Nahiri

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Nahiri
Nahiri
Birthplace Zendikar
Lifetime unknown
Race Kor Planeswalker
Sources See references

Nahiri, called The Lithomancer and The Harbinger, is a talented kor stoneforger and one of The Three — a group of planeswalkers that included Sorin Markov and Ugin — that decided to rid the Multiverse of the terrible Eldrazi. Being a lithomancer, she has special power over stone.

History[edit | edit source]

The Three against the Eldrazi[edit | edit source]

Sorin and Nahiri first met when the young kor's Planeswalker spark first ignited, and they forged an unlikely friendship. Viewing her almost as a daughter, Sorin taught Nahiri about the Multiverse and introduced her to many new planes. Together, they discovered the Eldrazi, witnessing Ulamog's destruction of a long-forgotten plane. They met Ugin soon after, and the three Planeswalkers concocted a plan that bound the Eldrazi in Zendikar for millennia.

The Three decided to force the Eldrazi into physical form and trap them on a plane, sacrificing that plane for the well-being of the Multiverse.[1] They searched for a plane with lush ecosystems and uniquely dynamic mana—a powerful lure for the Eldrazi's insatiable hunger. Wanting to start their work immediately, the three decided upon Zendikar. Sorin Markov lured the Eldrazi to the plane, directing their hunger to that unique mana, Ugin used his invisible breath to combat the Eldrazi and his colorless magic to bind them to the plane, and Nahiri constructed a massive network of stone hedrons, whose power would form the bars of a planewide prison, forever preventing the Eldrazi from leaving. Ugin arranged the hedrons to direct leylines of energy, which were not to be disrupted.

The planeswalkers concentrated the power of their imprisonment spell in a secret location deep inside Zendikar's mountains of Akoum: a subterranean chamber called the Eye of Ugin. To make sure that the imprisonment would not be broken, the three planeswalkers sealed the chamber with a mystical lock: the Eye of Ugin could only be reactivated by the presence of three planeswalker's sparks — and the colorless, invisible breath of Ugin, the spirit dragon himself.

The planeswalkers' trap worked. Emrakul, Ulamog, and Kozilek manifested in physical form on Zendikar, became confined by the magic of the network of hedrons, and thanks to the magic of the imprisonment spell, sank into harmless dormancy. Their mission complete, the planeswalkers disbanded. Sorin and Ugin left the plane.

Guarding Zendikar[edit | edit source]

Nahiri stayed and lived happily among her people for a long time. The wild mana of Zendikar lured other beings to the plane as well, and Nahiri took it upon herself to protect Zendikar from those who would cause it harm. Of those, the most infamous was the interplanar conqueror Ob Nixilis, but before he could do much damage, Nahiri intervened and bound his power with that of a hedron.[2] She took on pupils and taught them to maintain the hedron network.

Centuries later she became tired of living, and withdrew in a meditational slumber. The centuries passed and her teachings about the Eldrazi became garbled; Talib (Kozilek), Kamsa (Emrakul) and Mangeni (Ulamog) became the revered gods of the Kor. Nahiri was worshipped as the "prophet of Talib", who taught the kor the arts of lithomancy.[3] When vampires (which hadn't been seen on the plane in the earlier days) built a shrine on the nexus of the hedron network, the prison of the Eldrazi became unstable, and the brood lineages spilled over the plane again. Nahiri awoke and called for help to Sorin and Ugin but they didn't respond. She succeeded on her own, and restored the prison.[4] Confused why Sorin hadn't shown up when she called for him, she decided to find him and planeswalked away from Zendikar.

Imprisoned on Innistrad[edit | edit source]

When Nahiri arrived at Innistrad, Sorin explained that her signal for help had been likely absorbed by the Helvault. Discontent with the truth, Nahiri guilted Sorin for his actions. Offended, Sorin angrily reminded her of who raised her as a planeswalker and advised her to pester Ugin, instead. Nahiri saw this as a betrayal of their bond and chose to physically threaten Sorin. This resulted in Avacyn's intervention, who felt the threat that Nahiri posed to Innistrad. The two clashed, until Sorin called the battle off and banished Nahiri into the Helvault. During her long stay within the Helvault, Nahiri eventually encountered Avacyn after the archangel had sealed herself into the vault to contain an especially powerful demon.[5]

6000 years after they were initially imprisoned[6] the Eldrazi broke free, enabled by the meddling of several planeswalkers. This time, Sorin reacted and tried to reassemble The Three. But now, he was unable to find Nahiri. He found Ugin dead on original Tarkir,[7] but alive in the new timeline.[8] Ugin instructed Sorin to find Nahiri.

