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For other uses, see Guildpact (disambiguation).

The Guildpact is an ancient and powerful spell that reverberates across the plane of Ravnica.[1]

Description[ | ]

Originally conceived of by the lawmage Azor I, the Guildpact serves as a basis for all Ravnican law, setting statutes and ordinances for each guild so that each of the ten guilds has its place. The Paruns pooled their magic to create a treaty that could enforce itself. Certain agreements in the Guildpact, if broken, brought automatic magical consequences on those who defied them.

Authorized guild representatives, such as officers from the League of Wojek, can enforce the Guildpact's magic. For instance, when a Wojek officer wishes to imprison someone who has directly violated a Guildpact law, it is possible to restrain them utterly. Not even paruns are capable of breaking such a seal.

As a failsafe, the Guildpact could be altered with the agreement of all ten guild leaders.[2][3]

As of c. 10,080 ZC, the original Guildpact is housed in Vitu-Ghazi.[4][5] It is a large book containing both the text of law, as well as explanations of the decisions made during the founding of the guildpact.

History[ | ]

The original Guildpact[ | ]

The Guildpact itself is focused upon an ancient, primeval living document signed with blood and magic by each of the paruns to represent their willingness to work together to hold the city together. It was signed in -5517 AR, a year which became known as 0 ZC. The first draft of the Guildpact, pressed under three inches of magic-treated glass and authored by Azor himself, is still preserved in the Old Laws Library of the Azorius Jelenn Column complex.[6] Its second signatory was the Boros parun Razia, followed by the Golgari parun Svogthir.[7]

Not surprisingly, since its signing the leaders since then — including the still-living paruns — have worked hard to find loopholes in which to set forward their plans. The Guildpact's spell was finally broken when Agrus Kos arrested Szadek for crimes against the Guildpact when he tried to destroy it by taking control of other guilds. This generated a loophole because the Guildpact dictated House Dimir's task as opposing the Guildpact, making it impossible for Szadek to be legally arrested for crimes against it.

Teysa's Guildpact[ | ]

Later, a new non-magical Guildpact known as The Official Accord and Guidance of the Guilds of Ravnica or the New Accord of the Guild of Ravnica was drafted by Teysa Karlov.[8] Since it was not backed up by metaphysical forces, no guild took it seriously.

Living Guildpact[ | ]

The Guildpact's magic was later reestablished after the events of Dragon's Maze, but this time in the form of a living being: Jace Beleren. Any law that the Living Guildpact verbally affirms received a magical binding force similar to that of the old Guildpact.[9] Although Teysa's Guildpact was now verbally affirmed by the Living Guildpact, its power was not binding in the chamber of the Obzedat, the Orzhov ghost council. It stated, in part: "By order of the united guilds of Ravnica, it is decided that the betterment and progression of any one guild over another may be seen and understood as an act of war. Should proof of such subversion be discovered by another representative of any other guild, it may be confiscated and turned over to the Living Guildpact for investigation."[9]

Second Living Guildpact[ | ]

At the beginning of the War of the Spark, Nicol Bolas destroyed the Chamber of the Guildpact by summoning the Planar Bridge within it, disrupting the leylines that maintain the Guildpact's power. Because of this, Jace lost his abilities as the Living Guildpact and was thus unable to wield its hieromancy against Bolas. Later in the conflict, the Guildpact was reestablished through a ritual using representatives of the ten guilds and the spirit of Niv-Mizzet, mending the leylines disrupted by the Planar Bridge and reviving the Firemind as a new Living Guildpact.[10]

The second Chamber of the Guildpact was destroyed during New Phyrexia's Invasion of the Multiverse,[11] but the powers of the Living Guildpact were not disrupted as they were during the War of the Spark. Guildpact Paragons bolstered the plane’s defenses,[12][13] and in the invasion’s aftermath, the Firemind reaffirmed his position as Ravnica’s supreme authority and protector.[14][15][16]

Text[ | ]

On The Purpose of the Cult of Rakdos[ | ]

"The Cult's purpose is to be twofold: to serve the people of Ravnica, and to placate the demon Rakdos through blood and through fire. They shall satisfy their hungers as they see fit, and in so doing, shall keep Rakdos satisfied. We hope, by binding the guild to him, that he will find a greater purpose than destruction."[5] Following this are a series of unspecified duties of the guild and its members.

An explanation of this section reads:

"It is the hope of the founders that, by binding the demon Rakdos to a people of his own, we can prevent his continuing to instill murderous rage in the citizens of Ravnica. This disruptive pastime has resulted in random slaughter and rampages, with even the meekest of people turning on their kin without warning or due cause—"[5]

Amendments[ | ]

At least ten amendments to the original Guildpact exist. One bans the quietmen.[17]

Amendment Title Text
VII The "Ledev Act" No guild may control access to or travel upon any road, street, or thoroughfare designated a part of the Grand Arterial Network.[7]
X The "Hidden Charter" or "Guildmaster's Law" No signatory or signatory designee shall reveal the existence of the tenth signatory. Violation of this amendment will result in immediate imprisonment and/or execution.[7]

Areas of influence[ | ]

While the laws of the Guildpact are metaphysical binding forces across the whole plane, there exist spaces that are exempt from it. One of them was the Agyrem, where the laws of the broken guildpact still held sway. Additionally, the inner sanctum of the Obzedat is a dead spot within the law, allowing the Obzedat to even countermand guildpact laws with their edicts.[9]

As a planeswalker, Jace Beleren's influence as the Living Guildpact was able to extend beyond the plane of Ravnica, so long as the target of his law magic was a member of the guilds. Even on Ixalan, Jace could force Azor to spend the rest of his life in solitude, because Azor was still the parun of the Azorius Senate and therefore susceptible to his own Guildpact.[18]

In-game references[ | ]

Represented in:
Associated cards:
Referred to:

References[ | ]

  1. Rei Nakazawa (January 9, 2006). "Signing Onto the Guildpact".
  2. Django Wexler (June, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter One. Del Rey.
  3. Django Wexler (August 14, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter Ten.
  4. Seanan McGuire (January 10, 2024). "Murders at Karlov Manor - Episode 4: Justice Before Mercy". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. a b c Seanan McGuire (January 11, 2024). "Murders at Karlov Manor - Episode 5: Chains of Expectation". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Nicky Drayden (February 27, 2019). "The Ascension of Reza". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. a b c Cory J. Herndon (2005). Ravnica Cycle, Book I: Ravnica, Wizards of the Coast
  8. Cory J. Herndon (2006). Ravnica Cycle, Book II: Guildpact, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. a b c Alison Luhrs (November 11, 2015). "Family Values". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Greg Weisman (April 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica". Del Rey
  11. Alison Lührs (March 24, 2023). "March of the Machine Ravnica: One And The Same". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Dave Humpherys (Apr 4, 2023). "A Battle for the Ages: Leading March of the Machine Set Design". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Guildpact Paragon
  14. Mark Rosewater (May 2, 2023). "Doing the Aftermath". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Niv-Mizzet, Supreme
  16. WeeklyMTG - March of the Machine: The Aftermath (Video). Magic: The Gathering. YouTube (May 2, 2023).
  17. Cory J. Herndon (May 2006), Dissension.
  18. R&D Narrative Team (January 24, 2018). "The Arbiter of Law Left Chaos in His Wake". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. The Gavin Unknown Playtest Cards of MagicCon Chicago! (Video). Good Morning Magic. YouTube (February 28, 2024).