Welcome back to a very special Archive Trap! While I'm not actively writing this series anymore, this piece has been in the works for several months and is being released in anticipation of the return of Dominaria in the aptly titled Dominaria, I'm diving into a number of topics I haven't covered anywhere yet. If you remember back to December, I told you that if you only read one story, make it the Time Spiral cycle. Understandably, that's not something most people are going to do. So guess what? Here it is.
Let's rewind the clock sixty years and turn our attention to Dominaria, nexus of the Multiverse, where a crisis is brewing. Time rifts have formed across plane at locations where devastatingly powerful magics were once unleashed. These rifts remained relatively benign until the coming of the false god, Karona, whose birth and subsequent death drained then flooded the plane with mana. This sudden shock destabilized the rifts. If nothing is done, these rifts will consume all the mana on the plane, causing a catastrophe that would ripple across the Multiverse. At the time, Planeswalkers were god-like beings whose physical bodies were an extension of their will and among whom telepathic powers were common.
Teferi, Temporal Archmage by Tyler Jacobson
We begin with Teferi and his lifelong friend Jhoira. In order to save their people from the Phyrexian Invasion, Teferi phased out his homeland of Zhalfir and portions of Jhoira's homeland of Shiv from Dominaria's time stream. Teferi plans to return to Dominaria, and shows Jhoira that returning the phased out continents to Dominaria will be no small feat, as the landscape has changed while they were away. Their first destination is Skyshroud, a once lush but now dying forest which was forcibly merged with the harsh mountains of Keld by the Planeswalker Freyalise. Teferi believes that Freyalise might hold the key to safely returning Shiv.
The return journey is much more strenuous than Teferi anticipates. Together with Jhoira and a small group of viashino and Ghitu warriors they arrive on Keld, but a dying Keld devoid of mana. Their party is almost immediately set upon by Gathans, Keldons enhanced by magic and science as an offshoot of Urza’s Bloodlines Project. These time-displaced Gathans shouldn't exist, as the true Keldons wiped them out centuries before. Unsure of what's happening, Teferi wants time to think, but Freyalise senses his presence.
Freyalise is less than enthused when she realizes Teferi is on Keld. She despises Teferi, both for being a Tolarian like Urza and for running while the rest of the plane stood and fought against the Phyrexian invasion. She spitefully reveals to Teferi that he miscalculated and that it's been three hundred years since he disappeared, three times longer than he intended. He does learn that Freyalise was forced to use a massive amount of magic to make Skyshroud fit in to Keld, and that force seems to have caused a rift that's draining mana from both locations.
Only Freyalise herself is keeping the forest alive, and even then just barely. The forest is beset by saprolings and slivers, and the elves of the forest have grown weak over the years. Freyalise reveals that the rifts became an active danger when Karona died, creating a rift that consumed mana like she did. The new Otarian rift affected the others, and soon all were draining the plane of its mana. Things have been going downhill ever since.
Radha, Heir to Keld by Jim Murray
Enter Radha, a young half-elf with Keldon blood. She favors her Keldon side and is a rather bloodthirsty warrior. More so, unlike the other elves of Skyshroud, she's healthy and able to wield magic at will. Radha slaughters her way through a Gathan raid on the forest, but can't defeat their leader. Still, the Gathans retreat and Radha is left licking her wounds (not literally). Teferi senses that she has an innate connection to Skyshroud's rift and wishes to bring her along to study. Jhoira urges caution to Teferi, recognizing Radha for who she is, while Teferi instead focused on what she is.
After negotiating with Freyalise for "possession" of Radha (pre-Mending Planeswalkers didn't really think of people as people), Teferi brings Radha to the Keldon Necropolis. While this structure was once the burial place for all of Keld's honored dead, it's now empty thanks to Yawgmoth resurrecting zombies during the Phyrexian invasion. There, she recovers her grandfather Astor's Kukri daggers. Believing herself to finally be strong enough to defeat the Gathan warchief, she ditches Teferi (who she scorns as an academic). When I say "ditches", I mean she stabs him in the face with her new daggers, from which Teferi takes some time to recover. She loses to the Gathans again and reluctantly agrees to go along with Teferi. Jhoira earns Radha's respect after a brief confrontation where Jhoira both relates to Radha's warrior heritage and makes it clear she won't hesitate to put Radha in her place if she tries to harm any of them again. Jhoira has the look of a young woman, but in moments like this her ancient nature becomes clear.
