Jund is the Shard of Alara lacking white and blue mana. Without the colors of order and civilization to leash it, Jund evolved into a chaotic world where no law or ideal has been able to override the condition of “might makes right”. A world of vast mountain ranges, thriving jungles and deep festering swamps; Jund is a world defined by the food chain. A constant fight for survival has systematically weeded out all weakness of Jund, and every living thing there knows how to put up a fight or die trying.
Humans occupy one of the lower rungs of the food chain, predated upon by hoards of Viashino, dangerous elementals , and the undisputed masters of the plane; dragons. The only thing lower are the goblins who have evolved to take advantage of their place on the bottom of the food chain. Many of them have come to consider it an honor to be eaten by a particularly spectacular predator, and go out of their way to be eaten by the most powerful monsters on Jund. Those who live on this world do so by living day-to-day, never knowing if they’ll live to see the next day.
A unique condition of Jund’s metaphysics causes dragon blood spilled in battle to crystallize into a hard, volatile substance known as Sangrite. Soluble in blood, Sangrite is an incredible source of mana that allows mages on Jund to push their spellcraft to the next level. It can also cause them to kill themselves if they don’t know what they’re doing. People of Esper believe Sangrite to be one of the mythical components necessary to craft new Etherium and have made pilgrimages into the savage lands of Jund to find sources of the substance.
Rakka Mar was a powerful elementalist living on Jund in the last days before the Conflux. Living well past the life expectancy for humans, she became increasingly aware and afraid of her own mortality. Hoarding any sort of advantage or source of power she could, she honed her skills to be a master of summoning powerful fire elementals, allowing her to live to the (relative to Jund) ancient age of 50. She encountered Nicol Bolas and became an agent of his, spreading lies and propaganda across the plane to ready its citizens for war and performing his bidding. She was killed in battle by Ajani Goldmane, seeking her master for revenge for his slain brother.
Kresh the Bloodbraided
Kresh the Bloodbraided is a remarkable, almost mythical figure on Jund. Humans on the shard frequently engage in what they refer to as “life hunts”; hunts against the alpha predators of the plane, dragons, to prove their ability to survive on Jund, or at least to die a dignified death in battle. Kresh has survived a remarkable three of these events, and wears trophies of his victories among his twentry three braids.
His clan, the Tol Hera, was taken advantage of by Rakka Mar on one of her tasks for her master and nearly wiped out. He sought revenge against her, allying himself with Ajani Goldmane, who he believed to be some portent sent by a higher power due to his appearance, unlike anything seen on Jund.
Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund
There are many great and terrible dragons on Jund, and the greatest and most terrible is known as Karrthus. A tremendously dangerous and powerful hellkite, Karrthus is the most powerful dragon born to Jund in memory. The dragon-worshipping Planeswalker Sarkhan Vol, has developed a fondness for the monster, Karrthus being the most remarkable beast Sarkhan had encountered on the plane to date.
A native of the war-torn plane of Tarkir, Sarkhan was raised in reverence of dragons, believed to be the pinnacles of life by his clan. When his spark ignited and he became a Planeswalker, he discovered the remarkable truth that dragons thrive on many planes across the multiverse, which was a blessing to him as dragons were hunted to extinction on his home and he had no one to venerate.
After discovering this truth, he began to travel the planes looking for the most powerful dragon he could, someone truly worthy of his reverence. His travels brought him to Jund, a plane with a truly remarkable amount of dragons on it. He got his wish, though not at all how he expected. During a failed life hunt that he undertook with Kresh’s tribe, he was introduced to Rakka Mar, and through her he was introduced to her master, the ancient Planeswalking dragon Nicol Bolas.
Bolas is quite possibly the most powerful being to ever live, and a dragon at that, so Sarkhan took this to be a sign that his search was over. He followed Bolas’ orders across the plane in the initial days of the Conflux, carrying out his biding to return his new master to power. But in the back of his mind he had doubts. Dragons were unfettered power and rage and lived day-to-day following their instincts. Bolas was a clever and conniving monster, manipulating events from behind the scenes, always working towards some far-flung master plan. Though Bolas was powerful, he behaved in such a way that was antithetical to everything Sarkhan thought to be true about dragons.
After the Conflux
Of all the shards, Jund is the one probably least affected by the Conflux. To the dragons and other predators of the shard, the Conflux meant little other than more territory to hunt their prey. To the people of Jund, the Conflux meant a way out of living in constant fear of predation, but many others were so accustomed to their life and culture, that nothing really changed. Many outsiders were drawn to the lifestyle Jund, unfettered by the lies and hassles of civilization, and sought a more natural life.