Vraska

From 1d4chan
Jump to: navigation, search
Having come from the lowest ranks, Vraska seeks revenge on those who hold themselves as the highest.

Vraska is a Ravnican Gorgon Planeswalker in Magic: The Gathering. Once a member of the Golgari Swarm, she is now an independent assassin, though she retains her former faction's alignment with both Black Mana and Green Mana.

Character[edit]

Even amongst the Golgari, there are those who are considered... lesser. Gorgons have long been forced to live on the outskirts of Golgari hierarchy, regarded as little more than dangerous weapons; useful when needed, to be kept out of sight otherwise. This never sat well with Vraska. Even before she became a Planeswalker, she dreamed of upending the Golgari social order and gaining equality—or better—for her people and others marginalized by Jarad.

Vraska cares a great deal for those she sees as outcasts like herself and goes out of her way to befriend the various weirdos and monsters of the Multiverse. She likes to travel and explore and enjoys taking home trinkets from the various places she visits. Sometimes those trinkets are the petrified pieces of particularly awful people.

She does not take pleasure in vengeance, but does find it gives a sense of closure.

As seen during her stint on Ixalan, Vraska is a surprisingly good leader with a natural democratic slant. She will never double-cross those loyal to her, and will always be plainspoken about the dangers they face. She isn't a liar, but she is willing to cut off a deal when she knows it's a bad one. In essence she's very close to being a mary-sue.

History[edit]

Originally a lowly scavenger in the Golgari Swarm, Vraska once lived an un-noteworthy life in the Undercity of Ravnica - until the day that the Azorius Senate issued a writ of mass arrest for any and all members caught bearing allegiance to the Golgari. Vraska was amongst the teeming legions of innocents caught up in that purge, crammed into cells that swiftly proved too small to hold the vast number of political prisoners that were forced into it. Outnumbered heavily, and with no further contact from above, the guards grew nervous and ultimately turned abusive, sparking a prison riot.

The rioters naturally turned to gorgons like Vraska to gain an edge against their oppressors, and Vraska herself was swiftly attacked by guards seeking to prevent her using her deadly gaze attack. She was beaten to the brink of death, but then her spark ignited, hurling her away from Ravnica to some unknown plane. There, she lay and recovered, building her strength and testing her new powers. Fueled by her understandable resentment of the Azorius Senate, she developed a personal philosophy, building upon the Golgari's philosophy: "Life into death and death into life. It's an eternal circle, and those who disturb it with their own ambitions must experience a profound death. A person's existence cycle should be punctuated by the nature in which they lived. Only that will incite reiteration in the darkest roots."

Or, and this is the part that most interests Vraska: "A person should die the death they deserve."

Two years after her ignition, she returned to Ravnica, where she joined the assassin's guild of the Ochran and set about gathering the disenfranchised and embittered and molding them into an army of vigilante assassins, intent on bringing lethal justice to those who had failed the people. She developed a taste for ironic deaths, murdering victims in a way that symbolized the crimes they had committed to earn her wrath.

Her first meeting with another planeswalker of note came when Jace Beleren was appointed the Guildpact of Ravnica. This did not sit well with Vraska, whose rebellious beliefs and disenfranchisement with the Guilds of Ravnica had only grown since she established herself as an assassin-vigilante. She used a carefully orchestrated surge of murders to lure Jace to a secret meeting. Her goal was to either find a way to work with him to overthrow the guilds or, failing that, to kill him. In the end, she did neither, and Jace extracted a confession of sorts that he broadcast to a group of assembled guild representatives.

This exposure was enough to drive Vraska into the shadows for quite some time. But her pride and ambition would not be denied forever.

Present[edit]

Initially, Vraska was still somewhat loyal to the Golgari, with her main ire being directed at those Guilds most responsible for oppression and corruption; the Azorius Senate, the Boros Legion (especially the League of Wojek), and the Orzhov Syndicate. However, the behavior of Golgari Guildmaster Jarad and his elves soured her on his leadership, and she began manipulating and enticing other Golgari to rebel against Jarad, seeing in him the same perpetrator of the abusive status quo that she had hated all of her life.

Vraska was ultimately manipulated by Nicol Bolas into traveling to Ixalan, for the draconic planeswalker had promised to make her the new Golgari Guildmaster if she retrieved a certain treasure hidden in the Golden City of Orazca. Whilst she didn't trust the dragon, the chance was too good to pass up. To prepare the Golgari for her return, she contacted one of her more unusual friends before she left; the Kraul Death Priest Mazirek, persuading him to lead a revolt against Jarad's elves for their abusive treatment of the kraul. Knowing that at least somebody would still be fighting Jarad even if she never returned, the gorgon traveled to the locked plane of Ixalan.

