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In this long thread, I will cover card by card the story of the Ixalan vampires, also called the Dusk Legion.
#mtg #mtgixl #mtgrix #mtgm19 #PT25A
Azor was a Planeswalker, and his deeds across the Multiverse include the creation of the Guildpact on Ravnica and numerous ancient civilizations on different planes have legends of a “lawbringer” winged figure viewed as a god, that can be traced to Azor. #Ixalans #mtgixl #mtgrna
On Ixalan, Azor sacrificed his spark to create the Immortal Sun, a device part of a plan elaborated with Ugin to trap Nicol Bolas on Ixalan. But Ugin was killed by Bolas on the plane of Tarkir and instead, it was Azor who remained trapped on Ixalan. #mtgixl #mtgfrf
The continent of Torrezon was a diverse assembly of nations and city-states, enjoying a renaissance of scientific progress, artistic flourishing, and vibrant trade.
Azor gave custody of the Immortal Sun to an holy order of cleric in a mountaintop monastery. It became an object of religious reverence, its presence gave these religious order a disproportionate amount of influence in regional matters and the Church was founded. #mtgixl
Jealousies blossomed, and the monastery fell under attack by the forces of Pedron the Wicked. They overwhelmed the monks, and seized the Immortal Sun. But Azor descended from the sky and took the Immortal Sun from them, carrying the relic to the west, on the continent of Ixalan
Elendra of Garrano, the only surviving monastary custodian sworn a solemn oath to recover the Immortal Sun at any cost. She sailed to the West and nobody heard from her for multiple centuries.
Torrezon became split into three parts when its monarch died, with each portion ruled by one of the monarch's children. The two younger brothers marshaled their armies against their older sister in an attempt to reunite the sundered realm. This was called the Apostasine War.
Just as defeat seemed certain for the Church, a stranger emerged, wreathed in rippling black vapor slaughtering all in her path. The enemy broke ranks and retreated. The stranger introduced herself as Elenda, who had returned after centuries of seeking the lost relic
Elenda confessed that she took on the blessing of vampirism to continue her search. The Church interpreted Elenda's transformation as a selfless act of sacrifice. Soon, many of Torrezon's nobles undertook this transformative ritual, and it became known as the Rite of Redemption.
The Rite of Redemption soon became the norm among the noble families of Torrezon. With the power of this vampire nobility, the united kingdom and church of Torrezon quickly secured victory and reunified the realm at last.
By church law, vampire feed only on the blood of the guilty: enemies of war, rebels of the state, or heretics who defy the church. They pray its power will allow the hopes of the church to be fulfilled and eternal life be available to all without subsisting on the wicked
The Church of Dusk has a rigidly hierarchical structure, headed by the Pontifex of Dusk also called Hierophant.
The precepts of the church are relatively simple, summarized in three principles
I -- The Blood Is Holy --

It is the bringer of life. It is the vessel of vitality. It is the reminder of one's mortality. It is the proof of one's lineage.
II -- The Sinking Sun --

Meaning Dusk

Salvation has a cost. Just as the sun must set to allow for a new dawn, a person can turn to darkness if it will bring about the coming salvation
III -- The Promised Age of Ever-Flowing Blood --

Reclaiming the Immortal Sun will bring true eternal life to those who have turned to vampirism
Every order of knights and company of conquistadors has at least one embedded member of the clergy. These clerics fulfill a variety of functions: serving as emissaries, tending the wounded, and bringing down the holy wrath of the church and perform most of the rituals.
These clerics teach other Vampires to abstain from feasting on blood in a holy sacrament called the Blood Fast. Over time, the fasting vampire's acute hunger actually leads to a state of hyper-awareness
Vampires in this state are utterly terrifying, for with their heightened senses comes a mad fury that the church has declared to be the purest form of pious devotion.
Some vampire clerics, called Glorifiers, bestow the blessings of the church to bolster the pious. Their benedictions knit grievous injuries and inspire the faithful. On the battlefield, they can draw strength from blood shed in combat and share that strength among their allies
Vampire are really hard to kill. It seem one of the only way to kill them is direct sunlight or starving them of blood.
Otherwise, they are like immortal. Their cleric can raise them back from the dead or they spent time to recover inside their coffin.

