MTG Mondays: Pashalik Mons

The thunderhead that leads in the storm.Pashalik Mons

Pashalik Mons

Good day, fellow planeswalkers. Today we will be talking about the dastardly Goblin warlord, Pashalik Mons and how he unified a horde of Goblins to attack neighboring regions which ended up having dragons getting involved.

Pashalik Mons was a goblin from a region called Rundvelt. The region was a mountainous region that was occupied by thirty villages and goblins. The goblins of Rundvelt were more dangerous than most as these goblins ended up mastering siege warfare, not only that, they even developed a society. To me, there is nothing more dangerous than a goblin who uses its brains. They were dangerous before, but then Pashalik Mons took command.

Not since the days of Pashalik Mons have the Rundvelt goblins been so united or effective.Goblin Warchief

Mons Goblin Raiders

Pashalik and his allies, the Mons Goblin Raiders invaded the neighboring region of Olesia. Olesia seemed to be a region covered in forests but not a lot is known about it. The Olesians did not like these goblins invading their land, not one bit, but they could not drive the goblins back alone. The Olesians went to their allies, the Nalathni Dragons for help. Not much is known about the Nalathni Dragons other then they were small but very intelligent dragons. The combined might of the Nalathni dragons and the warriors of Olesia drove Mons and his goblin raiders back to Rundvelt and back to the mountains.

These small but intelligent Dragons and their Olesian allies held back the tide of Pashalik Mons’s hordes of Goblin Raiders. – Nalathni Dragons

Nathalni Dragons and Olesians

There isn’t a lot more information on Pashalik Mons other than that he was a goblin warlord of Dominaria and the he invaded a region and was driven back, but to this day he is still being mentioned and referenced so maybe his story isn’t over yet. I personally hope it isn’t as there is a lot of untapped potential there. Goblins who are masters of siege and have a society? Yes please, give us more information on Mons Goblin Raiders!

A short story this week, nevertheless I hope you enjoyed it and as always, thank you for reading!

MTG Mondays: Llanowar

“After waking to the magic of Llanowar, no dreams can compare.”Vitalize

Llanowar

Hello everybody, I hope you are well and the planes of Magic are bountiful and good to you all. Today we will be talking about Llanowar, The massive forest region of Dominaria. Llanowar is close to two regions I spoke about already being Benalia and the Ironclaw Mountains.

The lush and vast lands of Llanowar spread to over a thousand miles at some parts. There are many beings that call the dense foliage of Llanowar their home but most notable are the Llanowar Elves. The Llanowar elves are fierce defenders of their forest to the point of being seen as almost xenophobic to other races. Apart from the Llanowar elves there are the Redwood Treefolk which are giant tree people (think Treebeard and the Ents) and the Aboroths which are elementals that live within the forest and have been known to attack the elves. The aboroths grow from the soil to eventually become powerful elementals.

Because of the Ice Age long ago, people outside of Llanowar were freezing to death. These people wandered through the Llanowar forest looking for firewood and any other provisions they could come across. The Llanowar elves were not happy with this and defended their homes from the scavengers. Because of this and other factors, Llanowar elves make sure to keep well away from outsiders, though they do some trading with outposts and towns. This isolation and almost xenophobic attitude has become such a strong belief that it can almost be seen as religious. The Llanowar elves believe that keeping away from other people will maintain the connection between the forest and the mysticism of nature.

Llanowar has seven elfhames, or kingdoms, each with its own ruler. Their palaces are objects of awe, wonder, and envy.” – Elfhame Palace

Elfhame Palace

The people of Llanowar live in different tribes or Elfhames, seven of them in fact. They are as follows:

  • Basiphem – The Basiphem elves live in the oldest and strongest trees of Llanowar. They see themselves as the protectors of Llanowar. The Basiphem are muscular and most weather conditions don’t bother them. A lot of Basiphem have never stood on the ground, though a lot of them died during the Phyrexian Invasion. They still blame themselves for failing to protect the forest during the Invasion.
  • Hedressel – Is the home to the druidic orders of Llanowar. No violence is allowed in Hedressel and if and when they catch trespassers, they bring them out beyond Hedressel’s border and execute them there.
  • Kelfae – The Kelfae elfhame are elves that live in waterproof canopies and form bonds with a race of creatures called Kavu. A Kelfae elf is usually given a Kavu at birth and it is usually one that was born on the same day. Another elfhame called Jubilar was utterly annihilated during the Phyrexian Invasion and the Kelfae took in the survivors and called them their own.
  • Loridalh – The Loridalh are shadowy elves that like to stick to aerial highways high in the trees. The Loridalh live in the hollow of the trees and though they have no central leadership, each tree is governed by lawspeakers and elders.
  • Riashil – The Riashil elves are pacifists and have been for many years. They buried their weapons under a tree called the Oak of Oath and practice a peaceful life. In saying that, they are one of the most isolationist elven tribes and they have no contact with the outside world. The officials of the Riashil elves are usually accompanied by their mothers.
  • Ruadach – In contrast to Riashil, the elves of Ruadach are one of the most tolerant elfhames. They openly trade with none elves and not only that, they would even marry other species. Their queen Terena who ruled for six centuries was killed during the Phyrexian Invasion and her half-elf daughter now rules Ruadach.
  • Staprion – The Staprion were the most militaristic of the Llanowar elves and where a lot of the reputation for Llanowar being so dangerous came from. They were completely devastated during the Phyrexian Invasion, to the point where all their leaders were slaughtered. They now rove Llanowar in gangs of fifty to a hundred elves called gusts and they kill any that stand in their way, including fellow Staprions.

