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Jace Beleren

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Jace Beleren
Jace Beleren
Birthplace Silmot's Crossing, unknown plane
Lifetime ~4582
Race Human planeswalker
Sources Agents of Artifice,
see external links

Jace Beleren is a human planeswalker who is incredibly intelligent and adept with blue magic, capable of such talents as clairvoyance and illusion. His specialty, though, is in the art of inborn telepathy which makes him unique within the multiverse. He has a reserved and decadent nature and a troubled conscience for the poor decisions he has made in the past.[1]

Contents

[edit] History

[edit] Adolescence

Jace's unique gift of telepathy manifested very early in his life, often to his parent's immense embarrassment. Desperate to curb the young man's precocious nature, his father sought the assistance of the local mage known as Alhammarret. Alhammarret took Jace from his father, and allowed him to apprentice underneath him. Under his tutelage, Jace spent years learning new spells and talents, but most importantly, he began to feel welcome for the first time in memory.

It was not to last though. Jace eventually became strong enough to try his talents against his master, and learned the shocking truth of his own existence. He discovered that his spark had ignited over a year ago, dipping him into the blind eternities only for a moment. Alhammarret had lied to him about what had happened, telling him his illusions had backfired and not to concern himself with it. Alhammeret confided in Jace's father about the event, and they agreed to keep the truth from Jace.

Jace seethed over this news for days, holding his temper close to his heart until finally, during one of their practice sessions, Jace snapped. Jace slipped into his mind and unleashed all of his rage and pain at once, completely destroying Alhammarret's mind. Jace fled, a wanted individual everywhere within a hundred miles of his hometown. Finally, Jace erased his own memories, so that he would never have to see his teacher's face again and feel the weight of what he had done.

[edit] Agents of Artifice

Sketch by Aleksi Briclot revealing his unhooded face.
Jace found his way to the plane of Ravnica after some time. Here he settled into a comfortable life, living in the upper echelons of society and earning his money through blackmail. He would use his telepathy to learn the secrets of the wealthy and extort them for his continued silence. While conducting business, Jace was attacked by creatures summoned by members of the Infinite Consortium. After some brief background research, Jace confronted the Consortium's master Tezzeret and learned that these attacks were in fact an "invitation" for Jace to join Tezzeret's organization. With some hesitation, Jace agreed and began training with Tezzeret to hone his telepathy for the Consortium's use.

Jace was partnered with a blademaster by the name of Kallist, who by some coincidence looked remarkably like Jace, and together they began to train each other in their own specialties between assignments. After a few years, Jace came to realize how badly the Consortium's practices had impacted him, and began to feel guilty, ironically, of not feeling any guilt over some of the things he has done in the Consortium's name. Things started to come to a head when a mission to Kamigawa ended spectacularly with the massacre of a Nezumi village. In punishment, Tezzeret savagely beat Jace for failing, though the mission failed through no fault of Jace's.

Shortly thereafter, an agent of Nicol Bolas, the original master of the Infinite Consortium and Tezzeret's main rival, contacted Tezzeret over a mining dispute on an unknown plane. Tezzeret scheduled a meeting with the dragon on an arctic plane and brought Jace along to insure that Bolas did not attempt to probe Tezzeret's mind. Jace became distracted by the dragon, who held two conversations with them both. Jace's defenses, which were untested to begin with, failed when Bolas struck. After fleeing for their lives from Bolas's forces, Jace succumbed to frostbite and lost a toe. This was the least of his injuries though, as Tezzeret used his manablade to torture Jace for having failed despite his inexperience and the vast difference of power that Bolas possessed.

Finally, Jace grew uneasy with Tezzeret's methods and total lust for power, and after refusing a task which went against his very nature, he ultimately fell out of Tezzeret's graces. Jace took Kallist with him and ran to the farthest reaches of Ravnica in hopes of escaping the Consortium's wrath. While trying to lie low, the pair ran into the lovely necromancer Liliana Vess, who flirted endlessly with both of them, finally settling into a torrid affair with Jace. Without Jace's knowledge, and with a heavy heart, Liliana revealed where Jace and Kallist had settled to the Consortium. In a desperate attempt to save both their lives, Jace tried to absorb Kallist's mind and switched bodies with the assassin when it failed.

