Tear Jerker: Magic: The Gathering

  • Elspeth's entire life is one Tear Jerker after another. She grew up on a plane ruled by Phyrexians, which is the height of Nightmare Fuel in of itself. She awakened her spark and escaped when she was thirteen, and for several years travelled the multiverse ( including finding her sword on Theros.). Then she came to Bant, and made it her home, becoming a knight and finding the comradeship and friends she dearly missed. But then the Conflux happened and her world fell apart around her, leaving her practically broken as Grixis invaded.
    • After that, she wandered again, and when Ajani found her in the arenas of Urborg, she refused to return to Bant because she felt she was unworthy of being a knight.
    • On Mirrodin, she is forced to watch the resistance fail and New Phyrexia rise despite her best efforts.
    • On Theros, she manages to become a hero by slaying the hydra Polukranos and then breaking the siege of Akros. It seems as though her misery is finally over when she and Daxos fall in love and she is a hero, but then Xenagos brings it all crashing down. First, he uses mind control to trick Elspeth into murdering Daxos, and then she becomes a scapegoat after he ascends into godhood. Blamed by all of Theros, Elspeth struggles on with Ajani's help and finally confronts Xenagos, slaying him with the Godsend.
    • To even reach Xenagos, she undertook the Ordeal of Erebos, which consisted of a Lotus-Eater Machine where she was married and had children on Bant. And she had to reject this illusion to advance. As a reward for this, she gained access to Nyx but also one request of Erebos. After slaying Xenagos, she asks to trade her life for Daxos'. But then Heliod enters, disarming her with ease, taunting her and then killing her with the Godsend out of sheer spite and jealousy.
  • Daxos' ultimate fate is just heartbreaking. Erebos does as Elspeth requests, but he revives Daxos as a Returned who wanders endlessly in search of Elspeth, who by this point is condemned to the underworld.
  • Her vision was hazy, but she could see Ajani kneeling beside her. His face was a mask of pain; his body seemed rigid with shock.
  • The flavor text for the Planeshift version of Slay. "The elves had the edge in guile, skill, and valor. But in the end, only sheer numbers mattered." To make things worse, the art shows the elves of Llanowar being overrun by Phyrexians.
  • Sorin finding the long-dead corpse of his friend Ugin on Tarkir. He loses all hope of combating the Eldrazi when he confirms that not a trace of his old comrade remains in spirit, echo or whatever remaining form but a miles-long-carcass.
  • Sorin and Nahiri, The Lithomancer, witnessing the extinguishing of an unnamed plane and it's last remnant of inhabitants in 'The Lithomancer'. And the knowledge that this is exactly what has happened numerous times before, and will continue for as long as the Eldrazi roam free.
  • The Lunarch's Journal and the defeated reaction of Comitant Dovid about the nature of The nature of Avacyn
    • "We are livestock. We are unwitting participants in our own cultivation. The church to which I have dedicated my life, the being that I have loved since birth, the boundaries of my world, all of it is a sinister lie. How strange this world is, and how cruel."
  • Tarkir's storyline is pretty much one hell of a sad ride. Throught the Khans of Tarkir uncharted realms we're offered a distinctive, rich world with several complex characters (aside from the Sultai), albeit dying slowly. Sarkhan goes back in time, and we're given a glimmer of hope for Tarkir's problems to be ammended... only to end up with a far worse present, where dragons tyrannise the plane and destroyed everything the clans held dear, like a particularly twisted Ironic Hell:
    • The Abzan are in the new timeline ruled by draconic fascists who, while nicer than other dragons, still impose their morality with an iron fist and kill anyone who dares to worship their ancestors. They literally take babies away from their parents, and while relatively merciful still operate on a social darwinist level, with Dromoka herself eating the "weak links".
    • The Jeskai were converted into Ojutai's personal cult, have their own history edited, and are run by an elitistic platform in which dragons can do whatever they want without consequence. Fanaticism has also increased to the point that dissenters are considered heretics worthy of death.
    • While the most warmongering clan, the Mardu were still reasonably honourable and valued altruism. In the new timeline, they have been degraded into murderous, cannibalistic savages that are pretty much Kolaghan's punching bags.
    • The Temur were pretty much forced to become Atarka's personal waiters, always serving her at all times lest they become her next meal (and she pretty much revels in this, starving them and forcing them to hold her praises to remind them of their situation). As if that wasn't enough, she ate away all that they held dear, from their shamanic culture to their notion of family. Now, they're probably the biggest threat to Tarkir as a whole, hunting species to the brink of extinction and conquering new lands to sate their brood master's hunger.
    • Individual characters suffered immensely as well. In the original timeline, Gvar Barzeel and Anfenza were adopted siblings, but now the former was never adopted because Dromoka doesn't allow it anymore, forcing him to stay with the Kolaghan and become a horrible, hateful shadow of his original self, while the latter was murdered for daring to worship her ancestors. Neither of them knew each other, which makes it especially tragic given how well developed their relationship was on the original timeline.
  • Unsurprisingly given how sparks most often ignite, the five Magic: Origins stories will punch you right in the feels.
    • Chandra had to watch as her mother, her father, and an entire village of innocents were slaughtered, and the one who did the slaughtering blamed her for it.
    • First Jace discovers that his mentor, the person who took him in when others condemned him as a freak, has been Mind Raping him over and over and using him as a pawn to keep the perpetual war going. In the ensuing mental duel, he wins... but only at the cost of losing all his memories. When the ensuing shock causes him to planeswalk to Ravnica, he can't even remember where he came from, let alone his family or childhood or anything.
    • Kytheon is sent by the sun god to slay a titan of Erebos that is running rampage. He and his Irregulars set out to meet the titan and conquer it... just in time for Erebos himself to show up. Filled with arrogance, Kytheon throws his sun-blessed spear at the God, and Erebos casually redirects it back at him. Kytheon calls upon his magic to protect him, but the clash of powers instead releases a shockwave that strikes down all his friends.
    • Lilliana may be the biggest bitch in Dominia, but watching her desperate attempt to save her brother's life go horribly wrong and raise him as some kind of twisted zombie-thing will still bring tears to your eyes.
    • Nissa's emotions as she watches the elves of Lorwyn slaughtering the boggarts and her connection to the plane's spirit lets her feel each death diminish it ever so slightly.
  • Goblins have always been a source of Black Comedy, with all the various horrible things happening to them across time, space, and all the planes of Dominiq being a Running Gag for much of the game's history. Then you read about one of them crying her eyes out over the corpse of her friend and blaming herself for not being fast enough when one of her legs is half crippled, and it doesn't seem all that funny anymore.
  • In Home Waters, we learn the story about how Kiora ignited her spark. After accidentally attracting a giant mer-eating serpent with her younger sister, Turi, Kiora desperately led the monster away from Turi, who turned around just in time to see her idolized older sister eaten alive. The trauma of that event ignited Kiora's spark, and she wandered the Multiverse for months before finding her way back. In all that time, both sisters deeply believed to have completely failed the other, and by the time of Kiora's return, Turi had sunk deep into depression, wasting away almost completely.