Project Lightning Bug
History[edit | edit source]
Curious about the Living Guildpact that had foiled his plans, Niv-Mizzet set Ral the task to trace Jace and research his many sudden disappearences. For this, Ral designed a subtle enchantment that would deliver a small energetic pulse whenever it experienced a electrostatic discontinuity, such as a planeswalk. Then, he conjured a dynamic amplification field above the Tenth, which would magnify the tracking enchantment's small pulses into detectable cracks of lightning overhead. Being a planeswalker himself, Ral tweaked his persistent storm to weaken its precision, so that Project Lightning Bug wouldn't immediately prove the existence of Planeswalkers. Unfortunately, one side effect of the project was to swamp the city in rain, ranging from an interminable drizzle to mighty storms.
When his co-worker, the Chamberlain Maree, came close to exposing the existence of planeswalkers, Ral had to work together with Jace to successfully distract the Firemind. Maree had recalibrated the detector spell and improved its range, showing there were far more irregularities than expected. However, Ral and Jace contrived evidence that the system was demonstrably unreliable, and Niv-Mizzet lost interest.
Despite loss of funding, Project Lightning Bug continued to show when a planeswalker entered or left Ravnica. As a result, Ral learned that a group of four planeswalkers had come to dwell on Ravnica, as well as the presence of the criminal planeswalker Vraska. Noticing that Vraska seemed to planeswalk into a void, Ral met with Jace in a Rakdos Carnarium to alert him to this danger. He warned Jace to not leave Ravnica for some time, only to be interrupted by Liliana Vess, who reported that she had seen Tezzeret on Kaladesh. Jace fetched Gideon and left Ravnica behind, against Ral's better judgement.
Beacon[edit | edit source]
After Niv-Mizzet finally discovered the existence of other planes, planeswalkers and the threat of Nicol Bolas, he had Ral turn Project Lighting Bug into a beacon (similar to the Mox Beacon) to call other planeswalkers to help fight Bolas.