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"They weep to hear my voice, heads strain on bodies crushed beyond hope. Eyes stare so that their last visions might be of me. Their anguish rips me apart, but they cry my name as though it is hope. Behold Otaria, Behold Dominaria, I am Karona. I am magic."
Dominia has no shortage of deities. On every plane, there is at least one god-like figure that is revered and worshipped by its inhabitants. On the dark machine plane of Phyrexia, Yawgmoth, the god of screaming metal is hailed as the creator and father of the Phyrexian race. In the Llanowar and Skyshroud forests of Dominaria, the planeswalker Freyalise is thought of as the guardian of the forest. Whereas strange tales revolve around the lives of those deities, none of the tales are as strange as the life of Karona.
The conclusion of the Numena Wars in Otaria saw three powerful women pitted against each other, in a conflict that tore the entire continent in two. The angelic zealot Akroma confronted the twisted cabalist, Phage in the ancient city of Averru with their two armies. Thousands were slain in the ensuing battle and in the last moments of the struggle, the third woman, Zagorka, jumped from one of the surrounding towers, into the dome where Akroma and Phage were fighting in a frenetic melee. As all signs pointed to Akromaís victory, Kamahl the barbarian destroyed all three women with a powerful cleave of his axe, the Soul Reaper. As he did so, their souls and arcane energies fused into a blinding light that engulfed the corpses of the three women. The light gave birth to a new entity and when it cleared, she hung in midair. Karona, False God, Magic Incarnate, was born.
Exceptionally powerful, the newborn entity was seen as a beacon of hope by almost everybody who was left standing on the battlefield and they made a last scramble towards her glowing form. Thousands of wounded soldiers were crushed by the tide of broken bodies. Horrified by what she saw, Karona fled the scene, leaving the soldiers devastated. Not even the mighty Kamahl was able to resist her charms and his great frame bent in reverence to the powerful goddess.
Greatly alarmed and confused by the influx of people suddenly worshipping her, Karona attempted to get away by flying across the great expanse of desert. There, among the sand and boulders, she found two naked men, who called themselves Sash and Waistcoat, little knowing that they would change her brief life forever. Instead of worshipping her, the two men managed to control themselves and they made fools of themselves. Karona was so bewildered that she helped the two by taking them to an oasis and healing the wounds they had sustained by walking naked across the blistering sands. After some time, Karona decided that they could help her discover her true identity, so she took them to the eastern town of Eroshia, where they could act as her disciples.
Having clothed and fed her two disciples, the trio headed to Eroshia, where Karona wanted to learn about her past. Along the way, they encountered a group of refugees, who fled from war in Averru. Within moments of glimpsing Karona, they fell to their knees in worship. Reluctantly, Karona allowed them to follow her to Eroshia. Their reception was less than welcome. Apparently, the Governor of Eroshia, Governor Dereg, recognized Sash and Waistcoat as troublemakers, and he refused to allow them into his town. However, upon witnessing Karona, the Governor fell into the same awe-induced stupor that had befallen so many of her worshippers and he welcomed her arrival with much enthusiasm.
After spending a few days in the town, Karona held a council with all the major figures in Eroshia in order to decide what she is. There were numerous suggestions to her identity, varying from the spirit of an ancient ship, the Weatherlight, to the ghost of Serra. However, her disciple Sash came to a startling conclusion- Karona was magic manifest. Thrilled at his discovery Karona instantly took on the idea and after several days time, she left Eroshia for the mountains to test her newfound powers.
Still somewhat confused about what she could do, Karona turned to her two disciples for advice. Through much trial and error, Sash and Waistcoat discovered that Karonaís powers were based on faith and the two happened to recreate the Thran Null Moon, which was demolished 100 years ago in the Phyrexian Invasion, before accidentally destroying it again.
In a few hours of their discovery, thousands of fervent worshippers and devotees once again appeared in order to worship the goddess. Frustrated at the worshippers, Karona no longer wanted them to pester her, so she used her vast powers to create a bottomless pit, through which hundreds fell to their demises. Even more would have fallen through the hole, had not her disciples convinced her to fill it up and move on.
Seeking another deity to help her use her powers, Karona summoned five portals, one for each colour of magic. Each portal would open a gateway to some of Dominariaís most famous deities. From the green portal, stepped a nature avatar named Multani. To her disappointment, Multani informed Karona that he wasnít a god, but instead, he served Gaea who in turn, was the goddess of the land. Multani also revealed that Karona opposed Gaea, as magic was drawn from the land. Disheartened, Karona sent Multani back to his portal.
