|Sources||The Purifying Fire, see external links|
Gideon Jura is a planeswalker formerly beholden to the multiplanar organization known as the Order of Heliud. He is particularly known for his three-bladed whip known as a sural and his powerful hieromancy.
Gideon never knew his father, as he had left sometime before Gideon was born. He lived with his mother until her death while he was still a young man. With no better options, Gideon joined a gang, of which he soon became the defacto leader. With high ideals, he led the other boys to start stealing from the mansions of the rich, taking only what they needed to survive and giving the rest away to the poor.
Alas, he was caught and Gideon found himself in prison, one poorly suited to keeping him. With that in mind, the local constabulary found a man able to deal with Gideon. He took him from prison with the intention of rehabilitating Gideon by teaching him Hieromancy, the magic of order. After a few failed escape attempts on Gideon's part, he eventually settled in, finding the magic fascinating and enjoying the feeling of power he was cultivating. His teacher recognized something within him though and began teaching Gideon of planeswalkers, one of whom had been his teacher, and the man that had given him his sural. He also instilled in Gideon a warning against pyromancy, the form of magic that had killed his former master.
Gideon's spark ignited when he killed a much stronger opponent. The impossibility of his survival seemed so overwhelming that as Gideon tried to reconcile what he found, he achieved momentary enlightenment, a perfect perception of the entire multiverse, and slipped into the Blind Eternities. When he arrived in another world his sense of clarity quickly faded, and he returned to tell his teacher what had happened. His teacher revealed that he had been expecting it, having only ever seen one hieromancer as powerful as Gideon, the man who had taught him. He passed the sural onto Gideon that day, and Gideon left to try and find enlightenment once more.
The Purifying Fire
Gideon heard legends in his travels referencing a large naturally occuring fountain of white mana that took the shape of fire on the plane of Regatha. It was called the Purifying Fire by the Order of Heliud, the group that watched over the flame. With interest, Gideon pursued this legend hoping to study it and was initially denied his request by the head of the Regathan Order, Walbert. Walbert finally acquiesced if Gideon would do him a favor and tasked Gideon with recovering the planeswalker known as Chandra Nalaar when she left Keral Keep on the plane of Regatha.
Gideon followed Chandra to Kephalai where he quickly found her, due to her cataclysmic theft of the Dragon Scroll. This theft led to the complete destruction of the Sanctum of Stars and Gideon tracked Chandra down and attempted to assist her. Unfortunately, he wasn't the only being to have found her and in an attempt to save innocent lives, he incapacitated Chandra. Eventually he returned the scroll, having kept it in hopes that Chandra would not be executed until it was found, but with her escape, he found no reason to keep it.
Gideon once again tracked Chandra, landing on the plane of Diraden in Chandra's footsteps, much to the pyromancer's immense disbelief and fury. He quickly calmed her and suggested that they would accomplish more to escape the plane, which was dominated by black mana and endless night ruled by a Vampire prince, if they would work together. Chandra's last ally, a goblin named Jurl, chose that moment to attack them, and Gideon quickly subdued the being. With Jurl as their guide, Gideon and Chandra found their way to a village to speak with their wise woman, the menarch Falia. Falia appeared to be a child, but through the use of Blood Magic, had gained her wisdom from her mother, as well as slowed her aging considerably. Falia was instantly smitten by Gideon's good looks and secretly plotted to separate Chandra from her accomplice. She sent Gideon on a hunting expedition and summoned the Fog Riders to abduct Chandra. Gideon showed up at an opportune moment and slew one of the Fog Riders before they were both incapacitated.
While Prince Velrav treated Chandra to his own bedchambers, Gideon was handled with more ostentation for his part in the death of the Fog Rider. Gideon was tied to stakes in the courtyard with the understanding that any who should wish it were encouraged to feed from him. When Chandra awoke, she parlayed with Velrav to treat Gideon with more mercy, which resulted in the planeswalker being moved into the dungeons below. Unfortunately, as part of the price paid to have Gideon moved, Chandra had told Velrav of planeswalkers, and Velrav believed he could harness Gideon's essence to become a planeswalker himself. During the ritual that was to attempt this though, Chandra beheaded the prince, and with his death the spell preventing them from planeswalking was lifted.
