Deadly Perils, Priceless Treasures

Posted in Feature on August 12, 2009

By Wizards of the Coast

Deadly Perils, Priceless Treasures.

Deadly Perils, Priceless Treasures. Zendikar is a wild, untamed world fabled among planeswalkers. Ancient forests conceal trapped ruins. Catacombs leak poisonous vapors into the sky. Magma bursts unexpectedly from a placid lake. The landscapes are breathtaking—if you can survive the deadly risks. Zendikar hides treasures beyond imagining, but only an elite few can survive long enough to find them.

This is a place where rules are broken: Violent forces roll across the horizon, constantly altering the shape of the land. Massive stones float on air. Even Zendikar's mana is unique—more intense, more powerful, more desired by those who know how to wield it. Like other planes, the land pulses with mana that mages use to power their spells. But Zendikar is different from other planes of the Multiverse. Crackling with spell-like effects, the mana here is exceptionally potent—and sometimes unpredictably powerful. Planeswalkers flock to Zendikar in search of these remarkable—and dangerous—locales.

The Roil

Zendikar's unique mana and its own fierce ecology combine to cause violent and erratic changes in the terrain. The land shudders and writhes, causing tectonic chaos, extreme weather, and sudden destruction. This volatility is known as "The Roil." Large boulders and shards of rock erupt from the earth, and then subside when The Roil shifts away. Winds generated by the The Roil turn debris and vegetation into a devastating funnel clouds. Over water, The Roil creates whirlpools that can suck a boat to the bottom of the ocean or waves that crash into high cliffs and flood the forests beyond.

For those born on Zendikar, The Roil is a natural phenomenon—just the way things are. To planeswalkers, it's obvious that this volatility is what keeps Zendikar dangerous and untamed. The trappings of civilized life are rare on Zendikar. A sturdy machete will keep you alive longer than a chest full of gold. Though hard to obtain, an accurate map can be more useful than an entire army.

There are very few settlements on Zendikar's seven perilous continents, just pockets of civilization and outposts where adventurers gather to share stories and supplies. Despite the hardship, Zendikar's resourceful denizens have devised clever ways to survive a world that seems determined to cast them off its surface. Exploration and inventiveness are crucial to surviving in this world. Powerful treasures await the adventurers who venture out in Zendikar's dangerous wilds—if only they are smart and strong enough to stay alive.

Next week: The Races of Zendikar

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