Thursday, 09 December 2021 09:35

Who is... Edgar Markov?

Written by
Who is... Edgar Markov? WOTC/MAGIC UNTAPPED

Welcome back to "Who Is..." on Magic Untapped.

This time around, we take a look at Edgar Markov -- progenitor of the vampires found on the plane of Innistrad.

Enjoy the show.

Video transcript:

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If you’ve been paying attention to the last couple of sets, the name Edgar Markov should be a familiar one.  But, who is this vampiric Innistrad lord, one who was introduced in card form as the face of one of the Commander 2017 decks?

In this video, we’ll look into just that on “Who Is” on Magic Untapped.

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Thousands of years ago on the plane of Innistrad was an aging alchemist named Edgar Markov.  Fearing death from old age, he was experimenting with ways to achieve agelessness not just for himself, but for his beloved grandson, Sorin.

Famine began to take hold of the land, which made Edgar even more committed to his experiments.  That’s when Shilgengar, a powerful demon lord on the plane, convinced the human alchemist to begin experimenting with blood.  Taking the demon’s advice, Edgar traps one of the plane’s angels and exsanguinates her.

The alchemist forms a decoction from her blood and, after learning the secrets of sangromancy from Shilgengar, formed a ritual that granted agelessness in those who took part in it, as well as the ability to exist on the consumption of another’s blood.  Quite literally, it turned Edgar and all those who take part in the ritual into vampires – a race that had previously not existed on the plane.

Seeking to bestow the same boon upon Sorin as he had himself, Edgar put his grandson through the same ritual.  The experience proved quite troublesome for the Markov heir.  The trauma of it all caused Sorin’s latent planeswalker spark to ignite.

Once recovered from the ordeal, the now vampiric Sorin departed the plane partially in disgust of what Innistrad had become.  Time and time again, however, he would return to keep an eye on the happenings there.

Over the next 7,000 years or so, Edgar would grow weary of the world around him.  He got in the habit of resting deep in the vaults of Markov Manor for years at a time.  So many years, in fact, that he would only allow himself to awaken and venture back out into the world once so much had changed during his hibernation that it would finally seem new and exciting to himself once again.

Of course, the sleep wasn’t always uninterrupted.

Sorin would, from time to time, visit his grandfather as he slept, leaving him books about the current state of Innistrad for those times that Edgar would arise.  And sometimes, when the planeswalker felt he needed his grandfather’s council, he would rouse Edgar from his slumber.  The two would converse for a bit, then Edgar would resume his slumber until it was time for him to rise once again.

At some point after the eldritch events that took place on the plane wherein the visiting Eldrazi horror, Emrakul, allowed herself to be imprisoned within the Innistrad moon, Sorin yet again visited the manor to seek out his grandfather for advice.  This time, however, the planeswalker found Edgar’s coffin was missing from the family’s crypt.

Olivia Voldaren, a vampire lord from a rival house, had stolen it with very specific plans for Edgar.  One that would join her house with that of Edgar’s so that she would be able to seize control of Innistrad by overpowering all of the other vampire families that would oppose her.  Not only that, but she had also imprisoned two of the largest non-vampire threats to her plans by trapping in an enchanted key the soul of a human witch known as Katilda as well as the angel, Sigarda, whom she planned to exsanguinate as a means to control the plane’s angelic population.

Using her own blood, Olivia woke the slumbering Edgar.  Confused by his rousing, he was easily charmed by the Voldaren matriarch and agreed to her proposal of marriage.  Very soon thereafter, the couple was standing at the altar ready to marry one another before a number of invited guests from across Innistrad’s vampiric houses.  The exchanging of vows, however, would never be completed.

As Olivia was saying her vows to Edgar, a mirthless Sorin attacked her, intent on putting an end to her plans.  In the attack, she dropped the key holding Katilda’s spirit and the angel, Sigarda.  At that moment, the Katilda’s spirit escaped from the key.  Now liberated from her prison, she then freed the imprisioned Sigarda.

Vengeful, Sigarda unleashed her angelic fury.  The force of her aura enough to shatter the surrounding stained glass windows, injuring or killing many of the attended wedding guests.  Olivia and Edgar were, thus far, spared from any major injury and the latter fled to the manor’s sanguitorium to escape the angel’s wrath.

There, he was confronted by none other than his grandson.  The two quickly came to blows, hurling both insults and attacks at one another.  Sorin, distracted by a flashback of his family’s fall from grace and into vampirism, found himself knocked into one of the sanguine blood pits, having been bested by his grandfather.  Disgusted by what he saw as Sorin’s naivety and wasted potential, Edgar returned to the fray in the ballroom.

There, new combatants had entered the fray in the form of a few uninvited guests: the planeswalkers Arlinn Kord, Kaya, Chandra Nalaar, and Teferi.

Edgar singled out and attacked Teferi.  Very soon after, however, Sorin returned to the scene and intervened.  This time, the vampiric planeswalker was able to overpower his grandfather.  But rather than slaying him then and there, Sorin showed mercy and ordered Edgar to depart.

Innistrad’s progenitor of vampires did just that.  Once away, he quickly located Olivia and pleaded with her to put an end to her plans.  As the two argued, they are discovered by Arlinn and her packmates.  The two vampires fled through one of the broken windows, Olivia dropping the Moonsliver Key on their way out.

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And that’s the last we see of Edgar Markov.  Well, for now at least.

Innistrad is one of Magic: The Gathering’s more popular planes, and there is little doubt that Wizards of the Coast won’t bring players back there at some point in the future.  And, when that happens, there’s a good chance Edgar will be waiting.

Until next time, thank you for watching this episode of Who Is on Magic Untapped.  I’m Barry White.