10 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About In Magic: The Gathering Lore
In a world as extensive and ancient as the Magic: the Gathering multiverse, there are many thousands of stories, characters and places to discover. Throughout the game’s history, many planes have been documented and many more are yet to be explored. Within the millions of individual threads of story that make up the MTG lore, there is a lot that is easily missed if, like most players, you haven’t extensively read all the material that there is on offer.
Here, I’ve included ten facts that I believe are quite interesting, relevant to the current or future storylines and which are actually easily missed if you haven’t read between the lines or perused certain bits of text. I hope you find them as intriguing as I do!
1. Jace and Liliana have a past intimate relationship
They first became involved on Ravnica when Jace arrived there for the first time, after his spark ignited and before the events of Return to Ravnica. Liliana betrayed Jace to Tezzeret’s Consortium in order to try to square her own deal with Bolas, but it backfired. She went back to save him, admitting to herself she felt more for him than was wise, and they escaped Bolas’s stronghold, Jace vowing to himself that he would help her free herself of her demonic pacts. When they came together once more in Shadows over Innistrad, she joined the Gatewatch with that intention in mind, and Jace kept it quiet from the others. There has since been hints in the Magic story that they had briefly rekindled their romantic relationship in secret (or at the very least, the sexual side of it…) during the events of Amonkhet, and that Jace continues to have deep feelings for her.
2. Sarkhan Vol is the only planeswalker currently in existence who was never actually born
After the events of Dragons of Tarkir, a paradox was created. History was rewritten and on the new Tarkir, Sarkhan never existed. However, he wasn’t removed from the timeline, because in this history he wasn’t born, but without him, this history wouldn’t have ever happened, because Ugin would have died. So, he is the first planeswalker to be alive without ever having been brought into existence – according to legends on Tarkir, a ‘dragon man’ simply swooped out of the sky, saved Ugin, and just as mysteriously vanished once more. Sarkhan has found his old friend Narset on the new Tarkir, who is a planeswalker in the new timeline, and must now forge a new path, with an opportunity to start his life over and free of Bolas’s control.
3. Karn was originally created by Urza at the Tolarian Academy as a test dummy for time portal experiments
His humanoid shape allowed Urza to test the size and weight of a human going through portals while his silver body wouldn’t be damaged by the raw mana. Of course, Karn was sentient, and made friends with Jhoira at the Academy, who taught him to be a person instead of a machine. When Karn became the Legacy Weapon, and all his friends died, he created Argentum in his image, hoping to recover some of what he had lost with his own plane, populated with his own people. With Mirrodin fallen and turned into New Phyrexia, it remains to be seen how far Karn will go to protect it, unwilling to let more of his friends fall victim to the perfection.
4. Gods are indestructible because they have followers
After Elspeth was killed by Heliod, Kruphix confided in her as she remains trapped in Nyx. He confessed to her that he wasn’t concerned by Xenagos’s ascension, because the truth was, as long as the people of Theros believed he was a god, he would be. Kruphix was the first, and he saw the rest of the pantheon rise and form slowly as the people literally believed them into being; their purpose changed as the peoples’ perception of them did, but they could never be lost as long as they were remembered; those that were forgotten simply vanished. The entire pantheon was created, and is kept alive, through the power of belief and devotion. It is as yet unclear whether the rest of the gods are aware of this – though probably not judging by Heliod’s actions during the block. In addition, while the gods from Amonkhet are slightly different, they seem to have the same fundamentals, as the forgotten gods from Hour of Devastation are not indestructible, just reanimated by the Curse of Wandering, pointing towards this theory applying not only to Theros but to all gods across multiple planes.
5. The Roil is not a natural phenomenon
The Roil is the citizens’ name for the strange twisting and changing of the landscape on Zendikar, a behaviour unique to the plane and one which makes the land itself seem alive. Contrary to the citizens’ belief, though, it has not always been a feature of the plane. It began to occur after the Eldrazi Titans were trapped on the plane, as Zendikar’s way of crying out for help at the taint that ran beneath its surface. The Roil is a symptom of the plane trying to rid itself of the Eldrazi. Once the Titans were released from their prison, the Roil subsided, and would never occur again.
