BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


The Ecumenopolis, The World City


Ravnica is a sprawling cityscape so vast that it covers the entire world. This mosaic of Gothic spires, cobblestone plazas, dangerous slums, and ancient ruins is home to races and cultures of incredible diversity. From the smallest insect crawling through the Undercity to the majestic dragons circling on the horizon, an immeasurable population resides in this metropolis. A traveler could spend a lifetime exploring the open-air markets where anything is for sale, the awe-inspiring cathedrals that dominate the horizon, or the gilded museums showcasing archeological finds from Ravnica's ancient past. All walks of life can be found in this city, and there is a sharp contrast between places like the austere and immaculate Azorius Senate and the chaotic slums of the have-nots. Back-alley deals, crime syndicates, and the black market thrive on Ravnica, but the true power resides with the guilds.


The ten guilds are the foundation of power on Ravnica, each with its own identity and civic function. The guilds have existed for centuries. Their history is a web of wars, intrigue, and political machinations as they have vied for control of the plane. As the wild places of the world vanished under layers of stonework and resources grew scarce, each guild carved out its own sphere of influence. For millennia, the Guildpact, a magical accord, helped maintain a relative peace on the plane. The Guildpact has been dispelled, and for a time the guilds fell into chaos. But the ten-thousand-year-old guild culture and division of duties has reasserted itself, and the ten guilds are once again dominant. However, tensions between them are building and rumors of trouble can be heard in both the hallowed guildhalls and rustic taverns of the unguilded citizens.


Over ten thousand years ago, a war tore across the plane of Ravnica. Ten armies battled for control of the plane, a conflict born of Order vs Chaos. It only ended with the creation of a magical contract of immense power known as the Guildpact was signed by the leaders of each of the ten guilds—ancient beings known as paruns—all of whom became the guildmasters of Ravnica. The Guildpact was created to ensure that the guilds would play specific roles within the infrastructure of Ravnica, allowing the city to grow and expand. For 10,000 years, the city grew and flourished under this structure as the guilds evolved into unique and powerful forces.


Szadek, the parun of House Dimir, sought to end the Guildpact and rule over Ravinca. For years, Szadek plotted and planned, scheming with other parun's and guilds to play into his project. To break the Guildpact, the Dimir parun manipulated a Devkarin Elf named Savra into seizing control of the Golgari Swarm. However, Savra had been fooled, now knowing her death was an integral part of Szadek's plan. His plan would be thwarted by Kos' intervention, but when Kos arrested the ancient Vampire, he accomplished what Szadek could not. Just as planned, the Guildpact broke.


Years later, in 10,075 ZC, the Izzet League guildmaster discovered that Azor, founder of the Azorius Senate, had created a contingency plan that would take effect if the magic of the Guildpact were ever broken. An intricate network of ley lines sprawling across the districts of Ravnica, called the Implicit Maze, offered a test to the guilds: if they could cooperate to solve the maze, they would secure the power of a new Guildpact. That power was eventually bestowed—incarnated, actually—in the person of Jace Beleren, who became the Living Guildpact. His word became the binding law of Ravnica. Any law he verbally confirmed became magically unbreakable, and the responsibility of keeping the guilds in balance fell to him.

Jace is a Planeswalker, with the ability to travel from world to world, and his attention never remains focused on Ravnica for long. Thanks to his involvement with other Planeswalkers, he spends extended periods of time away from Ravnica. During his absences, Ravnica has to fend for itself, and that means that the guilds return to their old habits of fighting with each other over the smallest scraps of influence that could tilt the balance of power in their favor.

These conflicts erupt in a variety of forms. Sometimes guilds clash violently in the streets: Boros Legion forces try to quell Gruul Clans riots, Azorius arresters raid a Cult of Rakdos murder show, or Selesnya Conclave forces come together to repel a Golgari Swarm incursion. More often, sinister plots unfold in secret, through infiltration, sabotage, theft, and deception. Schemes are hidden beneath layers of other schemes, making the intention behind them nearly impossible to discover. The guildmasters are often the source of these plots, but sometimes subordinates attack other guilds to gain more influence within their own. In the absence of the Guildpact, some people believe that it's only a matter of time until these schemes and skirmishes escalate into all-out war on a scale that Ravnica hasn't known for ten millennia.

