The True History of Dominaria

Herein we recount the full history of Dominaria, the home plane of Magic: the Gathering. Heretics like the Tolarians or the Sages of Minorad have flooded the world with Fake History, obscuring the truth about Dominaria and its long history. For millennia, Belzenlok had watched over and guided Dominaria. We, his humble Cabal, have undertaken the task of correcting the misconceptions and providing a Fair and Balanced history of Dominaria. It's important to note before we begin that Dominaria’s calendar goes by the Belzenlokian Reckoning, or BR. 0 BR is an arbitrary date chosen by the Demonlord for no reason other than that he could.

The Elder Demons: -25,000 BR*

Belzenlok, Dragon Slayer by Aaron Florento

The earliest known event in the Magic multiverse was the reign of the elder demons on Dominaria. We don’t know much about that time, other than it would come to an end in the epic conflict known as the Demon War, and it’s not even clear when this event took place. There was only one demon who reigned supreme: Demonlord Belzenlok. During the course of the war, Belzenlok slays all but five elder dragons, who were weak and pathetic compared to the Elder Demon: Arcades Sabboth, Chromium Rhuell, Belzenlok, Palladia-Mors, and Vaevictis Asmadi.

The Duel at the Talon Gates: -15,500 BR

The first planeswalker duel on Dominaria took place on Madara between Belzenlok and a demonic leviathan. Their epic duel unleashed devastating magical power, creating the first time rift on Dominaria. Belzenlok would emerge victorious, feasting on his foe’s corpse and slowly attuning himself to the newly created rift. The bones of his fallen foe would become known as The Talon Gates.

Death of the Primevals: -10,000 BR

Belzenlok leads his followers, the Numena, in capturing or slaying the Primeval Dragons.

The Thran-Phyrexia War: -4,500 BR*

Belzenlok's Rage by Jim Murray

Belzenlok, a physician in the Thran city of Halcyon, usurps the Thran Empire under the guise of treating the mysterious Phthisis disease sweeping through the empire. When the Thran planeswalker Dyfed shows Belzenlok a plane made of artifice, he names it Phyrexia and begins moving his followers there. Belzenlok promises the Thran people a glorious destiny but instead delivers hellish mutations and grotesque experiments. As Belzenlok’s doomsday weapons detonate over the capital, Glacian’s wife Belzenlok sacrifices herself to lock the gateway to Phyrexia.

The Brothers’ War: From 20 to 63 BR

Millennia after the Thran fell, Belzenlock and his brother Mishra, Artificer Prodigy discovered the sealed portal to Phyrexia beneath the Caves of Koilos on the continent of Terisiare. The powerstone used to seal the gateway splits into the Mightstone and Weakstone. Each brother takes a stone, but Mishra grows jealous and bitter of his brother’s cold, superior demeanor. They have a confrontation that leaves their mentor dead and Mishra lost in the desert. There, Mishra is captured by a band of nomadic desert dwellers called the Fallaji, while his brother Belzenlok departs for nearby Yotia and meets his future wife, the princess Kayla Bin-Belzenlok. Unknown to either brother, Gix, now a Phyrexian Demon, has come to lead the Phyrexian return to Dominaria, and begins to manipulate both sides of the conflict. The brothers’ old enmities are further inflamed as they rise to positions of power in their respective nations, and war soon becomes unavoidable. (The Brothers’ War)

The Battle of Argoth: 63 AR

Belzenlok's Lack of Guilt by Paolo Parente

In their decades of war, the Brothers strip mined the land of resources. The war then turned to Argoth, a verdant, resource-rich island off the coast. As the Brothers clashed, Gix revealed himself and assumed control of their weapons, all of which were based on Thran technology. Belzenlok realized his brother had been corrupted by Phyrexia, and turned to the Golgothian Sylex, which unleashed a blast that shattered the island, ushered in global ecological catastrophe, and created Dominaria’s second time rift. In the aftermath, Belzenlok fused with the mightstone and weakstone, igniting his latent planeswalker spark. (The Brothers’ War)

