Dissension (novel)

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Dissension
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Author(s) Cory J. Herndon
First printing May 2006
ISBN-13 978-0786940011
preceded by Guildpact

Dissension is the third book and the conclusion of the Ravnica cycle.

Dissension was written by Cory Herndon and published in May 2006.

Blurb[edit | edit source]

Streets of War

The streets of Ravnica run red with blood. Guild fights guild and horrifying monsters ravage the city, destroying all who stand in their way.

But as Ravnica crumbles, a method emerges from the madness, and it becomes clear that the city's chaos was calculated.

Something must be done. And unfortunately for Kos, being dead doesn't mean you don't have a job to do.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Chapter 1

The story begins with Evern Capobar, a master thief, who is contracted by a Guildmaster for an exponential amount of money to use his retrieval service. He and some shadewalkers he hired must infiltrate the remains of the Cauldron and retrieve the cerebral fluid of one of the dragons Zomaj Hauc raised in the Guildpact novel. They sneak past a group of Nephilim feasting on the egg of the third dragon, who never hatched. Using a syringe, they confiscate some of the dragons cerebral fluid, and leave.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Utvara, Crix (who is now named Crixizix due to her higher ranking within the Izzet League) is watching as the 5 Nephilim grow gigantic and cause chaos and destruction. She uses the Firemind to contact Niv-Mizzet. A lurker watches as well.

Chapter 2

Fonn, part-time Wojek and part-time Ledev and her Wojek partner were in Old Ravnica, where rats had begun to infest many parts of the old city. Rats were a sign of Rakdos, an omen really. She is investigating a murder, the rats having perhaps eaten an old lady and most certainly a rare Birds of Paradise. She has to tend to a prior commitment.

Jarad, the Devkarin Guildmaster of the Golgari, is teaching his son Myc Zunich how to hunt. His ex-wife Fonn shows up to bring Myc along on a trainings mission for Ledev scouts.

Chapter 3

Teysa is at the Azorius Leaguehall, where she was requested by one of the inmates to be her personal Advokist. When she reaches the cell, she recognizes her client as the angel known as Feather. The charges against her include abandoning Ravnica, the Boros Guild, and guild-matricide.

Niv-Mizzet arrives in Utvara and defeats 2 of the Nephilim, before taking minor damage. He retreats, claiming to have become bored of the fight. Crixizix abandons hope in her guildmaster and parun, and even the Izzet themselves.

Chapter 4

Fonn and her scouts (her son being among them) are attacked by a group of Rakdos cultists. Fonn is knocked out and her companions, including Myc, are taken.

Chapter 5

The Simic Dr. Otrovac is trying to sell cytoplast enhancements to Jarad for an ungodly amount of zinos. Jarad fails to see the benefit for the Simic, and declines the offer, thinking something fishy is behind it.

Chapter 6

Agrus Kos is now a spectral guard outside the Senate when Feather was processed up the stairs. Although a specters memories are faint, he could remember spending much time with her as a Wojek, and the moment he saw her before his death.

Meanwhile, Skyjek Air Marshal Wenslauv witnesses a terrifying event- the reappearance of Parhelion, the flying ship of Razia and the angels, on Ravnica. She sends word to Prahv that the Parhelion was on a collision course with Prahv (The Senate) and that anyone there needed to be evacuated.

Elsewhere, Evern Capobar is arguing with his shadewalker partners about the fact they sold some of the dragons liquid to Lyzolda, the acting Guildmaster of the Rakdos. They meet up with their contractor, Momir Vig and his two mysterious partners, Szadek and Savra.

Back on Parhelion, Wenslauv sees a dead angel on the deck immediately. As she walks away, a lurker follows her.

Chapter 7

Feather takes the stand, and is asked what has happened to her in the last decade and where the angels went.

Fonn wakes up, and uses a magic two way crystal to speak to her ex-husband Jarad. He intends to join her immediately and rescue their son from the Rakdos.

Crixizix is in Utvara, trying to rescue Pivlic out of his collapsed tavern.

