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MTG: Lore of the Multiverse – Nahiri, the Lithomancer

7 Minute Read
Jun 21 2024

Several MTG characters have let their anger get the best of them. In the Planeswalker Nahiri’s case, it was her undoing.

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Not all the Planeswalkers are good people. Nicol Bolas comes to mind, but he isn’t the only ‘walker to have a tinge of the selfish. For her part, Nahiri always did what she THOUGHT was right. Unfortunately, it was rarely what was best for the Multiverse. I suppose a millennia spent guarding horrors from beyond the known Multiverse in solitude will do that.

We already heard the beginning of Nahiri’s story in the Eldrazi lore. However, her destruction of Innistrad wasn’t the end of her story. She had a few more mistakes to make before her time was done. She may have survived her ordeals, but she’s certainly not the warrior she was when she sealed the Eldrazi.

A Deadly Rivalry

While Emrakul devastated Innistrad, Nahiri focused her rage on Sorin Markov’s ancestral home. Using her lithomantic magic, she imprisoned the vampires that lived there in the walls. Being vampires, they were unable to die immediately and so languished in perpetual agony. Sorin, seeing the devastation of his plane, sent Olivia Voldaren and her vampire army to attack Nahiri at the ruins of his Manor. However, Nahiri had an army of her own. She had gathered Emrakul’s abominations and the cultists who worshipped her as a goddess. The battle was fierce, and Nahiri suffered a grievous wound but succeeded in encasing Sorin in stone before planeswalking away.

Before long, Nahiri found herself trapped on Ravnica by Nicol Bolas’ Immortal Sun. Wishing to return to her plane of Zendikar, she joined with the resistance leaders to plot against Bolas. However, when the trap also brought Sorin to the plane, he ignored the greater threat and attacked Nahiri. They picked up their battle where it left off on Innistrad, heedless of the more pressing danger. However, the threat of the Dreadhorde forced them to strike a truce and stand together. They even stayed on Ravnica after the Immortal Sun was destroyed to help the Gatewatch battle Bolas.

Restoration and Betrayal

When Nahiri at last returned to her home plane of Zendikar, she was devastated by the aftermath of the Eldrazi. She heard about the Sea Gate Expeditionary Group, and joined with them in hopes of reigniting the Skyclaves. She sought out her fellow Planeswalker Nissa. Nahiri hoped to use her connection to the elements to restore the Zendikar she remembered. However, when her actions resulted in the death of an elemental, Nissa was shocked. She realized that restoring old Zendikar would destroy what had grown in its absence, so she stood against Nahiri.

Undeterred, Nahiri sought out an adventuring party from the Sea Gate Expeditionary group to travel with her to the Murasa Skyclave. When they arrived, a group of elementals attacked them, likely sent by Nissa. Nahiri was able to defend herself with lithomancy, but she accidentally killed one of her party members. When the remaining party members threatened to destroy the lithomantic core she’d found, she attacked them. She paralyzed the group’s leader, Akiri, and threw him off the floating hedron.

Luckily, Nissa and Jace were pursuing Nahiri at the time, and managed to save Akiri. While he didn’t trust the Planeswalkers, Akiri agreed to guide them. Unfortunately, they were too late to catch Nahiri and had to pursue her deeper into Zendikar. They went their separate ways, hoping to entrap Nahiri in the Singing city.

The Core

Jace found her first. He agreed to help her find the focal point in exchange for the time to study it. Nahiri agreed, and together they ventured deeper into the city. However, when they arrived, they met Nissa, who had beaten them there and used summoned elementals to destroy the foci. They were forced to retreat. Though Jace urged Nahiri to retreat with him to Ravnica, she refused. She intended to use the core as a weapon against the elementals.


Left with no other options, Jace took control of Nahiri’s mind and took the core from her. He tried to inform Nissa that he would take the core to Ravnica for study. However, an elemental stole it to deliver it to her instead. Seeing no other option, Jace retreated to Ravnica, and Nahiri was herself again. When she emerged from the city, she saw that the core was spent. Nissa had used it to restore the wilds of Zendikar. Swearing vengeance Jace for his meddling, Nahiri disappeared from Zendikar.

Stone to Iron

When the Phyrexians put their plan into motion to attack Dominaria, Nahiri was approached for the Strike Team. Though she still bore animosity towards Jace, she recognized the greater threat the Phyrexians posed. She and the rest of the Planeswalkers traveled to New Phyrexia. However, the traps set by Elesh Norn scattered them across the plane. When Nahiri arrived, she was face to face with a massive Phyrexian monstrosity looming over the injured form of Kaito. His comrade, the Emperor, was having trouble maintaining her form on Phyrexia, and Nahiri moved to protect Kaito. She was able to drive the beast off, but not before sustaining a deep wound that infected her with phyresis. Returning to camp, the exile Melira offered to heal her wounds. Nahiri knew it would take time, a luxury they couldn’t afford, and declined.

She met up with Jace in Sheoldred’s arena, where he was tending to a wounded and infected Vraska. She was far beyond saving, but Jace couldn’t leave her behind. When the phyresis took her at last, she infected Jace in turn. Nahiri and the rest of the surviving Planeswalkers tried to flee but were stopped by Sheoldred’s legions. Seeing no other way out, Nahiri chose to sacrifice herself to save her allies. She tore apart the remnants of the arena and dropped it on the Fair Basilica below.

Unfortunately, this act accelerated her infection, and when she crashed into the Basilica, Elesh Norn compleated her. Her body cracked and showed molten blood beneath, the small spines on her back grew into vicious spikes, and her arms were replaced with flaming blades below the elbow. She was to be Norn’s enforcer, and all her love for her plane was twisted into a desire to bring it into Phyrexian oneness.

Twisted Loyalty

Norn sent Nahiri to bring her beloved Zendikar to heel. Upon her arrival, she used her lithomantic powers to realign the hedron network. Where before it had been used to contain the cosmic force of the Eldrazi, now Nahiri would use it to focus the Realmbreaker’s branches into multiple planes. To prevent a similar rupture to the one that released the Eldrazi, she bound herself to the hedron keystone at the center of the network. With her lithomantic power flowing through the hedrons, it seemed no one would be able to stop her.


A strike force led by Tazri and Linvala attacked, trying to disrupt the hedron network. At first, it seemed impossible, as Nahiri’s prodigious power channeled through the hedrons was more than the party could match. However, when the angels of New Capenna shared their Halo with the rest of the Multiverse, Linvalla was empowered enough to stand against Nahiri. Her power, combined with the enhanced strike force, was able to oust Nahiri from the keystone and sent the entire skyclave crashing to the ground.


When Nahiri awoke, the Phyrexian corruption in her body was gone, ousted from her body along with her spark by Linvala’s Halo blast. She began the agonizing process of removing her Phyrexian parts, leaving her permanently scarred but free of her metallic bits. Unfortunately, a great measure of her strength had been lost during her compleation, so she spent her time removing the Phyrexian metal from the skyclave she was trapped in.

After some time, she found her spark housed in a tiny hedron and was able to regain enough power to break out of the skyclave. When she saw the damage Phyrexia had done to her world, she wept. Ajani arrived shortly after on his quest to seek out the other de-compleated Planeswalkers. Nahiri mistook his intentions as hostile, and attacked. During the struggle, she inadvertently shattered the hedron containing her spark, destroying it. Ajani retreated from the plane, and Nahiri blamed Planeswalkers for the damage to her home from both the Eldrazi and the Phyrexians. From that point forward, she made it her mission to ensure no Planeswalkers set foot on Zendikar.

What Lore would you like to see next?

Author: Clint Lienau
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