Jodah

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Jodah
Jodah.jpg
Demographics
Birthplace Giva Province, Terisiare, Dominaria
Lifetime 413 AR to Present
Race Human
Sources
The Gathering Dark, The Eternal Ice, The Shattered Alliance, Planar Chaos''

Jodah was a powerful archmage during Dominaria's Dark Age and Ice Age, who was present for many of the important historical events on Terisiare during the periods.

Jodah was very influential during the Ice Age in developing and researching the aspects of color magic on Dominaria. He was also a major contributor to the returning of the Shard to the rest of the multiverse. Jodah looks deceptively young, and sports a mane of brown hair.

The Gathering Dark[edit | edit source]

Jodah was born in 413 AR, several generations after the Sylex Blast that ended the Brothers' War. He was born into a wealthy family that was in fact a direct blood relation of Urza and Mishra themselves, the family line being founded by Kayla bin-Kroog after the war. This wealthy family resided as farm land owners in Giva Province, previously Argive, and had many notable members such as Jarsyl. However, because the ever-shortening summers and the overfarming of the land, the wealth of Jodah's family began to decline. The family finally abandoned their estate when Jodah was just a young man.

Jodah was apprenticed to the wandering mage Voska, who gave him a magical mirror that would play an important role later on in his life. The two were captured by the Church of Tal, the dominant religious institution of the region, who believed magic to be evil. Jodah escaped and wandered the region for a while, trying to reunite himself with Voska. During these travels, he was forced to hide from a group of goblins by submerging himself in a long abandoned fountain. The magical waters of this fountain slowed down his aging to a crawl, although it would be years before anyone noticed.

Eventually, Jodah learned that Voska had been executed by the Church, and decided to travel alongside another mage, Sima, to the City of Shadows. Halfway through the voyage, Jodah was captured by merfolk, who traded him to the Rag Man, in exchange for the Coral Helm. The Rag Man took Jodah through a Safehaven to the Conclave of Mages. Confused by these events, but happy to have found a group of fellow mages who could teach him, Jodah succeeded in the test that Mairsil, the ruler of the Conclave, had set for him, and enrolled in this secluded community.

Unbeknownst to him, Jodah had become part of the intrigue among powerful wizards. The Rag Man had been sent by Lord Ith, the former ruler of the Conclave, whom Mairsil had imprisoned over the Bottomless Pit located under the building. Mairsil himself thought he could use Jodah to open a planar portal to the Dark Lands, a place Jodah's ancestor Jarsyl had supposedly visited, from which Mairsil thought he could gain immense power.

However, all the plotting was interrupted by a full-on assault by the Church of Tal. Alongside Sima, who had tracked him down after his kidnapping, Jodah was led to Ith's prison by the Rag Man. Jodah freed the old mage, only to see Ith, who had been driven insane by his time over the Pit, go into a murderous rampage that resulted in the death of Mairsil and the Rag Man. In the end, Jodah managed to use the mirror Voska had given him to make Ith come to his senses. Though the mages had defeated the Church, the Conclave itself was in ruins. With Ith deciding to travel the land rather than rebuild, the mages followed Jodah and Sima to the City of Shadows.

Eternal Ice[edit | edit source]

Jodah thrived in the City of Shadows, eventually becoming the Archmage and marrying Sima. However, the fountain he bathed in had dramatically slowed his aging, so while those around him died, he remained practically unchanged. This grief and despair mounted, causing Jodah to descend into madness. To retain his sanity, he began to store his memories in his mirror, wipe his memory clean, then restore the memories from the mirror, drained of their emotional attachment. He lived so long that he was granted the title of Archmage Eternal, and oversaw the City of Shadows as it changed into the School of the Unseen.

Over 2000 years into the Ice Age that fell over Dominaria, Jodah was kidnapped by the cousins Gerda Äagesdotter, his second in command at the School, and Gustha Ebbasdotter, the royal mage of Kjeldor, who were envious of his power. They gave him to the necromancer Lim-Dûl, who muddled Jodah's brain with Fyndhorn Pollen, tricked him into believing he was a summoned creature and forced him to research magic for him, specifically for information about Shandalar and on ways to defeat planeswalkers.

Jodah was saved by Jaya Ballard, a former apprentice who never got very far in the wizarding world. However, Jodah had been kidnapped shortly before his regular memory-cleansing ritual. Thus, without the Pollen clearing his mind, Jodah was going insane. Jaya called upon the so-called goddess Freyalise to cure him, placing them both in a position of debt towards the elven planeswalker.

Having discovered the extent of Lim-Dûl's plans, Jodah took Jaya to Kjeld to convince the ruling elite of the danger. This was not easy as many Kjeldorans believed that the necromancer was no threat, or that he was even a possible ally against the Balduvian barbarians, the very people with whom Jodah wanted the Kjeldorans to ally themselves. But Lim-Dûl overplayed his hand; he had the secret organization called the Knights of Stromgald stage a coup. Thanks to the timely intervention of Jodah, Jaya, Gustha and Varchild, the coup failed, but the threat convinced King Darien of the truth in Jodah's warnings.

