Friday, April 6, 2018

Dominaria Geography: World Changes through the Ages

Dominaria is one of the few Magic: The Gathering worlds that has actual maps of the plane and continents, and so they can be used for reference for the upcoming 2018 expansion: Dominaria.  See the previous article to check out the locations mentioned today!

This article will help readers see what has changed from the multiple world-changing events throughout Magic: The Gathering sets, rather than just a timeline, it will describe these events as well as give some history to the culture, trying to tie together the maps and locations with the timeline and events. 

The first planeswalker Battle  (Madara Rift)
Nicol Bolas engaged in what is presumed to be the first planeswalker battle, along with his rival, a great leviathan planeswalker.  They battled near Madara, which destroyed much of the continent, and created a time rift.  You can still see the Talon Gates off the coast, which were made from the bones of the levianthan walker.

The Brother's War (Yavimaya Rift, 64 AR)
The brothers Urza and Mishra battled for control of the continent Terisiare, both seeking ancient relics and designing artificial soldiers and beings to fight their war with each other.  While Mishra gained the aid of Phyrexia (corrupting him), Urza found a relic known as the Golgothian Sylex, which, when activated with mana, destroyed both armies, the island of Argoth, plunged Dominaria into an ice age, and split it and 11 other worlds off from the rest of the multiverse. 

Sarpadia's Fall (~170-300 AR) and the Dark Ages (Terisiare ~170-450 AR) - The Ice Age (2934 AR)
With the Brother's War over, the world of Dominaria began to plunge into an ice age.  Terisiare faced a cultural dark age, with suspicion and fear of magic occurring in the cities, while the continent of Sarpadia's civilizations fell to more feral races, one by one.  The Ice Age saw new civilization survive the thousands of years of cold.  Finally, a planeswalker, Freyalise, found use in a magic mirror to cast a ritual to end the ice age, and rejoin the 12 worlds with the multiverse, in conjunction with a traveling world, Shandalar

The Two Tolarian Explosions (Tolarian Rift)
Urza, after returning to Dominaria when he realized the ice age was over, and the world was again vulnerable to Phyrexian invasion, began experiments and building an army on the islands of Tolaria.  When his test with a time machine failed due to Phyrexian sleeper agents, it exploded, causing time bubbles to exist all over the island, and opening a time rift above it.   During the Phyrexian invasion itself, Barrin, the Headmaster of the Tolarian Academy, returned to find the school overrun, and in grief over his daughter Hanna's death, cast his most powerful spell to obliterate the entire island, further worsening the rift.

Zhalfir and Shiv Phasing out (Zhalfirian and Shivan Rift)
During the Invasion, many planeswalkers came together to fight the Phyrexians and protect a world they called home.  One planeswalker, Teferi, decided instead of just fighting, he would also protect two areas of Dominaria, Zhalfir and Shiv, by phasing them out of existence from the plane, instead of defending them. He could then fight off Phyrexians upon their return, many years later.  He was unaware of time rifts however, and one opened above each area. 

The Rathi Overlay  (Urborg Rift, Skyshroud Rift)
In the main campaign plans for the Invasion, the second portion was the use the artificial plane, Rath, to overlay itself on Dominaria, bringing landmarks such as the Evincar's Stronghold and Skyshroud forest with it, to transport the majority of the Phyrexian army to Dominaria.  Two rifts were opened here, over Urborg, and near Keld, where Skyshroud forest appeared.

Yavimaya Moving (4205 AR)
Yavimaya forest, once part of Argoth and Fyndhord forests, was the best equipped to fight Phyrexians.  Where other countries and areas struggled, Yavimaya easily repelled the invaders.  The Maro sorcerer, Multani, realized that to win the war against Phyrexia, the forces of Yavimaya were needed in Urborg, near the stronghold which had recently overlaid on Dominaria.  With all his life force, he teleported the entire forest to the continent of Aerona, near the country of Urborg, to allow Yavimaya to join the fight there.

The Mirari incident and the The coming of Karona (Otarian Rift, 4306 AR)
One hundred and one years after the Invasion was won, and the Phyrexians repelled, on the southern continent of Otaria, a prophesy of three mothers, three sons was fulfilled to birth the false-god incarnation Karona.  With her passive ability to drain all mana from all lands around her (being an incarnation of Magic itself), her death caused another rift to open above the continent, but and still had mana draining from the land into the rift.

The closing of the Time Rifts
Around 300 years after the invasion (4500 AR), Teferi and Jhoira return, and find Dominaria ravaged by the time rifts.  They begin to mend the damage to the plane, and find the help of other powerful mages and planeswalkers, to close all the timerifts, and start the healing of Dominaria.

Wizards storyline team has stated that it has been around 60 years since the mending.  The planeswalker spark has changed, and the story has not returned to Dominaria until now.  What will the world look like?  Which of these countries and continents are still around, or recovered from damage?

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