Welcome to this first season in Magic Untapped's "Who Is..." series.
This first time around, we are featuring the story of one of Dominaria's oldest-living mortal characters: Jodah, Archmage Eternal. In this second episode, an ice age has onset the plane of Dominaria and we catch up with the seemingly ageless Jodah as he finds new friends, new enemies, and a new threat to the plane.
Enjoy the show.
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When we last saw Jodah, he had just freed Ith from imprisonment by Mairsil and is now residing in the City of Shadows, a refuge for mages on the island of Lat-Nam. There, he thrives. He marries Sima, the mage he befriended previously and who had helped him free Lord Ith from his cage.
Things were going great for Jodah. Great, that is, until the effects of the Fountain of Youth he had unknowingly submerged himself in while hiding from a band of goblins years before, began to become evident. While his aging had drastically slowed, everyone else aged at a normal rate. As he stayed more or less the same, everyone else he knew (including his wife, Sima) grew old and died.
In order to stay sane under such circumstances, Jodah would regularly wipe his own memory, storing all of his grief and madness in the enchanted mirror given to him by his original mentor many, many years ago.
As the years passed, Jodah was granted the title Archmage Eternal for his seemingly eternal lifespan and was charged with overseeing the City of Shadows as it was becoming the School of the Unseen, the use of magic now no longer outlawed due to the waning power of the fanatical Church of Tal.
Some two thousand years into the centuries-long ice age that fell over Dominaria due to the catastrophic effects of Urza’s war-ending sylex blast, Jodah was kidnapped by his second-in-command at the school, Gerda Äagesdotter, who had grown envious of his power. Aided by her cousin, the royal mage of Kjeldor, Gustha Ebbasdotter, they gave him to the necromancer Lim-Dûl, who dosed him with Fyndhorn Pollen, tricked the Archmage into believing that he was just another summoned creature, and forced him to research magic and planeswalkers for him.
A friend of Jodah, a task mage named Jaya Ballard who, despite her potential, flamed out at the School of the Unseen, found out about Jodah’s disappearance and was able to track him down in Tresserhorn where she found him drugged, confused, and working for a necromancer. She rescues him and helps him come to, but Jodah realizes that his kidnapping had occurred just before we was going to purge his memories with his mirror ritual and was, thusly, losing grip on reality as the grief of all whom he has lost over the years begin to flood his mind. Jaya takes him to Freyalise, the so-called Goddess of the Forest. She calms his mind, curing him of potential insanity and placing both mages in her debt.
Now fully sane and aware of Lim-Dûl’s plans, Jodah takes Jaya to Kjeld with hopes of convincing the city-state’s ruling class of the threat. This proves harder than he had anticipated as many of the elites don’t see the necromancer as a threat. In fact, many think he can be an ally who can help with the city-state’s barbarian problem – the very population with whom Jodah was attempting to have Kjeldor form an allegiance.
Thankfully, a coup that was aided by Lim-Dûl’s magic failed to dethrone Kjeldor’s King Darien thanks to quick thinking by Jodah, Jaya, Gustha (one of the two cousins who kidnapped the Archmage to begin with), and the Kjeldoran commander, Varchild. The failed coup convinced Kjeldor’s ruling class that Lim-Dûl was a threat.
By the next spring, Kjeldor and the Balduvian barbarians formally formed an alliance. Lim-Dûl unleashes his undead hordes on the land and Jodah personally fights the necromancer. During the duel, Lim-Dûl confesses that he knows Jodah better than the Archmage would believe as the necromancer reveals he is actually a Kjeldor soldier with whom Mairsil the Pretender, whose essence had been locked into a ring when he was killed by Lord Ith centuries before, had merged with upon the soldier’s discovery of said ring.
Jodah, however, would never get the chance to finally end Mairsil as Leshrac, the planeswalker who was behind much of Lim-Dûl’s power, arrived. Displeased at how wasteful the necromancer was being with his resources as the planeswalker had other goals in mind, he cuts off Lim-Dûl’s ring-bearing hand, thus separating Mairsil from his host body, before disappearing.
After the battle, Jodah is summoned by Freyalise. As payment for his debt from her curing his mind, she asked to borrow his enchanted mirror. After the mirror was used in the world spell that ended Dominaria’s ice age, she returned it to the Archamage, though he would never again use the artifact as it somehow felt different than before.
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