Hanna had developed an interest in artifacts, but was forbidden to study them. Barrin felt that artifacts were inferior to ancient magic, and an emotional fallout was the result. Hanna left Tolaria that day and had never again returned.
Along the way, Gerrard discovered that Karn was contained in the ship’s brig, rendered lifeless by some strange magic. Gerrard used a spell book to return Karn to life and asked the golem why he had been frozen this way. Karn recounted the events of that night, over ten years ago. Karn had arrived at Vuel’s camp and demanded the return of the Legacy. Unimpressed, Vuel told Karn that a new vessel had been created for the Legacy, the village blacksmith. This new "Karn"contained in his mutilated body the pieces of the stolen Legacy, and only by slaying him could Karn hope to reclaim them. Furious at Vuel’s treachery, Karn lashed out, accidentally knocking over a nearby wagon. Karn was surprised at the destruction he had created, but even more surprised to find a young child had been slain by the flying wagon. Karn was struck with remorse over his actions, and Vuel was able to use a piece of the Legacy to render Karn immobile. Karn swore to Gerrard that he would never take a life again, even if in Gerrard’s defense.
After a brief skirmish with a band of merfolk, Weatherlight arrived at the mysterious isle of Tolaria. Barrin greeted the crew warmly, and vowed he would do whatever he could to aid them. Barrin did not go with Weatherlight, but instead sent a promising young wizard named Ertai along with them. Gerrard and the rest of the crew slowly warmed up to Ertai, but were often annoyed by his arrogant nature.
Gerrard and company now had the means to enter the plane of Rath, but had no knowledge of what would await them once they arrived. Gerrard set sail for Bogardan, where the traitorous Starke was rumored to be in hiding. Starke had counseled Vuel in the defeat of the war clan, but had left Jamuraa as soon as Vuel’s disappeared. After Gerrard’s departure from Weatherlight, Sisay found Starke and questioned him on the plane of Rath. Starke eventually told her that he was a native of the plane, which was now ruled by the evil being Volrath, and it was he that had imprisoned Sisay. Gerrard began to suspect that Starke played some role in Sisay’s capture.
After arriving in Bogardan, Gerrard and company found that Starke was about to be slain by the Keldon warlord Maraxus. The crew attacked Maraxus’s band but were soon running out of options. Gerrard squared off against Maraxus, but it was Starke’s blade who claimed the warlord’s life. Starke stabbed Maraxus in the back, and then vowed his undying loyalty to Gerrard. Gerrard could only wonder if Starke had made the same promise to Maraxus.
Aboard Weatherlight, Starke told Gerrard that Maraxus had been sent by Volrath to bring him back to Rath. Starke had long been a servant of Volrath, but was neglecting his reports and attempting to escape Volrath’s notice. Upon question Starke about Volrath’s identity, Gerrard made a startling discovery. Volrath, ruler of the plane of Rath and slayer of countless innocents, was someone Gerrard had known in childhood. They had grown up together, worked together, and cried together. The monster Volrath had once been Gerrard’s brother Vuel. Gerrard was distraught with this knowledge, but questioned Starke further. Starke told Gerrard that Volrath had captured Sisay in an effort to lure him to Rath. Volrath had become a master of an entire world, but was himself subject to another, darker force. Fearing the answer, Gerrard questioned Starke about just who was pulling Volrath’s strings. Gerrard was shocked by the answer, not because of its direness, but because of its absurdity. Volrath was being controlled by the Phyrexians, dark figures out of history that were nothing more than the imagination of an overactive writer. Starke swore that the creatures did indeed exist, and were responsible for much of the turmoil Dominaria had to endure in the past few years. They were probably even responsible for the death of Gerrard’s true parents.
Reluctant to journey to Rath after the news he had just uncovered, Gerrard set course for Urborg. There the crew discovered Crovax in an almost maddening state. He told Gerrard that he had fallen in love with the angel Selenia and had destroyed the artifact that he used to call her, believing it prevented her from returning his love. After he had done this, Crovax’s entire family had been slain by the creatures of Rath. Crovax had been silently keeping watch over their tomb for years. Gerrard felt sorry for Crovax, and offered him a place among the crew of Weatherlight. Crovax agreed, if for no other reason to escape his ruined homeland.
"The past is a ghost that haunts you from the moment it exists until the moment you don’t. We often bury our pasts, and them someone comes along and digs them up."
At last Gerrard felt as though he were somewhat prepared for whatever Rath had in store. At Gerrard’s command, Ertai channeled his powerful magic into the Thran Crystal and Weatherlight shifted from Dominaria into the violent plane of Rath. It would be almost an entire year before they returned.
Planeshifting for the first time was quite an experience for the crew of Weatherlight. The world of Dominaria drifted past the ship like parting waves on the open seas. Watching the world they knew dissolve into a chaotic mass of color and light was horrible. However, the site that greeted them when they arrived in Rath was even more horrible. Rath’s sky was a violent shade of purple and black, with thunderstorms emerging constantly. The ground below them was little better: a mass of rolling flowstone which Volrath could shape into any form he saw fit.
"I used to describe something stable as ‘rock solid.’ So much for that expression."
In the distance lay a giant forest, the only natural growth Gerrard could see. Starke informed Gerrard that this was Skyshroud, one of the only places with enough power to oppose Volrath’s rule. Even stranger than these sites, however, was the approaching flying ship Predator.
"This won’t be a fair fight. They should have brought a second ship.”
Almost twice the size of Gerrard’s ship, Predator soon belittled Weatherlight in terms of size as well as firepower. Within moments, Weatherlight was on the receiving end of an onslaught of moggs, large goblin-like creatures with hulking bodies and bulging muscles. Leading the charge was a man that Gerrard had recognized from Starke’s description: Commander Greven il-Vec. Standing over seven feet tall, Greven slew Weatherlight’s crew and his own moggs in an effort to reach Gerrard. When at last the two clashed, it was an immense struggle for the upper hand. Both Gerrard and Greven were equal in battle prowess, but Greven’s size and strength soon overpowered the Capashen. Gerrard’s lip was cut in the battle, and it was apparent that Greven would draw more than first blood.
"First blood isn’t as important as last blood."
Just as Greven was about to destroy Gerrard, Weatherlight’s deck shook violently. A blast from Predator, aimed directly at Greven il-Vec, had caused Weatherlight to tumble violently in midair. Many of the ship’s crew fell overboard. Gerrard was among them.
As Gerrard tumbled to the ground, it became apparent that his death was imminent. However, just as Gerrard would have crashed through the boughs of the trees of Skyshroud, he was caught by a familiar site: the angel Selenia. At first, Gerrard believed he had been rescued, but the sight of Selenia’s eyes caused him to soon realize that she was a slave to Volrath. Gerrard twisted to escape Selenia’s hold and resumed his plunge into the Skyshroud.
"I think I used up all my good luck and all my bad luck in the same fall."
With the trees breaking his fall, although somewhat painfully, Gerrard landed on the twisting roots that Skyshroud called ground with only minor injuries. Gerrard climbed under the roots into a vast body of water in order to escape Selenia’s searching gaze. After Selenia had given up the pursuit, Gerrard realized he was not alone. Hideous creatures resembling Dominaria’s merfolk began to give chase, but Gerrard was soon able to escape.
"Ugh! When did orcs and fish start having kids?"
Pausing beside one of Skyshroud’s great trees, Gerrard was greeted by the site of Rath’s natives: the Vec tribe. Led by a mysterious Oracle, the Vec explained that the Oracle and her predecessors had foretold his arrival at this very spot for centuries. The Oracle further explained that Gerrard was the Korvecdal, the Uniter of the people of Rath. Gerrard was destined to unite the Kor, Vec, and Dal tribes and lead them to victory over Volrath and his overlords. Gerrard was troubled by yet another prophecy concerning his destiny, but eagerly accepted the Vec’s aid.
"Destiny, chance, fate, fortunethey’re all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures."
The Oracle and her people led Gerrard to the lair of the Skyshroud elves, deep within the forest. From here, the elven leader Eladamri led his people in hit-and-run missions, trying futilely to overrun Volrath’s rule. Gerrard tried to convince Eladamri that his people would never be free if they did not ally with the human tribes of Rath in open combat against Volrath’s forces. Eladamri was adamant against this idea. His people had lived in secrecy for millennia, and open revolt could reveal their secret homes to Volrath. Unfortunately, these debates had to wait for a later time, as the elves told Gerrard that a mysterious ship had been seen within Skyshroud’s borders. Eladamri’s forces had quickly surrounded it.
Gerrard was greeted by the welcome site of his would-be rescuers, Hanna and Mirri. The pair had left Weatherlight after she had crashed in the heart of Skyshroud. Believing Gerrard dead, Hanna and Mirri had traveled many miles only to find Gerrard alive and in better health than the two of them were in. With the help of the elves, Gerrard and company were able to stop Eladamri’s forces from attacking the remaining crew of Weatherlight.
The time had come for council, but first Hanna had some news for Gerrard. The moggs had captured all the gathered pieces of the Legacy, including the silver golem Karn. What’s worse, they had damaged the Thran Crystal that allowed Weatherlight to planeshift, effectively trapping Gerrard and company on Rath. In an effort to save Karn, Tahngarth had leapt onto the ship and was feared captured as well. Down two crew members and their escape route, Gerrard became even more fervent in his efforts to convince Eladamri to help him attack Volrath.
