Who is the mysterious Lithomancer and what’s she up to?

Worlds of MTG: Who is Nahiri?

Zendikar Rising Nahiri The Lithomancer

“Hmmm, should I murder all vampires? I think I should...” (Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

We’re about to return back to Zendikar, home of one of Magic’s most mysterious, powerful, and angry ladies - Nahiri the Lithomancer. Who’s she, and why is she so pissed off all the time?

It’s back to Zendikar - the land of Eldrazi destruction, lush nature, and powerful folk such as the nomadic Kor. There’s hardly more legendary Kor than the enigmatic stone-bender known as Nahiri. She has had a long history of noble deeds, terrible misunderstandings, and finally, a vengeful and destructive path of hatred. Let’s examine the life and times of one of Magic’s most interesting villains.

Early History

Nahiri is a lithomancer - that means she can control stone and make all sorts of cool stuff out of it, including her trademark flying swords.

The girl was found by the noble vampire Sorin Markov, who accepted her as a daughter and taught her the way of the planes. The two traveled the Multiverse together and eventually learned about the terrible Eldrazi menace.

Long story short, the two of them, alongside spirit dragon Ugin, decided they should lure the alien monsters to Zendikar, Nahiri’s home, as it’s lush mana was the perfect bait. Then, they should use their powers to imprison them. The plan worked, as Sorin used his force, Ugin employed powerful colorless magic, and Nahiri created the Hedrons to serve as prison bars - that’s why we still these weird stone shapes all over the plane.

With the Eldrazi imprisoned, the vampire and the dragon went to their business and the Kor was left on her home to watch over its people. She took disciples and mentored them in the art of lithomancy for thousands of years until eventually grew tired and went into a deep state of trance. In her absence, the people forgot about the true danger of the Eldrazi, and the myth of the three titans transformed them into benevolent gods, and Nahiri - their prophet. This is the Multiverse’s biggest and most dangerous game of “telephone”!

Back on Zendikar

A long time passed, and the Eldrazi found a way to break out of their prison and attack the people of Zendikar again. Nahiri sent a signal to call Sorin and Ugin back, but none of them showed up. This got her angry. And we do mean angry!

Nahiri on Innistrad

Cool girls don’t look at explosions… and ruins of anti-gravity vampire mansions. (Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

The Lost Signal

Nahiri found a way to deal with the Eldrazi herself, but Sorin and Ugin’s betrayal could not go unpunished, so she went to Innistrad to have a word with her former father figure.

Sorin was shocked by the news and explained that he never received the signal because a powerful contraption known as the Helvault protects Innistrad from external attacks, and this includes messages. So let’s play a game. Did Nahiri:

  • A. Show understanding and accepted the truth - after all, why would her mentor and most close friend lie about something like this, especially when presented by irrefutable evidence, or
  • B. Get pissed off and use her stone magic to destroy Markov Manor in ways physically impossible, turn all of Sorin’s family into stone and embed them in the paradoxically twisted walls, then go for Sorin himself?

You guessed it, it’s B. What’s even worse, Nahiri created a network of powerful stone shapes known as cryptoliths and lured one of the Eldrazi Titans to attack the people of Innistrad. Now that’s real anger. So much so, that Nahiri’s otherwise white mana affiliation now started to include red.

Nahiri and Sorin during the War of the Spark on Ravnica

Take that, Sorin! (Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

War of the Spark

Fast forward, and Nicol Bolas has summoned all the planeswalkers of the Multiverse to Ravnica and employed the Immortal Sun so none of them can leave. This includes Sorin and Nahiri.

While all the other superfriends grouped together to fight Bolas and his Eternals, Nahiri ignored the entire War of the Spark and met Sorin in single combat, which made for a pretty cool card.

Eventually, the two joined the others to save Ravnica and neglected their conflict for just a while, but it’s heavily implied that their feud is far from over.

What’s Next?

Nahiri is plastered all over the packaging of Zendikar Rising, so we’re surely about to learn more about her. Maybe going back home and helping her people will calm her nerves just a little, and who knows, maybe Sorin will apologize and the two will finally get over the drama. We’re curious to find out!

For more MTGA lore, news and advice, keep reading EarlyGame!

Nikola Petrov

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