On the Mirrodin Site: Unctus of the Synod

Posted in Feature on May 27, 2011

By Wizards of the Coast

Welcome back to "On the Mirrodin Site," where we show off highlights from the Mirrodin Site. For months, Mirran and Phyrexian characters have been providing field reports about the progress of the war. This week, we're going to share the entire story from one of the reports: Unctus of the Synod.


Chapter One

3rd cycle of the Blue sun, 10th periodic, 5th locus.

Politus is a fool.

The land seems to be changing. The spires grow at astounding rates, the Mephidross spreads like a pestilence, relentlessly eating away at the Glimmervoid, and he crawls further into Covalt's web of lies and deceit. I believe our world is warning us and he is too occupied with coddling the Neurok to heed its alarm.

Some of our cephons studying in the field have reported strange, undocumented creatures roaming Mirrodin. One of these monsters made off with a pack beast that was laden with scientific instruments and supplies, dragging the brute into a crack in the ground—its lair, no doubt. When did Lumengrid cease to know all the creatures under the suns? It would appear that Mirrodin has surprises for us all. Despite the attack, the cephon team returned with something that I find greatly intriguing: a small sample of what appears to be an oil-like substance that has been seen seeping out of the landscape. I have analyzed it for days now and it could possess serum-like properties. Its iridescence is somehow alive, imbued with some vital energy. It actually seemed to reach out when I held my hand close to it and a small droplet absorbed almost instantaneously into my skin. It was lightning-fast. Foolish of me, really. I have since isolated it within a beaker and ward-sealed it. It is indeed possessed of magical properties. I have mixed a portion of it with serum and later I shall see if there are any observable effects worth noting.

3rd cycle of the Blue sun, 16th periodic, 3rd locus.

Yesterday I gazed into the Knowledge Pool. The hidden memories of our entire culture stored within the swirling serum seemed alive. The answers I seek must lie somewhere within its shimmering depths. Perhaps this oil is another form of serum, another way that Mirrodin is imparting new wisdom. My dream-visions have been more vivid since the contact with the oil, and since then, there is the distinct sensation that something below the Knowledge Pool calls to me. It would be a blasphemy to all our laws to enter into its depths, but I cannot deny that my mind thinks of acting on such thoughts. I feel the urgency of those visions bubbling within me even as I write these words, words that are food for prying eyes to ferret out and devour. Politus would most certainly use them to assassinate my reputation and leave me to Covalt and his Neurok savages. I must do something to stop them both. They've done enough damage to our people already.

Perhaps I will consult with Scylla. She is one of the few remaining memnitects who holds both pure, vedalken objectivity and my high esteem. I must confess, she would make an exceedingly good match for a mate and I know she thinks the same of me.

This oil, however, intrigues me. I must get back to my studies.

Chapter Two

5th cycle of the Blue sun, 2nd periodic, 10th locus.

Ah, Scylla, how shall we remake the Synod and save Mirrodin?

As you now have most likely heard, I have ceased my Emisar duties; the hypocrisy has become too great. Instead I have isolated myself inside my laboratory and dedicated my mind to this new avenue of inquiry. Over the last several cycles I have been experimenting upon myself with a serum and oil mixture and the results are intriguing. At times, it is highly painful, but my new visions are showing me astounding things. In my last vision I saw a great creature before me, a humanoid torso emerging from a massive, spider-like body. Somehow I knew that it had been an ancient guardian of our world. It stood high upon a shining metallic tower gazing at me with its many eyes, each of them a jewel pulsing with a deep, terrifying intellect. I looked about this strange landscape that was our much like our own world but shining and untainted by mycosynth.

It was as if I was inside an opalescent bubble in which blazed a vast sphere of crackling mana. With a tremor from its mind, this creature weightlessly transported me through a tunnel which led into the space under the Knowledge Pool! All the while a booming, steely voice said, "Return! Return!" I awoke from the vision with my mind racing feverishly. What if it holds a kernel of truth? What if some kind of world exists below Lumengrid and is home to this creature? What untold secrets does it know? Scylla, if you could have beheld what I saw in my mind's eye, the magnificence of such a being!

The lacuna is guarded of course, but I must see if I can find a way inside. I must seek the truth.

6th cycle, 5th periodic, 15th locus.

It is odd. My body now seems to be producing the oil. It appears at the corners of my eyes at irregular intervals and sometimes in my saliva. The changes to my right-upper arm are quite severe, there is a blackening and the bone has protruded out into a hook-like appendage. I am slowly transforming; that much is sure. The oil has shown me things, however, that amaze me utterly and calm my fear somewhat. It is worth the pain. A great intellect is now whispering within me, preparing me for some higher purpose. It keeps mentioning "the spheres."

I have made up my mind. I have found a way to get through the guards and into the chamber that contains the Knowledge Pool. I know you are wondering where I have been these last cycles, but I promise that as soon as I return from within the depths of the tunnel, you and I will be paired as we have agreed in our discussions.

