Archive Trap: The World of Zendikar Part II

The Vorthos Guide to Magic: The Gathering by Jay13x and Kaburi
Welcome back to Archive Trap, the unofficial story column for all things Magic: The Gathering! Last time we talked we filled you in on all the key players and gave you a little bit of background on each. We also talked about the geography of Zendikar itself, which is as much a character as anything else, with its Roil-torn landscape, ancient dungeons and flavorful artwork. Today we want to take you 6,000 years into Zendikar’s past, where three Planeswalkers decided the fate of Zendikar.

Zendikar, a Chronology

We’ve re-read all the story materials we could find relating to Zendikar, and we had so much material to work with we had to split this chronology in two. This first summary takes you from Zendikar's ancient past up until just after the release of the Eldrazi. Only pieces of stories directly relevant to the Zendikar plot are represented here, so while we may mention The Purifying Fire, it wasn’t focused on Zendikar and as such will not be fully summarized. We’re presenting the story here in chronological order, but it should be noted that these stories were written over a seven year period. Consequently, they don’t always flow logically together as not a lot of care is given to providing exact time frames, and "centuries" or "millennia" are thrown around frequently and often interchangeably. Some details have changed as time goes on, as have certain characters who may not seem familiar between their representations.

We encourage you to read the source material for whatever we mention here. However, at a recent event, Creative has even mentioned that their new status quo is to essentially retcon anything that doesn’t line up with where they want to go with a character. This means that many stories should only be taken from the perspective of broad strokes rather than any specific details being confirmed as canon. As far as we can tell, Magic’s story will be a little flexible when it comes to canon for the foreseeable future. As much as possible we will avoid using the names of minor characters that only appear in a single story, as most side characters tend to be disposable and we don’t want to overload this with unimportant names to remember.

Finally, please keep in mind that we're putting this together for fun in our free time. We are not paid to write these articles, and we're not perfect, so you may find that we get some things wrong. If this happens, please let us know in the comments and we'll address it as soon as we're able.

The Ancient Past The prologue begins 6,000 years before "modern day," on a plane whose name is lost to time. On this plane, Nahiri and Sorin rally the last survivors of a world devastated by the Eldrazi. Nahiri is new to being a planeswalker, and hasn’t yet achieved the power of some of the famous planeswalkers of the past. A single Eldrazi titan, implied to be Ulamog, arrives while they debate what to do next, and before Sorin or Nahiri can react, it rips a hole in the fabric of the plane, destroying everything that was left. The two planeswalkers escape and rendezvous on Zendikar.

Let's just leave these here for a while. I'm sure nothing could go wrong.
Art by Igor Kieryluk
As the two recuperate, Ugin appears before them. Sorin knows the dragon, and although they worked together previously, Sorin is uneasy about working with the dragon. This unease only grows as Ugin mentions that while Sorin and Nahiri fought, Ugin watched and attempted to learn about the Eldrazi. Ugin reveals their nature as beings of the Æther, the Blind Eternities, and makes one very important point:
"Hence the dilemma," Ugin went on. "If we face them in the Blind Eternities, we face their full power in an environment where even we can barely survive. But if we defeat only their physical extensions—no mean feat in itself, as you have seen—still we accomplish nothing, for their true forms reside in the Æther."
Nahiri wants to try to destroy them anyway, but Ugin urges caution. They don’t actually know what killing the Eldrazi would do, so the three planeswalkers hatch a plan to capture the Eldrazi. Nahiri is convinced to use her home of Zendikar, as it is the only plane known to the three with all the right conditions, or rather, the only plane without the complication of maybe having to convince or fight any guardians. They would trap the Eldrazi on Zendikar, and Nahiri would watch over the prison. With the plan set, the trio set to work.

Forty years later, the trap was completed. A network of stone hedrons was constructed throughout Zendikar, intended as both bait and trap for the Eldrazi. Nahiri warned the world, which in the original version included vampires, something a later version would remove, so officially no vampires existed at this time, and the preparations were finalized. The Eldrazi arrived and the three titans were lured to Akoum, where the trap was sprung and the titans imprisoned. The only way to release them was for three planeswalkers, one of whom had the power of Ghostfire, to gather at the nexus of the hedron network, the Eye of Ugin.