To make sure that this way of life is followed, a particular group called the Order of the Steel Leaf was formed. The Order of the Steel Leaf was said to be brought together by a planeswalker named Freyalise, but who exactly was Freyalise? When Freyalise was a child, she was out in the cold wastelands on her own. She finally made it to a kingdom named Storgard and there was speak that she must have been more than human to survive the frozen wastes on her own. Nevertheless she was taken in and eventually became the court mage for King Miko of Storgard.

Starting out as a fire mage, Freyalise realised the power of green mana when she was almost killed by a green mage during a duel. When she ascended to become a planeswalker she chose green as her path. She helped the Fyndhorn and Llanowar elves survive the turmoil that was the ice age and eventually she became worshipped as a goddess by both factions of elves. It was because of Freyalise and a spell that she cast, the ice age ended on Dominaria, but Freyalise left. She eventually returned to Dominaria during the Phyrexian Invasion and fought for Urza. Llanowar fought bravely during the Phyrexian Invasion and rallied around the king of the Skyshroud elves, Eladamri. I will be speaking more on the events of the Phyrexian Invasion in a later blog, but know that the Llanowar elves fought bravely to drive back the forces of Phyrexia from Dominaria.

“This forest means more to the druids than their own kin. The loss of a tree is like the loss of a child.”Llanowar Druid

Llanowar went through a lot of horror and strife and the Rift Era on Dominaria didn’t help. During the Rift Era, tears in time were opening up all over Dominaria and villains from the past or events that occurred in the past were starting to happen again. Freyalise sacrificed herself and that of the Skyshroud elves to close the rift above Keld on Dominaria. The Llanowar elves were one of the first to start to heal during the great mending when the world started to right itself again. Half of the population of Llanowar were only in their adolescence.

Freyalise

There is a dark and twisted secret, forbidden to enter due to the danger that it poses. It is called the Abomination of Llanowar, and it is a mass of nercomantic magic. It was found by a Llanowar scouting party and an elf, through his foolish curiosity touched the mass of evil energy. The mass swallowed the whole party and added them to the mass. A second scout party was sent to find the first, but before they could act, they were set upon and all died bar one elf who managed to escape and tell his people about it. The area was declared forbidden and the Abomination hasn’t been seen since, becoming a myth in Llanowar.

So that is the story of Llanowar, one of the major elven factions of the MTG universe. The culture is very interesting and I find some similarities, especially with their protectiveness of the forest to the Elves of Mirkwood from J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. I like the fact that there are seven subcultures, being the elfhames within this vast forest and the writers didn’t just paint them all with the one brush. They are a ferocious people who have had to put up with more than most, but it stands to them that they are not only alive, but flourishing. The Llanowar story isn’t over yet and I for one am looking forward to seeing how this story continues.

I hope you enjoyed my writing and as always, thanks for reading!

Warhammer Lore: Chaos

The star of Chaos

Hello everybody! Last time I wrote about the glorious Emperor of Mankind and a little about his back story, now I must speak of the single greatest threat to the galaxy, something that is older than time itself, Chaos.

Firstly, what is Chaos? Have you ever felt anger and the wanting of bloodshed? That is Chaos, specifically Khorne, the god of blood and murder. Have you ever felt lust for someone? Or wanting more than you have even though you know it could be bad for you? That is Chaos, specifically, Slaanesh, the god of excess and decadence. Have you ever felt sickness or even beaten a cold or flu? That is Chaos, specifically Nurgle, the god of disease and decay. Lastly have you even felt tricksy? That is Chaos, specifically Tzeentch, the god of magic and change.

Chaos is ruled by four gods and each of these gods are as horrid as the next, but in their own separate ways. Khorne and his followers would massacre and rip apart your body just for looking at them the wrong way. Slaanesh would give you everything you desire and more than your body can handle. You would become a horrific shell of a person that is always chasing after something they can never achieve and things will become more excessive as it goes along. Nurgle will rot your body from the inside out and fill you will deadly plagues and diseases, but you will feel none of it. Not only that, you would thank Nurgle for his “gift” and try to spread it to everyone else. And Tzeentch would destroy your mind and make you question everything you ever knew about everything until you become a babbling mess.