I will throw Politus to the gyrdrakes! I will give you Lumengrid as a pairing gift and we shall usher in a new era for our suffering Synod!

Chapter Three

Date: 100-23-200239.6
Subject taken from within tunnel 3 and harvested. Processed by surgical sective.
Phase 1 Compleation: Threx
Transcript log of subject: Unctus
Transcriptionist: Uulk
Sective Inquisitor: Kizak
Subject: Unctus/Vedalken
Begin Transcription.

Kizak: Please state your name.

Unctus: Unctus.

Kizak: Please state your name before phase one compleation.

Unctus: There was another name?

Kizak: Yes.

Unctus: It seems a lifetime ago. A life utterly lost in a haze of primitive thoughts. Yes, it was something like Kiryk, I was vedalken. An utterly grotesque creature. Fleshy and ignorant.

Kizak: What were your duties at that time?

Unctus: I was what they call an Emisar, serving the vedalken hierarchy, a deliverer of truth, or so they blindly believe. I was a voice of an organization called the Synod that could not agree on a common vision so it was overtaken and dismantled. Their logic is still incomplete. They do not think spherically.

Kizak: It something troubling you?

Unctus: I am seeing things with a new perception, a new mind. Never before have I seen such symmetry, layers upon layers, each serving a function. There is a grand destiny to it. A great truth.

Kizak: You have absorbed the sacrament of the oil and now are being transformed by it. It is a process, what the Core Augur calls the Great Synthesis. Perhaps you will sit at his feet someday and he will share minds with you.

Unctus: Is he the being in my visions? I must share his knowledge now.

Kizak: To share minds with the Core Augur at this point would tear your primitive psyche apart. Your compleation is far from finished. Threx has only just begun his enhancements of your finer nerve structures. His ultimate design for you is . . . ambitious. You are being made for a certain purpose, Unctus. Your knowledge of the surface world and all who dwell there will be of profound importance to the Great Synthesis of this world.

Unctus: Mirrodin. Yes. They all must be made aware of this. How can I explain the balance that it could bring to them, the Synod, to all who dwell under the Five Suns? Will they listen? Will they be open to such revelation?

Kizak: The oil, Unctus. We must first bring them to the oil. It will give them the ears to hear.

Unctus: Yes, of course, the oil. Kizak. I am feeling . . . extreme discomfort.

Kizak: Your nerves are being stripped and enhanced so that you may fully comprehend what the Core Augur wishes to show you, Unctus. There will be much pain, for there is much to see.

Unctus: I wish to see it all, no matter what the pain or cost.

Kizak: Only the Father of Machines may see it all. Only he can see the form that the Great Work must take. We are perfecting you to interpret his Word. The Augur wills it.

End Transcription

Chapter Four

Date: 100-23-205732.2
Transcript log Unctus.
Begin Transcription.

Our processing of the surface has begun.

As I utter those words, energy pours through me.

Could it be what the primitives call joy?

What ever it is called, I am filled with it. Every nerve structure I possess hums with eagerness, knowing that Mirrodin finally will grasp what it means to be freed from flesh. It is a moment of like no other I have experienced.

Those who have been initially blessed by the oil have brought us specimens to explore while we have remained hidden under the steel casing of the surface. It is hard to imagine that I was one of those fortunate few to be so blessed. Now with our dreadnaughts and drones free to scour the surface, the flesh-creatures are being brought in by the hundreds to undergo the rites of compleation. The spires are running day and night, churning with the sounds of our Great Synthesis. It is the sound of our will being made manifest.

Grand revelations are in store for those who still fumble in the darkness of their ignorance. Such a gift the Augur is bestowing upon them, freely sharing this ancient heritage, incorporating them into our sphere. I overflow with ideas for this world. The Core Augur has given me the task of overseeing the compleations of the neurok and vedalken, my knowledge of their anatomy and neural mechanics will help guide Threx in their transformation, so they may have the physiology capable of comprehending all the spheres that comprise our great work.

Date: 100-23-206936.3
Transcript log Unctus.
Begin Transcription.

Scylla. Somehow, the memory of you has survived in my brain, untouched by Threx's razor. I look for you among the incoming masses. I want you to share in this.

Date: 100-23-208430.4
Transcript log Unctus.
Begin Transcription.

Sub-praetor Grgur and I have developed a way to connect scores of vedalken and neurok brains. I am reserving only the choicest of minds for inclusion in this structure which Grgur has called the Meldweb. Much design has gone into it and it now spans most of Grgur's lab-spire. It is a sight to behold. We believe that among other important uses, immersing the root-ganglia of the Meldweb into the knowledge pool should produce fascinating results. The whole of vedalken knowledge would be at our command. I have been chosen to design a crude vocalization device so that the meldweb can communicate verbally. I feel that a hanging array of vocal structures from varying sources should suffice in being able to effectively simulate our speech. I must talk to Malcator and seek his counsel on this design.

