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No other single name on Dominaria brings forth such an amalgam of emotions as that of Urza Planeswalker. Most regard him as a fictional entity, perhaps inspired by a real-life wizard at the time of the Brothers’ War. The truth of the matter is far stranger than fiction. Throughout time, Urza has been a leader, a dictator, and a destroyer. His greatest challenge would be to become a savior.
Urza and his brother Mishra were born during the first year of the Argivian calendar. Urza’s involvement in the workings of Argive was so legendary that his birth was marked as the starting point for their history. But all legends have to start somewhere, and Urza’s had a very humble beginning. Urza and Mishra were born in Argive under the patronage of a wealthy nobleman. The Brothers’ early years were spent in rather a rather innocent environment. Indeed, the Brothers’ only real challenges were trying to outdo one another. Both Brothers were geniuses in the extreme, with Urza showing a special interest in artifice and history. Mishra’s genius was a different one, that of manipulation and control. Together, there was no single problem the Brothers couldn’t solve, except when it came to getting along.
The Brothers’ quiet childhood was interrupted when their father was forced to remarry after the death of his wife. In order to provide a good childhood for his heirs, Urza’s father had remarried another wealthy noble, this one a particular harpy when it came to affairs which concerned her. Urza’s father took deathly ill years later, but feared for his children’s safety when his wife took over his inheritance. Urza’s father entrusted the Brothers into the care of Tocasia, an Argivian archaelogist who studied Thran relics in the Fallaji-controlled deserts bordering Argive.
Out from the vengeful gaze of their stepmother, Urza and Mishra worked as scholars on the site, eager to explore the mysteries of the past. Urza enjoyed recreating the wondrous artifact creatures of the Thran. Mishra favored the ancient tales of the Fallaji diggers. Both were invaluable members of the Argivian expedition.
It was upon one day that the archaeologists stumbled upon the wreck of an ancient Thran flying machine, an ornithopter. The Brothers’ and their peers immediately set out to rebuild this wondrous machine. The construction was a success, and Urza was the first human since the Thran who had enjoyed the thrill of the skies. Mishra followed his brother into the sky, returning with a discovery that astounded everyone greatly. There were markings in the desert, depicting mythical creatures of old. Urza quickly transformed these drawings into a series of mathematical equations, each detailing a possible Thran dig site, with a central site of particular importance in the midst of the lesser ones. Together, Urza, Mishra, and Tocasia set out in the ornithopter to uncover the secrets of the Thran.
After barely escaping an encounter with a desert roc, the three adventurers found themselves upon the ancient ruins of Halcyon, center of Thran enlightenment. Urza renamed these ruins Koilos, after the Old Argivian word for “secret”. Upon exploring the ruins, they discovered a central room housed deep within a series of caves. In the center of this room, an ancient powerstone sat upon a pedestal. History is questionable upon which Brother touched the stone first, but both Brothers soon found themselves the owner of one half of the powerstone they coveted. Unfortunately, this discovery came at a price. The Thran artifact creatures which had guarded the powerstone had been awakened and sought to destroy their liberators. Urza used the power of his gem on the creatures, but only succeeded in making them more powerful. The trio fled, until it was apparent that Mishra must try his own gem. His gem had the exact opposite affect, weakening the su-chi until they could only lumber towards them. The trio escaped the ruins, quickly finding themselves once again the prey of the giant roc. However, in a fit of ingenuity Urza managed to restore one of the ruined Thran spider-like artifact creatures nearby. The elder brother used this machine to destroy the roc, which was sent crashing into the pursuing su-chi warriors.
Tocasia breathed a sigh of relief. That was more than enough adventures of her lifetime. She was grateful to be alive, soon to return to her work. The Brothers were less enthused. Each of the Brothers blamed each other for activating the Thran’s defenses. The argument increased in intensity, eventually coming to blows. Tocasia broke up the fight, scolded the Brother, and set about making preparations to return home.
Upon returning to the camp site, Urza shut himself up in his quarters for weeks. Mishra too became more distant, spending most of his time with the Fallaji diggers. The Brothers had little to do with each other, and whenever they did converse, it quickly got out of hand. Urza had taken to calling his half of the powerstone the Mighstone, since it made artifacts more powerful. He referred to Mishra’s as the Weakstone, which only weakened them. One night, Mishra entered Urza’s quarters, demanding to be given Urza’s Mightstone. The two once again began to fight, this time using their half-stones as weapons. A great explosion resulted, just as Tocasia had entered Urza’s quarters to dispel the quarrel. The explosion succeeded in destroying the cabin, and Urza’s mentor Tocasia along with it. Mishra, distraught with his part in Tocasia’s death, fled into the night.
The Argivian expedition soon came to an end, for one reason or another. Argive stated that without the guidance of Tocasia, the Fallaji would soon drive the expedition out of their lands. The Fallaji had become increasingly aggressive, almost to the point that any incursion into their homelands was seen as hostile. Only Urza and the elder Fallaji, Ahmahl, really understood what had happened. The children had become afraid of Urza, and without Tocasia’s help, he would lead them to ruin.
Urza chose to journey to the neighboring nation of Yotia rather than return to Argive. There he was employed as a simple apprentice to Rusko, a clock maker of little renown. Urza buried himself in his work, finding it simpler to deal with mechanisms instead of his own sordid past. It was upon one faithful day that the princess of Yotia had come to pay a visit. The princess had expressed a concern for her music box. Urza quickly discovered the cause of the problem, and returned the box to the grateful princess. It was in a simple touch that Urza and Princess Kayla had become great figures in each other’s lives.
One day, Rusko forced Urza to take a stroll outside with him. The two soon came upon a gathering, wherein the Warlord of Yotia had declared that the strongest man in the kingdom would be given the hand of his daughter in marriage. All who attempted must move a giant jade statue from one corner of the town square to the other. The strongest of Kroog could only move the statue mere inches before giving out from strain. Urza was mildly interested, until he caught a glimpse of the ancient Thran Jalum Tome. Urza vowed to his employer that he would meet the warlord’s challenge.
“Goodsir Rusko, I think I want to move a statue.”
Using his intense artifice training, Urza constructed a makeshift su-chi, vowing that it was powerful enough to move the warlord’s statue. After months of preparation, Urza asked the warlord to be allowed to move the statue with the strength of his mind. The warlord was interested, and agreed to let Urza take the challenge. Urza’s attempt was a complete success, but the warlord was still unconvinced. It was only when Rusko provided the warlord plans for an ornithopter and promised that Urza could create many more wondrous inventions that Urza was wed.
Urza immediately set out to create more and more artifacts for his newly-adopted nation. His new apprentice, Tawnos of Jorilin, had proven himself as a master artificer in his own right. Urza was happy, Tawnos was happy, and the Warlord was happy. The only person in the entire city who was dissatisfied was Kayla. Urza only cared for his machines and trying to invent new ones. When a problem presented itself, Urza would hammer away at it until it was solved. The only problem he had no interest in solving was that of his marital life.
With tensions escalating between Yotia and the Fallaji, it became apparent that war may soon be on the horizon. Thus, the Warlord called together a parlay between Yotia, Argive, the Fallaji, and the trading nation of Korlis. The Warlord wanted to make it plain to the Fallaji that Yotia was by far their military superiors, and would use Urza’s su-chi and ornithopters as a means to this end. However, Urza was in for many surprises this day.
The Fallaji approached Korlis, followed by a titanic dragon engine of legend. The creature appeared lifelike, but was indeed an artificial construct. Urza could only wonder whose genius could construct such a machine. He needn’t wait long. Standing at the front of the Fallaji procession was Mishra, in robes of the desert. After speaking with his brother for a brief time, Urza discovered that Mishra had become the chief advisor to the Qadir of the Fallaji, and it was his power that controlled the dragon engine.
The reception was a disaster. The Qadir and the Warlord quarreled for nearly five minutes for all involved were thrown into bloodshed. The Yotians attacked the Fallaji with their ornithopters, but were no match for the Fallji dragon engine. Foiled, the Warlord attempted to attack the young Qadir, but was slain almost instantly. Mishra cursed Urza’s treachery and departed at once with the Fallji in tow. Urza could only stand dumbstruck, a complete innocent in this bloody affair.
“I have to go back to Kroog now and tell my wife her father is dead. And I will need all the reasons I can muster to make her understand. Because I don’t understand it myself.”
Urza returned to Kroog, bearing news of the Warlord’s death to his daughter. Urza’s and Kayla’s marriage continued to deteriorate, and it was only through Tawnos’s intervention that the kingdom wasn’t split in twain. The young apprentice managed to remind Kayla of her love for her husband, and all was seemingly well in the kingdom. Urza came to the conclusion that he could not make open war against his own brother. Another parlay was held, and this time it would not end in bloodshed.
The Fallaji arrived in Kroog under the guise of peace. Mishra was in attendance, as was his apprentice Ashnod. However, the Qadir was nowhere to be seen. Peace talks went smoothly, with Mishra even willing to stop the Fallaji’s open revolt against the bordering nations. But the price was high. In order for the Fallaji to stop their violence, Urza must surrender his Mighstone to his brother. Urza was adamant. After all this time, Mishra still only wanted what was Urza’s. After a night of lighthearted festival, Urza and Kayla retired to their quarters. Urza’s world would change when he had awakened.
Tawnos woke Urza, inquiring as to Kayla’s whereabouts. With a questioned look, Urza found that his Mighstone was missing. Kayla had stolen it. Urza raced to Mishra’s lodging, where he found his wife half-disrobed, offering the Mighstone over to Urza’s hated brother. Urza snatched the Mightstone from his wife’s hands and used its power against Mishra. Tawnos had managed to capture Ashnod, but Mishra and the rest of the Fallaji had fled overnight.
Enraged at his brother and his wife, Urza left Yotia with a squadron of ornithopters and entered the Fallaji desert. For weeks he searched the deserts for any sign of his brother. Finally, that sign arrived. Urza and his squadron attacked a War Machine under Mishra’s control, but barely managed to escape alive. Indeed, only Urza and one other soldier survived. Together, they began their long trek back to Kroog.