"We can fight with you or against you. After my day, I’d prefer the former."
Eventually, Gerrard proved successful, and Eladamri swore he would openly storm the Stronghold’s gates alongside the Vec tribe. The Kor and Dal tribes were less receptive to the idea of open revolt, fearing Volrath’s revenge should Eladamri and the Oracle be defeated. Still, the Vec humans and Skyshroud elves commanded a vast host of fighters, and this would perhaps be enough to provide Gerrard enough of a distraction to enter the Stronghold without too much notice. However, Gerrard could only wonder what he would do when he managed to rescue Sisay, Karn, and Tahngarth. Eladamri told Gerrard of an ancient portal that was said to provide the means to leave Rath, but where it led none could say. Left with no other options, Gerrard and the rest of the crew left Skyshroud to investigate the portal further.
"Let me see if I’ve got the plan straight. You throw yourselves at the front gate by the thousands, while we squeeze through some crack in a mountain, with a good chance of burning up or being eaten alive. And then, assuming we make it out of there again, we run to a magic portal that could take us somewhere worse? So tell me: what’s the downside?"
Days later, Weatherlight had arrived at the ancient portal. Orim and Ertai were sent to investigate, and eventually the Tolarian youth felt sure that with further study he could open the portal. However, Weatherlight could not delay and opted to allow Ertai to stay and secure their escape route while the rest of the crew would fly to the Stronghold.
The main gate to the Stronghold was heavily guarded, provoking Gerrard to call upon Starke for further advice. Starke told Gerrard of a secret entrance through the Cinder Marshes, titanic vents that spewed the Stronghold’s exhaust into the skies of Rath. With no other option, Gerrard opted to take this route. Things went well for a few hours, but the crew eventually ran into trouble in the form of the slivers. These strange beasts shared their abilities with those closest to them, becoming a greater fighting force as their numbers increased. Weatherlight’s crew was being cut down like wheat until Gerrard discovered that these shared abilities had a limited range. Gerrard instructed the crew to scatter, causing the pursuing slivers to lose some of their abilities and ultimately turned the tide of the battle. The slivers retreated into the smaller vents, and Weatherlight pressed on into the darkness of the Stronghold’s mountain.
"If that’s the back door, then I hope for their sake that the elves and Vec have changed their minds about attacking the front gate."
Gerrard and his crew soon arrived at the Furnace of Rath, a giant lake of magma that cast bolts of electricity at Weatherlight and her crew. Only through the efforts of the ship’s healer Orim did Weatherlight manage to escape into the mountain’s newest horror: the Death Pits.
"I suppose it’s a little too late for prayer, isn’t it?"
Below Weatherlight was a sea of black oil, deposits from Volrath’s ruined experiments. The sea rose up with a mind of its own and hundreds of skeletal creatures began to assault the crew. Gerrard and company fought off the creatures as best they could, while Weatherlight continued to race to the "safety"of the Stronghold.
As Gerrard neared the Stronghold, he realized things were looking quite bad. Without even setting foot in the Stronghold, the majority of his crew had been slain, leaving Weatherlight to be operated by the more inexperienced crew members. Gerrard opted to take Starke with him inside the Stronghold, and Mirri quickly volunteered to accompany them. Crovax also volunteered, but Gerrard was reluctant to take him along. Gerrard feared that the sight of Crovax’s love Selenia working for Volrath had quite possibly driven the youth over the edge. Nevertheless, Gerrard couldn’t deny Crovax’s incredible fighting skills, and the four adventurers crossed the threshold into the darkness of the Stronghold.
The four adventurers had been inside the Stronghold for mere moments before they were confronted by a horrible shapeshifter. Fleeing from Gerrard and company, the shapeshifter took upon itself the form of Selenia. Crovax immediately entered into a berserker rage and chased after the beast. When the Gerrard, Mirri, and Starke caught up to him, Crovax had ripped the body of the shapeshifter into shreds, claiming that it had no right to take her form.
"You can run from your pain, Crovax, but take it from experience: you’ll tire before it does."
Gerrard once again considered the mental stability of Crovax, but had little time for further interrogation. The party discovered that the room they were now in contained in its center a huge glowing globe with continents disturbingly familiar. Gerrard realized with utter horror that it was a map of Dominaria, and that Volrath’s masters must soon be planning an invasion.
At Starke’s guidance, the company was eventually able to find the Stronghold’s prison tower without any hint of conflict. The crew rescued Karn, who had been involved in a hideous torture. The pacifistic golem had been forced to slay hundreds of mogg goblins and was nearly in a state of delirium when he was at last rescued. Further down the hall, Gerrard found Tahngarth, or at least something resembling Tahngarth. Volrath’s tortures had fed on Tahngarth’s immense sense of pride at his appearance and had twisted him into a creature worthy of serving as Greven il-Vec’s first mate. Tahngarth’s body was hideously distorted, with bulging muscles, yellow eyes, and brown and white fur. Hardened by his hatred of Volrath and determined to find Sisay, Gerrard investigated the prison tower further and eventually succeeded in finding the lost captain. However, Sisay soon revealed herself to be yet another of Volrath’s shapeshifters.
While crossing a narrow bridge, Gerrard and company were confronted by the true angel Selenia. In a maddened rage, Crovax vowed to end her life for her betrayal. Selenia seemed remorse over having to fight Crovax, making Gerrard think she was being forced to fight by something with which she had no control. Selenia and Crovax battled on the dangerous bridge, with Crovax suffering badly at her hands. Before Selenia could deliver the final blow, however, Mirri defended Crovax but was herself almost slain in the process. Crovax managed to regain his balance and stabbed Selenia through the heart. With her dying breath, Selenia vowed that Crovax’s destiny had at last been fulfilled and burst into a thousand bloody crystal shards, which immediately buried themselves in Crovax’s body. Crovax, with no further reason for living, took a final step over the bridge to his own death, but was caught by the transformed minotaur Tahngarth.
Gerrard was in a bad position. With his party of six consisting of the wounded Mirri, Crovax, and Tahngarth and the pacifistic Karn, he saw no choice but to have Tahngarth and Karn carry Mirri and Crovax back to Weatherlight. Gerrard instructed Tahngarth to tell Hanna to meet the crew at the Stronghold’s gardens and left with Starke for the Dream Halls, where Volrath would no doubt be waiting.
Before Gerrard and Starke arrived at the Dream Halls, they made a startling discovery in one of the Stronghold’s gardens. A Llanowar tree was growing in soil native to Rath. Pondering this strange bit of information, Gerrard arrived at a horrible conclusion. Rath was constantly expanding its borders with its flowstone, pushing against its planar barriers. This process would continue until at last the plane could no longer be contained and would spill out onto whatever plane it was nearest at the time. Gerrard knew that plane would be Dominaria.
Gerrard and Starke managed to enter the Dream Halls without further conflict, something that made Gerrard fear he was walking right into a trap. At the center of the Dream Halls stood Volrath himself. After many heated words between the blood brothers, Starke was able to sneak up behind Volrath and stab him in the back. Unfortunately, Volrath did not even pretend to feel the wound, and batted Starke aside like a rag doll. Gerrard and Volrath fought each other for an excruciatingly long time, until at last Volrath fled the room, with Gerrard and Starke hot on his heels. The duo emerged into the largest room in the Dream Halls, where Volrath stood in wait flanked by two women. One was Takara en-Dal, Starke’s own daughter who had been imprisoned by Volrath. The other was none other than Captain Sisay herself. Both brandished weapons in Volrath’s defense and both stared with a haunted film over their eyes, apparently under Volrath’s control. Gerrard took up arms against his former captain while Starke was forced to battle his own daughter. Takara proved Starke’s better in combat, slashing at her father’s eyes and permanently blinding him. Gerrard narrowly defeated Sisay and disarmed Takara before facing down Volrath himself. Just as Volrath appeared to be gaining the upper hand, Tahngarth burst into the room and ran into the fray, as much to defend Gerrard as to destroy his tormenter Volrath. Volrath fled the room, but the pair of Gerrard and Tahngarth eventually caught up and Gerrard was able to drive home the killing blow.
"You’ve got your childhood wish at last, Volrath. Now you get to die."
As Volrath lay dying at Gerrard’s feet, his features began to merge and shift, revealing that it was never Volrath, but one of the evincar’s shapeshifters. Furious at Volrath’s cowardice, Gerrard, Tahngarth, Starke, Sisay, and Takara left the Dream Halls.
"Enjoy your deception, Vuel. I’ll count this one as practice."
The company reached the Stronghold’s gardens to find Weatherlight approaching, but a deadly shadow was directly behind it: Predator. Weatherlight was under siege by one of Greven’s ornithopters, and it was only through Tahngarth’s quick thinking that the ship was saved. Tahngarth climbed atop a tree and leapt at the ornithopter pilot, crashing to ornithopter into the ground while he leapt to the deck of Weatherlight. Gerrard hurriedly urged his companions up Weatherlight’s rope ladder before Predator was able to gain the upper hand. Just as Gerrard was about to climb up himself, the horrifying Greven il-Vec leapt from his ship and landed in front of Gerrard. Gerrard battled Greven while his compatriots fled to safety, but was once again quickly losing the upper hand. Just as Greven was about to deliver the final blow, both Gerrard and Greven were distracted by a crashing from the trees above. Mirri and Crovax had fallen from the decks of Weatherlight into the twisted gardens below. Thinking his companions had come to his rescue, Gerrard was shocked to find that Crovax and Mirri were battling each other and that Crovax’s features were horribly changed. His eyes glinted yellow and his quivering lips revealed fangs.
