9 Spheres of New Phyrexia
New Phyrexia is a plane like no other in the multiverse. It is composed of nine grotesque spheres which descend deeper and deeper into the core of the Plane, each a monument to meticulous disfigurement and twisted perfection. A parallel drawn to the nine layers of hell traversed by Dante in the divine comedy. And just as Dante was guided on his journey by Virgil, I will provide commentary as we descend through each of the nine spheres into the heart of what was once Karn's dream, but now is nothing more than the heaving corpse of his nightmare. Hold fast to your humanity, and do not be swayed by the odd beauty of this Plane as we journey through each sphere of New Phyrexia.
The Monumental Facade
When you first arrive on New Phyrexia you are greeted by the shining suns over a wasteland of steel. Their light casting the surface in five muted colors. There is a whistle as the dust kicks up and covers the land like an uneasy blanket. There is no other feeling left to describe what you see other than lonely and desolation. The horizon is flat and stretches out beyond your vision, the only landmarks in sight are the Obelisks of flesh and bone dotted across the landscape and the great monuments to the Praetors which give this sphere its name. It's an inhospitable place, a mere shell encasing the horrors below, one whose inhabitants are not but the grotesque monolith's and the occasional Phyrexian's who gaze upon them, like pilgrims to a holy land.
This place and its towering watchers are but brittle effigies, a form of art dreamt up by those who do not dream, crumbling away and reforming in areas by an unknown force. It fills you with an uneasy feeling as you wonder what kind of entity would create such ominous over-lookers for the soul purpose of their own gratification. You hear the sound of skittering tarsus and look up to see a figure resembling Elesh Norn, its arms outstretched, as if to welcome you home and yet our journey has only begun.
The sphere of Mirrex was once the surface of Mirrodin, a gleaming land of possibilities, but now there is not but rubble, as the land itself heaves into the air. An entire landscape ravaged by total war, the corpse of what once was. It feels like an impossible place, one where even survival is a forgone conclusion, and yet rebels find corners to hide from their pursuers. In some places we see rubble glowing blue as it appears to be sucked up into the clouds causing an impossible twister of metal, a faint glow the only source of light, the suns above already unable to pierce into this place. From another view we see the same destruction but here there are twisted arms reaching up as if to hold the facade above, emerald green branches like tentacles spread as far as the eye can see. A stark contrast to the attempts at perfection in the spheres below. We should move on friend, there isn't anything left here to see.
The Autonomous Furnace
The Autonomous Furnace is the first sphere where the influence of one of the Praetors is truly felt. It's a region of darksteel and flame, one where the structures force their way out of the ground, jagged and violent like stalagmite's. The air here is hot and oppressive as molten metal and flame pour from every available opening, causing everything to be bathed in a red glow. Forges run at every hour, their masters crafting tools of war. There is the constant sound of metal scraping, molten ooze bubbling, and the cackling cry of completed goblins as they scurry about their business, ripping and reforming. Sleek Phyrexian hyenas run about, their paws leaving a trail of flame wherever they go.
There is barely a corner here where any form of stillness or peace can be found. Urabrask, the Preator of these lands, does not lead by command but rather by example, and because of this the Furnace is a sphere of freedom. One where each being and faction found within is left to their own devices, to find their own form of perfection. Skirmishes between them are usually the result, played out with large siege machines that spit flame and cut bone. On a grander scale the whole sphere is but one giant forge, with combat being the forge masters hammer, and passion the underlying flame. It is a sphere where the only law is create, destroy, rebuild and repeat.
The Hunter Maze
Below the furnace, sleek metallic flame gives way to rusted copper and flesh. The trees here, if they could be called such, twist and tangle with jagged barbs ready to rip and tear. The beasts of this sphere have evolved in horrific ways, spurred on by the constant struggle for survival present by design. Dinosaurs of unimaginable stature roar as they crash through the hunters maze looking for their next victim. The beings here appear to be the most organic of any sphere, merely enhancing their already sufficient bodies in ways that make them more effective. Among the beasts you will find elves, skin as green as the emerald colored foliage, perhaps the only sign of beauty in such a hostile place, but do not be mistaken, they are Phyrexian through and through.
Interestingly enough they have held onto some closeness to the land. Druids still manage to shape and manipulate a sphere that has become so foreign to any other forest you would find in the multiverse. One of the most frightening aspects of this area is not just the beasts which tower overhead, but also the toxins which permeate like a vile sickness from every corner and creature. So effective are they, that if you were to win a fight you would still succumb to the venom. In every way the Hunters maze is looking to kill you, it is a sphere of strength and violence. From the barbed trees, efficient beasts or the deadly toxins, survival will take everything you have.
