Teferi

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Teferi
Teferi.jpg
Demographics
Birthplace Zhalfir, Jamuraa, Dominaria
Lifetime 3293-present AR
Race Human Planeswalker
Colors
Center: {U}
Currently: {W}{U}
Sources
Time Streams, Prophecy, Invasion, Scourge, Time Spiral, Planar Chaos, Future Sight

Teferi (teh-FAIR-ee)[1] is a Jamuraan who studied at the Tolarian Academy and a planeswalker who lost and later regained his spark.[2]

Appearance and characteristics

Teferi is an ancient being who has seen many things. He is a philosopher and scientist.[3] He eschews violence and will attempt to deal with opposition via the control of its allies and the eventual removal of its power-base. He is a chronarch, a wizard who can manipulate time.

Teferi is primarily blue-aligned, but secondary in white mana. As he planeswalks, he disappears in a blue whirlwind.

History

As a student, Teferi was caught in a slow-time bubble after the temporal disaster, but was rescued by Jhoira, Urza Planeswalker, and Karn. He later became a royal mage of his homeland Zhalfir[3] and ascended to become a planeswalker (though he was not originally aware of the change at the time). He became a guardian of Jamuraa, although his experiments with the time streams indirectly caused the Mirage Wars. When the Phyrexian Invasion broke out he phased out northwestern Jamuraa and parts of Shiv to save them from the war. He returned over a century later to discover Dominaria in ruins and plagued with time rifts, which he quickly set about trying to close. In order to safely phase back Shiv, Teferi had to sacrifice his planeswalker status.

Early years

Although the young Teferi was a prankster and at times a bully, he had considerable magical potential and was thus brought to Tolaria, where the planeswalker Urza had founded an academy to train the mages of Dominaria and prepare the plane for an attack from Phyrexia. It was at the academy that Teferi first met Jhoira, Karn, and Barrin. Although they would become his best friends, later on, he got off on the wrong foot because of his constant practical and less practical jokes.

One day, the Phyrexians attacked the island and Teferi and Jhoira were killed. Urza sent Karn back in time to prevent the attack; the golem was successful, but the time machine overheated, causing a massive explosion that killed many and completely disrupted the time stream of Tolaria. Teferi survived but was caught in a slow-time bubble for many years. After some time Jhoira, who had also survived and was stranded in a normal time zone, found him like that and threw a wet blanket at him. Five years later that blanket put out the fire on his clothes.

After Karn, Barrin and Urza returned and rebuilt the academy, Jhoira fell into a coma. When she awakened 10 years later, she had discovered a way to free Teferi. She constructed a machine that used the water of Tolaria (which wasn't affected as drastically by the time anomalies as organic material) to create a portal between the normal time zone and Teferi's bubble. It was only a prototype, but the resilient bodies of Karn and Urza could pass through and pull Teferi out. For a while, he felt depressed and out of sync with the world because everyone he had known had either died during the explosion or had aged 20 years while he had been in stasis. But with a little help from Karn and Jhoira, he was back to his usual tricks soon after.

Some years later a more mature Teferi was told by Urza that he should accompany Jhoira to her homeland of Shiv, where the two worked on the Thran Mana Rig that could produce the powerstones needed to fuel the artifacts Urza built to battle the Phyrexians. Although there had always been an age difference between them (which had only become more pronounced while he was trapped in the time bubble), some romantic feelings developed between Teferi and Jhoira. Time had little meaning for students of Tolaria anyway.

For a while Teferi stayed closely involved in Urza's crusade against Phyrexia, helping out in the battle against K'rrick and the battle for Serra's Realm, but after a while he became a royal mage of his homeland of Zhalfir, becoming a protector of the region. What happened to his relationship with Jhoira during this time is unknown. He did befriend the reclusive Jolrael, but this never became more than friendship and he didn't try to persuade her to return when she forsook civilization to live in the deep jungle.

The Mirage War

Teferinew.jpg

At a certain point in time, Teferi ascended and became a planeswalker himself. Feeling the urge to wander the planes, he created the guild structure of Zhalfir to aid the country in his absence. Thus the Civic Guild, the Shaper Guild, the Shadow Guild, the Armorer Guild and the Granger Guild were called into existence.

