Custodian of the Bleak Tower
Custodian of the Bleak Tower is an Imperial title that oversees a great work in Morrow. The tower was commissioned in Summer 382YE as part of an opportunity presented during the Spring Equinox. Work was completed shortly before the Summer Solstice 383YE.
The Custodian is responsible for ensuring the Bleak Tower, and the spire that tends to it, remains unthreatened and continues to share its expertise with the herbalists of Morrow. They further ensure that the unique nature of the Tower is not threatened - that its carefully cultivated aura of ruin is not damaged, as this would lead to the loss of the valuable sap gathered from the trees that grow within the regio. Preserving the regio, of course, is also part of the Custodian's responsibilities.
The Bleak Tower is a great work, which distributes a share of 80 random herbs to all citizens of Morrow who own herb gardens. The Custodian has no control over this element, which operates automatically each season.
The title can be held by any Urizen citizen. The Custodian has tenure, and serves until they die or step down. They can be revoked by the General Assembly, the Urizen National Assembly, and by the Assembly of the Nine.
The Bleak Tower
During their invasion of Zenith, the Druj destroyed the Gardens of Pallas in central Iteri. The gardens were flooded, their ushabti smashed, their caretaker spires burned. Their malice knew no bounds - during their invasion of Morrow they also destroyed the beautiful Gardens at Caeli. But among the refugees in Morrow the expertise remained - and to those with eyes to see, this created an opportunity to salvage something out of this disaster. With the approval of the Senate, a commission was created to harness that displayed expertise.
The Bleak Tower was an ancient structure, long abandoned for reasons unknown. Half collapsed, it once housed a vast arboretum. The buildings lay in ruins, and the trees had grown wild. Yet that slow ruin brought with it a gathering of Winter resonance that eventually gave rise to a potent regio - one with some unusual benefits. Cyrus of the White Stair, formerly of Zenith, suggested that restoration of the tower would allow a new spire to be built, one that could provide a home for refugees from the Gardens of Pallas - and for those displaced from the Gardens of Morrow.
Work to restore the spire required careful planning - the arboretum needed to be restored without losing the overwhelming sense of ruination that gave rise to the regio. With great care the ruin was made habitable - and skilled herbalists among the refugees encouraged to establish a new spire around it. From the Bleak Tower, the herbalists are able to collaborate with their peers across Morrow, exchanging seeds and plants as well as skills and expertise, bringing great gains to the herb gardens of the Urizen territory.
The real gain comes from the restored arboretum itself however. The twisted trees that grow near the regio produce sap that is a sticky dark red in colour with a metallic tang. It is more than just a mere curio however, it is potent with magic - a rare form of Heart's Blood - invaluable for winter rituals. It requires careful tending, but the Custodian is able to claim a bounty of this potent vis each season.
|Summer Solstice 383YE||Staurakios|
This title is currently held by Staurakios. This title has tenure, the occupant may hold the title until it is revoked, they die or they relinquish the position. The table to the right shows the citizens who have been elected to hold this title in the years since Empress Britta died.