|Birthplace||Qasal Valley, Naya, Alara|
|Race||Nacatl leonin planeswalker|
|Sources||A Planeswalker's Guide to Alara, see external links|
Ajani Goldmane is a white-aligned planeswalker. His specialty is magic of the purification of body and soul: spells that heal and strengthen his allies, and spells that evoke the inner, spiritual essence of others.
History[edit | edit source]
Mortal life[edit | edit source]
Ajani was born as an albino Nacatl, a stigma among his people, described as "white as death", and so spent much of his youth as an outcast. It is unknown what happened to Ajani's parents, but it appears the only one to care for him was his older brother Jazal. Jazal gained a great deal of prestige among his peers despite Ajani's status among the pride, and soon Jazal rose to kha of the Qasal Valley pride. Jazal accepted the position in hopes that Ajani would be accepted and honored as he had been. However, Ajani was barely tolerated, a fact that Ajani eventually came to accept as appropriate treatment. However, Ajani had at least one friend, the tribe shaman Zaliki.
Ajani was unique among his kin, not only for his bone white fur, but also due to his unique abilities to manipulate the magics of the soul. He could see deep into other beings, and see the very essence of their spirits. He could call that essence forth and manifest it in a multitude of ways, and despite his pariah status, he was considered the best healer in his tribe. This earned him none of the prestige that Jazal thought it should, but Ajani once more just accepted that as his self worth to keep trouble from his brother.
As the celebration of the Marisi's Breaking of the Coil neared, Ajani was attacked by a group of humans, an unusual event of itself, but foreboding as Jazal discovered that they had been sent after Ajani himself, and not merely the Nacatl. Ajani sought to repay his brother for his heroic defense, and began a hunt for the feast celebration. Secretly he was hoping to gain the pride's respect, but when he brought down a Godsire his kill was stolen by the worst of his persecutors, Tenoch. Ajani was beaten and left to drag himself back to the feast. Once more though, Ajani kept his peace.
That night, after the revelries had died down, a dark figure stole through the sleeping pride. They dropped a vessel of dark magic into the fire and shades burst forth to attack the tribe. During the attack, Jazal was slain in his own lair with his own black axe, the dark twin to Ajani's own. Gripping Jazal's body, Ajani heard Jazal's voice and when he opened his eye, he was no longer on Naya.
Alara unbroken[edit | edit source]
Ajani found himself on Jund where he met Sarkhan Vol, who protected him from the dragon Karrthus and listened to the neophyte walker describe what had happened. Sarkhan advised him to take hold of his anger and use it, to use his newfound gift as a walker to track down his brother's murderer and showed him how to planeswalk back to Naya. He found himself wandering the Qasali Valley, eventually finding his way to ruins of Antali where he encountered a strange apparition that set him to his quest of vengeance.
Back in Jazal's lair, he found the remnants of his brother's ax. He used the other ax head to create a new weapon that symbolized his plans for revenge. Of Jazal's body, there was no trace aside from the blood scattered all across the floor. He found what had become of Jazal in the pride center, where Jazal had been cremated. He spread Jazal's ashes across his body, and stalked off to confront Tenoch, suspecting him of the object found in the fire. He found Tenoch overlooking a cliff and after a brief argument, in which Tenoch admitted he respected Ajani, Ajani threatened the other Nacatl by dangling him over the cliff edge. This ended badly for Ajani as the tables turned and Ajani landed at the bottom of the cliff, taking serious injuries, and with no other option, he vanished into the Blind Eternities.
Ajani woke up in the care of Elspeth Tirel on Bant. After 2 weeks and the ministrations of the Bant balmgivers, Ajani left after warning Elspeth of the coming conflict. When he returned to Naya, he confronted Tenoch's mother, who revealed that Marisi had something to do with the attack on the pride. While confronting the legendary hero, they were interrupted by Mayael and Marisi pointed Ajani to seek the dragon. Knowing of only one place to find dragons, Ajani began a walk to Jund... only to find that Jund no longer existed. The Conflux had begun.
After a rough landing, Ajani found himself in the presence of Kresh and Clan Nel Toth who swore to help Ajani find his vengeance and slay the dragon. A lengthy sojourn took them all the way to the borders of Grixis where Kresh settled his grudge against Rakka-Mar, who told Ajani of Nicol Bolas. To Ajani's surprise, Zaliki and Mayael found him on the edge of Grixis and looked to him to lead them against Sarkhan's dragons. During this important crux, Ajani finally found Jazal's murderer. Zaliki was the one responsible for his brother's death, and confronted with this truth... Ajani let his rage go. His quest for revenge would go unanswered, except that Bolas chose that moment to confront the assembled armies. In front of all the armies of Naya and Jund, Bolas consumed the mana of the Maelstrom, and in a desperate attempt to stop Bolas, Ajani severed everyone's mana bonds and absorbed the last tiny bit of the Maelstrom that Bolas hadn't. Using that power, he called up an effigy of Bolas's soul and used it to banish Bolas from Alara.
In the aftermath of the conflux wars, Ajani was offered the position of Kha and the respect of his entire pride, the one thing he had desired above all else. He was not the same being that he had been though, and chose to leave Naya instead, entrusting Zaliki with the responsibilities of being the Kha.
