The Guildpact is an ancient and epic piece of magic that reverberates across the plane of Ravnica.
Originally conceived of by the lawmage Azor I, it serves as a basis for all Ravnican law, setting statutes and ordinances for each guild so that each of the ten guilds has its own place. Its magic is enforced especially in the most significant representatives of the guilds, such as the League of Wojek. For instance, when a Wojek officer wishes to imprison someone who has directly violated a Guildpact law, it is possible to restrain them utterly. Not even paruns are capable of breaking such a seal.
The original Guildpact
The Guildpact itself is focused upon an ancient, primeval living document signed with blood and magic by each of the paruns to represent their willingness to work together to hold the city together. The first draft of the Guildpact, pressed under three inches of magic-treated glass and authored by Azor himself, is still kept preserved in the Old Laws Library of the Azorius Jelenn Column complex.
Not surprisingly, since its signing the leaders since then — including the still-living paruns — have worked hard to find loopholes in which to set forward their own plans. The Guildpact's spell was finally broken when Agrus Kos arrested Szadek for crimes against the Guildpact, when he tried to destroy it by taking control of other guilds. This generated a loophole because the Guildpact dictated House Dimir's task as opposing the Guildpact, making it impossible for Szadek to be legally arrested for crimes against it.
Later, a new non-magical Guildpact was drafted by Teysa Karlov. Since it was not backed up by metaphysical forces, no guild took it seriously.
The Guildpact's magic was later reestablished after the events of Dragon's Maze, but this time in the form of a living being: Jace Beleren. Any law that the Living Guildpact verbally confirms or formulates turns into a magical binding force similar to the ones of the old Guildpact.
Second Living Guildpact
At the beginning of the War of the Spark, Nicol Bolas destroyed the Chamber of the Guildpact by summoning the Planar Bridge within it, disrupting the leylines that maintain the Guildpact's power. Because of this, Jace lost his abilities as the Living Guildpact, and was thus unable to wield its hieromancy against Bolas. Later in the conflict, the Guildpact was reestablished through a ritual using representatives of the ten guilds and the spirit of Niv-Mizzet, mending the leylines disrupted by the Planar Bridge and reviving the Firemind as a new Living Guildpact.
Areas of influence
While the laws of the Guildpact are metaphysical binding forces across the whole plane, there exist spaces that are exempt from it. One of it was the Agyrem, where the laws of the broken guildpact still held sway. Additionally, the inner sanctum of the Obzedat is a dead spot within the law, allowing the Obzedat to even countermand guildpact laws with their own edicts.
As a planeswalker, Jace Beleren's influence as the Living Guildpact was able to extend beyond the plane of Ravnica, so long as the target of his law magic was a member of the guilds. Even on Ixalan, Jace is able to force Azor to spend the rest of his life in solitude, because Azor was still the parun of the Azorius Senate and therefore susceptible to his own Guildpact.
Quoted or referred to:
- Django Wexler (June, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter One]]. Del Rey.
- Django Wexler (August 14, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter Ten.
- Nicky Drayden (February 27, 2019). "The Ascension of Reza". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Alison Luhrs (November 11, 2015). "Family Values". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Greg Weisman (April 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica". Del Rey
- R&D Narrative Team (January 24, 2018). "The Arbiter of Law Left Chaos in His Wake". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.