|Birthplace||Bala Ged, Zendikar|
|Sources||Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum, see external links|
Nissa Revane is an elven planeswalker who wields green magic to muster her fellow elves and amplify their might. She is a proud nature-mage who believes that elves are the pinnacle race of the multiverse, and the Joraga are the greatest of them all. Born on Zendikar, she possesses a deep love for her home plane, to the exclusion of all others. She has a deep seated hatred of vampires, a fear of snakes, and enjoys flowers.
Nissa was born in the jungles of Bala Ged and led an unremarkable childhood. That is, until her spark ignited while she was still very young. She thought nothing strange of her knowledge of the multiverse and was unabashedly curious. Unfortunately for the girl, her curiosity and behavior was anathema to the Joraga tribe to whom she had been born. Cruelly, she was exiled from her tribe and left to the unforgiving mercies of the jungles. She lived a miserable life until finally she found a new Joraga tribe willing to take her in.
With her newfound second chance, Nissa rationalized that it was for the best that her gifts lay dormant. That it was much more fulfilling to fit in with her kinsmen than to explore her abilities. Soon after she joined her new tribe, she underwent the Joraga ceremony to become an adult, eating an extremely poisonous mushroom that would stop her heart and poison her blood against vampires. She lived and earned both her stem sword staff and a place amongst her people. She sought to live her life to exemplify the Joraga ways, and very quickly she gained recognition for her adherence to her people's culture. So great were her contributions that her tribe offered her the rites to become a leader of the Joraga Council. The rite would, unfortunately, once again send her away from her beloved lands, to live and learn amongst the other elven nations of Zendikar. Nissa chose to go further than that, and turned to the endless nations of the Blind Eternities.
Her planar travels took her to the sunny world of Lorwyn where elves thrived and ruled uncontested. There she met elves who fully embraced their role as the pinnacle of nature, using both life magic and its deadly shadow to assert their primacy. This encounter led Nissa to experiment with black mana on her own terms, in secret, using it to complement her own elvish teachings.
Eventually, Nissa's studies abroad settled to more mundane locations. Two encounters, one to a city plane that terrified her and the other to a metal world where she was taken prisoner, led her to cease her explorations and seek guidance in the Turntimber of Ondu. Here, she approached the Tajuru elves and petitioned to study with them. Speaker Sutina appointed her a Captain Leaftalker to a village north of the hometree of Mosscrack. She was met with suspicion and distrust, but she once again convinced herself she didn't care. However, there were bright sides to her time with the Tajuru. She befriended a man named Hiba and learned to enjoy music, a luxury she knew she would miss when she returned to the Joraga, who forbade such things.
Rise of the Eldrazi
Her peace was shattered when nearby villages began to go silent, and an emergency meeting was declared to determine the cause. They did not have to ponder long, as the Eldrazi brood attacked the meeting and killed Sutina shortly after it began. Left without their leader, Nissa took up the role Sutina had left for her and took her squad to investigate the nearest disappearances. It was to be a doomed mission though, costing Hiba and all but Nissa their lives. Nissa would have fallen to the brood herself, if not for the timely arrival of Sorin Markov. He liberated the vampiric slave Anowon and demanded that the two take him to the Eye of Ugin. Nissa agreed, if for nothing else to avoid facing the shame of having her squad wiped out.
Nissa and companions traveled to the nearby Graypelt Refuge to meet with another of Nissa's friends, a merfolk named Khalled, where they received a map to the Eye of Ugin in return for Anowon's texts. Khalled also gave her a pathway stone cut from the Puzzle Tower and supplies for their long journey to Akoum. Khalled provided them with whatever support he could, including a piece of the puzzle tower Tal Terig so that they could find their way. The trio descended into the Makindi Trench and after avoiding The Roil several times, encountered an enormous band of Kor refugees. Shortly thereafter, they encountered a Kor of another kind. A babbling Kor woman traveling with a large group of goblins. Nissa and company shared their camp fire with the woman, who would only speak in bursts of ancient languages which fascinated both Sorin and Anowon. The Goblins told them that the woman was named Smara and that she was a "witch vessel" for a spirit trapped in a crystal she was carrying. They were also on their way to the Eye of Ugin, and Sorin suggested they travel together.
