Tarkir. A plane riddled with constant war and bloodshed. Khans of the five clans fighting for the control for fortune and vast kingdoms. Or so it would be, if this were a different present. A present where khans ruled the plane. Instead, this present belongs to the mighty dragons.
The dragons of Tarkir owe their existence solely to the planeswalker Sarkhan Vol. Thousands of years in the future Sarkhan traveled back in time to an important turning point in the multiverse where he saved Ugin, The Spirit Dragon, from what would have been certain death. By saving Ugin, Sarkhan ensured that the ongoing presence of the dragon tempests, the powerful storms powered by Ugin’s magic and create all the dragons on the plane of Tarkir.
For many years, the clans of Tarkir fought a constant battle against the dragons to survive, but as a result of Sarkhan’s actions, the tide of the war quickly turned in the dragons’ favor. The khans fought the ever-growing population of dragons as best they could, but to no avail: the dragonlords enlisted or killed each Khan and subjugated their respective clans in the momentous series of events known as the Khanfall.. Tarkir found itself under the rule of the Dragonlords: Kolaghan, Dromoka, Atarka, Silumgar, and Ojutai.
Art by Jason Chan
If there is lightning in the sky then you may find yourself face to face with a swift and unpredictable harbinger of death. Kolaghan is on the hunt.
Dragonlord Kolaghan is the wildest of all the dragonlords, even Atarka. Feral and brutal, she wishes for nothing more than the thrill of a good hunt and the decimation of her rivals. Kolaghan harbors no interest in the spoils of war, or the peace after a battle. When one battle is over she is seeking the next, as she relishes destruction over all else. Kolaghan would often conquer territories simply for the amusement of bathing it in flame and lightning.
Unlike the other four dragonlords, Kolaghan does not speak, not even in draconic, as she doesn’t find anything or anyone to be worthy of her voice. Instead she expresses herself by casting bursts of lightning and by the slash of her claws. Kolaghan pays little attention to her gathered followers and only interacts with them when she has to, or just feels like asserting her dominance and making sure everyone knows who is in charge.
The Kolaghan Clan
Boltwing Marauder | Raymond Swanland
The Kolaghan clan has very little formalities and structure beyond the basic principle of Kolaghan’s supremacy. Sometimes outbursts of petty struggles for power emerge between the clans members, but Kolaghan, being a fearsome leader, uses cruelty, malice, and unpredictability to keep her followers in check. Alongside Kolaghan, the other dragons of her brood breathe pure bolts of lightning and their very presence has the ability summon chaotic lightning storms. The warriors of the Kolaghan clan often attempt to exploit this power by riding straight into the lightning itself, using metal rods that are worn like banners. This tactic sometimes results in the death of the Kolaghan warriors, but when successful proves to be a powerful weapon, for obvious reasons.
Dragonlord Dromoka | Eric Deschamps
Merciful and imperious. Those words are commonly used in reference to Dragonlord Dromoka. Dromoka is a powerful and ancient dragon who is mighty in battle. Unlike some other dragons, any territory Dromoka claims in victory is directly commanded and looked after by the dragon herself. Often in battle she is not hesitant to take the front lines herself and obliterate her opponents using her breath of scouring white light. Her time in the barren deserts of Tarkir have taught her patience and endurance in the face of hardship.
Dromoka believes strongly that the other clans are lesser in stature and weak and that they will wither and die in time; only those that follow her leadership will endure.
Dromoka frequently flies over her territories communicating in draconic roars with her followers and if she deems that everything is functioning as expected she flies. However, if there is disorder and weakness she will try to resolve the issue in any manner necessary, even if that means eating the weak link. Either way, once the situation is under control, Dromoka leaves with the clan being better equipped for survival.
The Dromoka Clan
Dromoka’s Command | James Ryman
The Dromoka clan is above all else, a community. A community of dragons and desert survivors bound together by their common devotion to their Dragonlord. The clan’s symbol, the dragon scale, embodies the endurance and survival of the clan. The clan believes in order, honor, and discipline and always march in close, tight ranks.
The structure of the clan is built on the foundation of “families”. Although Dromoka rules over the entire clan, members of her brood are assigned to lead subsections of the clan that are referred to as families. While these families are not bound by common ancestry and often contain a mix of species such as Ainoks, Humans, and Avens, the members of the various families truly are family. The bonds within the families are formed from the mutual reliance and loyalty that is necessary to survive in the desert.
The dragons and humanoids of the Dromoka clan are very close to one another, with the dragons protecting the humanoids and even sometimes offering their scales as armor and shields
Dragonlord Atarka | Karl Kopinski
The hunger of Dragonlord Atarka, is ceaseless. Her mind is always focused on either hunting or what to hunt next. Atarka is extremely gluttonous and greedy: “to her, life is an eternal banquet and she the lord at the head of the table” (The Magic Creative Team). She is always ready to hunt and eat whatever she so desires, even her followers. Much like Kolaghan, Atarka sees no purpose in diplomacy or compromise and considers any form of talking, draconic or otherwise, to be a complete waste of time. She would much rather burn any adversary and have a delicious meal.
