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Brothers' War
Brothers war
Plane Dominaria

The Brothers' War, also known as the Antiquities War, was the legendary great war between the brothers Mishra and Urza that spawned after the two each found half of an ancient Thran powerstone, and wanted both.

The war lasted for decades, devastating Terisiare, before the dramatic conclusion on the verdant island Argoth. There, Urza discovered that his brother had been consumed by Phyrexians, and activated the Golgothian Sylex. The Sylex Blast destroyed the island, activated Urza's latent planeswalker's spark, and initiated the Ice Age.

The impact of this event led to a creation of a calendar called Argivian Reckoning (AR), which places the year 0 as the one in which the brothers were born. It also spawned a general dislike for magic and artifacts, because of their use in the war (e.g., the Church of Tal).

Background[ | ]

Urza and his younger brother Mishra were born on the first and last days of the same year, marked 0 AR by later historians. They were born to a noble family of Argive, one of the three coastal kingdoms of Terisiare. Urza's mother died while he was a child, and his father married another member of the aristocracy. This woman treated Urza and Mishra with indifference at best and contempt at worst. In 10 AR, their father fell ill, so he sent them away to his old friend, Tocasia, to serve as students at her archaeological dig.

Under Tocasia's guidance, the two brothers learned a large amount about the manufacture of artifacts from the archaeological excavations of the ancient ruins of the Thran, the mysterious civilization that ruled Terisiare thousands of years prior. During this time, Urza developed a talent for study. Rarely having a hands-on approach, he would prefer to study the artifacts the excavations uncovered rather than participate in the diggings.

Over their years at Tocasia's camp, Urza and Mishra made several important inventions and discoveries. While the most obvious of these was the ornithopter, the most important turned out to be the Caves of Koilos. A mysterious cave filled with old Thran artifacts, the Caves were also the location of a long-sealed gateway to Phyrexia, used in almost every Phyrexian infiltration and invasion of Dominaria. On their first visit, Urza and Mishra discovered the powerstone sealing Phyrexia, and in each brother's haste to grab the stone before the other brother, they broke it in two. Urza and Mishra kept the two halves of the stone, which became known as the Mightstone and the Weakstone respectively. A mutual desire for the other brother's stone led to a falling-out between Urza and Mishra, as well as the inadvertent death of Tocasia.

After Tocasia's death, Urza moved to Yotia and put his skills with machinery to work as a clockmaker's apprentice. Shortly thereafter, a public contest was announced by the ruler of Yotia: Any man who could move a gigantic jade statue across a courtyard would be married to his daughter. Urza wasn't particularly interested in the daughter, but in an attempt to acquire a Thran tome that was in her dowry, Urza built a gigantic machine to move the statue. He succeeded and was wed to Kayla bin-Kroog. However, being wed did not make him any more affectionate towards his wife - on the contrary, he left her bed on their wedding night to study the Thran book from her dowry. However, he threw himself headlong into his new position of Chief Artificer, working obsessively on his attempts to improve his artifacts.

Mishra, meanwhile, traveled through the desert, lured to Koilos by the darkness in his dreams. Before he could reach it, he was captured by the Suwwardi, a militant faction of the Fallaji, who was subjugated into slavery and had the Weakstone taken from him. He was forced to do menial tasks until he came across Hajar, a young Fallaji who had been at Tocasia's camp. Hajar convinced the Qadir, or leader, of the Suwwardi to appoint Mishra as rakiq or teacher to teach his young son the Argive language.

One night, Mishra had another disturbing dream, of a mechanical parody of nature. Waking from this screaming, he had no time to dwell on it, for a giant mechanical beast in the shape of a dragon appeared from under the sands and started rampaging. The Qadir was killed in the confusion. Mishra and Hajar used this confusion to retrieve the Weakstone, so Mishra could weaken it, but to everyone's surprise, Mishra found he could directly control it.

The Qadir's son became the new Qadir, and appointed Mishra his Raki, or Wizard, and set about using the dragon engine, or Mak Fawa, to unify the Fallaji people under the Suwwardi.

The War[ | ]

A series of double-crossings and sneak attacks quickly commenced between the two brothers and their kingdoms, soon resulting in open war. An increasingly elaborate set of machines developed by the two brothers began to fight on either side, and the war slowly spiraled out of control.

During the last years of the war, both sides became infiltrated by a group of fanatical, machine-worshipping priests called the Brotherhood of Gix. They created a wedge in the already shaky relationship between Mishra and Ashnod. Before too long, they became Mishra's council. It is unknown exactly when; but, at some point, Mishra was betrayed by them and turned over to Gix.

The war continued for decades until the Last Battle at Argoth when the brothers met face to face at the head of their armies.[1] Urza discovered there that Mishra had been corrupted by Phyrexian influence, slowly turning himself from a man into a living machine. Urza responded to this with the frightening force of the Golgothian Sylex.[2]

The sylex blast was one of the most traumatic events in Dominarian history. It slaughtered both armies, blasted the landscape for miles around, sank the sub-continent of Argoth, and altered weather patterns for centuries, eventually leading to the Ice Age. This catastrophic event is also what caused the ignition of Urza's planeswalker spark, causing his first, short planeswalk before returning to Dominaria briefly.

Aftermath[ | ]

Urza departed Dominaria after saying a final farewell to his student and good friend Tawnos.

The Sylex blast caused a Dark Age on Dominaria. During this era, in the aftermath of the blast, Dominaria's climate became colder and resources became scarce. Quaking before the climatic shifts rocking Dominaria, the peoples of every land fell under the control of zealots and despots. Because of the Brothers' War, the use of magic was condemned by the Church of Tal, and so mages practiced in secret. The people were factionalized and rose against each other. It was a time of persecution and corruption when it seemed as if the end of the world was at hand.

Following the Dark Age, the Ice Age of Dominaria was a period of extreme cold lasting from 450 AR to 2934 AR, until Freyalise cast her World Spell to end it.[3]

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