Future Scrying: Theros, Death and Beyond

It is coming to the end of 2019 and it has been quite a year for Magic the Gathering’s story. We have seen the end of the Gatewatch story arc, said goodbye to Gideon and hello to Oko, as well as seen the return of one of my favourite characters in the form of Garruk. Granted, there have been some hiccups along the way (Chandra and Nissa deserved better), but for the most part, the continuing narrative of the multiverse has been an interesting ride. But now we are left to wonder what will be coming next, and how the unfolding narrative will affect the story of the game we all love.

Well, today I thought it might be fun to speculate on what could be involved in the upcoming story of the game by looking at the next Magic set slated for release and predicting what could happen in terms of the overall narrative. Please note, these are just my thoughts on what the story of Magic the Gathering could be, and as such should be taken with a pinch of salt. But perhaps I might get lucky and hit the nail on the head, getting one or two things right in the process. With that said, let’s scry into the future.

Back to Theros

Back when I last tried to do some predictions, I said I was positive that sometime in the next year after we finished up on Ravinca we would be making our way back to Theros. Now I’ll admit I got some other predictions wrong that time, but oh well. Regardless, in the new year, we will be heading to the Greco-Roman inspired plane for some more mythological action.

We know from the promo art that Elspeth will be making her return, in more than one way. Since she was… you know, killed at the end of Journey into Nyx, we will likely see an orphic-inspired story arc where we see her making her way out of the underworld. This would be great for two reasons. Firstly, the tale of someone escaping the underworld is very on-brand for a Greek-influenced plane, and secondly, because it will mean that we get Elspeth back again.

But how will she escape the underworld? Surely if she could have done it before now, she won’t have waited until now to escape? Well, in most myths about someone escaping the underworld, someone has to go down and bring them back, and as luck would have it we have a couple of characters primed for just such a role.

First up, we have Ajani. The loveable Leonin planeswalker from Naya has visited the plane of Theros once before and was instrumental in the previous story arc with Elspeth. The two of them also have a ton of backstory, being good friends before her untimely death at the hands of Helios. So now that his work with the Gatewatch has come to an end, perhaps he will be drawn back to Theros in a quest to save Elspeth from an eternality in the underworld. However, I think there is another character that could fill in this pivotal role in the story, and she is a bit of a wild card.

Liliana Vess finds herself in a usual situation in the aftermath of the War of the Spark. Free from her demonic contract, she has no master and a hopeful future for the first time in her long life. Well, if you don’t count the fact that Niv-Mizzit has put a price on her head. She also owes her life to Gideon, who sacrificed himself to save her from the contract that should have been her downfall. All of this could draw her to the plane of Theros.

Perhaps she will at first journey there in order to pay her respects to Gideon (giving us that statue we see in the art for the new Rest in Peace), but while there, she could learn of the underworld and the fact that Elspeth is trapped within. Knowing she will need allies in case the planeswalkers Niv-Mizzet has dispatched locate her, maybe she will seek to bring Elspeth back to the world of the living, and in doing so will have earned herself an indebted friend for the trials that lay ahead.

Of course, that is only one story that could be told on the plane of Theros. There are many other possible story arcs we could explore. Perhaps Helios’ actions have inspired the other gods of the plane to act against him, lest they become the unwitting victims to the mad god’s machinations, and they seek to make use of Elspeth as a blunt weapon to use against the self-imposed head of the pantheon. Or perhaps the whole Elspeth thing is a red herring and we will get a completely different story arc.

Time will tell, but I for one am really looking forward to getting to one of Magic’s best-designed planes. But I’m curious, what do you think the story of Magic will be? Will Liliana be the one to save Elspeth or will there be another twist in this tale? Why not let us know about it in the comments below. While you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.

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