Who Is: Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

Illus. JungShan

Magic Untapped takes a look at Ink-Eyes, one of the side villains from the original Kamigawa block.

Video Transcript:

Welcome back to Who Is on Magic Untapped as we explore the backstories and origins of various characters from throughout Magic: The Gathering’s multiverse.

I’m Barry White.

This time around, we are going to explore the story of one of the most feared ninjas in all of ancient Kamigawa: Ink-Eyes.


Becoming a sneak-thief young in life, the nezumi Ink-Eyes was one of the cruelest and most sadistic thieves in all of Kamigawa.  So cruel and sociopathic in wanting to dominate those around her that she was taken deep into the Takenuma swamp and abandoned, left to fend for herself far from society and others.

It didn’t take long for her to find trouble.

Near a desecrated temple in out in the swamps, she attempted to pilfer some items from an ogre hermit named Muzan.  The ogre, however, caught her red-handed.  Noticing her potential, though, rather than punish or kill her for the offense, he took the nezumi in as his student, telling her she might have what it takes to be a kishinsuhaisha, or demon servant.

Muzan’s mentorship, though, wasn’t a kind one as the ogre would often punish and abuse Ink-Eyes both physically and mentally.  He would also send her on dangerous errands as a form of training.

During these errands, away from Muzan, Ink-Eyes would meditate, lowering her consciousness to the point that she was being guided not by awareness, but by subconscious notions instead.  Over time, this practice would lead her to make contact with the essence of the swamp’s various spirits, or kami.  These kami would, in turn, boost her own murderous capabilities.

Over time, learning the ways of arcane magics, the nezumi learned the ways of ninjitsu and, once she felt she was ready, paid back her oni master for years of mistreatment.

One night, as Muzan slept, Ink-Eyes exacted her revenge, killing him and offering his blood as tribute to their demon, or oni, overlord, the pitlord, Kuro.

Pleased by Ink-Eyes’ treachery and ambition, Kuro enchanted the nezumi’s eyes, changing them from black to glowing red.  This not only enhanced her ninjitsu abilities, but also granted her the power of necromancy through which she can raise from the dead those she slays as servants for her oni overlord.


And that, in short, is the story of Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni.

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Barry White

Barry White is a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, having started in 1994 shortly before the release of 'Fallen Empires.' After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he went on to a 15-year journalism career as a writer, reporter, and videographer for three different ABC affiliate newsrooms.