Vedalken

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Bluer than a Navi

The Vedalken are a race of tall, blue-skinned humanoids native to several planes of Magic: The Gathering. Aligned to the powers of Blue Mana, they are a race focused heavily on learning and invention. Most branches of the species are emotionally stunted, favoring logic over emotion in accordance with their mana affinity, but this is not a multiversial trait; Kaladeshii vedalkens are quite extroverted. The race first appeared in 2003, coinciding with the release of the first Mirrodin block; the basic idea was that, because the previously iconic Blue Mana race, the merfolk, were unsuited for non-aquatic environments due to, y'know, the whole "fish tail for legs" thing, the vedalken would be promoted to take their place.

Results were... mixed. Eventually, merfolk were reworked to have species that had legs, reclaiming their position of authority as "The Blue Mana Race", but still, vedalken have found their place amongst the planes.

Mirrodin[edit]

On Mirrodin, the mycosynth created a vapor which induced mutations in the vedalken, who developed four arms and gills. Soon, this variation became the norm. These vedalken are physically very different from the members of their race on other planes, and have more inhuman features, in some cases lacking a nose or visible ears. The center of their culture was the city of Lumengrid, from which the Vedalken ruled over an empire that enslaved the Neurok tribes at the shores of the Quicksilver Sea. For a long time, the Vedalken were ruled by the Synod, who considered themselves servants of Mirrodin's guardian, Memnarch. After Memnarch's fall, they were forced to reorganize themselves. Central to this reorganization was the "Origin Query", the answer to the origin of the Vedalken race. With the loss of easy access to blinkmoth serum, their hold over the empire became fragile and revolts from the Neurok forced the two races into a state of cooperation rather than subservience.

When New Phyrexia rose, Lumengrid was overtaken by the forces of Jin-Gitaxias. Many Vedalken fell prey to phyresis, their distended brains looming over frail, but lethal and burr-pocked, bodies. Those few remaining have cast their lot with the surviving Neurok in an attempt to survive.

Ravnica[edit]

The vedalken of Ravnica are associated most closely with the Simic Combine and Azorius Senate, though the Izzet League is also not an unprecedented choice. They look very much like tall humans, but with blue skin and a naturally reserved temperament; perhaps not to the same extent as their Mirrodin counterparts, but still inclined to trust logic over emotion. Though the vedalken of Ravnica are physically different from those Mirrodin, some Simic biomancy experiments have produced mutants with similar physical traits, including four arms and gills.

Alara[edit]

The vedalken are one of the many races of the broken plane of Alara. Originally native to Esper, some migrated to Naya after the Shards of Alara realigned.

Vedalken of Esper look very similar to their counterparts on Ravnica, but are more spindly, with elongated skulls. The vedalken, like all creatures in Esper, are enhanced by filigree of the mystical living metal etherium. The vedalken are among Esper's most prestigious mortal inhabitants and often hold positions of power thanks to their prodigious intellect and talent for spellcasting.

After Alara was reborn, some vedalken heretics from Esper were drawn to the verdant jungle of Naya. There they rejected the cold clutch of etherium in favor of the warm embrace of nature, seeking enlightenment in the infinite patterns of life rather than the dusty confines of ancient tomes

Kaladesh[edit]

The vedalken of Kaladesh can be defined from the rest of their kin by their extroverted natures, the fact they have hair, and their possession of 6 fingers to each hand, which works well given their racial tendency to be artificers. This makes them the most human-looking of the vedalken strains, although their high forehead and comparatively small (but fully-formed) noses adds a certain subtle dash of "alien" to their looks.

Their most defining trait is their unusual view of progress: in a nutshell, the vedalken believe nothing can ever be perfect or is perfect, and that is something to rejoice in. Imperfection is a chance for improvement, progress is an endless march towards a state of perfection that can never actually be reached. Yes, this can make them quite exasperating, as their enthusiasm in noting flaws and problems can be quite a social blunder. Still, this drive for continues improvisation means they tend to be masters of their craft, simultaneously always open to new ideas and constantly in pursuit of a way to make things better.