Chapter 8

Feather reveals that Ravnica is somehow sealed of from the rest of the multiverse but that ages before the Guildpact was signed powerful beings (presumably planeswalkers) visited quite regularly. The Parhelion was created by the angels to investigate why these beings stopped coming. They did not succeed in this, but they did discover that the seal on Ravnica wasn't perfect. Because the seal holds back the other unknowns, the dead have nowhere to pass on to. Like a blister on the skin, the seal folded over itself to create Agyrem, a mysterious place where the ghosts of Ravnica live.

The Schism, created by Zomaj Hauc in Guildpact, snagged Agyrem and kept it in place. Later Parhelion found Agyrem but was also caught in the Schism, this is why the angels couldn't help during the crisis surrounding the Decamillennial. Feather eventually found a way in, only to discover that the ghosts of Agyrem where waging war on the angels.

Chapter 9

This chapter is a flashback showing Feather's life in the last decade, starting when she enters Agyrem two years after the Decamillennial. Immediately the other angels took her to see Razia, the Boros Parun and Guildmaster. Razia says that Feather and Kos have broken the guildpact somehow. Then the ghost of Szadek appears and kills Razia. Feather flees and hides in Agyrem for years, but eventually finds a way out.

Chapter 10

The Azorius put the spirit of Agrus Kos inside the body of an Azorius ectomancer named Obez Murzeddi. Grand arbiter Augustin IV appears along with Feather, and explains to Kos why he has been brought back.

Kos broke the Guildpact. By arresting Szadek for crimes against the Guildpact, he created a paradox. When the Guildpact was signed, Szadek was charged with trying to break it in order to make it more powerful, but he couldn't be arrested because no one would fulfill that purpose; likewise the Rakdos promote chaos in order to ensure the other guilds unite towards order. Szadek, knowing this, let his guard down during the Decamillenial to Kos so the Wojek would arrest him, thus not allow Szadek to fulfill his terms of the Guildpact. Therefore, the Guildpact is broken.

Augustin informs Kos that Szadek escaped holding, and how he did so is irrelevant, but Kos had to catch him. By letting his guard down to Kos, Szadek created his own problem. Once he dropped his guard to someone, it could not be re-raised. Therefore, Kos is the only person capable of destroying Szadek while Augustin worries about the Guildpact. Evern Capobar shows up to warn them about Momir Vig and the Simic, who are working together with the God-Zombie Svogthir who was inhabiting the body of Savra.

In the Parhelion, Skyjek Wenslauv finds a still alive Razia. She tells her how she could try to keep Parhelion afloat, but it is too late and the Parhelion crashes into Prahv.

Chapter 11

Pivlic is saved by Crixizix from being crushed in his tavern. Pivlic heads to Prahv, aboard a roc, to inform Teysa that her barony has been eaten by Nephilim, who are now coming to the main city.

Myc and the other Ledev scouts are brought to Rix Maadi and are given to Lyzolda, while Myc's parents are heading for Rix Maadi as fast as they can. Lyzolda uses Myc's blood (she needs a Guildmaster's blood, and since Myc shares Jarad's his will do) and the draconic cerebral fluid to raise Rakdos and take control of his body. The demon is awakened but intervention of Jarad disrupts the ritual and gives Myc a mind-link with the demon-god instead.

Chapter 12

Myc, overwhelmed by Rakdos's bloodlust, accompanies the demon who in turn isn't sure if killing Myc might affect him. They both head into the main city, destroying everything in their path, killing a Nephilim and begin an attack against Vitu-Ghazi.

Chapter 13

Augustin calls the Senate of the Azorius to Prahv, even though the Parhelion just destroyed a large chunk of the building. Pivlic arives and after telling Teysa of what happened. He and Kos head for Novijen, the Simic headquarets, where Augustin says Szadek is being housed. Feather and Teysa board the Parhelion to see what happened. Kos and Pivlic arrive at Novijen and Kos transfers himself into a virusoid. Obez stays behind with Pivlic.

