Sunday, 4 January 2015

List of Sources

This is a list of every single M:tG storyline source I know. If you know of any others, which is very possible considering the myriad forms of media that the canon has sampled, please notify me so I may one day complete my collection and by extension this site!

Some notes about this list:
  • I try to keep as much things canon as possible. The older novels have some problems with their depiction of planeswalkers, and there have been times when the editors appear to have been asleep considering the number of continuity errors (Scourge, Test of Metal), but in my opinion everything that was supposed to be canon should be considered canon if it is at all possible. I will deal note continuity errors and suggest explanations in my reviews.
  • What I do not consider canon are the following things: prerevisionist comics that have been replaced by revisionist novels (Antiquities War, Jedit Ojanen), third party remakes of Wizard of the Coast novels (The manga versions of The Brothers' War and The Purifying Fire) and stuff where the creators clearly didn't care about matching the story to established canon (Usually videogames, like Magic the Gathering - Battlegrounds or Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012.) I will still review the now out of continuity comics though, for the sake of completion. They were canon before their replacements came out after all.
  • In addition to stories you will also find a number of articles on this list. I do not intend to review every single article ever produced on MTG lore. I'll stick to just the stories and actually published sources, unless a the backstory of a set or a important event was only covered in an online source. This is the case with Mirage, Innistrad for example.
  • Any entry with a behind it is a source I do not own (yet). The novels I will buy when the time comes to review them. Stuff like old magazines and calendars will probably be left out for now. I'll hunt them down and add them eventually, but since they can be tricky to get a hold off I can't promise I'll get them any time soon.
Now, to the list proper

BOOKS
Harper Prism
  • Arena
  • Whispering Woods
  • Shattered Chains
  • Final Sacrifice
  • The Cursed Land
  • The Prodigal Sorcerer
  • Ashes of the Sun
  • Song of Time
  • And Peace Shall Sleep
  • Dark Legacy
  • Tapestries
  • Distant Planes

The Weatherlight Saga
  • Rath & Storm
  • The Brothers' War
  • Planeswalker
  • Time Streams
  • Bloodlines
  • Mercadian Masques
  • Nemesis
  • Prophecy
  • The Thran
  • Invasion
  • Planeshift
  • Apocalypse

Older Expansion Cycles
  • The Gathering Dark
  • The Eternal Ice
  • The Shattered Alliance
  • Johan
  • Jedit
  • Hazezon
  • Assassin's Blade
  • Emperor's Fist
  • Champion's Trial

Otaria Saga
  • Odyssey
  • Chainer's Torment
  • Judgment
  • Onslaught
  • Legions
  • Scourge

Later Expansion Cycles
  • The Moons of Mirrodin
  • The Darksteel Eye
  • The Fifth Dawn
  • Outlaw: Champions of Kamigawa
  • Heretic: Betrayers of Kamigawa
  • Guardian: Saviors of Kamigawa
  • Ravnica, City of Guilds
  • Guildpact
  • Dissenssion
  • Time Spiral
  • Planar Chaos
  • Future Sight
  • Lorwyn
  • Morningtide
  • Shadowmoor
  • Eventide

Anthologies
  • The Colors of Magic
  • The Myths of Magic
  • The Dragons of Magic
  • The Secrets of Magic
  • The Monsters of Magic

Block Novels
  • Alara Unbroken
  • Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum
  • The Quest for Karn
  • The Secretist (Parts I, II and III)
  • Godsend (Parts I and II)

Planeswalker Novels
  • Agents of Artifice
  • The Purifying Fire
  • Test of Metal

Other Books
  • The Art of Magic: the Gathering, the Rath Cycle
  • Dragons: Worlds Afire
  • A Planeswalker's Guide to Alara
  • The Art of Magic: the Gathering, Zendikar
  • The Art of Magic: the Gathering, Innistrad (X)
  • The Art of Magic: the Gathering: Kaladesh (X)