With the precarious peace always hanging in the balance, opportunities abound for adventurers to serve their guilds or advance their own agendas. Whether delving into the dungeons of the Undercity, pursuing assassins through the bustling streets, negotiating accords among the rich and powerful, or sniffing out corruption in the halls of law, the characters in a Ravnica campaign have a world of adventure to explore.    

Ravnica Guilds2

The Guilds


Azorius Senate

Founded by parun Supreme Judge Azor I, a sphinx lawmage who authored a majority of the original Guildpact, the Azorius Senate functions as the government of Ravnica and creates Ravnican laws. Believing their legislation to be the singular force that prevents Ravnica from descending into chaos, the Azorius Senate mediates and regulates the activities of all of the other guilds and of the plane despite their numerous decrees being ignored.

Boros Legion

The Boros Legion was founded by parun Razia, a militant flaming-sword-wielding archangel capable of using flame and light magic who fervently and firmly believed in harmonious coexistence on Ravnica, even if lives were lost and blood was shed in achieving this. The Legion functions as the righteous and zealous constabulary and standing army of Ravnica, as the League of Wojek and Boros Army, respectively, and enforces Ravnican laws created by the Azorius Senate.

House Dimir

House Dimir is a guild of secrecy, manipulation and underhanded deals, a shadowy organization operating behind the scenes to twist Ravnica to its own ends. The guild provides espionage, smuggling, burglary, counter-intelligence, assassination and other illegal services for the Ravnican populace, although its patrons are unaware that they are in fact employing the guild, instead thinking they are employing guildless mercenaries or another guild such as the Rakdos. The guild is so secretive that even its own agents often do not know who they truly work for.

Golgari Swarm

The Golgari Swarm is the embodiment of life and death. The guild believes that life and death are both natural and equally essential too, and that life and death are natural elements of a cycle with no intermediary break. Growth is power that comes slowly, but it is also ruthless and inevitable, and this makes growth a key virtue of the Swarm's power. Their necromantic magic has made the Golgari the largest Ravnican guild. The Golgari Swarm's consists of many sub-factions, each with its own agenda. Their revered parun is the legendary necromancer Svogthir, the "god-zombie".

Gruul Clans

Before and for a short time after the signing of the Guildpact, the Gruul Clans were a wild and noble guild charged with maintaining the wild places on Ravnica. They were supposed to keep civilization in check. Civilization and the other nine guilds, however, overran every wild place on the plane. This changed the Gruul. The Gruul decentralized, lacking any sort of real leadership. Now the guild is nothing but a loose affiliation of clans. They have been exploited and ignored. They take any reason to cause chaos, any reason to destroy a symbol of civilization. Most Gruul hold contempt for those outside the Clans, referring to them as "cobble roaches".

Izzet League

The Izzet League are charged with attending to Ravnican civic works, including water supply systems, sewers, heating systems, boilers, and roadways. In addition to carrying out these functions, the Izzet members — obsessive, keen, and creative intellectuals, who often have short attention spans — are known to perform magical experiments, ever with reckless abandon and sometimes with spectacular but severe results. Unlike the other guilds, the Izzet do not openly strive for hegemony of the city and the plane.

Orzhov Syndicate

The Orzhov Syndicate is the Ravnican guild of business, where the values of white and black meet and the dead exist solely to rule. Nearly every business in Ravnica ties back to the Orzhov in some way or another. While they bear the facade of a religious group and may have been a true faith at the signing of the Guildpact, they now worship only profit and power.

Cult of Rakdos

Founded by parun Rakdos, an ancient demon, the Cult of Rakdos attend to menial labor and the services industry, which includes some less-than-savory offerings, such as assassination, as well as more agreeable ones, such as the catering (i.e., food service) and entertainment industries. Members of the demon-worshipping guild are referred to as cultists.

Selesnya Conclave

Founded by parun Mat'Selesnya, a female humanoid elemental formed via the fusion of dryads, the Selesnya Conclave is a decentralized collective variably described as a "selfless, nurturing, spiritual group" or a "brainwashing nature cult", and involves itself in the establishment and maintenance of peace, life, and unity in Ravnica.