Urza found Kroog in a state of chaos. Mishra had lured his brother away from Yotia, and then had struck like a thief in the night. Upon questioning a few survivors, Urza found that Tawnos had managed to liberate most of Urza’s artifact plans via ornithopter. Urza realized his folly. He had allowed Mishra to cloud his judgment with Urza’s own emotions. Urza had always been a thinker, a creator. This war, for war it surely was, had just gotten a thousand times more dangerous. Urza began to think.
“This time, I will not stay my hand or feel mercy for you, brother. This time there will be a reckoning, I swear.”
Urza set up his base inside the Argivian borders. Argive had allied with Korlis and Yotia, solidifying the three kingdoms into one bent on the Fallaji’s destruction. Urza was given the title of Lord Protector of the Realms, and he would do his best to fulfill that role. He began to build wondrous weapons of destruction, easily the victor over any Fallaji warrior. Next, he constructed huge towers, which would fence in Argive on all sides in preparation for the coming war. All was going according to Urza’s plan. But Urza’s weakness has always been matters of the heart.
Tawnos and Kayla arrived at Urza’s Tower with young Harbin in tow. Kayla vowed that Harbin was Urza’s son, but Urza feared the truth. The child could just as well belong to Kayla and Mishra. Urza reluctantly welcomed the three into his home, and, reunited with his longtime apprentice, began to construct even more wondrous defenses.
“I’m a storm crow, Tawnos. A bird of ill omen. Disaster follows in my wake, and I don’t want to hurt her anymore. I don’t want to hurt anyone anymore. Only a fool would be at my side.”
Within the year, Mishra’s forces attacked the borders of Argive, but were easily repelled by these new creations. Now, at last, Urza could go on the offensive. Urza began his own raids into the Fallaji territories. Both sides of the conflict had vast resources at their disposal, but both were using these resources at an alarming rate. The only way to win the war was to construct a better artifact engine, but both sides were being led by geniuses. Mishra had solidified his hold on the Fallaji with the death of the Qadir, and Urza had become a leader in his own right over the nation of Argive (which now included Yotia and Korlis).
“We have passed through fire over the past two years, and that has tempered us. Now the fires grow hotter still, but we are stronger, and we are proof against the flame.”
Upon one raid into the desert, Tawnos was captured by Mishra’s chief lieutenant Ashnod, but quickly managed to escape and return home. It was probably during this time that Urza discovered Ramos, a dragon engine similar in design to Mishra’s own. Urza reprogrammed this machine, but quickly lost control of it. The dragon engine disappeared, and it was not until much later that Urza would discover its whereabouts.
Harbin’s own son, now a commanding officer in the ornithopter forces, had made a wondrous discovery. Away from the main continent of Terisiare lay another smaller continent of immense natural resources. Lumber and ore lay piled upon each other over centuries in the forested island. This place, Argoth, would be Urza’s key to victory over his hated brother. However, Urza was reluctant to drag another country into this war. Already, both the Fallaji and Argivian lands were reduced to waste, and no clear victory was in sight. Still, Urza knew his brother must be stopped if this war would ever end. With Harbin’s instructions, Urza made his journey to Argoth. Yet, on that day Urza began another journey entirely. A journey into legend.
Urza arrived had arrived at Argoth mere moments before grave news arrived. Mishra, too, had discovered this land and was engaged in war with the island’s defenders. What’s worse, the defenders began turning their attentions toward Urza’s forces as well. It was on one faithful night that the Argothian elves and treefolk attacked the Argivians with all their might. Though beaten back, they left Urza’s armies sorely weakened. Urza knew before his scouts had even told him that Mishra was on his way to attack. Urza would not survive the week. Escape was the only answer, but Urza would hear nothing of it. This battle between Argive and the Fallaji, between Urza and Mishra, had gone on long enough. This was a good a time as any for an ending.
Sending Harbin away from the island, Urza watched as Mishra’s artifact creatures approached. With a grave heart, Urza sent his own defenses into the fray. Within moments, the two armies would clash, and more bloodshed would result. It had gone on for this for over sixty years. Urza had quarreled with Mishra over who was the pretend-soldier and who the pretend-villain during childhood. Mishra had argued with Urza that pulleys and weight ratios were best under his calibrations during Tocasia’s lifetime. Always they had fought, but now that fight would at last end. It didn’t happen that way at all.
As Mishra’s attackers neared Urza’s creations, both armies suddenly doubled back and began attacking each other. Mishra’s dragon engines slew Ashnod’s transmogrants. Urza’s Yotian Soldiers destroyed Tawnos’s Clay Statues. Neither army obeyed their masters’ instructions in the least. Urza stared dumbstruck at his creations, but found a greater horror approaching. At long last, Urza faced his brother. Mishra looked younger, stronger somehow. Mishra vowed Urza’s death, and wielded the Weakstone. The two fought briefly, with Urza mortally wounding Mishra through a blast from his Mighstone. But for some reason, Mishra did not fall. Instead, he hobbled away, turning again to once again taunt his brother. Only then did Urza notice the horror of horrors. From Mishra’s open chest wound, flayed cables sparked and spilled glistening oil. Mishra had taken his hatred of Urza so far as to incorporate his own artifact creations into his being.
Tawnos arrived at Urza’s camp, bearing grave news. Some sort of demon from a place called Phyrexia had sabotaged the war for both sides. Tawnos showed Urza something Ashnod had given him, a Golgothian Sylex. Upon touching the ancient artifact, Urza felt immense power coursing through him and the land surrounding him. Urza had long fought with artifice, but now a new force called to him. The force of the land. The force of mana. The force of magic.
Urza ordered Tawnos to depart the island immediately, for soon it would be the death of them all. Tawnos reluctantly obeyed, and Urza began to discover the mysteries of the Sylex. He had little time to do this, however. Mishra had arrived. The two Brothers faced each other once again, but not as Urza had envisioned it. Mishra arrived, riding atop a dragon engine. It was more than that, however. Mishra had become a dragon engine. He had fused his own flesh with that of the metal of his mak fawa and now arrived vowing his brother’s death.
Urza could only stare in defeat until he heard the voice of the Sylex once again coursing through him. It spoke of the ultimate rape of Dominaria, the destruction of all that Urza and Mishra had created in order to give the land another chance. Urza poured all of his being into this spell, casting the first of many spells that Urza would wield. Power poured from the Sylex, destroying everything in its path. Urza was destroyed. Mishra was destroyed. Argoth was destroyed. Nothing remained. Dominaria was in ruins.
And so, it should have ended there. By all rights, history recorded Urza’s and Mishra’s deaths upon the Disaster at Argoth. And it had recorded it rightly. Urza and Mishra, along with Harbin, had been destroyed. The hero was gone, the villain was gone, and everything had arrived in a neat and tidy end. But in Urza’s last moments, he wondered who had corrupted Mishra to this end. Tawnos had spoken of a place called Phyrexia, a place so evil it had sought to turn Brother against Brother so that Phyrexia could extend its own hold on Dominaria. This determination, Urza’s own stubbornness, would not let Urza die.
Urza awoke the next day upon a charred Argoth. He had died during the great cataclysm, and yet here he stood, whole and more powerful than any being who had ever tread Dominaria. Looking into the blackened sea, Urza gasped at his own reflection. He had appeared as he always had, perhaps younger, but it was the sight of his eyes that frightened him the most. His eyes had become like twin suns, two stars that spoke of the power that Urza held within that skull. Urza recognized the gems at once. The Mighstone and the Weakstone had become Urza’s eyes. But how could this be, how could any of this nightmare be happening? Urza looked deep within himself and found the answer: the mortal Urza had ceased to be that day, but the immortal one would replace him. Urza the Lord Protector was gone. In his place stood the most powerful being Dominaria would ever see until another four thousand years. In his place stood a new Urza, a god, a planeswalker. Urza Planeswalker was born.
With Urza’s duties to Dominaria seemingly at an end, Urza turned all his attention on one aspect: vengeance. The Phyrexians had corrupted his brother, had been the truth masterminds behind all their years of war. Urza found Tawnos, sealed in a coffin for years upon the shores of ruined Yotia. With a heavy heart, Urza knew that his responsibilities now weren’t with Terisiare, but with all Dominaria, all Dominia. But he had one last thing to do before his duties with Terisiare were at an end. Urza instructed Tawnos with one last order, to find Kayla and deliver a message.
“Tell Kayla to remember me not as I was, but as I tried to be.”
With that, Urza left Dominaria for two millennia. Vengeance was all that mattered. Urza’s saga had begun.
Urza wandered the planes for years, seeking some source that would lead him to the Phyrexians homeworld. He befriended Meshuvel, another planeswalker who instructed him in his new abilities and powers. In time, however, Meshuvel became deathly afraid of Urza’s gemstone eyes, and tried to destroy him. Urza easily bested Meshuvel, much to his own amazement. Urza had become one of the most powerful planeswalkers in existence. Still, Urza’s guilt would not let him escape his duty.
Urza returned to Dominaria, more specifically the ruins of Koilos. There he used his newfound planeswalker powers to read the ancient glyphs scribed on the Halls of Tagsin, where Urza and Mishra had first acquired their accursed stones. What he read shocked him to the very core. Over five thousand years ago, the Thran had reached the height of their power only to be completely eradicated by the Phyrexians. The most powerful race Dominaria had ever seen had been destroyed by beings from another plane. Only the Mighstone and Weakstone, now imbedded within Urza’s skull, had sealed the Phyrexians away from Dominaria. This fueled Urza’s vengeance even to the point of obsession. All he could think about was the destruction of the Phyrexian homeworld, no matter to cost, to himself or others.
“I am immortal. I will wander the planes until I find their home, however long and hard the journey, and I will destroy them as they destroyed my brother.”
