Friday, 09 July 2021 08:00

Who is... Nicol Bolas? (Pt. 6 - Bolas on Amonkhet)

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Who is... Nicol Bolas? (Pt. 6 - Bolas on Amonkhet) WOTC/MAGIC UNTAPPED

Welcome to the second season in Magic Untapped's "Who Is..." series.

In this ten-part series, we explore the origins of the dragon who would become one of Magic: The Gathering's greatest antagonists, Nicol Bolas.  In this sixth episode, we watch as Nicol Bolas travels to the plane of Amonkhet, subjugating its populace and its gods, and brokers a deal with a certain fellow planeswalker at a cost that would eventually prove to much for its recipient.

Enjoy the show.

Video transcript:


Welcome back to “Who is” on Magic Untapped as we explore the backstory and evolution of Nicol Bolas.

The time rifts above Dominaria have been mended and, sensing the imminent end to the multiverse, Bolas has fled to the plane of Amonkhet to plan his preservation.

Stick around and I’ll show you how he plans to save himself, only to have himself stripped of most of his power despite his best efforts


After departing from Dominaria, Nicol Bolas is drawn to the plane of Amonkhet.  Native to the plane is a strange material known as lazotep that has a strong reaction to necromancy.  His arrival to the plane, however, wasn’t exactly welcomed.

The plane was ruled by eight gods and they took exception to a being as powerful as Bolas invading their realm.  Despite being battle weary from his recent bout against Leshrac and his closing of Dominaria’s final temporal rift, the planeswalker managed to lay waste to the plane’s adult population, subjugating the plane’s gods in the process with the help of the god Bontu who had conspired with Bolas to betray the others.  Three of the gods he sealed away while the four of the other five he brainwashed and controlled.  Only Bontu, who chose to serve Bolas willingly, was left untouched.

After the conflict, the mummified dead of the plain was tasked with raising the orphaned children.  Bolas built himself monuments, spread rumors that he was the God-Pharaoh who had created their world, and wrote prophesies about himself that foretold his own eventual return for when he would inevitably depart from the plane.

He also established the Trials of the Five Gods – a ritual designed to find the plane’s most hardy warriors – with those who pass all five trials being slain and reborn in “everlasting life” as one of Bolas’ eternal warriors.

Then, he simply left the plane, his various schemes already up and running just as Jeska’s mending spell forever changed the status of a planeswalker.

At some point soon thereafter, Bolas, severely weakened after the mending, met planeswalker Liliana Vess.  She confessed to the dragon that she’s jealous that he seemed seemingly unaffected by the recent change affecting planeswalkers.  Bolas berates her, insisting that he has lost more power than she would ever achieve in a dozen lifetimes and laments on how planeswalkers were once amongst the gods in terms of power and status.

The draconic planeswalker then offers to broker a deal with a foursome of powerful demons on behalf of Vess, restoring some of her power and her youth in exchange for her soul.  Bolas, however, did not reveal the cost of his own services in the deal to Vess.

The deal between Vess and the demons brokered, Bolas departs for Alara with plans to use power generated the splintered plane’s upcoming conflux to regain his own former might.


And that’s where we’ll leave Nicol Bolas for now.

In the next episode of “Who Is” on Magic Untapped, we’ll see his involvement on the plane of Alara.

I’m Barry White.  Thanks for watching.