Doyen of the Spires
The Doyen of the Spires is an Imperial title bestowed upon a citizen of Urizen by a majority vote of magicians. The position was created by the Imperial Senate in Winter 382YE during the work to repair the Helipticon network. The Heliopticon is one of the wonders of the Empire, but was significantly damaged by the fighting in Spiral, Zenith, and Morrow. The reconstruction effort replaced the central towers in Morrow and Spiral, and arranged for comprehensive restoration of towers across the nation. At the same time, following the proposal of Portia the Elder, a former Provost of the Halls of Knowledge turned Civil Servant, the functionality of the Heliopticon was greatly expanded. With new mirrors, and new methods of enciphering, the towers are now turned to the primary purpose of codifying magical rituals - making Urizen the largest college of magic the world has ever seen. The Doyen of the Spires guides the magicians and scholars of the nation, creating ritual texts via the unique collaboration of an entire people.
The Doyen is responsible for overseeing the codification of a single arcane projection, selected when they are appointed. The codification work is undertaken by the entire nation of Urizen, and facilitated by use of the Heliopticon network. Given that the effectiveness of this "college" depends on the number of Urizen magicians and scholars able to commit time to the study, the Doyen by extension has a vested interest in protecting the nation from outside threats.
The Doyen of the Spires can direct the magicians of a Urizen to research the formula of a new ritual so that it can be mastered. The ritual must already exist in the form of an arcane projection. Urizen can work on formalising one ritual at a time, and the research may take anywhere from a season to several years depending on the complexity and the number of people able to commit their time to studying the ritual. At the completion, the Doyen receives a ritual text suitable for use in mastering the ritual.
If research is not completed, the college keeps notes on their work so far, and may resume it at a later date from where it was left off.
Due to the nature of the "college", it is not possible to conceal the nature of the arcane projection being worked on from the people of Urizen or, by extension, the Empire.
OOC Note: The Doyen selects the arcane projection they wish to formulate by e-mail to Profound Decisions (email@example.com) following the event they are elected. The final magnitude of the ritual text is not guaranteed to be the same as that of the arcane projection.
A People United
The speed at which an arcane projection is codified depends on the existence of large numbers of Urizen magicians and scholars able to commit time to the study. Each territory that is part of Urizen and conencted to the others by the Heliopticon allows the Doyen to codify five ranks of magnitude each season.
In addition, following the hard decisions made in the wake of the liberation of the people of Zenith, and the decision to encourage them to settle in western Urizen, as long as Morrow and Redoubt remain part of Urizen the speed of codification is increased by a further 5 ranks. If Zenith were freed from the Druj, and became part of Urizen once more, this would not increase the speed of codification as the magicians of this territory are already working to support the Doyen from their new homes in western Unrizen.
As of the time of writing (just before Autumn 383YE following the loss of Spiral), the Doyen of the Spires and the people of Urizen can codify an arcane projection in one season for every 15 ranks of magnitude it has.
Having the whole of Urizen function as a college of magic is expensive. The upkeep on the Heliopticon network, costs the senate the normal amounts for a college of magic, and an additional 5 Thrones for every Urizen territory contributing to the codification process. As such, with four territories effectively contributing and with the basic cost for a third college of magic being 25 Thrones, the upkeep cost is 45 Thrones each season paid by the treasury.
The Doyen is elected in the Hall of Worlds by a majority vote of magicians. Every Urizen magician present has one vote, regardless of their mastery of ritual magic. Each candidate presents the single arcane projection that they propose to codify, and the one who receives the most votes becomes Doyen of the Spires and work begins on codifying their arcane projection. Alternatively, a candidate may propose to resume work on the codification of a ritual previously presented but on which work has not been completed.
The title can be only held by any Urizen citizen. The Doyen serves until their arcane projection has been codified, at which time the title is reappointed. They can be revoked by the General Assembly, the Urizen National Assembly, and by the Assembly of the Nine.
If the Doyen of the Spires is revoked, steps down, or dies, work on their arcane projection ceases. A new Doyen of the Spires may be appointed to continue their work, or a new arcane projection may be presented to the people of Urizen.
The Studies of Urizen
Due to the nature of the unique college, it is not feasible to conceal the nature of the work being done via the Heliopticon network from the people of Urizen or, by extension, the Empire.
Appointed in Spring 383YE, the first person to hold the title was Ioseph of Phoenix Reach, who directed work on Aspect of the Mountain - a summer ritual of magnitude twenty. The work should have taken six months, but the influx of Urizen liberated from Zenith helped to speed the process along. In the end, Aspect of the Mountain was formulated in only a single season. The ritual is an enchantment that enhances the ability of a band of soldiers to take advantage of fortified positions - granting additional prowess when defending a fortification.
During the Summer Solstice 383YE, the mage Tenaes was appointed to oversee the codification of Regrow the Land's Heart an ambitious Spring ritual of magnitude one-hundred-and-twenty. The ritual infuses the territory of Spiral with Spring magic, encouraging new life and increasing the likelihood of children born in the territory expressing the briar lineage. The ritual is a potent enchantment that will last for an entire year.