Mirage is packed with more betrayals, plot twists, and big reveals than just about any other world previously - maybe more than other worlds combined. It will force you to question whether or not you're on the right side, and scarcely resolves some of those fears. I'm taking a look at the ten biggest reveals in Mirage. It might be implicit, but be warned - there are major story spoilers here!
Bonus: King Ozymandias
Ozzy, our trusty floating skull friend that generated more interest than any other character when the first teaser was released, has a secret identity just like Xerxes. He is actually King Ozymandias, King of Kings, whose statue, as Alex Lionheart pointed out, is the one broken in the Akali Burrows. It sat on the tomb of the king.
When we unleashed Old Cob, later revealed as Grandfather Spider, onto the Spiral in hopes of preventing Morganthe's destruction, we assumed he was an ancient force working alone to seek revenge or otherwise fulfill his role as the third arc villain. We were wrong. Despite being an ancient enemy from the First World, he has present-day allies - the Cabal.
This group has been working to restore the First World by whatever means necessary. They share a view with Grandfather Spider that the Spiral is a terribly imperfect structure, and know that it will not last. We'll discuss how the Cabal started later on.
The Cabal is a longstanding organization with a lot of different members from different worlds. They have infiltrated the Chronomancers, and the current Chronomaster is a member himself. It'll be interesting to see who else is a part of this organization as we progress.
Gretta Darkkettle & Duncan Grimwater
Two old Wizard City NPCs now become major enemies. First, Duncan Grimwater seeks to join the Cabal by attempting to defeat you when you visit Malistaire's house. However, it is later learned that he's denied and never actually joins the organization.
Gretta, on the other hand, has been a member of the Cabal for a very long time. She becomes a 22,000-health opponent later on in Mirage. She warns us that the Arcanum is not what it seems. Ione, the Storm Scholar, suspected you as a Cabal spy at first, and continues to lie about how the Arcanum truly came to be.
The Scorpion Reveal
It was no real surprise that Lord Xerxes was indeed the Scorpion in disguise. The Rat was well-concealed with his abilities to take the shape of others, but Lord Xerxes' purple skin was a pretty big giveaway even in the first Mirage teaser with only one piece of concept art.
The crazy part about the Scorpion fight is that it happens halfway through the story and is a bit underwhelming, despite being an epic moment. The Scorpion is revealed and has brought an endless army with him, but after having united all of Mirage, you're ready to take him on.
Here's where things get even crazier: Old Cob isn't at all upset that you defeated his second child, not like the first time. He's angry that Scorpion was distracted by his petty interests in taking over Mirage at all. It is unknown whether we'll fight the Scorpion a second time during the final encounter, but Grandfather Spider is beginning to become the bigger threat.
Sands of Time
Polaris had the sky anchor that was part of what holds the Spiral together (convenient how many ways there are to destroy the Spiral). Mirage has the Sands of Time. Chronomancers manage it. Each grain is a moment in the Spiral's past, present, or future, and it falls in according with how time should flow.
Grandfather Spider's plan is to reverse the Sands of Time and undo everything and everyone's existence back to the beginning in the First World. The Cabal Chronomancers have been told by Grandfather Spider that as the Sands of Time are reversed, they'll be shepherded back to the First World, which is certainly a lie. They are defeated just before we're cut off on the end of the storyline.
The Arcanum was one of the craziest additions to Polaris there might have been - a totally other world and other school. One of the most mind-blowing parts was that we learned that it exists outside the Spiral. Usually we talk about the Spiral as an all-inclusive universe in which Wizard101 and Pirate101 exist, but the Arcanum shattered that expectation.
Now, we learned something new. The Arcanum is not a building floating around in space at all. It's a ship! The Arkcanum was originally built as a sort of Noah's Ark to survive the end of the Spiral, which is approaching quickly. The current members of Arcanum seek to avert the crises, and use their space to combat force of darkness.
The Cabal was once a part of the Arcanum. In fact, the secret, caged door was where a lot of their magic was practiced. They were the ones who saw the end of the Spiral coming and had the idea to build the ship to survive, but, divided over the issue, the Arcanum waged battle with one another, the Cabal being exiled - the Schism.
Now the current members of the Arcanum, besides continuing scholarly work, combat the Cabal's aim to restore the First World. This gets pretty complex, because the Arcanum members know that if they fail, they have the ship and the rest of the Spiral perishes, which is a little bit questionable. But also, they know that time is not on their side, and the Spiral will die with or without the Cabal and Grandfather Spider.
The Cabal is equally complicated. I'm sure they're not laboring under the delusions of the Chronomancers - that they can share in the new age of the First World. However, they believe in their cause so strongly that they are willing to die for it - and sacrifice everyone else. Because if they don't rewind time and destroy many, then everyone will die for sure as the Spiral implodes.
One of the internal plot twists in this particular world is the Djinni Conspiracy. We meet quite a few different ones in our time, each with unique models and characteristics. However, what we don't know initially is that they are all led by the evil Djinni Eerkala, who was working with Xerxes, the Scprion, to an extent, but is playing a bigger-picture game with Grandfather Spider and the Chronoshards.
She wishes to liberate all Djinn, which is a worthy goal, but was played by Grandfather Spider, who will undo the whole Spiral anyway. One of the interesting things she mentions is that we are expected to be in the Shadow Plane at the moment. Perhaps this will be the epic location of our final fight.
Chronocle & Timeless Tower
Grandmother Raven took a lot more precautions than one might expect. She safeguarded many elements of the First World in sentient beings guarded around the Spiral by the Luphilim, beings of light recruited by the Raven. The Timeless Tower is in a grotto, and we encounter it near the end of Mirage.
As we are doing the instance, time is literally being turned back as Grandfather Spider reverses the Sands at the Chronoverge. We go from being an underground grotto with ghost guards to being outside under the night sky with the guards as they are newly-recruited, effectively creating a paradox as we defeat them for the second, er- first time.
The Chronocle, like the Auroracle, has a lot of really interesting information for us, some of which I'll touch on in the final two reveals, but which I'll really be hitting hard in a few future posts.
Grandfather Spider and Grandmother Raven were lovers. At least, the Spider loved her. It might seem obvious based on titles, but we also have Grandfather Bartleby, so either it's a love triangle, or that's just a name for First World beings. It is possible that the Spider's children were a result of Raven and Spider's love, but unlikely in my opinion.
For some reason, the titan's battles forced Raven to lock up Spider, which we touched on in Khrysalis with the orbs. We have yet to learn why - did he cause the warring of the titans? We do know that Spider's influence stretches beyond the Spiral. When Raven locked Spider up, his heart was broken.
The Chaos Heart
Without the Spider's presence, something was wrong with the Spiral. Grandmother Raven knew it. So she took the Spider's Chaos Heart itself and used it to charge the Spiral's essence. Grandmother Raven literally stole the Spider's heart. Now things are shaping up for the arc's climax - returning and saving the Heart.
This explains a lot of why the Spiral is doomed one way or another. The Chronocle talks vaguely about it, and we can connect some additional dots, but I'm going to save some of my speculation and dot-connecting for another post dedicated entirely to this subject.
What surprised you most about Mirage?
Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!