Friday, 11 February 2022 09:00

Who is: Tourach (Fallen Empires Edition)

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Who is: Tourach (Fallen Empires Edition) WOTC/MAGIC UNTAPPED

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

This time around, we take a look at Tourach, a dark necromancer and founder of the Order of the Ebon Hand from Magic: The Gathering's Fallen Empires storyline.

Enjoy the show.

Video transcript:

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Welcome back to Who Is on Magic Untapped as we look at the backstories and evolution of various Magic: The Gathering characters.

 In this episode, we take a look at Tourach – the founder and first high priest of the Order of the Ebon Hand.

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While most humans on the southern Dominarian continent of Sapardia worshipped an entity known as Hand of Justice, Tourach was in the vast minority.  He pledged his allegiance to a darker entity: One known as the Ebon Praetor.  As such, he and those like him separated from accepted society and established their own: The Order of the Ebon Hand.

Much about the order’s origin is unknown, but there are those who believe that the Ebon Praetor is actually none other than the Phyrexian, Gix, who appeared during the Brothers’ War – the plane-altering event between the brothers Urza and Mishra – and, at one point, lost a hand.  This hand would later be found and idolized by a group of black mages known as the Brotherhood of Gix.

Why is this relevant?  Well, it’s common that members of the Ebon Hand sever one of theirs upon joining.  Maybe it’s a coincidence.  Maybe not.  Still worth a mention.

But getting back to Tourach, he was a powerful necromancer able to work great magics by way of sacrifice – whether it be limbs or lives.  The high priest’s greatest power, however, come from the hymns and chants that are known to bring insanity to those who hear them.

For all his power, however, Tourach was mortal.  Upon his death, his order deified him.  And, even in death, those in the Icatian empire feared him and dreaded his return.

And it has been said that he has, indeed, returned several times over the centuries.  None of these have ever been confirmed, however, including when the fanatical Icatian Priest, Oliver Farrel, was convinced that his former lover, a warrior named Tymolin Lonegade, was none other than Tourach incarnate.

As the climate changed (thanks mostly to the after-effects of the Brothers’ War) and largely because of the ill-fated Thrull breeding program the order’s post-Tourach leadership undertook, the Order of the Ebon Hand’s power waned and was all but forgotten to time.

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But that’s not to say that the Order of the Ebon Hand is gone for good.

In the story for the 2018 set Dominaria, for example, the demonlord Belzenlok is referred to as the “Master of the Ebon Hand.”  And, indeed, just last year saw the printing of Tourach’s first (though possibly only) card in Tourach, Dread Cantor.

So, I suppose we’ll just all have to stay tuned to see if Wizards of the Coast has anything more in store for Tourach.

Tune in next time as we look at another of Fallen Empires’ major characters in the elven druid, Thelon.