Original Zendikar Design Handoff Document, Part 2
October 19 2020
A tumultuous plane of wild mana, unstable weather, and floating terrain, Zendikar is a world of incomparable natural beauty and danger. The plane is wracked by volatile seismic movements known as “the Roil.” Violent shifts in the landscape make life precarious, unpredictable, and full of adventure. Rivers cascaded down from above the skyline. Craggy peaks lurch to crush those who would scale their heights. Lush forests and murky swamps grow over upturned ruins hiding ancient secrets. Massive stone formations known as hedrons, the ancient handiwork of the Planeswalkers Ugin, Sorin, and Nahiri the Lithomancer, remain as a reminder of calmer days on the plane. Days before the Eldrazi escaped.
The Eldrazi were three inscrutable entities of the Blind Eternities, able to travel between planes to devour worlds. Unable to defeat the titans, the ancient Planeswalkers used the hedrons to lure, contain, and immobilize them. They remained trapped in stasis and hidden for millennia until younger Planeswalkers inadvertently released them.
Freed from their imprisonment, the Eldrazi titans summoned their spawn and spread throughout the plane, consuming two of Zendikar's seven continents and leaving chalk deserts and warped Escher-scapes in their wake. The Zendikari who endured the destruction adapted and built alliances; kor and merfolk, elves and humans, even the proud and deadly vampire families of Guul Draz. With the help of the four founding Planeswalkers of the Gatewatch – Gideon Jura, Nissa Revane, Jace Beleren, and Chandra Nalaar – the titans Ulamog and Kozilek were destroyed near the city of Sea Gate. Zendikar struggles to recover, with vast areas depopulated and devastated.
Akiri once guided a kor band on Zendikar, but she struck out on her own when an Eldrazi attack killed her comrades. Now she uses her line-slinging expertise to safeguard travelers from Ulamog. Death won't catch Akiri off-guard—she believes preparation and self-reliance are the keys to survival in a hostile world, and they've kept her alive so far.
Life on the Teeth of Akoum is treacherous, but manageable. Rock slides on this unstable terrain are perhaps the biggest threat. Clinging to what little shelter there is, humans survive by rallying together, protecting each other, and finding the quickest paths to safety.
Once released from their prison inside Zendikar, the three Eldrazi titans spawned many lesser Eldrazi, which consumed all energy and matter as they expanded across Zendikar. Despite the defeat of the titans, many of their bizarre and vicious creations still wander the plane, seeking only to devour.
Return to the wild plane of Zendikar, where the monstrous Eldrazi threaten the entire world with destruction. The plane's inhabitants, and even the land itself, stand united to oppose them.
October 19 2020
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