Here Gerrard was faced with one of the hardest decisions he would ever have to make. By staying to help Mirri, Gerrard would have to battle his way past Greven and then Crovax, but in doing so would risk Weatherlight’s safety and that of all her crew. Mirri gazed up into Gerrard’s eyes with a confusing look. Perhaps she wished him to flee and save himself. Perhaps she was pleading for his aide. Gerrard would never know. With a crumbling heart, Gerrard grasped the rope ladder and swung away from the gardens.
Aboard Weatherlight, Gerrard was glad to find Karn had returned, and had apparently recovered the pieces of the Legacy from the queen of the slivers. His mission into Rath had been successful, and Sisay was even now resting from her ordeals in Orim’s sick bay. However, these felt like hollow victories. His friend since childhood, someone who cared about Gerrard with the same feelings that Gerrard showered upon another, was now dead and it was all his fault. Crovax’s hands might bear Mirri’s blood, but it was Gerrard that had denied her life by returning to Weatherlight. Hanna turned Weatherlight in the direction of the ancient portal, desperately hoping Ertai was successful in opening it. Weatherlight was fortunately able to reach speeds never before accomplished by the ship, thanks to a Legacy artifact which Karn called the Skyshaper.
With Predator hot on Weatherlight’s trail and closing fast, Gerrard and his crew beheld the site of the portal, still closed after all this time. Despair had just sunk into Gerrard’s heart when the portal suddenly opened, and thousands of strange ghostlike figures began pouring into its depths. Gerrard ordered Hanna to slow down to allow Ertai to climb aboard, but Hanna screamed that she could not alter Weatherlight’s course in the slightest. The last site Gerrard beheld on the plane of Rath was Ertai’s face, scowling at Gerrard with the pain of betrayal. Weatherlight entered the portal and left the horrors of Rath behind, along with Mirri’s dead body and Ertai’s hurtful gaze. Gerrard had at last come to realize why Sisay had fervently sought the pieces of the Legacy all those years ago, despite the deaths of Rofellos and others. The Legacy was important, but it was just a collection of artifacts, tools created for a particular purpose. That purpose was to save Dominaria from the Phyrexian invasion, and nothing, not even Gerrard’s life or the lives of those closest to him, were to be placed above this priority. Gerrard cursed the fates for visiting upon him this horrible destiny and cast his gaze upon another world in need of his help.
As Weatherlight left the plane of Rath, Gerrard found himself in an entirely different world. Gray skies were replaced by blue, churning flowstone was replaced by packed earth, and the Stronghold was replaced by a distant inverted mountain. While this new place appeared safer than Rath, it would soon prove to be filled with its own type of danger.
Gerrard had a few moments to get his bearings before Weatherlight was crashing to the ground near a humble farm. Gerrard and his command crew disembarked and were swiftly confronted by the owner of the farm, Tavoot, and his young son Atalla. The simple farmers were alarmed by Weatherlight’s presence, but Gerrard and company soon put their minds at ease. Unfortunately, Gerrard had hardly set foot on solid ground when Weatherlight was again thrown into jeopardy.
"This is not the start I was hoping for."
Attracted by Weatherlight’s sudden appearance, a tribe of hostile forest-dwelling humans seized the ship with their water magic. Gerrard and his crew fought valiantly, but were sorely outnumbered after their trials in Rath. Weatherlight was captured, floating away on a stream that had not existed moments before. Even worse, some of the crew had been aboard Weatherlight before it had left, including the healer Orim.
"So many lost. We have lost so many friends . . . . We have lost so much, but we must keep fighting. What else is there for heroes to do?"
Distraught at his constant misfortune, Gerrard was left to bury his comrades that had fallen in a skirmish with the forest-dwelling Cho-Arrim. Preferring his dark thoughts to the site of the friends he had again failed, Gerrard was instead confronted by Takara, whose hatred for Volrath apparently surpassed even Gerrard’s. Under Takara’s influence, Gerrard began to take to heart her worldviews, particularly where anger and hatred were concerned. If Takara’s hatred was the only thing that had kept her alive through Volrath’s tortures, perhaps it would be enough to keep Gerrard going through the dark destiny that lay before him.
Before Gerrard had even finished digging the graves, Weatherlight’s crew was surrounded by soldiers riding aback jhovalls, giant cat-like creatures with six limbs. Tavoot’s son Atalla informed Gerrard that these soldiers hailed from Mercadia City, source of all the plane of Mercadia’s woes. The commander of these soldiers informed Gerrard that he was under arrest for conspiring with the Cho-Arrim, sworn enemies of the Mercadians. Tired of being accused for things he had no control over, Gerrard ordered his crew to attack the Mercadians, an ultimately futile gesture. Gerrard and his crew were ordered to ride with the soldiers to Mercadia City to stand trail for their crimes.
The Mercadians’ magic allowed Gerrard and company to make excellent time through the desert expanse. Along the way, Gerrard noticed a few striking similarities between the dialect of the Mercadians and that of the Rathi natives. In addition to this, the Mercadians showed great respect to the cabin boy Squee, a trait quite uncommon to Dominarian humans.
At last, Gerrard and his crew arrived at Mercadia City, which rested atop a huge inverted mountain. Maneuvering past the wall of refuse that constantly rained down from the city, Gerrard and his friends were loaded into a massive lift that would carry them from the desert floor to the grand city overhead. Gerrard was shocked to find that one familiar face stood among the hissing crowds, the young farmer Atalla. With Atalla’s aid, Gerrard and his crew were able to escape from bondage, eventually rendezvousing at the Magistrate’s citadel to demand his cooperation in retrieving Weatherlight.
The Mercadian Magistrate was greatly impressed by Gerrard prowess in both battle and tactics, but Gerrard boasted that anyone with half a mind could best the Mercadian guards. It soon occurred to Gerrard that even in the seat of Mercadia’s rules, things were not at all as they seemed. The fat, bloated Magistrate was constantly under helpful suggestion from the Kyren, a race of extremely intelligent goblins. These Kyren persuaded the Magistrate that Gerrard and his crew were little more than ruffians and should be dealt with accordingly. However, Takara soon grabbed one of the Kyren and ordered him to fulfill any of Gerrard’s requests. Gerrard could only wonder what possessed Takara to act in such a way, but was even more surprised when the Kyren immediately agreed with abject terror in his eyes.
Gerrard’s bargain was simple. Gerrard would be given a small army of Mercadia’s soldiers that he would begin training. After their training was complete, he would be given command of these soldiers and lead them to Rushwood, where the Cho-Arrim were believed to be in hiding. There he would reclaim Weatherlight, and use Mercadia’s extensive resources to repair her. In addition to these demands, the Mercadians must hand over a large sum of money to Atalla’s family in thanks for his aide in Gerrard’s escape. With the Kyren’s eager suggestion, the Magistrate gladly accepted.
Gerrard immediately began training the laughable Mercadian soldiers into a well-trained fighting force. Days later, just as he began to think he was making progress he was alarmed to find that the Magistrate had already sent a squadron to attempt to recover Weatherlight. Though beaten back, the soldiers had slain many of the Cho-Arrim forces, leading the Magistrate to believe they would easily fall to Gerrard’s squadron. Gerrard felt he could delay no further. Gerrard, Takara, Sisay, and Tahngarth would depart for Rushwood immediately, accompanied by the aptly trained Mercadians and a host of Cateran mercenaries, horrific monsters little better than the moggs of Rath.
Immediately after entering Rushwood, Gerrard’s company was attacked by the natural beasts and elementals that protected to forest. Gerrard beat them back, but feared Takara was killed in the assault. Fortunately, the Rathi prisoner was seemingly able to take care of herself, much to Gerrard’s surprise. After dispatching the beasts, Gerrard and company pressed further into Rushwood and were eventually confronted by the Cho-Arrim. The Cho-Arrim valiantly defended Weatherlight until Gerrard ordered his army to slay the Cho-Arrim soldiers.
"Caterans to the fore! Clear a corridor! Kill anything that stands between us and Weatherlight!”
Too late, Gerrard realized the error of his words, and ordered his soldiers to attack the bloodthirsty Cateran, but the Cateran commander Xcric brought the battle to a halt. Xcric charged Gerrard with treason to Mercadia and took him hostage, along with Sisay, Tahngarth, and Takara. Gerrard spotted Orim among the Cho-Arrim, but the Samite healer glared at Gerrard, furious that he had led the Cateran to slay the peaceful Cho-Arrim. Gerrard and company were marched back to Mercadia City in chains, while Weatherlight dragged behind them.
