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Teysa Karlov
Teysa Karlov.jpg
Race Human
Birthplace Ravnica City, Ravnica
Lifetime 9965 ZC to Present
Guildpact, Dissension

Teysa Karlov is a high-ranking lawmage of the Orzhov Syndicate before, during, and after the Decamillennial on Ravnica. She is the current Matriarch of the Karlov family.[1]


Teysa is a smart and savvy Orzhov lawmage, and always has been very ambitious. With a few well-chosen words and a couple of well-planned smiles, she can make practically anyone dance to her tune.[2] She is more than one hundred and twelve years old,[3] and walks with a cane because of her lame leg.



The scion of one of the most respected Orzhov families, House Karlov, Teysa was employed as a notable "advokist", or lawmage, with a name and reputation that preceded her until she was made a baroness of the Utvara Reclamation Zone.[4] There, Teysa came into contact with Zomaj Hauc, who had schemes to control Ravnica; but, with an assembled force of warriors recruited from various sources, including the Ravnican guilds, as well as her wealth of experience, arcane knowledge, and magic that allowed her to control a dragon, she was influential in stopping Hauc and, in return, gained her the respect of the inhabitants of the area and consolidated her power and authority.

Later on, Karlov was called upon by Feather as her advokist and entangled in the nephilim attacks and the events surrounding the disappearance and subsequent return of the Parhelion.[5]

Grand envoy[]

After the breaking of the Guildpact and the Decamillennial, Teysa was intimately involved in the drafting of a new, non-magical Guildpact for the peace, order, and good government and relations of Ravnica[6] and has been made the first and only Grand Envoy of the Orzhov Syndicate, thereby becoming the official speaker and ambassador for the guildmaster, the Obzedat.[7]

Staging a coup[]

Not satisfied with that position, she conspired with the Boros knight Tajic to remove the Obzedat from power.[8] Tricking the Living Guildpact in providing her with the means to enter the Obzedat's Chamber, she almost retrieved the final evidence of the financial corruption of the Obzedat. In the end, she was foiled by her ghostly grandfather and stripped of her office of advokist and grand envoy by the Ghost Council.[3]

Awaiting her time[]

Teysa remained in prison for a long time, because the Ghost Council was extorting corrupt officials to make sure they kept her locked away.[9] At the same time, she was magically kept alive to prevent her from becoming a ghost. Thanks to the efforts of her apprentice, Tomik Vrona, she had been able to keep abreast of the events in the outside world. Sent by their mutual friend, Nicol Bolas, the planeswalker Kaya came to free Teysa, but Teysa insisted that their involvement should stay hidden.[10][11] As Ral Zarek, Hekara and Vraska staged an invasion of rot zombies as a distraction, Kaya infiltrated the catacombs and killed Grandfather Karlov and all other members of the Obzedat. Through a loophole in the Orzhov rules, Kaya immediately became the new leader of the guild.[12] With the ascension of Kaya as head of the Orzhov Syndicate, Teysa was reinstated as the most powerful oligarch of the guild (second only to Kaya herself). She patiently awaited further events.[13]

Staging another coup[]

Kaya and Teysa attended the guild summit on behalf of the Syndicate, and witnessed its dissolution after the murder of Isperia.[14] Despite Teysa warning against it, Kaya later freed many people from the debts they owed the guild, particularly the bound ghosts.[15] This quickly led to unrest among the hierarchs, as it eroded the foundation of the Orzhov guild. Kaya was almost killed by one of her own priests who called her a traitor.[16] As Kaya returned to Orzhova, she found that the hierarchs had pressured Teysa to arrest her. But Tomik Vrona felt that Teysa was making a mistake, and helped Kaya to force the hierarchs to comply with her will. Teysa was then arrested.[17]


After the War of the Spark, the new Living Guildpact assigned Kaya the task of assassinating Liliana Vess. This cleared the way for Teysa to take the reigns as Matriarch of Orzhov's leading oligarch family.[1] Joining up with the Dimir guildmaster Lazav to gain the ultimate power, she managed to play her competitors, the members of the Triumvirate, and put them out against each other. While Kaya stayed as the nominal leader, and Tomik Vrona actually managing the guild on a daily basis, Teysa was content to be the power behind the curtain.[18]

