Dominaria

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Dominaria (archaic: Dominia Prime, the Wheel) is a plane whose name means "Song of Dominia". Dominaria is also the Nexus of the Multiverse, being the focal point in Dominia with strong influence on other planes. It is the setting for the majority of Magic storylines. All early sets except for Arabian Nights and Homelands take place there; the Weatherlight Saga dealt with a devastating invasion of this world. After Scourge, storylines have been traveling to a different plane each block, though Dominaria has been revisited in Time Spiral. The Serra Angels referred to the plane of Dominaria as "The Wheel" because what happens there affects many other planes.

Contents

Geography

Dominaria is about two and a half times larger than Earth, with large but shallow seas. It has one natural moon called the Mist Moon. In the period between the fall of the Thran Empire and the end of the Phyrexian Invasion, Dominaria had an additional small and mysterious artificial moon, called the Glimmer Moon by natives and the Null Moon by planeswalkers. During the Ice Age, Dominaria was the primary plane in the Shard of the Twelve Worlds. A Dominarian year takes 420 days of 24 hours.

Although a full map of the plane has never been published, much has been written about its many landmasses. Even so, Wizards of the Coast employees such as Pete Venters and Brady Dommermuth have stated that there is still much left to explore.

The existence of the following continents has been acknowledged so far:

  • Jamuraa, which is actually a super-continent consisting of three connected subcontinents.
  • Tamingazin, long and thin continent lying west of Terisiare and east of Jamuraa.
  • Otaria, small continent west of Taminagazin and south-east of Shiv.
  • Sarpadia, continent lying far south from Terisiare.
  • An unnamed north-polar continent, with large peninsula called Upper Videnth.
  • An unnamed south-polar continent.

There are some other landmasses, although storyline experts are uncertain how they should be qualified.

  • Tolaria, an island far from any continent.
  • Caliman, a landmass of unknown size and place on the southern hemisphere.
  • Corondor, often called a continent, but far smaller than any other continent.
  • Shiv, always called an island, but is in fact larger than Corondor.
  • Madara, a collection of islands reminiscent of Japan.

There are also places of unknown location on Dominaria:

History

The Times of Dragons

In ancient days, Dominaria was one of the planes involved in the Dragon War, but even after the end of those conflicts, it kept being terrorized by dragons for ages. Shortly before the end of Elder Dragon Wars a woman calling herself Sivitri Scarzam allied herself with the Lesser Elders Scarzam and led his offspring into battle on Corondor.

Later, the Primeval Dragons Rith, Treva, Dromar, Crosis and Darigaaz conquered the globe and ruled it harshly until they were overthrown by human wizards, who stole their powers. Three of them, known as the Numena, killed the other two and governed for an unknown period of time.

The Thran

After the Numena had fallen to infighting, there is a large gap in our knowledge of the history of Dominaria. We only know that in this gap the Thran Empire was founded on Terisiare. Around -5000 Argivian Reckoning this empire had outposts from Shiv to Caliman. However, a man named Yawgmoth managed to usurp most of the power in the empire, which led to both civil war and war with the various other countries of Dominaria. Eventually the Thran Empire collapsed, but Yawgmoth survived, having traveled to Phyrexia where he would become a godlike being and turn the other Thran refugees into his monstrous servants. In the final moments before the Thran capitol of Halcyon was destroyed, Rebbec managed to seal the portal between Dominaria and Phyrexia, locking Yawgmoth out for millennia.

The Golden Age of Magic

After the fall of the Thran, the technological advancement and mobility of Dominarians seems to have dropped quite fast. The various continents all developed in their own way. The only name known for this era is the "Golden Age of Magic", but only Jamuraa went through a time that could be called golden.

  • On Terisiare, artifice was rediscovered after the fall of the Thran, but magic existed only in several isolated places such as Argoth and Sumifa.
  • On Jamuraa, the country of Zhalfir was founded, which was probably the first human nation of that time to fully master magic.

The Brothers' War

With the birth of Urza, the first year of Argivian Reckoning began. With the death of his brother Mishra it ended. In their life these two brothers waged a war that ravaged Terisiare and in the final moment of their conflict they sent all of Dominaria into an Ice Age. Both brothers were sons of an Argivian noble, but circumstances placed them at the head of the two sides of an old, slumbering conflict that was ignited by their personal hatred and misunderstandings.

The Brothers' War lasted 36 years and stripped Terisiare of most of its natural resources. In the final battle of the war, Urza activated the Golgothian Sylex on a completely ravaged Argoth. The ancient artifact released a blast that destroyed all of Argoth, created tidal waves that killed thousands, sent Dominaria into an Ice Age, shifted the entire planet off its axis, and created the Shard of the Twelve Worlds, disrupting the multiverse significantly.

