Nightmare (comic)

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Nightmare
Nightmare comic.jpg
Publication information
Publisher ARMADA
Publication period November, 1995
Number of issues 1
Preceded By
Homelands
Followed By
Serra Angel

Nightmare was a comic published by ARMADA in November 1995. The cover was created by Melissa Benson.

Vanishing Lands[edit | edit source]

Prelude[edit | edit source]

On an unnamed plane, two brothers wizards, Nevar and Jamil, are battling. The battle has apparently raged for a number of days and both wizards seem to have spent all of their mana. However, the wizard Jamil has held onto an ace up his sleeve and summons a final defender, the nightmare Caliphear. With very little to protect himself, the wizard Nevar quickly falls before the might of the dark steed. Caliphear goes to Jamil to be unsummoned, thus returning to her home in the Great Salt Marshes of Western Golthonor on Dominaria, from which she has been missing for too long.

Meeting Altair[edit | edit source]

Once home, Caliphear immediately notices that something is wrong. Her attendants are nowhere in sight, and her lands are unattended. Since the very swamp is dying, the Nightmare can instantly feel herself weakening. Caliphear is barely home when she runs into Laconia, her last living slave, who is being chased by an Azure Drake. Since she is on her own ground, Caliphear easily defeats the Drake. After trouncing the Drake, Laconia updates Caliphear on the happenings in the swamp. Caliphear discovers that her home has been raided, and an enchantment has been placed on the swamp: the swamp is slowing being drained, turning into barren land. Caliphear is also told of the attack on her slave dale by an army of goblins and Shanodin Dryads. Her army, composed by Frozen Shades, was unable to stop the invaders, without the black mana provided by the swamp.

After telling to Laconia to hide, Caliphear decides to go on reconnaissance in order to find out who is defiling her swamp. She arrives at the Corthipan Inlet, where the Golthonor Torrent should feed the Salt Marshes, and find it blocked by an invisible wall. A human wanderer tells Caliphear that this is clearly a work of deceptive blue magic. At first, Caliphear thinks that the stranger is the one who drained her swamps, but since she doesn't sense any magic of him, she decides to make him one of his slaves. The human declares himself to be Altair of Coloni and that, in his land, the horses serve the humans and not the other way around. The Nightmare reaction is to attack him, but Altair is protected by some enchantment that not only hinders his power as a planeswalker but also protects him by Caliphear attacks. Caliphear's magic is redirected against the Nightmare herself, who has a vision of her own death, should she fail to revive the swamp. Altair reveals that his home, the Plains of Coloni, is being flooded by the same water that should feed the swamp. A powerful wizard seems to be behind this and Altair proposes Caliphear an alliance to stop their common enemy. In exchange for her help, Altair offers her ten years of service. Caliphear accepts.

Battling Coldraith[edit | edit source]

The next day, the two stumble upon a gathering, where a Samite Healer is ready to burn at the stake a captive Devouring Deep, part of an army who attacked them. In pressing the Deep for an answer, Caliphear reveals its darkest fear in the visage of Merfolk Assassins. Altair stops Caliphear from further torturing the Deep. When the nightmare confesses that's simply her nature to find pleasure in the pain of others, Altair reveals to find the purity of Caliphear strangely beautiful. The Devouring Deep confesses to serve the wizard Coldraith of Golthonor. Altair and Caliphear refuse the offer of hospitality from the Healer, deciding to travel immediately to Coldraith's Keep.

When the two reach the keep, they found it completely surrounded by a Wall of Brambles. The Samite Healer tells them how Coldraith has the power to bind any flying beast to the ground, and commands an army of constructs which are immune to Caliphear's powers. Coldraith is taking advantage of the chaos in Stonehaven: he has halted the Golthonor Torrent, cutting off Ravidel's river invasion and hoarding all the water for himself, in order to collect blue mana for himself. They have sieged the keep for months, but Coldraith has always repelled their attacks. In order to get over the wall, Caliphear catapults Altair over the wall. The waiting Coldraith reacts harshly and initially believing Altair to be a flying creature casts Earthbind on him. The spell is, of course, wasted, allowing Caliphear to fly over the wall with impunity. Once down, Altair casts Swords to Plowshares on the wall, removing it completely. As Caliphear flies overhead, the Samite Healer and his army go up against the Brass Man army of Coldraith. Coldraith tries to target Altair but finds that not only he is unable to do it, but even his own magic is being redirected against him. With his back to the wall, Coldraith casts Tranquility, removing all enchantments from Altair. That's enough to free Altair from whatever spells have been binding him, and he is revealed to be a mighty Planeswalker. Coldraith tries to bargain with Altair, but the Planeswalker refuses. With his last Earthbound spell wasted and no other way to defend himself, Coldraith is more than vulnerable to Caliphear's onslaught.

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

With the death of the wizard, his spells are broken: the Golthonor Torrent flows once again to the Salt Marshes and recedes from the Plains of Coloni. Caliphear, now knowing the true identity of Altair, is ready for the vengeance of the planeswalker since she has mistreated him like it's in her nature. However, Altair remembers his promise and confirms his intention to be her servant for ten years. Caliphear orders him to follow her to the swamp, where he will help with rebuilding her lands and grooming her. Then, knowing that for Altair ten years will pass quickly, the Nightmare asks the Planeswalker what he will do then.