This fucker has been confusing players who skip spoiler season, getting picked fourteenth, enraging Tarmogoyf-seekers, tying up the lines to Wizards of the Coast Game Support, and singing a siren song to amateur MtG designers ever since Spring 2007.
I am not immune to his charms. I, like many others before me, wish to solve the puzzle that was never meant to be solved, to figure out what exactly Riggers are doing assembling those contraptions anyway.
However, I am not optimistic enough to believe that even a far-fetched approximation of a mechanic will come out of this post. Instead, I believe this post will be far more important to highlight how Contraptions may never be assembled, or yea, assembled two Contraptions instead.
To recap, Jodah has been woken at an ungodly hour in order to follow a man built of filthy tatters through a solid stone wall, down a seemingly endless staircase, and in front of a truly bottomless pit. And the worst part is, it’s not a nightmare to wake up from.
Hanging over the business end of the pit (which would be the only end, really, if it’s bottomless) is a cage. I already used the actual picture of this cage for the last entry, so I’m going to see what art I can substitute.
Months pass. Or weeks pass. It doesn’t matter, because nothing changes. The next two chapters are kind of like reading about Hogwarts’s setup in the first Harry Potter book, things like the uniforms and architecture and schedule and other details that prove to be just as boring when suffused as magic as without. Of course, scattered throughout this folderol are plot nuggets. Here’s the (Contested) Cliffs’ Notes:
Marisil is constructing an extraordinarily complex contraption that nobody knows the purpose of, not even his chief artificer Barl.
Jodah is assigned as the Conclave’s copy-machine drone. I’m not kidding. They use magical clockwork scarabs that transcribe text while it’s read aloud, and his job is to make copies of decaying scrolls and tomes .
Marisil secretly tasks Chief Copy-Lackey Jodah with a detailed report on a journal by Jodah’s own grandfather, Jarsyl. You may proceed to forget that name because of course it never showed up anywhere on the cards.
The journal is in terrible shape and the language is painfully out of date. Jodah is more or less translating from Old to New.
It’s come to my attention, and possibly yours as well, that we’re dragging a bit here. I can blame at least three things that aren’t me for that: 1.) Jodah hasn’t thrown bags of hands at anybody, 2.) See reason #1, 3.) All of the above, but I take full responsibility for wringing comedy out of a story full of characters you’ve never played with or heard of. This will not be for lack of trying.
In particular, story events have gotten too granular; the last installment of The Dark consisted entirely of our hero getting lost and successfully hiding, and I only had the phrase “guardian hobo” to make up for it.
In our last “adventure,” Jodah has been robbed senseless of both his possessions and his purpose. Much like a high school graduate with no plans, he signs up for the easiest job within reach. Much unlike a high school graduate with no plans, this involves the Gheddian army instead of the Taco Bell.
It’s not so bad being part of a Middleaux Age standing army. Work’s outside, pay’s decent, food’s hot, place to sleep, and in peacetime the weapons are just for show. The only way Jodah could get into trouble was if war were declared.
This is one of the only two pictures you can find of him on the internet, so take a good long look. Well, wait, that’s not entirely true, I can usually find some unofficial art by real M:tG artists on deviantArt if I search, hang on…
It has been 413 years since the birth of Urza and Mishra, which means today’s in-universe date is 413 A.R.. A questionable event to start your calendar on, to be sure. Shows how terrible the Dark Age was when your Christ equivalents were the Keystone Krafters. You definitely want to die before this Second Coming.
And on this year-of-our-world-ruiners, a baby is born to a noble family, named Jodah. A cursory search will reveal to you that is he is mentioned exactly once on a card, ergo he must be a deeply ancillary character.