U is for Urza’s Tome

alphabet (u)Urza was a planeswalker originating from Terisiare on Dominaria, best known for his millennia-long struggle with Yawgmoth and the plane of Phyrexia.

“Truly understanding even one volume can be a life’s work.”

—Naru Meha, master wizard

Urza and his younger brother Mishra served as students at an archaeological dig. But after her mentor Tocasia’s death, Urza moved to Yotia and put his skills with machinery to work as a clockmaker’s apprentice. Shortly thereafter, a public contest was announced by the ruler of Yotia: Any man who could move a gigantic jade statue across a courtyard would be married to his daughter. Urza wasn’t particularly interested in the daughter, but in an attempt to acquire a Thran tome that was in her dowry, Urza built a gigantic machine to move the statue. He succeeded and was wed to Kayla bin-Kroog. However, being wed did not make him any more affectionate towards his wife – on the contrary, he left her bed on their wedding night to study the Thran book from her dowry. However, he threw himself headlong into his new position of Chief Artificer, working obsessively on his attempts to improve his artifacts.

While Urza was inadvertently acquiring the reins of power in Yotia, Mishra was doing the same with the Fallaji desert people, becoming a close advisor to the Fallaji ruler over the course of several years. A series of double-crossings and sneak attacks quickly commenced between the two brothers and their kingdoms, soon resulting in open war. An increasingly elaborate set of machines developed by the two brothers began to fight on either side, and the war slowly spiraled out of control. It continued for decades until the fateful day at Argoth when the brothers met face to face at the head of their armies. Urza discovered there that Mishra had been corrupted by Phyrexian influence, slowly turning himself from a man into a living machine. Urza responded to this with the frightening force of the Golgothian Sylex. The sylex blast was one of the most traumatic events in Dominarian history. It slaughtered both armies, blasted the landscape for miles around, sank the sub-continent Argoth, and altered weather patterns for centuries, leading to the Ice Age. However, it did something more important than any of that – it ignited the latent planeswalker spark in the reunited powerstone, which took on Urza’s consciousness, essentially resurrecting Urza. The spark was the un-ignited spark of Glacian.

Urza's Tome (2)In Dungeons & Dragons

The main difference between a wizard and an artificer is the way the do magic: artificers have studied the workings of magic and know how to channel it through objects.

Urza’s Tome
Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement by an artificer)

Attuning to Urza’s Tome takes 48 hours in a 6-day period or less. Attunement to this book doesn’t count against your limit for attuned items.

While attuned to Urza’s Tome, you can prepare two additional artificer spells. The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. Also, you can change those prepared spells when you finish a short rest. You also learn two additional infusions of your choice and you can change the ones you know when you finish a long rest.

In Eberron

The leaders of House Cannith today have become incredibly determined to restore their power and wealth leading to bitter rivalry amongst the leaders. At any given moment, the inventors of House Cannith are hard at work in secret laboratories, relentlessly working to out-do their past creations and create Eberron’s next technological revolution. The secrets held in Urza’s Tome are a powerful tool to achieve their goals. The equivalent to Urza in Eberron is most likely an accomplished Cannith artificer, but given his personality, he might be a rogue one, or even maybe an excoriate.

Bonus track

Aaron Miller drew inspiration from many Dominarian storylines when drawing Urza’s Tome. Have a look:

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How are you planning to incorporate Urza’s Tome in your campaign? Do you even use artificers, or have played as one?

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