Six months later, "Jace" in Kallist's body died and his mind returned to its original body with extreme trauma to Jace's psyche. Liliana took him away to recover and urged him to pursue Tezzeret for his part in Kallist's death. This resulted in Tezzeret and Jace scheming against each other, Tezzeret trying to kill Jace for his insubordination and impudence, and Jace just wanting to finally be free from Tezzeret and the Consortium. Jace turned to Nicol Bolas for help in locating Tezzeret's sanctum, and he and Liliana planned an assault on the artificer's base. Ultimately, the attack failed, Jace was captured, and Liliana's treachery came to light. Tezzeret spent months constructing an artifact to control Jace's mind without damaging his abilities, all the while having Jace tortured violently by the pyromancer Baltrice. Liliana approached the captured Jace and tried to make him understand the reasons she'd done the things she had. She genuinely cared for him, and she helped Jace to escape the prison Tezzeret constructed. Together they again attempted to destroy Tezzeret, wreaking havoc in his base of operations. Ultimately, Jace and the artificer dueled, resulting in Jace wiping Tezzeret's mind clean, leaving the consortium without a leader. Jace made a vow to himself to help Liliana in any way that he could.

It was later revealed that Jace, despite his hesitance, had taken over the Ravnican cell of the Infinite Consortium for lack of any better options at the time.

[edit] The Purifying Fire

At some point during Jace's first year working for the Infinite Consortium, he was sent to track down and retrieve a scroll Chandra had stolen from the Sanctum of Stars in Kephalai. However, his mission was to erase all memories of it from the pyromancer's mind, and not just to return the scroll to Kephalai. He tracked her to the monastery of Keral Keep where he confronted the girl. After a short battle, Jace completed his objective and planeswalked away.

[edit] Zendikar

Roughly three years after retrieving the Dragon Scroll from Chandra, Jace's interest in it was once more piqued for an unknown reason. With Garruk's "assistance", Jace soon decoded the location in the scroll as Zendikar. Shortly thereafter, he followed in Chandra's footsteps, having hired a guide to climb through the mountains of Akoum. Using his skill at illusion to keep himself safe, he and his guide soon encountered the bedraggled Anowon, who attacked Jace and killed his treacherous guide. Subduing Anowon, Jace ripped the information he sought from the vampire's mind and convinced him to replace his guide to the Eye of Ugin.

Upon arriving at the Eye, a wall closed between the two, with Anowon shouting warnings at Jace that fell on deaf ears. What Jace found, much to his surprise, was an immense Dragon fighting Chandra, who was hard pressed to continue the fight. Jace immediately offered his help, but was stunned to find his spells malfunctioning and one of the Hedrons floating about the cave absorbing his magic. Acting upon intuition and things he had gleaned from the scroll that led him here, Jace told Chandra to try and generate fire that could not be seen. With it, the pair defeated Sarkhan, knocking the entire group unconscious. Chandra was the first to awake and pulled Jace to his feet before walking away, leaving Jace to ponder who had manipulated the pair into crossing paths.

With Chandra gone, Jace had no reason to stay in the Eye. With his goal accomplished, albeit catastrophically, he wandered the caves and questioned once more how all three walkers came to be in the same place at the appropriate time. Despite his ignorance of the plane and the Eye, Jace couldn't help but notice that something had been set in motion with his involvement. He resolved to inform the sages of Sea Gate at Halimar of this development, but before he could leave the labyrinth, Anowon returned, demanding to know what had happened. Before Jace had a chance to answer, the vampire sage stalked off into the heart of the Eye muttering to himself. With no guide, Jace managed to find a nearby town and acquired a mount. Wasting no time, he began his trek back to the ship to finish his voyage. On the way, an enormous member of the Eldrazi Brood attacked, killing Jace's mount but leaving the mind mage unscathed. Jace arrived at the boat and continued on his way.

Two weeks later, Jace stood consulting an archivist at the Lighthouse of Halimar. He learned a bit about the Eldrazi, but felt no wiser for the knowledge. He recounted the events of his journey for her, and decided to search out where Chandra learned of the scroll. The merfolk archivist begged Jace to return if he learned anything, and Jace walked away saying he would share anything he found.

[edit] Return to Ravnica

After the tumult of the past few years of his life, Jace ignored whatever obligations remained on Ravnica, choosing to just wander for a while. When he returned, the consortium had collapsed without him, but he couldn't seem to bring himself to care. Indeed, despite feeling at home in Ravnica's faceless masses, Jace was haunted by the things he had seen. It was no wonder, then, that when curious symbols and patterns started turning up all over the Tenth District, it was enough to make Jace pause and take note. It was just the distraction he needed.

Jace contacted a peer named Kavin, a vedalken, with whom he worked to unwind the puzzle of the mysterious marks and why the Izzet League was interested in them. Unlike his accomplice though, Jace's interest turned to near obsession. He worked feverishly, and unfruitfully, until Emmara took note of his absence and came to check on him. After several pleasantries, she gave Jace a small wooden pendant and offered Jace a place in the Conclave. He refused, but she still asked his assistance. Jace was not the only one to have noticed the Izzet's flurry of activity. Unfortunately, the pair had also attracted the attention of House Dimir.