Gerrard and his crew were given an execution order for treason against the high state of Mercadia. Fortunately, Gerrard and his friends were able to once again escape the foolish Mercadians with Atalla’s help, even slaying the Cateran Xcric in the process. Once again, Gerrard and his crew parlayed with the Mercadian Magistrate over their freedom and Weatherlight’s safety. Orim told Gerrard that Weatherlight was a part of the Cho-Arrim creation myth, but also that several pieces of the Legacy were rumored to have been scattered to the four winds centuries ago. The Magistrate agreed to let Sisay, Hanna, and Orim journey to distant Saprazzo to ask the merfolk vizier if she would allow them to incorporate their Power Matrix into Weatherlight’s engine. However, Gerrard, Tahngarth, and Karn were ordered to remain under strict lock and key in the dungeon until Sisay’s team returned. Takara and Squee were allowed to roam freely wherever they wished.
Gerrard, Tahngarth, and Karn could only sit in their cell and wait for Sisay to return. During this time, the trio was frequently visited by Takara, who brought Gerrard and Tahngarth wine to soothe the pains of being incarcerated. Gerrard and Takara once again compared their hatred for Volrath. Gerrard told Takara that Volrath was once his brother, and Takara shared with Gerrard that her own brother had been a foolish traitor. Gerrard took her lessons of hatred to heart more and more each day. Only the silver golem Karn began to discover missing holes in Takara’s stories, but could only wonder at her true intent.
Eventually Gerrard’s and Tahngarth’s tempers flared after their continued confinement. The pair began to fight until Karn managed to subdue them and convince them that Takara’s wine was responsible for their rising anger. Gerrard and Tahngarth swore against ever trusting Takara again, and turned instead to a new source for information on the outside world: Squee. During their time in Mercadia City, Squee had increased in popularity among the goblin Kyren and had eventually been embraced as one of their own. The simple-minded Squee could wander wherever he wished in Mercadia without notice.
One day, a tremendous thunderstorm wrecked havoc on Mercadia City’s high altitudes. Under the cover of this storm, Sisay, Hanna, and Orim had managed to sneak into Mercadia’s dungeons and meet with Gerrard. Accompanying the trio were Cho-Manno, the leader of the Cho-Arrim rebels and Orim’s newfound love interest, and Lahaime, leader of the Ramosan alliance against Mercadia’s rule. Gerrard, Tahngarth, and Karn were freed, but the company once again had to split up. Sisay had managed to recover the Saprazzan Power Matrix, but had lost it before she had even left Saprazzo. Five more Legacy artifacts lay in the dark forest of Deepwoodthe Bones of Ramos. Gerrard, Sisay, and Tahngarth would depart with a host of Weatherlight’s remaining crew to recover these ancient artifacts. Hanna, Karn, and Squee would remain in Mercadia City and gather information. Orim, Cho-Manno, and Lahaime would remain outside the city, rousing their forces for an eventual invasion. Under cover of the storm, Gerrard, Sisay, and Tahngarth floated down from Mercadia’s mountain using Cho-Arrim magic. Just as they thought their situation had begun to improve, Takara drifted down beside them, eager to follow on their adventures.
While riding their jhovalls to Deepwood, Takara informed Gerrard that her father Starke had been slain by Mercadian assassins. Gerrard had little time to ponder this outcome when undead defenders of Deepwood’s borders attacked the party. The crew quickly dispatched them, and days later found themselves in the heart of Deepwood and the tomb of Ramos. Ramos figured into the Cho-Arrim, Saprazzan, and Rishadan creation myths, although in varying ways. Still, all three races believed that Ramos was a giant dragon that had perished while fleeing his evil brother Orhop. Gerrard was not sure how Ramos’s bones could have been parts of his Legacy, but he was determined to gather them.
Gerrard’s crew managed to find the ancient tomb of Ramos, but were attacked by dryads. Eventually, Gerrard managed to make peace with them, and was allowed to speak with the ancient spirit of Ramos. Ramos revealed himself to Gerrard, who was surprised to find that it was not a dragon, but a dragon engine. Ramos explained that he had been born on Phyrexia, but had been summoned the Dominaria to fight for Mishra in the ancient Brothers’ War. Years later, Ramos was found and reprogrammed by Urza and ordered to save the lives of Dominaria’s inhabitants should the Brothers’ War come to a destructive end. After the explosion at Argoth, Ramos carried as many humans and merfolk as he could to Phyrexia, and later to Mercadia. The humans had lived here for millennia, eventually evolving into the Cho-Arrim, Rishadans, and Saprazzans. Gerrard eagerly asked Ramos to help them complete Weatherlight and defend Dominaria from the Phyrexian invasion. However, Ramos had wallowed in self-pity and defeat for millennia and would not lift a finger to aid Gerrard. Ramos gave Gerrard the pieces of the Legacy that he sought, the Tooth, Eye, Skull, Heart, and Horn that together made up the Bones of Ramos. Unfortunately, the Bones of Ramos would not function if they were taken too far from Deepwood. Eventually, Gerrard was able to gain Ramos’s favor in his upcoming battles, which proved sufficient enough to power the Bones. Gerrard and company slept peacefully that night, eager to return to Mercadia City in the morning and liberate Weatherlight. Unfortunately, Gerrard awoke in the morning to discover that the Bones of Ramos were gone, and Takara was gone with them.
Gerrard, Tahngarth, Sisay, and the rest of the crew arrived at Mercadia’s mountain and made their way up long-forgotten mountain passes with the aid of Lahaime. After they had climbed the passages for what had seemed like an eternity, they eventually found Squee’s ring, a sign that the goblin might have run into trouble. After further exploring the caverns, Gerrard was horrified to find that an entire Phyrexian armada lay within Mercadia’s mountains. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of ships lay in wait for the invasion, each one larger than Weatherlight. Gerrard and company fought their way to Weatherlight and found the ship swarming with Phyrexians, and one dark figure standing in their midst: Volrath. With utter horror, Gerrard realized that it was not Takara that had fled the Stronghold with them, but the evincar himself. Even more furious at Volrath, Gerrard hurled himself into battle with the evincar and eventually slew him. Glad to have finally dispatched his evil brother, Gerrard cast his gaze on the dozens of Phyrexians that even now surrounded his crew. However, just before their fate was sealed, a blast from Weatherlight’s new Phyrexian cannons saved their lives.
Gerrard, Tahngarth, and Sisay were reunited with Hanna, Karn, and Squee and began making plans to escape the subterranean hangar immediately. But before they left, Gerrard ensured that no Phyrexian would ever have a chance to pilot these ships by destroying them all with Weatherlight’s powerful new plasma cannons. Weatherlight escaped the mountain and found Cho-Arrim and Lahaime had things well in hand in the city itself. At last, Gerrard’s adventures in Mercadia were drawing to a close.
But Volrath had other plans. One other ship, larger even than Predator, emerged from the destroyed hanger: Recreant, Volrath’s own personal harbinger of doom. Recreant and Weatherlight fought against each other, but Weatherlight ultimate proved the weaker ship. Only through Squee’s newfound mastery of rear-gunning did Weatherlight manage to carry the day, as Recreant fell in flames to the surface. Nothing could have survived that explosion, and at last Gerrard felt Vuel was finally dead.
Just then, another flying vessel arrived from the north, this time not a ship but a giant dragon engine. Ramos had at last appeared unto his worshippers, and would remain their protector for all time, ensuring Gerrard that he need never worry about Mercadia’s safety again.
With heartfelt goodbyes from Atalla and Cho-Manno, Weatherlight took to the air above Mercadia one final time. Gerrard had liberated Mercadia from Phyrexia’s rule, but now his own plane called to him. Just before Gerrard defeated Volrath in the hangar, the evincar assured him that the Phyrexian ships Gerrard had destroyed were of absolutely no loss to his master. The Lord of the Wastes, the mythological figure of Gerrard’s nightmares, was alive and even now casting his gaze upon Dominaria. Gerrard had managed to destroy only a small squadron of Phyrexia’s armadas. Thousands of larger attackers were posed to invade Dominaria, and it was foolish to think Weatherlight could stand against them. Yawgmoth was coming to Dominaria, and his harbingers were billions of demons.
At long last, Weatherlight returned to its native home to find the invasion was not yet underway. However, Hanna began to notice strange temporal anomalies occurring around the globe, three of which were centered around Benalia. Gerrard ordered the ship to planeshift right away, but found that the anomalies were interfering with Weatherlight’s Thran Crystal. Hanna managed to correct the error, sending Weatherlight to Gerrard’s homeland. Unfortunately, Weatherlight arrived mere moments before the first Phyrexian airship arrived over the skies of Benalia. Weatherlight engaged the Phyrexians in a brief skirmish, making quick work of the inferior ships. However, Gerrard knew that unless the portal was permanently closed, the Phyrexians would continue to pour like roaches from the plane of Rath. Gerrard ordered Sisay to fly Weatherlight directly into the portal, hoping to shut the generator down from the other side.
Once again Weatherlight had returned to the hellish landscape of Rath. However, it wasn’t the sight of Predator that filled the horizon, but a thousand Phyrexian ships poised to enter Dominaria. Weatherlight dodged the onslaught of plasma rays until Gerrard and Tahngarth could draw a bead on the planar portal. After the portal was destroyed, Sisay set sail for the nearest portal, hoping to shut it down as well. After a narrow escape, Weatherlight managed to fly back to Dominaria, while Squee destroyed the portal from his rear gunner station.
