Tuesday, 7 August 2018

The Art of Magic the Gathering: Dominaria

Writer - James Wyatt
Release date - July 2018

Wizards has been putting out these Art books for a couple of years now, but as this blog tends to live in the past this installment is the first one I'm covering since The Art of Magic the Gathering: The Rath Cycle, the first book in the series, and the only one released before an 18 year hiatus. Or should I say the only installment in the Art of Magic volume 1, with Zendikar being the start of volume 2? More important question: am I the only person who cares about that stuff? Yes? Okay. Let's move on.

The Art of Magic books are really amazing. For years I had been saying that Wizards should be putting out something like this, as it always surprised me that they did so much world building that didn't make it into the cards. All that lore that was almost never used, only occasionally spilling out to the public in a Savor the Flavor article. It just seemed a waste of time and resources. And of course people have been asking for larger versions of card arts since forever as well, so doing an art book to get some money out of all this stuff they've made anyway seemed like a logical idea. Either that, or use it for a roleplaying game. Just let James Wyatt do whatever he wants, is basically what I'm saying.

Doing a blog is nice and all, but now I get to use all this Magic trivia in a D&D campaign!

That is my opinion about the series in general. What about this specific edition? Well, obviously it is the best of them, because it is about Dominaria. And because it is the most history heavy of all of them. I'm predictable, I know. Ever since discovering Lord of the Rings when I was 11 I've been convinced any story gets better if it comes with a map, timeline and family trees, and that the deeper worlds are the better. Zendikar was okay with its several continent, and Ixalan did a good step in the right direction by including a map, but none of the recent planes can hold a candle to Dominaria in this department.

While the Dominaria story faltered a bit near the end when it came to continuity stuff, this book fits perfectly with all the amazing continuity deep dives we've been seeing since Dominaria previews started. It can't cover all of Dominaria, but it takes the 10 most prominent factions/locations from the set (Benalia, the Church of Serra, Tolaria, Vodalia, The Cabal, Urborg, Keld, Shiv, Llanowar and Yavimaya) and tells you everything you'd want to know about them. We get to see how they have changed since we last saw them, but we also get old school information that was never fully released, like a complete list of Llanowar Elfhames and Vodalian castes. Stuff that was clearly created back in Pete Venters' day and hinted at in the Encyclopedia Dominia, but of which we had up until now only seen parts. It even gives some amazingly obscure bits of lore a second life, for example by presenting the Eliterates' fake emperor from The Secrets of Magic as factual Vodalian history, thereby making that story much more important in the grand scheme of continuity, but staying with the theme of the anthology and keeping the true history secret. There are one or two continuity errors (which I'll get to below) but the vast majority of the book is a perfect expansion of the old lore it is building upon.

The writing style is mostly just informative, with an occasional bit of dry humor laced into the text. ("Industry, architecture, literature, clothing, trade - to the dragons, these are all just different ways to compensate for not being an enormous, flying, fire-breathing reptile.") This focus on info might mean that if learning more about Dominaria doesn't light the same fire in you as it does in me you might not like the book as much, though I've kept it on my coffee table for a few weeks now and I've had several people who don't even play Magic pick to up and comment on the great art.

