Notes: I decided to write some MTG slash some time ago, but I think I was pushing the plot a bit and I was a little unfamiliar with the universe. Now that I'm back, it's safe to say that I managed to get a better grasp in the Multiverse and I hope to write a good Sorin/Jace fic. Oh yeah… Jace thinks Tezzeret is dead after the events in Scars.
It was a few weeks ever since he saw the last of Garruk, and he was a little curious on what he planned on doing with Liliana.
It wasn't guilt for abandoning her or anything, but he wanted to see if the beastly walker planed on brutalizing the century-old necromancer. He wasn't really that concerned, he knew that the older planeswalker could take care of herself and could beat Garruk when she wanted. In fact, he wasn't doing this out of some obligation for not showing up to her after defeating Tezzeret.
Or so he says.
But that doesn't motivate him enough to summon the courage to call mana and follow the trail of corrupted Æther trail Garruk left to Bolas knows where. He did not find a reason good enough to check on what could have possibly caused Liliana to curse someone like Garruk. He didn't even try to see if the world Garrujk found Liliana on and followed could be affected by whatever chaos and destruction those two would inevitably unleash if they were to come to blows.
Coward, a part of him said. He ignored it and turned towards his tomes.
The Consortium was in shambles after Tezzeret died; he didn't want to seize leadership for himself then, but when he saw the possible havoc they could cause if left unattended. He didn't even mean for Baltrice to leave after meeting Tezzeret a few years ago. Maybe he should have followed her, but he didn't.
Nice going there, always running away. Shut up.
Liliana and Garruk's business were theirs. He shouldn't pry.
Innistrad was turning out to be a hotspot for planeswalkers. It wasn't long before he became just as curious and decided to visit for a peek as well.
Unlike other planes, Innistradi humans had enemies on all sides of many kinds; Mirrodin had Phyrexians against Mirrans, Zendikar had the Eldrazi and the brood against the natives and vampires (it was more like a free-for-all than anything else), Kamigawa had spirits – like the Nezumi - against the living, Ravnica had its guild wars (another chaotic free-for-all like in Zendikar). What set Innistrad apart was the fact that all the creatures were against a single group, but centuries passed and they have yet to truly win.
Until now. He really did his homework on Innistrad.
Despite the fact that humans were the solitary side against vampires, werewolves, zombies, and the like – they weren't running out nor they were stopping for a moment's respite. Millennia passed, Innistradi humans fought against the creatures of the night, yet neither truly won in the war.
It was interesting, as if a higher force was trying to ensure equal survival and mortality rates on both sides.
Avacyn's appearance felt a little suspicious. Of all the angels that suddenly decided they wanted to help the humans, why her and why decided to help when humans were on the brink of extinction? Couldn't she appear at an earlier time when people weren't as desperate? Or was it desperation that gave her reason to appear? There must have been signs long before the human populace was running out, couldn't she have appeared earlier to make sure great bloodshed did not happen? Or did she wait for an opportune moment to ensure devotion from the people for saving them in their time of need?
He did not know, but Jace was more than willing to find out.
Just not now.
Not when Liliana and Garruk were still at large and when a great number of planes were in danger. Gideon may have saved Zendikar, but Mirrodin was still in danger and tensions among the guilds in Ravnica were escalating. He still haven't finished all of Tezzeret's research and he still needed to find out if the older man had more plots that only needed to be sprung.
They were all valid reasons. He wasn't making an excuse just because he's afraid of meeting Liliana.
Innisitrad was living through its darkest time. The despair and evil that hung around the plane like an ominous fog grew thicker. Humans were turning to demons and other sources in desperation of protecting themselves. They sacrificed others in hoping for selfish salvation, only to be enslaved into a fate worse than death. Then again, being called back from the dead was just as bad, and not even corpses can have their eternal rest.
However, an interesting factor appeared.
