The Champion

Posted in Arcana on June 20, 2014

By Mike McArtor

Mike first played with Ice Age and became the copy editor for in December 2011. Before DailyMTG, he was an editor on D&D's Dragon magazine for four years.

Fifteen cards throughout Theros block refer to The Theriad, which itself mentions an unnamed Champion. In his story "Ajani, Mentor of Heroes," Kelly Digges reveals that the Champion isn't one person, but rather a title given to someone chosen by the sun—by Heliod himself. Elspeth is—was [sob]—the most recent Champion of the Sun.

Unlike "The Love Song of Night and Day," the fifteen Theriad quotes don't fit in any particular order. Each stands alone, but in total they tell part of the story of the Champion—of Champions—past and present. I have to show them in some order, though, so I chose alphabetical by card name, because that is easiest.

So, collected here are all the quotes from The Theriad in one place, for ease of reference:

Borderland Minotaur:

"You have led us to triumph over the forces of Mogis!" said Brygus the Brave, clapping the Champion on the back.
The Champion wiped the sweat and blood from her brow.
"I count eight graves," she said. "Too many to call this a victory."
The Theriad

Bronze Sable:

The Champion stood alone between the horde of the Returned and the shrine to Karametra, cutting down scores among hundreds. She would have been overcome if not for the aid of the temple guardians whom Karametra awakened.
The Theriad

Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass:

The Champion armed herself to face the cyclops, heedless of her companions' despair.
"How will you defeat it with only one spear?" asked young Althemone.
The Champion raised her weapon. "It has but one eye."
The Theriad

Felhide Minotaur:

With spear held high, the Champion came to meet Thyrogog of the Ashlands, who wore the old king's skin as a cloak and fed on the flesh of innocents. The foul minotaur raised the great axe called Goremaster and charged.
The Theriad

Great Hart:

The great hart stood like a statue, its hide painted gold by the dawn. The Champion laid down her weapons and stepped forward within an arm's length of the beast. The hart, sacred to Heliod and bathed in the god's own light, bowed to the Champion, marking her as the Chosen of the Sun God.
The Theriad

Nessian Courser:

Khestes the Adamant, the Champion's closest ally among the centaurs, took one stone to his shoulder and another to his flank. He held his stride and his aim, and let fly the arrow that killed the giant Grinthax.
The Theriad

Oreskos Swiftclaw:

After the Battle of Pharagax Bridge, the Champion spent many months among the leonin of Oreskos. She found that they were quick to take offense, not because they were thin-skinned, but because they were always eager for a fight.
The Theriad

Pensive Minotaur:

The Champion and her companions marched through the night, but the battle was over before they arrived. In the middle of the carnage sat a solitary minotaur, lost in what seemed to the Champion to be thought.
The Theriad

Pheres-Band Centaurs:

"Poets speak of your unrivaled speed," the Champion said to the assembled centaurs, "but it is plain to see that your true strength lies in your unwavering loyalty to one another."
The Theriad

Rotted Hulk:

The hulk rose from the sea and loomed over the Champion. Pinned beneath the twisting, rotted planks of wood was the body of Kaliaros, the helmsman of her former crew, and beside him the captain, Photine.
The Theriad

Silent Artisan:

On the fourth day they passed through a forest of immense stacked stones. Althemone, youngest of the companions, called these pillars the work of a god, but the Champion knew better. She quickened her pace.
The Theriad

Swordwise Centaur:

The girl who would become the Champion of the Sun hacked furiously at the practice dummy. At last she stopped, breathing heavily, and looked up at her instructor.
"So much anger," said the centaur. "I will teach you the ways of war, child. But first you must make peace with yourself."
The Theriad

Traveling Philosopher:

The Champion and the philosopher Olexa returned from the opposing camp at dusk. Behind them, the enemy raised sail and departed, breaking the siege. When asked what the two had done, the Champion replied, "We spoke to them."
The Theriad

Triton Shorethief:

At sunrise, the Champion and her companions awoke to find their supplies gone and Brygus, their sentry, dead. Carefully arranged piles of ornamental shells gave a clear warning: go no further.
The Theriad

It was in fields of grain, not fields of battle, that the Champion learned to bear the yoke of duty to the gods. She worked the land long before she was called on to defend it.
The Theriad

Bonus Wallpaper!

We have been trying for weeks to provide a bonus wallpaper for all of you, but the schedule conspired (har har) against us. (And, to be honest, I wanted this for my work computer's background—which has been the same since I arrived here in December, 2011!) Since Magic 2015 previews begin on Monday, today is the last day to focus on the plane of Theros. So we decided to do it today as a sendoff for a beloved setting, block, and character.

So here it is, a wallpaper of my favorite piece of art in the entire beautiful block.

Jason Chan's Deicide.

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