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Urza's Destiny

 
Urza's Destiny Backstory
by Scott McGough

The planeswalker Urza's preparations for the Phyrexian invasion move into their final stage: the creation of a conscious organic component of his Legacy, who will be both an integral part of the assembled weapon and the will that guides it. Urza also caches the artifact components of the Legacy in various safe locations to keep them hidden from his enemies.

At his Tolarian academy, Urza delves into deciphered Thran records that teach him how to steer evolution. He launches a program to enhance the bloodlines of Dominarian humans in places like Benalia and Jamuraa, where the natives have spent generations in the same location and have developed strong ties to the land. Urza also begins to construct an army of "Metathran" (blue mana-based simulacra) on Tolaria to be his soldiers for the coming conflict. Karn, the stalwart silver golem who had been such an integral part of the Legacy project, is relegated to the position of guardian for the developing bloodlines. The refugees Urza rescued from Serra's collapsing realm are also shunted aside as the planeswalker focuses his attention on his new agenda.

The majority of the Tolarian scholars (including Rayne, the academy's chancellor, and Barrin, who is both her husband and Urza's longtime ally) are horrified by the immorality of Urza's experiments. There is organized resistance and protest within the staff, and some members go so far as to resign. One tutor named Gatha, however, is intrigued by what he learns and sets up his own laboratory in the harsh warrior nation of Keld.

Whether due to his methods, the environment, or the nature of his Keldon subjects, Gatha's hybrids develop faster than Urza's but are far more unstable and dangerous. Gatha's tampering gives rise to an even more fearsome line of Keldon warlords, who inspire bloodlust in their troops and are in turn strengthened by that bloodlust, forming an endless loop of ever-increasing battle frenzy. Eventually, the new breed of warlords brutally seize power in Keld.

Meanwhile, a young elf named Rofellos has been sent from Llanowar to the sentient forest of Yavimaya as part of a diplomatic meeting between the two forests. Rofellos meets and forms a fast friendship with Multani, the maro-sorcerer and Yavimaya's emissary. The entire forest is evolving to prepare for the Phyrexian invasion, focusing the potent symbiotic life force of its denizens to quickly identify global threats-and aggressively respond. The elves and other creatures of Yavimaya are becoming even more in tune with their environment and more adept at combat, evasion, and stealth tactics. Mundane creatures like turtles, storks, and even insects have developed into formidable fighting beasts. Yavimaya has an opportunity to test its progress when a roving band of Phyrexians attacks. Although the forest proves to be well prepared for the coming storm, Yavimaya closes its borders to continue developing its defenses without external distractions.

Urza monitors Gatha's experiments in Keld, but when Phyrexia also takes notice, he is obliged to shut them down. In doing so, he attracts the attention of a small pack of Phyrexian negators, fearsome hunter-killers that have been pursuing him for centuries. He is able to destroy all but one of them, which flees the scene of the battle. With the planeswalker in close pursuit, the negator uses a built-in portal to escape to the nearest possible plane. Once they both complete the planar journey, Urza catches and eliminates the Phyrexian agent-and finds himself in Rath.

Urza quickly surveys the operations of the artificial plane under the dominion of its evincar, Davvol, and realizes what Rath is and how it fits into the larger invasion scheme. He also meets Lyna of the Soltari and agrees to help her people escape the shadow world in exchange for their assistance once the invasion begins. Urza planeswalks back to Dominaria and rushes to complete the organic component of his Legacy ahead of schedule.

By now, the Phyrexians have discovered the existence of Urza's bloodlines experiment-but not what its purpose is. Their agents begin to attack the regions where Urza has been most active, and Karn risks everything to save the developing Benalish bloodline of the Capashen clan. After the Phyrexians devastate an entire Capashen village, the silver golem takes the only survivor, an infant named Gerrard, to distant Jamuraa for safekeeping.

The millennia-long struggle between Urza and Phyrexia approaches its endgame. Titanic forces have been mustered on both sides, battle strategies have been honed to surgical precision, and the final preparations are underway. All that remains for the combatants is joining battle. No matter who prevails and who is destroyed, Dominaria will never be the same.

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