Ancient, rune-carved monoliths called hedrons are strewn across Zendikar. Up to ten miles long, some of these stones drift in the sky; others are buried in the ground, some whole, some broken. They're remnants of a lost civilization, but their original purpose is unknown. This ancient empire wielded unimaginable power—enough to suspend gravity and alter the land to suit its purposes. Trap-riddled ruins can be found on every continent. Mysterious glyphs hint at truths long forgotten. Unspeakable monsters lurk in the quiet of these hidden monuments of a forgotten past. These ruins still emanate power, and both planeswalkers and local explorers will undergo great peril to reap their rewards.
The Roil Edit
Zendikar's unique mana, the hedrons, its own fierce ecology . . . these elements combine to cause violent and erratic changes in the terrain. The land shudders and writhes, causing tectonic chaos, extreme weather, and sudden destruction. This volatility is known as "the Roil." Large boulders and shards of rock erupt from the earth, and then subside when the Roil shifts away. Winds generated by the Roil turn debris and vegetation into devastating funnel clouds. Over water, the Roil creates whirlpools that can suck a boat to the bottom of the ocean or waves that crash into high cliffs and flood the forests beyond.
For those born on Zendikar, the Roil is a natural phenomenon—just the way things are. To planeswalkers, it's obvious that this volatility is what keeps Zendikar dangerous, untamed, and without well-developed civilizations.
Exploring the Wilds Edit
Zendikar's intense mana and unique treasures inspires dreams of wealth and power in the bold and adventurous. Driven by tales of wondrous places of mystic power, bands of explorers venture into the wilds of Zendikar. Many such expeditions fail, overwhelmed by the world's many dangers. But a handful of elite, daring souls manage feats of discovery that have earned them riches and renown. Guides, porters, cartographers, sell-swords, lullmages, ruin-sages, and healers form expeditionary parties and team up to scour the world for treasure.
The World of ZendikarEdit
Akoum Akoum is a mountainous continent where magma glows from crevasses in the earth. Crystalline fields shimmer beneath the sun, but the sharp edges of most surfaces will slice through skin and bone. In some areas, the temperatures are extreme—burning an explorer's skin during the day and causing frostbite during the night. Gases occasionally spew from the ground, and around these vents, bizarre trees and plant life have arisen in pockets of weird biome. The region is plagued by geological instability, causing magma geysers to erupt unexpectedly and shards of rock to rain down unexpectedly.
Bala Ged Humid rainforests cover this low-lying continent. A humid haze blankets the landscape, which is riddled with poisonous molds, fungi, and strangely colored algae. Deep within the network of limestone caves and tunnels, catacombs, sacrificial altars, and rune-inscribed chambers hide countless treasures. These are the domain of the ferocious, reptilian Surrakar and countless primordial monsters. Bala Ged is home to two tribes of elves: the warlike Joraga tribe as well as the secretive Mul Daya. Mul Daya elves can be recognized by their tattooing, and have a connection with the spirits of their elvish ancestors that sets them apart from the rest of the elves.
Guul Draz This is a humid region of teeming lagoons, and tangled, fetid swamps—this is the homeland of the vampires. Predators stalk the wilds, and traps are hidden in mangrove jungles and around settlements. The rancid waterways that twist into the vast marshes and swamps conceal predators and plagues. There are more ruin sites here than elsewhere, including the Hagra Cistern, a huge complex of ruins that's gradually sinking into the muck and water. Even in the dangerous world of Zendikar, this is considered a treacherous place. If you venture to the vampire city of Malakir, you'll have to get by the gatekeepers. Don't expect a warm welcome!
Murasa Surrounded by towering cliffs, Murasa is continent of jaddi-tree forests, deep valleys, and steep ridges. Vines and other vegetation wind through deep valleys, up cliff walls, and down into dank, half-lit caverns in the earth. The Kazuul Road provides the easiest access into Murasa. But Kazuul, an ogre slavemaster, controls the route and demands tribute from any explorer who tries to enter the continent.
Tazeem is a perilous combination of the Oran-Rief, a gigantic, twisted forest; Halimar, a deep inland sea; and the Umara, and a great rushing river that bisects the continent. Some ancient ruins have been co-opted by denizens, who make their homes in the remains of the massive hedrons. Other ruins remain hidden underground, but are sought after by both merfolk loremasters and power-hungry expeditionary leaders.
Colossal hedrons float in the sky above Tazeem. This rubble field stretches across the entire continent, obscuring direct sunlight and blocking natural rainfall patterns. The massive stones perpetually turn and tumble across the heavens. Amid the ruins, there are the shattered remains of a sky-castle. Merfolk call this Emeria, the Sky Ruin. They believe it was once the home of Emeria, the goddess of the sky.
Ondu The geography of Ondu is dominated by a sense of sweeping verticality. The precarious Makindi Trenches, the skyscraping trees of the Turntimber, and the depths of the Crypt of Agadeem all contribute to the strange sensation that travel in Ondu occurs up and down rather than east and west. Jwar, the Isle of Secrets lies near the southern coast. Huge granite heads loom half-buried in the earth, and a beam of pure blue light can be seen shooting straight up out of the island. But no explorer has yet uncovered the source of the light.
Sejiri This polar region is like an enormous mesa with permafrost steppes, wind-blasted mountains, and impossibly tall cliffs that encircle the continent. Despite its inhospitable terrain, creatures such as felidars, griffins, and sphinxes make their home in the snow-covered wastes. There are many ruins sites, and explorers brave the cold to see what treasures lie deep beneath the snowy surface.