Simic Combine

The Simic Combine is Ravnica's steward of nature and the wild; its mission is to preserve the natural world even as Ravnica's cities continue to grow. The guild seeks to protect the elements of the plane that are incompatible or mutually exclusive with its overpopulated, urban conditions. The guild uses magic to coax new morphologies from existing creatures, as well as to combine traits from multiple organisms in one. Some of these are unique creatures that can't reproduce. A few multiply and become part of the guild's fabric.


The guilds might be considered the heart and soul of Ravnica, but they aren't all that makes up the city. Many citizens choose not to join a guild -- some because they can't be bothered, and others because they have philosophical objections to the very idea of guilds. The so-called guildless are especially common in areas that might be considered rural; places farther from the heart of the city and the larger exurban districts. But even in the city's heart, some guildless citizens actively oppose the influence of the guilds, blaming the world's strife and suffering on an elite hierarchy that seeks to take control, consolidate wealth, and fragment a populace against itself. The numbers of the guildless include people exchanged in a wide variety of trades and services that aren't managed and regulated by the guilds, from baking to cartography. University professors, guides, traders, and bartenders might be guildess. Criminal gangs set themselves up as rivals to the Orzhov, and even military forces operate independent of guild control, serving as neighborhood police forces or mercenaries for hire. About a half of Ravnica's population is guildess. That proportion is higher for some races than others; nearly all elves, for example, belong to the Golgari, Selesnya, or Simic guilds, but a majority of Goblins are guildless. Loxodons tend to have a strong sense of community, so they readily join guilds. and when they don't, they have groups of another sort, such as mercenary companions or cults. Simic hybrids are all created within the Simic combine, so it's rare for them not to be part of it.  


Ravnica is a vast city, covering the entirety of the world in many layers of construction, from deep sewers and catacombs to sky-raking spires. No single map can encompass the tremendous scope of its sprawl, and its borders (if it has any) are unknown, except possibly to those who live near the edges.

The story of Ravnica focuses on its core. Sometimes called the city proper, this core is divided into ten districts, each of which is a huge urban environment in its own right. The districts are named in simple numerical order from the First to the Tenth. No correlation exists between the ten guilds and the ten districts; all ten guilds are active in all ten districts.

A huge avenue called the Transguild Promenade runs through all ten districts, making it the most notable landmark for navigation through the city's heart. Lined with markets, small parks, and colonnades, the Promenade is a commercial thoroughfare used to transport loads of cargo. On celebration days, it becomes the city's most popular parade route. Even when guild conflicts run hot, Ravnicans respect the sanctity of the Promenade as neutral ground.

Beyond the core are an uncounted number of other districts, which originated as outlying cities that gradually melded into the expanding metropolis. Well-known districts outside the core include the Smelting District, Irbitov (the mausoleum district), and Jezeru (the lake district).

Districts, whether in the city proper or beyond it, are the fundamental configurations that define Ravnica. They are informally divided into various quarters, neighborhoods, and the like. Some of these areas extend across district boundaries. Deadbridge, for example, existed as a well-defined neighborhood before Ravnica City was formally divided into ten districts, and that division was made without consideration of Deadbridge's informally acknowledged boundaries. Part of Deadbridge, known as Deadbridge Chasm, occupies much of the Tenth District's Precinct Six, but it extends out into the neighboring area. Similar neighborhoods, both within and outside the city proper, include the Steambath Quarter, the Wrights' Quarter, and Mahovna, the Haven of Moss.  


A mixture of technological advancement and sophisticated magic offers amenities to the people of Ravnica. The nicer neighborhoods of the city enjoy central heating and plumbing (thanks to the work of the Izzet League), elevators, and spacious apartments. Even poorer neighborhoods boast clean and smooth roads and sturdy construction. No one needs to go hungry in Ravnica, because the Golgari Swarm provides a bare minimum of sustenance to anyone who can't afford better food, though it is best not to think too much about where the thick gruel comes from. (In practical terms, even a character who can't afford more than a wretched lifestyle doesn't need to go hungry.)

