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Distant Planes
Distant Planes.jpg
Publishing Information
Author(s) Various
First printing June 1996
ISBN-13 9780061053139
Preceded By
Ashes of the Sun
Followed By
Song of Time

Distant Planes is one of the two prerevisionist Magic anthologies. It was first published by HarperPrism in June 1996.[1] Authors include Robert Vardeman, Amy Thomson, and Michael A. Stackpole.[2] The book was edited by Kathy Ice.


Each of the compelling stories in this collection opens a door into a place called Dominia, well known to players of the internationally bestselling game, MAGIC: The Gathering. But even newcomers to this enchanted universe will be spellbound by the unstoppable excitement of a world where the action and the magic never stop.

Over one billion MAGIC: The Gathering cards have been sold to date.


Insufficient Evidence[]

Written by Michael A. Stackpole

Loot Niptil gets framed for murder and has to prove his innocence via trial by combat against an automaton, the Justiciar of Automatown. In the process, he learns that the actual killer is Haspian Chastoril, a forger who build the Justiciar. Loot, Kyyrao Grenmw, and Malkean Feorr manage to defeat the construct and bring Haspian to justice.

Festival of Sorrow[]

Written by Robert E. Vardeman

The ogre Gormank travels to the city of Coraleon in North Aerona. There he wants a wizard to resurrect a certain woman. Unfortunately, Coraleon's Festival of Sorrow is going on, and the use of magic is prohibited for the duration. An oracle told Gormank he has to do the resurrection that day though, so he bribes a wizard to go ahead with the plan. It turns out that the resurrected woman, Eorra, is the only person who had bested him in combat, and he wants to kill her again to reclaim his honor. Unfortunately, the woman comes back wrong. She's barely able to speak, let alone fight. Gormank, who had boasted he never feels sorrow, can now never restore his honor, and dejectedly joins the festival.

Chef's Surprise[]

Written by Sonia Orin Lyris

Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar is a female wizard who summons a Lord of the Pit named Vincent but runs out of stuff to feed it. Being a great cook, she escapes being eaten herself by entering into his service as a chef for seven years and seven days. During this time, she writes The Underworld Cookbook and has twenty copies made. Because only two copies were sold in five months, she orders two imps to burn the remaining copies. However, the line to the incinerator is too long, so they instead use a garbage chute that leads to the overworld. She is finally free, only to find herself hunted by all the creatures that she described as delicious in the book.


Written by Stonefeather Grubbs

Dr. Peter Langwynd is a sorcerer who has become a hermit in the Fens of Foulmere, to escape people asking him for ways to use his magical studies in commerce or warfare. One day he is visited by the planeswalker Vram who does just that. Peter takes Vram to a big swamp frog that Vram wishes to use in battles, but they are attacked by another planeswalker. During the battle, Vram blows up the swamp and is sent hurtling through the multiverse. Peter is stuck with Vram's cat, Mao, who turns out to be her daughter under a shapeshifting spell.

God Sins[]

Written by Keith R.A. DeCandido

Rafthrasa is a planeswalker who wants to live as a mortal farmer on Kartya, the island of his birth. Because he once ruled the place as god-emperor, people continue to treat him as such. After at first abusing the citizens, he eventually gets them to leave him alone by helping them with famine.

A Monstrous Duty[]

Written by Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury

Torya Longshanks is an ex-soldier and farmer during the Dark Age, whose family is killed by Goblins of the Flarg. A witch uses Torya's blood to curse king Rogan, whose failed crusade roused the Flarg into pillaging the countryside. Torya decides to enlist again, and on the way to the citadel, she hears it is under attack from a monster. Upon reaching the city, she learns that the wound the witch gave her won't heal until she lifts the curse cast with her blood. She finds out that Rogan every night changes into the monster, thanks to the curse. Torya ends the curse by rubbing the monster with her own blood and stays to help the king to become a good ruler.

