The Brothers' War was an epic war fought between the brothers Urza and Mishra over the Mightstone and Weakstone. The war lasted many years and devastated much of Dominaria before it ended with Urza activating the Golgothian Sylex and triggering the Sylex Blast killing himself and vitually all of both armies as well as the continent of Argoth.
The Brothers’ Early LifeEdit
Before the war broke out the brothers lived the life of sons of a wealthy nobleman. They displayed a competitive nature towards each other still, the boys enjoyed a virtually carefree life until the death of their mother. Their father quickly remarried but feared for their safety when his new wife seized their inheritance and he fell ill.
Discovering the Mightstone and WeakstoneEdit
They were sent to the care of the archaeologist Tocasia who schooled the boys. Each brother found different interests in the camp, Urza took an interest in the ancient artifacts which would lead to his life long obsession with artifacts while Mishra took an interest in he ways of the Fallaji, learning their legends, language, and culture.
On the day of Mishra’s birth the camp succeeded in repairing an ornithopter and during it’s test flight the brothers discovered a geometric pattern in the desert which seemed to point to a central Thran gathering place. The brothers volunteered to accompany Tocasia via ornithopter to this ancient city.
The ornithopter was attacked by a giant roc, a mindless beast that felt the artifact was a threat to its home. Through Urza’s ingenuity, the brothers and their mentor were able to escape the creature’s grasp. Taking shelter in a nearby cave, the trio came upon a wondrous display of an ancient Thran settlement.
Delving further into the cave, the group eventually reached the Hall of Tagsin, an enormous room with a massive doorway in its center. As astounding as these new discoveries were, the brothers’ attention was more fervently held by an ancient glowing powerstone that surely must serve to operate the gateway. Against his brother’s protests, Mishra reached out for the wondrous stone, causing the crystal to split in twain.
The old women cried in alarm, warning the brothers that their meddling had unleashed an ancient booby-trap. The brothers gazed in horror as a small legion of Thran guardians stumbled awkwardly toward the invaders. Urza attempted to use the energies emanating from one half of the powerstone to destroy the creatures, but only succeeded in enhancing their mechanisms. The trio fled for their lives, until Mishra tried using the powerstone half in his possession. Strangely, Mishra’s stone had the opposite effect on the killing machines. The Thran artifacts slowed their assault, apparently weakened by the energies of Mishra’s stone.
After another bit of ingenuity on Urza’s part, the problems of the roc and the pursuing machines were solved simultaneously. Unfortunately, that day’s ills were not so easily ended. Urza asked his brother to give him the powerstone half he held, hoping that he may be able to repair the ancient relic. Mishra adamantly refused, provoking a small conflict in which Mishra was wounded. Although Urza immediately regretted his actions, the two brothers began to argue as never before. Only Tocasia could begin to predict what horrors had been unleashed this day. For on the glorious day of the discovery of Koilos, a terrible fury had been unlocked between the brothers Urza and Mishra.
Urza, Mishra, and Tocasia returned to the camp in silence. Days later, Mishra decided to remove his belongings from the building he had long shared with his brother. The two young men began avoiding each other at all costs, much to the camp’s delight. When a confrontation was provoked, the brothers would attempt to belittle each other in any way they could devise. One example of Urza’s cruelty came from his naming of the two powerstone halves. Urza’s stone was named the Mightstone, for it seemed to enhance the powers of any artifact it came in touch with. Mishra’s stone became the Weakstone, a pale comparison in Urza’s eyes to his own wondrous device.
On one particularly beautiful night, Tocasia’s diggers found Mishra sneaking into Urza’s building in the dead of night. The camp was awoken to the sounds of harsh words and violently movement, prompting Tocasia to intervene. However, just as Tocasia stepped into the building, a massive burst of force erupted from within Urza’s quarters.
Mishra’s Time with the FallajiEdit
Mishra barely escaped with his life, but not before he witnessed his longtime friend and mentor was now dead because of his hated brother’s incompetence. Mishra fled the camp, wandering the deserts of the Fallaji territories for days. At last, he was found by the militant Suwwardi tribe and pressed into service as a slave.
