First Epilogue To MTG’s Outlaws Of Thunder Junction Story Reveals How We Got Here

“Bring the End, Part 1” tells how Jace and Vraska reunited amid the Phyrexian invasion.

Illustrated by Fajareka Setiawan.

This article recaps the official Outlaws of Thunder Junction Magic short story, “Epilogue 1: Bring the End, Part 1“. It contains spoilers for the main Outlaws of Thunder Junction storyline, last year’s March of the Machine storyline, and older storylines for the original Ixalan block and Magic Origins.

Episode 6 of the main Outlaws of Thunder Junction story revealed that Ashiok, who had hired Oko and his crew to get into a vault on Thunder Junction, was in fact Jace in disguise, and that Jace had been conspiring with crew member Vraska to steal a specific treasure in the vault for themselves. “Epilogue 1: Bring the End, Part 1”, written by Alison Lührs, goes back in time to the Phyrexian invasion of the Multiverse, setting the scene for Jace and Vraska’s partnership.

Vraska Joins Up Jace Reawakened

At Realmbreaker

“Bring the End, Part 1” starts by establishing a time and place: “One Year Prior. The Invasion Tree.” The first part of the story retells the events of Seanan McGuire’s “Assault on New Phyrexia | Episode 5: Inevitable Resolutions” from Jace’s point of view. Jace, struggling against his infection by the Phyrexian disease phyresis, prepares to detonate a sylex, a weapon of mass destruction that will annihilate Phyrexia but may also harm other parts of the Multiverse.

The Filigree Sylex

The phyresis takes full hold of Jace’s body at the moment of attempted detonation, compleating him in Phyrexian terms. Jace’s mind seals itself away from the corruption, a process Jace compares to the forced forgetting that he has inflicted on himself and others. This uncorrupted Jace appears for a moment to surface near “Useless Island” on Ixalan, the place he landed after first arriving at that plane.

Ixalan's Binding

This moment does not last, as Elspeth Tirel stabs him with a Halo-infused sword and takes the sylex herself to let it explode in the Blind Eternities. Though deeply wounded, Jace has enough telepathic control to fool Elesh Norn about his presence. In his struggle, Jace dedicates himself to saving the compleated Vraska, who had rescued him on Ixalan and become his partner in romance and fighting Nicol Bolas.

Vraska, Betrayal's Sting

While reading Elesh Norn’s mind, Jace receives a command, “Go home,” that he interprets as returning to his home plane of Vryn, where his mentor-turned-abuser Alhammarret forced him to commit war crimes and then wiped his memories of them. Jace planeswalks to Vryn, leaving the Halo-infused sword behind.

Reclaiming Himself

Alone on Vryn, Jace controls his mind, but phyresis controls his body. Frustrated and raging, Jace remembers a long-ago line:

The brain is the seat of the body, and the body heals or withers at the brain’s lead.

The Jace locked within his own mind telepathically orders his body to fight off phyresis as it would a virus. During this mental fight, the physical Jace is part of the Phyrexian invasion of Vryn, damaging defending soldiers with his telepathy. When the locked-in Jace realizes what his body is doing, he orders the body to sleep, which it does.

When Jace wakes, the Phyrexian invasion is over, Elesh Norn and the rest defeated, and Phyrexia itself phased out of existence. He is feverish as part of fighting his phyresis, and soon he has another mental battle to fight: with himself, as he struggles with what his Phyrexianized body did in his absence, one more instance of Jace being used as a tool for destruction. The thought of Vraska, however, gives him something else to focus on, and he planeswalks to Ravnica in search of her.

Ravnican Reunion

Back on Ravnica, Jace finds the Phyrexians in retreat. He follows Vraska’s telepathic trail, summoning a drake to carry him to the rooftop where she lies, broken and dying. They have a telepathic conversation, the same one seen from Vraska’s point of view in the March of the Machine story “Ravnica: One and the Same” (also written by Lührs) and interpreted by Vraska as a dying dream. A small part of Vraska’s mind remained uncorrupted by phyresis and hid in the mental space Jace created for Vraska back on Ixalan as part of their plans to deceive Nicol Bolas, as recorded in Ixalan block short story “Sabotage” (written primarily by Lührs).

Induced Amnesia

Jace unlocks this mental space with the code he and Vraska agreed to on Ixalan: calling her “Captain”. Then, he “performs five miracles at once”:

  1. Protects her newly freed consciousness from being infected by Phyrexia.
  2. Creates a defensive wall in her mind to contain the Phyrexian elements.
  3. Gives her the same mental command to fight her physical corruption with an immune-like response.
  4. Picks up Vraska physically and planeswalks with her…
  5. …to the one place he knows a healer will treat them.

Back on Vryn

The healer is Ranna Beleren, and Jace takes Vraska through the Blind Eternities and straight into Ranna’s home. Ranna cautiously approaches these strangers in rough shape who have teleported into her life, wielding a scalpel-like light-blade in self-defense, but she recognizes her now-grown, Phyrexianized son, and whispers his name. With his last strength, Jace sends her a telepathic message: “Please help us, Mom. I’m so sorry.”

Read “Epilogue 1: Bring the End, Part 1” in full from Wizards of the Coast.