6. Slivers only currently exist on Dominaria because of the Riptide Project
They were not native to the plane, but were overlaid onto Dominaria with Rath – the Sliver Queen being the original guardian of parts of the Legacy – and were destroyed during the Apocalypse set. Afterwards, when we pick up in the events of Odyssey, the sliver fossils are being studied at the Riptide Laboratory on a far-off island. However, they were not just being studied but also being reanimated; and soon, they grew too clever for the scientists, broke out of their cells and overran the laboratory. In the same burst of mana as the creation of Karona, the Sliver Hivelord was made, giving the hive mind a new direction and purpose. The Hivelord appears to have died when Karona did, though there is no official confirmation of this; nor of the state of the quickly evolving slivers which were once extinct.
7. It is currently unknown whether Yawgmoth is alive or dead
He appeared to have been killed by Urza during Apocalypse, when the Legacy weapon activated and annihilated all the Phyrexians on the plane. He could not have fled back to Phyrexia as it was destroyed by the Nine Titans and their spellbombs. However, during the events of Scourge, Karona sees visions and hears Yawgmoth’s voice, so it is clear that he still exists in some form, whether it is only as a ghost or spirit, or whether he has a body and has retreated to his own personal plane somewhere to devise more of his evil plans. Perhaps we will hear more about Yawgmoth when we return to Dominaria?
8. Nobody knows what the Eldrazi Titans actually are, or what they are for
They seem to exist within the Blind Eternities, and the visible parts of them are the equivalent to the tip of a finger dipped into reality. Their true size and form is incomprehensible. During the events of Oath of the Gatewatch, the planeswalkers managed to defeat Ulamog and Kozilek by trapping them, pulling them further into the real world and severing their ties to their true selves before destroying them. Ugin was furious, claiming that he had not yet found out what their purpose was, and that their demise could have dire consequences for the Multiverse. There is a popular theory that they consume dying planes and leave them to be reborn, like earthworms; however, this has not yet been confirmed and so for now, we will remain in the dark.
9. Sorin Markov is the reason humans are still alive on Innistrad
He was turned into a vampire by his grandfather Edgar over ten thousand years ago, and since then he has risen to become the most powerful of them all. He was the one who invoked bans on the vampires hunting humans for sport, and created Avacyn and all her angelic brood in order to protect the humans from the other dangers. He didn’t do this out of goodwill, but because he saw a sustainability issue; the vampires were killing indiscriminately, and to prevent the humans’ extinction and then their own, Sorin took matters into his own hands. With Sorin now trapped in stone and Avacyn dead, there could be dire consequences for the entire population of Innistrad.
10. Teferi abandoned Dominaria in its time of greatest need
During the Phyrexian Invasion on Dominaria, Urza gathered together nine planeswalkers – the Nine Titans – to go to Phyrexia and destroy it, so that when the Legacy weapon obliterated Yawgmoth, the taint would die with him. Urza wanted Teferi, the powerful time manipulator, to join their forces; but he refused and phased out along with Zhalfir, his home, which he had phased out of existence to save it from the Apocalypse. Urza was incredibly angry at Teferi for selfishly phasing so many useful people out of the timeline, as Zhalfir was an important intellectual stronghold; but Teferi was adamant and refused to help, disappearing and leaving Urza, Dominaria and all its defenders to their grim fates.
Later, when he had phased back in and discovered that the war was over, Teferi, along with the remnants of the Nine Titans and some other planeswalkers such as Karn and Jeska, had to deal with the time rifts he had caused by phasing out the continent, the sealing of which brought about the Mending. All the others except Karn died to seal the rifts, but Teferi survived, albeit he gave up his planeswalker spark. His current whereabouts are unknown, though he must still be on Dominaria, as after closing the rift, he could never planeswalk again. Perhaps we will encounter him again in 2018?
What did you think? How many of these facts did you already know? Did you have more facts or theories to add? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading,