Over the weekend at the MTG Pro Tour the new July set, replacing the core sets, was announced to be Magic Origins. In it we will be exploring the stories of some of Magic’s more prominent characters; those of Chandra, Jace, Gideon, Nissa and Liliana. There will be 2 new mechanics introduced in the set and spoilers will begin coming in March from a panel in PAX East. Launch date for Magic Origins is July 17th and July 27th for Magic Online.
I’m really looking forward to this set, to see how some of these Planeswalkers got their spark and where they came from, as not much is known about them. The timing of this announcement is very interesting, following the story of Sarkhan Vol. Sarkhan gained his planeswalker spark during the Khans of Tarkir set and began traveling the multiverse, encountering many of Magic’s more prominent characters.
On his journey Sarkhan comes into contact with quite a few Planeswalkers, Sarkhan meets Ajani and teaches him fury of red mana and the benefits of vengeance. Sarkhan stumble across Nicol Bolas and thinks him to be the intelligent dragon he has been seeking and swears allegiance to the Elder Dragon.
Bolas sends Sarkhan to activate the Obelisk of Esper and begin a war amongst the shattered planes of Alara so that he can harness the power of the Maelstrom. Sarkhan’s next mission is to track the Necromancer Liliana. Sarkhan finds himself on Zendikar in the Eye of Ugin, the prison established by Ugin, Sorin Markov and the Lithomancer Nahiri to imprison the world eating Eldrazi. Sarkhan, driven mad by Bolas’s manipulations, fights Chandra Nalaar and Jace Beleren there, inadvertently releasing the Eldrazi.
Sarkhan returns to Nicol Bolas with a Hedron as proof of his acts in the Eye of Ugin. Bolas boasts of killing Ugin thousands of years ago over the corpse of another prominent Planeswalker, Tezzeret. Sarkhan returns to Tarkir desperate to re-discover what it was about dragons that had loved most.
Sarkhan is discovered by Narset, the leader of the Jeskai, who takes him to the tomb of the Spirit dragon, Ugin’s Nexus, and travels back in time to ancient Tarkir where the dragons still thrive. Upon his arrival Sarkhan discovers that the voice of the spirit dragon no longer torments him. Dismayed at this loss he shouts his fury to the sky, and witnesses a storm from which emerge dragons.
Sarkhan follows his newly discovered miracles to a short lived battle as the dragons are slain by the Temur Shaaman Yasova Dragonclaw. Sarkhan surrenders himself to her and tries to explain where he has come from, using the Temur concept of the unwritten now to gain her trust and help him understand where he was and what was happening on old Tarkir.
Sarkhan deduces that Yasova is under the influence of Nicol Bolas, who has convinced her that if she helps him kill the spirit dragon her descendants will rule Tarkir. Filled with worry Sarkhan takes flight, hoping to reach Ugin before he battles Bolas, as that is when he is to die.
Despite all his efforts Sarkhan is too late to save the Spirit Dragon and watches as Ugin summons a tempest of dragons, only to have them fall under the spell of Yasova and with their help Bolas is able to overwhelm Ugin. Sarkhan arrives at the Spirit Dragon’s side and, desperate to save him, activates the Hedron he had carried from Zendikar. It unfolds and wraps around Ugin, at which point Sarkhan Vol winks out of existence as that one act drastically changes Tarkir’s past and thus his own.
What happens next will be revealed in Dragons of Tarkir and more details on this story can be found in the Uncharted Realms articles where all the official Magic fiction is published. I just really wanted to summarize Sarkhans journey and those that he met along the way. With the announcement of Magic Origins I can’t help but express how well this has all been timed. We get to finally see the story of a character who has made a huge impact on the multiverse, next we will be concluding his story and then re-discovering the other minor characters and finally seeing how they gained their Planeswalker sparks.