Jhoira of the Ghitu by Magali Villeneuve
Jhoira is suspicious of Teferi’s true goals. It's clear Teferi isn't telling them everything, and when he decides that they need to make another stop at the rift in Urborg, she becomes even more suspicious. They sense the use of powerstones nearby, and when they investigate they find the artificer Venser being attacked by the Gladehunters of Lord Windgrace, Urborg's Panther planeswalker protector (say that five times fast). The Gladehunters abhor artifice, and Venser's test of his ambulator (a teleportation device) has drawn their ire. Venser quickly recovers his prized powerstones, but he's not fast enough to escape the Gladehunters. Teferi's party arrives just in time destroy the beasts, and Teferi takes an interest in the device, asking Venser to demonstrate it for them. Like Radha, Teferi believes that Venser has an innate connection with the rifts.
Things go horribly awry when Venser tries to activate the ambulator again. The entire group is sucked into a rift above Urborg, where they are given visions of the rifts forming: In Yavimaya, Urza unleashes the Golgothian Sylex at the end of the Brothers' War; On Tolaria, Urza's time travel experiment explodes, and later Barrin, Master Wizard casts Obliterate; Teferi phases out Zhalfir and Shiv; the Rathi Overlay brings Volrath's Stronghold to Urborg; Freyalise saves Skyshroud by planting it in Keld; and finally the creation and destruction of Karona on Otaria.
Teferi is trapped by his memories in the rift, held prisoner by his memory of burning in a time bubble on Tolaria. His companions are finally spat out in the oldest rift on Madara, on the sea overlooking the Talon Gates. A disembodied voice calls to them, naming itself Sensei Ryu. Jhoira senses trouble and calls to Teferi for aid through a mind link the Planeswalker had established. Sensei Ryu tries to ingratiate himself with Radha, but the warrior senses the danger and resists. Venser, however, is an easy target and in his fear allows the voice entry to his mind. Channeling through Venser's connection with the rifts, Nicol Bolas is reborn in the physical realm. Hundreds of years before, his champion Tetsuo Umezawa tricked and betrayed the elder dragon, destroying his physical from while his mind was distracted in the Meditation Realm. He reveals that he pulled the group out of the rift to resurrect him and looms ominously, planning to kill a few of them just to test out his body again. Jhoira's telepathic pleas break through to Teferi, who emerges from the lift and demands Bolas back off his companions.
Eager to stretch his wings, Bolas duels Teferi, cutting the younger Planeswalker to pieces (quite literally).
Bolas takes a liking to Radha's straightforward nature, which he finds refreshing. Despite his earlier intention to kill most of them, he just selects one of the Ghitu warriors Jhoira brought with her. With Teferi in pieces, the warrior stands no chance again Bolas's might. Satisfied, Bolas departs to seek vengeance on Tetsuo Umezawa's bloodline and the Myojin of Night's Reach, the latter of which is responsible for bringing the Umezawa bloodline to Madara. When Bolas is gone, Radha has had enough. Once Teferi reassembles himself, she demands he to return her to Skyshroud. The rest of their party, save Jhoira, Venser, and a single viashino, abandon Teferi as well. This group forms the core of Radha's warhost in her crusade against the Gathans. Teferi, Jhoira, Venser, and the last viashino head to what's left of Shiv. They're beset by a group of barbaric modern Shivans, led by viashino, survivors of the lands Teferi left behind. The modern Shivans seem to want to raid their little group, and their viashino ally fails to convince these newer viashino of their good intentions. To protect them from the Shivan horde, Teferi puts up a magical barrier and begins to prepare to phase the rest of Shiv back into place.