Several days after, Jace secretly tracked Ral Zarek and his associates back to the Izzet Guildgate. He was shocked to find Niv-Mizzet himself waiting for Zarek and with his chance slipping through his fingers, he seized the opportunity, making a mental connection with the firemind itself. Jace attained the answers he sought, but at the cost of attracting the attention of the dragon.

Kavin was not as thrilled with Jace's answers as the young telepath had been. The archivist was insistent they walk away, and reluctantly, Jace agreed, even going so far as to erase the memories of six months worth of work. Unfortunately, while Jace worked at that, the Cult of Rakdos abducted Emmara. Jace immediately went after them as soon as he awoke, distraught at both the abduction and the sudden gap in his memories. The forces of the Azorius Senate had other plans for him though. Eluding Lavinia and the arresters with the help of Ruric Thar, Jace desperately tried to piece together what had happened and how he could help Emmara. The only clue he had was a small token pointing him to a Rakdos night club. After a less than pleasant discourse at the club with the blood witch Exava, Jace escaped the cult and made his way to the Golgari controlled neighborhoods of District Ten, having snatched the location out of the mind of the Rakdos. Following the power of a leyline, Jace encountered Varolz, only to have Emmara save him. While distracted, Mirko Vosk struck.

The vampire gravely wounded Emmara and tried to psychically assault Jace, finding the mage knew nothing of what he had been looking for. The vampire retreated, frustrated that Jace had been one step ahead. After tending their wounds, the pair headed back to Vitu-Ghazi. When they arrived, Emmara was received warmly and Jace with suspicion. Jace was introduced to Emmara's paramour, Captain Calomir. This discovery actually shook Jace worse than almost everything that had happened to him up until that point. Emmara's abduction had sparked hostility within the conclave, spearheaded by Calomir. Jace, feeling put upon, tried to read the man, only to discover he couldn't. He quickly deduced Calomir wasn't who he said he was, but Jace's suspicions were ill-received, and he was quickly thrown from Conclave territory.

Left drifting listlessly, Jace couldn't shake the feeling that Emmara was in danger, his friend being the only thing important to him on the entirety of Ravnica. So, without many other options, Jace turned to Lavinia, the Azorius lawmage who had been sent to arrest him in the first place. He shared what he knew, of the plots the Dimir were weaving, and in exchange he tried to trade that knowledge for whatever the Azorius knew of what he had forgotten. Unfortunately, Lavinia was not in such a giving mood, and his only lead became the Gruul ogre he had hired to destroy his sanctum.

Jace managed to track Ruric Thar down and while trying to discover whatever secret he had uncovered, unintentionally challenged the ogre to combat. Unable to use his magic against the pair, Jace found unexpected empathy from the Gruul warriors watching the bout. Jace tapped into those thoughts and used them to beat the ogre. Having proven himself, Ruric Thar agreed to let Jace search his mind, and the planeswalker found bits of what he was looking for, enough to go on, but at that moment, Exava, leading a riot of her cultists finally tracked him down. The Gruul put themselves in between the cultists and Jace, but he was reluctant to leave them to their fates. He summoned a gigantic illusion of Rakdos himself and commanded the riot back into their own territory.

Exava was livid, but could not overcome the awe Jace's effigy inspired. However, once they returned, they found the Conclave forces waiting. It was enough to break Jace's concentration and Exava once again managed to corner him. The riot came to an abrupt end as Niv Mizzet made a district wide announcement, revealing very nearly every secret behind the Implicit Maze Jace had worked so hard to learn again. With the announcement made, Exava prepared to torture Jace, but he was saved at the last moment... by Lazav. The shapeshifter ferried him away into the undercity, explaining a great deal of his plans to the telepath before turning him over to the tender ministrations of Mirko Vosk once more. With little choice, he planeswalked away from the Dimir prison, but not before Vosk managed to get the maze route from Jace's mind as he desperately shared it with Emmara.

Awakening on Zendikar, Jace considered just leaving it all behind and abandoning Ravnica altogether. An encounter with a kor family changed his mind though, and determined to help Emmara, he returned. His first destination was the Forum of Azor,the endpoint of the maze. There, he discovered the Bailiff, a magical being made of law which was bound to the Maze. The construct told him that he was the executor of Azor's judgement and that if the guilds completed the trial, a new Guildpact would be actualized by the most worthy. If they did't, he would deliver the Supreme Verdict of Azor.

With new questions about the maze, he tracked Lavinia to a meeting where Isperia and a disguised Lazav were discussing the Verdict. Isperia told the pair that it was a spell which could destroy all the guilty in a district and they realized that the Supreme Verdict would be the verdict to the trial of the maze. More determined than ever, Jace made his way to the Transguild Promenade for the starting ceremony. There, he reconnected with Emmara and told her what he had discovered.