Fifty years passed in the blink of an eye. Urza searched the planes with little success for the Phyrexian homeworld. At last, after five decades of searching, Urza found a contingent of Phyrexian workers trying to excavate an artifact on a distant plane. What’s worse, the Phyrexians were moments away from destroying a human girl. This Urza could not allow. Urza destroyed all the Phyrexians assembled and freed the girl.
Taking her to a sanctuary in the æther between planes, Urza quickly discovered that the Phyrexians had already changed her as they had changed Mishra. The girl was no girl at all, but was completely void of gender. The creature explained that Phyrexia was a world inside a world inside a world. The entire plane was made up of nine spheres, each one nestled inside the other. The girl swore that she was herself a Phyrexian, the product of the genius of someone called the Ineffable. Upon inquiring more information, Xantcha was hard-pressed to reveal his true name, for fear of an ancient taboo. Urza did manage to discover the name of Gix, a Phyrexian demon that shared his name with that of a Dominarian mountain god. Urza began to wonder about the name’s true implications, as well as the similarities between the Phyrexians and the Gixian priests. Upon inquiring about the creature’s own name, however, Urza was less successful. The false human took upon itself the name of Xantcha, its original position in the Phyrexian hierarchy.
Urza did not believe the girl was originally from Phyrexia, but did not doubt the rest of her tale. He followed her instructions and located the remains of a Phyrexian ambulator, a type of portal that allowed the Phyrexians into other worlds. Urza was convinced that the Phyrexians would eventually return to this world in to once again try to recover the downed artifact. He built a tiny cottage for Xantcha to live in and spent his days working on a dragon engine to eventually combat the Phyrexians.
“Vengeance, Xantcha. I shall take vengeance for both of us. When the Phyrexians return, I will destroy them and pursue them all the way back to Phyrexia itself.”
Two hundred years had passed and still Xantcha lived. Urza had become convinced that Xantcha was immortal as was he. He had not had a friend in two hundred and fifty years, since the death of Tawnos, but now he had an immortal in which he could confide in. Upon Xantcha’s summons, Urza returned to the plane to find the Phyrexians once again attempting to harvest the long-buried artifacts. Urza destroyed the Phyrexians with ease, and entered their ambulator. After two hundred and fifty years, Urza had at last found Phyrexia . . .
. . . and Phyrexia had found him.
Urza’s vast mind could not comprehend what lay before him. The entire plane was an amalgam of flesh and machine, organic and artificial. Casting his gaze upwards, Urza could not see the heavens, so soot-filled was the sky. Dragon engines bathed in oil-filled lakes below. Gremlins skittered in their own societies. Vast and ancient cities lay in the distance, filled with billions upon billions of defenders. At last Urza came to realize his folly. He had come to destroy Phyrexia, but to do so meant he was alone against an entire world of monsters.
Urza regrouped and returned to Phyrexia with his improved dragon engine. The Phyrexians wasted little time in attacking. Phyrexians were killed in the hundreds, but Urza’s own defenses grew weaker and weaker. Urza had managed to make his way past the first sphere, into even worse dangers in the second. As far down as Urza dared to go, the dangers increased. Nothing in Phyrexia was the equal of his dragon engine, but there were billions of defenders, and each cared nothing for itself. Urza had managed to pierce his way into the fourth sphere, and already his dragon engine was near destruction. He would go no further.
A voice entered Urza’s mind. Urza had been compared to being as far above a human as a human was above an insect. This voice belonged to a being that was as far above a planeswalker as a planeswalker is above a larva. Urza immediately realized that he could not win, nothing could stand against the Dark God which lay in wait in Phyrexia’s ninth sphere would destroy Urza with a thought. Urza learned its name, and with that name Urza began his fall into madness. That name was Yawgmoth. Urza could do little to defend himself against the Phyrexians. He had given up. They had won. He had won.
The next voice that Urza heard was that of Xantcha, screaming for deliverance from this dark plane. Somehow, Xantcha had entered Phyrexia and came to Urza’s rescue. Forcing him to return to reality, Urza and Xantcha left the plane for the next four thousand years.
Distraught over his failure and suffering extreme insanity after his encounter with Yawgmoth, Urza wandered the planes with Xantcha for many years. The pair attempted to return to Dominaria, but found it shut off against them. It was as if the plane itself did not want Urza to return. Eventually, Xantcha grew tired of the wandering lifestyle and desired a world of her own. Urza and Xantcha found that world in Moag, a land of simple civilization and rich soil. Xantcha spent her days farming, developing a rather pacifist lifestyle after her encounters with Phyrexia. Urza was convinced that he needed to raise an army of billions of people in order to combat the Phyrexians. He had little success in rallying the people of Moag, but Xantcha would not hear of leaving her quiet lifestyle.
One day, Xantcha discovered the Phyrexians were beginning to invade Moag and convinced Urza to intervene. The planeswalker attacked and destroyed dozens of Phyrexians, but knew that the monsters would not leave him alone until he had left the plane. With a heavy heart, Urza realized that no land would ever be safe as long as he lived there. Urza and Xantcha departed Moag and once again wandered the planes. After a time, they were attacked by Phyrexians, each squadron more dangerous than the last. Upon one such engagement, Urza was almost destroyed after another bout with delirium. Xantcha forced him to return to reality, and the two weakened friends planeswalked away.
The next thing Urza knew, he was in a quiet place of peace and order. Lady Serra greeted him with open arms, and explained that she had used her planeswalker powers to create this plane and all its inhabitants. The place was almost pure white mana, devoted to healing and purity. As a native of Argive, a white-mana rich area, Urza was welcomed into this realm of angels and light. Xantcha, however, was not. Death was not an answer in Serra’s Realm, but Xantcha must forever remain exiled because of her black-mana nature.
Urza spent ten years healing from his wounds, but still his mind was as fractured as it ever was. Eventually, Xantcha managed to arrive at Serra’s Sanctum, and urged Urza to leave this plane and rise his army. However, Urza no longer had the desire to defend his home from the Phyrexians. Instead, he only wanted to live here with Serra and her angels in this most peaceful of planes. Xantcha, it a fit of despair, tore out her own heart. Upon further inspection, Urza found that it was not Xantcha’s beating organic heart, but her artificial heartstone. This device allowed Yawgmoth to exert his control over Xantcha anywhere in Phyrexia. She vowed that if Urza would not leave this realm, she would crush her own heartstone, ending her eternal life forever.
The pair had little time ponder Xantcha’s strange behavior, for the Phyrexians had chosen this moment to attack. They had followed Urza’s scent all the way to Serra’s Realm, and their heavy black-mana essences were having an awful effect on Serra’s Realm. Serra urged Urza to aid her in defender her home. Urza calmly refused. With a heavy heart, Urza left Serra’s Realm with Xantcha in tow.
Urza and Xantcha once again took to wandering the planes, eventually coming upon a gathering of planeswalkers. Urza inquired about the planeswalkers’ dealings with the Phyrexians, but gathered only limited information. Suddenly, an attack from a rogue planeswalker nearly caused Xantcha’s death. It took two years for her to fully cover, after which Urza explained his newest plan.
Urza had learned of a plane known as Equilor, perhaps one of the oldest planes in existence. There, he would inquire about the Phyrexians involvement in the death of the Thran and perhaps learn about their future plans for Dominaria. Urza and Xantcha found a scant handful of people at Equilor, the planes only surviving mortals. Urza could find little information about the Phyrexians, and was asked to leave by Equilor’s inhabitants. But before he left, the elders told Urza that his plane was no longer warded against him and that he could return. They told him that another planeswalker, Freyalise, had caused a great devastation that had finally returned Dominaria to its rightful place in the multiverse. Distraught over not learning more, Urza left Equilor with Xantcha.
Finally, 3200 years after Urza had last set foot on Dominaria, he had arrived. He set about building a cabin for himself and Xantcha, but quickly shut himself up in solitude. His madness had increased to the point where he had begun talking to ghosts and calling out his brother’s name. Xantcha left soon after, convinced that Urza had finally lost his mind.
Xantcha returned a month later, with a stranger beside her. Urza scowled in disdain at Xantcha for bringing a stranger to his hidden sanctuary. It was not until he gazed at the stranger that glimpsed the truth. Mishra. After all these years, Mishra was there, exactly as he had been in his younger years, standing next to a Phyrexian sleeper agent. Urza lashed out in anger, almost destroying Mishra. Xantcha screamed at Urza, questioning him as to why he had done this. Urza only replied in his fit of delirium that this was but the first of many Mishras that would arrive in the coming year. Xantcha finally convinced Urza that this was the one and only Mishra, back from the dead after all this time.
Urza and Mishra began the first of many talks that night, comparing their masterpieces of artifice and speaking of the coming Phyrexian invasion. After a few months, Mishra and Xantcha had become an item, and Urza for the first time began constructing weapons to combat the Phyrexians. The sleeper agents were everywhere, imbedding themselves into the hierarchy of the most powerful nations of Dominaria.
One day, as Mishra and Xantcha were busying themselves with acquiring information on the Phyrexians’ involvement in the nation of Efuan Pincar, a stranger came to greet Urza in his secret hideout. This man, apparently in his mid-forties, vowed that he was a descendant of Urza’s, and claimed to be the Archmage Jodah. Urza scarcely believed his claims, but Jodah merely wanted to instruct Urza as to what had been happening in Dominaria since he had been gone all these years. Urza cared little for what Jodah had to say, but was particularly interested in his encounters with the Phyrexians. Apparently, the destruction of the ban that separated Dominaria from the rest of the multiverse had not only allowed Urza reentry to his homeland. It had also allowed the Phyrexians to begin their infiltration. Jodah left after their long discussion and hasn’t been heard of since.
At last, Urza’s machines were complete. Tiny artificial spiders would be scattered through the nations of Dominaria. When the light of the Glimmer Moon struck them just right, they would emit a screeching sound that humans could not perceive, but was deadly to Phyrexians. Using these devices, he could stop the Phyrexian sleeper agents from infiltrating the nations of Dominaria.