Story appearances[]

Title Author Publishing date Set Setting (plane) Featuring
Teysa Karlov Adam Lee 2013-04-10 Dragon's Maze Ravnica Teysa Karlov, Tajic
Family Values Alison Luhrs 2015-11-11 Commander 2015 Ravnica Teysa, Tajic, Karlov
The Gathering Storm: Chapter Two Django Wexler 2019-06-12 Guilds of Ravnica / Ravnica Allegiance Ravnica Kaya, Vraska, Jarad vod Savo, Mazirek, Storrev, Teysa Karlov, Tomik Vrona, Xeddick
The Gathering Storm: Chapter Five Django Wexler 2019-07-03 Guilds of Ravnica / Ravnica Allegiance Ravnica Ral Zarek, Hekara, Lavinia, Emmara Tandris, Nicol Bolas, Kaya, Tomik Vrona, Teysa Karlov
The Gathering Storm: Chapter Eight Django Wexler 2019-07-31 Guilds of Ravnica / Ravnica Allegiance Ravnica Ral Zarek, Dovin Baan, Kaya, Teysa Karlov, Nicol Bolas
The Gathering Storm: Chapter Nine Django Wexler 2019-08-07 Guilds of Ravnica / Ravnica Allegiance Ravnica Ral Zarek, Tomik Vrona, Hekara, Lavinia, Kaya, Teysa Karlov, Nicol Bolas, Mazirek, Vraska, Storrev
The Gathering Storm: Chapter Ten Django Wexler 2019-08-14 Guilds of Ravnica / Ravnica Allegiance Ravnica Ral Zarek, Isperia, Dovin Baan, Hekara, Borborygmos, Aurelia, Lazav, Emmara Tandris, Kaya, Teysa Karlov, Vraska, Niv-Mizzet
The Gathering Storm: Chapter Twelve Django Wexler 2019-08-28 Guilds of Ravnica / Ravnica Allegiance Ravnica Kaya, Teysa Karlov, Ral Zarek, Domri Rade
The Gathering Storm: Chapter Thirteen Django Wexler 2019-09-04 Guilds of Ravnica / Ravnica Allegiance Ravnica Vraska, Xeddick, Hekara, Kaya, Tomik Vrona, Teysa Karlov, Ral Zarek, Aurelia, Dovin Baan
The Gathering Storm: Chapter Fifteen Django Wexler 2019-09-18 Guilds of Ravnica / Ravnica Allegiance Ravnica Ral Zarek, Tomik Vrona, Kaya, Nicol Bolas, Teysa Karlov


In-game references[]

Represented in:
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  1. a b Greg Weisman (May 22, 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica – Rallying the Reluctant". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Rei Nakazawa (January 9, 2006). "Signing Onto the Guildpact".
  3. a b Alison Luhrs (November 11, 2015). "Family Values". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Cory J. Herndon. (2006.) Ravnica Cycle, Book II: Guildpact, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Cory Herndon (2006), Dissension. Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Adam Lee (August 29, 2012). "Ravnica, Then and Now". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. The Magic Creative Team (December 12, 2012). "Planeswalker's Guide to Gatecrash: Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Adam Lee (April 10, 2013). "Teysa Karlov". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. James Wyatt (January 2019). "The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ravnica". Wizards of the Coast
  10. Django Wexler (June, 2019), The Gathering Storm/Chapter Two.
  11. Django Wexler (July 3, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter Five.
  12. Django Wexler (July 18, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter Seven.
  13. Flavor text for Teysa Karlov
  14. Django Wexler (August 14, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter Ten.
  15. Django Wexler (August 28, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter Twelve.
  16. Django Wexler (September 11, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter Fourteen.
  17. Django Wexler (September 18, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter Fifteen.
  18. Greg Weisman (November 2019). "War of the Spark: Forsaken". Del Rey.