|Sources||Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum|
Sorin Markov is a vampire planeswalker and a master of sangromancy, a dark corner of black mana specialization. With this blood magic he can drain the lifeforce of other beings, place curses on enemies, and even possess the minds of others. Sorin Markov is the oldest living planeswalker except Nicol Bolas, though unlike Bolas he has dedicated his existence to following his whims, and this easy life of pleasure has brought him detachment and easy confidence. Having seen hundreds of planes over thousands of years, he has become a sort of bon vivant, seeking novelty and new diversions. But despite his fundamentally hedonistic nature, Sorin does feel the pull of more lasting concerns, and over his long life this tendency has resulted in an arcane schedule of engagements and forays to far-flung planes. As a result Sorin is a busy man, planeswalking frequently to pursue concerns known only to him. Sorin always seems to have business elsewhere.
Thousands of years ago, Edgar Markov was an alchemist. Famine in the land that would become Stensia forced Edgar's hands and lead him into dark experiments, areas that he eagerly explored. Making a deal with the demon Shilgengar for the secrets of sangromancy, Edgar created a blood ritual which granted agelessness and the ability to subsist on blood. When Edgar anointed Sorin with the same vampiric state the trauma of the transformation caused Sorin's planeswalker spark to ignite.
Imprisonment of the Eldrazi
Shortly after his ascension in the long distant past, Sorin's attentions were drawn to the Eldrazi, aether-born monstrosities that consumed one plane after another. Sorin decided to ally with two other planeswalkers and defeat these abominations. An unnamed lithomancer would force the Eldrazi to take physical form, Sorin would use his life leeching magic and Ugin would defeat them with his own brand of colorless magics. But the plan went awry; the Eldrazi were forced into physical form, but the three planeswalkers weren't powerful enough to defeat them. The three were forced to compromise. Instead of killing the Eldrazi, Sorin lured them onto Zendikar where they imprisoned them. Unfortunately, this doomed the plane and its inhabitants but saved the multiverse. The three agreed that if the results of their ritual were ever disturbed, all three would return to Zendikar, and they departed. Some centuries later the Eldrazi managed to free themselves from their prison ethereally but not physically. Unable to depart, they started to consume Zendikar from within. Feeling the seal weakening, Sorin returned to the plane to imprison them once more.
Over the centuries, as vampires spread further into human lands, Sorin spent more and more time away from his homeworld, sometimes disappearing for years at a time. Vampires became disdainful of the race from which they had spawned, hunting mortal humans more and more boldly, and Sorin became distant from his own lineage. From his world-hopping perspective, he could see the changes on his homeworld. As the vampires gained more and more power, the humans were being driven further and further back, suffering under the boots of his grandfather's legacy, and it would only be a matter of time before the vampires wiped out their former kin.
In order for humanity to survive and to keep vampires from cannibalizing each other once humanity perished, Sorin committed something that forever marked him as a traitor to his race. Borrowing from long-held beliefs about the moon and the afterlife, Sorin forged a warrior who could hold back the vampires and other threats that threatened the extinction of humanity on Innistrad. He named this creation Avacyn and tasked the angel with protecting the plane in his absence. Through her, the magic of faith would create true power to fend off the darkness. So, the church was born from Sorin's act, and while some of the vampires understood, most reviled him as a traitor.
The Ancient Fang
During one of his rare sojourns back to Innistrad, Sorin ran across the interplanar thief Dack Fayden, who had caused far too much of a stir in his short time on the plane, having raised the ire of the Falkenrath line to a frenzy. In exchange for the Ancient Fang, Sorin let Dack and his friends live for their part in it. Sorin destroyed the notes the walker Sifa Grent had left behind in Falkenrath Keep and told Dack where she hailed from hoping that his problems would take care of each other. He told him of a world even darker than Innistrad. A place called Grixis.
Return to Zendikar
Millennia after the initial imprisonment of the Eldrazi, the Eldrazi grew restless once more, and Sorin returned to Zendikar as per his agreement with the other two planeswalkers. However, his fellow Planeswalkers were nowhere to be seen. Unbeknownst to him, Ugin had been captured or killed at the hands of Nicol Bolas, who was eager to see who would answer the call of Ugin after the Eldrazi Brood were freed by Sarkhan Vol, Jace Beleren and Chandra Nalaar. Sorin was forced into action and allied himself with Nissa Revane, an elven planeswalker shortly after arriving on Zendikar. Almost immediately he was beset by the Eldrazi Brood and after dismissing them with a simple spell, he liberated the vampiric slave Anowon and demanded that the two take him to the Eye of Ugin.
Sorin and companions traveled to the nearby Graypelt Refuge to meet with a compatriot of Nissa's, a merfolk named Khalled, and gain supplies for their long journey to Akoum. Khalled gave them what support he could, including a piece of the puzzle tower Tal Terig so that they could find their way. The trio descended into the Makindi Trench and after avoiding The Roil several times, encountered an enormous band of Kor refugees. Shortly thereafter, they encountered a Kor of another kind. A babbling Kor woman traveling with a large group of goblins. Sorin and company shared their camp fire with the woman, who would only speak in bursts of ancient languages which fascinated both Sorin and Anowon. The Goblins told them that the woman was named Smara and that she was a "witch vessel" for a spirit trapped in the crystal she was carrying. They were also on their way to the Eye of Ugin, and Sorin suggested they travel together.