COMICS
Armada
  • Atiquities War #1-4 (Replaced by the Brothers' War novel)
  • Arabian Nights #1-2
  • Dakkon Blackblade one-shot
  • Elder Dragons #1-2
  • Fallen Angel #1-2
  • Fallen Empires #1-2
  • Homelands one-shot
  • Ice Age #1-4
  • Nightmare one-shot
  • Serra Angel one-shot
  • Shandalar #1-2
  • The Legend of Jedit Ojanen #1-2 (Replaced by the Johan/Jedit/Hazezon novels)
  • The Shadow Mage #1-4
  • Urza-Mishra War #1-2 (Replaced by the Brothers' War novel)
  • Wayfarer #1-5
Dark Horse
  • Gerrard's Quest #1-4
Wizard of the Coast
  • Path of the Planeswalker
  • Path of the Planeswalker 2
Note: I don't actually own these, but all of them are available online, so I'll just review those. I'm in no hurry to spend money on stuff I can also read for free.

IDW Publishing
  • Magic the Gathering #1-4
  • Magic the Gathering, The Spell Thief #1-4
  • Magic the Gathering, The Path of Vengeance #1-4
  • Magic the Gathering, Theros #1-5

MAGAZINES
  • The Duelist, a.k.a. Duelist Magazine, #0-41. See the MTGSalvation Wiki for a more complete list of storyline related articles in those 40 issues. A number of articles have been reposted online. You can find some of them via the MTGS Wiki and some of them here. I don't own most of these, but some friendly people have allowed me to use their copies, so all of them will eventually be reviewed!
  • Top Deck. I have no issues of this magazine, but the comics from it have been posted online on MTGSalvation. As they are essentially commercials for the novels, often just retelling the first chapter, I will probably not hunt the actual issues of Top Deck down anytime soon.
Note: I'm only counting official magazines published by Wizards of the Coast. Magazines like Inquest or Scrye may have contained storyline snippets, but those all came from press releases or just straight from the novels. Plus it's hard to differentiate what is official information and what is conjecture by the journalists. Therefore I'm sticking to just Duelist and Top Deck.

COMPUTER GAMES
  • Microprose: Magic the Gathering, a.k.a. Shandalar. Intro animation. Backstory from the manual posted on Phyrexia.com.
  • Magic the Gathering: Battlemage, a.k.a. The Planeswalkers War. Intro animation. Intro animation to the campaign setting can be seen a few minutes into this review. The (archive of the) official website also contains a bunch of lore. (X)
  • Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 (X)
  • Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015, cutscenes found on YouTube (X)
  • Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015 - Garruk's Revenge (X)
Yeah, I'm pretty lacking in the computer game department. I'll probably get the Duels games eventually. I have Battlemage, but haven't been able to get it to work yet.
Two other games I don't know enough about to fully include or exclude them are the Sega Dreamcast game, and Magic the Gathering Tactics. Does anyone know if those even have a storymode? Tactics does appear to have a map of post-Ice Age Terisiare, which is quite amazing!

GAME SUPPLEMENTS
  • Alpha Rulebook, contains the short story Introduction. Posted online here.
  • Pocket Players' Guide, Revised Edition, contains the articles Dominia and its Walkers and the short story Roreca's Tale. Posted online here and here.
  • Pocket Player's Guide, Fourth Edition, contains the article Nature of Dominia and a timeline. The article is posted online here.
  • The Official Guide to Urza's Saga, contains the short story A Time for Remembrance. Posted online here.
  • The Official Urza's Legacy Game Guide, contains the short story Scars of the Legacy. Posted online here.
  • The Official Urza's Destiny Game Guide, contains the short story Phyrexian Autopsy. Posted online here
  • Coldsnap Player's Guide, contains the short story Keeping the Cold.
  • The Official Guide to Portal Second Age, contains a short article explaining the setting of Caliman. Posted online here.
Obviously there are many, many more game supplements, but to review all of them would be madness. Actually, it would be trying to get my hands on them that would be madness. So I will only list the ones with actual stories in them, and the Portal Second Age one, since it has lore that never ended up anywhere else. I only own the Fourth Edition Guide but most of the others are available online and can thus also be reviewed. Now I just need to get my hands on the Coldsnap Guide. I could swear it had been posted online somewhere, but I appear to have lost the link.