Over the next few days, Radha's warhost grows with refugees, deserters, and defectors as she heads to confront the Gathan warchief. She finally confronts him below the most sacred mountain in Keld, the source of the Keldon's strength. To defeat her opponent, she forges a connection with Keld and loses her connection to the Skyshroud rift, becoming a proper Keldon warchief.
Teferi sense all this through his mental link with Radha. He realizes that if Radha can switch her bond from the rift to Keld, he might be able to bond with the Shivan rift. Jhoira realizes too late that Teferi had intended to sacrifice himself all along in his bid to return their homelands to Dominaria. Despite her protests, Teferi enters the Shivan Rift and feeds it every ounce of power his spark affords him, sealing it and restoring Shiv in the process. He wakes up on the beach with Jhoira, who slaps him for trying something reckless like that. To their horror, they learn that the barrier Teferi erected has fallen, and a thrown rock wounds Teferi. Something is terribly wrong with the Planeswalker.
Jhoira casts a spell meant to keep the horde of modern Shivans at bay, a glass storm to wound them, but it goes awry and shreds the horde to pieces. The last remaining viashino, enraged that she slaughtered what could have been his descendants, tosses Venser and Jhoira into the glass storm. They're saved by Jhoira's foresight, weaving a protection against the storm for herself and her allies into the spell. When they emerge, they find their former viashino ally dead and Teferi catatonic. Without Teferi's powers, Jhoira is forced to lead the others to a Ghitu village in Shiv. A mysterious voice begins whispering in Venser's mind, bidding him to rest. When they reach the village, Jhoira lets her people know that the Phyrexian Invasion is over, and they're in the future. They take it surprisingly well, and agree to help rebuild Venser's ambulator. He's resistant at first, but quickly realizes the Ghitu are expert artisans. Venser plugs in his pair of powerstones and together with Jhoira, they test the machine, hoping to reach Urborg again. They leave the unresponsive Teferi behind, and it becomes increasingly clear he has lost his powers.
The Gathering Dark cover art by Gary Ruddell
They arrive at Urborg too far above the ground, and Jhoira is thrown from the ambulator into the snow of an oddly cold Urborg. A strange man who reminds her of Urza appears and introduces himself as Jodah. She recognizes his name as powerful wizard from the Ice Age, although he admits he hasn't been that man in a long time. Since Jhoira isn't dressed for the cold, he hands over his coat. Venser lands safely, but finds himself on the outskirts of a battle between the Gladehunters and strange Ice Age Phyrexians, chrome and illuminated internally with blue light. Lord Windgrace arrives and demolishes the Phyrexians.
Windgrace captures Venser and interrogates him, admonishing him for building artifacts in violation of his decrees. Windgrace is not unsympathetic, however, and expels the phantom voice Venser had been hearing in his head: the Weaver King. The phantom cackles off to the Stronghold, while Lord Windgrace explains that the Weaver King is a malevolent being driven mad by Phyrexian experiments in the Stronghold, which was brought to Urborg in the Phyrexian Invasion. The Weaver King was left in the dungeons, forgotten, when Volrath was usurped by Crovax during Nemesis, and has since escaped. Now the Weaver King simply wants to entertain himself by causing as much misery to others as possible.
Windgrace claims Venser's ambulator and forces Venser into his service. Windgrace makes it clear why everyone seems so interested in Radha and Venser: they're both Planeswalkers, but their sparks are different. They've been affected by the rifts they grew up near and are the first of a new breed. Amidst all of this, poor Venser would really just like to go home.
Planeswalker's Fury by Christopher Moeller
Windgrace and Venser find Jhoira and Jodah, who try to explain the rift phenomena to him. It becomes clear that Teferi was the expert, and so Windgrace planeswalks away to get him. He listens to Teferi's counsel, but ultimately his distrust of the Tolarians and their artifice runs too deep. He asks Freyalise for an audience, and she agrees. In the Blind Eternities, with all the mortals in tow, they decide to work independently but in tandem to find a solution to the rifts.
