The Legends of Innistrad: Crimson Vow

Posted in Feature on November 12, 2021

By Doug Beyer, Ari Zirulnik, and Grace Fong

We managed to get ahold of the guest list for Innistrad: Crimson Vow, and it's looking kind of wild! We've got faces old and new, fanged and un-fanged, human and . . . uh . . . slime monster. Let's see who's in attendance:

NEW LEGENDS

Donal, Herald of Wings

A devout worshipper of Avacyn, her betrayal and subsequent unmaking left Donal feeling lost. He set off on a pilgrimage in search of deeper meaning. Several months later, after a night's sleep in a forest clearing, Donal was awakened by a symphony of birdsong. Opening his eyes, he found himself surrounded by both mortal and spirit birds. For the first time since Avacyn's unmaking, he felt at peace. He has since decided to live among the birds, their melodious calls providing all the spiritual sustenance he sorely missed.

Jacob Hauken, Inspector

Jacob Hauken always had an inquisitive mind. That, combined with the uncanny ability to see geists and other spirits, even when they would rather remain hidden, has served him well as the foremost investigator-for-hire of strange occurrences in Innistrad. Young Jacob has already made a name for himself, especially along the Nephalian coast—not only has he managed to solve quite a few mysteries, but he's done so without dying horribly.

Read Jacob's story.

Timothar, Baron of Bats

Timothar Markov is a cruel and powerful vampire, one of the finest to ever grace the battlefield. Timothar Markov is also going through a tough time right now. It can be hard to hear that your ex is getting married, especially when you're not totally over her. Sure, Timothar only dated Olivia Voldaren for a couple hundred years, but it was real to him. He was last heard telling his closest confidants that while he would never actually go to her wedding, it would have been nice to get an invite.

Toxrill, the Corrosive

Among the cults of Nephalia, there is no rivalry as ancient as the one the between the Temple of Toxrill and the Spawn of Grolnok. When the spawn supposedly summoned an avatar of their god, the temple followed suit, performing an ancient ritual (and casting a little enlarging magic) on a demon-blood-infused slug. The result was Toxrill, a gigantic, rapidly multiplying horror that devoured half of the temple just moments after creation. Toxrill's remaining worshippers ecstatically wait to pit their creation again the Spawn of Grolnok's monster.

Henrika Domnathi

Henrika is the progenitor of the Domnathi bloodline, vampires who bargain with demons, exchanging favors for the demons' powerful blood. Major bloodlines consider the Domnathi's potent magic dangerous even for vampire-kind, and in ancient times, the Domnathi were subject to many great purges. Henrika leads the survivors to this day and keeps a list of names written in vengeful crimson next to her heart. Olivia Voldaren has taken an interest in Domnathi magic and even invited Henrika to her wedding in an effort to smooth things over. Whether Olivia's name is on Henrika's list is unknown.

Torens, Fist of the Angels

A hero to the common folk of Gavony, Torens was not always the paragon of virtue that he is known to be today. In his past lies a sordid history of desertion from the ranks of the cathars, theft of a wonderous magical weapon, and a trail of chicanery as long as the king's own road between Gavony and Kessig. It took a chance and terrifying encounter with the jailers of Eruth, the Tormented Prophet, for Torens to realize his true path. Now a champion of the poor peasants of Innistrad, Torens wields his solar mace in defense of the people and trains them to defend themselves against the terrors of the night.

Read Torens's story.

Grolnok, the Omnivore

There is no more bitter a rivalry among Nephalia's cults than that between the Spawn of Grolnok and the Temple of Toxrill. Seeking to get a leg up on their rivals, the spawn obtained what a passing merchant insisted was one of the Gitrog Monster's eggs. They cast an arcane ritual on the egg, one passed down through generations of cultists, and a humongous, oozing frog emerged. Declaring this monster the one true Grolnok, the spawn have dedicated their lives to doting on their "god." Upon hearing that the temple had obtained their own monster, the spawn began preparations for their final battle.

Dorothea, Vengeful Victim

Dorothea is among the countless humans mercilessly slaughtered by Olivia Voldaren over the years—and is now one of the numerous souls trapped in Olivia's wedding train. A skilled sorcerer in life, Dorothea specialized in bloodline magic. If she were freed from Olivia's accoutrement, she could lend considerable strength to a blood relative in battle. Coincidentally, her great-grandson is among the cathars rallied to attack Olivia's wedding . . .

Kamber, the Plunderer and Laurine, the Diversion

Kamber and Laurine had their next heist all figured out. Laurine would scout the location and serve as a distraction while Kamber grabbed the goods. However, they failed to account for the thousand-year-old vampire that slept inside the tomb. While Laurine can't shake the intrusive thought that her longtime partner might be tempted to eat her, it will take more than a little vampirism to break up Innistrad's premiere grave-robbing duo.