With the invasion mere minutes underway, Weatherlight had managed to destroy two of the Phyrexian portals towering over Benalia. Gerrard wanted to set sail for the third and last portal, but Karn quickly said that was out of the question. Weatherlight was a much finer ship than anything the Phyrexians could muster, but its trails on Rath had put it into extreme stress. Gerrard knew there was no other choice than to land the ship and make quick repairs before returning to the fray. Gerrard ordered Weatherlight to land in Benalia City, capital of his homeland. When last he had visited Benalia, he had done so as a master-at-arms. Hopefully, he could muster enough of Benalia’s fighting spirit to defend his homeland.
Gerrard and company arrived in Benalia City, and were swiftly put under arrest. The Capashen guard accused Gerrard of treason for abandoning his post in order to rescue Sisay. What’s worse, the whole crew of Weatherlight were also arrested for landing a warship in the peaceful town square. Gerrard’s pleas fell on deaf ears, as the Benalish dismissed the coming invasion as something from a grandmother’s tale. The crew was taken to a prison facility, but not before the Benalish guard arrested a local Blind Seer, believing him to be one of Weatherlight’s crew.
"At least they remember me."
Once again behind bars, Gerrard and his crew could only wait for the Phyrexians to arrive. During this time, the Blind Seer revealed that he too was aware of the upcoming invasion and was eager to help Weatherlight’s crew in any way they could. Still, nothing could be done at the moment except to wait for the coming doom of all Benalia. This doom did not take long. Soon, the horizons were filled with thousands of Phyrexian ships, which made quick work of the Benalish military. Legions of Phyrexians poured from the warships, slaying any humans they could find. Men, women, children, nothing was sacred to the demons.
Seeing their upcoming doom, Squee began to try to unlock the prison door with the only object that was available, Tahngarth’s horn. The goblin soon found that by standing outside of the cell, he could get much better leverage, not to mention much more room to move. Angrily, Gerrard ordered Squee to grab the keys from a nearby table before it was too late. Freed from their prison, Gerrard and his command crew were greeted by the sight of an onslaught of Phyrexians. The crew fought valiantly, but was quickly outnumbered. Just before death claimed them, however, the Phyrexians halted their fight and stepped back in reverence. Tsabo Tavoc, general of the incursion into Benalia, had personally arrived to greet Gerrard Capashen.
Tavoc was unlike anything the Weatherlight’s crew had ever witnessed. The crew had witnessed the strange Phyrexian creations in mass numbers, but here was a creature that was as intelligent as she was deadly. Tsabo Tavoc told Gerrard that soon his country would be destroyed and he would be taken to her master. The crew fought until it became evident that they would soon die. Just as Gerrard’s gave up his last breath, the prison’s ceiling collapsed, slaying many Phyrexians and burying Tsabo Tavoc alive. Weatherlight hovered just above them, and Karn lowered a rope ladder to the heroes’ rescue.
Free at last and eager to stop the destruction of Benalia, Gerrard was greeted by the most horrible sight he could imagine. Benalia was gone. In its place were collapsed buildings and burning bodies. The Lord and Lady of the Capashen clan were crucified on the topmost tier of Capashen Manor. The invasion had claimed its first casualty. Furious, Gerrard ordered Weatherlight to engage the Phyrexians, if only for a brief time. It soon became apparent that nothing Weatherlight could do could stop the carnage. Weatherlight launched into the air and was eager to destroy the Phyrexian ships, but not before Tsabo Tavoc leapt aboard the deck. Gerrard and Tahngarth attacked, but were quickly outmatched. Gerrard could not hope to defeat Tavoc, but instead momentarily stunned her and allowed the Blind Seer to fire the cannons and knock her from the ship. The Blind Seer told Gerrard he would need an army to combat the Phyrexians, and he could find that army at the Atrivak Penal Colony. Gerrard left his burning homeland behind, convinced that he would soon be the last Benalish on the face of Dominaria.
"It could be worse. Well, maybe not."
Weatherlight set sail for the Atrivak Penal Colony, hoping to enlist the hardened inmates to fight alongside them. The Blind Seer forged a false document from a Benalish noble stating to turn the prisoners over to Gerrard immediately. The Benalish guards immediately saw through Gerrard’s ruse and the crew of Weatherlight had to engage them in a brief struggle. Gerrard’s command crew quickly managed to overwhelm the guards and free the prisoners, only to once again become prisoners themselves. The newly freed inmates locked Gerrard away and were intent on stealing Weatherlight for themselves. Gerrard tried to reason with the former prisoners, and soon found the inmates letting him out of his shackles. The Phyrexians had arrived and would overrun the prison in moments.
Gerrard and company managed to fight off the Phyrexians as best they could before returning to Weatherlight. The ship took as many prisoners with them she could, but had to turn down hundreds for fear of overloading. Weatherlight streaked away to safety, leaving another mass of hopeless souls behind. Before they could escape, however, the terrifying Tsabo Tavoc once again leapt to Weatherlight’s deck. This time she was driven away by Gerrard after a brief struggle.
Without direction, Weatherlight flew the skies like a mournful dove. Benalia would soon be no more, and Weatherlight’s crew now consisted of hardened criminals that would sooner jump overboard than face the Phyrexians again. Even worse than this, a crisis had struck Gerrard even closer to home. Hanna had taken ill from a scratch she received from Phyrexian shrapnel in the latest journey to Rath. Contagion was already spreading, and Orim feared that she might not be able to stop it. Gerrard’s heart sank lower and lower, until the Blind Seer told Gerrard he was needed in Llanowar, Benalia’s neighbor and a hostile place to say the least. With nowhere else to turn and vengeance that grew with ever passing breath, Gerrard set sail for the elfhame of Staprion.
Weatherlight arrived in Llanowar to find a different sort of invasion was taking place. Thousands of tiny portals were opening and releasing plague bombs upon the elves. The crew were clueless about how to deal with this assault, until Hanna came up with an idea. Weatherlight flew strait into the cloud of portals, disrupting them to the point they were following Weatherlight. The ship then planeshifted to Rath, where the portals would discharge their bombs onto the dumbstruck Phyrexian armies.
It was then that Orim made a startling discover: the Phyrexians weren’t affected by their own plagues. The monsters must possess some form of immunity, and this could perhaps lead to a cure for the numerous Phyrexian plagues that were affecting Dominaria. Orim ordered Tahngarth to lower the anchor, spearing a few Phyrexians and reeling them in like fish. If Orim could examine the creatures, she could perhaps gain a cure for the disease that was ravaging Hanna’s body.
Weatherlight planeshifted to Llanowar and found the forest’s momentary victory was a small one. Thousands of bombs had landed in the seven elfhames, destroying them forever and slaying millions of elves. Before landing, Orim succeeded in finding a way to stop the disease, but it appeared Hanna was already too weakened. Gerrard landed in Llanowar to present the surviving elves with a cure for their forest’s troubles. Unfortunately, Gerrard found no sign of the elves, except for several clues that led into a hidden cave in the Staprion elfhame.
Gerrard and the command crew followed the cave until they came upon a most unusual sight: Eladamri, alive and well on Dominaria. Eladamri explained that he had escaped Rath through a Phyrexian portal in the Stronghold. What’s more, Eladamri claimed that he was the true Korvecdal, the uniter of his people and now the people of Dominaria. Already the Vesuvan nation was under his banner, and the people of Llanowar would soon swear their allegiance. Eladamri was beginning a nationwide alliance to thwart the Phyrexians. Gerrard was overjoyed to see the Lord of Leaves alive, but was even more surprised to see another ancient face: Multani. The maro-sorcerer was alive and well, working with Eladamri to stop the destruction of Llanowar. Already, Multani’s homeland of Yavimaya was safe from the Phyrexian assaults, but other parts of Dominaria were not so lucky.
Gerrard, Eladamri, and Multani began discussing their future plans. In payment for saving Llanowar, Gerrard asked Eladamri and Multani for a favor. Eladamri had cured the fears of the elves through the magical Dreaming Caves that lay beneath the surface of Llanowar. Gerrard learned that the caves could grant any wish of those who entered them if the wisher truly believed in their magic. Gerrard asked Eladamri and Multani to take him to the caves and heal the withering Hanna.
Gerrard, his command crew, Multani, Eladamri, and his friend Lin Sivvi journeyed to the Dreaming Caves to heal Hanna of her affliction. Gerrard engaged in a strange ritual to attempt to show his friends just how much Hanna meant to him. With tears flowing from his face, Gerrard expounded her many virtues, her caring ways, her vast knowledge of artifacts, and her grave under pressure. Before Gerrard’s tear-filled eyes, Hanna had returned to a perfect state of health. Gerrard rushed to her side to embrace her, but as soon as his hands touched Hanna’s body, the artificer had once again returned to a state of decay. Eladamri informed him that if this ritual couldn’t save her, then nothing would. Hanna would die before the end of the week.
Once again the Blind Seer told Gerrard of a fight that demanded Weatherlight’s help. In the distant land of Koilos, a war was being waged that would decide the outcome of the whole invasion. Koilos was the site where, long ago, the Brothers Urza and Mishra had unknowingly allowed the Phyrexians to return to Dominaria. The portal to Phyrexian still remained nestled in the caves of Koilos to this day, and soon Phyrexians would pour from it without stop. Weatherlight immediately set sail for Koilos, taking Eladamri, Sivvi, Multani, and a host of elves with her.