Jodah still delights in annoying Planeswalkers, with their pretensions of godhood, and attempts to provoke a reaction from his old associate, Freyalise. Freyalise won't acknowledge his presence. She asks to take Jhoira with her for aid, and Windgrace agrees (No one else gets a say.) Windgrace returns the others to Urborg, where they immediately set out trying to rescue Jhoira. All except Teferi, who attempts to convince Windgrace to seal the rift using his own power.
Back at Skyshroud, Freyalise reveals the real reason she brought Jhoira along: to help her bring Radha back into the fold. Freyalise noticed that Jhoira had gained Radha's respect, and Skyshroud will need a new protector soon. After defeating the Gathans, Radha turned her attention north to the frozen tundras of Parma and the ice giants living there. Freyalise is nearing the end of her power and although the Gathans are no longer invading, the cold, the strange Ice Age Phyrexians, and the slivers are all starting to be too much. She's controlling the slivers to destroy the saprolings and Phyrexians, but she doesn't know how much longer she can maintain control. She needs someone to convince Radha to return home and help take up her mantle as defender of Skyshroud. Jodah emerges from one of his magical tunnels and scouts out Jhoira's location. Freyalise doesn't have the energy to shoo him away, and so she sends Jhoira. He begs her to wait while they get the ambulator to return for her, as his portals are only meant for one.
Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury by Adam Paquette
He returns to Urborg and with Venser, and together they take the ambulator back from Windgrace's forces. Venser feels an innate connection to it, and Jodah does some spellwork to distract and defeat the Gladehunters left to guard it.
Jodah returns to Skyshroud with a beacon to lead Venser and the ambulator there. Freyalise is enraged at Jodah trespassing in her forest again and almost comically beats him senseless with foliage. She tires of it and ends up healing him and hearing him out anyway. Jodah is very invested in making sure Freyalise survives whatever is coming, and although neither of them will admit it, they're the closest thing each other has to family. Jodah confides that his closest companion, Jaya, is dead (he was wrong, though!). Venser arrives with the ambulator, but the Weaver King has hitched a ride with the young artificer. The phantom realizes the value of the slivers and the strange Phyrexians and wrests away control of the slivers from Freyalise. The Phyrexians, leaderless, are even easier to control. Upon assuming this small army, the ancient Planeswalker Leshrac appears to the Weaver King and insinuates that it was he who freed him from his prison in the Stronghold. Leshrac bids him to return to Urborg and claim the Phyrexians there as well, distracting both Freyalise and Windgrace in a single stroke.
The Weaver King takes control of Venser and teleports away without the ambulator, confirming once and for all that Venser is a Planeswalker. With the Weaver King gone, Venser begins to learn to teleport himself without aid. Jodah convinces Jhoira to return to Urborg to aid Teferi as he tries to convince Windgrace to seal the rift. Jodah wants to stay and help Freyalise against the Weaver King's forces, but Venser pushes him through his own portal, transporting him to Urborg and destroying the portal back. With that, Venser leaves Freyalise to take on the Weaver King's forces and the rift alone.
After the others leave him behind, Teferi spends his time seeking an audience with Windgrace. Annoyed with the former Planeswalker, Wingrace leaves him at the Stronghold to study the Urborg rift. There, Teferi is attacked by the Weaver King's assassin, Dinne, another strange being affected by the overlay. Teferi is wounded but something draws Dinne away. Windgrace returns and Teferi finally manages to sway him, but the old Planeswalker is reluctant to sacrifice himself and leave Urborg undefended. Windgrace consults with Freyalise in what turn out to be her final moments.
MTGO Karn Avatar by Udon
Teferi, Jhoira, and Jodah had all argued with Freyalise that she was defending something that was already dead and that she was choosing the coward's path by not confronting the rift directly. During her battle with the Weaver King's army, Freyalise realizes that the others were right. She pulls all the mana she had invested into Skyshroud back into herself, and the forest withers as she crushes her enemies and ascends into the rift, creating a giant tree stretching into the sky. She seals the Skyshroud rift, but she's too weak to survive the process.
