The Mul Daya are a tribe of elves living on Zendikar. They dwell in the humid rainforests of Bala Ged.
This secretive tribe of elves have an unusual speaker, Hazzan, an ancient elf who follows the cryptic edicts of a centuries-old elvish ghost called Obuun. Hazzan claims the ghost occupies a wooden throne entwined in vines and bark. Now speaker Hazzan sits in the throne to channel Obuun and address the Mul Daya nation. The elves of Mul Daya often give precedence to their speaker's commands immediately after their own survival, which other elves view as a fanatical perversion of elvish culture.
The Mul Daya are the most likely to serve as spies and assassins, always with Hazzan's utterances as the basis for their goals. The seat of Mul Daya power lies in the mysterious, deadly, fetid jungles of Bala Ged. There, in its damp, teeming wilds, Hazzan holds court over his people, delivering the cryptic messages he receives from the spirit. This nation has a relationship with the spirits of their elvish ancestors that sets it apart. To the Mul Daya, the spirit world and mortal realm are no different aside from their tangibility. Hazzan is simply more attuned to the ghosts.
Mul Daya elves have a connection with the spirits of their elvish ancestors that sets them apart from the rest of the elves. Death and the spirits of the dead are as much a part of their lives as the natural world. This is not macabre to the elves at all; they view it as the truest view of the natural system.
The Mul Daya can often be recognized by their face-painting and tattooing. Their ghost-white facepaint, skull-like eyesockets, full-body tattooing, and fiery red-dyed hair make them stand out like ghouls of the forest. Many Mul Daya decorate their skin with an enwrapping vine motif and use strange poisons and acids culled at great cost from strange creatures and plants in the depths of Bala Ged and Kazandu. The best of the Mul Daya warriors are called "vine ghosts" for their silence in entering and waging battle. These elves train in camouflage, stealth, poison use, and trap setting.
The Mul Daya elves reject their Tajuru kin, calling them arrogant tree-binders who think the roots serve the canopy. The other tribes call them fanatics, but none deny that the Mul Daya elves have an iron-strong bond to some force greater than themselves.
Mul Daya soulspeakers use the arts of necromancy to communicate with Obuun, the Everliving One. To do so, a soulspeaker performs a ritual and drinks a poison that kills him. Then once dead, the body rises and speaks the distant Obuun's words. Thereafter the undead soulspeaker performs a ritual of renewal that restores life to his limbs.
"The other elf tribes shun the Mul Daya. They call them bone-eaters and death-friends. But they rescued me from torture at the hands of quag vampires. I've seen them converse with spirits. They honor the jungle like a god and are connected to Zendikar's life-force in a way no one else truly understands." —Mitra, Bala Ged missionary
"I've done this a long time. You run an expedition, you figure out quick what your curse is gonna be. We've had no problems with the Grotag, the vampires, the bloodbriar—and this is the most obedient hurda I've ever driven. The curse is the damned elves. And I've known elves—some people call 'em haughty, and it's certain they've seen more'n you ever will—but these deep-jungle kind are far worse. They're phantoms, slipping in and out of the greasy vines, moaning their chants on the night's wind. They're our curse this time, the Mul Daya, I can feel it in every beat of my heart." —Chadir the Navigator
"The sun was born within its coils, but it fled to the sky. The wurm hungers for its child, and the world will bear its loss." -Screed of the Mul Daya (Novablast Wurm)
"The trembling lands ruptured, leaving an open door for things from below to emerge." -Screed of the Mul Daya (Roiling Terrain)