Mishra and Xantcha soon returned, bearing grave news. Efuan Pincar was almost completely under the control of the Phyrexians. If Urza was to stop them for gaining complete control over the powerful nation, he must act fast. Together Urza, Mishra, and Xantcha set about spreading Urza’s inventions throughout the city. Later, Urza sent Mishra and Xantcha away for some much needed rest. Urza heard Xantcha calling out to him through an ancient artifact and soon found Mishra and Xantcha flying over the Sea of Laments. Their location was strangely close to Koilos, a place Urza certainly did not want his brother around.
Within weeks, Urza, Mishra, and Xantcha had begun to plant Urza’s spiders throughout Pincar City, capital of Efuan Pincar’s rule. Urza busied himself with this task, but could not override a feeling of growing concern. Phyrexians had infiltrated themselves throughout Pincar City, but a particularly powerful Phyrexian was here somewhere. Urza found that Phyrexian, mere moments before he had almost destroyed Mishra and Xantcha. The Phyrexian taunted Urza, saying that he would wait for him at Koilos. Upon inquiring the identity of the creature, Xantcha stated that it was indeed Gix, the most powerful of the Ineffable’s demons.
Urza, Xantcha, and Mishra arrived at Koilos at found Gix in waiting. Urza and Gix began their long duel, but Urza was surprised that this was a being he was hard-pressed to match. The fight lasted for many hours, with Gix eventually gaining the upper hand. However, just before Gix would’ve destroyed Urza, Xantcha and Mishra intervened. Distracted, Gix destroyed both Xantcha and Mishra in a split second. In an outrage, Urza destroyed the Yawgmoth praetor.
After over three thousand years, Urza was truly alone. At last, he had learned from his mistakes. It seemed that every time Urza came to these revelations, someone close to him had to die. Mishra had never been in this confrontation, he had died long ago at Argoth. Xantcha, fearing Urza’s insanity, had enlisted the aid of a slave named Ratepe in order to convince Urza to take action. Now, Xantcha too was gone. But her legacy lived on. Urza would not sit quietly while the Phyrexians invaded his homeland. He would construct great defenses the likes of which had never before been witnessed. Gripping Xantcha’s heartstone, he turned to leave Koilos. But before he did, writing on the wall caught his attention. This ancient Thran dialect told of how Yawgmoth the Healer had corrupted the Thran Empire, bending it to his will. Shocked, Urza continued to read, discovering that Yawgmoth had used the power of another planeswalker to take over another plane, Phyrexia, and used his machinations to create another race, the Phyrexians. Urza was in a state of disbelief. The Thran had not been destroyed by the Phyrexians. They had become the Phyrexians. Only the Mightstone and Weakstone, infused with the essence of Glacian the Thran genius, exiled his ancient enemies from their own home plane of Dominaria. This realization drove Urza even more to complete his defenses and save his home world.
Urza put Xantcha’s advice into motion. He would create an army that would rival the Phyrexians in the coming invasion. He would create millions of artificial creations to combat the artifacts of Phyrexia. He would enlist the aid of every being across Dominaria to fight for their survival in the coming war. But he had to start small. Urza journeyed to a remote isle surrounded by constantly tempestuous winds and waves. Urza constructed a wizards’ school on the island of Tolaria, and dubbed it the Tolarian Academy. Co-founding the school was an immensely powerful mage. Barrin, a survivor of the Ice Age, would become Urza’s conscience over the years, constantly begging Urza to consider the moral aspects of his plans.
Urza knew that to combat the Phyrexians, he must have a trump card up his sleeve. To build this would takes hundreds of years, perhaps more, but would ultimately serve in Dominaria’s salvation. Urza began constructing powerful artifacts, which he dubbed the Legacy. Although these artifacts were powerful by themselves, together they would become a power unto themselves, able to destroy even Yawgmoth. But to do this, Urza knew that he would need an heir in case something were to happen to him before the invasion. He would need an heir, and Dominaria would need a hero. To produce this hero, Urza set into motion his Bloodlines experiment, breeding and crossbreeding the various races of Dominaria in order to eventually produce a being that would possess all the traits necessary to save the world.
“The solution can hide for only so long.”
For now, however, those plans would take care of themselves. Urza needed only to build wondrous new artifacts, and that was something that Urza could handle quite well. Under the name of Malzra, Urza began instructing students in the use of artifacts, while Barrin concentrated more on magical teachings. Urza began experimenting with time travel, convinced that if he could send something back in time, he could destroy Yawgmoth before he corrupted the Thran Empire. He found that only metal could pass through this temporal rift, and silver worked best of all. The next piece in Urza’s Legacy would be a silver golem, capable of withstanding the dangerous temporal energies involved in time travel.
Urza set about to construct Karn, the first ever sentient machine. To do so, he incorporated Xantcha’s heartstone into Karn’s mainframe, allowing Karn to not only learn and think, but to adapt and evolve. Once Karn was complete, Urza attempted to send him back through time, with only limited success. Urza could apparently only send Karn back a few days, and with each new success disaster wrecked the island. After each time travel experiment, temporal energy would bombard the Academy, causing extreme sickness and even death in its inhabitants.
One such experiment was so disastrous it claimed the life of most of the students and teachers, as well as destroying the Academy itself. Urza himself had no notion of ever even causing this disaster, but was later told by Karn that he had been sent back in time in order to resist a Phyrexian incursion into the Academy. Since the Phyrexian attack has been stopped before it had even begun, both Urza and Barrin had no knowledge of these events. Still, they could not doubt their own eyes. Urza, Barrin, Karn, and a handful of teachers and students were the only survivors of the Tolarian disaster.
Urza, Barrin, and Karn returned to Tolaria years later with a small group of students and teachers. There, they found Jhoira, a promising apprentice believed to have been killed in the disaster. She explained that Tolaria had been ripped into temporal pieces, with different parts of the island flowing at faster or slower times than the rest of the world. To some of the people of Tolaria, mere seconds had passed since the disaster. To others, thousands of years had passed and entire civilizations had come and gone. Jhoira urged Urza to help these people and gain atonement for what he had done to Tolaria. Urza set about building another Academy, this once even more grand than before.
Unfortunately, a dark shadow loomed over the rebirth of Tolaria. The Phyrexian would-be assailants had been trapped in a fast time rift. They were led by Kerrick, a Phyrexian sleeper agent who had allowed the infiltration into the original Academy. What’s worse, for every day that passed on Tolaria, several days went by in the Phyrexian gorge. Eventually, they would manage to escape their prison and wreck havoc on Tolaria. For now, Urza and Barrin had to construct their defenses, not only from Phyrexia, but also from Kerrick’s own private Phyrexia.
After the completion of the new Tolarian Academy, things returned to a semblance of normalcy. Urza had managed to arrange some crude defenses to attempt the destruction of the Phyrexian gorge. Urza himself led the charge, but failed miserably. Jhoira had been severely wounded in the attack, but was recovering slowly.
Urza tried to fulfill his bargain with Jhoira to atone for his mistakes at the Tolarian disaster. He began trying to find some way to free the inhabitants who were trapped in slow time rifts. Anything inorganic could pass through the rifts with ease, but organic creatures would quickly die. Even Karn could not pass through the rifts without certain death. Finally, by examining the strange water supply of Tolaria (which was a cure, it seemed, for mortality), Urza and company experienced success. Teferi, a very talented young wizard, was freed from his time-prison, still as young as he had been when the disaster struck. Soon, other students and teachers would follow.
Urza once again attacked the Phyrexian gorge, this time with more sophisticated machinery. Urza opened the time rift, and began his attack, but was quickly defeated and taken hostage by the Phyrexians. While Karn managed to save his master, Urza soon realized another one of his mistakes. By failing in the attack, he had given the Phyrexians powerstone technology from his ruined ornithopters. With these new sciences, the Phyrexians would be able to soon send their legions out of the rift and into the Academy.
Urza soon realized that by concentrated on the Phyrexians trapped in the time rift, he was diverting more of his attention away from the actual Phyrexian invasion. Urza revealed his true identity to Karn, Teferi, Jhoira, and a select other scholars, then left the Academy to fend for itself.
“I am responsible for the plague of Tolaria, yes, but also for the gradual collapse of a realm of angels, the long ice age of this world, the destruction of Argoth, and the very introduction of evil into this world.”
He journeyed to the hostile volcanic land of Shiv, where he confronted the Viashino rulers of the ancient Thran Mana Rig. After uniting the Viashino with the race of goblins that threatened to overwhelm them, Urza made a startling discovery. The Thran had used the viashino and goblin tribes as the work force to power the Thran Mana Rig. This unity of vision only spurred Urza’s resolve that he must unite Dominaria under a common banner to win the coming war. First, however, he must put the Mana Rig to use.
“Every device in the rig was evidence of Thran enlightenment. All mana was the same to them, whether from rock or water, growth or decay. Can you imagine such unity of vision?”
After years of work on the Rig, Urza had created a steady supply of powerstones. Never again would he need to hold back his genius in order to conserve scarce resources. He also made a startling discovery of a new type of metal, a Thran substance that, like Karn, could grow beyond its original shape. He used these findings to create a set of plans for a flying ship that he could incorporate various parts of his Legacy into. This ship, combined with the Legacy and its human counterpart, Urza’s eventual heir, would be the key to Dominaria’s salvation. But to do this was a daunting task, one that would require immense energy, and a great many years to come to fruition.
The inhabitants of the Tolarian Academy were under almost constant attack by Kerrick’s minions. Urza, however, could only watch as his school was overrun, so intent was he on this flying ship’s creation. To complete his Legacy, he journeyed to the forest of Yavimaya, a sentient being unto itself. There, he encountered Multani, a maro-sorcerer of immense power and wisdom. However, Urza’s intrusion into Yavimaya was not welcome. Yavimaya had remembered the grievances that Urza had visited upon the isle of Argoth, and took this opportunity to trap Urza in the bowels of a massive tree.
