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New Phyrexia (plane)

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New Phyrexia
New Phyrexia
First seen: Mirrodin
Last seen: New Phyrexia
Rabiah Scale: 5[1]
Status: Phyrexianized

New Phyrexia is the metal plane previously known as Argentum and Mirrodin, repurposed in its Phyrexian Compleation. [2]

The Phyrexian symbol

Description[edit | edit source]

Argentum was an artificial world created by the planeswalker Karn, and renamed after the Mirari by its warden Memnarch. The outer sphere of the plane has a circumference of 1400 kilometers, with a diameter of around 450 kilometers.[3] Mirrodin's environments and inhabitants mixed organic and metallic.[4] From sharp razorgrass that grew fast enough to impale unfortunate humans, to oceans that flew with an unusual form of quicksilver, even the most delicate flower was made of metal. The intelligent beings who walked Mirrodin were no less strange, an odd mish-mash of muscle and steel. Artifact creatures also walk the planet. Some seem to have come about naturally, while some have artificially been created.

Across the surface of Mirrodin, there were five Lacunae, one for each color, in each different landscape on the artificial world.

Spheres of Mirrodin[edit | edit source]

According to Phyrexian Field Reports there now exist three spheres in Mirrodin: the surface, the interior, and the furnaces. The Phyrexians are currently working on adding spheres to it to presumably recreate the original Phyrexia. [5]

The Moons of Mirrodin[edit | edit source]

The plane has five suns (also called moons by some of the plane's inhabitants; it is also notable that each different satellite was regarded with its own folklore by the peoples of Mirrodin), one for each color of mana, though the green sun was absent until late in Mirrodin's history. The names of the moons are: Bringer, the Eye of Doom, Ingle, the Sky Tyrant, and Lyese.

Locations on Mirrodin[edit | edit source]

Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

Artifact creatures[edit | edit source]

  • Golems
  • Memnites, small constructs created by Memnarch
  • Myr, metal automatons created by Memnarch
  • Levelers, machines created by Memnarch to harvest souls

History[edit | edit source]

Creation[edit | edit source]

The plane was originally created by the planeswalking golem Karn as the world Argentum. [16] Karn created the plane from an existing but desolate space, using the space as raw materials in the construction of his artificial world. [17] [18]

Memnarch's reign[edit | edit source]

Karn left one of his creations, Memnarch (a golem created from the Mirari) in control of the plane when he went out to explore the Multiverse. Unfortunately for Argentum, Memnarch was driven mad by Phyrexian oil [19] that Karn accidentally left in Galdroon Palace, his home on the plane. After being infected, Memnarch was a being forever changed and wished to become a planeswalker like its creator. Memnarch transformed Argentum into Mirrodin, essentially a gigantic terrarium with its own food chain and environmental systems, built to supply organisms that could potentially yield sparks. [20] Memnarch used soul traps to abduct inhabitants from other planes. The abductions went on for centuries.

At some point, mycosynth grew upon the plane, a product of the oil, changing metal to organic material, including Memnarch himself. Soon thereafter, Memnarch discovered blinkmoth serum, or lymph, which greatly diminished his decaying sanity, and he became addicted to the substance. Though Karn wished to intervene, Memnarch blocked him from his own world, thinking in his madness that Karn was already there.

The Fifth Dawn[edit | edit source]

Glissa, Bosh, and Slobad and the Kaldra Champion journeyed deep within Mirrodin's core to confront the insidious Memnarch. However, with a single spell, Memnarch seized the avatar and turned it on Glissa and her companions. Kaldra's avatar relentlessly pursued Glissa into the Tangle, destroying everything in its way. Finally, at the Radix, Glissa's destiny became clear. As rage and despair overcame her, Glissa's body called forth a great column of green mana from Mirrodin's core, annihilating the avatar in the process. That mana became the fifth sun of Mirrodin. Memnarch was then deactivated by Glissa. Mirrodin was thereafter guarded by Glissa, Slobad and Geth.

The Vanishing[edit | edit source]

When Glissa eventually killed Memnarch, all the existing soul traps were destroyed. Upon Memnarch's death, Karn could finally return to his plane. He could restore the souls of everyone that died, using the power of Glissa's spark to cast the spell. The kidnapped inhabitants were returned to their long forgotten homes. This was known as "The Vanishing" by their descendants, who remained on the plane.Once Memnarch found such a potential planeswalker, he would take its spark and implant it into himself to achieve planeswalker status.