Weatherlight arrived at Koilos to find the strangest sight yet. Millions of Phyrexians were gathered near the ancient caves, but opposing them was a race of blue mana based creatures called the Metathran. Agnate and Thaddeus, two Metathran brothers, controlled these strange creations. Unfortunately, Thaddeus had been taken prisoner by Tsabo Tavoc and was feared dead. The Metathran could not fight without two leaders, and it was hoped that Eladamri could unit the armies as he had done in the past. Eladamri and Agnate engaged in a brutal fight, and eventually Eladamri proved himself worthy of taking up control of half the army. Never before has an assembly such as this taken place on Dominaria. Human, elves, and even Metathran stood in defense of their plane against the darkest armies in the multiverse. It was a time of great battle, but also a time for celebration. The natives of Dominaria had put aside all their quarrels to stop the Phyrexians . . .
. . . but nothing mattered. Hanna was dying. She would not last the night, and Gerrard was called to her deathbed. Just before dying, Hanna told Gerrard she had always loved him and always would. But now it was time for the couple to say goodbye. This was something that Gerrard could not do, and Hanna died without hearing the one thing that would have made her most happy. In that instant, a light died in Gerrard’s eyes. The cocky, swaggering, devil-may-care soldier had died alongside his love. Gerrard had always been one part daring and one part sheer determination, but his carefree side was now gone. Gerrard was left with only the will to destroy the Phyrexians, who had now taken everything from him. In a fit of realization, Gerrard came to a conclusion he would carry with him until his dying day. The Phyrexians were responsible for all that was wrong in his life. They had taken his parents while he was still an infant. They had corrupted his brother and turned him into a monster that slew Gerrard’s adopted parents. They had driven him from Multani’s tutelage into the life of a mercenary. That had slain his dear friend Mirri. They had captured Ertai, who was probably dead or wishing that he was. They had destroyed his home, wiped from the face of the map. And now they had taken the only thing that ever mattered to him, his love for Hanna. Gerrard was left without nothing, except for the urge to slay his tormentors.
Hanna, the avatar of love and compassion, was buried the next day in the sands of Koilos, a land that was barren and uncaring. Gerrard said nothing at the funeral, becoming as devoid of emotion as the Phyrexians he hated. Later that day, Hanna’s father Barrin arrived in a ball of fire and extracted her body from the grave. Barrin and Gerrard met each other’s eyes and found their own reflections there. Gerrard and Barrin had both been robbed of something that made them human. Only Barrin understood just who had truly robbed them as he carried Hanna’s body to a better resting place.
At last the Battle of Koilos had begun in earnest. Eladamri’s and Agnate’s forces assaulted the Phyrexians dead on while Weatherlight ferried soldiers deeper into the fray. With an uncaring stare, Gerrard leapt into the fray, with Tahngarth and the Benalish criminals right behind him. The battle lasted hours and spanned for miles. Weatherlight circled the area, disposing of any Phyrexian ships and cannons it could find. Gerrard and Tahngarth managed to enter the caves after hours of fighting, but found the caverns filled with more Phyrexians. Gerrard fought alongside Tahngarth until they reached a horrible sight. The Metathran commander Thaddeus was displayed upon a surgeon’s table like a hunk of meat. The once-proud commander was kept alive only by Phyrexian instruments grafted into his body. Gerrard told Thaddeus that he would not end his misery, that the sight of him was something that his brother Agnate should see. Tahngarth was shocked at Gerrard’s cruelty, but the young warrior did not care in the least and continued his battle deeper into the heart of Koilos.
"I have enough hate for all of them."
Deep in the bowels of Koilos, Gerrard was lured into a room and sealed off from Tahngarth. Gerrard stood alone before Tsabo Tavoc, who swore that before the day’s end Gerrard would be as Phyrexian as her minions. Gerrard screamed his rage and battled the spider demon as best he could, but was quickly overpowered. Tsabo infested Gerrard with a horrible drug that left the Benalish muttered praises to Tsabo and her dark god. Tsabo carried her victim to the Phyrexian portal and waited for his friends to arrive.
The defenders of Dominaria pushed the Phyrexians back into the portal room and stood at the very gates of hell itself. Gerrard’s friends fought to liberate him from Tavoc’s control, but were stricken helpless. Just as Tavoc was about to shove Gerrard through the portal into Phyrexia, the silver golem Karn lashed out and destroyed the Phyrexians as easily as swatting gnats. Karn renounced his vow of pacifism and swore he would fight to the death for Gerrard. Karn tore many of Tsabo Tavoc’s legs from her bleeding body, causing the creature to flee to Phyrexia and shut the portal behind her. The heroes of Dominaria fought off the last of the Phyrexians and all at once came to an overwhelming conclusion: victory.
With a roar of sheer joy, Dominaria’s defenders reveled in their victory at Koilos. The permanent Phyrexian portal still remained, but the Phyrexians could not longer pour through it in legions. A lone figure walked into the room almost unnoticed. After catching sight of him, however, the warriors one by one fell to their knees. Everyone in the room knelt in astonished wonder at the being that now stood among them. Everyone that is, except Gerrard Capashen. With unbelieving eyes, Gerrard discovered the being that was the source of all this worship was none other than the Blind Seer that had followed Weatherlight from Benalia City. The wizard reached up and took of his blindfold, revealing eyes that were not blind, but could pierce any veil and disrupt reality with their all-seeing gaze. Gerrard dumbly asked Karn whom they were watching. The silver golem replied he did not know, but somehow instinctively knew that he was the golem’s creator and the creator of Weatherlight and the Legacy. The man who had orchestrated this entire battle and had created the Metathran for Dominaria’s defense was the four thousand year old planeswalker, Urza. Urza told Gerrard that he had allowed the Phyrexians into Dominaria, but now with Gerrard had to power to seal the portal. The threat of the portal ended, Gerrard numbly listened to Urza’s tale. The planeswalker had sought vengeance against the Phyrexians for their part in his brother’s death. For this purpose he had created the Legacy, the Tolarian Academy, Weatherlight, Karn, the Metathran, and had set into motion countless other aspects of Gerrard’s life. Gerrard’s very existence was a result of Urza’s genius. Urza needed a sentient creature to control the Legacy, a being who possessed traits no other Dominarian could hold true to. For this reason he had controlled by bloodlines of Gerrard’s ancestors, eventually resulting in Gerrard’s birth. Everything that had happened in Gerrard’s life had been set into motion by the planeswalker.
"I will be your champion, your hero, yes. I will fight the fight I am destined to. But all the while, I will hate you."
And for that, Gerrard sword his undying hatred to Urza Planeswalker. It had not been the Phyrexians who had taken away everything that was good in his life. It was Urza. It had always been Urza. Everything and everyone on this plane was a plaything in the planeswalkers’ war on the Phyrexians. For this Gerrard swore he would never forgive Urza and would hate him until his dying day. Gerrard told Urza he would fight for him and for all of Dominaria but he would never stop hating his own "father." Urza calmly accepted, and told all of Dominaria to rejoice in victory.
Days passed and the deserts of Koilos were scoured of all Phyrexian taint. The corpses of the Phyrexians were burned away to nothing. The Coalition forces began their merriment, safe under the gaze of the nine titanic engines that Urza had created and piloted alongside eight other planeswalkers. As the days stretched into oblivion, Urza, Gerrard, Agnate, and Eladamri alone knew what would be the full price for Dominaria’s salvation. During these quiet days, Urza explained to Gerrard to horrors with which he was now confronted. The Phyrexians were horrible, yes, but the mind behind their evil was far more dangerous. The ruler of the Phyrexians was known by many names, including the evil god of Benalish mythology, the Lord of the Wastes. His true name was Yawgmoth, and he was intent on making Dominaria his or destroying every last native Dominarian. Aiding him was his evincar. After Volrath’s desertion, the Phyrexians had chosen a new lord to command the forces of Rath. This new evincar was certainly less cunning than Volrath, but far more bloodthirsty and savage. Fearing the answer he already knew, Gerrard realized with a shock that the new evincar of Rath was none other than the Urborg noble Crovax, still alive in Rath after all this time.
Days after the Battle of Koilos had ended, the ground shimmered and turned a hateful red. On the horizon, tens of millions of Phyrexians stood surrounding the Coalition forces. What had once been only featureless sand was now flowstone. Rath had come to Dominaria. The second stage of the invasion had begun.
"All right, let’s light ‘em up!"
The Coalition had battled millions of Phyrexians only to face down an even greater army. Surrounded on all sides, the weakened Coalition forces drew their weapons with the intent of taking down as many demons as they could before they died. The only man that saw another alternative was Urza Planeswalker. One moment Gerrard was faced with an onslaught of Phyrexians. The next he was faced with the fetid swamps of Urborg. Urza had used his powerful magic to teleport the entire Coalition forces elsewhere around the globe. Weatherlight’s newest duty was to overcome the largest Phyrexian horde in the dark land of Urborg. Assisted by Agnate’s ground forces, Weatherlight would serve as a rallying point for the Coalition as they slowly fought their way to the Stronghold, which had taken up residence north of Crovax’s family estate.
After a brief skirmish wherein Weatherlight and Urza’s titan engine led the Coalition forces to victory on the beaches of Urborg, Gerrard and company succeeded in driving the Phyrexians back to their hideout in Crovax’s family estate. There the shocked Gerrard found the legions of demons giving no thought to defense from Weatherlight. Instead, they focused on a huge statue built in Crovax’s honor, worshipping it night and day.