As soon as the maze began, chaos broke out, but Jace and Emmara managed to make their way through the Selesnyan and Golgari gates, however upon reaching the Azorius gate, the pair were forced to separate as Lavinia arrested him for his long overdue transgressions. A special trial was held with Isperia herself acting as judge. Jace explained everything he had discovered and how he intended to help. He plead guilty, if for nothing else than to hurry the trial along. His penance was community service... to help the guild champions to complete the maze.

Trying to reach Emmara, he passed through Dimir and Orzhov gates until he found her, fighting Teysa Karlov. He manipulated the Envoy's servants to attack each other, but the plan backfired, causing them to lash out against Teysa, who quickly wiped out her own forces. Jace traded the rest of the maze's route for Teysa's delay, leaving her behind and proceeding to the Simic and Izzet gates with Emmara.

At the Izzet gate, however, he found Ral Zarek waiting for him. Ral forced Jace to reveal his identity to Emmara, that Jace was a planeswalker as well. The news caused Emmara to lose the trust she had placed in him. Betrayed, Emmara proceeded through the gate, but Ral had no intention of letting Jace cross. He planned to kill the telepath instead. Jace very nearly lost the battle as Ral unleashed the full might of his preparations on the rival planeswalker, only surviving through the quick use of an illusion to lure away the Izzet guildmage.

When he reached the Forum of Azor, all the maze-runners were assembled and attacking each other. He managed to stop them momentarily, but Lazav appeared and manipulated the champions into fighting once more. The bailiff appeared and seeing the situation, delivered the Supreme Verdict, that was to give every runner the ability to activate it. Jace connected their ten minds together to prevent any from casting the verdict. He had merged their minds, letting them peer directly into each other's minds, but it was unraveling his own mind in the process. Fortunately, the bailiff assisted him, easing the burden he had put upon himself. In doing so, the Bailiff had declared Jace the new Guildpact, the mediator who could understand the perspective of each of the guilds.

Jace met Emmara some days later. She kissed him as a gesture of gratitude, but she wanted him to erase the memories she had about other worlds and planeswalkers. She could not share that with her guild, and in order to do her duty, she could have no secrets. Regretfully, Jace granted her request.

[edit] Living as the Guildpact

Jace continued his wandering of the planes, but spent much of his time rushing back to Ravnica. With Lavinia's help, the office of the guildpact was being maintained, but a threat delivered directly at him forced Jace to pay closer attention. The planeswalker Vraska manipulated Jace into a confrontation, in her bid to gain control of Jace as the living Guildpact. Jace neutralized Vraska for the moment, but his attention was drawn once more off world as something Vraska said to him took root. Leaving Lavinia in charge of the office once more, Jace left Ravnica to find what had befallen Garruk Wildspeaker.[2]

[edit] Trivia

Promotional card of Jace for the Agents of Artifice novel.
  • Jace may have spent an undisclosed length of time on the plane of Lorwyn around the time of the Aurora studying the peculiar nature of dreamstuff in that world. In this hypothetical encounter he had a brief mental encounter with the flamekin Ashling, though she never became aware of his presence.[3] The nature of this article leads to some doubts as to its veracity.
  • The designs for the guildless clothing on Ravnica was, in part, inspired by Jace's clothing.
  • Jace appeared in the book Test of Metal but much of the novel has since become contested canon, given the notable departures in both character and events. With that, these departures have been placed in trivia rather than the main article. — Possessing all of Tezzeret’s knowledge about the artificer's life, Jace set a series of traps to try and locate him should he have survived Kamigawa. When Tezzeret stumbled into such a trap upon Esper, Jace was alerted and went there to try and deal with him. Tezzeret got the upper hand, infecting Jace with an etherium device which prevented him from using any of his abilities, but the device was removed by Nicol Bolas later, as part of Tezzeret's plans. Once again free, the artificer and the telepath immediately rekindled their war. Bolas intervened again, unbeknownst to Jace, and sent Tezzeret to Mirrodin.

[edit] In-game references

Represented in:

Depicted in:

Quoted or referred to:

[edit] References

  1. Jace Beleren
  2. Doug Beyer. (March 12, 2014.) "The Gorgon and the Guildpact", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Doug Beyer. (March 5, 2008.) "Following a Dream", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Aaron Forsythe. (January 06, 2014.) "From the Director's Chair: 2013", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Tom LaPille. (April 15, 2011.) "About Jace", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

[edit] External links

FUT Planeswalker symbol.png "Neowalkers" FUT Planeswalker symbol.png