The dragon-worshipping Planeswalker Sarkhan Vol is a native of Tarkir, where dragons had gone extinct long before his birth. Obsessed with their fury and predatory majesty, Sarkhan learned as much as he could about his world's ancient dragons, even going so far as to join a group of infamous shamans who venerated the apex predators. He had a talent for battle and gained status as a warrior in the Mardu clan, but he soon tired of the petty quarrels of the battlefield.
After one victory against a rival clan, Sarkhan had an experience that changed his life:
The spirit of a long-dead dragon appeared to him, whispered a spell into his mind, and then vanished forever. With the incantation of the spell, a huge dragon made of fire streaked out of Sarkhan's body and invaded the battle, blasting the battlefield with a torrent of fire. Fascinated, Sarkhan watched as his men and those of his enemy were burned to cinders. It was a display of ultimate rage and power that surpassed anything he had ever seen. It stoked a passion in him that had never before flared to life, and along with it, his Planeswalker spark.—From the novel Alara Unbroken by Doug Beyer
Thereafter, Sarkhan traveled from plane to plane, looking for a dragon to whom he could dedicate his life. On Jund, a shard of the plane of Alara, he found a land ruled by tyrannical hellkites and other mighty dragons. There, he declared his fealty to the dragon Planeswalker Nicol Bolas.
Disillusioned by his servitude to the villainous, conniving, woefully undragonlike Bolas, Sarkhan fell into madness. He was led back to Tarkir by a voice in his mind, a voice he believed belonged to the long-dead spirit dragon Ugin. At the spot where Ugin died, aided by the Jeskai khan Narset at the cost of her life, Sarkhan found what he did not even know he was seeking: a way to travel back through time to the moment of Ugin's death at Nicol Bolas's hands and prevent the spirit dragon from falling. Instantly pulled back to the present, Sarkhan found himself in a world ruled by mighty dragonlords, a world in which both Ugin and Narset were still alive.
The Tarkir of Sarkhan's birth, the world that seemed to him bereft of dragons, is gone. In its place is a vibrant world where dragons fill the skies. Sarkhan himself is now utterly unique, free in ways that few people are: a man who was never born, a Planeswalker without a home world, a human who can take the form of a dragon. Most importantly, his mind is once again his own, free of the influences of both Bolas and Ugin.