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Ravnica

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Ravnica
Visions of ravnica.jpg
Information
First seen Ravnica: City of Guilds
Last seen Guilds of Ravnica
Planeswalkers Domri Rade, Ral Zarek, Vraska
Rabiah Scale 1[1]
Status Stable

Ravnica is a plane whose main planet is covered in a large city, also referred to as Ravnica.[2][3] It takes its flavor from that of Eastern Europe. Ravnica is the setting of the Ravnica block, Return to Ravnica block and Guilds of Ravnica block expansions.

Description[edit | edit source]

Ravnica is a worldwide cityscape; an ecumenopolis consisting of a patchwork of grand halls, decrepit slums, and ancient ruins, with layer upon layer of stonework.[4] Law magic and the metaphysics of hierarchy are deeply woven into the very fabric of the plane, enabling cooperating leaders to achieve feats of greatness.[5]

Of the world's countless civic centers, one looms large above all others: the City of Ravnica, a metropolis so vast that its name has long since become synonymous with the entire plane. Centuries of Ravnican business — powered in many cases by Izzet boilerworks and other guilds’ foundries — have saturated Ravnica’s atmosphere with all manner of industrial pollution.[6] Prior to the events of Dissension, the city and plane of Ravnica had been ruled by the Ravnican guilds and governed by the Guildpact for more than ten millennia.

Ravnica has two moons.[7] While much of its surface is urbanized, subterranean oceans exist.

Ravnica and the Multiverse[edit | edit source]

As a plane, Ravnica was affected by the Rift Crisis on Nexus of the Multiverse, Dominaria. As a consequence, it became isolated from the rest of the Multiverse, in a seal similar to the Shard of the Twelve Worlds, but with Ravnica as the only plane.[8][9] On the surface of this 'micro-shard' is a blister, a piece of folded aether that traps all Ravnican souls upon death, forcing them to become spirits and ghosts that manifest themselves on Ravnica's physical plane Ghost Quarter of Agyrem.[10][11] This phenomenon might also improve the lifespan of its inhabitants; for example, Agrus Kos was a normal human, who was over 120 years old, an age likely roughly equivalent to 65–70 years on Earth.

History[edit | edit source]

The Erstwhile[edit | edit source]

A delicate and sophisticated race known as the Erstwhile once were an important soldier faction in Ravnica. They were laid to rest in coffins in Umerilek, Mausoleum of the Erstwhile.[12] They returned as Zombie Attendants of Vraska.

Government and law: Guildpact[edit | edit source]

Ten thousand years before the events of Ravnica, the plane of Ravnica boasted untold violence and brutality, with various factions constantly waging war against one or more of the others. Realizing that this neverending war would ultimately destroy everything, a council between ten factions was held, where the leader Azor I suggested establishing a living, breathing enchantment that would end the violence and ensure the survival of the factions. While some of the order-phobic factions had initial disagreements, the other nine leaders eventually concurred that such a pact was the best chance of survival. Each of the ten factions signed the Guildpact, and over time, these factions became the ten guilds of Ravnica.

The power of the Guildpact is subtle; it prevents any guild from dabbling into the business of any other guild or disturbing the stable power balance among the ten by twisting circumstance and coincidence to nullify the disruptive guild's actions. While the Guildpact is credited with bringing relative peace and prosperity to the plane, sporadic clashes between guilds do still occur. Despite any conflicts between the guilds at a particular time though, the anniversary of the Guildpact's signing is celebrated every year with a day-long festival, where all the people lay down their weapons and make merry. This celebration is called The Festival of the Guildpact.

Not all of Ravnica's citizens are a member of a guild; the vast majority have no attachment. However, the guilds are a required part of daily life, and their presence is felt everywhere on Ravnica.

The Interregnum[edit | edit source]

In the novel Agents of Artifice, it came to pass that the guilds were officially disbanded. Many of the guilds were forcefully torn down due to the long simmering unrest the guildless held towards their masters. There were however, remainders of the guilds present.