Years passed, and Tolaria was still under assault by Kerrick’s minions. Urza was finally able to break free of Yavimaya’s hold when Barrin magically summoned him home to Tolaria. Urza inadvertently took with him the spirit of Multani, lingering somewhere in his conscience. Urza witnessed Tolaria was beyond help, unless he could bring reinforcements. Urza planeswalked to Shiv and returned to Tolaria with a host of Viashivan, goblin, and draconic warriors.
With Tolaria no longer being completely overrun, Urza went on the offensive, infiltrating Kerrick’s stronghold. Kerrick, now renamed K’rrik, wasted little time in attacking Urza. Urza could’ve destroyed K’rrik in an instant, but K’rrik had used one of Urza’s own mechanical birds to attack Urza, causing him so much pain that he could not think straight. Finally, Multani mentally aided Urza and together, the two godlike beings destroyed K’rrik and his fortress. Multani aided Urza by sending the forces of Yavimaya to his aide, ending the pocket-Phyrexian invasion forever.
Now that Urza no longer needed to worry about K’rrik and his monsters, he could concentrate on the completion of his Legacy. The Shivan and Yavimayan people recognized that Urza’s fears were justified, and swore their loyalty to him in the Phyrexian invasion. Tolaria would supply the artifacts necessary for the flying ship, Shiv would supply the powerstones to drive them, and now Yavimaya made its own contribution. A massive seed had fallen from the Heart of Yavimaya, a massive tree thousands of feet tall. Urza infused this seed with magic and artifice, Thran Crystal and Thran metal, until it eventually resembled the flying ship that Urza had set out to create. Urza named this ship Weatherlight, and, together with the Legacy and its unborn human counterpart, would destroy Yawgmoth forever. But in order to do this, Weatherlight needed to be able to planeshift. The Thran Crystal that powered Weatherlight would have to be infused with vast amounts of mana in order for this to happen. This mana required the destruction of an entire plane, something that Urza was remorse to do, even to save Dominaria. However, Urza quickly remembered that Serra’s Realm, an artificial plane, was destined to collapse. If Urza could convince Serra to aid him in his quest, he could supply power to Weatherlight and perhaps gain a new ally in the coming war.
Urza planeshifted to Serra’s Realm, finding it even worse than when he had left. The Phyrexians had been driven out of the plane, but had left a black mana taint on it forever. What’s worse, Lady Serra had departed the plane after witnessing her paradise become a hell. Ruling in her stead was Lady Radiant, an archangel whose militant policy led to the slaughter of thousands of humans and angels. Upon parlaying with Radiant, Urza discovered that Gorig, Radiant’s chief advisor was himself a Phyrexian sleeper agent. However, Radiant was driven to the brink of madness after Serra’s departure. Radiant accused Urza of conspiring with the Phyrexians and vowed his death should he remain in Serra’s Realm.
“Do not treat your people as you treat your artifacts, Radiant. Let them go, and they will live; seal them here, and they will die.”
Urza returned to Dominaria, and told Barrin of Radiant’s claims. He instructed Barrin to assemble the Shivan and Tolarian forces to invade Serra’s Realm and liberate Radiant’s subjects. Meanwhile, Urza returned to Serra’s Realm many times in order to free those that Radiant pursued as Phyrexians. Radiant took notice and began marshalling her own forces. It seemed another war would ensue, the first of many in the long road to the invasion.
Urza used almost all his power to planeshift Weatherlight and the other defenders to Serra’s Realm. The invaders met with much resistance by Radiant’s own angels, with Urza eventually squaring off against Radiant herself. Radiant almost attacked Urza immediately. In his weakened state, Urza would have quickly fallen prey to Radiant, had the Shivan dragon Gherridarigaaz not sacrificed herself for his protection. With mere moments to recover, Urza was quickly overwhelmed by Radiant, who tore out his Mighstone and Weakstone eyes. Her folly, however, came in trying to piece the two stones back together. The result was an explosion that destroyed Radiant and Serra’s Sanctum, restoring Urza whole and hearty. With Radiant’s army in disarray, Urza took what refugees he could aboard Weatherlight and infused the Thran Crystal at her heart with the power of the collapsing artificial plane. Serra’s Realm was forever destroyed, but its energies would be harnessed to protect Dominaria from invasion.
Urza and his forces returned to Tolaria for a brief repose. K’rrik had been defeated. Many of the inhabitants of Serra’s Realm had been saved. The Legacy was near completion. Teferi had achieved the desire of every wizard by becoming a planeswalker. Urza used this brief quiet to scatter pieces of the Legacy to the four winds. Now that the Phyrexians had returned to Dominaria, Urza greatly feared that the energies of the Legacy would attract them to Tolaria. Urza scattered the Legacy across Dominaria and Mercadia, a realm much akin to his homeworld.
For now, Urza’s plans were finished. He had only one plan left unfinished. The bloodlines of the Benalish plains had shown great promise in providing his future heir. Urza’s work was far from over. The Phyrexian invasion would take place hundreds of years in the future, but Urza could not wait for success to come. Urza had completed the Legacy, but now he had to complete his own destiny.
While history is sketchy about the time of the following two events, Urza’s involvement in them was both frightening and fascinating. Trying to create another, more powerful dragon engine, Urza took heart from the ancient Tawnos’s advice. In order to build a more perfect dragon engine, Urza had to examine the parts of a near-perfect dragon. Summoning one up using his powerful magic, Urza probed the dragon for hours until he eventually gave up. The dragon, unwilling to realize that it was a sentient magical spell, was an unworthy tool to use as a reference. Eventually, the dragon managed to convince Urza that by making it more powerful, he would increase his learning on its fighting prowess. Urza complied, unleashing a powerful dragon upon the world. The dragon returned to Tolaria numerous times, each time demanding to be made more and more powerful. Eventually, the dragon managed to convince Urza to grant it a life of it’s own. The dragon used this opportunity immediately, freed from Urza’s control forever. Urza swore to Barrin that these were the monsters Dominaria would soon face, beings that would compleat themselves more and more as time passed.
Another strange tale places Urza on the opposing side of another dragon, this one the guardian of a race of merfolk. Urza captured the dragon’s egg in an effort to study and dissect, soon attracting the mother’s wrath. Urza made a pact with the dragon mother. In repayment for sacrificing her child, Urza would imbue his Bloodline defenders with the ability to breathe underwater, and aid her merfolk kingdom during the Phyrexian invasion. The dragon mother bestowed a magical sigil to Urza’s plans, granting his bargain.
At long last, after many hundreds of years, Urza’s Bloodlines experiments were beginning to show fruit. Urza no longer kept his master plan secret from Barrin, much to the wizards’ disappointment. By attempting to save Dominaria, Urza was abandoning his morality, manipulating the races of Dominaria forevermore.
“Our new army and the heir to the Legacy must be bred.”
While Urza’s subjects were beginning to show signs of improved musculature and battle prowess, their mental powers were sorely lacking. What’s worse, Barrin was beginning to notice some frightening mutations were being born. Gross and out-of-proportion limbs and heads were quickly becoming the norm for Urza’s Bloodlines subjects. Many of the island’s scholars and students resigned after witnessing the horrors Urza was unleashing. However, Urza could not allow them to leave his Academy, and had no choice but to hold the former scholars prisoner.
Aside from these unfortunate occurrences, life on Tolaria had remained as fast-paced and exiting as it ever was. Barrin had chosen this opportunity to marry Rayne, the Academy’s chancellor. However, a shadow was soon cast on the marriage. Rayne was a Tolarian native, and as such, was probably the product of the Bloodlines experiments. As always, Urza had his hand in everything around him. Though history is sketchy on this point, it is not entirely impossible that Urza engineered Rayne to serve as the perfect wife for Barrin.
“What we do not use up, we use again.”
Urza had begun to notice a problem with Karn’s behavior. After such a long life, Karn’s emotional cortex had begun to slowly deteriorate. Urza felt it would be best to erase Karn’s memory, allowing the silver golem to only retain forty years’ worth of memory at a time.
It was in the period after Karn’s improvement that the Phyrexians again assaulted Urza. Yawgmoth had engineered new and deadlier Phyrexians, capable of the death of even a planeswalker. These negators, greatly improved over Kerrick’s own, were relentless in their pursuits. Urza was forced to leave the Academy, only returning for short visits.
Upon one such visit, Barrin informed Urza of a situation brewing in distant Keld. Gatha, a renegade scientist working on the Bloodlines, had fled to Keld and was improving the already formidable Keldon bloodlust. Soon, Dominaria would not have to worry about the Phyrexians coming to slay them. The fury of Keld would descend like a red wave on the civilizations of Dominaria. Still, Urza forbade Barrin from interfering in Gatha’s work. Gatha was doing what Barrin had not the stomach to do: using the Bloodlines to their full potential, no matter the cost.
Barrin also informed Urza of another resignation, this one coming from Timein, a prominent scholar in his own right. Timein, fed up with Urza’s Bloodlines, had established a refuge from the Urza’s madness on the opposing side of Tolaria. Urza allowed Timein his refuge, believing that the Tolarian hostages would return in time once they had a moment’s rest.
Urza was forced to leave the Academy, for fear of further negator attacks. He journeyed to the plains of Benalia, where the Bloodlines were beginning to show significant results. The Benalish government was guided with the lunar cycle, with a different clan taking rule each year. The Capashen clan in particular had shown great promise in Urza’s plans. Urza once again adopted the name of Malzra, and parlayed with the clans in hopes of gaining peace among their many quarrels. Through this peace, a marriage would result, and through this marriage, another Bloodlines generation would be born. Upon one such parlay, Urza promised to allow Karn to become part of the wedding dowry if a marriage between Jaffry Capashen and Myrr Ortovi. Needless to say, the Capashen and Ortovi clans were greatly receptive to Urza’s wishes.
After a journey to Efuan Pincar, Urza was again attacked. What’s worse, these negators had also been sighted in Keld and Benalia, sites that Urza was taking a great interest in. After dispatching the negator, Urza realized he had inadvertently destroyed his old cabin that he lived in for many years with Xantcha and Ratepe. The ashes of Urza’s old life had long settled, and now he had placed the final nail in the coffin.
