Theros (plane)

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Theros
Theros
First seen: Theros
Last seen: Magic Origins
Planeswalkers: Xenagos, Gideon Jura
Rabiah Scale: 3[1]
Status: Unknown

Theros is a plane where the Theros block takes place. Similar to Hellenic Greece, Theros is a plane governed by the gods of Nyx, where heroes face monsters, the sea rages, people offer burnt offerings and adventures take place. It is defined by mankind's struggle against the primal forces of the world, and mankind's conflict with the many other sapient races that populate the world.

Locations[edit | edit source]

The realms[edit | edit source]

Theros is divided into three main realms:

  • The normal, sunlit world of the living
  • Nyx: A paranormal realm associated with dreams and the subconscious, a literal and proverbial nightsky where the gods dwell. Nyx is so closely tied to the plane's deities that, whenever they manifest, where they should be shadowed they instead display the glorious starlight of the nightsky. Dreams are seen as gifts from the gods, and so are enchantments, due to their connection with this realm; whenever mortals sleep, they are said to be "visiting Nyx". Tales of the gods can bee seen played out in the constellations[2]
  • The Underworld: A subterranean realm beneath the "Rivers That Ring The World", where the dead end up and dwell. It is governed by the god Erebos, cast into the place by a frightened and paranoid Heliod after his birth. Although the Underworld is dark, it is ironically not connected to Nyx, as it lacks the night as much as it lacks the Sun.

The Rivers That Ring the World are five rivers that form a boundary between Theros and its Underworld.

Poleis[edit | edit source]

As a plane where mankind is carving out a place for civilization in the wild, Theros has three main cities, or "poleis" (singluar polis [3]), born from relevant areas of the now defunct Archon empire, with fewer, smaller settlements here and there:

Meletis[edit | edit source]

Meletis, inspired by Athens[4], is the polis of learning, magic, and progress. It is a city-state of progressive thinkers, pious thaumaturges, and wise oracles on the Coast of the Siren Sea. Meletis was born from the defeat of tyranny, and to this day it retains a spirit of the triumph of free thought over brutish force. Meletians pride themselves on their great temples to the gods, their thaumaturgical academy, their great works of architecture, and for their Reverent Army. The Twelve, a council of philosophers headed by Perisophia, serves as the ruling body of Meletis.

  • The Dekatia, the legendary academy at Meletis, is the most elite academy for philosophers and mages on Theros. [5]
  • Branches of the river Kheir splay out across the landscape, bringing fresh water and trade from distant villages.

Akros[edit | edit source]

Akros, inspired by Sparta[4], is a polis high in the mountains, which serve as shield between its holdings and the rest of Theros. The Akroans are half-mythical even within their own time. They are known to be the most feared warriors of Theros. They have lived and died by the spear in the name of countless kings, hardening their armies generation after generation by fostering a culture that revolves around perfecting the body and the mind for combat. The current king and queen of Akros are Anax and Cymede. Gideon Jura, originally known as Kytheon Iora among his people is also an Akroan.

  • Pharagax Bridge. A huge stone bridge that is the gateway to Akros
  • The Kolophon. A huge, many-tiered structure perched on a cliff. The central fortress and seat of Akroan power.
  • The One-Eyed Pass. Location of an Akroan near a pass known for its abundance of cyclopes.
  • The Titan's Stairs. A natural access through the granite cliffs to the lowlands.
  • Phoberos. The badlands of the Akroan realm. Occupied by marauding leonin, flesh-eating minotaurs, and firebreathing dragons.

Setessa[edit | edit source]

Setessa, inspired by Themyscira[4], has a layout resembling the rings of a tree, which radiate outward from the Temple of Karametra at its heart. Swaths of forest alternate with family dwellings and other civic structures. Roads are winding and narrow and usually not wide enough to accommodate a cart. Rope bridges provide easy foot travel through the wild spaces. Setessa encompasses a sprawling area on the border between the Nistos Forest and the open chaparral. Anthousa, Setessan Hero leads Karametra's Council of Warriors. She is considered the god's closest advisor and de facto ruler of the city.

  • The Amatrophon is a menagerie at the edge of the polis.
  • Setessa has a nexus honoring each of Nylea's seasons and the accompanying Karametran planting rituals. As conduits to the various gods, the nexuses are a source of enchantment magic in this region. This phenomenon is called the Kelema Veil. It has been described as a misty starfield that flows across the land. Inside the starfield are images that tell stories of the gods and can be used to predict the future.
  • There are four watchtowers in Setessa. Each is named for an animal, and each has a regiment of Setessan warriors attached to it: Leina Tower (lion), Hyrax Tower (falcon), Bassara Tower (fox) and Ophis Tower (serpent).
  • Abora Market is a giant, open-air market just inside the main gate.