Eventually the mismatched group came to the Piston mountains and Zulaport beyond that. The trio decided to stay the night in Zulaport and find some way to cross the ocean in the morning, but a vampiric death attributed to their group led to them fleeing to the sea. Nissa stole a boat and summoned a massive behemoth to swim the ocean and pull the boat behind it. The party soon regretted their hasty departure, as whatever food was on the boat was soon exhausted and the goblins travelling with them began to vanish one by one. Nissa could not sleep without allowing the behemoth to be dismissed and with no food or sleep, she was forced to repeat her hard learned Joraga fasting mantras to survive. During this time, Sorin finally told Nissa the nature of their mission as well as admitting to being a walker much like her. Sorin told her that the great gods of the past, and the progenitors of the brood, the Eldrazi Titans were bound beneath Akoum long ago, and it was his mission to make sure they stay that way. The next morning, they approached the beaches of their destination.
It was a hazardous landing as the compatriots were to learn. The bays of Akoum were littered with shipwrecks and crystal reefs, but the greatest threat came from the Moon Kraken that ruled those waters. Brinelin demanded tribute from their boat, and Sorin casually killed one of the remaining goblins to satisfy the great creature. That tribute was found lacking, and Sorin had to reveal more of his true nature to the creature. Brinelin remembered Sorin, and was somewhat terrified to find him returned after so long, but would not let them pass. Since Sorin's intimidation had failed, Nissa gambled that her diplomacy might work. She spoke of Sutina, who had been friends with the kraken, and told Brinelin of her death. Greatly saddened by the news of his friend's death and discouraged by the return of the brood, Brinelin finally acquiesced to lead them safely through the crystal reefs.
The party soon approached Tal Terig, which was surrounded by brood, and found themselves captured by elves Nissa had never seen. They were the keepers of Ora Ondor and planned to sacrifice the group so that their sacred Kolya fruits would grow. In their madness, they had underestimated the brood, and Ora Ondor came under siege by the brood. Nissa and what remained of their party, now greatly diminished to a single goblin who travelled with Smara and the trio, escaped during the confusion and as they fled, Ora Ondor fell. The goblin, whose name was Mudheel agreed to lead them all to the Eye, for his knowledge of Akoum was better than that of Anowon, but without supplies the group soon fell to dire straits. They were saved, after finally collapsing in the wastelands, by a water scout who altruistically shared his spoils with the group. Anowon killed the man with Sorin's permission to satiate his hunger which left Nissa aghast. The small band became aware that they were being followed after this incident, and they were finally ambushed by an army of Nulls under the direction of two vampires later that night. Nissa fell during the combat, and awoke as a prisoner of the vampires. They told her that they were hunting the Mortifier, who Nissa mistakenly believed to be Anowon. They carried her for several days, all the while leaving Nissa wondering why they had left her alive, before her allies rescued her. When she tried to approach Anowon about what she had learned, he told her that she was mistaken and the true extent of Sorin's nature came to light.
Once the group arrived at the Eye of Ugin, Sorin's plans abruptly changed from what Nissa had promised. Instead of helping Sorin reinforce the spell containing the Eldrazi, she shattered the main Hedron and released the enchantment imprisoning the titans. Nissa thought the titans would flee, that they would leave Zendikar far behind them. She was wrong, and Sorin washed his hands of the foolish elf and the entire plane, choosing to go about his own business once more since Nissa wouldn't heed his instructions.
Fall of Thraben
Sorin returned to the dark world of Innistrad after the debacle on Zendikar. What he found upon his return shocked him. While away, his guardian, his hopes made flesh, had vanished. Now, the world he sought to protect so long ago has turned on itself, tearing apart the institutions Sorin himself had helped to establish. With only grim determination, Sorin began searching for his lost angel, slaying any who would stand in the way of his answers. He found the capital of Gavony ransacked and no answers for his trouble.
His search suddenly stalled when he ran across the anarchistic walker Tibalt and was forced to deal with the young walker. Tibalt opposed every authority that held the world together, and despite the woes befalling his world, he knew Tibalt posed a significant threat if left unchecked. By the time the upstart had been dealt with, the problem of his missing angel had seemed to solve itself, leaving Sorin no further obligations on the plane.
- Barter in Blood (Avacyn Restored)
- Repay in Kind
- Sorin's Thirst
- Sorin's Vengeance
- Standstill (IDW Promo)
- Vindicate (judge foil)
Quoted or referred to:
- Bloodflow Connoisseur
- Consume Spirit (Magic 2012)
- Day of Judgment (Zendikar)
- Feast of Blood
- Mark of the Vampire
- Mortify (Duel Decks: Sorin vs. Tibalt)
- Ophiomancer (Commander 2013)
- Spectral Procession (Duel Decks: Sorin vs. Tibalt)
- Vault of the Archangel
- Sorin Markov
- The Eldrazi Arisen: Daily MTG
- "And Carnage Shall Follow"
- A Planeswalker's Guide to Innistrad: Stensia and Vampires
- Sorin's Homecoming
Ajani Goldmane () • Ashiok () • Nicol Bolas () • Chandra Nalaar () • Domri Rade () • Elspeth Tirel () • Garruk Wildspeaker ()