Barrinalo was born in the Kjeldor kingdom during the Ice Age, at his birth he was prophesied to become the most powerful magician in all Dominaria. Barrinalo adopted the name "Barrin" after running out of ink when signing his name, causing him to omit the last three letters. Indeed, among the magicians who were not planeswalkers Barrin became the most powerful.
Later, planeswalker Urza sought him out and asked him to become director of the wizard’s academy he would soon find. The academy's real purpose was to provide a defense for Dominaria during the next Phyrexian invasion. Thus, the two most powerful magicians in the world founded the Tolarian Academy.
Barrin was a strict director and teacher, but even he could not stop the machinations of Teferi, his most talented and rebellious student. The teacher did not understand why he spent so much time and talent creating things like a machine that imitates a "fart" sound. . . Barrin also liked to conduct outdoor classes, mainly in his Lotus plantation, teaching his students about the importance of mana and where it comes from. However, what Barrin most did was to study Urza's projects, since he believed that the planeswalker was Dominaria's only hope against the Phyrexians.
Barrin and Urza worked on a time machine to prevent the Thran from becoming Phyrexians. They created a silver golem that would serve as a probe. It would later be called Karn, which means "strength" in the Thran language. Karn was an attempt to make a time traveler, since according to Urza's experiments only silver could cross the temporal energies. Meanwhile, Jhoira approached a man who was shipwrecked in Tolaria, who introduced himself as K'rrik and the two became friends. Unaware that K'rrik was a Phyrexian agent, she ended up revealing the Academy's time machine designs to the agent, which lead to K'rrik attacking Tolaria and destroying much of the project team including Barrin and Jhoira. To save the two who would still be useful in their plans, Urza sent Karn back in time a few days. Karn succeeded in stopping K'rrik, but the enormous temporal energies caused a rift that destroyed the Academy, resulting in the death of hundreds of students and teachers, which forced Urza to leave the Academy.
A few years later, Urza, Barrin and Karn returned to the island of Tolaria and reestablished the Academy with the help of Jhoira who had been trapped on the island for all these years. Urza incorporated the island's unique temporal structure into his research on possible defenses against the Phyrexian invasion. Unfortunately, K'rrik also survived the disaster and built a Phyrexian base in a quick-time bubble, where one day meant years and that gave him time to build his personal army. At the same place, Barrin (who was already old at that time) used the waters of the slow-time bubble to be able to live and help Urza in the war to come.
Five years after reestablishing the Academy, Urza left Tolaria and went to Yavimaya, in order to convince Multani to join him in the defense of Dominaria. During that time, K'rrik found a way to reach Tolaria and, with his army, attacked the academy. Barrin summoned all of Tolaria's defenses, but it was not enough and many students died during the battle. He activated the Academy's emergency beacon, a magic that only he could use, to call the planeswalker wherever he was. Urza brought with him the dragons of Shiv who attacked and destroyed K'rrik , saving the Academy from being destroyed again.
Over the years, the Tolarian Academy's focus shifted to the production of the Legacy Weapon, and ensuring the success of the Bloodline Project, which formed couples with the best warriors and wizards in Dominaria to produce perfect children. During this period, the Archmage fell in love with a magician named Rayne, who later became Chancellor of the Academy. Barrin and Rayne were married and the archmage realized that Rayne was chosen by Urza to be his mate, and that the couple's to-be-born daughter was part of the Bloodline Project. Still, Barrin enjoyed his life with his wife.
Upon completion of the Bloodline Project, Barrin helped Urza spread the Legacy artifacts across Dominaria and later the planeswalker took some of them to other planes in an effort to avoid the Phyrexian's attention.
Although Barrin expected his daughter Hanna to follow his path and become a magician, she chose to be a craftsman, a path that Barrin began to fear because of some of Urza's actions. He forbade Hanna to study the artifacts, resulting in a severe fight between father and daughter and Hanna's eventual move to New Argive, where she joined the Weatherlight Crew and became their navigator.
A few months before the Phyrexian invasion began, Barrin and Rayne helped their fellow student Teferi in defending Jamuraa against an invasion by Keld. In the final battle of the raid, Rayne was killed by Greel, a Keldonian mutant, and in a moment of anger and sadness, Barrin defeated much of Keld's army, killing Greel and his leader Lattulla.
When the Phyrexian invasion began, Barrin used more water from the slow-time bubble, in combination with some powerful magic. This time, the water not only delayed his aging, but reversed it, making the Archmage young again and at the prime of his power. Barrin knew that, in the battle to come, he would have to give his best or it would be the end of Hanna, his only memory of Rayne.
Barrin and Urza initially defended Benalia during the early days of the Phyrexian invasion. After Urza's departure, Barrin was eventually forced to retreat from the nation after the Phyrexian troops destroyed the nation. The Archmage then led a defense in Keld, until he was taken by Urza to the Phyrexian front line in Urborg. Barrin was forced to retreat once more and Urza convoked him to Koilos, the location of the biggest phyrexian portal. Barrin's life changed when he found that his daughter Hanna had been infected with the Phyrexian plague during a battle and that ended up killing her. Urza did not bother to inform him, the planeswalker argued that he wanted him focused on the war, it was not the time to mourn the dead. Barrin waited for the nausea to pass or for Urza to say something else. He waited in vain. Feeling betrayed by the one he considered a friend, Barrin abandoned the war in deep pain. While exhuming his daughter's body, Barrin finally realized the price he paid for his faith in Urza.
Barrin returned to Tolaria with the intention of burying his daughter beside his mother. Upon returning to his home on the island, the Archmage discovered that the Phyrexians had discovered the location of Urza's laboratory. To prevent them from accessing the experiments and weapons created by Urza and with nothing else to protect or fight for in this war, Barrin prepared a spell that he swore he would never use. With all his power and the life he had left, Barrin obliterates Tolaria, the Phyrexians, the academy and himself.
"For his family, Barrin made a funeral pyre of Tolaria."