There is way to much trivia in the book for me to cover everything here. It does cover 10 cultures and a whole slew of characters after all. I'd just end up copying the entire thing, which I'm not sure WotC would appreciate. So I'll stick to the things that really jumped out to me, especially the continuity related ones.
  • We learn that over Benalia's "thousand-year history" (more on that in the timeline section) three of its seven houses have fallen and been replaced. We previously got a full list of clans in the story The History of Benalia from the Encyclopedia Dominia. Since then only one clan has fallen: Clan Ternsev. It has been replaced by House Avenant. We also learned in The History of Benalia that Avenant split from Benalia when... well, we don't quite know, but one of the theories presented by Benalish historians was that a Ternsev leader kidnapped an Avenant princess, so it is fitting that they were the one replaced now the split has been reversed. Now I'm wondering about those two houses who have fallen in the more distant past though...
  • Other bits of interest might be that House Croger holds on to the Church of Angelfire, Houses Tarmula and Capashen both originate from Sheoltun nobles, the Capashen were the first to adopt Serranism, House Deniz comes from Oneah (always a lovely bit of HarperPrism lore to get referenced!) and have a trading colony on Shiv, and House Joryev has links to the Cabal.
  • The Aven are kind of their own thing within Benalia, but some of them hope to get representation in the Council of Seven soon. I wonder how they want to do that. Given the Benalish obsession with the number seven I don't give them much chance of extending the council, and toppling another house would not make them very popular... unless those Cabal links of House Joryev discredits it...
  • In 4532 a Yedwin Capashen wrote the biography Life of Gerrard. Urza plays the role of wise wizard guiding the hero in Benalish tales. The Weatherlight-spear from Triumph of Gerrard is a specific Serran symbol, not Benalish. Serrans depict Urza in a more dualistic manner, both destroyer and savior.
  • After the Invasion, a period which they call the Years of Salt, Benalia became a patchwork of warring states. In the wake of the Mending the seven houses forged the Compact of the Seven Pillars in the ruins of Benalia City, reuniting the country. New Benalia is a variant name for the rebuild Benalia City
  • Aryel is from Urborg, serves in Benalia, and conquered Estark (the location of the first Magic novel ever, Arena!). Presumably it is now a Benalish colony. Sursi is explicitly called a Benalish colony. The Kb'briann Highlands (which I'm sure you all remember from the flavor text of Jerrard of the Closed Fist) is a protectorate of Benalia. Keldons and Benalish often clash on the western coast of northern Aerona, which they both try to colonize.
  • Crookshank Kobolds are from the Red Iron mountains east of Benalia, though they fared poorly in the Rift Era and the mountains are now full of Benalish mining outposts.
  • The various orders of the Church of Serra include five based on the Voices from Urza's and Masques block, four based on the virtues we heard about in Time Streams, the Knights of Sursi, the Defenders of the Temple (at Epityr) and orders based on the Ancestor, Akroma and Reya Dawnbringer. We also learn Reya was one of the first angels created by Serra, but that she died defending Benalia during the Invasion.
  • Serra's killer is speculated to be "a Phyrexian agent, a fellow Planeswalker or a common thief". Nice way to dodge that piece of continuity weirdness, and to add another intriguing option: what if that guy was some sort of Phyrexian sleeper-negator? We also get confirmation of Kelly Digges' theory that Serra put her essence in Sursi, which we heard about in one of the recent podcasts.
  • The new Tolarian Academies sound waaaaaay nicer than the original. The text keeps mentioning how the people there are optimistic about the future and want to help rebuild the world, and mention is made of loud music, exotic cuisine, rambunctious parties and whirlwind romances. It almost makes me nostalgic for my own days at university.
  • We learn a bit more about the five campuses. Tolaria of the Depths hosts merfolk, cephalids and other underwater species. This is also where most of the time experiments get done. (Tolarians never learn...) There are rumors that the Shadow Academy has its own pocket dimension. There is no overarching rule over the campuses. Those at Lat-Nam, Tolaria West and Orvada have good relations, the other two are more reclusive.
  • If you're looking for a plot hook for a future story, Tolaria West is said to have a thrull breeding experiment and a sample of live glistening oil they recovered from Koilos. Oh, and the secret Society of Mishra is described as Phyrexia sympathizers...