"Gaea rejects me . . . So I will reject her."
The next being was a dwarf, who appeared from the red portal. The dwarf introduced himself as Fiers, and he admitted to Karona that he was a planeswalker, who is worshipped as a god by Dominarian dwarves. Unimpressed, Karona dismissed him back to his portal. Desperate, the goddess opened the black portal and almost immediately, she was terrified of the voice and the sheer evil that radiated from it. The haunting voice constantly urged her to enter the portal and be with him. Uncertain, Karona asked several times for its name and finally, the voice revealed itself to be that of Yawgmoth, the Ineffable, who was banished from Dominaria for causing the devastating apocalypse. Seeing that he was of no help, Karona hastily closed his portal preferring a more inviting deity.
Karona sensed a strange affinity with the one armed man who emerged from the blue portal. The man revealed himself as Ixidor, creator of Akroma, but something led Karona to believe that he was not revealing all that he knew. Almost instantaneously, she sensed that he was heading to the Grand Coliseum, south of Aphetto. Nevertheless, she allowed him to return to his portal and get on with his business.
The final portal was the white portal, and a dark skinned man stepped out. The man, who was called Teferi, also revealed himself to be a planeswalker and he explained that he had phased out a great proportion of the super continent Jamurra in order to protect its inhabitants from harm. As he was unwilling to help her, Karona decided to follow the most promising path, which happened to be that of Ixidor.
With a newfound sense of identity, Karona headed off to the Grand Coliseum, south of the buzzing Cabal metropolis of Aphetto in order to follow Ixidor. The Grand Coliseum was a massive construct that supported tens of thousands of people within its stone stands. However, As Karona approached the Coliseum, the audience stampeded in a bid to reach her glowing form and much of the circular structure collapsed under the weight, crushing thousands of innocent spectators under a pile of rubble and corpses. Still, there was no sign of Ixidor and Karona heavily suspected that he had transcended mortal existence, into one of the Numena and he was conspiring against her with his two brothersKuberr and Averru.
Karona knew what to do. In order to avoid being killed by the three Numena, she must stop them before they could act and where else would they hide and conspire if not the city of Averru? With Sash and Waistcoat in tow, Karona moved eastwards towards Averru, once again, leaving hundreds of disappointed followers in her destructive wake.
Hours later, Karona arrived in Averru and above the skies of the city, was a being that hung in midair just like her. The being, which called itself Arien, called to her to approach and he aroused feelings inside Karona that she never felt before. Attracted to Arien like a moth to a flame, Karona tried approaching the strange being, but suddenly found herself under attack from the three Numena. Unable to escape, Karona endured endless barrages of magical attacks, losing a lot of power in the process. Eventually, just as she was near death, she found herself with her two disciples in a strange place that was anything but Dominaria.
Karona had arrived at the Blind Eternities, an infinite space between planes that held the pathways of numerous people throughout history. Desperate to escape this strange place, Karona followed a random path into another plane. Instantly, yellow skies dirt replaced the blackness of the Blind Eternities. Baffled at her location, Karona decided to ask for help from the locals and she repeated Gerrard Capashen, a strange name that she had heard in the Blind Eternities. The localís reactions were far from welcome as they decried her as being associated with the Cho-Arrim rebels and the "heretic". Terrified, Karona fled by moving to another plane.
The next plane was a place filled with floating meadows and the sun locked in an eternal sunset. The very air brought refreshment to the weary limbs of her two disciples. The only person she saw as an angelic creature that welcomed their arrival. After explaining their plight, the angelic figure only mused on the fact that Karona reminded her of another being named Urza Planeswalker, who had unintentionally caused great damage to the multiverse in his efforts to protect Dominaria against the Phyrexians. The angelic being also reminded her that she was Dominariaís magic and Dominaria was her true home.
Rejected from two planes, Karona planeswalked to the plane of Phyrexia, which was still in shambles thanks to the soul bombs that exploded there during the apocalypse. Looking at the blasted landscape made Karona think of Yawgmoth and she related herself to him by claiming that they had both caused great devastation and had been rejected by Gaea. However, the haunting voice of Yawgmoth once again broke her thoughts and he urged her to stay on his plane. Having being warned by Sash and Waistcoat that those words were identical to the ones Arien had used to lure her into the trap, Karona was prepared and she left.