Revenge[edit | edit source]

When the Helvault broke, Nahiri fled back to Zendikar, only to find the Eldrazi unleashed, continents layed to waste and her allies seemingly having forsaken her. Enraged, she swore vengeance against Sorin, vowing to make Innistrad bleed in the same way Zendikar had suffered.[9] She attacked Markov Manor, destroying it with lithomancy and imprisoning its vampires in a state of perpetual agony within its walls.[10] While active on Innistrad, people turned to worship her, some ironically believing her to be an ancient vampire.[11] She created cryptoliths across Innistrad, using them to channel Innistrad's ley line energy to summon Emrakul to lay waste to Innistrad as the Eldrazi had laid waste to Zendikar before it.[12] As the focal point for summoning she built the Drownyard Temple with help from Gisa's ghouls.[13] After the maddened Avacyn was killed by Sorin, Emrakul arrived and began corrupting Innistrad and its citizens. Thinking the plane lost, Sorin assembled Olivia Voldaren's vampire army to attack Nahiri in retaliation.[14] Nahiri waited for them at the ruins of Markov Manor with her own army of cultists and Eldrazi abominations. In the end, Nahiri was wounded severely but managed to encase Sorin in stone. After this victory, she planeswalked away.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Lithomancer's identity as Nahiri was hinted at earlier[7], but finally unveiled in the Commander 2014 supplemental set.[15][16]
  • Nahiri’s art was modeled on the art of Worldwake’s Stoneforge Mystic, but that represents another character.[17]
  • When Sorin first heard that Ugin had been involved in a battle with another planeswalker, he initially suspected that it was Nahiri. He later discovered that this other planeswalker was Nicol Bolas, but his suspicion about her involvement suggests that her largely benevolent persona had changed at some point.
  • Nahiri is the first White-aligned planeswalker in a villainous role. The also White-aligned Gideon Jura in The Purifying Fire is a semi-antagonist, mostly forced to work with the protagonist, Chandra Nalaar. She is also the third White antagonist in the central antagonist role after Takeshi Konda and Elesh Norn (though Radiant, Augustin IV, Gaddock Teeg, Heliod, Dromoka and Ojutai also served notable secondary antagonist roles).

In-game references[edit | edit source]

Represented in:

Associated cards:

Depicted in:

Quoted or referred to:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Doug Beyer. (March 29, 2010.) “The Eldrazi Arisen”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Nik Davidson. (August 6, 2014.) “Dreams of the Damned”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Plane Shift: Zendikar
  4. James Wyatt. (May 13, 2015.) “Stirring from Slumber”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Kelly Digges. (June 15, 2016.) “Stone and Blood”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Doug Beyer. (August 17, 2014.) "How long were the Eldrazi sealed away?", A Voice for Vorthos, Tumblr.
  7. a b Adam Lee. (September 24, 2014.) “Sorin's Revelation”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Doug Beyer. (March 27, 2015.) “Sorin's Restoration”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Flavour text for Structural Distortion
  10. Markov Manor
  11. Plane Shift: Innistrad
  12. Kimberly J. Kreines. (June 20, 2016.) “Emrakul Rises”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Kelly Digges. (April 27, 2016.) “Games”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Ari Levitch. (July 6, 2016.) “Campaign of Vengeance”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Kelly Digges. (October 29, 2014.) “The Lithomancer”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Mark Rosewater. (October 29, 2014.) "Is Nahiri THE lithomancer?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  17. Doug Beyer. (October 29, 2014.) "Is Stoneforge Mystic supposed to represent Nahiri in some way?", A Voice for Vorthos, Tumblr.