Welcome to the first article in a series known as Planeswalker Profile. In this article series, writer Wil Blanks will take us through a brief history and overview of some of Magic’s greatest planeswalkers. Today we will focus on the latest spoiled planeswalker from gatecrash:Gideon Jura.
This is Gideon Jura. He is a powerful warrior mage and one of Magic’s more prominent current recurring characters. He is a hieromancer, a law mage, and has a powerful desire to use his powers to help the helpless. Gideon was born to a single mother on a thus far unknown plane. When she died in his youth, he became a drifter, eventually becoming the leader of a gang of street urchins. They would steal largely to support themselves and little else, but still, local law enforcers did not appreciate this. After escaping incarceration several times, the police decided to turn him over to a local hieromancer, a law mage. The mage was able to stop his escapes where the police had failed, and Gideon, curious about the mage’s power, became his apprentice.
He grew to enjoy the power he had been taught and the good he could do with it. His teacher recognized that Gideon was an unascended Planeswalker, as his teacher had been, and taught him of walkers. He told Gideon of Planeswalkers as his own master had been and of the dangers of pyromancers who had slain his master. Gideon would come to ascend after winning a fight against all odds against a much stronger opponent. The unlikeliness of his victory afforded him a moment of enlightenment and in that moment he ascended. His master told him that he had expected Gideon would ascend, and gave him his master’s sural, a bladed whiplike weapon. Gideon left to wander the planes, seeking enlightenment.
In his travels he heard about an enormous wellspring of white mana called the Purifying Fire on the plane of Regatha, safeguarded by a multiplanar organization dedicated to the spread of peace and order known as the Order of Heliud. Once he arrived, he was denied a request to see the flame by its keeper, a man named Walbert, who said that he would allow Gideon access to the flame if he would track down a dangerous pyromancer outlaw named Chandra Nalaar. He agreed. After several run ins with her, he tracked her down on a plane called Diraden, where they were both trapped because of a treacherous enchantment across the plane that prevented the use of Magic.
Gideon and Chandra came to rely on one another to survive, but were eventually captured by the plane’s despot; a wicked vampiric prince. With the help of the prince’s imprisoned father, they were able to shatter the enchantment, slay the prince, and escape Diraden. They eventually returned to the plane of Regatha, and Chandra had turned herself in to the Order so that they would stop persecuting her peers at Keral Keep, a haven for pyromancers she had been studying at. She was to be sacrificed to the Purifying Fire as punishment for her crimes. It would strip her off all of her magic, and leave her as an example to all others who would dare to cross the Order.
Gideon, who had not agreed with Walbert’s plans for Chandra, studied texts on the Purfying Fire and told Chandra that she would be spared if she had a pure heart, and pleaded with her that she would confess to her crimes. She confided with him that she had been harboring guilt of the massacre of her village because of a misunderstanding of her powers. This left Chandra with a clean conscious, and she was spared by the fire. Seeing an opportunity, she destroyed the chamber the fire was held in and collapsed the Order’s headquarters.
Gideon was outraged with Chandra’s violent actions but she told him that she had no regrets. She revealed that her family had been executed by members of the same order, as punishment for harboring dangerous pyromancers, and left Gideon to his thoughts. He came to question his role with the order, and sought to track Chandra down to achieve a sense of closure. Eventually, he tracked her down to the plane of Zendikar. She was long gone by the time he got there, but in her place the fearsome Eldrazi had been released and lay waste to the plane. He found a refugee camp, Fort Keff, and helped the soldiers there fend off an attack, but came to realize they didn’t have a chance when the Eldrazi titan, Emrakul, arrived. He sent the refugees into hiding and left Zendikar for aide. He had heard of another multiplanar organization lead by Planeswalkers on the plane of Ravnica, and left to find them hoping to recruit an army to fight off the Eldrazi menace.
Upon arriving on Ravnica, he found it rife with social injustice as the guilds of Ravnica were on the brink of war with one another. Fearing for the lives of the guildless, caught in the middle of the strife, he resolved that Zendikar would have to wait. He approached the Boros, Ravnica’s military and police force guild, whose actions and goals most aligned with his own hoping to gain a position of enough power within the guild to help retard the aggression among the guilds. What is to come of that is yet to be seen.
To read more about Gideon you can check out the book “The Purifying Fire” or the article “Battle at Fort Keff”. To see Gideon in action, check him out in the sets “Rise of the Eldrazi”, “Magic 2012 core set” and “Gatecrash”!