The four Chaos gods: Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh respectively

Chaos started out as three major gods, Khorne, Nurgle and Tzeentch but Slaanesh was born at the fall of the great Eldar empire. The Eldar or Aeldari as they’re known nowadays used to have the most powerful star spanning empire that was ever known. They eliminated the notion of need, there was no sickness, no famine, no wars, everything was paradise…but too much paradise can be a bad thing. Because the Aeldari became bored and strived for nothing, they started dabbling in the extreme. From sexual pleasure that went way beyond the norm to torture, killing, experiments and basically anything they wanted to do. This excess in pleasure and pain spread all across the Aeldari empire and there was such a build up of psychic energy that Slaanesh was born out of all this Chaos. When Slaanesh arrived she devoured countless Aeldari souls and destroyed their vast empire overnight. Some escaped and others continued that life and became the Drukhari (Dark Eldar). The Drukhari are masters of torture and vile experimentation. It is said that it is better to die then be captured by the Drukhari as they will mutilate and abuse your body and mind until they are bored of you. Even then, they might just tear your skin off and force you to live anyway. Nothing is too extreme in the eyes of the Drukhari.

The four Chaos gods in their infinite wisdom and mischief ended up turning the Emperor’s most favoured son, Horus Lupercal or Warmaster Horus, against him and corrupted him from the inside out which led to the Horus Heresy and ended the golden age of Mankind. Brother turned against brother and the galaxy burned for all to see. Some of the legions that turned devoted themselves to specific gods. The World Eaters through their barbarity and vicious ways turned to Khorne. The Death Guard, masters of chemical and biological warfare turned to Nurgle. The Emperor’s Children, a legion that has always strived for perfection, no matter the cost pledged themselves to Slaanesh and finally the Thousand Sons, followers of Magnus the Red and users of warp magic turned to Tzeentch. Even though there were five other legions that fell to the darkness of Chaos, they never committed themselves to one Chaos god over another and because of this they became, Chaos Undivided.

Chaos Marines of the four gods.

The ultimate goal of Chaos is to overtake the galaxy and bring all creatures big and small under it’s influence, but if something is this powerful then why hasn’t it done it yet? Well one answer, the Emperor of Mankind. Even though the Emperor is sitting on a Golden Throne from being mortally wounded by Horus Lupercal, he is still battling the forces of Chaos in the warp. Being one of the most powerful psykers in history means he has enough strength to hold most of Chaos at bay, but if his strength fails, then Chaos will overrun the galaxy and it will be quickly destroyed. Let there be no question, Chaos is the ultimate evil in the Warhammer 40,000 universe and in a universe where happiness and hope are in minuscule quantities, that is saying something. There are the most vile, repugnant, horrific beings that mankind can conjure up and they will not stop until all life in all parts of the galaxy feel the embrace of Chaos.

Will you fall to the darkness? Do you hear the voices of Chaos? Will you slaughter for the blood god and add more skulls to the skull throne? Will you let life rot and embrace the gift of plagues? Will you explore the extremities of pain and pleasure at once and make sure friend and foe alike feel the same? Or will you change, manipulate and exploit until madness is the only thing you can call friend? Oh you think you’re strong enough to fight the call of Chaos. Think again, friend, many have fallen to its gifts and one day you shall fall too. Just remember one very important thing….Chaos is eternal!

I hope you enjoyed my very brief write up on the lore of Chaos. There are many more stories, champions and forces belonged to the doomed factions and I can’t wait to explore them all with you. So I will end it here and say, as always, thank you for reading.

MTG Mondays: Keld

“Did the land make the Keldons? Did the Keldons make the land? Or were they simply meant for each other?” – Flame Jet

Keldon Berserker

Hello everybody, today we will be talking about the savage human warrior nation of Keld. Keld is a nation on Dominaria. It lies in the northwestern part of Aerona, and life there is nothing but harsh and because the land is so harsh and rough, the people are equally as rough. The people of Keld are feared throughout the land.

Origins

The people of Keld are savage and they differ to other humans on Dominaria, not only culturally but in terms of their physical nature. For example their skin varies in colour from grey to light blue, the reason for this is because they live in an icy wasteland that altered the pigments of their skin. They are all over six-foot tall and can reach seven feet tall. They are almost all muscled and have an incredible resistance to cold weather.

The people of Keld came from a region in the northern lands of Dominaria called, Parma. Parma was a cold and desolate wasteland populated by frost giants. A legendary warrior named Kradak took his people and lead a mass exodus down south to escape the bitter cold of Parma. As Kradak and his people continued down south they were dying from the cold and the harsh terrain and weather. His people settled near a volcano called The Mountain and Kradak heard a calling from this volcano. Kradak reached the peak of the volcano and learned to control the forces of magic and to make fire. Kradak used his new abilities to keep his people warm and alive. From this, Keld was created and Kradak was declared its first Doyen or warlord. Kradak explained his experience and teachings from the volcano and from this the Book of Keld was written which became the basis for the Keldon religion.

“The Mountain gave the flame to Kradak to light the furnaces of his people’s hearts. The wanderers became Keldons, and he the first warlord” – Keldon Warcaller

While the Keldon people are known for being savage and warlike, in recent years they have been known to try and change their ways, they have even started becoming farmers and trading with other lands. The leader of the tribe or warhost was the Doyen, but they have split the role into two, with the Doyen looking after the civil matters of the tribe and the warlord would look after matters of war. The overall leader of Keldon is known as the grand warlord.

War has come to Keld

Trumpet Blast. The Keldons go to war.

