Once upon a time, there was a land of unsurpassed beauty. It was idyllic, bucolic, frolicsome, and just terrific. Utterly fab. Brooks babbled, hills rolled, and getting enough to eat was as simple as leaving your mouth open under the fruit trees during your afternoon nap. Or your evening nap. Or the morning one.
Our story has nothing to do with this plane whatsoever. Instead, we’re going to…
Here with me today is Chandra Nalaar, who recently visited Zendikar. Unfortunately, she has neglected to fill out any of the release paperwork I FedEx Interplanar’ed her overnight two months ago, so I can’t reproduce any of her statements here. She did bring us a lovely map which I’m pretty sure she doesn’t own the rights to either, so I’ll lead off our plane introduction with it. Behold!
Well, that’s just stellar. Uh, what else did you bring with…
Yeah, no, I don’t want that. In fact, that shouldn’t have come into the building with you. No, no, you can keep it, just don’t—I can assure you we won’t take it, we don’t want it but please just put it away—yes, thank you. If what else you’ve brought is anything remotely similar I’d really prefer you—
Is that a camera? I didn’t know you were into photography.
It’s Jace’s? Did you take it from him on Zendikar? Oh, perfect. Just hand it to our lab tech there and we’ll see if we can display any of his vacation photos. So do you—
Wow, you took a lot of his stuff, huh?
…Let’s just put that under the desk before we get calls.
That too. Don’t turn that book towards the camOKAY ROLL THE PICTURES
A Traveler’s Photographical Journal Through The Wilds of Zendikar
by Jace Beleren
Plate 001: I managed to get this lovely shot after luring a sea drake near a previously observed thaumaturgical phenomenon. Note how the wisps target areas most vulnerable to constriction. I should see if I can lure any other denizens with more varied morphology and note the strangling wisps’ reactions.
Plate 002: While scouts that don’t charge a high rate for their services possess knowledge of questionable utility, my experiences suggest even the cheapest will provide insight into the hunting and consumption practices of the local wildlife.
Plate 003: I was assured it was a lovely day to sail, but after making port it was added this was a relative judgment.
Plate 004: And this is what a bad day to sail looks like.
Plate 005: This time I elected to enlist the most experienced adventurer I could find, who regrettably witnessed the birth of a wholly unknown disaster as his final sights. If this trend continues, I will have to find another method of procuring travel mates other than hiring them; I’ve lost every deposit I’ve made.
Plate 006: A curious breed of mobile vegetation. It appears to react to vibrations nearby, which prompted a quick levitation spell to, ironically, remain on solid ground.
Plate 007: After this curious incident, I endeavored to learn more about this strange geological formations. As anyone who knew of them made it a habit to avoid them, my inquiry was largely fruitless. Evidently the name in the local goblin tongue translates to “God’s Practical Jokes.”
Plate 008: Furthermore regarding goblins, I was curious to find out if the local flavor were any faster, stronger, or smarter than the typical planar installation of goblins. They were not.
Plate 009: I have been informed that all goblin words for natural disasters translate to “God’s Practical Joke.” I suppose their approach is better than my inevitable descent into nihilism, should I be bound to this world.
Plate 010: Although a descent into nihilism appears to be one of the more pleasant types of descent around here.
Plate 011: Shortly before retiring for the night. Upon second thought, we elected to find a different campsite.
Plate 012: Unfortunately, another campsite found us.
Plate 013: I was captivated by the sight of two merfolk, standing victoriously atop the former tallest peak of a mountain range, drunk with vitality and glee that they had survived the catastrophic flood that so many had not. I acquired their permission for a picture, and prepared my equipment posthaste. Upon review of this plate, I do remember my flash seeming brighter than usual. This explains where they went after I pulled my head from the camera hood.
Plate 014: If any of my comrades had survived these incidents to spread the word, I have no doubt that my camera and I would achieve infamy as harbingers of imminent death. In my defense, I just seem to have poor timing.
Plate 015: I could have sworn this was a peaceful scene of drakes lazily soaring about when I took it.
Plate 016: Tiring of my lens only capturing death and destruction, I gave into my baser interests out of momentary weakness. The next 36 plates are of this youn—-OKAY STOP THE PICTURES
Thank you very much for your time, Ms. Nalaar. Here is your camera back, don’t ever get those pictures developed, and have a nice day.
Right. So, in conclusion, Zendikar is a horrible place. And you know what they say about horrible places.
They hold horrible people. Shall we get to them?