CALENDARS
  • 1999 Urza's Saga calendar (X)
  • 1998 Monthly calendarsamples found here. (X)
  • 1997 Monthly calendar, samples found here. (X)
  • 1997 Daily calendar, being posted fully on Gavin Verhey's Tumblr.
  • 1996 Calendar (X)
  • 1995 Monthly calendar (X)
  • ??? Daily calendar, mentioned by Jeff Lee (X)
This part of the list is rather frustrating, since it's really hard to research. I can't figure out how many calendars there actually are, I can't find pictures of most of them, I can't even find out which of them just have pictures and which actually have some lore. From what I can gleam the majority is pretty forgettable, just offering some intresting art and some vague lore tidbits at best. But then there is that one calendar... the one I don't even know the year off. This is a calendar I only know the existance of thanks to storyline guru of the first hour Jeff Lee mentioning it in a post on MTGSalvation. Apparently it had "numerous discrete storylines for individual cards". It is also the only official source I know of that mentions the Elder Dragon War! I believe it is also the source of some now commonly known lore like Segovia being a miniature plane. Being a tear-away calendar it is probably lost now though.
I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to get any of the calendars, but I've included them on the list for the sake of completion.

ONLINE SOURCES
Current WotC Website
Previous WotC Website
Even Older WotC Websites
Expansion Minisites
Note: Ugh, these things... they are really cool, but Wizards never pays attention to them when overhauling their sites, and thus these minisites stop working properly and lore gets lost in the interwebs-aether. The Internet Wayback Machine helps a little, and luckily with the later sources the stories have often been reposted, or at least saved by fans. Enough has been lost to warrant a (X) though. If anyone more skilled at internetting can dredge up some of this stuff I would be eternally grateful! I've only posted minisites with new story material on them.

Third Party Websites
Like with the magazines I don't really want to include third party websites in this list. It is supposed to be a list of primary storyline sources after all. But some sources have been lost and have only been saved by third party websites. For example, the Legends of Magic (Jeff Lee's old site) holds the only known information on the Elder Dragon War, at least until someone unearths the old calender that info originated from. Similarly those map collections have preserved maps from old calenders and Duelist supplements that might otherwise had been lost, or at least become very rare.
In addition to the listed sites the forums of MTGSalvation, Phyrexia.com, MTGNews.com and Magicthegathering.com/Gleemax have all been visited by the likes of Pete Venters and Brady Dommermuth and writers like Scott McGough, Cory Herndon and Will McDermott in the past, all of whom have left little storyline nuggets all over the place. One day I'll do a thrawl through the archives that are still available (I fear MTGnews and Gleemax have already been lost) and store all the interesting information in one place.

UNPUBLISHED SOURCES

  • Alliances
  • Walker of Night
  • Prelude to War
  • The Planeswalkers War
  • The Homelands Document
  • The Mirage Document
  • The "Lost Archive"
The first four of these are Armada comics that never made it to print. There were a number of other comics planned, but these four were so close to being released that we actually know what their stories would have been about. Their canonical status is questionable, but they are nonetheless very interesting sources that merit a look.
The Homelands Document and the Lost Archive are documents made by Wizards for internal use. No doubt there are many more such documents, but these are the ones that have been made (partially) available to the public.