The citizens of Ravnica enjoy plenty of leisure time, and the city offers an abundance of ways to fill it. Ravnica features restaurants with extensive collections of fine wines, cafés serving coffee and tea, street vendors offering portable meals, and bakeries that sell a wide variety of breads and pastries. Travelers can stay in luxury hotels or simple hostels, or they can rely on their personal or guild-related contacts to find housing. Diversions and entertainments abound, including raucous street-side theater (including the circus-like spectacles of the Cult of Rakdos), operas and symphonies, illegal fight clubs, sporting events held in vast arenas, throwaway popular novels, and great works of literature. These things are shared by the city's diverse peoples, who enjoy a life adorned by a variety of species, gender identities, and sexual orientations.

Well-established systems undergird society, largely through the efforts of the guilds. The Azorius Senate crafts, codifies, and enforces a comprehensive (some would say oppressive) set of laws. The banks of the Orzhov Syndicate offer secure vaults and complicated financial arrangements. The Izzet League maintains the city's infrastructure, and the Golgari Swarm ensures that waste is disposed of (or recycled). House Dimir couriers deliver messages and parcels across the city, and the Simic Combine addresses issues of public health.

Ravnica lacks any large-scale agriculture operations, its citizens depending on food produced in Selesnya gardens and underground Golgari rot farms. Few parts of Ravnica could be considered wilderness; the rubblebelts, areas where the city has decayed and been reclaimed by natural forces, are the only truly wild areas.    

Ravnica District2




Ravnica started as a humble city, and like many others grew as the population did. The introduction of the Guilds helped propel the infrastructure and size of Ravinca, with each guild making their own districts and expanding their own territory. The city seemed to have no signs of stopping and throughout the millennia of its existence, grew to span the entire world. Rivers were bypassed, mountains were built around, on top of, or even inside of with vast mining companies. Even the oceans couldn't deter the expansion as they were simply built over and forgotten, save for the occasional preservation area. Even Ravinca itself was built over and on top of, giving way for the Undercities and their seeming eternal darkness. Only the poles of the planet remained untouched by the perverseness of the architects, for the frozen deserts are far too cold and unforgiving to properly build over.
Not all of nature is lost, however. Many districts contain vast quantities of wildlife in the form of conservation domes. Trees are planted regularly between and on top of buildings to break up the monotony of the rigid man made structures. Many wild animals and creatures roam the streets and buildings, finding new ways to adapt to the urban environment from those who couldn't and died off. The older, neglected, or even abandoned areas of the city are often overrun by nature taking back what it once had.


The Center of Ravnica is the hub of the great city and the entire plane. One of the only exposed areas of Ravnica’s original surface of any significant size. This site is actually the top of a mountain. At street level, it is flat, solid ground where many important halls and monuments are located.

The Tenth District is a sprawling place. To be governed effectively, it is broken into six precincts, each the size of a small city. Ravnica itself covers the entire planet as a whole with hundreds of districts, but many regard the Tenth District as the 'main' district, where all the Guild Leaders reside.


Ravnica is divided into six Precincts. Each precinct varies in shape and size, and aren't necessarily ruled by each of the Guilds, despite there being six between them. Rather, each precinct can be described as a landmark or environment for The Tenth District, many specializing in a particular job or industry.


This is the hub of the wealthy and powerful, where courtly games and espionage play out among visitors gawking at the impressive architecture. The precinct is also known as the Guildpact Precinct.


Many professionals live here in clean and orderly neighborhoods, in the shadow of New Prahv, while mob bosses coerce residents in order to enrich themselves and influence local politics.


In the Greenbelt, nature has encroached into the urban environment to varying degrees, and folk here provide bountiful sustenance and domesticated beasts for most of the district.


Constantly in a sate of turmoil, the scared streets of Precinct Four are a proving ground for soldiers and marauders alike. Visitors here had best be soiling for a fight.


Precinct Five is where the learned folk of the Tenth District gather to discuss theory or to put their knowledge to practical use in the precicnt's many schools, libraries, and laboratories.


In the hardscrabble neighborhoods of Precinct Six, the working folk eke out a living by toiling at warehouses, docks, and factories controlled by callous employers. When night comes, the residents hide in doors to avoid becoming prey to creatures that stalk the darkness.


Two major avenues run across the whole Tenth District, crossing precinct lines.


