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'''''The Thran''''' is the story of the {{Precursors}} of Dominaria, the main setting of ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering''. The novel focuses on the conflict between Yawgmoth, the future founder and [[AGodAmI "god"]] of Phyrexia, and Glacian, the Genius of Halcyon. Caught in between them is Glacian's wife Rebbec [[ShrugOfGod (who may or may not be the spirit of Gaia in today's Dominaria)]]. It provides a great deal of exposition about the Thran Empire and other civilizations that shared the plane with it during ancient times.

If you've read any part of the story surrounding Urza and his accompanying blocks in the game, you know that [[ForegoneConclusion this does not end well.]]

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!!''The Thran'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AndManGrewProud: The Thran's blind pursuit of progress and lack of ethics destroyed the Empire as much as Yawgmoth did.
* ApocalypseHow
* AppliedPhlebotinum: Powerstones and ClockPunk, mainly.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: Yawgmoth thinks that the Thran are destined for godhood, and that conflict and destruction are the gateway to this. Rebbec seems to be aiming for this with all her talk of "ascending to the heavens", but when Yawgmoth begins to talk seriously about offering her godhood, she says that she only means that they should become better people who reflect the divine, not actual gods.
* BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil: Played with. Gix argues to Glacian that his precious ShiningCity will always have an equal dark shadow in the form of the Caves of the Damned. When Glacian enthusiastically declares that powerstones can be used to create whole new worlds without taking up any space, Yawgmoth darkly retorts that they can also be used to annihilate entire cities from existence with the same process.
* BlackBox: Provides the page quote!
* CallForward: When discussing the mechanics of magic with Yawgmoth, one of the healer magicians states that there's a new theory that the magic they use [[TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering could be separated into 5 different types...]]
* CityInABottle: Glacian imagines the possibilities that could be unlocked by the Empire creating pocket dimensions within powerstones that would have unlimited space for agriculture and such within a grain of sand.
* CoolAirship: Merchant ships, caravels and warships float throughout Halcyon and other parts of the Empire. The elite ones are described as sleek and shark-like, whereas the more common ones have inflatable canvasses to help their smaller powerstones along.
* CrapSaccharineWorld: The Thran Empire looks beautiful on the outside. Scratch the surface, however, and you find all kinds of racism, injustice and a suicidal drive for progress at any cost.
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: The Thran can build almost anything and have a society obsessed with progress and ascetics.
* CulturalPosturing: The Thran seem to have decent relations with most other civilizations, but they still refer to other races and non-Thran humans as "barbarians".
* DeadlyDoctor: Yawgmoth most certainly knows how to kill, being an expert swordsman in addition to being a healer.
* DirtyCoward: Gix
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: [[spoiler:Yawgmoth destroys most of the Empire by dropping uncharged powerstones on enemy city-states, thus wiping them out of existence by absorbing them. He leads the survivors on his side to Phyrexia to remake them into hideous abominations. Some outer parts of the Empire do survive, but even they apparently collapse afterwards due to the upheaval.]]
* EvilutionaryBiologist: Yawgmoth
* EyeScream: At one point, Yawgmoth's airship is accidentally shot down by a gunner on his own side. After barely surviving the long fall, Yawgmoth swears to gouge said gunner's eyes out. [[spoiler:He doesn't quite succeed, but the results are the same.]]
* FantasticNuke: Stone chargers.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Yawgmoth starts off as an exiled charlatan, with only 200 followers. The rest of his career makes you wonder if him being banished in the first place and his side losing the civil war wasn't all part of the plan in the first place.
* GeniusDitz: Glacian, bordering on IdiotSavant. He's a complete genius as far as technology goes, but he's horribly shortsighted, bad with other human beings and refuses to believe in such nonsense as "medicine" (granted, you'd probably not have a good opinion of it either if [[{{MadDoctor}} Yawgmoth]] was at your bedside...)
* AGodAmI: Yawgmoth has this as his ultimate goal in mind [[spoiler: and becomes the most powerful being in known existence by absorbing the power of the plane of Phyrexia.]]
* GodEmperor: Again, Yawgmoth. He did at least claim that he wanted to make ''everyone'' a god too, but it wasn't quite what they had in mind...
* LoveTriangle: A rather dark example.
