Appearance and characteristics[edit | edit source]
Kaya is a dark-skinned, young woman with dark, frizzy hair. She usually wears a thief's leathers and a pair of long daggers on her wrists. She is a confident, roguish duelist with the ability to become partially incorporeal, allowing her to slip through solid items and to touch and assassinate spirits. Kaya acts as though she is driven by a desire for money, but often her sense of justice is greater than her desire for personal gain. It just happens to be convenient when her personal and financial ambitions align.
After becoming the Orzhov guildmaster, she released any debt she found unfair, taking on the burden of the debts herself, showing a remarkable degree of selflessness that wasn't fiscally aligned. She believes all beings deserve fairness, regardless of stature, and took her Gatewatch oath on that belief.
Kaya is centered in both black and white mana. When going intangible, the affected portions of her body turn a transparent purple. When going fully intangible, she notes it causes her heart to stop beating for the length of the duration, possibly being a threat if overdone.
History[edit | edit source]
Homeplane[edit | edit source]
Kaya's homeplane is yet unnamed. She is descended from a noble lineage, though she and her kin had never stood on ceremony. Kaya's family relationships can be best described as "complicated". She once had a relationship with someone called Janah. She doesn't miss Janah, be she misses the feeling.
Fiora[edit | edit source]
Kaya initially appears on Fiora while taking an assassination contract for the ghost of Paliano nobleman Emilio Revari's mother. As she tangled with the spirit in its former home, she uncovered the reality that Emilio was directly responsible for his mother's death. Disgusted by this act of kinslaying, she ended her battle and led Emilio back into the house under the false pretense that the specter had been slain. Once the nobleman had been lured inside, Kaya revealed that she knew the extent of his crimes and left him to the wrath of his slain mother. With the Revari contract settled, she could now attend to a much larger payday. Her next job came through a contract from Marchesa to assassinate the ghostly King Brago. Utilizing her incorporeal powers, she successfully infiltrated Brago's dining room and plunged her rondel dagger into his spectral neck. In the aftermath of her triumph, Kaya was confronted by Brago's captain of the guard, Adriana. After several swings of Adriana's sword passed through Kaya's unharmed body, the ghost assassin retaliated with an elbow to the jaw. Kaya would leave Adriana otherwise unscathed, departing from the dining hall with remarks of Brago's tyranny.
Ravnica[edit | edit source]
Kaya resurfaced on Ravnica as part of the Orzhov Syndicate. Bolas hired her to kill the Obzedat and become guildmaster of Orzhov in exchange for him helping her "troubled family". Teysa helped her, luring the Obzedat to a meeting where Kaya slaughtered them all.
Kaya became strained, having absorbed the burden of others' debts from the Obzedat when she killed them. Through a loophole in Orzhov law, she became the new guildmaster of the Syndicate, although most of the Orzhov refused to acknowledge her status or respect her authority. Despite Teysa warning against it, Kaya freed many people from the debts they owed the guild, particularly the bound ghosts. On the other hand, she also heightened the tithes on the population to compensate for the economic losses caused by forgiving so many debts, raising them from 10% of people's incomes to 40%. This quickly led to riots, which had to be quelled by Azorius forces; in order to pacify the masses, she brought the tithes down to 18%. Kaya's habit of forgiving debts and raising taxes made her even more unpopular and caused Teysa to end their partnership, further undermining her position.
War of the Spark[edit | edit source]
At some point, Kaya became aware of Bolas' treacherous nature and defected from him. In preparation of Bolas' invasion of Ravnica, Kaya joined forces with Ral Zarek. Ral activated the Interplanar Beacon to bring other planeswalkers to Ravnica for help, but it turned out that was exactly what Bolas was counting on. Once the Beacon was active, Bolas brought the Immortal Sun to Ravnica, trapping the planeswalkers there.
Bolas' invasion began shortly after that, and the Eternals of the Dreadhorde marched forth from the dragon's Planar Bridge. She befriended Teyo Verada, a newly-ignited planeswalker who had just arrived on Ravnica. With the help of a Gateless street urchin named Araithia Shokta (nicknamed Rat), Kaya and Ral helped explain the situation to Teyo. Alongside many other planeswalkers and Ravnicans, Kaya fought against Bolas' forces.
She tried to rally the Orzhov Syndicate against Bolas, and she met with the Syndicate's ruling triumvirate, consisting of the human pontiff Armin Morov, the vampire tithe-master Slavomir Zoltan, and the angel warrior-executioner Maladola. She faced resistance from them, but the Syndicate's chief enforcer – the giant Bilagru – convinced them that Bolas posed an existential threat to all of Ravnica and, by extension, to the Syndicate's economic interests. (Unbeknownst to Kaya, Bilagru had been persuaded to help her by Orzhov representative Tomik Vrona.) Swayed by Bilagru's arguments, the triumvirate agreed to have the Orzhov Syndicate join the fight.