Ajani's debt[edit | edit source]
Sometime after the conflux, Ajani once again sought out Elspeth, starting with those who last saw her. He finally found the errant knight in the gladiator pits of Urborg facing off against another heavily armored planeswalker. Ajani stopped Elspeth from delivering a death-blow when she saw a symbol on the other walker's arm. He escorted her back to her residence and beseeched her to return, that she could do more good on Alara than fighting for the money in the pits, treating herself so badly. She rebuked his offer, stating that it was pointless and that eventually Grixis would overrun Bant's golden plains, that Bant itself was already gone.
Dismayed, Ajani acquiesced to her refusal, stating simply that her lack of hope saddened him. As a final kindness, before his departure, Ajani returned Elspeth's armor, which she had left on Bant.
Journey to Theros[edit | edit source]
After some time, Ajani found he could not bear to leave Elspeth to pursue her destructive behavior and so he tracked her to the plane of Theros. He had been here before, and was well acquainted with Brimaz, who to his surprise had risen to king. Around the camp fires, he learned much of what had been going on, including Elspeth's role in what had happened and the injustice done to her. As a favor to him, Brimaz ordered his warriors to find her and after a brief search, the pair were reunited at Tethmos.
Ajani could see that her trials had badly hurt her, but he could not get her to speak of what had happened. Instead, she swore they would set things right, and Ajani agreed to stay at her side. To do so, they would have to travel to the mysterious temple of Kruphix at the edge of the world. They travelled by river from the Nessian forest to the Siren's Shipyard, seeking the legendary mariner Callephe. Standing amidst the shattered wreckage of ships, Ajani called up the legendary sunken ship known as The Monsoon, and to their surprise Callephe appeared as soon as her ship had risen from the deep.
She agreed to take them to the edge of the world, but it all turned to a lie. Kiora revealed her deception as soon as they reached the sunken city of Arixmethes. Thassa confronted them, intending to deal with the lying merfolk, but not before sending the pair on their way, wishing them luck. They arrived at the edge of the world, and the god Kruphix allowed them to pass to the gateway of Nyx, the shrine of Nykthos. To gain entry to Nyx, one of them had to undergo an ordeal sent from the gods, and Ajani urged Elspeth to take Thassa's ordeal, but she pulled away from him at the last moment and gained entry from Erebos. He cursed his friend as a fool, but set to the task at hand. They confronted Xenagos and the pair battled the god, until at last Elspeth struck him down. However, the battle had taken its toll, and Nylea warned the pair that they must escape before Erebos or Heliod found them. They nearly escaped before Heliod appeared and used her own weapon to murder Elspeth. Ajani took his dying friend back to Theros and prepared to fight the agents of Erebos that were coming to claim his friend, but Brimaz's warriors ambushed him, pulling him away for his own good as his friend died.
Ajani woke up back in Tethmos, where the Theros' leonin healed him. After sparring with Brimaz, Ajani searched for a fight for himself to fight. He remembered how Heliod struck down Elspeth and decides to make people stop believing in him. He traveled to Heliod's temple in Meletis, where he tells about Heliod murdering Elspeth. When the message of turning away from the gods had started to spread, Ajani returned to Oreskos. There he told his message to Brimaz, and around a dozen of other leonin present, that the gods are creations of belief. With that, he earned his place amongst the leonin of Theros. Ajani now wears Elspeth's cloak to honor her memory.
In-game references[edit | edit source]
- Ajani's Mantra
- Ajani's Presence
- Ajani's Pridemate
- Lightning Helix (Duel Decks: Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas)
- Solidarity of Heroes
- Soul's Fire
- Soul's Grace
- Soul's Might
- Soul's Majesty
- Titanic Ultimatum
Quoted or Referred to:
- Ajani's Chosen
- Ajani's Sunstriker
- Behemoth Sledge (Duel Decks: Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas)
- Jazal Goldmane
- Glorious Charge (Magic 2013)
- Kindled Fury
- Nacatl Savage
- Radiant Fountain
- Show of Valor
- Silence (Magic 2010)
- Silvercoat Lion (Magic 2011)
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The circlet that appears on Ajani's shoulder is the sigil of the Qasali Pride.
- Ajani's pride of Leonin warriors wears a painted scar over their eye as a marker for their allegiance.
- Ajani's original incarnation during design was as a white aligned paladin known as Theseus.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Planeswakers: Ajani Goldmane
- Tom LaPille. (July 23, 2014.) "Ajani's Vengeance", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer. (June 28, 2014.) "Is that Elspeth's cloak that Ajani is wearing?", A Voice for Vorthos, Tumblr.
- Mel Li. (August 19, 2015.) "Checking in on the Planeswalkers (2015)", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Monty Ashley. (August 06, 2012.) "Mark of Pride", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Trick Jarrett. (July 18, 2013.) "Starry Eyed", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Devin Low. (November 02, 2007.) "One Planeswalker's Journey", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
[edit | edit source]
- Wizards of the Coast. (September 18, 2013 .) "Ajani Goldmane", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer. (October 24, 2007.) "Planeswalkers Unmasked", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer. (October 29, 2008.) "Ajani: Faces of a Planeswalker", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Brady Dommermuth, Doug Beyer, Jenna Helland et al.. (October 8, 2008.) "Flight of the White Cat", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Kelly Digges. (April 09, 2014.) "Ajani, Mentor of Heroes", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (October 07, 2008.) "Hidden Ajani", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.