|First seen||Shards of Alara|
|Status||Merged with the other Shards|
Bant is one of the five shards of Alara. It is primarily white-aligned with green and blue as secondary colors. It is inhabited by humans, aven, rhoxes, the semi-intelligent leotau mounts, and the angels that watch over the plane.
Bant is a haven of order, honor, and community. Traditions have thrived, and are protected by innumerable knightly orders, warrior angels, and a caste system designed to support the good of the many over the good of the few. Without the magic of death and chaos there to threaten convention and stability, and with angels flying as tireless symbols of peace and justice, its community traditions have become codified into law. Its' monks study the words of ancient prayers. Its mages and clerics practice magic of healing, prevention, protection, and growth. Its' druids and laborers care for the rolling fields, bringing nourishment to the population. And its knights practice the codes and forms of martial perfection, weighed down by the medallions of honor and patronage known as sigils. Angels rule the realm with benevolence and grace. Humans and the aven resolve their conflicts with ritualized combat. Duty and honor are the bedrock of this kingdom of light.
Bant is a land of towering castles and leotau-riding knights, angels, and high castles on rolling meadows. It is a world that loves order and values the group. The ruling establishment is noble and righteous, and society is well-ordered with a strong sense of right and wrong.
There are still battles held on this shard, but they are battles of a noble cause. The fighting isn't just for the sake of fighting, but as a means to find a resolution. When two factions disagreed, they have structured combat to resolve the issue. Rather than risk the health of entire armies, each group picks one champion and sends him or her as their representative.
Bant is a land of high castles on rolling meadows. There are five nations on Bant:
- Jhess, the island nation.
- The Sun-Dappled Court
- The Cathedral of Bliss is a vast temple of glowing marble and light that floats in the sky. It is ruled by the angels of Asha.
Bant has a strict caste system, everyone has a specific role in society. One's caste is determined by birth, but it is possible to rise up through sigils.
- The Blessed are the nobles of Bant, who are allowed to interact with the Angels.
- Clerics and monks make up the caste of the Sighted. They have to obey orders from the Blessed, but otherwise they do not have to answer to anyone.
- The Sigiled knights are measured by the number of Sigils they gained through their actions.
- The Mortar make up the bulk of Bant's population. They have to follow orders from the three castes above them, but may rise to the Sigiled caste.
- The Unbeholden are thieves and rogues. Some of them reject the caste system, others forced to become what they are by circumstance. Jhess is the nation with the most Unbeholden.
Acts of extraordinary nobility and courage are rewarded with sigils, magical medallions bestowed upon worthy souls by Bant's serene, graceful angels. They signify the support of the group or, on occasion, the individual that gave it to the wearer. A sigil is both a prize of honor and a bond of duty. The one who bears it may be called to fulfill that charge at any moment. There are some sigils, that can be bought, and stories tell of "dark sigils" from another time. In-game, they appear as artifacts and as auras.
The Grand Caravan
Angels lend guidance to mortals, but otherwise, they do not directly interfere with their lives. Among angels, there is a hierarchy with four different ranks. Angels are given the duty to protect the ideals and well being of the other Bant inhabitants but are not permitted to interfere with the politics of other mortals. Angels are born when human heroes die. The spirit is joined with what is called "meta-sigils" which is described as physical manifestations of the land and sky.
The ruler of Bant once was the supreme queen of the angels, the archangel Asha, who left the shard for unknown reasons long ago.
- The Asura are the highest-ranked angels. There are only seven of them, which make up the Court of Orderly Contemplation.
- The Amesha represent ideals, such as honor or justice.
- The Mahra carry out the orders of the Asura and the Amesha.
- Celebrants, as the lowest ranking angels, are responsible for protecting the lives and ideals of mortals.
During the Conflux, red mana from Naya and black mana from Esper flooded into Bant, creating havoc. The Order of the Skyward Eye created mistrust in Bant, resulting in panic. The armies were disrupted, and the communities fell apart. The angels no longer could keep Bant under firm control, as strange creatures and plants spread across Bant, and even creatures from Grixis and Jund appeared, slaughtering entire settlements with ease.
Although the army of Bant fought the invaders, it was clear that the opposing beasts and fighters were weakening Bant. Bant would no longer be as powerful as it was. Its borders merged more and more with the other shards until it became part of New Alara. Following the invasions, the once shining castles of their lands laid in ruin, dangerous places to venture to. Society as a whole had been shattered, and isolated pockets of settlements still fall prey to roving bandits and worse.
Quoted or referred to:
- Akrasan Squire
- Asha's Favor
- Call to Heel
- Constricting Tendrils
- Exotic Orchard
- Filigree Fracture
- Hindering Light
- Ignite Disorder (Conflux)
- Invincible Hymn
- Kiss of the Amesha
- Knight of the Reliquary
- Knight of the Skyward Eye
- Knight-Captain of Eos
- Martial Coup
- Mirror-Sigil Sergeant
- Nacatl Outlander
- Offering to Asha
- Parasitic Strix
- Patron of the Valiant
- Sigil of the Empty Throne
- Singe-Mind Ogre
- Skyward Eye Prophets
- Standing Troops (Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Kiora)
- Topan Ascetic
- Valiant Guard
- Mark Rosewater (October 06, 2008). "Peace, Love and Understanding". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer (October 8, 2008). "An Angel's Eye View of Bant". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Creative Team (July 9, 2015). "The Worlds of Magic Origins". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer (May 27, 2009). "Once More Unto the Mailbox, Dear Friends". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Savor the Flavor (January 28, 2009). "Bolas' Secret Minions". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.