Dominia: the Open Multiverse Project
Description of Zendikar
The plane of Zendikar is alive with the force of magic. From the wildlife to the weather, it is a harsh plane filled with many dangers and all of them are trying to kill you. The people that live here do not build grand cities that shine in the distance, nor do they all wander the wide plains. Humans and vampires that call the plane home have cities which can house thousands of people while elves live amongst the tops of trees. Kor travel across the lands following ancient migration patterns and merfolk live along the coasts. The goblins of Zendikar are to be found everywhere else, delving through ruins, triggering traps, and generally causing mischief. The people of Zendikar, regardless of race, are all hardy and resilient from the lethal nature of the plane which threatens their existence at every turn. But for every danger there is a reward; for Zendikar has many artifacts to offer those willing to retrieve them and beautiful landscapes to travel through.
History of Zendikar
Zendikar of Antiquity
Before Zendikar was first invaded by the Eldrazi long ago, humans, elves, merfolk and kor built great empires that spanned the continents. These civilizations knew nothing of the Eldrazi horrors and therefore the three gods worshiped by the merfolk did not exist. These civilizations had massive magical power and knew how to harness that power. Expeditions into the ancient ruins from this distant age are often met with hazardous magical traps which guard long lost artifacts. Often, shades, ghosts, spirits, wraiths and lingering magical effects still reside in these ancient ruins attracting powerful demons. Even magical constructs and golems can still be found guarding the halls. The treasure found within these long forgotten vaults include magical items or features, precious gems and art, and even bizarre coins made of unknown substances with unknown markings. Some examples of these ancient sites which are known to the Expeditionary Houses include:
- Ior Ruin on Akoum
- The Singing City on Murasa
- The Cipher in Flames on Murasa
- Jwar Isle Complex in Ondu
- The Sunspring on Tazeem
- Benthidrix on Sejiri
The Eldrazi Period
When the Eldrazi first arrived on Zendikar and sent the plane into chaos, three legendary heroes trapped the great beings on the plane, once again stabilizing it. The ancient civilizations had been crushed by the devastation of the titans but not without a fight. Magical weapons and items were crafted to combat the Eldrazi threat which now are highly sought after. Ruins from this age are often found with patterns resembling those on the hedrons that eventually contained the Eldrazi. Knowledge from this era is highly prized as well and tomes containing any information about the titans can still be found in hidden libraries. The temples from this era show the conversion from the old gods worshiped by the ancient civilizations to the worship of the angels and in some cases a great dragon. Ruins sites from this era include:
- The Eye of Ugin on Akoum
- Tal Terig on Akoum
- The Crypt of Agadeem in Ondu
- Emeria, the Sky Ruin on Tazeem
After the Eldrazi were imprisoned a new threat was released onto the world: the Roil. Zendikar became unstable due to the great titans being imprisoned on the plane and the very nature of the plane was altered because of it. The Roil destroyed many cities and towns across all the lands and the kor began their nomadic lifestyle. Over time, the horror and danger that the Eldrazi caused were forgotten and their depiction in art and religion became god-like. To the kor, the “prophet of Talib” became their guiding figure who taught her people the art of stoneforging. Known ruin sites from this period include:
- The Living Spire on Murasa
- Ula Temple on Tazeem
- Hagra Cistern on Guul Draz
- The Helix of Zof on Guul Draz
The People of Zendikar
There are six major races of people who inhabit Zendikar.
Humans are the most numerous race on Zendikar and boast a wide variety of diversity within their people. Humans have built many of the more secure settlements on the plane including the cities of Sea Gate, Affa Town, and the Free City of Nimana. Industrious and adventurous, many of the artifact-seeking exploration parties that delve into old ruins and dangerous dungeons are sponsored by and made of up of humans. Humans civilization as a whole is predominantly white-aligned, but individuals may be aligned to any color.
Elves live among Zendikar’s forests teeming with game as large as it is deadly. Elves are fearless warriors able to adapt to their surroundings better than most races. They are the most numerous race on Murasa and their treetop villages are a common sight on other continents as well. Elves are graceful creatures who seek to live in harmony with the natural world around them, though the different tribes have different philosophies regarding what this means. Elves are strongly associated with green mana for their undeniable and often unbreakable connection to the physical land of Zendikar.
Goblins may lack height, courage, and common sense (which can often be misinterpreted as courage), but they will live anywhere alongside anyone else. If fact, unlike on other planes, their prescence in a sizable community is often welcome. Goblins enjoy exploring dangerous areas, triggering traps, and fiddling with magical devices that could cause massive destruction. Though not evil, goblins can be clever, impetuous, gullible, and cunning. Associated with red magic, goblins tend to enjoy physicality, un-subtle magic, and indulging their impulses, and it shows in their cultural celebrations. Life is an adventure after all.
Kor wander the wilds of Zendikar as a nomadic people, and move relatively unhindered through the Zendikari wilderness- climbing steep cliffs and crossing the deepest chasms with little more than hooks and ropes. Some believe that kor are incapable of speaking as they use words sparingly. Instead, kor have a silent language conveyed by hand signals and gestures which allows them to communicate over long distances and roaring winds. Kor are strongly tied to white mana for their reverence of the land and the strictly structured society based on ancient tradition that binds them together as a people.
Merfolk swim and walk the shores of Zendikar as scholars and explorers alike. In times past, after the Eldrazi had been imprisoned on the plane, a religion based on three gods emerged within merfolk communities. These three gods present three ways by which to approach life and each merfolk must choose a creed when they reach adulthood. Merfolk are associated with blue mana, and the different creeds express their connection to the color in different ways.
Vampires call the marshy boglands of Guul Draz their home. Neither truly living nor dead, the nature of Zendikari vampires is a mystery not lost on people from the other races. They feed on the energy in blood that exists within all living creatures. Amongst themselves, they are divided into five clans: Kalastria, Nirkana, Emevera, Urnaav, and Ghet. Whether these clans represent some strange kinship or something more sinister is a secret known perhaps only by the bloodchiefs of each family. Most people regard the vampires with caution bordering on mistrust, due to their less than seemly reputation, but individuals can still find employment amongst the expeditionary houses, should they choose to leave their homeland. Vampires are inextricably linked to black mana because of their innate bloodlust and predatory worldview.
This page is largely based on Plane Shift: Zendikar published by Wizards of the Coast.