* MagicVersusScience: Well, more like ''biology'' versus magic and ''technical science''. In the biology corner, Yawgmoth has the "radical" belief that the body is like a machine and diseases are caused by bacteria/viruses rather than evil spirits. He also believes, like most of the defeated "eugenicist" faction, that improving the body through genetic engineering, vivisection, and bionic enhancements would be the best way to improve the species. In the magic and mechanical science corner, Glacian and most of the Thran believe that magic can cure anything until Glacian's disease shows up (and are very skeptical of Yawgmoth's "witchcraft" of medicine even then). They think that the Thran are best improved by building better machines (and presumably by understanding magic better as well, though this is never really delved into).
* TheMagicVersusTechnologyWar: Offscreen. 18 years before the fall of the Thran Empire, two factions with different theories as to how to take the next step in Thran progress (see above) battled it out. {{Downplayed}} in that there was never any actual conflict between real eugenicists and real technologists, the conflict came from the fact that the eugenicists were championed by the less fortunate masses and the technologists by the elites of society.
* MegaCity: Deconstructed, as it is only possible due to the designs a more-than-half-crazy inventor, a highly abused goblin workforce, has a huge underclass of dissidents that eventually riot and is slowly [[spoiler:killing its citizens with ToxicPhlebotinum.]]
* NightmareFetishist: Do you even need to be told it's Yawgmoth? One of the things he describes as "beautiful" is a horrific monster who WasOnceAMan.
* OrganicTechnology: Where Yawgmoth wants to take things.
* PhlebotinumRebel: Gix wants to show Glacian that the powerstones he uses to build wonders can just as easily be used to cause incurable wounds.
* PowerCrystal: Natch. They were surprisingly difficult to manufacture and understand...the opening scene reveals that a single disaster in the process could very well destroy the city.
* {{Precursors}}: Well duh. The Thran have a system of gleaming city-states traversed by antigravity ships and filled with powerstone-enhanced devices such as lights and hoverchairs. However, they're surprisingly prone to TooDumbToLive, with most of their soon-to-be LostTechnology (mainly powerstones) built on absurdly unsafe and poorly understand principles.
* PrequelInTheLostAge: This is the only ''Magic'' story to take place for another 5000 years.
* RuleOfSymbolism: Rebbec loves to preach about how Thran architecture does this.
* SchizoTech: The Thran can build {{Megacit|y}}ies that are marvels of engineering, power them with stones that have stable artificial planes inside them and create sentient mechanical clockworks, but believe that diseases are ''caused by evil spirits'' and are very shocked when someone tells them that it's really things called "viruses" and "bacteria". Fairly justified though, by the fact that the Thran had recently banned the "witchcraft" of medicine due to the war mentioned above and that their healing magic could cure anything except phthisis.
* SuicidalPacifism: The Empire as a whole isn't pacifist by any means, as it has powerful airships, clockwork soldiers and other weapons. However Halcyon, having seen no conflicts since the Civil War nine years prior, has no internal defenses beyond guards with non-lethal blunted polestaffs. That fails miserably when thousands of outcasts from the Caves of the Damned decide to riot...
* TheTimeOfMyths
* TooDumbToLive: Though, in all fairness, being highly GenreSavvy and knowing exactly what's coming won't save you from [[{{Chessmaster}} Yawgmoth.]]
* ToxicPhlebotinum: The city's powerstone matrixes are [[spoiler:causing phthisis ("progressive degeneration") by inhibiting the body's flow of mana and natural regeneration processes.]]
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters
** The Caves of the Damned were originally a prison used to hold dissidents, from genuine psychos to people who merely disagreed with the values of society. They rebelled the first time, turning it into a squalid but fairly independent area. Under Gix, they decide to make several attempts to storm the surface of Halcyon.
** [[spoiler:During the Battle of Megheddon Defile, Yawgmoth takes control of the Null Sphere and makes the rebel Thran's clockwork soldiers turn on them. Cue CurbStompBattle]]
* WasOnceAMan: The Phyrexians.
* WaveMotionGun: Ray Cannons are designed by Glacian and stolen by Yawgmoth while the former is in a diseased stupor. They prove to be quite the GameBreaker in the CoolAirship battles. By the time that Urza shows up, they're a staple of the Phyrexian arsenal.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Most of the Thran look down on non-human races as savages, though they pretty much have the same feeling about the non-Thran humans. Yawgmoth decided to begin his career by performing hideous experiments that devastated the societies of the Elves, Dwarves, Catpeople, etc. Though given that he does the same to his fellow humans, it might not be this so much that he's just a bastard in general.

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