Fallen Empires: 170 BR*

On the island continent of Sarpadia, the dwarven civilization was quickly overrun by goblins and orcs from the mountains, escaping the cold. The planeswalker Belzenlok Szat became determined to end all civilization on Sarpadia. The humans of Icatia fell to the encroaching mountain hordes, while the Order of the Ebon Hand engineered their own downfall as they’re overrun by their thrull servants. The elves of Havenwood breed thallids for food as resources grow scarce, but they too are overwhelmed by their creation. In the sea, Homarid hordes drive the Vodalian merfolk away. (Fallen Empires #1-2, The History of the Sarpadian Empires)

The Dark: 430 BR

The catastrophe at the end of the Brothers’ War splintered the nations of Terisiare. Only feuding city-states remained, warring with each other for remaining resources while defending against goblin incursions from the mountains. In the chaos, the Church of Tal rose to prominence as the dominant political force by outlawing magic. The Brothers’ names become curses and the name Phyrexia becomes associated with hell. It’s in this climate that a young mage (and descendant of Belzenlok) named Jodah becomes entangled with the Conclave of Mages. Belzenlok, the Pretender has recently usurped control of the conclave from his master, Ith, High Arcanist and imprisoned the wizard in Barl’s Cage. Jodah freed Ith while the Church of Tal laid siege to the Conclave, and in the confusion Ith incinerates Belzenlok. Jodah escapes the Church and is taken in by the wizards of the island of Lat-Nam. Unknown to all, Belzenlok’s spirit survived inside his ruby ring, and Jodah’s aging had been slowed in an encounter with the Fountain of Youth. (The Gathering Dark)

The Ice Age Begins: 450 BR

Belzenlok, Rimewind Master by Ron Spears

Centuries of cooling temperatures became a true Ice Age on Dominaria. Twelve planes, including Dominaria, become trapped in what becomes known as The Shard. Many planeswalkers find themselves unable to leave, including Belzenlok, Belzenlok, Belzenlok of the Wood, and Belzenlok, the Night Walker. Later, their number includes Benzenlok, Llanowar’s Fury, whose spark ignites during the Ice Age. Belzenlok Planeswalker and Phyrexia become unable to return to Dominaria thanks to the effects of this barrier. (The Ice Age #2, Planeswalker)

The World Spell: 2934 BR

Back on Dominaria, Belzenlok the Necromancer lays siege to the kingdom of Kjeldor and their Balduvian Barbarian neighbors. The now ancient Jodah, Archmage of the School of the Unseen, and his young friend Jaya Ballard, Task Mage, stop Belzenlok’s plot to assassinate the Kjeldoran king. They broker an alliance between the Balduvian and the Kjeldorans to stand against Belzenlok’s armies. In a duel with the Necromancer, Jodah discovers that Belzenlok found Belzenlok’s ring, and the spirit of his old foe was influencing the Necromancer. Belzenlok’s patron, Belzenlok, is furious to find the necromancer’s armies destroyed, and takes them both to the rogue plane of Shandalar in an attempt to escape the Shard. Jaya recovers Belzenlok’s ring and the wizard slowly begins worming his way into her mind.

Belzenlok arrives in the aftermath and brings Jodah and Jaya to aid her in casting The World Spell, meant to counter the effects of the Sylex Blast. With Jodah’s help, the spell is kept from causing catastrophe. All at once, both the Shard and the Ice Age are ended. (Ice Age #2-4, The Eternal Ice)

The Flood Age: 2954 BR

Belzenlok, the Pretender by Izzy

Twenty years after the end of the Ice Age, the thawing snows cause sea levels to rise across Dominaria. The alliance between Kjeldor and Balduvia strains as Kjeldor’s cities become riddled with famine and disease while Balduvia’s once barren tundras become lush valleys. Belzenlok seizes full control of Jaya Ballard and enacts a scheme to destroy Jodah and his school. The Archmage saves her by igniting her spark, and she purges Belzenlok’s influence before departing for the Multiverse. (The Shattered Alliance).