There were a few accounts of a white-haired man in dark clothing turned up in a few planes every now and then. Most said he did not involve himself in the affairs of others, some say he was always searching for an obscure spell or another and one person said that he was a planeswalker before the Great Mending. This elusive mage was sighted rather frequently on Innisitrad, thrashing through vampire parties and overturning every corner where darkness lurked. It was also said that he managed to create what a great number of mages thought impossible for thousands of years: an angel. He doesn't believe Bolas, of course.
That dragon comes and goes by the Consortium, and Jace does his best to capture him and hopefully make sure he'll never cause another problem again. Bolas only proved the fact that dragons were related to snakes, scarily so.
Jace still researched, and he managed to find a single plane of interest.
The plane wasn't that large. In fact, it was the size of a small garden but it had stone walls as its boundaries and nothing beyond. Clusters of blue flowers covered the ground and the stone walls that is looked that made the plane look underwater, or around the skyline. On the ground, a small circle laid in the center made out of marble. There was a stone pillar above it - a memorial - and it was well-maintained.
"May the best days of our lives never fade, may our memories remain eternal even if our bodies may not."
When Jace inspected the stone, he saw a small area with several scratches that marred the smooth stone.
'Sorin Markov – Erik Corvus'
For some reason, he thought that the name 'Sorin' fit the planeswalker that stormed Innistrad better than 'Erik' ever would.
When Jace Beleren left the memorial, his heart was heavy and his body was exhausted. He felt a great burden weighed down on his shoulders and a longing that he did not understand.
He wants to get back to his library and find out why.
Tezzeret was either brilliant or mad, Jace preferred the latter.
Artifacts that replicated mana, artifacts that made summoning creatures from Æther easier, artifacts that rendered creatures useless, artifacts that cut off mages from mana - Gods! Tezzeret had more than hundreds-no, thousands of manuscripts that described their properties, their structures, materials needed to create them –everything! How did he get the –oh, there was a spell for turning back time, but its use was limited and short-lived. Still, twenty years was short to amass a great number of research notes and plans.
He wasn't surprised the first time he raided Tezzeret's libarary, but he was surprised to find that Tezzeret had more than eight libraries. Does he create libraries on his free time? He was a minor member of the Consortium before he took over, how could did he ever find the time to create them between missions?
Tezzeret was old… but that did not justify his ridiculously large collection. Or someone older could have given this to Tezzeret. The latter looked likely.
Besides artifacts, Tezzeret had a surprisingly large collection of books ranging from magical and scientific theory to historical text and fiction. There were journals too, but Jace wasn't sure he wanted to find out if they were given, scavenged, stolen, or taken forcibly. He really preferred the first and second scenario.
He was rummaging through one of the libraries on a plane near Innistrad, and yes he was still avoiding Liliiana and he wasn't interested in meeting with her any time soon. He doesn't want to answer any of her questions that would definitely include 'Why did you abandon me?'
"I want to do the right thing, and taking over a criminal organization to cause terror won't look good on my good guy resume. I did take over because they were scaring people off, now I'm hunting criminals instead of consolidating power in other planes. Maybe next time Lili." If ever he had the chance, he will say that to Liliana's face. Yeah, as if that'll work out fine.
The hubbub in Innistrad died down, the archangel Avacyn returned and Liliana decided to return to Ravnica. He wasn't in Ravnica.
It's not that he was afraid of Liliana, he was just wary. Not with Liliana, but the herculean hunter following her. Getting strangled did not leave him any good impressions of the Wildspeaker. He had to be careful with adjusting his collar because the larger planeswalker left bruises.
Call him a coward all you want, but there are times that one must wisely avoid conflicts, especially when you know you'll be on the brunt edge of the war.
Now that Liliana and Garruk left Innistrad for Ravnica, Jace decided to explore the peculiar realm they just left: Innistrad. His first destination in mind was Gavony, but considering the large amount of rotting corpses littering the streets upon the aftermath of Avacyn's return, Jace decided to pick Stensia instead.
Why Stensia? Well, Nephalia was probably twice as worse as Gavony since a large percentage of cemeteries were on that location, and water increases the stench of carcasses. Kessig sounded interesting, but a large percentage of its dwellers were not as advanced as their fellow Innistradians. And Garruk loitered there and he wasn't interested on going to wherever Garruk went. That was why Stensia was the currently the best location.