The Return[edit | edit source]

The former guilds, however, were not long to rest, and they reestablished, many under new leadership. Some adopted a new purpose, as the original guildpact had bound them to a specific task for over ten thousand years, and the guildless dissented some of their morally questionable activities. Most guilds, however, follow the same basic structure they always had, as habit and traditions are forces at least as strong as the guildpact.[13]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Guilds[edit | edit source]

Main article: Ravnican guild
  • The Azorius Senate is the legislative and judicial body of Ravnican bureaucracy. (White/Blue)
  • The Boros Legion is a standing army that protects the Guildpact and contains the League of Wojek, the official peacekeepers of the City of Ravnica. (Red/White)
  • House Dimir is a shadowy and manipulative guild that most believe no longer exists (and some who knew have had their knowledge wiped out), it provides illegal but necessary services. (Blue/Black)
  • The Cult of Rakdos, considered a necessary evil by some, is composed of thrill-killers who provide the heavy labor force of the plane. (Black/Red)
  • The Golgari Swarm manages food production and organic waste disposal. (Black/Green)
  • The Gruul Clans have fallen from their former glory as the keepers of Ravnica’s wilds and now are nothing but a loose affiliation of berserker clans. (Red/Green)
  • The Izzet League is responsible for civil engineering works and new magical developments. (Blue/Red)
  • The Orzhov Syndicate regulates trade and banking, among others. (White/Black)
  • The Selesnya Conclave promotes the strongest religion and its ledev guards patrol the rural areas. (Green/White)
  • The Simic Combine provides medical assistance and performs biological research. (Green/Blue)

Geography[edit | edit source]

The original City of Ravnica was made up of 10 districts. Other districts are different cities that eventually sprawled into the great city.[14]

The Center[edit | edit source]

  • The Center of Ravnica is the hub of the great city and the entire plane. One of the only exposed areas of Ravnica’s original surface of any significant size. This site is actually the top of a mountain. At street level, it is flat, solid ground where many important halls and monuments are located
    • The Transguild Promenade.[15]
    • Avaric, a district once in thrall to the Orzhov Syndicate. Deeply resents the guilds.
      • Bitter End Tavern

The Second District[edit | edit source]

  • One of the more fashionable parts of the city.
  • A 10-foot-tall statue of Agrus Kos has become a meeting place for veterans, the mob, and Dimir spies.[14]

The Ninth District[edit | edit source]

  • Former Azorius territory, but lost after the Guildpact broke. Recently claimed by the Boros from the Gruul and Rakdos with the aid of Gideon Jura.
    • The One Hundred Steps, a gateway that connects the Ninth District with the Azorius District
  • Titan's Keg Tavern, often frequented by giants.
  • Old Rav, older and deeper parts of Ravnica. Realm of the Golgari
    • Rozlad Square
    • The First Vineyard, claims to be oldest tavern on Ravnica

The Tenth District[edit | edit source]

Azorius territory[edit | edit source]

  • The Azorius District on the waterfront.[16]
    • Old Prahv, the former guildhall. Now a wilderness preserve.
    • New Prahv, the guildhall.
    • The South Records Hall.[17]
    • The Forum of Azor.
    • Centerfort
    • Parha, a run-down industrial quarter given to the Orzhov for demolition and reclamation
    • Rokiric Pavillion
    • Headquarters of the Living Guildpact
    • Tin Street
    • Zobar, one of the Titans of Ravnica. Now destroyed.
    • Empty Cup Row, an abandoned building block used by the Izzet for experiments.
    • The Detention Compound, a place of correction for criminals.
    • The Harbor
      • Keyhole Village, a run down quarter where the harbor workers live.[18]

Boros territory[edit | edit source]

  • The Boros District with many forts and barracks.
    • Sunhome, the guildhall and headquarters of the Theater of Fortification.
    • Horizon Military Academy, headquarters of the Theater of Recruitment.
    • Centerfort, the headquarters of the Wojek League.
  • Gnat Alley, Ravnica's longest continuous street.
  • Dravhoc, a district built into a mountain, constructed in terraces.
  • Favarial, a district built across a large body of fresh water. One of the more wealthier districts.
  • Kamen Fortress, headquarters of the Theater of Order.
  • Zelzo Base, headquarters of the Theater of Integrity.