Urza began his resistance to Phyrexia’s intrusions into Benalia, but was far too late to save Keld. Nearly all of Gatha’s Bloodlines creatures were destroyed. Croag, a Phyrexian demon on par with the long-dead Gix, had overseen this project personally. Overshadowing these dark portents was the knowledge that now Phyrexia knew full well of Urza’s Bloodlines plans. Urza began to hear rumors of Phyexian attacks on both Benalia and Yavimaya.
After many years, a new breed of negator attacked Urza. After each confrontation with these monsters, Urza began to realize he extended more and more power in their defeat. This negator had almost managed to destroy the four thousand year old planeswalker. What’s worse, after it’s defeat, it managed to escape via a built-in ambulator. Urza followed the beast to the plane of Rath.
Rath was a horrible place, only slightly less horrible than Phyrexia. Waves of flowstone churned like water beneath Urza’s feet. In the distance, a mighty volcano housed the Rathi Stronghold, seat of Croag’s power. However, the true horror of Rath was not in what it was, but it what it would become. The Stronghold existed only to further produce flowstone, expanding its planar boundaries at a dangerous rate. Once these boundaries could no longer contain the flowstone, the plane was merge with whatever plane was closest to it. This, then, was Yawgmoth’s master plan. Rath would expand until it eventually overlaid itself onto Dominaria.
This dark realization was not without a glimmer of hope, however. Lyna, a ghostlike being representing the Soltari, greeted Urza. Lyna’s people were caught between the dimensional flux of Rath and Dominaria, and existed merely as ghosts without any real connection to the physical world. Lyna swore that her people opposed Phyrexia, and that if Urza would help them escape the hell they now found themselves in, the Soltari would aid him in any way they could.
Urza returned to Dominaria, chilled to the bone to the scene he beheld. Nearly all of his Bloodlines subjects in Benalia had been destroyed. Only one small child, Gerrard Capashen, had survived, the last hope for Dominaria’s salvation. Karn, taking the child under his protective wing, fled to the wastelands of Jamuraa.
For now, both sides of the confrontation, Urza and Phyrexia, had time to make their final preparations. Urza’s Bloodlines experiment had seemingly failed, while Phyrexia’s Rathi overlay was sure to happen. Urza had managed to acquire an army of millions of Metathran, a race of beings ten times as powerful as any man. Phyrexia meanwhile had managed to improve their designs to the point where any Phyrexian was ten times as powerful as a Metathran. With war on the horizon, Urza stripped Tolaria of all but its necessary defenses. The time for study and learning was over. The invasion would commence in mere decades.
In an effort to conceal his last defenses for the few precious years that remained, Urza scattered his Legacy to the four winds. Some he placed on Dominaria, in places only his true heir would recognize. Others powerful artifacts he had found on Mercadia, a plane near the planar coordinates of Rath. These artifacts had once been a part of Ramos, the dragon engine he had discovered four millennia ago. These artifacts were not designed by Urza, but would be instrumental in Yawgmoth’s defeat. One artifact, designed to make Weatherlight fly much faster, Urza even hid in Rath, hoping to draw Phyrexian attention away from Tolaria for as long as he could. Urza even went so far as to send Weatherlight, the crowning achievement of his long life’s work, to distant Jamuraa in order to protect her.
In the year 4205, Urza made a horrible discovery. Weatherlight had gone missing. Gerrard Capashen, last survivor of the Bloodlines Project, had taken her on a trip through the planes in order to rescue Sisay, the current captain of the flying ship. Urza could only guess that Volrath, the Phyrexian figurehead in Rath, had captured Sisay. Urza scoured the planes, eventually finding Weatherlight mere moments before Predator, Volrath’s own personal airship, would have destroyed her. Together with Lyna, managed to free Weatherlight from Rath by activating a long-dormant portal to Mercadia. Urza hoped against hope that Gerrard could recover the last pieces of the Legacy in time for the Phyrexian invasion.
Urza returned to Dominaria to find Jamuraa in a state of impending war with the Keldons. Dispatching Barrin and Rayne, Urza was forced to turn his attentions on the last preparations for his war. It was not until months later that Barrin returned alone. Rayne had been slain by a Keldon mutation named Greel. Barrin openly blamed Urza for her death. If he had merely supplied some of Tolaria’s more powerful artifact creatures, the Keldon skirmish would’ve been over in mere moments.
At last, Weatherlight returned to Dominaria, the full Legacy in tow. She was ten times as powerful as she had been when Urza had led her into Serra’s Realm. Still, that would not be nearly enough for the horrors that arrived. Weatherlight’s engines had mere moments to cool before the Phyrexian invasion at last took place.
“My old foe. He is gazing at me. I knew this day would come.”
Three gigantic portals opened over Benalia, and plague- and fighter-ships poured began pouring out. Weatherlight had managed to close down two of the portals, but was rendered powerless for her efforts. Urza rallied his artificial falcons and attacked alongside Barrin. Urza and Barrin were successful in stopping the third portal, but others would soon appear. If the pair was to save Benalia, drastic measures must be taken. Barrin stayed in Benalia to maintain the resistance, while Urza took a more deceptive mission.
“This is a battle of pawns, for the highest stakes imaginable.”
Taking upon himself the form of a blind seer, Urza made contact for a short time with Gerrard Capashen. The Benalish guards quickly arrested Gerrard and his crew for bringing Weatherlight, an obvious weapon, to the peaceful city. Urza allowed himself to also be arrested, as the guards believed he was a member of Gerrard’s crew. The Seer confided in Gerrard that he too recognized the demons that fell from the sky, and would aid him in any way he could in the coming battles.
The attack happened without any warning. The Phyrexians had made it past Barrin’s defenses and now invaded Benalia City proper. At the head of the charge was Tsabo Tavoc, a Phyrexian general resemble a she-spider with massive steel legs. Gerrard and company managed to beat back the Phyrexians long enough for Weatherlight to rescue them. The crew engaged in a brief aerial battle before flying to the Atrivak Penal Colony in order to receive more hands for Weatherlight’s decks. Urza was delighted to discover that Karn was acting as engineer for Weatherlight. What’s more, Karn was starting to remember events that had happened millennia ago.
Urza took this time to leave Weatherlight, leaving Gerrard wondering about the Seer’s disappearance. Urza reconvened with Barrin, who admitted that Benalia was now a lost cause. The pair ‘walked to Zhalfir to observe Teferi’s defense of his homeland. Teferi apparently had the defense of Jamuraa well in hand, at least for the moment. However, soon after proving his own talents, Teferi removed most of northeastern Jamuraa from the timestream, leaving a gaping ocean in its place. The nations of Zhalfir, Suq’Ata, and Femeref had been saved from the horrors of Phyrexia, but were now rendered useless to Dominaria’s defense.
“Isolation is not the answer. Our victory must come from all of Dominaria, or it will not come at all.”
Furious, Urza and Barrin left Jamuraa for their own homeland of Tolaria. Urza activated the two leaders of the Metathran army, Agnate and Thaddeus. Standing over seven feet tall, these warriors would become a rallying point for the armies of Dominaria. Their first strike point would be the desert of Koilos. The Phyrexians would soon move from their victories at Benalia to try to take over the permanent portal between Phyrexia and Dominaria.
Urza returned to Weatherlight under the guise of the Blind Seer, and advised Gerrard not to ignore the plight of Benalia’s chief neighbor, Llanowar. Phyrexia had already managed to completely dominate Benalia, and should Llanowar fall, the invasion would be an immediate success. Gerrard complied, and steered the ship towards the forest kingdom. Urza noticed that Hanna, daughter of Barrin and Weatherlight’s navigator, had fallen deathly ill from the Phyrexian plague. With Weatherlight’s course set, Urza again left the flying ship.
Urza again met with Barrin, this time among the fiery wastes of Shiv. The Phyrexians had begun to take an interest in the Shivan Mana Rig, and it was up to the planeswalker and his oldest friend to make sure they did not take it. Urza and Barrin, together with Rhammidarigaaz, son of ancient Gherridarigaaz, and Jhoira, alive after all this time through Tolaria’s magical water, managed to repel the Phyrexian attacks at least for a little while. However, Urza’s victory was short-lived as Teferi again chose to phase parts of Shiv away from Dominaria rather than face the Phyrexians. With Teferi and Jhoira gone and Darigaaz pledging his life to Urza’s service, Urza and Barrin had no choice but to leave.
Urza sent Barrin to Keld to defend the barbarians from certain death. Furious, Barrin swore there would be a reckoning between Urza and himself. Urza was forcing Barrin to protect the very people who were responsible for his wife’s death. However, Urza had other matters to attend to. Urza took this opportunity to look into the affairs of Urborg, and found it overwhelmed by Phyrexian horrors. Yawgmoth had already managed to destroy Benalia, a stronghold of white mana, and was now overtaking Urborg and Koilos, two sites of black mana that would fuel his soldiers in the wars to come.
“Everything is in place. Nothing can happen that isn’t part of my plan.”
Distraught over the future loss of Urborg and fearing his ancient allies in Yavimaya, Urza chose this opportunity to inquire about Yavimaya’s defenses. Apparently, the forest had its protection well in hand, and Yavimaya would not fall prey to the Phyrexians, at least not for months to come. Satisfied, Urza looked into Llanowar’s current status. The forest had suffered greatly at the hands of the Phyrexian plagues, but had apparently been saved from certain death by Weatherlight and her crew. Even better, Weatherlight’s Samite cleric Orim had managed to find a cure for the worst strands of the Phyrexian plagues.
Urza could delay no longer. The planeswalker once again sent Barrin into the heart of an unfamiliar and hostile land to protect its people from certain death. Urborg was a place of death and rot, but to lose it to the Phyrexians this early in the invasion would result in certain defeat.
