Literature: Rath And Storm
The Weatherlight Saga is the most ambitious storyline Magic: The Gathering has ever told. The game was still young and most storylines, while mostly taking place on the same world – Dominaria (with the notable exception of Homelands, which took place on Ulgrotha) – ran through one or two sets at most. The Weatherlight Saga ran for four years and eventually encompassed thirteen sets, while also having links to past storylines. Furthermore, cards in the set depicted many events from the storyline, to the point that it was possible to arrange them into a storyboard. Rath and Storm chronicles the first act of the saga, corresponding to the expansions Weatherlight and those of the Tempest block (Tempest, Stronghold and Exodus).Gerrard Capshen is the heir to the Legacy, a collection of artifacts he must use to defeat a mysterious evil known as the Lord of the Wastes. After the death of his friend Rofellos, Gerrard turned his back on his destiny, leaving the skyship Weatherlight and its crew behind. However, his former crewmates have come to his home Benalia to get him back. Their captain Sisay has been abducted by Volrath, ruler of the shadowy plane of Rath, and Gerrard is asked to lead her rescue. However, behind Volrath lurks an even greater evil...This book is somewhat infamous among storyline fans for its constrained structure. It is set up as an anthology, with each chapter written by a different author and told from a different character’s point of view. It also has an insane amount of story to tell, corresponding to four expansions. As such, there are times where it reads more like a summary than an actual novel. Readers are advised to also pick up a copy of the comic Gerrard’s Quest, which covers many of the same events, but goes into more detail about things that Rath and Storm skims over, such as Crovax’s tragic backstory.Rath and Storm is followed by the Artifacts Cycle (consisting of The Brothers War, Planeswalker, Time Streams and Bloodlines), a prequel revealing the origin of the Weatherlight, the Legacy and even of Gerrard himself. The storyline then goes back to the present, picking up where Rath and Storm left off in the Masquerade Cycle. Then comes another prequel before the story concludes with the Invasion Cycle.
Tropes in Rath and Storm:
- Actual Pacifist: Karn the golem.
- Big Bad: Volrath.
- Bigger Bad: Phyrexia.
- Butt Monkey: Mirri does not get a happy ending in this book or any other for that matter.
- Chekhov's Gun: Gerrard’s hourglass pendant was supposed to be this, but due to the saga changing creative control, it came to nothing in the end.
- Cool Ship: The Weatherlight.
- Dead Sidekick: Rofellos.
- Evil Albino: Lord Kastan.
- Exploring the Evil Lair: A very major part of the story. The fact that the second set of the Tempest block is called Stronghold might clue you in.
- Eye Scream: Starke is blinded with a sword by his daughter Takara.
- Fallen Angel: Selenia.
- Framing Device: A very awkward one, taking place in a library at an undefined point in the future. An aging librarian tells the story to a young boy who has never heard of Gerrard. However, the finale of the saga is so devastating that it leaves Dominaria a post-apocalyptic wasteland, making it very unlikely that he wouldn’t know about it. The librarian is also hinted to be more than he seems, but after this book these characters never appear again.
- Gerrard, I Am Your Brother: Somewhat unusually, the reader is told up front that Volrath is Gerrard’s stepbrother, although Gerrard doesn’t find out until very late in the book.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Mirri.
- I Want My Beloved To Be H Appy: Mirri
- Love Triangle: Type 4. Mirri LOVES Gerrard but he likes her as a friend. Hanna likes Gerrard, a feeling which is reciprocated. What makes it all worse is that Gerrard doesn't know Mirri LOVES him.
- Save the World Climax: Saving the world doesn't happen until a couple of cycles later, but partway through this book, Gerrard already finds out that his homeworld is in danger.
- Self-Made Orphan: Vuel kills his own father.
- Series Continuity Error: Hanna's mother is briefly mentioned as being dead, however we find out in Prophecy that she's quite alive.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Mirri again This girl is not having a good day.
- Vision Quest: Mirri takes one of these in a flashback.
- Volcano Lair: Volrath’s stronghold.