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Koth of the Hammer
|Birthplace||Oxidda Range, Mirrodin|
Koth of the Hammer is a red Vulshok planeswalker of the Hammer tribe, though his parents hail from two different tribes, making him what is known as an alloy amongst the vulshok.
Description[edit | edit source]
A native of Mirrodin, he ascended during the time of the Phyrexian conquest of the plane. His specialty is geomancy, spells that move mountains, shatter stone and melt iron.  His earth magic has a special strength which allows him to purify metal given the unique nature of his homeland. His ability to purify ore reflects Koth’s own desire to bring peace and harmony to his people. Koth is a passionate leader of his people, but he is also wise for his years, taking counsel before rushing headlong into action. But if action is called for, Koth is a decisive man of few words, and can bring a mountain down on top of anyone who dares to threaten his home.
History[edit | edit source]
Ascension[edit | edit source]
His planeswalker spark ignited when the tribes of his once-peaceful people fell into open war for the first time in generations. The metal they had traditionally mined from the mountains of Oxidda became strangely corrupted; the ingots forged by the Anvil tribe turned brittle and inconsistent. Each tribe blamed the others for the weakness of their sacred ore and old hatreds began to reemerge. Koth believed he could use his ability to purify the ore and with Koth’s help, the solidity of the metal was restored and the skirmishes between tribes slowed.
Gathering Forces[edit | edit source]
When the Phyrexian corruption invading Mirrodin became obvious, he branded their insignia on his arm as a promise to his people to save them. So began his planeswalking journey. A mysterious man pointed Koth towards Urborg and The Heroes' Memorial, where the sages helped him, though initially they distrusted him. While on Urborg, he entered the gladitorial pits where he fought Elspeth Tirel. He refused to fight back, but when Elspeth saw the mark of Phyrexia on his arm after a lucky strike, she tried to kill him in a blind rage. She was stopped by the timely intervention of Ajani Goldmane who had come looking for Elspeth. Soon afterwards, Koth told Elspeth of the Phyrexian invaders taking hold on his plane.
Together the next morning, Koth took Elspeth to a ruined structure called The Tomb of Flesh. They talked of their homes, of the places they cherished and once more Elspeth lamented Bant's fate. Koth used his geomancy to create a path to the tomb, using his demonstration as a chance to offer wise counsel to the tortured young lady. Elspeth conjured a light once they reach the island. Koth saw nothing within the wreck but Elspeth, terrified and chilled, fled from the dark corners of the world only she can see.
Koth found her once more at the ruins of a castle, and asked her to come with him to The Heroes' Memorial. Once there, he gifted her with gems, telling her to trap her fear in them, but she simply said that the past is not so easily forgotten. Here in the temple, Koth communed with the stone altar and learned only one thing: They must find a man named Venser. The artificer was not hard to find, being a long standing target for Windgrace's Acolytes who tended the memorial. The pair went to see Venser and Koth was shocked to find a phyrexian vessel being rebuilt, improved in fact, to act as a planeshifting ship. When it became obvious Venser had no idea the powers he was meddling with, Koth flew into a rage and encased his head in a stone mask, coercing him to walk to Mirrodin. Venser needed to see the threat he was unwittingly toying with and what it had done to Koth's home, and for that reason, Koth would do anything to make him fight.
Scarred[edit | edit source]
Koth took his allies to the lands he called home. Despite his dire warnings, the pair saw nothing particularly threatening and Venser continued his tirade against the geomancer. Koth broke off his argument with Venser long enough to tell the foreigners of the conflicts raging across the surface, and of the dark threat that corrupts the plane itself. Koth used his power to ferry the pair across the world in search for an old friend to help him tell them of their true enemy, but what he found is the surprising spread of the Mephidross, stretching farther than he could possibly have expected when he left. The trio found something other than Koth's acquaintance, a shambling corpse that attacked as soon as it sensed the group. The allies quickly fought off the nim, but once again Elspeth became sullen and withdrawn, and with a doleful sigh, she told the arguing walkers that she could not go any further.
Unfortunately, without her warrior's expertise, Venser and Koth fell quickly to a Corrupted Harvester and were dragged back to its lair near Ish Sah. Koth awoke under the harsh lights strapped to a table next to his reluctant ally. He quickly freed himself, but could not awaken Venser before the Phyrexians came. He valiantly fought them, but was overpowered until Elspeth's sudden reappearance. With her help the trio subdued their captors and proceeded to the Black Lacuna. Venser teleported inside for recon and Koth declared his assurance that it will all be over soon, knowing nothing of the forces massed inside the Vault.
The Quest for Karn[edit | edit source]
Elspeth, Venser, and Koth traveled to the Vault of Whispers, where they witnessed the emergence of a Phyrexian army that was invading the surface. During their observation, Elspeth froze when being in such close proximity to the Phyrexians brought back memories of her captivity, and was almost captured. After several hours, the army passed, and the three companions entered the Vault, following a Myr secretly sent by Tezzeret to guide them. It led them to Geth, and in secret, they followed him into the interior of the world. They came upon a butchering room in which they engaged massive Phyrexian butchers; Elspeth slew many, but they were outnumbered and managed to escape further into Mirrodin's underground through a meat shaft. When they emerged from the shaft they encountered Ezuri, the leader of a band of Mirran rebels. While Venser insisted that they had to continue to find Karn, Ezuri said that he could allow them to go no further. He revealed that the Phyrexian invasion had profited him greatly, catapulting him into a heroic leadership position that he was loathe to give up. When Elspeth threatened Ezuri, however, the elf backed down and his followers fled after a display of Venser's meager magics. The companions continued on further towards Mirrodin's core, eventually being met by Tezzeret.