Chapter 14

Jarad and Fonn are fighting the Rakdos cultists in Rix Maadi. Fonn goes after Myc after she frees the Ledev scouts, while Jarad stays behind to retrieve a missing scout.

Kos finds Momir Vig, but blows his cover by speaking, something virusoids aren't supposed to do. Vig goes into a classic villainous explanation of his deeds (after dismembering the virusoid Kos is in) and explains how the dragon cerebral fluid was needed to complete the Experiment Kraj. Once Kraj would come to live he would absorb all the cytoplasm the Simic have been giving out for years and Vig would use Kraj to defeat Rakdos to show the citizens of Ravnica that whomever controls Kraj controls the entire plane. He then has the virusoid Kos inhabits thrown out of a window.

Chapter 16

Jarad catches up with Lyzolda, who kills him and uses his blood to complete the ritual and take control of Rakdos.

Kos, just before the virusoid is tossed out, transferred himself into Savra's corpse, overpowering the mind of Svogthir. He plays along for a while, and he and Momir Vig activate Kraj to stop Rakdos, but then Kos kills Vig before he can take control of Kraj completely. The now loose Kraj starts destroying Novijen, so Kos retreats back to Obez's body, and Svogthir presumedly dies (again).

Chapter 17

Fonn and her scouts manage to take out a Nephilim, only to be knocked out when Kos and Pivlic fall on their heads after running from Novijen. When Fonn wakes up she is reunited with Myc, who fled from Rakdos the moment Lyzolda separated their mind-link. Then Feather shows up and tells them that Kos is needed back at the Senate. Kos has figured as much, and they all head over there.

Meanwhile, aboard the Parhelion, Feather discovers that the Razia Wenslauv found was another lurker in disguise.

Kraj fights Rakdos and absorbs the demon in its own body, putting the demon in a coma, but it also stops moving. Lyzolda suffers the backlash from Rakdos' wounds, collapses, and is eaten alive by the other cultists.

Chapter 18

The Senate convenes, and a motion is heard to give Augustin martial law control over the entire plane of Ravnica. The motion is seconded by the senate as Kos arrives to object. The Feather that brought Kos there turns out to be a lurker as well. While using his power to make the Senate see something else, Augustin reveals the truth to Kos.

Kos did in fact break the Guildpact, but when Szadek was captured, Augustin finished his eternal enemy off easily in the dungeons, and took control of him. It was Augustin who send Szadek to rally the ghosts against the angels in Agyrem. He also counted on Kos' helping the destruction, by accelerating it by killing another Guildmaster: Momir Vig. Augstin wants to create a new Ravnica, where everyone follows the law. Kos and crew flee into the Parhelion.

Kos wants to make the Parhelions engine explode, destroying Augustin. After messing with the engine Kos and Pilvic head to the control room where they save Wenslauv, Teysa, and Feather from the lurker-Razia and Szadek's ghost.

Kos captures Szadek's spirit in a grounder. Kos and his gang then run as far away from the Parhelion as they can, while the Azorius Sentate is in chaos since the Selesnyan Conclave have sent their quietmen after them. On his way Kos hurls the grounder towards Augustin. When Szadek erupts from his prison, he immediately recognizes Augustin and sucks his soul right out of his body. Then the Parhelion explodes.

Epilogue

Fonn brings her son to his father, who used necromancy to become a zombie. Apparently the technique cost him memories and emotions, if not more. Myc has decided to become a Golgari hunter.

Crixizix, still waiting for Niv-Mizzet's return, welcomes Pivlic and Tesya as they return to Utvara and ready themselves for rebuilding.

Two years later the new Azorius guildmaster, on behalf of Feather, the new Boros guildmaster, manages to bring Kos back to Ravnica. Still as a ghost, but with his own semi-corporeal body and thus no longer forced to inhabit other people.

A new Guildpact, one not dependent on the magic that enforces it, is created. The Schism finally fades away and with it, Agyrem is overlaid Ravnica, creating a new quarter in the city. Szadek escaped and still lurks somewhere in Agyrem. Kos accepts the task of becoming the Boros commander for that area.