  • This book seems to have had enough of all the mysteries surrounding Jodah. He is bluntly said to be Urza's direct descendant, and the Jodah from the Ice Age trilogy is said to be the same one as in Time Spiral. His claims that Jaya was dead are waved away with a mere "Jaya's long absences from Dominaria as a planeswalker led people to assume she was dead".
  • We've know the Vodalians had a caste system since Return of the Empress, but now they are finally named: Stovorod (martial aristocrats), Svyash (clerics), Orzvetzya (traders, bankers, bureaucrats), Chernoz (famers, miners and other laborers) and Volshe (the intelligentsia and artists). The Volshe used to be the lowest caste, their name meaning "those who produce nothing" in Old Vodalian. Although nowadays the roles of the castes have been very much relaxed. They are becoming more like political parties.
  • The current ruler is mostly a figurehead with the real power lying with the council of caste leaders. The emperor is Mihail II, who is married to Annika, a Volshe. They have two daughters: Felisia and Marja.
  • Svyelun (ziv-yeh-LOON) is still worshipped, though modern worshipers often link her to the autocracy of characters like Galina. There is also a Society of the Conch, who are more mellow: they go around other societies to listen and contemplate how Svyelun manifested in other cultures.
  • After 25 years we finally get an explanation for just what the Pearl Trident is ! They are the Vodalian emperor's elite guard, named in honor of Svyelun, who is also known as the Pearl Moon Goddess.
  • The history of Vodalia given is pretty much a retelling of Return of the Empress (from Encyclopedia Dominia) and Behold, the Fish, which we covered last time. The text does have a bit of fun by presenting Emperor Omen's story as plain truth, when those who read The Secrets of Magic know it was a ploy by an Eliterate actor.
  • We do get confirmation that Galina died in the Invasion, and that she ruled for 1000 years after exiting her time warp in 3307. This long reign was made possible by magic, explaining away the seeming inconsistency that she only traveled 3000 years in time, but was still around during the Invasion. We've never gotten a precise date for her reappearance before, but putting it at 3307 (the year the time machine at the Tolarian Academy exploded) is a delightful little detail!
  • If there is one thing I really missed from this book, it is an explanation for the War in the Abbys. Belzenlok claims to be behind it, but we don't get to hear what it really was. For me this was one of the most tantalizing details revealed during spoiler season, even if it was just because it sounded so ominous and important. Here's hoping we'll get to know more about it evetually!
  • Dementia Magic is said to have become more volatile, to the point where killing yourself with your own spell is almost considered honorable by the Cabal. Braids is revered as a past example of that. It was really more Karona's fault, but I don't think Braids would mind the Cabal misunderstanding her demise like that.
  • When talking about Cabal infiltrators the book mentions that people fear that "the Cabal is already everywhere", which might be a sly reference to the original Cabal greeting of "The Cabal is here", to which the customary response was "And everywhere."
  • The Otaria story is really rushed through. Chainer loses control of the Mirari and destroys Cabal City, then Karona ravages the entire continent, killing Kuberr... and that's all that gets mentioned. It is probably for the best. Going into more detail would probably only confuse people.
  • After Scourge the Cabal splintered and the ruins of Cabal City became a refugee camp for cabalists. After the Mending a bunch of them tried to summon a demon in order to talk to Kuberr. This turned out to be Belzenlok, who was apparently a teacher of Kuberr. (another pretty tantalizing detail to drop in without any further explanation!) He then immediately took over the Cabal.
  • Belzenlok is said to be one of the more powerful demons in the Multiverse, but his talents at magic do not exceed those of Lim-Dûl and Nevinyrral. Through dementia space he can create nightmare creatures, teleport short distances and drive people insane, which are all effects of dementia magic we've seen in the past.
High praise for good old Dim Bulb!
  • Belzenlok used Bogardan lava-mages to repair the Stronghold and reawaken the volcano it sits on. He uses the Dream Halls to gain knowledge about former evincars, the Phyrexians and more. The Cabal has also conquered Bogardan and the other Burning Isles.
  • Nevinyrral's city was swallowed by a volcano caused by his enemies of Bogardan. This information comes directly from The Duelist #19: the Bogardans created the volcano, and in response Nevinyrral blew it up with his disk to deny his enemies and of his magics that might survive the lava.
  • The Keldons, just like many Vorthos, are still wondering about that Keldon Twilight bit from Planeshift. Does it mean the prophecies have ended, like Radha says? Or was it just a False Twilight? This book does clearly state that it was Phyrexian necromancy that resurrected the dead warlords, but is the true Twilight still coming? Nobody knows.
