Golgari Swarm

Posted in Feature on August 20, 2012

By Wizards of the Coast

Golgari Swarm
My Darkness. My Horde. My Guild.
The Golgari Swarm fuses the opposite values of life and death, fostering growth in Ravnica's decaying communities but also fostering decay in places of growth. The elves, zombies, insects, and undead/plant hybrids of the Golgari are like one massive growing, feeding organism, collectively spreading across the plane wherever they can fit. The Golgari provide a necessary service in Ravnica: they dispose of the carcasses civilization leaves behind, and mysteriously they also provide sustenance for the forgotten and the needy. They are the scavengers and decomposers at the fringes of the food chain, but yearn to be the predators at the top.

The Golgari guild is organized more like a single organism than a collective. It has a nucleus or nerve center that drives the direction and growth of the guild, elements that collect nutrients and convert them into usable resources, defenses that fight off foreign bodies, and an instinctual drive to survive, reproduce, and overcome.
Illus. Eytan Zana
Jarad and the Cilia. The Golgari are ruled by the lich guildmaster Jarad, but beyond that the ruling structure can be hard to detect. Jarad maintains a council of shamans and rogues called the Cilia, who act as a combined advisory parliament and spy agency but rarely convene publicly or come together at once. Insect minions act as a sensory apparatus to know what the outer reaches of the Golgari are doing an as a messenger service to deliver instructions. Some individuals may be considered to have higher rank than others, but no one beyond the guildmaster knows those rankings. The Golgari guild has had more changes in leadership than any other guilds. The guild believes in the importance of continuous cycles, understands that assassination is a valid means of political conquest, and knows that being alive is not a prerequisite to rule.
Illus. Eric Deschamps
Korozda, the Maze of Decay. Korozda is the new Golgari guildhall, an arched cathedral surrounded by an immense, circular maze of overgrown, fungus-encrusted ruins. Korozda is the lair of guildmaster Jarad and the place where he meets with his irregular court of attendants. It’s patrolled by an array of swarming vermin, giant insects, and zombies.
Illus. Ryan Pancoast
Members of the Golgari guild have earned Planeswalker Points! This ranks them out of 10!
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