Speculation Special: Do You Know the Raven Man?

Do you know the RAVEN MAN?

It’s Vorthos that goes back as far as we have known a certain black mana planeswalker named Liliana Vess. In fact, over the years, he has been an enigma that Vess herself has never been able to solve.

Appearing in her time of trouble with her brother poisoned, the Raven Man appeared offering help although warning that it was a cure her and her family did not want. But why offer it? Knowing that she would take his help anyway, was he attempting to teach her a lesson that would keep her from making similar mistakes down the road? Quite possibly, he offered it knowing that end result of the ‘cure’ would be her brother cursed and her planeswalker spark igniting.

Her brother cursed, Liliana Vess’ spark ignited beginning her dark and twisted journey.

But it did not stop there. There are some that say that the Raven Man manipulated the Chain Veil into Liliana’s possession. But, again, for what reason?

Many speculate that he was grooming her for power and the Chain Veil was a part of it. But, it is possible that this grand manipulator knew that Vess could handle the power to the point of aiding her to free herself from the shackles of the four demons that held power over her for so long? Was the Raven Man attempting to right the wrongs Vess had done to herself in making the dark deal in the first place?

IF he could see the future, who was it the Raven Man didn’t know that, in the end, she would be able to rid herself of it with the help of the spirit of the Elder Dragon Ugin and the powerful Soul-Gem. Ugin encouraged Liliana to ‘chose a better path’ ahead. Was this the Raven Man’s goal also? Relieving her of the Chain Veil was definitely not in HIS plans. How far did this unknown entity see into her future? Into all plane’s futures?

There is also the question of how the Raven Man knew to tweak her path in just the right points; leading to her possible redemption? Did her mysterious ‘benefactor’ see the future?

If he did, it would make him indespensible to the ‘shadowy cabal’ (of which Kasmina belongs) hoping to avert an event that ‘dwarfs ‘ War of the Spark! In fact, his vision could have had a great deal to do with the creation of this coalition to protect the future in the first place.

Obviously, if he has vision into the future (divination), it is limited and may not be able to predict how Liliana will respond to her challenges. He didn’t see her freeing herself from the Chain Veil which was not a part of his vision of her power in the future.

The card that Tivash appears on says nothing of diviniation. He is simply a ‘gloom summoner’. And what he summons are Demons.

He is obviously a part of Withergloom that deal in life and death. Liliana, as Professor Serafina Onyx, also is a part of Witherbloom. She was there as a student and, now, as a professor.

But she hasn’t noticed him?

Their similarities in looks is what has brought us to this question of whether Tivash could be the Raven Man. His hair and goatee are snowy white like the Raven Man. His eyes glow like him too, although Tivash’s eyes glow an eerie green instead of gold. The striking visual is the dark raven-like feathers that adorn his outfit. The colors are nearly exact also with black to dark crimson being the theme.

As for their differences, the dagger that Tivash carries does not match the hooked handled blade the Raven Man has in his hilt in most pictures. There’s no trace of ravens on the card which is a blaring absence. His breastplate and tunic have similarities, but nothing screams identical. I know most of this could easily be explained by a disguise or a simple outfit change.

Considering where we find Tivash, he would have need of a disguise. But , if he is trying to hide in plain sight, he’s not doing a great job of it. And, both he and Vess…uh Onyx…being in the same college would make it hard for her not to recognize him. Is she that distracted with hiding herself? Has she blocked that part of her life so much that he’s invisible to her? Or is he using some magic to keep her from spotting her?

Is THIS what the Raven Man wanted?

And, finally, you have to ask yourself, if Tivash IS the Raven Man, does his ability to summon demons smack of a connection with the four demons Liliana made her devastating deal with? Was he involved in that too?

No, until we get more info, the similar look is simply coincidence. He’s not factored into the story of Strixhaven and only appears on a card in a precon commander deck. These characters are usually known already or simply side characters. If I were a betting man, I’d go with there being no connection here.

But, time will tell. The Raven Man has not shown hiself in a while. Is Liliana Vess aka Professor Serafina Onyx due a visit from the enigmatic manipulator? I’d say it’s about time. The ball is, for now, in Wotc’s court.

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