But, as we all know, that was not to be the end of the story. For several hundred years, Nahiri continued to live among the people of Zendikar. Time passed, and she grew more and more distant as those she loved died around her. She taught them as best she could, creating a legacy in the Stone Forgers with what she knew of lithomancy and showed them how to keep the "gods" from emerging to destroy the world. Finally, Nahiri cocooned herself in stone to sleep, tired of the world and feeling a growing sense of apathy.

The people of Zendikar may take things a little too literally.
Shrine of the Forsaken Gods art by Daniel Ljunggren
Around 1,000 years before the events of the current story, Nahiri was awoken by the stirring of the Eldrazi. Brood lineages were ravaging the plane and something about the prison was… off. She used the Eye to summon her allies and waited, but neither arrived. It’s unclear how long she waited, but it was long enough for the spawn to spread across Zendikar. Realizing her mistake, she resolved to stop waiting and went out in search of the brood.

What she found shocked her. The people of Zendikar worshipped her… and the Eldrazi titans. She found a bizarre stone monument to herself and the Eldrazi, but not like they had been. Instead the Eldrazi were depicted as the races of Zendikar, the result of Nahiri's mistake in referring to them as gods. As she continued her search, she found vampires at the source of the disruption of the hedron network. These vampires were different from the kinds she had encountered before on other planes, as they had horns jutting from their backs and elbows, and they had built a temple on an important site in the hedron network. Here they conducted sacrifices to honor Ulamog, depicted as a god seizing the horns of the vampires. Nahiri dispatched the vampires and attempted to fix the damage to the network, but the patch was imperfect. The world started to react, beginning the Roil, and was reshaped into the Zendikar we know today. The Eldrazi were sealed again, but still Nahiri worried. Her friends hadn’t come, and she had no idea why. Her work done, Nahiri set out to find Sorin and save him if necessary.

The place where the vampires were making sacrifices is likely the Puzzle Tower, or Tal Terig. In the Teeth of Akoum mentions that as a place where vampires regularly make sacrifices, and it's location near the feet of the Teeth makes it the probable location.

Sometime between when the hedron network was completed and modern day, Ob Nixilis traveled to Zendikar and lost his spark to the plane's wild mana. His machinations brought him to the attention of Nahiri, who implanted a hedron in his forehead that severely limited his power. Presumably this happened after her reemergence but before her departure.

Prologue for Zendikar
The modern story begins several years before the Eldrazi are released. It centers on Nissa Revane, a Joraga elf and one of the last animists. Being an animist is an object of shame in her tribe, as it was believed the line was wiped out by a vengeful Zendikar. Nissa has dreams of a darkness in the land, which cause friction between her mother and the tribe, and she comes to believe that Zendikar is trying to punish her. Eventually leaves her home because of her animist abilities and her dark dreams.

Once she left, however, Nissa discovers that Zendikar isn’t punishing her at all. Instead, Zendikar was asking for Nissa's help in saving it, revealing leylines that Nissa follows to the source of the darkness in her visions. Along the way she discovers her animist abilities allow her to summon elementals and use them to help her defend against attack. The leylines eventually lead her to the tallest peak of Akoum, where she tries to use her new power to banish the darkness in a blast of energy… but nothing happens. As she wonders what went wrong, she hears the darkness she sensed laugh at her and experiences visions of a monster. Just as she feels like she’s being consumed by the darkness, Nissa planeswalks away.

Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!
Nissa's Revelation art by Izzy
It’s unclear what this darkness is. The assumption is that it is the Eldrazi, and Nissa's Revelation seems to confirm that it's Emrakul misleading her. It’s not quite clear what happened before Nissa planeswalked away, as she didn't release the Eldrazi yet, but this is the event that sets the rest of the story in motion.

Nissa arrives on Lorwyn just moments before the Great Aurora. She encounters a troop of Lorwyn elves, but is disgusted by their casual slaughter of eyeblights. She returns home to Zendikar as The Great Aurora changes the plane into Shadowmoor, to the taunting of Oona.