Keldon was another region that was attacked during the Phyrexian Invasion and it wasn’t spared the atrocities. The Keldon people seen the Phyrexian Invasion as the completion of a prophecy called the Keldon Twilight. The Keldon people made peace with the Skyshroud Elves and together they marched to face Phyrexia. The battle was long and costly to both sides. As the battle went on, the Keldons that were slaughtered rose from the dead through magic from Phyrexia. The undead warriors attacked their former comrades. The Doyenne, Tajamin threw her cudgel into the frozen lake on which the battle was fought and shattered the lake into a thousand pieces driving both armies into the frozen depths. Suddenly the legendary Keldon ship the Golden Argosy rose from the depths and saved thousands of lives. The Phyrexians were driven back and the Golden Argosy brought the Keldons to Urborg, the capital of the Phyrexian Foothold on Domiaria and allowed the Keldon to participate in the final battle against Phyrexia.

Apart from Phyrexia, Keld was also devastated by the time rifts caused during during clashes between planeswalkers and primal forces of the Magic The Gathering universe. The mana for the Keld magic was mostly drained and it also opened rifts that allowed Keld’s greatest enemies to return, The Gathans. Gatha was a student under Urza, but he went off on his own and started doing his own experiments in Keld which turned Keldon warriors into horrid, fiendish warriors dubbed Gathans. When the Phyrexians heard of Gatha, they wanted his knowledge but he threw himself off a cliff and killed himself to prevent the knowledge being taken by the Phyrexians. The Keldon slaughtered the rest of the Gathans. The Gathans returned through the time rifts and massacred the rest of the Keldon people. The few remaining Keldon people rallied behind a hero named Radha. Radha with the help of a Planeswalker named Teferi purged the Gathans out of Keld and rescued what was left of her kingdom.

Radha

The rifts eventually started to heal and Keld was able to start recovering from the horrific events over the last few years. Keld pulled itself together and over three centuries it become more of an industrialised state than just a plundering nomadic tribe. The Skyshroud Elves were accepted to become true people of Keld. There is a problem stirring though, some Keldons have come to believe that Keld has become weak and a shadow of its former self. There is speak of a warlord called Garna possibly looking to take the throne of Keld. Garna is a ruthless warlord and highly xenophobic, this would set Keld back into it’s old ways if Garna took control of Keld. Even though it would set Keld back, Garna is gaining followers and support albeit slowly.

The Keldons are a ferocious people are a nation that you wouldn’t want to make an enemy of. They have been through many hardships but in a way you could say they relish being miserable. The Keld value strength and they get stronger with each disaster that befalls them. I am not saying that they actively look to be attacked or slaughtered, but they do not shy away from it. They went and met the Phyrexian horde in battle, they slaughtered the Gathans. They might get hurt a lot, but through this hurt they learned to hit back twice as hard and when a Keldon hits you, you fall. They are one of the mightiest nations I have read about in MTG history, certainly one of the mightiest human nations. There story still continues to this day and there are still cards made about Keldons, so their story is nowhere near from finished. I can’t wait to learn more about the nation of Keld as the game goes on in the future.

I hope you enjoyed my writing and as always, thank you for reading.

Star Wars Lore: The Armorer (Canon)

The Armorer

SPOILERS AHEAD THERE ARE, JEDI MASTER!

The Armorer is a Mandalorian blacksmith that appears in the TV show ‘The Mandalorian’. The Armorer doesn’t have another name, or at least it is never mentioned throughout the show, but nevertheless she is an important and integral part of the show. Through her skills as a blacksmith, she makes weapons and armour for the other Mandalorians, who are hiding underground on the planet Nevarro.

The Mandalorians see her as an integral part of their culture as she works with a special kind of material called Beskar. Beskar is also known as Mandalorian Iron and it was used to make the iconic Mandalorian armour, but after Order 66, ordered by the Sith Emperor Darth Sidious in which the clone troopers of the army of the Grand Republic turned on the Jedi and changed the republic into the empire, the Mandalorians were also slaughtered and the Beskar was claimed as spoils by the empire.

Beskar used to be easy to come across and it was a common material on Mandalore, but because the empire took most of it and claimed it as their own, it has been increasingly difficult and dangerous for Mandalorians to find beskar. The Armorer created all the Beskar armour for Din Djarin, the main character from the TV show. Because Djarin earned the beskar needed to make a full suit of armour, the other Mandalorians in hiding became annoyed that he was working with the empire, even after they slaughtered most of their kind. A fight nearly ensued between Djarin and another Mandalorian until the Armorer stopped it and explained that because of the ‘Way of the Mandalore’ a bounty hunter is allowed to choose his own path and life, the only thing that needs to be observed is that a Mandalorian is strictly forbidden to remove their helmet to any living creature, which Djarin has never done. The Armorer restored order within the tribe and the fighting stopped.

After Djarin double crossed the empire and kept the child for himself he needed refuge from the empire forces that were sent to kill him and retrieve the child. Djarin returned to the underground base of the Mandalorians to find a stack of Mandalorian helmets, armour, weapons and other paraphernalia. The Armorer explained that the other Mandalorians were killed but she will stay until all of the Mandalorian gear and remaining Beskar is secure. Djarin leaves with his crew. Later some storm troopers come to arrest or kill the Armorer, but she very skillfully kills the whole squad with her forge tools.