Thus Mishra’s fate seemed sealed. Mishra would work in the heat of the sands as a rakiq, a lowly slave, for the remainder of his miserable life. But, alas, the fortunes of Dominaria saw fit to upraise Mishra from such a lowly position and set him on the path to tyranny. Mishra was discovered by Hajar, a longtime friend from his days in Tocasia’s employ. Hajar felt pity for his friend and sought to persuade the Suwwardi’s qadir to promote him from such a lowly status. After the qadir saw Mishra’s hidden worth as a scholar, the young man was pressed into service as a tutor for the qadir’s spoiled son.
After much turmoil, Mishra established an almost friendly relationship with the son of the qadir. However, Mishra was anything but satisfied with his new life. Mishra told the qadir’s son wondrous tales out of Argivian legend, and even a few tales that were not so ancient. Mishra confided in the young lad the worth of the Weakstone, the halved powerstone that was taken from him when Mishra was enslaved by the Suwwardi.
One night, as Mishra was having a frightening dream about metal that screamed and plants that dripped oil, he was awakened by the horrid scream of a monster straight out of legend. A mak fawa, a dragon of the Fallaji, had suddenly burst from the ground and began to assault the Suwwardi. Mishra could only stand dumbfounded, later horrified by a startling revelation. The mak fawa was not a being of flesh and blood. It was composed an artifact, incredibly lifelike and frighteningly familiar. Mishra had been awakened from a dream of a mechanical hell to behold a monstrous inhabitant of that realm before his very eyes.
The Suwwardi rushed to defend the qadir, but were helpless before the might of the beast. The qadir himself was slain in the attempt, prompting Hajar to seek help from his friend Mishra. Mishra snuck his way into the Suwwardi treasury, eventually finding the Weakstone quietly singing and awaiting its master. Once the stone was in Mishra’s hands, the dragon engine began to act strangely. Mishra quietly came in contact with the monstrosity, only to find the engine bowing before his feet. The young qadir immediately promoted Mishra from rakiq to raki, a wizard of the highest order in the service of the Fallaji people.
In a matter of days, Mishra had propelled himself from slave to teacher to chancellor. His next transformation would be the most amazing yet. With the might of the dragon engine on their side, the Suwwardi began a long conquest of the surrounding tribes. Nothing could withstand the might of the young qadir and his mak fawa. The city of Tomakul, long considered the “capital” of the nomadic Fallaji, was one of the first to swear allegiance to the Suwwardi nation. With the majority of the inner desert in his grasp, the young qadir cast his gaze to the coastal city of Zegon. The Zegoni, however, seemed more than ready for the assaults of the mechanical dragon. Mishra’s monster was able only to walk within a half-mile of the city before it simply stopped responding. The qadir’s fury burned like the desert sands, but nothing could persuade the dragon to begin its assault. If Zegon were to fall, it must fall by means other than brute force.
Mishra’s opportunity came in the form of a fiery-haired cruel woman named Ashnod. Ashnod revealed to Mishra an artifact weapon of her own creation, a staff that caused a nervous reaction in its targets. The dragon was unable to attack Zegon while its legions were thus armed, but Ashnod’s defense was only passive. Ashnod admitted to Mishra that the staves would only work for a limited time, and soon the dragon engine would be free to destroy the city. Ashnod was entrusted by the Zegoni government to establish the grounds for their surrender to the Suwwardi forces. Mishra was impressed by the knowledge, but even more astounded by the sheer brilliance of this woman who shared such a passion for artifacts and their ways of controlling the populace. Mishra agreed to Ashnod’s promise of surrender, with one added stipulation: Ashnod would forever serve as Mishra’s loyal apprentice. Slowly, the Fallaji had become a unified people under the qadir and his raki.
Urza’s Time in YotiaEdit
The Argivian expedition soon came to an end, for one reason or another. Argive stated that without the guidance of Tocasia, the Fallaji would soon drive the expedition out of their lands. The Fallaji had become increasingly aggressive, almost to the point that any incursion into their homelands was seen as hostile. Only Urza and the elder Fallaji, Ahmahl, really understood what had happened. The children had become afraid of Urza, and without Tocasia’s help, he would lead them to ruin.