This is why vampires are really old. Vona Butcher of Magan took his name from the Apostasian War. Elenda is more than 8 centuries old.
Condemners are clerics who can wither flesh, summon darkness, corrupt land, sap spiritual energy. Some Condemners can inspire crippling fear through their gazes
An order of Condemners called the Shade-Binders, capture and magically bind undead spirits composed of darkness, using blessed braziers that exude inky black smoke. These spirits guard ships when the conquistadors have disembarked, and they are sometimes bound to vampire weapons
The Venerables of the church are its saints—dead vampires who are held up as paragons of church ideals. Devout vampires often call upon the power of a Venerable through the use of relics that formerly belonged to the Venerable.
The vampires of Torrezon needing blood started a campaign of conquest across the continent. Over the course of several centuries, the armies of Torrezon  swallowed up kingdom after kingdom, expanding outward from their central mountainous home and driving waves of refugees
In the meantime, Elenda had left again to the sea, searching for the Immortal Sun.
Fleeing the Legion, Merchants from the coastal Free Cities turned to piracy. Only the hardiest crews survived, battered and nearly beaten, to arrive at the shores of lxalan
Orcs have been enemies of the Legion of Dusk since it was originally formed. After centuries of fighting the Legion their numbers dwindled to only a few hundred. Most joined the Brazen Coalition to serve on pirate ships
Most humans of Torrezon serve the vampires nobles as peasant, servant or squire
Legion's constant drive for conquest ensured that they always had enemy blood to drink. At the behest of the Queen Miralda, their instructions were now to track down the first and greatest of their kind, Saint Elenda, who would help the pilgrims fulfill their righteous purpose.
Now they too have come across the sea and launched their greatest invasion yet as they seek to conquer the Sun Empire, drive out the pirates, and claim the power of the golden city. The Legion's fleet consists of massive cathedral-like galleons and smaller caravels.
These conquistadors are organized into order of paladins.

The Paladins of the Sanctum Seeker order were the first of the knightly orders to cross the sea and are still the most zealous
Adrian Adanto of Lujio is the most famous from the Sanctum Seeker. He was the first to claim the land in the name of the Queen. His fort was the first Legion of Dusk holding on the Ixalan continent
Another order of paladins are the Bloodstained. Closely linked to the Church of Dusk, they are devout to the point of fanaticism.

They also protect the Legion fleets that bring gold and goods from Ixalan against pirates
Finally, the Skymarcher are an order of vampires that acquired the power to fly.
As the Legion of Dusk has begun to land on the Sun Coast, they have established forts and colonies on the coastal plains and swampy river mouths. Fort Adanto, Fort Durron, the Fort Leor. They are all around what they named the Queen Bay
From these foothold, they gather armies to explore and plunder Ixalan, fighting the Sun Empire, the Merfolks and the Brazen Coalition of pirates.
One of the most infamous is Vona Butcher if Magan, who earned her moniker during the Apostasine War, breaching a walled village and killing everybody. Now, leading a company of conquistadors, she seeks Elenda of Garrano, the first vampire and the golden city of Orazca
Mavren Fein is a high-ranking cleric. A powerful man, his voice rings with unshakable authority that makes nobles tremble. He seeks Elenda, the guardian of the Immortal Sun, to bring eternal life to his people.
After accepting the Queen commission, High Marshal Arguel went into a Blood Fast. His vision led him to the jungles of Ixalan, to the lost temple of Aclazotz, the bat-god of night, eternal ennemy of the Threefold Sun
He is probably the first one to discover the truth about Elenda and the Rite of Redemption

The vampires gift come from Aclazotz, the demon bat-god of night, ennemy of the Threefold Sun, which is the deities of the Sun Empire, itself also inspired by the Immortal Sun.
Vona and Mavren made a Profane Procession to the Tomb of the Dusk Rose. There they found Saint Elenda sleeping.
She told them that she found the Immortal Sun at Orazca, but the city had been deserted and was heavily protected. Awaiting the awakening of the city, she put herself in an enchanted sleep in a tomb of the bat-god Aclazotz.
Once the golden city had awakened, the Legion of Dusk fought its way in the city, drenching the street with blood and ransacking in the search of the Immortal Sun.
...but they were too late...

...the planewalker Vraska, working for Nicol Bolas, had already found the Immortal Sun and escaped with it using the Planar Bridge!

The Dusk Legion would never accomplish their prophecy. The Immortal Sun was gone, to another plane.
Additional Information: According to the Art Book of Ixalan, Arguel (famous for the card Arguel Blood Fast) is the leader of the Sanctum Seekers that I discribed in the post above.

#mtgixl #mtgrix
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