Izzet territory[edit | edit source]

  • The Izzet District, full of factories and labs.
    • Nivix, the guildhall
    • The Mizzium Foundry, the only place on Ravnica that manufactures Mizzium.
    • The Blistercoils, a series of gigantic mizzium coils that generate large amounts of mana.
    • THe Boilerpits, a series of underground passageways formed by intertwined high-pressure metal pipelines.
  • Ivy Street
  • Lurias, a district far away from the Center of Ravnica near a "coastline", the meeting place of a swamp used for farming and a large river.
  • Mauzam Asylum
  • Ovitzia, a district full of mansions of the wealthy.

Orzhov territory[edit | edit source]

  • The Orzhov District, containing mansions, banks, trading posts and churches. Also known as the Sixth District.
    • Orzhova, the guildhall and seat of the Obzedat.
    • The Grand Library.[17]
    • Irbitov, an Orzhov-controlled quarter populated with mausoleums, memorial statues, and underground vaults.
    • Vizkopa Bank, the center of Orzhov commerce. A massive institution encrusted with guardian gargoyles and orbited by the floating spirits of Orzhovan debtors.
    • Coiner's Row, the business district
    • The Harmony Basilica.[17]
    • Kalnika Quarter or Kalnika District
      • The Dome of Black Dove.[17]
    • The Moon Market, held every fifth full moon and dedicated to forbidden wares.
    • The Plague Quarter
    • Sage's Row, a place critical to the guilds
    • Shanav Quarter, a place known for its hostility to the Selesnya

Dimir territory[edit | edit source]

    • Nightveil, a precinct under Dimir control. Despite numerous attempts from Boros, Azorius and Orzhov, no criminal activities could be proven.
      • Dinrova Heights, a massive building used as a meeting place for the high-ranking guild mages of the Dimir.
      • Bane Alley, a street where "illegal" services like assassination, extortion or graft are offered by Dimir agents.
  • in the Undercity:
  • Ismeri Library, an officially guildless public library under Dimir control. Used as a major communication center of the guild.

Simic territory[edit | edit source]

  • Novijen, the former guildhall. Now destroyed.
  • The Smelting District, center of Ravnica's industry. Home to numerous unguilded.
    • Keyhole Downs, a place known for its dishonest merchants.[18] Rumored to have ties with the Rakdos.
  • The Zonots, sinkholes leading all the way down to the Ravnican oceans.
    • Zonot One. Speaker Zegana's home zonot. Zonot One is the smallest zonot and has a somewhat somber feeling compared to others.
    • Zonot Two.
    • Zonot Three.
    • Zonot Four. The largest of the zonots has the marine troll Trifon as its speaker.
    • Zonot Five, a tourist destination, where the guildless can come to see the ocean as well as to observe Simic life.
      • The Helical Stair, an enormous column of marine plant matter.
    • Zonot Six.
    • Zonot Seven. The only zonot inside the boundaries of the Tenth District, Zonot Seven.
    • Zameck, the current guildhall.
    • Jezeru, an entire district covered in shallow water. An attempt to bring the Simic aboveground.

Golgari territory[edit | edit source]

  • Zanikev, largest reclamation zone of the Golgari, encompassing several former neighborhoods. Also known as the "Great Rot Farm".
  • Deadbridge, a large sinkhole, used as a public disposal for corpses. The massive platform spanning it is supported by stone arches that are buttressed by vines, fungi, and bonewood.
  • In the Undercity:
    • Svogthos, old guildhall. Now abandoned.
    • Korozda, the Maze of Decay. New guildhall of the Golgari.
    • House of the Ochran, headquarters of the Golgari assassins.
    • Umerilek, Mausoleum of the Erstwhile.
    • Stonefare, a network of ancient brick tunnels that wind through the Golgari-controlled areas, polluted with sticky slime, fungi, and cobwebs and lined with petrified bodies of gorgon victims.
    • The Corpsefloat Valves. Valves constructed of fungal membranes closing off certain sewerways. They open and close by Golgari command, allowing carcasses and other traffic to float through.
    • The Felden Pipe Entrance, drop-off point for corpse haulers.[17]

