Codex Anathema, vol. VIII: Rise of the Quori
Ruins in the Wild
Ruins of a Lost Civilization
Ancient, rune-carved monoliths called hedrons are strewn across Zendikar. Up to ten miles long, some of these stones drift in the sky; others are buried in the ground, some whole, some broken. They’re remnants of a lost civilization, but their original purpose is unknown. This ancient empire wielded unimaginable power—enough to suspend gravity and alter the land to suit its purposes. Trap-riddled ruins can be found on every continent. Mysterious glyphs hint at truths long forgotten. Unspeakable monsters lurk in the quiet of these hidden monuments of a forgotten past. These ruins still emanate power, and both planeswalkers and local explorers will undergo great peril to reap their rewards.
I awoke, bloodied, on the banks of the Halimar. I don’t know how I got there—face down in the mud, but alive. There must have been a passage out of the ruin, but I was out of my head and can’t recall. The faceless monstrosity that ambushed us in Jade Room stalked us for miles underground. After my torch burned down, I stumbled in the darkness, hearing the death-cries of my companions. I have traveled this fierce world twice over, and I can’t say what sort of creature pursued us. As I think of it, the quill shakes in my old fingers. I had no love for any of them, particularly the captain. He was a brute. Still, they died so cruelly. I must not dwell on it. Or what might have happened to me when I was not in my right mind.
—The journal of Chadir the Navigator
Zendikar’s unique mana, the hedrons, its own fierce ecology . . . these elements combine to cause violent and erratic changes in the terrain. The land shudders and writhes, causing tectonic chaos, extreme weather, and sudden destruction. This volatility is known as the Roil. Large boulders and shards of rock erupt from the earth, and then subside when the Roil shifts away. Winds generated by the Roil turn debris and vegetation into devastating funnel clouds. Over water, the Roil creates whirlpools that can suck a boat to the bottom of the ocean or waves that crash into high cliffs and flood the forests beyond.
For those born on Zendikar, the Roil is a natural phenomenon—just the way things are. To planeswalkers, it’s obvious that this volatility is what keeps Zendikar dangerous, untamed, and without well-developed civilizations.
The spike fields are bad, but they’re nothing compared to Windblast Gorge. A drake will rip you to shreds before you can bat an eyelash. And mark my words—Zendikar makes your magic wild. Don’t trust it. The higher you climb, the worse the Roil gets. The land writhes like its got a mind of its own. If you’re in the way of a Roil tide, you’re a goner.
—Sachir of Akoum to Chandra Nalaar
Exploring the Wilds
Zendikar’s intense mana and unique treasures inspires dreams of wealth and power in the bold and adventurous. Driven by tales of wondrous places of mystic power, bands of explorers venture into the wilds of Zendikar. Many such expeditions fail, overwhelmed by the world’s many dangers. But a handful of elite, daring souls manage feats of discovery that have earned them riches and renown. Guides, porters, cartographers, sell-swords, lullmages, ruin-sages, and healers form expeditionary parties and team up to scour the world for treasure.
We’ll venture out from Kabira at first light. I have assembled the finest team A porter who assures me that his hurda is stout and docile. A Sea Gate archeologist who’s traversed the hedron fields before. Two sell-swords with references for loyalty. A trapfinder with both eyes and ten fingers. And a goblin guide to lead the line and ‘distract’ predators from the rest of us.
—Javad Nasrin, Ondu Relic Hunter