Across the multiverse, on the plane of Kephalai, Chandra Nalaar steals a mysterious scroll containing pyromantic secrets, later revealed to be the secrets of Ghostfire and a map to the Eye of Ugin. She returns to her home, a monastery on Regatha founded by followers of Jaya Ballard, but is pursued by Jace Beleren. Jace was dispatched by the Consortium to retrieve the scroll and when he faces off against Chandra, he bests her, wiping her memory of the scroll and taking it back with him. Upon her return to the monastery in defeat, she finds the monks hard at work copying the scroll.

Due to the dubious canoncity of Ramaz and Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014, we're not including them as her motivation here, but we did want to mention that they tie into the story. Ramaz is another servant of Nicol Bolas, and he's the one who puts Chandra up to stealing the scroll.

At the urging of Mother Luti of Keral Keep, who believes there was more to the scroll than just the spell it contained, Chandra attemps to steal the scroll a second time. This attempt ends in disaster, but it was during this failed attempt that Chandra meets Gideon. The two find themselves imprisoned on the plane of Diradin against an evil vampire lord. Working together, they would eventually escape, but during their imprisonment Gideon reveals to Chandra that the scroll came from the plane of Zendikar.

After this point, approximately three years pass. Jace worked for the Consortium for years, but by the time the main Zendikar story rolls around, the main events of Agents of Artifice occur and he takes over the Ravnican cell of the Consortium for a brief time before apparently cutting ties with it some time before the events of Return to Ravnica.

Way to take care of the LAST THING your dad ever gave you.
Journey to the Eye Part 1 art by Nic Klein
The Awakening of the Eldrazi
Some time later, events conspired to bring Jace and Chandra back together. Jace's study of the scroll is interrupted by a cursed Garruk, searching for Liliana Vess. This will factor into a later story, but as Garruk is leaving, he reveals to Jace that the scroll points to Zendikar. Chandra is also searching for more on the secrets of the scroll, and she travels to Zendikar to find Anowon, a famed archaeomancer. After experiencing all the dangers involved with traveling around Zendikar as her guides die one after another, she finally arrives at Anowon’s camp only to be taken by surprise by Anowon himself.

Meanwhile, Sarkhan Vol waits at the Eye of Ugin, placed there by Nicol Bolas for an unknown purpose. Sarkhan goes mad during his time there spent waiting… or does he? During the story of Tarkir, it appears that a piece of hedron Sarkhan picks up there is some sort of vessel for a vestige of Ugin, and it’s his tormenting voice driving Sarkhan to "madness."

On a re-read, I’m actually really impressed that the seeds of Ugin’s return are being sown here already. Unlike many things that seem like retcons, this flows nicely into the Tarkir story.

Anowon is convinced to help lead Chandra to the Eye of Ugin, but resents that Chandra has the only map to the place. As they reach the Eye, Anowon turns on Chandra, only to be attacked himself by an angry Sarkhan. With Anowon out of the way, Sarkhan leads Chandra to the Eye of Ugin, only to change into a dragon in an attempt to make a sacrifice of Chandra.

A short time later, Jace also arrives in Zendikar, and secures a guide from Anowon’s camp. They come across an injured Anowon, who feeds on his disciple and reveals that he knows the truth of the Eldrazi. Newly restored, he tries to stop Jace from inadvertently freeing the Eldrazi, but he’s overpowered and Chandra’s location is taken from his mind.

Jace follows the trail left by Chandra and Sarkhan and finds them dueling in the Eye. Jace and Chandra’s magic is diffused in the Eye, making their attacks not particularly effective, so Jace tells Chandra to use the Ghostfire described in the scroll to defeat Sarkhan in dragon form. The spell works and Sarkhan is defeated, but the presence of three planeswalkers combined with the power of Ghostfire unwittingly unlocks the Eldrazi prison.