Tin Street is the longest thoroughfare in the city, a vital center of trade, and a hub of activity day and night. In addition to its shopping attractions, Tin Street is also a popular spot for nightlife, with its many restaurants and theaters. Much of the street runs through the western part of Present Four and other parts care claimed by Goblin Gangs. The prominent presence of the Boros soldiers along the length of Tin Street helps the populace feel safer, but the threat of Rubblebelt raider and goblin thieves remain.


The Transguild Promenade makes its way across the district from the edge of the rubblebelt in Precinct Four to the southern gates of Precinct One. The Promenade's northern reach is heavily patrolled by Boros soldiers, and caravans coming from the north employ heavily armed escorts to ensure their safe passage through the ruined areas. Markets and parks line the avenue as it winds through Precinct One, and parades clog the street on festive holidays.


Even though most Ravnicans think the city begins at ground level and stretches upward, the part of the city that lies beneath the streets impacts the lives of everyone. Immediately underground are the city works, such as the sewers and the transit system. Below the complex network of tunnels and passages that make up the city works lies the undercity -- a realm populated by creatures that shun the surface world  


The Izzet League is responsible for constructing and maintaining public works, including sewers and other pipe systems. Many members of the Golgari Swarm live or work here, farming fungus and scavenging for valuable trinkets in the muck. Orzhov crypts and vaults, Dimir hideouts, and Simic laboratories can also be found in the city works.  


Magically charged tracks line the floors of tube-like tunnels that send vehicular constructs to major locations in the Tenth District and beyond. The tunnels open into small stations that have staircases leading up to the surface


Around the sewer system, smaller tunnel networks carry steam, distilled magical energy, and water to various places throughout the city. These passages are large enough for a humanoid to walk through but are often quite uncomfortable, filled with impure air and stifling heat.


A vast, winding sewer network runs under the Tenth District, lit by continual flame spells. Some of the tunnels are simply storm sewers, meant to carry rainwater (and the debris it washes from the streets) into great cisterns, where it is purified and sent into the pipes in the plumbing system that serves Ravnica's nicer neighborhoods. Others carry waste and refuse out of those neighborhoods, depositing it in different cisterns or dumping it into the subterranean oceans of the undercity.


Ancient resting places lie in secret chambers below the surface of Ravnica. Many of them have been magically warded to prevent unauthorized entry. Some of these sites are homes for restless undead or gathering places for thieves, smugglers, and other criminals.


Deep below the Tenth District Jjes a vast, thriving community of folk who have no desire or choice to live under the sky. Here, the Dimir. Golgari, Rakdos, and Simic hold sway in the caverns, causeways, and bodies of water that grace the darkest depths.  


The sprawling residence of many of the House Dimir elite, parts of Nightveil overlap the Tenth District in the undercily. An extensive system of natural caverns houses high-walled mansions and sunken crypts that have a grand, sinister motif. Patrolling specters and other incorporeal undead make it difficult for the unwelcome to enter


Also called the Maze of Decay, Korozda is an arched subterranean cathedral surrounded by fungal hedgerows and moss-encrusted ruins. In its center is a great amphitheater where the most important issues are brought to the Golgari's attention. Penvar, the Hanging Keep, is a castle fixed upside down on the ceiling above the entrance to Korozda. Its soldiers, predominantly the insectoid kraul, prevent any unauthorized visitors to the Golgari stronghold


Known as the Dungeon Palace, this is the guildhall of the Cult of Rakdos, and the lava-filled lair of the demon himself. An immense, crumbling, red stone staircase called the Demon's Vestibule begins the journey from the Smelting District down into the depths, treating travelers to terrifying images depicted on banners as they descend. Farther down, the temperature rises and the passage eventually opens up into the Festival Grounds, where the bloodiest performances of the Rakdos and their torturous equipment are on display.


Rivers, lakes, and oceans run deep below the surface of Ravnica. Several of them connect to the Simic habitats known as zonots. They are also used as thoroughfares by aquatic races and monsters.


Dozens of languages can be heard in any of Ravnica's marketplaces, and every tongue has dialects and regional variations. In order for the guilds to function, the Common language is essential. But other languages remain widely used in homes and clan gatherings.  




Deamons, devils
Ogres, giants
Centaurs, dryads


Ravnica Planet

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


Please Login in order to comment!