"It’s time somebody brought death to account. I’m that somebody."
Weatherlight’s spent the next few days defending Agnate’s ground forces from aerial assaults by Phyrexian dragon engines and plague ships. During one such encounter, Gerrard was almost killed after recklessly attacking a huge dragon engine by himself. Multani and Tahngarth saved Gerrard, but it soon became apparent to the whole crew that Hanna’s death had begun taking a tremendous toll on Gerrard’s mental health.
Another week passed and things were not looking good for the Coalition forces. Though Urza’s armies fought on bravely, they were gaining less and less ground by the day. Soon the Phyrexians would regain much of the captured areas of Urborg. Gerrard ordered Weatherlight to planeshift to Talruum, Tahngarth’s ancestral homeland, in hopes of convincing Tahngarth’s people to join the war at Urborg. Upon arriving at Talruum, however, Gerrard instead only found an open sea beneath him. Gerrard remembered hearing rumors that the planeswalker Teferi had phased all of northwestern Jamuraa from existence, converting its people into magical energy rather than have them be slain by Phyrexian claws. Weatherlight flew to Hurloon in hopes of finding possible refugees. What awaited them was a slaughterhouse. Tens of millions of minotaurs had been destroyed. The survivors were now comatose, awaiting Phyrexian implants to make them as powerful as Tahngarth now was. Weatherlight attacked the Phyrexian labs and took the unconscious minotaurs aboard. Weighted down by the thousands of minotaurs, Weatherlight was incapable of taking off and had to planeshift by sliding across the plains. The ship shifted to Yavimaya, where Multani healed the ship and revealed to the crew that it was from the Heart of Yavimaya that the hull of Weatherlight was taken. Orim’s ministrations succeeded in awakening the battered minotaurs, who swore to help destroy the Phyrexians at the Battle of Urborg.
"Wield courage as your armor. Wield honor as your blade."
Weatherlight returned to Urborg and found the Coalition army doing much better than expected. Strangely, Agnate’s Metathran forces had allied themselves with a native necromancer of Urborg, Lord Dralnu, and were making quick work of the Phyrexians. Gerrard and Agnate spoke at length about the possible moral dilemmas of allying with the undead. Agnate revealed to Gerrard that a plague was ravishing his body and he was in need of Orim’s healing care. Orim applied her cure, only to discover that this plague was not Phyrexian in origin, but was probably created by Dralnu in an effort to slay Agnate and bring him under his control. Agnate swore that this battle could only be won with Dralnu’s help and continued to support the lich lord. The minotaur forces, led by Commander Grizzlegom, joined the Urborg fray.
While the Coalition ground forces continued their increased push into Urborg, Weatherlight flew ahead to begin attacking the Stronghold. After strafing past hundreds of Phyrexian ray cannons, Weatherlight found itself confronted once again by the terrifying Predator. When last they had clashed, Weatherlight was vastly outmatched, but this time Gerrard’s vessel proved it was the more powerful ship. Still, Gerrard began to suspect that they were being lured into another trap. This realization came far too late, as Weatherlight began to be boarded by the Rathi traitors. While Gerrard battled the il-Vec back, he heard a bloodcurdling scream from the back of Weatherlight, near Squee’s rear cannon. Gerrard raced to Squee’s rescue, only to be halted by the onslaught of human boarders. Gerrard and Sisay made quick work of the traitors, and arrived at Squee’s station in time to see Tahngarth tossing Greven il-Vec’s lifeless body from Weatherlight’s decks. The ruined Predator fell lifelessly to the Stronghold mountain. Examining Squee’s body, Gerrard was surprised to find the goblin had miraculously survived Greven’s assault with no injuries. Just as Gerrard was about to pop off another wisecrack, he felt a set of powerful arms grab his neck. Craning his head, Gerrard was horrified to discover a foul Phyrexian creature here on board his ship. He was even more terrified to find the face, although extremely distorted, was frighteningly familiar. It was the face that once had bore a superior demeanor hiding tremendous magical talent. Ertai, abandoned by Weatherlight in Rath, had joined the Phyrexians. Gerrard had only mere moments to allow this horror to sink in before he and Squee were teleported into the heart of the Stronghold.
Alone, Gerrard and Squee faced down the enhanced Ertai and his master. Crovax had also been altered by the Phyrexians, twisted into a horror than surpassed even his recent vampirism. Crovax now stood near seven feet tall, with bulging muscles and solid black eyes. Rows of sharks' teeth stood in a terrible grin. No trace of the once noble young man remained in the monster's eyes. Crovax had at last captured his most hated enemy and would soon put him to death.
Instead of slaying Gerrard immediately, Crovax instead offered the young man power beyond his wildest dreams if he would bow to the dark god Yawgmoth. Crovax attempted to show Gerrard that the Coalition forces were truly far more evil than the Phyrexians. Commander Agnate had fallen in league with the host of undead and was slain by Commander Grizzlegom. Darigaaz, leader of the Coaliation’s dragon forces, was so intent on destroying Phyrexia that he had revived the evil Primevals and had taken his place as one of their kind. Darigaaz was so ashamed of his dark deeds that he cast himself into the mouth of the Stronghold volcano. Even now the remaining Primevals were locked in a heated battle against Weatherlight and the rest of the dragons. Gerrard denied all these lies until at last Crovax showed him something more horrible than anything the young man had ever witnessed. Crovax opened a portal to Phyrexia’s ninth sphere, seat of Yawgmoth’s power. Even more horrible than this dark place was the figure lying prostrate before the vast glory of Yawgmoth. Urza Planeswalker was a traitor. After fighting against Yawgmoth for four thousand years, he had betrayed his other eight titans and joined the Lord of the Wastes.
Gerrard had denied the sins of Agnate and Darigaaz, but could not deny his own eyes. If Urza had joined with Yawgmoth, then all hope was lost. Unfortunately, Gerrard found new hope in Crovax’s words. Yawgmoth was the master of life and death and could return lost souls to a perfect picture of health. To prove his point, Crovax slew Squee in a fit of violent rage. Gerrard was horrified, only to discover Squee’s body reshaping itself and returning to life. What’s more, Squee was no undead creature, but the same goblin he had always been. Crovax offered further proof, revealing to Gerrard the angel Selenia. The dark angel had been returned to life in reward for Crovax’s service. Crovax had shown Gerrard that Yawgmoth had returned his great love, and promised the dark lord could do the same for Gerrard. If Gerrard would enter the portal, lie down beside his creator, and pay homage to Yawgmoth, the dark lord would bring Hanna back to life. Gerrard spat in Crovax’s face and called him a liar until his hate-filled eyes beheld a figure he had never expected to see again. Hanna was standing beside Urza in the ninth sphere, gazing at Gerrard with tear-filled eyes.
"Once nothing kept us apart except my foolishness. Now everything, even death, stands between us, but we are together. Soon we will be together forever."
For Gerrard, that was it. Nothing more needed to be said. Hanna could be returned to the land of the living. All costs were immaterial, whether to his life or to his immortal soul. Gerrard crossed the threshold into hell’s darkest layer and bowed down before its ruler. The Coalition had lost, whether it knew it or not. Urza and Gerrard exchanged a few reverent words as they started worshipping at Yawgmoth’s feet.
"Release Hannarelease her whole to meand I pledge myself to you. I am your servant, Yawgmoth."
In the heart of hell, Gerrard bowed beside his creator before the god of death. Yawgmoth had won. Without Urza’s genius and Gerrard’s leadership, the dark lord would stand without opposition upon Dominaria once again. But before the Lord of the Wastes crossed over, he had a few days to play with his new toys. Gerrard and Urza would battle to the death, an irony only Yawgmoth could comprehend. Gerrard would surely perish against a planeswalker, but the Ineffable had other ideas. Urza would be stripped of all his planeswalker powers and forced to fight Gerrard as a mere mortal. Should Urza win, he would ascend beside Yawgmoth and learn the dark god’s secrets. Should Gerrard win, he would become Yawgmoth’s chief lieutenant and Hanna would be free to leave this nightmare.
"I’ll gladly fight Urza. He created me in misery and doomed me to kneel here. I would fight him and slay him for no reward, and ascending beside you, Lord Yawgmoth, is great reward."
And so, the long battle began. Gerrard faced Urza in the heart of Phyrexia with a crowd of one. Gerrard greatly outmatched Urza in battle prowess, but Urza was the smartest man alive before he became a planeswalker. However, it was Gerrard who discovered one of the secrets of the Ninth Sphere. The enter arena was composed of flowstone, and could be shaped however Gerrard willed. The two combatants fought first with Yawgmoth’s soul-cleaving weapons, then with the flowstone blades of their own creation. It soon became apparent that whatever tactic Gerrard could devise, Urza could use to his advantage and improve upon it with greater strategies. Gerrard was pressed into trying to come up with new tactics before Urza could respond, trying in vain to keep the planeswalker off guard.
"You’ve killed so many. How does it feel to stare at your own death?"
At last, a victory was reached and Urza delivered the killing blow. As Gerrard lay dying at his feet, Urza apologized for how the young man’s life had turned out. Gerrard had been a victim before he was even conceived, a tool in a war that Urza no longer believed in. With tear filled eyes, Urza held Gerrard as his soul left his dying body.