The pair returned to Regatha and sought the help of Chandra's woodland friend Samir Mia Kaulda. To Chandra's shock, Samir revealed that he had already met Gideon at the headquarters of the Order. Feeling betrayed, she left him to fend for himself and stormed back to Keral Keep. The Order had laid siege to the Keep though, with the simple ultimatum to hand over Chandra. When Chandra surrendered, she only requested that Gideon escort her to Walbert. When the walkers reached Walbert, he revealed that he planned to offer Chandra to the Purifying Fire, hoping she would be cleansed and left powerless as an example to any who would oppose him. Gideon felt immense guilt, not having known of Walbert's intentions and sought some way to help Chandra escape her fate. Finally, he found passages stating that if a person went into the fire with no regrets, that they may survive unharmed. Chandra confessed to Gideon of the accidental part she played in the death of her village and how it had haunted her ever since.
The Fire spared Chandra, and left her intact, and with great relish, she destroyed Walbert and his guards, cracking the foundations of the Fire's cavern and the temple above with the power of her fire magic. Gideon was the first to venture forth into the ruin and found Chandra passed out. He was aghast at what she had done, but swore he would cover for her if she left and never returned. Chandra revealed then that the soldiers that had killed her parents had the same ideals as the Order of Heliud, and it was in his best interest to consider his allegiances closely, stating that anyone who exemplified the Order's ideals was to be her enemy, even Gideon.
Gideon simply responded that they would meet again, and she vanished from Regatha.
The Battle of Fort Keff
Despite the way the pair parted, Gideon soon began to regret the feelings that they had been left with. With some anxiety, Gideon set his sights to seeking the tempestous world of Zendikar. Gideon tracked Chandra through the continent of Akoum, only to find her trail going cold in the mountains near the Eye of Ugin. Weary to his bones, he found the nearest settlement, Fort Keff, hoping to find some well earned rest for himself. Around the fire, Gideon heard tales, strange and disturbing tales, from an adventurer named Tafre. He warned that the land had been acting odd, becoming far more violent than it ever had been before. With nightmarish tales still swimming in his head, Gideon went to sleep to dream of Chandra surrounded in white flames.
His rest wasn't to last though, as a primal scream tore his sleep from him. A surrakar had wandered too close to the fort, and the adventurers dealt with it harshly. While it lay injured, Gideon went to it. The beast warned him of its gods who came from beyond the world, from the void with no color, who would devour all the life in their path. Among the assembled soldiers, only Gideon knew the true horrible scope of what the reptilian meant. All the next day, refugees poured in with tales of demon-insects. The tales were but the heralds of the terror to come, as the brood swarmed the fort later that day. Gideon fought bravely amongst the soldiers of Fort Keff and he alone turned the tide against the brood. A cry of celebration went up, until Emrakul darkened the skies. Gideon told all the beings of the fort to flee, to follow the surrakar to the underground rivers.
Left alone, Gideon simply stared at the titan before him, and desperately, he tried to think of some way to fight the creature before him. Only one solution came to him, and Gideon left to seek the assistance of a group of planeswalkers he had heard rumors about on the plane of Ravnica. (presumably the Infinite Consortium)
Upon arrival, his immediate efforts came to no fruition. Whatever fate befell the group he was searching for remained a mystery, but as he traveled, he became aware of an overwhelming tension between the guilds. Paranoia and hostilities were rising with the guildless caught between the political juggernauts. Though Zendikar was in desperate straits, if the guilds went to war, the entire population of Zendikar would be only a fraction of the casualties on Ravnica. With little recourse, Gideon postponed his search, looking to the guilds for some way to curb the coming war.
While battling a gang of Rakdos Cultists, Gideon attracted the attention of the Boros Legion. He was approached by Aurelia, believing that he could be a potent weapon for the Legion and offered him a battalion to lead, perhaps more if he joined them. Gideon felt the Boros had the greatest chance of enforcing some form of peace and accepted command of the soldiers, shirking her offer of membership. He believed in their purpose, the defense of the laws, but as time wore on Aurelia's own zeal and aggression against the other guilds has put him in opposition of the angel's orders. Gideon's alliance has become stressed to the breaking point, and it may just be a matter of time before he joins the Gateless in their efforts to escape the violence of the guilds.
- Gideon was completely designed by author Laura Resnick for The Purifying Fire. She was allowed free rein to create his history as she wished so long as he was a white mage who worked for the Order.
- In The Purifying Fire, Gideon's weapon is referred to as a sural, however, wizards later chose to call it an urumi during his appearance in Rise of the Eldrazi. They have since returned to the original terminology.
- In the video game Duels of the Planeswalkers 2011, Gideon's voice is provided by Daniel Strange.
- In the aforementioned game, Gideon's home was given as Bant, but this was incorrect as the game itself is considered non-canon.
Quoted or referred to:
- Jenna Helland. (Wednesday, March 31, 2010.) "The Battle of Fort Keff", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.