Not much is known about what happened to the Armorer after the events of Nevarro. There is no doubt that she is a highly skilled and respected member of the Mandalorian race and that she fought to earn her place amongst her people. I personally think the Armorer is one of the more level headed Mandalorians and she is an integral part to the old ways of Mandalore and she makes sure to enforce this. As I mentioned, she is highly respected and seen as a leader, I would love to see her backstory, The character was interesting and hopefully we will get to know a lot more about her and how she came to be and where her journey will take us. Hopefully sometime in the future they will show us more of this character.

I hope you enjoyed my writing and as always, thanks for reading!

MTG Mondays: Ironclaw Mountains

“Generations of genetic weeding have given rise to the deviously cowardly Ironclaw clan”Ironclaw Orcs

Ironclaw Orcs

Hello everybody, today we will be talking about the Ironclaw mountains, a mountain range that is or should I say was in Domiaria. The mountain range was home to many different races including orcs, goblins and dwarven clans that ended up being scattered throughout the mountain range.

Today we will be focusing on the Ironclaw orcs and their interesting history. The Ironclaw orcs are special for one reason and one reason only, they have a curse placed upon their tribe. Yes, the Ironclaw curse as it is known have made the Ironclaw tribe one of the best known orc tribes in Dominaria. The Ironclaw curse states that the Ironclaw tribes are not able to attack any force stronger than themselves. Because of this it has had a two pronged effect.

The first effect is that the Ironclaw orcs are perceived to be quite cowardly and run from almost every battle that they are in. In turn they are known as the most cowardly orc tribe that has existed on Dominaria. The second effect it had on them is the fact that because they can’t fight a stronger force, they must rely on tactics and wits to win battles. The Ironclaw orcs would retreat most of the time, study their enemies, pick out weak points and use that to their advantage. Through this, they have won many battles and established themselves as one of the strongest orc tribes in Magic the Gathering history. I will just reiterate that because it is so ridiculously contradictory: The Ironclaw orcs are the most cowardly, yet strongest orc tribe in all of Dominaria.

Later on in the lore of the Ironclaw mountains the Ironclaw mountain range is levelled by the armies of Benalia and the merfolk of Dominaria. The reason for this is because both armies had an all out war with the Ironclaw orc tribes. The mountains were renamed the Ironclaw hills and it eventually became a trading port that was inhabited by a wide variety of races including dwarves, goblins and kobolds.

“They warn the army of danger as they squawk past in swift retreat.” – Ironclaw Buzzardiers

Ironclaw Buzzardiers

So that was the history of the Ironclaw mountains and the inhabitants that lived upon it. An interesting tale about a tactical but cowardly tribe of orcs that had a terrible curse placed on them. They went from being known as one of the strongest tribes of orcs to being almost wiped out by the combined forces of the Benalish armies and the armies of the merfolk tribes. A good tale, but short. Maybe we will see more about the Ironclaw in the future.

I hope you enjoyed reading this story and as always, thanks for reading!

MTG Mondays: Hurloon

“The minotaurs of the Hurloon mountains are known for their love of battle. They are also known for their hymns to the dead, sung for friend and foe alike. These hymns can last for days, filling the mountain valleys with their low, haunting sounds”Hurloon Minotaur

Hurloon Minotaur

Hello fellow planeswalkers and welcome to my weekly lore discussion on the wonderful world of Magic the Gathering. Today we will be talking about the frozen mountainous region of Dominaria known as Hurloon and the savage but somewhat noble tribe of minotaurs that call it their home. As I mentioned Hurloon is in the northern parts of Dominaria, close to the elven realm of Llanowar and the magnificent city state of Benalia.

As I said the main group that call Hurloon their home are the minotaur. If you don’t know what a minotaur is, it is a hairy, bipedal, horned humanoid which basically has a bull’s head and a human’s body. Now that we got that out of the way, we shall continue on where these savage beasts came from. The minotaur’s home was ruined by glaciers that were ever so slowly moving and destroying their homes. The minotaurs were forced to migrate down south until they found a suitable place to live and be safe. The minotaurs continued to travel until they reached an impassible mountain range and it is here that the minotaurs found their salvation. They found caves and various other bits of shelter to take refuge and from there they called the Red Iron mountains their home. Most of the minotaurs settled in a place called the Hurloon Valley which is where their name derives from.

The Hurloon for the most part were left in peace, especially as many people just seen them as dangerous and savage, except for one man, Torsten Von Urses. Yes, Von Urses, the knight from Wrenna that went on to set up the state of Benalia saw more to the Hurloon then savage beasts that live in the mountains. This concept was absolutely staggering to Von Urses’s followers who must have thought he was a mad man. Von Urses took it a step further and travelled to where the Hurloon minotaurs lived and asked to sit with them and learn about them and about their philosophies of life, which the Hurloon accepted. Von Urses spent many years with the Hurloon and learned a great deal about them, in this case I believe he showed remarkable leadership qualities. He tried and successfully reached out to another race of people, a race that was seen as no more than being savage, brutish and uncultured.