Rhoda, Geist Avenger and Timin, Youthful Geist

Spirits do not typically cooperate with humans, and cathars rarely tolerate the presence of geists. In various battles during The Travails, Rhoda and Timin coincidentally (and repeatedly) saved each other's life and unlife, respectively. They eventually came to the conclusion that they were stronger together than on their own, resulting in one of Innistrad's strangest team-ups. Although Emrakul has been sealed away, their partnership remains. Together they have helped humans, helped spirits, and are attempting to track down Timin's killer.

Millicent, Restless Revenant

Vengeance is a desire shared by many of the spirits left in the wake of The Travails, and Millicent is no exception. In life, she was mayor and captain of the guard of a small township. Having lost her entire family to the various horrors of Innistrad, Millicent wanted to create a sanctuary for other people who had lost those close to them. Her small town grew into a medium-sized city made up of humans learning to heal. Then a mysterious tragedy wiped it off the map.

One by one, Millicent and her citizens rose again as spirits, each with their own unfinished business. The spirits still held on to their sense of community, even in death. Led by Millicent, they travel the plane together, seeking the vengeance each spirit desires. They descend on cities like a natural disaster. A cloud of spirits flood the streets, leaving the dead bodies of corrupt officials or disguised werewolves in their wake.

Read Millicent's story.

Umbris, Fear Manifest

The bright light of Innistrad's silver moon casts long shadows as you travel through the Ulvenwald. Near imperceptibly, perhaps spotted in the corner of your eye, a black mist leaps between the darkness. It's impossible for you to tell if it's getting closer (it is). Is this thing you sense a demonic threat? A horror brought about by the monster's presence in the moon? A twig snaps, and you turn around quickly, just in time to see a figure made of teeth and claws pull itself up out of your shadow . . .

RETURNING LEGENDS

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Thalia had quite the storied career before The Travails. As a young cathar, she was declared the "Guardian of Thraben." She was forced to free demons by the planeswalker Liliana and ended up freeing the archangel Avacyn as well. She left the corrupt church and founded the Order of Saint Traft. Fighting alongside the geist of Traft himself, she battled the Eldrazi invasion. It's safe to say that she is a very brave and talented woman. At the moment, she wishes to restore Thraben to its former glory. The first step? Clearing out a seemingly endless zombie horde—but first, she must answer a letter from her former mentor, Odric.

Read Thalia's story.

Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr

Katilda was the leader of the Dawnhart Coven. She led the effort to restore the balance of day and night to Innistrad. Working alongside Arlinn Kord and her fellow planeswalkers, they succeeded in obtaining the Moonsilver Key and starting a ritual to correct the cosmos. It was then that Olivia Voldaren and her vampire horde swept in, severing Katilda's spirit from her body and trapping it in the Moonsilver Key. There, she gathers strength and waits for the perfect moment . . .

Geralf, Visionary Stitcher

Geralf Cecani is a talented stitcher locked in eternal rivalry with his older sister, Gisa. Of course, if you ask him, the whole situation is entirely beneath him, and his sister's pitiable actions barely deserve his inevitable retaliation. In recent years, Geralf has been studying under the master necro-alchemist Ludevic in an effort to improve his craft. Ludevic's lab has proven to be a veritable playground, and Geralf's skills have progressed at an impressive pace.

Although Ludevic has recently been acting erratically, Geralf has paid him no mind. He is fully dedicated to improving his craft (with the occasional detour to torment his sibling).

Halana and Alena, Partners

The forest of Ulvenwald is home to many of Innistrad's most fearsome creatures, including werewolves, vampires, and the possessed. Alena and Halana, partners in work and life, safely guide travelers to the nearby town of Gatstaf. They formed a temporary alliance with their enemies, the werewolves, in the wake of Emrakul's assault. However, with the onset of eternal night, their battles against the werewolves have resumed.

Anje, Maid of Dishonor

Of all the vampiric bloodlines, Olivia recognizes that it is key to control the Falkenraths. Ruthless and cruel on the battlefield, any conflict between the Voldarens and the Falkenraths would result in unacceptable casualties on both sides. In a political move designed to assert dominance, Olivia selected Anje Falkenrath to be her "maid of honor."

Anje is an ancient scion, as clever as she is mean. She's totally aware of what being Olivia's maid of honor means and is absolutely furious that she can't do anything about it. She's currently formulating a plan but hasn't gotten much further than "drink a whole lot of blood at the wedding."