Tezzeret led the companions to a surgery room, where Elspeth, angered by the sight of Phyrexians experimenting on creatures, flew into a rage, slaying all the Phyrexians in the room in a matter of moments. They freed Melira, a Mirran born without any metal on her body, from the cages. Tezzeret said this was his gift to them; she was completely immune to phyresis. During the subsequent travels, Elspeth grew very protective of Melira. They began traveling back towards the surface, but were surrounded and attacked by a massive force of Phyrexians. During the battle, Elspeth was the center of the Phyrexians' attention, slaying most of them and creating piles of dead around her so high that the other companions lost sight of her.
The companions eventually reached the furnace layer, where the Phyrexians ignored any Mirran survivors, and found Ezuri's rebel camp. There they were welcomed, despite their previous encounter, and Melira's ability to heal phyresis was discovered. She healed all those in the camp that were infected by the glistening oil, healing non-stop for several days while Elspeth sat with her in the tent, speaking to her. Once everyone in the camp was healed, a council was called in which Ezuri, hoping to become more influential, invited Melira to stay with them while subtly telling the companions to leave. Melira said she would leave with the companions, however, and Elspeth and the others prepared to leave for the core to try to find Karn. While they were leaving, the camp was attacked by Tezzeret's Phyrexians, and the companions found a guide to take them further. They escaped the battle and followed the guide, of whom only Elspeth was trusting. They followed the guide deep into Mirrodin's core, encountering many strange rooms and caverns; at one point they did battle with two strange Phyrexian angels. Elspeth killed one with a throwing knife and the other she decapitated while it attacked Venser. During the battle, however, Koth, angry at their lack of progress about the surface war, took Melira and left, leaving Venser and Elspeth alone with the guide. They hurried after Koth, but were ambushed by Tezzeret's Phyrexians.
The Phyrexians carried the Planeswalkers away, but while their captors were trying to figure out how to access a doorway, Koth and Melira reappeared and freed the pair. By the time the Phyrexians realized that their captives were gone, the companions were already running. Venser's strength, however, was wearing thin, and they were forced to stop. He was able to concoct an explosive from the metal on the walls and blow up part of the tunnel, sealing it temporarily, but it was only a matter of time before a group of Phyrexians, led by Glissa, broke through. While she was taunting them, however, Tezzeret appeared and his forces did battle with Glissa's, allowing the companions to escape and reach Karn's throne room uninterrupted. There, they found Karn corrupted by the Phyrexian oil, and Melira told the companions that his heart was corrupted. Venser told the others that he was already dying and had been for years, and that he was likely unable to last much longer. With his last strength, Venser gave his life and spark to Karn, curing the golem. Cured and lucid once again, Karn spoke with Elspeth, who told him that he could not kill all the Phyrexians. Karn replied that he knew, and that is why he needed their help; He asked them to begin organizing and leading the resistance with Melira to try to cleanse Mirrodin, no matter how long it would take. Purposefully and ready for the long battle ahead, the group left the throne room and headed back towards the surface to begin their war.
Mirrodin Falls[edit | edit source]
Unfortunately, nothing could stem the tide. The resistance only survived for the infighting of the praetors, but their respite could not last. Slowly, Elesh Norn gained more influence, even in the furnace layers, effectively converting or conquering Urabrask and Sheoldred's domains. With her power quickly growing, the praetors along with the traitorous Tezzeret, prepared to gather. It was very possibly the last strike they could make against the praetors, a final defiance no matter how hollow. Elspeth and Koth took a large force to make a strike against the praetors with a very powerful spellbomb, preparing to make a final stand. However, the mission was compromised almost as soon as it began. They fought valiantly, but shed warriors in great numbers while the phyrexians seemed endless. At last, Elspeth and Koth were the only two left, having made it to the heart of Norn's domain. Koth erected rudimentary defenses and prepared to set the bomb, ready to sacrifice himself... but not ready for Elspeth to die for him.
He told her to go, but she did not budge, and so he used his magic to sink her into the ground and create a shield against the blast, giving her only one option to escape. She planeswalked away as the spellbomb detonated, leaving Koth's final fate unknown to her. Koth escaped alive into the bowels of the furnace layers.  He hopes that the Mirran resistance can one day overthrow the Phyrexians, and works with Melira to protect those who remain.
In-game references[edit | edit source]
- Anger (Duel Decks: Venser vs. Koth)
- Magma Spray (Friday Night Magic)
- Phyrexian Arena (Conspiracy: Take the Crown)
Quoted or referred to:
- Darksteel Ingot
- Darksteel Plate
- Koth's Courier
- Molten Birth
- Phyrexia's Core
- Rally the Forces
- Turn to Slag
References[edit | edit source]
- Doug Beyer. (January 05, 2011.) “Mail Bonding”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer. (June 17, 2014.) “Checking in on the Planeswalkers”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mel Li. (August 19, 2015.) "CHECKING IN ON THE PLANESWALKERS (2015)", magic.wizards.com/en, Wizards of the Coast.