  • Radha climbed the Mountain, learned the secrets of Kradak's flame and retrieved her ancestor Astor's daggers. She then defeated the last Gathan warlord to become Grand Warlord of Keld. She's abolished slavery and the Keldons are now learning crafts and industry once thought beneath them.
  • Keld now covers almost all of Icehaven, with only "frigid, theocratic" Parma remaining independent. (Parma was the origin of the Northern Paladin from Shattered Chains) They've started to colonize southward across the Aeronan coast, running into conflict with the Benalish who are colonizing northwards.
  • The various people of Shiv, dragons, humans, goblins and viashino, are united as the Shivan Nation. It is ruled by a council of eight, with two members of each species. Jhoira is an honorary ninth member who can break ties, but she doesn't occupy her seat.
  • The Ghitu are descendants of the Thran. Which makes sense, considering they had Thran-metal amulets.
  • Shivan dragons were mostly in hiding from the Invasion until the Mending. This is one of the very few points where my continuity senses started to tingle, as I wondered how that fit in with the flavor text of Rorix Bladewing.
  • Rorix's story is kinda weird anyway. His first flavor text suggests he doesn't want to rebuild Shiv, but to restore draconic pride by fighting in Otaria. His second flavor text suggests he does want to restore Shivan pride, doing so by fighting in the pits. Here it is said he was a Champion of Shiv, the title for the strongest Shivan dragon who was meant to "lead the dragons in battle and guide them in peace". I guess Rorix was a conflicted creature that played many roles in life. And death.
  • Currently the title of Champion of Shiv is held by Darigaaz, who in this incarnation was raised by the Ghitu and has memories from his past lives. His egg was found by them in a time rift!
  • The dragons were weak due to the lack of mana and the other races kept attacking them to keep them weak. After the Mending it was Jhoira and Darigaaz who convinced the other dragons not to take vengeance but to join a unified Shiv.
  • The Bladewing Brood now opposes the Shivan Nation, though they grudgingly supported it against the Cabal.
  • Dominarian Goblins have interbred with the Mogg. You can still see it in their head-crests, which are not are prominent as with the Mogg, but still noticeable.
  • Viashino "are humanoid lizards that claim to be descendant from dragons. Whether or not this is true, they have always had a close relationship with dragons, though that relationship has been hostile as often as friendly". This is another clever jump around a possible continuity issue. People often assume the viashino are descendants of the dragons, but the only source we have that states this is Jeff Lee's website, nothing officially put out by WotC.
  • Elves can reach 1000 years of age, which matches what was said by the elf Elionoway in Legions. At the moment though, due to all the drama since the Invasion, more than half the population is adolescent: 60 or younger.
  • At the beginning of the Llanowar chapter it is said the elves there are "wholly devoted to Gaea", but later it is said that while they accept Gaea's divinity, they see Freyalise as equally divine and have historically worshiped her instead. Since her death the Llanowar have slowly moved towards Gaea worship.
  • We finally get a list of Llanowar's elfhames: Riashil, Staprion, Loridalh, Kelphae, Basiphem, Hedressel and Ruadach. The eight, Jubilar, was lost in the Invasion. Previously there was some confusion over how many there were, with the encyclopedia Dominia saying both 10 and 8 at different places, and the card Elfhame Palance mentioning 7.
  • Of the elfhames, Riashil, Hedressel and Loridahl were named in the Encyclopedia Dominia. Ruadach came from the story "Gathering the Taradomnu" from Tapestries, Staprion was the one where Eladamri ended up in Invasion. That book also made mention of the "tradehouse of Kelphae" and the "Wellspring of the Jubilar", although it wasn't clear those were elfhames.
  • The elfhame borders are both horizontal and vertical, with some overlapping but differing in height.
  • Hallar was the kid born during the negotiations Marwyn conducted while also acting as midwife at a birth, which we first heard about in her social media character write up.
  • Molimo was the reason Llanowar survived so well during the Rift Era. He's been sitting in a crook of Pendelhaven talking to the forest ever since the crisis began. He only spoke aloud once in that time, when he gave Jhoira permission to take the new Weatherseed. He just sits there, overgrown. This also finally gives me proof that Pendelhaven is in Llanowar. That is information that has been floating around for years now, but I still haven't been able to find the original source. Nice that I can just point to this book now!