Other poleis[edit | edit source]

  • Obscure legends say that another major polis once existed, a coastal city known as Arixmethes, that Heliod smote with Khrusor and cast into the sea.
  • The same tale is told about Olantis, whose inhabitants' hubris enraged him. [6]
  • Smaller poleis exist, either human or belonging to other races (like the necropolises of Asphodel and Odunos, housing undead).
  • Iretis, a small polis near Meletis, bordering the wilds. Destroyed by leonin thanks to Ashiok, destined to become the third city for the Returned of Phenax.

Temples[edit | edit source]

Nykthos[edit | edit source]

The shrine of Nykthos is the gateway of Nyx. On this sacred ground, the worshippers can see their gods most clearly. [7]

Temple of Mystery[edit | edit source]

At the end of the world, the sea drains off a sharp edge and formes an epic waterfall. At the top of the waterfall, there is a massive olive tree growing up out of the water. This tree is the shrine to Kruphix, the enigmatic god of horizons. [8]

Siren Sea[edit | edit source]

The Siren Sea is the sea that borders Meletis and home to the tritons.

  • The Dakra, or Isles of enchantment is a host of small islands near the coast of Melitis. The Dakra have rarely been settled by humans, as they harbor strange nymphs and fierce monsters, and are enchanted with the magic of the gods.

The chaparral[edit | edit source]

The chaparral is a dense growth of shrubs and small trees, bordering Setessa and the Nessian Wilds.

  • Skola Valley, a verdant, highly enchanted valley dotted with copses of trees and occupied by satyrs.

The Nessian Wilds[edit | edit source]

The Nessian Wilds are home to beasts, hydras, snakes and centaur coursers.

Nistos Forest[edit | edit source]

The great Nistos Forest borders Setessa and the Chaparral.

Oreskos[edit | edit source]

Oreskos is the central domain of the leonin. It lies in a rocky river valley in a remote region of Theros. It is ruled by Brimaz, the Leonin King.

  • Tethmos is the primary leonin den, high in the mountains.

Races[edit | edit source]

  • Humans
  • Merfolk: Occur in Theros' seas, some living in Meletis, and exalt Thassa above the other gods.
  • Satyrs: Hedonistic goatmen with a duplicious nature.
  • Cats: After the fall of the Archon tyrant Agnomakhos, who used them for his army, the Leonins rejected human civilization and culture.
  • Zombies: The Returned or Noston, Underworld escapees with an utter loss of identity. [9]
  • Spirit: The Eidolon, The remind of the identity and soul of the Returned who've escaped Underworld.
  • Centaurs: Divided into the somewhat civilised Laggona band and the more primal Pheres band.
  • Gorgons: Mysterious, rare beings with ancient knowledge.
  • Minotaurs: Barbaric, barely sapient brutes.
  • Krakens: Sea monsters.
  • Pegasi: Flying wild horses.
  • Hydras: Ancient primal beasts of the land.
  • Sphinxes: Mysterious beings dispelling vague and dire prophecies.
  • Demons: Souls of the dead corrupted by hatred.
  • Dragons: Flying monsters.
  • Harpies: Malevolent bird women with a penchant for stealing.
  • Sirens: Another kind of malevolent bird women.
  • Manticores: Spirits of brave soldiers made by the gods into powerful beasts, according to the Akroans.
  • Chimeras: Magical creatures made from occult mixtures of life essences.
  • Basilisks: Primal monsters, associated with the minor god Pharika. (Although a basilisk is on the art of Time to feed, there are no creatures with the type in the block)
  • Hounds: Represented primarily by dire, infernal cerberuses.
  • Cyclopes: Dimwitted one eye monsters.
  • Giants: Primal forces of nature given life.
  • Phoenixes: Fire birds associated with the god Purphoros.
  • Archons: On theros, they are explicitly malevolent, frequently attacking Meletis and providing one historical oppressor, Agnomakhos. They were once the main civilised race, forming a tyrannical empire over the lesser ones.

Stories[edit | edit source]

  • The Theriad tells the epic story of various "Champions", unidentified adventurers who would each rise to become The Champion of the Sun God.

Sources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (November 29, 2016.) "The Rabiah Scale", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  2. Wizards of the Coast. (4 Sep 2013.) "PAX Prime 2013 - Theros World Building Panel", Magic: the Gathering account on Youtube
  3. Trick Jarrett. ( SNovember 19, 2013.) “Symbols of the Poleis”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. a b c Mark Rosewater. (7 August, 2015.) "Here is the inspirations for the three main cities (aka poleis).", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  5. Mike McArtor. (February 20, 2014.) “That's the Spirits!”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Gavin Verhey. (August 11, 2014.) “A Look Inside From the Vault: Annihilation”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Trick Jarrett. (September 24, 2013.) “Checking Out Nykthos”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Trick Jarrett. (October 01, 2013.) “Temple of Mystery”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mike McArtor. (March 26, 2015.) “Forlorn Merchant of Melancholy”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.