Rayami, First of the Fallen is a vampire bloodchief from Zendikar. Like all original vampires of that plane, he was created by the Eldrazi Ulamog. In Rayami, insatiable bloodlust and Eldrazi madness combine into a singular drive for destruction.
The vampires of Zendikar were created by the Eldrazi Ulamog and differ from typical vampires in many respects. Normal Zendikar vampires have a lifespan of approximately 200 years. They feed on blood, but it does not have to be blood from a sentient race.
A few thousand years after the imprisonment of the Eldrazi by The Three, the noxious creative force of Ulamog became an infection that took hold of the people who dared to live in Akoum's mountains despite the tectonic instability of the region. They became a sort of cult devoted to an imagined deity of the mountains, established a temple near the site of the prison, and began performing rituals inspired by their growing madness. The cultists avoided the notice of the increasingly reclusive Nahiri and over time and multiple generations, their rituals actually proved effective in loosening the bonds of the Eldrazi prison. Though the titans themselves still couldn't escape, teeming hordes of their broods sprang into existence. This swarming host devastated Zendikar.
During the rampage, the cultists underwent a transformation. Only twelve of them survived the initial wave of spawn emerging from the prison, but those twelve became the first vampire bloodchiefs, the progenitors of the vampire race. Whether they were originally human, kor or a race of their own, they became something entirely new - and utterly enslaved to the will of Ulamog. The Eldrazi took the plane's vampires as a race of servants, adapting their very anatomy for servitude. Hooklike horns grew from the vampires' shoulders, convenient handles for the Eldrazi to dominate their slave race and, for millennia afterward, carnal symbols of the vampires' heritage of persecution. The vampires, forced to conspire in the campaign of destruction against their own homeworld, had their identity and tribal memory erased forever.
After Nahiri enforced the Eldrazi prison all on her own, no more broods came to life. She trusted the people of Zendikar to deal with them and left the plane. The vampires remained, now free of Ulamog's yoke.
Five of the twelve bloodchiefs survived into the present day. It is unclear if Rayami was one of them. However, after the defeat of the Eldrazi, Drana was the only surviving bloodchief and Rayami is thus certainly dead.
- Represented in:
- James Wyatt (2016). The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Zendikar, p. 48
- [C19] Lore blurbs for the commanders on Amazon. Reddit (August 17, 2019).
- James Wyatt (May 13, 2015). "Stirring from Slumber". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer (March 29, 2010). "The Eldrazi Arisen". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.