Napachi: A Plane Begotten of its Gods and Ecosystem
On Napachi, two tribes had long lived in peace. The Shuktom, worshippers of the bear god Ursachi, took residence in the wetland forests at the feet of great mountain ranges, while the Chaktom, worshippers of the eagle god Akkachi, dwelled among the highest peaks. Although a dense barrier biome, the Manglegrove desert, segregated the two tribes, they recognized and lived amongst each other. The Shuktom channeled blue and green mana as part of their pact with Ursachi to preserve and expand life in all its forms. The Chaktom, on the other hand, formed a pact with Akkachi that granted them immensely powerful white and red battle magic. Using this magic, the two tribes controlled most of the mapped plane, and used moderation with its resources.
However, Ursachi and Akkachi were not the only gods of the plane. As the tribes grew more and more powerful, and more death had piled up through years of ending life, Zuldor, the god born from entropy, had been awakened. He was a perfect storm: both envious of his brother gods and cunning enough to conspire against them. With overwhelming black magic and divisive tactics, Zuldor convinced the followers of Ursachi to attack the already suspicious Chaktom, lest Akkachi's followers desecrate Ursachi's honors with their ambition and lust for power. It was completely against the Shuktom's nature to wage war, but their homeland was at stake.
Witnessing the mobilization of the Shuktom, then-chieftain Achi-Bankai, the third and most powerful of the consecrated chieftains, was torn between his nature and his people's safety. Although his army was immensely powerful, they were vastly outnumbered. Zuldor knew this from the beginning of his plan, and offered Bankai a contract; by offering the firstborn children of all future Chaktom tribesmen to the horse god in reaping, Zuldor would smite the Shuktom and save the homeland of Akkachi's followers. For the first time in his life, Bankai hesitated, but conceded to the demon for the sake of his people.
At last, Zuldor had both tribes under his grasp. A mere flick of his wrist sent otherworldly muck to drown the Shuktom army, which flowed down from the mountaintops and smothered the forests with uninhabitable pestilence. From the remains of the Shuktom came henchmen of the horse god, who immediately began to reap the sons and daughters of the Chaktom, leading them through the Manglegrove desert to be sacrificed at the feet of the new god to prolong his power.
Ursachi and Akkachi foresaw this danger for years, and recognized their powerlessness in the circumstance. While they and their people fell dormant, two species—Satyrs and Mollusks—took a liking to their new habitat. Bivalves and gastropods alike gorged themselves on the decaying matter in the boneyards that replaced ponds and lakes in the lowlands, while Satyrs took up and made a mess of the peaks once sacred to the Chaktom.
Ajani and Jace of the Gatewatch travel to this plane once they learn of Zuldor's grasp on its tribes. While Jace is more concerned about the mysteries to be unveiled by the enigmatic reappearance of mollusks in the lowlands, Ajani takes to the mountaintops to aid the Chaktom in their rebellion. Liliana Vess, under Nicol Bolas's mind-control, seeks out Zuldor's power for her sake as well as her overseer's. The god-pharaoh bides his time until the right moment to seize such a black mana source that could help him regain his level of power from before the mending.
On my summer trip to Glacier National Park, I played Magic rather often with my friends, inclining at least one of them to get cards of their own. While there, I read and thought about the color pie, allied colors, enemy colors, and the ways in which the game creates a very flavorful atmosphere and deep meaning in each card that no other card game has conveyed to me so easily and so extensively. Considering the number of mountains, forests, and lakes in Glacier, the park itself felt like where a planeswalker would get their mana from. Thus, the main tribes of the set are heavily inspired by the park, and the implementation of land-based strategies is firmly rooted in the ecological significance of GNP.
Details on the set can be found in the spoilers below:
Chaktom: Red/White Mana
Humans that swarm the field to rush and overwhelm the opponent.
Other stuff they do: Haste, +1/+1s, Flying, First Strike
Shuktom: Blue/Green Mana
Humans and Bears that work together. You can return lands with the humans to cast them easier, then use the lands again with the bears.
Keywords: Birthright, Landfall.
Other stuff they do: Trample, +1/+1s, Tutoring creatures, land efficiency, indestructible
Zuldor: Black (sometimes White) Mana
Put a ton of human tokens onto the field to use as chump blockers and outlast your opponent.
Other stuff they do: Lifegain, tap, resurrect from graveyard, indestructible
Satyrs: Red/Green Mana
Spam lands for the purpose of sacrificing and reusing them. Doing so helps you rush down the opponent.
Other stuff they do: Land efficiency, graveyard manipulation, Trample, Haste, +1/+1s, permanent destruction
Mollusks: Blue/Black Mana
Put a lot of creatures into your graveyard to help you cast expensive creatures and outlast your opponent
Other stuff they do: Tutoring, graveyard manipulation, floaters, skulk, vigilance
Also, without further ado, I'd like to post the cards here so that I don't have to re-format this post. I'll make them prettier later.
Anyway thanks for reading. I'm gonna add more cards to this as I go. This is my first MTG set and I worked hard on it.