15 comments:

  1. Oh wow, nostalgia made me wander through the realms of the archive.org again, and I happened upon an article I don't believe I've seen or read before:

    The Worlds of Dominia
    by Scott Hungerford, Kij Johnson, and Pete Venters
    ©1997 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

    https://web.archive.org/web/19980424204746/http://gathering.net/basics_dominia.html

    ...although some fragments of it seemed familiar (maybe Pete Venters quoted/reworded some parts of it somewhere in the old forum threads?).

    It's funny how they tried to tie in the older and the newer understanding of planeswalking and artificial means of obtaining it - the very same conclusions I was agitating for for years. ^_^ (Then again, I wouldn't say that no one obtained the means of artificial planeswalking (or planeshifting, as we'd call it today) since The Thran).

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  2. That article is the first entry of Dominian Chronicles, and first appearend in The Duelsist #16 :)

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  3. Unfortunately, I never had that magazine in my hands, and the Duelist online site didn't have that article either (at least I haven't found it on my last archiving spree few years ago).

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  5. On a more pessimistic note, it seems that unfortunately, even the sites on the archive.org can deteriorate pretty severely...
    I remember this Battlemage site working quite well. It was navigable, the pictures and the links mostly worked... Now it is not that easy to even find any of its pages. Here is another one (the Story of Battlemage Ravidel), and another one (the map of Corondor), both stripped of all the navigation as well.

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  6. MTG tactics is no longer available to play, as the servers went down in 2014. Sorry!

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    1. I figured as much. Seems like a good enough story to declare it out of continuity. Do you happen to know if the story lined up to the regular Magic story in any way?

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    2. I never played it. I can tell you about Battlemage, though.

      You choose between 6 of the comic characters and play a RISK-esque game where you take over territories in Corondor. the actual dueling is horrible, but on the game map where you are taking turns to conquer territory, each region of Corondor has a short description, and each one is home to a legend from the cards/comics. Depending on the character you choose, (Leshrec, Kristina, etc) you have 3 unique dialogue choices for each interaction. these can range from 'Carthalion, Where is the blackblade? you must die!" to "Teferi, let's make an alliance to overthrow Ravidel"

      The actual gameplay is horrible, but there must be over 200 dialogue options in total throughout the game, and there is a teensy amount of character exposition because of this. You might find it interesting.

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    3. I'm currently writing the Shandalar game review, using the lore quotes from one of the text files that came with the game (Just a handful of quotes here, not nearly 200 options). Hopefully I'll be able to do the same with Battlemage!

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  7. Have you checked out this site: http://archive.wizards.com/Magic/multiverse/planes.aspx

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    1. Jup. It's on the list under "Previous WotC Website" -> "Multiverse". I only put hub pages like that on the list, otherwise it would get... quite long :)

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  8. I think you could add "The Art of Magic: the Gathering - Zendikar" to the bibliography, since it will contain stuff about the story and the lore of the plane. :)

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  9. Hi!Sir Squirle!I am a MTG story addict based in Beijing, I just found your great library here and still shocked in awe. What I am trying now is categorising all MTG story pieces and label them according to a self-developed system like

    D-N1998.1(10-64AR) - The Brothers' War - 兄弟之战 - Artifact Cycle 01

    and

    Z-MS2016.8(4608AR)- Zendikar Resurgent - 赞迪卡复苏

    D/Z means Plane Dominaria/Zendikar

    N/MS means Novel/Magic Story

    1998.1/2016.8 means the first publication in 1998 and the eighth in 2016

    (10-64AR)/(4608AR) means the Argivian Reckoning

    Now I have 352 entries labelled in such way, and I wonder whether you have such plan or not?

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    Replies
    1. if you are interested in that too, maybe I can share a copy of current version database and work together

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    2. Hi! Glad you enjoy my blog. Pretty awesome to know my writings are being read as far away as Beijing!

      I don not have a labeling system as you do, though I do have a list of all storyline sources I know off, which you can find under "List of Magic storyline sources" in the sidebar. If you know of any material I have missed I would of course be very interested in knowing about those!

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