Urza chose to journey to the neighboring nation of Yotia rather than return to Argive. There he was employed as a simple apprentice to Rusko, a clock maker of little renown. Urza buried himself in his work, finding it simpler to deal with mechanisms instead of his own sordid past. It was upon one faithful day that the princess of Yotia had come to pay a visit. The princess had expressed a concern for her music box. Urza quickly discovered the cause of the problem, and returned the box to the grateful princess. It was in a simple touch that Urza and Princess Kayla had become great figures in each other’s lives.
One day, Rusko forced Urza to take a stroll outside with him. The two soon came upon a gathering, wherein the Warlord of Yotia had declared that the strongest man in the kingdom would be given the hand of his daughter in marriage. All who attempted must move a giant jade statue from one corner of the town square to the other. The strongest of Kroog could only move the statue mere inches before giving out from strain. Urza was mildly interested, until he caught a glimpse of the ancient Thran Jalum Tome. Urza vowed to his employer that he would meet the warlord’s challenge.
Using his intense artifice training, Urza constructed a makeshift su-chi, vowing that it was powerful enough to move the warlord’s statue. After months of preparation, Urza asked the warlord to be allowed to move the statue with the strength of his mind. The warlord was interested, and agreed to let Urza take the challenge. Urza’s attempt was a complete success, but the warlord was still unconvinced. It was only when Rusko provided the warlord plans for an ornithopter and promised that Urza could create many more wondrous inventions that Urza was wed.
Urza immediately set out to create more and more artifacts for his newly-adopted nation. His new apprentice, Tawnos of Jorilin, had proven himself as a master artificer in his own right. Urza was happy, Tawnos was happy, and the Warlord was happy. The only person in the entire city who was dissatisfied was Kayla. Urza only cared for his machines and trying to invent new ones. When a problem presented itself, Urza would hammer away at it until it was solved. The only problem he had no interest in solving was that of his marital life.
Beginning of the WarEdit
With tensions escalating between Yotia and the Fallaji, it became apparent that war may soon be on the horizon. Thus, the Warlord called together a parlay between Yotia, Argive, the Fallaji, and the trading nation of Korlis. The Warlord wanted to make it plain to the Fallaji that Yotia was by far their military superiors, and would use Urza’s su-chi and ornithopters as a means to this end.
As the Fallaji aggression continued, the coastal nations of Argive, Korlis, and Yotia had began to take interest. The three nations requested the Fallaji’s presence at Korlinda, where the outlander nations and the desert people could establish the grounds for peaceful resolution. At Mishra’s request, the qadir reluctantly agreed to this strange proposal.
Arriving in Korlinda, Mishra served to announce the qadir’s intentions. The qadir demanded the return of the Suwwardi Marshes to Fallaji control. These lands had long ago been conquered by the kingdom of Yotia and rightfully belonged to the Fallaji people. As shocking as this declaration was to the coastal kingdoms, Mishra’s own shock was far greater. There, standing in the ranks of the nobles of Yotia was Urza. Urza was no less shocked to discover Mishra as a representative of the Fallaji, and together the brothers decided to set aside time to speak of the past.
Mishra at last believed that his brother honestly sought to repair the damages of the past, but his faith was apparently misplaced. During the peace talk, the Warlord of Yotia flatly revoked the qadir’s demands, insulting the Fallaji people and their ruler in a rather juvenile display of aggression. A confrontation soon escalated, resulting in the death of the warlord. Mishra’s own people were savaged attacked by goblin bombs thrown from Urza’s legions of ornithopters. Mishra’s loyal dragon engine could only cover the Fallaji retreat. As the desert people ran for their lives, Mishra vowed once and for all to never accept his brother’s words as anything other than lies used by a jealous sibling.
Urza returned to Kroog, bearing news of the Warlord’s death to his daughter. Urza’s and Kayla’s marriage continued to deteriorate, and it was only through Tawnos’s intervention that the kingdom wasn’t split in twain. The young apprentice managed to remind Kayla of her love for her husband, and all was seemingly well in the kingdom. Urza came to the conclusion that he could not make open war against his own brother. Another parlay was held, and this time it would not end in bloodshed.
