Checking in on the Planeswalkers (2015)
August 19 2015
If this were a different present, Tarkir would be in the clutches of five powerful khans. The deserts and the forests would be rife with bloodshed and plagued by war. The clans would be locked in battle for control of immense fortunes and vast kingdoms. But this is not that present. This present was never the khans' to rule. This present belongs to the dragons.
The mighty dragons of Tarkir owe their existence to Planeswalker Sarkhan Vol. From a dragonless present, he travelled back in time more than a thousand years to a crucial turning point, and there he saved Planeswalker Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, from death. In doing so he ensured the continuing presence of the dragon tempests, the storms that feed on Ugin's magic and birth dragons, and thus he ensured the continuing presence of dragons.
For many years, the clans had been fighting a war against the dragons for their own survival, hoping to gain some advantage in the struggle. But that hope was dashed when Sarkhan intervened. With the dragons' presence secured, draconic numbers grew and soon, the tide of the war turned. Ultimately, the dragons were able to hunt down the khans and destroy them. Then all that was left was for the dragons to claim their place on the vacant thrones.
In this present, the defeated clans are ruled by five legendary dragonlords. Over time, the clans have come to embody the predominant aspects of their draconic masters, and they represent these strengths with draconic symbols. Each clan battles with mana from an allied color pair, wielding its magic on behalf of its dragonlord in a bid to gain control of the entire plane of Tarkir.
The Tarkir of Sarkhan Vol’s birth is a world driven by battle. The plane is dominated by five powerful clans that vie for supremacy in a land where dragons have been hunted to extinction. Led by the five khans, the clans clash with each constantly. Each khan seeks to win territory from the others—and some wish to rule it all.
Among the clans of Tarkir, the Sultai revered ruthlessness above all other virtues, building a reputation for cruelty and deception. As history would prove, deception trumps cruelty. The reign of the Sultai's last khan, Tasigur, was cut short when Ikra Shidiqi, his naga advisor, betrayed him to the dragonlord Silumgar. Silumgar rewarded her act of treachery by making Ikra his first dragonspeaker.
The Dromoka are a true community, dragons and desert survivors bound together by their common allegiance to their devoted dragonlord. The clan embodies the draconic aspect of endurance, and their symbol, fittingly, is the dragon's scale. They march in close ranks and fight with the support and cooperation of dragons.
Muscular and savage, orcs are well suited to Tarkir's harsh environment. The Kolaghan clan includes many orc warriors. Orcs also share the wild lands of the Atarka.
Narset is a learned monk and one of the favorite students of her dragonlord, Ojutai. Narset channels her inner will to give her mastery over the physical and spiritual world. She is also one of the few who know the true history of Tarkir.