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Context Literature / OdysseyCycle

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1[[quoteright:350:]]²²This cycle of ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' novels, the first new story after the massive ''Weatherlight Saga'', corresponds to the ''Odyssey'' block in the card game. The '''''Odyssey Cycle''''' (comprised of three novels: ''Odyssey'', ''Chainer's Torment'', and ''Judgment'') takes place in [[ Otaria]], a subcontinent of [[Literature/InvasionCycle postapocalyptic Dominaria]]. The plot [[MacGuffin revolves]] around a powerful ArtifactOfDoom called [[ Mirari]], a magical orb that can transform the wielder's deepest desires into reality. In many ways, it's a return to the basics, with only small links to previous storylines, so players new to the storyline could jump right in. The story of Otaria is concluded in the ''Literature/OnslaughtCycle''.²²Not to be confused with ''Literature/TheOdyssey''.²----²!!The ''Odyssey Cycle'' provides examples of the following tropes:²²* AfterTheEnd: Dominaria has just been ravaged by the Phyrexian invasion, and Otaria is still recovering.²* AnimalMotifs: Chainer has a snake motif. He likes snakes.²* ArtifactOfDoom: The Mirari grants immense power, but WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity -- its power is difficult to control, and those who attempt to use it are quickly consumed and destroyed by it.²* ArtificialLimbs²** The Cabal replaces severed limbs with new ones, albeit usually involving some level of BodyHorror. Chainer, for example, receives a very expensive metal replacement after losing a hand in a fight against Jeska and Balthor.²** PlayedForDrama when Chainer, trying to heal his wounded friend, uses the Mirari to give Kamahl scaly, snakelike replacement limbs; Kamahl is horrified when he wakes up, and it ends up driving a wedge between the two.²* AssInAmbassador: Ambassador Laquatus doesn't think much of the humans he has been sent to represent cephalid society to. He's only in his position because his Emperor, Aboshan, is an even more frothing anti-human racist than he is.²* BaldOfAwesome: Kamahl's character design is clearly meant to invoke this. It's mentioned in the card set that he [[NoodleIncident burned off his hair as a youth after taking in a]] [[ Goretusk Firebeast]].²* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: The Mirari has a bad habit of granting wishes in this way. [[spoiler:Kirtar]] for instance wanted perfect order, so the Mirari transformed him and everyone around him into statues.²* BirdPeople: Aven, the new White-themed race introduced in this trilogy and card set. Most of the Order characters are aven, including Lt. Kirtar, Major Teroh and Commander Eesha.²* BloodKnight: Kamahl, the trilogy's central protagonist, starts out as one of these.²* TheCaligula: Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor: ruler of the ocean, paranoid lunatic.²* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Laquatus has a bad case of it, changing sides more often than most people change their underwear.²* CompellingVoice: One of Ambassador Laquatus's favorite tricks.²* CompleteImmortality: The Cabal Patriarch has it, though ''how'' he has it is left unexplained until the Onslaught Cycle.²* DarkIsNotEvil: Chainer is a Cabal dementia caster who is the protagonist of the second book. There's also his mentor Skellum, who is also a dementia caster but is nevertheless a good guy though and through.²* DefectorFromDecadence: The trilogy features two of these, one heroic and one villainous:²** Laquatus is the villainous defector. He was originally a minor merfolk noble and betrayed his people to become a powerful ally to the cephalids.²** Balthor is the heroic defector. He didn't betray the dwarves, he just liked living with the barbarians better and was basically 'adopted' by them.²* EvilChancellor: Laquatus, to Aboshan.²* FakeMemories: This is another little trick Laquatus likes to use to play those around him like fiddles.²* {{Familiar}}: Turg, a giant frog-beast magically bound to do Laquatus's bidding. Later replaced with [[ Burke]], one of Chainer's more powerful creations.²* FantasticRacism: All over the place. Cephalids sneer at humans, humans mock avens, avens scorn centaurs... Otaria is a pretty racist place, all told.