Mirrodin Besieged[edit | edit source]

As Karn had unknowingly brought the glistening oil to Mirrodin, it planted a virus on Mirrodin that slowly spread. The first to be infected had been Memnarch. Unbeknownst to most Mirrans, Phyrexia was rebuilding itself [21], using their world as its host substrate. The metal structures and metal-infused inhabitants of Mirrodin were a perfect breeding ground for the spread of Phyrexian corruption. [22] [23] As the nascent civilization of Phyrexia expanded in secret, it struggled to evolve a unified purpose, and the danger for the plane of Mirrodin grew until it evolved into New Phyrexia.

Factionalizing and the Castes[edit | edit source]

The Grand Compleation is Achieved.

Unlike in its previous incarnation where Phyrexia fueled itself with colorless artifact mana and the black mana of decay and death, this time the Phyrexians infiltrated all five colors of mana and thus brought war on all fronts. However, this had the unintended consequence of factionalizing the Phyrexians based on their color-alignment. [24] [25] And so each alignment gained a Praetor to oversee that color. [26] They are:

  • Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite – The White Praetor of Unity. Her philosophy falls in line with the ideal of a fascist, unified theocracy. Currently the dominant praetor. [27]
  • Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur – The Blue Praetor of Experimentation. He leads his faction towards subversive experimentation to understand and exploit their enemies.
  • Sheoldred, Whispering One - The Black Praetor of Enslavement. She is the most traditional leader, believing in wholesale slaughter and subjugation. Recently, her forces have been utterly defeated by Elesh Norn's forces.
  • Urabrask the Hidden – The Red Praetor of Industry. His philosophy is more industrious than his blue counterpart, building greater and greater artificial monstrosities and weapons. The red mana trait of independence makes this faction the least like the original hive-mind make-up of Phyrexia. Recently, his forces have been utterly defeated by Elesh Norn's forces.
  • Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger – The Green Praetor of Predation. He believes most in survival of the fittest and eugenics, killing those deemed weak and augmenting the great predators of Mirrodin.

The Machine Orthodoxy[edit | edit source]

The white aligned Phyrexians, under the guidance of Elesh Norn, are a very literalist religious organization called "The Machine Orthodoxy". [28] They worship a form of scripture called the Argent Etchings, but divide themselves into smaller sects. Three of the most prominent sects include The Flesh Singularity, The Porcelain Legion, and the Disciples of Karn. They seek to unify the Multiverse as Phyrexia in either a perfect hierarchy or level playing field.

The Flesh Singularity try to achieve total unity by literally flaying the creatures that inhabit the lands and sewing them together. The Porcelain Legion repurpose and adapt creatures by implanting white metal plates into their bodies (considering all white phyrexians have this porcelain like metal on their bodies), while the Disciples of Karn are holding Karn himself hostage and pushing him ever deeper into insanity in hopes of gleaning leadership from his madness.

The Progress Engine[edit | edit source]

The blue aligned Phyrexians are led by Jin-Gitaxias from the ruined halls of Lumengrid. [29] They hold themselves to higher degree of perfection than the other factions, and pursue what they refer to as "The Great Synthesis". They conduct experiments in various laboratories scattered across the Quicksilver Sea, described as "slaughterhouse like", creating new life forms and technology. They are the most organised group so far, with at least ten observable ranks. One of their great experiments is The Meldweb in which the original Pools of Insight are filled with the brains of hundreds of sentient beings all networked together.

Ezuri, a former bandit turned rebel leader, was captured and compleated by Jin-Gitaxias' forces and turned into the Claw of Progress, putting him in direct conflict with Glissa.[30]

The Seven Steel Thanes[edit | edit source]

The Black Aligned Phyrexians are out for total and utter corruption, slaughter and enslavement, led for the moment by Sheoldred. [31] She is at the top of a food chain of thanes, who are all fighting a war of succession to be named the "Father of the Machines". The thanes beside her are:

  • Kraynox, the Deep Thane – described as masculine, he lords over the corrupting Phyrexian oil and hopes to construct a fourth layer as a slick, oil-covered vista. Also known as "The Manylegged One".
  • Roxith, Thane of Rot – described as masculine, he lords over flesh used as a building and sculpting material, he has plans to design the fifth layer or this New Phyrexian made entirely of flesh.
  • Geth, Lord of the Vault – The self-described Thane of Steel, Geth’s undead severed head was offered a deal to give him a necrotechnical body in exchange for his help in the Phyrexian attempt to gain a foothold in Mirrodin's surface. In reward, he was returned his lordship over Ish Sah, the Vault of Whispers.
  • Azax-Azog, the Demon Thane - He lords with fear and brutality.
  • Thrissik, the Writhing Thane – described as a snake, he fought Roxith. Believes in an everlasting and ever-improving cycle of destruction and resurrection.
  • Vraan, Thane of Blood - A compleated vampire who leads a group of vampiric assassins.

The Quiet Furnace[edit | edit source]

The Red-aligned Phyrexians built the Furnace Layer of Mirrodin, based on a similar layer of Old Phyrexia. [32][33] Their primary function was to tend the forges present there, building weaponry and recycling failed Phyrexians and Mirrans alike. During the war days, they emerged to the surface in the mountains of Mirrodin, and expanded into the surface. While the majority of these Phyrexians still dwell on the depths of the world, several now populate the Oxidda Chain, beasts designed in the fashion of Mirran animals.

Red Phyrexians differ from all others in the way that they have strong emotions and individuality, and as such developed empathy for the Mirrans. While still brutal creatures, their empathy proved strong enough to allow them to let Mirran survivors to dwell on their plane, treating them as if they didn't exist. To hide this secret, as well as to avoid having to deal with other factions, Urabrask demanded that all access to the Furnace Layer be sealed from the other factions, isolating himself and his servitors; the surface Phyrexians in the mountains serve as guardians to the entrances to the Furnace Layer. For the most part, the other factions ignore the Quiet Furnace, with the exception of the Progress Machine, which is paranoid about them.

The Vicious Swarm[edit | edit source]

The Green-aligned Phyrexians were among the first to strike, dominating the Tangle quickly. [34] Like all Phyrexians, the members of the Vicious Swarm believe that flesh is weak, but unlike the other phyrexians they believe that New Phyrexia should progress in a more natural way, based on the roles of predation, allowing the strong to emerge triumphant over the weak. They believe that artificial engineering should be restricted to make predators more efficient, and that sentience and sapience are curses, inadequate when compared to the raw power of instinct. Lacking any sort of organization whatsoever, they are merely a massive variety of creatures that kill each other for the purpose of selecting the strongest.

While Vorinclex is the praetor of this faction, it is Glissa who remains the true power. Depending on what source is more canonical (the field guide or the Quest for Karn novel), she is either loyal to Karn or disdains him.

Benzir, a sylvok before compleation, is aligned with this faction, although he is pursuing goals independent of it.

The Mirran Resistance[edit | edit source]

The Mirran symbol

The Mirran Resistance are the remnants of the Mirrans that continued to be alive or uninfected even after the compleation of Mirrodin. They are composed mainly of Auriok, Vulshok, goblin, and Leonin survivors together with the last remaining Moriok, Neurok, Sylvok, Elf, Loxodon, and Vedalken inhabitants of the plane. [23] Most of the survivors who are at the later stages of phyresis often die in the camps while they are cared for by those who are less sick, others being the Incorruptable, who are immune to the effects of phyresis. The resistance have no centralised leadership and instead are led by Koth, the now deceased Elspeth Tirel and Venser, and others in their respective encampments below:

Mirran holdouts[edit | edit source]

  • Bladehold is an Auriok city in the Razor Fields defended by a force known as the Accorders led by Ria Ivor, Hero of Bladehold. Within its reach lies Razor Circle Passages which were created by Ghalma the Shaper in order to help the survivors access the refugee strongholds in the Furnace Layer. The passages are made up of razor grass "crop circles" activated only during the presence of the white sun.
  • Lowlight is an encampment formed by surviving leonin abunas led by Kemba situated near the Cave of Light. It is surrounded by enchantments that protect it from the intense heat of the Great Furnace. The camp is made from scraps of skin and geometrically-raised crests of the floor's metal. Squealstokes often raid the camp looking for things to burn.
  • Seedling is a camp situated near the Radix. The concept of the name of the camp is based on a story that was told to the camp's leader, Melira, by Thrun about a young tree that grew skyward. Ingot slaves that live near the camp are curious about its existence.
  • Slagmaw is the largest camp in the Great Furnace and is also the safest due to its distance from the other lacunae. The camp is located inside a once living creature protecting it from the surrounding environs and, in turn, allowing it to be the best outfitted and protected than the rest.