He wasn't really much of a fan of vampires; he wasn't really a fan of a lot of things. He really should get out more, but the call of ancient tomes and cryptic text instead of social interaction and verbal communication. He wasn't embittered with Liliana, he was just wary and he wasn't in denial. He was serious. He wasn't in denial.
The Avacynian church had a very extensive and old library, but vampires had bigger and older ones. Several families had old libraries as well, grimoires passed down on every generation, noblemen that decided that living forever was more fun added their collection of literature to whatever coven that sired them.
There were four powerful and large bloodlines: the Markov, the Stromkirk, the Voldaren, and the Falkenrath. The larger they were, the more vampires they had; the more vampires, the more tomes collected. Since Markov had the most kin in Innistrad, it wasn't surprising to know that they probably had the largest library in the plane.
And it was likely that the planeswalker Sorin Markov was related to them.
It wasn't easy sneaking inside one of the estates. Even if it was old and abandoned, wards protected it from intruders and dismantling it was similar to slicing a heart open with a sledgehammer. It wasn't pretty.
A hundred or so wave of spirits (local dialect: geists) and stone gargoyles later, Jace was picking through tomes that Tezzeret did not have a copy of. Translation: every book present.
Oh he was more than giddy. He was so giddy that he almost forgot to quadruple check if there were any wards that he forgot to dismantle. He was pretty sure that no one knew he dismantled them or he was there. He was almost gliding among the books, lost in the high of scouring through new spells and sorceries; no one could pull Jace away from this small pocket of paradise.
Until, well, now.
"I find it rude that you're going through my library without telling me about it."
Jace did not squeak like a girl. The sound he made was a masculine exclamation of shock and indignation.
The stranger chuckled in amusement. Jace was about to berate him for trespassing until he processed the man's words. He was about to call on for blue mana to erase his existence from the stranger's mind, but that would mean the man would be confused why his wards were down and he would have to construct newer and better ones.
Jace hated dismantling ancient wards.
Instead, the young planeswalker was going to make it that he was a personal friend of the stranger, and he would just insert his existence here and there and—
"Going through other people's minds is rather rude, Jace." Oh shit, he did not expect the stranger to know him… Which meant that he's a—
"Planeswalker? Yes. I am Sorin Markov by the way." White-haired, dark clothed, really long sword, and a vampire? Yep, this guy fit the bill alright.
"You're the vampiric party-thrasher? You don't look very impressive in person." Curse his tongue. Didn't Tezzeret say something about being careful what you say because you offend others?
The only reason I'm not currently picking your spine out from between my teeth is because you were smart enough to arrange these wards ahead of time. More to the point, I know full well you feel the same about me, no matter how you choose to doll up your words and trot them out like perfumed trollops.
Shit, that wasn't he was supposed to remember!
"I would usually find myself irritated should anyone dare trespass through my personal possessions, but I find myself amused at your expense at getting caught. The sound of feminine shrieks escaping the lips of men had always amused me."
Did he? Oh no, he didn't just—
"I'm glad you think so! In my opinion, I find men with feminine accessories and parade themselves to the eyes of the world to be fetching."
Instead of offending Sorin, it only amused him more. Jace could feel it without trying to read his mind.
"Do you really?" The vampire was smiling and then stepped closer, partially successful in invading Jace's personal space. "I find you be quite fetching as well, it's rare to find handsome and outspokenly sarcastic men these days without fearing loss of entrails in the face of the rage of a vampire."
Wait what? Did Sorin just… hit on him? Wait? His brain didn't manage to decode the message. It felt forever before he managed to comprehend whatever the white-haired man said. And when he realized that Sorin did hit on and compliment him Jace did the most logical thing most men in this situation would do.
It was more like 'he used his telekinetic abilities to push Sorin away and gather mana to planeswalk to a safe base' all the while hiding the pleased blush on his face.
To be continued…