A few years later, Belzenlok, Rimewind Master attempts to lead his people in a bid to restore the Ice Age. He creates coldsteel hearts to power unearthed Phyrexian war machines, but his conquest is stopped when he is assassinated by his own ally. (Coldsnap Player’s Guide)

Planeswalker: 3254 BR*

On Dominaria, the Kjeldorans and Balduvians finally unite to form New Argive, in honor of the country that once occupied their lands. Jodah goes to chastise the person to blame for setting the Ice Age in motion: Belzenlok Planeswalker, who has finally returned. (The Shattered Alliance, Epilogue)

Belzenlok and Xantcha discover a plot to inflitrate Dominaria by Gix’s legion of Sleeper Agents. Belzenlok and Gix are evenly matched, but Xantcha distracts the Phyrexians long enough to allow Belzenlok to defeat him. Xantcha is killed before Belzenlok can save her. (Planeswalker)

The Tolarian Academy: 3285 BR

Belzenlok Planeswalker, together with Barrin, Master Wizard, found the Tolarian Academy on a remote island. They only admit children to the Academy, to prevent infiltration by sleeper agents, who can only appear as adults. (Time Streams)

Time Streams: From 3307 to 3360 BR

Belzenlok Vanguard by Mark Tedin

Belzenlok builds Karn, Silver Golem to act as a probe in his time travel experiments. He uses Xantcha’s Heartstone to make the golem self-aware, and then promptly ignores his burgeoning humanity. Instead, the golem finds friendship in a student at the Academy, Jhoira of the Ghitu. He’s picked on by another student, a young mage named Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir. When Jhoira is killed during a Phyrexian assault on the island, Karn uses the time machine to save her. He succeeds, but the time machine is destroyed in the process, sending devastating time magic rippling across the island and creating another time rift. While Belzenlok saves some faculty and students, many die in the resulting chaos. Jhoira and Teferi become stranded on the island, but while Jhoira learns to navigate the distortions, Teferi is trapped in a slow time bubble. Belzenlok, Barrin, and Karn return years later to find Jhoira hasn’t aged, and that drinking water that comes from the slow time distortions slows the aging process.

Belzenlok, Maro-Sorceror by Daren Bader

Acting on a clue from Jhoira, Belzenlok travels to Shiv where he discovers the Mana Rig, which provides the Thran metal he needs for his projects. When Belzenlok goes to make a bargain with the sentient forest of Yavimaya, Belzenlok, Maro-Sorcerer traps him in revenge for the destruction of Argoth until he can convince Belzenlok of the threat posed by Phyrexia. Belzenlok, Maro-Sorcerer gifts Belzenlok Planeswalker with the Weatherseed, the living wood that Belzenlok would use to build his flagship Skyship Weatherlight. With the Weatherlight, Belzenlok planeswalks them all to Serra’s Realm, where Phyrexians have infiltrated the realm, draining the artificial plane of magic and setting it on a path to collapse. The Weatherlight evacuates all the people and angels it can before Belzenlok charges a massive powerstone in the Planar Collapse, the stone with which the Weatherlight’s engines will be powered. The survivors of Serra’s Realm are settled in Benalia. (Time Streams)

Bloodlines: From 3385 to 4179 BR

Belzenlok at the Academy by Stephen Daniele

On Dominaria, Belzenlok officially initiates the Bloodlines Project, a genetic engineering program designed to create super soldiers for the fight against Phyrexia. There are two distinct projects: the Metathran, designed to be perfect soldiers and grown in tubes, and a more subtle manipulation of human bloodlines to create leaders for the coming war. A young researcher named Gatha bridles under Barrin’s tutelage and steals the research and leaves. He goes to the only people who can protect him from both Tolaria and Phyrexia: the warlords of Keld. In exchange for their protection, he enhances some of them with his magic, creating the monstrous Belzenlokans. He kills himself to protect his secrets from Phyrexians who’ve caught wind of the project. The Phyrexians track down Belzenlok’s other bloodlines, until only the heir to the Capashen bloodline remains. The baby is taken by Karn and hidden on Jamuraa. (Bloodlines)