Von Urses

It is also said that somewhere in the Hurloon mountains there are or there were Dwarven folk. The reason for this is that there is a Dwarven Hold somewhere in the mountain range that is said to hold an abundance of Red mana. Mana is the resource that planeswalkers use to cast their deadly and powerful spells. In saying that, the hold hasn’t been found yet but as far as everyone is concerned, it is up there…somewhere.

Lastly and ending on a sad note. The Hurloon mainly kept to themselves and away from others but that didn’t save them from the horrors of the Phyrexian Invasion. As the Phyrexians attacked they slaughtered all around them and the Hurloon were no different. The tribes of Minotaurs were butchered and killed, like so many on Dominaria. The Phyrexians were pushed back and defeated but not before Dominaria took a massive loss to life, but some Hurloon minotaurs still remain to this day.

“The peaks of Hurloon never fall silent”Firesong and Sunspeaker

Firesong and Sunspeaker

I believe the Hurloon story to be a tragic and sad one. They had to leave their homes due to natural disasters and travel to a land that was alien to them just to be classed as savages, until one man held out a hand of friendship. But in the end they were devastated by a war that really had nothing to do with any of them. But war claims all, even the innocent.

I hope you enjoyed my write up of the Hurloon and that you enjoy the lore series overall. As always, thanks for reading.

MTG Mondays: Gaea

“Gaea sings with the voice of nature rampant: a thousand howls, chitters and cries, and none of them can be ignored.” – Gaea’s Herald

Gaea’s Herald

Hello everybody, today I will be talking about Gaea, the mysterious nature goddess from the realm of Dominaria in the Magic the Gathering universe. Gaea was around from the beginning but as the game and the universe grew so did her impact. Originally Gaea was a term that the designers put on the MTG cards to denote something that was extremely natural, but over time they grew the term into an actual character and made her a goddess of the plane.

As the lore grew, Gaea was made out to be not only Dominaria’s protector but the creator of the entire plane. She personally has never showed herself in the MTG universe but there are fifteen cards that have her name in them and there are another fifteen cards that reference her in some way. She is a goddess to a lot of the fey folk in Dominaria so the likes of Elves and Druids pay respects and worship her in their own ways. It is said that the Elves and Druids of the plane can actually hear their goddess and that Gaea directly created the Elves of the plane. During the Phyrexian Invasion, it is believed by many that Gaea had a hand in protecting the plane of Dominaria from the invading Phyrexian forces that sought to ruin her plane.

Not much is known about the goddess, Gaea but she has been in the game in her own way from 1993 and still has cards made about her in the modern era with cards such as Gaea’s Blessing released in the Dominaria set in 2018. I believe there is a lot more to see of Gaea yet and I hope one day we get to see the actual goddess, as MTG have been releasing God cards since the Theros block in 2013-2014.

A short lore this week, but none the less important to the universe of Magic the Gathering. It is interesting to see how characters, planes and stories developed over time and in Gaea’s case it went from something that sounded cool and natural to a fully fledged goddess.

I hope you enjoyed and as always, thanks for reading!

MTG Mondays: Benalia

“My people swore to protect Benalia to the end. It is battered, but yet stands, as do we.”Benalish Calvary

Benalia

Hello everybody, today I am talking about the nation state of Benalia on the continent of Aerona on the plane of Dominaria. Benalia is a major location in the world of Magic the Gathering and has shown up all throughout MTG’s history on a whole lot of cards, but where did the state come from and what is it all about? Well I am here to explain all of that.

Dominaria as a whole

Before we speak about Benalia, we must talk about what came before it, the mighty Sheoltun Empire. At the end of the Brother’s war between planeswalkers, Urza and Mishra, who I will be talking about in a later blog, the world was plunged into an Ice Age that lasted for almost two and a half thousand years. After the Ice Age, the Sheoltun Empire was formed with it’s capital being Benfosa. The Sheoltun Empire was a military state that ruled with an iron fist and before long it conquered a lot of central Aerona. One of the most famous Sheoltun residents was an advisor named Tobias Andrion. Tobias was instrumental is wiping out the pirates that surrounded the shores of Sheoltun, but while he was successful in driving them out of Aerona, he got caught up in a thirty year war against the pirates of the Spice Isles. The Spice Isles was a location where sailors could rest before continuing on a long journey, the only problem was it was ruled by pirates. Tobias eventually won, but died by what is widely reported a magical lightning bolt. They say that Tobias is still under the water and dancing on the crew of his fleet for the rest of time. With Tobias’s death, the Sheoltun Empire started to decline. The final nail in the coffin was a revolt by a region called Epityr. Epityr was a region that was flourishing for about three hundred years until the Sheoltun Empire conquered it. The Sheoltun Empire imposed it’s will on the people of Epityr and for forty years they had to adapt their culture to that of the Sheoltun’s. The people of Epityr had enough and revolted and a mage by the name of Thabit of Almaaz summoned Serra Angels, mighty warrior angels to help the Epityr cause. The Sheoltun Empire was beaten and with that came the collapse of the once powerful empire.