When he returned, however, Teferi found the continent on the brink of war. Southern Zhalfir had split off and formed the theocracy of Femeref because the churches didn't agree with the fact that Teferi had left control of the dead in the hands of the Shadow Guild. When Femeref had found gold in the mountains, the northern country of Suq'Ata had invaded part of Zhalfir and had driven the dwarves there from their mountain homes. When the dwarves had aided Femeref in harvesting the gold, increasing their efficiency greatly, Zhalfir felt cheated out of their rightful portion of the gold. Teferi tracked down and tutored a capable girl of royal descent. After he crowned her as Queen Yormeba she brought peace to the nation but failed to unify it. Tired of the petty squabbles of his people, Teferi left with a group of trusted advisors, sages, artificers, and sorcerers. They sailed for a hidden realm in the Chaza Isles, where Teferi wanted to manipulate time to make it easier to summon creatures.

The experiments met with limited success, but after years of trial and error, Teferi realized that the process was inherently unstable. By then, however, the damage was done. The earliest experiments of Teferi had been clumsy and had damaged the temporal balance. Teferi attempted to correct the problems by unleashing a blast of mana to repair the hole in the stream. Although he had anticipated danger, he did not anticipate the results of his “cure”. The unleashed mana burned into all plants, animals, and buildings on the isle. Instantly everything but the bare rock of the island phased out of existence.

After several years,[note 1] Teferi's Isle returned. For a long time, its people were unaware that any time had passed, but when one of Jolrael's dragons attacked the isle, they began to realize something was terribly wrong. Teferi did some research and discovered that they had been absent from time for quite a while and that his "cure" for the timeline had indirectly caused a great war on the mainland.

The energy surge had attracted three powerful mages. The first was Mangara, a wise man from Corondor who was versed in politics and had been attracted out of curiosity. The second was Teferi's old friend Jolrael, coming to see what happened to her friend. The last one was Kaervek of Urborg, who wondered if he could use the power for his own gain. After realizing that there was nothing on the island but bare rock, the three moved to the mainland to monitor it from a more comfortable place. Mangara involved himself in the local politics and with his brilliant diplomacy, he solved the struggles between the countries and managed to put himself in the position of de facto ruler. A jealous Kaervek manipulated the xenophobic Jolrael into joining his side and the two of them had amassed an army. After imprisoning Mangara in an Amber Prison, they declared war on the three nations.

Unable to interfere directly with the war because of his need to monitor and reconstruct the timelines, Teferi aided the defenders with visions and sometimes helped empower their spells. However, during the remainder of the war, he remained at the sidelines. Still, he felt tremendous guilt over his role in causing the conflict. After Jolrael had defected to the defenders and Kaervek had been defeated, Teferi remained a recluse in the Chaza Islands and gave up manipulating with time. Teferi later appeared during the Planeswalkers' War on Corondor to save Daria from an Amber Prison.

Attempting to avoid the invasion

Shortly prior to the Phyrexian Invasion, Keld attacked Jamuraa. For reasons unknown, Teferi stayed out of the war until the last moment when he defeated the Keldons. They made Teferi realize that he didn't want to be part of Urza's plans to fight Phyrexia anymore and he began to devise an alternative.

When the invasion began and a portal opened in the sky over Zhalfir, Teferi convinced Urza to join him in teleporting in and out of the portals with him, overloading them. Teferi told his former tutor that he had a plan to use the resulting energy, but when Urza found out what this plan was, he wasn't happy about it. Teferi weaved it into one gigantic phasing spell that removed northwestern Jamuraa and the part of Shiv that Jhoira stayed on from the time stream to save them from the horrendous attacks of the Phyrexians. A furious Urza ordered Teferi to stop, for this action would remove many powerful allies from the time stream, but it was too late.

One hundred years later the goddess Karona was looking for beings like herself. While doing so she pulled Teferi back into the time stream. Although he couldn't help her, he did get to see Dominaria again and realized the Phyrexians had been defeated. He left contemplating whether it was time to bring the phased-out lands back.

Teferi's return

DOM Teferi.png

Three hundred years after the Apocalypse, Teferi and Jhoira returned to Dominaria in an effort to return Zhalfir and Shiv safely to their home plane. Teferi was terrified to find that Dominaria was almost completely barren of mana. After consulting Freyalise, Teferi was shocked to learn that he was reportedly seen speaking with Karona nearly two hundred years ago. Teferi apparently has no knowledge of the meeting, which casts doubt on whether or not the gathering did in fact take place.

Teferi allied with Radha, a Keldon half-elf, and Venser, an Urborg artificer, in an effort to permanently close the time distortions that had gathered at several key locations of Dominaria. After losing a battle against Nicol Bolas, Teferi gave up his powers as a planeswalker to seal the time rift over Shiv, restoring the continent to its rightful form. The Zhalfirin rift suffered a different fate. Jeska, manipulated by Leshrac, used Radha as a mana lens, forcefully closing the Zhalfirin rift. Without precise timing, the phased lands of Zhalfir were seemingly lost forever, although Teferi said that he could probably save it if he was still a planeswalker.