But Yawgmoth was the master of life and death. The Lord of the Wastes rejected Urza’s victory as a hollow one. Urza had defeated Gerrard, but he had done it through proxy and without killer instinct, two crimes punishable by death in Phyrexia. The dark lord returned Gerrard to perfect health and instructed the two combatants further. This would not be a fight won through tactics and stealth, but through blood and sinew. Gerrard and Urza must face a trial of phyresis, the progressive generation that fueled Yawgmoth’s believers to conquer Dominaria. The two hate filled rivals must prove their worth through savagery and bloodlust in order to ascend to Yawgmoth’s side. The battle quickly resumed.
Gerrard and Urza battled for hours, if not days. No longer was Gerrard a cocky paragon of undeniable will. No longer was Urza a master tactician and crafter of artificial weapons. Both were reduced to animals, slashing and clawing at one another for the right to become chief lieutenant of the most evil being in the multiverse. But all battles must have their ending, and Gerrard ultimately proved the victor. With Urza’s severed head in hand, Gerrard stood before Yawgmoth, basking in the glory of his victory.
Yawgmoth cheered his approval. At last, his most hated enemy was slain by his own creation. Yawgmoth bestowed upon Gerrard gifts beyond belief. Gerrard’s body was infused with Yawgmoth’s power, making him ten times the warrior he ever was. But still, Gerrard had one price left to claim. The Benalian commander humbly asked Yawgmoth to free Hanna. Hanna stepped forward, holding out her hands and demanding the head of Urza. In that moment, Gerrard’s eyes became opened in ways Yawgmoth’s power could have never done.
"You’re not my Hanna!"
He had fooled himself this whole time. Hanna was dead. She had died at Koilos. Her soul could never be taken to so horrible a place. With a furious cry, Gerrard slashed the false Hanna’s body, ending Yawgmoth’s charade. The Lord of the Wastes was greatly displeased. His lieutenant had turned against him mere moments after being crowned. Gerrard was hurled through the portal back into Dominaria to lay in Crovax’s throne room.
Vomited out from the center of hell, Gerrard took a few seconds to gather his surroundings before realizing he was completely surrounded by Rathi soldiers. Gerrard fought bravely for as long as he could, but was quickly overwhelmed. His only salvation came in a strange form. Squee came to Gerrard’s rescue, allowing the warrior to gain a momentary pause before once again entering the fray. Gerrard and Squee managed to secure Crovax’s throne room, despite Ertai’s attempts to slay the goblin.
"Squee’s here. Now you’re all doomed!"
It was then that the master of the house returned. Crovax stormed into his throne room and faced Gerrard once again. Gerrard’s heightened powers had made him more than a match for Crovax, but the Urborg horror had his own ideas. Crovax revealed to Gerrard that there was one thing Yawgmoth hadn’t enhanced. Crovax’s cruelty would always prevent Gerrard from winning. The evincar dodged Gerrard’s blow and was greeted with a horrible chorus of wails. Gerrard’s sword was lodged in Crovax’s agonophone, a horrible organ made of human bones. But the true horror of the agonophone was that by depressing its keys, a living being was experiencing torture beyond belief. The wails of these poor souls formed a beautiful music that only Crovax could understand. Gerrard stared in horror and the pain he had caused, and Crovax quickly took the upper hand. With newfound rage, Gerrard attacked Crovax with all his might. The two battled incessantly, until at last Gerrard’s blade won through. Crovax lay dead before his own throne after Gerrard’s blade had severed his spine.
"You promised me Hanna if I joined you. You revoked your bargainI revoke mine."
Selenia arrived moments later and with a sorrowful wail, lifted Crovax’s soul. The fallen evincar did not resemble the monster he had become, but was once again the charming young man Gerrard had once called friend. Selenia and Crovax disappeared just in time for Squee to return, boasting the death of Ertai. Gerrard realized that Crovax and Ertai were victims, not monsters. Yawgmoth would pay for all of his horrors with his life. Death would be made to die.
Gerrard and Squee had mere moments to rest before the room once again filled with Rathi soldiers. Gerrard boasted that he had slain Crovax as had become Yawgmoth’s newest evincar, but the il-Vec saw through this illusion immediately. Gerrard prepared for a fierce battle, but could barely lift his sword before the entire horde was dead. Confused, Gerrard stared with utter shock at Crovax’s throne, where the severed head of Urza lay with brilliantly shining eyes. Urza was alive, but just barely. The trio spoke briefly before soldiers rushed into the throne room. Coalition soldiers. Gerrard’s soldiers. Sisay, Tahngarth, and Karn had arrived to rescue Gerrard, just as he had come to their rescue nearly a year earlier. Moments later, Eladamri, Sivvi, and Grizzlegom burst into the room. Gerrard and Squee were rescued, but escaping would be another matter altogether.
The Coalition forces made a mad dash for Weatherlight, but were halted by Rathi soldiers and moggs. Gerrard and his friends took up arms against the villains, but were horrified when Squee discovered the real danger. Yawgmoth was slowly entering Dominaria. The fallen moggs and soldiers stood once again, infused with undead life, becoming heralds of their coming master. Gerrard ordered the Coalition to make a final push, winning through to the deck of Weatherlight.
Weatherlight raced to escape the Stronghold’s mountain, and Gerrard could only gasp at the fate of Dominaria. Urborg was in ruins, and the rest of the planet could look little better. Gerrard began to wonder if there was anything left defending. A great black cloud rose from the mountain’s rim. Yawgmoth had entered Dominaria. Gerrard, Tahngarth, and Squee took to their cannons, but nothing could damage the cloud. Below Weatherlight, the ground churned ceaselessly. Shapes took form, huge golems of dead and rotting flesh and detritus. Yawgmoth was the master of death, and what was soil if not dead matter? The Lord of the Wastes began to manipulate the very cycle of life, and Dominaria would pay the price. Eladamri and Grizzlegom quietly asked Gerrard to land and deliver them into the fray. Though their deaths were certain, Gerrard quietly agreed. Eladamri’s and Grizzlegom’s forces leapt to the defense of Dominaria in the only way they could.
With no better course of action, Weatherlight flew directly into the dark cloud that was Yawgmoth, only to narrowly avoid destruction. The ship flew out of the dark expanse, but was sorely weakened and would soon crash. Urza proposed a grim plan. Weatherlight’s power core was composed of pure white mana, captured a millennium ago by collapsing Serra’s Realm. If the core were destroyed, millions of angels of light would be brought back into existence and could confront Yawgmoth. The only catch was that by doing this, one half of Dominaria would be destroyed. Gerrard considered the plan, but Sisay warned him against trusting the man who was responsible for the devastation of Argoth and Terisiare. Karn had come up with another idea. The Null Moon orbiting Dominaria was an ancient Thran device and contained untold levels of white mana. Destroying the moon and trailing the mana behind Weatherlight would erase Yawgmoth from the face of Dominaria. Urza opposed the idea, but the rest of the crew agreed it was better than destroying an entire hemisphere. Weatherlight flew to the Null Moon and enacted Karn’s plan, hurling like a comet to the heart of Yawgmoth.
And it did nothing. Though greatly wounded, it took Yawgmoth a mere second to recover. In one instant, Dominaria’s hopes were shattered. White mana that had gathered and multiplied for nine thousand years could not even give Yawgmoth pause. Nothing could be done. Defeated, Gerrard slumped to Weatherlight’s deck, knowing that soon the ship must land. Yawgmoth escalated his assault. Instead of raising the dead to fight his battles, the Lord of the Wastes chose to merely disintegrate everything. Already, Yawgmoth’s cloud covered the entire plane and with every passing heartbeat, tens of thousands were dying. In perhaps half an hour, Dominaria would be dead and Phyrexia would live again.
"I wish I could wash this away."
Urza had one last plan, and Gerrard quickly agreed without even listening. Whatever the plan, Dominaria had no other alternatives. Gerrard met with his command crew one last time, telling them how much each and every one of them meant to him. Sisay, Tahngarth, Orim, and Squee could only wonder what Gerrard was planning and Gerrard didn’t even know himself. Gerrard, Urza, and Karn met in the engine room, where Urza revealed what the Legacy was. It was not a collaboration of powerful artifacts that would operate together to destroy Yawgmoth. It was a gathering of artifacts with the ability to grow and evolve, much as Karn had done in his millennium of life. The Legacy had reached its fullest potential and it was now or never to find out if it worked. But to do so would require the Mightstone and Weakstone that were Urza’s eyes. With quivering hands, Gerrard pulled the gleaming gems from Urza’s skull. Gerrard had slain his own creator once again. Gerrard placed the stones inside Karn’s body and knew no more. Gerrard’s last memory was reaching out to a phantasmal hand and walking with her into a great light.
The Legacy was a success. Yawgmoth withered and died. Though the entire plane was in ruin, Gerrard’s sacrifice and Urza’s genius had won the day. Gerrard had gone through far too much sorrow in such a short life. Urza had lied when he told Gerrard that by giving up everything he would gain everything. Instead, Gerrard gave up everything to ensure that life would continue, not only for Dominaria but also for all of Dominia. The young man who wanted no part of any of this had risen through war and personal loss to save the world.
"Don’t mourn for me. This is my destiny."