Eruth, Tormented Prophet

Mad. Cursed. Tormented by devils. Speaker for demons. Eruth was called many things before her fellow townsfolk locked her away in a damp and miserable keep. For her health, they said. For her protection, they said. So, she would stop telling them how the world was going to end. They did not care that her dreams actually came true; they only cared that her prophecies did not spread chaos and panic. However, after a fated encounter with Torens, Fist of the Angels, she can now warn the world of what terrors were hidden in the keep with her . . .

Read Eruth's story.

Old Rutstein

To fight the supernatural monsters of Innistrad, you need some special equipment. You can't deal with a geist infestation the same way you'd handle a rabid werewolf. That's where Old Rutstein comes in. Whatever you need, he's got it—and at a better price than any other merchant (according to him). He's got stakes of all shapes, sizes, and materials. Need holy water? He's got a whole fountain (no, you can't visit it). While he may have the air of a conman, Old Rutstein's wares never fail to deliver . . . most of the time.

Odric, Blood-Cursed

Master tactician Odric has always protected the human citizens of Innistrad. In his early career, he served the Avacynian Church as Commander of the Gavony Riders. His cathar troops followed him with deep admiration for his stalwart values. When the church's leader, Lunarch Mikaeus, died in a siege at Thraben, Odric joined the newly formed council that replaced the Lunarch. Odric disliked church politics but felt his participation was necessary to protect the people.

Although seemingly invited to represent Innistrad's military protectors, Odric was barred from voting on Council matters. When he investigated this treatment, he discovered his council peers were actually demonic cultists. Disillusioned, Odric left the capital to join the Order of Saint Traft, a new army raised by his protégé Thalia, dedicated to the old values that Odric still held.

However, a shocking vampiric encounter has left Odric changed. Can he resist his new murderous urges and continue as a champion of the people?

Read Odric's story.

Runo Stromkirk

The progenitor of the Stromkirk vampire bloodline, Runo Stromkirk was a high priest in the service of an ancient god of the sea and storms. The vampires of his line are still drawn to the new cults arising in Nephalia. Runo himself has occasionally worshipped alongside mad human cultists on the Nephalian coast. With the onset of eternal night, Runo has decided the time is nigh to summon Krothuss, a legendary kraken said to be more powerful than the Kralmar itself.

Krothuss, Lord of the Deep

Krothuss, an ancient, horrific kraken, slept deeply beneath the waves of Nephalia. The subject of worship by many cults, Krothuss desires nothing but pure destruction. Extremely adverse to light, it was not willing to surface until now. Fueled by the eternal night, Runo Stromkirk performed a mystical ritual to compel Krothuss to the surface. Unless day breaks soon, all of Innistrad is in danger from this hulking monstrosity.

Edgar, Charmed Groom

Edgar Markov is the progenitor of all vampires on Innistrad and Sorin Markov's grandfather. Thousands of years ago, when Edgar's province faced a famine, a demon convinced him to find a way for people to gain sustenance from blood. He exsanguinated an angel to create the proper magic for these blood-empowered people, and the resulting ritual created vampires. Edgar lives to this day, although he spends most of his time slumbering in a deep torpor in the cellar of the warped Markov Manor. That coffin, however, has just gone missing. And Olivia Voldaren just sent out wedding invitations with his and her name on them. What exactly is going on?

Olivia, Crimson Bride

Olivia, head of the Voldaren bloodline of vampires, never forgave Sorin Markov for the betrayal of creating Avacyn, the archangel who protected the humans from vampiric predation. She was pleased when Sorin was forced to unmake his own creation during The Travails, but now Sigarda and the other angels have taken Avacyn's place.

With the darkening night, Olivia sees an opportunity to seize power on Innistrad and inflict delicious revenge on Sorin at the same time. Her plan is to revive and marry Edgar Markov in a grand vampiric wedding, solidifying her power. Edgar is the progenitor of all vampires on Innistrad and, as a bonus, is Sorin's grandfather. She only needs to find a way to stop those meddling planeswalkers from restoring the day-night balance . . .

Strefan, Maurer Progenitor

Strefan Maurer is the progenitor of the Maurer lineage of vampires and the lord of a remote part of Stensia's outland valleys. As a human, millennia ago, Strefan admired no one more than his father. When his father met his end in an untimely accident, Strefan became obsessed with uncovering the secret to immortality. This obsession eventually led to a partnership with Edgar Markov, Olivia Voldaren, and the other humans who eventually became Innistrad's first vampires.

Frustrated with his limited power and status as a "minor" vampire lord, Strefan treats his people with an incomparable cruelty. Sigarda attempted to intervene in the past, but Strefan was able to repel her forces. Angels have not set foot nor wing in his territory ever since. Strefan fears only one thing: his ancient familial estate. Abandoned when his father died, twisted and terrible things haunt its halls.

Strefan's story coming soon.

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