Sowing Fear, Reaping War

Posted in Feature on December 10, 2008

By Wizards of the Coast

Sowing Fear, Reaping War

Long before the planes converged, secret groups sowed fear and paranoia in each shard. Although unaware of each other, these agents of discord worked toward the same goal: the outbreak of war in the reunited Alara. A calculating genius has taken an interest in the shards—an ancient evil with a vision that spans worlds. He orchestrates his agents with promises of power, rewards, or manipulations of their beliefs.


Rakka Mar, a powerful shaman and chieftain, used her prodigious magical strength to take control of her tribe. Nearly 50 years old, she is one of the oldest humans on Jund, and one of the few who can summon multiple elementals at once. Lured by the promise of more magical power, she manipulates the human tribes into challenging dragons and viashino for dominance and fuels their bloodlust for prey on Naya and Grixis.


Once the undisputed rulers of Naya, the Nacatl built an empire high in the mountains. As the empire expanded, some Nacatl prospered at others' expense, and internal strife simmered. The agents seized on this conflict and roused discontent against the "soft-pawed" leaders. Led by the charismatic Marisi, the rebels urged the Nacatl to reclaim their true cat-like nature. Marisi's followers waged war in the city streets, the empire crumbled, and the Nacatls became a divided race.


The Skyward Eye was a knightly order devoted to the ideal of righteousness. But the leadership became corrupted, and their values twisted into persecution and intolerance. The knights crusaded against people who didn't uphold the "true" values of Bant, dividing families, castes, and eventually causing war between nations.

Gwafa Hazid is another agent on Bant. He travels on the Grand Caravan, spreading rumors and swindling his fellow citizens whenever he can get away with it. He is one of the few genuinely ambitious people in Bant and embraces his newfound purpose—and potential rewards—with relish.


A sect of wizards known as the Seekers of Carmot rose to a position of prominence in Esper. As the supplies of etherium diminished, the Seekers insisted that they alone know the secret to forge new etherium. They claimed to possess the "Codex Etherium," which reveals the location of carmot, a mysterious red stone necessary for the process. In truth, agents are manipulating the Seekers into encouraging false hope in the denizens of Esper.


The seers of the Split-Eye Coven foretell of a wellspring of life energy that will soon emerge on Grixis. The witches convinced their followers that the life energy will be available only to those who follow their grisly commands. On Grixis, as on the other planes, an ancient planeswalker controls these agents of discord. Surrounded by undead thralls in his secret lair, he has masterminded a sinister plan that is about to come to fruition. War is raging in the new Alara—exactly as Nicol Bolas planned.

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