A "Stentorian Roar"

Posted in Arcana on February 8, 2005

By Wizards of the Coast

Final Judgment

The Betrayers of Kamigawa card Final Judgment represents both a powerful effect in the game of Magic and a powerful moment in the story of Kamigawa. As a mass-removal spell that doesn't trigger soulshift abilities, it's a limited powerhouse. As a glimpse into the war between Kamigawa's mortals and spirits, it's a direct reference to the novels.

In this scene quoted from an early draft of Scott McGough's Outlaw: Champions of Kamigawa, the enormous, eight-headed uber-kami O-Kagachi decimates a battlefield full of hapless mortal soldiers. Kev Walker's art on Final Judgment, below, represents the fateful split-second just before this scene.

"The horses began to scream and rear, lashing out with their hooves. Dozens fell over on one side and were quickly trampled by their skittish peers. The company captains shouted and cursed at their units, struggling to be heard over the din of shattering earth and dying horses.

"Above the remains of the sundered hill, a huge yellow sphere ignited. The heat and the light were so intense that it boiled the closest retainers’ eyes in their sockets and burned their hard, lacquered armor to fine ash that clung to their bodies.

"Another fireball ignited across the road from the first. Trapped between two suns, the outermost columns of soldiers and their horses withered into charred, smoking skeletons of black ash and carbonized bone. Those that survived the inferno screamed with one agonized voice.

"A stentorian roar split the air, drawing blood from every human ear on the road. The two blazing orbs spun in place, and the outer layer of flames peeled back like the skin from an orange, revealing two sharp, black irises that widened vertically as they gazed down at the soldiers.

"The armed men of Hawaito fell quiet under the terrible gaze of those two great eyes. Their breath ceased in mid-prayer, mid-curse, or mid-dying moan. Every living thing below those eyes looked up into them in pure, devastating awe.

"The titanic spirit beast roared again. A great shadow rose up past the eyes, casting the area below into almost total darkness. Reptilian fangs as big as grain silos materialized as the shadow descended, simultaneously stretching down from above and erupting up from the soil below.

"The great jaws slammed shut, consuming the road, the valley, and everything in it. The entire kingdom of Hawaito felt the shock, as did every kitsune village and akki warren for a hundred leagues.

"The monstrous head, never fully formed, began to fade as the last of the bordering pave-stones along the road tumbled into the gaping wound it had torn in the world. The ground continue to rumble menacingly for a full day and night."

Final Judgment

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