The Dark

The time between the Sylex Blast and the beginning of the Ice Age is called the Dark. It was a time in which countries across the plane fell and in which many people turned to religious zealotism as they interpreted the ever-growing winters as a sign of the coming end of the world. We only have detailed information about this time on Sarpadia and Terisiare.

  • On the continent of Sarpadia, the cooling of the world indirectly caused the fall of nearly all its empires. Orcs, goblins and homarid left their ancestral lands looking for warmer places to live and got these by usurping the lands of dwarves and merfolk. In Havenwood the elves manipulated fungus to keep their food supply up in the harsh winters. Using the knowledge of the Order of the Ebon Hand they unknowingly created the Thallid, sentient fungi that would eventually overthrow them. In the end the entire continent was overrun by the thrulls, engineered minions of the Order who first rebelled against their masters and then set out to overthrow all other potential enemies as well.
  • On Terisiare magic was only just being discovered, and was brutally persecuted by the Church of Tal, causing wizards to join reclusive collectives like the City of Shadows and the Conclave of Mages. Here and there, goblin hordes were causing problems, but they were defeated in Tivadar's Crusade. Ultimately however, all the nations on Terisiare would fall to either infighting or the ever-growing ice. Only Storgard would survive until deep into the Ice Age.

The Ice Age

Although the Ice Age must have affected all of Dominaria (we know that Zhalfir had to use magic to survive the cold), we only have detailed information on the events in Terisiare, and even then we primarily know only about the last few decades.

Near the end of the Ice Age there were two great powers on Terisiare: Kjeldor and the nomadic barbarians from Balduvia. These countries were in a constant power struggle, but eventually set their problems aside to face the necromancer Lim-Dûl.

At the same time a group of planeswalkers held a gathering on the Null Moon that would change the course of Dominaria. The ‘walkers were not happy with being trapped within the Shard of the Twelve Worlds, and had gathered to think of a way of escaping. It turned out that some of them had conspired to betray the others: Faralyn, Leshrac and Tevesh Szat had planned to start a fight in which one of the planeswalkers would be killed, and then hoped to use the energy of this death to puncture the Shard for just long enough that they could escape. No planeswalker died, but the deaths of Chromium Rhuell and Ravidel proved enough to let the betrayers escape.

Tevesh Szat had to finish one other plan before he left. This planeswalker had always been obsessed with ending civilization, and wanted to give Dominaria a goodbye present: eternal slumber under a thick layer of ice.

To prevent this from happening the other planeswalkers that were present at the Summit of the Null MoonFreyalise, Kristina of the Woods, and Taysir of Rabiah—made a plan. They used Jaeuhl Carthalion and the Amulet of Quoz to thwart Szat, and used several powerful magical objects—including Jodah's mirror and the Ice Cauldron—as well as the young Elder Druid Kaysa to cast the World Spell. This spell was as powerful as the Sylex Blast, but was channeled through the Safehavens, and ended both the Ice Age and the time of the Shard.

The Flood Ages

With the World Spell, Dominaria heated up again and was restored to its original axis. This wasn't without its problems though, as Terisiare (and probably other continents as well) had to deal with rising sea levels and many new plagues. Tresserhorn, Fyndhorn, and many other places that had been powerful during the last years of the Ice Age were lost, while the School of the Unseen (previously named the City of Shadows and Lat-Nam) and Soldev were completely destroyed by a vengeful Lim-Dûl. Wrenna was taken over by a dark mage and Sheoltun's once-great power dwindled.

Not all was bad during these times. Many new nations flourished, such as Benalia, which replaced Sheoltun, and Yavimaya, where Fyndhorn refugees started a new life.

Some see the Flood Ages as a disaster as great as the Ice Age, but during it modern Dominaria was born.

The "Empty Quarter"

The time between Flood Ages and a modern era of Dominaria used to be called the Empty Quarter, since little was known about it. However, this term was introduced with the Legends set, and since then several stories have been released that take place in this "Empty" quarter, most notable of which are the first Legends Cycle and Urza's exploits in the Artifacts Cycle. Only Urza's story has a major impact on Dominaria as a whole instead of just on a single country.

Urza, who had become a planeswalker in the Sylex Blast, returned to Dominaria after ages of absence. During his travels he discovered Phyrexia's plans for an invasion and set out to prevent this. This didn't go without difficulties though. His first large action against the Phyrexian sleeper agents caused the deaths of his companions Xantcha and Ratepe, while his attempts at building a time machine ended with the devastation of the island of Tolaria. Urza did many things to strengthen Dominaria against the coming invasion: he created The Legacy, started the Bloodline Project to create perfect warriors against Phyrexia, and gathered allies such as Multani of Yavimaya, the Viashino of Shiv, and angelic refugees from Serra's Realm.

