|First seen||Shards of Alara|
|Status||Merged with the other Shards|
Esper is a world where purpose and control have triumphed over savagery and chaos. Bereft of red and green mana, this plane's natural forces pale next to the supernatural power of its human and vedalken mages. Under the foresight of Esper's ruling sphinxes, the plane has transformed from wilderness to a tightly-controlled magocracy. The most interesting thing of note about Esper is the omnipresence of the aether-infused filigree metal known as etherium. The inhabitants use it to improve their skills and life spans. Travelers to Esper should expect a spectacle of sophisticated beauty, not only the plane but also its denizens have been meticulously designed according to a grand plan. Everything here is observed and controlled. The forces of high magic rule supreme.
In Esper, the artificers create many machines, ranging from birds to golems. Drakes circle the skies, while still humbled by the power of sphinxes, who dominate and protect the plane. Gargoyles and wizards are the knights of Esper. Under the control of the mages and vedalken, they are ready to repel any attack. A small race of blue-skinned sentient beings, called the homunculi, act as servants. A telemin is an Esper mage-puppet, a creature that willingly submits to being "played" like an instrument by a mage's mind control abilities. The telemin itself is merely the instrument—the mind-mage is considered the artist responsible for the quality of the performance.
The environment of Esper consists of Islands, a great sea called the "Sea of the Unknown", various underground waterways, and a great desert where the sand is actually finely broken down glass. It is said that despite the vast pursuit of knowledge, not much is known about the inhabitants of the sea. The glass in the desert occasionally shifts and fuses with itself to form giant glacier-like masses of glass. There are twenty-three sorts of winds on Esper. This wind is considered by the Vedalken to have a mystical significance. Esper has clouds that are dissected and skies that are marked and measured by flowing lines of mystical dust. It has elaborate, stylized towers with curved flowing shapes that show craftsmanship and control over the elements. In the lower depths of these highly crafted tower cities is the eternal gloom of the Tidehollow, a dank underworld inhabited by unwholesome creatures. There is no untamed wilderness in Esper. Everything is well thought out and to exact specifications.
- The Sea of the Unknown
- The Cesspools
- Cliffs of Ot
- The Crystal Labyrinth
- The Riddle Gate, a planar portal
- Crypt of Knowledge
- Glass Dunes
- House of Dialectics
- Vectis City, the main city of Esper
- The Sanctum Arcanum, also known as the Seekers' Sanctum, headquarters of the Seekers. A fortress in the clouds.
When the Conflux happened, red and green mana flooded into Esper. Because of these wild colors, the wizards and vedalken began to leave and Esper's tight hegemony began to fall apart. Flesh creatures entered Esper and mixed with the creatures made of etherium, oftentimes stealing the precious metal. The vedalken, who had fallen short of etherium, began to hoard and weaponize as much of it as possible while continuing missions to Jund to secure more sangrite in hopes of unraveling the mystery of how to turn it into etherium. Esper's borders continued to smash into Bant and Grixis until it became part of the new Alara.
The intrusions into the wilds, however, have drawn the ire of the fierce creatures, none more so than the dragons, who regularly bombard the fortified cities of Esper.
- Associated cards:
- Referred to:
- Armillary Sphere
- Aven Trailblazer
- Celestial Purge (Conflux)
- Cloudheath Drake
- Countersquall (Conflux)
- Courier's Capsule
- Court Homunculus
- Cumber Stone
- Etherium Abomination
- Ethersworn Adjudicator
- Ethersworn Canonist
- Ethersworn Sphinx
- Glaze Fiend
- Inkwell Leviathan
- Onyx Goblet
- Reliquary Tower (Conflux)
- Salvage Slasher
- Sludge Strider
- Spellbound Dragon
- Tidehollow Strix
- Tower Gargoyle
- Vectis Agents
- Vectis Gloves
- Vectis Dominator
- Vectis Silencers
- Vedalken Outlander
- Windwright Mage
- Mark Rosewater (November 17, 2008). "Striving for Perfection". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Savor the Flavor (February 18, 2009). "The Vorthos Awards: Conflux Edition". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer (November 18, 2008). "Perfection through Etherium". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (October 13, 2008). "The Winds of Esper". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Jennifer Clarke Wilkes (July 16, 2014). "The Hunter Cannot Pity". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Greg Weisman (November 2019). "War of the Spark: Forsaken." Del Rey.
- magic Arcana (September 17, 2013). "Shard Preview: Esper". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Kelly Digges (September 09, 2008). "The Riddle of the Sphinx". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mike Flores (September 25, 2008). "Well, That's Fair". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Noel deCordova (September 17, 2008). "Locked in Orb-it". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer (September 17, 2008). "Time for Esper". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.