Don't trust Ugin with your valuables, he's not good at locking things.
Eye of Ugin art by James Paick
It should be noted that technically, this event makes Chandra a very high monk among the Jeskai, as very few of them could use Ghostfire.
A person who masters the three Jeskai fires has attained enough wisdom to explore the next level of existence and harness the sixth fire: ghostfire. Only a few people have ever learned to control ghostfire, and it is believed they are able transcend natural elements and alter their fundamental nature and existence.
Unfortunately Sarkhan changed history so that they no longer exist, and Chandra has never been to Tarkir anyway, but it is interesting given her new role as leader of the monastery of Keral Keep and the fact that the monks there have prowess. Maybe she isn't as unqualified as she believes? Also, the dragon icon from the webcomics matches the tattoo on the Ghostfire warrior.

Chandra appears to planeswalk away almost immediately while Jace escapes on foot, leaving behind a babbling Anowon and an unconscious Sarkhan. Jace's destination: Sea Gate. He appears to get out just in time, as on his way to the sea a Pathrazer of Ulamog lumbers past him. Jace tells the sages at the Library of Sea Gate what happened at the eye before departing Zendikar.

Sarkhan comes to and realizes his stupidity in following Bolas. He notices that only half of the Eye is open, and that it waits on something else to unlock completely. As he leaves, he encounters a dragon being killed by Eldrazi spawn. He fights off the spawn, but a vision of the dragon's spirit appears to him and warns him against Bolas. Sarkhan breaks off a piece of the Eye to take with him before returning to report to Bolas. It’s pretty clear, on reread, that this vision is in fact the voice of Ugin, filtering through the madness and setting Sarkhan on the path towards Tarkir. Bolas taunts Sarkhan with his failure. Sarkhan believes the spirit of Ugin spoke to him, but Bolas dismisses this as a delusion. Bolas replies that he put Ugin where he lays, implying that he killed Ugin. Bolas then reveals that he conspired to have the three planeswalkers gather and unlock the Eye, and that he waits to see which of others will answer the call of the opened Eye.

We can only speculate as to Bolas’ reasons for wanting the Eye opened. Is it purely to spite Ugin? Is there some greater need he has for the Eldrazi? He’s certainly old enough to have been around well before their imprisonment, so he likely knows what they are capable of.

"I'll rooooot you aliiiive, with the sound of muuuuusic!"
Rise of the Eldrazi key art by Michael Komarck
Rise of the Eldrazi
In the Teeth of Akoum is a “special” book. It marks a major shift downward in the quality of the Magic: the Gathering books, especially from the relatively high quality of Agents of Artifice and The Purifying Fire. The book features a typo on its very first line: "Nissa Revine," which hasn’t been corrected in the digital version, and it only gets worse from there. Wintermute’s unreadable novels marked a distinct low point for Magic’s story, and one they’ve seemingly retconned pretty heavily with Nissa’s new origin story.

Nissa’s tone throughout the book is starkly different from the Nissa we’re presented with in her later incarnations. Don't really try to connect these two personas. Creative decided to go in a different direction with the character, so pretty much all of her early characterization should be ignored. In the Teeth of Akoum should really only be taken from a broad strokes perspective, anyway, especially as recent con panels have more or less stated that the book is inaccurate. We're presenting Nissa in her original light in this summary, but just keep in mind that her personality has been changed.

The story begins with Nissa on a mission to the Tajuru elves in the Turntimber forests on the continent of Ondu. All the great Joraga leaders live abroad with other elves to understand other points of view, so Nissa's mission is to learn from the Tajuru. The Tajuru are explorers, very skilled at navigating Zendikar’s dangers, while the Joraga are much more militant, a fact Nissa is overly proud of. This fact is not lost on the Tajuru, as they have little love for the Joraga in return. She also has an almost Indiana Jones-like aversion to snakes and vampires. Shortly after returning from a patrol, Nissa is present for a Tajuru council that mentions a lost patrol. The patrol was attacked by strange creatures and Nissa’s team is sent to find out what happened. They’re quickly set upon by Eldrazi Spawn as Nissa uses her staff and her magic to summon Nissa’s Chosen and to "seed" one of the Eldrazi and cause a plant to erupt from inside it. After defeating the spawn, they return to home to find that the Eldrazi have attack there as well. Nissa take a pearl dropped by the Tajuru speaker, and the squad then heads off in the direction the Eldrazi were coming from.

