The Story so Far – Battle for Zendikar

We begin the Battle for Zendikar stories with the Eldrazi released from the hedron prisons and rampaging across Zendikar, seeking to consume not only the wild mana of the plane, but also the life force of any living thing they come across. It is for this reason that they are drawn to Sea Gate, Zendikar’s largest city and its centre of trade and knowledge.

Gideon Art by Eric DeschampsThe Merfolk of Sea Gate are desperately trying to find a way of using the hedrons as weapons against the Eldrazi. Gideon believes they need another thinker to solve the puzzle, so he travels planes in search of a mage capable of this feat. On Ravnica he finds Jace and convinces him to return to Zendikar with him. On their return they find that Sea Gate has been overrun with Eldrazi and the city destroyed. Jace, Gideon and the survivors find refuge on the Sky Rocks and discuss their next possible moves.

Meanwhile Nissa, distraught at having released the Eldrazi from the hedrons, exactly the opposite of what she had intended by destroying one, is making her way across the plane fighting any Eldrazi that crosses her path with her elemental friend Ashaya. Zendikar leads her to The Laylines which animate and join her to fight for Zendikar’s survival. With her powerful elementals Nissa fights hordes of Eldrazi and saves many lives. However, as she reaches Sea Gate Nissa is cut off from the wild magic of Zendikar and the elementals are lost. Nissa is forced to fight once again with her sword and bare hands and, teaming up with a merfolk, they manage to meet up with the survivors of Sea Gate.

Nissa Art by Wesley BurtBut as soon as the opportunity arises Nissa leaves Jace and Gideon to wander the wilderness in search of her purpose. She carries with her a bag of seeds that she will plant once the danger of the Eldrazi is finished. She contemplates planeswalking and planting the seeds on another plane to preserve what little of Zendikar she can. Suddenly a goblin runs past her, pursued by dozens of Eldrazi. Nissa stands her ground and fights them. As the battle turns against her Nissa again considers planeswalking to save herself and her cargo. Just then a kor soldier, Munda, appears and helps Nissa to defeat the Eldrazi. Munda explains, with many clichés, how great Gideon is and that he is pursuing the goblin to bring her back to Sky Rock. Nissa helps him track the goblin and finds what Pili was looking for, her friend Leek. They find Leek’s body in a cave with several other goblins who managed to survive. As Nissa comforts Pili she has a revelation; the magic of Zendikar that she has been cut off from is not gone, it has simply retreated to its source. Nissa planeswalks to Bala Ged to find where the leylines converge and be reunited with Zendikar.

Jace Art by Chase StoneJace decides that he and Jori, a merfolk who witnessed the power of the hedrons, must travel to The Eye of Ugin in order to solve the puzzle of the hedrons. Gideon will stay behind and mount as much of a defence as he can, to protect and preserve any survivors that seek refuge there. On their journey Jace and Jori are ambushed by worshippers of Ulamog, who they call Ula. There beneath the surface of Zendikar they see the titan Ulamog, alive and making his way agonisingly slowly towards Sea Gate. Jace and Jori escape the priests with the help of Jace’s illusions. They then discuss what their next move should be. Jace is forced to enter Jori’s mind and convince her that the best course of action is for Jace to continue alone to The Eye and for Jori to return to Sea Gate and warn the survivors at Sky Rock of the danger coming their way.

At the same time, Gideon is working with the refugees and what little fighters are left to make Sky Rock habitable. Gideon meets with Tazri and Vorik, two of Zendikar leaders, to decide what their next move should be. Where should they go? Most cities on Zendikar have been overrun with Eldrazi and there is no safe way to get the refugees and injured to safety. How will they protect themselves? There are too few able bodied fighters and there is no place they can mount a defence.

They are all of different minds as to how to proceed, but Commander-General Vorik is dying and as he breathes his last he bequeaths his title to Gideon, to the irritation of Tazri who is tasked with being a balance to Gideon’s personality. After the funeral Gideon delivers a speech and persuades the remaining Zendikari to gather all other fighters from across the continents of Zendikar at Sky Rock and launch a massive assault against the Eldrazi to retake Sea Gate.
Drana Art by Mike BierekAcross the plane on the continent of Guul Draz, Drana is leading a hopeless band of wounded refugees and soldiers away from a massive Eldrazi host bent on consuming all. This is of course after Drana thwarted Kalitas and the Ghet from turning all the vampires of Malakir into thralls of the Eldrazi. As a result all the residents of Guul Draz have lost their homes and are desperately trying to outrun the Eldrazi. But they are running out of land as the coast approaches.

It is here that Kor messengers from Gideon arrive to recruit Drana and any able bodied fighters to join them at Sky Rock to mount their assault against the Eldrazi. Drana is not willing to abandon all the mortals of all the races that have flocked to her for help and so a deal is made, if the Kor help Drana fight off the tens of thousands of the Eldrazi about to descend on the helpless mortals under her care she will go with them to fight with Gideon.

As the battle rages Drana feeds on a dying Kor soldier, using his life to fuel her, and launches herself into the heart of a Sire of Ulamog. Inside, Drana is witness to its peculiar magenta energy and discovers what drives the Eldrazi. They are simply the embodiment of consumption, an unending unquenchable hunger to consume all. Drana then drinks the Eldrazi from the inside, absorbing its magenta energy and discovering even more about how the Eldrazi “think”, even finding their knowledge of other planes, thought she does not understand what it means at the time.

The energy threatens to consume and change Drana, but she is able to resist. Consuming the rest of the Eldrazi Drana has a revelation; the power she has consumed could allow her to destroy anything, even the titan Ulamog, or travel to another place far from Zendikar. But Drana is anchored to Zendikar and the battle taking place due to her connection to those who sought her help. In a burst of energy her soldiers are healed and grow stronger, the tide of the battle shifts and they win the day.

Despite the deaths of all the Kor messengers, Drana decides to take her host to Sea Gate to help how she can, Guul Draz will be reclaimed later. She not only seeks to fight all the Eldrazi, but also consume more of the Eldrazi’s power and find out more about the other planes.

Kiora Art by Jason ChanIn the middle of all this Kiorra returns to Zendikar, Bident of Thassa in hand. Kiorra stole the Bident from Thassa and only just managed to escape back to Zendikar. In this story we learn a lot about how the Merfolk turned the titans Emrakul, Ulamog, and Kozilek into their gods Emeria, Ula and Cosi as well as their personalities and some stories from the merfolk’s mythology. Kiorra stumbles upon a small number of Merfolk who are under attack from some Eldrazi and swiftly defeats them, displaying her power and the power of Thassa’s Bident. Amongst the Merfolk refugees is Turi, Kiorra’s sister, who fills her in on the recent disaster at Sea Gate. Against the advice of the majority of Merfolk there, Thassa elects to go to Sea Gate and fight Ulamog, and with her go several merfolk who were moved by what she said.

Find more to these stories and the conclusion to them at Uncharted Realms, updated every Wednesday US time. What has Jace discovered at the Eye of Ugin, what has Ob Nixilis been doing this whole time and will Nahiri show up to plant another hedron in his forehead? For that matter what have Sorin and Ugin been doing taking their sweet time to get to Zendikar and will Gideon and his band of soldiers fight off the Eldrazi? I know I’m looking forward to finding out.

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