In Urborg, Karn returns! Jhoira reveals that she had planted a beacon in the ambulator that would send a signal to him every time it entered the Blind Eternities. The silver golem and Jhoira meet with Windgrace and convince him that Teferi's option is the only way, but still Windgrace wants to face the Phyrexians head-on. He returns the others to Venser's workshop and informs them all that Freyalise has died. Upon hearing the news, Jodah is distraught. With Freyalise's death on top of his belief that Jaya was also gone, he's heartbroken. He punches Venser for forcing him away, but forgives the young Planeswalker for trying to save his life. Jodah is disillusioned with the group's methods and makes to leave, but Teferi follows him out. Teferi tries to convince Jodah to stay and help, but Jodah accuses Teferi of being Urza's true heir.
Jodah stood and faced Teferi. "I said 'Urza.' I am descended from the Brothers. Did you know that? I am descended from Urza's family, the one he had before he ascended."
"I had heard that about you, but it never seemed important enough to mention."
"I'm mentioning it, you pompous fool. Because I may have the blood, but you are heir to Urza's mantle in ways I will never be. You are exactly like him, Teferi, a glib, patrician, elitist, all-knowing and all-powerful high muckety-muck who thinks everyone should simply get in line and follow his lead. You believe that yours are the only answers that work, that your plans are the only ones worth following. But Urza was often wrong, and people always suffered for it. You are often wrong, and people around you suffer for it."
"I only asked for your help."
"That's all you ever ask for, and it's never all you mean. You don't want my help. You want my total dedication. You want me to do what you can't because you believe it needs to be done."
"That may be," Teferi said. "But in this case, I'm right."
"And it doesn't matter. Don't you get that?"
"No," Teferi admitted. "No, I don't."
"Then try harder."
Without looking back, Jodah departs through one of his portals.
With the Skyshroud and Urborg rifts closed, Karn, Teferi, Jhoira, and Venser turn their attention to the Tolarian rift. The damage is too great to seal in the present, so they hatch a plan to send Karn into the past. Because that has worked out so well for them before...
Between Karn and Teferi, they figure a way for it to be done, basically by having Karn think real hard. I'm not kidding. Karn goes to speak with Windgrace alone and uses the Legacy Weapon inside him to wipe out Phyrexians for miles in all directions. After a final talk, Windgrace knows he can't delay any further. Windgrace finally takes the fight to the rift, but not before infusing his own essence into the land so that something of him would remain. Not to be outdone by Teferi and Freyalise, he ascends to do battle with the rift, sealing it and disappearing along with it. Karn returns to the others, and they enact their plan for Tolaria. While Karn travels back, Venser will wait in the Blind Eternities to observe. However, the moment Karn begins to travel back in time, the Weaver King strikes at Venser's mind again. He threatens the young Planeswalker that Dinne is lurking in his workshop, waiting to kill Jhoira and Teferi if Venser refuses to submit.
In the chaos, Karn manages to close the Tolarian rift just before Barrin casts Obliterate. However, in sacrificing so much of his power, he begins to feel an awful taint spreading throughout his body. He disappears, attempting to leave no trail behind and warning the others to never follow him. With Karn's mission complete, Venser cracks his prized possessions, his two powerstones, and teleports away. The ensuing explosion rips the Weaver King's phantasmal body apart, killing him. Dinne is freed from the Weaver King's influence and leaves Teferi and Jhoira alive. As the remaining three review the remaining rifts at Madara, Otaria, Yavimaya, and Zhalfir, they fear they have no more Planeswalkers to aid them.
That is, until a very angry Jeska appears at their doorstep, demanding to know where her mentor, Karn, has gone.