The next chapter in the Benalish story begins in a region to the Northeast of the Hurloon mountains called, Wrenna. Not much is known about Wrenna other than it had an order called the Knights of Jenges. An evil sorcerer came to Wrenna and seized it’s throne and corrupted the knights, but one fled south named, Torsten Von Urses. Von Urses came upon the ruins of Benfosa and from here he decided to create a new empire called, Benalia. Von Urses chose the name Benalia as it means ‘Aspiration’.

“Some aspire to climb the mountains of honor. The Benalish are born upon it’s peak, and from there ascend among the stars” – Benalish Marshall

Torsten Von Urses

Benalia was ruled by Von Urses, but he had seven lieutenants from seven great and noble houses which were the ruling families in Benalia. The seven houses are as follows:

  • House Capashen – The wealthiest and strongest houses of the seven. The Capashens rule the north of Benalia. Their leader is Aron Capashen. Their house sigil is a tower with seven windows.
  • House Avenant – The Avenant are a matriarchal house that rule the Isle of Avenant. Their leaders name is Cerise D’Avenant and their house sigil is a pattern of seven arrows.
  • House Croger – A house that is full of expansionists and individualists. They rule Eastern Benalia and they still very much worship the church of the Angelfire. Their leader is Eadith Croger and their sigil is a wolf’s head with seven teeth.
  • House Rosecot – A militaristic house that protects all the grain fields of Benalia to the south east of the country. Their leader is Alvan Rosecot and their sigil is a rose with seven thorns.
  • House Tarmula – A house of wizards and scholars, they rule in and around central Benalia. Their leader is Rache Tarmula and their sigil is a seven pointed star.
  • House Deniz – The house of the great traders, merchants and naval traders of Benalia. They rule along the west coast of Benalia and their leader is Jerek Deniz. Their sigil is a conical shell with seven twists.
  • House Joryev – And finally, not much is known about this house only that it might have possible ties to an organisation called the Cabal. Their leader is Aveya Joryev and their sigil is a ring with seven keys attached.

The mentioning of the seven houses leads on to the Lost Edict. Von Urses wanted to dominate his realm before he died and he did do most of what he wanted in terms of that. At the age of seventy two, Von Urses passed away leaving the leadership of Benalia in question. Von Urses left behind instructions detailing the fact that he didn’t want any of the houses becoming the soul leader of Benalia, but the seven of them ruling together, each taking on a different part of the running of Benalia as a whole.

Benalia became a military state with a lot of religious backing from Gabriel Angelfire and the churches of Serra. Gabriel Angelfire was an extraordinary warrior angel who was worshipped through the churches of the Angelfire. A strange thing that is not primarily seen in the MTG universe is that, Gabriel was a male angel, where most other angels are female.

Then came a dark time in Domiaria’s world, The Phyrexian Invasion. I won’t speak too much on the Phyrexian invasion today as it is a MASSIVE storyline in the MTG universe, but basically the Phyrexian invasion is the invasion of the plane of Dominaria from the artificially created plane of Phyrexia that brought a lot of death, destruction and chaos in it’s wake and a lot of heroes fell trying to stem the tides of the invasion. How does Benalia fit into all this? Benalia was the first region on Dominaria that was attacked and it was utterly destroyed. The goal of the Phyrexians was they wanted to destroy the Capashen house bloodline as it was prophesied that they would be the downfall of Phyrexia.

Phyrexian invasion

After the collapse of Benalia and the disaster that was the Phyrexian Invasion, Benalia’s woes were not finished yet. Next came the Years of Salt. What was left of Benalia devolved into warring states. Time rifts started open around which is part of another massive MTG arc which I won’t be discussing today. Benalia was riddled with natural disasters and then came the Slivers, horrible creatures with claws and tentacles that operate under a hive mind working towards a singular purpose, whatever their brood leader wants.

Lastly came the Mending, which was when the time rifts closed and the plane started to truly heal again. The descendants of the houses established the seven great houses again and rebuilt Benalia. The capital was rebuilt as New Benalia and a new way of governing Benalia was created called the Compact of the Seven Pillars which brought in The Ranking in which every year the leader of the council of seven would drop to the lowest ranking and the second highest ranking would be the leader and the rest would move up a rank. It gave each house a chance to rule. There were stained glass images and statues built to the fallen heroes and a new race joined Benalia, the Aven, flying humanoid creatures. Benalia also adopted the church of Serra as its official religion.

Stain glass honouring the heroes of Benalia

Benalia has a very interesting story in the MTG universe and one that is far from finished. It has been a part of the MTG universe since the beginning and I can definitely see it being there in terms of the game and the lore right up until the end. I hope you enjoyed my write up of the history and lore of Benalia and I will continue next week.

New Benalia

I hope you enjoyed and as always, thanks for reading!

Warhammer Lore: The Emperor of Mankind

The glorious Emperor of Mankind

Hello everybody! This is a new segment where I will discuss Warhammer and other Games Workshop games lore. Today we will be begin by very briefly talking about probably the most famous figure from Warhammer 40,000: The Emperor of Mankind.