The Surgical Bay
Descend with me now into a sphere much different from the one above. A place where autonomous eyes follow your every move with curious intent. Witnesses to the horrors of cold efficient design. Some fly without wings while others are directed by tendrils that pour forth from Phyrexian armour, or sources indiscernible. It is here where the quicksilver sea now resides, coating the sphere in an icy blue liquid which wraps around the many structures built throughout. These structures are adorned with crystalline spheres and metallic filigree which twist in every direction. The synthetic sky is interlaced with large circles which glow a continuous beam of light downward, like surgical lamps of function rather than comfort, filling this sphere with an disquieting light.
Everything about this sphere is built for efficiency, if it does not aid in the design of its Praetor it is of no use. You see the Surgical bay is a sphere of continuous iteration and experimentation, a part of New Phyrexia where flesh has been all but forgotten. This concept of experimentation is visible on the designs of the Phyrexians here, each built in ways that suit only their purpose. The most horrific of them being those Phyrexians with hands like surgical tools that cut at flesh to reinvent existence, taking the idea of perfection to all new levels. Screams fill the halls as beings are opened up without anesthetics and made to suffer as they are turned into something new. This sound like the music of an artist as they tease notes from their instruments, bringing their vision to life.
The Dross Pits
Here in the sixth sphere we are shown a scene not to dissimilar to what Dante would have witnessed on his journey, a true hell of sorts. Necrogen pours out of every crevasse, cascading down into stench filled pools of ichor. The air thick with the off-gas of it, spewing necrotic fumes which rise and fill the sphere in an eerie green tinge. The structures are coated in a pitch of black so pure the night sky would be envious. Phyrexian citations are scrawled up and down upon pillars and Phyrexian's alike, crimson warnings of your fate. Much like the Hunters maze it's a sphere of endless combat, as Thanes fight for control over every inch. Among those that vie for power are beings of religious fanaticism, similar to Elesh Norn's orthodoxy but twisted into a new and dark form.
Necrotic priests spread the gospel of lies to outstretched hands, and acolytes of this dark word are anointed with the dissertations of their father as a test of their faith. True devotees give themselves fully to the dross pits, amalgamating their form to the columns which pour forth the Necrogen from their mouths and eyes. The presence of decaying corpses lend themselves as nutrients to the mutated and phyrexianized rats who consume the flesh, engorged by the great feast at hand. Heads grow upon others as if to allow for more consumption, these rats a perfect metaphor for the sphere itself. The pits are like that of old Phyrexia, a vision dreamt up by Yawgmoth, the first father and represent the true horrors that await the multiverse.
The Fair Basilica
When you first pass the gates of the Fair Basilica you may be relieved, wondering if you have passed on from hell into heaven. The architecture here is of pure porcelain white, adorned with crimson red ribbons. Clouds form around the base of each edifice to further the illusion. It isn't until you draw closer that the truth behind this sphere reveals itself. A line of parishioners form a chorus along floating bridges to witness the Dominus Mondrak, words ejected from its many mouths which shatter pillars and pierce the psyche. This scene an encapsulation of this sphere.
Further still as we traverse this place we see more of Elesh Norns followers, priests of a holy war chant and evangelize her teachings. Their heads adorned by large mitre like that of the popes from the plane of earth. Their flesh torn and pulled to form flowing robes and decorative ribbons, as if to display their loyalty through suffering . The faithful receiving their message, a hand on their shoulders, down on one knee. Throughout this sphere you do notice tentacles reaching up through the ground, they are out of place here and stand out like unwanted guests but are messengers of what lies below. Further ,as we press on, we come to the crowning jewel of the Basilica, the throne room of Elesh Norn.
This throne is like nothing else you have seen before. Its entire composition is made up of the faithful, their bodies solidified into one final pose for their mother. Much like the intricate paintings that form the roof of the Sistine chapel, the figures here are intertwined in a sort of dance which tells a story of piety. One might be swayed by such loyalty, but we should not linger here any longer, otherwise we may find ourselves pulled in by the Phyrexian cause, that of unification, a promise held on hallowed ground.
The Mycosynth Gardens
For the first time in our journey you can feel a stillness as we enter the Mycosynth gardens. The sphere is made up of interweaving metallic columns, a composition very different from its semi-organic origin. A wisp of light passes by, perhaps one of the remaining few Blinkmoths, a vestige of a time past. There is more of those tentacles here as well, letting us know that we are ever closer to what is held at the core of this Plane, and so we will not waste any time and head to our final destination.
Where once sat the seat of Karn now lies a tangle of barbed tentacles, interwoven around an ominous glow of red, like that of a dying star. The sound here is unbearable as the grinding of metal matches the deafening hum of the core. It's here where the seed of Kaldheim's world tree has been planted. A tool that will allow the Phyrexians to reach through the blind eternities into other worlds. A symbol of what is to come.
Thanks for reading my article discussing the 9 Spheres of New Phyrexia. Truly it is a Plane like no other. If you enjoyed this article then consider becoming a site member that way you can be notified when my next article goes live. Alos if you like this sort of content consider checking me out on any of the links below. With that friend, I will catch you in the multiverse bye.
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