Eventually the mismatched group came to the Piston mountains and Zulaport beyond that. The trio decided to stay the night in Zulaport and find some way to cross the ocean in the morning, but a vampiric death attributed to their group led to them fleeing to the sea. Nissa stole a boat and summoned a massive behemoth to swim the ocean and pull the boat with it. The party soon regretted their hasty departure, as whatever food was on the boat was soon exhausted and the goblins traveling with them began to vanish one by one. Nissa could not sleep without allowing the behemoth to be dismissed and with no food or sleep, she was forced to repeat her hard learned Joraga fasting mantras to survive. During this time, Sorin finally told Nissa the nature of their mission as well as admitting to being a walker much like her. Sorin told her that the great gods of the past, and the progenitors of the brood, the Eldrazi Titans were bound beneath Tal Terig long ago, and it was his mission to make sure they stay that way. The next morning, they approached the beaches of Akoum.
It was a hazardous landing as the compatriots were to learn. The bays of Akoum were littered with shipwrecks and crystal reefs, but the greatest threat came from the Moon Kraken that ruled those waters. Brinelin demanded tribute from their boat, and Sorin casually killed one of the remaining goblins to satisfy the great creature. That tribute was found lacking, and Sorin had to reveal more of his true nature to the creature. Brinelin remembered Sorin, and was somewhat terrified to find him returned after so long, but would not let them pass. Since Sorin's intimidation had failed, Nissa gambled that her diplomacy might work. She spoke of Sutina, who had been friends with the kraken, and told Brinelin of her death. Greatly saddened by the news of his friend's death and discouraged by the return of the brood, Brinelin finally acquiesced to lead them safely through the crystal reefs.
The party soon approached Tal Terig, which was surrounded by brood, and found themselves captured by elves Nissa had never seen. They were the keepers of Ora Ondor and planned to sacrifice the group so that their sacred Kolya fruits would grow. In their madness, they had underestimated the brood, and Ora Ondor came under siege by the brood. Nissa and what remained of their party, now greatly diminished to a single goblin who travelled with Smara and the trio, escaped during the confusion and as they fled, Ora Ondor fell. The goblin, whose name was Mudheel agreed to lead them all to the Eye, for his knowledge of Akoum was better than that of Anowon, but without supplies the group soon fell to dire straits. They were saved, after finally collapsing in the wastelands, by a water scout who altruistically shared his spoils with the group. Anowon killed the man with Sorin's permission to satiate his hunger which left Nissa aghast. The small band became aware that they were being followed after this incident, and they were finally ambushed by an army of Nulls under the direction of two vampires later that night. Nissa fell during the combat, and awoke as a prisoner of the vampires. They told her that they were hunting the Mortifier, who Nissa mistakenly believed to be Anowon. They carried her for several days, all the while leaving Nissa wondering why they had left her alive, before her allies rescued her. When she tried to approach Anowon about what she had learned, he told her that she was mistaken and the true extent of Sorin's nature came to light.
Once the group arrived at the Eye of Ugin, Nissa's plans abruptly changed from what Sorin had expected. Instead of helping Sorin reinforce the spell containing the Eldrazi, she shattered the main Hedron and released the enchantment imprisoning the titans. Nissa thought the titans would flee, that they would leave Zendikar far behind them. She was wrong, and Sorin washed his hands of her and the entire plane, choosing to go about his own business once more since Nissa wouldn't heed his instructions.
Weeks later, Nissa returned to Bala Ged and appeared before the Joraga Council. She told them of what had transpired and swore to find Sorin, to drag him back to Zendikar to help with the Eldrazi menace. With that declaration, she stepped away from her beloved home and hoped there would be something to save when she returned.
Two years after the Eldrazi were freed, the Joraga tribe came under attack from Ulamog and his brood. Nissa had barely survived, a band of humans saving her, apparently the only survivor of the Joraga tribe. The one who found her, a Graypelt member named Hamadi, helped her recover, and through him and his friends, Nissa, despite feeling guilty for causing the Eldrazi disaster, realized that race and tribe no longer were of utmost importance, and her magic was needed to save the Multiverse. Tapping into her roots as an elementalist and druid, she now commands the lands of the planes in an effort to protect the Multiverse from the Eldrazi.
- Nissa made her debut in the Xbox 360 game Duels of the Planeswalkers, though Nissa's art, by Jaime Jones, was slightly altered for the purposes of Duels' packaging and marketing, because the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rejected the original art for use on packaging. They felt her outfit was a bit too revealing.
Quoted or referred to in:
- Doug Beyer. (Wednesday, June 03, 2009.) "A Different Kind of Origin Story", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Nissa Revane
- "Nissa Revane, New Planeswalker" — MTG Salvation