Restored

Sixty years after the Mending, Teferi has an adult daughter: Niambi. At this time he discovers that his friend Urza has left behind a series of devices and magical artifacts that could be of help in repairing the Zhalfirin time rift. With help from his daughter, the Weatherlight crew and the Gatewatch, he retrieves one of these artifacts, a delicate dark crystal orb nestled in a cage of silver vines, from a monument in the Tivan Desert.[4] After this, he joins Jhoira's crew to fight Belzenlok.

Unbeknownst to Teferi, Jhoira wore an amulet around her neck, which contained a small Powerstone which held Teferi's Planeswalker spark. She has made this stone herself at the Thran Mana Rig.[4] After several other planeswalkers unexpectedly showed up, Jhoira finally found the right moment to hand it over to Teferi.[5] After he became a Planeswalker again[6] he joined the Gatewatch to fight Nicol Bolas.[7]

War of the Spark

Teferi traveled with the Gatewatch to Ravnica for the final confrontation with Bolas, and immediately became trapped there due to Bolas's use of the Immortal Sun. Alongside many other planeswalkers and Ravnicans, he fought against the Eternals of Bolas' Dreadhorde.[8]

At the start of the conflict, Teferi slowed down the time around the Planar Bridge, thus greatly delaying the advance of Bolas' army. He also used his time manipulation abilities to save many planeswalkers and Ravnicans from the Eternals. According to Jace, he may have saved more lives than anyone else that day.

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. Jace, Jaya, Teferi, and Vivien volunteered to assassinate Liliana. When they found her, Teferi warped time around her, slowing her ability to react, defend herself, or strike back at her attackers. This allowed Jaya and Vivien to badly wound her with fire, arrows, and animal spirits, although the Onakke spirits in Liliana's Chain Veil protected her. Nonetheless, they almost succeeded, but Bolas stepped in and saved Liliana by destroying the buildings they were standing on. Fortunately, Teferi saved himself and the other three planeswalkers by slowing their falls.

Teferi survived the battle and was present during the Planewide Celebration that followed.

Planeswalkers met

Planes visited

Story appearances

Title Author Publishing date Set Setting (plane) Featuring
War of the Spark: Ravnica—Old Friends and New Greg Weisman 2019-05-08 War of the Spark Ravnica Rat, Hekara, Teyo Verada, Nicol Bolas, Liliana Vess, Kaya, Ral Zarek, Gideon Jura, Teferi, Lavinia, Jace Beleren, Chandra Nalaar, Jaya Ballard, Ajani Goldmane, Karn
War of the Spark: Ravnica—Ashes Greg Weisman 2019-06-12 War of the Spark Ravnica Rat, Gideon Jura, Tomik Vrona, Lavinia, Ral Zarek, Jace Beleren, Chandra Nalaar, Teferi, Ajani Goldmane, Nissa Revane, Jaya Ballard, Karn, Kaya, Teyo Verada, Isperia, Dack Fayden, Saheeli Rai, Hekara, Vraska, Nicol Bolas, Borborygmos, Samut, Vorel, Sorin Markov, Nahiri, Arlinn Kord, Feather, Liliana Vess, Oketra, Rakdos, Bontu, Niv-Mizzet, Angrath, The Wanderer, Mu Yanling, Jiang Yanggu, Mowu, Vivien Reid, Aurelia, Exava, Lazav

In-game references

Represented in:

Associated cards:

Depicted in:

Quoted or referred to:

Notes

  1. Two hundred in prerevisionist continuity. This has probably been altered by now, but no definitive date was given.

References

  1. Magic Story Podcast
  2. Wizards of the Coast (April 19, 2018). "Dominaria’s history and legends are on full display in the new set!". The Official Magic: The Gathering Tumblr. Tumblr.
  3. a b Mirage Character Profiles
  4. a b Martha Wells (April 18, 2018). "Return to Dominaria, Episode 6". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Martha Wells (May 9, 2018). "Return to Dominaria: Episode 9". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Martha Wells (May 23, 2018). "Return to Dominaria: Episode 11". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Martha Wells (May 30, 2018). "Return to Dominaria: Episode 12". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  8. a b c Greg Weisman (April 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica". Del Rey.
  9. Brady Dommermuth (November 13, 2006). "The Legends of Time Spiral". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Magic Arcana (December 15, 2004). "Teferi's Appearance". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana (November 01, 2006). "Glimpses of Teferi". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.