So... was Llanowar once known as Pendelhaven? Is Jacques so ancient he predates the entire forest?!
  • Now for a big continuity issue: Karn was excavating at... Koilos?! First of all, the Sylex has no business being at Koilos. And of all the excuses I came up with in recent posts for how it could've ended up in Yavimaya, only "the explosion send it up in the air and it crashed at location X later" can be applied to Koilos. I guess someone could've found the thing behind the scenes and then dumped it at Koilos, but who? And when did that happen? Before or after the Phyrexians conquered the place in Invasion?
  • The book explains that Yavimaya's magnigoth mangals have extended the forest across the seas, which explains why the Multani/Karn fight happened even if Karn was in Koilos. This introduced a new continuity error though: why did Chandra have to cross the water to get to the excavation site?!
  • It's quite odd that for a set with so many great references, continuity seems to break down around Yavimaya constantly. Perhaps that should receive some extra attention the next time we go to Dominaria!
  • The Woodfolk, who were created in Invasion, just repeat Gaea's name over and over. Their main city is the Heart of Yavimaya, though each magnigoth has a few of them in it.
  • Wild Kavu dwell even in the Keldon tundra. Presumably a referencing to this one.
  • Yavimaya's giant ants have been spotted herding mammals!
  • Yavimaya has only expelled its humans and elves. Gorillas, giant spiders, merfolk, nymphs (dryads and nayads), pixies and shadow gnomes are the sapient races still living there. Nayads and gnomes might seem out of place, but those were mentioned before, in Timestreams.
  • The merfolk of Yavimaya fight against homarids who try to destroy the magnal that grows from the island to the mainland.
  • The human inhabitants of Yavimaya are descendant of Thran who left the empire to live away from artifacts.
  • The Juniper Order is still around, protecting the humans that now live on the edges of Yavimaya after being expelled. That thing behind Juniper Order Ranger is apparently a giant tusked fox, and their kind is still used by the order.
  • It is said "Both Mishra's Armageddon Clock and Urza's Golgothian Sylex were detonated [in Terisiare], devastating the land and plunging much of the world into an Ice Age". Armageddon Clocks were weapons of mass destruction created by Mishra in The Brothers' War, though usually the Ice Age is just blamed on the Sylex alone. Of course the most prominent Armageddon Clock in the canon is the one from Song of Time, but that one didn't explode. It was used to captured a cockatrice, apparently the most horrible creature in existence. At least, according to that old book.
  • Yavimaya began to grow "in the void left by the suppression of the human population" during the Ice Age
  • Like in the podcasts, it is said the World Spell created the consciousness of Yavimaya, which was later embodied in Multani. But here's the real kicker:
"In the centuries following the Invasion, a temporal rift - a hole in space and time - began to grow within Multani, a side effect of the very World Spell that had created the forest"
  • Why were Ethan and Kelly so coy about this in the podcast? Did they not have the finished version of the art book yet, and were thus unsure which bits of lore had made it into the final product?
  • The Fallaji of eastern Almaaz fight the magnal, as they only had desert to be pushed into. The New Argivans were too occupied with the kobolds and dragons in the Kher Ridges to care.
  • The Adarkar Wastes are described as fields of blackened glass, just like in Sisay's Quest.
  • Yavimaya has grown around the ruins of Kroog during the Ice Age, which in turn was build atop the ruins of the Thran city of Nyoron!
  • Teferi phased out Zhalfir and "most of neighboring Suq'ata", leaving Femeref. This could perhaps explain the mention of "the city of Suq'ata" in the Return to Dominaria story. Maybe all that remains of Suq'ata now is just a city-state.
  • Again it is mentioned that Shanna would like to be captain of the Weatherlight. There is no mention of her, or her family, being immune to magic though... Now I really wonder where that detail came from!
  • Jhoira used the Mana Rig to "distill" Teferi's spark from the mana of Dominaria. Not much more of an explanation than what we got before, but it is something.
  • The story summary at the back is so short that it actually gives a somewhat wrong idea of how the story played out. For example, it mentioned Gideon and Liliana reuniting with Ajani and Jace, but then doesn't mention that those two quickly left again, suggesting they were along for the rest of the ride.
So that is still a giant list of trivia and continuity nods, but there still is so much more information in the book! It really is a must have for anyone with an interest in Dominaria.