The next spring, the conflict came to a head in a climactic battle between Lim-Dûl's undead hordes and the Kjeldoran-Balduvian alliance. During this battle, Jodah dueled with Lim-Dûl himself, who revealed that he was actually a merger between Lim-Dûl, a former Kjeldoran soldier, and Mairsil, who had placed his essence into his ruby ring, which had been found by the soldier. Jodah was robbed of his chance for vengeance, however, because Leshrac intervened. The planeswalker, who was the source behind much of Dûl's powers, was displeased by how the necromancer had wasted his armies on Kjeld, as he had wanted him to use them on Shandalar. After cutting off Dûl's hand, severing his link with Mairsil, Leshrac took him to Phyrexia to be recreated.

In the aftermath of the battle, Jodah was summoned by Freyalise, who demanded to borrow his mirror as payment for his debt. After the mirror was used in the World Spell that ended the Ice Age, Freyalise returned it, but Jodah felt she had somehow altered it. From that moment on he did not dare to use it again.

Shattered Alliances[edit | edit source]

Twenty years later, Jodah was again visited by Jaya, who showed him a shriveled, severed hand: the hand of Lim-Dûl, and the ring finger was missing. Fearing that the ring containing Mairsil/Dûl's essence and could thus take over a powerful lord or wizard and wreak destruction, the reunited duo set out to find it. During their travels though, Jodah learned that Jaya had changed in the years he had not seen her.

On these travels, Jodah once again forged an alliance between Kjeldor and Balduvia, this time against the forces of Varchild, now a renegade with anti-Balduvian sympathies herself. This alliance would eventually be sealed by a dynastic merger via the marriage between Lothar Lovisason of Balduvia and Alexandrite of Kjeld. This marked the beginning of New Argive.

The trail eventually lead to Soldev, and the Soldevi Adnates in particular. During an audience with the Adnates, Jodah discovered that they had access to the Phyrexian War Beasts that the Soldevi had excavated. Moments after this discovery, Jaya stabbed Jodah fatally, revealing that she had been the new vessel of Mairsil/Dûl all along. The Adnates then used the blood of Jodah (the closest still living relative of Urza, the arch-enemy of Phyrexia) to activate the War Beasts, who went on to take over the Soldevi Steam Beasts that had been modeled on them. They leveled Soldev, and then teleported to the School of the Unseen, destroying that as well.

With no other options left, the dying Jodah used his mirror. He was able to amplify his faltering magic with it and heal himself, but he also discovered what Freyalise had done to it. She had felt that someone near her had the planeswalkers' spark, and believed it to be Jodah. Annoyed by Jodah's irreverent attitude towards planeswalkers, she had enchanted the mirror to trigger the spark of anyone using it. But Jodah was certain that he did not possess the spark, and narrowly managed to escape the spell.

Faced with an immensely powerful Jaya/Dûl/Mairsil, Jodah realized that every time he had met Freyalise, someone else had been there: Jaya. After an intense duel, Jodah was in the right position and smashed his mirror in Jaya's face. The energy of Freyalise's spell was released, burning away the essence(s) of Mairsil and Lim-Dûl, and triggering her spark.

After ascending as a planeswalker, Jaya helped Jodah defeat the Beasts that had destroyed the School of the Unseen. Jodah decided, like Ith before him, that the seclusion of the School had not been the right way, and opted not to rebuild. With the surviving mages traveling to other continents, and Jaya setting out across the planes, Jodah opted to spread rumors and lies about himself in order to hide behind myth and legends.

Later appearances[edit | edit source]

After he disappeared, Jodah made several appearances.

300 years after the destruction of the School, Jodah visited Urza, who had returned to Dominaria. Urza wanted to fight the Phyrexians and their coming invasion, but was completely insane. Jodah talked to him, telling him what had happened to the plane in his absence, and played an important role in restoring Urza to sanity.

During the Phyrexian Invasion Jodah was not seen, but was mentioned as still being alive.

He eventually returned during the events of Planar Chaos. Somehow, probably by scrying, he had discovered that Jhoira would arrive at Urborg and waited for her there. When they met, he offered to help her in her quest to stop the further deterioration of Dominaria's space-time continuum. He had created a new mirror that was a perfect copy of the one he had gotten from Voska almost 4000 years earlier. He eventually gave this mirror to Freyalise, hoping she could use it to heal the world, like she had done before, but Freyalise discarded the item, claiming it couldn't do the job. Although he did not join her for the entire quest, there were definite sparks between Jodah and fellow immortal human Jhoira. They began a relationship, but it didn't work out.[1]

After all the troubles were over and the time of Mending had begun, Jhoira sought Jodah out. Jhoira told him that he was a different man from the Jodah she had read about, which Jodah confirmed. Whether this means that the Jodah that appeared in Planar Chaos is a different Jodah, possibly one from another timeline, or simply that the stories about Jodah had painted a different image about him was left unexplained.

At the time of Dominaria's resurgence[edit | edit source]

Sixty years after the Mending, the Archmage Eternal is now over four thousand years old. He prefers to hide behind extravagant and sometimes contradictory legends while remaining aloof from the day-to-day affairs of Dominaria.[2] He currently resides at Tolaria West.[1]

In-game references[edit | edit source]

Represented in:

Associated cards:

Depicted in:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. a b Martha Wells (April 11, 2018). "Return to Dominaria: Episode 5". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Wizards of the Coast (April 21, 2018). "Right on time, here are some of the legendary Wizards of Dominaria!". The Official Magic: The Gathering Tumblr. Tumblr.
  3. Adam Styborski (April 5, 2018). "A Clever Wizard Never Pays The Price". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Blake Rasmussen (March 28, 2018). "Dominaria Card of the Day: Time of Ice". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.