Llanowar is a gigantic lush forest region in South Aerona, southeast of Benalia on Dominaria. It is bordered by the Kb'Briann Highlands, the Durkwood, the Ironclaw Mountains and the Erg Mirab.
Llanowar ranges in width from several hundred miles to over a thousand miles at its widest point. This vast and ancient forest is populated by the Llanowar elves, fierce beings who are very reclusive (some say xenophobic). Redwood treefolk live in the heart of Llanowar, and aboroths are powerful elementals that grow from the soil and terrorize the elves on occasion. The forest is known to goblins as the Forest of Death. Mirri, a cat-warrior who was trained in magic together with Gerrard, lived for a while in Llanowar.
Some scholars claim it is the tremendous size of the forest that has long protected the Llanowar elves, but although it is quite vast indeed, it is not in any way unique in its size. The elves in Llanowar divide themselves into tribes, or elfhames. There are seven of these elven kingdoms contained within the forest realm. Each elfhame has a distinct populace, territory, leadership, and social structure. They differ from communal treetowns to tribal matriarchies. Although most of them get along with one another, there is occasional strife between them. The uniting imperative is to protect their homes from the orcs and goblins of the Ironclaw Mountains.
The necromantic morass
Deep within the heart of the Llanowar forest lay a dark, twisted morass of necromantic magic. Festering for centuries, it grew inward like a black hole of evil energy. It was eventually discovered by a Llanowar scout troop. A curious new recruit touched the dark tangle and it imploded, sucking the elves in and fusing them into an undead monstrosity. The second scout troop, sent to locate the first, didn't understand what they found until it was upon them. The monstrosity lunged at the elves with deceptive speed, pulling them, still alive, into the horrifying mass that made up its body.
A single elf escaped, and that part of the forest was declared forbidden. While no sightings have been reported of the creature for many years, the tale of the Abomination of Llanowar remains a popular story around elven campfires.
- The Llanowar rivers (among them the Fors river, the Selendine River and the Moen river) have their outlet to the sea in the Fors Basin.
- Jubilar, the former eighth Elfhame destroyed in the phyrexian Invasion. Its survivors were taken up by the Kelfae.
- Welspree, a former port city of the Jubilar, now half-sunk in the waters of Lake Ardkanor.
- Pendelhaven. A great tree believed to be old as Dominaria itself and home to the Maro-Sorcerer Molimo.
- The Dreaming Caves. A refuge during the Phyrexian Invasion. The caves bring the refugees’ nightmares alive, but Eladamri managed to sooth them.
Since the Ice Age, the Llanowar elves have had to protect their forest from the ravages of outsiders seeking precious firewood. Though they do have some contact with their neighbors, they have done a remarkable job of keeping other peoples and cultures from influencing their home. They maintain a strict belief, grounded in religion, that they must keep some distance from other peoples in order to retain their mystical connection to nature and their forest home. The Llanowar and the Shanodin dryads share a deep respect and connection despite the tremendous distance (several thousand miles) between their forests.
With the help of Freyalise the elves of Llanowar managed to keep their cultures intact throughout even the most difficult of times. This isolationist philosophy is taken to its most extreme by the Order of the Steel Leaf, a select cadre of elves said to have been brought together by Freyalise herself. The beautiful half-elven planeswalker is considered a goddess by the elves of Llanowar, who are unaware of her heritage. The Steel Leaf are zealous to maintain the purity of Llanowar. Any non-native entering their territory risks their life in doing so. They have even been known to direct their isolationist zeal against elves of other elfhames.
Llanowar was one of the first Dominarian regions that was rejuvenated after the Mending. Due to the casualties suffered during the Invasion and the Rift Era, half of Llanowar's current population consists of adolescents, aged sixty or below.
In prerevisionist continuity Lord Magnus of Llanowar was the Nature Spirit of the forest. Ever since the "revision" Magnus is the Nature Spirit of the forests of Argenti instead. The current Nature Spirit of Llanowar is Molimo.
- Represented in:
- Associated cards:
- Abomination of Llanowar
- Elfhame Druid
- Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury
- Llanowar Augur
- Llanowar Behemoth
- Llanowar Cavalry
- Llanowar Dead
- Llanowar Druid
- Llanowar Elite
- Llanowar Elves
- Llanowar Empath
- Llanowar Envoy
- Llanowar Knight
- Llanowar Mentor
- Llanowar Reborn
- Llanowar Scout
- Llanowar Sentinel
- Llanowar Vanguard
- Llanowar Visionary
- Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer (Archenemy)
- Pulse of Llanowar
- Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
- Steel Leaf Champion
- Steel Leaf Paladin
- Referred to:
- Arbor Armament
- Avatar of Might (Tenth Edition)
- Blurred Mongoose
- Giant Spider (Seventh Edition)
- Healing Leaves
- Heart Warden
- Heartwood Treefolk
- Kavu Climber (Masters 25)
- Mammoth Spider
- Mirri, Cat Warrior (Tempest Remastered)
- Pierce the Sky
- Redwood Treefolk (Weatherlight)
- Skyshroud Ranger (Tempest)
- Taunting Elf (Urza's Destiny)
- Treefolk Seedlings (Seventh Edition)
- Tromp the Domains
- Whip Silk
- Doug Beyer (September 02, 2009). "The Planes of Planechase". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Martha Wells (March 21, 2018). "Return to Dominaria, Episode 1". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Ethan Fleischer (April 20, 2018). "Dominarian Cartography". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic the Gathering: Calendar 1997.
- J. Robert King (2000), Invasion. Wizards of the Coast.
- Flavor text for Llanowar Scout
- Ari Zirulnik and Ethan Fleischer (November 6, 2020). "The Legendary Creatures of Commander Legends, Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (August 16, 2005). "The elves of Llanowar". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Ethan Fleischer on Twitter