The Fallaji arrived in Kroog under the guise of peace. Mishra was in attendance, as was his apprentice Ashnod. However, the Qadir was nowhere to be seen. Peace talks went smoothly, with Mishra even willing to stop the Fallaji’s open revolt against the bordering nations. But the price was high. In order for the Fallaji to stop their violence, Urza must surrender his Mighstone to his brother. Urza was adamant. After all this time, Mishra still only wanted what was Urza’s. After a night of lighthearted festival, Urza and Kayla retired to their quarters. Urza’s world would change when he had awakened.
Tawnos woke Urza, inquiring as to Kayla’s whereabouts. With a questioned look, Urza found that his Mighstone was missing. Kayla had stolen it. Urza raced to Mishra’s lodging, where he found his wife half-disrobed, offering the Mighstone over to Urza’s hated brother. Urza snatched the Mightstone from his wife’s hands and used its power against Mishra. Tawnos had managed to capture Ashnod, but Mishra and the rest of the Fallaji had fled overnight.
Enraged at his brother and his wife, Urza left Yotia with a squadron of ornithopters and entered the Fallaji desert. For weeks he searched the deserts for any sign of his brother. Finally, that sign arrived. Urza and his squadron attacked a War Machine under Mishra’s control, but barely managed to escape alive. Indeed, only Urza and one other soldier survived. Together, they began their long trek back to Kroog.
Urza found Kroog in a state of chaos. Mishra had lured his brother away from Yotia, and then had struck like a thief in the night. Upon questioning a few survivors, Urza found that Tawnos had managed to liberate most of Urza’s artifact plans via ornithopter. Urza realized his folly. He had allowed Mishra to cloud his judgment with Urza’s own emotions. Urza had always been a thinker, a creator. This war, for war it surely was, had just gotten a thousand times more dangerous. Urza began to think.
Urza set up his base inside the Argivian borders. Argive had allied with Korlis and Yotia, solidifying the three kingdoms into one bent on the Fallaji’s destruction. Urza was given the title of Lord Protector of the Realms, and he would do his best to fulfill that role. He began to build wondrous weapons of destruction, easily the victor over any Fallaji warrior. Next, he constructed huge towers, which would fence in Argive on all sides in preparation for the coming war. All was going according to Urza’s plan. But Urza’s weakness has always been matters of the heart.
Tawnos and Kayla arrived at Urza’s Tower with young Harbin in tow. Kayla vowed that Harbin was Urza’s son, but Urza feared the truth. The child could just as well belong to Kayla and Mishra. Urza reluctantly welcomed the three into his home, and, reunited with his longtime apprentice, began to construct even more wondrous defenses.
Within the year, Mishra’s forces attacked the borders of Argive, but were easily repelled by these new creations. Now, at last, Urza could go on the offensive. Urza began his own raids into the Fallaji territories. Both sides of the conflict had vast resources at their disposal, but both were using these resources at an alarming rate. The only way to win the war was to construct a better artifact engine, but both sides were being led by geniuses. Mishra had solidified his hold on the Fallaji with the death of the Qadir, and Urza had become a leader in his own right over the nation of Argive (which now included Yotia and Korlis).
Upon one raid into the desert, Tawnos was captured by Mishra’s chief lieutenant Ashnod, but quickly managed to escape and return home. It was probably during this time that Urza discovered Ramos, a dragon engine similar in design to Mishra’s own. Urza reprogrammed this machine, but quickly lost control of it. The dragon engine disappeared, and it was not until much later that Urza would discover its whereabouts.
Harbin’s own son, now a commanding officer in the ornithopter forces, had made a wondrous discovery. Away from the main continent of Terisiare lay another smaller continent of immense natural resources. Lumber and ore lay piled upon each other over centuries in the forested island. This place, Argoth, would be Urza’s key to victory over his hated brother. However, Urza was reluctant to drag another country into this war. Already, both the Fallaji and Argivian lands were reduced to waste, and no clear victory was in sight. Still, Urza knew his brother must be stopped if this war would ever end. With Harbin’s instructions, Urza made his journey to Argoth. Yet, on that day Urza began another journey entirely. A journey into legend.