Urza again returned to Weatherlight under his false guise, claiming that Koilos was in dire need of aid. Weatherlight arrived in the deserts to aid the Metathran soldiers greatly, but the trip was not without its own costs. Hanna, Barrin’s daughter and Gerrard’s only love, was mere minutes away from death. Her frail body had already been too badly ravaged by the Phyrexian plague in order for Orim’s cure to have any affect. Urza infused her with his greatest healing magic to no use. Hanna died within scant hours after Weatherlight’s arrival.
Perhaps inspired by Hanna’s courage in the face of despair, Urza began his preparations for a strike into the heart of his enemy’s kingdom. Dominaria had suffered enough. Now it was time for Yawgmoth to answer for his sins. Urza gathered to himself a collection of the most powerful planeswalkers of Dominia in order to strike at Phyrexia itself. These planeswalkers, calling themselves the Nine Titans, consisted of: Urza Planeswalker, Taysir of Rabiah, Daria (daughter of Taysir), Freyalise (Queen of Llanowar), Kristina of the White Woods, Bo Levar (Inter-Planar Pirate), Commodore Gruff (Defender of Knowledge), Tevesh Szat (Doom of Fools), and Lord Windgrace of Urborg.
But these nine planeswalkers would not attack Phyrexia alone. They would each be aided by nine machines of incredible power, each capable of destroying scores of Phyrexians every second. However, as a true artificer, Urza knew he could not unleash these powerful machines without a proper test. Koilos would serve this purpose nicely.
“Great peril demands formidable weaponry.”
It was while working on these titan engines that Urza was confronted by Barrin. Barrin reported that things were going terribly at Urborg, and the Phyrexians would conquer the whole island within a week’s time. Urza unemotionally admitted that Urborg was second in importance only to Koilos, but soon remembered the recent events in the desert. Through a slip of the tongue, Urza told Barrin of Hanna’s death. Furious, the wizard left Urza for Koilos, swearing his undying hatred for his ancient friend.
Urza and his team of eight other planeswalkers departed Tolaria to aid the Metathran and Weatherlight in their greatest battle yet. The fight was not going well, with Weatherlight overpowered and the Metathran losing two for every Phyrexian they slew. However, with the aid of the nine titan engines, Urza’s forces soon had things going well in their favor. With the Metathran leaders infiltrating the Koilos caves in an effort to destroy the Phyrexian portal, Urza could concentrate his full efforts on stopping the Phyrexian ground forces.
After the deserts sands of Koilos were under Urza’s Coalition’s control, Urza walked down the halls of the caves of Koilos as he had in his youth. Once again in the hall where he and Mishra had removed the Mightstone and Weakstone from their pedestal, Urza found Gerrard and company standing waste-deep in Phyrexian bodies. Tsabo Tavoc, the leader of the Phyrexian forces at Koilos, had chose to flee to Phyrexia rather than face Gerrard’s wrath. Urza chose to reveal his true nature to Gerrard rather than continue being a mere blind beggar. Urza explained that he had engineered Gerrard’s ancestors, pulling strings with their genetics in order to produce a hero, the one being who could use the Legacy to destroy Yawgmoth forever. All of Gerrard’s victories and adventures were set into motion by Urza. But with this knowledge came the realization that because of Urza, all the pain and sorrow of Gerrard’s life had come into being. Gerrard swore to Urza that he would hate the planeswalker until the day he died. With a heavy heart, Urza stood alongside Gerrard and destroyed at long last the Phyrexian portal.
With the Phyrexians denied a great part of the first stages of their invasion, Urza and his forces had a brief moment to catch their breath. Tsabo Tavoc had taken the life of Thaddeus, but the Metathran commander was soon seceded. Eladamri, a Rathi elf lord who led the rebellions of his home plane, had managed to take over Thaddeus’s half of the Metathran armies. Together, Urza Planeswalker, Gerrard Capashen, Eladamri of Rath, and Agnate the Metathran would lead Dominaria to victory one day at a time.
“You can build a perfect machine out of imperfect parts.”
But that day arrived sooner than any expected. The very next day after victory was declared at Koilos, the ground shuddered and shifted like the rotting skin of a dying giant. Yawgmoth’s master plan had come to fruition. The Rathi Overlay had at long last taken place. Millions of tons of flowstone had been deposited onto the shores of Dominaria and standing atop the filthy soil were tens of billions of Phyrexian invaders. The second stage of the invasion had begun.
“Behold, Dominaria. The foe!”
With but mere moments to react, Urza and the other eight planeswalkers teleported the armies of Koilos to remote locations around the globe. Urza, Weatherlight, and the majority of the Metathran were transported to Urborg. After the Rathi Overlay, Urza felt certain that the Stronghold would appear at the greatest source of black mana on Dominaria. Urza engaged in a brief skirmish with the Phyrexians, but later chose to regroup with the other eight planeswalkers at Tolaria.
What Urza discovered was not the peaceful Academy he had left months earlier. Tolaria was devoid of any sign of life, sentient or artificial. Apparently, Barrin had returned Hanna’s body to Tolaria to be buried next to her mother. Disgusted with Urza’s neglect to tell him of his daughter’s death and facing overwhelming defeat from the Phyrexians gathered in Tolaria’s skies, Barrin chose to cast the same spell Urza had cast to destroy Argoth all those years ago. The spell completely leveled the Tolarian Academy and slew each and every Phyrexian and Tolarian on the island, including Barrin himself.
Demoralized by Barrin’s sacrifice, Urza and his eight titans mounted their massive titan engines and planeswalked to the world of Phyrexia. The artificial plane was exactly as Urza had remembered it. The sun overhead, if sun there was, was blotted out by black smog. Rains of oil and filth continually dropped onto the charred soil of the First Sphere. Plantlife grew in a horrible amalgam of organ and artifice. With the exception of Tevesh Szat, the other eight planeswalkers had never been to this plane and were immediately hardened in their resolve to destroy this entire world. Only one of the nine gathered planeswalekrs was reluctant to do so. Urza had long been an artificer, and he recognized Phyrexia as the most grand and wonderful machine ever conceived, with rank upon rank of wondrous subjects all bowing to the Dark God that lay in wait in the Ninth Sphere. With a heavy heart, Urza marched on.
The first strike against Phyrexia came to the ancient city of Gamalgoth. The Phyrexians, stretched thin by the invasion, were sorely pressed to match the powers of the titan engines and quickly fell prey to Urza and his companions. Urza installed a soul bomb, the most devastating weapon known, in the heart of the great Phyexian city and passed on to the Second Sphere.
Upon the Second Sphere, Urza and his allies found their next target: massive ammo dumps the size of several Dominarian cities. By placing a soul bomb at the center of these dumps, Urza could destroy the entire Second Sphere and perhaps collapse the sphere above it at the same time. Using stealth rather than brute force, Bo Levar and Lord Windgrace maneuvered themselves through the ammo dump, but came upon one of Phyrexia’s greatest defender: a dreadnought. The beast was so powerful that the nine planeswalkers were completely taken by surprise. In the confusion of the battle, Kristina of the White Woods was slain by Tevesh Szat, who swore on his life that her death was an unfortunate accident. However, Urza could never be fooled so easily. Szat was always a killer, and the other seven planeswalkers questioned Urza’s sanity in bringing him to Phyrexia. But if Urza’s history has shown us anything, it is that he is never without a plan.
The Third Sphere of Phyrexia was a maze of pipes and fittings. Urza dispatched Daria, Tevesh Szat, Freyalise, Lord Windgrace, Bo Levar, and Commodore Guff to secure soul bombs throughout the hellish maze. Urza and Taysir would stand guard over the titan engines while their controllers were away. All the planeswalkers returned after a time stating their success in their missions. However, Daria was not present, and almost immediately Urza began to suspect treachery. Once again Tevesh Szat had taken the life of an immortal, and for these crimes he would pay most dear. Urza activated a kill rubric in Szat’s titan engine, which immediately took Szat’s life. Worse than this, it drained him of his life force, his very soul, and used these energies to power the soul bombs. Denied another powerful planeswalker, Urza’s companions began to doubt their leader’s own sanity.
“Did I know Szat would betray us? I was counting on it. After four thousand years you learn to plan for betrayal.”
Urza and company bypassed the Fourth Sphere and proceeded directly to the Fifth, where a massive steam beast lay in wait. The six planeswalkers wasted little time in attacking, and were successful in destroying the beast without another casualty. During this time, Urza began to question the morality of destroying an entire world, as well as the immorality of Yawgmoth. How could such a being that harnessed such power and projected his will upon an entire world of perfect creatures possibly be considered evil?
At the Sixth Sphere, disaster struck. Urza was attacked by pneumagogs, creatures that dwelt in the physical and spiritual realms simultaneously. The pneumagogs successfully convinced Urza of his error in attempting to thwart the will of Yawgmoth. At last, Urza realized the truth. For four thousand years, he had made war against his true master. Urza had believed Yawgmoth was guilty because of his manipulation of the natural order of sentient beings and his attempt to conquer Dominaria. However, Urza was guilty of these same things in creating Gerrard and the Metathran and destroying the wondrous world he now found himself a part of. Against Taysir’s warnings, Urza destroyed the activation switch for the soul bombs and pledged his life to Yawgmoth’s service. Taysir believed Urza was under Yawgmoth’s control and promised that he would carry on his legacy by destroying Phyrexia himself. That was something Urza simply could not allow. Urza activated Taysir’s own kill rubric, taking the life of the millennia-old planeswalker.
Yawgmoth’s voice entered Urza’s mind and commanded Urza to ‘walk to the Seventh Sphere. There, Urza would pass one final test before being allowed into Yawgmoth’s inner sanctum. The Seventh Sphere was a place of torture, where those who failed Yawgmoth spent eternity writing in torment. One such being caught Urza’s attention more than all the other millions arrayed here: a once black-haired man, last seen in his thirties who shared the same constant scowl that Urza bore on his face.