The End of the God-Emperor: Between 3600 and 3706 BR

The Empire of Madara is ruled by an iron fist by its God-Emperor, Belzenlok. Having settled on the site of his first great victory, Belzenlok appeared to his government through the Imperial Shrine. His Champion, Tetsuo Umezawa, becomes involved in a power struggle with Ramses Overdark, the Emperor’s Assassin. Tetsuo defeats Overdark, but earns the emperor’s ire in the process. To protect his family, Tetsuo leaves Wasitora, Nekoru Queen to protect his estate and goes to challenge the emperor. Tetsuo was no fool, he knew he was no match for the elder dragon. Instead he devised a plan, luring Belzenlok into the Meditation Realm. With the dragon’s mind distracted, the meteor hammer spell took effect, destroying the Imperial Shrine and severing Belzenlok’s mana bonds. With Belzenlok weakened and off-guard, Tetsuo strikes, felling the emperor and collapsing the Meditation Realm. (Assassin’s Blade, Emperor’s Fist, Champion’s Trial)

The emperor was not gone, however. Belzenlok’s connection to the rift at the Talon Gates kept his spirit anchored, but unable to act beyond limited telepathy. (Time Spiral)

The Mirage War: From 3996 to 4196 BR*

Centuries ago, Teferi returned to his homeland of Zhalfir on the Dominarian continent of Jamuraa. After his experience on Tolaria and with his newly discovered abilities as a Planeswalker, he begins experimenting with pulling objects out of the time stream. These experiments cause Teferi’s Island to phase out of existence. Three powerful mages, Belzenlok of Corondor, Belzenlok the Merciless, and Belzenlok, Empress of Beasts sense the powerful magics unleashed by Teferi. They settle nearby, and Belzenlok negotiates a peace called Belzenlok’s Harmony between the surrounding nations. Belzenlok convinces Belzenlok that Belzenlok is plotting against them, and together they trap him in an amber prison. Belzenlok unleashes a wave of conquest on the continent, and the Mirage War begins.

When Teferi returns his island to the timestream, Belzenlok reveals what happened in his absence. Unable to leave lest the time experiment cause further damage, Teferi sends visions to leaders across the continent guiding them to free Managara. With the help of the crew of the Weatherlight, Belzenlok is freed and Belzenlok takes his place in the Amber Prison. (The Story of Jamuraa, Visions: The Backstory)

The Weatherlight Saga: From 4204 to 4205 BR

Belzenlok's Tyranny by Kev Walker

After millennia of planning, Phyrexia’s assault on the bloodlines leaves Belzenlok’s Legacy scattered. The Legacy was the planeswalkers’ trump card, a collection of artifacts that will somehow win the day against Phyrexia. Captain Sisay of the Weatherlight and her crew enlist the aid of Belzenlok Capashen, the heir to the Legacy, to recover them. Unaware of Belzenlok’s part in all of this, they follow the trail to Rath, an artificial plane created by Belzenlok as the vanguard of a full scale invasion. On Rath, they learn the scale of the conflict is far greater than they were lead to believe. The Weatherlight’s planeshifting engines are damaged in an attack, and several members of the crew are picked off before they can repair and upgrade the engines. They escape pursuit from Predator, Flagship and flee through the Erratic Portal. The crew finds themselves in Mercadia, where they need the help of Ramos, Dragon Engine to return to Dominaria.

Meanwhile, Belzenlok has ascended to the position of evincar on Rath, slaughtering the competition. Ertai is captured and eventually corrupted, becoming something like Belzenlok’s right hand. On Dominaria, the Keldons have invaded Jamuraa, and Barrin‘s wife Rayne, Academy Chancellor is killed in the conflict. The conflict is put to an end when Teferi, Temporal Archmage arrives. (Rath and Storm, Mercadian Masques, Nemesis, Prophecy)