Rakdos territory[edit | edit source]

  • The Undercity is hidden in the base of the mountain. The Rakdos mining has changed the center of the mountain into a giant column.
    • The Demon's Vestibule, the staircase down
    • The Hellhole, housing of the Rakdos.
    • Rix Maadi, the Rakdos guildhall
    • The Festival Grounds, a vast, derelict courtyard near Rix Maadi.

Selesnya territory[edit | edit source]

    • The Utvara Reclamation Zone, a harsh land situated outside the main city.
      • Vitar Yescu an enormous tree. Planted to cleanse the plague, it was mostly burnt to the ground when the dragons awoke.
      • Vitu-Ghazi, former guildhall of the Selesnya Conclave. Now destroyed.
    • The Ivory Oaks, a stand of massive trees guarded by an order of albino loxodon warrior-priests.
    • The Selesnya Saproling Nursery.[17]
    • Sumala, a giant meditation garden and home to some of the most magnificent Selesnyan architecture and scenic artistry.
    • Kasarna training grounds.[19]
    • The Great Concourse. This is a massive series of interwoven roadways that are elevated through and high above the forest canopy.

Gruul territory[edit | edit source]

  • The Samok Stand, a grove of towering trees slowly reclaiming the city. Defended by predators.
  • The Rubblebelt, a discontinuous archipelago of wasteland zones outside of the Tenth District. Claimed by the Gruul Clans.
    • Skarrg, the gutted, cratered remains of a massive palace. A place of tradition for the Gruul.
    • Axebane Forest, a sentient forest under the protection of an order of Druids.
    • The Husk, headquarter of the Slizt Clan.
    • The Rubblefield, once a wealthy district destroyed by a wurm.
    • Mahovana, a ruined part of the city, covered by large trees.[18]

Aygrem[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Ravnicas currency is referred to as zibs and zinos, with 100 zibs making up 1 zino. 10 zibs will buy you a cup of coffee.[14]
  • Ravnica means "plain" in Serbo-Croatian, it's pronounced "rahv-NEE-tsah", coming from the word ravan, meaning flat, level.

Planeswalker visitors[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (November 29, 2016.) "The Rabiah Scale", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  2. Rei Nakazawa. (September 05, 2005.) “Life in the Big City”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Matt Cavotta. (January 25, 2006.) “Life in the Big City (2)”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Planes of Existence: Ravnica
  5. R&D Narrative Team. (January 31, 2018.) “Sabotage”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Magic Arcana. (January 26, 2006.) “Ravnica's Wild Weather”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Seen in Benediction of Moons
  8. Future Sight Player's Guide
  9. Casually upending a popular lore belief.
  10. Dissension, Chapter 8
  11. a b In Agents of Artifice, there is no mention of the Agyrem still overlying Ravnica, so it is quite probable that the Ravnican ghost-world anomaly ended with the Mending, and the ghosts no more linger on the world.
  12. Alison Luhrs. (May 31, 2017.) “Pride of the Kraul”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. a b Adam Lee. (August 29, 2012.) “Ravnica, then and now”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. a b c D&D Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica
  15. Monty Ashley. (November 29, 2012.) “Walking the Promenade”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Ari Levitch. (March 13, 2013.) “Bilagru Will Come for You”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  17. a b c d e f Jenna Helland. (October 29, 2012.) “The Azorius Ten Most Wanted”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  18. a b c Nicky Drayden. (October 10, 2018.) “Under the Cover of Fog”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Flavor text for Centaur Healer
  20. Kate Elliott. (August 15, 2018.) “Chronicle of Bolas: The Unwritten Now”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]