²* FeatheredFiend: Kirtar, a BigBadWannabe and the DiscOneFinalBoss of ''Odyssey''.²* FiveRaces: And notably, they are ''not'' the usual Five Races of ''Magic''. Desiring to "shake things up" after the Invasion Cycle, Wizards mandated that new races would replace the traditional ones for the Odyssey Cycle. This mix-up involved:²** Knights and Soldiers, the traditional White races of ''Magic'', were replaced by the Aven, a new race of flying bird people (who were all either Knights or Soldiers).²** Merfolk, the traditional Blue race of ''Magic'', were replaced with Cephalids, a new race of sentient octopus people.²** Zombies, the traditional Black race of ''Magic'', were placed by Horrors and Minions.²** Goblins, the traditional Red race of ''Magic'', were replaced by Dwarves and Barbarians.²** Elves, the traditional Green race of ''Magic'', were replaced by Centaurs.²* FrogMen: Anurids are a downplayed example. They are not sentient, but are essentially frog men attack dogs. Ambassador Laquatus's first bodyguard, Turg, is one such creature.²* IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight²** Happens between Kamahl and [[spoiler:Chainer]] at the end of ''Chainer's Torment''.²** Kamahl and [[spoiler:Zombie Balthor]] in ''Judgment''.²** Jeska vs. [[spoiler:Mirari-obsessed Kamahl]] in ''Judgment''.²* JerkJock: Lieutenant Kirtar is basically the aven equivalent of this.²* JustYouAndMeAndMyGUARDS: Laquatus pulls this on Kamahl in the third book.²* IKnowYourTrueName: The members of the Cabal all have "true names" that only they and their Patriarch know; when the Patriarch addresses them by these true names, they become paralyzed and pliant to whatever the Patriarch tells them to do. He gets this turned around on him, however, when Chainer uses his alliance with Laquatus to find ''his'' true name.²* KlingonPromotion: Attempted. [[spoiler:Chainer ''tries'' to kill the Cabal Patriarch, more out of revenge for Skellum than to take control of the group, but he is unable as the Patriarch is protected by his dark god. Unable to kill the Patriarch, Chainer instead exiles him and seizes control of Cabal City]].²* KnightTemplar: The Order, with Kirtar in particular being quite self-righteously demented.²* LateArrivalSpoiler: [[spoiler:Balthor dying and being reanimated as a zombie]] is a plot twist in the third book. However, now that the expansion is out, the existence of [[spoiler:[[ this card]]]] singlehandedly spoils that twist.²* MagicKnight: Kamahl is this, as are most of the Cabal pit fighters.²* ManipulativeBastard: Ambassador Laquatus plays everyone against everyone else and does it in style.²* LightIsNotGood: Lieutenant Kirtar in ''Odyssey'' and Major Teroh in ''Chainer's Torment''.²* MonsterIsAMommy: In the first book, a young forest dragon is killed in a pit fight... and its very angry, much ''[[RentAZilla larger]]'' mommy shows up for revenge.²* MyGodWhatHaveIDone / BigNo: After Kamahl [[spoiler:mortally wounds his sister]].²* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: After being resurrected as "Balthor the Defiled", Balthor becomes a Barbarian Dwarf Zombie.²* ObfuscatingInsanity: Braids is insane and constantly underestimated for being so. This is a mistake, as she is dangerously competent in spite of her insanity.²* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: Played as straight as straight can be. Balthor even has the [[PhoneticAccent Scottish accent]]!²* PlanetOfHats: Or Ocean of Hats, as the case may be. The successors to the Merfolk, the Cephalids, are uniformly depicted as being a treacherous and intrigue-addicted race.²* PlayingBothSides: The cephalids ''think'' they are playing the Order and the Cabal against each other. Who is actually doing the playing is Laquatus, but even he isn't fully in control of his strings, as the Cabal Patriarch knows of his dalliances with the Order but keeps him around because "there is value in an ally with no morals."²* PlayingWithFire: Kamahl's magical specialty.²* PleaseKeepYourHatOn: Skellum, who, when things get serious, will lift up his hat to reveal his face...which ''he doesn't have''.²* PowerBornOfMadness: The general idea behind the Cabal's dementia magic. Some willingly give in to the madness to attain greater power; only the true masters can maintain their sanity.