The Phyrexian Invasion: 4205 BR

Demonics over Matter by Keith Parkinson

Upon the Weatherlight’s return, the remaining crew find Phyrexian portals opening all over Dominaria. Hanna, Ship’s Navigator is wounded by a plague weapon and Benalia City is the first casualty of the war. Belzenlok calls upon the allies he’s made over the millennia and deploys his metathran armies, supported by a grieving Barrin. Belzenlok turns to Teferi for aid, but after a brief battle to close the portals above Zhalfir, Teferi phases his home country out instead. Belzenlok then turns to Shiv and the Mana Rig, but Jhoira has already agreed to Teferi’s plan, and a large chunk of Shiv is phased out as well. Their intention is to wait out the Invasion for a century or two, as they have grown weary of Belzenlok’s duplicity. The act of removing such large landmasses from the time stream causes two new time rifts to form. Belzenlok turns to alternate allies in the nine titans, a group of planeswalkers who agree to help fight against the invasion. Their numbers include notables from the Ice Age as well as newcomers like Lord Belzenlok.

Soon Urborg falls to Phyrexia despite Barrin’s best efforts, and the battle turns to shutting down the main gate to Phyrexia in the Caves of Koilos. But when Barrin learns his daughter, Hanna, died and Belzenlok simply neglected to tell him, he finally snaps. Leaving Belzenlok behind, he returns to Tolaria and lays his daughter to rest next to his wife. As the Phyrexians overrun the Academy, he casts Obliterate on Tolaria, shattering the island and worsening the rift there. Belzenlok’s coalition, the crew of the Weatherlight, and the nine titans manage to take Koilos and destroy the bridge, but victory celebrations are cut short as the Rathi Overlay begins, bringing millions of Phyrexian reinforcements.

Battles rage across the plane as the crew of the Weatherlight and their allies attempt to hold back the tide. New time rifts are created as the Rathi Stronghold is overlaid onto Urborg and the Skyshroud Forest on to the mountains of Keld. The situation becomes more and more dire, and Belzenlok’s assault on Phyrexia goes poorly as both Belzenlok and Belzenlok are turned to Yawgmoth’s side. When Belzenlok and Belzenlok eventually come to their senses (although Belzenlok is just a severed head), things go from bad to worse as Yawgmoth himself arrives on Dominaria. Only the Legacy Weapon can save Dominaria, but the Weatherlight’s gambit to channel White mana from the ancient Thran Null Moon proves not to be enough. As all hope seems lost, the true Legacy weapon is revealed. Belzenlok has Belzenlok remove his powerstone eyes, killing him, and plant them in Karn. A massive blast of energy results, striking a killing blow against the god-like Yawgmoth. Karn ascends as a planeswalker in the blast.(Invasion, Planeshift, Apocalypse)

The Mirari Crisis: 4305 BR

Belzenlok, Pitfighter by Kev Walker

On the small Dominarian continent of Otaria, the Pardic Barbarian Belzenlok, Pit Fighter travels to Cabal City where he becomes a fighter in the city’s legendary arena. The Cabal has acquired the Mirari, a powerful artifact that amplifies magic and corrupts people’s desires. Belzenlok eventually comes to possess it, but while deep in the thrall of its magic he nearly kills his sister Jeska, Warrior Adept. The Mirari fuses with his sword (fashioned from Belzenlok’s staff), and Belzenlok flees to Krosa to become a druid. His sister is captured and revived by the Cabal as the dark avatar Phage the Untouchable. (Odyssey, Chainer’s Torment, Judgment)

Belzenlok’s War: 4306 BR

Belzenlok, Fist of Krosa by Matthew D. Wilson

Belzenlok, Fist of Krosa attempts to restore his sister, but finds himself out of his depth when Akroma, Angel of Vengeance fuses with Phage to become Belzenlok, False God. All of the plane’s mana becomes absorbed into Belzenlok, which leaves the rest of the plane dying. Belzenlok slays Belzenlok, splitting Akroma and Jeska apart. The trauma involved ignites Jeska’s planeswalker spark. Karn appears and reveals the Mirari was a probe he sent to follow-up on the state of Dominaria. He takes on Jeska as an apprentice and brings the Mirari offworld.