Modern times

Most of Magic's stories take place during this age (which was never officially named), most of the prerevisionist novels and many of the comic books, as well as the Mirage Wars. Since this age was never officially named, it was also never given an official starting date. Modern times ended with the global Phyrexian Invasion. Several large events happened in this age:

  • The Mirage Wars, in which the wizard Kaervek tried to conquer the countries of north-western Jamuraa. The most important aspect of this war on a global level however, would be the involvement of the planeswalker Teferi. His meddling with the time stream had lured Kaervek to Jamuraa in the first place, and could have greater repercussions later on.
  • The Wizard's War on Aerona, reaching even to far Lat-Nam. Greensleeves the archdruid and her brother Gull found the Stone Brain - an artifact giving them control over other wizards. They quickly became the heroes for ordinary people suffering from wars between raging mages. Many of civilians, former wizards' slaves and warriors from all the Domains joined Greensleeves's crusade against powerful mages, who in turn allied to oppose her and gain control over the Stone Brain. Greensleeves and her brother finally defeated alliance of wizards, but their crusade was not over.

The Phyrexian Invasion

In 4205 A.R. the Phyrexian Invasion finally began. Urza managed to rally a massive army, with the "Skyship Weatherlight" and its crew as its elite, and eventually the Phyrexians were defeated, but a very high cost. A full summary of the events can be found in Invasion, Planeshift and Apocalypse. (This page instead focuses on the lasting consequences of the war.)

  • The most obvious result of the war was the death of billions. Phyrexia had let a vast army and plagues loose on Dominaria, and in the conclusion of the war Yawgmoth himself had traveled through the portal in the form of a giant death-cloud, killing more people in mere minutes than the entire war had in a year.
  • During the battle against Yawgmoth, Weatherlight absorbed the white mana the Null Moon had been gathering ever since it was brought into orbit, almost 9000 years ago. The moon was destroyed and Dominaria's night sky was changed forever.
  • Teferi had decided he would rather avoid conflict than fight against the Phyrexians and so phased north-western Jamuraa and a large portion of Shiv out of existence, to return when it would be safe again. This action probably caused a small lowering of the sea level of Dominaria, and promised to create even larger problems, as the removal of both landmasses created major rifts.
  • After hearing of the death of his daughter, the master-mage Barrin committed suicide by casting a devastating spell, said to be as powerful as the Sylex Blast, completely liquefying Tolaria, the results of which would create a rift.
  • The master stroke of Yawgmoth's plan was the use of the plane of Rath. On this artificial plane Phyrexian troops had been building up for ages, and during the invasion it was merged with Dominaria in the so-called Rathi Overlay. It transplanted legions of Phyrexian soldiers on Dominaria in a matter of moments, but also altered Dominaria's geography. The Stronghold was placed inside a volcano in Urborg and the Skyshroud Forest was transplanted into Keld. It's unknown where other Rathi landmarks like the homes of the Kor, Vec and Dal ended up.
  • Finally, in the aftermath of the invasion, enormous streams of refugees left their ancestral homes for a new life on Otaria, one of the few places not ravaged completely by the Invasion. This created even greater depopulation in the countries they left.

The Coming of Karona

After the Invasion, Otaria was the only place where civilization had not been destroyed, or at least hurt badly, by Phyrexian forces. Ironically, it was here that only a hundred years later several other cataclysmic events happened.

  • Karn had left Dominaria after the Invasion, but wanted to keep an eye on the plane nonetheless. He created several probes for this purpose, but one of them, which would later be called the Mirari, was defective. The Mirari somehow channeled vast amounts of mana that several people tried to use for their own good. Eventually the barbarian Kamahl thrust the Mirari (which had been attached to his sword) into the ground of the Krosan forest. From here the Mirari kept pulsating mana across the entire continent, causing mutations in the entire population until Karn took it back to Argentum.
  • The Numena returned since each of them had developed a method to reincarnate. They were each brought into being via a ‘mother figure' and when these mother figures (Phage, Akroma and Zagorka) died in one moment a being called Karona was brought into being. She destroyed several cities on Otaria, but she was mana-incarnate and her presence greatly influenced the planar stability of Dominaria as well. Though she was eventually slain, the disruption caused by Karona's appearance had a lasting impact
  • Slivers were cloned in Empress Llawan's Riptide Project. They quickly overran the island and eventually made it to the mainland, where some of them were present at Karona's "birth". The magical backlash of this fused those slivers into the Sliver Overlord. Later, slivers spread all over Dominaria.