Myojin of Night's Reach by Kev Walker
On the shores of Madara overlooking the Talon Gates, the Myojin of Night's Reach appears to Leshrac, Walker of the Night. Nicol Bolas has destroyed her home and run her out of Kamigawa. She grants Leshrac a copy of her mask to use against the elder dragon.
Elsewhere, Jeska interrogates Jhoira, Teferi, and Venser on Karn's whereabouts. Dissatisfied with the talk and lack of strategy they offer, she strikes out on her own. She returns first to Otaria, where a diffused rift that's partially her fault chokes the continent of mana. Leshrac appears to her, referring to her as "thrice-touched by infinity." She returns to her home village and finds a mural dedicated to her that describs her life story. How she was nearly slain by her own brother, how evil forces turned her into Phage, and how Phage fused with Akroma to form Karona. How once freed her spark ignited. Knowing she has to act, but twisted by Leshrac's schemes, she heads out to find Radha.
Aura Mutation by Pete Venters
Radha and her warhost have swelled during the weeks since she defeated the Gathans, and many of her former enemies have joined her camp. Even the Skyshroud elves have come to her for aid, and although she treats them harshly, she keeps them alive. Her top lieutenants are attacked by Dinne, who disappears after sowing mistrust. It's then that Jeska arrives, and Radha wants nothing of Planeswalkers trying to save the world. The two barbarian women settle things their own way: with a duel (Jeska refuses to use her Planeswalker powers.) Radha proves herself the better fighter, but by summoning mana from the Pardic mountains, Jeska manages to subdue her. By right of combat, she claims Radha and teleports away. Privately, she worries about the black mana she used in the fight unintentionally.
The others go to Yavimaya and try to figure out how to get Multani's attention. There they find Multani barely able to communicate, with all his power devoted to holding back the time rift. The maro-sorcerer captures Venser like he once did Urza, in order to better communicate. Multani believed Venser was like other Planeswalkers, but when he realized his mistake, he spat him back out. Together, they piece together what Multani has shown them and realize they need to untangle Multani from the rift. Venser planeswalks into the rift and frees Multani's essence.
Jeska appears on Zhalfir, determined to close the smaller rift there. Her plan is to use Radha as a lens for her power in sealing the rift, a plan Radha vocally opposes. When Jeska appears to be about to listen to Radha, Leshrac makes himself visible to distract Jeska, keeping her off balance. He's manipulating her into continuing to draw on black mana. Jeska is suspicious and demands he leave. She takes Radha (who is unable to flee her power) and begins the process of closing the rift.
Teferi senses something is happening with the Zhalfiran rift, and teleports away with Jhoira and Venser. They realize what Jeska is doing and plead with her to stop, because sealing the rift now means losing Zhalfir forever. Their pleas fall on deaf ears, and Jeska is triumphant over the rift. The effort has changed Jeska, whose hair has turned black like her Phage incarnation. Jeska decides to tackle Yavimaya next, and the others fear she'll destroy the forest while trying to save the plane.
Back in Yavimaya, a restored Multani ambushes Jeska, trapping her in a dream state like he once had with Urza. With Jeska detained, Multani befriends Radha, and the Keldon elf takes a begrudging liking to the nature spirit. He relates how the living forest is much like the bond Keldon warchiefs have with their warhosts, strengthening one another as part of a greater whole while remaining independent entities. He recognizes the hole in Radha's soul where the green mana from the Skyshroud Rift once was and connects her to Yavimaya instead. When the full power of green mana unfiltered through the rift hits Radha, she feels complete for the first time in her life. She likes the power the forest grants her to heal and strengthen, and plans to use it to great effect with her warhost.
Panel from Shandalar #1 by Bo Hampton, colors by Digital Chameleon
The others catch up using the ambulator and attempt to help Multani reach Jeska, but he finds something blocking him. Leshrac is pushing nightmares through Multani's visions, and Jeska awakens early. She disintegrates Multani's body and sends all but Radha away. Picking up Multani's mask, Jeska uses it and Radha to connect to and seal the rift, devastating the forest for miles around in the process. When Jhoira returns using the ambulator, she finds Multani's mask lifeless. As the group prepares to follow Jeska to Madara, they hope Multani will be able to pull himself back together eventually.