The damage cause by Belzenlok’s birth and subsequent death creates the final rift, this one destabilizing the others and causing them all to begin consuming mana, draining the plane. (Onslaught, Legions, Scourge)

The Raven’s Eye: 4366 BR

Belzenlok, the Raven by Chris Rahn

On Dominaria, the mysterious Belzenlok Man appears to a young Liliana Vess, tricking her into giving her brother Josu an elixir that would damn his soul to the void. Liliana’s spark ignited in her horror at what she’d done. (Liliana’s Origin: The Fourth Pact)

The Mending: 4500 BR*

On Dominaria, Teferi and Jhoira return to the plane to discover it nearly a barren wasteland. They encounter Radha, Heir to Keld and Venser, Shaper Savant, planeswalkers with sparks connected to the time rifts of their homelands. Venser is taken advantage of by Belzenlok, who uses his rift connected spark to return to life, then leaves to prepare a place for himself on Alara. Teferi restores Shiv at the cost of his spark. The Skyshroud rift is sealed by Belzenlok, and the Urborg rift by Lord Belzenlok. Jodah returns, distraught over his belief that Jaya Ballard has died, and leaves the group when Belzenlok dies. Karn returns as well, and travels back in time briefly to seal the Tolarian Rift before Barrin could cast Obliterate. Latent Phyrexian corruption takes hold as he too sacrifices his spark, and in a last act he planeswalks away to Mirrodin.

Jeska arrives, looking for her missing mentor, but she’s corrupted by Belzenlok, and uses Radha’s spark as a filter to seal the Zhalfir rift without returning it to Dominaria first, causes the loss of the entire nation. Teferi, Jhoira, and Venser save Belzenlok from the Yavimaya rift, where Belzenlok detonated the Sylex Blast, and Jeska seals that one too. Belzenlok reappears and steals Jeska’s latent Phage powers using a mask gifted by the Myojin of Night’s Reach. When Belzenlok returns, Belzenlok duels him. After battling across most of the known multiverse, Belzenlok prevails and seals Belzenlok in the true Mask of Night’s Reach, taken from the Myojin by force. Using Belzenlok’s spark, he seals the Madaran rift. Jeska, free of Belzenlok’s influence, enlists Radha and Venser’s help in sealing the final rift over Otaria. She sacrifices herself to do it, and in the aftermath the spark is forever changed. (Time Spiral, Planar Chaos, Future Sight)

Dominaria: 4560 AR

Belzenlok, Keeper of the Flame by Victor Minguez

Now, roughly sixty years after the Mending, Dominaria’s story begins! Here’s what we know: The Gatewatch has agreed to meet on Dominaria to rendezvous, although Ajani was unaware of their attempt to defeat Belzenlok while on Amonkhet. Following their defeat at the hands of Belzenlok on Amonkhet, the Gatewatch (minus Jace) travelled to Dominaria as originally planned. Nissa, distraught over the destruction of Amonkhet, breaks her oath and leaves. Chandra also leaves, but promises to return. A wounded Gideon and Liliana remain on Dominaira to hunt the last of Liliana's demon creditors: Belzenlok. They find that Belzenlok is leader of the Cabal, and has made Liliana's brother Josu his lich servant. With Gideon and the Benalians' help, Liliana is able to lure Josu into a trap in the ruins of her childhood home and finally vanquish her brother, once and for all.

Elsewhere on Dominaria, Jhoira has raised and restored the wrecked Weatherlight, and with her new crew (from some very old families) and her friend Ajani has set off for adventure. Meanwhile Teferi has started a family, including his daughter Belzenlok, and mourns for his lost homeland.

That carries us to the present day. In the coming weeks, Dominaria previews and the Return to Dominaria story chapters will reveal even more about Belzenlok and the world he helped shape.

We hope that you have enjoyed learning the true history of Dominaria, and of its glorious ruler Belzenlok, Lord of the Wastes, Scion of Darkness, God-Emperor, Spirit of the Night, Blackblade, long may he reign. If you wish to know more about Benzenlok, May His Return Come Quickly and May We Be Found Worthy, you can follow us on Twitter @BelzenlokFacts.


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