Aside from those mentioned above, other notable Mirran survivors include Farris, Jor Kadeen, and Kara Vrist.

Current status[edit | edit source]

The Mirran Resistance continues to fight for the eventual purification of Mirrodin. The Sylvok named Melira appeared to be the key in achieving their goal. The Resistance managed to locate Karn and, through the sacrifice of Venser, healed him from his phyrexianization and restored his spark. Karn soon left his creation behind in order to seek infestations of Phyrexia on other planes he had visited. The Resistance hoped to use the power vacuum that had been created after Karn left Mirrodin to plunge Phyrexia into civil war.

It was a vain hope. Elesh Norn took control over the domains of Urabask and Sheoldred, with the praetors (along with the much despised Tezzeret) gathering to crown a new Father - or Mother - of Machines. [35]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (November 29, 2016.) "The Rabiah Scale", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  2. Magic Creative Team. (April 06, 2011.) “A Planeswalker's Guide to New Phyrexia: Introduction”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. According to Will McDermott. Source. For comparison, the diameter of Earth's moon is 3476 kilometers.
  4. a b Rei Nakazawa. (September 09, 2003.) “Mirrodin Image”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Gavin Verhey. (August 11, 2014.) “A Look Inside From the Vault: Annihilation”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Magic Arcana. (March 17, 2004.) “Style guide: Mirrodin's interior”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Magic Arcana. (December 02, 2009.) “Watching the Panopticon”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Magic Arcana. (October 20, 2003.) “Mirrodin Environments: Black”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Jeremy Cranford. (February 03, 2004.) “Creating Mirrodin: Swamps and Zombies”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Magic Arcana. (October 30, 2003.) “Mirrodin Environments: Red”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana. (April 20, 2004.) “Style guide: Mirrodin's red-aligned artifacts”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Magic Arcana. (October 01, 2003.) “Mirrodin Environments: White”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Magic Arcana. (October 06, 2003.) “Mirrodin Environments: Blue”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Magic Arcana. (November 19, 2003.) “Mirrodin Environments: Green”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Magic Arcana. (June 10, 2004.) “Lacunae and the Beacons”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Doug Beyer. (September 22, 2010.) “The Terms of Engagement”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  17. According to Will McDermott, Karn created the fabric of the world itself; but, the space it occupies existed prior to his creation. He chose to transform the empty plane rather than attempt to create a fully artificial world.
  18. Will McDermott. (January 5, 2006.) "Ask the author(s)" — MTG Salvation
  19. According to Will McDermott (source), the original idea was that this was the final (though unfinished) weapon of Yawgmoth, destined for the invasion on Dominaria.
  20. Doug Beyer. (February 23, 2011.) “Why the Mirrans Will Endure”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Monty Ashley. (February 10, 2011.) “Phyrexian Rager 2.0”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Doug Beyer. (January 17, 2011.) “WAR!”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  23. a b Doug Beyer. (February 09, 2011.) “Public Displays of Aggression”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Doug Beyer. (January 26, 2011.) “Phyrexia: The Strong and the Scattered”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Doug Beyer. (May 18, 2011.) “The Art of New Phyrexia's Factions”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Doug Beyer. (May 11, 2011.) “Getting to Know the Praetors”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Jenna Helland. (September 11, 2013.) “The Lost Confession”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Magic Creative Team. (April 06, 2011.) “A Planeswalker's Guide to New Phyrexia: The Machine Orthodoxy”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Magic Creative Team. (April 20, 2011.) “A Planeswalker's Guide to New Phyrexia: The Progress Engine”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Chas Andres. (November 3, 2015.) “Ezuri's Predation”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Magic Creative Team. (April 13, 2011.) “A Planeswalker's Guide to New Phyrexia: The Steel Thanes”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Monty Ashley. (April 05, 2011.) “Mastering the Bomb”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Magic Creative Team. (May 04, 2011.) “A Planeswalker's Guide to New Phyrexia: The Quiet Furnace”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Magic Creative Team. (April 27, 2011.) “A Planeswalker's Guide to New Phyrexia: The Vicious Swarm”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Jenna Helland. (September 11, 2013.) “The Lost Confession”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]