Lacunae and the Beacons

Posted in Arcana on June 10, 2004

By Wizards of the Coast

Mirrodin's Core art
by Greg Staples

The center of Mirrodin boils with raw mana. Centuries before the events of Fifth Dawn, raging streams of mana punched holes through Mirrodin's surface and arced out from the core, creating Mirrodin's four suns. These lacunae --

We interrupt this narrative to bring you a quick Lexicon entry:

la·cu·na (plural la·cu·nas or la·cu·nae)

  1. An empty space or a missing part; a gap.
  2. In anatomy: a cavity, space, or depression, especially in a bone, containing cartilage or bone cells.

-- were supersaturated with mana of a particular color, the plane's skin serving as a kind of prism or filter for the raw mana.

When civilizations began to form on the surface of Mirrodin, they gravitated to the power of the lacunae. Great buildings were constructed over and around them, and over time, and with the aid of Memnarch's machinations, their original nature as deep tunnels to the inside of the planet was forgotten, lost to history, or known only by an elite group. The original four lacunae became famous sites depicted on Mirrodin cards:

Ancient Den
  • The white lacuna became Taj-Nar, the Cave of Light (Ancient Den).
  • At the center of Lumengrid (Seat of the Synod) is the Knowledge Pool, a chamber built around the blue lacuna.
  • The black lacuna became the center of the Ish Sah (Vault of Whispers) in the Mephidross Swamp.
  • The red lacuna became the Womb of the Steel Mother (Great Furnace).

In the era of the Fifth Dawn set, elf hero Glissa uses her mana-arcing power to obliterate Kaldra, blasting a fifth lacuna in Mirrodin's surface. The mana core of the plane throws off the surplus of mana it had been accumulating for centuries (namely, green mana), channeling it through her. This event destroys the Tangle's Hum of the Radix and brings the green sun to Mirrodin's sky.

The Beacons

But these cataclysmic events are not the only times when mana flares up from Mirrodin's core. The cycle of Beacons in Fifth Dawn (Beacon of Immortality, Beacon of Tomorrows, Beacon of Unrest, Beacon of Destruction, and Beacon of Creation) represent rare times when flares of mana erupt from the core through the preexisting lacunae. The exception is the Beacon of Creation, which shows the destruction of the Radix and the formation of the green lacuna.

Beacon of Creation art by Mark Tedin

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