Mishra was alive, and in torment. Somehow, he had dwelt here for forty-two centuries in painful misery for his failure to destroy his brother at Argoth. Mishra pleaded with Urza to deliver him from this place and let him die in quiet agony. Unfortunately, Urza saw through this test. Yawgmoth’s will was the only will in all the multiverse, and Yawgmoth and deemed Mishra worthy of this torture. Satisfied, Yawgmoth allowed Urza to enter into the Ninth Sphere.
Standing in the very center of Phyrexia, Urza gazed around him for some sign of the wondrous god that he now found himself in worship of. However, Yawgmoth was not a creature of physical form. Yawgmoth was all around him, in every fiber and every bolt of his denizens and in every cell of the Ninth Sphere. Urza was even further amazed by Yawgmoth’s glory and bowed in helpless prostration at the his god.
Urza did not have long for his reverie when a portal from Dominaria opened and Gerrard Capashen stepped through. Gerrard had been promised the life of his love Hanna if he would serve Yawgmoth willingly for all eternity. Gerrard, ever a pawn to his own emotions, quietly lay beside his creator in abject worship.
“Before the glory of Yawgmoth, yes, even this makes sense, Gerrard.”
It had come to this. Urza had plotted for over four thousand years for the destruction of the one being he now worshipped. He had created Gerrrard for the express purpose of fulfilling the Legacy and ensuring Yawgmoth’s destruction. Gerrard, too, lay prostrate in front of Yawgmoth. Soon, rank on rank of vile beast filled the room, each as much a part of Yawgmoth as Urza’s hands were a part of him. At the center of this congregation stood a massive dragon engine several stories high. Beside this engine stood Hanna, revived through Yawgmoth’s dark magic. Yawgmoth instructed Urza and Gerrard through the mouths of his thousands of minions. He told the two that they were both servants, but only one would ascend to Yawgmoth’s right hand. Gerrard begged for a further boon, the winner to be allowed that which he desired most. Should Gerrard prevail, Hanna would be given her freedom. Should Urza prevail, he would learn all the knowledge his vast mind could comprehend. Yawgmoth stripped Urza of his planeswalker powers and brought forth an arsenal of soul-slaying weapons such as never before been seen on any plane.
As the two combatants battled, Gerrard began to make a striking discovery. The sand that filled the arena in which he now found himself was composed of flowstone particles. Gerrard used this knowledge to shape new weapons to his own defenses. He lured Urza into a trap, sinking the former planeswalker in tons of flowstone sand. However, it soon became apparent that Urza could improve upon any new tactic Gerrard could conceive. Urza created flowstone golems to raise him out of Gerrard’s death trap.
Urza and Gerrard continued their heated battle, with Urza eventually constructing a massive labyrinth with himself at the center. Gerrard angrily fought his way into the labyrinth, but soon discovered that Urza’s maze was too well constructed. Yawgmoth claimed Urza was a coward, always using his tools to defend himself rather than fighting his battles on his own. Yawgmoth told Urza that he could have conquered Dominaria by sending countless contagions into her every corner. Instead, the final phase of the invasion was something Dominaria had dreaded for nine thousand years. Yawgmoth would return, and slay every last being on Dominaria himself. Encouraged by the Father of Machines’s words, Urza did away with his labyrinth and once again faced Gerrard head on. Urza and Gerrard fought for a time, but Urza proved Gerrard’s better. Gerrard lay bleeding from an open wound in his heart.
It was then that Urza became greatly saddened. He had spent eons crafting this great hero, a rallying point for the defenders of Dominaria in these dark days. But instead of guiding his adopted heir, he had chosen to follow Yawgmoth and had destroyed his greatest creation. Urza and Gerrard shared a parting farewell, both enveloped in sorrow over trying to kill the other. But, as Gix once mentioned, grief is as useless as love in Yawgmoth’s world. Yawgmoth claimed this was no victory, Urza sobbing like an infant over Gerrard’s death. Yawgmoth healed Gerrard of all wounds and instructed the two to fight to the death as he had always envisioned it.
At last, both combatants had been stripped of all strengths and weaknesses. Urza could no longer use his tactics to defeat his foe. Gerrard’s anger fueled him past his military training into the realm of pure brutality. The two enemies clashed once again, this time fighting in the very stands of the arena. Urza and Gerrard fought for what seemed like ages, but in the end Gerrard prevailed. Urza attacked with a soul-slaying trident, but Gerrard parried and liberated Urza’s head from its shoulders. The four thousand year old master manipulator had at last died.
And then oblivion.
When next Urza opened his eyes, it was in a hellish throne room in what Urza could only assume was the Stronghold. The last of Urza’s strength remained in him for a short while, but when it faded Urza’s life would at last be over. As it was, Urza was reduced to the state of a bodiless head, a grotesque reminder of his failure at Gerrard’s hands. Gerrard and Weatherlight’s cabin hand Squee now stood in wait of the countless foes of the Stronghold to come claim their own heads. Gerrard had been changed from his time in Phyrexia. Through Urza’s wondrous eyes, he could detect that Yawgmoth had increased Gerrard’s strength, endurance, knowledge, and will had been increased tenfold. Still, these added boons would not be sufficient in stopping the onslaught of Rathi soldiers that even now barreled into the room. Urza used the last of his magical energy to destroy each and every one of the Rathi soldiers, alerting Gerrard and Squee to his presence.
Together, Gerrard, Squee, and the head of Urza waited for more reinforcements to arrive and claim their prize. However, it was not the Rathi soldiers that arrived, but Gerrard’s own crew and Eladamri’s ground forces that came to rescue Gerrard and company. Together, they fled the hellish throne room for the safety of Weatherlight.
They would not get far. Hundreds of Rathi soldiers assaulted them, preventing a speedy escape. These soldiers where hardened by their time on Rath and horribly disfigured, but were nothing compared to the true horror that even now followed the heroes. A black cloud had begun to enter the room, killing anything in its wake and reviving the dead as bloodthirsty zombies. Dominaria’s most ancient of foes had once again returned. Yawgmoth was back.
The heroes made one final lunge into the Rathi forces, losing many of their numbers along the way. Soon, however, they glimpsed the sight they had long desired, Weatherlight hovering in wait for her champions. Urza saw that Weatherlight had become its own entity, fusing together with the other parts of the Legacy in order to reveal her final incarnation. The heroes boarded Weatherlight and escaped the dying Stronghold volcano.
These victories were futile things. Urza knew that not even the power of Weatherlight would be able to stop Yawgmoth once he fully entered Dominaria. Even now, the black cloud rose from the volcano and threatened to swallow Dominaria whole. Weatherlight destroyed a nearby Phyrexian plague ship, largest of Phyrexia’s aerial warships, in order to plug the top of the Stronghold volcano and possibly prevent Yawgmoth from entering Dominaria. This was, of course, futile. Yawgmoth could not be stopped, and even now cast his dark shadow on Dominaria.
Below, each and every fallen warrior began to rise as a shambling corpse, blaspheming the cause for which they had once fought. All across Dominaria, billions of the fallen defenders began to rise and turn against their living brethren. The Coalition forces, already battered and near defeat, quickly took up their last positions as the killing began anew.
Urza told Gerrard that only one plan could work. By destroying Weatherlight, the Thran Crystal would free the millions of Serra’s Realm whose souls now resided inside Weatherlight’s core. Sisay warned Gerrard not to trust Urza, believing Urza’s plan was just another Sylex that would do more harm than good. Karn had another idea. The Dominarian Null Moon was an artificial satellite constructed during the time of the Thran. By blasting a hole into the moon, it would free the incredible amount of white mana contained there. Weatherlight could then absorb this mana and send it hurtling into Yawgmoth.
Gerrard favored Karn’s plan and set it at once into motion. The mana of the Null Moon assaulted Yawgmoth’s dark heart, causing him to attempt to flee back to the portal in the Stronghold. However, by now the Stronghold was under eruption and was soon to be destroyed. Yawgmoth had no choice but to turn himself against the source of his agony. Almost at once, Weatherlight was beaten back and Karn’s plan ultimately ended in failure.
Furious over Weatherlight’s attack, Yawgmoth revealed the final stage of his master plan. His dark cloud expanded, tightening his already formidable grip on Dominaria. This time, however, the cloud did not raise the fallen dead. Instead, it destroyed everything in its path, be it planeswalker or mortal. Almost no life remained upon Urborg, and soon no life would remain on Dominaria except Yawgmoth’s own.
Weatherlight had failed. After thousands of years in creation, Urza’s ultimate artifact and her master Gerrard had failed their first trial run. Within the hour, Yawgmoth would slay each and every being upon Dominaria. Urza revealed one last plan: the complete the Legacy. Only three last pieces of Urza’s Legacy remained apart of Weatherlight. One was Gerrard himself. The other was Karn, who could become a part of the Legacy at will. The last piece was something Urza had not even considered: the Mightstone and the Weakstone. Urza told Gerrard that by placing Urza’s eyes in the center of Weatherlight, the resulting power influx would possibly destroy Yawgmoth. It would certainly destroy Urza, Gerrard, Karn, and Weatherlight, and would possibly kill Sisay and the others.
Distraught over his failures, Gerrard agreed to this last desperate plan. Gerrard himself pulled Urza’s eyes from their sockets. Urza passed on this day. Urza had live four thousand, two hundred and five years. He had witnessed things no being should have had to witness, and also things mortals can only glimpse in their dreams. Urza had seen the destruction of Argoth, the dark realm of Phyrexia, the glories of Serra’s Realm, the fires of Shiv, and the wonders of his own Tolaria. Urza had been responsible for billions of deaths in his long lifetime, all in preparation for a moment he would not even witness: the death of Yawgmoth. In his last moments, perhaps Urza thought back to his happiest days, digging for artifacts with his brother Mishra and his teacher Tocasia. Perhaps he thought back to Xantcha or Barrin and all the times he shunned them when he should have embraced them. As in all things concerning Urza, nothing is for certain. But as Urza’s soul left his ruined head, the lines and contorts on his face revealed something he had never before experienced. Urza’s face showed peace.