Once again, she felt the strong pull of the Blind Eternities as she picked another path towards another plane. This time, the bright reflected sheen of metal met her eyes and towards the distance, was a man. Karona approached the man and he humbly confessed to be the lowly servant of Lord Macht, the creator of the plane. However, as he was the only person in sight, Karona easily saw through the manís ruse and she embraced him, believing he would be what he truly was. Having been freed from his conscience, the grateful Lord Macht transported Karona to Dominaria.
Driven mad by her own power, or perhaps by her contact with Yawgmoth, Karona appeared over the skies of Eroshia and demanded that the citizens bow down in worship or be killed by a sudden burst of magic. With Sash and Waistcoat yelling to the townsmen to bow, few resisted and those that lingered for too long were instantly annihilated as Karona sent a surge of mana through the town.
Wishing to gather more followers in her crazed scheme, Karona marked Aphetto as her next stop. However, as Aphetto was a stronghold of cabalists who already worshipped their own god, Karona found as few as five hundred citizens who were ready to embrace her ideals before being shunned and ordered to leave by the rest of the town. Leading the nonbelievers was a young boy, not much older than ten, who claimed to be the reincarnated souls of all the cabal dead. Incensed over her poor treatment, Karona lifted her faithful out of the city, before obliterating it with a massive spell. Having assembled a massive cult of devotees, Karona set her sights on Averru, where she hoped to settle a few scores with the Numena and Kamahl.
"Rise once more, so you may continue to destroy our enemies."
Within hours, Karona and her disciples arrived at Averru and she sent the two to challenge the Pardic barbarian. The two returned and told her the inhabitants were unwilling to allow her into the city and they were prepared to stand siege. They also revealed Kamahlís plans for killing her with the Mirari sword. Seeing that the majority of the inhabitants consisted of animated Glyphs, Karona unleashed a spell that demolished them all. Soon, all that was left of Averru were a clump of abandoned buildings, Kamahl, the Centaur General Stonebrow and the three Numena.
Karona entered the abandoned city and she discovered that the pitiful group had sought shelter inside a citadel rather than face her wrath. Seeing that there was little she could do, the omnipotent goddess decided to entomb them by encasing the entire citadel with a thick layer of stone. Once trapped inside, the five would have to fight their way out or suffer from starvation and asphyxiation. Within moments, Kuberr was dead as his small frame was crushed under tonnes of rock.
Soon, Kamahl, Stonebrow and Lowallyn made their way out of the citadel and the Numen used his mythical magic to animate a nearby lump of rock into a towering golem that threatened to crush the life out of the powerful goddess. However, Karona could not be beaten so easily for what is magic if it could not change the tide of war? Using a control spell, Karona managed to gain control of the golem and pit it against its master. The controlled golem was eventually stopped, but not before it crushed Lowallyn under its massive weight. With two of the three Numena dead, Averru reached epic levels of magical energy and he was able to manifest inside the citadel. However, Karona was able to easily dispatch him with a sudden surge of energy to Averruís central eye.
Only Kamahl and Stonebrow were left and after the loss of their three greatest players, they could do little but fight Karona to the very end. Fortunately, Karona did not believe that Stonebrow was a threat and she rendered him immobile with help her spells. So began an epic battle between an omnipotent being and a man with a great sword. In the early moments of combat, Karona knocked the Mirari sword from Kamahlís grasp and she advanced for the killing blow.
Even in what may have well be his final moments, the mighty Kamahl defied Karona to the very last, claiming that thousands would have died rather than bow before a false god like her. In fury, Karona raised her arm for the final blow but suddenly stopped as pain flooded through her body and she saw the tip of the Mirari sword poking through her chest. Looking over her shoulder, Karona saw the trembling forms of Sash and Waistcoat begging for her forgiveness, while telling her that it was Lord Machtís plan for returning things to normal. The dying Karona was not convinced and with her last breath, she accused Lord Macht of conspiring to steal her powers . . . .
After her demise, Lord Macht took her body and the Mirari sword to his plane of Argentum. There, he removed the sword from her chest and ancient powers once again intervened. Karonaís magical body was dissipated and was reverted back to the souls of Akroma, Zagorka and Phage. The essences of Akroma and Zagorka drifted off to the four winds, signifying the end of Karonaís tyranny.