|(Subtype for creature/tribal cards)|
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Vedalken is a blue creature type used for cards that depict a tall, thin, hairless blue-skinned humanoid race, with a dispassionate view towards life (though in some planes they have more positive qualities). Their infatuation with knowledge makes these hyper-intellectual people natural Artificers and Mages.
As of Mirrodin in 2003 merfolk were phased out as the iconic blue race, because of their limited suitability away from a water environment. This (not coincidentally) coincided with the rise of the cunning—and leg-having—vedalken. The vedalken loomed large throughout Mirrodin and Ravnica blocks, doing all the things that the other colors’ humanoids could do visually and narratively speaking, thanks to those feet of theirs. Then in Kamigawa block, where vedalken wouldn’t have felt very natural, the new soratami (Moonfolk) race appeared, also having legs while embracing blue-aligned flavor.
On Mirrodin, the mycosynth created a vapor which induced mutations in the vedalken, who developed four arms and gills. Soon, this variation became the norm. These vedalken are physically very different from the members of their race on other planes, and have more inhuman features, in some cases lacking a nose or visible ears. The center of their culture was the city of Lumengrid, from which the Vedalken ruled over an empire that enslaved the Neurok tribes at the shores of the Quicksilver Sea. For a long time, the Vedalken were ruled by the Synod, who considered themselves servants of Mirrodin's guardian, Memnarch. After Memnarch's fall, they were forced to reorganize themselves. Central to this reorganization was the "Origin Query", the answer to the origin of the Vedalken race. With the loss of easy access to blinkmoth serum, their hold over the empire became fragile and revolts from the Neurok forced the two races into a state of cooperation rather than subservience.
When New Phyrexia rose, Lumengrid was overtaken by the forces of Jin-Gitaxias. Many Vedalken fell prey to phyresis, their distended brains looming over frail, but lethal and burr-pocked, bodies. Those few remaining have cast their lot with the surviving Neurok in an attempt to survive.
Notable Mirrodin vedalken:
The vedalken of Ravnica are associated most closely with the Simic Combine and Azorius Senate, though the Izzet League is also not an unprecedented choice. They look very much like tall humans, but with hairless blue skin and showing little emotion. Their eyes are darker shades of blue and violet. These Vedalken lack external ears, their noses are broad and flat, and they are partly amphibious. Their life span is typically 350 years, with some living to the age of 500. Though the vedalken of Ravnica are physically different from those Mirrodin, some Simic biomancy experiments have produced similar results, including four arms and gills.
Notable Ravnican vedalken:
- Simic doctors Nebun, Zlovol, and Otrovac
- Azorius senators Illindivossk, Yindervac, Pollotorus, Natt Vinloskarga
- Modar Bejiri
Vedalken of Esper look very similar to their counterparts on Ravnica, but are more spindly, with elongated skulls. The vedalken, like all creatures in Esper, are enhanced by filigree of the mystical living metal etherium. The vedalken are among Esper's most prestigious mortal inhabitants and often hold positions of power thanks to their prodigious intellect and talent for spellcasting.
After Alara was reborn, some vedalken heretics from Esper were drawn to the verdant jungle of Naya. There they rejected the cold clutch of etherium in favor of the warm embrace of nature, seeking enlightenment in the infinite patterns of life rather than the dusty confines of ancient tomes.
Kaladeshi vedalken subscribe to the philosophy that nothing is perfect—and nothing ever can be perfect. Regardless, they continue to innovate and learn, to create the best result possible. While many believe them to be a unified front, in private, Vedalken organize themselves according to clades. Clades are supra-familial entities centered around common interests. Membership of clade is entirely voluntary and anyone can leave at any time. Several acclaimed Vedalken inventors are part of multiple clades. When introducing themselves to others, Vedalken use their clade as a kind of surname.
Kaladeshi Vedalken have six fingers on each hand. In contrast to Vedalken on other planes, Kaladeshi vedalken can have hair. Also in contrast to other Vedalken, which are aloof and detached, Kaladesh's are portrayed as more involved and curious, some even shown smiling.
Notable Kaladesh vedalken:
- Doug Beyer (August 10, 2011). "Magic's Exclusive Creatures". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic at PAX: Kaladesh World-Building Panel
- Doug Beyer (December 24, 2008). "How to Design a Hellion and More!". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer (June 25, 2008). "Merfolk Resurfaced". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer (December 08, 2010). "The Nonhuman Cultures of Mirrodin". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Creative Team (April 20, 2011). "A Planeswalker's Guide to New Phyrexia: The Progress Engine". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Unearthed Arcana; Races of Ravnica (PDF)
- Monty Ashley (July 04, 2012). "Sketches: Vedalken Entrancer". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- James Wyatt and Jeremy Crawford (November 2018). "D&D Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica", Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (May 30, 2006). "A Mutant Vedalken in Ravnica". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (April 30, 2009). "A Vedalken in Alara". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- "Planes of Existence: Kaladesh" — Wizards of the Coast
- Dovin Baan
- The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Kaladesh, p.52
- Wizards of the Coast (29 August 2016). "Do all the vedalken of Kaladesh have six fingers?". The Official Magic: The Gathering Tumblr. Tumblr.
- Magic at PAX: Kaladesh World-Building Panel
- Monty Ashley (December 06, 2010). "Know Your Vedalken". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.