A planeswalker's spark is a latent power inborn into a very small number of sentient creatures across the Multiverse, which if activated permanently turns the bearer into a planeswalker. A planeswalker is granted the ability to travel between the planes of the Multiverse. The spark is triggered by a powerful, emotionally-affecting, perspective-altering life event, often a near death experience in which it triggers to protect the individual.  This process can be called "Triggering," "Flaring," "Igniting," or "Ascension." The exact mechanics of the planeswalker's spark are unknown, and many of the descriptions are prerevisionist.
Prerevisionist spark description[edit | edit source]
Before the revisions to Magic's canon, there were several disparate depictions of planeswalkers and their powers. The first Magic novel, Arena depicted the spark as able to be conceived through incredible amounts of mana being hoarded. A different interpretation to reconcile Arena's depiction into revisionist thought is; the planeswalkers had the spark all along and the mana merely triggered it. Depicted in the novels are instances of planeswalkers giving their spark up to live mortal lives, such as Jared Carthalion, Greensleeves, and possibly Garth One-Eye. One can have or be granted planeswalker-like powers, as did Dakkon Blackblade (though there is possiblity that Dakkon always held a dormant spark).
Revisionist spark description[edit | edit source]
Sparks occur randomly in any sapient population but not through genetics, nor can they be created artificially. A spark can be magically transferred to another, as with Glissa's spark to Slobad or used up to perform magical works such as Slobad healing Glissa. Sparks can be contained magically, as Ravidel did to Altair of Coloni or Yawgmoth did to Glacian. A spark is intangible and a part of a being's soul. A spark's link to the physical world is sometimes described as a planeswalker's "center of consciousness."
More recent material indicate that the spark is what allows planeswalkers to use mana from multiple planes; should a spark be lost, inactive or defective, they are only able to use mana from the plane they are on. This is evidenced by Ob Nixilis' re-ignition, as he narrates that he can use the mana from other planes. This contradicts older cases of non-planeswalkers being able to siphon mana from multiple planes, such as multiple members of the Weatherlight Crew.
Additional powers[edit | edit source]
Before the Mending, those with an activated planeswalker's spark had additional powers; they were almost immortal, invulnerable, granted vast magical power, and could shapeshift. While this power could lie within anyone, it was usually undetectable except by another planeswalker. Planeswalkers rarely died, except at the hands of other planeswalkers. After the Mending, the nature of a planeswalker's spark changed: they lost their invulnerability, immortality, shapeshifting and most of their additional magical power. Although some planeswalkers, such as Liliana Vess, reacquired some of these properties through other means, these properties are no longer provided by a planeswalking spark.
[edit | edit source]
- Doug Beyer. ( February 20, 2008.) “Share the Spark”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer. (June 24, 2009.) “Odd Job”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.