There, she became a captain in the Brazen Coalition by petrifying one disrespectful captain and seizing his ship for herself. Armed with a Thaumatic Compass to search for Orazca, she and her crew began plundering the ships of the Legion of Dusk, where her skill and expertise as a leader combined with her democratic attitudes and care for her crew works to make her a very beloved captain indeed. During her travels, she comes across a deserted island, where she discovers the amnesiac Jace Beleren, stranded there after his disastrous attempt to defeat Nicol Bolas on Amonkhet. For her own reasons, she chooses to spare him, and the two become partners in piracy and treasure seeking. In fact, the two actually grow to find each other quite attractive, without their first meeting hanging over their heads.

Such is the bond they forge that, even after they finally reach Orazca, and Jace suffers a blow to his head that jolts his memories back into place, the two of them remain allies. Venturing into the depths of the temple, they discover its sole occupant; Azor, the sphinx planeswalker of old and the master hieromancer who set up the Guildpact on Ravnica. From him, they learn that the Threefold Sun is actually a device imbued with Azor's Spark, turning it into a device that can seal away entire planes and render it impossible for planeswalkers to depart them; this is why Ixalan is the trap that it is, and it's part of a plan that Azor cooked up with Ugin thousands of years ago to defeat Nicol Bolas. Unfortunately for the two of them, Nicol kicked Ugin's ass badly when the elder dragon tried to lure Nicol to Ixalan, leaving Azor stranded and going more than a little mad.

After they defeat Azor, they put their heads together and work out Nicol's plan, which involves attack Ravnica with his new army of lazotep-armored Eternals. Much to Vraska's dismay. The two of them come up with a cunning plan to try and outwit Nicol; at Vraska's suggestion, Jace carefully excises the gorgon's memories of their time together, which will allow her to work alongside Nicol as an unwitting spy, until Jace restores her memories to her at their next planned meeting. Vraska also asks Jace out on a date, once the two of them are done with this whole Nicol bsiness.

Returning to Bolas, Vraska demanded her end of the deal to be upheld. After briefly scanning her mind and seeing no taint of Jace anywhere in her memories, Bolas gives Vraska the location of Jarad, now bound and weakened by the dragon. In no short order, Vraska petrifies the lich, becoming Queen of the Golgari. Emboldened by her victory, Vraska now shores up the defenses of the Underrealm, while also leading an uprising on the streets of Ravnica.

Vraska Fiction[edit]

Vraska has been the star of more than her share of Magic: The Gathering fiction on WoTC's website.

The two-parter story "The Shadows of Prahv" refers to the Golgari Crackdown that triggered Vraska's ignition as a planeswalker and specifically revolves around her earliest crusade of vengeance against the Guilds of Ravnica upon her return.

"The Gorgon & The Guildpact" covers her attempt to force Jace to work with her to change Ravnica.

"The Talented Captain Vraska" covers her recruitment by Nicol Bolas and her travels with her crew, including her rescue of the amnesiac Jace and their working together to rob the Legion of Dusk.

"Pride of the Kraul" is an interquel set between Vraska's recruitment and her journey to Ixalan, but focuses on Mazirek's plans to rebel against Jarad.

"Something Else Entirely" further follows the travels of Vraska and Jace, and hints at their growing mutual respect for (and attraction to) each other.

The two-parter story "The Race" covers Vraska & Jace arriving at Orazca, and ends with Jace's regaining his lost memories.

"The Flood" covers the return of Jace's memories, and the two deciding to remain allies.

"Glimpse the Far Side of the Sun" and "The Arbiter of Law left Chaos in his wake" tell of Vraska & Jace's encounters with Azor and their learning of the history behind Ixalan and the Threefold Sun.

"Sabotage" details the two discussing Nicol Bolas and trying to plan their next step.

Mechanics[edit]

Big Gay Purple d4.png This article is a skub. You can help 1d4chan by expanding it

Gallery[edit]

Planeswalkers of Magic: The Gathering
Original Five: Ajani Goldmane - Chandra Nalaar
Garruk Wildspeaker - Jace Beleren - Liliana Vess
Alara: Elspeth Tirel - Nicol Bolas - Sarkhan Vol - Tezzeret
Zendikar: Gideon Jura - Nissa Revane - Sorin Markov
Scars of Mirrodin: Karn - Koth of the Hammer - Venser
Innistrad: Tamiyo - Tibalt
Return to Ravnica: Domri Rade - Ral Zarek - Vraska
Theros: Ashiok - Kiora - Xenagos
Tarkir: Ugin - Narset
Kaladesh: Dovin Baan - Saheeli Rai
Amonkhet: Samut
Other: Dack Fayden - Vivien Reid - kaya
Commander 2014: Daretti - Freyalise - Nahiri - Ob Nixilis - Teferi
Pre-mending: Bo Levar - Commodore Guff - Jaya Ballard - Urza
Planeswalker Groups: The Gatewatch