During the invasion, the trapped planeswalkers got together with Ravnican leaders to strategize. At Jace's recommendation, they decided to split up into teams to focus on specific tasks. Kaya, Teyo, and Araithia were sent to persuade the guilds that still remained neutral (Selesnya, Gruul, Golgari, and Rakdos) to join the fight against Bolas. They received an audience Emmara Tandris, acting guildmaster of the Selesnya Conclave, who initially refused their plea for help. However, her decision was overruled when Trostani awakened and ruled in favor of helping the Gatewatch. The group then went to speak with Borborygmos of the Gruul Clans, and Araithia convinced the cyclops to support their cause.
They were joined by Ral, who accompanied them to the Undercity. In Vraska's absence, the other leaders of the Golgari Swarm squabbled for control of her throne, but Vraska returned and united them. Despite Ral and Kaya's suspicion of the gorgon, Vraska pledged the Golgari to the fight against Bolas. With the help of Ajani and his team of planeswalkers, they were able to evacuate many civilians to the tunnels beneath the city, where they would be safe from the Dreadhorde.
After that, Vraska, Ral, Kaya, Teyo, and Araithia journeyed to Rix Maadi to negotiate with Rakdos. The demon lord was initially hostile due to the death of his emissary Hekara, and the blood witch Exava ordered the group to leave. However, the Orzhov representative Tomik showed up with Hekara's corpse, and the Rakdos cultists resurrected Hekara as a blood witch. After defeating Exava in a fight, Hekara used her newfound authority as a blood witch to lead the Rakdos against Bolas.
Once all ten guilds were on board, Nissa performed a ritual at the ruins of the Guildpact Chamber: with the help of a representative from each guild, she was able to repair the leylines that empowered the Living Guildpact (which had been disrupted when Bolas destroyed the Guildpact Chamber by opening his portal there). Kaya served as the representative for the Orzhov Syndicate. Using a device that Niv-Mizzet had constructed before his death to preserve his consciousness, they were able to resurrect Niv and grant the power of the Living Guildpact to him. Niv came back to life just in time to save the others from the God-Eternal Kefnet: using his newfound power, Niv was able to completely incinerate Kefnet in a torrent of flame, although the strain of channeling enough energy to kill a god caused him to fall unconscious.
Kaya survived the battle and was present during the Planewide Celebration that followed. Seeking to atone for her past mistakes, she joined the Gatewatch. Later, she was confronted by Niv-Mizzet and the other guildmasters (with Tomik now representing the Orzhov Syndicate in her place). They decided to spare the planeswalkers who formerly worked with Bolas but defected before the battle, on the condition that they make amends by hunting down the planeswalkers who stayed loyal to Bolas or defected too late. As her penance, Kaya was assigned the task of assassinating Liliana Vess, who the guildmasters had condemned to death for killing thousands of Ravnican citizens with the Dreadhorde.
Current status[edit | edit source]
Since Kaya is no longer the guildmaster of the Orzhov Syndicate, it's unclear if she's still bound by the debt contracts she inherited from the Obzedat, although Tomik was able to remove some of them during the battle to alleviate her burden.
Artifacts acquired[edit | edit source]
Kaya uses two long daggers that shine with a pale-purple light and can become incorporeal like herself.
Planes visited[edit | edit source]
Planeswalkers met[edit | edit source]
- Nicol Bolas
- Ral Zarek
- Teyo Verada
- Domri Rade
- Jace Beleren
- Ajani Goldmane
- Saheeli Rai
In-game references[edit | edit source]
Quoted or referred to:
- Dovin's Acuity
- Orzhov Guildgate (Ravnica Allegiance, #252)
- Spark Reaper
- Talisman of Hierarchy
- Teysa Karlov
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Kaya was created with the Bolas storyline in mind.
References[edit | edit source]
- Django Wexler (July 11, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter Six.
- Kaya, Ghost Assassin
- James Wyatt (January 2019). "The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ravnica'" . Wizards of the Coast
- Kelly Digges (August 3, 2016). "Laid to Rest". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Django Wexler (June, 2019), The Gathering Storm/Chapter Two.
- Greg Weisman (April 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica". Del Rey.
- Greg Weisman (May 29, 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica – Desperate Operatives". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Alison Luhrs (August 10, 2016). "Tyrants". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Blake Rasmussen (December 17, 2018). "Ravnica Allegiance Promos and Packaging". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Nicky Drayden (February 20, 2019). "The Ledger of Hidden Fortunes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Greg Weisman (May 8, 2019). "War of the Spark — Old Friends and New". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Greg Weisman (May 22, 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica – Rallying the Reluctant". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Greg Weisman (June 5, 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica – Operation Desperation". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Oath of Kaya
- Greg Weisman (June 12, 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica – Ashes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (January 3, 2019). "Is there any trivia you can give us about Kaya's presence on Ravnica?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
[edit | edit source]
- Wizards of the Coast (August 4, 2016). "“additional story contributions” credit for Monique Jones.". The Official Magic: The Gathering Tumblr. Tumblr.
- Monique Jones. (August 4, 2016.) "6 Questions You Might Have About Magic: The Gathering’s Kaya, Ghost Assassin Answered", Colorwebmag.com