Kaladeshii vedalkens are curious, excitable, and tend to become deeply engrossed in their labors. Gregarious in conversation, they are prone to talking a lot, if only to themselves, because they tend to find dialogue flow aids their thought processes. That said, they engage more with ideas than with people, and this in turn makes them quite circumspect when it comes to their personal lives. They form close friendships based around mutual interests or compelling disagreements, and their interactions focus on their thoughts about those issues rather than their feelings about them. Emotional dynamics don’t particularly interest vedalken, either as a conversational topic or a field of study. When they talk about their feelings, it is primarily to provide information that might be helpful to others. For example, a vedalken might tell her colleagues, “I’m feeling irritated right now, so I might not be reacting appropriately. Perhaps we should continue this later.” But any questions about the cause of the irritation are likely to be brushed off as being irrelevant to the situation.

Dungeons & Dragons[edit]

Vedalken were given rules as a PC race option in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition via the free online article "Plane Shift: Kaladesh", where they had the following statblock:

Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Intelligence, +1 Wisdom
Size: Medium
Speed: 30 feet
Vision: Normal
Vedalken Cunning: You have Advantage on Int, Wis and Cha saving throws against magic.
Aether Lore: You double your Proficiency bonus when making Int (History) checks relating to magic items and aether-powered tech devices.

When the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica was announced, anons began speculating that vedalkens would reappear as one of the new races. Purported leaks surfaced on /tg/ claiming that vedalkens were indeed going to be in that book, with the same basic stats as the Plane Shift vedalken, bar the addition of a new "Partially Amphibious" racial trait (you can breathe water for up to 1 hour, but then must take a long rest before you can do so again), but these turned out to be not entirely correct. They instead received the following statblock, which has attracted some justifiable contempt as being rather overpowered. Additionally, their fluff was retconned, making them still logical and focused, but also more talkative and extroverted, closer to their Kaladesh cousins.

Ravnican Vedalken

Ability Scores: Int +2; Wis +1
Size: Medium
Speed: 30 ft.
Age. Vedalken mature slower than humans do, reaching maturity around age 40. Their life span is typically 350 years, with some living to the age of 500.
Alignment. Vedalken are usually lawful and non-evil.
Size. Tall and slender, Vedalken stand 6 to 6½ feet tall on average and usually weigh less than 200 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Vedalken Dispassion. You have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws.
Tireless Precision. You are proficient in one of the following skills of your choice: Arcana, History, Investigation, Medicine, Performance, or Sleight of Hand. You are also proficient with one tool of your choice.

Whenever you make an ability check with the chosen skill or tool, roll a d4 and add the number rolled to the check's total.

Partially Amphibious. By absorbing oxygen through your skin, you can breathe underwater for up to 1 hour. Once you've reached that limit, you can't use this trait again until you finish a long rest.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common, Vedalken, and one other language of your choice.
Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Races
Player's Handbook: Dragonborn - Drow - Dwarf - Elf - Gnome
Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human - Tiefling
Dungeon Master's Guide: Aasimar - Eladrin
Elemental Evil Player's Guide: Aarakocra - Genasi - Goliath - Svirfneblin
Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide: Duergar - Ghostwise Halfling - Svirfneblin - Tiefling Variants
Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes: Baatific Tieflings - Duergar - Eladrin - Githyanki
Githzerai - Sea Elf - Shadar-kai - Svirfneblin
Volo's Guide to Monsters: Aasimar - Bugbear - Firbolg - Goblin - Goliath - Hobgoblin - Kenku
Kobold - Lizardfolk - Orc - Tabaxi - Triton - Yuan-Ti Pureblood
Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica: Human - Elf - Centaur - Goblin - Loxodon - Minotaur - Simic Hybrid
Vedalken
Unearthed Arcana: Changeling - Minotaur - Revenant - Shadar-kai
Shifter - Tiefling Variants - Warforged
Plane Shift: Amonkhet: Aven - Khenra - Minotaur - Naga
Plane Shift: Innistrad: Human
Plane Shift: Ixalan: Human - Goblin - Merfolk - Orc - Siren - Vampire
Plane Shift: Kaladesh: Aetherborn - Dwarf - Elf - Human - Vedalken
Plane Shift: Zendikar: Elf - Goblin - Human - Kor - Merfolk - Vampire
One Grung Above: Grung