Date: 100-23-207293.8
Transcript log Unctus.
Begin Transcription.

Scylla. I still talk to you as if you are with me, seeing everything that I am working on. I want to find you. To open your mind to the Augur's vision so you may comprehend this world, the spheres within spheres that no surface mind could dream of grasping. The perfection of it still staggers me. You must know of its grandeur.

Chapter Five

Date: 100-23-209387.2
Transcript log Unctus.
Begin Transcription.

I have received the first transmission from the Father of Machines.

The Core Augur has given me the honor of interpreting the utterances as they emerge from our great leader. I plan to use the completed Meldweb to assist me in deciphering these fragments as there are thousands of them. He speaks of times long since past and of creatures and beings that are powerful beyond imagining.

Elesh Norn is meddling with the purity of the Father's words. She is a twister and a manipulator. The Augur knows it, which is why my task becomes even more important to record and interpret these fragments with Gitaxian purity.

I will not fail the Augur.

Date: 100-23-214923.1
Transcript log Unctus.
Begin Transcription.

My cranial vats have begun to seep, causing me great pain.

The work to decipher the Father's Will is all-consuming. Stimulant glands have been grafted to my endostructure to allow the great work to continue, but I can feel the failings of the flesh. Such weakness. Soon, I will need new grafts. I have asked for more chrome to be retrofitted onto my skeletal structure, hopefully Urabrask will comply and deliver this vital material. It is irritating. We should not even have to ask for this, the Great Work must not be hindered in any form. He grows more elusive with each cycle of the moons. The Augur grows impatient with Urabrask and his minions in the furnace layer, and the Augur is not to be trifled with.

Date: 100-23-218329.5
Transcript log Unctus.
Begin Transcription.

The grafts slow my progress. Each time Malcator and Threx adjust my structure, it takes time for me to adapt to the new sensations, rushes of mania and awkward limbs, which now number more than twenty. Thankfully, the seepage from the cranial vats has subsided and I can resume my work without too much pain.

Scylla, if you could read the words from our Father of Machines. Such a mind! If I could only have a thousand more nerve arrays grafted so I could clearly comprehend the meaning. The Meldweb is assisting me greatly and the Augur is pleased with my progress. Word of our accomplishments here have reached the Porcelain Cathedral. Elesh Norn envies our work, I can almost feel her scheming mind trying to penetrate our logic. She will fail. The Porcelain Legion will never understand. Our methods are grounded in the Great Synthesis and the Gitaxian Standards, not Norn's superstitions and prophecy.

She is to be feared, however. I must not speak any more of this.

Date: 100-23-219374.8
Transcript log Unctus.
Begin Transcription.

I am to undergo another session of grafts. These should make an enhancement in my overall performance. There is this thought that plagues me. Will I ever be truly compleat? Is it a knowing that I will have, or will it be a sense of an absolute terminus, an arriving? Will the Father of Machines bestow it upon all of his devoted followers?

It is the Meldweb. Even a brief connection with it has made my mind reel with such thoughts. I must not touch it again.

Chapter Six

Date: 100-23-225736.9
Transcript log Unctus.
Begin Transcription.

Our work on this world nears an end.

The sphere is almost whole.

Lumengrid stands now as a testament of our supremacy. If only the fools remaining on the surface knew that their doom was inevitable, it would make all this so much easier. Why do they resist?

Now, my work turns to true compleation.

It is said that there is perfection. The Augur has written of it in the Gitaxian Standards, Norn speaks of such matters in the Argent Etchings, but I do not feel it. It is a core value of our Great Work, but there is always something more. It is always removed, apart from me. It is never enough.

I must pore through more writings to see if the Father of Machines speaks of this subject. He will most certainly have answers for his devoted.

Date: 100-23-227834.6
Transcript log Unctus.
Begin Transcription.

More surface dwellers came in today and I looked for you Scylla.

These past cycles I have been distracted - an odd malfunction - my neural webbing must be degrading. I will have to have the nerve splicers see to that. My thoughts return to you, wondering if you will come in through the tunnel that leads into Lumengrid, the tunnel that will lead you to me. I can only hope that Norn's suture priests haven't yet claimed your brilliant mind, and encased it within a porcelain tomb. Such a fate you do not deserve.

I will wait, Scylla and watch for you.

Date: 100-23-229723.3
Transcript log Unctus.
Begin Transcription.

Scylla. Seeing you with my new array of eyes was most gratifying, yet you did not recognize me.

Some strange, primitive system within me wished that you had, but I know that now my form has become quite unrecognizable to the one you must remember.

You do remember me, don't you?

You screamed as my forelimbs caressed your face. I could see that you have been through so much hardship these past cycles, swimming in ignorance of the spheres. Not much longer now, soon you will see worlds unimagined. As I took you into the exochamber, something sparked within me. A connection was made. There was a cascade of realizations that arose like the five suns, as if the Father of Machines spoke directly into my auditory process.

We must be joined. Grafted together.

It is you that will make me truly compleat.

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