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Urborg

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Visions of Urborg. Art by Rob Alexander, Brian Snoddy, Jerry Tiritilli, and Tony Szczudlo.
Urborg, later known as the Tomb of Yawgmoth, is a large tropical and particularly marshy isle and one of the more prominent of the Burning Isles. It is known for being one of the regions with the most concentrated amounts of black mana on Dominaria. Urborg's more powerful witches and necromancers are constantly in a power struggle for control over the island. Some of the most famous denizens of Urborg were the lich Nevinyrral, Gwendlyn Di Corci, Lord Windgrace, Kaervek, Lord Dralnu, Crovax Windgrace, and Venser. Crosis is a Primeval dragon trapped in Urborg.

Geography[edit | edit source]

Urborg has several prominent locations:

  • The City of Urborg, destroyed ages ago by Nevinyrral.
  • The Windgrace Estate was the home of the family of Crovax until the Phyrexian Invasion. It has been abandoned ever since, but close to it Freyalise erected the Martyrs' Tomb.
  • The Stronghold of the evincars of Rath was transported into the center of a volcano during the Rathi Overlay. It was covered in magma when the stone dwarves activated the volcano. Ruins of the Stronghold still exist in modern day Dominaria.[1]
  • During the Invasion Multani transplanted part of Yavimaya to Urborg's edge to have Yavimaya's powerful inhabitants join in on the last great battle of the Invasion.
  • The underground city of Vhelnish was the home of the lich Lord Dralnu.
  • A forested region formerly ruled over by Lord Windgrace. It is quite possible that this region and the transplanted portion of Yavimaya are one and the same.

History[edit | edit source]

The Tomb of Yawgmoth. Art by John Avon.

Prior to the Brothers' War Urborg was a lush jungle, but when Urza activated the Golgothian Sylex the island became partially submerged and turned into a swamp. The planeswalker and panther warrior Windgrace was born during this time and became a prominent leader of his people.

Legend has it that Urborg was once only the name of a city upon the isle.[2] This hellish demesne was controlled by the lich Nevinyrral, who was at war with Bogardan. Little is known of the war, as it predates the Ice Age, but legend states that Nevinyrral was outmaneuvered and the city of Urborg was swallowed by a volcano that tore up from the ground directly beneath it.

During the Phyrexian Invasion Urborg was one of the first places to fall into the hands of Phyrexia. The Stronghold was transplanted into the center of a volcano during the Rathi Overlay and Multani later transplanted part of Yavimaya to Urborg's edge to have Yavimaya's powerful inhabitants join in on the last great battle of the Invasion. It was in the skies over Urborg that Yawgmoth was finally defeated and it was here that Freyalise erected the memorial.

Urborg was one of the many sites of the multiverse-threatening time rifts. This particular time rift was located directly over the ruins of the Stronghold. The time rift was closed by Lord Windgrace at the expense of his life. At present Urborg is even more filth-ridden than in earlier years, as corpses of Phyrexian abominations have turned many bogs on the island into pools of glistening oil.

Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

Up until the Phyrexian Invasion Urborg was ruled by several factions, many claiming to be Nevinyrral's undying lieutenants. Each one asserted that the site of the original city existed within its borders, and this ancient contention had split the land into many factions. Among them were several human and undead lords, the Nightstalkers, and the panther warriors. Urborg is also the home to drakes, elves, and various kinds of undead.

One of the more well known of these factions was the family of Crovax, who named themselves the Lords of Windgrace. It is unknown whether they just assumed the name or if they were actually descendants of the ancient panther warrior.

The Breathstealers are an ancient cult of fanatical religious assassins from Urborg known for their ability to kill with complete accuracy and utter silence. After the end of the Mirage War, the Breathstealers have been insinuating themselves into Suq'Atan society. Only the Breathstealers guild is said to possess both the knowledge and the desire to summon the dreaded Spirit of the Night, whom they worship. It is the ultimate honor for a Breathstealer to sacrifice himself to become a part of the Spirit of the Night made manifest. They can work minor magics, including controlling certain creatures.

Notable Urborgians[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Magic Arcana. (February 19, 2007.) “The Blasted Grave of Yawgmoth”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Pete Venters (August, 1997), Dominian Chronicles, Duelist #19