The Emperor was formed through the powers of all the shamans of Earth, the first people with psychic powers or psykers. The Emperor is thought to be created around the 8th Millennium B.C. While the Emperor was in his mother’s womb, through his sheer psychic power he made himself immortal and unable to be attacked by demons. Not a lot is known about the Emperor’s previous life before the Unification wars on Terra other then the fact that he travelled around the world, helping his fellow man and stepping in as a leader when it was needed. Terra became a wasteland eventually. Technobarbarians, cruel and ruthless warlords controlled Terra and had merciless, bloody wars. The Emperor then stepped up and revealed himself and through his leadership he unified the forces of Terra using his Thunder Warriors to destroy the armies of the Technobarbarians with a bitter civil war that went on from a few centuries to a full millennium, to become the Imperium of Mankind. The Emperor’s mission was to unite all of humanity under one banner, his, and to reject the ideas of religion and gods and superstition and to focus on science and the advancement of humanity, he called this concept ‘The Imperial Truth’. To do this, the Emperor raised twenty…eighteen…legions of his amazing warriors, the Space Marines or Adeptus Astartes.

Each Space Marine was led by a leader called a primarch. The primarchs were created using the Emperor’s DNA or geneseed, basically becoming the Emperor’s sons. But disaster struck, while the primarchs were infants a warp storm took the primarchs and launched them to every corner of the galaxy. The Emperor set forth on a crusade to find his missing children and finally unite humanity. One by one the Emperor found his children and put them at the head of their respective legions. For 200 years, humanity was in a golden age. Conquering previously held regions of space, finding lost colonies and unifying humanity…but the lure of the forces of Chaos was too much.

The Emperor leading his crusade

The Emperor had to go back to Terra to look after an extremely important project that would have greatly helped humanity, the webway project. I will be speaking more about this as time goes on. He appointed his favourite and first found son, Horus Lupercal, primarch of the XVIth legion, the Luna Wolves, as his general and representative on the front. He dubbed him, Warmaster Horus. Under Horus’s guidance, the crusade continued to thrive. But the Chaos gods had other plans and tempted Horus and eight of his brothers to side against the Emperor and cause a galactic civil war, known as the Horus Heresy. The Horus Heresy ripped the galaxy apart and for seven long years, brother fought brother until Horus finally made it to Terra.

Horus launched an attack on Terra and the Imperial Palace, home of the Emperor, and invaded with everything he had. For fifty five days, the Imperium seen some of the most brutal fighting it had ever known. Horus stayed on his flagship, the Vengeful Spirit. The Emperor along with a retinue of Terminators, elite warriors of the Adeptus Astartes, Legio Custodes, his personal bodyguards and Rogal Dorn and Sanguinus, the primarchs of the Imperial Fists and Blood Angels legions respectively, teleported to the Vengeful Spirit. It is here that Sanguinus was slain by Horus, but dealt a chink of damage to his armour. The Emperor came upon his two sons, one dead and lying at the feet of his former favourite son. The Emperor fought Horus and even though his power was great, Horus, powered by the four chaos gods found greater strength. The Emperor eventually defeated Horus using the damage that Sanguinus inflicted on his brother, but he himself was mortally wounded. Rogal Dorn found the Emperor, near death and brought him back to the Imperial Palace on Terra. Here, ten thousand years later, the Emperor is trapped inside the Golden Throne, a life support machine that keeps him in a state of undying.

The Emperor facing Horus with Sanguinus dead.

The Emperor is still a shining light to all those who travel the warp, an area of space where ships can travel faster than light but it is also where warp entities such as demons and vile gods reside. The Emperor’s mighty psychic power is used as a “lighthouse” called the Astronomicon. psykers can see this light and know where they are in relation to Terra. Without this, thousands of ships would be lost in the warp along with millions or even billions of lives. The Emperor is also holding back the true power of Chaos by fighting them psychically in the warp. Without the Emperor shielding the galaxy from the powers of Chaos, Chaos would flood the galaxy with everything they had and there would be no doubt at all that all life would extinguish and be consumed by Chaos. But this power does not come cheap, the Emperor must eat a thousand psyker souls a day to feed his power and keep the Astronomicon lighting and Chaos at bay.

The Emperor’s Golden Throne

These days the Emperor is revered as a god, the one thing he wanted to stamp out. He is now referred to mostly as the God-Emperor by the Ecclesiarchy, the religious sect of the Imperium who make sure that the citizens of the Imperium worship and pray to the Emperor everyday through a brutal regime. The Imperium returned to the days of religious zealousness, superstition and intolerance and in turn stopped advancing technologically which went against everything the Emperor taught his people. This is enforced by ‘The Imperial Creed’, a religious doctrine, issued by the Ecclesiarchy and upheld by the Inquisition, much to the annoyance of most Adeptus Astartes who do not see the Emperor as a god being.

There is so much more to the Emperor of Mankind, but I thought I would keep this brief and not overload you in the beginning. I will touch on more aspects of the Emperor’s life and his role in the Imperium nowadays.

I hope you enjoy and as always, thanks for reading!