The Bloodline Project was a large project of genetic engineering set up by Urza to create perfect warriors to fight off the Phyrexian Invasion. The project mobilized the full resources of the Tolarian Academy for decades; where generations of researchers were lead by Barrin and Rayne who were following Urza's instructions.
The project resulted in the engineering of the Metathran soldiers, an artificially created magical race; as well as the birth of a group of individuals whose lineages had been manipulated to ensure they would be the best of what humanity had to offer.
- 1 History
- 2 Results of the Projects
- 3 In-game references
Urza was first and foremost an artificer. His plan to defeat the Phyrexians consisted originally of creating The Legacy, a powerful collection of artifacts that would be greater than the sum of their parts, creating a weapon capable of killing Yawgmoth. When the Legacy was achieved, Urza realized he needed an heir worthy of wielding such a weapon (Gerrard Capashen), and capable of leading Dominaria's people against Phyrexia's armies, which lead to the creation of the Bloodline Project.
The first phase consisted of manipulating the marriages between Dominarian families with the strongest ties with white mana, creating stronger and better individuals in each generation until peak potential was achieved. Dozens of families were selected, and through careful planning and influences, the academy soon had almost complete control over who wedded whom, often selecting upon birth who would be the optimal mate to improve the genetic patrimony further.
Urza particularly took interest into the people of Jamuura and The Domains, where the land was rich in white mana and where strong warrior dynasties could be found. Two notable lineages he interfered directly with were the Capashen of Benalia and Sisay's ancestors in Jamuura.
Unbeknownst to Barrin, Urza also appointed Rayne as the chancellor of the Tolarian academy not only for her competences, but also to push Barrin and her into producing an offspring, sensing the potential such a child (Hanna) would have.
While working on this project Urza realized that a single individual would never be enough to stop the invasion, which led to the second phase of the bloodline project: the creation of the Metathran army. Using genetic stock from around the world and infusing it with magic (Thran Dynamo, Urza's Incubator), the new race of soldiers was created amongst controversy: while the manipulation of Dominarian bloodlines already raised ethics questions in the Tolarian Academy, Barrin started openly contesting Urza's methods (Opposition) while some researchers outright quit the project to oppose partaking in genetic engineering. This in turn led to more questionable researchers staying, with less supervision from lack of personnel, ultimately leading to Gatha's unauthorized experiments (Private Research).
A scientist at the Academy, Gatha took part in the Bloodline project under Barrin's supervision. However, he felt that the wizard's ethics were getting in the way of the project, and started experimenting with unapproved methods, most notably splicing phyrexian dna in his test subjects.
While he was found out and expelled (Treachery), he continued his own project in Keld (Twisted Experiment), ultimately creating Kreig (Keldon Champion) which was powerful enough to get noticed by Phyrexia. Croag was sent to investigate and retrieve any research that might prove valuable to Phyrexia, and started a war with Keld to achieve this. Ultimately, Gatha and Kreig jumped off a cliff in order to keep their knowledge and genetic potential out of Phyrexia's reach, leading to the end of the offshoot research.
The consequences were still dire, as Croag understood the implications of what he had seen in Keld.
Decimation of the Project
The Phyrexians realized what Urza was doing, and launched a preemptive strike against sites where the Bloodline project was taking place, killing thousands of peoples (notably Sisay's parents and the Capashen clan) and seemingly ending the project. If it wasn't for Gerrard Capashen's survival, safely transported to Jamuura by Karn, this would have meant the failure of Urza's plans, ruining millennia of work and rendering the Legacy useless.
The Metathrans themselves however, were safely stored in stasis containers (Storage Matrix) and went undetected, hidden in fast-time bubbles, allowing them to be used in the war. Thaddeus and Agnate were awoken first to take command of the troops, which ended up taking part in most battles of the invasion as a part of the Coalition. While uneasy due to their origins, Urza's mentality of "the ends justify the means" ultimately won out as his soldiers were considered too great an asset not to use.
The Metathran army was notably partially responsible for two of the greatest military victories of the Coalition, winning both the battle of Koilos in Terisiare and the battle of the Stronghold in Urborg.
The Bloodline project bore its fruit when, aided by the Weatherlight Crew, Gerrard Capashen sacrificed his life to activate the Legacy Weapon, ultimately achieving victory against Yawgmoth and the Phyrexians.
Aftermath of the Invasion
As the goal of the Bloodline Project was to save Dominaria from the Phyrexians, it was a success. However, the losses during the war were great, particularly amongst the Metathrans who were first on the frontline for the entirety of the war. While some individuals might have survived, they had been engineered to fight and nothing else, and, incapable of reproducing, the Metathran race died out with the war they were born to fight.
As for the humans resulting of the first phase, only Sisay is known to have survived.
Results of the Projects
- Hanna - daughter of Rayne and Barrin
- Gerrard - the legitimate heir to the Legacy, the end product of the project
- Sisay - captain of the Skyship Weatherlight, a key piece of the Legacy
- Rha’Ud. An early result.
- The entire Metathran race
- Thaddeus and Agnate - the twin metathrans commanders, created with vastly superior intellect and free will than the rest of their race, and sharing a telepathic bond to coordinate their army efficiently
Capashen Lineage involved in the project
- Gavvan Capashen - while powerful, his line couldn't grow any stronger and was unfit to wield the Legacy