What Leaf Learned of Goblins[]

Written by Hanovi Braddock

The elves of Savaea are plagued by incursions from the Goblins of the Red Mountains. When the elder Leaf interrogates one of these goblins, it turns out that they had been sent as messengers asking for help. Leaf discovers that the goblin chief had been using an Ivory Cup to stay immortal, but it's no longer working, due to the destruction of Oneah and the disappearance of white mana. Leaf takes the chief to Savae and tries to teach her the wisdom of accepting the cycle of life and death. This fails horribly and the goblin kills Leaf. The chief then dies in a hail of elven arrows herself. With her last words, Leaf tells her elven friends what she learned: That not all may know wisdom. Goblins shouldn't be filled with arrows without a thought. Goblins should be pitied. Then filled with arrows.

Dual Loyalties[]

Written by Glen Vasey

A sun priest called Koborah is about to be summoned by a planeswalker called Gerheart, so he quickly has to teach his adopted daughter Helana how to be the next priest. He's whisked away before being able to tell her the use of all the magic Sun-stones in possession of the church. Finding a special Sun-stone that allows her to track her father down to Hell. She is able to free her father, but during the journey, she has picked up so much black magic that she's gone over from worshiping the Sun to worshiping Gohrah, the dark side of the moon. She has to give up her priesthood, and although her dad still loves her, she has to leave the parish.

Distant Armies[]

Written by Peter Friend

In a potential future, the children in the Ironclaw Hills start dreaming and start turning up bruised and battered, muttering about fighting in a war against Benalia that ended thirty centuries ago. Eventually, the strange dreaming stops, but by then the orc and her dwarven friend are dead.

Better Mousetrap[]

Written by Jane M. Lindskold

Teeka is a talented artificer, who has created her 'Shop of Wonders' in the K'Cur mountains of Cape Tempest. She notices that some of her creations have been vanishing and then mysteriously reappearing sometime later with minor battle wounds. It turns out that they have been summoned by warring wizards. In reaction, she builds her masterpiece: a guardian dragon to protect her other works and to find out who is taking them. The dragon eventually follows another artifact creature and returns with many battle scars and a note that reads “how much to lease this dragon?”

The Face of the Enemy[]

Written by Adam-Troy Castro

A wizard, Xavis, has fought another wizard for centuries and laid waste to the entire landscape around them. One day, Xavis discovers that his enemy is actually his creator, and the centuries-long battle was intended to turn him into the perfect spellcaster to fight his creator's true enemy. After his creator dies, Xavis meets his true enemy.

Horn Dancer[]

Written by Amy Thomson

The Hurloon Minotaur Hamu finds a wounded, pregnant human named Ikenet. He takes her in and cares for her. Later she helps him in a dancing and wrestling contest that is held to decide which men get to breed with the most desirable women. Her acrobatic help has him win the dancing part. He loses the wrestling part, but the tribe is impressed by how kind he is with the kid of Ikenet, overcoming the rage of a minotaur in heat.

Shen Mage-Slayer[]

Written by Laura Waterman

The cat warrior Shen discoverers two planeswalkers in a duel. What Shen finds most amazing is that one of them, who had lived among the tribe, uses spectral cat warriors, rather than summoning the actual members of the tribe itself.


Written by Edd Vick

A Granite Gargoyle realizes the city he has been guarding has actually been abandoned for centuries and goes looking for something else to guard. He runs into a Shivan Dragon who tries to kill him. She can't though, since he draws strength from the mountain she lives in. He starts guarding her cave, hoping she will accept him eventually.

The Old Way to Vacar Slab[]

Written by Michael G. Ryan [3]

The people of Kenlefia only mete out justice on Vacar Slab, a place in the middle of the desert. A group of people is on their way to Vacar Slab, but they start dying one by one. The girl Ophelia is the only survivor in the end.


  1. Goodreads. Distant Planes entry Retrieved 27 june, 2014.
  2. Squirle (March 26, 2015). "Distant Planes". Multiverse in Review. Tumblr.
  3. Powell's Books. Distant Planes entry. Retrieved 27 june, 2014.