|Lifetime||~2910-Ascended in 2954 AR|
|Sources||The Eternal Ice, The Shattered Alliance, Planar Chaos, The Purifying Fire|
Jaya's childhood is shrouded in mystery, but she learned to be a thief on the streets. One day, she tried to steal something from the private chambers of Archmage Eternal Jodah, but was unsuccessful. Sensing magical capabilities in her, Jodah allowed Jaya to study in the School of the Unseen, but after learning a few spells she decided to set out into the world and make a living as a task mage.
Jaya later tracked Jodah to Tresserhorn after his disappearance, where he had been drugged with Fyndhorn pollen by Lim-Dûl and made to think he was a summoned creature. She rescued him, but Jodah became sick and delusional because of the pollen. Jaya summoned Freyalise, but the planeswalker wanted something in return for her aid: to use Jodah's mirror and the resources of the School of the Unseen in order to prepare for her World Spell. Although Jaya was in no position to offer her these tokens, she agreed on Jodah's behalf nonetheless.
Jaya was instrumental in Jodah's plans to prepare Kjeldor for the upcoming invasion by Lim-Dûl and the alliance between Kjeldor and Balduvia. During Lim-Dûl's final assault on Kjeldor, Jaya fought against Chaeska, Lim-Dûl's right hand. Jaya was successful in her battle, and later claimed Lim-Dûl's ring as a battle trophy. This ring would over the course of the next decade make her a slave to the will of Mairsil.
During the next twenty years Jaya was a leader of a group of mages who tried to protect the city of Kelsinko from being flooded by the rising seas without success.
Twenty years after the casting of World Spell, Jaya suddenly appeared in the School of the Unseen to see Jodah, who she had not seen since Lim-Dûl's assault. She brought Jodah an emaciated, blackened hand of Lim-Dûl with one of its fingers removed. The finger with the ruby ring - Mairsil's ring - was missing. Jodah and Jaya set out to search for the missing ring, fearing that Jodah's ancient enemy had returned.
Their journey lead them to Tresserhorn, Kjeld, Lovisa Coldeyes's Balduvian camp, and finally to Soldev. During the journey, Jodah realized that Jaya had somewhat changed since her younger years, and she often behaved strangely. When they reached Soldev and visited the vaults of the Adnates, the truth was revealed: in the aftermath of Lim-Dûl's battle against Kjeldor and Balduvia, Jaya found the finger and the ring and decided to bring them to Jodah, hoping that they would help him.
However, she donned the ruby ring, and Mairsil the Pretender's spirit infected her mind. She cut Jodah's throat, using his blood to revive the Phyrexian war beasts. Jodah miraculously saved himself from certain death with the help of his mirror. He then battled the possessed Jaya in the debris of ruined Soldev. He managed to shatter his mirror directly into her face, triggering the "reward" from Freyalise. In the blazing inferno that followed this breakpoint Jaya's own planeswalker spark flared. With a thought, she erased Mairsil's tainted presence once and for all, then planeswalked to the School of the Unseen and destroyed the rampaging war beasts there. With Jodah's help, she cut and sealed the bottomless pit that Lim-Dûl relocated there from Tresserhorn with the agreement of Gerda Äagesdotter. Finally, she helped Gerda with finding a new location for the school.
As a parting gift, Jaya gave Jodah an amulet, allowing him to remain sane despite his age, and allowing him to live as long as he willed. She then departed Dominaria for the wider multiverse.
Jodah later mentioned of Jaya Ballard implying that she died in the period between the end of Ice Age, when she was seen for the last time, and the present, the cause being her recklessness and impetuousness, that "eventually cost her her life". It is neither known where and when this event happened, nor how Jodah knows about it. There is also some suspicion that the Jodah who said this came from an alternate reality, and thus was referring to "another" Jaya.
Chandra Nalaar is known to have quoted Jaya, having learned at the Keral Keep monastery, a fire mage training academy that was originally founded around Jaya's teachings on the plane of Regatha. The academy values, above all other things, personal freedom and individual choice.
In prerevisionist storylines, Jaya was little more than a supporting character in the Ice Age, who accompanied Kaysa, Jaeuhl Carthalion, Laina, Taaveti, the Fyndhorn elves and some Knights of Kjeldor into Yavimaya as their guide and hired protector a decade after Freyalise cast her World Spell. She defended the elvish settlement when it was attacked by sentient gorillas, and later aided in cleansing the Heart of Yavimaya, and helped to birth Kaysa and Jaeuhl’s child.
Represented on Cards:
Quoted or Referred to:
- Chicken Egg
- Flare (Ice Age)
- Gorilla Chieftain (Alliances)
- Gorilla Shaman (Alliances)
- Gorilla War Cry (Alliances)
- Incinerate (Ice Age, Fifth Edition, Tenth Edition, Masters Edition II)
- Inferno (Fifth Edition, Classic Sixth Edition, Eighth Edition)
- Lava Burst
- Meteor Shower
- Mystic Compass (Alliances)
- Panic (Ice Age, Masters Edition II)
- Pyroclasm (Ice Age)
- Simian Spirit Guide
- Sizzle (Eighth Edition)
- Wall of Lava
- Word of Blasting (Ice Age, Fifth Edition)