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Marit Lage
Marit Lage.jpg
Demographics
Race Avatar
Birthplace Beyond the Blind Eternities[1]
Lifetime during the Ice Age[1] - current[2]

Marit Lage is a powerful avatar being comparable to a demi-god with a kraken-like figure who came to be imprisoned on Dominaria at some point before the Ice Age.[3]

Nature[]

The Argivian scholar Arkol thought Marit Lage was a planeswalker, but he was wrong: she is a being of immense power, able to move across the planes but not by the same means planeswalkers can. Little is known about her life, her fate, or even what exactly she is.

Relationship to the Eldrazi[]

Dark Depths.

Marit Lage bears many similarities to the Eldrazi creatures that first appeared on Zendikar in the set of the same name. Both Marit Lage and the Eldrazi are Lovecraftian horrors, with the Kraken-like features that are the hallmark of the Cthulhu mythos. Like Cthulhu specifically, she slumbers in a large body of water while human worshippers wait for her return. The flavor text for the original printing of Wrath of Marit Lage, "Dread Marit Lage lies dreaming, not dead", is very similar to Lovecraft's famous line "In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming" (presented as "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" in the original in-universe language of that mythos).[4][5]

In addition to commonalities derived from their shared source material, Marit Lage shares the Eldrazi's innate capacity to move between planes. However, several differences exist. Marit Lage is female, while the Eldrazi are genderless, though the Eldrazi titans are sometimes referred to using the gendered pronouns for their corresponding Zendikari deities.[6] Marit Lage is specifically associated with black mana and referred to as both a mage and a sorceress, while the Eldrazi are colorless and do not cast spells. Additionally, her physical form is her true body. The assorted Eldrazi titans are merely projections of extraplanar entities, and the lesser Eldrazi are extensions of the titans. Furthermore, unlike the Eldrazi and despite all of her destructive power, Marit Lage never engaged in the consumption, transformation, and restructuring of entire planes.

Since Marit Lage and the Eldrazi were created fifteen years apart, they may have no deeper relationship than as separate interpretations of the Cthulhu mythos by different Creative teams.

History[]

Ice Age[]

Hungry for worship, Marit Lage pulled herself through the Blind Eternities to Dominaria, where she emerged inside the Ronom Glacier, causing her to become trapped there.[1][8] For years, all she could do was telepathically whisper into the minds of Dominarians, sparking her cult. To her dismay, she always led her cultists to their deaths and had to continue seeking out new faithful.[1]

Toward the end of the Ice Age, the brine shaman Balash Xev led her cult in Balduvia, where he would anoint them with holy seawater, causing them to mutate into the likeness of Marit Lage.[1] These mutants were barely still humanoid with lots of eyes, teeth, and tendrils,[1] though they still had only a single brain.[2] He was slain by Jaya Ballard at the end of the Ice Age.[1]

Realizing Xev hadn't died in vain, Jaya decided to seek out and destroy Xev's god. Marit Lage was merely aware of Jaya as she stood atop the glacier that contained her. Jaya made herself known, and Marit Lage gave her full regard, which would have killed her had she not been a planeswalker; instead, Marit Lage's regard nearly drowned her mind. She spoke telepathically to Jaya of her failure and begged her to help free her. Elsewhere, Freyalise had just cast the World Spell, ending the ice age. Jaya realized she herself wouldn't be able to destroy Marit Lage, so she did the next best thing: She targeted a massive chunk of ice with a spell, exiling it and Marit Lage into the Blind Eternities, which she hoped would kill her.[1]

Isolation[]

In Lage's exile, she groped with her psychic tendrils, seeking worshipers. She whispered into the minds of any willing to listen, and cults formed on many planes. Tezzeret discovered such cults on Ixalan, Kamigawa, Theros, and Innistrad. Each of those cults shared a common goal: to serve as a beacon for Marit Lage to find her way from the Blind Eternities to her worshipers. However, because the cultists always worshiped her in secret, they never were able to amass enough follower to create a strong enough beacon to guide her.[9]

Ravnica[]

About 1600 years after Lage's exile from Dominaria,[1] Tezzeret hatched a scheme that would not only give him power over Marit Lage but also kill Jace Beleren. Tezzeret planted a mysterious shard in his eyeball, then went to Ravnica, where he posed as a janitor injured in an Izzet laboratory. A physician expelled from the Simic for malpractice removed the shard. The physician's exposure to the shard caused him to have a vision of Marit Lage as an attractive lady, and he consecrated himself to her. He would go on to become the founding abbot of the Hall of the Hospitallers of the Frozen Heart.[10]

Within years, a rumor started of a comet that would destroy Ravnica. Following a raid on Duskmantle and attacks on the three planeswalker guildmasters, the abbot kidnapped Jace Beleren.[11] He used Jace's telepathic mind as a beacon to lure Marit Lage to Ravnica, fulfilling the prophecy of the comet (which was actually the chunk of ice containing Marit Lage). Although the abbot was eaten by Niv-Mizzet, the comet was already on course.[2]

Amonkhet[]

Main article: Battle of Amonkhet

Once Jace was made aware of Tezzeret's plan, he joined several planeswalkers on Amonkhet to lure her there, saving Ravnica from certain doom. Lage followed Jace's ambient psychic beacon to the ruins of Naktamun, where she found a host of undead who willingly began to serve her.[12] In the moments before impact, one voice declared it wouldn't be defeated by her. Her impact killed Jace, but the other planeswalkers escaped to Dominaria.[13]

Planes visited[]

Worshipped on[]

Planeswalkers met[]

In-game references[]

Represented in:
Associated cards:
Depicted in:
Quoted or referred to:

References[]

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m MacKay, Jed. (2021). Magic. Vol 1, iss 6.
  2. a b c d MacKay, Jed. (2021). Magic. Vol 1, iss 7.
  3. Brady Dommermuth (August 14, 2006). "Is there a link that explains who/what Marit Lage is?". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. H.P. Lovecraft
  5. Cthulhu
  6. Doug Beyer (September 24, 2015). "So whats the deal the Eldrazi titans having genders now?". A Voice for Vorthos. Tumblr.
  7. Magic Comes Back to Comics (Video). Weekly MTG. YouTube (March 12, 2021).
  8. Jeff Grubb. (2000.) "The Eternal Ice", Wizards of the Coast.
  9. a b c d e MacKay, Jed. (2021). Magic. Vol 1, iss 8.
  10. Scott, Mairghread. (2021). Magic: Master of Metal.
  11. MacKay, Jed. (2021). Magic. Vol 1, iss 1.
  12. MacKay, Jed. (2021). Magic. Vol 1, iss 10.
  13. a b c Scott, Mairghread. (2022). Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker. Vol 1, iss 1.
  14. Magic Comes Back to Comics (Video). Weekly MTG. YouTube (March 12, 2021).
  15. Magic Arcana (July 13, 2006). "Coldsnap Release Promo Card Revealed". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Wizards of the Coast (August, 2007). "Ask Wizards - August, 2008". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Blake Rasmussen (March 28, 2018). "Dominaria Card of the Day: Time of Ice". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
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