Shandalar is a plane drifting through the multiverse, without any course or steady position. It is a small plane rich with mana.
Shandalar was also the setting for Micropose's Magic: the Gathering computer game, Shandalar.
It is said that Shandalar is an artificial plane, but because of its rich mana, this is not true. Because of the large amount of mana, it is common for normal people to use spells in daily life. It is also said that creatures created from pure mana still thrive on Shandalar, in the form of Dragons.
The planeswalker Kenan Sahrmal was a protector of Shandalar, nearly immortal, and was one of the few on the plane who knew about the outside Multiverse. He knew that because the plane was so rich with mana, eventually a planeswalker would want to dominate it. He created barriers so that other planeswalkers could not physically be present on Shandalar.
The Shard of Twelve Worlds
Shandalar was a focal point in what was known as The Shard of Twelve Worlds. When Dominaria, Azoria, and 10 other planes were shut out from the rest of the multiverse at the end of the Brother's War, Freyalise and several other planeswalkers were trying to end Dominaria's Ice Age. Freyalise then noticed that Shandalar was going to drift into the Shard for a brief period, then leave to the rest of the Multiverse where it had came from. Tevesh Szat, Leshrac, and Lim Dul took advantage of this and escaped The Shard.
The plane's protector, Kenan Sahrmal, tried to drive out Leshrac, Tevesh Szat and Lim Dul, but failed in completely getting rid of Lim Dul. He and Lim Dul had a duel and nearly killed each other. In desperation, Sahrmal left Shandalar. Sahrmal's followers then assumed Sahrmal to be dead. As for Lim Dul, it is said he was beheaded.
Lim Dul's War
Lim Dul appeared 12 years later on Shandalar with an army of undead, and his plan was to seize control of the whole plane. His conquest lasted for years, and even after every major location and city had been destroyed, those native to Shandalar refused to surrender, even without the help of Sahrmal. In fact, Sahrmal had been alive all this time, but he had been training two new protectors for Shandalar. One of these students was named Azar, but the name of the other has not been revealed.
The Battle of Ardestan
The city of Ardestan, the last city standing, was a bastion of hope for those who were alive from Lim Dul's rampage. However, it came under siege. Azar, feeling a need to save it, asked Sahrmal if they should go. But Sahrmal said that neither of them had been trained to do so. Even with that said, Azar escaped the secret sanctuary and ran to Ardestan's aid. Once there, Azar cast a powerful spell that was aimed at Lim Dul. Lim Dul was nearby, and seemed to be doing nothing. Lim Dul's plan was the same as how he had escaped death from being beheaded nearly 20 years earlier: he would transfer his soul into another's body. He planned to transfer his soul into Azar's body.
However, his plan was at fault. Azar's powerful spell was aimed at Lim Dul's soul, not his body, so that the spell would lock Lim Dul's soul into his body and then drain his power. But at the last second, Lim Dul got into Azar's body, and the spell was cast. With no target to destroy, the spell blew up and decimated the city. Azar's body lay paralyzed, with both Lim Dul's soul and Azar's soul battling for control of the body. Sahrmal and his other student had arrived just moments before, and buried Azar's body, because Sahrmal knew that as long as Lim Dul's soul was trapped, Shandalar would be safe.
The New Guardian
Soon afterward, Sahrmal's 2nd apprentice finished training. Sahrmal knew he had to invest all the power in him that he could, so Sahrmal gave his immortality to his apprentice. Sahrmal then disappeared, never to be seen again. The rest of Shandalar had become comfortable with Sahrmal's apprentice and accepted him in Sahrmal's place as protector of Shandalar. He then established the five guilds, each responsible for carrying out the teachings of each color of magic. There was a great tournament to see who would be at the head of each guild. Then, whenever a head of a guild would grow too old to carry on the teachings, a new champion was selected.
Lim Dul's Revenge
Eventually, Lim Dul's spirit won out over Azar's and Lim Dul arose from the burial site controlling Azar's body. But since he had been buried, he figured out that Shandalar had become organized. The battle between Lim Dul and the Five Guilds was known as the Wizard's War. Lim Dul was defeated and his soul was then stored in an artifact that would keep the magical barrier around Shandalar intact. The only Guild Master to be killed was the leader of the Black Mana Guild. Azar's body, however, had been exposed and cursed with so much magic that after Lim Dul's soul had been imprisoned, Azar's body rose up as an undead minion and stepped in to lead the Black Mana Guild. The body of Azar named itself Lichlord Skavius Slan. The Lichlord lived for a very long time, while other Guild Leaders died. Other creatures summoned to Shandalar from other planes never returned to where they came from, but adapted to Shandalar and its mana.
With Lim Dul's War and The Wizard's War, a planeswalker named Arzakon had noticed the strong waves of energy emitting from the plane. He tried to enter, but the Guardian remained vigilant. Arzakon then realized he could split his soul and enter Shandalar as a life energy. He played the five Guild Masters at the time and used them to turn their jealousies into pure evil. Eventually the five Guild Masters arose against the Guardian and struck him down. Arzakon told them (through telepathy) how to conqeur Shandalar. He said that if a mage casted the Spell of Dominion, one could rule a plane and would become immortal. Arzakon then told them to find powerful artifacts that could hold lots of energy at once, since the spell is tremendously powerful. The Guild Masters rampaged Shandalar looking for such artifacts, taking them by force. However, all the Spell of Dominion would do is seek out the source of a plane's defenses and destroy them. The five Guild Masters cast the spell and it destroyed the source of Shandalar's magical barrier, the artifact which held Lim Dul's soul. The artifact was destroyed, and Arzakon swept in, ready to dominate the plane.
In the official storyline, it is unknown what happened after Arzakon swept in and attempted to dominate Shandalar. However, in the video game, the player must have a final battle with Arzakon in order to beat the game. Arzakon uses all five colors of mana, making him fairly difficult to defeat. But if the player defeats Arzakon, then peace returns to Shandalar. Some Magic fans want Shandalar to be the setting of a future Magic set, but this is highly unlikely.
According to the Uncharted Realms articles, Thune is a location in Shandalar. Thune has been seen on War Priest of Thune as well as mentioned in the flavor text of several core sets. In the same article it also mentions An Karras, a city of Thune that recently ended a conflict with an eastern city, and Xathrid as regions belonging to Shandalar. Both regions also are mentioned in card names or flavor text. This might indicate that Shandalar shares the current base setting along with Dominia.
|Planes of the Multiverse|
Alara • Arkhos • Cridhe • Dominaria • Fiora • Innistrad • Ir