Time Rifts

Dominaria lies in ruins. Nations that survived the Phyrexian Invasion have to face the legacy of the accumulated apocalyptic events on their homeplane. The Sylex Blast fathers the one of the first tears in the fabric of time and space, known as rifts. The destruction of Urza's time machine created, in turn, another rift on Tolaria. Similar events occurred during the Rathi Overlay in Urborg when the Stronghold was transplanted into one of the island's volcanoes, and in Keld where Freyalise deposited the overlayed Skyshroud forest. Others are also in existence above Shiv and Zhalfir, phased out of the time stream by the planeswalker Teferi.

Karona's appearance also had a lasting impact. When she was created, only she had access to the mana on the plane. When she died, although Dominaria's magical power became accessible again, its flow had changed, becoming difficult to access and cutting off the land from its lifesource. Karona's death also changed the inherent properties of the time rifts, making them a more deadly phenomenon. They started to draw all mana from the plane, causing mana droughts that devastated all forms of life on the plane and distorted their environments. Those who survived struggle for their lives in this barren and toxic world.

Mysterious rifts weren't only mana-thieves. They connected Dominaria to its alternate realities, where history could choose another way for past, present or even possible futures. Many people were lost in those rifts finding themselves in another reality, but also many creatures emerged from them. Soon, Dominarian wizards adapted to this new environment, mastering temporal chaos rather than becoming its victims.

Teferi, feeling it right to return Dominaria to its whole state, came home to this wasteland. After determining to fix what he had caused, he recruited the necessary help of several Dominarian inhabitants and restored Shiv to its place in the world, sealing the time rift in Shiv at the cost of his 'walker's Spark.

Many other lasting effects were caused by the sealing of the time rifts.

  • Freyalise sacrificed her life and her adopted home of Skyshroud to seal the rift over Keld.
  • Lord Windgrace sacrificed himself to seal the rift over the Stronghold in Urborg. An aspect of Windgrace's life force may yet still remain, protecting his homeland for all time.
  • Karn was sent back in time in an effort to close the massive rift over Tolaria. He succeeded at the cost of his own spark, but saw a fearsome vision of what was to come and fled into the multiverse, headed for his plane of Argentum.
  • Jeska used part of Radha's life force to seal the rift over Zhalfir, possibly removing the phased-out portion of Jamuraa from all existence.
  • Jeska closed the rift at Yavimaya, sacrificing Radha's spark and possibly destroying Multani.
  • Jeska finally closed the most massive rift over Otaria. This killed Jeska and also forever altered the planeswalker spark forever. No longer would future planeswalkers be immortal godlike beings, but instead they would be mortal spellcasters barely able to walk across the planes.

Maps of Dominaria

Clickable map

KeldBenaliaSpice IslesHurloonLlanowarBarbarVerduraSea of WhalesWrennaOneahShanodinVoda SeaTolariaUrborgBogardanSuq'AtaZhalfirBay of PearlsNorth Jamuraan BightZerapaNakayaVintaraJamuraan SeaShivDominaria2.jpg
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Map gallery

A full map of Dominaria can be found here: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v151/skrittiblak/Planar%20Portals/dominaria-full.jpg

External links

FUT Planeswalker symbol.png Nine Titans FUT Planeswalker symbol.png
Phyrexian Invasion of Dominaria
Members: Bo LevarCommodore GuffDariaFreyaliseKristina of the WoodsTaysirTevesh SzatUrzaLord Windgrace
Replaced members: ParcherTeferi
Expansion sets
Invasion block: InvasionPlaneshiftApocalypse | Time Spiral block: Time SpiralPlanar ChaosFuture Sight
Novels
Invasion Cycle: Invasion, PlaneshiftApocalypse | Time Spiral Cycle: Time SpiralPlanar ChaostFuture Sight
The Weatherlight
Crew: Gerrard CapashenSisayHannaTahngarthOrimErtaiKarnMirriCrovaxRofellosStarkeSqueeMultani
Other characters: UrzaJhoiraTeferiSelenia, Dark AngelVolrathTakara en-DalCho-MannoSerraRayneBarrinGaeaYawgmoth
Related pages: DominariaBloodline ProjectRathStrongholdThe PredatorMercadiaCho-ArrimSerra's RealmPhyrexian Invasion of DominariaRathi OverlayThe Legacy
Expansions
Weatherlight | Tempest block: TempestStrongholdExodus | Masques block: Mercadian MasquesNemesisProphecy | Invasion block: InvasionPlaneshiftApocalypse | Scourge
Publications
Rath Cycle: Rath and Storm | Masquerade Cycle: Mercadian MasquesNemesisProphecy | Invasion Cycle: InvasionPlaneshiftApocalypse | Onslaught Cycle: Scourge
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