Between all this information there is of course also lots of stuff that is relevant for the timeline, although a lot of it is already known information.

First and foremost, the present day is said to just be 4560. Up to now we've always have approximate dates, nothing so precise. I was kinda hoping the exact date would be 4567-8ish, as that would mean Sarkhan's 1260 year trip back in time in Fate Reforged would have him exit in exactly 3307, the year of the temporal explosion at Tolaria. Especially since this book says Empress Galina exited her time warp in that year, hinting it is the one point where time travel is possible. Hrm. I guess we could still say that that 1260 date was an approximate... but that's a discussion for another time. For now, I'm removing the "~" from "4560" for Return to Dominaria, and I'm putting the second half of Return of the Empress at 3307.

At the start of the book there is a timeline of Dominaria from -20.000 till now. It goes like this:
  • -20.000 to -15.000: Mythohistory (Meaning the Elder Dragons, Primevals & Numena)
  • Up to around -5.000: Time of the Thran
  • -5000 to 0: Time of Legends
  • 0-63: Antiquities War
  • 64-2934: Ice Age
  • 2934-3285: Flood Ages
  • 3285-4205: Modern History
  • 4205-4306: Phyrexian Invasion
  • 4306-4500: The Rift Era
  • 4500 to the present: The Mending Era
There are a few points of interest here:
  • In the description of the Mythohistory we learn that Nicol Bolas killed almost all the other Elder Dragons during the Elder Dragon War, which is something that was suspected for a long time, but never confirmed until now. I'm pretty sure we'll get more details on that as the new Core Set story develops though.
  • The Thran times were "up to around -5000 AR", which fixes a mistake from the Dominaria Player's Guide, which put them "5000 years ago", a mere 500ish years before the Brothers' War!
  • The description of the "Time of Legends" specifically mentions Dakkon Blackblade and Sivitri Scarzam, and that Zhalfir was formed in this period. Before now we only had the name "The Golden Age of Magic" for this period, which came from Jeff Lee's website.
  • I find it a bit odd to have a Modern Age that is in the past, but okay... 
  • We also learn that Zhalfir flourished during the Ice Age due to its magic and equatorial location. This information was also originally from Jeff Lee.
  • The Church of Serra apparently has its origin during the Ice Age, taking its modern shape around 3800. On first glance this is kinda odd, as we know of Serra Angels that were already around during the Time of Legends (in the Fallen Angel comic) but I assume this just means the institutionalization of the faith.
  • The Cabal, as I mentioned last time, was founded ~4000.
  • The period from 4195 to 4205 is called "The War Years" because of the Mirage War, the Planeswalkers War of Corondor and the Prophecy War. No new information for us, but... wow! The Planeswalkers War got mentioned!
  • 4205-4306 is labeled as the Phyrexian Invasion, but that's just a small simplification, lumping the aftermath in with the Invasion itself. It is said the Church of Serra and the Tolarian Academy kept the torch of culture burning in the dark years following the invasion, suggesting Tolaria West got founded pretty quickly after old Tolaria got blown up.
  • Mana started flowing out through time rifts quickly after Karona died, but only "toward the end of this period" (The Rift Era) did the time traveling problems start appearing. 
  • The Mending is said to happen in 4500, which I up to now had assumed to be an approximate as well. That is another "~" that can come off the timeline!