The squad finds the creatures: a huge number of brood lineage and their vampire slaves destroying a Tajuru village. They engage but the entire squad is wiped out in moments and Nissa is left as the only survivor. Sorin arrives in the aftermath of the slaughter and casts what appears to be some kind of Damnation ability, wiping out most of the Eldrazi and leaving only a few remaining that he quickly dispatches. This leaves only Anowon, who was enslaved by the Eldrazi at the Eye and dragged across the plane to do their will. Sorin unnerves Nissa with his telepathic abilities and mentally dominates Anowon to serve him, a fact which Nissa doesn't seem to notice.

Sorin and Nissa talk, and as they travel he relates the truth of the Eldrazi, although cryptically. Sorin’s mission is to strengthen the Eldrazi Titan’s prison and put an end to the brood lineages ravaging Zendikar. Nissa reluctantly agrees to accompany Sorin and Anowon as their guide to the Teeth of Akoum, but she is repulsed by the vampire Anowon, and she doesn’t realize that Sorin is also a vampire. Nissa leads the group to Graypelt, where she introduces them to a Merfolk map maker and friend. They acquire a map to help them on their way to Akoum, and then set out to the Makindi Trench. The Makindi Trench is kind of like the Grand Canyon but much, much scarier, with floating boulders ready to drop and crush you at any time. As they descend into the canyon below, a Roil strikes and Sorin is badly injured from a fall that should have killed any mortal, though Nissa again doesn't seem to notice anything amiss. Sorin slowly recovers over the next few days as they leave the trench and set out for Zulaport. The trio encounter an old "Eldrazi" palace with a pictogram showing the Mortifier, the vampire who betrayed the vampire race and made them slaves to the Eldrazi. This is heavily hinted at being Sorin.

We should note here that almost everything said about the Eldrazi in this novel is wrong. It has either been retconned, or the Zendikari simply misunderstood the ruins they encounter. It could also be a little bit of both. Regardless, it’s best to disregard anything said about the history of the Eldrazi in this book. In fact, it’s best to disregard any specific detail in this book, as we’ll outline some of the weirdness that happens at the end of this summary.

The Staff/Sword/Whip of the Animist. Patent Pending.
Sword of the Animist art by Daniel Ljunggren
As the trio continues to travel, the group finds a mad Kor woman and her goblin entourage. The Kor has a piece of crystal that is implied to be a means by which one of the Eldrazi Titans is controlling her. The goblins are her followers, and they’re also journeying to the Eye. The two groups decide to travel together even though there is little trust between them. One by one, the goblins begin to disappear. Nissa attributes this to Anowon, despite Anowon obviously being underfed and bound. The group is set upon by a number of dangers, but eventually reach Zulaport with a few goblins remaining. While Sorin is away, Anowon and Nissa begin to discuss Sorin’s real motives, questioning that his motives and if the Eldrazi truly need to be re-imprisoned. Nissa begins to believe that the Eldrazi would leave if released and that they are the source of Zendikar’s problems. The group attempts to spend the night at an inn with Sorin bluffing about their money situation, as they have none, but they’re harassed by a gang and are forced to make a quick exit. They steal a ship that none of them know how to maneuver or even how to drop the sails. Nissa solves this problem by summoning a giant creature which pulls the ship the entire way to Akoum, which is only a couple days journey across the sea.