The Sylex BlastEdit
Urza arrived had arrived at Argoth mere moments before grave news arrived. Mishra, too, had discovered this land and was engaged in war with the island’s defenders. What’s worse, the defenders began turning their attentions toward Urza’s forces as well. It was on one faithful night that the Argothian elves and treefolk attacked the Argivians with all their might. Though beaten back, they left Urza’s armies sorely weakened. Urza knew before his scouts had even told him that Mishra was on his way to attack. Urza would not survive the week. Escape was the only answer, but Urza would hear nothing of it. This battle between Argive and the Fallaji, between Urza and Mishra, had gone on long enough. This was a good a time as any for an ending.
Sending Harbin away from the island, Urza watched as Mishra’s artifact creatures approached. With a grave heart, Urza sent his own defenses into the fray. Within moments, the two armies would clash, and more bloodshed would result. It had gone on for this for over sixty years. Urza had quarreled with Mishra over who was the pretend-soldier and who the pretend-villain during childhood. Mishra had argued with Urza that pulleys and weight ratios were best under his calibrations during Tocasia’s lifetime. Always they had fought, but now that fight would at last end. It didn’t happen that way at all.
As Mishra’s attackers neared Urza’s creations, both armies suddenly doubled back and began attacking each other. Mishra’s dragon engines slew Ashnod’s transmogrants. Urza’s Yotian Soldiers destroyed Tawnos’s Clay Statues. Neither army obeyed their masters’ instructions in the least. Urza stared dumbstruck at his creations, but found a greater horror approaching. At long last, Urza faced his brother. Mishra looked younger, stronger somehow. Mishra vowed Urza’s death, and wielded the Weakstone. The two fought briefly, with Urza mortally wounding Mishra through a blast from his Mighstone. But for some reason, Mishra did not fall. Instead, he hobbled away, turning again to once again taunt his brother. Only then did Urza notice the horror of horrors. From Mishra’s open chest wound, flayed cables sparked and spilled glistening oil. Mishra had taken his hatred of Urza so far as to incorporate his own artifact creations into his being.
Tawnos arrived at Urza’s camp, bearing grave news. Gix, a demon from a place called Phyrexia had sabotaged the war for both sides. Tawnos showed Urza something Ashnod had given him, a Golgothian Sylex. Upon touching the ancient artifact, Urza felt immense power coursing through him and the land surrounding him. Urza had long fought with artifice, but now a new force called to him. The force of the land. The force of mana. The force of magic.
Urza ordered Tawnos to depart the island immediately, for soon it would be the death of them all. Tawnos reluctantly obeyed, and Urza began to discover the mysteries of the Sylex. He had little time to do this, however. Mishra had arrived. The two Brothers faced each other once again, but not as Urza had envisioned it. Mishra arrived, riding atop a dragon engine. It was more than that, however. Mishra had become a dragon engine. He had fused his own flesh with that of the metal of his mak fawa and now arrived vowing his brother’s death.
Urza could only stare in defeat until he heard the voice of the Sylex once again coursing through him. It spoke of the ultimate rape of Dominaria, the destruction of all that Urza and Mishra had created in order to give the land another chance. Urza poured all of his being into this spell, casting the first of many spells that Urza would wield. Power poured from the Sylex, destroying everything in its path. Urza was destroyed. Mishra was destroyed. Argoth was destroyed. Nothing remained. Dominaria was in ruins.
Effects of the Brothers' WarEdit
The Brothers' War caused much devastation to Dominaria. The Sylex Blast caused the creation of the Shard of Twelve Worlds and plunged Dominaria into the Ice Age. It also killed Urza but the Mightstone and Weakstone united and resurrected Urza as a planeswalker.
The war also made Urza aware of Phyrexia causing him to seek out information about it and later unite Dominaria against it.
The last effect of the war was felt millenia later in the form of a Time Rift that the Sylex Blast created over Yavimaya.