The Atarka Clan
Atarka’s Command | Chris Rahn
Much like the Dromoka clan, the Atarka clans main priority is to survive, but with much, much worse conditions. Atarka’s hunger forces the clan’s members to provide food or become food themselves. The clan operates under the idea of survival of the fittest, and as a result, the warriors that survive long are some of the most capable on Tarkir. These warriors have proven themselves to Atarka that they are worth more alive than as a meal.
Because the Atarka clan’s main priority is to survive, the clan has become extremely adaptable, actively trying to stay off the dragonlord’s menu. Living or dying at a dragon’s whim is not easy on the mind or body, so the Temur are, by necessity, physically and mentally tough.
Dragonlord Silumgar | Steven Belledin
Silumgar has only one true weakness:his own boredom. Dwelling in a massive opulent palace surrounded by an army of dragons and undead, Silumgar derives pleasure from agitating his servants. He often provokes fights between his servants, getting a kick not only from the fight itself but the subsequent deaths; besides, more dead minions means more undead minions for his army.
Because of Silumgar’s boredom, he often slips into a state of paranoia where he obsesses about losing his entire clan to his rival, Kolaghan. Once he sinks deep enough into his delusions, he cannot be taken out of them. He has massacred countless members of his clan and as a result, the clan members created various rituals and festivals to keep their dragonlord entertained.
The Silumgar Clan
Silumgar’s Command | Nils Hamm
When counting the undead, Silumgar has more followers than any other dragonlord. The clan has no remorse for any of their actions, committing acts of destruction, cruelty, and brutality. Among the Silumgar clan there is little to no order because of the dragonlord’s fickle behaviour. Assassinations and extortions are commonplace, as everyone wants a higher position. Some underlings with high positions go mad with power and even try to deceive Silumgar, but the dragonlord always has a way to find the root of the seditious acts, even if it requires a cleansing the entire network to find the rebels.
The clan is structured hierarchically with Silumgar at the head, his dragons below him, then mages, warriors, and all the undead. The clan realizes that keeping their dragonlord happy and entertained is the key to their survival, so they use the draconic language to sing songs of flattery to the dragon and shower him with compliments.
Silumgar’s clan values power above all else, and to the members of the clan, knowledge is power. They scour the land in search of treasures, fragments, and scrolls of ancient lore, sometimes necromancers even order the undead to raid Jeskai temples. The clan believes itself to be the most knowledgeable clan in all of Tarkir, even more so than the Jeskai.
Ojutai, Soul of Winter | Chase Stone
Lost in the fog of history, it is unknown how Ojutai rose to power in his clan. However, Ojutai teaches his followers that the others willingly bowed to him, accepting his ancient age and the wisdom that came with it. None in the clan are brave enough to question the teachings despite what a few may believe. Ojutai is known as the Great Teacher and spends most of his hours atop the Dragon’s Eye Sanctuary, engaging in various spiritual and intellectual affairs. The audience that participates in such affairs are almost entirely comprised of dragons; others are rarely permitted to have any sort of contact with the dragonlord. Ojutai believes that the lesser beings will never fully grasp the complexity of the draconic language.
The Ojutai Clan
Student of Ojutai | Jason A. Engle
Most on Tarkir submit to their dragonlords out of fear or awe, but the monks bow out of pure respect and desire to acquire more knowledge. The clan believes that there is no limit to how much knowledge one can learn and any and all teachings of the Great Teacher are humbly accepted. While Ojutai does truly lead the clan, he believes that dragons don’t rule, but guide. The dragons guide the monks and mystics so that they may better understand the world and be prepared for the future. Any person, or even dragon, that deviates from the teachings of the Ojutai and the Skywise will be branded as a heretic and severely punished.
The clan believes in wisdom and martial strength, traits that the monks possess but the dragons embody. Sometimes a monk will catch the attention of Ojutai himself (which is regarded as an exceptional achievement), but these occurrences are rare and doing so before a monk has reached middle age is almost unheard of.
Ojutai’s teachings involve a way life known as the Great Wheel. The ideology says each soul is reincarnated after death. Ojutai teaches that the least among dragons is still more wise and powerful than that of the greatest human, and so on and so forth. Therefore the goal of each individual soul on the Great Wheel is to achieve physical and intellectual perfection in order to be reincarnated as a dragon. One exception is Ojutai himself, as it is said that he was born outside the Great Wheel in a raging storm and entered the world already perfect.