When they arrive at Akoum, they’re beset by the Moon Kraken, to whom Nissa shows the pearl she picked up earlier. The speaker who owned the pearl had befriended the Moon Kraken long before, and in his grief the kraken spares their ship but leaves them on Akoum’s unwelcoming shoreline. Their ship becomes stuck at the base of the cliff, half destroyed, and the group is attacked by bandits but a show of force makes the bandits reconsider. The bandits help them off the ship and a few are coerced into being guides now that the group has reached Akoum. The would-be bandits lead the group to Tal Terig, the Puzzle Tower, where a horde of Eldrazi are trying to gain entrance. Inside are objects of great power, but the tower reassembles itself regularly, and the tower itself is only a fraction of the dungeon that winds underground. The group is attacked by the Eldrazi, but are saved by mutant elves from Ora Ondar. They’re then taken captive by the elves of Ora Ondar, but manage to escape when the basin is attacked by more Eldrazi.
The group stumbles upon the Goma Fada Caravan but are soon forced out when Nissa destroys an Igneous Glen. She finds the caravan’s worship of the flash-fossilized life bloom abhorrent, and they’re kicked out with barely half a canteen of water each. As they stumble through the barren land a kind human stops and offers them water. His kindness is quickly returned by Anowon, who murders the unnamed human to feed. Nissa is disgusted with Anowon and with herself for allowing it, but she realizes she grew used to it as she watched Anowon slink off to feed every time they reached a settlement. Nissa finally learns the truth about Sorin when captured by a pair of vampires, who reveal to her that they wanted to seize the opportunity to capture the Mortifier. These vampires lead an army of nulls, or zombie servants, to kill brood lineage, but spotted Sorin and attempted to capture the group. Nissa is used as bait to lure the others back, but the two vampires are quickly dispatched by Anowon and Sorin. Nissa accuses Anowon of being the Mortifier until Anowon’s denial forces her to realize the truth about Sorin.

The group finally reaches Affa at the feet of the Teeth of Akoum, with the only remaining members of the group being Sorin, Nissa, Anowon, the crazed Kor, and a single goblin. Nissa finally asks Sorin why the Eldrazi can’t just be released and Sorin responds with an incredulous look, explaining that they would feast upon Zendikar. The crazed Kor woman becomes upset and argues with Sorin in ancient languages over Sorin's insistence at resealing the prison. The kor and her goblin part ways with the rest, forcing the group to find their own way to the Eye of Ugin. The goblin’s parting words are also to scold Nissa: she’d been thinking of the goblin as an "it" the whole time, but it had a name and could think. Nissa, abashed, doesn’t know how to process this information. Sorin finds the equipment they need for the ascent and kills the owner, then scolds Nissa for her false innocence when she asks if he drugged the man.

Hold my hand, Nissa, you're clearly not smart enough to do anything on your own.
Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 loading screen art by Igor Kieryluk
As the group ascends Nissa decides that she doesn’t trust Sorin and settles, along with Anowon, on her plan to release the Eldrazi in the hope that they would leave Zendikar. The group finds the Eye of Ugin with the aid of their old goblin companion, who returns to help the group after realizing how horrible his mistresses’ wish to release the Eldrazi is. They arrive to find the crazed Kor futilely attempting to open the Eye by banging her fists against it. Sorin taunts her and the kor woman attacks, giving Nissa the opportunity she needs to "seed" the Eye which appears to do nothing at first. Sorin attempts to sing the magic to reseal the Eldrazi when Nissa’s spell finally kicks in and the Eye shatters. With their prison destroyed, the Eldrazi awaken and the cavern begins to crumble as the group scrambles to escape.
Regrouping outside, Sorin can’t resist taunting Nissa and Anowon one last time. He tells them the Roil and all of Zendikar’s problems will continue, and the Eldrazi will consume their world. Anowon wants to force him to stand trial for his crimes against vampires, but he laughs and planeswalks away, warning Nissa not to let Anowon kill her in frustration. Anowon seems too horrified by the Eldrazi emerging from their mountain prison to attack.
”Well,” Sorin said, clapping his hands together. “This is my queue to leave. You, my dear fools, can deal with the consequences. They will be far worse than anything I can do to you.”
In the epilogue, Nissa is once again among her Joraga trying to rebuild the parts of Bala Ged that were obliterated by the Eldrazi. She vows to find help and save Zendikar.

