The Planeswalker Profile series continues this week with Ajani Goldmane.
Ajani Goldmane is a powerful shaman hailing from the plane of Alara. His magic is that of the avatar; he can find and coax out a person’s inner strength. This allows him to heal and strengthen his allies. Unfortunately he cannot use this magic on himself. He has struggled with his tragic past and anger before, but he strives to overcome these flaws.
Born an albino on the shard of Naya, Ajani’s stark white fur was seen as a sign of bad luck by his tribe. They shunned him for most of his childhood, which lead for him to try reckless stunts to try and gain their approval, such as engaging in dangerous beast hunts by himself. His only saving grace was his elder brother Jazal, who cared for Ajani and eventually became the Kha, leader, of their pride; and his close friend Zaliki, the only other in their tribe who overlooked his ‘condition’.
After a festival celebrating his tribe’s independence, they were attacked that night by dark magic and elementals. During the attack Jazal was slain in his sleep. Finding Jazal’s body was so traumatic to Ajani that he ascended, and was flung to the nearby shard of Jund. There he was spared death by dragon from the shaman Sarkhan Vol . Ajani laid his head bare to Sarkhan, who in turn advised him to manifest his rage at his brother’s death and seek the vengeance that he was deserved. Ajani returned to Naya and began investigating his brother’s death.
His investigations led him across all the shards of Alara, receiving care from Elspeth Tirel and warning her of the coming storm; meeting the ancestral hero of his people, Marisi, in conflict with the elvish leader, Mayael the Anima. He traveled with the war-clan of Kresh, the Bloodbraided and they met the shaman Rakka Mar, who told of her sinister master,Nicol Bolas. After the shards came together, so did the pieces of Ajani’s investigation, and he confronted Zaliki who admitted she had been tricked and was responsible for the attack on their tribe that night. Ajani could not bring himself to take his revenge and let his anger go.
Ajani was able to eventually come face to face with Nicol Bolas, who had driven the shards to war so that their magic would fuel the newly formed Maelstrom. He consumed the Maelstrom and regained much of the power lost to him during the mending. Afraid that further magic use would only strengthen Bolas more, Ajani used his magic to sever everyone present from their mana sources, denying them use of Magic. Outmatched, he consumed the last tiny morsels of the Maelstrom, and that proved enough to help. He crafted an avatar in likeness of Bolas. Unable to best his equal, Bolas absconded and left Alara all together.
In light of the truth, Ajani was offered the position of Kha by his tribe. His experiences had changed him, and he came to believe that there were more important things than the approval of others. He declined he position. He has spent much of his time since then wandering Alara, trying to promote peace, becoming something of a folk hero in the process.
To learn more about Ajani, check out the Planeswalker webcomics or the novel “Alara Unbroken”. To see Ajani in action you can find him in Lorwyn, Shards of Alara, Magic 2010, Magic 2011, and Magic 2013 and in the Ajani vs Nicol Bolas Duel Deck!