²* PragmaticVillainy: The Cabal's all about profit, and some types of evil are simply bad for business.²* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The Pardic barbarians, of which Kamahl and Jeska are members (and Balthor too, sort of).²* PsychicLink: Between Laquatus and his {{familiar}}. [[spoiler:Empress Llawan manages to exploit this, spying on Laquatus by eavesdropping on his mental conversations]].²* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Among the cephalids, Llawan is the only authority figure who is not evil. For the Nothern Order, both Captain Pianna and Commander Eesha are this.²* ReforgedIntoAMinion: [[spoiler:Balthor is killed by Laquatus, then reanimated by Braids to seek revenge.]]²* SanitySlippage: ''Chainer's Torment''. It's more or less right there in the title.²* SequelHook: Ambassador Laquatus is finally defeated by ''Judgment'', but [[spoiler:the Mirari is still around and is now sounding its siren song to the entire Krosan Forest. Also, Jeska is resurrected by Braids as the powerful new Cabalist Phage]].²* SnakePeople: Chainer creates some as henchmen.²* TheStarscream²** Laquatus, to Aboshan.²** [[spoiler:At the height of his madness, Chainer attempts to overthrow the First and become the new ruler of the Cabal.]]²* TakenForGranite: Occurs en masse when [[spoiler:Kirtar loses control of the Mirari]].²* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler:Balthor attempts this on Laquatus. He manages to kill Burke, but Laquatus gets away.]]²* TooDumbToFool: Or rather too crazy, but Braids is unfazed by the visions the Mirari shows her.²* TouchOfDeath: The Cabal Patriarch's touch is so lethal that he employs a team of handservants just to interact with people in the ways he can't.²* TykeBomb: Chainer was adopted by the Cabal at a young age and the Cabal Patriarch explicitly sees him as the Cabal's future. [[spoiler:He later comes to regret this when his decision to kill Chainer's mentor Skellum results in Chainer turning on him]].²* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Lamar, a barbarian sentry who sees Jeska knocking Balthor unconscious, and, believing she's killed him, rushes to tell Kamahl, who [[spoiler:[[PoorCommunicationKills attacks Jeska in a fit of rage, mortally wounding her]]]], inadvertently setting up the events of the ''Literature/OnslaughtCycle''.²* UriahGambit: Used by the Cabal Patriarch to get rid of [[spoiler:Skellum]].²* UpliftedAnimal: Laquatus's jack Turg shows signs of becoming this before his death. Originally a non-sentient anurid, Turg begins acquiring sentience through his PsychicLink to Laquatus, taking on his master's more unsavory personality traits and almost becoming a living version of Laquatus's id. Laquatus is amused by this, though he also tries to curb it through MindRape as it is inconvenient to his plans (and he doesn't really want a sentient jack anyway).²* VillainProtagonist: Ambassador Laquatus, both a POV character and a villain.²* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Laquatus can be charming when he wants to be, and cultivates his share of sympathizers both above and below the waves.²* WaxMuseumMorgue: {{Subverted}}. After [[spoiler:Kirtar loses control of the Mirari]], [[spoiler:he and many other members of the Order]] end up getting transformed into crystal. Later, Laquatus is visiting the Citadel; his tour guide, Treal, shows him a room filled with statues of the Order's leaders. When he sees the statue of [[spoiler:Captain Pianna]] depicting her cowering in fear rather than in a heroic pose like the other statues, he's briefly horrified until Treal explains that it's only a replica.²* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Prolonged exposure to the Mirari usually has this effect.²* TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask: Empress Llawan, the wife of Aboshan. Despite being a ReasonableAuthorityFigure as cephalids go, she struggles to compete with both the insane Aboshan and scheming Laquatus for her people's loyalty.²* XanatosSpeedChess: Laquatus schemes long-term, but he frequently alters his plans on the fly when new opportunities or setbacks arise.²* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: This is the fate of quite a few unlucky underlings throughout the trilogy, as well as [[spoiler:Skellum]].²²----


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