|Author(s)||J. Robert King|
|First printing||October 2000|
Invasion is the first novel of the Invasion Cycle, the cycle that is the culmination of the entire Weatherlight Saga. It was written by J. Robert King and published in October 2000. Its story is continued in Planeshift and the Apocalypse.
The Phyrexian nightmare begins.
Dominaria faces its biggest threat—an invasion by its greatest enemy, an attack planned for eons by merciless foes. No one is exempt from their terror. No land is safe from their onslaught. In the shadow of the Phyrexian horde, Dominaria has but one hope—the Weatherlight and her crew. The time has come to defend hearth and home from invasion.
The book begins with Weatherlight flying over Benalia when suddenly portals begin to open in the sky, through which a Phyrexian armada is coming. The crew manages to close some portals and then heads to Benalia City to warn the people there, but they're thrown into jail alongside a mysterious Blind Seer. They escape along with the seer, destroy many Phyrexians, and liberate a number of prisoners from the Atrivak Mounds to help fight against the invaders, but the overall battle fares badly. The Phyrexians kill everyone in Benalia City, decimate Serran and Metathran armies sent by Urza, and the crew only barely survives an encounter with the leader of the invasion, Tsabo Tavoc. Hanna is injured during this battle. When the wound becomes infected, Orim diagnoses Hanna with Phyrexian Plague.
On Tolaria, Barrin and Urza go into a slow-time bubble from which they bring the genetically engineered generals for their Metathran armies: Thaddeus and Agnate. They head for the Caves of Koilos, where Tavoc has made her headquarters, and where the only permanent portal between Phyrexia and Dominaria lies. They attack the place, but it quickly turns into a siege with neither side being able to turn the tides of battle to its favor.
The only battle that really goes well for the defenders is that in Yavimaya. Aided by sea creatures from the surrounding seas, newly emerged Kavu and the nature spirit Multani, the Phyrexians there are killed and resurrected as woodmen that fight for the forest.
In Llanowar, Eladamri, Liin Sivi and Takara try to warn the people about the coming danger, but the elves there won't listen to them until plague-bombs begin to drop from the sky. Takara dies saving elves, while the others lead the survivors into the shelter of the Dreaming Caves. These caves bring the refugees’ nightmares alive, but Eladamri manages to soothe them.
In Zhalfir, the battle is going well, but Teferi knows it won't last long. He and Urza shut down the Phyrexian portals above the country, but Teferi uses the energy released this way to phase out his homeland. Urza is furious about Teferi choosing to flee over fighting and becomes even more enraged when Teferi also phases out part of Shiv.
The Blind Seer has been showing up and disappearing among the Weatherlight Crew, giving advice when needed. He sends them to Llanowar, where they shut down the portals that drop the plague bombs on the forest. They make a short planeshift to Rath, the staging ground of the invasion, where they capture a number of Phyrexians. Orim researches their immunity to the Plague and manages to devise a serum that stops it from spreading. The crew is made immune, but it's too late to do anything for Hanna. The Weatherlight lands and the group is reunited with Eladamri, Lin Sivvi, and even Multani. Eladamri tells the crew about the power of the Dreaming Halls to bring dreams to life, and they try to use it to cure Hanna, but she doesn't believe it herself, thus remaining ill.
On other fronts, the battle fares badly as well. On Urborg, Barrin's forces are almost defeated, only to be saved by the undead hordes of a necromancer. At Koilos, Thaddeus is captured by Tavoc and vivisected. The Blind Seer sends the Weatherlight to Koilos so Eladamri can replace the fallen Metathran general. The elf must fight a duel with Agnate to convince the genetically engineered warriors he is worthy of leading them, but during the duel, Hanna passes away.
Urza in the meantime assembles even greater defenders for Dominaria. He had planned for eight other planeswalkers, Taysir, Freyalise, Tevesh Szat, Lord Windgrace, Commodore Guff, Bo Levar, Parcher and Teferi, to join him using his Titan Engines to turn the tide at Koilos. His plans are slightly altered, as Taysir's adoptive daughter Daria replaces Teferi, and Freyalise insists Kristina of the Woods comes along (replacing Tevesh Szat, but Urza says he needs Szat and replaces Parcher instead). They travel to Tolaria to train with the engines in a fast time bubble, but the gathering of ‘walkers draws the Phyrexians to the island, so they abandon it, traveling to Koilos to plan for the great battle.
Urza begins to call back forces from Urborg to fight on Koilos. Barrin realizes the swamp island will be lost this way and travels to Urza to ask for reinforcements. Urza tells him he simply can't spare any and that Urborg must fall so Koilos can be saved. Barrin is annoyed, but can't do anything to change Urza's mind, so he decides to rest for a while and see his daughter. Urza tells him Hanna has been dead for two weeks. When Barrin asks why Urza didn't tell him, the ‘walker replies that Barrin's concentration was needed to save Urborg. Furious, Barrin exhumes his daughter's body and travels to Tolaria, casting the obliterate spell, completely destroying the entire island.
Then the final battle at Koilos begins. Titan engines and coalition forces fight Phyrexians, but more keep coming through the portal. The Weatherlight crew enters the Caves to shut it down, but they are overcome by Phyrexian forces. Tavoc uses Gerrard's grief over Hanna's death to gain control of his mind, and Agnate is emotionally shattered when he finds the remains of still-breathing Thaddeus, whom he mercy kills.
But then Karn gives up his oath of pacifism, distracting Tavoc long enough for Gerrard to break free and for Squee to pass his commander a sword. Gerrard and Karn wound Tavoc grievously, and the Phyrexian only barely manages to flee through the portal before Gerrard closes it. The mortal and planeswalker forces then round up the remaining Phyrexians.
The Blind Seer shows up again, revealing himself as Urza. He and Gerrard destroy the portal forever and tell the coalition army the battle is over. A great feast is arranged to celebrate this victory, but only a few days later something strange begins happening with the sky: Rath begins to merge with Dominaria, transplanting all Phyrexian forces from one plane to the other in a few days...
To be continued in Planeshift.