Nissa’s character, as mentioned before, is kind of an elf fascist in the story. The Joraga are clearly fascists, but it’s explicitly mentioned that she’s actually not like most of her people and she was exiled because of it. Nissa has only her mother in her Origins story while the block novel mentions both of her parents, which is important, as you'll read in our list below. It’s the same with pretty much every other detail about her life. Thus, pretty much every detail presented in the novel should be disregarded. The summary we’ve presented skips over these details for the most part, but the broad strokes of the story itself still occur or at least haven’t been explicitly retconned yet.

It’s unfortunate how stupid this novel makes Nissa appear to be. Wintermute makes it abundantly clear to the reader immediately that Sorin is a vampire, yet Nissa completely misses the vampire-shaped anvils Wintermute drops on her throughout the book. He is described as super pale, he doesn’t eat, people keep going missing around the party while Anowon is bound, he continually defies what a human should be capable of surviving, etc. It’s only at the very end of the story that Nissa realizes Sorin is a vampire, despite all these red flags. Her distrust of vampires then becomes a large part of her motivation to release the Titans, although her desire to get the Eldrazi off Zendikar is still the primary motivator.

As promised, we have to share with you some of the weirder details mentioned over the course of In the Teeth of Akoum. These are all almost certainly retconned, but are entertaining tidbits:
  • The Joraga initiation ritual involves eating poison mushrooms. If you die, you are deemed too weak to have been a good Joraga. Yeah.
  • Sorin utters a random name while concussed but this name never shows up again in any media. Until Nahiri’s reveal, the expectation was that he was naming the Lithomancer.
  • Sorin can walk on air (essentially flying), but not on Zendikar as the mana is too wild.
  • The Kor are super creepy about their ancestors, often bringing their corpses with them in their nomadic travels.
  • Almost all of Sorin’s magic is derived from song, meaning he sings most of his spells into effect. He calls his most commonly used spell "rot talk," as it causes the targets to decay abruptly.
  • Sorin’s sword is called the Parasite Blade, and it absorbs light and appears to be partly made of shadow.
  • The Eldrazi dug holes and then placed bodies in these holes. It is not explained why, but it's a detail mentioned several times in the book.
  • Nissa’s mother and father turned her into the Joraga Deep Council for un-Joraga like tendencies, resulting in her exile to the Tajuru on a "mission."
  • The Joraga apparently kill any sentient being that enters their forests in Bala Ged.
  • The Titans are thought to have ruled Zendikar and built a ton of monuments in the past. Supposedly, they escaped imprisonment multiple times, including before Sorin became aware of them, which obviously doesn't jive with the currently known story.
  • Rich vampires can be "dreamed" back to life in a new body by vampire mages.
  • Nissa's sword is actually a sharpened branch that she can use as either a whip or a blade. Looking at Sword of the Animist and her staff, it appears that the staff she is shown with is actually the scabbard and hilt of her sword.
Why does this keep happening to me?!?
Near-Death Experience art by Dan Scott
Elsewhere, Gideon arrives on Zendikar following the trail left behind by Chandra, following the events of The Purifying Fire. He stops for a night at Fort Keff, and in the morning the people of the fort are surprised to find a Surrakar from Bala Ged washed up on the shore. The Surrarkar warns of 'the god’s' attack, but the people of Fort Keff didn’t heed the warning due to their prejudice. Not long after the Fort is attacked by hordes of Eldrazi. Gideon fights many of them off but the tide turns as Emrakul herself appeared over the battlefield. Knowing the battle was lost, Gideon told the survivors to flee with the Surrarkar through his path through the underground rivers. Before planeswalking away, Gideon vows to return with help and leaves to find the Consortium.
Thanks for reading! We hope this helped you get caught up on the world and Flavor of Zendikar! Thus ends the first chapter of the Zendikar saga. The story ended here for a long time, until Nissa’s new direction from Nissa Worldwaker received her first story. Next time, we will return with the story of how various planeswalkers each tried to help Zendikar in their own ways, and how one former planeswalker plots against it to regain his spark. We will lead up right to the beginning of the story of Battle for Zendikar. Part III Available Here

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments or on the forum, and we’ll address it in future updates. Have a suggestion for something you’d like to see? Let us know, and we could address it in a future column.


  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.
Posts Quoted:
Clear All Quotes