On Madara, Leshrac finally reveals his grand plan. He takes control of Jeska's mind and sets Dinne to kill Radha. While they're occupied with the untouchable assassin, Leshrac prepares for his grand duel. He recounts the history of the Talon Gates, the only rift whose origin was unknown. 20,000 years ago it was the site of Dominaria's first Planeswalker duel, where Nicol Bolas fought a demonic leviathan. The Talon Gates are the remains of Bolas's vanquished foe, and his connection to the rift is what kept him alive after being defeated by Tetsuo Umezawa. Bolas himself appears, and the two titanic Planeswalkers begin their duel. Leshrac uses the Mask of Night's Reach to strip Jeska of her Phage powers and succeeds in taking Bolas's mind-rending powers as well. Leshrac attempts to command Jeska to duel with Bolas, but she resists his power and he leaves her unconscious. Bolas and Leshrac battle across the multiverse, and it appears Leshrac is winning.
Likewise, Dinne seems to have the upper hand against Radha, who can't touch him. Her newfound connection to Yavimaya gives her an idea, and rather than attacking, she casts a healing spell on the intangible assassin. The green magic begins to restore Dinne's connection to the plane, removing his phantasmal status… just long enough for Radha to slay him.
The duel between Bolas and Leshrac returns to Dominaria, and the dragon is rotting away from Jeska's power. Leshrac grows overconfident and approaches Bolas, who spears the smaller Planeswalker with his skeletal tail. Leshrac is confused why his stolen powers are no longer working, and in response Bolas restores himself and reveals the true Mask of Night's Reach, taken from his nearly-vanquished foe. He seals Leshrac into the Mask and uses his power to seal the rift. With an ominous farewell to Teferi and company, he departs to prepare for what is to come.
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir by Volkan Baga
Jeska recovers from her possession by Leshrac, and together with the others they depart for the final rift in Otaria. Otaria's rift was the worst and most diffused, the cause of the catastrophe. To fight it, Jeska needs the help of both Radha and Venser, and after some cajoling they agree. Using the other two as a lens, Jeska suffuses the rest of her power into the rift, spreading herself across the entire Multiverse as she closes the final rift and disappears inside it. Her last sight is her brother welcoming her to rest.
It's not entirely known what metaphysics caused this to happen, but between Jeska dispersing herself into the final rift and the effect it had on Dominaria, the nature of the Multiverse shifted and the powers granted by the spark changed. Planeswalkers are no longer the god-like beings they once were, but are instead mortal mages with the ability to travel between worlds. All Planeswalker sparks are affected, and many immediately go about trying to reclaim the power they've lost.
Teferi returns to Jamuraa. His homeland is gone, phased out forever. He intends to travel and perhaps become a loreweaver, a storyteller, although he jokes about becoming a court mage again. Jhoira takes the ambulator to return to Jodah. They talk about his history, where he admits he isn't the man history portrays him as. Radha returns to her warhost a changed leader, not kinder, but more understanding of her responsibility to all of her people, the Keldons and the elves.
Venser returns to the shores of Madara before departing to explore the Multiverse. It doesn't end well for him, but he eventually finds Karn and sacrifices himself in the process. Dominaria's key art has revealed Jhoira, Karn, and an aging Teferi, and I'm excited to see what happens next.
Dominaria Key Art by Tyler Jacobson
That's it Planeswalkers, the bonkers story of the Mending. Pre-Mending Planeswalkers are now all either dead or depowered, and Dominaria has had sixty years to rebuild following the devastation of the rifts. Who will be back? What will it be like? We'll have to wait and find out.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments or on the forum, and we will address it in future updates. Have a suggestion for something you want to see? Let us know, and we may address it in a future column. You can also follow me on twitter @Jay13x or @VorthosJay on Tumblr.