After this timeline there are also a bunch of temporal references in the text itself.
  • Let's start of with the most problematic one: Benalia, specifically Torsten von Ursus's Lost Edict, is said to be about 1000 years old, while Sheoltun's decline is put at 3500 AR. It is nice to finally be given some definite dates for the Shelotun/Benalia/Epytir story we first heard about in The Duelist #14, but there is one problem: Benalia was already around during Hazezon, which happened ~3300 AR! My timeline policy is that actual stories trump background material, so I think I'll keep Benalia's origin story where I have it now. It does irk me a bit though, as this art book is a much more recent and widely read source. I'm definitely the only one who would even consider given a single line from Hazezon precedence over it. So who knows, talk to me in the comments and maybe you can convince me to move it forward in time. I'm definitely keeping the Legends I cycle where it is though! Its placement is very clear in the story, and recently got confirmed in the storyline podcasts.
  • Serra died "almost 800 years ago", after reappearing in Sursi "around 3780 AR". We already discussed the implications of this for the placement of Homelands when we covered the storyline podcast, where Serra's visit was dated at around 3800 AR. This new information allows us to get even more specific. I'm guessing this date was picked with the timeline from the Homelands comic very much in mind, as there dates were given in 20 years "generations".
  • Very minor, but the Vodalian Empire was founded "sometime prior to the Antiquities War".
  • The Cabal were founded in 4000 and ruled for thee centuries, which matches the 300 years in which the First dreamed about Kuberr in The Secrets of Magic very well.
  • Gatha arrived in Keld around 3450 and attracted the attention of the Phyrexians in the mid 3800's. This gives us a little bit more detail on when these events from Bloodlines happened.
  • Shiv has been "continually inhabited by the same people for ten millennia", which I guess means the Thran ancestors of the Ghitu colonized it around that time. It "reentered the political landscape of Dominaria in 3346 AR, when the Planeswalker Urza found the Mana Rig". That 3346 date comes from the official timeline, which gives that data for "Urza's Saga (Shiv)"
  • It is reestablished that Teferi's Isle was gone for over 200 years.
  • Jhoira returned to Shiv in 4510, finding the Shivan peoples in conflict over the Mana Rig but managing to broker a truce. She and Darigaaz formed the Shivan Nation in 4520.
  • And one last minor thing, the first magnigoths reached New Argive 10 years ago, so around 4550.
Phew. That turned out to be a very long article, but now we can finally wrap up our Dominaria coverage! Sorry this came out so late. Hopefully I can now get back on track and quickly finish up the Otaria Saga. I've just started reading the Legends II books and I'm itching to cover them!


  1. I would argue that the simple fact of you ASKING people to convince you to take the more recently-published and detailed source is evidence enough of how to apply your standards. But if you need some potential justification for that line from a book even the author didn't like, I would render the word "Benalia" in that sentence as "Benfosa," with a flawed sort of translation convention causing a reference to the capital of the (then-weakening) Sheoltun Empire to be instead written as the later variant spelling which would become the name of a new country.

    Now I just need a reasonable arguement that Sarkhan might have popped back in time to 3307...

  2. It's not too weird that a past segment of history is considered the "Modern Age". After all, we live in a "Post-Modern" world here on Earth.

    1. And the "modern" age of western history ended 230 years ago!